Archive for blood feast

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!

THE TOUCH OF HER FLESH

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

THE CURSE OF HER FLESH

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

THE KISS OF HER FLESH

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

Submission/Vibrations/Fluctuations

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!

SUBMISSION

For more images from Submission click here.

VIBRATIONS

For more images from Vibrations click here.

FLUCTUATIONS

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!

OLGAS HOUSE OF SHAME

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

WHITE SLAVES OF CHINATOWN

For more images from White Slaves of Chinatown click here.

OLGA'S DANCE HALL GIRLS

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!

SPECAIL FEATURES:
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.

Aroused

For more images from Aroused click here.

HELP WANTED FEMALE

For more images from Help Wanted Female click here.

RENT-A-GIRL

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

Taken from the Something Weird Video Website:

RENT-A-GIRL
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.

AROUSED
“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.”

HELP WANTED FEMALE
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:

THE BLOOD TRILOGY Blu-ray

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!

BLOOD FEAST
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.

TWO THOUSAND MANIACS
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!

COLOR ME BLOOD RED
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!

HAVE A GORETASTIC WEEKEND ALL!

Cheers,
GG

Favourite Five Series: HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS

Posted in Favourite Five Series, movies, Something Weird Video, USA with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by goregirl

stepping into something weird hgl

You have no idea how difficult it was to compile this list of favourite five! Herschell Gordon Lewis has directed 36 feature films to date. The majority of Mr. Lewis’ film entries are not actually horror but it is what the director has become best known for. He isn’t called The Godfather of Gore for nothing; Herschell Gordon Lewis earned that title! Mr. Lewis did not just make horror films; he made gore-laden extravaganzas! Horror films that turn the stomach of the queasy and please me immensely! It was actually director John Waters that turned me on to Herschell Gordon Lewis but as a lifelong horror fan it was his genre films that I first seeked out. After having seen twenty-four of his 36 films it is still his horror entries that appeal to me most. This is definitely a list heavy in horror with four of my five choices being his deliciously nasty genre films! Besides the gore, one of the most endearing qualities of Mr. Lewis’ genre films is his always present tongue in cheek humour. Lewis has a wicked sense of humour that adds an additional layer of entertainment to my viewings! I would like to give an extra special mention to the following Lewis’ flicks that were short-listed but did not make the final cut; She-Devils on Wheels, Bell, Bare and Beautiful, The Gruesome Twosome, Moonshine Mountain and The Alley Tramp. And an extra extra special mention to Something Weird and Two Thousand Maniacs that were particularly difficult to leave off of this list!

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BLOOD FEAST (1963)

Blood Feast was my first foray into the work of Herschell Gordon Lewis and it will always have a special place in my heart. Great gore, creative kills, tongue in cheek humour, an outrageous unforgettable killer and a blood-thirsty Egyptian Goddess named Ishtar makes for an excessively entertaining 60ish minutes! It is the film that earned Lewis his nickname The Godfather of Gore and was one of the first of its kind in North America. To read my full review click here.

bf16

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THE WIZARD OF GORE (1970)

The Wizard of Gore

I could only find one trailer for The Wizard of Gore and it was abruptly cut off at the end so I decided to go with its fantastic poster! The Wizard of Gore is a wonderfully nasty little film that like all of Mr. Lewis’ films delivers on its title. Ray Sager has been featured in several Herschell Gordon Lewis films but this performance is his Pièce de résistance! Montag the Magnificent is a magician with a particularly graphic and horrifying stage show. He appears to kill a member of the audience during each show but at the end of the act the “volunteer” takes her bow and leaves seemingly unscathed. It’s an illusion! Or is it? Television talk show host Sherry and her reporter boyfriend Jack intend to find out. That is one hell of a premise and if that isn’t enough Montag is a master hypnotist! The flippant and eccentric lead performance from Ray Sager as Montag alone makes The Wizard of Gore worthy of being on my list. Montag is indeed The Wizard of Gore and brings heaps of gooey and grotesque theatrics to his dastardly stage show! And hot damn does this sonofabitch have a finale! Absolutely without a doubt my favourite finale in any Lewis film! It had been several years since I seen The Wizard of Gore and I had forgotten what a Goretacular Spectacular it really was! I will be adding The Wizard of Gore to the home collection post-haste!

