Hands of the Ripper (1971) – Episode 83 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“The Hands of Jack the Ripper Live Again…As His Fiendish Daughter Kills Again…And Again…And Again…” Time for another Hammer Films production from the 1970s! Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they tear (notice I didn’t use “rip”) into Hands of the Ripper (1971).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 83 – Hands of the Ripper (1971)

This somewhat lesser-known Hammer film is directed by Peter Sasdy and written by Lewis Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew. Hands of the Ripper tells the story of Anna (Angharad Rees) who is Jack the Ripper’s daughter, and Dr. Pritchard (Eric Porter) who thinks he can save Anna from the family curse. You see, when Anna was a toddler, she witnessed the death of her mother at the hands of dear old Dad. Now, as a young woman, she seems to be carrying on her father’s work, but is it the result of psychological trauma or is she possessed by her father’s murderous soul? As Pritchard searches for the answer, the body count rises.

Without Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, Hammer’s frequent headliners, Hands of the Ripper was bound to receive less attention than films featuring one or both of them. The cast, however, does an excellent job. Rees and Porter are supported by Jane Merrow, Pritchard’s son’s blind fiance Laura; Derek Godfrey as Dysart, a character despicable in all aspects; Dora Bryan as Mrs. Golding, a fake psychic; Margaret Rawlings as Madame Bullard, a real psychic; Marjie Lawrence as Dolly, Pritchard’s housemaid; Keith Bell as Pritchard’s son; and Lynda Baron as Long Liz, a local prostitute,.

Despite not featuring Frankenstein or Dracula, Hands of the Ripper is a worthy addition to the canon of Hammer Films. Jeff is intrigued by the killer’s innovative use of everyday items to stab their victims. This one has long been a favorite of Doc’s and he points out the use of the Baker Street set at Pinewood Studios and how it added to the atmosphere and tone of the film. As an aficionado of Ripper lore, Chad thinks this story has a unique take and notices that Long Liz, one of the real Jack the Ripper’s victims, is used as the name of a character in this film. Bill ponders whether the killer suffers from some psychological or supernatural influences and ranks this film squarely in the middle of the pack as Hammer films go. Even though the story lays its cards on the table very early, the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew think The Hands of the Ripper is absolutely worth a watch.

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Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) – Episode 74 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“His brain came from a genius. His body came from a killer. His soul came from hell!” It should have worked, right? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they step into the asylum for a session with Dr. Victor, aka Baron von Frankenstein, in Hammer’s last Frankenstein film, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 74 – Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

Written by Anthony Hinds, as John Elder, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell continues the stitched-together, Hammer Horror chronicle of Victor Frankenstein, currently “imprisoned” in an insane asylum. Even though considered an inmate, Frankenstein has blackmailed the deviant Asylum Director (John Stratton) and is now running the asylum and using the inmates to continue his experiments. He is aided in his work by a new inmate and Frankenstein fanboy, Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant); and a mute young woman named Sarah (Madeline Smith).

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell marks several milestones in the Hammer canon. It is the last of their Frankenstein films and the last time Peter Cushing plays Frankenstein. Signalling the end of error, this is also the last film directed by Terence Fisher, a true horror icon.

Chad, though a little irked at the monster design when first viewed, came to appreciate its uniqueness and was horrified by the especially gruesome way the monster meets his end. Bill proclaims that through the wisdom gained with old age, he now realizes Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is a masterpiece and places it among his Top 10 Hammer Horror films. Doc reminds us that David Prowse, playing the monster for the second time, is most remembered for his role as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Being the relative Hammer novice of the bunch, Jeff announces his love for this film. It probably goes without saying your Grue Crew members are all unabashed lovers of all things Peter Cushing, but it had to be said anyway.

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


Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974) – Episode 71 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“What he doesn’t know about vampirism wouldn’t fill a flea’s codpiece.” Wow! He must know a lot about vampires, right? Of course the quote is referring to this episode’s subject. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they feint, parry, and lunge along with this vampire swashbuckler Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter from Hammer Films.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 71 – Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

After killing his mother and sister when they became vampires, Captain Kronos (Horst Janson) has dedicated his life to hunting vampires. As Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter begins, Kronos is summoned by his old friend Dr. Marcus (John Carson) when young women in his village have the life sucked out of them, their corpses looking like old women. Kronos arrives with Grost (John Cater), his hunchbacked partner, and Carla (Caroline Munro), a young woman they rescued from a pillory along the way. (No dancing on Sunday!) After dispatching a multitude of ne’er do wells while demonstrating his master swordsmanship, Kronos and his comrades zero in on the Durward family and their matriarch (Wanda Ventham) as the probable source of the vampire, even as more women die.

Known primarily for his writing, Brian Clemens adds the director’s chair to his duties for Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter for only the second time in his career and his only feature film. Filmed in 1972 but not released until 1974, the film reveals a studio in decline. The film was intended to be the first of a new series but after an inadequate marketing campaign and a dismal performance at the box office, the idea was scrapped.

