CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear first on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.
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SATURDAY'S MOVIE, AUGUST 4, 2012: MOVIE - Thriller "DR. TERROR'S GALLERY OF HORRORS" Also known as "RETURN FROM THE PAST" (1967) and simply GALLERY OF TERRORS on DVD. Lon Chaney and John Carradine somehow got wrangled into this collection of horror stories. Very, very low budget production. Carradine is the host/narrator...Chaney is in an episode as a doctor. A man is brought back from the dead in one story...other tales include a vampire and a time warp. Suggested by .Malcolm Gittins, Pittsburgh, PA.
Above: The ressurected zombie in one of the stories. Featuring nice, cheap wall paneling.
I first saw this under it's alternate title: RETURN FROM THE PAST on TV in the early 1970s on New York's channel 11. I remember clearing seeing it listed as a collection of horror stories starring John Carradine and Lon Chaney. I couldn't wait and loved seeing a later-day Chaney movie. Heck, it was only a few years old at the time and Lon was still alive. Of course, my eleven year old brain filtered out, or didn't see how cheap it really was. I was happy to see storie withing the movie called KING VAMPIRE or THE SPARK OF LIFE or simply COUNT DRACULA! It was just monster entertaiment for this kid.
Above: Garish video box art from the 1980s.
Fast forward to the 1980s when I finally got to see it again on a video tape rental. Whoah. The acting is like out of a high school play. Thesets are cheap. The ame small group of ctors re-appear in the various stories. All this stuff seemed to be clouded out of my memory. The best parts are all the extra footage leased from Roger Corman or AIP. Unused scenes from Corman'd Poe movies of the astle, thunderstorm, the house burning, angry villagers.
And now, in 2012, I watched it again with froends Bob Pellegrino and Dan Weber. Yep, it's cheap jack. Horribly so. But, I still hold a fondness for it. That tamped memorory from an eleven year old boy looking forward with anticipation to seeing it for the first time. As I watched, it reminded me of those old cheaper version of Creepy and Eerie magazines, The black and white, low grade, sensational comic horror magazines. Cheap, but throw in the monsters and horror scenarios and shove it out to the kids. But, it had just enough of what the kids wanted.
Bad, lines that are funny, weird situations that don't make sense...yep. But, it's not boring, and that saves it. A true gulity pleasure.
Titles that this movie appears under: DR. TERROR'S GALLERY OF HORRORS, RETURN FROM THE PAST, GALLERY OF HORRORS and THE BLOOD SUCKERS.
-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
-Malcolm Gittins, Pittsburgh, PA
This time I am catching this early, a good time opened up and I was in the mood. I have gone back to my old ways with a live commentary. This is my first viewing of the film, and from what I have read it sounds like a real stinker, so my expectations are quite low, but there is hope, because if Malcolm likes it, it can't be that bad...or could it? Interesting music, forboding titles. That looks like a Roger Corman castle behind Mr. Carradine. Carradine seems to be reading from some cue cards to the right of the camera. If I knew this was going to be a lecture, I would have brought my notepad. I am glad John told us all about curses and witches, I am sure it will help me understand the first story, The Witches Clock.
A young couple doing dumb things, how did our society survive till today??? Acting reminds me of our local community theater. Hey, the narrator, came to give the young couple a lecture. This is dragging, I understand it is an anthology film, the stories usually get going faster in these things. All these folks just dropping in. Goofy doctor. Could they be warlocks? Lucy Mailer...DUUUUUM DUMMMM DUMMMM. HA!OK things are picking up, John is a long dead guy, hypnotizing the girl, a confrontation. Ain;t that the house of usher? What???? You have gotta be kidding! Such a slow mundane buildup and such a quick incomprehensible ending, I was laughing out loud. Seemed like a bad Saturday Night Live skit.
Another lecture, let's see how King Vampire works out. He is shockingly sane. I love these guys English accents, really capture the locale.Wow, what a goofy audio mix. You need me more than you know. King Vampire is clever that way. Look for a man with the face of a corpse and you'll find your vampire. Thanks for the advice lady! That office sounds like an empty sound stage. The way the the first story went, the secretary is the vampire, whoop! I was right. What the hey? Another long talky buildup to another quick silly ending. It wasn't a King but a queen, isn't that clever?
Yawn, another lecture. OK, let's check out the Monster Raid. That looks like the Raven carriage ride. They were very lovey. Desmonds revelation, wow, what great acting. What a goofy story. Why is this called Monster Raid. The wife, is like in her late 50s, I guess they couldn't afford a prettier girl. Lets see what this revenge is about. I love the heart wipe. Thats it? OK...
