Saturday, December 2, 2017

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: The Manster (1959)

The Manster (aka The Split
1959, Shaw-Breakston Enterprises

D/P George P. Breakston D: Kenneth B. Krane S: Walter J. Sheldon 

Starring: Peter Dyneley, Jayne Hylton, Satoshi Nakamura, Terri Zimmern

Michael J. Weldon's review in Psychotronic Video #4: 

Originally released in America by Loppert on an incredible double bill with THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS in 1962, this is the ultimate split personality movie. A man in a skinny gorilla suit kills some women in a bath. Blood splatters on the wall. Up in the mountains in a remote cave full of giant mushrooms and plants, we discover he's a mutant. Dr. Suzuki (Satoshi Nakumura) says, "You were my brother. You were an experiment that didn't work out. I'm sorry!," and shoots him. An ugly bug-eyed mutant screeching in a cage is his wife. Meanwhile Larry Stanford, an American journalist, shows up, is drugged and jabbed in the shoulder with a hypo. Star Peter Dyneley, who acts a lot like Lon Chaney, Jr., later provided the voice of Jeff Tracy for British THUNDERBIRDS movies. Back in Tokyo he gets drunk on sake and goes behind closed doors with with four gieshas. He misses his flight home. Suzuki sends his beautiful, obedient assistant Tera (Terri Zimmern) to further corrupt him in a mineral bath. Unshaven and hung over, the reporter ignores his worried, pleading wife, who arrives from New York. A priest is killed at a temple by a werewolf type hand . Two women are murdered on the street. At his room, Stanford sees an eyeball on his shoulder!!! - (a high point of screen surrealism). Soon a scary small extra head grows there. Both of his heads become uglier with big teeth and bugged out eyes. He kills a psychiatrist. The big climax takes place near a volcano. Behind a tree the Manster painfully splits into Stanford and a skinny ape man. They fight and both fall into a volcano! 

Thursday, November 23, 2017



My first Thanskgiving Day movie tradition was KING KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG on WOR. Later, I adopted Brad F. Ginter's BLOOD FREAK.

Ginter's filmography as a director includes just five titles, and it's three that he's primarily remembered for today - the awful biker flick DEVIL RIDER (1970), the bizarre Veronica Lake maggot Hitler epic FLESH FEAST (1970), and today's feature, BLOOD FREAK (1972).

Steve Hawkes, whose previous acting resume was highlighted by two low-budget, shot in Florida Tarzan movies, co-wrote the screenplay with Ginter and stars as Herschell, a Nam vet who gets invited to a party by a beautiful young lady and well, one thing leads to another and before we know it, Herschell is addicted to the pot! For some reason, this ends up with him eating some chemically altered turkey and when he wakes up he's become a monster with a giant turkey head who needs to feast on the blood of drug addicts to satisfy his cravings. In the end, the only thing that can save him is turning to God - the film was described by Shock Cinema's Steven Puchalski as "the world's first Christian, anti-drug splatter movie!" And if that plot wasn't enough of a trainwreck, wait until you get a load of Ginter himself as the narrator, sitting at a desk in front of faux wooden paneling, talking about "the human body as a mixing bowl," spewing Reefer Madness-style anti-drug rhetoric while smoking a cigarette. His coughing fits are stuff of legend.

BLOOD FREAK was released on VHS in the 80s by Video Treasures, which promised "A Dracula on Drugs!" Something Weird Video released the ultimate special edition DVD in the early 2000's which is now out of print but can be found on Amazon and eBay. I highly recommend seeking it out, but in the meantime, here's the entire movie as posted on YouTube, DIG! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Impulse (1974, William Grefe)

1974, Conqueror Films/Camelot Entertainment

D: William Grefe S: Tony Crechales P: Scorates Ballis

Starring: William Shatner, Ruth Roman, Jennifer Bishop, James Dobson, Kim Nicholas, Harold "Odd Job" Sakata, William Kerwin

Michael J. Weldon's review from Psychotronic Video #9:

What a find! William Shatner is Matthew Stone, a creepy, lying, seductive psycho gigolo hustler with sideburns, a scar, and white flair pants. A perfect cliche black and white flashback shows how as a kid he defended his mother by running a samurai sword through a tattooed drunk (William Kerwin!). Another flashback shows him crying while strangling a woman then sinking her car (ala DEMENTIA 13). He seduces a widow (Jennifer Bishop from Al Adamson movies) whose best friend is played by Ruth Roman. Only the woman's bratty precocious little blond daughter (Kim Nicholas, who is perfect in the role) knows what a creep he is. Shatner/Stone runs over a dog, hangs Harold ("Odd Job") Sakata, and says things like "People like you should be ground up and made into dog food!" The video print is scratchy, but IMPULSE has excellent clever cinematography and editing and is the most enjoyable of Grefe's made in Florida movies I've seen so far. It's a sleaze classic. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Fugitive Girls (1974, A.C. Stephen)

Fugitive Girls (1974, aka 'Five Loose Women')
AFPI/SCA  Distributors

D/P: A.C. Stephen (Stephen C. Apostolof) 
S: Apostolof/Ed Wood

Starring: Jabie Abercrombe, Rene Bond,Tallie Cochrane, Donna Young, Margie Lanier, Harvey Shain, Nicolle Riddell, Douglas Frey

Michael J. Weldon's review from Psychotronic Video #2, 1989: 

From the time he wrote ORGY OF THE DEAD (see PV #1) until his death in 1978, cult figure Ed Wood (a forgotten man at the time) worked (often uncredited) on nudie films made by Stephen C. Apostolof (A.C. Stephen). He wrote this one and appears as "Pop," running a remote gas station. This film was rated X and has soft core sex scenes (which would earn it an R today). An R-rated, softer version was called FIVE LOOSE WOMEN. After a sex scene with badly dubbed in "Oooh Aah Ooh Aah,...," the guy, with long thick sideburns, decides to hold up a liquor store, shoots the owner, and leaves Dee, the cliche women's prison victim/star (Jabie Abercrombe) to take the rap. Her cellmates at the minimum security farm are nudie (and porn) star Rene Bond as a bank embezzler with a thick southern accent - "There's only two things worthwhile for a girl - men and money!" Cap, a manic, short haired dyke who killed her husband - "His mistake was, he turned me on to women and I dug it!" and a black woman who trades insults with the Southern "Dirty white trash!" Cap says "I'm getting sick and tired of this rainbow trip!" After Cap forces Dee into a long lesbian scene, they all escape and stay with camping, organic hippies until Cap says "They all smell like freaks!" A hippie goes "Good Christ, a lesbian!" and a chain fight starts. In a scene Ed borrowed from his script for THE VIOLENT YEARS ('56), the women steal a guy's car and rape him - "Leave me alone!" They also ambush some bikers, fight them using martial arts, then take over the home of a paralyzed Nam vet. FUGITIVE GIRLS is too dark most of the time, but has a funny recurring Hammond organ theme, and enough Wood touches to make it a must for fans who can't get enough. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Orgy of the Dead (1965, A. C. Stephen)

Orgy of the Dead (1965)
Arsta Productions/SCA Distributors
D/P: A.C. Stephen (Stephen C. Apostolof)
S: Ed Wood

Starring Criswell, Fawn Silver, Pat Barrington (as Pat Barringer), William Bates, Bunny Glaser, John Andrews, Louis Ojena, Texas Starr, Nadejda Dobrev, Stephanie Jones,  Barbara Nordin, 
Dene Starnes, Rene De Beau

