A very brief news post this week – gives me an excuse to have it up late – with a few new items coming to DVD and Blu-ray.
If you’re a long-time Journeys in Classic Film follower you know I’ve watched many a Mario Bava film courtesy of Kino Classics’ Mario Bava collection. I would never tout myself as an expert on the Italian gorehound’s work, but after watching Black Sunday everything I presumed to know was shattered. In spite Bava’s confusion on whether to depict vampires or witches, Black Sunday aka The Mask of Satan plays like Bava at his most serious, right down to filming it in black and white. The atmospherics, make-up effects, and luminous Barbara Steele, concoct a charming throwback to the golden era of cinema and retaining Bava’s over-the-top pathos.
We’re pushing the blog’s boundaries time-wise, but with two studio era stars in the cast I can count it, right? Martin Scorsese and Alejandro Amenabar both cite The Changeling as the scariest movie of all time; Amenabar used quite a bit from this for his own haunted house throwback, The Others. Because so many other directors have mined the movie for its elements there’s nothing particularly frightening for the average horror fan, regardless of great performances by George C. Scott and Melvyn Douglas. However, The Changeling is a tense mystery/horror film taking the audience down a twisted path reliant on the horror to move along the mystery.
Two new stars have been deemed worthy enough to win Veronicas this month: one of whom is an icon in almost every genre of film, and the other is the most beautiful woman of the Golden Era. Who nabbed a spot in the Hall of Fame? As always, you can visit the Veronicas section at the top of the page where past and current winners are listed, including links to any reviews of their I’ve written.
You can tell we’re in October because you fine readers are checking out a lot of horror articles. Let’s look at what tickled your fancy, review and article-wise, over the last week.
American International Pictures (AIP) is best remembered as the brainchild of Samuel Z. Arkoff, an entertainment lawyer who crafted a formula based on filming low-budget exploitation features geared towards teenagers. Originally started in the late-50s, AIP would become the home studio for the Beach Party films, as well as Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price. As with any low-budget studio it’s where once A-list stars go to make a quick buck, and it’s where we have today’s film: The Dunwich Horror. Loosely based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror is probably best remembered for featuring Sandra Dee sans shirt. Honestly, that’s about the only excitement found in this routine Satanic cult thriller obviously hoping to cash in on Rosemary’s Baby.
A lot of insanity brewed over the week, kickstarted by the announcement of the dates for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival. Anything after that is just nice to know, right?