Friday, 31 July 2015

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Kino Lorber to release Vincent Price's Dr Goldfoot films on Blu-ray in October

Yep! You heard it right, Kino Lorber will be releasing 1965's Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and its 1966 sequel, Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs on Blu-ray in the US on 12 October.

No word as yet on the specifics or the extras, but let's hope Kino are wise enough to include the Shindig episode, The Weird World of Dr Goldfoot, which featured some musical numbers to attract the teenyboppers, and the Italian release of Girl Bombs, Le spie vengono dal semifreddo, which was a hugely different film to the AIP release, and a vehicle for Italian comics Franco and Ciccio.

To get you in the mood, here's that infamous Shindig episode in full, which comes from my dedicated Vincent Price YouTube channel.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

From A Whisper to a Scream (1987) | Vincent Price's final horror film on Blu-ray

Back in 1980, The Monster Club, starring Vincent Price, became the final nail in the coffin for horror anthology-styled chillers that had peaked in the 1970s in a series of Amicus-produced frighteners.

Seven years on, however, first-time director Jeff Burr tried his hand at resurrecting the genre in From a Whisper to a Scream (aka The Offspring), and even convinced retired horror movie icon Vincent Price to appear.

Now, the film, which ended up becoming Price’s final role in a horror movie, has been has been given a Blu-ray release from Scream Factory in the US, loaded with specially-commissioned extras, including two audio commentaries and two feature-length documentaries.

On the night that his serial killer niece Katherine (Martine Beswick) is to be executed, historian Julian White (Vincent Price) reveals to a journalist (Susan Tyrell) the sinister secrets of his hometown, Oldfield, Tennessee. But as the town’s murderous legacy is exposed by his chilling accounts – about a necrophiliac (Clu Gulager) and the monstrous offspring that results in his coupling with his dead sister; a centuries-old hermit (Harry Caesar) with life-prolonging powers; a ruthless carnival leader (Rosalind Cash) who uses voodoo on those who dare to leave her troupe; and a Yankee soldier (Cameron Mitchell) who discovers a legion of children with an appetite for murder – White doesn’t realise that he is about the write the final chapter of Oldfield’s horrible history… in his own blood!


Shot on location in Dalton, Georgia and in LA by Burr (who was just 23 at the time) and a group of friends in 1985 and 1986, this low-budget flick was released in the US as The Offspring and everywhere else as From A Whisper to a Scream (the title was changed for the DVD and Blu-ray releases).

In securing Price to appear, the now famous story goes that Burr brazenly rolled up at Price’s LA home, where he was invited inside by the polite Price, who read the script, but later declined to appear until Max Von Sydow's agent convinced him otherwise. Price, wearing his own clothes and a favourite vintage jacket, recorded his sequences in two days at the same studio in Venice, California where he had filmed his classic Poe films with Roger Corman – who ended up visiting Price, along with Hazel Court, Price’s two-time co-star, while he was on set. This incident is well covered in the Blu-ray extra, as is Price's expletive-laden ship-to-shore telephone call to Burr over changes in the script that was to turn in character into a hook-handed, disfigured Dr Phibes character.

For many Price fans, myself included, Vinnie’s scenes in the movie are the only reason for visiting Oldfield. It’s great to see our childhood hero back in the genre that had made him famous, and its nice to hear his iconic voice once more growling out some suitably menacing dialogue. But this wasn't the right vehicle for the veteran horror actor. It was exactly the kind of ‘gore’ picture, as he called them, that he disliked. Not surprisingly, Price later regretted taking on the role (he said he only did it for the money). It's a rather sad cameo, not unlike his brief appearance in another low-budget flick, the 1988 action comedy, Dead Heat. It was only by sheer luck that Tim Burton would give Price the fitting swansong that his Merchant of Menace persona so richly deserved, in the short film Vincent and in Edward Scissorhands.
Thank you card from director Jeff Burr


The Scream Factory/Shout! US Blu-ray release is based on a new HD transfer, presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. All previous releases of the film were cursed by being dark and grainy, so this is a huge improvement. I was lucky to get mine direct from Scream, so I got a nice little thank you card from director Burr as well as a film strip, featuring Anglo Rossitto

The special features include:
Return to Oldfield: The Making of Whisper to a Scream. This labour of love documentary contains lots of new and old interviews with the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes footage, and never-before-seen images of Vincent Price (including his letters to Burr). While you may not like the movie, Burr and his dedicated team should be praised for staying true to their purpose in giving the Hollywood bigwigs a run for their money. Their slick slice of American Gothic may not be perfect, but you can feel the love that went into making their dreams come true. This is the reason I got this release, and it's worth every pence/cent. It even made me want to watch the film again, and not just Price's bits.

Original film cell from A Whisper to a Scream
A Decade Under the Innocence: Adventures in Super 8 Filmmaking This one explores Burr and his Dalton, Georgia pals’ lifelong obsession for the film medium. Monster Kids will relate to this one (I know I did).
• Audio commentary with writer/director Jeff Burr. From script to screen, Burr leads us through the whole process of getting his film made, and talks about working with Price and Cameron Mitchell. Although packed with insight, there's a bit of repetition in the documentary.
• Audio commentary with writer/producer Darin Scott and writer Courtney Joyner.
• Animated Gallery. Burr comments (with lots of emotion) on the film’s production stills, press reviews and behind-the-scenes shots, including personal letters from Vincent Price.
• Theatrical trailer and TV spots.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cover art for Kino Lorber's The Oblong Box Blu-ray release unearthed!

