Friday, October 18, 2013

THE COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN: DAY 18

(Murderous Guide to Movies)

Since I totally forgot about Mr. Vincent Price's Thursday marathon this week, I think we should take this chance to really focus on the fine selection of films scheduled to show
on TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES over the next few days.

Tonight on TCM

Friday, October 18, 2013

First up is the story of a logical college professor and his wife who is a firm believer in the supernatural, specifically witchcraft, which she indulges in to gain her and her family an advantage in life.
So, imagine BEWITCHED gone dark as the forces of fate close in on this couple
and the sense of doom looms overhead like
the sword of Damocles!
The Goods Grade: B+
8PM -- BURN, WITCH, BURN
(aka Night of the Eagle & based on Fritz Leiber's novel CONJURE WIFE)


Based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Price is brilliant as Verden Fell, a widower who is obsessed with the idea that his late wife will return to him from the grave one day.  Nevertheless, he falls in love with a new bride, Lady Rowena, who looks remarkably similar to his dead wife, and attempts to live with her at his old abbey.  Old anxieties emerge and obsession returns... but will the Lady Ligeia?
The Goods Grade: B+
9:45PM -- THE TOMB OF LIGEIA


Mary Gibson must travel to New York City from her rural private school to look for her older sister who has gone missing.  Not really sure of what to do, she is led in a few different directions.  Eventually, she meets her sister's husband and a mysterious psychiatrist who claims to know where her sister has gone.  What she doesn't know is that her sister had become involved with some real shady characters who seem eager to make her disappear the same way her sister has.
Full of moody atmosphere and isolation and shot beautifully,
this is some of Producer Val Lewton's best work.
The Goods Grade: A-
11:15PM -- THE SEVENTH VICTIM


Dr. John Holden, a skeptic who takes it upon himself to expose frauds, takes it upon himself to take down brazen demon cult leader, Julian Karswell.  Holden agrees to stay at the estate of Karswell with the expressed intention of disproving the supernatural power that Karswell claims he uses
for his own purposes of power and success.  Joanna Harrington stays at the estate as well
and she and Holden develop a strong bond all the while she pokes holes in his skepticism.
Evidence of Karswell's power continues to pile up and the danger for Holden
and Harrington grows exponentially as the climax to this one grows
nearer.  A fine effort that builds nicely,
The Goods Grade: B+ 
12:30AM -- CURSE OF THE DEMON
(aka Night of the Demon)


Betsy Connell is a nurse hired to care for the wife of Paul Holland, a sugar plantation owner.  His wife, Jessica, seems to be suffering some form of malaise or depression or even hypnosis.  Having been told by the husband that every western treatment for his wife has been tried and failed, the nurse slowly comes to believe that the wife has been transformed into a zombie.
Another Val Lewton masterpiece.
The Goods Grade: A-
2:15AM -- I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE


The Goods Grade: NA
3:30AM -- THE LEOPARD MAN


Early Saturday, October 19, 2013


Joan Fontaine plays a teacher who, after a terrible encounter with a witch doctor destroyed her teaching mission in Africa, returns to England to a rural village where she intends to lead a nice quiet life of educating young children.  And it starts out as expected, until the wicked roots of the occult reveal themselves at the very heart of this village.  An underrated effort by the folks at HAMMER.
The Goods Grade: B+
10:30AM -- THE DEVIL'S OWN
(aka The Witches)



Hammer brings the island zombies to Great Britain in this twist on the classic tale of the dead being forced to labor long after they deserve their final reward.  A bit of a disjointed effort that does its best to bring that old gothic feel to the fore but doesn't quite make all the connections.
The Goods Grade: B-
12:15PM -- THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES

And don't forget to stay tuned Saturday night on TCM
as another host of horror films await your viewing pleasure!


2 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Have I mentioned how much I freaking LOVE this month???

Gary Lee said...

You really don't have to--your enthusiasm shows!