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Chilling Classics: 50 Movie Pack [12 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 7504391
  • Release Date: 08/30/2005
  • Rating: R
  • 1.0 (1)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
1.0

Synopsis

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter
William "One Shot" Beaudine's companion piece to the equally nonsensical Billy the Kid vs. Dracula represents a memorable closing to the eccentric "Z"-movie auteur's amusing body of work. The hare-brained concept finds the legendary outlaw Jesse James (John Lupton) stumbling into the decrepit lair of Maria Frankenstein (Narda Onyx) -- not the daughter but the granddaughter of the infamous monster-making Baron. Maria is, of course, following in Grandpa's footsteps by creating a creature of her own, transplanting the dormant but still-intact brain of Frankenstein's original monster into the body of one of James' cohorts. The lumbering, homicidal monster -- imaginatively dubbed "Igor" -- begins terrorizing townsfolk until the inevitable showdown between living and undead gunslingers. Though not as flamboyantly awful as its predecessor (mainly due to the absence of John Carradine), this is still worth a look for trash-movie completists. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

I Bury the Living
Unjustly ignored by many books on the horror film, I Bury the Living is a bone-chilling little mood piece, almost completed dominated by Richard Boone. Expertly avoiding the obvious throughout the film, Boone gives a thoroughly credible performance of a troubled man who labors under the misapprehension that he is God. Boone plays the new chairman of a large cemetery; in his office is a map of the grounds, with black pins representing the occupied plots, and white pins representing plots that have been purchased but not yet filled. When Boone inadvertently mixes up the black and white pins, several of the plot owners suffer untimely deaths. Inevitably, Boone becomes convinced that he has the power of life and death--a conviction that doesn't completely dissipate once the secret behind the sudden deaths is revealed. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Bell from Hell
As the French-Spanish Bell from Hell gets under way, the hero released from a mental institution in which he was unjustly confined. He returns home to his aunt and his three female cousins, who had him committed years earlier so that they could get their hands on his inheritance. Biding his time and playing it cool, he plans to exacts chilling revenge. The film's Wellesian climax takes place atop a treacherous bell tower. On the final day of shooting, director Claudio Hill was killed in a fall from that tower, obliging an uncredited Juan Antonio Bardem to finish the picture. Originally La Campana del Infierno, Bell from Hell was also released as The Bell of Hell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cathy's Curse
One man's past comes back to haunt his family in this low-budget Canadian horror story. George Gimble was just five years old in 1947 when his mother abandoned her husband and young daughter, taking George with her. George's father and sister drove off into the night to look for them, but died in a freak auto accident. Thirty years later, George (Alan Scarfe) is married to Vivian (Beverly Murray), an unhappy woman who is recovering from a nervous breakdown, and they have a seven-year-old daughter, Cathy (Randi Allen), who keeps to herself. George has moved his family into the house his parents used to own, and before long Cathy finds a ragged old doll that she carries with her at all times. The doll carries the ghost of George's late sister, and as the angry spirit takes control of Cathy, the child develops demonic powers and uses them to punish her parents and playmates. Shot in Montreal, Cathy's Curse (aka Cauchemares) was the first English-language project from French director Eddy Matalon. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Mansion of Madness
This bizarre Mexican production is loosely based on The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather by Edgar Allan Poe. The story involves a visit from a newspaper reporter (Claudio Brook) to a sanitarium in 19th century France, where he eventually comes to realize the asylum is being run by one of its own inmates, a megalomaniac, who allows the others to play out their basest fantasies and urges. More stylish and creative than its exploitative American-release title implies (the original Mexican title translates as Mansion of Madness), this is an interesting surrealist spin on the Poe tale from the producers of Jodorowsky's El Topo. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Blancheville Monster
