Spechtreum V
Draconis Blackthorne's Shadowmantium
Spechtreum V. 5____________________________FILM REVIEWS_________________________Draconis Blackthorne
Black Sunday | Evilspeak | 7 Faces of Dr. Lao | Koyaanisqatsi | The Omen | Damien Omen 2 | Damien III: The Final Conflict | DAMIEN | The Addams Family Reunion | Addams Family | The Undead | THE CAR | Poor Devil | Blood Bath | Hell Night | This House Possessed | The Unseen | The Haunting of Helen Walker | Invitation To Hell | The Slayer | Silver Bullet | Carnival of Souls | The Satanic Rites of Dracula | The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman | Spellbinder | Dracula Unleashed | The Dark Crystal | The Munsters: Complete Series | Mockingbird Lane | The Hunger | Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

~ V ~


Black SundayA witch betrays her cult, & is sentenced to wear the Mask of Satan, a spiked facial enclosure bearing the image of The Prince of Darkness. Before her punishment, the witch utters a curse in the name of Satan, that she will continue returning throughout the ages, resurrecting by their sons' blood. She becomes vampyr.

The movie begins with a stern warning to the timid & the young, advising that it may be too frighting & disturbing. And so two noblemen {a professor & his apprentice} make their way to the dark castle in the hills. On their way, they uncover the skeletal remains of the Witch, who manages to get a taste of their blood, thus bringing her to life.

The castle itself is wonderfully beset with images of griffins, gargoyles, & dragons - particular of note, a marvelous draconian tapestry adorning an ornate fireplace, which holds, it will suffice to say, many secrets.

A Satanic Altar is found deep within the bowels of the castle, where the Vampire-Witch sleeps, & a zombie-like Guardian lurks, who bears the Satanic dragon insignia on his chest.

Black Sunday manages to preserve quite an eerie ambiance, much like 'The Undead', & will keep you in suspense.

Written by Joseph Garofalo, Eric Weston. Directed by Eric Weston. Starring Clint Howard (Stanley Coopersmith), R.G. Armstrong (Sarge), Joseph Cortese (Reverend Jameson), Claude Earl Jones (Coach), Haywood Nelson (Kowalski), Don Stark (Bubba), Charles Tyner (Colonel Kincaid}. Genre: Horror.

Beginning among Spanish missionaries, a Sorcerer named Esteban transcends into immortality vowing to return one day to take his vengeance against frightened christian murderers, and so, fade into the present...

Stanley Coopersmith is an intelligent, though somewhat awkward cadet who unfortunately has to deal with resentful, petty brutes seeking to thwart his productive endeavors at every turn. While seeking solace in the chapel, Stanley explores into its darkened bowels, a veritable labyrinth of hidden secrets, finding a ritual chamber deep below, presided over by a portrait of Esteban. While searching through the many fascinating occult items therein, he finds a grimoire, and thus, excited with the opportunity to rid himself of the lower life forms which plague him, he begins his studies.

To shed some perspective on the rottenness of these destructive organisms, in a particularly disturbing scene, while inebriated, they find their way down into the Ritual Chamber by following the barks of Stanley's puppy (perhaps a veritable familiar), whom he had taken to care for instead of condemning it to euthanasia; though sadly, by the utter audacity of these humanoid obstacles, eventually sacrifice it through their stuporstitious ignorance and bloodlust. A typical mindless mob mentality.

Being framed by such inferior classmates, he nobly takes the blame (a veritable scapegoat), so he has to see the Colonel (tantamount to The Principal), where the book is stolen by a lying, greedy secretary; though only a temporary setback, as she receives what she deserves via demonic hell hogs. An amusing scene quickly transitioning from sensual to bloody.

Utilizing the technology afforded him, he sets to translate the arcane text with the help of a computer, but by doing so, unwittingly charges a spell into its very bits and bytes, and thus assumes a life of its own (a pentagram subsequently appears on the screen). Like a Ouija board, he is instructed step by step on how to acquire power to bring Esteban forth from The Pit. He eventually resurrects The Ritual Chamber via this Technomancy (even actually including the infernal machine upon The Altar!), as Esteban slowly begins emerging, in essence, reincarnating as his return. They both eventually achieve their well deserved justice, as each antagonist is punished accordingly when they fully integrate.

Among the carnage, one particularly remarkable scene includes a former groundskeeper zombie doing Esteban's / Stanley's dirty work by cardiac evisceration upon the primary instigator. Ironic in the sense that now he becomes literally devoid of such.

This film is both a coming of age story as well as a tale of justice and revenge achieved by a misfit who prevails and evolves into a higher state of being.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

The Seven Faces of Dr. LaoA sleepy little town is awakened by a traveling carnival. A most exotic manifestation - the Circus of Dr. Lao, a multi-dimensional & extraordinary man with a collection of oddities, freaks, & enigmas of Nature.

The town folk enter this total environment with sneers & jeers, heckling & critiquing all the while. But in each & every instance, they all learn harsh & draconian lessons, very much like "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory", everyone gets their "just desserts", as it were, in various wonderfully poetic manners.

For instance, one of the exhibits is "Medusa" the Gorgon, who can only be viewed by the crowd through a mirror, because, obviously, anyone subject under her gaze would immediately be turned to stone. Well, one obnoxious & insolent old biddy mocks the show, & threatens to "expose" Dr. Lao as a "fraud". In her huff, she moves the mirror aside & is immediately transformed to stone. If it was not for the compassion of a kindly old Wizard, she would have remained so. Alas, she gets better than she deserved, & is transformed back to flesh. Thus, her tragedy abated, she is transformed not only back to flesh, but for a renewed love for her husband & very life {read The Necessity of Catastrophe; The Devil's Scroll}. Hail Medusa!

In another instance, a couple of obstinate cowboys mock Dr. Lao's "Lochness Monster" he keeps in a goldfish bowl. Even after Dr. Lao EXPLAINS that, like the blow fish, this creature would expand in size & countenance with air {"No man knows how big he can get"}, he is still mocked.

Well, while on a drunken binge, these shit-disturbing cowboys return to the circus to disrupt the circus' harmonious flow. The last straw, by their own stupidity, came when one of then shot that glass bowl, & what do you suppose happened? Exactly what Dr. Lao explained would - the fish grew to become a sea-monster, a dragon, really, & tossed them about like rag dolls - Leviathan was awakened. They should have left well enough alone - good riddance to bad rubbish!

Throughout the Circus' stay in this town, a small boy marvels at all the amazing wonders, especially at the Old Wizard's prestidigitations, who receives a warm hug from the boy, which makes for a most touching scene.
Upon expressing the desire to join the Circus, Dr. Lao tells the boy,

"When you pick up a handful of sand, & see not the sand, but a wonder, then you will be part of The Circus of Dr. Lao.
When you wonder at a rainbow, then you will be part of The Circus of Dr. Lao.
Just to be alive, that is the greatest Magic of all".

