Werewolf by Night #12, 1973 “Cry Monster”

It’s time for some werewolf action! There are very few books that can hang with Werewolf by Night (vol. 1) in the all-time greats of horror comics from the 1970’s (The Tomb of Dracula being the best). This title started out with some fantastic creators on it. The names Ploog, Conway, Wolfman, Kane, and others, brought this character to life and gave him a world to play in, and share with other great characters from the Marvel Universe, as well.  Later (issue #20 or so), you had a different creative team take the reins, and put a spin on the book that was unexpected, but was a ton of fun! That team was Doug Moench and Don Perlin! This issue was a battle between the Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell, and a strange nemesis called “The Hangman.” This kooky guy is all sorts of crazy, and believe it or not, he’s crazy enough to keep the werewolf at bay for a while!

The creative team on this one was nothing short of spectacular. You get ‘Marvelous’ Marv Wolfman writing, Pencils by the great Gil Kane (RIP), inks by the underrated Don Perlin, Mr. Tom Orzechowski lettering, and Linda Lessmann on colors! Of course, we have Roy ‘The Boy’ Thomas editing, as was the norm in the early 1970’s. Sometimes I wonder how some of these creators from that era had time to sleep! Check out this incredible cover by John Romita! Well, without further interruption, let’s take a look at some Werewolf by Night! (Insert crazy howl here)! Enjoy!

 

Image (78)

Image (79)

Image (80)

Image (81)

Image (82)

 

Doctor Strange #41, 1980 “Maelstrom at the Center of Time”

I definitely wanted to sneak in some Doc Strange for Halloween, and what better way, than with a Man-Thing story! In this issue, we see the Doc in an adventure with not only Man-Thing, but also Jenifer Kale, Baron Mordo, a cult, and even Death itself! From cover to cover, you’ll get everything you’ve ever wanted – the Nexus of All Realities, magic, monsters, skeletons, you name it!

The story is brought to us by Chris Claremont, pencils by Gene ‘The Dean’ Colan, inks by Dan Green, letters by Diana Albers, colors by Ed Hannigan, and edited by Jo Duffy! You also get a spectacular cover by Bob Layton and Klaus Janson, as well! Definitely check out this issue, as it can found for a decent price in most back issue bins.

 

Image (69)

Image (70)

Image (71)

Image (72)

Image (73)

Image (74)

Cinema Sunday: Invisible Invaders (1959)

invisible_invaders_poster_01

Title: Invisible Invaders

Distributor: United Artists

Writer: Samuel Newman

Director: Edward L. Cahn

Producer: Robert E. Kent

Starring: John Agar, John Carradine, Jean Byron

Released: May 15th, 1959

MPAA: PG

 

Another Sunday, and another sci-fi flick! This classic from 1959, stars the awesome John Agar, and if that wasn’t enough, we get another titan from the sci-fi/horror industry in John Carradine, as well! Both of these men had extensive careers in the film industry (especially Carradine), and have some fantastic credits on their filmography lists. During this decade, the explosion of “alien” films was crazy, and some are just terrible. Most didn’t have the luxury of having big names like these two, so it made the films seem bad because we know the budget for special effects wasn’t going to wow anybody. Alright, enough about that already, let’s get down to the movie!

 

invisibleinvaders1

The film begins with an experiment gone wrong, and the person that loses his life, is Dr. Karol Noyman (John Carradine – image above). The scene turns to Dr. Penner (Philip Tonge) discusses the accident with officials at the Pentagon. He wants to stop using nuclear tests for science. The Pentagon scoffs at him, and tells him it will continue. Penner leaves, and then gets a visit later that night at home. The dead Dr. Noyman comes for a visit, and tells him that he’s actually an alien invader that has reanimated the corpse of Dr. Noyman, and that the Earth must submit, or there will be a war. He also informs the good doctor that their ships are invisible, so the military will have no chance of stopping them. He even gives him a demonstration of the material that they use for the ships, and it is indeed invisible. Penner tells him that they won’t listen to him, but the alien tells him he’d better find a way or else! Then he exits the house.

