A Trailer a Day Keeps the Boogeyman Away! Halloween A-Z


Horrors of the Black Museum 1959

Horrors of the Black Museum is a 1959 British-American horror film directed by Arthur Crabtree (Fiend Without a Face 1958). Filmed in Hypno-Vista and introduced by the ‘renowned hypnotist Emil Franchell, Horrors of the Black Museum was the first American International release to be in both color and CinemaScope. It is notable for its focus on gruesome crimes and a macabre museum of murder weapons.

The story revolves around a series of heinous crimes particularly against women in London that involve bizarre and deadly murder methods. A Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Lodge (John Warwick), becomes involved in the investigation and discovers a common thread among the crimes—the victims all have a connection to a small, private museum known as the “Black Museum.”

The museum, run by Edmund Bancroft (Michael Gough), is dedicated to showcasing murder weapons and instruments used in famous and infamous crimes throughout history. A frustrated writer of crime thrillers wants accurate crimes for his next book so he hypnotizes his assistant to make him commit the required crimes.

As Inspector Lodge delves deeper into the investigation, he begins to suspect that Bancroft may have a more sinister role in the recent murders. The cast includes June Cunningham as Joan Berkley, Shirley Anne Field as Angela Banks, Dorinda Steves as Gail Dunlop, Graham Curnow as Rick, and Geoffrey Keen as Supt. Graham. It was the last screen appearance of British actress Beatrice Varley in the role of Aggie. The scene with the binoculars still gives me the willies!

Hand of Death 1962

Hand of Death is a 1962 American science fiction horror film directed by Gene Nelson.

John Agar stars as Alex Marsh has created a serum combining a hypnotic drug and nerve gas. Unfortunately spills the formula, breathing the vapors and getting some on his hands causing the drug to transform him into a murderous monster. The film co-stars Paula Raymond as Carol Wilson. The little boy playing by the beach is Butch Patrick, who two years later was cast as Eddie Munster on “The Munsters.”

The Horror of Frankenstein 1970

The Horror of Frankenstein is a 1970 British horror film produced by Hammer Film Productions, and directed by Jimmy Sangster.

Essentially a remake of The Curse of Frankenstein 1957, Sangster infused this film with a dose of black comedy. A gory reimagining of the Frankenstein mythos with Ralph Bates as the overly dour mad scientist. The film includes Hammer’s incessant provocation to highlight their scream queen’s grandiose cleavage, in this case, Kate O’Mara who plays the conniving housekeeper, and Veronica Carlson as Elizabeth Heiss, Victor’s fiancée. The monster who is merely a killing machine is played by Dave Prowse who certainly has the presence to pull it off, having revised the incarnation of the monster in the superior Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell in 1974. The fabulous Dennis Price plays a merry body snatcher, Jon Finch as the unrelenting police lieutenant.

House of Dark Shadows 1970

House of Dark Shadows is a 1970 American horror film directed by Dan Curtis. It is based on the popular Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” and serves as a feature-length adaptation of the television series, and faithfully carries the torch of its television legacy.

The story centers on Barnabas Collins (played by the mesmerizing Jonathan Frid), a 175-year-old vampire who was inadvertently released from his tomb in the 20th century. Upon his return to Collinwood, the ancestral home of the Collins family, Barnabas becomes embroiled in the lives of his distant relatives, who are unaware of his supernatural nature.

As Barnabas tries to adjust to the modern era, he becomes entangled in a web of dark family secrets, hidden agendas, and forbidden love. His presence at Collinwood unleashes a series of tragic events, including a deadly romantic entanglement with Maggie Evans (played by Kathryn Leigh Scott), who bears a striking resemblance to his lost love from centuries past.

In the shadowy corridors of House of Dark Shadows, a spectral tale unfolds, woven from the threads of a timeless Gothic tapestry. This cinematic masterpiece breathes life into the beloved Dark Shadows television series, where secrets, passions, and the supernatural converge in an intoxicating dance of darkness and light. Amidst the opulent backdrop of Collinwood, forbidden romances blossom like fragile night-blooming flowers. The delicate beauty of Maggie Evans, an unwitting doppelgänger of Barnabas’ lost love, becomes the centerpiece of a love story that transcends time.

We step into the ancestral mansion shrouded in whispers of the past, where the enigmatic Barnabas Collins, emerges like a nocturnal monarch from a sepulchral slumber. A vampire of centuries, Barnabas is both cursed and captivating, his brooding presence casting an eerie allure over a family unaware of the malevolent forces that have entered their lives.

House of Dark Shadows expertly blends elements of Gothic horror, melodrama, and supernatural intrigue. It caters to fans of the “Dark Shadows” TV series while delivering a suspenseful and atmospheric horror experience for a broader audience. The film explores themes of the eternal struggle between darkness and humanity in the context of a vampire’s tormented existence.

This cinematic odyssey draws inspiration from its television progenitor, ‘Dark Shadows,’ a groundbreaking show that dared to blend melodrama, mystique, and the supernatural soap opera featuring complex characters, and mysterious plotlines, offering a lavish and suspenseful tribute to a realm where the boundaries between the living and the undead blur, and where the eternal struggle between light and shadow ask the question, is redemption possible.