Gerard Tichy plays a somewhat round-the-bend European count. His face is horribly disfigured, which in a film like this is a reflection of his warped personality. Tichy's daughter Joan Hills fears that dad will do her harm, in order to fulfill an ancient family ritual. She's right: Hills wakes up one day to find that Tichy has buried her alive. The Spanish/Italian The Blancheville Monster is also known as Horror. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Deadtime Stories
Inspired by traditional fairy tales, this trio of gruesome and darkly-comic vignettes is framed by the story of a lethargic uncle who can't seem to alleviate his bratty young nephew's fear of the dark, trying his hand at a few warped, testosterone-fueled versions of his favorite bedtime tales. The first installment, "Peter and the Witches," tells the story of a young fisherman (Scott Valentine) enslaved by two shape-shifting witches who are trying to bring their sister back to life; he later rebels against his masters after falling in love with the virgin they've captured as a sacrifice. The goofy second chapter involves "Little Red Running Hood" -- a somewhat shapelier modern version of the classic heroine -- whose jog to Granny's house leads to a showdown with a pill-popping weirdo whose anti-werewolf remedy got switched with Granny's prescription. Still unable to satisfy the demanding tyke, the exhausted uncle pulls out all the stops for the final tale, in which the Three Baers -- a family of murderous crackers -- encounter the telekinetic Goldi Lox, a malevolent cutie who shares the Baers' penchant for death and dismemberment. Originally titled Freaky Fairy Tales, this plodding, pedestrian film wandered in distribution limbo until Valentine's role in "Family Ties" lent some degree of marquee value. The cynical closing (in which the nephew's fears turn out to be justified) is rather satisfying, though. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Virus
A double disaster film with both an American and a Japanese cast, Virus presents some pretty wild probabilities to viewers. First of all, a virus has been developed that gets loose and starts to destroy humanity on a grand scale. The only people who are remotely safe are a group of eight hundred men and eight women on Antarctica. Since the President of the United States warns them by radio communications not to accept anyone into their area who has been contaminated, the men and women are somewhat prepared. That does not mean they are ready to handle the crew of a Russian submarine that seeks refuge with them. The second disaster is nuclear, and part of the suspense lies in whether or not it will be ultimately averted -- and who, if any, will survive all this. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Haunts
Despite bearing the earmarks of a cheap slasher outing, this quirky little thriller emerges a surprisingly original murder mystery with some well-executed twists. May Britt (formerly Mrs. Sammy Davis Jr.) plays a seemingly innocent farm girl (with more than a few toys rolling loose in the attic) convinced that her slovenly uncle (played by a delightfully grumpy Cameron Mitchell) is the man responsible for the grisly scissor-murders of several local girls. The validity of her suspicion has little bearing on the story's outcome, however, as the plot takes a rather unexpected turn halfway through. This seedy but fun horror film is buoyed by Britt's enjoyably loony performance coupled with the cranky antics of Mitchell and the town's drunken sheriff, Aldo Ray. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Demons of Ludlow
Wisconsin "B"-movie wizard Bill Rebane (the mastermind behind Monster a Go-Go! and The Giant Spider Invasion) cranked out this occult cheapie, set in the New England burg of Ludlow, which is cursed by the malevolent spirit of an executed warlock. The foul fellow returns with his demonic armies to wreak havoc on the town during its Bicentennial festivities; the title nasties accomplish this by animating a variety of weird objects -- including a piano, which serves as a vessel for the warlock's soul and triggers supernatural deaths when it's played. Overlooking the fact that the basic premise borrows heavily from John Carpenter's The Fog, there is little original material here to keep one's interest. The theme of vengeful colonial ghosts was better served in Ulli Lommel's The Devonsville Terror, on which Rebane served as associate producer. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Christmas Evil
