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Favourite Five Series: Something Weird Video Triple Features

Posted in Favourite Five Series, movies, Something Weird Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by goregirl

stepping into something weirdffpo

sisw-resizedThis is it, my final Stepping Into Something Weird and The Films of Michael Findlay post! This has genuinely been the most fun I have ever had doing a feature for Goregirl’s Dungeon! Seventy-five Something Weird titles watched and nineteen Something Weird DVDs added to my personal collection; a collection I intend to grow. I look forward to continuing my journey through the rest of Something Weird Video’s catalog in the months and years to come. I hope I was able to turn you on to some of these gorgeous grindhouse gems and early exploitation extravaganzas!

Thank you to my good friend and Co-host David Arrate over at My Kind of Story and My Kind of Story Images for his contributions and assistance during Stepping into Something Weird and The Films of Michael Findlay.

Let us just get right down to business here shall we? Here is My Favourite Five Something Weird Video Triple Features! All five of the triple features on this list should be in every single exploitation fans collection!

The Touch of her Flesh/The Curse of her Flesh/The Kiss of her Flesh

Michael Findlay’s Flesh trilogy received my highest combined rating of all the triple features on this list. The Curse of Her Flesh received a perfect rating and made my favourite five something weird films (part two), The Kiss of Her Flesh was not far behind with a 4.5/5 and The Touch of Her Flesh a 3.5/5 for a combined 13. The trilogy follows weapons expert Richard Jennings who flips a switch after catching his voluptuous wife in bed with another man and goes on a three film killing spree where numerous broads (and a few men too) are killed in a number of creative ways that include various weapons, poison and a booby-trapped dildo! The Touch of Her Flesh seems so conservative in comparison to The Curse of Her Flesh and The Kiss of Her Flesh but all three are an absolute shitload of fun! I can say the same thing about this entire trilogy that I said about The Curse of Her Flesh; outrageous, nasty, hilarious, naughty, sleazy, entertaining brilliance! Having seen six Findlay efforts offered through Something Weird Video I can say with confidence that Findlay is one of the most outrageous and entertaining directors in their library! I said it before and I am going to said again right freaking now; every film on this list is a must have for exploitation fans but none of them more so than Michael Findlay’s Flesh trilogy!


For more images from The Touch of Her Flesh click here.


For more images from The Curse of Her Flesh click here.


For more images from The Kiss of Her Flesh click here.

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:

Get ready to be Shocked and Appalled with an All Out Assault on Humanity! Here’s the infamous “Flesh Trilogy,” three of the most outrageously insane Sexploitation Sickies of the 60s from husband and wife filmmakers Michael and Roberta Findlay which mix sex and violence into a malignant cocktail still potent today.

The madness starts with The Touch of Her Flesh where Richard Jennings discovers his wife Claudia in bed with another man, goes berserk, and is promptly hit by a car. In a classic case of overreaction, the now-crippled Jennings not only vows revenge on his wife but on all women everywhere, slaughtering strippers, hookers and go-go girls in a series of psycho killings which climax with a lovely little buzzsaw beheading.

Next Jennings extends The Curse of Her Flesh to the man he caught with Claudia as well as “everyone connected with him,” leading to murders by machete, a poisoned cat’s paw, and even a lethal G-string!

Finally in The Kiss of Her Flesh, Jennings fights the ultimate Battle of the Sexes with a tire iron, blowtorch, and, believe it or not, a lobster claw. Yipes! Hilariously depraved, deranged, disturbing, and definitely not part of our PC-world, here are three gruesome gems sure to make your jaw hit the floor!

Special Features
• Original Findlay Trailers for The Curse of Her Flesh, Satan’s Bed, The Touch of Her Flesh and The Ultimate Degenerate
• Gallery of Sick Sixties Sex Stills with Audio Oddities


This triple feature was a no-brainer for the list. It contains two films that I gave a perfect rating to and made my favourite five Something Weird Video lists part one and part two! Submission is a little tale about an infantile woman named Vickie and her violent criminal boyfriend Barry who keeps her submissive with toys, candy and sex while bumping off and robbing rich broads. The unique and spellbinding Submission also received the full review treatment. Vibrations is about the complicated relationship between two sisters with an incestuous past; a sexy, well-acted masterpiece! The weak link in this trilogy being Fluctuations. Fluctuations had me hypnotized for the first 15 minutes, than it started to get tedious, and tedium turned to irritation and irritation turned to anger and then I wanted to take the disk out and stomp on it 40 or 50 times and then set it on fire. And then I remembered that Submission and Vibrations were on the same disc so I didn’t. It has a sound loop of two people having sex and the woman sounds like she has asthma and every 8 or 9 minutes or so a male voice says “I’m cumming”. It is the sort of thing you would put on to torture someone. In fact, the only reason I would ever put Fluctuations on ever again is if I was torturing a man in my apartment. And I’ll tell ya one thing, I’d be taping headphones to the bastards ears so I didn’t have to listen to it. On the plus side some of the imagery is interesting briefly and Findlay favourite Kim Lewid is in it. Submission and Vibrations are so freaking brilliant I could not possibly leave this trio off the list; despite the inclusion of Fluctuations. You can look at Fluctuations as a historical curio, or endurance test; whatever. You are buying this set for Vibrations and Submission. Do it now! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!


