1959. Directed by Bernard L. Kowalski

Out in the woods we come across a tiddly Lem Sawyer (George Cisar) who sees a strange aquatic creature and tries to convince others of his vision at Dave Walkers Bar (Bruno VeSota) but ends up a laughing stock. Not long after people start to disappear and soon we have local game warden Steve Benton (Ken Clarke) and his girlfriend Nan Greyson (Jan Shepard) on the case with Benton adamant that explosives shall not be used as suggested by Nan's father Doc Greyson (Tyler McVey). Soon Lem and a few other victims are had with the hunt on to reveal the creatures responsible. Within the weave of the story we have a few nebulous sub-plots with Dave Walkers wife Liz (Yvette Vickers) having an affair with one of her husbands friends, namely the cowardly Cal Moulton (Michael Emmet) and duly getting paid in full for their adulterous ways.

Again a cheap slice of the ridiculous is had but I for one recommend having a peek at this one. These B-grade efforts are worth their weight in gold and throw up the odd solid performance and usually a few brave attempts at making men in plastic suits look terrifying. The camera work throughout this film is subtle when dealing with the leeches and suggests rather than states thus leaving a fair bit to the imagination and coming away with a satisfactory end result. Fish around and try and get this on a budget price and I am sure you will be sucked into the plot without any resistance at all.



1953. Directed by Ron Ormond and Herbert Tevos

One of the worst films I have ever seen with a storyline that could be blown away by the merest fart and acting that is straight out of the forest (wooden that is). The soundtrack is appallingly bad and grates the nerves throughout and add to this some trash effects and the completion of a cold turkey is had.

The plot revolves around mad scientist Dr Aranya (Jackie Coogan) who dwells in the mountains of Mexico where he has created a race of super women blessed with the powers of the spider. There is of course a giant spider thrown into the mix and a few killer dwarfs all adding to the laughable nonsense. I really could add further detail but the film is so depressingly shite I can find no motivation whatsoever.

One to very much avoid unless you just want to tick it off a list of films seen. As far as I am concerned a waste of good money and time and just an unbelievable spectacle of the lowest order. I don't mind B-movies but this is something else. Utter rubbish!



1936. Directed by Victor Halperin

A cheapo movie but one I quite enjoy with some stagy acting and dubious camera work this effort still gets by and has a solid atmosphere reminiscent of a Universal piece.

Set in Cambodia the main plot of the story revolves around the love triangle of Armand Louque (Dean Jagger), the woman he loves and is intended to marry Claire Duval (Dorothy Stone) and the man Claire really loves Clifford Grayson (Robert Noland). After breaking off the engagement with Duval, due to her over familiarity with Grayson, Louque is devastated. By chance he comes across a secret formula that the expedition he is involved with have been looking for which allows him to turn people into zombies. Still stinging from his recent love loss Louque uses his powers to deal with the pair of Grayson and Duval (amongst others) and thus gain the lady's affection. Of course love is stronger than he suspects and wins the day with Louque eventually becoming a victim of his self-created zombie tribe.

A nice watch this that may be lacking in genuine horrific moments but has a neat plot to cultivate interest. Worth tracking down and if you can pick up in a budget basket anywhere the bonus will be yours.



1962. Directed by Herk Harvey
A strange little film this which commences with two young women being challenged to a dragster race by a rival car where they are forced off the road and into a river which seemingly kills them both.  A couple of days later one of the women, Mary Henry (Candace Hilligloss) arises from the river seemingly alive and well and soon sets about the recovery process.  A few days on and she drives to a town to become a church organist whereupon she starts a series of visions of dead people thus creating a central theme for the tale.  After taking up residence in a room rented by Mrs Thomas (Francis Feist) she attracts the attention of neighbour and regular creepy greaseball John Linden (Sidney Berger).  Also at this point she is attracted to a local carnival where the atmosphere is poured on by the bucket load thus enhancing the films eeriness.  Is Mary alive or dead and what questions must she answer to save her soul?
A cult movie with many a reference throughout the horror genre and one with obvious similarities to Twilight Zone type tales.  It is one to check out but from a personal standpoint I really can't understand what all the fuss is about.  An average romp but remarkably pulled off considering the budget and a film that does contain one or two special scenes.



1943. Directed by William Beaudine

Not a bad effort this one that sees a Dr James Brewster (Bela Lugosi), the victim of his own bizarre experiments, turn to murder to relieve himself of being half man, half ape. What on earth the Doc has been up to has turned him into a very primitive looking man indeed and only spinal fluid from freshly deceased persons can return him back to normal. He requests the help of colleague Dr George Randall (Henry Hall) who stubbornly refuses so Brewster has to kill for himself with the help - surprise, surprise - of a caged Gorrilla. Hot on the trail are a reporter Jeff Carter (Wallace Ford) and camera woman Billie Mason (Louise Currie) who make a poor double act to be brutally honest.

This isn't a great film but then again it isn't rubbish and Lugosi is in a role that can only be played a certain way - badly! It is still short, sweet viewing though but the quality of the film may hinder the overall enjoyment. The little twist at the end is insanely ludicrous and leaves one laughing rather than shocked.