twog14

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THE GORE GORE GIRLS (1972)

My namesake The Gore Gore Girls is a big time favourite and was a must for this list. Its cheeky humour, its droll and devilishly sarcastic lead character Abraham Gentry and its graphic, creative gore make this a re-watchable classic of the first order. To read my full review click here.

tgggpost7

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SCUM OF THE EARTH (1963)

This was only my second viewing of Scum of the Earth; it is the only film on this list I can say that about. This certainly will not be my last viewing of Scum of the Earth! Scum of the Earth is one of several films watched during this Something Weird feature with a sleazy show business premise; this time it is the world of modelling. Kim Sherwood, a young woman in need of funds is lured into the “easy-money” world of modelling. Initially she poses for cutesy shots in dresses and bathing suits but is soon being blackmailed into posing nude. David F. Friedman who collaborated with Herschell Gordon Lewis on several films refers to Scum of the Earth on the commentary for Blood Feast as being one of the first “roughies”. While certainly not as rough as what was to come later in the decade from Michael Findlay, Anton Holden and others it was nonetheless considerably more biting than the nudie cuties made up to that point. “Roughies” put simply are exploitation films that contain sex and violence. Between my 1960s horror feature and what I have seen during this Something Weird journey, there is no doubt about it, Scum of the Earth was a front-runner in this sub-genre. It is a wholly captivating watch with some solid performances, particularly from Lewis Mainstay William Kerwin whose photographer character Harmon Johnson is my favourite of all his roles. It was also a riot seeing Mal Arnold (aka Fuad Ramses) looking normal as creepy character Larry. Scum of the Earth is one of Lewis’ most attractive and stylish films and features one of my very favourite finales in any of his efforts. Scum of the Earth is another ground-breaking film from Herschell Gordon Lewis and an absolute must see!

David posted a very cool set of images for the Scum of the Earth comic. Below is just a taste; click here for the full set.

scum of the earth comic

For more images from Scum of the Earth click here.

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BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL U CAN EAT (2002)

I love and adore Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. This marked a return to film for the director after a thirty year absence! I almost left this off the list based on the fact that it was not a Something Weird title but this is a favourite five for Herschell Gordon Lewis not Something Weird Video. As a fan of the original I was extremely cynical going into this one. Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat is no longer Fuad Ramses story but his Nephew’s Fuad Ramses III who is taking over the family catering business. Like his Uncle he intends to honour Ishtar and has in fact become possessed by the the blood-thirsty Egyptian Goddess. Ramses is asked to cater a wedding and the wedding party immediately begins disappearing. The world’s daftest cop is on the case! And guess what? He also happens to be the groom! The Godfather of Gore pulls out all the stops in this one! There is an unbelievable amount of gore and carnage in Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat! There are prolonged scenes of organ and entrail fondling and some downright dastardly displays that even had Goregirl crinkling her nose! Oh-oh, I am talking in the third person again; this is not good. Low on budget, high on gore and some of the most over the top acting I have seen in a while. It is also hilarious! There are a ton of one-liners and various corniness that tickled me pink! Misti Morning? Laci Hundees? Oh boy! Look for the lingerie party and the adding machine gag; two of my favourite non-gore moments! Oh and let us not forget random dead guy!! Oh what a treat this film is! The original Blood Feast and Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat; it is a Christmas double feature you can watch with the whole family! A duo that will have the kids screaming for their own Egyptian Banquet! Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat is an under-appreciated gem of a sequel! Super gory! Super Cheesy! Super funny! And just fecking Super!