For more images from Submission click here.


For more images from Vibrations click here.


For more images from Fluctuations click here.

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:

It’s a triple bill of sexploitation skin and sin mixing Joe Sarno sophistication with sleaze and schlock, exactly as they played Times Square back in 1970!

Good VIBRATIONS go in ultra-kink when sex-happy Julia moves in with her uptight young sister and becomes irresistibly drawn to a next-door storage room where mistress Georgia holds nightly orgies with an oddball sex cult. Armed with a giant joy buzzer, Georgia likes to turn herself on, turn her fiends on and, ultimately, turn Julia and her sister on: “I specialize in pleasure. Pleasure so intense, it’s akin to torment, exquisite torment…” An offbeat, psychologically twisted skinflick from the always excellent Joe Sarno!

Plus: The kink-a-thon continues with FLUCTUATIONS, a Bizarre don’t-even try-to-make-sense-of-it bombardment of sexual imagery that plays like stream of-consciousness from a degenerate: threesomes, foursomes, lesbians, bondage, hair-whipping(!) and, believe it or not, even kung-fu. Avant garde masterpiece or pure gutter trash? Perhaps both…

AND: A psycho sex-fiend keeps his infantile girlfriend Vicky (Jennifer Welles) in SUBMISSION with candy bars, toys and, yes, hot wax. But when they plan on killing a wealthy lesbian, Vicky discovers she likes a woman’s touch and plans a nasty surprise for her boneheaded boyfriend.

Special Features
• Digitally Remastered!
• Bonus Deleted Scenes: 7 minutes of never-before-seen footage deleted form the final cut of SUBMISSION
• Gallery of Sick Sixties Sex Stills with Audio Oddities!
• Total running time: Over 3 1/2 hours of Grindhouse guignol!

Olga’s House of Shame/White Slaves of Chinatown/Olga’s Dance Hall Girls

Olga’s House of Shame is one of those films I always instantly associate with Something Weird Video. For years I have meant to watch it and for some unexplainable reason just never did. It was the first set during this feature that I added to my personal collection and it was worth every last penny too! I enjoyed the hell out of all three of these films. I actually re-watched the entire trio a week back. On my initial watch I was all about Olga’s Dance Hall Girls. It does after all have a Satan worship subplot and two of my favourite goddesses of exploitation; Uta Erickson and Linda Boyce! What it is missing; and this is important, is Audrey Campbell who plays Olga in all three of Joseph P. Mawra’s films. Dance Hall Girl’s director is unknown and for some strange reason this unknown director decided not to use Ms. Campbell. I didn’t mind Lucy Eldredge as Olga but she is certainly no Audrey Campbell! I still enjoyed the film but on a re-watch I felt even more warmly towards White Slaves of Chinatown and Olga’s House of Shame. Audrey Campbell is a solid actress as she proves in both Sin in the Suburbs and One Naked Night (not an SWV film) and she brings something special to this series that should not have been replaced by anybody. The three films are done in a sort of documentary style with narration and in some cases a wee bit of improvised dialog. The series is exploitative to be sure, but didn’t entirely live up to its bad-ass reputation; the idea and themes are nastier than the actual execution. That said the imagery is incredibly memorable. Some of my most popular tumblr posts have been for these films. I must give a thousand thanks to my tumblrgasmic friend over at the aptly named Olga’s House of Shame who generously reblogged many of my Olga sets. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU OLGA’S HOUSE OF SHAME! The bad-ass Olga tortures, blackmails, hooks on drugs and prostitutes countless young damsels over the course of the films. So many of my favourite exploitation godesses turn up like the aforementioned Erickson and Boyce and my girl Gigi Darlene is here getting her blonde ass in trouble again! Audrey Campbell’s co-star Judy Young who plays her daughter Kathy in Sin in the Suburbs has a feature role in Olga’s House of Shame! Young’s character Elaine is tortured mercilessly before Olga molds her into her Doppelganger! How could you Olga?! She’s your own daughter! Another absolutely positively must own trio that also features my very favourite supplements of any of the triple features listed here!


For more images from Olga’s House of Shame click here.


