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Old 08-19-2013, 05:09 AM   #839
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 5,054
i worked my way through the Vampires, Mummies, and Monsters release from Shout! Factory's sadly concluded Roger Corman's Cult Classics line.

The Velvet Vampire - nice to see Celeste Yarnall after enjoying her in Beast of Blood. And Michael Blodgett, after recently watching Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for the first time ("You're a goddamn UGLY broad, Barzell!"). I was happily entertained by it, even though its a little languidly paced. I've lost count of just how many different adaptations of Le Fanu's Carmilla I've seen now. But yeah, this was decent.

Lady Frankenstein - this was the real surprise of this collection. Joesph Cotton is always great, but the lovely Rosalba Neri was what really made this one. She's pretty stunningly beautiful, but she's also got quite a strong screen presence. i liked the gothic atmosphere a lot, and it actually felt like a hammer film in a lot of places. the makeup on the creature is kind of silly, but on the whole i really enjoyed the movie a lot.

Grotesque - this was another surprise, although a bad one. what a weird, pointless, schizophrenic movie. is it a home invasion movie? a monster on the loose movie? a manhunt movie? a police procedural? its everything! and it's "star" linda blair is only in it for about 30 minutes of screen time...if that! i dunno if the poor presentation made a difference...some of the scenes at the end make me think this was originally shot widescreen. but i kind of doubt that better A/V quality would improve this film. there were a few decent images, i must admit - some of the shots of people running through the snow looked really evocative, but that's about the best thing I can say about this. oh, and it was neat to see Robert Z'dar in a small role - there's no mistaking that jawline.

Time Walker - this was entertaining, but terminally goofy, despite how seriously it takes itself - i can understand why it was run through the MST3K wringer, especially after the whopper of an ending
"To be continued..." indeed! Anybody know the story behind that? Was it supposed to be the first in a long line of alien mummy movies?

Anyway, a mixed bag, but a lot of fun. Really a shame that the Cult Classics line is over. Scream Factory has certainly made up for it, but I can't help but wish we'd seen just a few more of these releases.
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