So last month, I got to do something that only comes around far too few times in a year. Get together with my best friend Dan to watch a couple of movies. And what movies they were. It's a good thing Dan's wife is away visiting her parents during this.
The Chilling (1989)
The first time I saw this film I had the flu. It certainly helped this movie. This time no flu but I had a friend to share the pain.
Joseph Davenport has the crappiest luck. His wife has just passed away and he's had her cryogenically frozen. Six months later his no good bank robber son dies in a shoot out during a heist. Davenport has his son put on ice too. Little does he know that the head of the Cryogenic facility is secretly harvesting organs from the bodies before freezing them for the black market. On the bright side Davenport takes the assistant of the evil doc, Mary (Linda Blair) out for some pizza. Meanwhile Halloween night a storm rages and lighting strikes and the power goes out at the facility. Thankfully a security guard Vince (Dan "Grizzly Adams" Haggerty, with one sweet ass beard!)has the bright idea to bring all the frozen folks outside to keep them chilled till the power comes back on. Smooth move. The canisters are instantly zapped by the storm and bam zombies, I mean Cyronoids on the loose. Couldn't they just go buy some ice? So Mary and Davenport return from pizza just in time to get trapped in the facility with the zombies. The evil Doc and his lackey get trapped also. As well as Mary's drunken husband/boyfriend? Who's straight from a Lifetime movie, who shows up too.
I knew I was in trouble when there was an opening title scroll (which in itself is bad news.) proclaimed that cryogenics are evil and Satan’s work. Sure why not. Anyway it just got worse from there. From the bank robbery that's poorly done (Heat it is not.) to the romance between Davenport and Mary that's so Goddamn cheesy. There's Vince's amazing Freddy Kruger pantomime and his tear filled flashback to all the good times at the end of the film. One of my other favorite things is Mary's flashback to her drunken husband/boyfriend, his mighty swing wouldn't kill a fly. To further add to the pain this film brings we get a what happened to wrap up with the "characters", that's meant to be funny. I hope. We learn that Vince (Haggerty’s character), retired to the Colorado mountains with his pet bear and the doberman. Ha fucking Ha. Anyway my friend Dan came up with this little diddy about the "real" fate of Vince.
Vince was a graveyard shift security guard,
Turned to rum and snow when life got hard,
Watchin' creature features in an empty bed,
Rescued a doberman from the frozen dead
The Executioner 2 (1984)
First off all there's no Executioner 1. I just want to get that out of the way. None,zilch.
The film starts in Vietnam (sort off) and by that I mean someones backyard because it looks nothing like Vietnam. We me meet Mike (John Mottet) and Roger (Chis Mitchum) a sergeant. During a firefight Mike saves Roger's life. Back in the States after the war Mike is a mechanic and Roger a detective with the LAPD The two have remained friends. Mike struggles keeping his shop open due to a mobster demanding protection money. Meanwhile Roger is dealing with a crazed vigilante,The Executioner who's killing the criminals of the city. To further complicate the plot and piss me off we meet Robert's daughter Laura who's a drug addict. Laura needs money and falls in with a bad crowd. They happen to be the same mobsters who's hassling Mike. So some thugs come by Mike's shop and he and Roger fight them off. Later one returns and Mike fights him. After the fight Mike starts have some wicked Nam flashbacks. he freaks out tracks down the thugs and kills one. Roger investigates and begins to suspect Mike of being The Executioner. No shit Sherlock. It's pretty obvious. Anyway Laura catches the eye of the head mobster The Tattoo man. So called for his penchant for beating girls or is it because he has two whole tattoos? I don't know. Tattoo man has a thing for virgins. Which good old Laura is. So he's gotta have her. It all comes down to Mike trying to save Laura and Roger chasing after his friend to arrest him.
This movie...This fucking movie. From the man who brought us Don't go in the woods...alone. And like that film this is one badly dubbed all over the place mess. I nearly lost it when Laura said she stoled money from her father's billfold. Billfold! Who the hell calls a wallet that anymore? What is this the roaring twenties sister?
