The Tuesday Top 3: Cults!

 

 

Greetings Insomniacs! Welcome to the Tuesday Top 3! Just about every week I count down my top three movies, characters, or something that equals three. We’ve covered Apes and Bugs so far! This time around Cult movies! And by that, I mean devil cults. This is one of, to me, the scariest subgenres of the horror world. Because these things exist! Maybe not quite to the extreme of these movies but they are out there! Let’s see what three scare me the most…

  1. ROSEMARY’S BABY

Now, I am betting some of you are saying, “Why isn’t this number 1?” I am actually a late bloomer for Rosemary’s Baby. I remember it being on when I was kid, and thought it was too long and boring. I wanted monsters back then. And a slower developing story was just over my head. As an adult, I finally sat down and watched it. It had been a few viewings now and it is chilling.

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The story is so creepy! Rosemary and her husband move into their new apartment. Rosemary finds herself pregnant. Her husband starts getting all these cool offers. And the other tenants in the building make this movie so much fun. I think the reveal at the end feels a touch out of place with the rest of the film but it is a lot of fun. It’s neat watching Rosemary slowly peel back the layers of her new life, and the horror that she finds herself in. Mia Farrow leads an all star cast. This movie grows up me more each time.

  1. THE SEVENTH VICTIM

This one might not be as well-known as the other films on the list but it still leaves chilled. I do not know if it is because of the movie or the events surrounding it. It’s a 1943 horror noir film released by RKO. Val Lewton produced it. It’s an eerie film. Jean Brooks plays Jacqueline a young missing woman. Her sister comes searching for her and discovers that she is captive of a cult. She reveals the cult after she is saved, and the cult condemn her to death, being the seventh victim to do so. It’s actually a pretty dark and depressing movie compared to some other ones that I have seen from that time.

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Charles O’Neal who co-wrote the script based it on a satanic society he had met in New York City. The story of Jean Brooks is a sad one. She had appeared in many films for RKO. That came to an end after a series of drunken public appearances. She made her last film in 1948. She fell into a state of alcoholism and passed away at the age of 47 in 1963. She was great in this film but totally disappeared by 1948. For years, no one even knew what her fate was. This actually mirrors some of the movie, and Jean’s character towards the end of the movie. Still a dark, eerie movie to watch.

 

  1. RACE WITH THE DEVIL

That brings us to this week’s number 1. And it is a dozy! Not only is this a great drive-in thrill ride, but the story keeps you in your seat, the edge of it! We have some folks camping in their RV and one night they see a cult sacrifice not far from where their RV is parked. They are discovered and spend the rest of the film trying to escape the cultists. Peter Fonda leads a great cast. I had seen this for the first time as part of the Secret Cinema group I was a part of on Yahoo, and the movie just blew me away. This was my introduction to great 70s drive-in fun. And what a tagline, “When you race with the devil, you better be faster than Hell!” Love it!

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And the cultists will stop at nothing to get them! Motorcycles, climbing on the RV! Old folks at the different camping spots! It’s just crazy. You don’t know who to trust and everything just goes to hell, literally! The ending is by far one of my favorites, and leaves you with a chill up your spine. I would love to actually see this at a drive-in and I am putting the call out there to all the drive-ins left, get this movie to play this summer! We do a lot of camping. And the night that they see the sacrifice reminds me of nights we’ve had sitting around the fire and talking. Who knows who is at the next site over, and what are they doing?

That’s it for this week’s Top 3! Next time around we will be looking at my top 3 Dinosaur movie picks! Start thinking about yours! As always, thanks for taking the drive-in wherever you are!

 

Would love to hear from you! Email us at monstersandmemories@hotmail.com if there is a subject you would like us to cover for the Tuesday Top 3 or just to say hi!

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The Tuesday Top 3: BUGS!

Welcome back Insomniacs to the Tuesday Top Three! This week we are looking at our favorite creepy, crawly, large, and small bugs of the screen! And up until just before I was writing this, I thought I had my three picks locked in. I then saw some pictures from a fellow Kaiju friend, Scott Martin and reminded me of something and knocked a movie out of the top three! See, this list thing is only going to get tougher every week! Let’s dig into it! Starting with number 3…

 

  1. KAMACURAS FROM SON OF GODZILLA!

We talked last week a little bit about my love of Godzilla. And we may see a lot of kaiju influence in these lists. Son of Godzilla is a good film. I got to view it a few years ago during It Came From Schenectady’s Godzilla Kaiju Battle, and it had been a good while since I saw it. It seemed to be on a lot when I was a kid and then disappeared. It’s one of the few Showa era films not readily available to the masses. I was lucky enough to find a copy at a show not long ago, completing my Godzilla collection. And watching the above clip, brought back some memeories. What a fun time to be a kid on Saturday afternoons watching that unfold. Let’s take a better look at it!

