Hello, and welcome to my 2021 April A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year, I am listing all the horror movies Alec and I have seen during the pandemic thus far, with notes. Let me stress that “notes” part. Many of my remarks are going to be pretty brief. Anyway, I’m trying for super-brevity today. We’ll see how that goes.
Without further palaver…
Lady Frankenstein (La figlia di Frankenstein)(1971)
Director: Mel Welles, Aureliano Luppi
This is fun, and it has Rosalba Neri in it. In this film, she plays the daughter of Frankenstein. When the film begins, she has just returned from medical school, and she’s very eager to help with her father’s work. Even when it all goes horribly wrong shortly after she returns home. Now, her father is dead, but she will carry on the proud Frankenstein tradition!
She also wants to use her dad’s technique to make the perfect man. She likes the brain of her dad’s friend and lab assistant, but he’s all old and wrinkly and stuff. She’d much rather have his brain in a young, vigorous body. Like that of the hot young manservant they have about the place. So… she sets about doing this. With the help of the friend-of-father character, who is absolutely besotted with her, and is okay with having his brain put into a new body, if that means that he will be able to be with her. Which is up there, desperate-passion-wise.
Lair of the White Worm (1988)
Director: Ken Russell
This is a favorite of ours. I feel especially worried about Spoilers for this one, though, because it would be a shame to ruin this movie for anyone, and I can’t really remember what gets revealed when. It all starts with the discovery of a strange skull in an archeological dig (always a good opening for any story). This ties in with local folklore, which tells of the D’Ampton Worm. I don’t dare go any further. Oh! Except to mention that there is also an amazing song in this film, which toe-tappingly tells the local folktale. Best. Info-Dump. Ever. Here’s that scene on YouTube. It occurs early on in the movie, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by advising you to watch it.
Hugh Grant is in this movie, which, I mean, if you like adorable men, is a reason to watch this right there. But the real star here is Amanda Donohoe as Lady Sylvia Marsh. Here she is, coming out of a basket:
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Some people are in a research facility, deep under the ocean. Things go horribly wrong. They find an abandoned submarine. That’s the start of the trouble. Anyway, this is a cool movie with an unusual setting. Peter Weller (aka Robocop) is in it. So is Ernie Hudson (who appears to be a very, very busy actor, but who I mainly know as Winston Zeddemore from Ghostbusters. Still, look at the man’s IMDB page. Almost 250 roles).
This movie would probably be better-known if it hadn’t come out in the same year as The Abyss, with which it shares a setting and many themes. Kind of got lost in the shuffle?
The Lift (De Lift)(1983)
Director: Dick Maas
“Take the Stairs, Take the Stairs. For God’s Sake, Take the Stairs!!!”
A lift that kills people. There is, as you can see by the above tagline, some awareness here that this is a bit of a goofy premise.
Lisa And the Devil (Lisa e il diavolo)(1973)
Italy, West Germany, Spain
Director: Mario Bava
Telly Savalas is in this movie, playing the Devil, who is also a butler. As I have mentioned, we love Telly Savalas here. Other than that, this is an interesting (if somewhat confusing) movie. Lots of atmosphere; plot is probably in there, but I can’t really remember it.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Director: Frank Oz
Fun! Although the thing about musicals is that there are always more songs than there are good songs. Plenty of just-okay ones in this. It was an early-pandemic watch, and I talk about it here.
The Loreley’s Grasp (Las garras de Lorelei)(1973)
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Yes. We saw this? Definitely. We saw this. I have a dim memory of a sexy lady flitting about the shores of a dank-looking body of water, being mysterious at people, and sometimes turning into a lizard.
Directed by Amando de Ossorio, who was also responsible for the Blind Dead movies.
I note that this one is rated X. I don’t remember anything in it that would seem to justify that rating, but as you can see, my memory is pretty vague.
Lust For A Vampire (1971)
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Part II of the Karnstein Trilogy. Hammer horror’s version of J. Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla.
This one is set at a girls’ boarding school. An interesting setting into which to introduce a vampiress.
Okay, folks, that’s it for today! Say hi in the Comments section! Tomorrow… M!
Mystery Picture “M”
Identify it if you can!
