This week on A Podcast From Beneath, the guys are joined by Erik Kristopher Myers, and Megan Morgan to talk about the cult classic, Cannibal Holocaust.
You can find Erik's movies on Amazon
Megan's Books can found with the links below
Megan's Podcast can be found here
This week we get together again with Erik Kristopher Myers, and William Hopkins to talk about Hammer Horror films.
Here is a right up with some links provided by William Hopkins.
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957): The first in Hammer's Frankenstein series. An enormously successful (and controversial) film in its day – and it still holds up very well even now. You can buy or rent the film on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/FCNrxjaVf2M
The Horror of Dracula (1958): The first in Hammer's Dracula series. Inventive script by Jimmy Sangster; clever direction by Hammer's best director, Terence Fisher; beautiful cinematography, sets, costumes. And a rousing, memorable climax that Hammer never topped. One of the top five Dracula adaptations. Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/atQr_Eac11k
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958): The second in Hammer's Frankenstein series. A smart, well-crafted follow-up to the first film. Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IkXx3MeZNvU
Brides of Dracula (1960): The second in Hammer's Dracula series. A lavish, colorful, fast-paced gothic melodrama that doesn't suffer at all from the absence of Dracula himself. A favorite of mine; I think it's one of Hammer's best. Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/NEQHTxU63ls
The Evil of Frankenstein: (1964): The first of the Hammer Frankenstein films to be produced in cooperation with Universal (who made the original Frankenstein in 1931). With an infusion of cash from Universal, this is one of most visually impressive of Hammer's Frankenstein films, with great sets that recall the Universal original. But the monster is one of the weakest of the Hammer series and the script is not up to par. Not one of Hammer's best but still enjoyable. Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cTyJWBF22zA
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966): Christopher Lee returns to the role of Dracula - though he has no lines and is only briefly onscreen - in the third film in Hammer's series. Very well produced, and for once a genuinely suspenseful and even scary Dracula film.
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967): An off-beat entry in Hammer's Frankenstein series. Not the best of the series, but surprisingly well-done and enjoyable.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968): Fourth in the Hammer Dracula series, with Christopher Lee returning in the role of the Count. Entertaining, smart, fast-paced. Lee is only on screen briefly and has little dialog, but his snarling, red-eyed, demonic appearance in this film (and it's follow-up) are probably the reason he came to be thought of, by a generation of film fans, as the ultimate screen Dracula. Apparently, at the time this was Hammer's highest grossing film.
Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/s9gGa4t4sHc
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970): Christopher Lee had determined not to play Dracula again, so Hammer cast Ralph Bates as his replacement for this film. (Also in 1970, Bates briefly replaced Peter Cushing in Hammer's Frankenstein series.) But at the last minute Hammer managed to change Lee's mind, so here he is again - with Bates shifted over to the role of Dracula's would-be acolyte. Beautifully shot, fun, solid Hammer entertainment, though not the best of the Dracula films. One of two (!) Dracula films Hammer released in 1970.
Scars of Dracula (1970): Christopher Lee is back again in one of the weaker entries in the Dracula series. Handsomely produced and not devoid of entertainment value, but it often feels tired and tedious, with occasional bursts of unnecessarily brutal violence. Lee, though, has more screen time and dialog in this entry than any of the other Dracula films he did for Hammer. After this one, Warner Brothers, which was financing and distributing Hammer's films in the US, insisted they bring the Dracula character into the modern world, so this is the last "period piece" Hammer Dracula film in which Lee played the Count.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970): One of the best of the Hammer Frankenstein series. Fast-paced, beautifully shot and performed, with a smart, inventive script. A favorite of mine.
The Horror of Frankenstein (1970): Widely viewed as a misstep when it was released, this is Hammer's attempt at a parody of their own films. (Possibly, a reaction to the popularity of Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Roman Polanski's Fearless Vampire Killers, which were both open and unabashed homage/parodies of the Hammer films.) I think Ralph Bates is a worthy stand-in for Peter Cushing and I think the film is smart and funny, though it clearly is not the best of the Hammer Frankensteins. Incidentally, that's David Prowse as the monster. He would go on to play Darth Vadar in Star Wars. He's wearing a significantly skimpier costume here.
