Friday, October 28

Return of the Living Dead, 1985



After Night Of The Living Dead creative partners John Russo and George Romero parted ways - Russo retained rights to the name "Living Dead," and continued making zombie films under that banner, while Romero continued his own series with "Dawn of the Dead." RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD was the first film Russo made in what would be come a 5 film Living Dead series. 

Return of the Living Dead injected more humor than Romero's original film, and also more gore. Originally Toby Hooper was slated to direct, but when he dropped out screenwriter Dan O'Bannon took over as director. Starring James Karen, Clu Gulager, Linnea Quigley, this is one of my favorite all time films. It isn't all schlock, however - the scene where the half-corpse zombie is chained to a table and questioned about what drives it to eat humans, particularly hum BRAINS, is creepy and effective.

With a punk rock music score and rock and roll attitude, this is one I've wanted to see on the big screen for years. Return of the Living Dead is the last movie shown at the Hellcourt 12 hours of Terror festival, and they definitely saved the most fun for last.

"Somebody get a light over here…!

Squirm - 1976

click to enlarge


One of the slimier entries in the 12 Hours of Terror at the Belcourt theater this Sunday will be the 1976 nature run amuk, or worms run amuk more accurately, clas-sick SQUIRM! Filmed entirely on location in Port Wentworth, GA, it tells the story of a town besieged by electrified worms that bite, and burrow - under the skin of their victims, that is! There was a whole stream of nature attacks movies in the seventies, such as Frogs, Food of the Gods, Empire of the ants, Kingdom of the spiders, etc., and Squirm definitely falls into this category.

Squirm was the directorial debut of writer/director Jeff Leiberman. It stars Don Scardino and Patricia Pearcy, and gives a brief statement that it's based on a true story - but if you believe that, I have some real estate here on Shackle Island for sale... SQUIRM features some pretty killer makeup effects by Rick Baker.  Will definitely be fun to see in a crowded theater. Available on Netflix and DVD.

ABBY - 1974

 click to enlarge


 One of the films we're showing this weekend at the Belcourt Theater 12 Hours of Terror film festival is the 1974 film ABBY. Shot entirely in Louisville, KY, Abby was made by director William Girdler. It is a blackploistation take off of the film The Exorcist, unashamedly cashing in on the success of that movie. It stars William Marshall (Blackula) and Carol Speed as the demon possessed victim. This time, however, the victim is an adult and the demon is an African sex demon, so as you can imagine  much humpin ensues.

William Girdler had a short but prolific career as a director. He made 9 films in 6 years, making such "classics" as Abby, Three on a Meathook, Asylum of Satan, Grizzly, and his last, Manitou. Girdler died in a helicopter crash at the age of 30. It is a real shame as he was building an impressive catalog of films and earning larger budgets for his movies. It would have been interesting to see what he could do with a full Hollywood budget. Abby, however, was very much on the other end of the spectrum. Made for little money and shot quickly, it nevertheless is a fun 70s take on the exorcism motif. After its release Warner Brothers sued and had the film removed from circulation. Fortunately it survived and you can see it Sunday at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville.

Thursday, October 27

Nashville Scene Halloween Issue

The Nashville Scene Halloween Issue hits the noose stands today with a familiar face on the cover - yep, that's me doing unspeakable things to that poor pumpkin! And best of all there is also an article inside on Nashville Horror hosts through the years, along with a feature on the upcoming Belcourt, er Hellcourt 12 hours of Terror movie marathon and a selection of spooky country albums. Lots of Halloween fun for free in this issue!


And best of all, we're holding a contest for you Nashville/Middle Tennessee based readers. If you take a picture of yourself holding this issue of the Nashville Scene and post it either here or on twitter you'll be entered in a contest - we'll pick one winner to receive a DVD copy of the Dreadful Hallowgreen Special, a $20 CD Warehouse Gift Certificate, and an assorted batch of spooky goodies from Me! So start snapping and posting those pics ASAP!!

Wednesday, October 26

Hellcourt Halloween Special - 12 Hours of Terror

This Sunday, October 30th, 2011 I'll be hosting a movie marathon of fright flicks at the historic Belcourt Theater in Naschyville, TN. 12 Hours of Terror features one of the best lineups of films I've seen in any horror festival. You don't want to miss this one! Sorry Titans, but I'll be at the Belcourt Sunday at Noon!!

Tuesday, October 25

Vincentennial Post #100 - Top 10 Vincent Price Films Countdown

Well here we are finally, the 100th post in my Vincent Price Vincentennial countdown! I've really enjoyed this countdown and blogging about all things Vincent, and have to give a HUGE thanks to Robert Taylor for sharing so many pieces of his wonderful collection here on the blog. It is fascinating getting an inside and personal look at Vincent and Robert's collection really added to the Vincentennial countdown.

