post

The Birds (1963) – Episode 32 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?”  Yikes! The ornithologist has a darn good point! Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry (He’s ba-a-a-ck!), and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Dan Sellers, as we take a bird’s eye view of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 32 – The Birds (1963)

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story of the same title and adapted to the screen by Evan Hunter, The Birds tells the story of Bodega Bay, a California coastal town terrorized by inexplicably aggressive and belligerent birds.The film stars Tippi Hedren (Melanie), Suzanne Pleshette (Annie), Jessica Tandy (Lydia), Veronica Cartwright (Cathy), and Rod Taylor (Mitch) under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock.

The stars are surrounded by a cast populated with some of the best character actors in the business, including Ethel Griffies as the ornithologist, Charles McGraw as the fishing boat captain, Lonny Chapman as the innkeeper, Doreen Lang as the hysterical mother, Karl Swenson as the drunken prophet, Joe Mantell as the cynical businessman, Ruth McDevitt as the owner of bird shop, Malcolm Atterbury as the deputy, Richard Deacon as Mitch’s neighbor in San Francisco, Doodles Weaver as a fisherman helping with a rental boat, and William Quinn as a man in the diner. You might not recognize all of their names, but if you watched many movies or television shows from the 1950s through the 1970s, you will most assuredly recognize their faces.

Jeff points out The Birds has been called Hitchcock’s monster movie. Chad proclaims his love of Albert Whitlock’s matte paintings and explains the method used by longtime Disney employee Ub Iwerks in providing the special effects for The Birds. Joseph marvels at Hitchcock’s ability to build and hold tension and suspense, and they all agree the credit should be shared with editor George Tomasini. Dan discusses the prototypical “Hitchcock blonde” and confides to the Grue Crew that he’s just glad to be doing a podcast without Sammie Cassell.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1963), selected 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 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!

post

Dead of Night (1945) – Episode 31 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Just room for one inside, sir.” Hearing this, you might be relieved to discover there’s still room to accomodate you. On the other hand, if the speaker is a hearse driver, it would send chills up your spine. Join your ever faithful Grue Crew for this episode – Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr and special guest Whitney Modesta Collazo – as they manage to avoid riding in a hearse, but still get caught in the neverending story framing the legendary British horror portmanteau, Dead of Night (1945)

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 31 – Dead of Night (1945)

As an anthology, Dead of Night consists of five independent shorts tied together by a powerful framing story, all of which creates a flashback within a dream within a dream. The five separate stories are The Hearse Driver (d. Basil Dearden, story by E. F. Benson), The Christmas Party (d. Alberto Cavalcanti, story by Angus MacPhail), The Haunted Mirror (d. Robert Hamer, story by John Baines), The Golfer’s Story (d. Charles Crichton, story by H. G. Wells), The Ventriloquist’s Dummy (d. Alberto Cavalcanti, story by John Baines), and the framing sequences directed by Basil Dearden. The film includes memorable performances from Michael Redgrave, Mervyn Johns. Googie Withers, Miles Malleson, Basil Radford, and Naunton Wayne.

Dead of Night, though not the first horror anthology film, set the standard for the anthologies that were to proliferate in the 1960s and 1970s. Also not the first ventriloquist and his dummy horror film, the influence of The Ventriloquist’s Dummy can be seen in media from an episode of The Twilight Zone (1962) to Magic (1978) and to Dead Silence (2007).

This episode’s Grue Crew were completely won over by Dead of Night and universally thought The Ventriloquist’s Dummy was their favorite piece. They each thought the framing sequence was ingenious and might well be their favorite of those used in all horror anthologies.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), selected 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 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!

