Timothy Owen Driscoll (pulpjunkie) wrote,
Timothy Owen Driscoll

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House of Horror Movies On TCM

Hello, kiddies. Time for another Friday of Fear! But before we get to that: VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Sunday night/Monday morning, in TCM's new weekly "foreign film" timeslot: two remarkable Japanese horror films from the 1960s.

2:00 AM       Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)
      Alien creatures turn plane crash survivors into vampires. Cast: Teruo Yoshida, Tomomi Sato, Eizo Kitamura. Dir: Hajime Sato. C-84 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
3:30 AM     Kwaidan (1964)
      Four stories mix love and the supernatural in exotic settings. Cast: Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe. Dir: Masaki Kobayashi. C-161 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format

Kwaidan is a lovely, picturesque anthology of quiet horror. Carefully paced, delicately nuanced adaptations of old folk legends as recorded by American author Lafcadio Hearn in the early 20th century.
Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell is a hysterically pitched bit of sensationalist horror melodrama, based around the themes of infection, claustrophobia, and mankind as our own worst enemy. Toss in a nicely apocalyptic ending, and you've got an odd Asian mirror of Night of the Living Dead (released the same year.) Except in color, and full of sweaty, hysterical Japanese actors. WARNING: I haven't seen this in 20 years, so I can only hope it's as good as I remember. And it's letterboxed! A rarely seen treat.

Anyway, back to Friday the 26th:

26 Friday
12:15 PM       Voodoo Island (1957)
      A tycoon hires an investigator to prove that voodoo doesn't exist. Cast: Boris Karloff, Beverly Tyler, Elisha Cook, Jr. Dir: Reginald Le Borg. BW-78 mins, TV-PG
1:45 PM     Zombies On Broadway (1945)
      Two bumbling press agents seek a real zombie for a nightclub opening. Cast: Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Bela Lugosi. Dir: Gordon Douglas. BW-68 mins, TV-PG
3:00 PM     King Of The Zombies (1941)
      A mad scientist raises the dead to fight for Hitler in World War II. Cast: Dick Purcell, Joan Woodbury, Mantan Moreland. Dir: Jean Yarbrough. BW-67 mins, TV-PG
4:15 PM     Revenge Of The Zombies (1943)
      A Nazi scientist tries to raise an army of the dead to fight for Hitler. Cast: John Carradine, Gale Storm, Veda Ann Borg. Dir: Steve Sekeley. BW-62 mins, TV-PG
5:30 PM     Zombies of Mora Tau (1957)
      Sailors try to salvage a sunken treasure guarded by zombie seamen. Cast: Gregg Palmer, Allison Hayes, Morris Ankrum. Dir: Edward L. Cahn. BW-69 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
6:45 PM     White Zombie (1932)
      A zombie master menaces newlyweds on a Haitian plantation. Cast: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, John Harron. Dir: Victor Halperin. BW-67 mins, TV-PG
8:00 PM     Bucket of Blood, A (1959)
      A jealous Bohemian wannabe resorts to murder to perpetuate his new-found success as a sculptor. Cast: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone. Dir: Roger Corman. C-65 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
9:15 PM     Creature From the Haunted Sea (1961)
      A killer blames a legendary sea monster for his deeds and is surprised when the real beast shows up. Cast: Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne. Dir: Roger Corman. BW-59 mins, TV-PG
10:30 PM     Pit And The Pendulum (1961)
      A young man investigates his sister's death in a mysterious castle. Cast: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr. Dir: Roger Corman. C-80 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
12:00 AM     Terror, The (1963)
      A lost soldier discovers a mysterious beauty haunting a half-deserted castle. Cast: Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight. Dir: Roger Corman. C-79 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
2:00 AM     Carnival of Souls (1962)
      After surviving a car crash, a church organist is haunted by the undead. Cast: Candace Hilligoss, Francis Feist, Sidney Berger. Dir: Herk Hervey. BW-83 mins,

So most of the day is taken up by voodoo shenanigans, of a very low-budget variety. White Zombie is effectively atmospheric (partly because of it's cheapness, which makes it seem even weirder than it is). The rest... not so much. (King of... and Revenge of... are most likely the most painful despite ...On Broadway being a musical comedy.)

And the evening is a Roger Corman extravaganza! Hard to go completely wrong with Roger (though The Terror is quite close, being a made-on-weekends with leftover Karloff, multi-director, made-it-up-as-we-went-along kind of movie.) Bucket and Creature are both scripted by old reliable Charles B. Griffith, recently deceased, who is most famous for scripting Little Shop of Horrors (which is actually Corman & Griffith's remake of their own Bucket of Blood). Bucket is actually one of my favorite Corman films, nasty and satirical, and probably the only movie ever to star Dick Miller. Creature is one of Corman's weekend wonders, filmed when the crew had a couple days left in Puerto Rico after filming Last Woman On Earth. A goofy spy/crime/monster flick of the liveliest cheapness.

The wee hours bring us Carnival Of Souls, a true indie oddity from the early sixties. Eerie, surreal, memorable bit of "quiet" horror.

I'll post this weekend on the Halloween Boris Karloff marathon. In the meantime, enjoy the violence...
Tags: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, bela lugosi, boris karloff, dick miller, film: japan, film:horror, jack nicholson, roger corman, tcm, vincent price, zombie
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