Category Archives: Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #376: Night Creatures (AKA Captain Clegg, 1962).

 

Directed by Peter Graham Scott
Starring Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain, Patrick Allen, Oliver Reed, Michael Ripper, David Lodge, Derek Francis, Jack MacGowran

Night Creatures (1962, known as Captain Clegg in the UK) is Hammer’s take on the story of Dr. Syn, with Peter Cushing terrific as the rum-smuggling vicar. Disney’s version, The Scarecrow Of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan, played TV around the same time. Scream Factory has announced that they’re bringing it out on Blu-Ray in April.

By whatever name, Night Creatures or Captain Clegg, this is an outstanding Hammer film. It’s become one of my favorites, and I’m sure Scream Factory will do it justice, with a stellar transfer and some nice extras. Can’t wait! Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 1962, DVD/Blu-ray News, Oliver Reed, Peter Cushing, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #372: The Brain Eaters (1958).

Directed by Bruno VeSota
Starring Edwin Nelson, Joanna Lee, Alan Frost, Cornelius Keefe, Leonard Nimoy

As a kid, I spent more time studying TV Guide than my stuff for school. I was looking for was stuff like The Brain Eaters (1958), and when something turned up (often on WRAL’s Sunrise Theater), it was like I’d won a contest or something. While I love great movies like The Searchers (1956) or Citizen Kane (1941), it’s junk like The Brain Eaters than turned me into the movie nut I am today. Bet it worked that way for a lot of y’all out there, too.

So, it’s with a lot of nostalgia and glee that I report that Scream Factory is bringing The Brain Eaters to Blu-Ray later this month — in a limited edition of just 1,500 copies.

The story goes that actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct, so he turned to Roger Corman. With Corman’s help, The Brain Eaters was made for less than $30,000. They got a distribution deal with AIP who paired it with Bert I. Gordon’s The Spider (1958) — and cooked up a great ad campaign for ’em (see the poster up top from Benson, North Carolina’s Benton Card Company). By the way, Scream Factory has already done a Blu-Ray of The Spider.

A big metal spiral-shaped thing turns up in rural Illinois, then people end up dead with weird parasites attached to the back of their necks. It’s got a bit of an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) thing going on — and was eventually wrapped up in a plagiarism suit from Robert A. Heinlein, who claimed The Brain Eaters ripped off his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters. And Leonard Nimoy’s name is misspelled in the credits, but he didn’t sue.

You don’t really recommend a movie like The Brain Eaters. You already know if this is your kind of thing. You can bet Scream Factory will have it looking as good as it’s ever gonna look, so grab one before they’re gone!

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Filed under 1958, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Roger Corman, Shout/Scream Factory

4K/Blu-Ray News #369: Alligator (1980).

Directed by Lewis Teague
Starring Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael Gazzo, Jack Carter, Dean Jagger, Perry Lang, Sue Lyon, Angel Tompkins, Henry Silva, Mike Mazurki

John Sayles wrote the two best Jaws (1975) ripoffs: Piranha (1978) and Alligator (1980). Both combine a terrific 50s monster movie vibe, a real sense of humor and some actual scares. Scream Factory is bringing Lewis Teagies’s Alligator to 4K (on February 22) with a set that includes the film on both 4K and Blu-Ray discs, along with a third disc featuring the TV version of the film. It also comes packed with extras, from commentaries to interviews to trailers to a commercial for the Alligator game! 

The plot (cooked up by Sayles and Frank Ray Perilli) is pure genius. A young girl gets an alligator while on vacation in Florida, but after they get home, her dad flushes it down the toilet. 12 years later, and after getting ahold of an experimental growth formula, that alligator is now 36 feet long and munching on Chicago sewer workers. It’s up to a jaded cop (Robert Forster) and that girl, now a reptile expert (Robin Riker), to find the alligator and stop it. Forster really stands out in this, but the entire cast is great — especially Henry Silva as a big game hunter brought in to kill the monster.