For more images from White Slaves of Chinatown click here.


For more images from Olga’s Dance Hall Girls click here.

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:

Meet Olga: a woman who “possessed a mind so warped she made sadism a full-time business,” and the maniacal character in five of the most notorious, hilariously twisted sexploitation films from the sic, sick sixties.

In the first of the series, Olga uses pot parties and comic-book violence to turn Gigi Darlene and other female captives into her WHITE SLAVES OF CHINATOWN before putting them to work as drug-addicted hookers. But Olga has her tender side too and, in the mood for romance selects an occasional slave for a little lesbian loving: “The disease called Olga cannot be fought!”

Then, after relocating to New Jersey, OLGA’S HOUSE OF SHAME is open for business! With the help of Nick, her malignant brother and a sweet-faced Elaine, a victim-turned-protégé, Olga runs a crime syndicate while gleefully engaging in such extracurricular activities as bondage, torture, and the always popular “horse discipline.” The most outrageous of the series, OLGA’S HOUSE OF SHAME also features a surprise announcement for an unmade Olga with a truly mind-boggling title…

Finally, things take a bizarre turn with the most obscure Olga of them all, OLGA’S DANCE HALL GIRLS, in which a new brat-faced Olga recruits suburban housewives as “hostesses” for a dance hall which is really just a front for – are you ready? – a satanic cult!

Digitally Remastered!
Olga Trailers for the entire Olga series: WHITE SLAVES OF CHINATOWN, Olga’s Girls, OLGA’S HOUSE OF SHAME, Madame Olga’s Massage Parlor, and OLGA’S DANCE HALL GIRLS!
The Olga sequence from Mondo Oscenita featuring rare footage from the “lost” Olga film, Madame Olga’s Massage Parlor!
Special Booklet Interview with Olga star Audrey Campbell!
A pre-Olga Audrey poses for Byron Mabe in the Nudie-Cutie Shortie, Audrey Campbell, Art Lover!
Gallery of Sexploitation Ad Art with Exploitation Audio!
Total Running Time: Over 3 1/2 Hours of Pain & Pleasure!
OUCH! For maximum effect, view while shackled.
Warning: This program contains nudity, violence, and bullwhips.

Aroused/Help Wanted Female/Rent-a-Girl

This one is a real mixed bag of nuts! Extra salty nuts! Aroused made my top ten favourite horror films of 1966;a feature I did November 2012. I felt much warmer towards Aroused on this re-watch and upped its score a full point to a 4.5/5! This is a must see for fans of William Lustig’s Maniac as I pointed out in my short blurb I wrote for the film. Look at the shot I posted below that David included in a tumblr post he did! Almost identical to a shot Lustig included in Maniac. It also features mannequins and a killer who offs prostitutes! Aroused is one of Something Weird’s best horror films and one of their best films period; it is sleazy-creepy perfection! The wacky Help Wanted Female is a charming companion piece to Aroused. Help Wanted Female is funny and quirky with a touch of violence and a few surprises as well as a very appealing group of characters and performances. Friends Jo-Jo and Luana are a couple of hustling babes; Jo-jo a Kung Fu master and Luana a prostitute. Luana doubles her price for regular customer Sebastian Gregory but ends up getting more than she bargained for. I did a full review of Help Wanted Female so you should read it and it has lots of pretty pictures to go along with it. Unfortunately I found Rent-a-Girl to be a bit of a weak link in the set. It certainly isn’t Fluctuations but it has a pretty muddy pace and some unnecessary and exceptionally long and dull scenes. There was a scene of two people painting a woman that was especially dull. I wonder if whoever came up with the expression “It was like watching paint dry” came up with that after watching Rent-a-Girl. It isn’t completely without some charm however. Rent-a-Girl had a great opening scene that got me really excited for the film and it has a game of strip billiards featuring Darlene Bennett, June Roberts and Judy Adler (I “think” that is Judy Adler in that scene). I’d actually probably squeeze this film in for a pass for having just enough memorable moments. The trio is certainly worth owning for Aroused, Help Wanted Female and the bonus features.


For more images from Aroused click here.


For more images from Help Wanted Female click here.


For more images from Rent-a-Girl click here.

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:

Pretty New Yorker Karen Anderson becomes involved with a shady modeling agency. She is easily persuaded to do cheesecake poses and soon asked to reveal all. Little does she know, in her infinite innocence, that her employers actually procure young nymphets as sexual playthings for their wealthy clientele. The girls are whipped, beaten, painted, sprayed and burned. Poor Karen eventually gains first hand knowledge of the gang’s sick practices and flees (with a newly-branded buttock) to the cops.

“There’s a maniac loose out there! He’s gonna kill again! He’s probably ripping some girl apart right now!”

