Posts Tagged ‘Please Hammer dont hurt em

05
Oct
15

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971)

Does anyone out there still rent Netflix discs? Is it just the old people? Do I count as an old person because 1) I’m 35 and 2) I rent discs from Netflix? Should I stop asking rhetorical questions? Sometimes I wonder why I continue to rent the discs, since I go through cycles of watching them and then not watching them for months on end, letting them sit there on the table by the front door. But it’s just so hard to let go! I’ve been a disc customer for so long, bloodfromthemummystomb_2and I feel a real emotional attachment to my disc queue, which is why it pains me so damn hard to watch the discs drop from the queue to the ‘saved’ section like flies. But even still, it’s my security blanket: if I’m not sure I want to buy a movie I’ve never seen and it’s not streaming, it’s the best and cheapest way to rent a flick, since Netflix pretty much destroyed any chance of walking out the door and finding a decent place to rent movies. Sorry, but Redbox does not fucking cut it. And I am not one of those people who will just watch whatever is available. In fact, I think that’s the worst thing about Netflix streaming – I tell someone to watch a movie and the first question I get is: “is it on Netflix?” What the fuck! A movie’s only worth seeking out if you can sit on your ass and click a few buttons to get there? Pshaw!

Well anyway, that’s a long way ’round to introducing Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, a disc I’d had sitting around for nearly half a year. It was kind of one of those unintentional rentals; I’d added it to my queue so long ago and didn’t do proper maintenance after returning the disc beforehand and it just came in the mail. And sat. And sat. And sat. I guess I was under the impression it would be some old, muddy print of a boring movie I never meant to watch and only threw on the queue because it had the word “mummy” in it. Luckily it was much better than I expected.

As with most Hammer horror, and most mummy movies for that matter, the plot is pretty simple. An archaeologist named Fuchs brings back the severed hand of a pristinely-preserved Egyptian priestess. Frankly I’m not sure why she’s referred to as a mummy, because she is not mummified! She’s just a regular woman in a sarcophagus who happened to avoid decomposing for thousands of years. She even manages to maintain perky, tasteful underboob.

A disembodied hand is rarely a good thing.

A disembodied hand is rarely a good thing.

NBD. Fuchs suspects the mummy, otherwise known as Queen Tera, has some weird, deep connection with his daughter Margaret. Which kinda makes sense when you notice they’re played by the same actress (Valerie Leon).

So, the night before Margaret’s birthday, she is waiting patiently for her boyfriend Tod Browning (yeah, that’s his name folks) to come pick her up. Before Tod shows up, Fuchs gives her this gaudy old ring for ‘protection.’ From what? Or whom? And why is Tod’s mentor so afraid of it? And why is everyone in London suddenly an archaeologist? I guess these old fogies know some shit’s about to go down on Margaret’s birthday, and everyone involved in the original Queen Tera expedition is greedily guarding the relics they kept for themselves, hoping it will protect them from whatever evil the Queen has in mind for the world at large. But with Margaret suddenly (psychically?) connected to Tera, can they stop the worst from happening?

Not bad for a thousands-year-old broad.

Not bad for a thousands-year-old broad.

Okay, a lot of the movie doesn’t make much sense. But, it’s rare that I watch a Hammer film expecting a riveting, thoughtful plot, so I don’t care. This movie still has a lot going for it. First of all, everyone is so god damn fashionable, especially Margaret and Tod, who must have a different jacket for every day of the week. I guess Tod comes from money, because he drives some hot-ass cars that would be just impossible to afford on an archaeological apprentice’s wages! While it’s all pretty cheap and unimaginative, the Egyptian tchotchkes and costumes are vibrant and fun. But, perhaps, not as vibrant or fun as the electric-red blood spattered on everyone’s throats once Queen Tera is done with them!

I’m not saying you should rush out and get a copy of Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. But if you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of one, or find a copy for a relatively affordable price, pick it up. It’s good, harmless fun. If you’re already bought in to Hammer horror, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this one, too.

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08
Dec
13

The Devil Rides Out (1968)

A fangless Christopher Lee

A fangless Christopher Lee

Don’t you hate it when your dead best friend’s son gets involved with a Satanic Cult? It’s even more of a bummer when you promised your dearly-departed pal you’d watch over the kid. This is exactly the predicament in which Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee)  finds himself in Hammer’s The Devil Rides Out.

