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The Ship of Monsters (1960) – Episode 23 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“For all they’ve tried, the Mexicans haven’t been able to destroy it,” says the electronic voice of the Venusian’s computer when describing Mexico in The Ship of Monsters (1960), aka La Nave de los Monstruos. Our very own Joseph Perry was so enamored with “Tiki Brain Guy” and Cyclops in Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (Episode 19), he decided to take us back in time to 1960 to experience their earlier roles as Tagual and Uk, respectively. Ride along as this episode’s Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest host Kieran Fisher – take an interplanetary voyage on The Ship of Monsters!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 23 – The Ship of Monsters (1960)

In The Ship of Monsters, the female population of Venus is in desperate need of men for the purposes of procreation and the survival of their race, To that end, the Venusians organize a mission whereby a rocketship and its crew will embark on a voyage to various planets to retrieve the best men from each and bring them back to repopulate Venus. The ship’s crew, Gamma (Ana Bertha Lepe) and Beta (Lorena Velázquez), start their mission suitably clothed for space travel in their one-piece swimsuits.

By the time they get to Earth, they’ve acquired several male specimens: Tagual, Prince of Mars; Uk, a slobbering cyclops from the Red Planet; Utirr, a half-tick, half-spider creature with telescoping appendages from the fire planet; Zok, a sabre-toothed primate skeleton creature; and Tor, a robot from a barren planet whose population had long gone extinct. They are, indeed, a ship of monsters when they land on Earth and encounter the best male Earth has to offer, Lauriano (Eulalio González, aka Piporro), a tall-tale-telling cowboy with a decidedly comedic bent. Throw in an incognito vampire’s plot to take over Earth and an interspecies love story or two and you have the ridiculous, but hilarious tale told in The Ship of Monsters.

This Mexican production is directed by Rogelio A. González and and the very smart script is written by José María Fernández Unsáin and Alfredo Varela. Don’t let the cheap monster suits fool you! The filmmakers successfully skewer the alien invasion film genre as well as racism, colonialism, and a few other -isms in a way that will have you laughing out loud. The members of this episode’s Grue Crew each give The Ship of Monsters a very strong thumbs up!

Listen and you’ll be able to tell which of us made these comments regarding The Ship of Monsters:

  • “I think that was maybe the underlying message for the film with all this weird interspecies shenanigans.”
  • “Beta, she’s a naughty one.”
  • “You’re asking how blown was your mind when you really thought about it? I tried not to really think about it because I kept throwing up in my mouth a little bit.”
  • “I’ve seen Humanoids of the Deep like a thousand times so I’m not bothered by that stuff any more.”
  • “They had me at, ‘This is an atom.’”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), selected and hosted by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

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The Old Dark House (1932) – Episode 22 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Have a potato.” So said Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger), one of our hosts as we all sat down to dinner. Join this episode’s Grue Crew as we seek shelter from the storm in The Old Dark House (1932). It seemed like a swell idea at the time. Erin Miskell was not able to join us on this one, so Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr had to do all the heavy lifting themselves. (They all shouted in their best impersonation of Joey Starrett in Shane,“Come back, Erin!”)

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 22 – The Old Dark House (1932)

The story of The Old Dark House begins with five weary travelers caught between avalanches on a stormy night and searching for a place to spend the night. The first to arrive are the Wavertons – Philip (Raymond Massey) and Margaret (Gloria Stuart) – and their travel companion, a light-hearted chap named Penderel (Melvyn Douglas). They are joined a short time later by Sir William Porterhouse (Charles Laughton) and his travel companion Gladys (Lilian Bond). Both groups of travelers are greeted at the door by Morgan (Boris Karloff), the owners’ mute and intimidating butler. They are soon joined by Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger) and his sister Emma (Eva Moore). Eventually, the Femms’ guests learn of the third Femm sibling, the insane and dangerous Saul (Brember Wills), and meet his 102-year-old, bedridden father, Sir Roderick Femm (Elspeth Dudgeon). Many high jinx ensue in tandem with seriously dreadful and life threatening encounters.

