The Vampire and the Ballerina 1960
BLOOD-LUSTING FIEND WHO PREYS ON GIRLS! VAMPIRE-QUEEN WHO FEEDS ON LIFEBLOOD OF MEN!
The Vampire and the Ballerina also known as “L’amante del vampiro,” is a 1960 Italian horror film directed by Renato Polselli. The film is notable for its blend of vampire lore and dance elements.
In a remote European village, a ballet troupe arrives at a doctor’s house that lies at the edge of a nearby castle to rehearse. The castle however is inhabited by vampires who seek to use the girl’s blood.
Among the dancers is a beautiful ballerina named Louisa played by Hélène Rémy. The village is rumored to be cursed by the vampires who live in the old ruins. As the ballet troupe rehearses for their performance, they become entangled in a series of gruesome murders.
The Vulture 1966
The Vulture 1966 is a British horror film directed by Lawrence Huntington. It’s an obscure offbeat horror film that has a strange vibe that to me almost feels like a strange fuzzy dream you don’t want to bother resorting to Jung to figure out. It is set in The film stars Robert Hutton( Man Without a Body 1957, Invisible Invaders 1959, The Slime People 1963, Trog 1970).
Read my feature on Invisible Invaders HERE:
An American atomic researcher Eric Lutens escapes to Cornwall to take a break from work and visit with his wife Trudy’s (Diane Clair) family.
In the heart of this chilling tale, a mythological creature emerges— with the face and hands of a human but the imposing colossal body of a monstrous vulture that rises up from its grave having been buried alive centuries ago and moved to an old church cemetery, now seeks vengeance on the descendants on those who put it there.
A school teacher Annette Carrell as Ellen West cutting through the church graveyard during a stormy night is frightened beyond belief and the shock sends her hair ghostly white and leaves her in a mental hospital raving mad with her unreal story telling it to anyone who will listen. The livestock are inextricably going missing, one of the local sheep is found torn to bits in a cave.
The unearthing of a golden coin and the revelation of an open grave cast an eerie spotlight on an unusual local legend. Many centuries in the past, a man named Francis Real had fallen under suspicion of practicing witchcraft. He met a gruesome fate, being seized and buried alive alongside his peculiar companion—a strange vulture-like bird along with a chest filled with valuable gold coins.
The ominous tale went on to recount that Francis Real had sworn an oath to exact revenge upon the descendants of the local squire who had supervised his burial. This unsettling revelation deeply troubles Eric, as it turns out that the cursed man had been an ancestor of Trudy’s, sending chills down their spines as they grapple with the implications of this ominous family connection.
A vigilant gamekeeper catches the faint echo of what appears to be a remarkably large bird flying over the estate owned by Trudy’s eldest surviving relative, Brian Stroud (Broderick Crawford). Intrigued he discovers a mysterious black feather on the ground.
Eric sends it to a renowned expert specializing in local avian species. His hope is that this expert can shed light on the identity of the bird, this feather belongs to. Enter Akim Tamiroff as Professor Koniglich, a local historian who needs to get around using two canes as a result of an accident. He has had dealings with Brian over the years.
Additionally, we meet Brian’s brother, Edward (Gordon Sterne) who resides in a nearby town. Koniglich listens intently to Eric’s story and hints at being intrigued by science. Eric, who works with research on atomic mutation theorizes that someone has been experimenting which ultimately created this giant monstrous bird that carries off Crawford in its gigantic vulture-like talons.
Eric panics and realizes that Trudy is the creature’s next victim. Without a moment to lose, he races back to the quiet Cornish town, but it’s a race against time as Trudy is suddenly snatched from a desolate road near the Professor’s house. The menacing beast with large claws descends from above and snatches her away.
When he gets to the Professor’s and uncovers the astonishing secret concealed within the basement—an advanced nuclear-powered laboratory. There he finds a skeleton seated at a control panel, alongside a casket that has been broken open containing the gold coins. It appears that the Professor, driven by his obsession with his lust for gold, used his equipment to switch his matter with what lay inside the buried coffin.
But the Professor’s experiment backfired when his atoms mingled with the remains of the bird, resulting in the emergence of a grotesque composite creature that had broken free from its grave.