He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, and it's best not to get on his bad side in this quirky thriller that's gained a loyal cult following. Harry Straddling (Brandon Maggart) was traumatized as a child, when late at night on Christmas Eve, he walked into the family living room and saw his father, dressed as Santa Claus, having sex with his mother. Now grown to adulthood, Harry is malignly obsessed with the holiday season, particularly the myths of Santa Claus; he works for a toy company, he sleeps in a Santa suit, his apartment is stuffed with Christmas memorabilia, and he spies on the neighborhood children, keeping track of who has been good and bad. Harry's insistence that the toy company maintain high manufacturing standards does little to endear him to his co-workers, and his brother Phillip (Jeffrey DeMunn) thinks Harry has started to go off the deep end. One day, Harry snaps, and after dressing up as Santa, he steals a truckload of toys and delivers them to a mental hospital as presents for the young patients -- all well and good. But when Harry is then confronted by a group of people who don't believe he's Father Christmas, Harry reacts with violence, setting off a murder spree. Terror in Toyland (which was first released as You Better Watch Out and is now available on video as Christmas Evil) also features Patricia Richardson, who makes her film debut in a small role more than a decade before she gained fame on the TV series Home Improvement. Danny Federici of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band also has a cameo, as an accordion player at a community center dance. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Driller Killer
Iconoclastic filmmaker Abel Ferrara made his directorial debut with this gory but fascinating horror tale about a troubled artist (played by Jimmy Laine, aka Abel Ferrara). Haunted by bizarre hallucinations and the fear he'll end up a wino like his father, the artist eventually snaps and begins taking out his frustrations on a growing number of homeless people, attacking them with a power drill. In time, his violent obsessions get worse and he begins attacking people closer to him, including an art dealer and a woman he's been dating. Ferarra also wrote several of the songs performed by a punk rock band in the film; he gained greater notoriety with his next film, the cult item Ms. 45. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Witches' Mountain
In this horror thriller, a news photographer finds more than trees after he is assigned to photograph the supposedly haunted title hill. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Revenge of Dr. X
Dr. Bragan (James Craig) is a workaholic rocket scientist with NASA who is coming unglued from the stress. A colleague arranges for him to take a much needed holiday in Japan, and Bragan accepts, hoping to use this free time to pursue his first love, botany. He brings a potted Venus Flytrap with him, with plans to study carnivorous flora and prove his theory that human beings are descended from plants. His Japanese assistant, Noroko, arranges for them to work in seclusion at her father's abandoned resort hotel, located on a mountain next to an active volcano. They get to work in the greenhouse, toiling night and day to strengthen the Venus Flytrap with the alien Nipponese soil, which causes it to grow to an unusual size. But Bragan is as obsessive and abusive as he was in America, and his constant mood swings cause Noroko to suspect that he is going mad. An experimental graft with a Japanese carnivorous plant succeeds in creating the "Sectovorus," a bizarre, vaguely human creature with vicious flytrap paws, and Bragan knows he is on the right track. Unfortunately, the beast must be fed mice, chickens, puppies and eventually human blood to keep it alive, and the stronger it grows, the more dangerous it becomes. When the Sectovorus learns to uproot itself and venture to a nearby village for victims, Dr. Bragan must decide whether to protect his work of genius, or lure it into the volcano to save mankind. Revenge of Dr. X was scripted by cult filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr., and is also known as The Double Garden, The Devil Garden and The Venus Flytrap. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

Silent Night, Bloody Night
The secrets of a small New England town are violently exposed on Christmas Eve in this proto-slasher shocker. The owner of the long-abandoned Butler estate is desperate to sell, and dispatches his lawyer from New York to negotiate its purchase by the town council. Meanwhile, an inmate from a nearby insane asylum breaks loose and makes his way to the old mansion to take bloody revenge for a crime kept hidden for 35 years. The maniac makes mysterious phone calls to various prominent citizens, telling them that "Marianne" has returned, and lures each to the Butler house to meet their doom. The mayor's daughter, Diane, receives a visit from a man who claims to be Jeremy Butler, the mansion's owner, in town to investigate his lawyer's disappearance. Together they attempt to unravel the sinister mystery of the Butler house, which turns out to be a harrowing tale of incest, insanity and mass murder. Cult favorites Mary Woronov and John Carradine are featured in the cast of this eerie thriller, which also includes cameos from Warhol Factory legends Candy Darling and Ondine. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

Metamorphosis