I’m struggling now – think’s that’s three in a row where I haven’t seen any of them! But the M pic looks familiar…
Oh no! But, to be fair, let’s note that J and K have had only 2 movies apiece, so your streak really isn’t very remarkable.
“No girls? No girls, eh?!?! Well how about THIS! *swish* And THAT! *squdge* And more of THESE! *splatter* Oh dear, it looks to me more like there are no BOYS! Bwaahahahaaaaaaaaa!” (See, I’m trying to get into the horror movie spirit for you.)
Yes, Anne! KILL!!!
Oh, Ken Russell. When I was in high school, my mom and I became fans of Anne Rice and all things vampire. We watched every piece of vampire media we could get our hands on, including Lair of the White Worm. After which, we were left with a distinct, “What did we just watch…?” Later in college, my friend Tania and I decided to watch Gothic (her for Gabriel Byrne, me for Julian Sands) and were left with the exact same feeling.
I, too, have seen Gothic. Beautiful men, but a colossal disappointment as a movie. And, I mean, I’m fairly interested in the historical figures in the film and so on. It just didn’t go anywhere or do anything.
But Lair of the White Worm is, I feel, a different proposition. Things happen in Lair of the White Worm. The plot takes definite turns. It isn’t just a bunch of people spooking themselves out in a house. Which is what I remember of Gothic.
Cant wait to watch some of these. I love old movies, so some of the older ones really appeal to me.
Hello Jennifer! Thanks for visiting; I will repay your visit anon! I, too, love older movies. As may be sort of obvious from this list. I am slightly hesitant to watch anything more recent than the 80s (though I often decide to do it anyway, and am often rewarded by seeing excellent films).
Which especially appeal to you here?
These sound amazing. The only one I’ve seen is Leviathan. But Lady Frankenstein and Liar of the White Worm are going to the top of my list!
Huzzah! I hope you like them! Tell me what you think, if you do end up seeing them!
Lair of the White Worm’s info dump song certainly is toe-tapping! I haven’t seen the movie, but even without Hugh Grant, I think that song would make it worth viewing.
I have seen Frank Oz’s Little Shop many, many times. For a while, it was my favorite thing to watch while I spent entire nights building costumes. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken music: The Supremes-like Greek chorus, “Skid Row”, “Suddenly Seymour”, “Grow for Me”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, “Mean Green Mother”, “Feed Me”– and Ellen Greene? How can you go wrong?
Have you seen the 1960 original directed by Roger Corman? It’s not a musical, was estimated to cost only about $27,000 to make, and had Jack Nicholson as the masochistic dental patient. I prefer the Oz version, but I own both.
I know! My toes tap every time I hear it. Great tune. And actually borrowed directly from folklore, which is cool. I think they change a couple of words from the original, if that. Because the story here is based directly on the story of the Lambton Worm. Or, rather, the movie is loosely based on Bram Stoker’s novel The Lair of the White Worm, which is itself based on the Lambton Worm legend.
I suspect that the movie is rather better than the novel (which I’m gonna confess right now, I haven’t read in its entirety; it was one of those start-put-down-never-pick-up-again things for me).
I am realizing just now how much detail I left out of my post in the cause of brevity. Oops! Perhaps someday I will expand the post.
And I can honestly recommend the movie. It has a lot going for it. Funny, suspenseful, mildly scary at times, interestingly folkloric… all good stuff.
I liked many of the songs from Little Shop. But! I have to say that Suddenly Seymour is not one of them. Just not a fan. Ellen Greene is amazing.
I haven’t seen the 1960 original, but I have heard about it extensively, and I probably will see it one of these days. It sounds pretty neat.
I almost did Lair of the White Worm! Such a freaky movie!! Isn’t it also by Bram Stoker?
The M pic should be from Monster Squad, I believe.
It is indeed based on a novel by Bram Stoker! See my remarks to Susan above for more origin-type detail. Frankly, I started the novel and, I think, never finished it. The movie is, I suspect, better than the book. Though I guess that depends on what you like.
It is a freaky movie, but so much fun! One of those movies where the villain is the main attraction.
And yes, Monster Squad it is!!