Making his way to the hidden cave nestled within the cliffs, he confronts the Professor who in a twist is unmasked as having a colossal bird-like body concealed beneath the cloak he had always worn. The reason for the canes. In a climactic showdown, Eric shoots the creature and stumbles into the sea below the cliffs.
Vampire Circus 1972
The Circus of Nights. A hundred delight!
Vampire Circus 1972 is an extraordinarily underrated atmospheric British horror film directed by Robert Young. A village in 19th-century Europe is more than happy to welcome a traveling circus who has broken through the quarantine to take the locals’ minds off the plague. But soon their children begin to disappear and the legacy of a long-ago massacre comes full circle. Vampire Circus stars Adrience Corri as the enigmatic Gypsy and Anthony Higgens as the equally beguiling Emil. John Moulder-Brown as Anton Kersh, Richard Owens as Dr. Kersh, Laurence Payne as Albert Mueller, Thorley Walters as the Burgermeister, Lynn Frederick as Dora Mueller, Domini Blyth as Anna and Mary Wimbush as Elvira.
The story is set in a small European village plagued by a deadly outbreak of the plague. The villagers, fearing for their lives, decide to quarantine the town and prevent anyone from entering or leaving. However, a mysterious and theatrical circus that create a fairytale atmosphere once it arrives in the village, seemingly out of nowhere.
The circus, led secretly by the enigmatic Count Mitterhaus, played by Robert Tayman, becomes a source of fascination and curiosity for the villagers. Little do they know that this circus is no ordinary one. It is a front for a group of vampires who have come to the village to satisfy their thirst for blood and revenge. It’s been 15 years since the village slain the evil Count Mitterhause, yet they have been living under his shadow ever since. A plague has left them cut off from the world and they believe the Count has cursed them.
The circus finally seems to bring a little joy into the lives of these tormented souls performing acrobatics, and feats of magic changing themselves into animals. But this traveling horror show has come to avenge their Count’s death and use of the blood of their victims to resurrect him from his tomb.
As the circus performances unfold, the vampires use their supernatural abilities to seduce and feed upon the villagers, leading to a series of gruesome deaths. Among the victims is the village teacher’s daughter, whose death prompts her father and a group of locals to confront the malevolent circus and its colorful performing vampires.
The BBFC examiners originally required heavy cuts to the film but many of these were successfully waived after Hammer consulted BBFC head Stephen Murphy. Among the cuts were shots of Hauser’s burnt face (reduced from 2 to 1), a face stabbing during the opening skirmish in the castle (removed completely), some bloody shots during the climactic decapitation, the whipping of Gerta, erotic elements of the circus ‘whip’ dance, and shots of the mutilated panther victims in the forest. However the latter scenes seem to have been reduced rather than cut, leaving the results somewhat ambiguous. It is unlikely that the cut footage still survives, and all later video and DVD releases feature the UK cinema print.
This is your EverLovin’ Joey Sayin’ V is for our Victory over that Boogeyman! Now wait a minute… I think I hear the soft and eerie Wailing of the letter W!
Supernatural (1933) is directed by Victor Halperin and stars Carole Lombard as Roma Courtney, a young woman who finds herself entangled in a web of eerie supernatural events. After a strange encounter with a fortune-teller Madame Gourjan (Beryl Mercer), Roma’s life takes a dark turn. She becomes connected to the mysterious and malevolent spirit of Ruth Rogan (Vivienne Osborne), a black widow murderess who returns to life in Roma’s body, her evil spirit wants to exact revenge on her former lover, a phony spiritualist Grant Wilson (Randolph Scott) who betrayed her.
As Roma investigates the circumstances surrounding Ruth’s death, she becomes increasingly convinced of the supernatural forces at play. The film weaves a tale of suspense and eerie occurrences as Roma races against time to uncover the truth behind the threat that is haunting her.
The Slime People 1963
The Slime People is a 1963 science fiction/horror film directed by actor Robert Hutton. The movie is set in Los Angeles, where a thick, mysterious fog suddenly engulfs the city. As the fog dissipates, it reveals a group of grotesque creatures known as the Slime People who have emerged from the underground. These slimy and subterranean beings begin to terrorize the city’s residents.
