Friday, August 31, 2012

CAPTAIN SINBAD / King Brothers Productions - 1963

It's Friday Night with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. I'm finishing the month with another Arabian adventure with our favorite Zorro, Guy Williams, as Sinbad the Sailor! Directed by Byron (THE WAR OF THE WORLDS) Haskin. I recently recorded THE GOLDEN SWORD with Tab Hunter off TCM, so, that one will be coming up in a future post...

Eegah!! sent over a nice lil' soundclip which sets the mood for this very cool flick! King Brothers produced GORGO two years earlier. Sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button there adjacent from the giant motorized bowling ball, NOW, Rufus The Gnat! Here's our audio offering for... CAPTAIN SINBAD!

The tale begins in the mad lab of the crazy old wizard, Galgo. He's just conjured up a storm cloud to water his plant!

Princess Jana wants to visit her husband-to-be, Sinbad, who's at sea. She has to completely undress before becoming a 'firebird' so that she can fly out and visit him! Galdo tells her... There are three men before whom a woman need have no shame: her husband, her doctor and her magician.

She makes it all the way to Sinbad's boat, but, attracts some unwanted attention...

A flock of giant Rocs attack from nowhere, and, sink Sinbad's boat by dropping boulders on it!

Pedro Armendáriz plays the evil, El Kerim!.. He's just captured a small naked Princess Jana and reveals who was behind the giant bird attack... Pedro died that same year at the age of 51, his last credit was for FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

Sinbad gets rescued by some fishermen and is taken ashore to recover. Filmed in Germany.

In the meantime, El Kerim celebrates his recent victories by throwing a lavish party that includes strange dance performances!

Portrait of a damn good looking guy, no pun intended! Sinbad has just rejoined his men, who also made it to safety after the attack. He thought they were all dead, and, they thought that he had been killed!

El Kerim has unearthly powers due to a magic ring and crystal he possesses. Here, he hands Sinbad back his sword after he pulls it out himself, smiling the whole time!.. Game over, man!!

El Kerim orders an event for everyone to attend where Sinbad must fight to the death with various conjured up opponents! There's an invisible dragon with shades of the Id Creature in FORBIDDEN PLANET, but, unfortunately, the huge thing knocks over an immense torch and it literally torches the whole place, making for Sinbad's escape!

Princess Jana is then hidden away in a distant giant tower.

Sinbad and his men have to cross a desert and then trek through this swamp from Hell to get to the tower.

However, they have to get past this freaky looking dragon first!

Sinbad's men come up with a plan to push a large block of stone off a ledge and it clocks the thing squarely, knocking it into a fiery abyss, love it!!

When they get to the tower, the only way to reach the top is to climb a gigantic rope!!

It doesn't end there, Sinbad has to then take care of this deadly giant hand... What a man!!

The last thing Sinbad must do to bring peace and happiness back to his land is defeat El Kerim. Galgo throws Kerim's animated heart off the tower as Sinbad runs his sword through him again, this time, finishing the job! Watch that first step, it's a real doozy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS - James Bernard - "Drac Is Back" (1966)

In 1958, the first Hammer Dracula flick was released as "Horror Of Dracula," but was originally titled merely "Dracula!" It would be eight years until this sequel, "Dracula:Prince Of Darkness" would see the light of day in 1966! Hammer did release two more vampire movies in between these two, "Brides Of Dracula," and "Kiss Of The Vampire," but neither film had Christopher Lee in them! Christopher Lee was in one other non-Hammer vampire movie during this period as Count Ludwig Karnstein in "Crypt Of The Vampire!" Hammer beast of burden James Bernard once again gets credit for the score!!

Jeez, the last time we saw our hero, he looked like he was out for the count for sure, but......

Just take about 13 steps into the future and the modern day digs of Count Dracula! If you decide to visit, don't ask any questions, or you might just take a shot to the chops!! For some odd and unexplained reason, the locals don't dig this place!

Drac's pad is still kept up quite nicely by Philip Latham as Klove, as a kind of tourist attraction! Out of 83 credits, mostly on UK TV, this is without a doubt, the most ghastly role in Phil's repertoire!

Whenever I see a shot like this I always want to give a big shout out to whoever the Cinematographer is, and in this case it's a fellow named Michael Reed!

The Kent family were the lucky winners in this all-expense paid vacation, but it's no time at all before Charles Tingwell as Alan Kent is called upon to make an extra payment!! It's kind of a draining situation, but he's head over heels about it! Among his multiple credits, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell did all kinds of puppet voices in the "Thurderbirds" and "Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons" TV shows that included the voices of Bruno, Dr. Lang, The International Space Control, Captain Brown, Dr. Fawn, and Agent 042!

That snarky olde Klove has been holding onto his master's dust for a long time, and once Alan Kent's blood is added to the mixture, it's no time at all before Dracula is reconstituted and back in action again!

She's regularly referred to as the first leading lady of British horror for her roles in such films as "Village Of The Damned," and "Quatermass And The Pit, and here Barbara Shelley is rudely brought down by Klove to see her husband and is immediately met up with by Dracula, who does a number on her neck, and she quickly becomes another walking dead minion of the night ready to prey on the others!