 

post

The Day of the Triffids (1963) – Episode 30 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Keep behind me. There’s no sense in getting killed by a plant.”  Hmm, a killer plant, you say? Maneater of Hydra (1967)? We already did that in episode 2. The Thing from Another World (1951)? Nope, that was episode 7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)? Wrong again. That was episode 24. Little Shop of Horrors (1960)? Huh-uh. We haven’t done that one yet, but that’s not a bad idea. No, this episode’s film is none other than The Day of the Triffids (1963), based on John Wyndham’s classic, 1951 science fiction novel of the same name. Join Chad Hunt and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Adam Thomas, as we blindly tiptoe through the triffids with you.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 30 – The Day of the Triffids (1963)

The first thing your faithful Grue Crew learned is the writer credited with The Day of the Triffids did none of the writing. Philip Yordan, listed as the writer on screen, was really a front for the actual screenwriter, blacklisted Bernard Gordon. The director of record is Steve Sekely, who did do the initial direction. The finished product was deemed too short, however, and Freddie Francis was brought in to direct a parallel storyline taking place entirely with a couple in a lighthouse.

The Day of the Triffids opens with Bill Masen (Howard Keel), blinded in an accident, about to get his bandages removed. At the same time, the rest of the world is experiencing a blindingly spectacular meteor shower. No really. Everyone who looks at it, which is nearly everyone, is blinded. The meteor shower also brings some magic which causes the walking, stalking, man-eating plants known as triffids to rapidly grow to a height of 8-10 feet. It turns out that triffids breed faster than rabbits and grow faster than weeds, and begin to feed on the blind and helpless humans.

Bill, who can see (remember the bandages), heads out through the devastated city and across the countryside. On his way, he encounters several other sighted people: Karen (Janina Faye), a young girl who escapes a train crash; Christine Durrant (Nicole Maurey), a French woman who owns a large chateau in which she is housing rescued blind children and adults; Mr. Coker (Mervyn Johns), an elderly man who is helping Miss Durrant; and a band of escaped convicts. None of these sighted people meet the also sighted Karen and Tom Godwin (Janette Scott and Kieron Moore) who are the only characters in the added lighthouse scenes.

Adam can’t stop bringing up how a few of the characters really abandon the blind people at the home and leave them at the mercy of the sighted convicts. He means, they’re really, really abandoned! Jeff once again extols the virtues of a John Wyndham novel and is amazed at what a good cliff diver Howard Keel is. Chad loves the scenes in the lighthouse and the relationship between the Goodwins. Rest assured, the three hosts consider The Day of the Triffids to be a bona fide genre classic, worthy of a Decades of Horror: The Classic Era treatment. Seriously, who hasn’t heard of triffids?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Dead of Night (1945), selected 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 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!

post

Night of the Eagle (aka Burn, Witch, Burn; 1962) – Episode 29 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“So, each day science, founded on years of research and truth, merges with feats, which put our old fashioned magicians to shame. Aladdin rubbed the lamp and the genie appeared. Today we can press a button, and the whole of mankind is obliterated.”  Professor Norman Taylor (Peter Wyngarde) utters this pronouncement to his students while standing in front of a classroom blackboard filled with references to the supernatural, superstition, ghosts, and witchcraft, on which he has written and underlined, “I DO NOT BELIEVE!” Eventually, Professor Taylor is convinced otherwise in Night of the Eagle (1962), released in the U.S. as Burn, Witch, Burn. Erin Miskell is still on sabbatical, flooding the world with “pineapple on pizza” memes, but you can join the rest of your regular Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – along with guest host Eli Mohr, as they attempt to navigate the academic politics of a university ruled by witches’ spells and talismans.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 28 – Night of the Eagle (1962)

Based on Fritz Leiber Jr.’s classic horror novel Conjure Wife (1943), Night of the Eagle is directed by Sidney Hayers and adapted for the screen by none other than Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. The story centers around Norman Taylor and his wife Tansy (Janet Blair) who casts spells and uses talismans to advance Norman’s career and ward off evil counterspells coming from other witches, though it is not clear which witches are which. The rest of the players in this academic world of Night of the Eagle are Flora (Margaret Johnston) and Lindsay (Colin Gordon) Carr, Evelyn (Kathleen Byron) and Harvey (Anthony Nicholls) Sawtelle, Hilda (Jessica Dunning) and Harold (Reginald Beckwith) Gunnison, and students Margaret Abbott (Judith Stott) and Fred Jennings (Bill Mitchell).