While experimenting with a cure for immortality, a mad scientist decides to become his own test subject. ~ John Bush, Rovi

The Man in the Attic
Man in the Attic is a sweat-stained remake of the oft-filmed Mary Belloc Lowndes suspense story The Lodger. Jack Palance plays a mild, secretive pathologist who rents an attic apartment in the heart of London. Palance falls in love with dancer Constance Smith, daughter of the landlady, but she doesn't seem interested. Meanwhile, several unsolved murders of women have been committed on the fogbound London streets--and all of the victims are showgirls. Unlike Hitchcock's 1926 version of The Lodger, the most likely suspect is indeed the "Jack the Ripper" character hunted by the police. The only surprise in Man in the Attic is that the London bobbies didn't arrest Jack Palance on sight long before the movie started. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bad Taste
Extraterrestrial fast-food franchisers come to earth to pick up food supplies-in this case, human flesh. After wiping out a few small towns, the aliens must contend with a team of government assassins, headed by Pete O'Herne. As the plot rolls on, O'Herne's crew is decimated in as gory a manner as possible, and innocent bystander Craig Smith ends up being marinated (and a darned good job it is). Turns out that the space folks are running on a timetable; they've got to return to their home planet with their human-hash cargo before a rival franchise puts them out of business. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Medusa
A mysterious yacht carrying two dead bodies is found near Greece. The 1974 film was released to video as Twisted. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Track of the Moonbeast
After being struck in the head by a small meteor, a normally amiable mineralogist becomes a foul tempered giant lizard god called the Moonbeast. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Horrors of Spider Island
This German-Yugoslav coproduction first surfaced in 1960 under the title Ein Toter Hing Im Netz. Egyptian leading man Alex D'Arcy plays a talent agent who escorts seven gorgeous chorus girls to a club date in Singapore. En route, their plane crash-lands in the ocean. D'Arcy and the girls make their way to a seemingly idyllic island, where they come across a huge spider's web-and the dessicated body of a scientist. The giant spider sinks its teeth in D'Arcy, turning the poor fellow into a werewolf! Then the fun begins, depending upon your idea of fun. Released in America to general distinterest in 1962, It's Hot in Paradise fared no better a few years later, when it was recut and retitled Horrors of Spider Island. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Messiah of Evil
A small California village is attacked by zombies in this 1974 thriller. ~ John Bush, Rovi

The Milpitas Monster
The only respectable component of this home-video feature -- advertised by its distributor with the understated advisory that it "may insult your intelligence" -- is the work of sound effects technician Ben Burtt, an Oscar-winner for his work on Star Wars. Otherwise, the story is about a monster that has been created from a garbage dump in Milpitas, a town near San Francisco. This monster (sometimes shown in animation, and sometimes as an actor in a monster disguise) attacks a dance party at the local high school -- who knows, maybe he hated the music. Before he can seriously threaten the town, however, he comes into fatal contact with the town's TV transformer tower -- uniquely becoming a monster that is killed off by television before his first media appearance. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

A Bucket of Blood
A fine example -- perhaps the best available -- of "B"-movie overlord Roger Corman's "Weekend Wonders" from the producer/director's early career (see also the original Little Shop of Horrors), this horror-comedy was also the first of beloved actor Dick Miller's dozen-odd portrayals of the character Walter Paisley. A geeky waiter and busboy at a happening Beatnik café, Walter is intensely jealous of the swinging social lives of the artistic types who hang there. A bizarre twist of fate changes everything; when Paisley accidentally kills his landlady's cat, his frantic attempts to hide the body lead him to encase it in a layer of clay, creating a morbid sculpture -- which is eventually discovered and hailed as an artistic triumph by the unwitting Bohemian art crowd. (When asked what he's named the piece, the befuddled Walter stammers, "Uhh... Dead Cat?") Beset by numerous requests for similar "truthful" works, the moronic Paisley is forced to find inspiration -- a matter which is readily solved when a nosy undercover cop tries to slap a heroin-possession charge on him and finds himself on the business end of a cast-iron skillet. Before long, the creative urge prods Walter to narrow the competition by whacking his peers with various blunt or sharp implements, and the demand for more sculptures just keeps growing. Miller's tour-de-force performance, writer Charles B. Griffith's hilarious "Daddy-O" dialogue, and Corman's emphasis on the story's more lurid aspects raise this bargain-basement production (ultra-cheap even by Corman's standards) to classic status. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Bloody Brood