Richleau first suspects some weird stuff is going down when he and his useless friend Rex stop by their friend’s place and find his son Simon hosting a strange party with some even stranger people. The party is apparently for some secret society, and Richleau and Rex find themselves unwelcome. Promising to leave, they instead head upstairs

Rex and  Tanith drive as far away from Mocata as possible... but is that good enough?

Rex and Tanith drive as far away from Mocata as possible… but is that good enough?

to a room with a pentagram on the floor, chickens in a box, and a telescope pointing towards the soon-to-be-eclipsed moon!

We soon find out that Simon and a young lady named Tanith are the victims of brainwashing and mind control at the hands of the ringleader of the cult, a strange fellow named Mocata. He needs the two youths to reach the right number of people (thirteen, of course) to summon the goat-headed demon from the depths of hell! But Richleau and Rex, who’s fallen in love with young Tanith, will stop at nothing to keep Mocata from

Mocata and the goat-headed demon!

Mocata and the goat-headed demon!

using the two kids to complete his evil plan.

This movie is good, Satanic fun à la Hammer’s 1968 vision. Who wouldn’t want to see Christopher Lee battling the demons of hell?! Frankly, it’s nice to see Lee play the good guy for once. My one complaint is Rex’s character; he is so damn useless and stupid, he made me downright angry by the end of the thing! If I had a nickel for every time Rex did something stupid to endanger the lives of those he’s trying to protect, I’d have at least 25 cents.

 

11
Jul
13

Paranoiac (1963)

"What do you mean I can't buy more brandy?"

“What do you mean I can’t buy more brandy?”

The trials and tribulations of wealthy brats are, much like the battle between good and evil, endless fodder for the world of film. They are also much more fun to watch when Oliver Reed is playing said wealthy brat. While it may be concerned with well-trod territory, Paranoiac managed to surprise me, in good ways, all the way to the end.

Simply put, the Ashbys are a mess. The eldest son, Simon (Reed) is a little too fond of the drink (you don’t say?) and dares to smoke while playing organ at the local church. His sister Eleanor is mad, or so they say. They’re watched over by their battle-axe Aunt Harriet, who tries desperately to keep her niece and nephew under wraps. Things fell apart when their parents died, and got worse, especially for Eleanor, when

The anguish is palpable.

The anguish is palpable.

their brother Tony died. Now, every day is a battle for Harriet as she attempts to deal with Simon’s irreverent behavior and Eleanor’s desperate madness. Then something unthinkable happens: Tony comes back. They never found the body, after all. But, is it Tony, or a fraud looking for his share of the inheritance?

What follows is the unraveling of a family’s deepest, darkest secrets. As the mask is lifted we learn of one bizarre secret after another, and all the while, crazy shit’s happening elsewhere, too! Reminiscent of Psycho and Diabolique, this movie isn’t your typical Hammer fare; this movie is not looking to shock you. It’s not interested in cheap thrills (well, maybe just a little bit!). Instead it’s horror is more psychological, and it actually does a pretty darn good job. A pleasant surprise.

05
Jul
13

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Marques Siniestro takes pleasure in his new wife's disgust as well as mocking the poor beggar...

Marques Siniestro takes pleasure in his new wife’s disgust as well as mocking the poor beggar…

Attention single ladies: whatever you do, don’t have your out-of-wedlock child on Christmas. If you do, you’ll have a werewolf on your hands – at least, according to Hammer Film Productions. Of course, I can’t help but think this poor child’s conception had something to do with his terrible fate…

A long time ago in Spain, a beggar asked for money, food; anything. Cruel folks send him to Marques Siniestro’s estate on the night of his wedding; Siniestro was the only guy with any cash to spare. Siniestro mocks the beggar and throws him in jail, where he stays for fifteen years, kept alive by the jailer’s mute daughter. Her kindness doesn’t help her when she, too, is thrown into the jail. The beggar’s manly appetites have gone

Our mute mother can't even cry for help...

Our mute mother can’t even cry for help…

unsatisfied for fifteen years, after all, and she sure is cute, so he rapes her, and then dies.

