Blu-Ray Review: The House of Seven Corpses

the_house_of_seven_corpses_mp“Trust me… dying’s easy! Living is hard”

And so is watching some movies, pal.

Upon finding yourself on the set of a horror film or hell, ANY film where someone starts reading from a musty old book written in an indecipherable language, Rule Number One is this: LEAVE. You want examples? Sure. Equinox, The Evil Dead, In The Mouth of Madness, The Beyond, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, The Ninth Gate, and so forth and so on.  ALL of these flicks were initially rom-coms until someone on set decided to crack open a nasty, smelly old book they found, bought, pilfered or borrowed and all hell lit-er-al-ly broke loose.

Okay, not really. But you know you’re in for a deadly day for night shoot when there’s an old tome read and not much common sense exhibited by the cast once stuff starts going south. Sadly, 1974’s The House of Seven Corpses isn’t as good or fun enough a flick to watch as the above mentioned ones, wasting its tome (ha!) with too much “exposition” from annoying characters, John Carradine phoning in a performance from a better, scarier but campier film, and some slightly to moderately creepy undead that whittle down the cast and crew of a romantic comedy cheapie horror flick one by one.

hotc-zombie

It’s probably not a big co-inkydink that the film was produced by a company called Television Corporation of America, as save for a few moments, this looks and feels like a TV movie of the era. No, that’s not a complement.

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On Der Backlog: More Movies Than You Can Stick A Shake At

mo_movies_mo_reviewsGah. More stuff to review, but not review in a few cases where that homework was already done. I did a few of these already based off of TCM showing them during the wee hours, so I’ll only need to do five of eight. Five of these are from Severin Films’ big sale last month after their publishing rights expired for Horror Express, The Baby, Bloody Birthday, The House of Seven Corpses, and Psychomania. I actually thought I’d reviewed HotSC already, but can’t locate the review, so I guess it’s one I dreamed I wrote or something. No big deal, as I’ve seen this enough to tap out impressions in my sleep.

Vamp is yet another Arrow Video screener I need to get to, Just Desserts I’ve seen already and need to write up (it’s brilliant), and MVD Visual sent over this lovely Unearthed Francesca set that includes a Blu-Ray/DVD and soundtrack from this recent retro giallo that, based on the trailer I just watched, REALLY looks as it was made in the 70’s.  Anyway back in a bit with a review of something NOT here I think you’ll like.

-GW

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January’s Retro Pop Box Packs in the 70’s Memories

RPB_Jan_2016 

Right before that dopey snowstorm landed, I’d gotten a few (okay, a lot of) packages delivered but just now got to opening them up (hey, I was busy moving furniture around for last week’s plastering and painting and was in quite a haze of weariness). So seeing January’s Retro Pop Box peeking out at me from a small stack of packages made me grin somewhat like Mr. Sardonicus after an encounter with a tickle fetish dominatrix. Um, never mind that reference! Anyway, someone at the post office felt it okay to doodle on the box (boo), as my regular carrier was on vacation (Joe always brings my mail right up to the door and doesn’t cram it into the mailbox) and the new guy is a bit goofy because he sometimes puts the wrong mail in a few boxes.

RPB_Jan_2016 b 

Inside the box were a nice sticker tribute to David Bowie (who passed away the previous week, so the creator elves were fast on the draw here) and a nice set of 70’s themed items:

RPB Jan 2016 c 

Heh. A nice and exclusive RPB T-shirt that references a key scene from 1978’s Animal House will be worn here in a pants optional mode. Hey, when you get older, you tend to like LESS clothing (and not just on the ladies or whatever). DOn’t ask me to explain this – you’ll hopefully live long enough to experience it yourself. I call it *Freedom!* Whee.

RPB Jan 2016 d 

The other stuff was a nice hodgepodge of items. That Space Invaders bag will get shouldered for shopping trips (and has already gotten the thumbs up seal of approval at a local game shop), I do need a tiny shark toy and maybe a tinier toy Jet Ski to go into the tiny Happy Days lunchbox (sorry, Fonzie – that’s the first tribute I thought of, aaaaayyyyyyy!), that Doctor Who journal will require a tiny pencil or pen if it’s to last the 500 years noted on that cover, and I’m wearing that Thing button as I type this just because it’s always Clobberin’ Time somewhere in the world and I need to represent.