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972): First of two Hammer Dracula films set in the 1970s. This is the film Marvel comics appears to be imitating with its Tombs of Dracula books. The first fifteen minutes of the film, which appear to be more inspired by A Clockwork Orange than anything else, are idiotic and annoying, but the film as a whole is an example of the kind of colorful, dynamic genre storytelling that Hammer excelled at. (Even at this late stage.) Peter Cushing gives a master class in the use of cigarettes and other props in screen acting. Sexy, beautiful, Caroline Munro also makes an appearance here. She would go on to appear in Hammer's Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter, as well as the Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad film, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Dracula A.D. 1972 is apparently a favorite of Tim Burton. The musical score, which was derided as being wildly inappropriate for a Dracula film when the film was first released, has now developed a cult following, as has the film itself.
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974): The last appearance of Christopher Lee as Dracula in a Hammer film. And the last time Lee would play Dracula to Cushing's Van Helsing. (Cushing would go on to play Van Helsing in one more Hammer Dracula film, Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires.) This film's story follows directly from the story of the previous film, which is unusual for Hammer. (They usually didn't stress perfect continuity in their Dracula or Frankenstein series. ) I think I prefer this one to Dracula A.D. 1972, but both are fun, colorful and reasonably fast-paced, though the stories in both films are illogical and border on the silly. One aspect of The Satanic Rites of Dracula inspired a key plot point in my film, Sleepless Nights. Joanna Lumley, who would go on to achieve fame in the popular Brit comedy show, Absolutely Fabulous, plays Van Helsing's daughter here.
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974): A return to form for the final entry in the Hammer Frankenstein series. After the commercial and critical failure of the series' attempted reboot, Horror of Frankenstein, Ralph Bates is out and Peter Cushing is back as Baron Frankenstein. This is a smart, well-crafted finale for the series, though it's an unusually grim and bleak film for the series, and the monster (once again played by David Prowse) is one of the more absurd iterations of the monster.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974): The last of the Hammer Dracula series, with Peter Cushing back for a final turn as Van Helsing. This unusual mash-up of two exploitation film genres (decades before From Dusk Till Dawn) was the result of a co-producing deal between Hammer and Sir Run Run Shaw, the legendary Hong Kong film producer. Surprisingly well-done and entertaining, especially if you're a kung fu film fan. The appearance of John Forbes-Robinson as Dracula at the film's climax is its most disappointing moment. Heavily made up and speaking in a ridiculously ominous voice, he looks less like Christopher Lee's Dracula and more like someone made up for Halloween trick-or-treating. The film struggled to find distribution in the US, as was the case with Satanic Rites of Dracula. Both were eventually re-cut, retitled and dumped on the market by "Dynamite Films," an exploitation film distributor. After Dynamite Films went out of business, both Satanic Rites and 7 Golden Vampires entered into the public domain, a status they have been rescued from by Warner, which has asserted its copyright and recently released Blu-ray editions of the films. Years later, Sir Run Run Shaw would also co-produce Blade Runner. Hammer would make just two more films after Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires: To the Devil, A Daughter, with Christopher Lee and Richard Widmark, and a remake of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, with Elliot Gould and Cybil Shepard. Watch FOR FREE on YouTube: https://youtu.be/eA_L4L0qrAs
Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (1974): This quirky, off-beat Hammer vampire film was directed by Brian Clemens, who wrote and produced The Avengers, for British TV. (He's responsible for casting Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel.) The film shows the influence of the Sergio Leone spaghetti western films and may itself have served as an influence on Marvel's comic and film series character, Blade. Interesting and memorable. Watch FOR FREE on Hammer's Official YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/RsWAVsRefSg
Quatermass & the Pit (1967): One of Hammer's best, based on Nigel Kneale's groundbreaking British TV serial. Science fiction with supernatural horror overtones. Loaded with great ideas. Echoes of this film can be seen in The X-Files among other TV series and films. Well performed and shot. A favorite of mine.
The Mummy (1959): While Hammer's first two big hits, Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula, were ostensibly adaptations of novels in the public domain and not sequels or remakes of Universal's classic horror films from the 30s, the studio's great success led to collaborations with Universal, such as Evil of Frankenstein, and licensing arrangements that allowed them to remake Universal's copyrighted material. Universal's 1932 film, The Mummy, was not based on a novel in the public domain, it was an original screenplay that led to a franchise that has so far resulted in ten movies from 1932 to 2017, so Universal unquestionably owned the copyright to the story and characters, and when Hammer decided to add The Mummy to their roster of monsters, they needed a licensing arrangement with Universal. They got one, which allowed them to use characters and plot points not just from Universal's first Mummy film, but from several of its sequels. In return Universal got the distribution rights to the film, which was so successful in its original release that Hammer ended up cranking out three sequels, the last one hitting the screens in 1971.