The film primarily follows the efforts of a small group of survivors who band together to combat the Slime People and find a way to escape the city. Along the way, they must navigate the treacherous streets of Los Angeles, evade the Slime People’s attacks, and uncover the mystery behind the creatures’ origins. It also stars sci-fi regular Les Tremayne. The Slime People was photographed by William G. Troiano who did the cinematography for the exploitation film Scream of the Butterfly 1965, The Devil’s Messenger 1962, and Horror of the Blood Monsters 1970. Tom Hollan is the guy in the slime suit.
Scars of Dracula 1970
Scars of Dracula is a 1970 Hammer horror directed by Roy Ward Baker. In this installment of the Dracula series, the infamous vampire Christopher Lee’s Count Dracula returns to terrorize a small Eastern European village.
Paul (Christopher Matthews) seeks refuge in the village after escaping from Dracula’s castle. However, as Dracula sets his sights on Paul’s girlfriend Sarah (Jenny Hanley), the villagers become increasingly desperate to rid themselves of the vampire’s curse. The battle between good and evil intensifies as the villagers and a fearless priest attempt to confront the immortal Dracula and put an end to his malevolent reign. Scars of Dracula stars Dennis Waterman, Michael Gwynn as the priest, and beloved Michael Ripper as the Landlord.
Simon King of the Witches 1971
Simon, King of the Witches is a 1971 cult film directed by prolific television scriptwriter Bruce Kessler (Chopper ep. Kolchak). The film follows the surreal journey of the enigmatic Simon Sinestrari, a modern-day, self-proclaimed witch and occultist who lives in the counterculture of Los Angeles. Simon, portrayed by Andrew Prine, uses his mystical knowledge and psychedelic experiences to navigate the tumultuous world of the 1970s. Simon is deeply involved in mysticism and practices witchcraft.
Simon’s quest for enlightenment and his desire to harness supernatural powers lead him to experiment with various rituals and mind-altering substances. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a fellow witch named Linda (real-life love Brenda Scott), and a police officer who becomes obsessed with him.
As Simon delves deeper into the occult and his own psyche, the film blurs the lines between reality and hallucination, taking viewers on a bizarre and psychedelic journey into the world of magic, mysticism, and countercultural rebellion.
Simon is a complex character who combines elements of mysticism, rebellion, and a sense of being an outsider in society.
Andrew Prine captures Simon’s eccentric nature with a charismatic and unconventional performance as a nonconformist who rejects societal norms, and Prine embodies this by delivering his lines with a mix of intensity and whimsy. His portrayal of Simon’s oddball behavior, such as his penchant for wearing outlandish clothing and embracing a bohemian lifestyle is superb.
Read my tribute to Andrew Prine HERE:
Sugar Hill 1974
Sugar Hill 1974 is an American International film, a unique and potent blend of blaxploitation and horror directed by Paul Maslansky. It’s known for its stylish and gritty portrayal of 1970s New Orleans. The story is centered by Diana “Sugar” Hill, portrayed by Marki Bey whose performance is marked by her charisma, confidence, and undeniable screen presence. a nightclub owner in the vibrant city of New Orleans. When Sugar’s boyfriend, Langston (Larry Don Johnson), is brutally murdered by a group of gangsters led by the ruthless Morgan played by Robert Quarry, she becomes determined to seek revenge. Bey effortlessly manifests Sugar’s journey from a nightclub owner into a vengeful force of supernatural retribution. The Black culture magazine Jet asked the question of why Black horror films drew their inspiration from the Christian vision of the Dracula mythos, ”when there was Voodoo in the Black experience.” Sugar Hill, attempts to rescue the legitimacy of Voodoo. ‘‘If most Blaxploitation celebrated a ‘bad N…’ who challenges the oppressive White system and wins, then Sugar Hill celebrated the ”Baad Bitch who did the same.” (Robin R. Means Coleman)
Mama Maitresses ‘‘How strong is your hate?’’
Sugar Hill ‘‘As strong as my love was, my hate is stronger.”