Blood Feast 2

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BLOOD FEAST (1963) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, Something Weird Video, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2013 by goregirl

Stepping Into Something Weird BF

In the past I have referred to Blood Feast as a “guilty pleasure”. Where ever did I pick up that miserable bit of lingo? I don’t feel guilty about loving Blood Feast at all! I’ve seen Blood Feast no less than a dozen times over the years and it never gets old. I’ve never seen Blood Feast look better than it does on Something Weird Video’s Special Edition DVD! It comes with outstanding supplements including rare outtakes, the theatrical trailer, commentary from Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman, an impressive collection of promotional material and lobby cards for Herschell Gordon Lewis films with a heavy emphasis on Blood Feast and an entertaining instructional film called Carving Magic; Swift and Company’s “how to” on carving various meats with home economist Martha Logan! It features a young Harvey Korman (The Carol Burnett Show) and William Kerwin (Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, A Taste of Blood)! This DVD and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ tremendously fun and gory feature are an absolute treasure!

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Blood Feast’s first victim is killed prior to the credits rolling. Nudity and gore seconds in! The poor gals eye is gouged out and her leg is removed below the knee!

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We are taken to the office of the Homicide Bureau Chief of Detectives. They have quite the case on their hands with seven killings in two weeks! The D.A.’s office is getting hot and they have no clues. All the women have been found badly mutilated with various limbs removed.

“Well Frank, this looks like one of those long hard ones.” -Detective Pete Thornton

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eye gouged out4

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“Are you Mr. Ramses? I’m Dorothy Fremont. I heard about you from a friend of mine; Annette Dupuis.” Mrs. Fremont is looking for something unique for a birthday party she is throwing for her daughter Suzette.

“Have you ever had an Egyptian feast?” -Fuad Ramses

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Fuad Ramses pays his respects to the Goddess Ishtar with a large shrine in the back room of his store. Ramses will pay her the ultimate respect when his Blood Feast awakens the Goddess from her 5000 year slumber!

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Marcy and Tony are making out on the beach and it is getting late. Needless to say the recent brutal killings of young women has everyone frightened and Marcy would like to go home. Tony convinces Marcy otherwise; “Hey baby, I’m here. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you. Now prove you love me.” Tony gets his ass knocked out cold and Ramses helps himself to Marcy’s brains. Tony is pretty torn up and can barely hold it together when the police question him. Feeling guilty Tony? You stupid dumbass! It is entirely your fault Marcy’s brains are all over the beach asshole! Marcy’s folks are pretty upset too.

“I made her a white dress and now she’ll never wear it.”

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Another victim; this one had her tongue ripped out!

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Detective Pete Thornton and girlfriend Suzette Fremont attend a weekly lecture by Professor Flanders on ancient Egyptian history. This particular week they are learning about Ramses and the Cult of Ishtar. The Cult of Ishtar was a blood-thirsty cult who held a yearly festival that took place at the beginning of spring. For six days and nights the people would party lustfully and on the seventh night the young women would be slaughtered; their blood drank and their limbs eaten!

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Suzette and Pete share a kiss but are interrupted by the radio announcing that another young woman has been attacked. The woman; Janet Blake lay in critical condition in the hospital. The doctor tells the detectives that it is the most brutal attack he had ever seen. Apparently the woman’s face was hacked away to the bone and both of her eyes were gouged out. They speak to Janet who tells them that he was an old man with crazy eyes and mentions the name “Itar”. Despite just coming from a seminar on “Ishtar” about a blood thirsty cult that removes and eats the limbs of young women Detective Thornton does not make a connection.

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Suzette and friends hanging out by the pool. In the commentary Lewis and Friedman called this scene “padding”. Yep. But Oh! What joyful padding it is! The segment ends with the snatching of Suzette’s friend Trudy Sanders.

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Pete calls to check in with Suzette and informs her that they have not yet located her friend Trudy. She tells Pete about her mother’s surprise of an Egyptian feast hosted by Fuad Ramses. Ramses? Egyptian feast? The wheels finally begin to turn! Pete calls Professor Flanders to ask if he was familiar with a Fuad Ramses. Flanders tells Pete about Ramses book Ancient Weird Religious Rites.

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Poor Trudy.

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Fuad Ramses begins preparing the feast.

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Meanwhile Frank and Pete pay a visit to Fuad Ramses place of business where a horrific scene awaits them.

