Directed by Del Tenney
Starring John Scott, Alice Lyon, Allan Laurel, Eulabelle Moore, Marilyn Clarke, The Del-Aires
Severin Films has announced an August Blu-Ray release — with a 2K restoration and plenty of extras — of Del Tenney’s The Horror Of Party Beach (1964). Shot in two weeks for around $50,000 outside Stamford, Connecticut (and released by 20th Century-Fox), it’s a really terrible spoof/ripoff of the monster and beach party movies AIP was turning out at the time. And you don’t want to miss it.
This is not to be confused with The Beach Girls And The Monster, shot on the West Coast and released the next year (1965). It’s maybe a tiny bit better, or less bad, but it features the surf band The Hustlers, and they’re terrific. Who’s gonna offer up that one in high-def?
Directed by Peter Medak
Starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh, John Colicos, Barry Morse
As I see it, The Changeling (1980) was one of the last really good horror movies. It’s just old-fashioned enough, while plenty modern — and it’s certainly scary. There’s even a strong murder mystery vibe to it. It’s really terrific.
George C. Scott’s a composer who, after his family is killed in an accident, moves into a Seattle mansion. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that something’s going on in his new home. Turns out Scott’s sharing his digs with the ghost of a murdered little boy, and that’s all you’re gonna get out of me.
Scott’s excellent, but the rest of the cast is just as good. Peter Medak’s direction and John Coquillon’s camerawork give us plenty of atmosphere, and Russell Hunter’s story is based on stuff he actually experienced in a mansion in Denver.
Severin has announced an upcoming extra-packed Blu-Ray of The Changeling, from a new 4K restoration. It’s also playing in New York this week.
I love haunted house movies — The Uninvited (1944), Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) and Legend Of Hell House (1973). The Changeling can hang with those heavyweights with no trouble. This upcoming Blu-Ray seems like a must.
Directed by Robert Baker and Monty Berman
Starring Lee Patterson, Eddie Byrne, Betty McDowall
Our friends at Severin Films have put together a killer Blu-Ray edition of the 1959 exploitation classic Jack The Ripper (1959) — that includes three versions of the movie: the British Version from a 1080 telecine, the U.S. Version from a 2K scan of an archival print, and on a bonus DVD, the European Version pieced together from the British Version and the only known tape source of the racier/gorier scenes (the original film elements have evidently been lost).
There’s also a slew of extras. Oh, that bonus DVD is part of a limited (1,500 copies) Black Friday edition, so put down the Thanksgiving leftovers, stay away from the mall, and be sure to order one before they’re gone. David Gregory has been working on this title for quite a while, and it’s gonna be terrific.