For my 100th post I decided to re-post my Top 10 Vincent Price films countdown. I have a lot of new readers now and many of you haven't seen this countdown. When forming this list this was a difficult decision to make - there are so many great Vincent Price performances and films it was tough to narrow it down to just ten. I decided to stick to Vincent's horror films for purposes of this list, and also added some honorable mentions. These were originally done as a Youtube series which I later decided to share here. All of the films listed here are terrific films, and definitely worth watching if you've never seen them.

So without further adieu, Vincentennial Post #100 and my top ten Vincent Price Films list:

Honorable Mentions - Vincent,
An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe:




#10 - The Last Man on Earth




#9 -  The Comedy of Terrors 





#8 - Masque of the Red Death 





#7 -  The Pit and The Pendulum 
 




# 6 - The House on Haunted Hill 





#5 -  The Abominable Dr. Phibes/Dr. Phibes Rises Again 





#4 - The Tingler  





#3 - Theatre of Blood




#2 - Witchfinder General 





#1 - House of Wax


Monday, October 24

Vincentennial Post #99 - The Monster Club

This is a wonderfully campy interview with a british reporter on the set of the film THE MONSTER CLUB. Vincent is in rare form and really having fun on set, joking and ad libbing with the reporter the entire interview. Great stuff - the film is, eh, not so great, but I tell you, I have a real soft spot in my heart for this one, which also features John Carradine, Donald Pleasence, and Britt Ekland.

The music is wretched and there are some awful masks in here that are supposed to pass for monsters, but the sense of fun throughout is infectious. I plan to re-watch this one for Halloween - hell, I might just drag it out tonight and give it a spin. Available on DVD.









Vincentennial Post #98 - Witchfinder General


I was inspired to post a picture of Vincent Price from the film Witchfinder General aka The Conqueror Worm today by a Halloween party I attended this past Sat night. You see, at that party Jeano Roid of THE CREEPING CRUDS was dressed as Matthew Hopkins, Vincent's witch hunting character from that film. Awesome movie and awesome costume. Great job Jeano!





Friday, October 21

Vincentennial Post #97 - Vincent Price Halloween Easter Seals Commercial

Vincent Price encouraging folks to give Easter Seals coupons for Halloween. Good stuff! From 1985 - "Halloween doesn't have to be spooky..." Love it!


Thursday, October 20

Vincentennial Post #96 - Halloween Promo

This video is from a shoot Vincent did in Hollywood CA in 1984. It is a promo for the video I posted yesterday, for the Halloween Thriller TV show he hosted. It is interesting seeing Vincent work. He doesn't particularly look like he's having a good time here, to me, as opposed to yesterday's video where you could see the gleam in his eye and just knew he was having fun. But he is determined to get it right, and does mltiple takes here.

Happy Birthday Bela Lugosi


Bela Lugosi was born on this date, October 20, in the year 1882. The quintessential Dracula, Lugosi influenced generations of monster kids. I salute you, Bela, and thank you for many years of monsterous movie magic!

Wednesday, October 19

Vincentennial Post #95 - Vincent Price Halloween special

This was shot by a guy who worked as a camera operator for this shoot. It is from 1984, and features Vincent hosting a Halloween special. Filmed in Atlanta, GA. Found it on Youtube - man I love the internet!!

Tuesday, October 18

Vincentennial Post #94 - Vincent Price and Michael Jackson Voice session

This is really cool - an excerpt of the voice session with Vincent and Michael for Thriller. You can really tell they were having fun with this.

Vincentennial Post #93 - Vincent's dad's Scrapbook

Price's beloved dad, Vincent L. Price, Sr., was very proud of his son's burgeoning career in the late '30s and '40s and kept scrapbooks of the newspaper articles about Vinnie's performances and appearances.  The scrapbooks, four of them, cover Vinnie's early work in films, Summer theatre, hometown appearances and miscellaneous work.  This photo shows just a glimpse of the sort of things VLP Sr. saved. 


 (from the Robert Taylor Collection)

Monday, October 17

Vincentennial Post #92 - more Vincent cookbooks

In addition to the well known Vincent Price cookbooks are these smaller books covering recipes from different eras of American history. These come from the Robert Taylor collection, and here's what he has to say about them:

When you search for Vincent Price cookbooks, you often find the big expensive ones, the luxury editions full of gourmet recipes--but this set of small cookbooks is, to me, more interesting. They cover different eras of American history and contain Vinnie's takes--modernized to the extent that you are told exact measurements and oven temperatures, etc. An amateur in the kitchen might be completely cowed trying to do a complicated recipe from one of the big cookbooks, but these are the "home-cookin' " of our ancestors--much more familiar and less-intimidating!

