1-20 of 28 items from 2016 « Prev | Next »
Two more classics are on their way to Blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber! Fans will be able to get their claws into Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? on August 16th and then nab the Bela Lugosi classic Chandu the Magician on… Continue Reading →
- Steve Barton
Woo hoo! The pre-Code marvels return for one last go-round -- tales of sin and moral turpitude but also serious pictures about social issues that the Production Code effectively swept from Hollywood screens -- financial crimes and ethnic bigotry. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10 Guilty Hands, The Mouthpiece, Secrets of the French Police, The Match King, Ever in My Heart DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1932-1934 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 63, 62, 78, 85, 70 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 40.99 Starring Lionel Barrymore, Kay Francis, Madge Evans; Warren William, Sidney Fox, Aline McMahon; Frank Morgan, Gwili Andre, Gregory Ratoff Rochelle Hudson; Warren William, Lili Damita, Glenda Farrell, Claire Dodd; Barbara Stanwyck, Otto Kruger, Ralph Bellamy, Ruth Donnelly. Cinematography Merritt B. Gerstad, Barney McGill; Alfred Gilks; Robert Kurrie; Written by Bayard Veiller; Joseph Jackson, Earl Baldwin, Frank J. Collins; Samuel Ornitz, Robert Tasker; Houston Branch, Sidney Sutherland, Einar Thorvaldson; Bertram Millhauser, Beulah Marie Dix. »
- Glenn Erickson
Summer just officially started just a few days ago, so Halloween is months away. Perhaps a great way to get us cooled off, to put us in a Fall state of mind, would be to pay a visit to one of the oldest horror movie icons: the vampire. Everyone’s aware of how scary those fanged fiends can be, but you may have forgotten how funny they are (intentionally, of course). Movie audiences have emitted nervous laughter ever since Max Schreck emerged from the shadows in the silent classic Nosferatu. And certainly there are bits (and bites) of humor (mostly comic relief supporting players) in 1931’s Dracula and Mark Of The Vampire, both with Bela Lugosi. It wasn’t until 1948 that he was in an all out farce (though the Count is never lampooned) in Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein. After Hammer Studios brought back (in full gory color) the bloodsuckers ten years later, »
- Jim Batts
Back before “The Sopranos” — well, actually, just as “The Sopranos” was midway through its first season — a movie comedy came out that presented the idea of a gangster who goes to see a psychiatrist as just about the most nutty, screw-loose hi-larious concept in the world. Even after six seasons of “The Sopranos,” the notion behind the Robert De Niro/Billy Crystal comedy “Analyze This” still sounds kind of funny, and it’s no trick to apply the same basic joke to certain other…professions. A gladiator seeing a psychiatrist. A superhero seeing a psychiatrist. Donald Trump seeing a psychiatrist. (Well, okay, there are limits to plausibility.) So how about a vampire seeing a psychiatrist — or, better yet, a vampire going to see the Op (original psychiatrist): the man himself, Sigmund Freud? Are you laughing yet? Or, if you’re one of the few people who will go to the new Austrian movie “Therapy for a Vampire,” are you spitting up the comedy equivalent of a blood clot?
We’re in Vienna in 1932, and the monster in question who seeks out Freud’s help is Count Geza von Közsnöm, a Romanian bloodsucker who is bored, bored, bored with his vampire wife, Elsa (Jeanette Hain), because the two have been married for, like, centuries. Can anyone relate? (Nudge, nudge.) Count Geza is played by Tobias Moretti, who in profile does look a bit like Bela Lugosi, but mostly he resembles a debauched Mike Wallace. He’s a very civilized and depressed aristocrat, who has become so jaded by his lifestyle that he has an assistant go out and draw blood from victims, which he then guzzles out of a flask. Dr. Freud (Karl Fischer) has no idea that he’s treating an undead neurotic, and therapy, as it turns out, doesn’t do the count much good. He’s too much in thrall to his lost love from hundreds of years ago, who he thinks has been reincarnated in Lucy (Cornelia Ivancan), a bohemian model who’s having relationship issues. Her artist boyfriend, Viktor (Dominic Oley), insists on painting her as a blonde — and, indeed, seems to be getting ready to go full “Vertigo” on her.