At the start of his film career and just a year before his appearance in Murder, Inc. would get him Academy Award notice, Peter Falk played Nico, the strung-out, emotionally dead psychopath who leads a group of societal misfits in this sick and slick, low-budget crime drama. Cliff (Jack Betts) is an ordinary young man determined to find out who murdered his kid brother by giving him a hamburger mixed with ground glass. Detective McLeod (Robert Christie), who is supposed to be investigating the case, is woefully inept, but Cliff has Ellie (Barbara Lord), a woman with problems of her own, willing to help him out. Eventually, the murder is traced to Nico and his henchmen as Cliff begins to sort out how the crime was committed. Although the dialogue is surface deep, just like the characters, the direction (Julian Roffman), the acting, and the repulsive nature of the content of this crime drama make up for any deficiencies. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Sisters of Death
When five sorority sisters gather together for a reunion, they discover that the deadly secret they share has come back to haunt them. ~ Erin Demers, Rovi

Slashed Dreams
In this violent drama, two hippies head for the wilds of California to find a good buddy and end up assaulted and raped by two terrifying woodsmen. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Panic
Someone must have o.d.'ed on The Hideous Sun Demon before going to work on Panic. David Warbeck plays a dedicated bacteriologist, conducting his experiments in a small-town lab. One of Warbeck's sample dishes begins exhibiting unusual properties-and pretty soon, so does Warbeck. Transformed into a horrifying mutant, the scientist inaugurates a one-man reign of terror. Janet Agren plays Warbeck's long-suffering lady friend. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Scream Bloody Murder
In this slasher outing, a deranged young man mangles his father to death with a tractor. During the fun, he loses his own hand. Afterward he is placed in a hospital for the criminally insane where his hand is replaced by a hook. Time passes and he is eventually released. Unfortunately, he is far from cured and goes on an unparalleled killing spree. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Ghost
The alluring presence of doe-eyed horror icon Barbara Steele enlivens director Riccardo Freda's passable sequel to his own Horrible Dr. Hichcock. Steele returns as Cynthia, the troubled widow of a sadistic murderer and necrophiliac, who had once conspired with her lover to murder her husband before she could become the next of his tortured playthings. Unfortunately for her, you can't keep an evil man down, as proven by the sudden appearance of the doctor's vengeful ghost. All is not quite as it seems, however, as we learn that the menacing apparition is somehow linked to Steele's mysterious housekeeper. A workmanlike effort from the otherwise capable Freda (I Vampiri), this film plays like a less stylish retread of Diabolique. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Capture of Bigfoot
Bigfoot has managed to elude capture for nearly 25 years. One small town has made a cottage industry out of Bigfoot sightings and ancillary merchandising. All this may come to an end very soon, however. A local fat-cat businessman hopes to trap Bigfoot once and for all, so that he can get all the publicity gravy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cries in the Night
A low-key, atmospheric Canadian production, Funeral Home (aka Cries in the Night) makes effective use of the title setting, which has been converted into a bed & breakfast by Maude Chalmers (Kay Hawtrey) after the demise of her less-than-popular husband -- known throughout the town as "Chalmers the Embalmer." Maude's pretty granddaughter Heather (Lesleh Donaldson) arrives for a summer visit, and soon begins to hear weird, guttural moans and sobs from the padlocked cellar; before long, assorted obnoxious guests at the inn find their welcome revoked -- violently. Despite a nerdy deputy's obvious crush on her, Heather is unable to convince him that evil forces are lurking beneath the Chalmers house, and she decides to investigate on her own (instead of just hitting the road like any sane individual). What she finds there will come as no surprise to anyone paying attention, since this quaint little inn is clearly modeled after a certain well-known Hitchcockian motel... Despite this obvious twist, this is not a bad little suspenser, with effective camerawork and good performances, especially from Hawtrey and Donaldson (who resembles a buxom Ally Sheedy). ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Demon