Anyway, if your own nostalgia meter is spinning, you know what to do, right?

A Double Shot of Retro Pop Box For Your Wednesday

RPB November Stuff (5)

Due to my dopey old laptop giving up the ghost around the time last month’s Retro Pop Box arrived and me running about doing the headless chicken thing for a bit, I’m just getting around to posting the goodies in that box now. Amusingly enough, this month’s box popped up in the mail as I was getting ready to write this post, so you get two (*smooch!*), TWO mints in one! Or something like that. Anyway, November’s RPG looked like this once opened:

RPB November Stuff (6)

And inside were the following 70’s themed items:

 

The RPB exclusive T-shirt made me grin and yes, it’s gotten some comments thanks to that funky retro design. That Silly String (which I’m saving for the proper occasion) came with a card detailing the product’s creation and rather cool usefulness as a means for soldiers to locate booby trap tripwires in war zones (and making me wonder how much the military is paying per can or if the stuff has to be shipped out by families who want their loved ones coming home safe). That Evel Knievel First Aid Kit made me laugh out loud because while it’s not vintage, I immediately imagined the stunt king of the 70’s packing one of these in every pocket of his star-spangled jumpsuit with a spare inside his helmet each time he made one of those death-defying jumps on ABC back in the day.

I hadn’t seen a Mood Ring in some years, so having one handy is quite nice (Current mood: Happy!). I’ll need to wear that CULT LEADER button with the Retro Pop Box logo one day when I’m out and about just so when someone asks about one, I can tie in the other without worrying about them getting the wrong idea. Yes, I’d say my cult is RPB and they NEED TO JOIN. NOW. (without an “or else!” on the end of that demand. We’re a nice bunch of nostalgia-heads. As for that Brady Bunch lanyard, my brain is flicking through its Rolodex to see if I recall anyone named Marcia because this would be a groovy gift for her. Hey, better a colorful lanyard than a football to the nose, right? Yeah, I thought so.

As for December’s RPB, read on for more on that one… Continue reading

Retro Pop Box Turns Your Mailbox Into A Time Machine

Retro Pop Box (1)If you’re a child of the 1960’s, 70’s or 80’s, or know someone of a certain age craving some random nostalgia, Retro Pop Box is going to be right up your/their alley. The just-launched subscription-only service delivers the goods in the form of monthly boxes of themed swag, all of it fun and guaranteed to get the memory banks kicking in as you’re transported back to your childhood.

A sampler box containing a few items from all three eras popped up in my mailbox a few days back (thanks, Chris!) and it made a rather bland Wednesday end on a rainbow-colored rocket with a paisley disco ball painted on it. Or something close to that.

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The Internet Arcade: Your Monday (and Every Other Day) Just Got A LOT Less Productive…

Internet Arcade (Partial) 

Holy Cats. And here I thought archive.org was a disorganized mess of free movies and music files of assorted quality plus the home the not so perfect Wayback Machine where one can dig up archives for old websites no longer online. Well, the Archive’s Jason Scott has compiled over 1000 classic arcade games running on the MAME/MESS/JMESS emulators (which were cooked up by many other creative folks) and you can lose a week playing as many as you can for FREE.

The catch? Well, you’ll need the latest version of your current browser, meaning you’ll be online when you’re supposed to be working hard on those spreadsheets or whatever. However, be warned that Firefox works the best over anything else, meaning you Chrome and Safari users may have issues with running this perfectly. So, yeah… so much for getting to do important stuff like walking the dog, raising a family or stocking your zombie-proof shelter. Also, a controller is recommended, as keyboard controls are going to be funky on many titles. That’s being tweaked as we speak. Finally, the sounds and music will be a bit garbled on some games. Crank down the volume if you’re using headphones so your eardrums don’t crack when some high-pitched MIDI tune blasts them.

I’ve scanned that list of games and my eyeball popped out of my head a few times. If I had a controller with me here at the away office, I’d be playing some BLASTER, Q*Bert, Crystal Castles, Crazy Climber, The Three Stooges and way too many others to list here. This is a work in progress, so it’ll be fiddled with and fixed as time passes. I’m NOT going to go back to that page today at ALL or else I’ll get nothing done at all. YOU can boogie on over there yourself just to ogle all the awesome marquee art. Consider this your museum trip for this week. Yes, another excuse to call gaming educational is always a great reason…

National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees: Three Times the Fun!