Fact of Life: you can’t go wrong with any film that features the two major cornerstones of big-screen entertainment — hookers and a psycho killer. Which means, of course, that you can’t go wrong with Aroused, a grim and gritty little piece of primo Sixties exploitation — nestled somewhere between a skinflick and a horror film — that still holds up remarkably well today.

A “sex killer” prowls the streets of Manhattan preying on prostitutes. “This guy’s a nut! He’ll grab any woman he thinks is a whore!” And why exactly does he pick on hookers? Because — “Nya, nya,nya, nya.nya…” — his mama was a ho! Now, as another deeply disturbed resident of The Big Apple, the killer — whose identity is slowly revealed during the course of the film — sits on a fire escape silently watching working girl Pat Wilson turn a trick. Finally, when she’s finished, he climbs in the window, attacks Miss Wilson while in the shower, wraps the shower curtain around her head, and strangles her. Then he…well…yeah. He does. He climbs on top of her….

Young Detective Johnny (STEVE HOLLISTER, who also plays the doomed young man in the color inserts added to Love Hunger) is so upset by the crime — “What a way for a human being to die!” — that he tries to catch the killer by joining forces with Ginny Smith (JANINE LENON, whose first name is billed as “Djanine”), the seen-it-all, done-it-all, knife-wielding hooker-without-a-heart-of-gold-slash-lesbian-lover of Pat: “We’re just pieces of meat hanging on a hook waiting for a butcher!” But when one of Ginny’s galpals agrees to act as psycho bait — oops! — it all goes wrong and she gets hacked up before Johnny can get to her.

Ginny, meanwhile, is suspicious of one of the lugs who work at Gus’ Bar, the Official Hooker Hangout, sneaks into his loft, and finds it decorated with mannequin parts! In an ending that bears a striking resemblance to the climax of Bill Lustig’s Maniac, Ginny returns to the creep’s apartment with some of her prostitute pals, surrounds the screaming loon on his bed and, with her trusty knife, turns him into “a boy soprano….”

Set in a New York that’s eternally at night and choking in sleaze. Aroused is a surprisingly fun piece of filth: the murders are nasty, there’s plenty of skin and, believe it or not, we actually care about the characters — especially when Johnny’s dutiful wife finds herself unwittingly sipping coffee with the killer: “You’re a whore like all the others….” Sure, they’re all cardboard cliches spouting crime-magazine dialogue but, hey, that’s what B-movies are all about. You’ll also recognize most of the music as library cues used endlessly by Doris Wishman. lt’s a shame director ANTON HOLDEN didn’t make more like this. Though Something Weird has sold Aroused from day one, it’s now finally been digitally remastered from a crisp 35mm print.

“And the moral is…no moral.”

Don’t be fooled by the innocuous title. Happily hiding behind it is a delightfully demented, luridly loony, off-kilter sexploitation gem that mixes LSD and murder with two sexy mankillers.

Jo-Jo runs a karate school — “Jo-Jo’s Kung Fu” — and robs middle-aged men in her spare time. Her galpal, Luana, is a high-priced hooker who goes on a 5200 date with SEBASTIAN GREGORY who stars as… well… Sebastian Gregory. She strips and dances as Gregory gobbles down a sugar cube: “LSD? Say, you won’t start going ape on me, will you, Daddy?” Ape, no; babble, yes. “I might start talking too much. I might tell you things I don’t want you to hear….’ And talk he does, telling Luana what happened to his ex-girlfriend Barbara as the film takes a definite turn for the weird….

“Barbara had a wild erotic imagination,” says Gregory by way of explaining why cat-eyed Barbara deliberately burns him with an ember from the fireplace: “My pain aroused her!” She then takes out a knife and asks him to slice her thigh. “To inflict pain with pleasure only led to the inevitable: to kill for pleasure!” Next thing you know, the two pick up a high-school hitchhiker and have her pose for nude photos before Barbara stabs her in the gut and Gregory slits her throat. On a roll, Gregory then strangles Barbara with a plastic bag over her head and cuts up her body. All of which he calmly relates to Luana who doesn’t believe a word he says. Until she sees blood in the bathroom, an aluminum-wrapped “head” in the fridge, and a trunk full of bones. Oops.

Freaking, Luana bonks him on the noggin and runs home to Jo-Jo, but Gregory follows, leading to a karate-chopping battle of the sexes (“I could rip your arm off if I choose but instead I’ll just rip the back muscles a little!”) and a wacky twist ending….

