EMAILS FROM FAMOUS PEOPLE AND FANS (PAGE 2)
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This is Perry from the group Sorcery. I am not sure this will get to the right person, but we'll give it a try...The name on the e-mail appears to be "Fadelman". I recently came upon the review of the movie "STUNTROCK" on you website, used google search and saw the review, and enjoyed your comments.
I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for the "STUNTROCK" review. I thought you got it right! I think you actually describe this picture in it's simplicity better and more accurate than anyone else I've read.  And YOU get it. It's just a fun movie about Stunts and Rock and Roll. Grant was really good at what he did, so was Brian, and most everyone involved did a good job. Brian didn't have alot of time and wanted people who could work fast. Sorcery was a well known LA group being "courted" by several major record labels in LA. at the very time this opportunity presented itself to the group. It also came with a record contract with EMI as well as a movie contract. Because we/Sorcery  where such a "visual" act,we took the movie deal so we could get the Live show on film, with a professional director as well. EMI was the original Label for the soundtrack LP.
Here is some trivia...Did you know...
Phil Hartman, from saturday nite live, is the one who takes the machine gun away from Monique in the movie. Telling her "it's to dangerous" for her, and her "agent insists".
Also; Van Halen opened for Sorcery in 77'.
Here is a link you might find interesting... It's the Sorcery website: www.sorcerymusic.com

Again,  thanks for the review.
Perry/Sorcery Music Int'L

Emails like this are why I love my job! - Editor



My husband swears that he saw a movie when he was a kid that was called "Egg Eyes"  about a man that had eggs for eyes.  I think it was supposed to be a horror film.  I can't find anything anywhere, and I would like to get it for him

Thanks,
Kelly Schreiner

In my 50 years of watching and reviewing movies, I have never seen or heard of a film called EGG EYES. Have your husband email me with all the info he remembers about this film. It's possible that it is known under another title, but I think I would remember a film about a man with eggs for eyes. Either that, or he's high. - Editor


I got connected to your web site in trying to find a movie with an obscure theme.  First I got to say, very cool web site and easy to navigate.  Here's the question... there was a movie, B-rated (at best) about a killer who used a fishing rod and oversized lure to terrorize and kill people.  I don't know what the key words for the title would be, the actors, or the director.  I know my husband and sons watched it on a late nite horror festival back in the late 80's early 90's.  Do you have any idea what it could be?

Sally Cox

That film would be BLOOD HOOK (1987). It's one of Troma's better 80's pick-ups. It's readily available on eBay. - Editor


Hi,

I have to say sir it was a real treat for me to stumble upon your site. I am a HUGE! fan of nostalgia video companies of the eighties and about a week ago I was searching for a reputable site for more information on the many companies that dominated that era and was fortunate enough (by the little site we know as google) to find yours in a search. I read every piece of info and am completely hooked. Thanks for the site. I am twenty-four years old and really wished I was a little older just to be able to enjoy every part of the eighties. The kids today defiantly don't know what they missed. I was fortunate to have a passion for the roots of both good and bad DTV's and movies in general of that period. Anyway being a professional in this area for many years do yo think with On-Demand today and the affordability of making indi features that the crave of these kind of movies will strike the hearts of people in today's generation? Or has everyone turned to the 100 million dollar movie! Man I hate to be in the shoes of one of the big studios in today's world because unlike twenty-five years ago lets say, if you take a hit on a feature now it will blow you out of your shoes a long way. Again thanks for the retro trip memories and I will pass your site on even thou a lot of people I am sure know who you and your site is. Take care!

Ken Foisy (Rhode Island)

Thanks for the kind words. The 70's & 80's were a special time for films and I fear that we will never see a period like that again. That is why I created my web site. To keep the spirit of the 70's and 80's alive. Nostalgia for all of us who lived through it and an on-line history lesson for those who did not. I will keep adding to it until I run out of films. I never see that happening, though. - Editor


RE: Your quote about Media Entertainment: "A lot of Media's early releases command big bucks today in the auction market. I own a few from the late 70's and they play perfectly. Just a side note here, but don't the early tapes weigh much heavier than tapes produced in the last 10 years? You could drop an older tape and nothing would happen. Drop a new tape and be prepared to bring out the vacuum as it will shatter into hundreds of small pieces. The older tapes were made to last, and 25 years later they play as well as the first time."
I agree, it's kinda weird that as VHS became a bigger industry that the VHS tapes themselves became a whole lot more fragile. I used to work at a video store a few years ago and by weight alone you could tell what was old and what was new. A 1982 hour and half movie would weight about 5 lbs and a 2002 three and half hour movie would only tip the scales at the weight of a penny. We constantly had problems with the flap falling off/cracking, the reel "window" (sorry, don't know what you'd call it) cracks quite easily as well. I remember dropping many an old VHS tape on our linoleum floors behind the counter and nary a piece of plastic or spring would be out of place.
By the way, I just discovered your site by browsing Stomp Tokyo and I'm loving it. I was born in '81, so by the time my parents were renting me videos it was pretty much an old standby as far as I was concerned. I never knew life without VHS, so it's kinda weird to think of d-grade horror & action movies renting wildy during those years. But I guess when something's new, sometimes it isn't about quality... it's about quantity (and the lack of). Now that I think about it though, that's kinda the way things went when DVDs were first getting released.

Enjoying the site,
Justin Walden

Thanks for the kind words. As one who was an adult when the VHS "fad" was just starting, I can tell you it was an adventure. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. - Editor


Hi Fred

Well I must say I love your site. Saw a couple of your posts on DVD Maniacs. You mentioned you did an interview with LON KERR of MPM. Looked on your site - can't find it. Curious if you posted it yet.
It was nice to find out on your posts all the showman who handled the east coast releases of some of the B pictures. Terry Levine, Howard Mahler, etc.  These guys must have amazing stories about how they sold those pictures. Worth a book I'd imagine.
Some of my very early pics played on 42nd street I understand. CREEPOZOIDS, SORORITY BABES, ASSAULT OF THE KILLER BIMBOS. Would of loved to see them on those big screens!

Best,
Dave DeCoteau
www.rapidheart.com

Unfortunately, I did the interview of Lon Kerr for another site as a paid gig. I don't have the rights to it. As far as I know, it has never been posted anywhere since the site no longer exists. I'll have to search my library for the audiotape and the written interview (I always keep copies just in case). When I find it, I'll email you a copy.
Keep up the good work. I know how tough it must be running your own production company. Keep cranking out the films and I'll keep watching them! - Editor


Good afternoon,

Browsing the internet, I came across your website (most impressive I might add).  As a hobby-of-sorts, I collect memorabilia from "B"-grade monster flicks, mainly from the 50's-60's timeframe.  I would like to inquire whether you are able to obtain/sell any 8 x 10 images (stills) from a movie entitled "Beach Girls and the Monster" (aka "Monster from the Surf"), in particular of a certain actress (Sue Casey)?  I do own the DVD (which has an excellent film gallery) but would like to obtain 8 x 10 movie stills (including "behind-the-scenes", etc.); unfortunately, I do not have a home computer at this time.  I have already exhausted the most obvious sources (Google & Ebay) to no avail.  It's my understanding that Corinth Films distributes this movie...perhaps with your insight in the industry, you could obtain this? 

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Emilio M. Alcantar

I decided to post this email as an example of the kind of inquiries I get on a daily basis. Here are the facts: I do not and have not ever sold anything on this web site. Everything on this site is from my personal collection and I do not achieve any financial gain from my reviews or anything else I post. There has never been, or will there ever be, paid advertisements on this site. I have no problem identifying films for people based on their memories, but once the film is identified, it is up to that person to locate a copy. I do, on occasion, trade films with people, but if I did it with everyone who requested it, I wouldn't have time to breathe. If you have requested trades from me (or copies of films I have reviewed) and have not heard back, it's probably because I don't want to trade. Don't take it personally, I'm just too busy to do so. - Editor



Wow, what a website! A treasure of esoterica. Please help me if you can. I can still see the scenes after many years (1970's I think) but can't recall the title.  Henry Silva played a crazed hitman for his brother.  An unstoppable assasin driven by speed and PCP. The plot involved a high pay prostitute that falls under the protection of Silva.  He is ultimately betrayed and slapped in the face by his brother and left behind to die as the older Don attempts to make his escape alone.  Silva's fury is unleashed.
A startling scene occurs earlier in the movie when he goes to murder a woman at her apartment.  When she comes to the door and looks through the peep hole to see who is there-it's Silva with a sawed-off shotgun-the barrel placed directly over the door sight.  He waits until he sees her shadow under the crack at the bottom edge of the door. Then.... 
I thought it my be CRY OF A PROSTITUTE but the description doesn't fit the plot as I remember it. At first I thought it was JOHNNY COOL but I got that and it wasn't it. Not WIPEOUT (aka Il, Boss) either.
Hope you can fill in the blanks.

