Directed by William Castle
Written by Robb White
Starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook, Jr.
The Graham Cinema in nearby Graham, North Carolina, is one of my favorite places to see a movie. So imagine how excited I was to find out one of my all-time favorites films, William Castle’s House On Haunted Hill (1959), will be playing there Friday night, October 20, at 11:30.
William Castle. Vincent Price. Robb White. Elisha Cook, Jr. Emergo. Even the Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (and just up the street from the infamous Ackermansion). There are a million reasons why this movie’s so wonderful.
Admission’s just $2 and benefits the Shriners Hospital For Children. If you’ve never been to the Graham Cinema, you owe it to yourself to check it out. And of you’ve never seen House On Haunted Hill, I pity you. I really do.
The Graham Cinema
119 N Main St, Graham, NC 27253
UPDATE: I get the supreme honor of introducing the movie Friday night.
Thanks to my daughter Presley for the tip.
Basil Gogos, the artist who painted so many of those terrific covers for Famous Monsters magazine, has passed away at 88. Throughout the magazine’s original run, he seemed to top himself month after month. This 1972 cover for FM #64 depicts Vincent Price in House Of Wax (1953).
I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Gogos at some shows back in the day, and not only was he a great artist, he was a very nice man. (My best friend owns Gogos’ original art for issue #109, featuring Price in Madhouse. The detail to be found in his work is really incredible.)
Mr. Gogos was a huge part of my adolescent brain rottage — and I hate he’s gone.
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Starring Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett, Lon Chaney, George Macready, Richard Crane
Anolis Entertainment, a company out of Germany, has announced a DVD/Blu-Ray combo release of The Alligator People (1959) from 20th Century-Fox and Robert Lippert’s Associated Producers, Inc.
This is one of those 50s monster movies that is 100% carried by its cast. Beverly Garland, one of my favorite actresses, is terrific here — as she always was in these things. This kind of hokum needs just the right touch to really work, and Bruce Bennett, Lon Chaney and George Macready are on hand to help pull the whole thing of.
Garland’s new husband (Richard Crane) suddenly disappears during their honeymoon. It takes her a couple years, but she tracks him down to his family’s Southern estate, where a botched medical treatment has turned him into an alligator.
It’s clearly inspired by The Fly (1958), and it’s a load of fun. 20th Century-Fox proudly boasted that The Alligator People (and its co-feature The Return Of The Fly) were in CinemaScope, no longer releasing their black-and-white Scope pictures under the Regalscope banner. The domestic DVD presents the picture in gorgeous widescreen and stereo. The Blu-Ray can only be stunning.
Thanks to John Knight for the tip.
Directed by John Brahm
Starring Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Donald Randolph, Lenita Lane
Here’s a perfect announcement for Halloween. Twilight Time has announced a January Blu-Ray release for Columbia’s The Mad Magician (1954) in 3-D and 2-D — with the added bonus of the two 3-D Three Stooges shorts, Spooks and Pardon My Backfire (both 1953).
All three are goofy fun. The Mad Magician is very much a ripoff of House Of Wax (1953), but that’s not a complaint. It’s terrific, with Vincent “Mr. 3-D” Price at his best. The Stooges shorts are exactly what you’d expect — some of the pies and stuff are thrown at you this time around. All come highly recommended, whether you have a 3-D rig or not.
Directed by Ray Milland
Starring Ray Milland, Jean Hagan, Frankie Avalon, Willis Bouchey
Ray Milland directed this AIP picture about a family that’s on a camping trip when an atomic bomb is dropped on L.A. They end up having to take on all sorts of human vermin as society begins to fall apart. If there’s a moral to the story, it might be to be sure to take a shotgun along on a camping trip.
Panic In Year Zero! (1962) is in black and white ‘Scope, features a score by Les Baxter and was shot at the Iverson Ranch — no wonder I’ve always had a soft spot for it. It was sometimes paired with Roger Corman’s Tales Of Terror (1962).
Kino Lorber has announced it for Blu-ray release in early 2016 — if mankind lasts that long!
Here’s Buster Keaton and Bobbi Shaw wishing you a Merry Christmas from the set of Beach Blanket Bingo (1964). And below, Vincent Price and his daughter Victoria shop for a Christmas tree.
Jack Arnold’s Tarantula! (1955) and Kurt Neumann’s The Fly (1958) will infest The Carolina Theater this Friday, December 5.
Tarantula! is one of the best of the big-bug movies of the 50s — I’d give the top slot to Them! (1954). The Fly put Vincent Price on the path to becoming a horror icon. If nothing else, we should appreciate it for that. But there’s so much more to it than that. As most of you probably know, they’re both absolutely essential.