Jeff goes all fanboy over Leiber, Beaumont, and Mathison; Chad proclaims his love for the scene played out in the mausoleum; Joseph points out the errant tape reel; and Eli admits you should not be sleepy when you watch Night of the Eagle or you might miss the wealth of clues, details, and foreshadowing present in the first two acts of the film. The Grue Crew en masse highlight Matheson’s and Beaumont’s seemingly slow to develop, but very tight script and highly recommend Night of the Eagle.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Dead of Night (1945), selected 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 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!

post

Night of the Demon (aka Curse of the Demon, 1957) – Episode 28 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Please don’t treat me like a mental patient who has to be humored. I also majored in psychology.”  As a horror fan, how many times have you said those very same words? It gets old, doesn’t it? Erin Miskell is still on sabbatical binging on pizza with pineapple, but you can join guest host Jerry Chandler and the rest of your regular Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they attempt to hide behind a facade of sanity while, a little too gleefully, discussing one of Jacques Tourneur’s masterpieces, Night of the Demon (1957). Or is it Curse of the Demon? It’s hard to remember while faking sanity. We owe this selection to our faithful Patreon listeners who chose this film from a poll of six classic era titles.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 28 – Night of the Demon (1957)

Directed by Jacques Tourneur. That statement, alone, should be enough to interest viewers in Night of the Demon. Written by Charles Bennett. That, too, should be enough for fans of early Hitchcock to perk up and take notice. Adapted from the M. R. James story, “Casting the Runes.” Now the interest of 20th century ghost story fans is peaked.

Night of the Demon tells the story of Professor John Holden (Dana Andrews), a hardline skeptic of the occult, as he does battle with the evil Doctor Karswell (Niall MacGinnis), the leader of a cult of Satan worshippers. Holden is joined in his fight by Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins), whose father was murdered as the result of a Karswell curse. The intrepid professor is also aided by Karswell’s mother (Athene Seyler) and fellow professional Mark O’Brien (Liam Redmond).

This episode’s Grue Crew universally loves Night of the Demon. They discuss the difference between the 95-minute U.K. version and the shortened 82-minute U.S. version, retitled Curse of the Demon, and which one they prefer. Hal E. Chester’s heavy-handed approach as a producer and its effect on Night of the Demon are also topics fcovered. You will also discover where each of them stand in the more demon vs. less demon debate. Which side are you on?

A bundle of listener feedback is also read this episode. A hearty handclasp and your loyal Grue Crew’s love go out to Symon O’Hagan, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Aaron Albrecht, Rafael Fernandez, Leontyne Jacquart, and saltyessentials for your feedback and your time!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Night of the Eagle, (1962), aka Burn, Witch, Burn, selected by our very own 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 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!

post

The Blood Beast Terror (1968) – Episode 27 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Galvanism isn’t working. It needs nourishment.” “Blood?” “Yes, blood. Human blood.” “The blood of a young girl?” “That would do perfectly.”   Yup. That’s where they immediately went with no explanation, leaving your Grue Crew to wonder, “Why is it always the blood of a young girl?” Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and guest host Mike Imboden – as they brave the film Peter Cushing considered to be the worst of his many films. The Blood Beast Terror (1968).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 27 – The Blood Beast Terror (1968)

A Tigon British Films Production, The Blood Beast Terror is tells the story of a series of murders, the victims of which are mysteriously drained of blood. Inspector Quinnell (Peter Cushing) is on the case, with the help of the intrepid Sergeant Allan (Glynn Edwards), and soon crosses paths with Dr. Mallinger (Robert Flemyng) and his beautiful daughter Clare (Wanda Ventham). Mallinger, an entomologist, has discovered a way to transform humans back and forth between a giant death’s head moth and their human form. As Quinnell’s and Allan’s investigation progresses, the body count rises and the clues become more and more alarming. The cast is rounded out with a morgue attendant (Roy Hudd) providing comic relief, Mallinger’s manservant Granger (Kevin Stoney), and Inspector Quinnell’s daughter Meg (Vanessa Howard).

