Blood of the Vampire (1958) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

POster for Blood of the Vampire (1958)Blood of the Vampire (1958) by #HenryCass
w/
#DonaldWolfit #VincentBall #BarbaraShelley

A wrongly convicted doctor is sent to a harsh institution where he assists the creepy warden conduct experiments with blood.

“No woman alive is safe from the most frightening fiend in the history of horror!”

“He begins where Dracula left off!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Blood of the Vampire (1958) is another horror film from 1958 which I had never heard of before. It’s directed by Henry Cass, who also made a film called The Hand (1960), which I wrote about a while back. That one was more of a film noir, or crime drama, than a horror film. Blood of the Vampire feels like a Hammer horror film at first, but as it goes along it starts to become more of a strange drama of sorts. But much like The Hand, it’s just offbeat enough to be a rather interesting watch… Continue reading

The Unknown Terror (1957) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Unknown Terror (1957)The Unknown Terror (1957) by #CharlesMarquisWarren
w/#JohnHoward #MalaPowers

A millionaire leads an expedition into a remote jungle to find his wife’s long-lost brother, but instead the group finds a mad scientist making fungus people in the jungle.

“They enter the Cave of Death to explore the secrets of hell!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Last week I watched Back from the Dead (1957) and discovered that it was one of only two horror films made by Charles Marquis Warren. The Unknown Terror (1957) is the other one, and I just had to track it down and do a direct comparison… Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Monstrosity / The Atomic Brain (1963)

Poster for Monstrosity / The Atomic Brain (1963)Monstrosity / The Atomic Brain (1963) by #JosephVMascelli
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#MarjorieEaton #FrankGerstle #ErikaPeters #JudyBamber

A rich old woman plots with a scientist to have her brain implanted in the body of a young woman.

“WANTED: Youth and Beauty. Will Pay Millions. Only Beautiful and Shapely Girls Need Apply. No References Required. Appointments After Dark Only.”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I have a particular fondness for horror movies from 1958. Monstrosity / The Atomic Brain didn’t come out until 1963, which is starting to get a little late in the game for that kind of late 1950s sci-fi horror madness. However, it was apparently shot in 1958 and not released until 1963, so that’s a different matter entirely. Still, it doesn’t have a whole lot in common with most of my favourites from that era. The producer, Jack Pollexfen, once said it was his worst movie ever – and the only one that failed to make money. That is, oddly enough, a recommendation of sorts to aficionados like me. The question is: Is it so bad it’s good? Or just so bad it’s boring? Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Werewolf (1956)

The Werewolf (1956) by #FredFSears
w/#DonMegowan #JoyceHolden

When a stranger with amnesia appears, a small town Sheriff comes to believe he is dealing with a werewolf.

“Scientists turn men into beasts!”
“It happens before your horrified eyes!”

“The horror of all mankind terrifies the screen!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Werewolf (1956) is a historically significant horror film because it is the first to feature a werewolf that is non-supernatural. The beast in this movie is pure science fiction, having been created by a couple of doctors conducting experiments. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Teenage Zombies (1959)

Poster for Teenage Zombies (1959)Teenage Zombies (1959) by #JerryWarren
w/
#DonSullivan #KatherineVictor

A crazed scientist uses nerve gas to turn local teenagers into slaves.

“See Teenage Girls Thrust Into the Weird Pulsating Cage of Horror!”

”A fiendish experiment performed with sadistic horror!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Someone once asked me if Teenage Zombies (1959) is a good movie. I froze like a ghoul in the headlights. Truth be told, Teenage Zombies is a bad movie. A very bad movie. There’s really no way around that. So I looked this person square in the eye and said:

”I like it.” Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Neanderthal Man (1953)

Poster for The Neanderthal Man (1953) The Neanderthal Man (1953) by #EwaldAndréDupont
w/#RobertShayne #JoyceTerry #BeverlyGarland

A scientist regresses a cat to sabre-tooth tiger and a man to Neanderthal.

“What mad desires drove him on…?”

“The world’s gone completely mad. Sometimes I think I’m the only rational being left in it…”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of monster movies made in the late 1950s. 1957 and 1958 were both particularly good years for mad scientists and giant mutant beasts. The trend continued through 1959 and into the 1960s, with plenty of good sci-fi horror films still left to come. I was surprised to discover that The Neanderthal Man (1953) predated all of those great movies by several years. And yet it feels very much like it’s part of the set.

I suppose it’s like Black Christmas (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) coming out four years before the slasher genre officially kicked off with Halloween (1978). But unlike Black Christmas (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Neanderthal Man Is not a well remembered and loved fan favourite. In fact, I don’t think I had ever heard of it before I first watched it a few years ago. And soon afterwards I forgot that I’d ever seen it. Considering that I seem to be obsessed with 1950s horror and sci-fi movies right now, I figured it was high time that I checked out The Neanderthal Man again. Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Alligator People (1959)

Poster for The Alligator People (1959)The Alligator People (1959) by #RoyDelRuth

w/#BeverlyGarland #BruceBennett #LonChaneyJr

While hypnotized by two psychiatrists, a woman describes the mysterious disappearance of her husband – on their wedding day – and the horrifying events that followed…,

“Her Honeymoon…Shattered by an Unbelievable Horror!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I did not see The Alligator People (1959) on TV when I was young. I had never heard of it, in fact, until I found a DVD copy in a bargain bin one day. As anyone who knows me can attest, any movie called The Alligator People – made in 1959, no less – has got to come home with me. And this one was no exception… Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Vampire (1957)

Poster for The Vampire (1957)The Vampire (1957) by #PaulLandres

w/#JohnBeal #ColeenGray #KennethTobey #LydiaReed

After a small town doctor mistakenly takes experimental pills made from the blood of vampire bats – he finds that he might be turning into a monster.

“A New Kind of Killer to Stalk the Screen!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Vampire (1957) is a nifty little monster movie that I never saw as a child or teenager. It wasn’t until I purchased a Midnight Movies double feature DVD some fifteen odd years ago that I even became aware of the movie. It was paired with The Return of Dracula (1958), which I talked about few weeks ago. Both movies were directed by Paul Landres, but I was not familiar with him either.  Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Black Sleep (1956)

Poster for The Black Sleep (1956)The Black Sleep (1956) by #ReginaldLeBorg

w/ #BasilRathbone #AkimTamiroff #LonChaneyJr #JohnCarradine #BelaLugosi
Also featuring #TorJohnson!

“Out of the evil brain of a twisted scientist comes a fantastic robot army – crushing all barriers…feeding on beauty – lusting to claw the world apart!

“The Terror Drug That Wakes the Dead!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I’m not sure how I’d never seen The Black Sleep (1956) before last week. It’s got an amazing cast of horror heavyweights, including Bela Lugosi in his last completed performance. Yes, he appears in Ed Wood’s Trashterpiece Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957), but as well all know, his part was finished by Ed’s wife’s chiropractor(?!) after Lugosi died.  Continue reading