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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"We Are Going to Eat You!" ZOMBI 2 DVD Commentary from B-Sol & Capt. Cruella!

For those of you living in the Outer Rim territories, the outstanding horror site Brutal as Hell just unleashed Zombie Jesus Weekend in recognition of Easter, and it sure was a lot of unwholesome, sacrilegious fun. And Captain Cruella and I were tickled pink when BAH impresario Marc Patterson invited us to be a part of it! Marc gave us carte blanche, and so we came up with the delightful idea of providing our very own "DVD commentary" for one of the most heinous grindhouse zombie movies of all time, Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2.

This ran on Brutal as Hell over the weekend, but I couldn't resist reposting it here for all you Vault dwellers, and so with Mr. Patterson's blessing--here it is! For those unfamiliar, the way it works is simple: sync up the audio of our commentary with your DVD of Zombi 2, starting both simultaneously so that our track plays over the movie. And just like that, it's like you're watching it with us... This was tremendously enjoyable to record, and I hope you get even half the kick out of it that we did.

Listen on the embedded player below, or download it for later use!

And while you're listening, take the experience to the next level (courtesy of Cruella's Concoctions) by enjoying a Caipirinha, a fine cocktail that fits right in with the tropical theme of Fulci's flick!

Friday, April 22, 2011

VAULTCAST! Conversations in the Dark: Tenebrous Kate

This is one I've been anticipating for a long time... For as long as I've been doing Conversations in the Dark, actually. Tenebrous Kate is probably my closest real-life, real-world pal out of the entire horror blogosphere, and I respect the living hell out of her. She's got style, she's got talent, and she's also got the coolest taste in flicks of almost anyone I know.

I had a chance to hear her give an amazing presentation on Enzo Castellari's The New Barbarians at a special Post-Apocalypse edition of Kevin Geeks Out! some time ago, and to say it left an impression on me would be a major understatement--hell, I became a full-on convert to one of exploitation cinema's most fascinating subgenres! So, when the time came to finally have the esteemed Kate on my Vaultcast, there was no question at all as to what we would be chatting about...

I hope you enjoy our giddy discussion on the end of the world... Feel free to listen in on the embedded player below, or proceed to the Vaultcast page and download it for listening at your leisure!

Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire: http://tenebrouskate.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tenebrouskate
Tumblr: http://tenebrouskate.tumblr.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

VAULT VLOG: Talkin' Zombie Music Videos and the Lance Henriksen Blogathon!

Official site of the Lance Henriksen autobiography: NotBadforaHuman.com
John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Film/TV
Back to Frank Black

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Many Faces of Tom Savini

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Tuesday Top 10: Favorite Vincent Price Roles

Perhaps no other genre of film has been as dominated and epitomized by a single actor the way that horror has been by Vincent Price. The gloriously histrionic Price has attained a position unlike anyone else in the history of terror cinema, and with a mere glance over his resume, it's quite simple to see why. When looking back on such a deeply enjoyable body of work, it is almost impossible to select just a handful of favorite roles out of a career built with one unforgettably iconic turn after another.

So you'll gave to excuse me if I left out any of your favorites. Being the died-in-the-wool Vincent fanatic that I am, I agonized over what to include, but in the end I think I managed to put together a fitting collection of some of the performances that have forever etched him into the minds and hearts of fright fans worldwide. Enjoy!

10. Professor Hubert Whitehead
Yes, the two-part Brady Bunch tiki episode rears its perm-covered head. For baby boomers and genXers alike, Price's guest spot alongside America's whitest family in 1972 is a pop culture flavor explosion that still resonates.

9. Fortunato Luchresi
In perhaps the most memorable portion of 1962's Poe anthology Tales of Terror, Price plays the proud and doomed Fortunato of The Cask of Amontillado, alongside a decidedly over-the-hill Peter Lorre. To this day, this remains the definitive adaptation of Poe's chilling tale of revenge.

8. The Inventor
In one of his final roles, Price takes to the screen in 1990 with his young admirer, Tim Burton, directing behind the lens. And although a small part, the aging legend injects so much pathos into it that it becomes one of the most powerful elements of the entire film. The master reminds us one last time that there will never be another.

7. Dr. Warren Chapin
Price played a lot of men of science, and without doubt his character in William Castle's gimmicky 1959 masterpiece, The Tingler, is one of the finest of these. Dr. Chapin is a scientist delving into the nature of fear itself, and unleashing a hideous creature in the process.

6. Matthew Hopkins
Despicable, debauched and devious, Price is at his villainous peak here, playing a cynical and unscrupulous witch hunter in the 1968 British film Witchfinder General. Reportedly, director Michael Reeves instructed Price to reign in his trademark hamminess in exchange for more subtle realism, and in this case it paid off with one of the actor's most chillingly realistic roles.

