Archive for February, 2021

Curse of the Fly (1965)

Posted: February 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

This is one that’s taken me forever to get around to. I suspect that my reason is one that has kept many away from it: there’s no fly. As it turns out, I was wrong not to see it much sooner. It’s a fascinating film, with a lot going for it, and of all the entries in the original series, it’s the one that most clearly anticipates the body horror of David Cronenberg’s vision. (more…)

Black Sabbath (1963)

Posted: February 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

Hard to believe it had been over 25 years since I’d last seen Mario Bava’s anthology film (the film to which the history of heavy metal owes a staggering debt). Far too long, so last Friday, Stephen D. Sullivan and I did a watch-along of the European cut. This was the first time for both of us seeing that, and though it did mean some adjusting to the fact of Boris Karloff dubbed into Italian (and so we were deprived of That Voice), I found that adjustment quite painless as the magnificence of the visuals swept over me. I mean, just look at these colours! Steve’s memories of the US cut were clearer than mine (virtually nonexistent), and he pointed out that not only did that cut alter the order of the stories, the English dubbing changed the content of the first story pretty considerably, removing the lesbian subtext altogether.


Crimson (1973)

Posted: February 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

Stephen D. Sullivan and I continued our Paul Naschy viewing this past week with Crimson, AKA The Man with the Severed Head. This is not one from the realm of Paul Naschy, Auteur. This was him collecting a pay-check as an actor, and clearly on-set only for a short time in this Franco-Spanish co-production (he’s in the movie really only at the beginning and the end. (more…)

Stephen D. Sullivan and I caught up with two more Paul Naschy films recently. The first, Orgy of the Living Dead, was a hired-gun exercise for him. He plays a supporting role as a tenderly necrophile gravedigger in a film that Phil Hardy’s horror film encyclopedia describes as both “lively” and “routine,” and that’s pretty accurate. Most of the film is a pretty familiar Gothic tale of murder and secrets in an isolated village, but just when you think the title is a cheat, we suddenly get zombies for the climax. While Naschy’s screen time is limited, and Stelvio Rosi’s hero is singularly unappealing, the setting is spectacular — drenched in grey atmosphere and perpetual drizzle, the village is as spooky and forbidding as one could possibly wish, and I would happily have spent even more time in the exteriors. Director José Luis Merino can’t quite work the same magic with his location that Mario Bava does with his in Lisa and the Devil and Kill, Baby… Kill!, but it still looks mighty fine. And though the final shot of the film makes little sense, it packs a hell of a punch.