I have to admit that while I revere the 1932 Universal original, I was never a fan of any of the Universal Mummy sequels, which I considered tedious, and so the 1959 production of The Mummy was one Hammer film I avoided, never seeing it as a child, teenager or young adult. In fact, I only saw it for the first time about two years ago. I sought it out, finally, because I had begun to develop a special appreciation for the work of director Terence Fisher. I'm glad I did, because it's definitely in the front rank of Hammer films. It has the lavish, richly colorful look that was by then a hallmark of Hammer productions; it's smart, well-paced, tightly scripted and has a surprisingly nuanced performance, by Christopher Lee, of the title character. In his portrayal of the creature in Curse of Frankenstein and the Count in Horror of Dracula, Lee showed that even when he had little or no dialog, he could bring a degree of depth to monster characters through physicality alone, and he does the same here. He's very much the rampaging monster at times, but his eyes and his body language create an impression of a mummy that has thoughts, emotions and dimensions to its personality that aren't even hinted at in the Universal sequels or in Hammer's own sequels. (In two of Hammer's Mummy movies, the mummy's face is hidden behind bandages, so no emoting is necessary.)
Buy or rent The Mummy (1959) on YouTube: https://youtu.be/uojNB-SbDEo
The Devil Rides Out (1968): This may be my favorite Hammer film. It's another Terence Fisher film, and another with Christopher Lee in the lead. It's based on a terrible novel by a terrible writer, Dennis Wheatley, but the screenwriter, Richard Matheson (of I Am Legend, Duel, Hell House and Twilight Zone fame) does a terrific job of finding all that is exciting, suspenseful and entertaining in the novel, while weeding out most of the dumb, racist, reactionary stuff Wheatley was famous for. (While he's almost entirely forgotten today, and his books are largely out of print, he was, for a time, one of the best selling authors in the English language.)
Some of the story ideas in The Devil Rides Out made their way into my story for Demon Resurrection. My villain, Toth, is essentially Mocata, the villainous cult leader played with such elan by the great Charles Gray. In fact, Demon Resurrection could be seen as one half The Devil Rides Out, and one half Night of the Living Dead.
For once, Lee has an enormous amount of dialog, and he delivers it with speed and style, punctuating each line with flourishes of his hands and eyebrows. One could say this is "hand and eyebrow acting" at its most entertaining. The rest of the cast is equally good, with Grey giving the screen one of its most urbane villains. (He would later bring his wit and style to the role of Blofeld in the Bond film, Diamonds are Forever.)
The film was not a big hit for Hammer when it came out. 1968 was the year of Rosemary's Baby and perhaps critics and audiences found The Devil Rides Out a bit too old-fashioned. But I love it, for all its absurdities and melodramatic excesses.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959): The same year Hammer's first Mummy movie came out, Hammer released its one and only Sherlock Holmes adaptation. Seeking to capitalize on their newfound fame as purveyors of horror product, they naturally turned to the Holmes adventure that had the most pronounced supernatural overtones, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Their biggest star, Peter Cushing was a natural choice to play Holmes, and he does so with great wit, style and energy. (He would go on to play Holmes in a BBC series in 1965.) Their other biggest star, Christopher Lee got a lesser role in the film, not as Watson but instead as Sir Henry Baskerville, the film's romantic lead. (He'd go on to play Holmes in a 1962 German film, with Terence Fisher directing, and in two leaden American TV movies in the early 90s.)
I've always thought of the Universal 1939 version of this story, with Basil Rathbone, as the definitive film version, but I've always enjoyed this one as well. Cushing is in the upper tier of actors who have played the character, and the film itself, like most of the best Hammer films, is colorful, fast moving and stylish.
