horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 21st, 2014 Movie – Blood Of Dracula’s Castle

blood of draculas castle

The weekend is the perfect time to watch an old Grindhouse horror movie. Now this is one of those movies that I honestly don’t remember much about, which makes me believe that it was not that good of a movie the first time I watched it. Since this came from the Gorehouse Greats collection, Odds are that it really was a pile of crap of a movie. The only reason that I got it was because it was a cheap way to get 12 new movies back in the day (I think I got it for $3). So let’s see if Blood Of Dracula’s Castle is as forgettable as I obviously feel it is.

The plot: A woman is driving along in the Arizona desert when her car breaks down near some woods so she decides to take advantage of the shade and walk through the trees to try and find some help. As she is walking, she is suddenly confronted by a strange, disfigured man called Mango, causing her to scream and faint, and Mango picks her up and carries her off to a nearby castle. Some time later, Glen Cannon is taking pictures of his fiance/model Liz Arden for publication when he receives a telegram that his uncle had died. As he discusses the situation with Liz, he says that he has inherited the castle that his uncle owned and knows that it was being rented by a couple called the Townsends but they must be as old as his uncle was if they are still alive. Meanwhile, the Townsends are discussing the situation with the new owner and wondering if he would allow them to continue with their lease or possible want to sell the castle to them outright, though the Countess also says that they could die of shock and it might solve their problems as well. Meanwhile, George, their butler, is downstairs in the cellar, where the woman that Mango had captured is seen chained to a wall. George takes a sample of her blood from her arm then walks off, revealing that there are other girls chained to the walls as well. Returning upstairs, George hands the Count a bloody mary that was made with the woman’s blood and the count says it is good. The Countess says she doesn’t trust Mango and worries that he might end up leading the police to their doorstep. They then tell George that they have arranged for the release of their friend Johnny, who will arrive the next day, and comment on how with Johnny there, they won’t have to keep so many young women in the cellar. Deciding to go down and take a look at their new guest, the Townsends head down to the cellar with George and as they look at the girl, they notice one of the other girls looking particularly weak and tell Mango he can have her. As Mango unchains the girl and carries her away, the newly captured woman asks what they want with her and the Townsends answer and say they want her blood, as they are vampires. They then head off to their coffins to retire for the day while the girl Mango had carried off is heard screaming. Meanwhile, Johnny is shown to have been helped out of prison by one of the guards, who was paid off by the Count, and is making his way through the woods. As authorities use bloodhounds to track him, he starts running through a river and as he makes his way down a small waterfall, he spies a woman sunbathing on a nearby rock. Grabbing the girl so she can’t tell the authorities where he went, he hides underneath the waterfall as the authorities pass by him, drowning the girl in the process. Johnny then makes his way to the road, where he spots a man changing the tire on his car and he quickly knocks the man out and steals his car, driving off towards the Townsends’ castle, killing a hitchhiker and stealing his clothes in the process. After driving a while, he then lets the car roll off a cliff, killing the owner in the crash, and he eventually makes his way to the castle, When he arrives, he and George discuss their differing opinion on how best to serve the Townsends’ blood needs, while discussing his issue with the full moon. Some time later, Greg and Liz arrive at the castle and are greeted by George, who tells them that the Townsends are not awake at the moment but offers to show them around the castle before going to wake them. As they wait for the Townsends to arrive, Greg and Liz discuss the castle and their possibly living there. When the Townsends arrive, Greg and Liz are shocked as they expected a much older couple and the Count explains that he has the same name as his father and when his father passed, he simply forgot to update the lease. The Count asks if he should simply send the checks to Greg in the future but Greg tells him that he and Liz have decided to live in the castle. The Count and Countess try to discourage them from living there, mentioning bats, rats, and drafts that afflict the castle, and offer to buy it from them but Greg is unswayed by their comments. Later, the Townsends are talking to Johnny and discussing their lifestyle and how he might enjoy becoming a vampire as well. That night, Liz is woken by the sound of a scream coming from outside and she goes to wake Greg, who hears a second scream and decides to investigate and Liz accompanies him. As they walk around, the head into the cellar and are shocked by the appearance of Mango but when they race back upstairs, they run into George, who explains that Mango is the grounds caretaker and is quite harmless despite his appearance. The next day, Greg and Liz go for a swim at the nearby lake and when they return, talk with Johnny by the stables. When Liz asks why Johnny keeps looking up at the sky, he tells them that you can sometimes see the moon during the day and that he expects a full moon that night. Johnny then comments about the Townsends having a dinner party in their honor, which surprises Greg and Liz as they were planning on leaving that night, but Johnny tells them that George had noticed something wrong with their car when he was putting it up the night before and the mechanic won’t be able to get there until the next morning. Stuck at the castle for another day, Greg and Liz decide to go look for the toucan, which George had said was responsible for the screams they heard, but as they enter the cellar, they see the women chained to the wall. The woman who had just been brought there tells them what is going on and say that the Townsends are in the next room. When Greg and Liz enter the room, they are shocked to see the Townsends in coffins and start to realize what is going on. Exiting the Townsends’ room, they encounter George, Johnny, and Mango and though Greg tries to fight through them, both he and Liz are quickly captured and shackled to the wall themselves. Some time later, Johnny shows up and releases the girl whose car broke down, taking her into the other room and saying he could help her escape but is merely toying with her until George shows up and puts a stop to it. The girl is led outside and tied to a stake, where the Townsends, Johnny, George, Mango, and begin a ceremony to the moon, sacrificing the girl by burning her at the stake, while a reluctant Greg and Liz are brought along to watch. When they return to the castle, George brings drinks to the others as the Count explains that he wants to keep Greg and Liz alive and let them stay in the castle. As the Count makes a toast, Johnny starts to drink his glass but Liz throws her glass in his face, allowing Greg to grab Johnny’s gun from him. Johnny struggles with Greg but ends up being shot, then Greg points the gun at the Count and Countess, while George makes a hasty retreat. Passing the gun to Liz, Greg ties up the Townsends, then heads off to find George and free the other girls. When he enters the cellar, George attacks him but As the struggle, George tries to hit him with a morning star but ends up falling off the top of the stairs, breaking his neck. After freeing the girls and heading back upstairs, Greg takes the gun back as the Townsends plead with them to let them back into their coffins. Greg refuses and as they watch in shock, the Townsends soon turn to dust, with a pair of bats flying off from their clothes. Down in the cellar, Mango sees George’s body and, grabbing the morning star, heads upstairs and moves towards Greg and the others. Greg shoots him but when he doesn’t stop, they all run outside. The girls take off in a different direction while Mango chases after Greg and Liz. He eventually catches up to them and after knocking Greg down the hill, he grabs Liz and carries her up to the sacrificial pole and ties her up, preparing to burn her alive. Greg recovers and races up there to stop Mango, striking him in the back with an axe before setting him on fire. As Mango finally dies, Greg frees Liz and the two embrace before leaving the castle, choosing not to live there.

