Thursday, November 26

Confessions of an Opium Eater

Happy Turkey Day, everyone! Here's a tasty and unique treat for you, the 1962 film CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER, AKA SOULS FOR SALE. One of Price's most unique, and action-oriented, films of his career. This was a fun, and bizarre, episode of THE FANTASTIC FILMS OF VINCENT PRICE...!

Monday, November 23

Happy Birthday Boris

 Happy Birthday to the one and only William Henry Pratt, better known to the world as Boris Karloff, born on this day in 1887. Interestingly, he shares the day with his only daughter, Sara Karloff, who was born in 1938. Boris had a long career in movies and television, and embraced his role as horror icon. Here's to the King of Horror, Boris Karloff.

Tuesday, November 17

Convicts 4

Episode #47 of the Fantastic Films of Vincent Price features a look at the 1962 prison film, as well as several events in Price's life from 61-62.

About this series: Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host (aka writer/film historian Larry Underwood) explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review and criticism. Music: "Backed Vibes", "Hot Swing" Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Opening Credits Artwork: Used by permission from Mark Maddox, All film clips © respective studios and used purely for academic purposes and Fair Use under Copyright Act 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107

Thursday, November 12

The Pit and the Pendulum

Episode #46 of the Fantastic Films of Vincent Price is now live and online.

In this episode a man named Francis Bernard (John Kerr) visits a distant seaside castle to investigate the death of his sister, Elizabeth, played by Barbara Steele. Price plays her husband Nicholas Medina, who is living in the castle with his sister Catherine (Luana Anders). How did Elizabeth die, why are the details surrounding her death so hazy, and just what is the secret of the torture chamber in the basement of the castle? An excellent film with a fantastic performance from Price as he descends into madness, this is a must-see for Price fans.

About this series: Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host (aka writer/film historian Larry Underwood) explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review and criticism.

Sunday, November 8

R.I.P. Gunnar Hansen

I was truly bummed to learn of the passing of Gunnar Hansen when I woke this morning. Gunnar was, of course, best known to horror film fans as the chainsaw-wielding lunatic Leatherface in the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, in 1974. I had the pleasure of first meeting Gunnar in 2005. He was in town to appear in director Ben Dixon's film Wolfsbayne (later retitled to Aconite) and doing a signing at a local comic book store, Outer Limits Comics. He was an incredibly nice guy, and funny, as the interview he did for my show, CHILLER CINEMA, shows. We shot a second quick promo for my show that still cracks me up to this day.

A true blow to the horror community, Gunnar will indeed be missed. Farewell my friend.

Saturday, October 31

Vincent Price Memories from Actor David Frankham

Happy Halloween fright fans!

Here's a special treat for all you monster kids, excerpts from an interview I did recently with actor David Frankham recalling memories of Vincent Price. He tells some wonderful stories of Price and what a generous, wonderful man he was both on and off set. David worked with Price on three films: Return of the Fly, Master of the World, and Tales of Terror. This is a lot of fun, give it a listen if you have a few minutes, you won't regret it...

Tuesday, October 27

12 hours of Terror Recap

The 5th Annual 12 Hours of Terror festival at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville was a smashing success! Over 200 people crammed into the historic 1966 Hall for twelve straight hours of fright and fun. The movies were an interesting mix this year, ranging from sci-fi to horror and schlock. My son Luke and I arrived early and a line quickly formed outside the theater that wound down the building and around the corner.

The festivities kicked off with something new this year, a short set from Nashville's own THE BOO DUDES, a costumed band comprised of a werewolf lead singer/guitarist, Dracula on keys, the Headless Horseman on drums, an alien guitarist, and a mad scientist on the mixing board. What's not to love?

 They were fun and funny, entertaining the audience before the first film of the night, John Carpenter's THE THING.

 The Boo Dudes then kept the fun rolling as they returned for a second set. Next up on the film-front was a totally insane foreign film called THE BOXER'S OMEN, introduced by the Nashville Scene's Jim Ridley.

Full of blood, vomit, martial arts and magic, this was the type of gonzo feature I've come to appreciate at these shows.

The third feature I had the pleasure to introduce - from 1979, TOURIST TRAP.

Starring Chuck Connors and Tanya Roberts, this is a pretty surreal movie that, while not as full-out insane as the previous film, is still equally-enjoyable for its own merits. Connors is great as a creepy owner of an abandoned tourist trap called Slauson's Lost Oasis and Western Town. Fun film.

 As we exited the theater after Tourist Trap we found the lobby completely transformed. The Belcourt ghouls had been busy, as the lobby was decorated with bats, blood, black lights and body parts.

The frights continued with a period piece called EYES OF FIRE.  Introduced by the Belcourt's Jason Shawhan, this one featured 1700s witchcraft on the American frontier.

Next up was another new feature - the Belcourt's Zack Hall brought his monthly feature WEEKNIGHT REWIND to the Hellcourt for a special segment they called SHRIEKNIGHT REWIND.

 Zack brought three films - on glorious VHS - and read the back of the box and showed a showed a short clip from each. Then it was up to the audience, as they voted on which film to see.

I was particularly happy, as one of my all-time favorite films won the day, TRICK OR TREAT, the rock n' roll masterpiece featuring music from Fastway. Great eye opener late in the evening/early morning.

This was followed by some 80s low-budget fun, DEADLY SPAWN. Once again introduced by Jim Ridley, I had always wanted to see this creature feature but never had the pleasure. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck, that's exactly the case with this film. Low budget, big effects. Big fun.

Last but certainly not least was the remake of THE BLOB from 1988. Definitely one of the more worthy remakes, I had forgotten just how fun this one is.

As the final moments of the splatacular feature played on the screen the Belcourt staff encouraged all those still there to gather in front of the theater for a group photo. As you can see, quite the collection of intrepid film-goers braved the night.

All of the films were on 35mm with the exception of The Blob and The Thing, which were DCP, and Trick or Treat, which was presented on VHS (VHS is Alive!!). A huge thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to the Belcourt staff who worked so hard to put this event together.

My son took this picture of me posing with Jim Ridley and Jason Shawhan after the final film. It was a great event, and I look forward to next year's event!

*Special thanks to Jason Shawhan for the loan of the photos!

Recommended Halloween Double-Feature

My fourth and final Halloween double-feature recommendation for this year is a couple of family-friendly classics. Thanks to the folks at the Stay Cool Geek podcast for asking me to be their 2015 Halloween Gore-spondant!

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