Buy or rent on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wMwMGhZBAJU
The Lost Continent (1968): The same year Hammer released The Devil Rides Out, it also released this film adaptation of another Dennis Wheatley novel. This one is more adventure than horror, and it has what must be the wackiest plot of any Hammer film, involving the crew and passengers of a tramp steamer loaded with explosive cargo, getting lost in the Sargasso Sea and discovering a secret civilization made up of pirates and the descendents of Spanish Conquistadors. Oh, and there's giant lobsters and killer seaweed to deal with as well. It's a blast.
There are several more interesting and entertaining Hammer films that are worth catching, but if you see only those I've mentioned in this email, you'll have a pretty good overview of the company's output. For what it's worth, my favorites are:
1.) The Devil Rides Out
2.) Quatermass and the Pit
3.) Brides of Dracula
4.) Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
5.) Horror of Dracula
6.) Curse of Frankenstein
Lee and Cushing also appeared in a number of films for Hammer's chief competitor during the 50s, 60s & 70s: Amicus Films. Amicus is probably best known for producing the first film adaptations of the EC horror comics, Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. Their specialty was the portmanteau or anthology film – collections of several short horror stories, often by writers like Robert Bloch, with a wrap-around story holding it all together. Their EC adaptations are great fun (and were big hits in their day) and the company turned out a number of other entertaining productions including three Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptations in the 70s, The Land that Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot and At the Earth's Core. One has to have a pretty high tolerance for men in rubber dinosaur suits to enjoy these films, but I have fond memories of them from seeing them in local theaters when they were first released. (Hammer also made a couple of dinosaur films, one of which, One Million Years, BC, was among their biggest hits in the 1960s, and made a star of Raquel Welch. The dinosaurs in that film, however, are the work of the great Ray Harryhausen, so they're of a higher order of quality than the Amicus efforts, which are perhaps superior to the Japanese monster films, but probably look pretty silly to modern, post-Jurassic Park audiences.)
If, after sampling Hammer's offerings, you'd like to venture into Amicus territory, let me know and I'll send you a list of links to their best films. For now though, I'll just leave you with one Amicus title, their first film, produced before they'd even settled on their company name:
Horror Hotel, aka The City of the Dead (1960), is a wonderfully atmospheric and effective tale of witches and occultism starring Christopher Lee. It's well worth checking out. It can be viewed FREE on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/W7As-qun8MI
This week Carey, and Mr. Poe sat down with the cast and crew of the upcoming film 6:45.
In this heart-racing psychological thriller, we are introduced to Bobby Patterson who is taking one last romantic shot at saving his rocky relationship with his girlfriend Jules Rables on a weekend getaway.
The couple arrives for vacation in the quiet island resort called "Bog Grove." To their bewilderment, the sleepy beach town is curiously deserted and they quickly learn about its deadly history that's about to repeat itself.
Bobby’s struggles with Jules are cast aside in order to overcome a dementing cycle of terror that transpires. No matter what he does to try to avoid it, he and his girlfriend wake up at 6:45 each morning to the same nightmarish chain of events that lead to them being viciously murdered with no chance of escape.
This week Carey and Aaron are joined once again by William Hopkins, and Erik K. Myers to talk about The Omen.
A few notes from William
A few corrections and clarifications of some statements made during the podcast...
• At around 00:07:49, I repeat something David Seltzer said in a 2014 interview that turns out to be wrong. Seltzer says he was inspired by the success of the novelization of the film JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL to write the novelization of his screenplay for THE OMEN.
But JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL was not based on a screenplay. The book, written by Richard Bach and published in 1970, was a collection of shorter pieces Bach had previously published. The book was adapted into the screenplay for the film, which was released in 1973.
The book Seltzer is thinking of is Erich Segal's LOVE STORY, and it's probably because of the last name of the LOVE STORY author that Seltzer confused the two books.
Segal, who also contributed to the script for the Beatles' animated film, YELLOW SUBMARINE, turned his LOVE STORY screenplay into a novel that became a bestseller in 1970. The film was #1 at the box office when it was released to theaters in 1971.
• At around 00:25:04, we discuss Oscar nominations for Jerry Goldsmith's music for THE OMEN. Here are the facts: In 1977, Goldsmith's AVE SATANI received an Academy Award nomination in the BEST SONG category, and his score for THE OMEN won the Oscar for BEST MUSIC: ORIGINAL SCORE.
I've been unable to find evidence of any "dancing nun" performance of AVE SATANI at the 1977 Oscar presentation.
• At around 00:11:49, I mistakenly declare the great British director Mike Hodges dead. He is not.