Your Grue Crew is unanimous in their opinion that the story has potential, but the film seems to be missing essential bits while at the same time, includes lengthy scenes with no apparent value. The Blood Beast Terror is directed by Vernon Sewell, known as a director of British B-movies, and written by Peter Bryan, who scripted such films as The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), and The Plague of the Zombies (1966). With those two filmmakers involved, it is difficult to see why the film feels so disjointed.

The saving grace of The Blood Beast Terror is Mr. Cushing’s acting and the film’s male and female versions of it’s monster. Jeff mentions that Mallinger’s manservant, Granger, looks more like a street thug than a butler and also wonders what’s up with the bird? According to Joseph, the entomological presentation Mallinger gives to his students is a spot on representation of a boring university lecture. Chad agrees that the low budget might have led to the missing chunks of the story. Even though the story seems to be missing pieces, Mike thinks the 88-minute run time feels much longer and points out the beginning of the film feels like three different movies, … and don’t forget the wiener dog. The entire Grue Crew thinks this film is ripe for a remake.

On this episode, the hosts also read listener feedback on the House of Wax (1953) episode from the Golden Age of Monster Movies FB Group: Steven Nevin, Leo Doroschenko, Viki Burns-Oexman, and Robert Browning; and the Horror News Radio FB Group: Albert Torres, Bill Gabriel, Jacob Allen, and John Slattery (for some reason, that name sounds familiar).

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Night of the Demon (1957), aka Curse of the Demon, selected by a Gruesome Magazine Patreon poll and hosted by Jeff Mohr, with guest host Jerry Chandler.

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 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!

post

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) – Episode 26 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I’ve harmed nobody, just robbed a few graves!” Right! What’s the harm in that? Especially if your name is Baron Frankenstein. Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they celebrate the podcast’s first anniversary by taking on The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). It’s an episode of firsts. Besides their first anniversary, it’s their first Hammer film, first Peter Cushing film, and first Christopher Lee film. Well, it’s about time!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 26 – The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster, both Hammer regulars, The Curse of Frankenstein is Hammer’s first outright gothic horror film and their first color film. With Peter Cushing as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Monster, co-starring for the first time, the die was set for many future Hammer film collaborations between the two. The cast is rounded out with Robert Urquhart as Paul Krempe, Victor’s mentor and partner; Hazel Court as Victor’s cousin and fiance, Elizabeth; Valerie Gaunt as Justine, the maid who is also having an affair with Victor; and Paul Hardtmuth as Professor Bernstein and the donor of the monster’s brain.

Under threat of lawsuit from Universal, the filmmakers made numerous changes to the classic story. The monster in The Curse of Frankenstein bears no resemblance to the Jack Pierce makeup Boris Karloff wears in Frankenstein (1931). Another major change depicts the Baron as a completely unsympathetic character, masterfully played by Cushing.

Jeff is surprised that Victor is engaged to his cousin, but admits social mores might have been a bit different in the nineteenth century.  Chad is genuinely angry with Victor’s total lack of moral character and how little regard he gives the other characters. Joseph points out how shocking the color and blood must have been in 1957. All three of them are wowed with the acting in The Curse of Frankenstein, especially that of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

On the anniversary of their first episode, the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew take time to stress how thankful they are for their listeners and for Doc Rotten allowing them the freedom to do the podcast and for providing the structure to talk about what they love: horror films from the beginning of film through 1969.