Michael J. Weldon's review in Psychotronic Video #1, 1989:
Back in Cleveland, there used to be an unbelievable three story used book store called Kay's. I was about 16 when I bought a heavily illustrated paperback book (with no cover) called ORGY OF THE DEAD and liked it so much that I cut the pictures out (bad move). I had to wait years to see the "adults only" movie based on the obscure book by the prolific Ed Wood Jr. - but that wait was worth it. Some people (O.K., lots of people) don't like ORGY OF THE DEAD, but to me this is surreal, it's art - or at least the ultimate ambient tape. Who wants a burning fireplace or a fish in a tank, when you can have sexy professional strippers, dancing in a graveyard?? Perfect for any party or watching alone. 
The "star" is Criswell, who rises from his coffin and rants about "monsters to be pittied, monsters to be despised," a line lifted from Wood's NIGHT OF THE GHOULS. A horror novelist and his red haired girlfriend drive and have a typical awkward autobiographical Wood conversation. Outside it changes from night to day to night to day,... After the car crashes, they find themselves captives of the undead Criswell and Fawn Silver as the Black Ghoul (the real inspiration for Elvira?), a mummy and a howling werewolf. For the record, the eternally damned women who have to perform, each have their own bizarre musical theme and are, in order: The Indian ("she died in flames"), Streetwalker, Gold Girl (she dances to Martin Denny style music while two men in striped skirts watch, they pour gold coins on her, then dip her in gold), Cat Woman (she wears a great leopard costume with holes for her breasts, dances to really silly music, claws at tombstones and is whipped by an indifferent man), Slave (she gets whipped too, and rolls around on the ground in her G string), Mexican (dances around, fondles, and kisses a skull), Hawaiian (does a bump and grind to bongo music and is interrupted by grainy stock footage of a snake), "Skeleton" (a woman takes off her wedding dress and does the swim and the jerk to rock music in front of the skeleton of the husband she killed), and Zombie (does a very slow zombie dance). Criswell warns, "You may join us soon!"
In-between each inspirational performance, the other characters read dialogue worthy of your favorite Ed Wood directed movie. By this time, Wood's feature directing days were over, but he wrote one more filmed screenplay, THE FUGITIVE GIRLS ('73), also directed by nudie specialist Apostoloff (A.K.A. A.C. Stephen). Details on that one next issue. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Down On Us (aka Beyond the Doors, 1984, Larry Buchanan)

Down On Us (1984, aka 'Beyond The Doors')
Omni Leisure International

D/S: Larry Buchanan, P: Murray Kaplan

Gregory Allen Chatman as Jimi Hendrix, Riba Meryl as Janis Joplin,  Bryan Wolf as Jim Morrison, and Sandy Kenyoun as the Assasin

Michael J. Weldon's review in Psychotronic Video #1, 1989:

Dallas director Buchanan is known to many for his minimalist 60s direct to TV science fiction remakes like 'Mars Needs Women' and 'Zontar The Thing From Venus.' He's also a conspiracy buff and made 'The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald' ('64), years before the TV movie of the same name, and 'Goodbye Norma Jean' ('76). There's no way to seriously defend Buchanan as a director, but since he made those films, nearly everybody is aware of the Mafia/Cuban/Marilyn/Kennedys/F.B.I. nightmare, and very few believe the Warren Commission anymore. 
These days, it doesn't take too much political awareness to think that maybe the American government was somehow behind the deaths of famous role model rock stars. Down On Us, which shows how a government assassin killed Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, has never been released, even on video. Other less interesting Buchanan eighties projects (Mistress of the Apes, The Loch Ness Monster) are easy to find. Has this movie been repressed?
A lot of time is spent showing actor clones performing the rock songs which sort of sound like songs made famous by the originals. You might recognize bits of familiar lyrics, but not enough for Larry to have to pay any copyright fees. The only song he could get away with copying is "The Star Spangled Banner!" No matter who's supposed to be playing in whatever city, they always seem to be on the same stage in front of the same audience. Jimi and Janis meet and sing drunken blues together backstage. Janis confronts Morrison in the ladies' room. You get to see Jimi pose with blondes for an LP cover, meet the Plaster Casters, and watch a New York drag show. Morrison in Miami screams, "Wake up before the whole world goes into the atomic sewer!" and "How does it feel to be vermin?" See Janis shoot up while watching Vietnam war footage on TV. Nixon is heard saying "These voices must be still." The government assasin (Sandy Kenyon, who landed a short lived role on Knott's Landing after this) is shown at home breaking his son's records and and yelling, "I told you - no nigger music!!"  He offs two of the stars - but Jim Morrison fakes his own death in Paris and hides out in a Spanish monastery (!), where he later dies anyway. 
Down On Us is a eerily fascinating dispite (or because of) being too long, too dark, and too cheap. Someday a more respected, major director will tackle the same idea for a major company and Larry will be able to say, "I did it first" again, I hope you have to opportunity to see his unreleased effort. I'm waiting for a movie showing how our government killed off, jailed, drafted, tamed, or brainwashed most of the best fifties rock stars, and backed the career of Pat Boone. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