Here is the cover art for the 20 October Blu-ray/DVD release in the US from Kino Lorber of The Oblong Box. Interestingly, according to The Vincent Price Exhibit curator Rick Squires, it wasn't the first time that American International Pictures had used the same illustration. As you can see below, it was used as pre-publicity for the US release of Witchfinder General (The Conqueror Worm).

Kino's Oblong Box release will include an audio commentary from film historian Steve Haberman and one very exciting extra that I have never seen before, the 10-minute 1969 World Wide Adventures short Annabel Lee narrated by Vincent Price. Transferred from an original 35mm print, this has come from the personal collection of Price fan and Drive In Super Monster-Rama head honcho, George Reis. Now this is something worth checking out.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Drive-In Super Monster-Rama to host a Vincent Price Festival of Horror in September

I just love the cool retro newspaper-style flyer for this September's Drive-In Super Monster-Rama retro shock weekender in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. And look at that line-up dedicated to Vincent Price: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, Tomb of Ligeia and The Haunted Palace? Wow! For more info, check out the Facebook event page (here)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Scream and Scream Again (1970 | Check out this fab retro ad campaign poster

This great ad comes from the original American International Pictures campaign pressbook that was given out to film distributors to help sell the 1970 sci-fi-horror-thriller starring Vincent Price, and featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

This coming November, the Vincent Price London Legacy Tour will screen the cult film as part of the Master of Menace, Lover of Life event at Barts Pathology Museum on Friday 6 November, which will be preceeded by a special presentation on Vincent's life by his daughter, Victoria. Won't you join us?

Book Now or visit the Eventbrite Page

Sunday, 19 July 2015

House of 1000 Dolls (1967) | Harry Alan Towers' exploitation thriller gets a HD makeover

Also getting a HD release on July 21 from Kino Lorber in the US is the 1967 Euro-thriller, House of 1000 Dolls.

Here are the SHOCKING FACTS discovered within the...
Two professional illusionists Felix Manderville (Vincent Price) and his wife Rebecca (Martha Hyer) help abduct unsuspecting female victims with their magic tricks for an international ring of white slave traders. While vacationing in Tangiers, American businessman (George Nader) and his wife (Anne Smyrner) are drawn into a kidnapping plot when their friend (Maria Rohm) becomes the underground ring's latest victim. Running against time, they only have a couple of days to find her before she's gone for good…

 Produced by B-movie mogul Harry Alan Towers and written under his usual pseudonym Peter Welbeck, this guilty pleasure of a thriller was directed by Jeremy Summers (The Vengeance of Fu Manchu). For a full review of the film, read my UK DVD release review here.

The Kino Lorber release features a re-mastered widescreen print of the film and includes an audio commentary with David Del Valle and cult filmmaker David DeCoteau. There's no word yet on whether any other extras will accompany the release, or if the rarely-seen Spanish version will be included. And it will be interesting to see how it compares with the excellent 2003 Mediumrare release or the German import release.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Vincent Price TV Gold | Playing it for laughs on The Carol Burnett Show (1974)

On the big screen Vincent Price may have been the Merchant of Menace, but when it came to the small screen, the horror movie icon couldn’t resist showing off his comic side in a variety of US TV shows from the 1950s to the 1970s.

His guest stints on The Carol Burnett Show in 1974 are a real hoot, and he gets the play a number of crazy characters in skits alongside Burnett and show regulars Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner – and Joan Rivers. My favourite has to be The Walnuts, a spoof on The Waltons. But I also love the way he game for a laugh alongside Burnett’s obnoxious girl scout, Alice. Check them out here.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Madhouse (1974) | Vincent Price’s Dr Death gets re-mastered in HD!

UPDATE FROM KINO: 'It has come to our attention that Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray of MADHOUSE (1974) has some errors in the audio synchronization. We are reviewing the master materials now, and determining how significant the problem is. We will also determine whether the dialogue can be re-synched without compromising the timing of the music and sound effects, since the issue appears to be in the source elements. Based on what we find, Kino Lorber will decide whether or not to re-author the disc and set up an exchange program for the first-pressing discs. Thank you for your patience and your continued support.'

From Kino Lorber comes the US HD Blu-ray and DVD release on 21 July of the 1974 AIP chiller, Madhouse, starring those masters of the macabre, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Robert Quarry give terrifying performances to die for in this diverting little chiller.

After being accused and aquitted of his fiancée's murder, successful horror film star Paul Toombes (Price) is put in an institution. Years later he returns to his former role of Dr. Death in a new TV series in London, working with his writer friend Herbert Flay (Cushing). Paul realises his past has come back to haunt him, however, when the murders carried out by Dr Death are replicated in real life on the cast and crew...

Featuring a newly re-mastered widescreen print of the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the Kino release will also include an audio commentary from David Del Valle, a new featurette, and trailers. No word on what the featurette will entail or if it will be available to play in multi-region players (Amazon says its multi format, however). Cross fingers it will be better than the bare bones, cut-price UK DVD release from Altitude Film Distribution.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Vincent Price TV Gold | Trapper John, MD (1982)

In the first of a new strand on my blog, Vincent Price TV Gold, here's a chance to see some of the legendary actor's many TV appearances - from game shows and variety programmes to classic comedies and vintage dramas. If you have one you want to include, do let me know.

This week, it's The Ransom, the seventh episode from the fourth season of the M.A.S.H. spin-off, Trapper John MD, in which a bitter former hospital employee takes Riverside hostage and demands $1million ransom. In this one, Vincent plays a patient called Baxter Garwood.