Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Couple Birthdays Today.......

  First off a happy birthday today to Rod Taylor born as this day in 1929. One of my favorite actors and star of such classics as The Time Machine, Dark Of The Sun , The Birds and countless others. Recently he appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds as Winston Churchill. I thought this was a cool picture of Rod, Janes Russell and Glenn Ford relaxing on the set of Fate is the Hunter from 1964.

   Also born is this day in 1886 was the George Zucco, one of greatest "mad doctors" from the golden age of horror. He appeared in 96 films from 1931 -1951 and passed away in 1960.  Among them were all three of the Universal mummy sequels - The Mummy's Hand (1940) Tomb (1942) and Ghost (1944) ,playing the high priest who possessed the secret of the tana leaves for reviving the Mummy.

"Three of the leaves . . . make enough fluid to keep Kharis' heart beating, one each night during the cycle of the full moon.  Nine leaves each night to give life and movement to Kharis; thus you will enable him to bring vengeance on the heads of those who try to enter the tomb.  More than that, he would become an uncontrollable monster, a soulless demon with a desire to kill and kill."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deadlier Then the Male

  Released in 1967 this was one of the better countless James Bond knock-offs that flooded the screens in the mid to late 60's. Star Richard Johnson (later to star in Fulci's Zombie) plays private eye/ insurance investigator and all around international trouble- shooter Bulldog Drummond. Interestingly Johnson was one the finalist for the James Bond roll in Dr. No (he was director Terence Young's choice). Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina also star as a pair of female assassins who are killing heads of major corporations in order to control their wealth for a international crime syndicate (naturally). 
   Highlights include a giant mechanical chess game, gorgeous Mediterranean locations (the movie itself looks beautiful), theme song by The Walker Brothers and of course Elke and Sylva look great in bikinis. Also featuring Steve Carlson,Nigel Green and Suzanna Leigh. I remember seeing this at the drive-in as a kid along with Tobruk (my reason for going) - which also starred Nigel Green.  A sequel from 1969 titled Some Girls Do is currently not on video.
  Released on DVD in the U.S. by Henstooth Video. The  bare-boned DVD is letterboxed at 2:35 to 1, although the print itself looks a little ragged. The best choice is the U.K. DVD release which sports a beautiful anamorphic transfer, vintage interviews and a still collection.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rosalba Neri News # 3

 Coming out Jan. 24 from Shout Factory is Lethal Ladies 2 collection which contains The Arena starring Pam Grier and  Margaret Markov (who also both starred in Black Mama, White Mama). Rosalba is also featured is this tale of women gladiators in Ancient Rome. Also in the collection is Cover Girl Models ("They’re fast. They’re beautiful. They’re deadly . . . they have to be !") and Fly Me which involves a group of hijackers who take over a plane only to discover that the stewardesses are all martial arts experts. Sounds like a great triple feature.

Welcome To Hard Times

 Just announced from the the Warner MOD program is  Burt Kennedy's 1967 western Welcome to Hard Times. Pretty much a bomb when first released , this movie definitely deserves a second look. A very grim/downbeat story plus a wonderful, truly evil performance by the great Aldo Ray (known in the movie as only "The Man from Bodie"). MIA on home video and rarely shown on TV , this is a very welcome release.  Along with the above mentioned Aldo Ray you also get Henry Fonda and check out this cast - Warren Oates, John Anderson, Royal Dano, Edgar Buchanan, Denver Pyle, Paul Fix, Elisha Cook Jr., Keenan Wynn and Lon Chaney, Jr.

 "The Man from Bodie"