The second of director James Whale’s four entries in the Universal horror pantheon, The Old Dark House is rife with the director’s signature shadow play, comedic overtones, and attention to detail.  The entire film takes place during the clichéd dark and stormy night lit only by flickering candlelight, oil lamplight, and fireplace flame, but cinematographer Arthur Edeson still delivers clear but menacing depictions of the the goings-on in The Old Dark House. Boris Karloff receives star billing in contrast to his “hidden” credit in Frankenstein (1931), but still is not given a single line of dialogue to utter.

Chad and Jeff (he does go on) enthusiastically recommend repeated viewings of The Old Dark House. Joseph also recommends the film and promises repeated viewings in the future.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Ship of Monsters (1960) aka La Nave de los Monstruos, selected and hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

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Nosferatu (1922) – Episode 21 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we take our second journey in a row to Transylvania, this time to take in the silent scream splendor of Nosferatu (1922), the first cinematic version of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 21 – Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu is most definitely based on Bram Stoker’s novel, but it is just as definitely an unofficial version. The filmmakers intentionally avoided obtaining the rights from the Stoker family, hence, the names along with a few other details, were changed to protect the not-so-innocent. As a result of their unsuccessful subterfuge, Dracula becomes Count Orlok/Nosferatu (Max Schreck), Harker is converted to Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim), Mina is replaced by Ellen (Greta Schröder), Renfield is changed to Knock (Alexander Granach), and a new way to kill the undead is devised.

Directed by German expressionist legend F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu reinforces the director’s reputation as master of shadows. Jeff marvels at the shadows and shot composition of nearly every scene. This episode’s Grue Crew all agree that Henrik Galeen’s screenplay loses much of the character depth present in Stoker’s novel. Produced by Enrico Dieckmann and Albin Grau, Nosferatu was most influenced by Grau who also served as art director and costume designer, and even created some of the poster art.

It is hard to imagine Max Schreck as a normal human being after witnessing his portrayal of Count Orlok. In fact, many people over the years have speculated he was a real vampire.

Joseph makes sure we discuss Alexander Granach’s performance. His version of Knock seems to have set the mold for future portrayals of Renfield. Erin expresses her concerns for the dangers of one-dimensional female characters, such as Ellen, who represent pure good and whose only purpose throughout the film is to sacrifice herself for the benefit of everyone else.

All in all, they all agree. If you haven’t seen Nosferatu (1922), what’s the hold-up?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is another James Whale classic, The Old Dark House (1932), selected and hosted by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

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Dracula (1974) – Episode 61 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“You are now in my domain gentlemen, and you shall not leave.” Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issue of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions, but Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr are back, along with guest-host Joey Fittos, to take that familiar journey from Transylvania to England, this time as told by producer/director Dan Curtis in 1974’s Dracula.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 61 – Dracula (1974)

Originally released as Bram Stoker’s Dracula until the rights to that name were acquired for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, the film is now sometimes referred to as Dan Curtis’ Dracula. This TV movie was scheduled to premiere in October 1973 but was preempted by news coverage of an unfolding historical event and rescheduled for February 1974.

This episode’s Grue Crew discuss Emmy winner Curtis’ start as the creator and executive producer of the daytime, horror/soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-71). He then went on to direct and produce a number of horror-related movies in the 1970s: The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973), several TV-movie adaptations of well-known horror novels, and the theatrically released Burnt Offerings (1976).