A rural village is threatened by a blood-thirsty monster that stalks women. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Gothic
Director Ken Russell applies his trademark excess to this surreal, experimental examination of the creative dementia which shaped Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein. The story is embellished from events which allegedly took place at the Swiss villa of Lord Byron (Gabriel Byrne) on the night of June 16, 1816. Byron's guests include poet Percy Shelley (Julian Sands) and his future wife Mary (Natasha Richardson); Mary's half-sister Claire (Myriam Cyr) and Byron's leech-happy personal physician Dr. John Polidori (Timothy Spall). Byron promises them a night of horror like only a mad poet can deliver -- after partaking of laudanum and other hallucinogens, the guests tell ghost stories while exploring the dark corridors of his home. From here, Russell dives headlong into madness, discarding plot structure in favor of fever-dream setpieces in which the guests confront living manifestations of their own fears and insecurities -- creative, mortal and sexual, among others. The raging Romantics are also given to lengthy discourse on the nature of fear and the fine line between creative genius and insanity; by the film's end, viewers may find themselves wondering the same thing about the director. Those who may prefer a more subdued speculation on the same theme should seek out Ivan Passer's Haunted Summer. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Deep Red
The film that has become the master work in Italian horror maestro Dario Argento's canon, Deep Red holds up brilliantly despite the plethora of copycat slasher films it inspired in the years to follow. The film opens with a flashback murder shown from the perspective of a child while an eerie nursery rhyme plays. Cut to the present, pianist Marc Daly (David Hemmings) witnesses the murder of a psychic while chatting with his drunken pal, Carlo (Gabriele Lavia). While the police investigate, Marc joins forces with attractive reporter Gianna (Daria Nicolodi). Once Marc realizes that he is a target for the killer, he seeks help from Giordani (Glauco Mauri), a professor of the paranormal, who soon becomes one of the killer's victims. Marc's research leads him to an abandoned house where he discovers a secret room that hides a corpse. Before he can call the cops, he is knocked out and awakens to find the place in flames while Gianna holds him. Racing to the neighbors to call for help, Marc discovers an important clue that leads him to a nearby school where he finally finds the killer's identity. The madman attacks him, but the police arrive to save Marc. Though the case appears to be solved, Marc comes to the disturbing realization that one piece of the puzzle remains. ~ Patrick Legare, Rovi

The Game
Perry, Oscar, and Osborne are three bored millionaires who get their kicks in strange ways. After inviting a group of random strangers to an exclusive resort, the three wealthy hosts challenge their guests to face their biggest fears. The winner will receive $1 million, but the losers will be lucky to walk away with their lives. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Horror Express
This horror science-fiction thriller, a cult favorite, takes place in 1907. Professor Caxton (Christopher Lee), a fossil-hunter has discovered some sort of pre-human creature frozen in ancient Manchurian ice. He is traveling to London with his find on the Trans-Siberian Railway and is horrified to discover that his frozen man is missing, and corpses and zombies are appearing all over the train. It turns out that the frozen specimen is an alien with some unusual powers. The combined forces of Professor Caxton, his rival Dr. Wells (Peter Cushing), and a Cossack captain (Telly Savalas) are needed to save the world from this monstrous being. Skillfully told, with a good dose of humor, this film also features the train which appeared a year before in Nicholas and Alexandra . ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Memorial Valley Massacre
A crazed hermit comes out of isolation to terrorize campers in the woods for a weekend getaway. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Naked Massacre
In Naked Massacre, a series of murders occurs at various Parisian clinics. Victims are all young, beautiful nurses. The police deduce that the unknown killer either has a vendetta against nurses or has a fetish concerning starched white uniforms. Naked Massacre is made palatable by a competent director and an able cast (including Matthieu Carriere and Carol Laure). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Devil's Hand
