Friday, March 21, 2008

Karloff's Mexican quartet

At the end of Boris Karloff's life he shot scenes for 4 Mexican movies that were released after his death. Here are poster images for those movies. They are House of Evil a.k.a. Macabre Serenade (1968), Snake People (1971), Incredible Invasion (1971) and finally Fear Chamber (1972).

Boris Karloff wasn't the only horror movie star to head south of the border. Here we have poster images from a little known vampire movie starring John Carradine called Las Vampiras (1969), and 2 Spanish posters from La Casa del Terror (1960) starring Lon Chaney Jr. Scenes from this movie were later edited into a Jerry Warren hack job called Face of the Screaming Werewolf.

Santo! Santo! Santo!

Continuing with the theme of Mexican horror, it only makes sense to devote a post to Santo and his movies. Starting off with my personal favorite of his movies, Santo in the Treasure of Dracula. This movie has it all, well, except sex that is. Lets hope that the rumored DVD release of the long lost sex version of the movie El Vampiro y El Sexo materializes one day. Treasure has Santo showing off his scientific skills by building a sort of time machine and sending a woman back to the time of Dracula so that she can find where his rumored treasure is hidden. Next up, Santo vs. the Vampire Women. Though somewhat lacking in the story department, the movie more than makes up for it with incredible gothic atmosphere and sets.

Next, we get into uncharted territory as I've never seen any of the movies listed below. Here we have Mexican and Spanish posters for Santo vs. the Zombies, Santo vs. Baron Brakola, Santo vs. Frankenstein's Daughter, and finally, Santo vs. the Riders of Terror.

Here we have a couple of interesting posters. The poster for Santo in the Hotel of Death has sort of a film noir feel to it with a caped, skull-faced monster wearing a fedora surrounded by sexy women. The poster for Santo and Blue Demon in the Land of the Dead rips off graphic elements from Vincent Price's House of Usher, (note the woman in the coffin). Finally, Santo's pal Blue Demon gets into the action with Invasion of the Dead and Blue Demon vs. the Satanic Power.

Next up: Boris Karloff goes to Mexico to end his film career!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Horror from south of the border

I love Mexican horror movies. My first real exposure to them were the crappy K. Gordon Murray dubs released on DVD by Beverly Wilshire. Though the quality was awful, there was something about them that I liked. Maybe it was the fact that they felt like lost Universal horrors from the 30's or 40's. My first love when it comes to this sub-genre are the atmospheric vampire movies so we'll begin there.

I don't have a good example of the poster art of El Vampiro (1957) but if you're familiar with Mondo Macabro's excellent Region 2 DVD, you've seen it. Here we have artwork for its sequel The Vampire's Coffin (1957), made in the same year, it makes use of much of the same cast including the leads Abel Salazar and German Robles who plays the vampire. Also shown here, artwork for World of the Vampires (1960). World is definitely the wackiest of the bunch including vampiric slaves that sprout hair more akin to a werewolf, vampire bats that fly around with human heads and a wicked pipe organ made of human bones.

German Robles became something of a horror star in Mexico with the release of El Vampiro and would go on to star in quite a few movies playing vampiric characters. The Nostradamus series had him playing such a role in 4 different films. They were
The Curse of Nostradamus (1960), The Blood of Nostradamus (1961), The Genie of Darkness (1962) and The Monsters Demolisher (1962). Here are poster images from 3 of the 4 films.

Another Mexican vampire movie that produced a sequel was The Bloody Vampire (1962). Here are 2 poster images from it. I've never seen its sequel Invasion of the Vampires (1963), though its high on my list.

Next up: El Santo!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The horror film art of Poland

Every time I come across a Polish movie poster, I find it interesting because they almost never seem to have anything at all to do with the movie that they're promoting and are always strange and surreal. Here are a few examples. From Top to bottom: Tomb of Ligeia, Christine, The Hunger, Kwaidan, Nosferatu the Vampyre, and Rosemary's Baby.

Next up: Mexican horror!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Famous films about hauntings

With tonight's premiere of the new season of Ghost Hunters, I thought I would take a look at some movies involving hauntings.

First up, The Uninvited (1944) starring Ray Milland. Here we have US and French posters as well as a US poster from Dead of Night (1945).

Next up, some of the best haunted house movies ever made. A US poster for The Innocents (1961), French artwork for Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), and US art for The Legend of Hell House (1973) and Burnt Offerings (1976).

Finally, US and Pakistani artwork for The Changeling (1980) with George C. Scott.

And a quick plug.. If you're a fan of Ghost Hunters and haven't done so, I encourage you to take a look at a show called Paranormal State on A&E. They show 2 episodes every monday night and unlike Ghost Hunters which rarely comes up with anything creepy (or all that interesting), Paranormal State succeeds in creeping me out with almost every episode. The show follows Penn State's PRS (Paranormal Research Society) as they get called in on different cases involving ghosts, demons, etc. Unlike Ghost Hunters, they use different methods in their investigating including a device called a Frank's Box that filters or converts sound in order to get clear responses to questions with creepy results. They also make use of psychics, witches and demonologists in their investigations. The first season is hitting DVD on April 29th.

The Incredible Torture Show

One movie I've been fascinated with for awhile is Joel Reed's Bloodsucking Freaks (1975) I first saw it years ago and was grossed out by it but as time went on, it stuck in my head and sort of grew on me like a fungus. I eventually broke down and bought the DVD and have watched it several more times since. Maybe its the fact that Seamus O'Brien comes across as a sort of Z-grade Vincent Price, or the fact that up until recently with the current trend of 'torture porn' movies, modern horror just seemed so sanitized and bland. Here was a movie that was so gritty, filthy and over the top that you felt like you needed a shower after watching.

Here are 2 posters for the movie. The first is probably familiar to everyone as the cover used for the Troma DVD release. The other, under its alternate title of The Incredible Torture Show, is interesting in that it seems almost too classy for a movie such as this.