Directed by Arthur Crabtree
Starring Marshall Thompson, Kynaston Reeves, Michael Balfour, Kim Parker
The word on the street (thanks, John) is that someone is prepping Fiend Without A Face (1958) for Blu-Ray. This British sci-fi picture caused quite a stir upon its release, and it was cut quite a bit for the UK.
I’ve loved this one since I was a kid, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to study the stop-motion effects in hi-def. Will add more details as they turn up.
Indicator has announced their upcoming boxed set Hammer Volume 3 Blood and Terror. It gathers up four non-horror pictures from Hammer’s glorious do-no-wrong period. The set includes —
The Camp On Blood Island (1958)
Directed by Val Guest
Starring Carl Möhner, André Morell, Edward Underdown, Walter Fitzgerald, Barbara Shelley, Michael Ripper
Yesterday’s Enemy (1959)
Directed by Val Guest
Starring Stanley Baker, Guy Rolfe, Leo McKern, Gordon Jackson
The Stranglers Of Bombay (1959)
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Guy Rolfe, Jan Holden
The Terror Of The Tongs (1961)
Directed by Anthony Bushell
Starring Geoffrey Toone, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Monlaur
POWs, firing squads, Thuggee cults, Chinese crime families — this set’s got something for everyone.
Chung King (Christopher Lee): “Have you ever had your bones scraped, Captain? It is painful in the extreme I can assure you.”
As a kid, The Terror Of The Tongs haunted me for days after catching it on TV. Yesterday’s Enemy is one of the best films Hammer ever did. The Camp On Blood Island and The Stranglers Of Bombay (in Strangloscope!) are both wonderfully exploitive. Coming in July. It’s gonna be great.
George Orson Welles
(May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985)
The great Orson Welles was born on this day in 1915. Here he is working on his seedy masterpiece Touch Of Evil (1958) with Russell Metty.
To me, a picture of Welles has to have a camera in it (a cigar is also preferred).
Directed by Joe Kane
Starring Rod Cameron, Vera Ralston, Mike Mazurki, Don Hagggerty, Paul Picerni, Luana Anders
This is an update to a post from way back in January.
Naturama was Republic’s widescreen process, and Vera Ralston was the figure-skater girlfriend/wife of Republic’s president, Herbert J. Yates. Guys like Rod Cameron, Sterling Hayden and even John Wayne appeared with her, grudgingly. And when Republic shut down, do did Ralston’s career.
That said, she made some pretty cool movies, and The Man Who Died Twice (1958) is one of them. In fact, it was her last — the studio tanked that year (it’s also the last Republic Joe Kane directed). It’s a low-budget crime/noir thing. Rod Cameron’s cool in it (as always), Luana Anders plays a heroin addict, and Jack Marta shot it in black & white widescreen. Sounds terrific, don’t it?
Kino Lorber will bring The Man Who Died Twice to both DVD and Blu-Ray in November. For decades, seeing Republic Naturama movies in their original 2.35 aspect ratio has been damn near impossible, so this release is a real treat (and hopefully the first of many). The transfer’s excellent — got a good look at it while working on a commentary for it. Recommended.
Film Chest Media Group has announced an upcoming set of all 39 episodes of Decoy (1957-1958). This cop show, starring Beverly Garland as policewoman Casey Jones, was shot on location in New York.
Like a lot of 50s TV, some outstanding character actors turn up each week. Decoy boasts Simon Oakland, Martin Balsam, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Suzanne Pleshette, Vincent Gardenia, Clifton James, Colleen Dewhurst, Ed Asner, Miriam Colon, Al Lewis, Diane Ladd, Larry Hagman and Albert Dekker, along with many others.
I’ve seen a few episodes of Decoy over the years, and they’re really cool — with a bit of a Dragnet vibe. Of course, the 50s New York locations are terrific. Beverly Garland is one of my favorite actresses, so I’m really excited to see how this set looks. The release date is listed as May 30.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of movies sitting on our collective DVD and Blu-Ray Want Lists. But coming across this pressbook for a twin bill of Machine Gun Kelly and The Bonnie Parker Story (both 1958) — while doing some research on William Witney — got me thinking what a fun widescreen, hi-def package this would be.
Directed by Alex Nicol
Starring John Hudson, Peggy Webber, Russ Conway, Alex Nicol
American International’s posters are often better than the films they promote. Make that much better. The Screaming Skull (1958) was one of their masterpieces, complete with the promise to bury you for free if you died of fright while watching the movie (there’s a prologue covering it on the front of the picture). Pure genius. Of course, William Castle used a similar gimmick the same year with his Macabre.
Scream Factory has announced an April release for The Screaming Skull on Blu-Ray. For those of us who can’t get enough of these AIP pictures in hi-def, that’s good news indeed.