Anyway this movie is a sweaty mess. From the bad voice over work to the badly dressed punks and horrid "Nam" flashbacks. This one has it all as far as bad films go. In other words a train wreck you can't take your eyes off of.
We also watched Bruno Mattei's The Tomb. The less said about that crap fest the better.
Watching bad movies with a friend not only eases the pain but is also lots of fun. I don't get to do it enough. But when it goes down it's always gold.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Interview by indrid13
Calabrese is a band that displays the same passions that the Cathode Ray embodies, basically a love of horror, comic book art, and kick ass rock n’ roll. After you read this I guarantee you will become as big a fan of Calabrese as we are at the ‘ol Ray!
1-Please tell our readers a little about your band.
Bobby - Hey, we’re Calabrese, and we’re a horror rock and roll band from Phoenix, Arizona. It’s all a blur at this point, but I think we started 6 or 7 years ago, but we’ve been tearing through dirty bars and seedy venues ever since.
2-Arizona seems to be a hotbed for the horror rock sound. What do you feel it is about your location that is leading to all this incredible music?
Bobby – Maybe sitting in the heat all day is frying our brains and making us write weird and creepy music! Or we all just collectively wanna write the next “How the Gods Kill.” I dunno, everyone from Phoenix is originally from somewhere else…so I’m gonna guess that there’s some weird, magnetic pull deep under the ground, attracting us all to the hottest, most Hell-like location in the US.
3-One of the things, besides the awesome music, that I find so appealing about your band is the incredible artwork you use. How do you select what artists to use?
Bobby – We have no real selection process, just more of a, “Hey, that guy’s shit is awesome…let’s get him to do a shirt!” We’re pretty hell bent on amassing a giant collection of art, so anyone can have a decent opportunity to fill up their Calabrese Shrine they keep in their closet.
4-You guys have some really great merch as well. How do you decide what merch to create? Do you design it all yourselves?
Bobby – We decide and design everything ourselves, but I think KISS has a huge hand in helping us figure out what we want to sell. Which, in KISS style…is everything! No panties or lunchboxes just yet, but we’ve got enough t-shirts to clothe a small village and a kick-ass comic book on its way.
5-What is the story about? Any chance for guest artists to contribute pin-ups (I think a Dan Brereton rendition of Calabrese would be killer...)?
Bobby – Well, the story is about us…and monsters! We’re hunting monsters and demons on our own, but when we slip up, the government swoops in and blackmails us into doing their own killing. It’s pretty cool stuff in the vein of Hellboy. Never thought about a pin-up section, though. Something to think about!
6-Brian Pulido directed your amazing Voices of the Dead video. How did that come about? Were you big fans of his comic work (Lady Death, Evil Ernie)?
Bobby – We played a show at Atomic Comics, which was just a fun night of fun zombie games and Halloween costume contests. We love comics, and fully endorse all things Marvel, so it’s been one of our favorite yearly events. So Brian Pulido was there, as a judge for the short zombie movie competition, he saw us play, liked what he saw…and it’s been a rock and roll fairy tale ever since! And yeah, I was into Evil Ernie when I was younger. It reminded me of a Johnny Ramone looking sociopath!
7-I know you did some work for the movie "The Graves". Any chance of a Calabrese movie (maybe in the vein of Guitar Wolf's Wild Zero)?
Bobby – Nothing in the works, but that would be awesome! I can die a happy man if I’m featured in a movie where I get to take down an alien spacecraft by slicing it in half with my guitar. Take note, Spielberg!
8-You mention red wine as an interest. I am a big wine fan myself. Any recommendations?
Bobby – Anything that comes in a fancy bottle! So when you’re done, you can put a black rose in it, throw it on a coffee table and drive the goth chicks wild.
9-Obviously you are a fan of the horror genre, What are your top 5 horror
Bobby – I’m an advocate of all things Italian horror. Plus some good ol’ fashioned 80’s splatters fests. So I’m gonna go with Suspiria, Day of the Dead, Dead Alive, Dellamorte Dellamore and c’mon…Evil Dead 2, baby!