 

invisibleinvaders2

Even later that evening, Penner’s daughter, Phyllis (Jean Byron) and her date, Dr. John Lamont (Robert Hutton) return home. Her father explains what has happened, but they think he’s had a nervous breakdown. He insists it happened, and begs Dr. Lamont to go to Washington D.C. and tell them of the impending doom. Dr. Lamont begrudgingly agrees to tell them, but we soon see newspaper headlines that make him out to be a kook. Dr. Penner is watching the clock, and wondering when the aliens will attack. He then prays to God, begging that this experience was all a dream. Dr. Lamont and Phyllis return, and give him the bad news. Dr. Lamont is kind of wiener about the situation, but soon, he’ll be a believer.

Dr. Lamont suggests that they try to contact the aliens and ask for more time. The all agree to head over to the cemetery and seek out the aliens inhabiting the corpses. Dr. Penner calls out to the aliens, and suddenly, they hear a growling noise. Something pushes its way through the brush, and then makes tracks in the soil. It’s at this time, that Phyllis and Dr. Lamont become believers. The alien then speaks to him, and he tells the alien that he failed and that no one will listen. He begs to get more time to try again, but the aliens refuse, and tell him that they will give one more warning to the people of Earth. The three of them realize they can do nothing to stop this, so they head for home.

 

InvisibleInvaders3

The aliens then inhabit the body of a pilot who crashed his plane. He heads to a hockey game (don’t ask), and knocks out the announcers, and gets on the mic, and warns them of their impending doom. The people scatter like a bunch of ants. The alien then leaves the body of the corpse, and opens the door, leaving the room. The announcers wake up and are stunned to see this going on. Over in California, a car accident victim is possessed, and heads over to a large stadium and makes the same ominous warning. Again, people run away, and head for the hills!

 

invisibleinvaders4

Shortly thereafter, the aliens begin their invasion. They destroy bridges and roads, buildings and everything else in their path. They also start to possess every dead person on Earth. More people are killed in the chaos, and police cannot control the mobs that are going berserk. Washington D.C. then breaks into the news coverage, and tells everyone that Dr. Penner has agreed to rejoin the nuke project, and Major Bruce Jay (John Agar), is assigned to bring him in to the underground bunker. While on their way, a man with a shotgun holds them up, and attempts to steal their jeep. There are aliens (zombies) everywhere, and the man wants out. The next thing you know, something is stirring in the bushes nearby, and the man is distracted. Major Jay uses this opportunity to shoot the man in the head, killing him instantly. An alien then sneaks over and possesses the man.

 

invisibleinvaders027

Once they get to the bunker, Dr. Penner, Major Jay, and Dr. Lamont, head over to the lab, and begin to try to formulate a plan. The outside world is being decimated, corpse after corpse is being inhabited, and it looks as if there is no hope for humanity. Can this small group somehow find a way to stop the alien invasion? Watch it and find out!

 

Invisible_Invaders1

 

OK, here are my thoughts:

This is one of those movies that any fan of the genre must see. No excuses, get out and grab or stream it on Netflix. Carradine is creepy as a zombie, and Tonge is quite good as well. Of course, you get an awesome “tough guy” from John Agar, and you can really see why he fits this mold very well. He’s a great action hero for this time period, and really commands the scenes that he appears in during the film. Of course the nuclear angle is something used HEAVILY in this time period, but it doesn’t detract from the cool factor of this flick.

The shots of the destruction are pretty cool, but the ones of the people running around are quite cheesy, and are most likely stock footage of something completely unrelated. Other than that, the film is pretty solid, and is a good representation of the time/genre. The revelation of what the invisible aliens actually look like is pretty cool too, and as I said before, the special effects obviously didn’t consume a good chunk of the budget, but they were good nonetheless. I try to imagine some of these older films in color, but honestly, this one is perfect in black and white. This is a must watch for movie fans of the genre, plain and simple.