The sexploitation market of the Sixties was aimed primarily at middle-aged men, and Help Wanted Female is both a cautionary tale warning that audience of the perils of predatory females, and a victory by one of their own over such women — sort of a instruction manual and dream-fantasy all in one. As the ultimate surrogate for that audience, Sebastian Gregory is perfect as the man who’s both the mark and the menace. With his gruff looks and the tough-guy attitude of a barroom brawler, Gregory starred in such skinflicks as Hollywood After Dark (’68). Like Mother like Daughter (’68), and The Hangup (70). Like contemporaries John Alderman and William Kerwin, Gregory is very much a “real” actor giving very much a “real” performance, though one that requires him to be more silly than scary. At one point, he’s underneath the sheets with Luana — meaning they both have the bedsheets pulled over their heads — as he frantically jabbers on about World War II in a voice that sounds like a parody of Richard Burton!

With an offbeat sense of humor, a couple of luscious bodies, and a smattering of the macabre. Help Wanted Female is a kookie cult film just waiting to be discovered — with or without acid. From an original 35mm theatrical print.

Special Features
• Digitally Remastered!
• Original Theatrical Trailer for Aroused!
• Bonus Kink-O-Rama Short: Lesson of the Strap!
• Gallery of Sick Sixties Sex Stills with Audio Oddities!
• Total Running Time: Over 3 and 1/2 Hours of Sex and Psychological Sickness!

Warning: This Program Contains Nudity, Sexual Situations and a Unique Way of Bathing Darlene Bennett!

Blood Feast/Two Thousand Maniacs/Color Me Blood Red

Well…duh? You can’t have a Something Weird Video collection without Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Blood Trilogy! Yeesh! Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red; three Gordon horror classics! The infamous Blood Feast which has made appearances all over the place in the Dungeon including my top ten horror films for 1963 and my favourite five Herschell Gordon Lewis films not to mention getting the full review treatment. Blood Feast is a long time favourite of mine! A caterer is murdering women all over Miami and swiping body parts to prepare for a feast to honor his goddess Ishtar. Blood Feast is good old-fashioned hilarious gory fun! Two Thousand Maniacs is a personal favorite of Lewis himself and another film from the director that made a top ten list, this time for my favourite horror films of 1964! A Southern town, population 2000 lures tourists to their yearly centennial celebrations where they become unwilling participants. Each death is a creative and unique masterpiece and its got Blood Feast’s William Kerwin and Connie Mason! Hee Haw! Rounding out the trio is Color Me Blood Red. Unhinged artist Adam Sorg discovers human blood makes great paint after his girlfriend cuts herself. When his blood-red painting is a hit he starts slicing and dicing to get more supplies. Lewis’s leads are usually a lot of fun and Gordon Oas-Heim’s Sorg is no exception. He is crazier than a rabid weasel! Color Me Blood Red is an enjoyably gory and darkly humorous Gordon offering. This ain’t called The Blood Trilogy for nothing! When the Godfather of Gore puts the word blood in the title you know he is going to deliver! Go buy this now.

Blood Feast

For more images from Blood Feast click here.

Two Thousand Maniacs

For more images from Two Thousand Maniacs click here.

Color Me Blood Red

For more images from Color Me Blood Red click here.

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:


Three Time the Gore for One Low Price! In High Definition!
See the world’s first three gore films from legendary exploitation film pioneers Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman – Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs!, and Color Me Blood Red! Experience every splat, every slice and every drop of fake blood and guts in full 1080p glory!

Most people think America lost its innocence when JFK was assassinated. Actually, it happened four months earlier when BLOOD FEAST opened at a Peoria, Illinois, drive-in. With its bright colors, bubbly babes, and minimal production values, Blood Feast resembled the average nudie flick. However, the pretty young beauties in Blood Feast didn’t get naked. They got dismembered. Yes, folks, the infamous, notorious, ultra over-the-top Blood Feast is the world’s first “gore” film. Less a horror movie than extreme exploitation, it may even be argued that Blood Feast is the first horror roadshow since 1934’s Maniac.

Shot in five days in Miami for under $25,000, Blood Feast’s simple-minded script and wildly overwrought Amateur Night theatrics also helped transform it into the world’s first gore comedy. Blood Feast is, in fact, simultaneously disgusting and hilarious. It’s as if the local loony bin had made a home movie and got a little carried away with the killings.

The TWO THOUSAND MANIACS of a small town celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War by forcing a handful of Northerners to serve as “guests” for a variety of macabre, blood-crazed fun and games.

The festivities include a screaming man placed in a rolling barrel lined with nails, a hit-the-bull’s-eye carnival game with a pretty gal and a boulder, and a blonde sexpot whose arm is hacked off and barbecued! But before they can slaughter the only smart Yank (Thomas Wood), he and the lovely Terry Adams (Connie Mason, “Playboy’s Favorite Playmate”) try to escape…

A marvelously perverse cult classick, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! is also the second of the infamous “blood trilogy” (which includes Blood Feast and Color Me Blood Red) from producer David F. Friedman (Trader Hornee) and director Herschell Gordon Lewis (The Wizard of Gore). Yeeeee-Ha! Oh, the South’s gonna rise again!