Though your hosts find the script lacking in places, they do give props to frequent Curtis collaborator and horror icon Richard Matheson, who penned the screenplay for this version of Dracula. Despite this script’s faults, Curtis and Matheson do use a plot device lifted from Dark Shadows that doesn’t appear in Bram Stoker’s novel or any previous film versions but is used again by Coppola in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Academy award winner Jack Palance tackles the title role. Curtis and he had worked together before on another TV movie, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968). Chad, Bill, and especially Jeff, appreciate the feral quality of Palance’s performance, but Joey says, “He’s not my Dracula.” The rest of the cast – Nigel Davenport (Van Helsing), Murray Brown (Jonathan Harker), Fiona Lewis (Lucy), Penelope Horner (Mina), and Simon Ward (Arthur) – don’t have much to work with, possibly leading to their seemingly lackluster performances. The crew also point out that many of our listeners may recognize Sarah Douglas, one of Dracula’s brides, who later played Ursa in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980).

When all’s said and done, Mr. Fittos gives Dracula (1974) thumbs down. Though Chad and Jeff admit it doesn’t hold up to impressions from their first viewings, the other hosts think it is worth the watch for Palance’s performance.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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Dracula (1931) – Episode 20 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies?… Not when I can get nice, fat spiders!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Dave Dreher – as we take a trip to Transylvania and ride aboard the schooner Vesta, only to end up in the Seward Sanitarium and rundown Carfax Abbey in search of Dracula (1931).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 20 – Dracula (1931)

Director Tod Browning and cinematographer Karl Freund collaborated during the production of Dracula to create some of the most lasting icons in horror film history. Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Dwight Frye (Renfield), and Edward Van Sloan (Dr. Van Helsing) are still the portrayals to which all later incarnations are compared. Though Lugosi is the star, your Classic Era Grue Crew all agree that Dracula is Dwight Frye’s movie as he changes from a serious and dignified professional to an unpredictable, maniacal, and downright disturbing lunatic.

Unfortunately, the characters of Lucy (Frances Dade) and Mina (Helen Chandler) are barely more than props to be victimized by Dracula and saved by Van Helsing and John Harker (David Manners). On the other hand, Renfield’s attendant Martin (Charles K. Gerrard) provides the very definition of comic relief. One of our Grue Crew also proclaims their love for Lupita Tovar, who plays Eva, the Spanish language version of Mina.

You’ll also find the answers to these questions:

  • How does the Tod Browning version of Dracula compare to the Spanish language production?
  • What could the Looney Tunes bad-behaved version of Little Red Riding Hood possibly have to do with Dracula?
  • How many degrees of separation are there between the Spanish language version of Dracula and the Star Wars film, Rogue One (2016)?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements during our podcast on Dracula:

  • “Someone just kind of handed him (Dwight Frye) this steak of a role and he just sunk all of his teeth into it and chewed it for all it was worth.”
  • “Was I the only one, when you would see Martin on the screen, that was thinking of Eric Idle from Monty Python?”
  • “The woman had many, many issues. She surpassed issue and went straight to subscriptions.”
  • “Who decided an armadillo was scary?”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule is Nosferatu (1922), hosted by Erin Miskell.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 

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Deathdream (1974) – Episode 60 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Something unspeakable has come home.” Not only is it unspeakable, but it has already died once. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they follow the members of a family wracked by the effects of the Vietnam War in Deathdream.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 60 – Deathdream (1974)

The second of director Bob Clark’s three horror films, Deathdream (aka Dead of Night) is sandwiched neatly between Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 12) and Black Christmas (Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 34). Written by Alan Ormsby, the film tells the story of Andy (Richard Backus), a Vietnam War veteran who is killed-in-action and yet returns home the same day his family gets the news of his death. Though the death notice is not a mistake,  Andy’s parents (John Marley and Lynn Carlin) and sister (Anya Ormsby) assume it is, and celebrate his homecoming. As his physical condition deteriorates and his behavior gets more and more bizarre, Andy’s father brings the local doctor (Henderson Forsythe) home to take a look at his son. As the film progresses, Andy’s decay increases and the body count rises.

