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Beware! The Blob (1972) – Episode 63 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Maybe you two kids are on a trip or something. I don’t know and I don’t care.” Sheriff Jones (Richard Webb) has little patience for Bobby Hartford (Robert Walker Jr) and Lisa Clark (Gwynne Gilford) as they describe being attacked by a monstrous man-eating blob in Beware! The Blob (1972). Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan are ready to pounce on Doc Rotten for suggesting this disastrous “treat” of a goofy horror film from director Larry Hagman – yeah, J.R. Ewing from the Dallas TV show (and Major Anthony Nelson from I Dream of Jeanie decades earlier). Oh, boy, this is going to get ripe.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 63 – Beware! the Blob (1972)

On a minuscule $150,000 budget shot almost entirely using friends and neighbors, Larry Hagman and Anthony Harris would craft a horror comedy sequel to Jack Harris’ 50’s monster movie classic The Blob (1958). Sadly, Beware! The Blob comes nowhere near as iconic or thrilling (or professional) as the film that inspired it. The supporting cast would include a who’s who of TV actors of the Sixties and Seventies: Godfrey Cambridge, Richard Stahl, Carol Lynley, Marlene Clark, Gerrit Graham, Dick Van Patten, Del Close, Cindy Williams, Tiger Joe Marsh, and Burgess Meredith. While most everything about the film is subpar, on a curiosity level, the film is mildly entertaining. Beware this movie!

“It’s loose again eating everyone!” – the poster tagline promises far more than the film delivers.

Being good spirits, the Grue-crew desperately try to find good things about the film. Mostly, they get distracted by all the cameos. The dialog, rumored to be mostly improvised, has the crew plugging their ears instead of covering their eyes. Still, there are some silly moments that give the film some gas but the effects are shotty and the direction is…worse. It is not difficult to see that this is Larry Hagman’s sole cinematic directorial effort. Bill Mulligan wins the trivia award of the week for pointing out that Del Close, who has a cameo in this picture, is featured prominently in the 1988 remake from Chuck Russell. Go, team!

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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Phantom of the Paradise (1974) – Episode 40 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Carburetors man! That’s what life is all about.” – The opening lyrics of the song Upholstery from the rock opera Phantom of the Paradise sum it all up nicely. Music is the creative juice of life and sometimes to succeed in the music business you have to deal with shady characters. In the Brian De Palma classic, Winslow (William FInley) strikes a bargain with record label exec Swan (Paul Williams). The film mixes Faust, Phantom of the Opera and The Portrait of Dorian Gray into a lively, horror-tinged manic musical. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 40 – Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

The film we’ve been talking about for 39 episodes and two years finally makes it to the editing room as Doc and The Black Saint discuss Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise. Joining the crew this week are Thomas Mariani, Horror News Radio co-host, and Christopher G. Moore, award winning director. Surprisingly, not everyone loves this often overlooked film. Shot between Sisters and Carrie, Brian De Palma hones his craft with music, murder and mayhem, never missing the opportunity to pay homage to a classic influence be it Alfred HItchcock or Orson Welles. The cast includes William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper and Garrit Graham with Williams supplying all the original songs.

Resting in the shadows of the cult phenomenon Rocky Horror Picture Show, De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise offers a craftier, more cinematic alternative to Time Warps and Sweet Transvestites from Transylvania. Paul Williams pulls double duty starring as the film’s antagonist Swan and penning a dozen new tunes. All the entries are fantastic from “Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye” from the Juicy Fruits to “Old Souls” performed by star Jessica Harper to Williams’ own – and Black Saint fave – “The Hell of It”. If the songs aren’t your thing, then there’s the acting, action and amazing set design. Just check out Swan’s record shaped desk as he auditions new talent. Of course, the star of the film is the Phantom himself, a talented but tragic figure played by Finley. Too tame? Then check out Graham’s Beef for silly satiric fun. Listen now to catch the crew’s take on the musical event of 1974, Phantom of the Paradise.

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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