Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Skunkape and I have been a fan of Islandrocks aka Mr. Thomas Nylom for a long time going back to when Youtube was thee place to find undiscovered talent. It was still a trash heap of ungodly, moronic celebs, oozing with narcissism, however this one man stood out from the shit and self-diluted trash. 

I'm drowning in an overflowing toilet of self appreciation

Nylom was the first guy I can think of who took Italian Horror themes, Nintendo core, Actionsploitation and covered them brilliantly before it all became another run of the mill internet trend and he did it with total dedication and gusto. Going to Youtube to find music is annoying and the fans demanded we have these awesome tracks on a portable system to blast in our cars! It’s about time, right? So what do we have in store for this full length first effort by Islandrocks? Well, it begins with a genius re-working of Claudio Simonetti’s Demons theme, which I liked even more than the cEvin Key remix. That tracks takes Hall of the mountain king and discos the fuck outta it!

pass the dust, I'm so Studio 54.

The guitar tones and piano have never sounded better on these Fulci themes, if you are a fan of Italian horror you might start drooling over how glorious they sound. Slurp, ahem—I know I was!

He really hit the nail on the head!

Carpenter/ Howarth eat your hearts out because Island "rocks" your movie themes as well in the most face melting style possible! There's even some originals on there, one inspired by The Dead Next Door. Nylom has a way of making horror themes sound like you’ve never heard them before done in all kinds of original and crazy styles. What are you waiting for? Go out of your way to get a copy! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Dear Dead Delilah

Dear Dead Delilah Directed By John Farris (1972).

I saw "Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan", an insanely fun documentary on the Shout Factory app about Cowboy Jack Clement. Clement worked with most of the famed artists of Sun Records and discovered Charley Pride. He was close friends with Johnny Cash, George Jones,Waylon Jennings and wrote shit that rocketed them all to superstardom in the real deal country heyday of Nashville before it was all ruined by the pop country swill. Clement mistakenly decided to delve into the sleazy world of film production. He even mentions this movie in the documentary and seems slightly embarrassed by it. As he should because it totally sucks, but it's not like he wrote it. The writer and director of this John Farris, penned The Fury for Brian DePalma and one of my favorite Masters of Horror episodes about the ice cream clown played by William Forsythe.

This one is on a double feature with Savage Intruder (which we reviewed before from If you like hillbilly weirdos and Agnes Moorhead than you'll be as thrilled as a cornpone hick at a Cracker Barrel buffet.

I always get the IGNORMOOSE in that Cracker barrel peg game.

It begins with a swollen eyed gal who must've slaughtered her mother, because she talks to a corpse, stunned and rotting on the stove covered in blood. Then a girl with 2 black eyes and a soiled wig gets into some shenanigans. The whole flick is scratchy, strewn with film lines and cigarette burns. It all plays out like an even duller Tennessee Williams rejected play. Sometimes the tubby blonde who wears all white blends into the bedsheets which are also white and it looks like those 2 black eyes and teeth are hovering around. The Ormonds knew what they were doing with technicolor and music, you'd think Cowboy Jack would've joined forces with them and not gone out of his way to make Trashville look so fucking mundane and uneventful.

The main actress looks sort of like Meg Whitman, that Benjamin Franklin looking candidate who lost to Jerry Brown. If you're craving to see Agnes Moorehead on a rampage you're shit outta luck, watch that episode of the Twilight Zone where she beats the tar out of those robots instead. Everyone drinks then stares at the camera and does a little dull soliloquy. Seriously, I have no idea who or what these people are doing or what's going on. So like Veronica Lake in Flesh Feast, this is that bitchy Mother-in-law you know and love's from Bewitched and Citizen Kane's swan song.

I'm a bargain basement Rebel Wilson.

I was happy to see Michael Ansara, the Indian medicine man from my all time favorite stoner film The Manitou. One dude has the same hair as Dirk Benedict from the A-Team and Battlestar Galactica. I can't believe it, but I swear to God, Hillbillies in a Haunted House is a better movie than this piece of shit! I'm starting to think this is just a lost episode of Mama's Family with less interesting results. After watching that documentary you'd think Cowboy Jack would have more sense but maybe he was just trying to lull people into a deep sleep, for whatever unknown reason!
This one is rough but not as painful as another Guinea Pig sequel or root canal, that's a positive right? Kindertrauma dug it and I almost always side with them, they compared it to S.F. Brownrigg who I despise and Blood and Lace, which is a bazillion times better than this dreck. Don't take my opinion though.