A truly valuable lesson is learned by the town when on one occasion, the Circus performers parade - we see Medusa, the Wizard, a satyr playing his pan flute {which absolutely inflames Barbara Eden}, moving those receptive to lust & love, a Prophet, & of course, the "Lochness Monster", then finally, Dr. Lao Himself, who projects an ethical scenario upon an overhanging curtain, reminiscent of "the fall of Sodom & Gommorrah" - the presentation proves to be effectual in exposing the inner decrepitness of the town-folk like a mirror, basically, scaring the hell into them {Dr. Lao acts as the Accuser}. Again, refer to The Necessity of Catastrophe {The Devil's Scroll>.

Indeed, wherever The Circus of Dr. Lao travels, great & profound lessons are learned.

In the end, Dr. Lao receives his well deserved {though unasked for} praise from the town-folk. The he disappears in pretty much a puff of smoke, which curiously swirls up from, then down into, a dimensional vortex towards the ground, into the earth.

Dr. Lao would not forget his little friend, so he did leave him a present in the end.

{XVIII A.S. Directed by Godfrey Reggio. Score by Phillip Glass.}

"Koyaanisqaatsi: life out of balance; crazy life; life in turmoil; life disintegrating; a state of life that calls for another way of living." - Hopi term.

A God's eye view of planet earth and its inhabitants. From the opening scene of tribal hieroglyphs and chanting reverberation, the film launches into an enchanting series of impressive environmental scenes set to haunting electronic and instrumental music, with scenes I have divided into five sections:

1. Homage to The Four-Crown Princes of Hell.

Stunning vistas of the elements in flux, from canyons to plains to forests to volcanoes to fields of kaleidoscopic color, to clouds and storms and the massive movements of the ocean.

2. Infernal Machines.

Cut to behemoth land-tilling machines, man-made industrial environments, expansive scenery of automobiles, planes, and space-age technological inventions.

3. The Herd.

The teaming masses shuffling to and fro, set to insect-like speeds. The proles kept in perspective. Crowds and clusters of humanity, with a few individual shots of amusing foibles and locations.

4. The Concrete Jungle.

Skyscrapers, slums, implosions, construction and destruction, as well as beautiful shots of the metropolitan evening.

5. End.

A return to the hieroglyphs, which seems to signify a primal contemplation, a return to The Source.

Koyaanisqatsi is certainly a Satanic meditation, which would prove beneficial after any interaction with the herd, a veritable "eye in the sky" - asserts the "larger picture", as it were. A LaVeyan recommendation, I imagine this would be much more enhanced on a big screen; it is mostly comprised of time-lapse film, adding a certain eerie element, and the tenebrous music compliments it well.

Rating: 5/5.

The Omen
The Omen

The Devil's childe incarnated here in the form of an adorable little English boy. Born into wealth & prestige, the son of senator destined for the presidency - it seems that "Satan" planned well {of course}, to place "His" son in prominence, instead of in some dung heap of a manger {who does that remind you of?}.

One after another, obstacles {human & otherwise} are removed from the path of the Devil's son's path - whomever dares get in His way...

This movie draws from JC-mythology from the book of "Revelation" of an apocalyptic anti-christ / tyrant born to dominate the earth. He carries the dreaded "666" birthmark upon his head - proof positive he is "The One".

In one particularly dramatic scene, Damian refuses to be led into an Episcopal church. Instead, his mother takes him to the zoo, where the resident animals panic & lash out in fear & anger. Small wonder - he is Thanatos made flesh.

Born of a jackal, Damian is protected by exarchs of Hell - a good-natured woman, & a strong & beautiful doberman - ergo, the diabolical connection. Damian.....the name has since been the favorite for infernal children...

Damien: Omen 2
Damien Omen 2

The second six in the saga of this classic infernal trinity. Here, in military school, Damian comes to grips with the realization that he is this antichrist character, after being reassured by an official. Damian learns to grasp His power, & even his own brother is annihilated, who threatened to stop Damian's destiny.

Again, his parental guardians get the proverbial axe, as 'The Antichrist' continues on his path to world dominion.

Damien III: The Final Conflict
Damien III: The Final Conflict

Damien is all grown up here, & has taken his place as President of 'Thorn Industries', a global conglomerate incorporating everything from product manufacture to food charities, & is firmly allied with the UN {of course}.

In the darkest of plans, children are sacrificed, a politician commits suicide {by the auspice of satanical forces}, & the homicidal efforts of a secret xian order to murder Damien Thorn prove to be ineffectual & laughable.

Thorn has his own "Ritual Chamber", in which the nazarene is crucified, not inverse as you would expect, but turned around so that his naked posterior shows most humiliatingly. Thorn blasphemously rants at the nazarene in a messe noiresque fashion, & shows what proves to be one of the most powerfully sacrilegious scenes in cinematographic history.

"Nazarene... you have won NOTHING..."


DAMIENSuffice it to say that Damien has always been quite distinctive, physically and mentally.* This Damien somehow seems too "light" in overall complexion and acting ability, even while appropriately concentrating solely on the character & story line.

Of course, the familiar Hellhounds return, three in fact, as well as a reincarnation of infernal protector Mrs. Balog in Ann Rutledge. He does discover the birthmark as well.

Filling the gap between Military School graduation and the establishment of Thorn Industries as a war photographer, he apparently endures a bout of amnesia, with some stimulus arriving from various sources to trigger memories of who he truly is, from contact with a mysterious old woman, an interloping priest, to the nazarene vassal, with those wonderful scenes from the films projected. Naturally, all those who 'cross' his left-hand path meet with grisly fates while attempting to thwart his destiny, which can seem unfortunate at times, but ultimately necessary for a greater glory.

So far, this presentation gives the impression of being a rather 'reluctant Antichrist', while Damien has always relished in his Power & identity.

Additionally, it is noted that DAMIEN was not unleashed on June 6th, 2016, 6/6/6, as is tradition with this series.

I look forwards to this manifestation yielding an intensification and acceptance, a full utilization of his diabolical nature, that it may be complementary to the sinematic series. ∞

* In all honesty, I found this Damien to be rather lackluster so far {but it is yet only the inaugural episode}, like taking an unremarkable, regular guy off the street and all of a sudden proclaiming him The Antichrist. We shall see.

The Addams Family Reunion

The Addams Family Reunion

Masochists attempt to thwart The Addams Family yet again {will they ever learn?}, attempting to disrupt their peace of mind at every turn. The Addams Family reconciles irreconcilables just by being themselves, which routinely proves to be too much for the normals. They fear what they do not understand - they fear that which is different.

The Addams Family is sent an invitation from 'relatives' in denial, who attempt to act like the normals. Why bother? As a matter of fact, some of you may have experimented with this as a process of your evolution - experimenting may have been in order, to ultimately derive that which should have been obvious from the beginning, being, that WE are truly THE OTHER, as is proven again & again, either by social interaction, &/or personal revelation.

Anyhow, The Addams Family encounters a host of boring, pretentious, & unimaginative members of the herd, to which they teach valuable & harsh lessons, & enact just retribution when needs be.

"The Addams Family Reunion" is not the first Addams film I would recommend, as it would be a shadow of the others, as it seems to be geared more towards children, which would be a welcomed addition to one's Infernal Progeny, but for Me, the series, & the first two films are preferable.

