Friday night at the home drive-in: The Return of Dracula (1958)

Poster for The Return of Dracula (1958)The Return of Dracula (1958) by #PaulLandres

w/ #FrancisLederer #NormaEberhardt #RayStricklyn

A vampire murders a Czech artist, assumes his identity, and moves in with his cousins in California.

“There is only one reality, Rachel: Death. I have come to bring you Death.”

#Horror #Vampire #Dracula
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I just can’t seem to get out of 1958. Last week I commented on the fact that I have been watching a lot of movies from 1958 (or thereabouts). After finishing that blog post, I turned to my horror library behind me and grabbed a double feature DVD that I have been having a hankering to revisit. The first movie in the set was The Return of Dracula (1958), and part of what attracted me to it was that it was a bit of a departure from the movies about giant monsters that I have been watching as of late. The Return of Dracula is about, well, Dracula; a vampire. 

What I didn’t notice is that it’s another movie that was released in 1958. Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: Earth vs the Spider (1958)

Poster for Earth vs the Spider (1958)Earth vs the Spider AKA The Spider AKA Earth vs the Giant Spider (1958) by #BertIGordon w/#EdKemmer #JuneKenney #EugenePersson

Teenagers & their high school science teacher join forces to battle a giant mutant spider.

“50 TONS OF CREEPING BLACK HORROR!”

“Bullets Won’t Kill It! Flames Can’t Hurt It! Nothing Can Stop It!

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I seem to be in a real 1958 mood lately. My home drive-in has been screening movies from that year, or thereabouts, for a couple of months now. Perhaps it’s an attempt to teleport back to an earlier, more innocent, time of my life. Not that I was alive in 1958. That would make me about as old as I feel. No, but I watched a lot of movies from 1958, or thereabouts, in the 1980s on my favourite weekly television event – Not Quite Classic Theatre. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: She Demons (1958)

Poster for She Demons (1958)She Demons (1958) by #RichardECunha w/#IrishMcCalla #VictorSenYung
& The Diane Nellis Dancers!

Survivors of a shipwreck, including an heiress and an explorer, land on an island inhabited by strange creatures and an ex-Nazi mad scientist who keeps women in bamboo cages and allows his men to whip them.

“Horrific Nazi Experiments Gone Awry!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

When I took a trip to Orlando, Florida, a few years back, I somehow wound up in an interesting shop owned and run by a local artist. He was an older gentleman, who regaled his customers with stories of his experiences restoring attractions at Disney World and his former career as a circus clown. His store was full of interesting stuff that really appealed to me.

In fact, my travelling companion and innamorata – knowing my taste and keen eye for quality art – crossed the street to tell me about it.

“There’s a Sorority Sluts clock in there, ” she said to me, as I carefully continued to sift through a bin of records. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959)

Poster for The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959)The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959) by #EdwardLCahn

w/#EduardFranz #ValerieFrench #GrantRichards

A family fights against a voodoo curse that marks each member for death.

“A Terrifying Case of SKULL-DUGGERY!”

“Your money NOT refunded if you faint!”

#Horror
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959) is a film in which you expect to see Boris Karloff, or some other aging icon of horror. The image on the poster almost looks like Vincent Price if you squint at it just right. But I didn’t recognize any of the major players the first time I watched this film (or even the last time, truth be told).  Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: I Bury the Living (1958)

Poster for I Bury the Living (1958)I Bury the Living (1958) by #AlbertBand
w/#RichardBoone #TheodoreBikel #PeggyMaurer

“SHOCKS THAT CHALLENGE THE IMAGINATION!!!”

“THE MOST SPINE-CHILLING CRY THAT EVER FROZE THE BLOOD!…”

”Out of a time-rotted tomb crawls an unspeakable horror!”

#Horror #NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I remember telling a friend sometime back in the ‘90s that I had watched I Bury the Living (1958).

“That’s a good one,” he said.

”Yes, it is,” I agreed.