Yeh, this is not a good movie by any stretch. The acting was pretty bad all around and felt kind of wooden at times. The plot was pretty weak and didn’t make a whole lot of sense at times. For instance, when Greg was holding a gun on the Townsends, they could have easily recaptured them as the gun would have no effect on them, nor could the scraps of cloth held them with any real difficulty. Also, they kept making references that Johnny might be a werewolf, with the repeated comments on his actions during the full moon, but you never actually see him change, even when the moon is actually full. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects and the video quality on the DVD was pretty terrible, with the opening scenes featuring lines all over the screen. Not something that is really worth watching

Rating: 1 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, thriller

Flashback Review: April 25th, 2014 Movie – Bigfoot (1970)

bigfoot 1970

Back in the video store days, I remember seeing the case for this movie on the shelf all the time during the 80’s. it had always attracted my attention because it had Bigfoot picking up a motorcycle to throw at people, and it had a claim of being the greatest monster since King Kong. Despite my interest, I never got around to renting it back then and after a while, it would end up pushed to the side and eventually disappeared as newer movies made their way to the stores. Decade later, I saw a clip of this movie on YouTube and it renewed my desire to watch this movie. I eventually found a copy of it for sale on one of the sites I frequented and quickly bought it. When Bigfoot (1970) arrived, I finally got my chance to watch it and it was just as bad as I could have possibly hoped for it to be.