However, Sugar doesn’t turn to conventional methods of retribution, she uses supernatural forces to combat her adversaries. Instead, she seeks out the assistance of Mama Maitresse (the wonderful Zara Cully), a voodoo priestess, to help her get vengeance through supernatural means. With the guidance of Mama Maitresse and the power of voodoo, Sugar raises an army of undead, zombie-like enforcers to take down Morgan and his criminal empire one by one.
Sugar Hill [after feeding a man to a sounder of starving pigs in a pig pen] I hope they’re into white trash.
Sugar Hill ”Hey, Whitey! You and your punk friends killed my man.’
Tank Watson ‘‘You know, you got one of the prettiest asses in town. I’d sure hate to see it kicked in for accusin’ people.’
Sugar Hill ‘‘I’m not accusin’ you, Honk. I’m passin’ sentence”
Marki Bey’s performance as Diana “Sugar” Hill in “Sugar Hill” is a standout in the blaxploitation genre. She brings a captivating mix of strength, determination, and vulnerability to her character. As Sugar, Bey portrays a woman who transforms from a grieving girlfriend into a fearless avenger, seeking justice for her murdered lover. Sugar Hill also co-stars Don Pedro Colley as Baron Samedi, Richard Lawson as Valentine, and Charles Robison as Fabulous.
The zombies in this film more closely resemble the creatures of voodoo legend – i.e., the walking dead who do the bidding – than the flesh-eating “living dead” popularized by Romero. According to the film, the zombies are the preserved bodies of slaves brought to the United States from Guinea, Africa.
“Much like the White Final Girl, Black women stare down death. However, these Black women are not going up against some boogeyman; rather, often their battle is with racism and corruption. In this regard, there is no going to sleep once the ”monster” is defeated, as the monster is often an amorphously coded as ‘Whitey”, and Whitely’s oppressions are here to stay. From Horror Noire Blacks in American Horror FIlms from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman
Strange Behavior 1981
Strange Behavior 1981 is a disturbing and uneasy atmosphere that fills this science fiction/horror film directed by Michael Laughlin (Strange Invaders 1983, produced The Whisperers 1967 and Two-Lane Blacktop 1972). Set in a small American town, the film follows a series of gruesome murders that seem to be connected to a mysterious research project. The film explores the exploration of mind control, innocence lost, the terrifying realization that they may be capable of committing heinous acts against which they have no free will, paranoia and the juxtaposition of innocence all played out with graphic violence.
The story centers around a teenager named Pete Brady ( Dan Shor), who becomes entangled in the investigation when his friends are brutally murdered. As Pete delves deeper into the case, he discovers that the murders are linked to a behavioral experimentation program led by the enigmatic Dr. Le Sange (Arthur Dignam).
What makes the killings even more chilling is that the perpetrators are seemingly ordinary townsfolk who have been turned into mind-controlled killers on a homicidal rampage.
The film is known for its eerie and atmospheric cinematography, as well as its unique take on the horror genre. It explores themes of psychological manipulation, the consequences of unethical scientific experiments, and the dark side of human behavior.
With its combination of a small-town setting, a mysterious conspiracy, and a rising body count, Strange Behavior is a cult classic that offers a distinctive and unsettling take on the horror genre of the early 1980s. The murders are gruesome, one scene in particular still makes me queasy, not so much for its gore but for the naked realism that it conveys with its cold and mindlessness, and I don’t mean unapologetic, I mean somnambulistic viciousness. The brutal, violent acts of controlled killing, like homicidal puppets, still have a quite shocking effect. This intelligent visual construction of gore and violence diverges from the work of the father of the splatter genre -Hershell Gordon Lewis.
Strange Behavior is set in a small, seemingly peaceful town, which enhances the sense of isolation and vulnerability. The idea that such disturbing events can occur in an otherwise idyllic setting creates a feeling of unease and an atmosphere of mystery and paranoia as characters try to unravel the enigmatic events taking place in their community. The sense of not knowing who can be trusted and who may have succumbed to mind control adds to the film’s tension. The film stars Louise Fletcher, Michael Murphy as Pete’s dad John Brady, and Fiona Lewis as Gwen Parkinson Le Sang’s assistant.
This is your EverLovin’ Joey Sayin’ S’eeee Ya at the snack bark to grab me a tray of the letter T for terror with some cheese on top!