Regards,
Ron

That movie is SHARKY'S MACHINE (1981), directed by none other than Burt Reynolds. Henry Silva is simply terrifying in this film. You should be able to pick up a copy of this film on DVD on Amazon.com. - Editor


My name is Martin Kaderabek, I reside in Príbram, an old mining town in the Czech Republic, in a two-story house that I share with my family, several other tennants and several stacks of videocassettes and digital versatile discs,  and I would like to express my appreciation for your site.  It is truly a place where any horror fan can find abundance of information concerning all kinds of cinematic gems, oddities and things worth watching. Each review contains valuable facts, references to other works of creators or actors involved,  information about  various cuts and versions of movies and about distributors. Your site can serve as a source of knowledge and also as a guide for future generations of those, who will at some point of their lives have to ask themselves: "Is this version of  Nightmare in a Damaged Brain complete?" Those are the reasons why Critical Condition should be commended.
I also noticed an image of  poster or VHS cover of HOLLOWGATE in Polish language, and that image reminded me of those times shortly after the "velvet revolution", the early 90´s, when videocassettes with foreign movies became legally available in my country. Almost all movies from City Lights were released around that time, I used to pay visits to our local video rental shop as a boy and bring home such titles as EPITAPH, THE NEWLYDEADS, MAYHEM, FRESH KILL, L.A. CRACKDOWN I,II, CONTRA-CONSPIRACY or PAYBACK, all City Lights productions. The system of  rating was non existent at that time, of course, kids wouldn´t be allowed to rent  adult themed movies, but I was able to pick all those City Lights horrors and actioners, flicks from Action International Pictures such as NIGHT WARS, series of movies from New World Video, and even some Troma movies  that were released in our small, post-comunistic country between 1990 and 1995. Today, the majority of Czech DVD distributors tends to release only the newest productions and older horror flicks and movies of all other genres made  more than 5 years ago are ignored. Sad, sad times. Every now and then, I have to smell the scent of old plastic VHS containers in my library to cheer myself up.
Well, that would be all I intended to say. The main point of this message is that even  in such  place as The Czech Republic there are people who find your site and also the style of reviews useful and valuable, and who hope that you are going to continue in your work of utmost importance for years and years.

Martin Kaderabek

Thanks so much for the kind words. It's nice to know that my little site is appreciated halfway around the world. You are the first person to ever email me from the Czech Republic and I appreciate the history lesson about VHS and DVD releases in your country. Sadly, your story is no different than a lot of countries, including mine. It seems we are getting less and less independent releases, as most companies are happy releasing just the major films to DVD. Thankfully, there are plenty of grey market sites on the internet where I can get all this good stuff from the 70's and 80's. If those grey market sites ever dried up, I wouldn't know what to do! - Editor


I would like to add one thing I forgot to mention in the first message, and that is the impression left by your visual history of video distribution companies I personally find extremely well done. While browsing  that magnificent collection of colourful VHS covers, one idea came to my mind. I have always been fascinated by variations in artworks for one title distributed by different companies or in different countries. Your site gave me the chance to compare the U.S. covers of certain movies I am familiar with to the Czech versions. If it was of any interest, I could scan some covers of videocassettes in my library and send them by email just for the sake of comparation. I noticed that some of the films released in Bohemia have the same artworks as those used in the USA while others are the original creations of our local distributors from 1990´s, who apparently didn´t have the slightest idea what they were releasing (Fred Olen Ray´s HAUNTING FEAR  released with title HUNTING FEAR on the cover, and so on..).

Martin

Martin sent me a bunch of great VHS cover scans of films released in the Czech Republic. Click on the "HUNTING FEAR" link above to see one example of what Martin is talking about. I will use more of his cover scans in my film reviews. - Editor


Hello.

I recently came across your website and found your video companies page.  I must say, it's amazing.  One of my friends and I have been scrolling through your galleries, excitedly pointing at box art we haven't seen since childhood.  You're absolutely right when you write about kids today not being titillated by bizarre box art, and experiencing all the mystery that creates and promises (although we've all been burned by that match).  That's gone now, with more subdued box art and the internet available everywhere.  I wanted to tell you, "excellent job."
I also had a couple of films I was looking for; one of them I only remember the box art.  It featured muscle-bound twins who were barbarians (before you say it, they were not the Barbarian Brothers).  The ones I remember were blond, and were fairly ugly men.  I'm pretty sure it was Italian.
The other was something I saw on late-night TV when I was in grade school.  I only saw part of one scene, in which an elderly wealthy man in a lonely mansion shows his visitor his arm or hand, and from a small wound, pulls out an ant or small insect.  There was some dialog in the scene in which the old man implies that this is some sort of family curse.  Beyond that, I've got nothing.  The thought of insects  infesting your body freaked the shit out of me as a kid (well, to be honest, it still does), and I've always wondered what that was.  Any idea?
While my friend and I have nowhere near 6000 titles (holy shit! that's impressive), we've got a good bit, and much of it is out of print.  Is there anything you're looking for?

- Ryan Checkeye

I can't help you with the first film (There are too many Italian films with that description), but I'm pretty sure the second film is THE DEVONSVILLE TERROR (1983), directed by Ulli Lommel. If you want a copy, email me your address and I'll send one to you. - Editor


Dear Fred,

Since you printed the e-mail from Fred Olen Ray under your caption E-mails from Famous People and Fans, in connection with the Retromedia/Rebane matter, it is indeed time if not mandatory for the “Accused” to set the record straight.
You of all people need not to color yourself embarrassed, and your web site does not have to be used for defamatory statements, nor to be a judgmental  in statements made by third parties or either writer.
Being a writer and journalist myself for years, for dailies and periodicals, reporting the facts or quoting third party statements, is the name of the game, without putting the spin on anything.  You have not done that.  And nothing I wrote other then asking “What is he smoking” and referring to Fred’s web site as “Sleazy” should reflect on you.  Those are my opinions period.
I do believe however, in view of the statements made by Fred Olen Ray to you and published by Criticonline , I am entitled to a response.  The statements I am committing to writing are not opinions but facts.  Mr. Ray, while admitting that Retromedia had been had adequately compensated by BCI and Rhino, was and is the greatest enlightenment on this matter thus far.  As this statement is self incriminating and a blatant confession that in fact there were no damages for any of the alleged wrong doings on my part.  As you know, under the law there cannot be a legal action and or judgment without prove up of damages.  No damages...no case.  And, just what is it Rhino and BCI Eclipse compensated Retromedia and Fred Olen Ray for??? The original licensing agreement with Retromedia was canceled in 2003, and there were no provisions for sub-licensing.
Fact:  There are over three criminal complaints lodged with prosecutorial agencies in California and Wisconsin against Fred Olen Ray, Retromedia and his attorney Vince Racine, for perjury, corruption and conspiracy to defraud.
Fact: Yes Retromedia obtained a $66,000 dollars judgment for alleged damages. But damages for what?  For seven years and to this date, nobody including any court of law, any arbitrator, yet alone myself,, has seen an accounting and or proof of damages for anything Retromedia and Fred have alleged.  No ticki, no money.  No damages, no legitimate legal action.
The above is like a news release written and quoted by the undersigned, based on facts. I withhold my opinion.  For ongoing written documentation of these, as I refer to  the Retromedia swindle, will be posted on my web site, BillRebanenews.com under ticker tape or legal blasts.
I for one will not be afraid nor hesitate to name every individual in connection with the conspiracy and fraud that includes inside stories on the Arbitrator, the judges and lawyers.
The above are statements made by the undersigned, anyone reprinting and or reporting same as stated shall be held harmless.
Also I wish to thank you for printing Fred's comments on your web site as it proves up there were no damages.