The plot: Joi Landis is flying a single engine plane over the California mountains near Burbank. At the same time, traveling salesman Jasper B Hawks and his sidekick Elmer Briggs are driving through the mountains when there engine overheats. Jasper sends Elmer to get some water to cool it down and as Elmer heads out into the woods, a group of bikers come driving by Jasper and the car. As Elmer approaches a nearby stream, he sees overly large footprints in the mud and hears some strange growling, which spooks him and causes him to head back to Jasper with the bucket only half full. Meanwhile, the engine goes out on Joi’s plane and she is forced to radio in her problem and then parachute to safety but when she lands, she finds herself captured by a Bigfoot. At a small general store in the mountains, the bikers that had passed Jasper earlier have bought some food and beer and take off up the mountain just as Jasper and Elmer arrive. As the group continue driving, Rick and his girlfriend Chris decide to split off from the group and go spend some time alone. While they are relaxing, Chris decides to go explore and finds some sort of burial ground. She calls out for Rick and when he gets there, he notices a fresh grave and decides to move the dirt from it and uncovers a Bigfoot body. Suddenly, another Bigfoot appears and attacks Rick, knocking him unconscious, then carries off Susan into the woods. When Rick regains consciousness and finds Chris is missing, he heads off to meet back up with his friends but finds that they have already moved on. Rick heads back to the general store and calls the sheriff to report what happened but the sheriff, having received several crank calls about the creature over the years, doesn’t believe Rick’s story and tells him they will search for Chris in the morning if she doesn’t turn up. Rick calls the cabin his friends were heading too and tells them to come back as he needs help, then wants to buy a flashlight and gun from the store but the owner tells him that he is out of flashlights and doesn’t have any guns there. Jasper and Elmer, who had been listening to Rick’s story, say they believe him and offer to help him and Rick takes them up to the burial ground where Chris had disappeared. He shows them the body and Jasper wants to try and capture a live creature to sell to a freak show but Rick says his only interest is to find Chris. They then head towards the stream where Elmer had seen the tracks but are forced to get some rest during the night. Meanwhile, Chris and Joi are tied to some poles in the Bigfoots’ lair, with 4 Bigfoot keeping watch over them. When Chris asks Joi what she thinks they will do with them, Joi theorizes that they are a dying race and had brought them there to try and breed with them, but notes that the Bigfoot seem nervous about something at the top of the mountain. In the morning, the three older Bigfoot head off into the woods, leaving a baby behind to keep and eye on the captive women. Meanwhile, Rick, Jasper, and Elmer renew their search and start following the footprints by the stream. They eventually spot a Bigfoot running through a clearing ahead of them and Jasper wants to try and capture it but Rick reminds him that they are there to find Chris first. The three men keep looking but they are eventually attacked and captured by the three Bigfoot. Back at the store, the sheriff and his deputy show up at the store and the owner’s daughter tells him that Rick had left with Jasper and Elmer and says she will call them if he returns. Meanwhile, Rick’s friends have returned to try and locate Rick, finding the burial ground that Rick had mentioned. As they search the mountains, they find a cabin in the woods with some people, Hardrock and his family,  in it and when they tell them what is going on, Hardrock decides to help them find their friends. Back at the Bigfoot’s lair, two of the Bigfoot grab Joi and take her up the mountain and tie her to two trees, and an even larger Bigfoot approaches her. The Bigfoot starts to untie her when a bear appears and it is forced to fight off the bear, eventually killing it, but when it turns back to Joi, it finds that she has managed to escape and begins tracking her down. Meanwhile, Hardrock, his son, and the bikers arrive at the camp and free Rick and the others, while capturing the baby Bigfoot and Rick tells their rescuers about Joi and says they have to rescue her. Jasper and Elmer try to get away with the baby but it gets away and reunites with the other three Bigfoot. The others go after Joi and the large Bigfoot, who had managed to recapture Joi, and when they find it, Jasper tries to convince them to help him capture it alive. Hardrock shoots at the Bigfoot and manages to wound it, causing it to drop Joi and head off into a nearby mine to escape the men. One of the bikers uses the dynamite he grabbed from Hardrock’s place to blow up the entrance the mine, sealing the entrance and seemingly killing the Bigfoot, while the other 4 Bigfoot are seen making their way down the mountain to find a new home. As the bikers and Hardrock leave, Jasper laments about the lost opportunity but when Joi tries to console him, he invites her to join him and they can tour the country talking about her experience and make a fortune doing it.