Luckily, the poor woman is found face-down in the water by confirmed bachelor Don Alfredo Corledo, who valiantly saves her life. His housekeeper Teresa nurses the pregnant mute back to health and through her pregnancy, only to watch her die after giving birth to her son, Leon (ultimately played by Oliver Reed). The boy grows up happily, but soon a rash of livestock deaths expose his affliction, and the local priest warns that the boy will

Oh, goodness gracious it's so hard to be Oliver Reed!

Oh, goodness gracious it’s so hard to be Oliver Reed!

always need to be surrounded by love and affection to keep his lupine tendencies at bay.

Teresa and the Don shower the young boy with the love he needs, and all is well until, as a grown man, he decides to leave home to make his own way. Released into the wild, the young man has no control over his condition, and suffers nothing but anguish, frustration and disappointment away from home.

So, there you have it, a Hammer film starring Oliver Reed as an

THESE HANDS!

THESE HANDS!

anguished werewolf. Why wouldn’t you want to watch this? As always, Hammer keeps it stylish and light, even given the dreary subject matter. Oliver Reed’s frustration is almost palpable as he smolders his way through the film, but that’s really no surprise, is it? He is, quite probably, the best part of the movie, even though we don’t see him until halfway through. Those eyes, those hands, those frilly shirts, that sweaty brow… oh my!

 

10
Jun
13

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Haughty young Victor

Haughty young Victor

Seeing as how Dr. Frankenstein and his monster may very well be two of the most commonly recurring characters in cinematic history, it’s no surprise they’re already making their fifth appearance on Schlock Wave. This time, Hammer gets to tell the tale, with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee leading the way.

The tale starts off with a young Victor Frankenstein, a real entitled dandy if there ever was one. With both parents passed away and an entire estate to handle, what’s a boy to do but fool a brilliant teacher named Paul Krempe into coming to his estate to

Old-timey science!

Old-timey science!

be his tutor? Paul can’t resist Victor’s charms (?) and stays for years teaching the boy everything he knows about medicine.

Of course, as time passes, Victor becomes obsessed with the idea of reanimating flesh and becoming one of the most famous men in the world. Paul wants nothing of it and threatens to leave, but when Victor’s cousin/fiancée Elizabeth comes to live at the estate, Paul feels he has to protect her from the egomaniacal man Victor has become. As you are undoubtedly aware, the movie continues

The beautiful results of science and technology: Frankenstein's monster.

The beautiful results of science and technology: Frankenstein’s monster.

on to follow Victor piecing together various corpses to create a true abomination, played by Christopher Lee.

So, what makes this Frankenstein different than others? Well, keep in mind, this is a Hammer movie, so instead of some serious psychological examination or  meditation on the dangers of science + ego, it is more concerned with murder, brains, body parts and a gnarly-looking monster. And that’s totally okay. The real problem is that it moves a little too slowly and kind of stops dead at parts. I blame this mostly on the fact that this movie was made in 1957; Q and I both agree if Hammer had made this a decade later there’d be fewer boring parts and more boobs!

01
Jun
13

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is a game-changer. No, no, no actually, it’s a life-changer! I want every movie I see to be this stylish, this funny, this awesome. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this a million times already.

Death's cold embrace...

Death’s cold embrace…

It’s set hundreds of years ago, in some past where people still fight with swords and put women in the stockade for dancing on Sunday. Naive, god-fearing, and usually flower-picking young ladies are literally having the youth sucked out of them, and no one in town, not even Doctor Marcus, can figure it out. That is, of course, until the sexy Captain Kronos comes along!

Captain Kronos on a horse.

Captain Kronos on a horse.

Armed with a never-ending supply of “Chinese herbs,” the hunchbacked professor Grost, a bunch of dead toads and a frisky young woman named Carla, Kronos rides into town to at Doctor Marcus’s request. Marcus is no fool; he knows Kronos will find the youth-sucking culprit at any cost!

When bats attack.

When bats attack.

I probably don’t have to tell you that this isn’t exactly strong on plot. Plot doesn’t matter, it’s simply a vehicle for delightful, campy fun, and some boobs and blood, too. It looks so good, and that’s not just because Kronos is dead sexy. But, he is. He’s dead sexy. This movie makes me want to squeal so bad! It’s so awesome! Oh my god! Save me Kronos!

Captain Kronos and a lamp with blood on it!

Captain Kronos and a lamp with blood on it!




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Old Wave