 

Click here for the trailer!

 

A Chamber of Chills Ensemble!

After being thoroughly exhausted from a weekend trip and now work, I’m playing catch-up now! Instead of posting about a single issue, I thought I’d just post a good-sized helping of a horror title to whet your appetites, and get you in the Halloween mood! The title “Chamber of Chills,” has always been one that I thought had good content, with either new stories or reprinted material from the Atlas Era. The first few issues featured new material from names like Thomas, Brunner, Russell, and so forth, but eventually the book went with just all reprint stories. Not that it was a bad thing mind you, because then you got to see work by greats like Heck, Ayers, Ditko, and early Perlin, as well!

These men were masters, one and all, and the legacy they’ve left for toady’s creators to follow is nothing short of extraordinary. Some are still with us, sadly others are not,  but their incredible contributions live on in the pages of comic books just like the issues I’m about to showcase! Sit back, and relax, because you’re about to go on a journey into a very scary and chilling place!

 

Image (19)

Image (20)

Image (21)

Image (40)

Image (41)

Image (42)

Image (43)

Image (44)

Image (45)

Image (46)

Image (47)

Image (48)

Image (49)

Image (50)

Image (58)

Image (59)

Image (60)

 

Cinema Sunday: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

sundown

 

Title: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Distributor: AIP

Writer: Earl E. Smith

Director: Charles B. Pierce

Producers: Charles B. Pierce and Samuel Z. Arkoff

Starring: Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, Bud Davis

Released: December 24th, 1976

MPAA: R

 

By the time everyone reads this review, I’ll have been out in Pittsburgh, at my first ever Monsterbash! The Bash is a horror/sci-fi convention for nuts like me that grew up on old-school horror and sci-fi movies. You know, those flicks shown either late at night or on a Saturday after noon by some “horror host” such as Uncle Ted, the one I watched host a show called “Monstermania,” that showed everything from Godzilla movies to the classic Universal films from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I remember staying up late (past the time I was allowed – sorry, Mom!), on Friday night, or on Saturday afternoon, and watching these scary flicks.

OK, now let me just say that I’ve wanted to check out this movie for quite sometime, and thanks to Netflix, I can now say that I have. I won’t get into the specifics until after the review, but I will say that any film with Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, is OK by me. Alright, on to the movie…

 

Town That Dreaded Sundown

 

The film begins with some narrative by a voice (Vern Stierman), that informs us that the town of Texarkana is a quiet little town that has many men returning from WWII, and trying to live a normal life. We watch across town, as people live their lives, and in one case, we see a wedding ceremony ending. In this year, 1946, there is also something sinister walking the streets. We then see only the legs and feet of someone (presumably the killer), as he makes his way to a scene downtown, where some young people are congregating. As two of the young people (Linda Mae Jenkins, Sammy Fuller)  leave, they head to a remote area to go “parking.” As they arrive, the young lady is less than cooperative, but we soon see that someone is creeping around the car. Suddenly, a hooded figure appears, and pops the hood of the car, then rips out the distributor. The young man tries to start the car, but no go. The woman shrieks in fear, and the hooded man pulls the young man out of the car through the window (after smashing it with a crowbar). He beats the young man savagely, and then pulls the woman out of the car.

 

sundown1

The next morning, we see the young woman, bloody and beaten to a pulp, trying to get to the freeway. A car drives by and sees her, then the police arrive, along with te ambulance. We see Deputy Ramsey (Andrew Prine – image above), as he radios back to the station to give them some info about the incident. We then see the sheriff and Deputy Ramsey at the hospital, attempting to get some answers from the victims. The doctor tells them that it’s too early for that, because of sedation and trauma. The doctor does tell them that the victims were beaten badly, and that the woman was even bitten several times!