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Kamacuras is scary! It is a giant praying mantis thing that terrorizes Minilla’s egg, and there is more than one! They always gave me the hibby jibbies! I don’t want to touch them, and I don’t want them to come near me with their spiky claws. And they can fly! So, where are you going to hide from these things! And here’s a fact, their roar is the same as Ebirah, the Sea Monster! Luckily, Godzilla takes care of these big-eyed nasties! And he doesn’t even need any raid!

  1. THEM!

When I first got a DVD player, this was one of the first movies I bought when I discovered so many of the giant monster movies I had grown up with were available. I was overwhelmed by how many were out there to get. And I made it my mission to collect every movie that ever appeared on WLVI’s Creature Double Feature. And I have done pretty well with that list. A few still elude me. But this is one of the most of the most influential movies of my childhood. If anyone ever wanted to check out some giant monster movies of the past, I would put this one near the top of the list.

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The Ants in this movie was scary! Kudos to the sound design led by Francis J. Scheid for the terror he created, signaling the arrival of these giant ants. You heard them before you saw them! And you didn’t want to see them. I can still see the one coming over the hill for the big reveal. So darn cool! J. Leslie Asher, Dick Smith, and Robert Turner are uncredited for all of the props. Their ants were different from the man in the costume monsters of that time. I still love to watch it.

  1. BUG

Here is another movie that I just love to watch. It came out in 1975 and I am pretty sure I saw this in the early 80s as part of Commander USA’s Groovy Movies. But, I could be wrong. This was the last film William Castle was involved in before his death. What a genius this guy was. I am slowly discovering more of his work. And enjoying the hell out of them. Even the trailer for this movie is so much fun!Anyway, these little bugs are icky to look at! And don’t pick them up! And check the phone before you put it to your ear.

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The film is based on a novel called The Hephaestus Plague by Thomas Page. I have never tracked down a copy, but love to read it someday. These little buggers literally come from Hell when the earth splits from an earthquake. This hiss, light things on fire, and continually evolve as the film progresses. And I think that was one of the draws for me initially. I had never seen anything like this before. Kaiju and other monsters have transformed before. These things seemed like they could really be out there. Bradford Dillman keeps trying to get them to mate with each other. And I just scream at the screen, “Stop messing with them! It’s just getting worse with each generation”. They become smart, spelling out words with their bodies. Nasty! And I love that the Brady Bunch house set is used in this film. The movie was shot soon after the Bunch had finished their run on television. I always wondered how the Brady family would have dealt with this mess. Alice, we seem to have an infestation problem!

So, there you go! The Tuesday Top Three Bug list. Do you have some favorite bug movies? Drop us a line! Just don’t drop off the bugs! Thanks for taking some time with us today. We will be back next week with another list! We will looking at movies about cults next week!

Monsters and Memories Revisited!

 

 

Hello Insomniacs! It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to do any writing! So, while we try to get that back up and running, I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my older columns that I had written for Horror Haven and The Fright Channel. So, here is my first ever article! Enjoy!

Greetings Groovy Ghoulies! My name is Ed Davis and I love horror and sci-fi movies. Good ones, bad ones. They are a great escapism. It’s hard to believe it has been nearly 80 years since Bela Lugosi first donned the cape in the screen adaption of the play Dracula. It changed the world and set the horror genre on fire.
I grew up in upstate New York on a steady diet of Creature Double Feature, The Movie Loft, comic books, KISS, and Alice Cooper.
I remember setting an old wind-up alarm clock to watch some horror movie that would going on at 2am. And either the clock wouldn’t work right, or I would make it through the credits. But every once in awhile, I would make it through a whole picture.
As I grew older and cable television changed, we lost a lot of those films to infomercials. But, thankful with the arrival of DVDs, we can now relieve so many of those films.
With this forum, I plan to start around 1930 and work my way through as many horror and sci-fi films I can get my hands on. From Abbott and Costello to all of those zombies, no movie will be left behind! If I can find it, you’ll hear about it. We’re going to start with 1930’s “The Bat Whispers” and go from there.
The 30s were a golden time for Universal. The main creatures were introduced then. Stars were made of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and so many more.
The theater going world were introduced to the 12 part science fiction serial and new things were tried.
I hope you all enjoy the journey with me.
I had never seen “The Bat Whispers” before, and I was not disappointed. It was adapted from a 1920 stage play, and it is a great early talkie. The plot revolves around a criminal named The Bat trying to steal $500,00 hidden in a country mansion somewhere. We are introduced to a cast of colorful characters. And I thought the mansion itself was an interesting character. A secret room, winding staircases, just a great atmospheric setting.
I was impressed with the early special effects used in the film. A great use of miniatures sweeping over city streets, train tracks, and the mansion itself. I think there might have been some early animation in the opening sequence. There is also a cool sequence involving a fire playing in the distance and it seems to dance off the side of the house, as if it was really there.
One scene that really stuck out to me involved the Bat and the daughter of the spinster who owns the mansion. The young woman looks up and sees the shadow of the bat on the wall and it seems to melt away in front of us to reveal the Bat himself. He starts to crawl towards the camera and right into your lap, my heart skipped a beat!
Watching this, I couldn’t help noticing how much the Bat reminded me of Batman and I wondered how much influence this had on Bob Kane’s creation. Doing some searching around the net, I discovered “The Bat Whispers” did play a role in the development of the caped crusader.
Do yourself a favor, and hunt this one down. A nice mix of laughs and scares to get you through the night.
Speaking of Batman, I was trying to find some toy or something to tie into this movie as I hope to do with all of my reviews. And I found this awesome play set from Mego that I always wanted, The Wayne Foundation seen at this address:
Isn’t that cool? It had a working elevator for your Megos and even the giant penny from the Batcave itself! Anyone out there still have one of these? Anyone still have their Megos?
That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with another review and more monster toys! Until then, remember to watch the skies!

