RECENT POST FROM THE BLACK BOX CLUB

Monday, 26 October 2015

KONGA EXPLODES WITH MIGHTY FURY AND SPECTACLE


CAST:
Michael Gough (Dr Charles Decker), Margo Johns (Margaret), Claire Gordon (Sandra Banks), Jess Conrad (Bob Kenton), Austin Trevor (Dean Foster), Jack Watson (Superintendent Brown), George Pastell (Professor Tagor)


PRODUCTION:
Director – John Lemont, Screenplay – Herman Cohen & Aben Kandel, Producers – Nathan Cohen & Stuart Levy, Photography – Desmond Dickinson, Music – Gerard Schurman, Makeup – Jack Craig, Art Direction – Wilfred Arnold. Production Company – Merton Park Studios.



SYNOPSIS:
Dr Charles Decker returns after having been missing for a year following a plane crash in Uganda. He has discovered a serum among the natives. Using Konga, a chimpanzee he has brought back with him, he determines to perfect his theories regarding the links between plant life and human tissue and the belief that plants can be commanded by human will. He injects Konga with the serum, which causes it to increase to the size of gorilla. He then uses Konga to go out and kill rivals and those who impede his research.
Konga is one of the films from producer Herman Cohen. Cohen had had some success with a host of teen revisions of classic horror monster movie themes in the late 1950s, beginning with I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and including the likes of I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) and Blood of Dracula (1957). (There is no truth to the rumour that persistently circulates that Konga was originally to have been titled I Was a Teenage Gorilla). From 1959 onwards, Herman Cohen relocated in England and produced another series of horror films there, beginning with Horrors of the Black Museum (1959).


The lynchpin of Herman Cohen’s English films was Michael Gough. Michael Gough had great success, delivering a wonderfully cruel and demented performance as the killer crime writer in Black Museum. Cohen again casts Michael Gough here and also would in The Black Zoo (1963) and Berserk (1967), all of which headlined Gough as a demented killer.


Konga is a thoroughly schlocky film. There is some wonderfully overwrought nonsense about witch doctors making plants subservient to their wills and scenes of Michael Gough walking through the conservatory throwing meat to his carnivorous plants. Gough fires the film up with a wonderfully arrogant performance. However, the rest of Konga is routine hackwork and it is only Michael Gough’s presence that enlivens it in any way. The ape suit is incredibly shabby – somehow in being enlarged from normal to human-size the ape manages to go from being a chimp into a gorilla. The terrible optically enlarged scenes with the chimpanzee rampaging have justly accorded Konga a Golden Turkey status.


Herman Cohen’s other genre films include:- Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952), Target Earth (1954), I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), Blood of Dracula (1957), How to Make a Monster (1958), The Headless Ghost (1959), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), The Black Zoo (1963), A Study in Terror (1965), Berserk (1967), Trog (1970) and Craze (1973).

Artwork: Jamie Somerville

Saturday, 24 October 2015

WIN TWILIGHT TIME SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY FOR HALLOWEEN!


Here's ANOTHER chance to win yourself a copy of TWILIGHT TIMES LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY of SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN!

It's another of our QUICKY COMPETITIONS where you can WIN AND WIN AGAIN, But you have JUST FIVE HOURS, starting from NOW  gmt to send it your answer!

GOOD LUCK!!


You can purchase YOUR copy of this REGION FREE BLU RAY from HERE  OR HERE!
 

DETAILS: Kind of a horror movie, kind of an espionage film, and in some sense a piece of science fiction, Scream and Scream Again (1970) features turns by three icons of the horror genre: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing.  All are involved in a wild “plot” connecting Great Britain to some unnamed totalitarian state where torture, murder, and out-of-control “experiments” are the order of the day. Directed by Gordon Hessler from a screenplay by Christopher Wicking, with cinematography by the worthy John Coquillon.