“For Pete’s Sake tell them not to eat anything!”

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The feast is about to be served but there is one last thing Fuad needs. He must have the guest of honor give herself to Ishtar. “Oh my Ishtar. Take me unto yourself.” She must, of course keep her eyes tightly shut while she says this.

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“Lust, Murder, food for an ancient Goddess who received life through the perverted death of others.”

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Now look what you’ve gone and done! You made Ishtar cry! She may just be a store mannequin painted gold but she’ll always be a blood-thirsty Goddess in my eyes!

Director Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman were best known for Nudie Cuties when they decided to make Blood Feast. Nudie Cuties were generally light on story with the express purpose of showing a lot of naked or partially naked dames. The Nudie Cuties were travelling a path that Lewis did not want to go down. Always looking to break new ground and go in directions that the big film companies would not, Lewis and Friedman discovered gore. Not surprisingly Blood Feast received terrible reviews when it was released but always the showman, Mr. Lewis knew that even bad press was good press. No one had really seen anything quite like Blood Feast before; its graphic violence and gore was ground-breaking in North America. Color in film was still a relatively new concept in 1963. There was never a need to be concerned about whether blood looked realistic in the past and the standard stage blood was an oddly unnatural color. To make the blood more realistic Lewis added Kaopectate to the mix. Many theatres showed Blood Feast with the gore scenes cut out much to the filmmakers dismay. If it wasn’t for fearless low-budget filmmakers like Herschell Gordon Lewis there may have never been a Friday the 13th, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or a Nightmare on Elm Street. Blood Feast was my first foray into the wonderful world of Herschell Gordon Lewis and it is still one of my very favourites. There are no surprises in Blood Feast whatsoever. The viewer is aware of the killer from the get go and what his motivation is. We have no attachment at all to any of the victims with the exception of Trudy; who we meet for all of about three minutes while she frolics in the pool. The fun comes in watching it all unfold while the daft detectives attempt to solve the case. I mean really?! How could Detective Thornton not have had a revelation at the ancient Egypt seminar when it was mentioned that young women were sacrificed and their limbs were removed for the feast of Ishtar? Immediately afterwards he speaks to a victim who leaves the “s” out of Ishtar and he makes no connection?! Just the same, William Kerwin who plays Detective Pete Thornton is actually not a bad actor at all and is a likable fella. Kerwin has made appearances in several Lewis flicks and I always enjoy his presence. Mal Arnold who plays Fuad Ramses is really the show-stopper though. His quirky, over-the-top performance is one of a kind and is completely unforgettable. They added grey to Arnold’s hair in an attempt to make him look like an old man which he clearly was not. Just to make sure we knew they intended Fuad Ramses to be an old man it is mentioned verbally several times that Fuad Ramses was in fact an old man! And what was with those crazy eye brows?! Lewis does not have a lot of love for his star Connie Mason and it is clear at times that she did not know her lines. That said, I have seen far worse performances and actually found her quite inoffensive and likable. Now be nice Mr. Lewis! Blood Feast is a film I have watched multiple times and will continue to watch in the years to come. It is an extremely efficient film without a second of downtime. Even the “filler” scene with Suzette and her friends at the pool does not trip the film up for a second. It flies by far too fast for my liking! Blood Feast has ground-breaking gore, a wild and imaginative premise and an outrageous Killer you will never forget! “Nothing so appalling in the Annals of horror.” And Nothing so entertaining! My highest of recommendations; a perfect score!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Starring: William Kerwin, Mal Arnold, Connie Mason, Lyn Bolton, Scott H. Hall, Christy Foushee, Ashlyn Martin, Astrid Olson, Sandra Sinclair, Gene Courtier, Louise Kamp, Hal Rich, Al Golden

Help Fund Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Zombificador!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by goregirl