The Addams Family
LIV A.S. CGI cartoon

A CGI animated production on the timeless darketypes. Not bad, better than I thought it would be, and still definitely better than Reunion, though I would watch that primarily for Tim Curry's portrayal of Gomez! And Nicole Fugere as Wednesday, who would later star in the "new" Addams Family TV series.

But here, we have a plastic mannequin woman trying to make everything generic, and turns Chastity Pariah on The Family when they do not fit into her boring carbon copy mold. She puppeteers the entire town and has them all buy the houses she sells, with installed cameras in them all. After the townspeople attack The Family at Pugsley's Mamushka {here portrayed in a rather Satanic barmitzvah manner wherein he actually grows a beard! Like when Snake popped out a couple hairs}, they come to realize through Wednesday's little misadventure to normalcy, revealing proof of the claim, finally turning them all on the rabid bunny woman, who gets her pretentious show cancelled, at which point Uncle Fester moves in to ensnare her in his lustful desires. She reminds Me greatly of Jelinsky!

Great characterizations all around!

  • Gomez really comes off as a Crazy acrobatic Castilian Spaniard
  • Morticia looks like death warmed over as depicted in the Charles Addams cartoons {but with a great figure & posterior!}, though I noticed there were not many displays of their prevalent passion.
  • Wednesday is appropriately dour & ingenious, with adorable nooses tied at the end of her braids.
  • Pugsley looks & acts more or less the same, with a penchant for rockets.
  • Fester acts very Slithersworth, but is more or less his madly explosive self.
  • Lurch is perfectly Frankensteinean, a ghastly zombie ghoul with a resonating, penetrating voice.
  • Thing has a minor role, mostly helping Lurch play the organ.
  • Cousin Itt appears like a crapper 'bling' pimp type, dressed in glorified tackiness. He'd be better as a rocker or metalhead, what with the hair and all, and for My considerations, he is. How many times have metalheads taken shades and placed them on over our hair to display that effect!
  • The pets are present here and there - "Kittycat", or veritable 'Togare' is there from the beginning, Homer is around, and Aristotle is more attached to Wednesday herein.
  • Then there's Wednesday's newly turned Goth friend who reminds Me of Fairuza Balk, who decides to remain with her true friends! She's the former daughter of that annoyingly pretentious "control freak" woman who really reminds Me of xians!
Satanic intercession...

The overall gist is that everybody's different in their own way. But in the end, a pervasive Daemonic Force {SATAN} sets everything "left" as it were, when the house was painted pink somesuch, turned black again, as if to state that "No, we are not the same as everybody else!", and We are not trying to assimilate! And don't try to be something you are not! Stay down here where you belong! The voice itself grants the impression of that from The Amityville Horror who says "GET OUT!" [4/5]

The Undead
Circa 1952 / Starring Pamela Duncan & Richard Garland / Directed by Roger Corman

A classic horror movie about a hooker's past-life regression. We accompany her unto her doomed past, where she must save herself from the chopping block. The whole film comes off as Shakespearean overall. She is transformed into a young maiden, traveling deep into her subconscious mind. Two Parapsychologists hypnotize her, & but one in particular decides to go after her, as "The Tibetan Priests" can do. He becomes a knight determined to help her in her quest. Along the way, he meets up with a buxom brunette beauty of a Witch who offers him help in his mission - he must sell his soul to the Devil on this Sabbath's Night. She proves a loyal minion, as she presents The Prince of Darkness with a decapitated head, who appears in a plume of flame. Morbid harem-dancers herald his arrival, undulating & writhing in a delightful dance of decadent faire.

This film really manages to preserve that eeriness throughout. The characters are perfectly cast. A meddling 'white witch' crone attempts to thwart the Lydia The Witch, but to no avail. There is plenty of lycanthropy, & poetry for that matter, uttered by the local cemetery caretaker.

In the end, The Devil receives His due, laughing all the while. The Undead is a must for all Satanic Roger Corman fans. No demoralization here.

Interesting of note, as I was recording this movie, a 7.0 Earthquake struck at about 3am --- rolling Belial beneath Me. A great movie AND an earthquake all in the same Sabbath's night! It was quite amusing indeed!


The Car

"Oh Great brothers of the night... who rideth out upon the hot winds of Hell, who dwelleth within the devil's fane; move and appear!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

A quote from The Black Pope Himself heads the movie. And so begins this wicked piece of automotive history. A nightmare come to life in black metal & burning rubber. Hell on wheels.

A mysterious black car haunts the outskirts of a rural western town. Blackened windows, a raging infernal machine, yet no-one ever gets to see who is behind the wheel. The locals believe it to be the devil Himself...

The motor concealed within the darkened frame rumbles & growls like some great metal beast. It appears when you least expect it, either racing up from brackish pits, or materializing through hills, brooding... awaiting...

There is no escaping The Car, so don't even try. The Car will drive you straight to Hell. So why not enjoy the ride?
.....and what's that hanging from the rear-view mirror?

Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls

A classic horror film which reaches deep inside the psyche to manifest those dark primal fears.

Some people just can't deal with stress very well. A young lady is transported into the shadowy recesses of her own dark side, cued by the infernal instrument of the organ. Her life becomes haunted by her fears & nightmares, as they slither into reality.

The camera angles are very creatively utilized, & the sense of eeriness is preserved well throughout the movie. I thought it a great touch to present the movie mostly non-verbal but for a couple of occasions, in order to present realistic dream sequences. Mental torment & fantasy / reality crossover rampant here, without the demoralization. Very well recommended.

Poor Devil
VIII A.S. Directed by Robert Sheerer. Starring Sammy Davis Jr. {Sammy}, Christopher Lee {Lucifer}, Jack Klugman {Burnett J. Emerson}, Adam West {Jannes Crawford}, Gino Conforti {Bligh}. Genre: Comedy.

Sammy just wants to make it out of the furnace pit and prove himself worthy of his horns, so when his sexy girlfriend secretary notifies him that a soul up above that he's had his eye on is about to falter, he requests to Mr. Lucifer {Christopher Lee, looking like a grown-up Damien Thorn} that he be allowed to ascend for an opportunity, permission is granted, despite the objections of Bligh.

Prospects are further improved when "Burnie" mentions selling his soul, and off Sammy goes to seal the deal. , first for money, then revenge. Money for a better life for he and his wife; Vengeance to justifiably balance the scales in Bernie's favor, considering the conniving Crawford {Adam West} not only kept him out of his due position, but attempted to covet his pretty little wife as well.

"Hell has no better prospect than a good man scorned." - Lucifer.

Sammy must now do Bernie's bidding for seven years; by consulting with various historic villains such as Blackbeard, Bonnie & Clyde, Al Capone & his mugs, with the insight of his lovely girlfriend, they hatch a plan, and thus is bestowed the task of cleaning out the entire department store with the aid of damned souls on roller skates, transporting merchandise to a hell-icopter, then on to Alcatraz island. But before this exquisite revenge can be exacted, Bernie changes his mind, and everything must be returned to the shelves, but unbeknownst to them, the damage had already been done, as an hysterical Crawford loses his mind when he witnesses the cleaned out edifice. Returning with the Police, all is in its proper place, and is taken away.