Very truly yours
Bill Rebane

Always great hearing from you Bill! Thanks for clearing up the Retromedia mess and handling it like the true gentleman you are. I would also like to take this time to inform everyone that Bill's novel, FROM ROSWELL WITH LOVE, is now available for purchase at finer bookstores and from online sites such as Amazon.com. - Editor


Dear Fred:

Hi, this is Bobby A. Suarez, the Filipino movie-producer and director who has a good international track record, having produced more than 2 dozen English language low-budgeted or grindhouse movies and directed nine, five of which are sought-after cult-classic and collectors' item entitled The BIONIC BOY (El Nino Bionico), THEY CALL HER CLEOPATRA WONG (La Mujer Maravilla), DYNAMITE JOHNSON (El Nino Bionico II and La Mujer Maravilla II), DEVIL'S ANGELS (La Mujer Maravilla III) and ONE-ARMED EXECUTIONER.
It was my grandson Mark, an 11-year old boy, who informed me about your magazine and your being a collector of cult and/or cult classic movies, when he is browsing in the internet about my movie entitled - AMERICAN COMMANDOS (a.k.a. Hitman), which was released in DVD in North America (for the fifth time) through Action International Pictures (A.I.P.)
I am communicating to you now to let you know that I am but grateful for the wonderful comments you have written about some of my produced and directed movies, which up to now (after I stopped momentarilly in producing and directing movies - 2000 - to help my wife Gene, to take care of our youngest and only daughter who was diagnosed as autistic) still generating good income to enable me to take care of my family, specifically, my daughter Roma.
By the way, I will appreciate it very much if you can inform your collector and blogger friends that two of my "cult-classic" movies entitled THEY CALL HER CLEOPATRA WONG and ONE-ARMED EXECUTIONER will be available in DVD as re-issue, for the territory of NORTH AMERICA (including Puerto Rico and Mexico) by middle or end of February, 2009 through MPI MULTIMEDIA/DARK SKY FILMS of Illinois and afterwards will be aired in Cable TV in same territory.
I might go back to my first love, that is producing and directing English language movies geared for the International market middle of next year and my comebacking movie will be – VENGEANCE OF CLEOPATRA WONG, with Ms. Marrie Lee (original Cleo Wong) to play the lead role opposite a French martial-arts actor. In this movie project which will be funded by no less than Studio Canal Plus through the representation of my good French diplomat friend, Mr. Raphael Millet, the audiovisual officer of the Franch Embassy in Singapore. In said movie project, we will introduce the new Cleopatra Wong, who is supposed to be the daughter of Cleo Wong.
Afterwards, I am planning to do the shoot of two movie projects entitled – The WANDERING SAMURAI and The LADY EXECUTIONER, and would like to know from you if you got any friends who might be interested in co-producing with me said two movie projects which will only cost  US$350,000.00 for The WANDERING SAMURAI, with Gary Daniels to play the villain role and US$300,000.00 for The LADY EXECUTIONER with Ms. Maria Isabel Lopez (of RED ROSES FOR A CALL GIRL' fame) to play the lead role, opposite again with my good friend, Gary Daniels. Cost of post production works and CGI visual effects which must be done in Los Angeles is not included in said production budgets.
Herewith you will find informative data about me and my humble works for your study and reading pleasure.
Thank you and hoping to hear from you soonest.
With Kindest personal regards.

Sincerely yours,
BOBBY A. SUAREZ
President-Producer-Director
B.A.S. FILM PRODUCTIONS, INC.

It's receiving emails like this that makes it such a pleasure maintaining this site. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Suarez's work, I would advise you search out any of his films and watch them as soon as possible. He is one of the most talented action directors in the Philippines. Here's hoping that his future films become reality! - Editor  NOTE: Unfortunately, Bobby passed away in February 2010. A big loss for Filipino cinema and filmmaking in general.


Hello Fred,
 
I stumbled upon your Critical Condition site accidentally, and am glad I did.  You gave a great review of my movie, "VENGEANCE".  By the way, that's the original title and the title Magnum used on their U.S. video distribution.  "SCREAM FOR VENGEANCE" was the name Manson International put on it with their worldwide distribution, which came several years prior to our Magnum deal.
The reason I'm writing is to let you know I'm putting together a new 2-disc DVD package, mastered from the original 16mm film, which I have.  I shot it in 16mm and supervised the 35mm blow-up at CFI in Hollywood.  By the way, Francis Ford Coppola sat in on part of the color timing session. Also, the special features will be numerous:  all the screen tests of every actor we tested, over 50 I believe, a promotional fund raising 20 minute film I made to show potential investors, a super-8 sound test film, a 30 minute TV talk show on which I was the only guest, talking about "VENGEANCE", many behind the scenes photographs, an introduction video explaining the history of the film, and a full audio commentary with me and several of the cast members.  I'm hoping that this DVD set will be popular with film buffs of the genre, but I'm really hoping it will help future potential independent filmmakers like I was back then, and give them encouragement to follow their dreams and make their movies.
When it's complete (with all new art and printed material, and stamped full color discs, not burned) I'll let you know.  It will be months from now, but it IS in production.  I liked your review very much!  Thanks.
 
Best regards,
Bob Bliss

Thanks so much! It's nice to know that you liked my review. I absolutely love your film and look forward to the DVD release. In my opinion, it's one of the unsung classic low-budget films from the late-70's. Please keep me updated on it's progress and let me know who is distributing it so I can tell my readers where to buy it. I get a lot of emails from people wanting to know where they can purchase a copy. It will be great to tell them that it is finally going to be released on DVD. I know I'll be one of the first to do so! - Editor


Hi Fred,

I'm just writing to let you know that I have just discovered your website via another page, and am, to be completely honest, totally blown away!!! I am a huge fan of 70's and 80's schlock horror, and so finding your site is like a dream come true. (I think yours and 'Bleeding Skull' are my favorites because there's so much to look at and read). I feel like I'd have to call in sick from work or something for a couple of weeks to (maybe) read everything you've written. PLEASE, don't ever stop doing this. Your website is an incredible resource for people like me who just can't get enough of B-horror movies, especially the really unknown ones.

Thanks so much and take care,
Jason Tetreault
Providence, RI

Thanks so much for the nice words. Rest assured, I will keep doing this until I breathe my last breath. - Editor


I have been trying to find the name of a movie I saw when I was a kid, in the early or mid 70's it was about some Vietnam Vets who come home to the states and buy a limo and ride around the country with a trunk load of weapons. They try to adjust to life, then come to a small town, seems I remember in the desert and run into conflict with the townsfolk and then unleash hell on the town. Ends with a showdown with I believe National Guard troops or maybe state police in the middle of town like on old showdown. I came across your site and thought you might know of it.

Thanks,
Rich
Las Vegas, NV

The name of the film is WELCOME HOME SOLDIER BOYS (1972) and you can find a review of it right here on my site by clicking on the link. - Editor


Hi,

Just a few words to congratulate you on the site. First, any site  which starts with a quotation from our mutual friend Scooter, has to be of great value and interest. Yours stands up to the challenge.
Great compilation of reviews on films nobody will take the time to detailed. The reading is a bit tough though because of the small fonts and single colum layout, but it is great to see the color ads you added to each review. I am surprised you could not find a worthy publisher to put all those in a "forgotten" film encyclopedia in a nice big fat cofee table book.

All the best,
Lucas Balbo

Thanks, Lucas. I'm also a big fan or your writing, especially your book on Jess Franco and your wonderful articles in the late, great Psychotronic Video magazine (especially the one on Paul Naschy). As for finding a worthy publisher for a coffee table book: I'm not against the idea! - Editor


Dear Fred,

I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed your review of 'GRIZZLY 2: THE PREDATOR'. I played the drummer in the electronica band that featured in the film. My then boyfriend, a drummer and producer, was producing the music for the film's band.  The producers wanted him to play the drummer, but he had to dash off to Sweden to produce Adam Ant, so he suggested me. He taught me how to "mime drum" in a few lessons and then I was off to Hungary!  (I used to be a classically trained mime artist, amongst many other things.)
I can't tell you how odd the whole experience was: a Hungarian director on the edge of a nervous breakdown, bemused Hollywood stars wondering what the heck they were doing in the middle of the Hungarian woods, Nazareth arriving and 10,000 eager Hungarians starved for heavy metal music descending on the set.