A mystery woman leads an ordinary man down an evil path in this intriguing horror story. Rick Turner (Robert Alda) is a man haunted by a recurring dream in which a beautiful woman in a flowing white gown dances for him. The dream is robbing Rick of his sleep and driving a wedge between him and his fiancée Donna (Ariadna Welter), so he's startled when one day he passes a shop window and sees a doll that looks just like the woman in his dreams. The owner of the shop, Frank Lamont (Neil Hamilton), informs Rick that the doll was custom-made for a client, and Rick arranges to deliver it to her himself. Rick arrives at the luxurious apartment of Bianca (Linda Christian) to discover she is the very image of the woman in his dream, and she appears to know him already. Rick learns that both Bianca and Frank are members of a mysterious satanic cult that uses the dolls as part of their ceremonies; Rick becomes a regular visitor to their meetings and becomes deeply involved with Bianca after Donna is suddenly bedridden. But does Bianca have a plan for Rick that he doesn't yet suspect? The Devil's Hand was also released under the title Live To Love. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

War of the Robots
In this sci-fi adventure, two of Earth's brightest scientists find themselves abducted by aliens, desperate to save their world from certain death. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Crypt of the Living Dead
This meandering, low-budget horror tale explores the vampiric origins of Hannah (Teresa Gimpera), once the wife of Louis VII, who rises from her crypt in the 20th century thanks to the meddling of an archaeologist (Andrew Prine) and his weird son (Mark Damon). Actually, it takes more than an hour for the filmmakers to get around to Hannah's awakening and remarkably brief reign of terror; the interim is wasted with a silly subplot involving a "Wild Man" who dispatches several superstitious villagers to ensure the vampire queen's safety. The film's atmosphere benefits from exotic locations (the film was originally produced in Turkey, then augmented with new footage by U.S. distributors), but the threadbare production values make for tedious viewing. Also known as Hannah, Queen of the Vampires and Vampire Woman. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Lady Frankenstein
This lurid but entertaining Italian/Spanish twist on the Frankenstein legend begins with Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten) being assisted in his research by his sultry daughter Tania (Sara Bay). The doctor's first attempt at a stitched-together creation results in a lumpy, pop-eyed monstrosity with little of the expected respect for its creator. In fact, the monster begins its rampage by murdering the Baron and escaping into the surrounding village. The younger Frankenstein returns from medical school with newly-acquired surgical expertise and a desire to follow in her late father's footsteps. She soon begins work on a creation of her own by transplanting the brain of her brilliant but deformed assistant Charles (Paul Müller) into the body of a brawny handyman. The result is a handsome and powerful male creature not only capable of destroying the original monster, but virile enough to satisfy his creator's overwhelming sexual appetites. Tania is apparently quite eager to test the latter, and she does quite frequently, as indicated in the film's numerous softcore sex scenes. This lengthy romantic interlude is cut short when the first monster returns to finish what he started. Directed by Mel Welles (who B-movie fans will remember as Gravis Mushnik from Roger Corman's cult classic Little Shop of Horrors), this film plays like a sexually-obsessed version of an early Hammer production. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

House of the Dead
This low-budget horror anthology from Oklahoma presents a quartet of eerie tales, told by a strange mortician (Ivor Francis) to a young man on the run from his lover's irate husband (John Ericson). The tales involve a crotchety old woman whose hatred of children sparks an attack from a group of homicidal kids; a "Spy vs. Spy" detective story; a foul-tempered curmudgeon who gets his violent comeuppance in a grim variation on "A Christmas Carol"; and a serial killer with a penchant for photography a la Peeping Tom. Young Ericson's sins are not forgotten either, as we learn at the film's creepy climax. A passable home-grown omnibus, comparable with the similarly themed Chillers or Screams of a Winter Night. Released to video as House of the Dead. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Drive-In Massacre
Basically the final act of Peter Bogdanovich's Targets stretched to feature length (and without any redeeming subtext), this weak slasher thriller involves a psycho who stalks unsuspecting moviegoers with a variety of sharp implements, particularly a massive sword, during a drive-in screening of a cheesy western. This naturally leads to various scenes of necking patrons being shish-kebabbed with the weapon of choice. Although this might have been an amusing novelty when actually shown at a drive-in, it's just a dreary mess on home video, making the otherwise terse 80-minute running time seem like three hours. One trivial point of interest is the behind-the-camera participation of familiar "B"-movie character actor Buck Flower, who collaborated on the screenplay. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Hands of a Stranger
