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Burnt Offerings (1976) – Episode 76 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Oh yes, and this house will be here long, long after you have departed. You’ll believe me.” These ominous words turn out to be all too true for the summer renters of the Allardyce house. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a trip for a short summer stay with the Rolf family at the Allardyce house and encounter the horrors of Burnt Offerings (1976).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 76 – Burnt Offerings (1976)

Directed and co-written by Dan Curtis of Dark Shadows, Nightstalker, and Trilogy of Terror fame, Burnt Offerings is co-written by frequent Curtis-collaborator William F. Nolan, adapted from Robert Marasco’s novel of the same title. The film begins with the Rolf family – Marian (Karen Black). Ben (Oliver Reed), their son David (Lee Montgomery), and Aunt Elizabeth (Bette Davis) – arriving at their too-good-to-be-true summer rental. The family is greeted by the property’s brother and sister owners – Roz (Eileen Heckart) and Arnold (Burgess Meredith) Allardyce – and Walker (Dub Taylor), their handyman. The Allardyces explain to the Rolfs that their only duties during their summer stay are to keep up the house and property, and to feed Mother Allardyce, who will remain locked away and unseen in an upstairs bedroom. As soon as Roz, Arnold, and Walker leave for the summer, the house begins to have a very disturbing effect on each of the Rolfs.

Given that Curtis made his reputation in television, your Grue Crew marvel at the quality of the cast of this theatrical release.  Doc, Chad, and Jeff unabashedly love Burnt Offerings! On the other hand, Bill opines that haunted house films are not his thing, but even so, admits that Burnt Offerings is a pretty good example within its sub-genre. Doc expresses his appreciation for Karen Black’s performance and we discover that Chad has been a fan of Oliver Reed’s acting ever since Hammer’s The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), despite Reed’s legendary antics. The entire Grue Crew were freaked-out by the Hearse Driver/Chauffeur (Anthony James) that appears from Ben’s (and Dan Curtis’) childhood nightmares. As the show winds down, Jeff burns the remaining time to go all fanboy on William F. Nolan to the point that no one else can give their final thoughts.

Doc also reveals a guest appearance he made on Episode 107 of The Horror Returns Podcast on which they covered three films from 1978: The Manitou, Piranha, and Martin. They also give a special shout out to the late Santos Ellin Jr. and all he has done to promote the genre we love so much. You can find The Horror Returns on iTunes or at this link: The Horror Returns

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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Magic (1978) – Episode 36 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Abracadabra, I sit on his knee. Presto chango, and now he is me. Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed. Magic is fun; we’re dead.” – the tagline for Magic seeds the undercurrent of fear that permeates this classic and classy horror film from 1978. The film features a young, pre-Hannibal, Anthony Hopkins in two roles, one being Corky the magician who uses a vantriquilist dummy to give his act a much needed angle and the voice of the dummy named Fats. Burgess Meredith and Ann-Margret co-star in a tale of madness, murder and mayhem. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 36 – Magic (1978)

The Black Saint returns to discuss a film dear to his heart – or, at least, dear to his phobia about “dummies” and dolls. If you have listened to episodes of Horror News Radio, you will have heard this topic mentioned quite often. In addition to key episodes of Twilight Zone (“The Dummy” w/ Cliff Roberston and “The Living Doll” w/ Talking Tina) and a few similar horror films in the 70s, it is Richard Attenborough’s Magic (1978) that cemented this fear in the Black Saint. This fear is not ill-found, the trailer for the film alone is one of the more frightening trailers of the decade along with Jaws, Exorcist and Suspiria.

The host of Decades of Horror 1970s bravely joins his co-host Doc Rotten to cover Magic as they dive into the incredible performance by Anthony Hopkins, the lovely addition of Ann-Margret as Hopkin’s love interest and the 1970s horror film staple Burgess Meredith in one of his best feature roles this side of Mickey (Rocky 1976), Then, of course, ample time is dedicated to discussing Fats, the disturbing ventriloquist dummy voiced by Hopkins. Richard Attenborough shows off his attention to detail and mood in his directing of the film with one specific scene the perfectly illustrates Corky’s descent into madness as Ben Greene (Meredith) confronts him about Fats. The best 5 minutes ever. Chilling!

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 Manitou (1978) – Episode 10 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Evil Does Not Die…It Waits…to be Re-Born.” The tag line for The Manitou (1978) promises the birth of a modern horror classic monster. The re-release of William Girdler’s film reveals a number of its more prominent influences, “Possession marked The Exorcist. Demonaic Pregenacy arupted Rosemary’s Baby. Warnings followed The Omen. And The Manitou has it all combined!” The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 10 – The Manitou (1978)

For The Manitou, Doc Rotten and The Black Saint are joined by North Carolina writer/director/fxartist Bill (400 Ways to Kill a Vampire, A Few Brains More) Mulligan to discuss THE FILM at the top of The Black Saint’s all-time favorite films. The man adores this movie. Tony Curtis, Michael Ansara, Susan Stragberg, Stella Stevens, Jon Cedar and Burgess Meredith top line the film that pits Curtis’ Harry Erskine and Michael Ansara’s John Singing Rock against the 200 year old Medicine Man, Misquemacus.

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 Sentinel (1977) – Episode 7 Decades of Horror 1970s

“She Is Young, She Is Beautiful, She is Next…She’s Living in the Gateway to Hell” The tag line for The Sentinel (1977) gives away the darkest secret of the big budgeted, big release horror film from Michael Winner based on the hit novel from Jeffrey Konvitz. The cast is insane and the effects are from the legendary Dick Smith.  The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 7 – The Sentinel (1977)

For The Sentinel, Doc Rotten and The Black Saint are joined by North Carolina writer/directory/fxartist Bill (400 Ways to Kill a Vampire, A Few Brains More) Mulligan to discuss the overlooked classic from 1977. If nothing else, the cast itself in impressive: Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Ava Gardner & Burgess Meredith, with Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Sylvia Miles, Deborah Raffin, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D’Angelo, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Berenger, William Hickey. A who’s who of Hollywood then and now. The film is also notorious for the controversy surrounding the use of real “freaks” for the finale that spawned protests and discouraging reviews upon its release. Still the film has a horrific and genuinely frightening scene that places it at number 46 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004).

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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