1972. Directed by Jimmy Sangster

A loose follow up to The Vampire Lovers with vampiress Carmilla Karnstein now parading 40 years later as a young nubile lass called Mircalla (Yutte Stensgaard). She is reincarnated using the blood of innocents by Count Karnstein (Mike Raven) and Countess Herritzen (Barbara Jefford) who both play minor roles within the film and thus don't really have time to shine.

The main crux of the story is around writer Richard LeStrange (Michael Johnson) who after arriving at the local village to research further books ends up teaching at an all girl’s school where Mircalla has just enrolled. Bewitched by Mircalla's beauty LeStrange falls in love unaware she is a drinker of blood. Fellow teacher Giles Barton (Ralph Bates) discovers Mircalla’s secret and soon becomes a cropper whereas dance teacher Jenny Playfair (Suzanna Leigh) has her suspicions and tells all to LeStrange who she is secretly in love with. After Barton is found dead and a local girl goes missing Playfair raises the alarm with the local police and the film gathers pace.

An average effort if the truth be told with gratuitous smatterings of breast a cheap sideline to generate further interest. There are some good moments but the love scene between LeStrange and Mircalla must be one of the funniest on cinematic record.



1983. Directed by David Cronenberg

A classic film of tragedy and disaster that hits all the right emotive spots due to being superbly directed and having a lead performance that is an utter joy.

Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is a young school teacher, happy in his job and happy in love. One night after saying farewell to his intended, Sarah Bracknall (Brooke Adams) he has a car crash and ends up in intensive care. Fast forward five years and after being in a coma Smith awakens to find life has moved on with his girlfriend now married with a child in tow. Smiths adjustment to normal life is hindered as he discovers he has the gift/curse of second sight where he can relive the past and predict the future. Becoming something of a celebrity oddity several episodes make for a tragic tale that culminates in Smith contemplating the ultimate self-sacrifice.

The memorable moments in this film come at you thick and fast with the suicide by scissors, Smiths doctor calling his long lost mother, the friendship between Smith and a student who has social difficulties due to his fathers overpowering attitude and up and coming wannabe president Greg Stillson's (Martin Sheen) mania all noteworthy.

For me a faultless film that I adore due to its intelligent mix of emotion and subtle horror. Walken is impeccable and at his idiosyncratic best and to think this film is often found in the bargain bucket going for a lowly price. A masterpiece that is too often overlooked.



1962. Directed by Steve Sekely

A meteorite shower blinds anyone that catches sight of it, all except for a few lucky souls. One of the fortunate few is Bill Masen (Howard Keel) who, after an eye operation which involved the bandaging of both eyes as part of the recovery, awakens to find a fumbling sightless world soon to become helpless victims to a killer plant. The plants have arrived as spores with the meteorite shower and soon entire vegetative armies are on the prowl for human sustenance. Running alongside the plot around our main hero Masen is the tale of married couple Karen Goodwin (Janette Scott) and Tom Goodwin (Kieron Moore). Both are working in a lighthouse and suffering various matrimonial problems as a result of Toms drinking and ill-temper. It isn't long before the Triffids are outside and the couple face a battle to save themselves.

Whilst the Goodwins are trapped within their lighthouse and Masen gathers around him a group of worried followers and his very own 'token gesture woman' society is breaking down and a solution is needed to stop these man-eating plants.

All in all a film that you really have to be in the mood for and in certain parts does drag its feet. However, there are some good moments and the story maintains enough pace to uphold interest. A few curious characters are had along the way and it is quite a unique story for its time.



1946. Directed by Alfred L. Werker

Mrs Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw) has checked into a hotel where she is awaiting the return of her husband Lt Paul Stewart (Frank Latimore) after him being two years as a prisoner of war. Whilst in her room she overhears an argument from a window across the way whereupon she witnesses a man kill his wife with a candlestick. Collapsing into a state of shock Janet is found by her husband who immediately calls for assistance. The hotel doctor is baffled and calls in renowned psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price) who in fact is the man Janet saw murder his wife after he confessed to having an affair and wanting a divorce. Awakening from her trance like state Janet recognises Dr Cross which causes him to take her to his sanatorium. Once there he plots to send Janet insane with the help of his lover Nurse Elaine Jordan (Elaine Bari).

More a crime/psychological thriller than true horror this one will no doubt still attract fans of the latter genre. Price always holds centre stage quite beautifully and his characteristic tones always enhance a films ambience. It gets my vote as a curio worth checking and that is, in truth, mainly down to the leading actor - compliment enough I think!



1984. Directed by Wes Craven

The start of a series of films began with this fine effort that perhaps has now lost its shock value and appears slightly dated but is a must for the collector’s shelf.

Fred Krueger (Robert Englund) is a child killer in Springfield, Illinois, who was burned to death by a group of locals after committing numerous murders. Years later several teens (who are sons and daughters of the original lynch mob) are experiencing nightmares where Mr Krueger appears and is actually capable of harming the dreamers. One of the teens under threat is Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) daughter of Lt Thompson (John Saxon), who was one of the officers who originally arrested Krueger. After one of her friends is killed Nancy realises she must stay awake and try and bring the serial killer back into reality where hopefully he can be killed. The struggle begins and the blood pours.

The imagery of this film is etched into the memory with the fedora, striped jumper, seared face and razored glove of Freddie Krueger unforgettable. The best in the series as is usually the case and one to mull over several times to appreciate the genuine atmosphere and the sinister edge of the killer.


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