When his girlfriend, Gigi, cuts her finger on a frame, maniacal artist Adam Sorg discovers a new shade of crimson that will make his artwork so special – human blood!

He stabs her in the head and smears her face on a canvas and – voila – a macabre masterpiece is created. His bloody new painting causes a sensation on the local art scene, a crazed Adam continues creating sanguine specialties by extracting art supplies from victims outside his beach house. It all goes bad, however, when he zeros in on April (Candi Conder) whose scarlet pugment he plans to remove with an axe…

A witty mix of dark humor and gory horror, COLOR ME BLOOD RED is also the third installment of the Blood Trilogy (following BLOOD FEAST and TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!) from director H.G. Lewis (THE GORE GORE GIRLS) and producer David F. Friedman (SHE FREAKS). Starring Don Joseph and Candi Conder.

Special Features:
Original Theatrical Trailers!
Audio Commentaries by HG Lewis and D.F. Friedman!
Rare Outtakes!
Campy Classic Carving Magic, with William Kerwin and Harvey Korman!
Rare Gore Short Film from 1964, Follow That Skirt!
Lewis and Friedman Exploitation Art Galleries!



Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1966

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2012 by goregirl

There were 278 titles listed for 1966 and only 55 of those were full-length feature films! The television show Dark Shadows had 133 episodes listed for 1966! I have watched 32 of the 55 horror films listed for the year. The top two films earned a 5/5 rating, I rated spots three, four and five 4.5/5, and numbers six through ten were all rated 3.5/5. I gave two other films from the year a 3.5/5 rating; The Hunchback of Soho and The Undertaker and his Pals.



Directed By: Curtis Harrington

This is Curtis Harrington’s second entry on a top ten list; his former entry being the 1961 film Night Tide starring Dennis Hopper. Hopper also has a role in Queen of Blood, along with the excellent John Saxon, Judi Meredith, Florence Marly and Basil Rathbone. The acting by the major players is quite good, although much of the acting of the minor roles is a little sketchy. Earth receives an alien transmission from Mars stating a desire to make contact. The alien space ship crashes and a crew are sent to recover any survivors. The only survivor they find is a green-skinned female who they discover has a thirst for human blood. Queen of Blood has a moody vibe with some eerie and well-executed visuals. The film is somewhat on the slow-paced side and a touch talky but most of it works to the films advantage gradually building up suspense. There are a few fun twists and surprises and the final half hour or so is a lively and exciting payoff for your patience. The story is decent; a nicely balanced mix of sci-fi and horror elements. Queen of Blood has some genuinely creepy moments, decent performances, a bit of camp, and a fascinating menace that is downright entertaining!



Directed By: Anton Holden

Aroused is definitely one of the sleaziest entries to make a top ten list for the decade! Aroused is a grimy psychodrama loaded with nudity, violence and some surprisingly decent visuals and acting. Shot in black and white in New York City, Aroused was one of several seedy underground sexploitation films from the period; in my opinion it is one of the best. I was shocked by the similarities to William Lustig’s Maniac; one of my favourite horror films from the 80s. While not nearly as graphic as Maniac, its nudity and violence was very risqué for the time. A prostitute whose lesbian lover is murdered teams up with a cop to catch the killer and get her revenge. The film does linger a little long in sections but is mostly well-paced and exciting with a great opener and one hell of a finale (damned satisfying too)! The fantastic abode of the killer with its mannequin parts and fetish gear is something else as is his completely mental flashbacks!! Aroused has better character development than one would expect from this type of fare (particularly the sordid details of the killer’s childhood) and as already mentioned the acting really isn’t half bad. Aroused is an early Grindhouse entry that is well worth seeking out for any fan of early sexploitation.



Directed By: Terence Fisher

I am surprised Island of Terror is only Terence Fisher’s second film to make a top ten list (although he does have a third entry on this list in the number three position). My first and only viewing of Island of Terror was for this feature. I have no idea how this film slid under my radar. I am a huge fan of Terence Fisher and even gave him the #41 spot on my fifty favourite directors list. I am also a big fan of Peter Cushing who stars along with Edward Judd. Both men play doctors; Cushing is laid back and likable while Judd keeps a stoic demeanour. Island of Terror has an original science fiction oriented story that involves cancer research. I can’t recall another film from this period that specifically uses cancer research to motivate its story. A cancer specialist by the name of Dr. Philips has created a living organism that he hopes will be able to attack cancer cells. The experiment goes horribly wrong and the organisms that live off of bone are unleashed on the small island. The film opens with a constable discovering a corpse who seems to be missing its bones! The two doctors eventually trace it all back to the aforementioned Dr. Philips who they inevitably find dead. The idea of having your bones sucked out of your body is actually rather grim! Granted, the creatures are a bit on the campy side but they still provide some really great, lively action sequences. I loved those slurpy and nasty accompanying sound effects! Island of Terror has well-executed suspense, strong performances, a great atmosphere, fun action sequences and provides its share of thrills and chills!



