Friday, September 30, 2022

MONSTER KID HOME MOVIES / "The Gentle Old Madman" - 1974

I bought the MONSTER KID HOME MOVIES collection a few years back, which consisted of 30 different movies by a number of contributors, well, this is the last one in the set. It's actually a 37 minute movie with sound submitted to the Kodak Teen-Age Movie competition by Alan Upchurch, who received an honorable mention for his little horror film.  

It's called "The Gentle Old Madman" which has a nice title card, but unfortunately is not centered very well as you can see.

Alan plays Carl Kolchak (!!) who is talking with the newspaper editor about the recent murders (with an ax) of a number of young women in the city. Carl has lunch while he's there!

Kolchak goes out to find some leads, when, he comes across yet another ax murder.

Carl gets the skinny from a witness.

In the meantime, the murderer is running loose after breaking out of a mental hospital and killing a number of women. His name is Arthur Grimsdyke, played by Mark Upchurch

Arthur goes to the cemetery and places a red Poppy at his late wife's tombstone.

Kolchak befriends the guy in the basement of the library to assist him in collecting clues about the murders. They come up with a name, Arthur Grimsdyke, ax murderer, recently escaped from a mental hospital, nowhere to be found!

Then, on a high rise, Arthur sees a girl come out a door and he pulls out his ax, but gets distracted and the girl runs away.

On the ground floor, Kolchak notices the commotion above and takes the elevator to the top of the building.

Kolchak makes it to the top only to find Arthur with his ax in hand.

There's a scuffle and one of the two falls to the ground, which one?!

It's Arthur of course...

A small crowd check out the dead old man and his ax... Wha Hoppen?

Kolchak shows up for the old man's last rites, then...

He leaves the cemetery, later.

Then, a mysterious old woman places a red Poppy at his grave.

That's actually a nice little twist ending, but they really need to work on their centering!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

DER ROTE KREIS - "The Crimson Circle" (1960)

Normally I'd save a film like this for the Saturday Night Special, but since Saturday is the first of October, and the beginning of the Countdown To Halloween, this great film gets relegated to this freakin' Weirdass Wednesday instead, but it's definitely more than that!

You can call it "Der Rote Kreis, or you can call it "The Red Circle."

Or you can even call it "The Crimson Circle" if you want to, just don't call it late to the execution!

The execution in question involves a safety nail not being removed, and the sobriety of the Executioner when the decapitation fails. Some years later, the man who was supposed to be in a prison nobody could escape from, has escaped, and is wreaking havoc all over London. He's killed eighteen people so far, and the only clues are red circles left on notes and bodies.

Eddi Arent is stellar in this film as Police Sergeant Haggett. Although he still provides the comic relief in this film, there's a lot less of it, and his character is not totally annoying!

Edith Mill is one of the early victims. Not really known in the United States, Edith acted exclusively in German films.

Many of these sets are really busy, and you can almost miss something like a hanged man in the foreground!

"A bow and arrow would make a good murder weapon, because the archer always wears gloves!"
And yet, she has on only one glove! 
Renate Ewert is Thalia Drummond, and only the second fictional Thalia I've ever heard of, the other being Thalia Menninger from the Dobie Gillis show. 
Renate is a sad story. When her career seemed to be going nowhere, she turned to drugs and alcohol. Her death at thirty-three was called a suicide. Overcome by grief, her parents also both committed suicide the following year!

Is it irony or planned that this guy gets off at the Crimsonfield station?

If this movie was in colour, you'd be able to see that the circle on this victim's hand is red.
This creepy looking guy is not even one of the bad guys! How's that for irony?

The swingin' soundtrack was composed by Dungeon Hall of Famer Willy (Horrors Of Spider Island) Mattes.

There's freakin' people creepin' around everywhere! Somebody needs to do a painting of this still!

The guy pointing to the dead prisoner is Karl Georg Saebisch as Police Inspector Parr. Karl is a pretty unique guy. He made his first film when he was fifty-two. This was his ninth movie and he was already fifty-seven. He was also in the Edgar Wallace film "The Terrible People," and continued working until 1975.

Somehow The Red Circle can find it's victim, even behind locked doors.

In this brief sequence Police Sergeant Haggett gets distracted by something.........

..........And a worthwhile distraction it is indeed!

Here's another Red Circle ransom note!

"Der Rote Kreis" is filled with cool shots like this, and combined with the music of Willy Mattes, the time flies right by!

I love these shots with clusters of people all packed into the background!

There's far too many twists and turns and odd characters to go into much detail here. This copy on YouTube is very good quality, and you can't beat the free price, so what are you waiting for?

I'm done with this now! It's my birthday, so just leave me alone!

Monday, September 26, 2022

LOST IN SPACE / "The Hungry Sea" - 1965

The clock on the Dungeon wall sez it's time for an adventure in space with our good friends, the Robinsons, Major West, Dr. Smith and their robot pal.

The Robinsons and Major West are out exploring the planet they're on and things are getting crazy. The temperature is dropping like a stone, and it's like -150 degrees. Dr. Smith is arguing with the robot on its analysis of the drop in temperature, and is bad mouthing the Robinsons to boot. He's very aloof in this one with little regards for his crew mates.

It's freezing cold, and their rover must cross a frozen sea to get to their destination...

They get across the ice okay. but the temperature is now on the rise and they have to remove their winter gear, it's getting hot now.

After Dr. Smith is unable to get a message to the Robinsons about the weird orbit of the planet they're on, he sends the robot out to locate the family and give them the unsettling info.

The Robinsons and Major West are having dinner when...

The robot shows up, and not trusting anything Dr. Smith has to say, or what info the robot has brought them, Don fries the robot's circuits with his ray gun! Bad move. Smith and West are real dicks in this episode, and John is at odds with the major, big time.

Even though the robot is out of commission, John is able to get a read out about the orbit of the planet, an elongated orbit like a comet, which explains the extreme changes in temperature.

It's getting hotter, and John says they have no choice but to put up heat shields to protect themselves from the scorching heat when they pass by the planet's sun!

They all cover up with more heat shields as the sun passes by...

I mean, it's HOT AS HELL!

After the worst is over, the crew barely survive the ordeal. The top shields are burned to a crisp but luckily they took the brunt of the extreme heat.

They have to get back to the ship but the ice is now water and they have to battle a storm and a giant whirlpool to get through to the other side.

The radar device has malfunctioned so Don goes out to fix it in the storm. He fixes it but falls off into the water. John tries to rescue Don but he cannot find him. Luckily, Don was barely able to hang on and he gets back inside the rover to everyone's delight.

The crew heads back to the ship and all is okay after locating a spot on the planet that is safe for them to live.

Back at the ship, the robot plays "There No Place Like Home" as Dr. Smith sadly sings along, an interesting end to the madness.

But wouldn't you know it, there is a missile headed right for them, if you believe the radar screen, looks like music notes to me.

And to find out what happens next, you'll have to wait a whole week to find out what's going on with the Lost In Space gang!

Monster Music

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