10-Any final words for our readers?
Bobby – Yeah, get ready for the new album in 2010! I think the world will implode once it hits stores. Or just blow your brain outta your ears!
There you have it! Do yourselves a favor and head over to www.myspace.com/calabrese to learn more and hear some killer music!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Almost everyone loves a giant monster. Old Godzilla usually get all the attention. So I figured why not give some love to the other Kaiju.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
The Champions of Justice (1971) AKA: Los campeones justicieros
Director: Frederico Curiel
Starring: Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras,David Silva,El Médico Asesino,Elsa Cárdenas, and Tinieblas el Gigante
"I can't believe it. Those midgets have a supernatural strength."
Every once in awhile a film comes along that while watching it makes you say "This is why I watch crazy ass movies." Champions of Justice is such a film. There's masked wrestlers (luchadors), a mad scientist and killer midgets! All accompanied by a funky ass score.
Black Hand (Silva) a mad scientist and agent for unnamed foreign powers is released from prison. Blue Demon and his pals sent Black Hand to the big house some years ago.
Naturally he wants revenge on Blue and his luchador pals so he sends his crack squad of killer midgets to make the luchadors lives difficult. To add to the troubles he gives the diminutive death squad super strength. Helping them is the masked luchador Black Shadow a long time foe of Blue Demon. The Black Hand also kidnaps the wrestlers nieces, who are taking part in the Miss Mexico pageant. The girls get frozen as part of some crazy mind control experiment. This leads Blue and the guys into a super powered midget trap in their attempt to find the girls. This leads to many a midget getting tossed during the films big beat down climax.
Blue Demon and his buddies cruse around in some cool 70's cars and motorcycles. All the while wearing their masks. It's crazy seeing them dressed up in swank 70's clothes and three piece suits while wearing those masks. From what I've read though El Santo wore his mask all the time in public even after retiring. He was even wearing it when he was buried. Their dedication to their sport and the honor the luchadors held for their masks was truly amazing.
This film was a real treat. This was my first real experience with the lucha cinema of Mexico, and boy did it rock. Lots of cheese is the order of the day. Mixed with tons of action. Car chases. Skydiving. Scuba diving. Scantily clad women. 007 style gadgets. A cool 70's dune buggy. Midgets. A crazy mad scientist lab and lots of wrestling smackdowns for the villains. The only department it's lacking in is monsters. But considering all that's in this film I don't know if they could have fit'em!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Catman in Lethal Track (1990) AKA: U.S. Catman: Lethal Track
Director: Godfrey Ho
Cast: Jonathan Isgar, Johnanna Brownstein, Kenneth Goodman, Danny Lau, Tas Lehoczky, Blue Moroney
"I'm going to burn you alive. I always liked hot pussy!"
I don't know. I just don't know. Sometimes a film comes along and there's just no comprehending it. So brilliant in it's badness, so bad in it's brilliance. Catman is so bad the mind reels.
It's about 90 minutes too long. Sorry. Seriously, It's about some dumbass (Who looks like Peter Stormare) and his pal who work for the CIA or something and their mission to foil some evil priest (who can light things on fire with his mind.) bent on taking over the world with his army of Gerardos. Rico Suave indeed! When the dumbass and his pal foil the robbery of a radioactive cat! I shit you not. Dumbass is scratched by the cat and gains superpowers. Sadly the movie throws us a curve ball and focus on some dude and a chick on a dirt bike fighting a terrorist group who look like pirates. Hell maybe they are pirates, I don't F'n know. The chick, who we've supposed to think is a guy until the shocking revel and the dude never, ever meet up with Catman. Their story has not a thing to do with Catman. Anyway there's lots of boring gun fights and bad kung fu and not enough Catman. Though I don't know how much Catman I could've handled. Eventually Catman fights the evil priest and those other two people fight the pirates. The end.
Godfrey Ho. I've ran into his films before. Their always a mishmash of a couple films that have nothing to do with one another. Painfully bad and filled with atrocious dialog. Catman is no different.