At one point, when Bernie really feels the need to contact Sammy, he flips through the phone book stating,

“I’ll call the Church of Satan downtown. They’ll know how to contact him.”

At the time, The Church of Satan at 6114 California Street in San Francisco was listed as a religious entity in the phone book, complete with contact phone number and Baphomet printed therein.

In the end, a breach releases Bernie from the contract, but for a very noble cause, it seems. After seven years, he would have had to return with Sammy to Hell, leaving his wife behind. A sympathetic Sammy assents and is finally returned to the furnace, where he has to shovel the brimstone for the next 700 years. Ergo, "Poor Devil".

Although the plot is quite amusing, and Sammy's performances are always a treat, what is of pertinence are the aesthetics of the film, and the fact that The Church of Satan was mentioned on such a widespread nationally-syndicated broadcast, even though we stand on our own perfectly well.

This made-for-broadcast production was originally intended as a pilot episode to launch a series by the same name, but it seems that repeated protests by fundies preserved the film by itself. At the time, upon the advent of The Age of Fire, the film industry was fertile with movies such as Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Devil's Daughter {starring Shelley Winters & Jonathan Frid}, and The Omen a couple of years later. Television productions recently included the likes of The Addams Family, Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters, Night Gallery {Rod Serling; The Twilight Zone}, while even the erotic film industry released many little devil flicks {see Satanic Sickies}, so it seemed the time was ripe to bite into such forbidden fruit. Perhaps the time is nigh.

Remarkable aesthetics fill the film with all those in attendance in Hades wearing stylized pentagram medallions {primarily donned in red suits & turtlenecks; with the women in sexy uniforms befitting tempting she-devils}, and Lucifer's office emblazoned with a huge sigil looming at his personal desk, while hellfires flicker about the windows. Sammy gesticulates The Cornu when dematerializing from place to place.

Because of this presentation as well as his personal carnal pursuits and occult interests, Davis was granted an honorary Warlock degree by Magus LaVey during a performance at The Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, CA.*, where Sammy wore the Baphomet pendant for the remainder of the show. ∞

* Which, besides the appealing name, for those "in the gnosis", also happened to have a trapezoidal roof; it all seemed infernal providence.

I first became acquainted with this film via a late-night broadcast, which itself seemed providential, and has remained memorable ever since.

Blood Bath
X A.S. Written & Directed by Joel M. Reed. Harve Presnell {Peter Brown}, Jack Somack {Ralph Lambert}, Curt Dawson, Doris Roberts {Mrs. Lambert}, Jerry Lacy {Don Savage}. Genre: Anthology, Horror, Occult.

A film cast sit down to dinner and exchange occult stories on fate while filming a horror movie. The director of the film is surrounded in rumors that he made a deal with The Devil for his success, and that he sired a son with Satan's daughter. He staunchly denies these claims, admitting to the crew that these are publicity stunts, and remains a complete naysayer to all things supernatural. Note the exceptional Satan bust in the background, as well as the black candles on the table - an overall pleasant environment conducive to entertaining macabre tales.

I. In an effort to sway his absolute denials, the first story deals with an assassin who becomes the victim of his own devices through a series of deadly synchronicities.

II. The second story deals with the power of intention and time travel. When a hen-pecked man goes to a gypsy for help, he is bestowed a magic coin that will make his wish come true. He is fascinated with a romantic notion of Napoleon-era military, and thus, is transported thereunto. However, he did not take into account the brutal conditions, and only part of him makes it back to his bed.

III. The third story is about an overly greedy landlord/loan shark that only cares for money, at the expense of poor residents living in a tenement. Having them evicted, a ghost pays him a visit and he receives an ironic, if not "karmic" retribution. Even though he is not afraid of ghosts, claiming nothing to fear for they cannot hurt you, the specter decides that if he can't scare him, he'll annoy him instead.

IV. Related by one of the lovely ladies at the table, chapter four deals with an unscrupulous martial artist who is charging exorbitant amounts of money to American students for cherished secrets. He strives to achieve the Tenth Level, but at the cost of his life. Limbless but not powerless, he soon learns the painful price of under-estimation.

V. The framing overall plot contains notable scenes including those from the film they are producing featuring a marriage ceremony wherein Peter Brown weds The Devil's daughter , when lifting the veil, it a very unexpected apparition. followed by a Sorcerer {also Peter Brown} invoking The Devil in a black chamber with a maiden strapped to a coffin {though not strapped to the coffin, the scene resembles The Church of Satan poster; remember, in this case, "Enjoy, don't destroy.}, but when his summoning actually conjures Him, he cowers in His presence, thus, meets with the spoils of pretentious weakness.

"Join Me in Hell, false believer!"

The Devil herein is portrayed as a fearsome goateed bald man with horns in a suit*. Upon inspecting his prize, by a telling kiss on the lips, knowingly exclaims,

"This is not a true maiden!" and dispatches her to Hell as well.

After dinner, it is time to go home for Mr. Brown... and feed "the boy". The first and final sections of the film are bookends to describe a rather ingeniously imaginative introduction and conclusion wherein in a tragic finale, there is actually some truth to the claims of his reputation after all...

* LaVeyan influence?

Hell Night
XVI A.S. Directed by Tom DeSimone. Written by Randy Feldman. Actors: Linda Blair {Marti Gaines}, Vincent Van Patten {Seth}, Peter Barton {Jeff Reed}, Kevin Brophy {Peter Bennett}, Jenny Neumann {May West}. Genre: Horror/Thriller.

Set amidst a wild party, four pledges are subjected to spending the night in Garth Manor* in order to join their respective fraternities and sororities. A lusciously nubile Linda Blair portrays 'Marti Gaines' {a "'satanic' mechanic", as it were...}, and her would-be companion Peter join another couple in braving the entire evening in a house where a familial slaughter occurred upon this twelfth anniversary - it is said that there is one surviving member still lurking somewhere on the bowels of the mansion. While Marti remains rather demure in her Victorian gown, the other two are real "party animals" so to speak, with he a surfer and she a 'party girl' {she even comes with her own hidden flask of Jack Daniels, and music}, even though admonished to not have any intoxicants for their stay, but they make the best of it anyway.

Following is the story told while passing through the gate and slowly walking towards the house.

The Garth Family Massacre {as told by 'Jeff Reed', Alpha Sigma Rho Fraternity President}:

"In 1850, Mr. Garth built this mansion with the gold pouring out of his mine. Since then, four generations of Garths have lived here, 'til twelve years ago. The last people to live in the house were Raymond and Lilian Garth, and their four children. Now Lilian Garth was a hopeless simpleton. About the only thing she was good for is child-bearing, and she didn't turn out to be too hot at that. The first child she bore 'Raymond' was a boy, a mongoloid boy they called 'Morris'. Now Morris brought great sorrow to The Garths, and they immediately set out to have another child, and they were soon cursed with a baby girl Suzanne. She was so hideously deformed, that it was impossible to tell by looking at her if she was male, or female. And to her father's immense disgust, she used to drag herself around the house with the help of her one... good... leg.