R.I.P. John Zacherle, "The Cool Ghoul"

The great John Zacherle, known to generations of horror fans as Zacherley, "The Cool Ghoul," has passed away at 98. The news came tonight as author Tom Weaver, a close friend of the Zacherle family, began informing colleagues of the the sad news, and an outpouring of tributes has already begun across the internet. 

A veteran of World War II, Zacherle started working at WCAU in Philadelphia in 1954, and in 1957, he got the job of being Philly's first late night horror movie host on Shock Theater, creating the character of Roland (pronounced Ro-LAND), who talked to his dead wife in her coffin. An association with Dick Clark, whose American Bandstand was based in Philadelphia, led to the recording of "Dinner With Drac" in 1958. He moved to New York's WABC in '59, became known as Zacherley and his show was renamed Zacherley At Large. He later hosted the Newark teenage dance show Disc-O-Teen, and was a DJ on WNEW and then WPLJ, where he stayed for ten years. 

Considered by many to be the greatest TV horror host of all-time, Zacherele has spent the last several decades appearing on TV, radio, and film and making personal appearances at conventions and special events. 

His horror-themed novelty records have remained perennial Halloween favorites, and you will surely hear them played on WFMU and elsewhere over the course of the next week. So, instead of posting those, I've decided to share the REAL DEAL, actual episodes of Shock Theater and Zacherley at Large as they were originally broadcast in the late 1950s. What we have here are three classic poverty row horrors: two Bela Lugosi features - The Devil Bat and Bowery At Midnight, and Rondo Hatton as The Creeper in The Brute Man. This is how original Monster Kids in the Northeast first saw these movies, and I'd recommend taking them all in for a great Halloween triple feature this weekend, just make sure you raise a glass of blood in honor of the Cool Ghoul himself before you're done.  He gave his all! 

Shock Theater: The Devil Bat

Zacherley At Large: Bowery At Midnight

Zacherley At Large: The Brute Man

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Night Tide (1961)

American International Pictures 
United States
Producer: Aram Kantarian
Director: Curtis Harrington

Michael J. Weldon writes in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

An excellent low-budget fantasy (?) with Dennis Hopper as a sailor on leave in a small California seaside resort. He becomes obsessed with an orphaned girl (Linda Lawson) who plays a mermaid at a sideshow. She believes herself to be a descendant of the "sea people" and must kill during the full moon. Avant-garde director Curtis Harrington did this odd CAT PEOPLE-inspired movie after making a series of experimental shorts. He's now known as a TV horror-film director and seems to have lost most of what made NIGHT TIDE so memorable. Co-star Luana Anders later starred in Coppola's DEMENTIA 13. With Gavin Muir and Bruno Ve Sota. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965)

Who Killed Teddy Bear
Magna, United States

Produced by Everett Rosenthal, Directed by Joseph Cates

Charles Beesley writes in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

Really grimy obscene phone call chiller with a New York discotheque background, Busboy Sal Mineo, guardian to a brain-damaged sister, writhes in bed while club hostess/deejay Juliet Prowse worries on the other end of the line. Jan Murray of th vice squad tries to investigate and acts so creepy that Juliet thinks he's the maniac. With Frank Campanella, Margot Bennett, and Elaine Stritch as Juliet's lesbian boss, who tries to help in her own way. Title song and discotheque hits written by Al Kasha and Bob Gaudio (of the Four Seasons). 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: The Atomic Brain (aka Monstrosity) (1963)