Later, the Captain asks the Deputy and the sheriff what they have, and they tell him they’ve got nothing. Another night falls, and our narrator explains the lives of two more young people. The two have an argument, but settle their differences quickly. The two then head to a spot to “get it on” and we see  Deputy Ramsey patrolling some of the local haunts. As he leaves the vehicle for a moment, he hears two gunshots nearby, and heads in that direction. He calls for backup, and parks near a car stopped on a gravel road. He approaches it with caution, but finds no one inside. Two more shots ring out close by, and he runs towards them (after calling for backup again). As he checks out the nearby brush, he finds the young man from the car, with a gunshot wound to the head. Close by, the young woman is tied to a tree, also shot dead. As Deputy Ramsey looks on in horror, he hears footsteps, and pursues the person. He only sees a dark figure, as it jumps into a car, and flees the scene.

 

sundown2

Within a few days, gun stores are sold out of weapons, and hardware stores cannot keep up with the sales of locks. Deputy Ramsey and the Sheriff call the capital for help, and they’re told that they’ll send the best investigator in the country. Captain J. D. Morales (Ben Johnson – image above), of the Texas rangers is on his way, and they head out to meet him. They meet him at the train station, and then head over to the station to discuss the operation. Ramsey teams up with Morales, and the two begin a whole new investigation into the murders.  Speaking of the murders, they seem to have taken place exactly 21 days apart, and Morales thinks this might be something the killer is doing intentionally. They head out to the crime scenes to check for anything they might have missed. They also set up curfews, warn citizens of the trouble. Of course, they get a bunch of nuts that confess to the killings, but Morales knows they’re full of it.

The cops get an idea to set up some decoys to try to catch the killer. They have male officers dress in drag (yes, really – image below), and sit in parked cars with other officers, trying to tempt the killer. Morales tells them to stay alert, and be ready for anything. Meanwhile, in town, the local students are having a dance, but the police don’t seem to be worried about them for some reason. The dance will go on until two or so, and they figure they can wait until then to make sure they get home OK. A couple leaves a bit later than the others, and this will of course be their undoing. They pack up the car, as the girl is in the band (a trombone player), and then head for a “make out” session before curfew. The two are interrupted by the “Phantom” as he brutally attacks them both. He beats the young man to a pulp, then chases the girl into the woods. He drags her back to the car (and her boyfriend), and ties her to a tree. He then fastens a knife to the end of her trombone, and belts out a “tune,” stabbing her countless times.

 

sundown5

 

The next day, Morales, Ramsey, and a few other policemen, along with some local government officials, are having dinner, and discussing the case. A psychiatrist tells them that they don’t have much of a chance to catch him, but Morales isn’t having any of that nonsense. As the men continue to discuss things, someone gets up from the table, and leaves. The others don’t even give the person a look, but we see the boots of the person, and they look like those of the killer. The following day, a man tells the police that a man jumped in his car, and threatened to kill him, just as he had the others in the area, if he didn’t give him a ride. The police then get a call from a store owner that it was robbed, and the perpetrator matches the description that the man gave earlier during his talk with the police. The police speed to the scene, and see the man leaving. A chase scene follows, and then they eventually catch him. The guy claims to be the “Phantom” but he’s obviously not (he seems like an imbecile).

 

sundown3

A few weeks later, and a woman, Helen Reed (Dawn Wells), is leaving the grocery store, and a man pulls up next to her car, and stares at her. She nods at the man, looking at him quizzically, then leaves. Later that day, she’s brushing her hair, while her husband is reading the paper by the window. In an instant, we see the hooded man by the window, aiming a pistol at his head. He pulls the trigger twice, shooting the man in the head. Helen screams, and then sees the hooded man by the back door of the house. He bursts through the screen door, and shoots her twice as well. She manages to survive though, and she crawls to the neighbor’s house for help. The hooded man follows, but by then, the neighbor has a shotgun, and tells his wife to call the police. The hooded man pursues, grabbing a pick axe on his way through the house. He gives up the chase as the dog, plus the neighbor with the shotgun are enough to deter him this night.