I have long been a fan of Mr. Herschell Gordon Lewis! His film The Gore Gore Girls was the inspiration for my moniker and the man’s nickname is the Godfather Of Gore! How could I not love a director whose nickname is the Godfather of Gore? Mr. Lewis’ films Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs made my top ten lists for 1963 and 1964 respectively. I am also particularly fond of Something Weird (1967), Scum of the Earth (1963), She-Devils on Wheels (1968), Wizard of Gore (1970) and Blood Feast 2: All You Can Eat (2002)! Needless to say, I was beside myself with excitement when I learned Lewis was working on a new film! Zombificador is an anthology of five stories featuring among other oddities mutant insects, talking puppets, psychos and monsters. Actors Bill Moseley and Michael Berryman are already lined up for roles! Most of my favourite directors have already shuffled off this mortal coil. It is a big deal to me when a director I love releases a new film; especially when I can help fund it! Lewis is running a crowd-funding campaign for Zombificador! Yep! You can help fund the Godfather of Gore‘s next film! I contributed and received a 2000 Maniacs perk! The perk comes with a private link to see a rough cut of the film before anybody else and a DVD of my favourite Herschell Gordon Lewis movie and more! I am genuinely thrilled to have a chance to help one of my favourite directors get his film made! Mr. Lewis has given me countless hours of entertainment! You can read about the production plan and other details by going to Indiegogo and checking out the funding page here. I am excited and frankly honored that I helped fund a H.G. Lewis film…I can now die happy!

Taken from the Campaign page:
“Thank you in advance for visiting our campaign. Any help will be very much appreciated, from a donation to a shout-out in a social network. Tell everybody about our project if you like it, and remember you can be a part of legendary Herschell Gordon Lewis goriest, wildest and grossest movie!”
-HGL and Marc Fernandez

Happy Friday by the way!! I do apologize for the lack of reviews this week! It was entirely my intention to review three films; but alas the path to good intentions was paved with liquor and I slipped and fell! For your viewing pleasure here are trailers for a few of my favouritest Herschell Gordon Lewis’ films!

BLOOD FEAST TRAILER

TWO THOUSAND MANIACS TRAILER

SOMETHING WEIRD TRAILER

SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS TRAILER

THE GORE GORE GIRLS TRAILER

Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1963

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2012 by goregirl

IMDB listed 125 titles for 1963; 64 of those were full-length feature films. My rule is I do not include shorts, documentaries, made for TV movies or TV series on these lists. While I do not include anything listed as a short, I will allow anthologies that are a collection of short films sold as a full-length feature package. I have seen 35 of the 64 films from 1963. Woohoo! 1963 was one hell of a year for horror movies! I wasn’t sure anything would beat mighty 1960. 1963 edged out 1960 by a single point. I rated the top five films 5/5, spots six, seven, eight and nine received a 4.5/5 and the remaining spot received a very solid 4/5. There were seven other films I rated 4/5! The other excellent entries I did not include are These are the Damned, Man with the X-Ray Eyes, The Comedy of Terrors, Horror Castle, Twice-told Tales, Paranoiac and The Haunted Palace.

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#10 THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN

Directed By: Rafael Baledón

The Curse of the Crying Woman is a gothic folklore tale of witchcraft, curses and evil. Beautifully filmed in black and white with a wonderfully mysterious and haunting vibe complimented by fascinating and quirky characters, wonderful sets and props, and creative effects. A highly recommended little gem from Mexico; to read my full review click here.

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#9 MATANGO

Directed By: Ishirô Honda

Matango may be one of Toho’s most underrated creature features. Matango is indeed a story about mushroom people but it is also a well-executed human drama that explores love, lust, envy and greed. Matango is based on William Hope Hodgson’s The Voice in the Night. The first time I seen this film was on television under the title Attack of the Mushroom People. I loved it even with its bad dubbing, but the newly restored version I seen last year with a subtitled option was super fantastic. A group of people become shipwrecked on a mysterious island where the only thing that seems to grow is fungi. It is a classic story of survival where the creatures and the effects are as superbly alluring as the human interaction. The creatures of the story are fungi-infested humans and certainly are creepy. Matango is beautifully filmed with a wonderfully nightmarish atmosphere and an excellent score compliments it all. The great Ishirô Honda directed several amazing films for Toho including the exceptional 1954 Godzilla. The outstanding Matango can certainly be counted among Honda’s best.