I have a 36-foot-long soft spot for Alligator. Saw it countless times — from theater to cable to video. The VHS package is etched in my brain after renting it to about 14,000 people working in video stores while in college. I love that it’s getting such a swanked-out 4K release. It deserves it. (Sitting here all snowed in this morning, wish I had a copy of it right now!) By the way, Alligator II: The Mutation (1990) is coming out on Blu-Ray the same day.

Proof you really can find anything on the Internet: my quick search this morning turned up the newspaper ad for opening day at the theater where I saw Alligator back in November of 1980 — the Budco Barn 5 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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Filed under 1980, DVD/Blu-ray News, Henry Silva, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #367: Two Psycho Rip-Offs From Hammer Films And Freddie Francis.

In the early 60s, Hammer invested heavily in the Psycho ripoff industry. And while those investments didn’t pay off like their Dracula or Frankenstein pictures did, they were pretty solid movies. Scream Factory is bringing a couple of them to Blu-Ray soon (each is a standalone release). Both were written and produced by Jimmy Sangster and directed by Freddie Francis. 

Paranoiac (1963)
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell, Alexander Davion

His older brother dead, his sister declared insane, Oliver Reed is all set to have the family fortune all to himself. Then, the brother turns up again. Or is an imposter? 

Nightmare (1964)
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring David Knight, Moira Redmond, Jennie Linden

Technically, this is probably more of a riff on Diaboliques (1955) than Psycho (1960). A girl witnesses her mother kill her father. Mom is sent to an asylum, while years later, at a finishing school, the daughter starts having nightmares of stabbings. But are they dreams, or are the bodies really piling up?

In both the UK and the US, Nightmare played theaters with Evil Of Frankenstein (1964), also directed by Francis.

These are cool, stylish pictures with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing who’s real, who’s dead and who’s gonna be dead. They were both in black-and-white Scope, which looks terrific in high definition. If these get the usual treatment Scream Factory lavishes on their Hammer releases, with stellar transfers and lots of nice extras, these will be very nice indeed. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1964, DVD/Blu-ray News, Freddie Francis, Hammer Films, Oliver Reed, Shout/Scream Factory, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #307: Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957).

Produced & Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, Russell Johnson, Leslie Bradley, Mel Welles, Richard H. Cutting

Shout Factory has announced that Roger Corman’s Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) will be released on Blu-Ray on August 25th (that’s next week) in a limited edition of just 1,000 copies. Act now, folks!

This pretty much sums up all that was wonderful about Hollywood in the 1950s.

Made for just $70,000, Attack Of The Crab Monsters played in a double bill with Corman’s Not Of This Earth (1957) — which Shout Factory will hopefully get to soon, and made over a million bucks.

Attack Of The Crab Monsters was shot at Leo Carrillo State Beach, Bronson Caverns and Marineland by the great cinematographer Floyd Crosby, and it features a good score by Ronald Stein. The crab monsters were made out of styrofoam, so getting them to go underwater was tough (and destructive). Everything about this movie is terrific.

This Blu-Ray promises a new scan of a fine-grain print (in its original 1.85), a new commentary, the theatrical trailer and a tribute to Mr. Corman. It’s available exclusively through the Shout Factory website, and only 1,000 of ’em will be pressed. Highly, highly recommended. Click on the half sheet up top to order yours!

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Filed under 1957, DVD/Blu-ray News, Floyd Crosby, Monogram/Allied Artists, Roger Corman, Russell Johnson, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #299: Universal Horror Collection, Volume 6.

I’m really excited about this one, as Shout Factory’s Universal Horror Blu-Ray series moves into the 50s. This is announced for release on August 25.

The Black Castle (1952)
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Starring Richard Greene, Boris Karloff, Stephen McNally, Rita Corday, Lon Chaney, Jr., John Hoyt, Michael Pate
You could say this was the last of the true Universal-type horror movies, with all the trapping and a few of the actors we associate with such things. It was Nathan Juran’s first time as director. He was on the film as art director, but was moved into the director’s chair when Joseph Pevney walked.