 

sundown4

The police then ramp up their patrols, but the next scheduled attack comes and goes without any disturbance. One day, Morales and Ramsey are driving around and get a call that a stolen car was found nearby, so they check it out. It’s the car that Deputy Ramsey saw the night of the second murders, and the two men grab shotguns and head out into the wooded area nearby. A nearby sandpit shows some tracks made from boots, and they get the feeling that they’re on to something. As they move around the pits, they see the hooded man atop a hill. Morales shoots at him, but misses. Ramsey and he then take off after the man, but he dives across some railroad tracks just as a train comes by. They shoot between and under the cars and manage to hit him in the leg, but by the time the train passes, he’s gone.

 

sundown6

There’s no need to go any further, because essentially, that’s the end of the movie.

 

OK, here are my thoughts:

Alright, this movie has its good points and bad points. First things first, is that they had some foolish comedic scenes in this movie that were just awful. This is part because it’s fact, and partly because I can’t personally stand when horror/suspense films attempt to shoe-horn in comedy. Secondly, the film basically has no ending, and it’s kind of understandable, because this film is loosely based on a true story, where the killer was never caught. Also, the director/producer, Pierce, was in the film as the “keystone cop” Sparkplug. This was a terrible idea, for more than one reason, and his acting was the biggest reason.

The good points were good enough to make the film enjoyable though, and those mostly revolved around the scenes with the killer doing his thing. The scenes were pretty creepy, and when you realize that these murders really happened, and the guy was never caught, it’s even more terrifying. I love when films don’t overdo costumes, like in this one. A simple shirt, pants, and hood, make this guy really menacing, and you won’t even want to imagine coming face to face with this guy. Think about it; most of the really scary horror villains don’t have an overload of make-up in these types of films, they just keep it simple and let the situations creep out the viewers. Speaking of types of films, I think this might be one of the first films you could classify as a “slasher” film. It has all the elements of the more modern films of that genre, for sure. Ben Johnson did a fine job and should be lauded for bringing this film to a higher place than it would have without him. Andrew Prine turned in a pretty good performance as well, so kudos to him.

 

Click here for the trailer!

 

 

Marvel Premiere #28, 1976 “The Legion of Monsters”

As we roll on through October, I thought it would be a good idea to spotlight one of the most iconic covers of the series, Marvel Premiere. Of course, you had many great covers, but this one really stood out from the crowd (they’ve even made it into a t-shirt!). I’ll admit right out of the gate, that the story isn’t the greatest, but it still has a certain cool factor thanks to the four characters that belong to this crazy group. Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night, Morbius, and Ghost Rider, all have a unique background, and mixing them together was a great idea, albeit one that could have also backfired. Luckily for us, the readers, it didn’t backfire, but gave us a groovy little story that shows brawls between these characters, plus all together against ‘Starseed.”

Written by Bill Mantlo (ROM, The Micronauts), pencils by Frank Robbins (The Invaders, Morbius), Steve Gan on inks, Janice Cohen on colors, letters by Gaspar and Karen Mantlo, edited by ‘Marvelous’ Marv Wolfman, and cover by Nick Cardy! When you see this cover, you’ll light up with glee, because just seeing those four characters together is like getting a present on Christmas morning…or Halloween night, in this case I guess!

 

Image (11)

Image (12)

Image (13)

Image (14)

Image (15)

Image (16)

Image (17)

 

The Invaders #31, 1978 “The Invaders Meet Frankenstein”

In keeping with the horror theme, I thought I’d throw out another issue featuring that patchwork fellow, Frankenstein’s Monster! In this issue of  The Invaders (#31), we see the machinations of the Nazis, as they’ve not only captured the monster, but brainwashed him as well! Their goal (lofty as usual) is to replicate the process by which he was made, and create an army of undead soldiers to conquer the world! They’ve not only captured Cap and Bucky, but also the Human Torch and Toro, too.