This is such a terrible movie that it is just laughable to imagine how it ended up getting made. The acting was ok at best, but did tend to be pretty bad at times. John Carradine (Jasper) was probably the best actor in the bunch but there was one point where it seemed like Joi Lansing (Joi) did nothing but scream whenever she was on camera; at least during the last 30 minutes or so of the movie. The story was interesting, as it basically played up the angle of Bigfoot being some sort of missing link of early man, thus their kidnapping women in order to breed. The special effects were just terrible as far as the costumes went. Those were some of the worst Bigfoot costumes I think I ever saw. At one point, when the Bigfoot was fighting with Rick, it looked like the top half of the costume had moved up the actor’s body, showing the skin underneath. That plus the rather shoddy camera work, and the disjointed scenes where events seemed to be out of sync just made this a chore to watch at the end. The claim about this being the greatest monster since King Kong definitely fell short in regards to this film.

Rating: 2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

September 2nd, 2017 Movie – Silent Night, Bloody Night

silent night bloody night (1972)

So back in the day (and if I am being completely honest, it still occasionally occurs today), there would be times where I get movies confused. I mean, I would see part of a movie and when I would go try to find it at the video store, I would get something that sounded similar to what I had seen, only to find out as I watched it that I got the wrong movie. The reason I bring this up is because it somewhat pertains to today’s movie. See, I remember watching a movie involving a killer Santa Claus and at first, I thought it was one of the Silent Night, Deadly Night! movies, but that wasn’t it. Then I thought it was today’s movie, but it wasn’t it either. I eventually found out that the movie I was remembering was the original Tales From The Crypt movie, but that is a story for another day. Today, let’s focus on today’s movie, Silent Night, Bloody Night.

