Friday, November 28, 2014

Evelyn Ankers - Horror Temptress

Evelyn Ankers has a pretty face and a cute figure. She's starred in some very famous classic Horror movies. She was the love interest in The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Claude Rains. The Wolf Man is a very atmospheric movie throughout mainly due to the gypsies and the fog filled woods. Below is a picture of Lon Chaney Jr. and Evelyn Ankers in one of their more flirtatious scenes.

She also played the sister of Louise Albritton in Son of Dracula, which also features Lon Chaney Jr. as Dracula. It's a well made movie about Albritton's character marrying Count Dracula just to turn into a vampire herself, she's very much into the occult. This stylish thriller explores a mere mortal's morbid desire to join the undead. Below is a picture of Ankers and Albritton conversing.

She also plays with Lon Chaney Jr. in Ghost of Frankenstein, which features Bela Lugosi as "Ygor." She is the daughter of Ludwig Von Frankenstein, one of Henry Frankenstein's sons. This movie picks up where Son of Frankenstein, which stars Basil Rathbone, leaves off. Below is a picture of the cast.

She also plays in two Sherlock Holmes adventures starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, The Voice of Terror, and The Pearl of Death, noted below.

House of Fear - Sinister Hppenings

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ghosts of Nightmare Castle

Nightmare Castle is the home of Lord and Lady Arrowsmith. Lord Arrowsmith married the Lady of the manner for her fortune and turned this lovely mansion into a haven for morbid scientific experiments.
 Lady Arrowsmth has grown tired of her husband and cannot resist the touch of another man, she'll settle for the gardener. Lord Arrowsmith has grown suspicious on his trips out of town and is about to catch her in adultery!
 The castle earns it's reputation as a nightmare when Lord Arrowsmith seeks revenge against his wife and her lover - but he'll soon discover that revenge can be a cosmic and somewhat ghostly two-way street. The castle is now be haunted with their ghosts!
Lord Arrowsmith populates the castle with his lovers Solonge and his wife's sister. The experiments with aging and a second marriage cannot protect him from the ghosts who inhabit the castle and seek revenge.

Blackwood Castle Raven

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The House of Fear

The House of Fear is my favorite movie in the Sherlock Holmes series. Like many in the series, it has a great opening, featuring a stellar acting performance by Basil Rathbone. The movie is set in Scotland, so we get to take an inspiring trip through the country side to a spooky old mansion. What I like about this mansion so much is that the interior is all paneled in wood which creates a dark and gloomy atmosphere. Interestingly, they use the same house picture in this movie as they use in The Voice of Terror! It’s an intriguing mystery about murders taking place one by one. Of course Sherlock Holmes is called in to solve the crimes, as well as Dennis Hoey as Inspector Lastrade. Every time one of the inhabitants is destined for demise the victim receives and envelop full of orange seeds, as if from the murderer. It is quickly postulated that the murders are taking place for insurance money. The scenes are quite diverse: a local tavern, an ocean front mansion, a graveyard, a beach, and 221B Baker Street. The mansion is a real man cave with all male actors except for Mrs. Monteef, the maid who never fails to act sinister and spooky. Plenty of drinks, pipes, and cigarette smoking abound with Basil Rathbone declaring, “too many clues, too many suspects.” But that’s the House of Fear, impossible to figure out until the end

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dressed To Kill 4 You

Dressed To Kill is one of my favorites of the Sherlock Holmes series. I watch it regularly. As in The Woman In Green, Dressed To Kill takes place in London, in high class apartments, dive bars, a prison, and an auctioneers shop - along with some priceless deducing that can only take place at 221B Baker street. Patricia Morrison plays a ruthless vixen hell bent to steal a set of plates used for counterfeiting. She wears many elegant gowns and tests her wits by trapping Sherlock Holmes. Fredric Worlock (Terror By Night, Faces Death) and Henry Cording (House of Fear, Secret Weapon) round out her gallivanting gang of thugs. A murder committed for a music box sets the game-a-foot with Mr. Holmes pondering and theorizes over the possible significance - he races against time to save more lives. Nigel Bruce plays down the goofiness this time around with a more serious Watson, Unfortunately, our good friend Dennis Hoey, who usually plays Lestrade, doesn’t make an appearance this time around.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sherlock Holmes: Woman in Green


Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce made fourteen Sherlock Holmes adventures; two for 20 th Century Fox, and twelve for Universal Pictures. The movies take place in different settings - ships, trains, spooky old houses, and even during War-time. The Woman in Green is set in London and is more glamorous than most; with swanky apartments, elegantly dressed gentlemen, and a stunning young vixen villianess. As an added pleasure, Henry Daniel stars as the infamous Professor Moriarity.