Horror Express 1972

Horror Express is a 1972 British-Spanish horror film directed by Eugenio Martín (It Happened at Nightmare Inn 1973). This horror/sci-fi hybrid is set in 1906 and revolves around a suspenseful and supernatural mystery that unfolds aboard the Trans-Siberian Express, a train traveling from China to Moscow.

The story begins when Professor Sir Alexander Saxton, portrayed by Christopher Lee, a British archaeologist, and scientist makes a remarkable discovery in 1906 during the turn of the century: a prehistoric humanoid fossil of an Ape/extraterrestrial lifeforce in China frozen in a block of ice. He decides to transport the mysterious specimen and smuggle it back to Europe on the Trans-Siberian Express embarking on a journey across snow-covered landscapes from Shanghai to Moscow. However, as the train makes its way through the frozen Russian landscape, strange and terrifying events start to occur.

A fellow scientist, Dr. Wells, played by Peter Cushing, resorts to bribery to secure train tickets, persuades a baggage handler to investigate Professor Saxton’s discovery and has a very assertive female assistant. He becomes intrigued by the frozen remains of the fossil and decides to examine it. To their horror, they realize that the creature is not dead but in a state of suspended animation. Furthermore, the fossil is capable of absorbing the knowledge and memories of those who come into contact with it.

As passengers on the train begin to die under mysterious circumstances, it becomes clear that an ancient and malevolent force has been awakened. The professors must work together to confront a supernatural threat that defies explanation, all while dealing with the growing paranoia and fear among the train’s passengers. There’s chaos when the creature escapes from the box, sucking the minds out of its victims, ending in the heart-pounding spectacle as the reanimated bloody-eyed undead attack the rest of the passengers as they hurtle towards a cliff. The film features impressive makeup by Fernando Florido and a cranked-up score by John Cacavas (Airport ’75).

Horror Express is known for its atmospheric shivers and the chemistry between Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, titans of the institution that is Hammer and two legends of the horror genre. The eerie setting of the Trans-Siberian Express adds to the overall suspense, creating a claustrophobic and chilling atmosphere as the characters battle a force beyond their comprehension. Horror Express also co-stars Rasputin-like Father Pujardov Alberto de Mendoza, Telly Savalas as the hostile cossack Capt. Kazan, Silvia Tortosa as Countess Irina and Julio Pena as Inspector Mirov and Helga Liné as Natasha.


Peter Cushing arrived in Spain for filming and immediately told producer Bernard Gordon that he could not do the picture, as he felt it was too soon after his wife’s death. Christopher Lee convinced Cushing to stay on by reminiscing with him about the previous movies they’d worked on together, much to the relief of Gordon.

In an episode of Trailers from Hell 2007  who is a fan of the film, noted that the original American theatrical release prints were nigh-unwatchable, as they featured overly-dark color grading, as well as printed-in splices and damage. In his autobiography,Bernard Gordon  noted that executive producer Benjamin Fisz sold the film’s US rights to Scotia International for $100,000, of which he received very little due to a tax deal that was in effect at the time. This left him and Gordon unable to pay back a $150,000 debt (equivalent to half the film’s budget) to a Spanish bank that had loaned the money to them, which resulted in the original camera negative being impounded. As a result, the US theatrical prints had to be struck from the film’s beaten-up workprint.

The film’s acclaimed musical score marks the debut of John Cacavas as a film composer, who broke into the film industry thanks to his friendship with telly Savalas . Cacavas would later create the music for Savalas’ TV series Kojak 1973.

This is your EverLovin’ Joey saying I’ve been H’ell bent on bringing you the letter I!

MonsterGirl Asks: Kathryn Leigh Scott

A Happy Valentine’s to Kathryn Leigh Scott and the legacy of the romantic, tragic figure of Maggie Evans & Josette Dupree 🧡

Kathryn Leigh Scott, 1967. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“I know that you are dead, but still you are alive. I’m not afraid of you, only of living without you.” -Josette to Barnabas

One of the more recent primal rituals we find ourselves indulging in these days is the act of ‘binge watching’ a series in order to escape what ever it is any of us might feel the need to break free from. Though, I grew up in the 1960s and can remember sitting close to our large Magnavox television console when Dark Shadows would come into view on the tv screen, I’d be instantly drawn to composer Robert Colbert‘s evocative score and that symbolic opening with the tumultuous waves crashing beneath the titles. I was lucky enough to watch the show unfold on air in reel time in 1966. It originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971 before the series went into syndication.

It is significant to note that Dark Shadows is one of the few classic television soap operas to have all of its episodes survive intact except one.