Best wishes,
Barbie Wilde
http://www.barbiewilde.com

Thanks for the info, Barbie! I would suggest readers check out Barbie's site. She also appeared as the Female Cenobite in HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II (1988)! - Editor


I have had a lot of enjoyable movie nights because of you and your website, and I just wanted to say Thank You.  Your reviews are always reliable, and I hope you keep doing this for a long time.  Any chance you will add a category of your best reviewed films to your home page?  Not that I will stop reading your website, I just know that this would be a great resource for the discerning horror viewer.  Whatever you do, please keep up the great work!

Charlie Lellman

Watching films is so subjective, I never thought of putting my favorite films in their own category. Even I find myself reading my old reviews from twenty years ago and thinking to myself how my opinion has changed. Who's to say that my favorite films now will still be my favorites in the years to come? It's best just to leave things as they are: Paragraphs in history that shouldn't be changed because they reflected my thoughts at that moment in time. - Editor


Hi,

I just read your review of STRANGERS IN PARADISE. I first saw a clip of it on Public Access in Pittsburgh, PA while I was in school. This weird goth guy named Buck Darkhorn had a show called "Buck the System" (clever!). He showed random clips or would drone on while words flashed on the screen that said "Shut up already!" I remember seeing a full Pigface concert and a topless girl dancing on a stump to the song "Heirate Mich". So, you get the kind of odd show this is...especially public access.
One night, he played a montage of obscure films. One scene had the punk kids from Strangers in Paradise walking down the street and a kid saying to his parents, "I wish I was back in Pittsburgh".
After I saw that scene, I had to buy the movie. I asked Buck what that clip was from, so that's how I found out the title of the film. I soon after somehow found the movie on VHS on ebay or something.
When I finally saw the entire film I couldn't believe how ridiculously funny it was...so bad it was good. Most of the music in the movie is pretty bad...although there are a few really interesting songs. Of course, it falls tremendously short of Rocky Horror status. But, there is something about it that should have made it a cult movie. There is hardly any information about it online. I wonder even how the director got money to make this film...
Anyway, I appreciated seeing that more than two people have seen this awfully, terribly, funny/bad movie.
 
Julia
Philly, PA

The director of that film, Ulli Lommel, is still making films today. Many of them. like CURSE OF THE ZODIAC (2006), are awful shot-on-video crime films based on true-life serial killers. They make STRANGERS IN PARADISE look like GONE WITH THE WIND in comparison. - Editor


I don't want anything from you; no dubs, no copies, no...nothing. Except the honour and priviledge of telling you how much I admire your phenomenal - and might I say exhaustive - body of work. I know this must be your passion, and I suppose it satisfies you; but I wonder if you realize just how much pleasure your work gives people like me, and just how much more enjoyable you make life for us??
I wish you the very best of good health and long life.  
 
My grateful thanks,
John Warwick Arden

This is the reason why I love doing this. No other words are nesessary, except: Thanks, John. - Editor


Hello,

I stumbled onto your website today. Good stuff. I was wondering if maybe you could help me out with a movie title. I saw it when I was very young on TV. All I remember is a family went into a cave and when they came out, everyone had turned to dust. Kinda like NIGHT OF THE COMET, but I dont think there were zombies. Do you have any clue what this movie is? I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Aaron

Thanks for the kind words about my website. The film you are thinking about is WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE?, a 1974 TV movie starring Peter Graves and Verna Bloom. It's shown on the Fox Movie Channel every now and then. I hope this helps. - Editor

Dude,

You are awesome. I asked 100 people and no  one had a clue. I appreciate it.

Aaron

Actually, this was quite easy for me to answer because I just watched the film two weeks previously! - Editor


Would you know who released the 1975 version of SUDDEN DEATH starring Robert Conrad? I saw it crediting Richard Foreman as the director. He must have shot some new footage. Eddy Romero followed Oscar Williams 58 page script, which was too short. It came out a little more than an hour. It wasn't a bad film, but had a pretentious  message. It was an early anti-CIA film. Test marketed in Denver to lukewarm reception. Caruth C. Byrd's father did not want to invest any more in distribution. I wondered who wound up owning the film. I note Caruth C. Byrd died on December 16, 2010. He is the albino in the photograph.  I shot stills for it, and know it was Eddie Romero. He must have added scenes. I'm aware it was too short at just over an hour. Test marketed in Denver to a tepid reception, The producer, Caruth C. Byrd's father did not want to throw away good money after bad. I wrote the website, but instead of answering me, it was taken down. I was not pursuing legal action. I think it's a violation of the director's code to work on a film without the original director's permission even if the film stinks.

Carl Kuntze

I reviewed the film and the print I watched (on VHS from Media Home Entertainment) was credited to Eddie Romero as the director. When it was released to theaters in my area by Bedford Entertainment, it mentioned that it was a Caruth C. Bird Production, but no mention of the director was to be found on the print ads. - Editor


Hello, my name is Brian Coghill. I worked on the film SLOW BULLET in 1988. I was the weapons handler for the film. I also was one of two SFX artists on the project. This was my first film, pretty much right out of high school. I went on to work for Disney and I am currently contracted by LucasFilm for various projects. I can tell you first hand the making of SLOW BULLET was far worse than actually sitting through it. I must of course admit I have never seen the finished product. What we went through on the film crew (all four of us) was akin to torture. The majority of the film was, as you mentioned, filmed in Florida. It was actually filmed in Ft. Lauderdale at the back lot of a production company that worked on the movie FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR as well as many others. One of these days I will try to wrangle a copy of this gem and attempt to sit through it. I just wanted to thank you for including it on your list. It is quite hard to track down, and since we never received our pay for the work, we can't hunt down the company either. I often tell my friends and daughter about this film, and now I can show them someone else that knows about it.

Brian Coghill

Well, Brian, the film was released on VHS by  Phoenix Associates Distributors/Mama's Home Video/Rest Area Productions Home Video. I never heard of any of them before. I do see a copy of the film pop up on eBay every now and then, so you may want to try there first. - Editor


Fred:

My name is David Christiane and without repeating what you have heard a million times I think your website is great. Thanks for documenting this stuff. I'm a sleaze fan from way back who started out in the late '70s as a teenager going to sleaze theatres in my old hometown of Milwaukee, WI.
I noticed some info on your website and thought I'd write, not to sound arrogant, but rather to help set the record straight on a mystery that seems to bother lots of people concerning whether or not BRUKA is or is not same film as DEVIL WOMAN. I beleive it is for the following reasons which may prove helpful to this riddle.
I actually saw BRUKA at the long defunct Cinema Theater in downtown Milwaukee. I saw it in November 1980 on a triple bill with two other Asian grinders: FORTRESS IN THE SUN and BAMBOO TRAP. I saw BRUKA again in summer 1983, do not recall the co-features but seem to think it was HOUSE THAT CRIED MURDER. BRUKA was a popular item in Milwaukee grindhouses in late '70s-early '80s, turning up every six months or so, usually with other Asian films.
Ok, here goes. My young mind was so fascinated by these films that I have great recall for these early ones. However, one I may have seen last month I've already forgotten. it's the early ones that make the impression.
BRUKA opens as I recall with the closing scene from DEVIL WOMAN! It's the scene where the the snake girl dies by falling off the cliff. An American narrator says that this is the story of the snake girl and then the scene of the girl by her parents' grave is shown as the we are told that the girl will avenge these horrible deaths. I assume that the scene of the girl falling off the cliff is supposed to allude to her dead parents. Then a big red title card saying BRUKA, QUEEN OF EVIL is inserted. This entire opening, which consists of various scenes taken out of sequence from DEVIL WOMAN, runs about two minutes. The rest of the film contains many of the scenes found in the BRUKA trailer on youtube, but I do not recall the rock men. I do seem to recall the snake lady with the long gray hair. I recall my father, who would sometimes go with me to these things, telling me that this was at least two or three different movies put together. That's how confused we were!!! To complicate matters even more, I recall the poster for the film hanging in the lobby and it's the exact same poster that is on the Temple of Schlock website which is listed as being the Filipino poster! This was actually the American poster as well, and I recall it said a Hallmark presentation, which makes sense since they distributed DEVIL WOMAN.
All this said, my theory is that they are the same film more or less. My guess is that either the original producer or American distributor simply chopped up DEVIL WOMAN and redited it into another film by changing some the sequences and adding what appears to be additional footage of midgets, rock men, etc., from possibly another film. BRUKA may have been another film that was supposed to be shot together with DEVIL WOMAN but was never finished beyond a few scenes, which were then combined to make another film out of what was really just one.
One thing that may give insight into this whole mess was a conversation I had with Belton Clark this summer, who used to head Ark Films, which was a major distributor of low-brow kung fu in late '70s. He told me that only two prints would be bought of these Asian releases. The American distributor would then come up with a new title and send it back to the Asian producer who would then cut a trailer and insert the new title. All trailers and title changes were done in Hong Kong and then sent back to American distributor. Often times title would be altered again by American, but never inserted into film. I saw dozens of Ark releases that simply just started with no credits, title, anything. Only a newspaper ad would give title. One such example is a film called AMSTERSAM CONNECTION which appeared also as BIG BAD BOLO, MEAN KUNG FU KILLER, and who knows what else. I also suspect that Ark would sometimes take a title from one film and put it on another film, so that there would be two films with the same title moving around the country, but at different times. In other words, they would just switch film titles with each other!