Catman throws everything he can at you. And when your curled up on the floor in the fetal position he'll kick you in the balls for added insult. He hurt me. If it wasn't for all the mountain dew I drank to power up and thoughts of how hot Hayden Panettiere is, to get me through this. Catman may have finished me. But like Rocky I went the distance. I lost. But, I lasted 90 minutes and lived to warn you. Listen, and understand. Catman is out there. He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And He absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead or crying like a little baby.
"Beware of that fucker!!!"
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Interview by indrid13
I first discovered the incredible music of Icarus Witch in 2005 when I purchased the Roses on White Lace EP and was immediately hooked by their epic lyrics and classic metal riffs. Capture the Magic and Songs for the Lost followed and continued the legacy of this awesome band. I recently had the pleasure to interview Jason Myers, bass player for Icarus Witch on a number of subjects. Enjoy!
1-First off, let me say thank you again for granting Cathode Ray this interview. Both Shane and myself are big fans of your music! Let's get to the good stuff!
You are obviously inspired by the metal of the past, what would you consider the most influential albums and bands on your sound?
Jason: My pleasure, any chance to wax poetic about vintage metal & horror...I mean it's why we got into this realm. There are so many bands that have influenced us from all genres, too many to list. But some of those band/album combos that have had the most direct & noticeable impact would be Black Sabbath - Mob Rules, Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith, Queensryche - The Warning, Dio - Last In Line, Ozzy - Diary Of A Madman, Scorpions - Blackout, Uriah Heep - The Magicians Birthday, Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers, Whitesnake - Lovehunter, Crimson Glory – Transcendence, Rainbow - Rising, Def Leppard - Pyromania, King Diamond - Abigail, Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil, Yngwie Malmsteen - Marching Out, Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian & pretty much anything from the first decade of Iron Maiden albums!
2-I am reminded of the works of such authors as Poe and Lovecraft when I listen to your work. Are they (or other authors) an influence?
Jason: Absolutely. Obviously with the song "House Of Usher" on our Songs For The Lost album being a direct nod to both the Poe story and the Vincent Price film adaptation, which admittedly is what lead me to the literary version. Lovecraft, what can you say. The man blessed us with such iconic imagery & a unique way of creating not only visuals, but complete worlds and chaotic Deity hierarchies...Lovecraft was one of the first true gothic/metal masters, he simply used pen & paper rather than guitars & amps. I have thought of creating a song based on The Dunwich Horror in the future. But outside of fiction, we're very inspired by actual occult & new age literature. Everything from John Dee, Crowley & Rasputin to LaVey, Gavin & Yvonne Frost and Rhonda Byrne. We try to live a spiritual life and these philosophies inevitably infiltrate our music.
3-How long does it take for an Icarus Witch album to be created from writing to final piece?
Jason: Way longer than it should! [laughs]. We would love to be in and out of the studio in a month, but what usually happens is that the writing process spills over into the recording process, which means changing and evolving as you go. We also end up being at the mercy of odd production schedules, deadlines & unforeseen obstacles. Songs For The Lost took about 6 months to record, and most of it was written as we recorded. The first album was about 1/2 that. The current recording was moving along at a rapid clip, but we've been sidetracked by some outside forces and have been forced to regroup, reevaluate and continue writing until we can get back to the task at hand.
4-Your album covers are always awesome! How do you go about picking your cover images? Do fans ever submit artwork to you?