Emerson Films
Produced by Jack Pollexfen & Dean Dillman, Jr., Directed by Joseph V. Mascelli
United States

Michael J. Weldon writes in the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

The cinematographer of the THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES and other Ray Dennis Steckler films steps out and makes his own cheap horror film. A wealthy widow hires a mad doctor to transfer her brain into a beautiful young body. Three young European girls are imported as candidates, but the doctor and his mutant assistant stray from their mission. Two girls become zombies and the third has a cat's brain placed in her head! You won't believe it! Meeeoooow! 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pychotronic Movie of the Week: PENITENTIARY III (1987)

Cannon Films
United States

Produced and Directed by Jamaa Fanaka

Michael J. Weldon writes in Psychotronic Video #4:

Leon Issac Kennedy (from Cleveland) starred in the original prison/boxing hit PENITENTIARY (1979) as Too Sweet, obviously inspired by Sugar Ray Leonard. PENITENTIARY II (82) co-starred Mr. T as the villain, but it was a weak sequel, and about the time it was released Kennedy was divorced from his wife, former Miss Ohio Jayne Kennedy (whose latest video release is BREAST FEEDING YOUR BABY). In #3, Kennedy (this time with a little ponytail) is back in jail after killing a man in the ring (it was a set up) All three in the series were directed by the unheralded Jamaa Fanaka. If you've ever seen his SOUL VENGEANCE (75), you know what he is capable of. PENITENTIARY III is one of the craziest, hard to believe exploitation movies in years. Former GENERAL HOSPITAL star Anthony Geary is Serengeti, a rich prisoner with white spikey hair and ear studs who never speaks above a whisper. He tells the warden what to do, has a French chef bring him dinner and enjoys manicures from his companion in drag (Jim Bailey, whose first screen credit was MONDO ROCCO). Geary, who just showed up in CRACK HOUSE with Jim Brown, deserves some kind of acting award. There's a lot of talk about "The Midnight Thud!". Two guards in protective suits and helmets are seen leading what sounds like a ferocious lion down the prison corridor. They've been ordered to set the dreaded Thud loose in Too Sweet's cage. The Thud is revealed to be a killer midget (The Haitian Kid). In a long fight sequence, the unstoppable little man uses martial arts leaps in the air, a lead pipe, and loud dubbed in howls and growls to frighten and beat up his victim. Later he's returned to a rat infested dungeon where he smokes crack and watches 16mm films!  Then Too Sweet is thrown in the underground dungeon and given shock treatment. He babbles incoherently, but eventually recovers. He's scheduled to loose an organized prison fight to the big Hugo, but needs training. Suddenly the crazed Thud cleans up his act, dresses normal and talks (with what sounds like a Jamaican accent). He gives a lecture on the soul of a man, trains the proud Too Sweet (in slow motion) and proves that "It's amazing what a little self-respect can do for a man!" PENITENTIARY III is one of the wildest movies in recent memory and makes me hope for Part IV.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Hercules In the Haunted World (1961)

Woolner Brothers

Produced by Achille Piazzi
Directed by Mario Bava

Michael J. Weldon writes in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

This is the only Hercules movie that really makes it as a fantasy.  Depending on your mood (or age), it can be scary and exciting or pretty funny. Hercules (Reg Park) goes to Hell! Yes -- he and a pal go to Hades to obtain a precious plant to cure an ailing princess. They encounter many wonders, including Christopher Lee as the evil Lichas, servant of Pluto, some giant rock men, seas of lava, and a tempting naked maiden in chains. Hercules throws boulders and overcomes all obstacles. Lee does not play a vampire (as implied in some of the ads). Hercules and the Captive Women, also with Park is worth catching as well.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: PARANOIA (aka ORGASMO) (1969)

Fanfare, Italy

Produced by Salvatore Alabiso

Directed by Umberto Lenzi

Michael J. Weldon wrote in Psychotronic Video #2:

"Caroll Baker was nominated for an Oscar (BABY DOLL, '56), studied with Strasberg, co-stared in GIANT (also '56), and was on the cover of Life Magazine three times, but says she was blacklisted by her studio, Paramount, after '66. From '68 and until the early 80's, she worked only in Europe, starring in some pretty sick movies, which she ignored in her autobiography. She starred in two back to back Italian features directed by Lenzi, now known for MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY and other controversial cannibal movies. This one was also known as ORGASMO, and received an X in America when released by Fanfare. The other, A QUIET PLACE TO KILL, was also called PARANOIA, causing a lot of filmography confusion.

This PARANOIA has Baker as Mrs. Katherine West, an alcoholic rich ex-New York artist, arriving at her late Italian husband's villa. A sarcastic hustler (Lou Castel, who later showed up in Wender's AMERICAN FRIEND) worms his way into her life and home. They have sex in the shower, on the lawn, by the pool,... He brings his sexy short haired "sister" (Colette Descombs) along. They both have sex with the confused widow and each other, drive away the servants, drug her, tie her up, blackmail her with photos, and torture her by playing the same bad rock and roll song over and over.  At that point she's suicidal. "When I think of myself, I want to vomit!" Like most 60's Italian exploitation movies, this one has jerky camera work, with lots of fast zooms, and funny music with female voices merrily going "da da dee dee....". Lenzi throws in thunder and lightning, some psychedelic sequences, a discotheque scene, and Baker being served a toad by her captors.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (1972)

American International Pictures

Produced by Wes Bishop
Directed by Lee Frost

Michael J. Weldon writes, in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

The ultimate blaxploition horror movie, not to be confused with the previous year's all-white The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant. Both are from AIP. This, believe it or not, features Ray Milland as a racist brain surgeon with terminal cancer. Milland first creates a two-headed gorilla (designed by Rick Baker). Then he arranges to have his head transplanted onto the healthy body of a volunteer convict from death row. When he awakens from his operation he finds his head on Rosey Greer's body. You've got to see him (them) running around, riding a motorcycle, yelling at each other, and Chelsea Brown is the convict's surprised girlfriend. With Roger Perry, who is also in both Count Yorga movies, and William Smith. Music by Jerry Butler. Director Frost worked on lots of 60s "adults only" films.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pychotronic Movie of the Week: FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY (1981)

FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY (original title: For Y'ur Height Only)
Liliw Pictures International

Produced by Peter M. Caballes 
Directed by Eddie Nicart

Michael J. Weldon writes in The Psychotronic Video Guide:

"One of the ultimate spy spoofs stars 2'9" dwarf Weng Weng as Agent 00. He uses James Bond type gadgets and martial arts to battle the bad guys, and he gets the girl. In real life (according to Guinness, "the shortest actor to play a leading role in films") he was a paratrooper and black belt. He also stared in Agent 00 (1981). The bad English dubbing adds unintentional humor."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)

United States

Produced and Directed by Ray Dennis Steckler

Michael J. Weldon wrote, in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

"The first monster musical!" claimed the ads. At a Long Beach amusement park, Madame Estrella, the gypsy fortuneteller, hypnotizes patrons, throws acid in their faces, and collects the now ugly monsters in her basement. Ortega the hunchback and Carmelita the stripper help. Hero Cash Flagg (the director) visits the gypsy and is turned into a zombie in a hooded sweatshirt! The monsters break loose during an incredible dance number and kill everyone in sight until the police arrive. Hear "The Mixed Up Zombie Stomp"! See the "1001 weirdest scenes ever!" "Not for sissies!" When the film was reissued, actors wearing the same horror masks used in the movie "crashed out of the screen to invade the audience and abduct girls from their seats!" At least that's how the ads described it. Filmed in Bloody Vision. Look for this unbelievably well-photographed oddity with Carolyn Brandt (the director's wife), Atlas King, and a hypnotic umbrella! Vilmos Zigmond was the cinematographer.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: THE HEAD (1959)