Directed By: Gerald Thomas

I have not been a huge fan of the Carry On films. It is comedy that just doesn’t really tickle me much. Carry on Screaming is one of five I’ve seen from the Carry On gang and it is the only one I can actually say I like a lot. A sinister doctor, an alluring vampire, a hairy dude that abducts women, mannequins that were once beautiful ladies, a clueless cop called Detective Sergeant Bung and of course tons of parodying of classic horror films. It is incredibly hokey and silly and packed with tons of one-liners, sexual innuendos and site gags.  Carry On Screaming is actually nicely furnished with all the details needed for a lovely looking gothic horror film; if they never spoke this could have passed as a Hammer flick. The film is quite enthusiastically paced and has very little downtime. The exchanges between the daft Detective Bung and his equally dim sidekick are fun as is Bung’s interaction with his grating wife. Carry On Screaming is absolute silliness and does not take itself serious for a single second. If you are a fan of the Carry On gang and their films you should not be disappointed. Even as someone who is not particularly a fan of the Carry On films I thought Carry On Screaming was an amusing and satisfying spoof that had me chuckling and even howling a few times!



Directed By: John Gilling

The Reptile is John Gilling’s third entry on a top ten list and he has one more on this list ranked number two! John Gilling is another director I don’t think I have given enough respect to. Admittedly, Gilling’s name has not been one that immediately comes to mind when I think of my favourite Hammer directors; but it will be now! The Reptile is about couple Harry and Valerie Spalding. Harry inherits his brother’s cottage who died under mysterious circumstances. The couple move in to the cottage and get a chilly reception from the locals. Much to the townsfolk’s chagrin Harry intends to stay around until he discovers how his brother died. So why is this film called The Reptile you might ask? The Reptile features a snake woman who stalks her victims by the light of the moon. Unfortunately the makeup for the snake woman was not terribly inspired. Otherwise The Reptile has great looking cinematography, lovely sets and costumes and excellent performances. The film has a fun creative script that kept me in suspense from beginning to end. It maintains a nicely moody atmosphere with a strong sense of mistrust and unease. A little more on the mythology of the snake woman would have been nice, but I still found the finale wholly satisfying. The entire cast are strong but the real standout in The Reptile is Michael Ripper who plays Innkeeper Tom Bailey; the only local willing to speak to Harry and Valerie. Ripper’s Bailey character is empathetic and very likable. The Reptile is a charming supernatural tale that is easy on the eyes and mucho entertaining!



Directed By: Jesus Franco

This is Jess Franco’s second film to make a top ten list and it is a damn fine one at that!! I noted that Franco’s 1962 film The Awful Dr. Orloff was the best film Franco ever directed, but I think I have to take that back! I loved The Diabolical Dr. Z! What an outrageous and twistedly fun story! Irma Zimmer hungry to avenge the death of her father trains dancer Nadia to do her bidding. Trains her like she is a lion in the freaking circus she does! Seriously! Whip, chair and all! Another black and white entry that looks quite slick, with some well-executed scenes of violence and a strong sexual undercurrent; a sign of things to come from Mr. Frano. Estella Blain is perfect as the seductive Nadia in her funky-fantastic costumes with her delicious, kinky and sexy dance routines. Nadia alone is worth checking the film out for. The vengeful Irma is excellent and is convincingly obsessive and even a wee bit sympathetic. The great Howard Vernon also has a brief appearance leaving a memorable impression. There are some unique surreal touches throughout the film and the sets are quite wonderful. The old castle and the wild laboratory furnished with peculiar gadgets are a joy. There are some perfectly conceived action sequences that are down right heart-pounding and one particularly jarring scene for 1966 where a character ends up with her head crashing through a window pane! The Diabolical Dr. Z is an absolute shitload of fun!



