9 items from 2013
Deanna Durbin: Ephemeral fame (photo: Deanna Durbin in 1981) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin: 'Sweet Monster.'"] Unlike Greta Garbo, whose mystique remained basically intact following her retirement in 1941, Deanna Durbin’s popularity faded away much like that of the vast majority of celebrities who were removed — or who chose to remove themselves — from public view. Despite the advent of home video and classic-movie cable channels, Durbin remains virtually unknown to the vast majority of those who weren’t around in her heyday in the ’30s and ’40s. Yet, although relatively few in number, she continues to have her ardent fans. There are a handful of websites devoted to Deanna Durbin and her film and recording careers, chiefly among them the appropriately titled "Deanna Durbin Devotees." Fade Out Charles David, Deanna Durbin’s husband of 48 years, died in March 1999, at the age of 92; Institut Pasteur medical researcher Peter H. David is their only son. Durbin also had a daughter, »
- Andre Soares
Baron Blood (Italian: Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga), 1972.
Directed by Mario Bava
Newly graduated Peter travels to Vienna to explore his Austrian heritage. There he visits the castle of an ancestor, the murderous Baron Otto von Kleist. While playfully flirting with a new acquaintance, Peter reads aloud an incantation causing the Baron - and the killing - to return...
Often credited with instigating the modern Italian Giallo movement, especially films belonging to that sub-genre that have a heavy supernatural element, Bava's best known work (Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, The Evil Eye) hails from the heady gothic horror of the 1960's. Later work, such as Baron Blood, has often been overlooked.
This is something of a shame, as it contains plenty to recommend it to fans of European Horror, particularly those that are keen to make the »
- Flickering Myth
Italian director Mario Bava was responsible for some truly great horror movies of the 60s and 70s, including The Mask of Satan, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, Lisa and the Devil and proto-slasher A Bay of Blood. However some, whilst a success at the time, haven’t aged quite so well… like Baron Blood.
The film is yet another gothic horror from Bava that, like Black Sunday before it, features a witch’s curse – this time placed on Baron Otto von Kleist, Austria’s legendarily murderous ‘Baron Blood’, whose corpse is inadvertently revived when an ancient incantation is read out as a joke by a descendant and his girlfriend. Naturally, the Baron decides to carry on where he originally left off, with the help of an »
- Phil Wheat
Deanna Durbin in the 1940s: From wholesome musicals to film noir sex worker (photo: Gene Kelly and Deanna Durbin cast against type in the un-Christmas-y Christmas Holiday) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin Without Joe Pasternak: Adrift at Universal."] The Deanna Durbin vs. Universal dispute was settled in early 1942, when the actress was supposedly granted director and story approval. But things didn’t go all that smoothly from then on. There would be no loan-outs to the more opulent MGM, and Durbin would later complain that Universal refused to abide by her requests. Also, for the first time since her career skyrocketed in 1936, Durbin was absent from the screen for a whole year. The key reason there were no 1942 Deanna Durbin movies was the troubled production of her next star vehicle, The Amazing Mrs. Holliday, in which Durbin tries to smuggle Chinese orphans into the U.S., and which underwent not only various title changes, but also various directors and various script »
- Andre Soares
★★★☆☆ Spooky, cavernous castles; rolling, all-engulfing perma-mist; a deranged, deformed aristocrat impaling all the serfs to ease his crippling ennui...Giallo master Mario Bava's camp schlockfest has more classic Gothic tropes than you can shake a Brontë sister at. Here given a beautiful restoration for Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video, Baron Blood (1972) provides a good bit of fun and a great deal of crash zooms, but maybe not quite enough shocks given his past history. Immaculately coiffured 70s Ken Doll Peter (Antonio Cantafora) has travelled to Austria from the States in an effort to rediscover the family roots.
Taken by his Uncle Karl (Massimo Girotto) to the castle which belonged to ancestor Baron Otto von Kleist, Peter there meets Eva Arnold (Eike Sommer), an architect charged with restoring the building for use as a luxury hotel. But Old Otto had some faults back in the day. The nefarious nobleman's »
- CineVue UK
We here at ComicMix celebrate all manner of pop culture from today’s obvious hits to the arcane wonders of yesteryear. every now and then we get a notice about something that seems just outside our realm of interest but there’s a thing or two that grabs us. Something like an unaired pilot to the legendary Dr. Kildare series is one of those things. Not only that, but the series gave us Richard Chamberlain as a star (long before he was resurrected for Leverage). The show not only boasted an impressive guest cast, as noted below but it featured some of the best writers working in television including a pre-Star Trek Gene Roddenberry. So, here’s the press release for those who remember and remain interested:
Warner Archive Collection continues to unveil some of the finest series in television history with its release this week of Dr. Kildare: The First Complete Season. »
- ComicMix Staff
Bates Motel is an interesting idea for a series (and frankly, so is The Carrie Diaries), but like Carrie Bradshaw I have to wonder: Have we nailed the art of the movie prequel TV series yet? I think it remains to be seen.
Today, in honor of A&E's new show about Norman Bates' bizarre past, I say we examine eight movies that could inspire fabulous prequel series. I snuck in two ideas for other Hitchcock prequels in case that's an easy sell right now. Grab your most hideous bridesmaid gown and suggest your options for prequel-worthy movies below.
Face it: Alex Forrest should be one of the most interesting characters of the '80s, but because Fatal Attraction corners her into being a two-dimensional psychotic loon, she's never quite as humanized as she should be (despite Glenn Close's exceptional performance). A prequel series would rectify this »
This wild, watchable, relatively brief, deeply annoying thriller is the disappointing American debut of the gifted Korean film-maker Park Chan-wook, rightly celebrated for his trilogy of clever psychological thrillers Oldboy, Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance. A smirking, would-be charismatic Matthew Goode comes into a rich family's home in rural Tennessee composed largely of British actors wearing ill-fitting American accents. He's there after a long absence for his brother's funeral and is always referred to as Uncle Charlie, an invitation to identify him with Joseph Cotten's charming psychopathic murderer in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. The film is over-emphatic in every way – images that hit you in the face, dialogue that digs you in the ribs, rapid flashbacks designed to unhinge, and obtrusive music including two piano duets by Philip Glass.
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. »
- Philip French
Park's English-language debut boasts 'lovely blend of styles,' but is marred by inconsistent narrative The movie title Stoker, left to stand alone for helmer Park Chan-wook’s and screenwriter Wentworth Miller’s psychological thriller, could be referring to numerous things, such as those connected to vampires, marijuana, or tandem bicycling, depending on one’s approach. The Dracula author is a relevant reference, but in Park's film the name Stoker is the surname of the family central to its narrative: mother, father, daughter, and uncle. (Pictured above: a striking closeup of Matthew Goode in Stoker.) Even so, Miller’s script attempts to come up with an identity that goes beyond family names to actual lineage -- in other words, to the core genetics of the family tree itself. Stoker tells us that some human traits, however dark, are part of our nature. That’s hardly an original thought, but in »
- Tim Cogshell
9 items from 2013
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