Jason: Thank you. I've always found album art to be extremely important and right up there with the music in terms of not only selling, but of leaving lasting impressions and broadening the cd owner's experience. With the EP, Roses On White Lace, I happened to be in touch with the artist Matias Noren, from Sweden due to some work he'd done with other bands I admired. He had that one piece with the rose coming out of the skull & it just struck me as perfect for our intro, the whole life beyond death, beauty from decay...seemed a perfect metaphor for the dying genre we were trying to resurrect. The fact that one of the key songs was our cover of Alice Cooper's "Roses On White Lace" was yet another obvious tie in. It just worked all around. For the next CD, Capture The Magic, I had been in talks with the artist Gary Sharpe Young who is best known as a rock journalist creating A-Z guides for his company Rock Detector. I was a fan of his writing and didn't realize that he was also a painter & had created things like the See You In Hell album cover for Grim Reaper & the iconic Queensryche logos & symbols. Turned out he had an amazing painting that he'd never published that was created years ago. When he showed it to me, again it was the perfect follow up to Roses, continuing the growth from skulls theme. It worked on many levels. For Songs For The Lost, our initial choice of graphic designer bailed at the last minute and I ended up doing the layout myself, which involved a lot of all nighters & learning software I'd never used. The image stemmed from a photograph of an Irish tower ruin that I discovered on a photography website. I took the original stark image and worked with it in Photoshop & Illustrator for what seemed like ages, tweaking it, adding layers of subliminal messages, color & nuance until it met every one's approval & felt worthy of representing that music. To me, the tower image seemed like both a refuge from the oncoming storm you see approaching in the background, but also as a fortified, place of learning & practicing some arcane magical work.
5-What is the most memorable gig you have ever played?
Jason: The Headbangers Open Air festival outside of Hamburg Germany. It was our first show outside of America and while most of the crowd may not have spoke English as a first language, the metal was truly universal & the response was so energizing. It was a rush and something we look forward to repeating & continuing.
6-Do you find your fan base to be younger kids who are just discovering traditional metal, old school metal purists, or a combination of the two?
Jason: Definitely a mix. The older crowd has been there since the start & is very appreciative that we keep our metal pure without pandering to hipsters or trends. But the increase in the younger scene has been very evident as the last few years have unfolded & it is a very encouraging sign that our scene is not simply about nostalgia, but represents a very vital strain of hard rock that is continuing to evolve without the need to stray from the basic formula.
7-Any chance of you playing the Albany, N.Y. area?
Jason: Absolutely. We hope to be there early 2010 as part of a tour we're working on.
8-Are any of the band members fans of horror films (and if so, which are your favorites)?
Jason: All of us are big horror buffs. We're constantly trading DVDs, or rather I should say, I'm constantly lending them my DVDs. [laughs]. Much in the same way I prefer metal and hard rock from the late 60's to early 80s, this too was the golden age of horror. I love the old Hammer Horror films. The vintage occult pieces like The Mephisto Waltz, Rosemary's Baby, The Devil's Rain, Suspiria. Again, just too many to list them all; Phantasm, Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Fog. The Evil Dead series, the Dawn Of The Dead series, The Lost Boys, Fright Night, The Exorcist series... Every few years or so one modern horror flick will pop up that gets the traditional spirit right. I thought The Blair Witch Project was brilliant in it's simplicity & marketing. I thought Eyes Wide Shut was a glorious swan song for Kubrick. But mostly, I go back & revisit the classics and have been ordering a lot of 60s British horror DVDs from Amazon lately. They always have that balance of class, creepiness & mystique, elements that I like to incorporate in to our bands as well.
9-Any chance of seeing any Icarus Witch tunes in any music based video games?
Jason: Hopefully. A lot of that will depend on the record label & management. We recently had a song of ours used on Don King's Prizefighter video game?! A strange choice I thought since I didn't hear about it until it was already out, but hey, if a few new people get turned on to the Witch while playing games, all the better. No surprise that I prefer the vintage video games as well, like Tempest & Defender, but I'll gladly take a royalty check from Guitar Hero.
10-Any final word for our readers?
Jason: Stay true to what makes you happy regardless of what everyone around you is doing.
Thank you so much Jason! I strongly urge anyone who loves metal to seek out this bands albums, you will not be disappointed! To find out more about Icarus Witch please visit www.myspace.com/icaruswitch
10-Hearts On Fire
9-Little by little
8-Rocky vs Thunder Lips
7-I must break you
6-Eye of the Tiger
5-No easy way out
4-Rocky gets back up
3-What's the matter? You don't like my house? My house stink? That's right, IT STINKS!!!!!!