They finish the episode by reading a listener comment from Saltyessentials about Episode 24 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Blood Beast Terror (1968), 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!

post

House of Wax (1953) – Episode 25 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Everything I ever loved has been taken away from me, but not you, my Marie Antoinette, for I will give you eternal life.” A strange line indeed, especially when you discover Prof. Henry Jarrod is talking to a wax sculpture as if it is a living human being. Then you realize Vincent Price is the actor portraying Prof. Jarrod. The master of the macabre makes it all seem so much more normal. In this episode, your Grue Crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, & Jeff Mohr – wax poetic on the 3D groundbreaking House of Wax (1953).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 25 – House of Wax (1953)

Directed by André De Toth and written by Crane Wilbur from a story by Charles Belden, House of Wax tells the story of Prof. Henry Jarrod, a brilliant sculptor whose works populate the wax museum he owns. Early on, his partner (Roy Roberts) burns down the museum in pursuit for ill gotten gains with Prof. Jarrod inside. Badly burned, Jarrod can no longer sculpt so he enlists the aid of two assistants (Charles Bronson, Nedrick Young) to create his wax statues in order to reopen the museum. His intent is to use two beautiful roommates (Carolyn Jones, Phyllis Kirk) as his “models” for Joan of Arc and Marie Antoinette. It seems, however, that Prof. Jarrod’s trauma has taken his artistic obsession to a new level and his plans are far more diabolical than they at first appear.

House of Wax holds the distinction of being the first major studio production filmed in 3D. Who can forget the paddle-ball-thumping barker in front of Jarrod’s museum for its reopening, repeatedly whacking the ball straight into the camera? Joseph proclaims his love for the 3D gimmickry of this era, various items thrown into the screen and all.

For Erin, this one is all about the actors, Vincent Price and Carolyn Jones in a supporting role, and she wonders if Price’s character is the protagonist or the antagonist. House of Wax is a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and Jeff discusses the difference in the way drug addiction is portrayed in the pre-code original and how alcoholism is portrayed in the 1953 version. Erin broadens the discussion of addiction beyond drugs and alcohol to include behavioral obsessions as depicted in the film. Chad carries that on to relate to the attachment that artists feel for their creations. Joseph admits yet another childhood trauma (remember Invasion of the Body Snatchers?) relating to mannequins as the result of House of Wax.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), selected and hosted by Chad Hunt. Episode 26 will be our anniversary episode so we will also discuss the podcast’s first year.

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!

post

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Episode 24 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life. But I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.” Have you ever kissed someone and realized they weren’t who they were? That’s the horror Miles Bennell is describing in this episode’s quote. Join Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr as they harvest the paranoia binbuster known as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Don Siegel’s classic, black and white, science-fiction shocker. They had to hurry before they fell asleep and became …, well, someone who wasn’t them.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 24 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is ably directed by Don Siegel (The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, The Shootist, and Escape from Alcatraz) and adapted by Daniel Mainwaring from Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers. The film tells the paranoiac story of an alien invasion that consists of giant pods that take over people’s memories and replicate their bodies, all while they sleep. No one will ever be the wiser! Well, almost no one. Talk about a good motivation for insomnia. In fact, one of the films working titles was Sleep No More.

Including a cast of topnotch, veteran, character actors – Kevin McCarthy (Dr. Miles Bennell), Dana Wynter (Becky Driscoll), King Donovan (Jack Bellicec), Carolyn Jones (Theodora Bellicec), and Larry Gates (Dr. Dan Kaufman) – the film delivers what it’s selling. Coming on the heels of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt and even though Finney and Siegel claimed no hidden, political message, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers resonated with the public’s fear of unfair prosecution and the resulting drive for conformity. It is an example of a perfect synergy between a film and the time in which it appeared in history.

Each of the Grue Crew was affected by this film in their “formative” years and have carried some image or theme from the film throughout their lives, Joseph Perry shares an especially personal story of how the film affected him and his nightmares. When it comes to the rules of the “science” in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Chad Hunt points out some contradictions, but in the end, agrees they don’t detract from the impact of the film. Jeff Mohr wishes the studio hadn’t added a narration and changed the ending with the addition of a prologue and an epilogue, but still considers the film to be one of his favorites of the 1950s. Being a product of its time, Erin Miskell points out the homogeneity of the people and pod people populating the story and laments the problem still existing to some extent today.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is House of Wax (1953), selected and 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!

post

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!