This issue (along with the previous two) was written by Don Glut, with pencils by Chic Stone, inks by Bill Black, colors by George Roussos, and letters by Tom Orzechowski! A quirky little story that just adds to the mystique of  The Invaders! Overall this series was quite entertaining, especially when under the guidance of Roy Thomas! We saw a couple of Kirby covers, as well as Gil Kane. Interior work by names like Kupperberg, Robbins, and even Don Heck! Check out that awesome cover by the incomparable Joe Sinnott!

 

Image (51)

Image (52)

Image (53)

Image (55)

Image (56)

Image (57)

 

 

 

Cinema Sunday: The Terror (1963)

the_terror_1963_corman

Title: The Terror

Distributor: AIP

Writer: Leo Gordon and Jack Hill

Director: Roger Corman

Producer: Roger Corman

Starring: Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller

Released: June 17th, 1963

MPAA: PG

 

With the scary day approaching later this month, I thought it best to showcase a movie starring one of the industries all-time greats. Boris Karloff is certainly recognized for his roles as the Frankenstein Monster, and the Mummy. But honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Mr. Karloff (William Henry Pratt). Karloff starred in many other horror films, and certainly the films with director Roger Corman must be mentioned!

Speaking of Corman films, today’s post is about the 1963 film “The Terror,” and it comes as no surprise that not only did Corman get a legend like Karloff for this film, but also a young man named Jack Nicholson! Another horror film staple, Dick Miller is in this one, and he collaborated with Corman before as well. Alright, let’s get down to this one!

 

terror1

As the film opens, we see an old castle, being besieged by a thunder-storm. Inside, an old man, Baron von Leppe (Boris Karloff), is trudging through the halls. He suddenly sees blood drops leaving a trail. He follows the trail, and winds up finding a cadaver hiding behind a curtain. Cue the opening credits, then we watch as a soldier on a horse, Andre Duvalier  (Jack Nicholson) is very weary, and falls off of the horse, to the ground. He struggles to get o his feet, but then sees a beautiful woman nearby. A man is watching him from the top of the hill, but we cannot see who it is yet. As Andre nears the woman, she runs off, but then points him in the direction of some water. He tells her that he was lost from the regiment he was in, and that he doesn’t know where he’s located. The woman listens to his story, and tells him that her name is Helene (Sandra Knight). The two walk through the woods, and then the girl suddenly walks into the ocean and disappears. Andre goes after her, but almost drowns after being attacked by a hawk.

 

terror3

Andre then wakes up in the home of some old hag (Dorothy Neumann). He asks the hag where Helene is, but the hag doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Andre wakes in the night, and heads outside. He notices someone down by the river, and once again, sees Helene. She strokes his face, then hugs him. The next thing you know she’s making out with him, but then abruptly walks away. He chases after her (who wouldn’t?), but gets stopped by the old hag’s servant, Gustaf. He tells Andre that there is danger near, and shows him that there is quicksand all around. Gustaf tells Andre that the woman is possessed, and that he can go to the nearby castle to help her.

The old woman begs him not to seek out the castle, and if he must, to at least not tell the Baron she is living nearby. He rides his horse for a while, but eventually reaches the castle. He spies the young woman, but she rebuffs his attempts. he then pounds on the door, demanding to be let inside. The Baron answers, and is hesitant to let him in, but does agree to his demand. The two engage in some small talk, and then the Baron calls his man-servant, Stefan (Dick Miller), and tells him to get them some Cognac. Andre asks where the girl is, and the Baron tells him that no girl lives at the castle. He shows him a portrait of the woman, and tells him that she was his wife, and, that she’s been dead for twenty years.

