Random Film of the Week: Dracula/Horror of Dracula (1958)

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Now, that’s a title screen, Isn’t it?

draculaAmusingly enough, I was wearing a Famous Monsters of Filmland T-shirt I got as a gift when I ran into an older neighbor in the supermarket last week who mentioned that as a kid, her parents took her to see Horror of Dracula back in 1958. She was only 8 years old, but was a big fan of sci-fi and horror movies, noting her parents were as well, and they’d make trips to the movies regularly. She noted she couldn’t sleep for about a month or so, but not because of Dracula, mind you, as (spoiler!) he’s as dead as a door nail at the end of the film (well, until his revival in the next films), but because of his brides.

She was convinced they were going to come after her for some reason and I noted that I’m sure many people who’ve seen this film sure as heck wanted a nibble on the neck from any of the lovely ladies in that film, vampires or not. Maybe even a few too many nibbles.

She laughed, and said “I know, but there was one in particular… what’s her name? The one that looked like a cat?” I thought for a few seconds and guessed correctly it was Andrée Melly, who indeed did look like a cat, and yes, briefly played that favorite bide of too many others as well. The neighbor let out a loud laugh. “Well that was fast! I guess she made an impression on you, too!”, which made me laugh as well, as there’s a pun in there she didn’t realize she was making. Anyway, we chatted a bit more and I helped her get a big aluminum baking pan off a high shelf for the ham she was making, as family was visiting that weekend. She paid for her groceries and left with a wave, thanking me for jogging her memory.

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Meow! Careful. I hear she bites…

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Yes, Rasputin Celebrates Hump Day HIS Way

(thanks, Sleaze-O-Rama!)
 

 
TGVB 2015 FondaI keep meaning to review Don Sharp’s 1966 flick Rasputin, The Mad Monk one of these days for the site or perhaps a blogathon or something. But I also keep forgetting to track down a personal copy so I can watch it whenever I need a good laugh. Waiting for TCM to show it again sometimes pays off in the long run because there’s a decent enough chance they’ll also show something suitably loopy.

 

This is one of those films that defies proper categorization because it’s kind of all over the map in terms of tone. It’s a biopic, a horror film of sorts, a gold mine of unintentional comic relief and of course, a showpiece for the great Christopher Lee. Yeah, I’d normally have done this up already (and most likely for The Great Villain Blogathon 2015). But it’s been busy as hell here what with the roof being repaired (again!), more work going to happen in the apartment (STRESS!) and some other stuff that’s keeping my productivity lower than usual.

That said, I’ll give ol’ Raspy a two word review for those of you curious types who need to know: SEE IT. You’ll very likely laugh yourself extremely silly and get your cringe on as well because the film can be a bit creepy on a few fronts.

Random Film of the Week: To The Devil… A Daughter

To The Devil A Daughter MPSwiping bits from Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist while leaving a “Why the hell am I watching this again?” aftertaste, To The Devil… A Daughter manages to be a pretty bizarre and somewhat unintentionally 1976 funny horror film from Hammer Studios. From what I understand by poking around a few books and online, the UK film industry was in a bit of a mess when this mess was made and it shows in a few key areas. Granted, you do get Christopher Lee in a scenery-chewing performance for the ages (including a brief nude scene performed by a double!) and Richard Widmark making a payday and playing an occult writer turned cranky old action hero long before Liam Neeson.

Yes, you also get a too young Nastassia Kinski flailing about and screaming as if possessed (well, she kind of is) in her part as a fallen “nun” and trying too hard to keep up with the other more experienced cast doing their own screaming and flailing about. Yes, the film is also notorious for the infamous bloody baby demon hand puppet molestation and a shot near the finale of her fully nude. While some genre fans may groove on that little detail, for some new viewers those elements will just come off as creepy central.. and not in a good way, either. Continue reading