If a diagram were the same thing as a script, then “Therapy for a Vampire” might be a smashingly silly lark. But as written and directed by Daniel Ruehl, the film is a blueprint of mild anemic kitsch. It’s an undead comedy without the blood of experience coursing through its veins. The count and his wife, who you might say are at each other’s throats, each pair off with one half of the young couple. Elsa, whose undead style consists of wearing a Louise Brooks bob (though it looks more like a Louise Brooks wig purchased in a costume shop), latches onto Viktor and insists that he paint her portrait so that she can see what she looks like. (Mirrors weren’t doing the trick.) And the count woos Lucy with that whole “Come and be a creature of the night! You will live forever!” routine. The best thing in the movie is Cornelia Ivancan. She’s got a real bloom — a glow of misbehavior. No one will let Lucy just be who she is (Viktor wants to change her hair color, the count wants to change her mortality), and “Therapy for a Vampire,” to the extent that it has a theme, is a feminist anthem. If only it weren’t such a cheesy, thinly written, badly lit one.
The notion of an old vampire couple coping with the anomie of the ages owes an obvious debt to Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” (2014), which was an infinitely more textured — and funnier — movie. The way this all plays out in “Therapy for a Vampire” brings it closer to being a bloodsucker version of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).” Call it “The Plasma Colada Song.”
- Owen Gleiberman
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Michael Haffner, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman
Peter Cushing, born on this day in 1913, was one of the most respected and important actors in the horror and fantasy film genres. To his many fans, the British star, who died in 1994, was known as ‘The Gentle Man of Horror’ and is recognized for his work with Hammer Films which began in the late 1950’s, but he had numerous memorable roles outside of Hammer. A topnotch actor who was able to deliver superb performances on a consistent basis, Peter Cushing also had range. He could play both the hero and the villain with ease.
Here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are Peter Cushing’s ten best roles:
During the 1960s, Amicus Studios had a knack for borrowing from the pool of Hammer Studios actors and filmmakers to make their own Hammer-inspired films. While »
- Movie Geeks
Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on Holidays.
In the immortal words of Bela Lugosi what music the children of the night make, turning the Midnight section of the Tribeca Film Festival into my favorite playground at the fest. Happy times with horror friends! So it was with some consternation when I saw this year the fest has given us a smaller swing-set upon which to swing - there are only six films showing under the "Midnight" banner (and it's a stretchto label at least two of them as Horror).
But wait! This year's opening film of the Midnight program is Holidays, an anthology consisting of eight short films (each one about a different celebratory day of the calendar) by eight different directing and writing teams, so I suppose that doubles their numbers, in a way. We'll take what we can get.
And with Holidays what we get, »
We cannot thank you all enough for your support in this year’s 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards! Just announced last night, FM was awarded Best Classic Magazine, Rick Baker’s Bride cover (FM #281) stole the show and snatch up the Best Cover award, and executive editor David Weiner was awarded Best Interview for his piece with Mel Brooks on Young Frankenstein. Read the full press release below, and check out all the winners.
Arlington, Va. – Revivals of classic horror and science fiction franchises of the 1980s won top honors in the just-completed 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, announced April 14 after an online vote by fans and genre professionals worldwide.
The popular Evil Dead movie franchise directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell took four awards, including Best DVD, Best Restoration, Best DVD Extra, and Best TV Presentation of 2015 for the offshoot series on Starz, »
- Caroline Stephenson
Sometimes actors are cast in a movie together and instantly display great onscreen chemistry. You look at them and think, “These two should work together again. They make a good team.” Sometimes they do reunite and it leads to a series of great screen collaborations, but sometimes they don’t and we’re left wishing the pair would have made more films together.
Back in the days of the old ‘Studio System,’ movies studio execs would look for actors who had good on-screen chemistry and repeatedly cast them together in films. This was called “packaging”, and it lead to the frequent teaming of people like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; William Powell & Myrna Loy; Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall; Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi; Bob Hope & Bing Crosby; Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland; Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald; etc., etc.
The ‘Studio System’ is long gone and so is “packaging”. It’s a pity »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Chandu the Magician (1932) features Roxor (Bela Lugosi), who is so hell-bent on world domination that he kidnaps inventor Robert Regent (Henry B. Walthall) in order to steal his death ray and rule over all of humankind. It’s up to Chandu (Edmund Lowe) to stop him. Kino Lorber announced that Chandu the Magician will be released on Blu-ray soon.
Special features, cover art, and an official release date for Kino Lorber’s Chandu the Magician Blu-ray have yet to be revealed, but we will keep Daily Dead readers up-to-date on this release when more information becomes available.
