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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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Frogs (1972) – Episode 22 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“A tidal wave of slithering, slimy horror devouring, destroying all in its path!” – the tag line for FROGS (1972) promises the first eco-horror experience while the poster displays a giant frog with a human hand hanging from its mouth. While there are no giants in Frogs, there are plenty of killer critters involved from snakes, spiders, alligators and snapping turtles. And, of course, plenty of Frogs! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 22 – Frogs (1972)

Frogs is one of the first eco-horror films from the Seventies – could be the first depending on how Willard (1971) is categorized. The film also features a young, buff Sam Elliot – without his signature mustache! Ray Milland, Joan Van Ark and Adam Roarke head up the rest of the cast. The George McCowan directed film provides plenty of thrills and excitement – sort of – as an evil gang of frogs and toads leads an island full of creepy critters on a murderous rampage: snakes, spiders, lizards, alligators and snapping turtles take out the cast one-by-one. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten share their thoughts on the film, how it holds up and debate if it is truly an overlooked classic or a glorious groovy crap-fest.

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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The Thing with Two Heads (1972) – Episode 21 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“And now with the fights, the Fuzz, the chicks and the choppers…Man, they’re really in deeeeep trouble!” – the poster for THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (1972) embellishes its plot with Seventies florish. The second of two films featuring creatures with two heads, this Lee Frost / AIP cult classic features Ray Milland and Rosie Grier as the two-headed monster. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 21 – The Thing with Two Heads (1972)

The Thing with Two Heads begins by featuring marvelous gorilla costume (yes, with two heads) created by and worn by a young Rick Baker. Great stuff. The film gets increasingly nutty as Ray Milland’s characters nears death forcing his assistant Roger Perry to graft his head onto the body of Rosie Grier. Rosie plays a convict on death row who wants the 30 more days afforded him by offering his body to science to prove his innocence. This leads to an elaborate and long car chase throughout the second act as the escaped Rosie with Ray’s head evades police capture. Hilarious. A film from the Seventies well deserving its status as a cult classic.

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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