• At around 00:28:58, there is a question about whether OMEN II actor, Robert Foxworth, is still alive. He is.
Relatively recently, he supplied the voice of "Ratchet" in the TRANSFORMERS movies.
His hairdo is no longer as easily mocked.
• At around 00:53:08, I have trouble remembering the name of the actor who played Jennings, the photographer, in the 2006 remake of THE OMEN. The actor's name is David Thewlis.
• At around 00:56:27 I suggest that budgets for Hammer Films in the 70s were in the million dollar range. Actually their budgets were considerably less. Hammer's next-to-last horror film production, TO THE DEVIL, A DAUGHTER, had a budget of £360,000.
• At around 01:06:41, while discussing the abysmal sequel, OMEN IV: THE AWAKENING, I state that no one other than actor Michael Woods is holding an umbrella during the closing funeral scene, which is supposed to be taking place in the rain. Actually, there are a number of other mourners holding umbrellas, which are wet, but there's no falling rain visible.
• At 01:16:52, I erroneously state that Hitchcock had a giant brandy snifter built for a shot in one of his films, so that the snifter and an actor in the distance would both be in sharp focus. This is wrong. The scene I was thinking of is in SPELLBOUND (1945) and the object Hitchcock had built was a giant fake hand holding a gun, not a brandy snifter.
If anyone knows of any Hitchcock film that featured a giant brandy snifter, I would be obliged if you'd pass that information along to me :)
• At 01:18:38, there's a question about how Hitchcock filmed the shot, in PSYCHO, of Arbogast falling backwards down the flight of stairs leading up to Mrs. Bates' room. Here's how it was done: Hitchcock shot a background plate of a descent down the staircase and then had the actor, Martin Balsam, sit in a gimbal chair in front of a rear-projection screen, lean back and flail his arms as if tumbling backwards.
This week on a special Shallow Grave Billy, and Carey are joined by special guest host Noellie Burger to talk all things horror and give you some great Indiegogo campaigns that you can support.
(3 days left)
(4 days left)
(9 days left)
(9 days left)
(12 days left)
(13 days left)
(14 days left)
(15 days left)
(16 days left)
(43 days left)
(47 days left)
This week Carey, and Mr. Poe sat down and talked to writer/director/producer David Black. David is working on a "filmed during lock down" film, titled Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space.
Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space is a crazy, off the wall sci-fi/ horror movie that is being produced during the pandemic lock downs. It pays homage to many of the B grade movies of yesteryear that are seen as cult classics today.
This week we had a blast talking with Ash Hamilton writer and Producer of the beautifully titled "The True Tale of Ole Splitfoot vs the Lesbian Warrior Nuns of the Great White North". After you listen hop on over to the films Indiegogo and toss some hard earned money their way, and make sure to visit Ash's web sit Horror-Fix.
This week Carey and Mr Poe had a talk with Dan Bridge, and Emily McGuiness. We talked about Horror movies, comics and their upcoming graphic novel The Zombie Game. Emily has a book titled Dead Stinking Animals, and Dan has a web series The Fall Dude, links are listed below.
This week we had a so much fun talking with Jordan Elizabeth Gelber, Jordan has been on the TV shows "The Americans", and "House of Cards" she also wrote and directed a short film titled "Legit". Jordan has also created a network featuring some really great shows.
We talk about everything from the new Star Wars game, Hellraiser TV show, and Carey still hates all of the different streaming services I introduce the guys to Neil Breen and you can watch the clip we watch during the show here Faithful Findings zoom didnt record the audio while we were watching it.
This week Carey, and Mr. Poe sat down with Whitney Causey Benson to talk about her upcoming film Red Summer Massacre, Witchcraft, and modeling for BloodyGOREgeous.
This week Carey and Mr Poe sat down with Dave, Amber, and Michael to talk about their current Indiegogo campaign for the upcoming horror film Bloody Summer Camp.
This week Mr Poe and Carey struggle to get through Billy's pick with out him. They also talk about upcoming films
Bloody Summer Camp Bloody Summer Camp Indiegogo
Strix Strix indiegogo
Mr Poe will be attending Cult Classic Convention in Feb
The whole gang will be at Fear Fest WV in August
Our new website 1313inc
Its the New Years episode the guys cant remember when movies came out, Carey was really tired, and they created some monsters.