Back to the lecture...Dr. Lon! Let's see how this goes. Life is electrical, but is electricity life? Oh really! I thought it was a prank, now they reveal their plans, and he wonders how they thought of it. He was just talking about it!!! Well that was easy, and all without that crazy lab stuff. Oh, Lon is going to one of John's lectures. This guy is dangerous. You know Lon ain't bad in this, he is trying but man what a goofy script. Amos can't be too dangerous if all he can do is sit on that table. Well the way this movie is going, Lon is the dead guy now. Let's see! Yes I was right!
Another lecture about vampires, didn't we hear about them before? Lets see about Count Alucard, hey, that's Dracula spelled backwards! If you can't fake an accent, say Mr., not Herr. I wonder if Mr. Corman got anything for all the footage they used from his films. Think what a savage thrill it must be to be a hunting creature. Seems to be a replay of Dracula, but the movie is ending soon, what could the surprise be. Perhaps it is Harker who is the vampire? With this movie, it wouldn't surprise me. Oh, OK, the villagers are coming after the count. Join us and bring a torch! I would be happy too. Those crazy wipes remind me of Batman's POWs to hide the actual violence. All that for a crazy ending? Fastest werewolf transition ever! Goofy!
Well, I survived the Gallery of Horror. I can't wait to read Malcolm's defense of his selection. We need to consult Dr. Richard Vollin for an appropriate punishment for Mr. Gittens. Incredibly cheap, goofy, I guess it wasn't boring, but wow. Something else.
Next up, the Harryhausen classic 20 Million Miles to Earth. Can't wait!
Above: The Image DVD cover.
I was glad to see this one as a selection for Saturday. I know lots of negatives have been said about this one, but you just have to watch it in the right frame of mind. It always seemed like it could have come from those short horror story collections found in the young adult section at the library.
The presence of Carradine and Chaney is always welcome even though Chaney's role is brief and Carradine is given little to do except introduce each tale and feature in a bit role for the first episode.
After viewing it this time around I imagined what it could have been if Roger Corman and A.I.P. had made it and if it starred the Corman stock players in his Poe films such as Karloff, Lorre, and Price. It might have become something of a miniclassic. Either way it is still alot of fun to just sit back and watch on a Saturday night.
Though the DVD title is GALLERY OF HORROR, it will always be RETURN FROM THE PAST to me, even if that title doesn't have anything to do with the movie. That's the title I saw it under way-back-when. As a youngster I found the minimalist sets quite spooky. Now they just look cheap...er, budget-conscious. It's an anthology film based on stories by Russ Jones, the original editor of Creepy Magazine (I looked him up on Wikipedia). A stock company of actors appears throughout. It is directed by David L. Hewitt, who seems to have a problem with close-ups: there aren't any. Everything is shot by a single camera in medium or long shot. Not even with a zoom lens. Each episode is introduced by John Carradine, whose introductions are better than the stories themselves:
4. SPARK OF LIFE
-Mark Ditoro, Coraopolis, PA
Above: An alternate title for GALLERY OF HORRORS was THE BLOOD SUCKERS!
Did anyone enjoy this growing up as I did, pre-VCR, with the soundtrack from TV recorded on a cassette tape-recorder? The dialogue-heavy, library-music recording was almost like radio drama to me, and I listened to it again and again!
-David Smith, Sunrise, FL
I was excited as I anticipated watching your "Monster Bash" weekend movie was "Gallery of HORROR" hosted by the "Grr"-eat(Great) John Carradine a.k.a. "Long John"(as he was a tall man). Perhaps my fave spooky anthology movie, as it has many monsters in it; vampire, a werewolf & of course Big Lon Chaney! My faves are of course "The Spark of Life" with The "Lon-ster"(Lon Chaney) & the last tale, "Count Dracula".
This movie actually influenced or inspired me to make my own anthology of scary stories, hosting them in a a cemetery wearing a suit(like Carradine wore in this) which I called "Monster Tales"(2002), which I videotaped scenes for at annual "Monster Bash" picnic in 2000. I videotaped new scenes of me hosting 3 more tales in my sequel "Monster Tales -2" last weekend, then saw that "Monster Bash" weekend movie would be "Gallery of Horror"! Strange co-incidence(?) that I found-out this movie(which partly inspired me to make my "Monster Tales" anthologies) was scheduled to be the Bash movie of the week after I had just taped my scenes for "Monster Tales -2" the weekend before!
Anyway, as usual it was Fun-to-watch with my tv dinner & a big cup of hot "Java"(coffee) late nite into wee hours this morning.
-David ROCK Nelson, Des Plaines, IL
Don't have this one? Get it at Creepy Classics on DVD (on DVD as GALLERY OF HORRORS)!
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