Scream Factory has announced the upcoming releases of Daniel Mann’s Willard (1971) and Phil Karlson’s Ben (1972) this May. Willard, a story of a young man and the rats that have infested his rundown home, was a big creepy hit. The sequel, Ben, has the benefit of Phil Karlson in the director’s chair (and a song by Michael Jackson that I hate). Both films are effective.
I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get these pictures out there, and I’m sure Scream Factory will do a terrific job with them.
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron, Michael Ripper
Mill Creek Entertainment has announced a three-picture Blu-Ray set for April called Psycho Circus. It consists of three features: Torture Garden (1967), The Creeping Flesh (1973) and Brotherhood Of Satan (1971).
For me, The Creeping Flesh is the cream of the crop. It’s a Tigon picture with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, directed by Freddie Francis. What’s not to like? A scientist comes back from Papua New Guinea with some bones. They get wet and flesh forms around them again — with slimy, murderous results.
Torture Garden (1967) is an Amicus anthology film from Freddie Francis again. It stars Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith and Peter Cushing, based on stories by Robert Bloch. Then there’s Brotherhood Of Satan which I’ve never seen, but am eager to see — it stars Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones, just a couple years after they played Coffer and T.C. in Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969). The recent Mill Creek Hammer Blu-Ray twin bills were terrific, so I’m really looking forward to this set.
The French Connection (1971), one of my favorite films, is a long way from a Christmas movie. But here’s Gene Hackman in a Santa outfit in one of the opening scenes. “Have you ever been in Poughkeepsie?”
Merry Christmas to you all.
The great Gene Wilder has passed away. For those of us who grew up in the 70s, he was in so much good stuff — Bonnie And Clyde (1967), The Producers (1968), Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971, above), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974) and many more.
Wilder with Zero Mostel and Kenneth Mars in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. When you have Mostel, Mars and Wilder in the same frame, how can it not be funny?
Mill Creek has announced a second volume of Hammer movies. From the second of their Frankenstein pictures to one of their chicks-and-dinosaur movies, this is some good stuff.
The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958)
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Peter Cushing, Eunice Grayson, Francis Matthews
The Snorkel (1958)
Directed by Guy Green
Starring Peter Van Eyck, Betta St. John, Mandy Miller
Never Take Candy From A Stranger (1960)
Directed by Cyril Frankel
Starring Patrick Allen, Gwen Watford
The Maniac (1963)
Directed by Michael Carreras
Starring Kerwin Mathews, Nadia Gray, Donald Houston.
Die! Die! My Darling (1965: UK Title Fanatic)
Directed by Silvio Narizzano
Starring Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Donald Sutherland
Creatures The World Forgot (1971)
Directed by Don Chaffey
Starring Julie Ege
Three great 70s road movies, tonight on Turner Classic Movies.
Howard Zieff’s Slither (1973, below) remains one of my favorites films. Richard B. Shull has a great couple scenes before the credits.
The Mechanic (Dennis Wilson): “You’d have yourself a real street-sweeper here if you put a little work into it.”
G.T.O. (Warren Oates): “I go fast enough.”
The Driver (James Taylor): “You can never go fast enough.”