Starring: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Judy Huxtable, Alfred Marks, Michael Gothard. Directed By: Gordon Hessler. Written By: Christopher Wicking. Score By: David Whitaker. Language: English.Video: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1 / Color. Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA.  Subtitles: English SDH. Theatrical Release: 1970. Runtime: 94 Minutes. Rating: R (Some Violence and Brief Nudity) Region Code: Region Free (A/B/C)

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan / Gentleman Gothic: Gordon Hessler at AIP / An Interview with Uta Levka / Still Gallery / Radio Spot / Original Theatrical Trailer



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Here's ANOTHER chance to win yourself a copy of TWILIGHT TIMES LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY of SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/win-and-win-again-quicky-competition.html#sthash.teUMlRza.dpuf

Monday, 19 October 2015

WIN EUREKA'S THE SKULL BLU RAY / DVD DUAL RELEASE COMPETITION : REVIEW AND LOBBY GALLERY!

A Chance to WIN one of THREE FREE Copies of the EUREKA Blu Ray / DVD Release of Amicus Films 'The Skull' PLUS Full Review and Lobby Card Gallery, ALL at the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society: Just Click HERE 
The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Facebook Fan Page
Can Be found: HERE 

Friday, 16 October 2015

SALEM'S LOT: THE KING'S STUFF OF NIGHTMARES AND WE ARE STILL LOSING SLEEP!

Plot: Writer Ben Mears returns to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine where he becomes interested in writing a novel set around the sinister old mansion that overlooks the town. The town is then struck by a series of killings where the victims are left drained of blood. Ben and Straker, the mysterious owner of a new antique store, become the immediate suspects, being the only strangers in town. When the dead start returning from the grave to drink the blood of the living, Ben and young monster movie fan Mark Petrie become the only ones willing to believe that they are facing vampires. Together they set out to trap and kill Barlow, the master vampire who inhabits the house on the hill.


Salem's Lot (1975) was Stephen King’s second novel and this production was the second-ever screen adaptation of King’s work, following Brian De Palma’s highly successful version of Carrie (1976). For a time, Salem's Lot dallied about as to whether it would be a theatrical film, with directorial names such as George A. Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead (1968), and Larry Cohen, director of It’s Alive (1974), associated with it. The 1979 vampire movie revival, which also included the likes of the lavish Frank Langella remake of Dracula (1979), Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) remake, the killer bat movie Nightwing (1979), the disco film Nocturna: Dracula’s Granddaughter (1979), the Dracula spoof Love at First Bite (1979) and the sex comedy Dracula Blows His Cool (1979), proved the impetus to allow Salem's Lot to get off the ground as a two-part TV mini-series. The directorial chair eventually went to Tobe Hooper – Salem’s Lot was Hooper’s first Hollywood mainstream production after the cult success of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).



Stephen King is equivocal about Salem's Lot. That not withstanding, Salem's Lot is one of the most underrated of Stephen King adaptations. Certainly, you can understand where King is not too enthused as the mini-series makes a number of changes to the book. It cuts several characters, compacts a couple into one. There are a number of characters introduced and some of the plot strands are left uncompleted. Bonnie Bedelia’s return as a vampire is peculiarly placed at the end of the story, which ends up oddly unbalancing the climax. Most notable of the changes is in the character of the vampire Barlow. The mini-series turns him into a vampire clearly modeled on Max Shreck in Nosferatu (1922) and eliminates all his dialogue – here he has a single line, whereas in the book he has speeches that go on several pages explaining his origin. In fact, thanks to James Mason’s magnetic performance, the central villain of the show emerges as Straker, who is meant to be the vampire’s daytime aide, rather than Barlow – by comparison try and imagine a version of Dracula (1897) where Renfield is a more prominent character than Dracula.


Largely, Tobe Hooper prefers to not concern himself so much with the adaptation but expands outward on it, staging it as a series of set pieces. These set-pieces are intensely captivating – the gravedigger trapped in the grave he is digging as the vampire child rises from its coffin; Mark Kerwin watching in bed as Brad Savage eerily floats up in a cloud of mist tapping at his window; a body rising from a morgue table and its graphic dispatch with a crucifix made of wooden spatula; a gripping sequence with David Soul and Mark Kerwin in a cellar struggling to stake Barlow’s body as the sleeping brood of vampires wake up as the sun sets; and one gratuitous but blackly funny sequence with George Dzundza returning to surprise his adultering wife and her lover with a shotgun that entirely jolts one out of their seat. Certainly, Salem's Lot’s failing is a tendency to be written around these set-pieces – but what gripping set-pieces they are.