The Grue Crew admits Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter has some problems. Chad thinks the idea has promise, but isn’t executed very well. Doc admits having trouble staying awake during the middle section, but loves the setup and the finale. According to Bill, there could have been better insults than calling the bad guys Ratface, Fatty, and Big Mouth. Jeff has questions about some of the details in the story and feels there are gaps in the exposition, both in the showing and the telling.

Despite its flaws, the Grue Crew highly recommends Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter as part of the Hammer Films canon. This version of a vampire film has a lot to offer – a swashbuckling vampire hunter, Caroline Munro, a spaghetti western style showdown, Caroline Munro, burying dead toads for vampires to bestrode, Caroline Munro, Kronos with a bag over his head, Caroline Munro, and don’t forget Caroline Munro. No matter what, Chad wants to make sure you don’t forget Caroline Munro. Come on Chad! Who can forget Caroline Munro?

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


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  (,,, or or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at, 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!


Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) – Episode 33 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“You haven’t seen Kung fu until you’ve seen the 7 BROTHERS and 1 SISTER take DRACULA” – the US tagline for Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires promises a mishmash of horror, kung-fu and blacksploitation with the alternate title The 7 Brothers meet Dracula. However, this cult-class Hammer film is now known and loved under its original title and without the cuts and edits the US version suffered. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 33 – Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Horror aficionado Bill Mulligan joins Decades of Horror to tackle another Hammer film from the Seventies, Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. This film, one of Hammer’s last, may be the studio’s most bizarre film as they team up with China’s Shaw Brothers to blend their Gothic horror with kung-fu action. Peter Cushing is back as Professor Van Helsing but Christopher Lee is no where to be seen as Dracula. Instead, we are treated to John Forbes-Robertson taking up the role in the only Hammer Dracula appearance that does not have Lee as the Lord of the Undead. David Chiang as Hsi Ching and his Kung-fu siblings join Van Helsing and his son to take on the 7 Golden Vampire providing the film with fangs, blood, boobies and big action battles galore. Good times!

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The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death – Eps 92 – Horror News Radio

Hammer Films returns with the first theatrical horror film for 2015, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death continuing the creepy ghost tale started in The Woman in Black a few years back. The grue-crew jump into the deep end of the marsh to wade threw the jump scares and creepy athosphere to bring you their reviews of the film from director Tom Harper starring Phoebe Fox.

Dave shares the horror news of the week with news about Ant-ManGoodnight Mommy and Plan 9. Doc and Santos take a look at the NC Independent horror film Pieces of Talent.

Co-hosts Doc RottenSantos (The Black Saint) Ellin Jr.Dave DreherThomas Mariani and Vixen, the voice of reason, are back again this week to give you the best in horror as they recap, review and obliterate all that is horror this week! Also, hang tight for news of the latest HNR contest teaming up with Diamond Select Toys, insane. Also returning this week, Stump the Saint!

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Episode 92 – The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death – Pieces of Talent
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Review: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) 

What happens when there is very little “Woman in Black” in The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death movie? According to Thomas and The Black Saint, “Ample time to take a nap.” For many of the grue-crew, the Hammer sequel proves to be a snooze-fest; while for a few on the show and for Mrs. Dreher (co-host Dave’s better half), the film offers some entertaining Gothic horror romance. Listen and decide for yourself…does the first horror film of 2015 have anything to offer?

What Have You Been Watching: Pieces of Talent 

Based on a recommendation of HNR listener and fan, Donnie H., Doc reviews the independent horror feature from North Carolina film maker Joe Stauffer. High praise for the director, the cinematography and for the film’s stars: David Long and Kristi Ray. The Black Saint backs Doc up with news that the film won multiple awards at the New York City Horror Film Festival in 2013 including Best Director and Best Screenplay.

HNR Contest: Diamond Select Toys / Vinyl Bank Giveaway featuring Alien, The Walking Dead or Metaluna Mutant 

Horror News Radio is celebrating the new year 2015 with a kick ass giveaway from Diamond Select Toys. The winner will get to choose one prize from a trio of sensational licensed horror-themes vinyl banks: Michonne from The Walking Dead; the Metaluna Mutant from Universal Monsters; or, the Xenomorph Egg from Alien. Entries will be accepted until Midnight (Eastern Standard Time),  January 18, 2015. All you need to do is complete the The Black Saint’s HNR Horror Trivia Question at this link. The Diamond Select Toys Vinyl Bank giveaway is open to US addresses only.

Horror News of the Week for 01/05/2015 

Doc steps in to bring you the Horror News of the Week with news of the ant-sized marketing from Marvel and Disney for Ant-Man. Sad news for Chris Carter as Amazon has cancelled “The After” even before it premieres. If you like your trailers creepy, check out Goodnight Mommy. David Cronenberg says we all suck. Do we? Really? Plan 9 is on its way with a kick-ass trailer leading the way.

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Stump the Saint:

Thanks to Jeff M., Warfarmer and Donnie H. for sending in their HNR feedback. You guys rock! And great appreciation to Karissa for her wonderful contribution to  HNR Patreon.

Special thanks and a big shout out goes to the band Tear Out The Heart and Victory Records for allowing HorrorNews.Net to sample music from their single Undead Anthem for the podcast’s intro and outro theme music. Check them out and tell them The Official HorrorNews.Net Podcast sent you their way!

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