The foundation of Deathdream’s story is planted firmly in W. W. Jacobs’ 1902 short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” In other words, be careful what you wish for! The story might also be seen as an allegory delving into the additional trauma experienced by returning Vietnam War veterans, stigmatized by society and struggling with PTSD, and the effect that trauma has on their family and friends.

Tom Savini partners with Alan Ormsby to provide the film’s effective, low budget makeup effects. Andy’s progressive decay is successfully depicted as he moves from seemingly normal to a rapidly decaying corpse. Deathdream is not a fun watch.This episode’s Grue Crew give the film a unanimous thumbs up with the following caveat: The filmmakers successfully tell a very depressing story. Deathdream is not a fun watch.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

 

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Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70) – Episode 19 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“The day I died, I swore I would get my revenge!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Mike Imboden – as we wrestle with Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters in honor of El Santo’s 100th birthday on September 23, 2017.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 19 – Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70)

Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares and written by  Rafael García Travesi, Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters tells an age-old tale. An evil doctor rises from the dead and directs the efforts of as many monsters as he can resurrect to combat the heroes. More specifically, Dr. Bruno Halder (Carlos Ancira), who hates Santo, his brother Otto Halder (Ivan J. Rado), and his niece Gloria (Hedi Blue), is resurrected from the dead by his diminutive hunchback assistant Waldo (Santanón). With the aid of his zombie henchmen in green greasepaint, Bruno gathers together some of the world’s most famous monsters and plans to murder his foes . . . and worse. He even makes a duplicate Blue Demon do his evil bidding. Thankfully Santo is here to protect his fiancee, her father, and the world!

Exactly what does the, “Against the Monsters” of Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters refer to? The complete cast of resurrected monstruos includes El Vampiro, La Mujer Vampiro, Franquestein, La Momia, El Hombre Lobo, El Ciclope, and the creature Joseph Perry refers to as “Tiki-brain Guy.” That’s surely enough to take care of Santo and Blue Demon, right? Not on your life! Not if you know the full legend of El Santo!

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “… I got to actually touch our fellow co-ghost.” … “Let me show you on the doll where exactly it happened.”
  • “It’s cheesy. It’s just a big piece of chunky, stinky Limburger cheese, but I love it.”
  • “This thing is a thing of beauty. Just shut up and take my money.”
  • “Even during the makeout sessions, everybody leaves the masks on!”
  • “I’m wearing my Luchador mask right now, actually.”
  • “Let me cheer things up with my favorite monster who I call the Tiki-brain Guy.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule, in honor of Halloween, is Dracula (1931), hosted by Jeff.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

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The Uninvited (1944) – Episode 18 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here… and sea fog… and eerie stories…’’ Oooo, that’s some pretty scary stuff! (Channeling a little Second City TV) Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we journey to the haunted shores and brave the classic ghost story, The Uninvited (1944).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 18 – The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is based on Uneasy Freehold, a novel by Dorothy Macardle, and adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith. It is considered to be the first real ghost story that isn’t predominantly a comedy and includes genuine supernatural elements.

The story follows Pamela Fitzgerald (Ruth Hussey) and her brother Roderick (Ray Milland) as they fall in love with and purchase a house on the haunted shore. It doesn’t take long for strange sounds and manifestations to spook the siblings. They try getting answers from the house’s previous owner Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell) but to no avail.They are then introduced to the enigmatic Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who only creates more questions without providing any answers. They soon band with the local doctor (Alan Napier) and the three strive to solve the mystery of the house’s haunting. The main cast receives marvelous support from Barbara Everest as Lizzie Flynn, the domestic help; and Dorothy Stickney as Miss Bird, an eccentric resident of an insane asylum.

The film benefits from not only a stellar cast and source material but an equally stellar crew. Director Lewis Allen’s first feature, The Uninvited sports a crew that includes Oscar and other award winners such as Charles Lang (cinematographer), Victor Young (music), Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté (art directors), Edith Head (costume designer), and Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings (visual effects).