Everything else makes Salem's Lot a class production. Heartthrob David Soul, then at the height of his popularity with the TV series Starsky and Hutch (1975-9) is dull, but there is a fine supporting cast with everybody else creating well-rounded characters, especially the delightfully chirpy Bonnie Bedelia who makes a striking transformation from schoolteacher to seductive vampire. The best of these is James Mason, who appears to be having some of the best fun he had in his latter years. Mason’s dry but melodious, deliberately absent-minded intonation lends itself to a performance of startlingly calculated evil. Production designer Mort Rabinowitz also delivers a memorable haunted house set.


Salem's Lot is available in two forms. The most prevalent is the original 183 minute mini-series, which is still seen in that format on video and cable revival today, although is often cut by as much as 30 minutes running time. At the same time, there was also a truncated feature-length 112-minute theatrical release print that was shown in some countries.


Larry Cohen who, as mentioned above, was originally pegged as director, made a loosely related sequel A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987). The Stephen King novel was later remade as another two-part mini-series ‘Salem’s Lot (2004), featuring Rob Lowe in the David Soul role, Donald Sutherland as Straker and Rutger Hauer as Barlow. This is a different version of the story than the 1979 version and, though the lesser, is not uninteresting.

Edited and Design : Jamie Sumerville
Review: Richard Scheib 



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Saturday, 10 October 2015

LEE AND CUSHING SHINE IN SUPERB WARNER BLU RAY HORROR CLASSIC HAMMER FILMS PACKAGE : WIN YOURS HERE!


Just a reminder that our competition where you can win yourself one of two complete blu ray box sets of HORROR CLASSICS from Warner Brothers is still open, but closes on WEDNESDAY 14th OCT at midnight! The competition is running here on petercushingappreciationsociety.com, the peter cushing appreciation society facebook fan page and our website theblackboxclub.com. Also you can purchase your set or the individual releases from here at AMAZON


Here also is my review of the box set, should you want to check out it's spec first :) It's a rarity among vintage releases these days... Truly, it's faultless!

"All the films in this package, technically are flawless. All four movies have been remastered in 1080p and are presented in their original aspect ratios.THE MUMMY in 1.66:1, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Dracula Has Risen From The Grave and Taste The Blood Of Dracula in 1.85:1. With each film you'll be very happy to discover there no print drop outs or blemishes anywhere to be seen, the colour and contrast is solid and each film has an amazing detail, like you would never have seen in any of these films previous releases.


As with, Warner's dvd release of TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, the blu-ray here restores over four minutes of footage that was originally removed from the U.S. theatrical print and the previous VHS release too. Where TASTE was originally rated GP, according it has now been given an R rating.

The reinstated scenes are as follows: The shots of Dracula's blood changing to powder in the prologue; there is also extended shots in the brothel scenes, including a snake charmer's dance shot and some topless nudity, the violent beating of Ralph Bate's, Lord Courtley is extended, and; Dracula's violent, snarling attack on a female victim. Also, all the major death scenes have some extended footage, including more glimpses of Christopher Lee's writhing Dracula!


The HORROR CLASSICS package also includes a complete and uncut version of FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED. The notorious rape scene that was originally snipped from all U.S. versions, is now back. In line with visuals of the films in this package, I am pleased to say, the English audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0) are also perfect!


Each film also comes complete with additional French, and Spanish (both Castilian and Latin) language tracks with optional English SDH, French, Spanish (both Castilian and Latin) subtitles. In addition, both DRACULA films include German audio tracks and German subtitles. Each film comes with its original theatrical trailer.


The outstanding quality of this box set from it's presentation packaging to the over all quality of the films themselves, puts this release way above any previous releases of the titles and would be a fantastic addition to any collectors or Hammer fans film library! Well Done WARNER!"



Come join us at our FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: HERE 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Monday, 5 October 2015

WIN WARNER BROTHERS HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET ON BLU RAY FOR HALLOWEEN


JOIN US FOR OUR FIRST COMPETITION TOMORROW!