Friday, October 14

Vincentennial Post #91 - The Beverly Hills Cookbook

Vincent Price is well-known as a gourmet and talented chef and published for several cookbooks (in collaboration with his 2nd wife, Mary Grant Price). Here is an item less often found.  It is a set of cooking lessons comprised of 2 cassette tapes in a plastic clamshell box.  It has a set of recipe cards included inside in case the owner wanted to add them to his or her recipe box!  Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 13

Vincentennial Post #90 - MONSTERS by Price and Price

We're in the home stretch of the Vincentennial 100 posts countdown now fright fans. Today's offering is another book written by Vincent Price, but it is also coauthored by his son Vincent Barret Price.


Vincent Barrett Price (called Barrett) is Vincent's son by his first wife, Edith Barrett.  Father and son were frequently separated--partially by the divorce from Edith, partially by the preference of final wife Coral--and of course, as happens in performing families, because of the endless interruptions and circumstances of a parent's work and travels, by Vinnie's long career.  But they loved each other, and Vinnie and Barrett found the opportunity to work together on this book, which is the only thing I can think of that bears both their names in tandem.

Wednesday, October 12

Vincentennial Post #89 - Vincent Price Autobiography


This book is a biography meant for younger readers.  It came from a library and has been re-bound. Notice it's BY Vincent Price!  This may be the closest thing to a general Price AUTObiography there is.  Of course his other books--on art, on his dog Joe, the cookbooks--all contain a good deal of autobiographical material, but none purport to encompass HIS MOVIES--HIS PLAYS--HIS LIFE, as this one does! This is another of Robert Taylor's collection, and one I'd love to have for myself!

Tuesday, October 11

Vincentennial Post #88 - More Happy Birthday Telegrams

Here is another telegram congratulating the family on young Vincent Leonard's arrival in this world. Vinnie's brother Mort (James Mortimer Price) was twelve years his senior.  This telegram comes from family members Mort was staying with during the birth of new baby brother Vinnie--and Mort sent his own tongue-in-cheek sentiments to his mom and dad in it.

 (from the Robert Taylor collection)


And last we have a telegram from Vinnie's Aunt Em, who in 1913 sent him this telegram wishing him a happy 2nd birthday.  Her birthday wishes certain came true!

(from the Robert Taylor collection)

Thursday, October 6

Vincentennial Post #86 - Price Baby Book and early photo

One of the first photos ever taken of Vincent Price--here he is in his dad's arms, the first time he was taken out of the house in June 1911, standing in a neighbor's yard.   
 
 (from the Robert Taylor Collection)

Wednesday, October 5

Vincentennial Post #85 - Mark Maddox illustrations

For my 85th Vincentennial post I am proud to present the artwork of Mark Maddoc. I ran into Mark at the Nashville Comic and Horror Fest in Nashville last weekend and as soona s I saw Mark's wonderful Price paintings I asked if he'd let me show them here on the blog. Mark graciously agreed and sent the following pieces for your viewing pleasure. First up:

Painting of Vincent in scrubs, done for Little Shoppe of Horrors Magazine #20

A younger Price with Roger Corman images which was done for Undying Monsters #2, on sale now!!
and finally a portrait of Vincent fromMadhouse, which was done for the Frank Deitz' Vincentennial book coming out soon.

To find out more about Mark and pick up some of his beautiful work swing by his website at http://maddoxplanet.com/

Tuesday, October 4

Vincentennial Post #84 - Nishika 3d Camera spokesman

In addition to the many other spokesman gigs Vincent undertook was on for a line of 3d cameras by Nishika. It seems especially appropriate to me that Vincent be the spokesman for a 3D camera, as he starred in one of the greatest clasic 3D films, HOUSE OF WAX.


Here is a shot of the camera along with an instructional VHS that came along with it starring Vincent himself - STEP INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION. I'd buy it just for the VHS tape!!




Sunday, October 2

Vincentennial Post #83 - Death Trap

Now this is something really special - Vincent Price hosting a nature film about killer carnivorous plants and deadly insects, spiders and other fun filled treats of nature.

With Price's amazing voice and eerie background music this is really fun and a little creepy. Reminds me of THE BLACK WIDOW on Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE album, especially when he's talking about spiders. This was made in 1974, Welcome to my Nightmare 1975 - so perhaps this inspired the classic Cooper song.








Vincentennial Post #82 - Vincent Price's Baby Book

 from the Robert Taylor collection

As I continue onward toward 100 Price posts tonight I have a unique item from the Robert Taylor collection to share - Vincent's baby book! Silver on off white, this 1911 book is a little worn on the outside from years of handling but pristine inside.

  from the Robert Taylor collection


This is written by Vincent's father, who fille din the details of this book. As you can see, he was born at 12:40 a.m. May 27th, 1911.

Saturday, October 1

Vincentennial Post #81 - Vincent's Personal Address Book

 (from the Taylor-Waugh Collection)

Almost certainly used for his Christmas card list as well, here is a page from Price's personal address book.  Every page is interesting--this one, just chosen at random, has Cathy Lorre (the late Peter Lorre's daughter) and Verne Langdon, for instance. 


(from the Taylor-Waugh Collection)

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