The Garths were very fanatical about their privacy. They didn't want to have to be dependent on anyone else, so they isolated themselves up here - that is why they never put in any modern utilities - there's no gas, no electricity, and no phone. So again they tried to have a child, and within the year the Garths added Margaret. But after awhile it soon became apparent that Margaret could neither hear, nor speak, nor see. But good 'ol Ray was determined, and decided to have one last go at it - so Lilian got pregnant again, and carried the child for 10 1/2 months, until finally she delivered a little 'dork' named Andrew. Andrew never spoke a word in his first fourteen years. He just made these grunts and groans, like the sounds of wild animals.

Now Raymond Garth remained isolated in this house for fourteen years with this freak show until he couldn't stand it anymore. Twelve years ago he assembled the entire family in the parlor. Then he took his dear wife Lily, and he strangled her to death. Then he took the mongoloid son Morris, and he bashed out whatever little brains he had with the fireplace poker. Then he took the deformed little Suzanne, and impaled her with the same poker. Then he took the deaf, dumb, and blind little Margaret, and he slit her throat. And then Raymond Garth got a rope, and hung himself to death**, leaving the cruelest punishment of all to his fourteen-year old 'dorked-out' son Andrew, who was forced to witness the slaughter of his entire family.

Now when the Police arrived, they discovered a note written by Raymond Garth describing the whole gruesome act. But strangely, they only discovered three dead bodies, and young Andrew was nowhere to be found. Oh, they searched the house as thoroughly as they could, but still only came up with three corpses. Andrew... Andrew is still believed by some to be living somewhere within this house."

Predictably, some of the other fraternity members have rigged the place with spooky noises and horror special effects, like a hologram of the zombified ghost of Raymond Garth, and a projection through a mirror. Doubts as to whether or not the remaining Garth Family member exists are abated when despite the pranks, strange occurrences still take place, and are individually killed, including the jokers. Seems the boy has grown into quite a monster, yet he still keeps the rest of the family deep in his subterranean chamber.

Even though Seth manages to escape over the well-spiked gate, running about town until stealing a car, no one believes him, so he absconds with some firearms from the local Police station ready to face the monster and save his friends, but to no avail. ∞

* Small bit of trivia: In two points of separation, 'Garth' is also the first name of the protagonist doppelganger character in Knight Rider's two 'Goliath' episodes, while Jean Hasselhoff {David Hasselhoff's sister} who goes as an uncredited party guest in this film, plays 'Rosemary' in KR episode 'Dead of Knight'.
** Ironic that this is how this character perishes at the hands of 'Andrew', considering the mocking hanging motion and goofy choking noise.

This House Possessed
XV A.S. Directed by William Wiard, Written by David Levinson. Actors: Parker Stevenson {Gary Straihorn}, Lisa Eilbacher {Sheila Moore}, Joan Bennett {Rag Lady}, Slim Pickens {Arthur Keene}, Shelley Smith {Tanya}. Genre: Thriller.

A pop singer suffers a nervous breakdown and decides to vacation out in the country, but not before recovering from a fall onstage at the last performance. He takes the attending nurse from the hospital he was recuperating at as a personal nurse, as they slowly fall in love at this remote mansion set in the outskirts of a small town.

The film begins in a rather humorous vain, as a couple decide to 'make out' on the lawn, at which point a hose extends out like a serpent to spray them down, like one would dogs.

The House is indeed alive with some presence, using the resident cameras as veritable eyes; so when the crooner and his love interest move in, they become the subject of rumors throughout the small town, apparently, there were some rather tragic deaths in the house's history, but when the local librarian comes to deliver some interesting documentation, she is invariably crushed to death at the front gates, like the great giant metal teeth of a hell mouth, followed by the manager {with a cutting reflection}, and even intermittent lover Tanya {"there's nothing like a hot blood shower to help get the cobwebs out"...} goes insane.

It is a sort of 'coming home' for Sheila, with the incessant sensation of deja-vu. Sheila reveals that she has no recollection of her existence prior to seven, but "The Rag Lady" knows*, a classic characterization of the 'crazy cat lady' type who lives in a shack filled with garbage... and cats. But she apparently knows too much for The House's liking, divulging her own involvement in its history, gets a scalding dip for her trouble.

The House also does not seem to like the fact that Gary and Lisa are to be married, and refuses to let them out, complete with locking doors, windows, freezing air conditioning, suffocating heat, slammed gates, breathing walls, and the serpentine hose. ∞

* Played by Joan Bennett, who is recognized as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard of Dark Shadows, in quite a role reversal, displaying quite a range.

The Unseen
XIV A.S. Directed & Written by Danny Steinmann (screenplay), Stan Winston (story). Actors: Barbara Bach {Jennifer Fast}, Sydney Lassick {Ernest Keller}, Karen Lamm {Karen Fast}, Douglas Barr {Tony Ross}, Lois Young {Vicki Thompson}, Lelia Goldoni {Virginia Keller}. Genre: Psychological Thriller.

Freelance reporter Jennifer Fast and friends travel to beautiful Solvang {a Danish total environment city} to cover an annual parade, but cannot unfortunately find any room and board available, until venturing into a museum run by a kindly curator, who offers them a stay at his hospitable home, where they meet his oddly shy wife. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. One by one, the girls begin disappearing into the fetters of the house. It seems there is another curious resident deep underneath the home, who has been helping himself to the lovely guests.

The first clue of a twisted situation is an unpleasant memory sequence experienced by Kellar in relation to his father.

On a perfectly dark and stormy night, once persuaded and locked into the basement by the deceptively harmless Keller, Jennifer finds her friends' remains, and something else lurking down there... which should be seen to be believed.

The truly disturbing elements transpire upon the discovery of exactly what the relation between Keller and his wife is, and that of the creature below. It is recommended that the reader view the film for the full impact. A deeply disturbing film. ∞

Disclosure Warning: This really is a "family affair", as it were, and the thing is the result of their union. Resembling Quasimodo, covered in filth and wallowing in garbage, deformed, grunting and gesticulating wildly, it takes a liking to Jennifer, yet the final confrontation between incestuous progenitors results in eugenicide, with the silent matriarch as the only survivor of the family. ∞

The Haunting of Helen Walker

{XXIX A.S. Directed by Tom McLoughlin}

The Haunting of Helen WalkerBased on The Turn of The Screw by Henry James, a new governess {Valerie Bertinelli} for two children arrives at a beautiful gothic mansion in the English countryside complete with a private lake. Although the Lord of the Manor will not be present, placing all responsibility upon her shoulders - he being a confirmed bachelor, and she a lonely young childless widow, she implores for the opportunity.

Upon her arrival, she spots a face in a blackened window, then later a man on top the tower, and the same lady by the lake. She encounters former Lord of the Manor Peter Quint gazing menacingly in at her from outside a window on a Sunday morning just before church, in which she had just mentioned that The Devil causes obstacles for the faithful on Sundays {the classic "Speak of The Devil and The Devil appears"}. His eyes flicker and long black hair frames a pale face, as Helen is terrified speechless.

The Lady by the lake is Miss Jessel attired in a black dress in which she drowned by suicide after Quint, her lover, fell from that tower. Ms. Walker seems to be sensitive to the ghostly apparitions therein, although head maid Mrs. Grose does not believe her at first, fearing Helen may be losing her mind, yet subsequent strange events become undeniable. The children Flora and Miles steadily become possessed by these shades and set their mischievousness upon their new American governess.