From Kino Lorber Studio Classics: “Coming Soon on Blu-ray!
Synopsis (via Blu-ray.com): “Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnapped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, »
- Tamika Jones
By 1934 Boris Karloff was certainly no stranger to great movie entrances. In 1931, under the direction of James Whale, he seared his image, and that of the monstrous creation of Dr. Henry Frankenstein, into the collective consciousness by shuffling on screen and staring down his creator, and of course the terrified audience, embodying and fulfilling unspeakable nightmares. Frankenstein, an instant phenomenon, was one of 16 pictures Karloff made that were released in 1931.
And in the following year, 1932, in addition of Howard Hawks’ Scarface, Whale’s The Old Dark House and Charles Brabin’s The Mask of Fu Manchu, Karloff had another terrifying entrance in cinematographer-turned-director Karl Freund’s horror landmark The Mummy. As the title fiend, Imhotep, Karloff is first glimpsed in full bandage, sarcophagus laid open behind an unfortunate archaeologist who, engrossed in the parchments he’s discovered, doesn’t notice the mummy’s arm slide down from its bound position. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Looking for a visionary and poetic film with something relevant to say about the ongoing personal tech revolution? Brilliant vintage film clips, many from experimental films, show how our desire for 'connectivity' reached critical mass. With brilliant editing, evocative music and a stirring narration read by Tilda Swinton. And it even has a sense of humor... Dreams Rewired DVD Icarus Films Home Video 2015 / B&W (and a little color) / 1:78 enhanced widescreen (variable, actually) / 85 min. / Street Date March 22, 2016 / available through Icarus Films / 29.98 Narrated by Tilda Swinton Animation Hanna Nordholt, Fritz Steingrobe Film Editor Oliver Neumann Original Music Siegfried Friedrich Written by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode, Muku Patel Produced by Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Bady Minck Directed by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
In writing about science fiction I've seen the technological advances of the 20th century organized into fantasies about militarism, the invasion of privacy, »
- Glenn Erickson
March 22nd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases are an eclectic bunch, featuring a handful of cult classics, a thriller with the likes of Val Kilmer and Michael Madsen, Goth Katie Holmes fighting against the oppressive nature of her educational system, cowboys taking on prehistoric creatures, and a special edition of Fear the Walking Dead’s inaugural season. Yes, there’s truly something for almost every genre fan.
Notable home entertainment releases arriving this Tuesday include Disturbing Behavior (from The X-Files alum David Nutter), The Black Sleep, Donovan’s Brain, Kill Me Again, All Hell Breaks Loose, Curse of the Poltergeist, Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs, and as mentioned above, Fear The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Special Edition.
- Heather Wixson
Max Schreck’s haunting portrayal of Count Orlok in Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror has provided nightmare fuel for nearly one century. To further immortalize Schreck’s performance and appearance in F.W. Murnau’s classic film, Black Heart has created a new life-size bust of Schreck’s legendary vampire.
Now available to pre-order from Sideshow Collectibles for $649.99, Black Heart’s Count Orlok life-size bust is expected to ship between May–June 2016. The collectible stands 21 inches tall, has a 12-inch width, and weighs in at 16 pounds.
Below, we have details and photos of the Nosferatu bust, and to learn more, visit:
From Sideshow Collectibles: “The first film based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula is Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. This German Expressionist silent-era horror film, directed by F.W. Murnau, stars Max Schreck as the vampire, Count Orlok.
The look of Schreck’s vampire frightened movie audiences. »
- Derek Anderson
You have to give credit to Dwight Frye, the underappreciated character actor who created the role of the hunchback Fritz, who aided Colin Clive’s Victor Frankenstein in the 1931 Universal adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. In further Universal installments, the assistant was renamed Ygor and Frye was replaced with Bela Lugosi – but it is Frye’s portrayal that gave the world the stock character forever known to all as Igor.
In the re-envisioned world portrayed in Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy), Igor is given an upgrade from simple lab assistant to brilliant physician and Frye has morphed into Daniel Radcliffe. Young Victor is actually still in med school as we meet out characters and it is Igor who proves to the brains behind the, ahem, operation.