 

terror2

Later that night, something is trying to break into the barn, and the horses are going wild. Andre is looks out to see what’s going on, and once again sees the young woman. He yells to her, but she ignores him, and walks away. He then hears some kind of wailing outside of his room, and grabs a gun for protection. The door is locked, and he demands that it be opened or he’ll shoot through it at whoever is outside. It unlocks, but when he opens the door, no one is there in the hallway. He quickly searches the castle, thinking someone must be near, but finds no one. He then heads to another area of the castle, and sees the memorial for the Baron’s dead wife. As he heads back towards his room, he hears a noise that startles him. He opens the door, and jumps back, because he thinks he sees the young woman. Inside his room, he finds a picture of the woman, and wonders what is going on in this castle.

The next morning, the Baron tells Stefan that they must get Andre to leave, but without any shenanigans. Andre confronts Stefan, but when he gets no answers, he then goes to the Baron. After some verbal jousting, the Baron consents and tells Andre that his wife was a peasant girl from the village below. He left one day for a war, and then later returned home, unannounced. He found his wife with another man, so he killed her. He then tells him that Stefan killed her lover. He also admits that there is a spirit torturing him, and he thinks it’s the spirit of his dead wife. Andre is skeptical, but then the Baron asks if Andre thinks he’s mad. Andre replies that he doesn’t know what to think yet. The Baron tells him that since he has seen the woman also, maybe they’re both mad. And he says it with a smile.

 

terror6

The following day, we see Gustaf, and he’s watching Ilsa standing by the sea. Gustaf tells the woman to go back to the sea, but she refuses, and tells Gustaf that the old woman commands her, and she’ll not relent until she tells her to. Ilsa also give Gustaf a warning to not interfere, or else the old woman won’t keep looking the other way. Speaking of the old woman, she’s back at her house, preparing a potion, and using  black magic on Ilsa. A man watches from the window, take sit all in. The man is Stefan, ans he comes inside, and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t leave by tomorrow night. Stefan returns to the castle, and tells the Baron that they should kill Andre. The Baron forbids it, and Stefan gets angry.

 

terror4

Andre then begins to explore more of the castle, searching for Ilsa/Helene. He finds a room (possibly Stefan’s?), and begins to look for clues. He finds a pistol, and checks it out, but then turns his attention to the rest of the room. He then hears a door lock, and attempts to open it with no success. A voice then calls out to him, and he tries the door again, and it opens. As he looks for the woman, we see the Baron is nearby, and something is amiss. He hears a conversation, and bursts into the Baron’s room. No one is there beside the Baron. Stefan returns from the village with a horse for Andre, and he then asks him “who Eric is.” Stefan explains that he was Ilsa’s lover that he killed years ago. Meanwhile, out by the coastline, Gustaf is trying to help Andre, but that crazy hawk returns, and pecks his eyes out (image above)! he then tumbles down the cliff to his death. Andre tries to help, but Gustaf only has one gasp left in him, and he tells Andre to go back to the castle to help the woman.

 

terror5

He does return, and find the girl, and we get another make-out scene ( no woman can resist 1960’s Jack!). Her plunging neckline nightie is enough to keep his attention, and she tells him that she cannot leave the castle until the crypt is destroyed. He begs her to come away with him, but she refuses out of fear. Cue another make-out scene, and they both declare their love for the other. As Andre tells her to wait there for him to return, he walks away, but when he looks back, she’s gone again. He enters the castle, and the Baron, unaware that he’s back, opens the same gate from the beginning of the movie. He then opens a secret passageway to another room, and Andre follows him. The Baron heads down into the basement, creeping further and further into the bowels, until he reaches the crypt. he talks to the coffin, and tells Ilsa that they’ll soon be together, because Stefan is going to flood the crypt and kill him. A voice cries out to him, and tells him that he must do something. Just then, Andre bursts into the room, and calls out to the woman. The Baron struggles to stop him, and faints from the excitement.

 

terror7

Andre and Stefan head to the chapel, and then try to open the vault. It’s rusted shut, and they cannot open it. On their way to get a crowbar, they notice a light in the window of the former baroness’s window. They investigate, but have to break down the door to get in. Stefan warns Andre that the Baron won’t be happy about this, and just as they enter, the Baron shouts at them from behind. He’s got his pistol, and he orders Stefan to escort Andre out of the castle, and if he resists, to shoot him. His former wife shows up, and tells him to commit suicide. She tells him that they can be together again if he will. On the way out of the castle, Andre jumps Stefan, and knocks him unconscious.