In the end, Emily Jessel and Peter Quint are reunited in a passionate embrace, and despite his beckoning to her join them, Helen falls back in fright. She attends to the children to free them of the clutches of this devilish rogue, whose reputation is regarded as a monster, lecher, carouser, not only by the resident maids {whom it is assumed he took liberties with}, but also the goodly groundskeeper Barnaby, who held the opinion that "god" struck him down {perhaps a wee bit of jealousy there?}. ∞

Invitation To Hell
XVIII A.S. Directed by Wes Craven. Starring Robert Urich, Joanna Cassidy, Susan Lucci, Soleil Moon Frye, Barrett Oliver.

Invitation To HellA scientist receives a promotion for his work on a thermal space suit that will be used for the exploration of Mars. Among its features are the identification of human and non-human beings, and laser capabilities; and relocates his family to work at a large computer corporation 'Micro-Digitech'. Upon arriving everyone seems to be talking about a health club that "anybody who is anybody" is a part of.* Turns out the health club is actually a cult operated by a demoness**, which inducts members {or their 'souls'} through a portal to Hell, while their bodies remain on earth. The symbol of the cult consists of three flames somewhat resembling a fiery 666 rising up from The Abyss.

Despite repeated admonitions, he refuses to join, considering it the height of pretension, but when he finally discovers its dark secret, he realizes that his family are no longer themselves, beginning with the attempted disposal of the beloved family dog, but with the help of his secretary and her husband who runs the local animal shelter, who despite being in perfect health, was demanded that the dog be put down. He knows what he must now do, and enter those forbidden doors into the nether regions, donned in his space suit to rescue his wife and children.***

Despite several attempts at seduction, temptation, and in the end, a final battle, he uses the space suit's various tools to rescue his family, trapped in a hellish doppelganger-like realm. ∞

* Much of the footage shot in the 'club' is none other than 'Rocky's Racquet World', later renamed 'Rocky's Health Club'.
** The first major confrontational scene is a good indication, as she immolates an occupant who 'accidentally' attempted to run her over, yet she arights immediately as if by levitation.
*** You may recognize Barrett Oliver as 'Buddy' from Knight Rider 'Knight of The Phoenix', and Soleil Moon Frye 'Chrissy' from 'Punky Brewster'}.

The Slayer
XVI A.S. Directed & Written by J.S. Cardone, Bill Ewing (screenplay). Acting Sarah Kendall {Kay}, Frederick Flynn {Eric}, Carol Kottenbrook {Brooke}, Alan McRae {David}.

Two showbiz couples Kay, Eric, Brooke, & David arrive via plane {with a 'questionable' pilot} on a deserted island for a "vacation", yet there is no outside communication thereon, and no transportation off the isle for at least two weeks, plus they have to walk a mile to their destination {not so bad, but for an erstwhile 'vacation'?}, which from the outside, appears to be an abandoned beach house, sort of haunted looking, not too bad, and with a rustic charm - but upon entering, is actually quite accommodating, with a generous supply of amenities, including a nice selection of liquor, food, and cigarettes.

Kay is a surrealist artist who has been haunted by nightmares for years, in a seemingly precognitive, almost oneiromantic succession of incidents manifesting and realized by deja vu, yet no one believes her warnings or sensations of dread. She even had painted a couple of locations there, but to no avail. One by one her friends meet with a grisly demise, from impalement to a hanging decapitation, to a hooking and drowning. A random fisherman eviscerating fish on the beach gets his skull split by an oar.

Amidst a raging storm, finally finding herself alone, it turns into a latch-ditch effort of survival as the horror in her dream comes to life like a 'tulpa' {thought-form} that ultimately fulfills her terror. Quite an impressive materialization indeed. ∞

Silver Bullet
XIX A.S. Directed by Daniel Attias, Written by Stephen King. Starring Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Megan Follows.

With the help of his uncle and sister, a young boy in a wheelchair {the "Silver Bullet"} from a small provencal town discovers who the monster is who has been slaughtering local residents under the full moon. Someone that would be least expected, and ironically, cross necklaces are forged into a literal silver bullet to combat the beast.

In a touching scene, 'Uncle Red' makes him a modified motorcycle/wheelchair that he takes out to a rural bridge to set off fireworks when he first confronts the lycanthrope, launching a rocket right into his eye, which leads Marty and Jane on the trail, while the creature remains on their scent.

Despite the efforts of some of the townspeople {who really had no idea what they were facing, and are torn apart as a consequence}, it is up to the trio to face the bloody menace, which actually concludes in a rather compassionate finale. ∞

The Satanic Rites of Dracula
The Satanic Rites of Dracula

A perfect combination of a vampire movie & Satanic thriller, Christopher Lee makes another memorable appearance as the fiend of the Night. There is quite a plan behind this particular world domination. Dracula recognizes the power of viruses, thereby commissioning a "defrocked" scientist to develop another 'black plague' to decimate the earth of its living inhabitants.

The dark disciples involved are essentially 'The 4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse' who will bring about mass destruction.

Blood Rituals, foreboding ceremonies, in which the hoary hosts of Hell are summoned, & a black altar upon which a nude virgin reposes ever so seductively, at The High Priestess' bidding, a beautiful round black Baphomet table, around which the cultists gather is present here - in sort of a "Knights of Satan" manner.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula is an 'occult'-classic that should be in every Satanic horror fan's collection.

The Werewolf Vs. The Vampire Woman
{V A.S. Plata Films. A.K.A. 'Werewolf Shadow', 'La Noche de Walpurgis'. Directed by León Klimovsky Writers: Paul Naschy (screenplay) and Hans Munkel (screenplay). Starring Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Barbara Capell, Andrés Resino, Yelena Samarina. Made in Spain. Genre: Horror.}

Elvira and Genevieve are two luscious American women who travel to Hungary to investigate the murders of a midieval "Countess Wendessa" for their thesis, said to be a vampire and "Satan's favorite Mistress", and I can see why - dressed in a black veil and dress with horned hennen and widow's peak, somewhat reminiscent of Mellificent. The legend is obviously based upon the factual Countess Elizabeth Bathory, with some diabolical blood rites thrown in for good measure. During a remarkable flashback, a peasant girl is lain upon a stone altar / sepulchre, as the Countess partakes from a horn goblet she grasps from a robed figure, probably a portrayal of Bathory's henchman 'Thorko' {her 'Renfield', as it were}. A rendition of The Sabbatic Baphomet is displayed upon the wall, as well as a pentagram. Here, the sinematic devil cults are linked to vampires who give The Devil His due, as "Damned souls who walk the earth, preying upon the blood of humans".

The girls arrive at the abandoned Wendessa castle where they are met by Waldemar Daninsky, a writer working on his next book, who holds his own secrets - it just so happens that he is a werewolf, thus 'accidentally' awakened from his deathly slumber when a silver bullet is removed from the carcass by two curious disbelieving coroners, who become his first victims. He struggles with his condition by isolating himself, even being chained down in the castle dungeon at one point. Asked to stay for a few nights, He and Elvira eventually fall in lust, where she and Genevieve also meet his mentally-disturbed sister who skulks about in the shadows, at one point fondling and strangling Elvira.