This week’s movies!

Hello fellow insomniacs! I was contacted this weekend by a fellow Insomniac, John J. Bossong III. And he was wondering where he can watch my movies each week?

And I was quite honored by that question. Here at the Insomniac, we try to recreate a fun, drive-in atmosphere. And I would love nothing more to have some kind of actual outlet for these movies some day. To do the actual Insomniac Drive-In, maybe even stream somewhere! But alas, right now we will continue the reviews and great trailers each week.

But, it did get me thinking! I am going to share the week’s movies on Mondays from now on, in hopes that those that would like to watch along are welcome!

So, here we go!

Tonight: A Creature Double Feature of Daimajin AKA Majin, Monster of Terror and Return of Daimajin AKA Return of Giant Majin

Friday: The first of the season! An old school Dusk till Dawn Movie Marathon!
It will feature: Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, Return of Mechagodzilla, Dear God No!, Frankenstein Created Bikers, Count Yorga Vampire, Devil’s Hand (1961), Devil Times Five, Don’t Look In The Basement (1973), and City of The Dead AKA Horror Hotel

Then back around to Saturday night for another Creature Double Feature with Reptilicus and Yongary, Monster From The Deep

So, there is the list for this week! We hope to catch up with you on some reviews this week! And hope you find something on this list to enjoy as well!

And if anyone has some streaming knowledge and wants to point in the right direction, welcome aboard!

Discovering A New World

I feel like Captain Kirk navigating new worlds…

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! We are working on some great reviews and an interview that I am very excited about! Details coming!

Writing today as I have been navigating Twitter and get used to it’s features. It’s a whole new world. And I kind of feel like Captain Kirk navigating new worlds and seeing things for the first time. Some of you are laughing, as you are old hats at this social media thing! I have enjoyed Facebook, and I found the benefits of Twitter. I have already started to make new contacts and learn about other horror projects out there.

I am enjoying the community feel and I can’t believe I fought using it for so long. I love the .gifs and pictures. The news have come pouring in. Growing up, I always wished there was a central location to be connected. Famous Monsters of Filmland, Starlog, and Fangoria just weren’t enough.

I was going through the list of people and things to follow, and I have now tailor made my own scroll of news and weird things. It’s great. And it’s still surreal to have this be a part or my scroll or anyone elses.

So, I keep following and keep tweeting. And it only gets my own creative juices flowing, so thank you all out there for that!

So, reviews and movies are coming! Get out and support a drive-in if you can, and we’ll talk again real soon! Your comments are always welcome!

We love email at monstersandmemories@Hotmail.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/InsomniacDriveIn

Twitter: @InsomniacDI

Hope to catch up somewhere!

The Bride of Frankenstein!

It’s no surprise the Monster survived the fire.

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! For some of you, this will be the first time we are getting together. And some of you have been here through various incarnations since the beginning. Let me say thank you to you all! The Insomniac Drive-In celebrates all things Horror, Sci-Fi, Kung Fu, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Kaiju, 80s Movies, and all the other pieces that made up my childhood.

I’m so excited to have a more permanent home for our reviews again, and look forward to where we go from here. Let’s get into it! “The Bride of Frankenstein” was released in 1935. It is part of the Universal Monsters series. It stars Boris Kaloff, Collin Clive, and Elsa Lanchester. Universal knew they had hits on their hands with Dracula and Frankenstein. So, it was no surprise that the monster would survive the fire at the end of “Frankenstein”. I haven’t seen this film in awhile and it was quite enjoyable. The story follows a Dr. Pretorius seeking Dr. Frankenstein after rescuing his monster. The monster has learned to talk and he wants a mate. Elsa Lanchester isn’t in enough as the Bride but her scenes are complete heartbreak for the Monster.

The set pieces are cool, I thought the laboratory in the first film was cooler, but there are some nice pieces. Directed by James Whale, there is more lightness to it. Apparently, Whales didn’t want to return to direct but ended up directing, and wanted to make a different movie. He felt he had told the story he wanted to in the first film.

Jack Pierce’s make-up on Karloff was great. Showing the after effects of the fire, the monster looks a little worse this time around. Karloff gets lines in this one. He always had such a kind voice, and he’s the one actor from this age that I would love to have a sit down with.

This is a great popcorn late night feature. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check it out!

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