That simple exchange really sums up this movie well. My friend and I are both fans of “bad movies”, as we sometimes call them. And the really bad ones can sometimes be some of our favourites. But every once in while, while scouring the bargain bins for obscure B-movie delights, we stumble upon a movie that transcends the “bad movie” moniker and proves itself to be actually deserving of praise. I Bury the Living is one such movie. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Voodoo Island (1957)

Poster for Voodoo Island (1957)Voodoo Island (1957) by #ReginaldLeBorg

w/#BorisKarloff #BeverlyTyler

A SPINE-CHILLING HORROR HIT!!

SEE! Men Turned Into Zombies!
SEE! Woman-Eating Cobra Plants!
SEE! Strange Voodoo Rituals!
SEE! The Bridge Of Death!

#Horror
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Voodoo Island (1957) is not one of Boris Karloff’s best – or best known – movies. On the other hand, it’s not his worst, either. Karloff plays a bit of an Amazing Randi type; a guy named Phillip Knight who debunks hoaxes. He’s hired by a businessman who’s planning to build a new resort on an island that is rumoured to be a hotbed of voodoo and other supernatural activities. Karloff agrees to check then place out – but says “When I take hold of something, I don’t let go.” Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Wasp Woman (1959)

Poster for The Wasp Woman (1959)The Wasp Woman (1959) by #RogerCorman
w/#SusanCabot #AnthonyEisley #BarbouraMorris

A cosmetics queen is transformed into a murderous monster after she uses an insect chemical to preserve her beauty.

“A beautiful woman by day – a lusting queen wasp by night.”
“Strong men forced to satisfy a passion no human knows.”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Wasp Woman (1959) is a super-fun B-movie by none other than the master himself, Roger Corman. I love Roger Corman. He’s one of my heroes. I was once called “the Roger Corman of Manitoba” and it was the greatest compliment that I could imagine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Roger Corman movie that I didn’t enjoy. And The Wasp Woman is no exception.
Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Initiation (1984)

Poster for The Initiation (1984)The Initiation (1984) by #LarryStewart
w/ #DaphneZuniga #VeraMiles #CluGulager

Sorority pledges, including an amnesiac who has been plagued by a horrifying dream her entire life, are stalked by a mysterious murderer in a deserted department store where they are completing a hazing ritual.

”They pledge themselves to be young, stay young… and die young.”

#Horror #Slasher
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

It’s no secret that I love slasher films. I saw films like Halloween (1978)  and Terror Train (1980) when I was fairly young and I was hooked. I watched every made for TV movie that was remotely slasher like (and there seemed to be a bunch back then that were trying to appeal to slasher fans – like Hotline (1982), which I wrote about in passing a while back). And, of course, I rented every slasher film that was available at my local video store.

The Initiation (1984) is one that I remember hearing about – and maybe seeing the ad for in the newspaper – but I didn’t get a chance to watch it back in the 1980s. I’m not sure if my local store didn’t have it – or maybe only had it on VHS (I had a Betamax back in those early days) – but for some reason it eluded me.  Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

Poster for The Giant Gila Monster (1959)The Giant Gila Monster (1959) by #RayKellogg

w/#DonSullivan #FredGraham

A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community and a heroic teenager attempts to destroy the creature.

“The Biggest Terror Ever Unleashed on the Screen!”

“Only Hell could breed such an enormous beast. Only God could destroy it!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

My friend Den pointed out to me that the titular beast in The Giant Gila Monster (1959) is not actually a Gila monster. Not being an expert on lizards and such, I looked it up.  According to Wikipedia, it’s a Mexican beaded lizard. Go figure. I guess The Giant Mexican Beaded Lizard didn’t sound as good as The Giant Gila Monster. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

Poster for Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) by #BernardLKowalski
executive producer: 
#RogerCorman

w/#KenClark #YvetteVickers

“Massive Blood Sucking Monsters!”

“Fear will pierce your flesh… Until every nerve in your body… EXPLODES!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) is another movie that sits right in the sweet spot of what #NotQuiteClassicCinema is all about. It’s a movie that could have been shown on Not Quite Classic Theatre back in the 1980s – and maybe it was. I wish there was a way I could go back and look up all the titles that I may have watched back in those days. Alas, TV was a fleeting thing back then. Once the TV Guide (or TV Scene in my house) went into the garbage, that was it. All you had left was your memories. Continue reading