West Germany

Produced by Wolfgang Hartwig
Directed by Victor Trivas 

Michael J Weldon writes in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film:

"Amazing but true - the same year that The Brain That Wouldn't Die was produced, some Germans were making this similar decapitation epic. Michel Simon (a famous French actor who had seen better days) has invented serum Z. He uses it to keep a dog's head alive. His new co-worker, Dr. Ood (Horst Frank), cuts off Simon's chubby head and keeps it alive with the serum. Not wanting to be upstaged by the American counterpart, the director also has Ood put the pretty head of a crippled nurse on the perfect body of a stripper. The nurse/stripper falls in love with the stripper's boyfriend, who recognizes the nurse, but not the body! Incredible, to say the least, and the special effects are pathetic."

Friday, December 25, 2015

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: Home For The Holidays (1972)

When the topic of holiday horrors comes up, most people mention Black Christmas (1974), Christmas Evil (1980), and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), but Home For The Holidays (1972) seems to have been largely forgotten. A made for TV thriller from back when made for TV movies could really pack a punch, Home For The Holidays is a taut, pre-slasher gem with Sally Field just fresh out of her role in The Flying Nun. She plays the youngest of four sisters (her siblings are played by Elanor Parker, Jessica Walter, and Jill Hayworth) who come home to visit their dying father (Walter Brennan) on Christmas. He gathers them together, tells them that his second wife (Julie Harris) is slowly poisoning him, and that he wants them to murder her. Tensions and suspicions are high in the large home as a torrential rainstorm comes down outside with large crashes of thunder every few minutes. A killer in a yellow raincoat starts taking people out one at a time. Is wife #2 the one wearing it? You'll have to watch to find out. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: The Dirty Outlaws (1967)

The Dirty Outlaws is a classic lesser known spaghetti western from 1967. It's filthy. Most of the people are deplorable, the towns are all mud, dust, and scum. The plot is based around an outlaw who comes across a dying Confederate and assumes his identity to try and get his hands on a stash of money being kept by the soldier's blind father. Franco Rossetti was a film critic who started writing screenplays, and this was his directorial debut. As you might hope, The Dirty Outlaws has some very cinematic moments that only a film fanatic would concoct, a great screenplay, and is described by the Spaghetti Western Movie Database as "an atmospheric, mean, brutal, and sinister film." What makes this a great spaghetti western is that it's full of style but with lots of plot, archetypal but still full of surprises.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: I Drink Your Blood (1970)

"Let it be known sons and daughters, that Satan was an acid head. Drink from his cup. pledge yourselves, and together we'll all freak out."

One of the most infamous psychotronic films of all time, I Drink Your Blood is one of those rare gems that just delivers and delivers and delivers, from the very first frame right up until the very last. There's just so much going on in this Satanic cult, post-Manson hippie gore exploitation movie that it would take an essay to fill you in on everything which awaits you. But I'm posting this for those who haven't seen it yet, I don't want to ruin one moment of it, so I'll resist the temptation to list all of the inanity that's packed into these 83 batshit crazy minutes. 

There's really nothing else quite like it. It was released by Jerry Gross' Cinemation Industries and paired up with I Eat Your Skin, an obscure 1964 voodoo zombie film, for the double feature circuit. The result was an ad campaign for the ages. 

There are some stellar performances here, most notably from Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, who plays Horace Bones, the leader of the cult, Jadin Wong as Sue-Lin, and George Patterson as Rollo. Lynn Lowry (The Crazies, Shivers, Score) says nothing but looks beautiful throughout in her film debut. It's really well made, written and directed by David Dunston, who had a brief and otherwise nondescript career in the movies, but what he gave us here is something very special, one of a handful of the greatest psychotronic/grindhouse/drive-in movies of all-time. 

A definitive special edition DVD of I Drink Your Blood was issued by Grindhouse Releasing in the early 2000s which is now out of print, grab it if you can. Until then, dig this DVD rip which is currently residing on YouTube.