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#8 THE SADIST

Directed By: James Landis

I could definitely sense a change in the wind through 1963. Horror films were getting grittier and more risqué. The Sadist is one such example, it is a great, dark, intense trip and Arch Hall Jr. as the titular sadist Charlie Tibbs is pretty damn unforgettable. The story cut short is about three teachers travelling to a Dodgers game; they have car troubles and are terrorized by Charlie Tibbs and his simple girlfriend Judy. There is certainly nothing complicated about its plot, the characters however are a different matter. The Sadist is a character-driven story and a fascinating one at that. The camera lingers on the victim’s agony and in equal measure Charlie and Judy’s menacingly child-like behavior. The stark daylight setting with its constantly blazing sun felt agonizingly oppressive. The film has a nicely executed build-up and some very effective scenes of violence. The Sadist is chilling and brutal with one of horror cinema’s most indelible killers notably played by Arch Hall Jr. The Sadist is a wicked and intense little number and is one of the grittier entries from the early 60s.

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#7 THE WHIP AND THE BODY

Directed By: Mario Bava

The Whip and the Body is the first of three Mario Bava films to make the list for 1963. The Whip and the Body is a dark, gothic sadomasochist love story. Mario Bava’s breath-taking scenery, incredible sets, stunning score and lovely soft muted tones scream with electric and chilling atmosphere. Christopher Lee is particularly dashing and gorgeous Daliah Lavi oozes sexuality; the two are impossibly steamy together. The Whip and the Body is a deliciously diabolical, beautiful, haunting, tragic, brutal and erotically-charged tale not to be missed. To read my full review click here.

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#6 THE RAVEN

Directed By: Roger Corman

I have seen The Raven at least a half dozen times over the years and it never fails to make me laugh. It also features the epic trio of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre! That alone is worth the price of admission in my opinion! The film is very loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven, and I do mean loosely! The film is a comedy written by the legendary sci-fi horror author Richard Matheson. If you needed another reason to visit, it is directed by Roger Corman and is full of fantastic sets and costumes. After a raven comes a-tapping, a good sorcerer must face an evil sorcerer. Probably not The Raven you remember. And the raven is Peter Lorre who plays a real rascal that got abracadabra’d by evil sorcerer Scarabus. Lorre in his bird suit is not to be missed! The film is full of clever dialog and is absolutely hilarious! The final showdown between Dr. Craven the good sorcerer and Scarabus the evil sorcerer is freaking awesome! Roger Corman brings together an epic trio of horror legends and delivers one seriously funny and entertaining film.

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#5 BLACK SABBATH

Directed By: Mario Bava & Salvatore Billitteri

Black Sabbath is an anthology comprised of a trio of atmospheric tales. We begin with a superb introduction from Boris Karloff who takes us into our three excellent stories; The Telephone, The Wurdalak and The Drop of Water. A woman terrorized by phone calls, vampires, and a dead medium are the subject matters explored so eerily and beautifully. My favourite of the three was definitely The Drop of Water about a dead medium and a nurse with a guilty conscience. This one is particularly creepy and really plays with the imagination. Jacqueline Pierreux gives a top-notch performance as Nurse Helen. The Wurdalak has a vampire with a doomed lovers scenario but don’t let that scare you. It is richly gothic, loaded with atmosphere and is completely enthralling. The Telephone could be called a Giallo with its wicked little twisted plot. It is a well-executed potboiler with a particularly notable performance by Michèle Mercier. All three segments of Black Sabbath are excellent and the Karloff connection is icing on the already delicious cake. All beautifully and imaginatively filmed with exquisite settings and a sexy gothic vibe that just turns me on.