Best,
David Christiane

David: You are not going to believe this, but my good friend Andrew Leavold from Australia has sent me a DVD-R copy of BRUKA: QUEEN OF EVIL and I'm glad to report that it is actually a direct sequel to DEVIL WOMAN! They are, indeed, two separate films (besides the closing scene in DEVIL WOMAN that opens BRUKA, all of the other footage is brand new) and I can't wait to sit down and properly write a review for this sucker! I love when stuff like this happens and I get to actually watch a film that I've been dying to see for over 30 years. - Editor


 

 

 

 



For the record: Despite what Sal says, the Camp involvement on HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS was to pre-buy the US VHS rights for a period of 7 years on a royalty basis. When that license expired so did their rights. I believe we did offer them producer credits as they did in fact pay up before the film had actually been shot.
On EVIL SPAWN they didn't even get involved until the film was completed, and like HCH, the rights reverted back to me upon expiration of their initial license.
They DID produce a movie of their own (DEATH ROW DINER?) that I had no in involvement in.

Fred Olen Ray

This was in response to information that Sal Richichi Jr., the son of one of the owners of the original Camp Video VHS label, supplied me regarding the history of the label, which can be found HERE - Editor



I came across a posting for Lava creatures referencing the file THE PIT. I have the film on the way, but it doesn't sound like the "lava monster" film I've been searching for now decades. I watched this film while growing up on a local affiliate station in Florida in the early 80s. The film could be from the early 70s...MAYBE the late 60s, but I doubt it. From what I remember about the film since it's been awhile and my memory of the film is slowly becoming fuzzier.
This starts out as a couple are traveling in the woods somewhere. It looks like it could have been somewhere in the Northwest United States. So, the foliage is similar to Oregon or Washington State. They stop at a secluded natural wood colored house that has a porch. I vaguely remember that they could have been out of gas. They speak to this man. He's either a sheriff or a supervisor or owner of the property. I believe he tells them about the caves, but is very reluctant to show them the caves claiming that it’s just too dangerous. The true reason was because his wife fell into the pool OR she was just attacked by the creature. The couple came to take a look at lava caves (I believe?) He takes them down a forest trail to the small entrance that leads to a cave. He shows them the pool. It has a guard rail next to the edge. I forget what happens to the man, but I believe that he is killed by the owner of the property and then thrown into the pool so the creature/lava can dispose of the body. I believe that the woman resembles his wife or wants companionship, so he wants her to stay with him. He keeps the woman trapped inside his house. She eventually gets free and hides from him under the porch. Once he enters the house, she makes a run for it down the road/trail, but doesn’t make it. Eventually, she makes her way back into the cavern and the creature rises from the pool to kill the property owner. This is the one single film I have yet to collect from my childhood. I found MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE from Kung Fu Theater, Grizzly (still searching for the sequel), NIGHT OF THE DEMON (Bigfoot), SCALPS, THE SLAYER, and my personal favorite James Brolin’s THE CAR. This is the only one I have remaining.
Is there ANYONE out there that can help?? 

Thanks in advance, 
William Hickey

This possibly sounds like Director Larry Buchanan's IT'S ALIVE! (1969), not to be confused with Larry Cohen's IT'S ALIVE (1974) about a killer baby. The plot points are nearly identical. There's a monster in a cave that lives in a lava pit ands the owner (Bill Thurman) of the cabin imprisons a man and a woman in a cage when their car breaks down. The man also has a woman living inside the house who is scared to death of him (flashbacks show him feeding her a rat for dinner and then beating her with his fists and a whip when she tries to escape). The man also catches another guy (Tommy Kirk) who, in the end, lobs some lit dynamite in the cave killing the owner and the monster. The finale shows the lava pit with the words "THE END?" The creature was nothing more than a cheap rubber monster suit with ping pong balls for eyes. It was the same monster used in Buchanan's CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE (1967). I hope this helps. - Editor



HI, 
 
I came across your website while looking for info on Imperial Entertainment Corp. and hope that you might share your knowledge with me...I was at a horror festival this past weekend, where many vendors were selling their "collection" in bulk - most of the DVD's were obviously just homemade copies of the original VHS, but how are they legally doing this? Is it simply the art of a carefully constructed disclaimer (I see you've got yours intact)?
Also, if a person wanted to go about buying the original copyright, how difficult would this be, and where would you recommend I start?
Just curious and clueless.
Thanks in advance for any information you will share. 
 
Regards, 
Stephanie Stanina

The fact is if anyone is selling copies of a copyrighted videos, they are breaking the law. There is a list of public domain features that anyone can sell, but if they are just simply copying a VHS tape to DVD and selling it, they are breaking copyright law. I do not sell any films, I simply trade with other people for films in their library. That is not against the law, since we are not accepting payment of any kind for the copies. Also, people can sell copies of films that never had a legal release in the U.S. as long as no companies own the copyrights to them in the U.S. That is how all these gray market sellers work.
If you want to go about buying an original copyright, the first place to start is by hiring an entertainment lawyer. It's not cheap, though. - Editor



This is Enrique from Monterrey , Mexico
First excuse me please...my English is not so good.
I'm a huge slasher, terror, 80s movies , I wanna thank  for your web. It rules !... with all that magic covers... these wonder years.... 
Well, I have a problem and i hope you can help me. Look, I´m searching  for the name of a movie.  It is a terror movie which I have seen in my childhood It is about a bunch of guys they enter in an old house, I think that house was  owned by an old dead actor from the 40s or 50s. Then, the actor's "ghost" begin to kill every boy and girl and we can see "storyboards"  before every death.  "Storyboards" that show us many scenes that the actor played in life and show us how will be killed every kid... this is all I can remember. I don't  know if it is American or European.... I have seen this movie when I was 10 or 11 years old, now I'm 25 and I can't find it until now. Please help meee !!!
 
Congratulations for your web and stand by me
Enrique Ramirez

That fim is called BLOODY MOVIE (original title: TERROR NIGHT). It was made in 1987 and is available on DVD from Retromedia Entertainment. - Editor



Hey Fred,

I love the website! Thanks for all of your hard work. I found it after I was trying to search for a review of "THE CARRIER" from the 1980s. I now own that on VHS and love it!
I was talking to a friend about some of Bob Clark's films and he mentioned "DEATHDREAM". I went to your website and, naturally, you wrote a great review of it! I want to purchase the film but am confused as to what version I should get. The DVD version by Blue Underground looks rife with extras and a nice digital transfer, but Amazon has it listed as a "PG" flick. Does that mean this version is the heavily cut 70s TV version, or does this DVD version have the film shown in its entirety, ala Gorgon's release? If it is indeed the cut version, what full version do you recommend I get? Gorgon on VHS?
Thanks, Fred! I look forward to hearing from you. If I find any flicks that I think you might enjoy, I'll let you know.