In Hands of a Stranger, concert pianist James Stapleton loses his hands in a traffic accident. Doctor Paul Lukather grafts on a new pair of hands, which were "donated" by a murder victim. Distressed that his new extremities are radically different from his old ones, Stapleton suffers a severe emotional breakdown. He subsequently causes the deaths of several people, both directly and indirectly; the most chilling moment is the death of young Barry Gordon, the son of the now-blinded cab driver whom Stapleton holds responsible for his accident. This was an unofficial screen version (the fourth up through that time) of the novel Hands of Orlac; previous versions were made in 1924 (as Orlacs Hände), 1935 (as Mad Love) and 1960 (as Les Mains d'Orlac). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Alpha Incident
The Earth is threatened when an alien organism that has the potential to destroy all life is released. A corrupt government tries to cover up the danger. ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi

Death Rage
A chance for revenge brings a hit man out of retirement in this crime drama directed by genre specialist Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony M. Dawson). Sal Leonardi is a well-connected American Mafioso who, while vacationing in Naples, visits a racetrack and is persuaded by good natured tout Angelo (Massimo Raniei) to put his money on a long shot. While Angelo sometimes works around the odds at the track by putting front-running horses off their stride with a pellet gun, in this case Angelo's horse wins without outside interference and pays off big. But after Sal collects his winnings, he's spotted by Gennare Gallo (Giancarlo Sbragia), a local mob boss who holds a grudge against Sal's partners; guns are drawn, Sal and his bodyguards are killed, while Angelo, who is also a police informant, is stripped of his winnings. Back in New York, Leonardi's partners are eager to even the score against Gallo, and hey approach Peter Marciani (Yul Brynner), a former hired killer who retired after the traumatic murder of his brother. Peter is persuaded to assassinate Gallo when he learns that the Italian mobster was behind the murder of his brother; Peter flies to Napes and finds an ally in Angelo, but he soon learns that there's more to this story than he's been led to believe. Originally released in Italy as Con La Rabbia Agli Occhi, Death Rage was screened in the UK under the more literal translation Anger In His Eyes; the film also co-stars Martin Balsam as a police detective investigating the Leonardi killings. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Oasis of the Zombies
In a remote desert oasis, a fortune in gold was hidden by the Nazis during World War 2. 50 years later, a bunch of fortune-hunters converge on that selfsame oasis. Imagine their discomfiture upon discovering that the gold is being guarded by an army of zombies. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Isle of the Snake People
The inhabitants of a small, remote island have been practicing voodoo rites and worshipping an evil priest named Damballah for years, but the local law officials generally turn a blind eye to this death cult's bizarre activities. Captain Labesch (Rafael Bertrand) arrives from the mainland, determined to crack down on the island's lawlessness and clean up the ineffectual, hard-drinking police force. He appeals for assistance from wealthy plantation tycoon Carl Van Molder (Boris Karloff), who owns nearly half of the island and wields a great deal of influence over the population. Van Molder has made the study of parapsychology his life's work and believes in the secret powers of the mind. He warns Labesch not to interfere with this forgotten island's ancient ways. Also visiting is Van Molder's niece, Annabella (Julissa), a temperance crusader who wants her uncle to help fund the International Anti-Saloon League. She falls in love with handsome police lieutenant Andrew Wilhelm (Carlos East), despite his fondness for rum. Meanwhile, beautiful native girls are being transformed into zombies, and a sinister snake dancer named Kalea (Tongolele) leads them to attack and devour any meddling policemen who get too close to their unholy rituals. When Annabella is kidnapped and prepared to be the cult's latest human sacrifice, Labesch and Wilhelm have to infiltrate their ranks to save her, and they finally learn the secret identity of the all-powerful Damballah. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

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