In the XXX version of Bewitched they felt my actual name was porny enough.

I like my Manitou'd broiled and topped with gorgonzola.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dracula's Greatest Love

COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE, Directed by Javier Aguirre (1972).

Hello from the TOG headquarters, Erok decided to hand the keys over to one of the head honchos over at The Paul Naschycast, because most of our writers hands were bitten off by the Italian shark from one of those Bruno Mattei rip offs. Take it away Troy Guinn and thanks for the fun review.

Rod Barnett and I are the hosts of Naschycast. Our first episode was in February of 2010. We were already the two biggest Naschy fans we knew, and realized there weren't any podcasts devoted to him so we decided to start one. In 2017 we did audio commentaries for 5 Naschy films on Blu ray. We have a Facebook page for the Naschycast, you can also find the episodes on iTunes and on Rod's blog site, The Bloody Pit of Rod

This movie first drew me into its haunted, languid realm when it played on late night television, at a time when I was just becoming familiar with Paul Naschy’s face, if still a few years away from truly appreciating his importance to, and influence on, the horror films of Spain. Perhaps it was the combination of absorbing a previously-unseen take on a very familiar and beloved classic monster, the exotic beauty of the actresses, and the hypnotic three-note motif of the main score at 2am in a dark living room that left me feeling I had witnessed something singularly strange among horror films. Repeated viewings in the years since have revealed CDGL’s not-inconsiderable flaws, and yet the qualities I appreciated upon first experience have retained their power as well.

Don't snicker at my lockjaw, I stepped on a rusty nail!

After the pre-credits sequence, in which two workers delivering coffins to a castle get a bit too nosey and are brutally dispatched by an unseen assailant, our story proper begins: A group of young people (four female college students and their male friend) are traveling through the Borgo Pass (never a good idea under ANY circumstances) when their carriage is wrecked and the driver is killed in the accident. The companions are given shelter by a reclusive physician, Dr. Marlow (Paul Naschy). During the days of their stay, the girls frolic in Dr. Marlow’s swimming pool, read books about Dracula in his library, and a couple of them even vie for the doctor’s affections. Over the course of several nights, Marlow’s guests are turned to vampires (and subsequently vamp others themselves) until only the doctor and the lady who has won his heart, Karen (Haydee Politoff) are left. Ultimately, the vampiric presence haunting the castle turns out to not only be Count Dracula, but his spirit has been inhabiting Dr. Marlow’s body and he succeeds in overcoming the doctor’s persona completely. Thus begins a complicated series of rituals, intended to restore life to the Count’s daughter Radna and requiring Karen’s sacrifice, yet the Count finds himself seriously struggling with a complication he hadn’t foreseen: ol’ fangs is IN LOVE.

live action dainty thrift store figurines.

Of all the films I consider “essential” in Naschy’s filmography, CDGL is easily the sloppiest in its narrative construction. However, it also just might be the most hauntingly beautiful in its visual realization. Before I go further, let me state that while CDGL will always be considered a “Naschy” film, the credit for its qualities (which are 90% visual) really goes to director Javier Aguirre and cinematographer Raul Perez Cubero. Characters do a lot of walking and talking in this film. Even when they are not talking, they walk…and walk…and walk. Yet, the foggy moors, the sunlit treetops, the mist-shrouded corridors and vampire’s crypts, even the shades and tones of the characters’ skin, hair and clothing make the film wash over the viewer like a virtually unbroken cyclorama of dream imagery. Then there are those moments of more jolting visual inventiveness, such as when the vampiresses leap from the ground onto a rooftop, or when Dracula drives a dagger completely through a hypnotized victim’s neck and fills a goblet with her blood while she stands there mute, feeling no pain. Both of these ideas, I’m pretty sure, were new to vampire cinema at their time.

ACCHH I paid extra to have coffin skin protection, not cool!

In extolling the film’s virtues, certainly much praise must be given to the quartet of actresses who are the lovers/victims/vamps served up for the Count’s desires: Politoff, Ingrid Garbo, Rosanna Yanni, and Mirta Miller. These ladies are radiant, too be sure, and in a genre where creepily sexy vampiresses are plentiful, the vamps of CDGL can lure, seduce and destroy with the very best of the Hammer Films vixens. However, I doubt enough credit is ever given to the performances of the four actresses and how well they convey the individual personality “types” of their characters. One could say that Miller is a bit miscast as the “timid scairdy-cat” girl, but not because of her performance; simply that with her fiery red hair and arching eyebrows (which suggest nothing so much as bats in flight) she looks like a vamp-in-waiting already. When she finally is “turned” and revels in orgasmic ecstasy and fresh human blood spilling from her mouth (and her victim’s nude breasts), it seems as if the real Mirta Miller has finally stood up. Okay, so no shortage of beauty among these ladies, but equally commendable is the chemistry the actresses establish with one another, believably conveying the dynamics of long-time friends.