5. Frederick Loren
And here we have another classic Vincent Price role brought to us by William Castle. In 1959's House on Haunted Hill, Price is both chilling and wryly humorous as the sardonic, scheming Loren. If you're looking for Price at his classy, sophisticated and self-satisfied best, then look no further.

4. Dr. Robert Morgan
In one of his most influential turns, Price once again plays the part of a scientist--only this time, one whose experiments are for the purpose of saving humanity. In The Last Man on Earth (1964), the first of three screen adaptations of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, Price exudes a Larry Talbot-esque blend of regret, guilt and outrage as the last human holding down the fort against an army of vampire/zombies out for his blood.

3. Edward Lionheart
Here we have one that is truly dear to my heart, from 1973's Theater of Blood. Price is quite literally priceless here, playing a self-deprecating role that is clearly a spoof of himself. Ever the sport, Price attacks the part with relish, delivering one Shakespearean soliloquy after another as he dispatches his critics with violent aplomb.

2. Prof. Henry Jarrod
The part that put Price on the map, and skyrocketed him into the horror pantheon for all-time. A 3-D extravaganza from 1953, House of Wax gives us Price as the deranged and disfigured Jarrod, transforming unsuspecting victims into museum exhibits. This role would literally set the tone for much of the rest of Price's career.

1. Dr. Anton Phibes
Not only my favorite Vincent Price role, but very easily one of my favorite roles in any horror movie, period. It gets no better than The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and in this role, Vincent is given his greatest palette ever. The ease with which he commands each scene--without ever even moving his lips, no less--is awe-inspiring. To watch Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes is to watch an inspired god of genre cinema at his over-the-top best, managing to be both sublime and ridiculous simultaneously.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Three Decades of David: The Music of An American Werewolf in London

It's hard to believe that it's been 30 long years since John Landis' comic horror masterpiece, An American Werewolf in London, was first released to theaters in the summer of 1981. There can be no doubt that this film is one of the all-time greats of modern horror--or of all horror cinema, for that matter. And it deserves recognition during this lofty anniversary. Therefore, in the grand tradition of previous efforts here in the Vault, such as A Quarter-Century of Krueger and Psycho Semi-Centennial, I bring you Three Decades of David--a celebration of all things AWIL that will continue throughout the remainder of the year.

For this, the first installment of Three Decades of David, I'm taking a look at one of the most integral and memorable elements of An American Werewolf in London: The music. Short as it may be, the soundtrack to this film is one of the main reasons why it is so beloved to this day, and stands as one of the most definitive touches brought by Landis to the picture.

Carrying over a popular '70s device (arguably first introduced by Martin Scorsese in Mean Streets) Landis achieved a true masterstroke by introducing familiar 1960s pop tunes into his movie, dropping them into a scenario in which they would seem to have no business being, thus benefiting the film by their very juxtaposition. And yet as "out of place" as these tunes may seem to be, we all know the very simple, clever reason they were all incorporated: All the songs have one thing in common, the word "moon" in the title. And we all know the connection between werewolves and the moon, right? A very simple conceit, there can be no doubt. Perhaps too simple. But who can argue with the results?

Let's take a look at the five "moon" songs included in the film:

1. "Blue Moon" by Bobby Vinton
Played over the opening credits and shots of the ominous English moors during the daytime, this recording was made in 1963 by Polish-American crooner Bobby Vinton. It was already by that time a very well-known pop standard by the team of Rodgers & Hart, and the first of three versions of the song included in the movie. The beautiful melody and vocals would stand in jarring contrast to the shocking content soon to follow.

2. "Blue Moon" by Sam Cooke
The second of the three versions of Rodgers & Hart's 1934 classic to be included, this one is performed by the soulful Sam Cooke, and was recorded in 1960. I'll admit, I would have liked to have seen more varied "moon" songs included, rather than have the same one repeated thrice--"Moonglow", anyone? "I Wished on the Moon", perhaps? "Moonlight Becomes You"? Oh well...

3. "Moondance" by Van Morrison
The title song to Morrison's 1970 album of the same name, this very sexy recording is very suitably used to further dramatize the burgeoning romance between David and his nurse-turned-girlfriend Alex.

4. "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Perhaps the most fondly remembered of all the recordings used in the film, this was arguably Creedence's most well-known tune (a #2 hit from their 1969 album Green River), used to lead into the breathtaking Rick Baker werewolf transformation scene. The light-hearted tone of the music, mixed with the ominous message of the lyrics, perfectly sum up the effect of the movie itself.

5. "Blue Moon" by The Marcels
And finally, we have the third and last rendition of "Blue Moon", the boldly reinterpreted 1961 doo-wop version by The Marcels, used by Landis over the closing credits. It kicks in just as we see David shot dead in the street by the woman he loves. Used in this way, the brash, buoyant (standard traditionalists might even say abrasive) vocals are utterly striking.

Monday, April 4, 2011

TRAILER TRASH! Nunsploitation Edition!

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