They eventually hike out to the Countess' tomb where almost predictably, during the exhumation, one of them cuts herself, whose blood surreptitiously falls upon the corpse, and thus, Wendessa lives again! Hunting with another lovely vampiress cohort, and just in time for Walpurgisnacht, with slow-motion movements accompanied by eerie musick, her veils blown by phantom winds, she returns to her "ritual crypt" to summon her Lord Satan to rule the world together. Another memorable scene includes the two of them partaking of a goblet filled with Elvira's blood, which was interestingly drawn with a ritual 'sacrificial' blade, instead of directly from the neck - once satisfied, they happily dance in the moonlight hand in hand.

Also encountered was the Contessa's henchman, now a zombie resembling a Templar from Tombs of The Blind Dead, run through with a cross. Elvira is also desired by a local peasant who is eventually torn apart by Daninsky. When Elvira's paramour arrives from the states, he is chained in the crypt, destined to be food for the immortals. Everyone seems to want Elvira! Finally, Vampire Wendessa meets Werewolf Daninsky.

This film exudes a pleasantly eerie atmosphere throughout, with some delightful nudity alluding to Le Fanu's Carmilla during one vamperotic scene combined with feeding upon the nubile Elvira. The Werewolf Vs. The Vampire Woman was released in Year V in Spain, dubbed in English for American audiences in Year VII. Similar to Hammer presentations, but with a uniquely haunting ambiance combined with alluring sexuality.


(Written by Tracy Torme. Directed by Janet Greek. Starring Tim Daly (Jeff Mills; as Timothy Daly), Kelly Preston (Miranda Reed), Rick Rossovich (Derek Clayton), Audra Lindley (Mrs. White), Anthony Crivello (Aldys), Diana Bellamy (Grace Woods), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Lt. Lee). Genre: Thriller)

"You don't know what you're getting into, friend..."

Disclaimer: First of all, it is important to mention that these types of films do not necessarily represent actual Satanic philosophy and practices, but are appreciated for entertainment value.

A lawyer becomes enamored of a beautiful girl named Miranda after rescuing her from an abusive boyfriend. He later finds out she is actually a witch, sought after by a murderous coven. She appears to have "Samanthitis" - that is, a witch falling in love with a "muggle", as it were (see Bewitched & Harry Potter). They appear on several occasions attempting to reintegrate her into the cult. Among them, a "Mrs. White", a kindly grandmother who harasses and frames him.

He eventually seeks the aid of a survivalist friend with the likely name of "Brock", who operates a veritable compound, but is no match for the power of the cadre of cultists. Seems he received the brain blender treatment. Despite all of their desperate attempts, they cannot fully fend off the evildoers who consistently prove to be too clever and potent at every turn.

He begins hallucinating as they appear to him; in one remarkable scene, a Warlock levitates his little Porsche and bursts out the windows. He finally visits the stately mansion where they congregate, and is attacked by a Martial Artist cultist; also displayed therein, an impressive ritual chamber decorated with a Sabbatic Baphomet and pentagram upon the floor. As he flees therefrom, he finds his little car torched.

Finally, in search for his dream girl, he arrives at a beach during a ceremony where he is lured to be the night"s "sacrifice" (who had to come forth willingly}. A discernible The Devils Rain influence is detected here. Thus confined, the final scene contains some very interesting and rather impressively unexpected twists, and surprisingly without the demoralization process typical of these presentations. The cult prevails herein, and the chain of events continue...

The film has a rather "made for TV" vibe at times, but can be quite engaging nevertheless, really picking up when the resident Witches and Warlocks begin their nefarious influence upon his mind. The movie does have some cult value overall, and holds the drama well.

Dracula Unleashed

Dracula Unleashed
Viacom / New Media / CD Rom
Starring Bill Williamson / Kieth Russ / Loise Menkert / Jay Nickelson / Nichole Peterene / Jim McGivern / John Arthur Olson

The presentation is about to begin. Darken your chamber, light the candles, burn the incense, & place your thinking cap on. The music grows into a choral tidal wave, singing "Mighty Empress", as the stars' names appear, & fade into a sanguinous abyss of darkness.

Based upon Bram Stoker's Dracula, 'Dracula Unleashed' is the only DVD interactive video game on the market as of yet, & impressive it is! The experience is like interacting with a movie, the scenes, & the characters.

You are "Alexander Morris", brother to Texan Quincy Morris, who was mysteriously murdered, & you are here to seek justice.

You have been selected by the elite "Hades Club" to be a member of this esteemed, though secretive organization, likened Sir Francis Dashwood's Hellfire Club. It's leader is a "Devlin Goldacre", a real shit-disturber, who mocks Morris relentlessly.

Morris travels about London in a cortege' with a really polite driver, searching for the Lord of The Undead, & encounters many travails along the way. One's investigative pursuits must be arranged in a particular way, so that a string of clues will lead to the final confrontation. Morris contains several objects in his satchel, which prove useful in various situations. Watch out for lunatics!

Periodically, Morris writes in his journal, which also contains the names & addresses of pertinent individuals & locations.

There are many artful backgrounds, dark oboesque music, & pretty good acting & costumings. Strongly Recommended.

The Dark Crystal
The Dark Crystal

Suspend disbelief as you are ushered into this wondrous world, created by Technomancer Jim Henson, who manifests his puppets into existence. It is this same ingenuity that brings these creatures to life.
Into the fantastical world of The Dark Crystal...

The Skekses rule here, likened to ceremonial Magicians, drawing Power from the glowing Dark Crystal to celebrate & preserve their rule over the land.

The Mystics, sloth-like beings ,who inspire pathos, resemble natural Magicians of the earth, who are also the caretakers of a gelfling, who is basically an elf-like creature, who is prophesied to deliver the world form the "tyranny" of the "evil" Skekses, a-la Moses, a-la Nazarene.

There are so many wonderful beings herein - creatures resembling mutated rabbits on stilts {who provide transportation for the Gelflings}, Podlings {a slave race serving The Skekses, also providing with essence to preserve youth for The Skekses - indeed, nothing is wasted!}, & a little pet called Fizzgig, who is basically a small hairball with teeth.

We meet Okra, who provides some essential clues for the Gelfling quest.

The Dark Crystal is a magnificent fantasy-adventure, providing with many Magical evocations & fanciful delights!

The Complete series

Coming in only second to The Addams Family in core essential comedic series in My estimation*, this presentation continually brings forth much amusement and joy. Box art features the beloved characters colorized in the dungeon, although most fortunately, the episodes themselves are rendered in original black & white as they should be, and just the way I like it. Featuring Herman & Lily on the covers for the first season, with Grandpa & Eddie for the second, the dungeon crypt opens in a tri-fold presentation to discs that are "blood red", and so is the logo, which is nicely embossed on the box.

There is an extra option to view episode "Family Portrait" in color, although some of the pastels can honestly get kind of irritating. Also included is the previously un-aired pilot starring the painfully gorgeous Phoebe as the proposed matriarch, bearing a striking resemblance to Morticia, and who might have been better preserved as a cousin, perhaps. Despite her beauty, her delivery falls flat, especially in comparison to Lily.