Toy Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees

Image courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.

Before you even ask, yes, there is a National Toy Hall of Fame. It’s part of the National Museum of Play up in Rochester, NY and I’d say it’s a bucket list trip for anyone with even the slightest interest in any sort of toy or game from their childhood. Today the Museum inducted a trio of all-time classics into the Toy Hall of Fame and some of you are already grinning at that photo above. This year’s inductees made me laugh out loud because as soon as I heard the news this morning, I was hoping to heck that someone at the Museum would have made a cool diorama with a few squads of Army Men on some alien or other landscape (maybe Washington D.C.?) fighting off an “invasion” by a giant Rubik’s Cube with Bubbles floating in the shot to give it the look of some low-budget sci-fi flick.

StrongToyHall1110614_075

Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York

Hey, Mario Bava would have done it up right, I bet. That said, the Museum’s presentation was certainly creative and entertaining. Dancers from the Rochester City Ballet appeared in life-size Army Men outfits, there was a gigantic Rubik’s Cube mosaic (made up of 200 pounds of Rubik’s Cubes), and the Bubble Man himself, Doug Rougeux doing his amazing thing at the event. Okay, all that was MORE creative than my crummy diorama idea maybe two people would have gotten the joke about. What can I say other that I like obscure references only a handful of people would understand…

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It’s Friday Night! Time To Get Dancing, People!

Well, you’re still here and I’m still busy. Hmmm… what to do, what to do? Ah, this should keep you entertained for a hot minute (take it away, Gene!):

Now, THAT’S what I call ACTUAL reality TV, folks! I do miss the late, great Chuck Barris and all his bizarrely awesome programming that more or less changed the landscape of entertainment telly as we know it (yeah, for better and worse). Yeah, I know loads of substances were involved in the making of these shows back then, but there’s a certain insane purity to this stuff that’s FAR more honest than anything claiming to be “real” on TV today. Go dig up some old clips of the man’s huge body of work and see for yourself, I say…

Stuff I Sometimes Think About When Not Much Is Working Right…

Not YOU, Arnold… we’re not related, thankfully. But I’d trade you a bag of brown rice for some of those muscles just so I could beat my head in on occasions such as this. I actually lost a chunk of a nice post earlier today thanks to making that silly issue of having a few in progress on WP and my laptop dying before I saved or the auto-save kicked in. It’s no trouble to rewrite stuff, but I hate having to redo posts because they always come out differently if I’m doing them on the fly and not working from notes. Anyway, between that and me generally being a wee bit too busy to keep up with my inbox today, I’m throwing this up as a diversion while I get my brain synched to do some rewriting. Ready? No? Oh well…

Has any D.J. opened or closed a set with this tune?

Just asking, folks… Continue reading

Fat (Albert) Tuesday, Too: Hey, Hey, Hey! Shout Factory Says Press “Play!”

Scene 215

INTERIOR: Shout Factory Mail Order Department

6/24/2013 APPROXIMATELY 1:54:36PM

(phone rings)
Hello, Shout Factory!
Ow. My. Ears. Dude.

Sorry. This IS Shout Factory, you know! How Can I help you today?!

Hang on, dude… let me get some cotton balls and half an earmuff… (sounds of drawer opening, followed by rattling noises)… OK, I think I’m better now.

That’s good to hear! So…How can I help you today?
Ehm, er… say there? Do you have Fat Albert in the can?

(*sighs*)…NO. sir, We don’t currently sell ANY of our videos in can form. However, you can buy Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series, which has all 110 episodes of the classic show with Bill Cosby, Fat Albert, Rudy, Weird Harold, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Russell and, yes the Brown Hornet! 15 Discs, 39 hours, $99!
D’oh! Oh, COME ON NOW, You’re supposed to say “Yes, we do!” or something like that!

(*yawning*)… REE-aaalllly now? I did not know that! So, can I put you down for a copy of this set or what?
Blaaaaaaaaah! You’re no fun, grrrrr! I’ma go call the stupid drug store instead!! (slams phone down) *click!*
*Snicker…* Dopey kids and their ancient pranks! Boy, some people never learn!