There’s an embarrassment of riches in the new set from Shout! Factory that manages to combine all of “The Fly” films in to a rich anthology. It’s a great opportunity to expose new fans to the classic monster movies and contemporary versions of George Langelaam’s original short story. This series and “The Thing” share a lot in common, as both are short stories adapted in to two vastly different versions by genius artists. Meanwhile the contemporary versions’ drastic re-imaginings are still considered iconic cinematic horror and science fiction that set a high bar.
Just in time for Halloween! Vincent Price is in the spotlight of this week’s podcast episode of “The Online Movie Show,” and we celebrate his career as both a horror movie icon and a versatile star of stage and screen with film historian Troy Howarth.
“The Tingler” is one of my first introductions to William Castle and the art of his theatricality when it came to horror movies and making them an experience. As a kid, “The Tingler” and “House on Haunted Hill” were constant rotation at my home, and I loved how Castle’s films sucked you in. To this day I remember being very riveted in the brief moment during “The Tingler” where the movie breaks the fourth wall asking you, the audience, to scream loudly to avoid being attacked by—dramatic pause—the Tingler!
Currently on the public domain hit list, “The Last Man on Earth” is one of the first and finest adaptations of “I Am Legend” that while not perfect, is infinitely better than most of the successors to follow. Set in 1968, Robert Morgan is a doctor who finds society at the mercy of a mysterious plague. Everyone in the world is gradually dying out from this disease, and he soon discovers that those who die inevitably return from the dead. Unless burned, the bodies will re-animate and look for the closest blood source. Cue director Ubaldo Ragona’s awfully gruesome imagery of a humongous pit of fire where bodies of the recently deceased have been dumped to burn.
For movie buffs and collectors looking to gather up some classic schlock and silly horror films, “Mill Creek Entertainment” brings us a 50 Movie MegaPack DVD Set of some their worst and most infamous horror films. Thrown in to the mix, there are some science fiction, juvenile terror movies like “I Accuse My Parents,” and even the George Hamilton starring “Evel Knievel.” Further digging in to the selection of fifty titles, there’s 1944’s “Delinquent Daughters,” the Francis Ford Coppola horror classic “Dementia 13,” the slasher “Driller Killer,” and 1977’s “Drive In Massacre.”
There’s the deliriously bad but hilarious science fiction action film “Future Hunters” starring Robert Patrick, and Bruce Le, William Castle’s fun “House on Haunted Hill,” the early Brandon Lee starring stinker “Laser Mission,” the classic MST3K spoofed “Manos-The Hands of Fate,” the so bad it’s great drug hysteria movie “Reefer Madness,” the goofy science fiction film “Slipstream,” the classic dwarfsploitation movie “The Terror of Tiny Town,” and the Fred Williamson post apocalyptic science fiction film “Warriors of the Wasteland.” All movies come packed in a cardboard box by Mill Creek and in paper sleeves. I have to say I miss the plastic clam cases, but maybe it’s a cost thing.
This year movie collectors might enjoy knowing that Mill Creek Entertainment has taken to the digital world, allowing their consumers to redeem their fifty megapack purchases for digital libraries for their laptops, cell phones, and Ipads. Much like every other home release, the consumers will be given a unique code with their purchase, allowing them to redeem their movie packs in digital form at Mill Creek’s new service Watch.MillCreekEnt.Com where they can watch them, stream them, or download them.
Scream Factory is back with another in the collection of growing Vincent Price movies. Offering part three in the series, there’s “Master of the World,” a movie based on the Jules Verne novels. It’s a science fiction drama that follows Price as Captain Robur, a mad inventor who kidnaps a team on a government expedition to investigate a crater in Pennsylvania. Robur’s focus is to build a massive war weapon and rule the world, and experiences obstacles along the way. This arouses some conflict about morality and power. Starring a young Charles Bronson this is an interesting film as written by Richard Matheson.