Max Landis uses both Shelley’s novel and the Universal series of films as guideposts but charts a fresh, if not wholly original tale. »
- Robert Greenberger
The second day of the Silver Scream Festival kicked off with A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Robert Englund (Freddy, of course) and Heather Langenkamp (Nancy, of course) signing your mementoes and tchotchkes. Following that is a screening of Langenkamp’s documentary I Am Nancy, about her life following her role as Nancy Thompson, after which she will engage in a Q&A session, answering All your burning questions. And Then Englund and Langenkamp will be joined by producer Marriane Maddalena to give a tribute to Wes Craven, following a screening of New Nightmare, the director’s last Elm Street film, which served as a Scream precursor in its meta narrative.
Also on deck today: To commemorate the impact Bela Lugosi had on horror cinema, we’ll be screening four of his classic flicks, White Zombie, Island Of Lost Souls, Son Of Frankenstein, and, on its 85th anniversary, Dracula. As an added bonus, »
- Harker Jones
The Silver Scream fest hit the ground running on a grey, rainy day in the beautiful wine country of Santa Rosa, California. Werewolves, aliens, and a life-sized Freddy Krueger figure ushered in the guys and ghouls brave enough to face the falling water.
A packed house awaited Robert Englund (the real Freddy himself!) to our ribbon cutting, commemorating the First Annual Silver Scream Fest. When he arrived, he arrived in style, sporting a glove with knives for fingers. After Famous Monsters publisher Philip Kim welcomed the throng of fright fiends to the first annual Silver Scream Fest, Englund added in his best Freddy voice, “The first and the Last Silver Scream!”
The crowd ate it up! And yours truly had front-row access to the festivities. After the ceremony was complete, Englund hung around to chat with his next victims … er, fans. He took special notice of a youngster, Johnny, who »
- Harker Jones
It's an All Star monster rally -- Lon Chaney Jr.!, John Carradine!, Bela Lugosi!, Basil Rathbone!, Tor Johnson! -- with Akim Tamiroff in there pitching as well. It's considered a must-see picture, and this HD presentation is nothing to sniff at. Added bonus: a Tom Weaver commentary. The Black Sleep Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1956 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 82 min. / Dr. Cadman's Secret / Street Date March 22, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Basil Rathbone, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Bela Lugosi, Herbert Rudley, Patricia Blake, Phyllis Stanley, Tor Johnson, Sally Yarnell, George Sawaya. Cinematography Gordon Avil Film Editor John F. Schreyer Original Music Les Baxter Written by John C. Higgins, Gerald Drayson Adams Produced by Howard W. Koch Directed by Reginald Le Borg
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Older monster kids know that the 1956 chiller The Black Sleep existed for years only through stills in Famous Monsters magazine. We saw tantalizing »
- Glenn Erickson
You guys! It’s almost time for our Silver Scream Fest in beautiful Santa Rosa, Calif. It’s in two weeks and you can still get tix! You can also win posters, T-shirts, and even tix to the event. Check our Facebook and Twitter daily for ways to get your furry paws on some great swag!
Also: Did I mention that Santa Rosa is wine country? You can see stars, catch some screenings of both new and classic films, and tickle your palate, all in one gloriously gory weekend!
• A tribute to Wes Craven by none other than his greatest creation, Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund himself; Freddy’s favorite leading lady, Heather Langenkamp from A Nightmare On Elm Street and New Nightmare; and Craven’s longtime producer Marianne Maddelena.
- Harker Jones
Remember when vampire movies were actually scary?
Sorry, Twihards and "Underworld" fans, but your brooding romantic neck-biters and your leather-clad Eurotrash vamps may be cool, but they're not frightening. If you want scary, go back to the likes of Bela Lugosi in the original "Dracula," which turns 85 this week (it was released on Feb. 14, 1931). Or Christopher Lee as Hammer's Dracula, or the pack-hunting bloodsuckers of some more recent films.
Here are 11 vampire movies that are actually terrifying. »
- Gary Susman
Come meet Bela Lugosi Jr. at our Silver Scream Festival as we screen four of his father’s most iconic films. He’ll be doing a Q&A, so buy your tix now and get your questions ready. As the steward of his father’s legacy, he’ll have all the answers regarding the first golden age of Hollywood horror!
The films we’ll be screening:
The most famous of all Draculas, Lugosi Sr.’s incarnation became so ingrained in the public consciousness that it was the mold from which essentially all others were made up until the TWILIGHTs and the Vampire Diaries of the world changed things up.
Teaming Lugosi with Sherlock Holmes himself, Basil Rathbone, as the titular character, and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, was box office gold for Universal. It’s your chance to check out Lugosi’s first turn as »
- Harker Jones
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