1- That's how winning is done!
9-Little by little
8-Rocky vs Thunder Lips
7-I must break you
6-Eye of the Tiger
5-No easy way out
4-Rocky gets back up
3-What's the matter? You don't like my house? My house stink? That's right, IT STINKS!!!!!!
1- That's how winning is done!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Alexandria High... class of '81 - All the students are going to hell, except Andrew... he sent them there!
Fear No Evil (1981)
Director: Frank LaLoggia
Writer: Frank LaLoggia
Starring: Stefan Arngrim,Elizabeth Hoffman,Kathleen Rowe McAllen,John Holland and Daniel Eden
"My son is the devil!"
I remember the VHS box of this one catching my eye in the video store. Those evil glowing eyes and demonic face. Daring me to rent it. Back then they had a deal five old rentals for five days. That usually meant renting five horror movies. All of which I'd watch over a days time. Usually I'd be up to five or six in the morning. I don't recall the other four I rented with Fear No Evil. But I sure remember this one. Watching this baby at 3:am sure added to it's strange factor.
The movie opens with a old Priest (Holland) rowing across a lake thick with fog, toward some old ruins. The Priest is hunting Lucifer in mortal form. He succeeds in killing Lucifer but is arrested for murder and later dies in an asylum. Cut to 1963 in upstate New York were Lucifer is reborn in moratl form. We cut again and see Lucifer who's mortal form is Andrew Williams (Stefan Arngrim) a weird,skinny 18 year old teen. His parents know there's something horribly wrong with their son and it drives a rift between the couple. Meanwhile The old priest's sister (Hoffman) who we find out is a Archangel on earth as was the priest. She's waiting for the third Archangel to arrive on earth. The third one happens to be a teenage girl (Kathleen Rowe McAllen), who goes to the same high school as Andrew. She's soon drawn to the old woman. Andrew has some trouble at school with some delinquent students. He also likes to hang out on the island with the ruins and sacrifice dogs and drink their blood. During a community performance of The Passion Andrew raises the dead and all hell breaks out at the Play. Raining blood and lighting from the sky upon the spectators. The two Archangels race to the island for a final battle with Lucifer.
A very stylish low budget Omen/Carrie hybrid. Frank LaLoggia does an amazing job with little money. He pulls off, for the part a very ambitious story. There's some cool for the time animated effects and a cool death by dodge ball scene. Plus there's a wild scene were a man grows breasts. The lead actors do a good job. But some of the acting by the supporting players is little painful.
On the commentary LaLoggia says that the studio cut the film to focus more on the teen story and less on the Archangel/Lucifer aspect. It's to bad because it gives the film a split personality and neither side seems like a full story. There's some cool tunes on the soundtrack by The Ramones, The Boomtown Rats, The Sex Pistols and The Talking Heads that add a cool Punk/New Wave vibe to the proceedings. Not everyone will dig Fear No Evil, but if your in the mood for an oddball 80's Antichrist film with a liberal dose of zombies and male breasts then this one may be for you.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Writer: Luigi Cozzi
Staring: Ian McCulloch,Louise Marleau,Marino Masé and Siegfried Rauch
"If you're always in that condition, it's obvious you couldn't get it up, even if you used a crane."
The sweet haze that nostalgia brings. Contamination is by no means a "good" movie, but having seen it long ago on Elvira's Movie Macabre back in the 1984 it's kind of nice memory for me. As much as you can have a nice memory about a film were people's guts blowing out of them. at the time I really could not believe the crazy ass film I was seeing. Eggs that made you explode? Who the hell would make a movie like this? How did they get away with playing this on T.V.?
