Glen or the Bride of the Night of the Plan 9 from Outer Space (2015)

belalThe winner of the Best Picture Award at this year’s New England Underground Film Festival, this amusing 25-minute from filmmaker Jesse Berger slices and dices scenes and dialogue from four anti-classics from the notorious Edward D. Wood Jr. – “Glen or Glenda?”, “Bride of the Monster,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Night of the Ghouls” – into a wonderfully warped blend of lunacy that perfectly captures the inane spirit of Wood’s work in a fraction of their running time.

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Scared Silly: 13 Classic Horror Comedies (DVD)

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For the Mill Creek compilation “Scared Silly,” the company brings together the roots of horror comedy with a thirteen movie set that’s well worth the cash. Some of it is the same old material you’ll find in other collections, but considering the sub-genre, that’s nothing to sneeze at. On Disc One there’s 1961’s Creature from the Haunted Sea starring the googly eyed sea weed monster, as directed by Roger Corman. It’s a classic you can’t help but giggle through.

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

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Director Ron William Neill’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is a sequel to “The Wolfman” and a prequel to “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” One of the many future crossovers for monsters, Neill’s movie is often incoherent, but at least delivers on the promise of the wolf man meeting Frankenstein. They only do battle for about four minutes in the finale, but technically they cross paths, so your expectations should be low for this sequel. The reasoning for bringing the characters together stretches all ideas of logic and suspension of disbelief. So “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is really a process of asking the audience to willingly ignore its inconsistencies and wait for the monsters to meet up and fight.

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Bride of the Monster (1955)

bride-monsterThis is the story of a man, his giant, and an Octopus. And the man’s experiments involving kidnapping people and turning them in to—something. I think giants. Let’s go with giants. Said doctor also has a fondness for his giant octopus which, whenever he decides to leave his lab, comes across the octopus that seems to gleam at him from behind his glass. The doctor often smiles and waxes poetic about his friend that he hopes will never murder him in a shallow pool of cold swamp water. The thing I like about Ed Wood’s movies is that his villains just aren’t very smart.

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The Gorilla (1939)

thegorilla1939I admit I’ve never been familiar with the comedy of the Ritz Brothers before. I just happened upon “The Gorilla” one night and couldn’t stop laughing while watching the comedy team happen upon Bela Lugosi. I’ve read from some that this isn’t their best comic output. If this is them at their weakest, I’m excited to see what their best is. “The Gorilla” is a public domain horror comedy that can literally be seen anywhere, from DVD, VHS, or Youtube, and I was able to watch one of the five copies available on the site for this review. Suffice it to say, I still find the 1939 horror comedy quite hilarious.

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The Best of the Worst – 12 Horror Movie Collection (DVD)

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From Mill Creek comes a dozen horror and fantasy films so bad you’ll want to eventually claw your eyes out. You could call this a compilation of films from the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” gallery. Except without the hilarious commentary to ease the pain. If you’re interested in owning these films sans the commentaries, it’s here for the taking!

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Zombies Un-Brained 12 Film Flesh Fest (DVD)

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This October, zombie fans are able to scoop up the newest film compilation from Mill Creek Entertainment. With over sixteen hours of classic and not so classic zombie movies, this is for the horror fans looking for more with their bucks. The 1962 shocker “Carnival of Souls” is a classic spook fest, about a young woman who crashes in to a lake and survives to tell the tale. Trying to make sense of the incident, she finds herself being stalked by pale bug eyed zombies, all of whom are identical and desperate to take her. For reasons unknown (until the very end), she can’t escape their grasp.

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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-Ray]

As with all box sets, there will be controversy and debates among horror fans about what belongs in this set and what doesn’t. “The Bride of Frankenstein” is the only sequel, there’s a baffling inclusion of the Claude Rains “Phantom of the Opera.” And no “The Fly”?

In either case, included in a wonderful box set, with a copy of the 48-page booklet “The Original House of Horror,” and of course eight horror gems for fans of Universal Studios that completely changed the horror genre forever. Not to mention, they changed the way film was made, forever.

Dracula
(1931, 75 min.)

For me the main attraction of “Dracula” is the performance of Dwight Frye. While “Dracula” is a stellar and often compelling bit of vampire fantasy horror with the great Bela Lugosi offering the most iconic portrayal of the vampire lord, for me the performance that always stuck out was Dwight Frye. His turn as the assistant Renfield is magnificent and his devious laugh is just chilling.

This is a man who has lost all semblance of his persona to Dracula, and now just an animal. He’s mad, and he’s vicious. “Dracula” lives up to its reputation as an entertaining and whimsical bit of horror cinema with remarkable performances, and incredible set pieces, all of which marked a turn in the genre thanks to director and visionary Tod Browning. “Dracula” is where Bela Lugosi was at his all time greatest, and as the count, he drips magnetism, charisma, and threat of a century old monster desperate for blood shed and willing to destroy whom ever he feels stands in his way.

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