WARNER BROTHERS: HORROR CLASSICS CAN BE ORDERED NOW: HERE 

Tomorrow, September 6th, Warner Bros release their very impressive  HAMMER HORROR CLASSICS VOLUME ONE blu ray box set. FOUR Hammer classics, TWO starring Peter Cushing the fantastic 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' starring Veronica Carlson and Freddie Jones and 'The Mummy' starring both Cushing and the late Sir Christopher Lee. PLUS there's 'Taste The Blood of Dracula' with you know who as Dracula....AND 'Dracula Has Risen From the Grave'....again with Christopher Lee as Dracula supported by Veronica Carlson, Michael Ripper and Rupert Davies.

We are launching the FIRST of our PCAS HALLOWEEN COMPETITIONS TOMORROW where we have TWO COPIES OF HORROR CLASSICS UP FOR GRABS! Enter the competition either at petercushingappreciationsociety.com
or at our peter cushing apprecaition society facebook fan page or here at theblackboxclub.com.

The Warner Brother Horror Classics Box Set contains the following films:


THE MUMMY: Christopher Lee wraps on the moldy gauze bandages to become the tormented Kharis, an avenger stalking the hills of Victorian England to track down desecration of his beloved's Egyptian tomb. FIRST TIME AVAILABLE ON BLU RAY IN USA. Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Yvonne Furneaux. Directed by Terence Fisher.


FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED: Peter Cushing is Baron Frankenstein, whose experiment has gone dead wrong in Hammer Studios' fifth Frankenstein saga. Featuring Freddie Jones as the scientist's pitiable new creation. FIRST TIME RELEASED ON BLU RAY! Starring Peter Cushing, Simon Ward, Veronica Carlson and Freddie Jones. Directed by Terence Fisher.


DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE: Playing Bram Stoker's infamous vampire for the third time, Christopher Lee goes fang-to-cross with the forces of good in this atmospheric, stylish film, in which each night brings the threat of death. FIRST TIME RELEASED ON BLU RAY! Starring Christopher Lee, Veronica Carlson, Rupert Davies, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews and Ewan Hooper. Directed by Freddie Francis.


TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA: This entry in Hammer Studios' cycle of hemogobbling Victorian-era horror showcases why Hammer became the name in Gothic terror. Christopher Lee again dons his cape to become Evil Incarnate. FIRST TIME RELEASED ON BLU RAY! Starring Christopher Lee, Linda Hayden, Ralph Bates, Isla Blair, John Carson, Martin Jarvis, Anthony Higgins and Micheal Ripper. Directed by Peter Sasdy. 


WARNER BROTHERS: HORROR CLASSICS CAN BE ORDERED NOW: HERE  

All the films in this package, technically are flawless. All four movies have been remastered in 1080p and are presented in their original aspect ratios.THE MUMMY in 1.66:1, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Dracula Has Risen From The Grave and Taste The Blood Of Dracula in 1.85:1. With each film you'll be very happy to discover there no print drop outs or blemishes anywhere to be seen, the colour and contrast is solid and each film has an amazing detail, like you would never have seen in any of these films previous releases.

As with, Warner's dvd release of TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, the blu-ray here restores over four minutes of footage that was originally removed from the U.S. theatrical print and the previous VHS release too. Where TASTE was originally rated GP, according it has now been given an R rating.

The reinstated scenes are as follows: The shots of Dracula's blood changing to powder in the prologue; there is also extended shots in the brothel scenes, including a snake charmer's dance shot and some topless nudity, the violent beating of Ralph Bate's, Lord Courtley is extended, and; Dracula's violent, snarling attack on a female victim. Also, all the major death scenes have some extended footage, including more glimpses of Christopher Lee's writhing Dracula!

The HORROR CLASSICS package also includes a complete and uncut version of FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED. The notorious rape scene that was originally snipped from all U.S. versions, is now back. In line with visuals of the films in this package, I am pleased to say, the English audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0) are also perfect!

Each film also comes complete with additional French, and Spanish (both Castilian and Latin) language tracks with optional English SDH, French, Spanish (both Castilian and Latin) subtitles. In addition, both DRACULA films include German audio tracks and German subtitles. Each film comes with its original theatrical trailer.

The outstanding quality of this box set from it's presentation packaging to the over all quality of the films themselves, puts this release way above any previous releases of the titles and would be a fantastic addition to any collectors or Hammer fans film library! Well Done, Warner! 


Join us  at our FACEBOOK FAN PAGE : HERE 
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