A derelict cargo ship, The Caribbean Lady drifts into New York harbor. A team of Scientists and a cop, Lieutenant Tony Aris (Masé) board the ship and find the dead and badly mutilated crew and strange green eggs. Eggs that pulsate and moan. When one scientist picks up a egg it explodes. The goo from it kills every one but Tony, by making their guts explode out of them. Tony is whisked away to a top secret government building were he meets Colonel Stella Holmes (Marleau) a real icy bitch. After a raid on a warehouse full of those eggs she happens to recall a mission to Mars were one of the astronauts claimed to have seen similar eggs in a cave. Really you forgot that? Hell, she was the one who discredited the astronaut. So she goes off to meet him. She finds Commander Ian Hubbard (McCulloch) drunken and bitter. Soon it's off to South America for the trio of Stella,Ian, and Tony to track down the coffee company that sent out the cargo ship. Can they stop the egg invasion and who'll make it to the end with their guts intact.
Contamination is dumb, gory fun. Filled with unintentionally hilarious dubbing. The movie slows to a crawl at the middle section. When our heroes travel to South America. This is due to the failed attempt at a love triangle and that there's no guts blasting out. The beginning with the cargo ship and the warehouse raid are cool and the ending with the "mastermind" behind eggs is boffo. If only Cozzi could have kept up the exploitation antics in the middle half. Goblin as usual provides a good score. The effects range from decent (The cyclops) to poor (Some of the chest bursts). The acting is hard to judge since everyone is badly dubbed. But Ian McCulloch and Marino Masé come across as likable fellows.
Speaking of Ian McCulloch, it's probably not a good idea to star in a movie with him, unless your the leading lady. Because if I've learned anything from watching these Italian horror films is that Mr. McCulloch's co-stars always die horrible deaths. See Dr. Butcher M.D. (Zombie Holocaust) and Zombi 2 for further proof. All together a fun Alien rip-off. Just have some caffeine on hand for that boring ass middle section.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Norliss Tapes (1973)
Director: Dan Curtis
Writers: William F. Nolan
Staring: Roy Thinnes, Angie Dickinson, Claude Akins and Nick Dimitri
"The morning I drove down from San Francisco, the weather was foul. A curtain of cold rain fell from a gun metal grey sky."
David Norliss (Thinnes) an investigative reporter writing a book to debunk the supernatural goes missing. His publisher in an effort to track down the missing writer listens to the audio tapes Norliss kept of his investigation. What he hears details Norliss helping a recent widow Ellen Cort (Dickenson) who has had a run in with a zombie like intruder in her late husband's art studio. Further more there's a strange statue in the studio that wasn't there previously. Soon people in the near by town are turning up dead and totally drained of blood. Norliss and Ellen come to suspect that her late husband has come back and is using the victim's blood in the clay of the statue. How does an ancient Egyptian scarab tie in? And what happened to Norliss?
Sadly after this there were no more adventures for Mr. Norliss. The Norliss Tapes was a pilot for a series that never got picked up. If David Norliss reminds you of a certain other reporter who always happened to fall into supernatural goings-on, Carl Kolchak from the The Night Stalker, well you'd be right. Both were made by Dan Curtis. Curtis was all over television in the late 60's and 70's. With numerous shows and made for T.V. movies like Dark Shadows, Trilogy of Terror, and The Night Stalker. Curtis brings the same magic to The Norliss Tapes that he brought to those. Interesting characters,creepy visuals and a really groovy music score. Set in the San Francisco area. He uses fog and mist to add to the spooky goings on. As well as providing some beautifully shot scenes of the countryside.
Roy Thinnes, whom I've dug since when he starred in The Invaders (1967-1968) as David Vincent, plays Norliss as a driven man without a lot of the humor Kolchak. Thinnes seemed to like the role, to bad he didn't get to expanded on character in more adventures. Angie Dickinson was fine as the widow but aside from being scarred she didn't get to do much. And Claude Akins, The mighty Sheriff Lobo was what else? A gruff no nonsense sheriff. If I had a buck for every time that man played a sheriff or a cop...I could finance my own damn Norliss series.
If you dig 70's horror of the made for T.V. variety. Back when they knew how to scare the piss out of you. Or if your a fan of X-files/Kolchak the The Night Stalker style of show then The Norliss Tapes will entertain. Now why the hell isn't Don't Be Afraid of the Dark on DVD?