In 1966 on June 27th, the prolific master of the macabre Dan Curtis debuted his Gothic soap opera series Dark Shadows – the show still has it’s faithful cult following and had started a mania and love affair with it’s viewers. Dark Shadows was saluted as the first daytime drama styled in the Gothic novel tradition. A spooky, cultivated, suspenseful weekly half hour chamber pieces, that reverberated with Gothic fable like overtones becoming a pop culture phenomenon. The premise centered around the wealthy and tormented inhabitants of the mysterious Collinwood that had a pall that hung over the great estate besieged by curses and dark forces and supernatural narratives. The powerful and self indulgent Collins family, whose ancestors founded Collinsport Maine a small fishing village are seemingly haunted and always on the brink of destruction by scandal and supernatural scourge. Throughout the centuries, generations of the Collins family have their very own built in vengeful spirits and malefic curses. In 1967, when the series faced cancellation, Jonathan Frid joins the cast as the sympathetic vampire Barnabas Collins and revives the show. With it’s 1897 storyline featuring David Selby, as Quentin Collins draws a viewership of 20 million fans. In 1970 MGM released a feature motion picture Night of Dark Shadows. The show became syndicated in 1975 and in 1982 reruns began airing for the first time on PBS. In 1992 reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel ran until 2001, airing the entire run of 1,225 episodes.

Kathryn Leigh Scott and Dan Curtis on the set of House of Dark Shadows (1970)

On the set of the major motion picture spinoff of Dark Shadows-House of Dark Shadows (1970) Kathryn Leigh Scott, Roger Davis and Grayson Hall.

Down the road, I intend on covering in depth all the mythos and classical literary allusions to the groundbreaking show itself here at The Last Drive In. The marvelous cast and crew, the prolific elements of mystery, the supernatural and fantasy, that threaded the show with frightening motifs, melodramatic dread and tragic narratives, tributes to legendary nightmarish tales of the occult, Gothic romantic novels and the paranormal, even Bill Baird’s little bat puppet that made up the shadowy world of Dark Shadows!

For now, like Barnabas Collins I long to show some love for the beautiful woman who captured his heart and ours, Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans & Josette DuPrés.

Continue reading “MonsterGirl Asks: Kathryn Leigh Scott”

Postcards from Shadowland No. 8

Ace in The Hole 1951
Billy Wilder’s Ace in The Hole (1951) Starring Kirk Douglas and Jan Sterling
Brute Force
Jules Dassin’s prison noir masterpiece-Brute Force 1947 starring Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, and Charles Bickford
citizen kane-
Orson Welles- Citizen Kane (1941) also starring Joseph Cotten
devil and daniel webster
William Dieterle’s The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941
hangover square
Directed by John Brahm-Hangover Square 1945 starring Laird Cregar , Linda Darnell and George Sanders
House by The River
Fritz Lang’s House By The River 1950 starring Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman and Jane Wyatt.
i cover waterfront-1933
I Cover the Waterfront 1933- Claudette Colbert, Ben Lyon and Ernest Torrence
Jewel Mayhew and Wills Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte
Robert Aldrich’s Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte 1964 starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotton, Mary Astor, Agnes Moorehead and Cecil Kellaway
Key Largo
John Huston’s Key Largo 1948 Starring Edward G Robinson, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Killers Kiss
Stanley Kubrick’s Killers Kiss 1955 Starring Frank Silvera and Irene Kane.
Lady from Shanghai(1947)
Orson Welles penned the screenplay and stars in iconic film noir The Lady from Shanghai 1947 featuring the sensual Rita Hayworth, also starring Everett Sloane
lady in cage james caan++billingsley
Lady in a Cage 1964 directed by Walter Grauman and starring Olivia de Havilland, James Caan, and Jennifer Billingsley.
long dark hall
The Long Dark Hall 1951 Starring Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer
lorre M
Fritz Lang’s chilling M (1931) Starring Peter Lorre
Mark Robson The Seventh Victim
Mark Robson directs, Val Lewton’s occult shadow piece The Seventh Victim 1943 Starring Kim Hunter, Tim Conway and Jean Brooks
Meeting leo-Ace in the hole with leo 1951
Kirk Douglas in Ace In The Hole 1951 written and directed by Billy Wilder
mifune-and-yamamoto in Drunkin Angel 48
Akira Kurosawa’s film noir crime thriller Drunken Angel (1948) starring Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune
Panic in the Streets
Elia Kazan’s socio-noir Panic in The Streets 1950 starring Jack Palance, Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes and Zero Mostel
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona 1966 starring Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson
Queen of Spades
The Queen of Spades 1949 directed by Thorold Dickinson and starring Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans and Yvonne Mitchell
Saint Joan of the Angels 1
Director Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s beautifully filmed Mother Joan of The Angels 1961 starring Lucyna Winnicka.
shanghai express
Josef von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express 1932 Starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna May Wong
The Devil and Daniel Webster
The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941
The Haunting
Robert Wise’s The Haunting 1963. Screenplay by Nelson Gidding based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. Starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Russ Tamblyn
the Unsuspected_1947
Michael Curtiz’s The Unsuspected 1947 starring Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield and Audrey Totter
Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana 1961 Starring Silvia Pinal, Fernando Rey and Fransisco Rabal
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?
Robert Aldrich’s cult grande dame classic starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford-What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? 1962