Brian J. Crush

Never fear, the Blue Underground DVD of DEATHDREAM is uncut. It was always rated PG and never rated R (back in the 70's a PG film could show a lot of blood and violence that a PG film of today can't). The misconception that the film was rated R was when some theaters mistakenly slapped R ratings on their ads and some zines copied them. Go for the DVD. Thanks for the kind words about my site. I put a lot of work into it and it's nice to hear good things about it every once in a while. - Editor


Fred,

Hello.  My name is Todd Garbarini and I write articles under the name of Jonathan Stryker.  I am looking for a TV episode of a show (the name escapes me) that I saw circa 1984 or 1985 that had a story about a young girl who gets a birthday cake with a magician candle on it.  She makes a wish, then her evil babysitter comes to babysit.  The babysitter terrorizes the girl until the end of the episode wherein a magician jumps out of the closet and kills the babysitter. Do you have any idea what show this was?  I thought it was SCENE OF THE CRIME with Orson Welles, but I'm not sure.  ANY HELP would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Todd Garbarini

That was indeed SCENE OF THE CRIME. The episode's title was "The Babysitter" and it starred Anne Lockhart, Robert Pierce, Angela Lansbury and Priscilla Weems. It aired during either September or October of 1984 and is available on VHS if you search for it. - Editor


Hello, 

I came across your site and thought you might know the answer to my question.  I saw this horror flick  2-4 years ago.  It starts out with a scene in the backwoods.  Two hillbillys come across a rough cabin/shack looking for some food etc.  They come across the housewife and proceed to assault and rough up.  The young son is also slashed and left to die but he ends up hiding under the front porch for years, debilated.  He ends up killing anyone that comes to this shack in the woods, basically renacting what he witnessed.  The movie has 4-6 young adults, one by one they get taken out.  That is all I saw of the movie, I'm wondering if you know the title?
 
Thanks
M. Murphy

That film would be A CRACK IN THE FLOOR (2000), directed by Corbin Timbrook and Sean Stanek. Mario Lopez, Gary Busey, Rance Howard and Bo Hopkins star. It's available on Amazon. - Editor


My name is Tom Wenz and I happened across your website and review of the movie "THE CARRIER".  I was actually in the movie, but have never seen it.  It was filmed in the Summer of 1985 and I moved away from Michigan (where Swan Productions was located) the next June.  I assumed it was never released -- until now.
This brings back quite a few memories for me.  I was actually called back 5 times for the lead role of Jake before the director found someone he felt was more what he was looking for (too bad for me), but I got to be "Dick's Buddy" and have some fun that Summer.

Tom Wenz

Thanks for sharing that information! - Editor


Greetings,

  I have a question for you.  I saw this movie when I was a kid, I am now 32, it was more than 20 years ago when I saw it.  By the way, kudos on your site, it's kick ass!! Anyway, I can't remember much about it other than this guy was some type of thief/ archaeologist and he was recruited by some less than savory individuals to steal this jewel from some temple out in the middle of from what I remember to be similar to a middle east setting.  He ends up saving some woman who was not there of her own free will, by retrieving the other jewel, of which he already had the other, and using them to cut the baddies into pieces all while sacrificing his own self because the power of the two jewels were too much for any man to wield.  The scene is very dramatic  and shows his flesh being seared away by the heat of the red jewel.  The jewels were two colors (green and red).  One representing evil and the other good.  I hope that you can free my mid of it's early cable watching experience trauma.  I love movies, and have been engrossed ever since I saw the cable box for my fist time in 1981.  The beautiful bold dazzling of the original  HBO logo with the cool miniatures and stars that went into lights.  It all had a profound impact on me, and watched so many of those low budget movies back then that I did not even know the names of them. One that had plagued me until I was about 18 was Sword and the Sorcerer, which by the way when I finally bought it and watched it on DVD, I definitely realized why it was only a hit with my childhood fascination with swords and not my adult fascination with cinema.  Although I must still give myself props for liking things like Excalibur, the Deep  and Dune, movies which were way above my pay grade at 7 and 9 years old. Any who, while typing this, I have had the epiphany of another movie, which for the life of me, I cannot remember what it was called.
I saw this movie  in the 80's also.  The hero, once again a sacrificial lamb, is a deep sea researcher or deep sea recovery technician who is needed to assist an underwater touring expedition that get stranded on an underwater ledge. He has his own little one man submersible which he uses to first make contact with and then aid in the rescuing of the party in distress.  Upon holding up the edge of the wrecked vehicle for the remaining rescue, he and his "little ship that could", are drug down to an abyss-y doom to leave him celebrated as a hero.  Any who, I am assuming it was probably a late 70's/ early eighties movie due to the fact that the hero was sporting a very manly full beard.  Being that the small time frame was the precipice of the beard, if safe to assume that it was somewhere in there.
I hope that my requests are not too trivial for you and that you may be able to shed light on these long haunting memories from my childhood and make it possible for me to be able to revisit these movies so that I can know what the hell I was watching back them.  Take care and "May the schwartz be with yooooooouuuuuuuu........!!!!!"

Prof. NO

The first movie sounds like TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS (1983) and the second film you describe sounds exactly like the plot to GRAY LADY DOWN (1978). - Editor


I'm not sure if this movie even exists or if its just in my mind but
hopefully you would know after looking through your site a bit. I have asked a number of people but they dont recall such a movie. The movie is about this guy who works at a burger joint and hates his life. He goes to a witch and wishes to be the greatest guitar player in the world. She stirs up this potion with a knife and stabs him with it. When he wakes up hes in bed with 4 groupies. If you know of such a movie, I'd like to know what its called.


Thanks,
Zach Irvin

That movie is called SHOCK 'EM DEAD (1990). The guy worked at a pizza parlor, not a burger joint, though. You can read my review by clicking on the above link. - Editor


To Mr. Adelman,

As for your report that I've moved to France, I did go to France for three days in 2000 to film AN EROTIC VAMPIRE IN PARIS with Misty Mundae, but I don't quite follow how my working in a country for half a week means that I have "moved" there. I should advise you that I plan to spend a few days in Canada this summer, so if you'd like to begin reporting that I'm about to move to Canada, please be my guest.

Donald Farmer

I hope you're traveling first class, because you need some. - Editor


Hello.

My name is Matt Minadeo. First off, let me say that you have a very cool website. Where did you get all those images from? I know that you are probably too busy to help me out, but I'll ask you anyways. Do you think that you could identify a horror movie for me? I've never seen this particular movie, but I remember what the VHS box cover art looks like.
The box cover art was some guy (I think he was a zombie) with blue skin. I think he was wearing a suit and tie. I think that he had a moustache. His face was not deformed or anything. He may have been busting out of a television or swinging on a rope. I can't remember. This artwork was drawn by an artist. The name of the movie might have had "zombie" or "dead" in the title. This movie was from the 1980's. It was a low budget, not very well known movie. This movie may have been foreign, like from Italy. I'm sure that this movie was put out by one of the video companies that you listed on your website. If you know the name of this movie could you please e-mail me back and let me know? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks alot. Take care. Keep up the good work.

Later,
Matt Minadeo

I haven't got a clue. My first thought was ZOMBIE HIGH (1987), but that was a photograph and not drawn by an artist. If anyone reading this knows the answer, please email me HERE with the answer. - Editor
UPDATE: Several people, including Gabriel Barron and Danial Budnick have emailed CritCon to inform that the film in question is director Bert L. Dragin's 1988 horror film TWICE DEAD.


Hi,

A few years back I managed to watch a sci-fi film on TV twice without catching the title, it was terrible but it's been bugging me. I think it was made in either the 80s or early 90s. There was a group of people on a spaceship that was headed out to help a colony (I think), something went wrong with the spaceship and the captain abandoned ship leaving his crew to die. Back on Earth the captain was saying he was the only survivor and talking about his heroic escape whilst his crew watch on the news. They had to decide what to do as oxygen was low (or something), the female second in command had a dog, there was a wise-ass character, a knowledgeable engineer and a young female cadet. Can't remember much more but I remember that the young female cadet's head explodes when her space suit gets a rip in it whilst repairing something outside the ship. Also the wise-ass guy watches little virtual hula girls in his cabin, the second in command commits suicide with her dog... eventually all that's left is the wise-ass character who saves himself by getting into a cryogenic frozen coffin.
If you have any idea what this film is I'd be eternally grateful.