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew mad each of these statements:

  • “(She) was the kind of dame that didn’t like film noir.”
  • “It’s like the old Ed Sullivan Show with the plate spinner …”
  • “She’s got the big neon sign.”
  • “Viva la Lucha Libre!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70), hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!


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Night of the Lepus (1972) – Episode 59 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Rabbits aren’t your bag, Roy.” It’s pretty safe to say rabbits aren’t anyone’s bag in Night of the Lepus, especially the pseudo-savage, overgrown, mutant versions in this film. The Black Saint was unable to join us for this episode and Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. Sometimes, you just can’t do everything you want to do, can you, guys? In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they weave their way through the killer rabbits of Night of the Lepus.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 59 – Night of the Lepus (1972)

Night of the Lepus is director William F. Claxton’s only entry in the horror film. Most of his experience is in the western genre, so it’s no surprise that most of the cast are frequent performers in westerns. Highly recognizable leads and supporting cast are played by Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, Stuart Whitman, DeForest Kelley, and Paul Fix, who all give it the old college try, but they don’t have much with which to work.

The screenplay is written by Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney and is based on The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964), an Australian, comic/horror/science fiction novel by Russell Braddon. Though the plot is outrageous, the novel is appreciated for its comic shadings. In Night of the Lepus, however, the filmmakers forsake any attempt at humor and go straight for outright horror, a fatal mistake. Unfortunately, no matter how ominous the script or intense the acting, the special effects are not up to the task of inciting horror from domestic rabbits performing on miniature sets.

Despite its flaws, Night of the Lepus still holds a special place in the hearts of the members of your faithful Grue Crew. Jeff Mohr has on an ongoing bromance with Rory Calhoun. Though he agrees it is a terrible film, Bill Mulligan professes a love for many of the images in Night of the Lepus and uses them in his party videos. Now there’s a party we’d love to attend! Chad Hunt, well, Chad Hunt can’t figure out why, but when he’s channel surfing and runs across Night of the Lepus, he can’t keep from pausing to watch the proverbial trainwreck.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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House on Haunted Hill (1959) – Episode 17 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Whatever got her wasn’t human.” That is not what you want to hear while locked overnight in a haunted house. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we brave an overnight in the House on Haunted Hill (1959). William Castle, Robb White, and Vincent Price? What’s not to like.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 17 – House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by legendary gimmick-meister William Castle, House on Haunted Hill is a standard story about folks challenged to stay the night in a haunted house, but with a few twists provided by writer Robb White. Millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) carefully chooses five guests for his invitation only event — Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum), and Watson Prichard (Elisha Cook Jr.) — and offers them each $10,000 if they survive the night. Also in attendance are Frederick’s wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), caretaker Jonas Slydes (Howard Hoffman), and his wife (Leona Anderson).

House on Haunted Hill is great fun and has some legitimate scares, but don’t spend too much time thinking about the plot. If you do, you might become obsessed with its holes and miss all the fun. The music by Von Dexter is suitably chill-inducing and is as good at setting the atmosphere as it is at setting the standard for horror films of its period.

Chad Hunt recounts his experience watching this in a theater that tried to duplicate Castle’s gimmick for this picture, which he called “Emergo.” Erin Miskell’s first memories of watching House on Haunted Hill are during a sleepover as a 10-year-old. Imagine the shrieks!

House on Haunted Hill treats its guests to the usual haunted house fare, including floating apparitions, mysteriously slamming doors, a hanging body, an unattached head, secret passages, a seriously scary old woman, an animated skeleton, blood dripping from the ceiling, and a conveniently placed vat of acid in the basement.

We also send out a hearty handclasp to our steadfast listener, saltyessentials for calling Decades of Horror: The Classic Era a podcast “you can’t do without.” Check out salty’s blog, which he calls Dead Man’s Brain or, what I watched last night.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Univited (1944), hosted by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!