Of note, very pleased to see Disc six featuring BOTH films "Munsters Go Home" and "Munsters' Revenge"; plus "America's First Family of Fright" featurette {the history of the show & its societal relevance}, & biography presentations on Fred Gwynne: "More Than A Munster" {from Harvard to Herman}, Yvonne DeCarlo: "Guilded Lily" {from dancer to beauty pageants, to actress in such films as the temptress 'Salome, Where She Danced', to the '10 Commandments'}, Al Lewis: "Forever Grandpa" {from roustabout to burlesque & vaudeville (sounds rather familiar...), to political activist & restaurant proprietor}, each displaying the remarkable lives of these truly exceptional actors, when actors were actually interesting besides the roles they played, and truly deserved fame & fortune.

Visual and sound quality is flawless, which can be no less for this timeless treasure. So drop by whenever you like to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, there are many tricks and treats, and prepare for much fun & fright!

* It seems that while The Addams Family concentrates more on a sophisticated level of humor, The Munsters appeals to a more child-like sensibility. More here.

Mockingbird Lane [NBC]

Mockingbird LaneMockingbird LaneHaving been a Munsters fantom since time immemoriam {which is only eclipsed by a hair's breadth by The Addams Family}, I decided to inspect this latest media offering presented as a Halloween special. Immediately, I was pleased by the elegant environment displayed {apparently, this version takes place in San Francisco, evidenced by the Golden Gate Bridge in the background of the mansion}, although the characters are lacking in said character with the exception of Grandpa {here portrayed by comic Eddie Izzard}, as a truly evil blood-thirsty patriarch; being Count Dracula, & a product of "The Old Country", after all - while the rest of the characters are lackluster, though Marilyn fits the bill perfectly.

This production seems an attempt to "normalize" the family, perhaps to make it somewhat more "believable". Though the point of the series is that these are a clan of monsters who happen to act like most everyone else.

Visually, where the true punchline is, it's almost like The Munsters are being portrayed somewhat more like The Addams Family; Herman isn't even tall, and does not resemble Frankenstein whatsoever, is sans the distinctive "dimple" {scar}, as Lily refers to it, on his forehead; and looks more like a normal, everyday guy* with some severe seutchers, including a zip-up heart cicatrice. Lily is portrayed as a gorgeous woman, but more like an Aphroditic succubus rather than a Gothic succubus at all; although I did appreciate the scene wherein she assumes her dress via the industrious spiders.

While containing some angular features, the actor portraying Eddie {in a boyscout uniform** instead of his suit} is not even wolf-like or vampire-like at all, but happens to transform into a werewolf uncontrollably, as he is coming to terms with his lycanthropic nature. Yet to take his place underneath the stairs, Spot only makes a brief appearance at the end.

Only Grandpa knows best here, and is actually kind of Satanic at times, both in dress and philosophically, in the sense that he regularly reminds others in the family of their predatorial roots and nature, and not to deny who they really are. Along with his innate powers to hypnotize, transform, & dematerialize, he also employs psychological persuasion {Lesser Magic} upon his victims. As to his splendid accouterments, he reminds this writer of Gary Oldman's portrayals of the Count from Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola, specifically at the castle {the ornate red robe is reminiscent}, as well as his transformation into an impressive bat demon greatly resembling that in Coppola's version. This character is worthy of 'resurrection'.

Moderately amusing though it is, for what it is, there is no need to worry or complain about this presentation, as it does not compare to the superior original series whatsoever, it certainly does not replace it in any way {same goes for any and all other 'remakes' for that matter}, as tends to be the case, just merely continue enjoying the original series without interruption. ∞

* Shades of "Just Another Pretty Face".
** Reminds Me of Pugsley Addams' phase from "Morticia and the Psychiatrist".

The Hunger
Starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon / Horror - Sci-Fi, 1983

The HungerA sweetly subtle tale of two contemporary vampire lovers, preying together upon the world's mortal feed

This film is a sensual - feast of Dark Erotica. Blood & Sex, with an Aristocratic feel.

Still, a tragic element is all too apparent. Together for barely only 200 years, a frightful condition suddenly besets John {Bowie}; an undead Progeria, & nothing seems to stop his degeneration, until he is sadly laid to rest in an eternal catatonia, amongst Miriam's {Deneuve} other past loves.

When a revolutionary doctor {Sarandon, of The Rocky Horror Picture Show}, work in this Progeriac field shows promise, she is awestruck by John's condition, & is compelled to seek out this mysterious aging man, until the trail leads to Miriam's door, whee she is swept up into a whirlwind of seduction & passion with her.

Of special note, the music video performance of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus intermittant with a rabid monkey introduces the movie in a darkly sinister & cruelly antiseptic manner.

The Hunger concludes when poetic justice falls upon Miriam, in a moving scene which really sinks in.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

The iconoclast has created his own kingdom according to his precise design, at the same time providing a wonderful world of reality / fantasy crossover for children of all ages.

This movie is indeed Satanic, & let Me explain why. Each participant harbors rather rotten personality traits, either insensitivity towards others, Letharginator neurosis, obnoxiousness, excessive gluttony, &/or disobedience. Total self-uncontrol. And the parents were spineless. Basically, they are all brats - except for one. The chosen one. He who demostrates deportment & consideration.

I Am reminded of Dr. LaVey's sign on the bookshelf in the purple parlour, "Do not remove books from shelves. Anyone caught removing books from shelves, will have their hands amputated." This is in fact, the exremely simular way in which Mr. Wonka operates his factory. Unfortunately for them, they did not bother to really read the disclaimer at the beginning of the tour. The question is, would it have mattered anyway?

For about the first 45 minutes or so, we become acquainted with the characters' predispositions towards the afore-mentioned traits.

There's Varuca Salt, an unsufferable brat devoid of manners. There's a TV-loving cowboy kid whose entire existence seems to be centered around the boob-tube. There's a gum-chewing girl who does not listen to advice when given, & then there's a German boy who can't get enough food - whatever it is. In every case, they exhibit irresponsible & just annoying tendencies that need to be abated.
Every one of these, after being tested, meets with an appropriate & poetic fate, all commandeered by the resident God, Willy Wonka.

The infamous "Golden Ticket," the instrument of their greed, brought them to The Chocolate Factory, but this is natural, for what candy-loving child can resist a trek into the wonderful world of Wonka?

Indeed, all of the events leading up to the gates seemed planned.

Within the hallowed walls of that chocomantium, there are total environments at every turn, each with their respective rides & attractions. Mr. Wonka makes a wonderful host; animated & witty. We get to see the "Umpa-Loompahs" from "Umpahland", & become familiar with their lore - it seems that kind Mr. Wonka took them in because they were being preyed upon by "Pernicious Knids", & other marvelous creatures from Umpahland. The Umpahloompahs provide moralistically compelling questions to the viewer with delightful little dances & songs.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is a semi-musical & comical production, providing interesting insights & alternative techniques of moral instruction.


Church | Summon | Church | Dractionary | Grimoires | Gallery | Serenades | Diary | Web | Pope | Webrings | Link | Introduction | Order | Sign