Directed By: Kimiyoshi Yasuda

Japanese monster movies are generally a campy affair with very few exceptions. I can really only cite three; Ishirô Honda’s films Godzilla (1954) and Matango (1963) along with this film I have given the number four spot for 1966; Kimiyoshi Yasuda’s Daimajin. Set in feudal Japan, Daimajin is the story of a determined son, a young woman whose tears have the power to move the great statue Majin, and an evil warlord who needs to pay for years of terrorizing a small village.  Daimajin has a simple but solid story with a strong folkloresque vibe. The massive giant stone statue that stands among the mountains is quite impressive. All of the effects in the film are quite impressive! Majin’s massive bulk and earth-shaking footsteps are a relentless force! You do have to wait a while to see this bad boy in action, but it is well worth the wait. The Majin’s presence made for a grand finale! The performances are great, the visuals nicely captures a long ago time, the score is superb and the story engrossing. A classic tale of good versus evil; the vengeful son, the noble lord, the evil and detestable usurper, and the femme whose tears can wake a stone giant. Daimajin is an absolute treat!



Directed By: Terence Fisher

Dracula Prince of Darkness is Terence Fisher’s third entry on a top ten list. Christopher Lee made seven appearances as Dracula for Hammer Films (Lee has played vampires in a few non-Hammer films also). Dracula Prince of Darkness is my favourite of his vampire roles. It seems like an odd choice when you consider he doesn’t speak a word. Furthermore he doesn’t have loads of screen time. Nonetheless I find this Count role particularly alluring, mysterious and menacing. I also enjoy Dracula Prince of Darkness accompanying story. Four travellers are lured to the much maligned Castle Dracula and inadvertently aid in the Count’s resurrection. And what a resurrection it is! Dracula Prince of Darkness is well filmed with a great moody atmosphere and fantastic sets. It has some wickedly executed action sequences and a nifty little twist ending. Lee’s lurking vampire is well complimented with great turns from Andrew Kier who plays Father Sandor, Thorley Walters who plays the Renfeld-esque Ludwig, Philip Lathan as Dracula’s faithful servant Klove and the scene-stealing Barbara Shelley as Helen Kent. Dracula Prince of Darkness is immensely entertaining but in all honesty it is the tall, dark and handsome Christopher Lee that puts the film on a higher tier for me.



Directed By: John Gilling

The Plague of the Zombies as far as I know is Hammer Film’s only entry into the zombie sub-genre. Bloody shame frankly as this is a damn fine zombie film! Mysterious deaths have plagued a small village for the past year and the local doctor has become inflicted with a deadly infection. The doctor sends for his mentor Sir James Forbes; doctor, teacher and amateur sleuth who helps to uncover the mystery that takes his down a precarious path of empty graves, voodoo and the walking dead! The sets in The Plague of the Zombies are particularly impressive! There are lovely outdoor shots through lush forests, trips through crowded graveyards, beautiful estates and a creepy nickel mine. The props are equally impressive; the ceremonial robes, weird masks, copious candles and especially those awesome mini coffins with the little clay men and women that are used in the rituals. The effects are outstanding. These are some very creepy undead bastards! They come in various stages of decay but of course it is those gorgeous old rotting dudes with the white cloudy eyes that really do it for me. These are not flesh-eating zombies but rather voodoo-raised and with a very specific purpose. The performances are great with André Morell as a real stand out as Sir James Forbes. He has a wonderful dry wit I found endlessly entertaining. Diane Clare is strong as his daughter Sylvia and the two have great chemistry. Another piece of the puzzle I haven’t mentioned is Squire Clive Hamilton who has inherited his father’s home and his significant debts. He manages to turn the family finances around a little too quickly and his hired hands are terrorizing the locals. The Squire wields power but hungers for more and is an all-around smarmy jerk. You know with those sideburns he’s got to be evil! John Carson does a good job as the unlikable bloke. Although not afforded much screen time I thought Jacqueline Pearce was very good in the role of Alice Tompson; the wife of the village doctor. The Plague of the Zombies has a great story amazing visuals, impressive effects and great performances and in my opinion it is one of Hammer’s absolute best!



Directed By: Mario Bava

Kill Baby Kill is the seventh Mario Bava directed film to make a top ten list and his first number one! A young doctor is summoned by the inspector to a small village to do an autopsy on a woman who died under questionable circumstances. The doc becomes entrenched in the town’s mystery which seems to point to the Baroness Graps and the death of her daughter twenty years earlier. The spooky old village is littered with crumbling buildings, endless corridors and graveyards all soaked in fog and cobwebs. Bava adds a ton of nifty creative touches like a ball bouncing in slow-motion, a dizzying spiral staircase sequence and scenes washed in green and red lights. Kill Baby Kill isn’t terribly graphic but there are some well-executed scenes of violence including impalement and a slashed throat. Kill Baby Kill is a mesmerizing and eerie supernatural tale with an engrossing story, good performances and truly spectacular visuals. I have watched Kill Baby Kill at least a dozen times over the years and it never loses it charm!