Despite the ultimate great failings of the script, I still marvel at Naschy’s ability to bring fresh ideas to genre archetypes. In CDGL, we have what has to be one of the earliest portrayals of Dracula as a tragic figure, struggling between fulfilling the destinies proscribed for both his daughter and himself, yet dreading the need to sacrifice the woman he loves. He even sheds tears, and while Naschy is not technically the FIRST crying Dracula (there are those odd shots of Christopher Lee seeming to weep as he crumbles to dust at the end of HORROR OF DRACULA, and his tears of blood as he is impaled on the cross in DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE), at least Naschy’s Count cries over the choices he’s made, not just over his own rotten luck. It is important here to note that CDGL prefigures Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire” and the modern “Vampire as anti-hero” by several years. When Dr. Marlow makes love to Karen, it is seemingly this action that triggers the takeover of his personality by Dracula, in remarkable similarity to what happens to the vampire Angel/Angelus in the 90’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series. Now, I’m not suggesting that Buffy creator Joss Whedon drew this idea directly from CDGL (though the film DID make the television rounds so Whedon could certainly have come across it); I simply take it as more evidence that Naschy was so often ahead of the curve.

Naschy is the genius behind The Werewolf & The Yeti, impressed?

Okay, enough of being nice. Each new viewing of COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE also makes me aware of what a face-palming mess the script is. That script…oh dear. Yes, anyone who studies this film is aware of its troubled production history: how an accident that injured a few of the cast members caused the filming to shut down, how HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE was filmed in the interim (and emerged as the far superior of the two films) and then work resumed to complete CDGL. Such setbacks can allow us to cut the film a little slack, but it can’t excuse everything. We’ll never know how many of the story’s flaws were there initially, and how much stems from the confused production schedule, but the impression is often of a film that doesn’t remember what has happened in the previous scene. Naschy commonly loads his mythologies with overly-detailed rituals and laws, but even a flow chart here wouldn’t help us understand (1) whether Dracula is a sadistic harbinger of evil or an avenging angel, (2) whether Dr. Marlow KNOWS he carries Dracula within him, or is unaware of his vampiric alter-ego (3) why, if Dracula has been dormant inside Dr. Marlow, has he still obviously been operating freely on his own? There’s no doubt it is Dracula who arranges the delivery of his daughter’s body and subsequently vampirizes one of the men who drop off the casket in the film’s prologue.

the negative reviews are in.

Apparently, there were intentions to film a sequel to CDGL that would have focused on Dracula’s resurrected daughter, Radna. While it is enticing to imagine how this never-filmed project might have turned out (just think, it could have been called COUNT DRACULA’S RECKLESS DAUGHTER!), I’m of the opinion CDGL would have been better to have lost the daughter subplot altogether. Instead, the idea of Dr. Marlow and Dracula inhabiting the same body and the one’s attempt to dominate the other could have been more cohesively developed, with Karen’s fate hanging in the balance.

SHHH, She's sleeping be quiet!

Then, of course, we have one of the film’s most odd devices: The elimination of virtually all dialogue once Dracula makes his appearance. The final act of the film instead features narration by Dracula while the cast all bare their fangs and stare at one another. It’s assumed each character is hearing Dracula’s voice via telepathy, but just why this method was chosen remains a mystery. It can’t be because the actors had difficulty speaking with fangs in place, because any dialogue (English, Spanish or otherwise) would have been dubbed anyway; and if the narration was intended to explain to the viewers what is going on, then it is so confusingly written that it ultimately achieves the exact opposite effect. Perhaps the film’s last third would have been better without any words at all, since its greatest strength is its visual poetry. If the last act had been fully relinquished to the dream-like series of images, it might have become the Spanish horror film genre’s closest equivalent to the vampire cinema of Jean Rollin.

Despite its flaws, I still consider COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE to be a lovely bit of cinema, and I recommend you let it take you on a stroll through its misty forests. The modern phrase of “Just go with it” could easily have been created to explain the seductive qualities of European horror cinema, and it could very well be the key to falling in love with COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE.

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