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#4 BLOOD FEAST

Directed By: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Blood Feast definitely pushed the limits of what was acceptable back in 1963. Blood Feast has an utterly outrageous story and is undeniably campy but the film has some serious gore. 1963 audiences never saw anything quite like Blood Feast. Its insane story revolves around a caterer who worships the Goddess Ishtar and collects the body parts of young women so he can perform a ceremony that would bring the Goddess back to life. It is handy that he is a caterer as he has a great facility for cutting up body parts and sometimes he gets to cater engagement parties full of attractive young women. The gore is graphic and messy and there are definitely a couple of scenes that would sicken unseasoned viewers. Blood Feast is some wonderfully sick fun! The acting is certainly a questionable business and is sometimes hilariously bad. Mal Arnold is irresistibly mad as caterer Fuad Ramses! I absolutely loved Arnold’s incomparably wacky performance! Blood Feast is often unintentionally hysterical and is not a particularly attractive film either but that is all part of its charm. I have seen the gore-laden trash-fest that is Blood Feast countless times and personally I think it is an absolute fecking masterpiece!

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#3 THE BIRDS

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

I am sure most of you are familiar with Alfred Hitchock’s The Birds. A film I am sure must have put the fear of the common bird into a few people. A campy premise expertly executed by Hitchcock into an exciting and suspenseful horror-thriller. A masterful build up and superb tension is complimented nicely by the unsettling sound of masses of birds. There are an impressive number of birds and the effects are just fantastic. There is an interesting dynamic between the characters and the performances are solid by all. There isn’t a thing I can criticize about The Birds; it is a thoroughly enjoyable horror-thriller I have seen many times over the years and it is always a joy to re-watch.

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#2 THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

Directed By: Mario Bava

The Girl Who Knew Too Much, aka The Evil Eye is widely considered to be the first Giallo. It would be the last film the immensely talented Mario Bava would make in black and white and it is one of his best. A fantastic little mystery full of twists and turns with a sexy vibe. 60s-licious Leticia Roman plays Nora Davis the titular girl who seen too much and John Saxon plays love interest Dr. Marcello Bassi. Roman is a real stand out here, playing the strong and likable Nora and is very appealing and watchable. Saxon is charming as the hunky but clumsy doctor. All the performances are great but Roman is definitely the focal point. The Girl Who Knew Too Much is fast paced and exciting. Although greed seems to be at the heart of the crimes the mood is often light, almost comedic. That might appear to be an odd mix, but it works extremely well. With Bava on board it goes without saying the film is stunning to look at and the use of natural lighting and lighting in general helps to create a mysterious and moody vibe. The title I assume is a nod to Alfred Hitchcock, and while the film is a suspenseful mystery Bava borrows from the pulp fiction novels of the time to create something unique. The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a beautifully-filmed, well-paced, action-packed thriller, with chills, suspense and a few laughs thrown in for good measure.

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#1 THE HAUNTING

Directed By: Robert Wise

What a crazy mix of films director Robert Wise has on his resume! Wise directed West Side Story, The Sound of Music and Star Trek: The Motion Picture but he also helmed two of the best horror films ever made; The Body Snatcher and The Haunting as well as the excellent sci-fi horror flick The Day the Earth Stood Still and the charming Curse of the Cat People. Wise is not the first name that comes to mind when I think of great horror directors yet the man has made some significant contributions. While The Body Snatcher is my favourite (I can not even look at the cover of the film without hearing Boris Karloff saying “Toddy”) The Haunting is definitely a crowning achievement. The Haunting has an amazing setting in the massive and incredibly spooky Hill House where researcher Dr. Markway has invited an unusual group to help prove (or disprove) the existence of ghosts. The Haunting is equal parts psychological study and ghost story and works extremely well at both. The performances are great across the board but it is the awkward, socially inept and empathetic Eleonor played by Julie Harris that really chews up the screen. Harris is absolutely sublime as the troubled and traumatized Eleonor. Wise’s rich black and white photography and bizarre camera angles make for some seriously disorienting shots and the amazing use of its sound effects and score to motivate the terror is artful. Whether ghosts dwell within the walls of Hill House or they are all in Eleonor’s mind The Haunting is an effectively chilling tale. Smart, well-acted, beautifully and inventively filmed and genuinely unsettling; The Haunting is one of the finest horror films to come out of the 60s, or any other decade.

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