A particularly gruesome string of murders excites Scotland Yard to solicit the aid of England’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and the game is afoot! I love the old cars and clothes and the glamour of 1940’s women, even though in this case she is blood-thirsty! In the story hypnotism is used as a weapon for extortion. Dr. Watson is put under comically for the amusement of an hypnotist’s club, and Sherlock Holmes almost jumps off a roof being put under himself. It’s a evenly entertaining movie that I highly recommend.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gallery of Horror


Gallery of Horror stars John Carradine as actor and narrator. His introductions to five short horror stories are very intriguing and full of interesting information about ancient peoples and their beliefs in witches, vampires, warlocks, werewolves, zombies, and monsters in general. At first it seems like a B-movie, and probably it is, but as you watch the movie over and over again it gets more cohesive and interesting as you pick up on all the little details. It features 60’s/70’s garb and old school horror special effects like paintings for castles. The first short story is about an ancient witch come back to life and an enchanted clock. The second is about a master vampire who, through raw intelligence, has survived modern vampire hunts. The third is about a betrayed mad scientist’s revenge on his wife and her lover. The forth stars Lon Chaney Jr. and is about a modern day Frankenstein experiment that backfires badly. The fifth is about Count Dracula himself, and his minions. All and all it’s old school creepy and gets better and better the more you watch it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Frankenstein - Favorite Parts

My favorite part is the electrocution of the Monster when electric-lightnings come out.

Bride of Frankenstein:
My favorite part is the crypt scene with Dr. Pretorius.
Son of Frankenstein:
My favorite part is when Wolf Von Frankenstein discovers the Monster in the crypt.
Ghost of Frankenstein:
My favorite part is Ygor digging the Monster out of the dried lava.
Frankenstein  Meets the Wolf Man:
My favorite part is the beginning when they awake the Wolf Man.
House of Frankenstein:
Dracula is my favorite part.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Haunting

The Haunting is mostly about the inner psycho-drama of one of the participates in a paranormal investigation. The investigation takes place in a supposed “haunted” mansion. The house and grounds are vintage, ornate, and spooky enough. The grounds keepers are a little snarky, but make no contribution to the tale. Aside from the psychological distress of the main character, there is her strained and antagonistic relationship with a fellow female investigator, coupled with an unrequited crush on the team-leader. It reminds me of the movie The Innocents where a governess cracks up. I hate to say it, but nothing really scary happens in The Haunting. For instance, they see no ghosts and only hear sounds. They get lost in the mansion - but so what! The house has gained a reputation for being an “evil house” because a few freak deaths have occurred there, but no attempt is made to tie any particular personality to the sparse evidences of paranormal activity - I found this disappointing. I feel like they could have made more of a “ghost story” out of it. All and all it’s pleasurable - especially if you like well decorated old cool houses - just expect more of a psycho-drama than an actual haunting.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dracula (1931)

Dracula (1931) is a movie that I find myself watching over and over again. The beginning of the movie was responsible for the popularity of Halloween and vampire lore. It all begins as Reinfield - as played by Dwight Frye - travels to Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. The mountainous trip is very spooky with Dracula himself driving the coach. Dracula’s wives are classic “Lily Munster.” Dracula and Reinfield then journey to London to take up residence; Reinfield at Dr. Seward’s Sanitarium, and Dracula at Carfax Abbey. David Manners, who also played in The Mummy with Boris Karloff, and The Black Cat with Karloff and Lugosi, also plays Jonathon Harker in Dracula (1931). After a meeting at a theater, Lucy and Mina quote the Count laughingly, “Carfax Abbey…it reminds me of the broken battlements of my own castle in Transylvania.” Lucy is infatuated with Count Dracula and becomes his first victim. The more I watch Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing, the more I love this guy! He also played Dr. Valman in Frankenstein (1931), and an expert on the occult in The Mummy. It all ends in the basement of Carfax Abbey, which is where the movie Dracula’s Daughter (1936) begins.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review - Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931) is my all-time favorite movie. I’ve always been in love with the fact that they used lightning to bring the Monster to life. This differs from the Frankenstein pictures that get electricity from other sources. Without the lightning, it just isn’t the same.

I love the initial graveyard scene - the staged graveyards seem spookier to me. The first part of the movie is my favorite, up to the resurrection of the Monster, after that, it’s all down hill.

