February 13, 1932 — January 4, 2021
I grew up watching Barbara Shelley in pictures like Dracula – Prince Of Darkness (1966) and Quatermass And The Pit (1968). She was always terrific. She passed away today at 88.
Miss Shelley was one of those actors or actresses that didn’t look down on material like this, and her performances were as good as the genre ever saw. I’d have a real hard time picking a favorite — so I guess I’d recommend you watch ’em all. Which is what I plan to do.
(October 13, 1942 – December 2, 2020)
Pamela Tiffin had a pretty short career in movies and on the stage. She was wonderful in a couple of my favorite films of the 60s — One Two Three (1961) and Harper (1966). She passed away last week at 78.
Not long after Harper, she headed to Italy and did a few films. By the mid-70s, she’d retired. It’s a shame she didn’t stick with it a bit longer, she was terrific.
The top image is from the Harper trailer; the bottom for Harper itself.
What a night this would’ve been.
Filed under 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, AIP, Boris Karloff, Dick Miller, Herman Cohen, Jack Nicholson, Mario Bava, Michael Gough, Roger Corman
Stella Stevens (Estelle Eggleston)
(Born October 1, 1938)
Here’s wishing a happy birthday to Stella Stevens, an actress who was often wonderful — and always under-appreciated.
Working on a commentary for her picture Rage (1967) recently, I’ve been reminded again and again of how good she is. She’s seen here in The Silencers (1966), the first of the Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin. She easily walks away with the movie.
Loved these back in the day, and I thought the comic books were even better. So I’m super-stoked about Warner Archive’s upcoming Blu-Ray Space Ghost And Dino Boy – The Complete Series (1966-68).
This was before Space Ghost was shanghai’d by Cartoon Network for Space Ghost Coast To Coast. Space Ghost was created by comic artist Alex Toth. The voice talent was top-notch: Gary Owens (as Space Ghost), Tim Matheson, Keye Luke, Ted Cassidy, Paul Frees and Vic Perrin. Coming October 13.
Arrow’s He Came From The Swamp: The William Grefé Collection offers up seven films produced and/or directed (and often written) by William Grefé, all newly restored from the best film elements around:
Sting Of Death (1966)
Starring Joe Morrison, Valerie Hawkins, John Vella, Jack Nagle
Death Curse Of Tartu (1966)
Starring Fred Pinero, Babette Sherrill
The Hooked Generation (1968)
Starring Jeremy Slate, Steve Alaimo
The Psychedelic Priest (1971)
Starring John Darrell, James Coleman, Joe Crane
The Naked Zoo (1971)
Starring Rita Hayworth, Steve Oliver, Fay Spain
The Jaws Of Death (no Mako) played the Forest Drive-In here in Raleigh, NC.
Mako: The Jaws Of Death (1976)
Starring Richard Jaeckel, Jennifer Bishop, Harold Sakata
Whiskey Mountain (1977)
Starring Christopher George, Preston Pierce, Roberta Collins
Mr. Grefé participated in this from one end to the other. Each picture is packed with extras, from commentaries and trailers to director’s cuts and behind-the-scenes footage to photo galleries and a collector’s booklet. Also included is the documentary They Came From The Swamp: The Films Of William Grefé.
Should be a real hoot, and an exhaustive one at that. Coming in November. Recommended.
(November 10. 1928 – July 6, 2020)
The great composer Ennio Morricone has passed away at 91. Among his many terrific scores was the one for Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966).
Without his music, would spaghetti Westerns have been as impactful as they were?
His work that comes to mind with this news is Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik (1967).
Directed by Antonio Margheriti
Starring Anthony Eisley, Wandisa Guida, Diana Lorys, Ursula Parker, Folco Lulli
This one’s already out. Code Red has released Antonio Margheriti’s Lightning Bolt (1966, also known as Operazione Goldman) on Blu-Ray, with The Resurrection Of Zachary Wheeler (1971) as an extra. That’s got Leslie Neilson and Angie Dickinson in it.
Lightning Bolt is one of those European James Bond ripoffs from the mid-60s. This one proved (to me, at least) that the ripoffs could be every bit as enjoyable as what they were ripping off, sometimes more. It’s a lot of fun, if you don’t ask it to make a lot of sense. Margheriti was really on a roll during this period, with Barbara Steele pictures (Castle Of Blood, The Long Hair Of Death) coming before this one — and the Gamma 1 series (Wild, Wild Planet, etc.) following it.
Picked up by Woolner Bros. in the States, Lightning Bolt played with Red Dragon (1966) during its original run. It’s not near as good. Judging from screen grabs from the Blu-Ray, the picture may not be of demonstration quality, but it’s miles ahead of what I saw on TV and had on VHS once upon a time. Can’t wait to see its full Techniscope framing!
If you’re a fan of this stuff, this one comes highly recommended. I’ll get around to a longer piece once I see the Blu-Ray.
I’ve never been a Dr. Who fan. But I absolutely adore Peter Cushing.
So I was really stoked to learn that Kino Lorber is bringing both of the Cushing Dr. Who theatrical films — Dr. Who And The Daleks (1965) and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) — to Blu-Ray in July.
These used to turn up on TV a lot in the 70s, where their Techniscope photography suffered quite a bit. It’ll be cool to see them in high definition — the Technicolor was gorgeous.
One more thing: wouldn’t that have been a fun night at Austin’s Longhorn Drive-In?
Directed by Earl Bellamy
Starring Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Debbie Watson, Terry-Thomas, John Carradine
Shout Factory is bringing Munster, Go Home! (1966) to Blu-Ray in March.
The picture gave us a chance to see TV’s Munster family on the big screen in eye-popping Technicolor. It played one of those summer matinee series when I was a kid, and I can still remember the incredible color of that battered 35mm print. And though the DVD of the picture is quite nice, it’ll be great to have it in high-definition.