Cult Of The Cobra (1955)
Directed by Francis D. Lyon
Starring Faith Domergue, Richard Long, Kathleen Hughes, Marshall Thompson, Jack Kelly, William Reynolds, David Janssen
This story of a cult of snake worshippers, a deadly curse and the beautiful, deadly snake goddess (Faith Domergue) making their way to New York went out as the second feature behind Revenge Of The Creature (1955).

The Thing That Couldn’t Die (1958)
Directed by Will Cowan
Starring William Reynolds, Andra Martin, Jeffrey Stone, Carolyn Kearney
Running just 69 minutes, shot by the great Russell Metty and with terrific poster art from Reynold Brown (up top), this played with Hamer’s Horror Of Dracula (1958) in the States. It’s about a telepathic head that’s discovered in a box at a dude ranch.

The Shadow Of The Cat (1961)
Directed by John Gilling
Starring André Morell, Barbara Shelley, William Lucas, Fred Jackson
A cat witnesses a murder, then helps both solve it and bring the culprits to their just rewards. Shot in black & white by Hammer’s ace cameraman Arthur Grant.

Scream Factory has come up with some real gold in this one, and it’s good to see these more obscure Universal horror pictures get a chance to shine. They’ll be seen in their original widescreen aspect ratio, with the exception of The Black Castle, which predates the shift to widescreen. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1952, 1955, 1958, 1961, Arthur Grant, Barbara Shelley, Boris Karloff, DVD/Blu-ray News, Faith Domergue, Hammer Films, John Gilling, Lon Chaney Jr., Marshall Thompson, Nathan Juran, Reynold Brown, Shout/Scream Factory, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #294: War Of The Colossal Beast (1958).

Produced and Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Starring Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, Dean Parkin

Scream Factory has announced a July release for another of the “Arkoff AIPs,” Bert I. Gordon’s War Of The Colossal Beast (1958). It’s a sequel to The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), with a different cast (the monster’s mangled face hides the fact that it’s a different actor this time). One thing that hasn’t changed are the less-than-special effects. The last scene was shot in color, though the ads give you the impression that the whole movie would be. It ain’t much of a movie, I guess, but it’s a lot of cheesy fun.

It’s great to have another AIP picture getting the terrific Scream Factory treatment. Can’t wait.

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Filed under 1958, AIP, Bert I. Gordon, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #290: The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961).

Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller

Hammer and Terence Fisher continued their reimagining of the classic monsters with The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961), with the same results they’d had with Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy. It’s the next installment in Scream Factory’s terrific Hammer Blu-Ray series, and I can’t wait to see what a 4K cleanup does to this one. Highly recommended. Coming, loaded with extras, in April.

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Filed under 1961, DVD/Blu-ray News, Hammer Films, Oliver Reed, Shout/Scream Factory, Terence Fisher

Blu-Ray News #285: The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964).

Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamont, Sandor Elès, Katy Wild, David Hutcheson, Kiwi Kingston

Scream Factory’s Hammer series continues with The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964), the only picture in Hammer’s Frankenstein cycle not directed by Terence Fisher. Freddie Francis did this one.

Hammer went a different route with Frankenstein, following the doctor (Peter Cushing) instead of the monster. This let them come up with a different creature for each film. Since The Evil Of Frankenstein was done in collaboration with Universal, they could approach that studio’s “classic” look for the monster. (You know, the Boris Karloff/Glenn Strange sort of thing.) I’ve always found the results a bit, um, odd.

Nevertheless, this is a most welcome addition to the Scream Factory lineup. So far, the extras have not been announced, but the disc has a release date in mid-May. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1964, DVD/Blu-ray News, Freddie Francis, Hammer Films, Peter Cushing, Shout/Scream Factory, Terence Fisher

Blu-Ray News #280: Munster, Go Home! (1966).

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.

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Filed under 1966, DVD/Blu-ray News, Shout/Scream Factory, Universal (-International)