I don't know what the big deal about Christopher Lee is, he only has 275 acting credits to his name, and in this film, he doesn't utter not even one single word, which is probably just as well, since the version I watched was in Italian with no sub-titles! Grazie Tedmo, Grazie!!

It's like one big vampire family reunion, and the invitations state very clearly B.Y.O.B! Bring yer own blood!!!

Dammit! Don't make eye contact!!

Suzan (DIE, MONSTER, DIE) Farmer as Diana Kent leads the gang in a rousing edition of "100 Pints Of Blood On The Wall!" Suzan was such a good screamer, they used her voice for both hers and Barbara Shelley's screams!!

Thorley (THE PSYCHOPATH, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, TWISTED NERVE) Walters has what I believe to be a completely disposable role as Ludwig, a fly eating Renfield type character!

"Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" is not a film to be taken lightly by any means!

Where they really lost me, was in the ending! If you have ever seen any vampire or werewolf movies at all, you know there are some very strict rules, and one of them is you don't come out during the daylight hours, and since when does ice water have such a devastating effect on a vampire? That was a new one on me!

Here's one last look at the survivors, Francis (CORRIDORS OF BLOOD, THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN) Matthews as Charles Kent, Suzan Farmer as Diana Kent, and Andrew (DALEK'S' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) Keir as Father Sandor, the benevolent Priest! Here's a pretty amazing statistic for you, as far as I can discern, out of all the people I've mentioned here, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer and Philip Latham are still alive! That's a pretty high percentage for a film this old!

So, if Dracula is the Prince of Darkness, then who are the King and Queen! I could see Satan as the King, but who is the Queen, Mrs. Claus?? You know we like to kid around sometimes, well, here's something I just found out that's not a joke! If you're looking to see this film, there is some guy in Georgia who has a sealed DVD of "Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" that he's trying to sell on Amazon for $8,102.69 plus $2.98 shipping! I think he should have at least offered free shipping!!! Good night sweet Prince!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

JACK THE GIANT KILLER / Edward Small Productions - 1962

It's Monster Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. This movie plays on TCM regularly, so, check it out when it comes around, or, like our monster movie buff, Exeter, you can find it on VHS archive tape #203. Eegah!! has always said that this is a great flick, and, it is! Stars Dungeon fave, Kerwin Mathews, who also starred in Harryhausen's THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD and began his career in 1954 on TV's SPACE PATROL. Nathan (THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS) Juran directs...

We have a nice lil' soundclip fer yer ohren, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button there by the atomic rubber tree, NOW, Ralphie The Tarantula! Here's our audio offering for... JACK THE GIANT KILLER!

Lots of nice photos were omitted from the post because there were just way too many of them!

Super evil villain, Pendragon, accompanied by his assistant, Garna, gives Princess Elaine a special gift, an animated little doll. She's thrilled, but, it changes into a giant creature that night and kidnaps her!

As the monster makes it's way across the countryside, it encounters farm boy, Jack the Giant Killer! First off, Jack gets Elaine away from it, then, smashes it's hand when it tries to grab him in the stone mill. Jack even manages to kill it by hanging and so becomes a King's Knight for his bravery!

Judi Meredith plays Princess Elaine, Judi was also in THE NIGHT WALKER, DARK INTRUDER and QUEEN OF BLOOD. Torin Thatcher is awesome as Pendragon, he had a great run with 143 acting credits from 1927 to 1976, working mostly in television. The familiar looking Walter Burke plays Garna, Pendragon's twisted little assistant. Here, Jack and Elaine approach Pendragon's realm, but, the evil one conjers up a special surprise for the meddling pests! He's always surrounded by his monster horde!

One thing that makes this movie great is this scene where a number of phantom demons attack Jack's crew at sea. The special effects are by Augie (THE MAZE and THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD) Lohman and the visual effects were created by 11 other artists!

Pendragon captures Elaine and uses his magic mirror to change her into an evil sorceress!

A crusty old Viking rescues Jack and his companion, Peter, from the sea. He gives Jack a glass jar with a leprechaun inside that can grant him wishes, to aid in his fight against Pendragon.

After a dizzying climb up this steep cliff face, Jack has to figure out how to get inside Pendragon's heavily fortified castle.

Plus, you gots Pendragon screwing with him at every turn!

The head?.. Yeah, sure pal, you jus' go through that big door there and take a left when you get to the end of the hall, then, take the elevator to floor 13, you can't miss it!..

Why, that dirty rotten skeleton!.. What the eff, man!!

Jack finds Elaine and breaks the magic mirror, releasing her from it's evil spell!

Pendragon sends this two-headed monster out to stop Jack and Elaine's escape, so, Jack asks the leprechaun to conjer up a lil' playmate for the big creep to play with! The sea monster ends up strangling Pendragon's pet.

Pendragon figures he has to handle the situation himself and turns into his dreaded alter ego, a giant dragon! He grabs a large boulder off the seashore to drop on Jack's ship...

The great effects just don't let up, even til the very end when Pendragon definitely gets what's coming to him!

Tune in Friday when Tabonga'll bring you another special effect giganza from the following year... CAPTAIN SINBAD!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??