Steph Dawson

I haven't got a clue, although the plot sounds vaguely familiar. If anyone has the answer, please email me HERE. UPDATE: The film in question is TRAPPED IN SPACE (1994), a made-for-cable TV movie starring Jack Wagner, Kay Lenz and Craig Wasson. It was directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman, whose first directorial effort was HERCULES IN NEW YORK (1970), starring a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger! - Editor


Hi Mr. Fadeleman:

I didn't write the screenplay for DESERT WARRIOR (1988). I suspect Mr. K. Y. Lim, The Chinese Producer used my name to get a screening because he sold one I wrote. I did write BLACK MAMBA (1974), a film that was not shot seriously, but was used by the late actor John Ashley and late Philippine American director, George Rowe to get girls, ("I'm going to put you in pictures."). They saw something marketable after it was finished, but was uneven. I tried to patch it up as well as I could, difficult to do, because Alex David, also coincidentallly, a Chinese producer, was so disgusted, he did not want to put up any more money. I tried to get it from Dimension Films, but Larry Woolner had given a small advance to John Ashley, who couldn't deliver the film. David kept the negative in his office, chilling it in the daytime, then baking it at night when the air conditioning was turned off. I had no idea BLACK MAMBA was sold until I saw your review. He stiffed me my 10%. How did the print look after such maltreatment? Never mind content, they were screwing around throughout the production. Is it worth the US $ 20., or should I just flush the money down a toilet?

Best,
Carl Kuntze

Thanks for the information, Carl! As far as the print used for BLACK MAMBA goes: It's pretty faded and in bad shape, at least the one used for Retromedia and Image Entertainment's BLOOD-O-RAMA DVD release. Mr. Kuntze supplied some facinating behind-the-scenes information on the film. To read it, click on the link to the review of BLACK MAMBA. - Editor


Hello Fred Adelman.
 
I stumbeld across your webpage, and well I think you might be able to help me.
I am looking for a film I saw when I was younger, and I think it was around 12 years ago, due to these facts and that english isn't my main language, it has been a bit troublesome trying to find it again.
Anyway, the plot is something in the lines of this:
A cursed tree that has statues in it, some kids removing the statues, and the statues then become alive and start making havoc in the town, the kids gather up the statue people and place them back into the tree.
I don't know if that will help you much, the movie was on Video when I saw it, and it was in color, soo I dunno how old it is.
 
Really looking forward to hearing from you
Kieron

Anyone have a clue? If you do, email me HERE - Editor


Hello!
 
Great web site. I was especially glad to find info on THE ABOMINATION. I had rented this way back when, and I always wondered what the title was.  Now, I must find a copy!
I was hoping you could help with another 80's cheapy, but a great one!  Perhaps you have seen it, and could help me with the title.  Here is the plot:
Rich old lady wants to be young.  With the help of her faithful servant, she kills young girls for their blood.  She takes the blood, becomes young, goes out with young men, but the affects wear out and she becomes monstrous.  I remember she had a very weird voice.  So, the killing must go on, and the affects of the youth tonic become even shorter.  At the end of the movie, I believe her house is on fire, and her faithful servant dies with her, confessing how much he has always loved her.  This film is either late 70's or early 80's, though I believe it was made during the 80's.
How I have tried to Google and Yahoo the key words, but at no avail...any help would really be appreciated.
 
Thanks again.
Claudio Duckardt

The title of the film you are looking for is THE REJUVENATOR (1988), also known as REJUVENATRIX. Click on either of the links to read my review. - Editor


Dear Fred,
 
Hello, my name is Chris Koenig and I'm a Fall 2007 graduate of Columbia College of Chicago. I happened upon your website devoted to those old classic video labels of the 80s; unfortunately I grew up in the ever-so dull 90s but I always journeyed to the local Mom and Pop video stores and saw releases from Vestron, Wizard, Regal and the rest. I'm writing to ask if you know anything about an obscure video company known as Genesis Home Video; I know you are still working on the info on your site but if you have anything about Genesis that you can tell I would really appreciate it.
The reason I ask is because I have one of their rare VHS releases of a film called ETHAN, an independent film made in 1964 by producer-director Michael du Pont and starring Robert Sampson, who would later go on to play Dean Halsey in Re-ANIMATOR (1985). I've been trying to find Michael in hopes that he still has the rights to ETHAN and if he's interested in getting it out on a good quality DVD, but so far no luck in locating him yet. I have contacted two others involved: executive producer Ferde Grofe Jr. and music composer Paul Glass, both of which have been extremely cooperative in telling me anything they know about the making of the film. I also hope to get in touch with Robert Sampson as well, but so far my busy schedule has been getting in the way. In the meantime, I've been trying to get Severin Films to look into this film, but so far I haven't gotten any response yet. But if you know anything about Genesis Home Video and how they got some of their titles, I'm very interested to hear their story.
Thank you for reading my letter and I hope to hear back from you soon.
 
Thank you,
Chris K.

I'm working on a profile of Genesis Home Video, but I'm afraid I can't help you with the information you seek, especially with the film ETHAN. Maybe some reader can fill us in? Email me if you can. - Editor


Hi Fred

My name is Earl and your website/whole deal rocks! I am a huge fan and collector of horror and obscure film and I absolutely love the old school xeroxed zines! There is so much info on your site that I haven't left it since I discovered it! All those cover scans and the history of the VHS companies is info I have been dying to hear. And I never hear anyone talk about the value of VHS and how films are getting lost...I have been thinking the same. I bet VHS becomes like record collecting with value and obsession. Its already on the rise as I see more and more horror VHS go for more and more $$$ on ebay. Those magazine ads you have scanned are awesome I want to collect and save them all from your site for fear I'll never see them anywhere again. 
Keep up the good work and THANKS!

Earl Kessler
Stroudsburg PA

Thanks so much for the nice words. I hope it shows that I pour my heart and soul into the website. Keep the Memory of VHS alive! - Editor


Sir/Madame,

On your website you have the name Zacarias Salveron under the film "THE CURSE OF PIRATE DEATH."  Please take off this name because it is not affiliated with this film.  I have contacted IMDB regarding the issue and I would appreciate it greatly if you took off the name from this film from your website.  Legal actions will be taken if this request is not addressed within 30 days.

OK, Zacharias, it was done. At least we have your email to remind us that you had nothing to do with this film. I wonder if you would have sent me the same email if you appeared in a GOOD horror film? Every couple of months or so, I receive emails like this with someone threatening legal action if I don't retract or remove information from my site (Like the guy who threatened to take me to Texas Supreme Court if I didn't remove the DVD cover scan of CHAINSAW CHEERLEADERS!). Mainly I just laugh, because if they just asked nicely, I would have been more than glad to do so. People today lack the proper manners and etiquette and think that legal action is the only recourse. Screw them! - Editor


Hello! I was wondering if you might know the movie that I'm talking about? I'm thinking it was called Dusk Till Dawn, Wait Till Dawn, or something like that. It was a setting in the woods and some kids go to this cabin and a huge (fat) maniac killer with an orange vest on kills the kids and you find out later in the movie that there was also a twin brother of his killing them as well because throughout the movie you're like "how can he be there too." He also has an orange vest on. I know 1 scene is in an old log cabin schoolhouse or church or something and then the one person runs across a rope bridge, one person climbs up a tree and I think the killer has a chainsaw. If you know this movie, do you know how I can get a copy of it? Thank you!!!

Steve Hennaman

That film is JUST BEFORE DAWN (1981), one of the better "terror in the woods" films. It's available on DVD (from Shriek Show), but you would be better off searching for the old Paragon Video VHS tape of it, as the DVD is edited of most of the nasty gore. - Editor


Hi.  