The plot: In 1971, Diana Adams is walking around the former home of Wilfred Butler and taking one last look at the grounds before it is bulldozed and thinking about the history of the place. Wilfred Butler had built the house but never lived in it until Christmas Eve of 1950, when he suddenly burst from the house, his body on fire, and collapses to the ground. The house was left to his grandson Jeffrey, and he left it vacant for 20 years, in accordance to Wilfred’s will. After 20 years, rumors start spreading about it being sold. John Carter, the lawyer in charge of the sale, and his assistant, Ingrid, head over to the house to look things over before the interested parties arrive. Meanwhile, Diane Adams is driving down the road and as the news comes on the radio concerning a warehouse fire and an escaped inmate, she sees a strange man on the side of the road holding a tire iron. Though the man seems to need help, Diane feels uncomfortable and chooses to drive on and after she passes him, she sees the man smashing the windshield of the car he was next too. Back in town, Carter heads to town hall and meets with Mayor Adams, Charlie Towman (the publisher of the town newspaper), Tess Howard (the telephone switchboard operator), and Sheriff Bill Mason. As Carter discusses the sell of the house and the offer the 4 of them have made, someone is seen breaking into the house and killing the guard dog. Back in town, Carter finishes his sales pitch to the town leaders and says he will get back with them tomorrow to see if they want to buy the mansion, then leaves with Ingrid to spend the night at the mansion. As they have dinner and talk, they are unaware that someone is in the house and creeps down the stairs to listen to them. After receiving a phone call from Tess, who was checking up on them for Bill, Carter and Ingrid head to bed and start having sex, only for the stranger to kill them both with an axe. Afterwards, the stranger calls Bill, pretending to be someone named Marianne, and says that Carter’s car is there but he is gone and asks that Bill come there right away. Bill agrees and after he hangs up, Tess, who was listening in, tries speaking to the caller and the caller says she is waiting in her father’s house, frightening Tess. Tess tries calling Mayor Adams, Towman, and Bill but they all don’t answer their phones so she calls her assistant Maggie and has her start her shift early so she can head out to the house. Meanwhile, the stranger that Diane saw earlier arrives at the house and, seeing Carter’s keys in his car, hops in and drives off in it. The stranger drives to Mayor Adam’s house, where Diane is wrapping presents, and when she sees him pull up, she grabs a gun, then tells the man to come in. The man asks to see the mayor and when Diane says he isn’t here and threatens to call the police, the stranger says that he drove by the station and nobody was there. He then introduces himself as Jeffrey Butler and asks about Towman and Diane tells him where he might be. Meanwhile, Bill is on his way to the mansion but stops when he notices a light at the cemetery. When he investigates, he finds that the grave of Wilfred Butler has been dug up and the body missing . As he examines Wilfred’s diary, which was lying on the ground, he is struck with a shovel and killed, then tossed into the grave. Jeffrey goes back to the Adams’ house and talks some more with Diane and they decide to go to the mansion but on the way, they see the sheriff’s car at the cemetery and pull over. The look around for the sheriff but see no sign of him but his sunglasses. They head over to see Towman to try and figure out what is going on and learn that Tess has gone as well Towman goes to Tess’ house with Jeffrey to see if she is there and when they don’t see her, Jeffrey figures she might have gone to the mansion, just as the mayor did when he got a call earlier that night. Towman appears upset and quickly leaves and Jeffrey approaches one of Tess’ birdcages and grabs the bird inside. Meanwhile, Diane waits at Towman’s office and receives a call from “Marianne”, which starts to unnerve her when she says that she is waiting at the house for everyone. Tess arrives at the mansion and heads inside to look around only to end up being attacked and killed. Back at Towman’s office, Diane is reading through old newspaper articles and learns that after Butler’s wife died, his daughter Marianne was raped and eventually gave birth to Jeffrey. Years later, the mansion was turned into an asylum and Butler had Marianne committed there, but all further stories had been cut out. Jeffrey returns to the office, startling Diane, and tells her about Tess’ house. Diane asks Jeffrey about his mother, who he says died at childbirth, and she tells him about the person calling with the same name and that she might be alive and waiting at the house. Jeffrey says they should head out there but as they do, they pass Towman’s car, which is on fire. Continuing on, they see Towman on the side of the road waving his arms and Jeffrey accidentally hits him with the car. They quickly stop and Jeffrey goes down to check on him but says that Towman is dead. Diane is upset that Jeffrey killed Towman but he says they should keep going and continue to the house. As they reach the house, Jeffrey decides to head in alone, leaving Diane in the car. Meanwhile, Marianne calls Mayor Adams and tells him to come to the house and after he hangs up the phone, he grabs a rifle and heads out. Jeffrey finds Butler’s old diary and as he reads it, he learns that Butler had an affair with his own daughter Marianne and Jeffrey was the result of that affair. After committing his daughter, Butler started to feel remorse and made plans to try and get her out of the asylum. On Christmas Eve of 1935, as the doctors were all having a celebration dinner and getting drunk, Butler goes to see Marianne and free her, then lets all of the inmates out to cover his releasing her. The inmates head into the house and proceed to kill all of the doctors, but as Butler went to get the car, the inmates killed Marianne as well. Most of the inmates ended up fleeing the town but 4 of them remained in town; Mayor Adams, Tess, Towman, and Bill. Diane enters the house to see if Jeffrey is all right and he tells her that his grandfather is still alive, having faked his death. He then tells her about the massacre at the asylum and how her father was one of the men who killed his mother. Mayor Adams arrives at the house and heads inside and finds Jeffrey standing there pointing a pistol at him. The two men both fire and end up killing each other, as Diane cries out and runs to her father’s body. Suddenly, Diane hears Marianne’s voice and realizes it is actually Butler himself, who has gone mad and mistakes Diane for his daughter Marianne. As he approaches Diane, she tries to escape and when she can’t open the door, she grabs the pistol and shoots Butler, then manages to make it outside and spends the night crying out in grief. As the bulldozers approach to tear down the house, Diane leaves, knowing that her memories of what happened will never be erased.

SSSSLLLLOOOOWWWW. If there is one word to describe this movie, that would be it. This movie was unbearably slow, which made it almost impossible for me to enjoy it. In fact, I actually had to stop watching, go do something else for a while so I wouldn’t fall asleep, then start back into it…..TWICE. The acting was bad, with Mary Woronov (Diane) being the only decent performance in the bunch. The story was a confusing mess that kept bouncing back and forth between different scenes until you had no idea what was going on. The camera work and special effects were pretty lousy and did nothing to help this story at all. The title sounded good but definitely a let down of a movie.

Rating: 1 out of 5