I’d like to explore the topic of whether Henry Frankenstein knew that the brain was defective. He is reminded by Dr. Valman that the brain stolen from his laboratory was a criminal brain. In my opinion, he should have already known this. For instance, when Fritz drops the good brain, he immediately picks up the second. But the jar of the second was clearly marked “Abnormal Brain.” So if Fritz took the jar to Frankenstein, then how did he not know it was abnormal - the jar was clearly marked! Secondly, Dr. Valdman demonstrated in class that you could tell the difference in brains just by looking at them. So, if Henry Frankenstein was a advanced student at this school, then how could he not tell the difference just by looking at the brain? Oddly, Fritz, his assistant, is never blamed for the brain mix-up until the movie Son of Frankenstein.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review - Mark of the Vampire

I love Mark of the Vampire, but it contains a big twist near the end of the movie that will ruin it for most horror fans. Because of this, I’ve decided to discuss it with a SPOILER ALERT!

Alright, the big twist near the end is that the vampires in the movie turn out to be actors instead of real vampires. When I first watched the movie I thought the vampires were real like in Dracula (1931), then all of a sudden it is revealed that they are only actors - totally ruined it for me - and what a shame! After a few viewings I finally got over it and can now enjoy the spookiness.
The movie creates vampire lore in the local village much like Dracula (1931). A murder makes a killing look like the work of a vampire to avoid detection. The police attempt to freak-out the murderer - in hopes of getting a confession - by employing actors to play vampires.
That said, the vampire props in the movie are my favorite. I especially like the graveyard and the weird sci-fi sound buzzing in the background when the vampire’s are a foot.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Dracula (1979)

 I resisted the temptation to buy this movie for several months because I was afraid it wouldn’t be very Halloweeny like Dracula (1931). However, after viewing the movie, I was pleasantly surprised. I have since become addicted to it and watch it a couple of times a week - it’s very cult.

Basically, it’s the best of Dracula (1931) and Hammer films. Frank Langella, who plays Dracula, looks like a nice guy; it’s hard to imagine him as Dracula from his looks. But, in the role, he does a phenomenal job of portraying the Count, with stares and jerky head movements. They also create quite a Halloween atmosphere by featuring his cape in most scenes. Carfax Abbey looks like the Transylvanian castle in Dracula (1931), which is very old school horror. All the characters are played well, especially Lucy and Mina. Donald Pleasence plays Dr. Seward and is kind of spacey. Sir Lawrence Olivia plays Dr. Van Helsing - he seemed kind of old for the role at first, but with further viewings, I’ve come to love his character. All of sets are great.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Movies 4 You

This one-disc package from is around $6.00. And you can’t go wrong if you’re a fan of old-style horror movies. Below I have provided a brief description of each movie.

I Bury the Living:

The title sounds pretty gruesome, but it’s really a “Night Gallery” type story. It’s about an executive who takes over the Chairmanship of a local Cemetery. The office has a chart on the wall with all the plots. When a person purchases a plot, they stick a white headed pin on that location. When the person dies, they insert a black headed pin. The remaining unsold plots contain no pins. A young couple comes in and purchases two plots, the executive accidentally inserts black pins instead of white. Coincidentally, the very next day, the couple is killed in a car accident. The executive is quite disturbed by the coincidence. He tries to prove to himself that there is no connection by replacing someone’s white pin with a black one. And again, that person is found dead the very next day. Now he’s really disturbed. And so the story continues until the end when all is explained - I won’t spoil it, but it reminds me a lot of Dementia 13.

The Four Skulls of Jonathon Drake:

This movie stars Henry Daniel and Paul Cavanaugh. It’s a complex story about immortal head hunters terrorizing a family for centuries. There’s plenty of head-shrinking-fun for gore fans. A glamorous daughter and a nifty “Dick Tracy” style cop round out the affair.

The Snake Woman:

By the title you can pretty much guess how this movie goes. There is a snake woman that nobody believes exists until the end. The cool part about this movie is that everyone in it is British, which creates a interesting cultural atmosphere.

The Face of Marble:

The Face of Marble stars John Carradine, assorted gorgeous people, an evil maid, and a Great Dane. If you like Frankenstein, Ghosts, love triangles, sabotage, mystery, and intrigue - this movie is for you. John Carridine plays the mad doctor with stretched scruples who’s wife is longing for another man. An evil maid is a voodoo priestess attempting to create a love-triangle for her mistress. The Great Dane is transformed into a savage ghost dog ravaging the country-side. In the end all the bad guys die, hooray!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review - Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood is a good movie and only $5.00 from Target. It's fairy-tale-like, girly-girl, woodsy, and balanced with a good horror who-done-it about werewolves. Gary Oldman (Dracula) plays a kind of "Witchfinder General" and stalks the beast. Worth a second watch.