Recent Additions: May 2020

Psychotronic Review

It was a big month for new short takes. I can’t really get through a day without watching a film — usually a horror film. But as usual, I’m going to have to look up half the films here. It was only after writing two articles about Monster From The Ocean Floor that I remembered what it was about.

This doesn’t speak to the quality of the films. But it does speak to the quality of the titles. Like The Beast Must Die. That could be about anything!

  1. 13 Frightened Girls (1963): probably my least favorite William Castle film. But then, I’m not that target audience of 13-year-old girls. It’s well-made, though.
  2. 13 Ghosts (1960): a light horror mystery from our man Castle. This is a good one to get your kids started on horror films.
  3. And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973): one of the better Amicus features. Very effective!
  4. Asylum (1972): another collection of short horror films from Amicus. I particularly like the one about the chopped-up lady.
  5. The Babysitter (1980): made-for-television film about an unstable nanny who destroys a family. Features William Shatner in a regular-guy role.
  6. Beast From Haunted Cave (1959): a standard low-budget monster movie about a group of criminals on the run. Notable mostly for taking place in the snow.
  7. The Beast Must Die (1974): this is the kind of film that psychotronic fans live for. Who would think to combine a werewolf with an insane big game hunter? You’ve got to see this!
  8. Black Christmas (1974): one of the earliest slasher films and one of the best. It’s really nice to have a story that doesn’t feature any kind of clever back-story. There’s a crazy guy and he’s murdering people. That’s enough.
  9. Blood Ties (1991): a new take on the vampire. Unfortunately, this has been done to death now. But if you can get past that, it’s a solid film.
  10. BMX Bandits (1983): a bike-oriented kids film that made Nicole Kidman a star. If you were into those bikes when you were a kid, you’ll love this film. I, of course, was inside watching horror films.
  11. Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974): if released today, this title would be cheeky. But this film is for real. It’s a wonderful combination of horror and adventure. This is a classic!
  12. Chop (2011): a truly funny horror comedy that surprises right up to its denouement, which is purposefully anti-climatic. I love this film!
  13. Countess Dracula (1971): horror film based on the true-life psychopath Elizabeth Báthory. Other than actually getting younger, this is probably how it was.
  14. Day of Anger (1967): a good Spaghetti Western that maybe tries a bit too hard to be serious.
  15. Day the World Ended (1955): another of those 1950s post-nuclear war films that mostly take place in a single room. This one is pretty good.
  16. Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973): basically a period zombie picture that is pretty twisted.
  17. Doll Factory (2014): a teen horror-comedy that is genuinely funny. And most of the teens are horrible so it’s fun to see them eaten by dolls.
  18. Escape from LA (1996): people hated this film when it came out but today, it’s probably more fun to watch than the original.
  19. Escape from New York (1981): a solid action film although I don’t especially care. I’ve never gotten over Adrienne Barbeau dying.
  20. The Evil (1978): people renovating an old house unleash a demon and need to find their way out. The set is great and the film a lot better than it has any right to be.
  21. Forest Primeval (2008): a lesser film by the Polonia brothers, it’s a bit slow but definitely has its moments.
  22. Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965): a pleasant 1960s Scifi film about Martians stealing our women. Nothing to be sought or avoided.
  23. God’s Gun (1976): a great Spaghetti Western with Lee Van Cleef playing two roles. It’s a lot of fun.
  24. Homicidal (1961): one of William Castle’s best. I think it’s better than Psycho.
  25. House of the Long Shadows (1983): the only film featuring Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and John Carradine. Even apart from that, it’s a good film.
  26. Inferno (1980): The second film in The Three Mothers trilogy. Very creepy with great practical effects and look. Essential viewing!
  27. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977): great sketch comedy featuring four segments that should appeal to psychotronic fans.
  28. Krippendorf’s Tribe (1998): a widely-hated but hilarious screenball comedy.
  29. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960): this is a very funny film. If you haven’t seen it, what’s wrong? Here: a free copy!
  30. Mandao of the Dead (2018): a youthful comedy with a horror angle. I’m really looking forward to what this group does in the future.
  31. Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954): Roger Corman’s first film is pretty good. And the shark scene is great.
  32. Mother of Tears (2007): the last of The Three Mothers trilogy. It features great practical horror effects. Don’t believe the haters.
  33. Mr Sardonicus (1961): this is a really good film but the make-up effects do make it seem kind of silly.
  34. The Norliss Tapes (1973): the pilot of what looks like what would have been a great series. It features an unusual zombie story.
  35. The Old Dark House (1963): William Castle’s remake is quite enjoyable. This is another one for the kids.
  36. Paranoiac (1963): story of a very screwed-up family. Solid narrative.
  37. Phantom of the Paradise (1974): a surprisingly good musical and parody of Faust and Phantom of the Opera.
  38. A Pistol for Ringo (1965): a very good Spaghetti Western that spawned a ton of sequels.
  39. Rats: Night of Terror (1984): Two hundred years after nuclear war, rats have become very dangerous. Pretty fun film.
  40. Seven Psychopaths (2012): a fun but intense film about a bunch of really bad people. You know they have to be bad if Colin Farrell is the most likable character.
  41. Shanghai Joe (1973): more or less a film version of Kung Fu with over-the-top action sequences.
  42. Schlep (2016): teen comedy from the same group that brought us Mandao of the Dead.
  43. Serpent Island (1954): low-budget film aboard a ship on its way to Haiti. It’s surprisingly engaging.
  44. Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971): solid comedy with great production values. Most people like the original more.
  45. Support Your Local Sheriff (1969): simple comedy with a strong lead performance and a great supporting cast.
  46. Terror of Dracula (2012): a low-budget and very talky Dracula adaptation. Good acting.

That’s all for this month. I’ll probably focus more on horror next month.

I’d say the following are worth owning: The Beast Must Die, Black Christmas, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, Chop, Doll Factory, Escape from LA, Escape from New York, Homicidal, Inferno, The Kentucky Fried Movie, A Pistol for Ringo, And Now the Screaming Starts! The rest are either of less interest or are only marginally psychotronic.

Also: just download The Little Shop of Horrors since it is free and something you’ll want to watch every few years.

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