I’ll stop here because to go further would be insanity!

OK, here are my thoughts:

Listen, for all those detractors out there, I get the criticisms about this movie. I cannot deny that the movie is sluggish, and doesn’t have the best acting, or sets, or special effects, or…OK, listen, Boris Karloff does a great job playing an old loony guy in a castle. There is a neat little twist at the end, and it will surprise anyone that watches this flick. It’s a total reversal of what is initially shown. The only problem I have is that there isn’t a true “villain” in the movie, or lost causes. Well, I guess the old hag is pretty much a villain, but she has motives beyond simple avarice or blood-lust.

The sets weren’t the best, but the old castle was pretty cool. It looked like something from a Tyburn or Amicus flick. You know, not quite Hammer but decent, nonetheless. The music score was actually pretty good, and we have Ronald Stein and Les Baxter to thank for that. Dick Miller plays a good henchman, and really adds just a bit of flavor to the film. Anybody that knows Corman, will be able to take into consideration that the guy made films for basically no budget, and reused everything including the kitchen sink. When you factor that in, you have to at least appreciate the film on those grounds. Nicholson was OK, but watching this movie now, after seeing many of his other films, I just can’t get into his character. He just isn’t very convincing.

Definitely give a click on the link below, because the film is public domain. Decide for yourself if it’s any good, but remember, Corman probably made this film for $50, and a few favors, so give the guy a break, huh?

 

Click here to watch the movie!

 

 

Marvel Team-Up #36 and #37 (1975) “Bedlam in the Balkans” and “Murder Means the Man-Wolf”

October is here, and the Halloween season is upon us all, so what better way to celebrate than with horror themed comic books! The first one I’m going to spotlight is an appearance of the Frankenstein Monster in Marvel Team-Up #36 & 37! The second issue actually gives us a Man-Wolf appearance as well, so you get double the monster fun! You get some good cop/bad cop from the monster, and that’s always cool, because the monster maybe be considered a villain by most, but  honestly, he’s  just misunderstood most of the time.

With the same core team creating both books, you get a consistency that really gives the book a strong foundation. Story by Gerry Conway, pencils by Sal Buscema, and inks by Vince Colletta, are the team for both parts of this two issue scare-fest! You also get two covers from Ed Hannigan (pencils) (Mike Esposito inks on #36, John Romita on #37), and both show some awesome action between Spidey and these two perennial horror icons!  Keep your eyes open all month-long for comic books featuring iconic horror characters!

 

Image (25)

Image (26)

Image (27)

Image (28)

Image (29)

Image (30)

Image (31)

Image (32)

Image (33)

Image (34)

Image (35)

 

Marvel Spectacular #13, 1974 “The Scourge of the Super Skrull”

Originally presented in Thor #142 (1967), this issue features Thor, accepting a challenge from a man on a motorcycle that wishes to race against him! Well, OK, that’s not the main part of the story, but it is the funniest. The story’s best parts, involved Thor fighting against the menace of the Super Skrull. This villain that regularly gives the Fantastic Four all they can handle, sets his sights on the thunder god, with a little motivation from Loki, Thor’s devious brother! There’s also a backup story “Aftermath,” and shows more of the machinations of Loki.

You get the usual magic from Kirby in this issue, but of course, the jury is still out on whether Vince Colletta did the pencils justice or not. Personally, Colletta’s inks don’t bother me as much on Thor as compared to The Fantastic Four, but to each his own. Written by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack ‘King’ Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, and letters by Artie Simek! The glory and grandeur of the mighty Thor will always be tops thanks to the king of comics!

 

Image

Image (2)

Image (3)

Image (4)

Image (5)

Image (6)

Image (7)

Image (8)

Image (9)