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 18, 2012: "THE SHUTTERED ROOM" (1967). Stars Carol Lynley, Gig Young, and Oliver Reed. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft tale of madness. A young woman and her husband return to her home town. But, there's something haunting now in the small village. An unspeakable horror lies in wait. Suggested by Roger Malafa, Baberton, OH.

An H.P. Lovecraft story expanded into a movie. Carol Lynley is great and well, Gig. Gig is portrayed as a James Bond type in this 1960s chiller. Some effective photography ad suspense as to WHAT is kept in that high room in that weird building!

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

Hey Bash Synchers!

I just finished watching the Shuttered Room for what I think was the first time, but the plot was so familiar, I wonder if it really was the first time? I guessed right away that the unseen presence would eventually be the hero, reminding me of To Kill a Mockingbird with Bo Ridley.

Carol Lynley was stunning, I have been a fan since seeing her in Posideon Adventure. It is always great to see Oliver Reed, who I appreciated since Curse of the Werewolf. Here he is hamming it up, and seemed to be in and out of different accents, but like William Shatner, you wouldn't want it any other way. Gig Young as the kung fu fighting magazine editor, my favorite part is when he gave it to the bullies after playing chicken. I try to imagine other magazine editors I know in the role, FJA (FM), Dennis Druktenis (Scary Monsters), Ron Adams (Monster Bash), what a hoot!

I wonder why folks seem to like so many movies with adult bullies terrorizing people, there seems to be a million of them. They always make me feel uncomfortable, but I guess we like seeing them get their comeuppance in the end. And the music, groovy man! I would never listen to it on my ipod, but it sure evokes a late 60s - 70s vibe that makes me feel so nostalgic. Some of the dialogue was awfully corny. What's this about throwing his wife in a ditch if she is crazy? All said with straight face sincerity by great actors. Dig it! Not a bad flick.

See you next time!


Based on one of the controversial "posthumous collaborations" between August Derleth and H.P. Lovecraft; that is, a story written entirely by August Derleth from an idea by H.P.L.  In the 1959 short story, Abner Whateley inherits an old house in Dunwich, Massachusetts, from his grandfather.  Attached to the house is a mill containing the shuttered room of the title--when he was a child, Abner’s crazed Aunt Sarey had been confined there.  Aunt Sarey is long gone, but unknown to Abner, she left behind her mutant offspring, half-man half-frog (remember THE MAZE?) which soon escapes from the room and grows larger (like the Ymir) as it consumes livestock and people.

For the movie, all supernatural or science-fictional elements have been eliminated.  Young Susannah Whateley (the ethereal Carol Lynley) inherits an old house with an attached mill and travels with new husband Mike (Gig Young) to Dunwich Island, which appears to be within driving distance of New York.  The ferryman (Hammer Horror regular Charles Lloyd Pack) reacts as if they want to visit Castle Dracula.  Once on the island, they encounter the local gang of hooligans, led by her Cousin Ethan.  Oliver Reed is hard to understand as Ethan, since he tends to mumble his lines. A disfigured blacksmith claims his face was burned by a fire-breathing demon which haunts the mill.  Another villager claims that Susannah's parents were struck by lightning and also horribly burned.  Susannah's Aunt Agatha (Flora Robson) even claims there is a curse on the Whateley family.

The crumbling mill is a great setting, and there is something sinister slinking around inside.  But there are many dull stretches.  The final revelation/confession by Aunt Agatha undermines the mood and menace created earlier, as the inhabitant of the shuttered room simply doesn't look menacing.  The lightning strike and the fire-breathing demon also go unexplained.  

Flora Robson would go on to play a similar caretaker role in THE BEAST IN THE CELLAR (1970).  In fact, there is an entire strain of British horror films (TOWER OF EVIL, RAW MEAT) in which an undernourished person with matted hair breaks out of confinement and goes on a killing spree.  They possibly derive from the legend of Sawney Bean, a degenerate cannibal who supposedly lived in a cave in 16th century Scotland with his equally degenerate wife and progeny. 

Do I remember seeing this movie in the early seventies on "The Sunday Afternoon Movie" (WTAE-TV) in Pittsburgh?  Usually they only showed the classics, but Oliver Reed's line "You gotta use boot leather" seems to stick in my mind.  It was hosted by Rege Cordic, the classiest movie host ever.  (Bill Cardille is a close second).

Mark Ditoro
Moon Township, PA

Above: SHUTTERED ROOM Chicagoland ad from August 1968 - submitted by Doug and Nancy.


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