I noticed your review of IFD's PLATOON THE WARRIORS.  The cover scans you have up seem to be from a legit DVD release of the movie.  Is it really available on DVD?
Also, it was released here in the States on VHS; I have two copies from someone called "Hollywood Family Entertainment," based out of Canoga Park, California.  It has the awesome tagline, "Evil destroyed by righteous revenge."  It's got some wonderfully awful cover art; when I have access to a working scanner, I'll send you a scan of it.

Ryan

There's no legit DVD release of this film yet. The artwork you saw were scans of a pressbook that Joseph Lai released to promote his huge library of films for sale to territories around the world. Thanks for the info on it's U.S. video release and I look forward to the scans. - Editor


Hi,

I stumbled upon your site today and I really love it. I added "THE MANSON FAMILY" to my Netflix queue after your review of it. Sounds interesting. Anyway, I was wondering if you or anyone you know has ever seen "BLOOD CIRCUS", the movie made by Santo Gold, the '80's fake gold pitchman? It was only released for a very, very short while in Baltimore in the 80's and never released on video but some people have seen it. I could only find a few reviews of it. And I wonder if there's a copy of the negatives floating around somewhere. The director, Santo Gold, is probably one of the most interesting people in the world. Honest. I'm obsessed with him. According to his website, he has a copy of the negatives for anybody that wants to buy them. I really wish there's some really rich nerd like me who will buy that and release it to the world. But Santo Gold is a notorious bullshitter so who knows.

Bryan Bierman

Well, Bryan, your right about Santo Gold being an interesting person, but I doubt we'll ever see a release of BLOOD CIRCUS any time soon. Mr. Gold is notorious about protecting his name and "reputation" (He recently sued singer Santogold for copyright infringement and she had to change her stage name to "Santigold".), but he keeps dangling BLOOD CIRCUS in everyone's face like a carrot to a racehorse. I'm sure there's a print of the film around somewhere (I keep hearing that there was a Beta tape master made of the print), but Santo Gold is a huckster, a modern-day carnival barker, so don't get your hopes up too high on ever seeing this film. Maybe when he dies, his family will finally give it a release. - Editor


Hello Fred,

... It has been awhile. I know Mr. Fred Olen Ray  is much busier then I am making sure the internet lines are filled with  trivia and hyped nothings. Restraint is a virtue and so is silence.  Eventually   however the chickens come  home to roost. In view of the fact that Mr, Fred Olen Ray makes the public claim that  he has never been sued. I am afraid he will have to retract that one.
Yes , and a I am sorry to say it did happen now. And for good reasons. After  years of venom and uncalled for behavior on his part  I had to put a stop to all of it. By filing a libel and slander suit against Fred Olen Ray and Retromedia Enertainment Inc. for a  very reasonable half a million dollars. For confirmation of  this NO SPIN information you can confirm this public information with Iron County, Wisconsin circuit court. File # 09-CV-43 now in the works.
It is  most unfortunate that matters have to come to this over  what started  as  $525.00 dollar dispute on royalty reporting. In addition and nothing to do with this legal matter, I also recall That Fred Olen Ray attempted to fault you for printing what you are in business to do. In journalism, opinions are one thing, statements are something else. and NEWS is something else again. It must be reported with accuracy and precision, and no spin. My recall is that you have always done just that. Yet at one  point Fred Olen Ray attempted to fault you for his  own writings.....
In any event, that's were things stand now... 

Best regards, 
Bill Rebane

It's always a pleasure to hear from you, Bill, and it's unfortunate that business has to get dragged through the court system to set things straight. I really hope it works out for you. Now, when are you gonna direct another film!!!!! - Editor


Hi, 

I was wondering if you can help me on a title of a horror movie. I believe the film came out during the early to late 90's. All I can remember is its about a paperboy (maybe the title) who becomes a killer somehow, by the end someone finds somebody parts in his freezer and then he gets arrested somehow (while cursing the cops out) the end. This film has plagued in my mind for years. Please Help!!

It is indeed called THE PAPERBOY (1994). You can find out more about this film (including how to purchase it) by clicking on this link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110770/ - Editor


Hello,

First off, I often check out your site to check up on 80s horror video labels or find new artwork. So, thank you for the archive. I am a collector myself and have a question I've wondered about for years, if anyone knows the answer, it's probably you.
I have a lot of early Media video releases (the yellow, orange, and white boxes with Media in the corner). Half of these releases say "Media" and the other half say "Meda." I often see copies on ebay with the Media label selling for large amounts of money and advertised as the "very first release" of the film.
My question is - did the MEDA copies come out earlier, later, or were they some kind of misprint?
I hope you can help me with an answer.

Thanks,
Luke

Charles Band (the director/producer/writer who would later go on to helm FULL MOON PICTURES) was one of the original owners of this company. He originally named the company "MEDA" after the first name of his then-wife and when he sold the company, the name was changed to MEDIA. So, any VHS tapes you have with the name MEDA on them did come out before the titles with the MEDIA label. That explains why many of this company's titles were early Band productions, like LASERBLAST and TOURIST TRAP. I hope this helps. - Editor


Enjoyed reading along in your website very much!
I have a question. Yes, I want to know what film the following scene is from, (if you have seen it and remember). You may not have time to answer, or know the film, of course. But I thought I would ask cause it is making me nuts.
A friend loaned me a copy of some film like Beaches, or something, back in 1996, around November or so, to watch. At a certain point, he or someone else accidentally pressed "record" on the VCR over over-recorded a snippet from a horror flick, that must have played at Halloween that year or the year before.
It was a man in I think a typical suburban home, going around, paranoid, scared of something. He comes out of one room into another, a bedroom I think, and a woman in a flowing nightie or dress is there. They know each other. They both act all relieved that it is them. They begin to kiss. It gets more involved. She appears to, well, go down on him, as she breaks their kiss and moves we see from the camera POV her eyes start to glow and her face transform into something hideous. He notices not. She begins to do her thing. He seems OK at first. The film gears into Slow-mo. The music turns dissonant, allietory. His slow mo voice registers pain, his face looks tortured. We then see the thing the woman has transformed into--some kind of demon or alien with green glowing eyes, and 80 million rows of hideous, sharp, teeth, covered in blood and gore, in some kind of special effect grin--there isn't quite a face, more lie some kind of lines or strings that connect whatever it is together. I don't know what it was. The movie went to commercial break. I was--stunned, and unnerved, and could watch no more. I returned the film but later became curious as to what the heck I'd seen. Do you have any clues to what it could be? It seemed to be late 80's up to 1995, the tech was too good to be older.
Thanks in advance if you know, thanks for reading if you don't!

Robert Strickland

It sounds an awful lot like director Kenneth J. Hall's THE EVIL SPAWN (1987), which Fred Olen Ray then re-edited, shot new scenes and renamed THE ALIEN WITHIN a few years later. I'm not 100% certain this is the film you are talking about, though.  Maybe some educated reader can confirm or deny? - Editor



Today I came across Critical Condition and was really taken aback by the number of VHS covers you had to show!  I was VHS junkie and spent a ton of my paychecks renting and watching movies from the local video store in my teens and 20s, and those pages brought back a lot of memories!  Thank you! However, they got me thinking about a film I used to watch that I have yet to be able to locate, and I was hoping you might recognize what I'm talking about.  I do not remember the name of the movie, or release date, or actors.  All I can recall is the VHS cover.  It's an Italian film, dubbed in English, and I could have sworn it was released by Prism Entertainment.  The cover was mostly white, with the appearance of looking through Venetian blind I believe.  All I remember is the lead actress' character was in a loveless marriage, and she took a trip where she had an affair with a young man with long blond hair, and dressed him as a woman late in the movie to fool her husband,    All I remember is I liked that movie a lot for some reason, but that is all I remember. Does that cover or story ring a bell?  Any idea what I'm trying to find?  I've been perusing your huge catalog of covers, but have not seen it yet.  Any ideas?  Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Steve Schmall
Boise, Idaho

Frankly, I'm stumped. Maybe some sharp reader will recognize this synopsis and contact us? - Editor


I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor by letting me know if the Video Gems release of BLADE (1973) is the original 90 minute version or the censored 79 minute version that appeared on the budget releases. I can't find this information anywhere online, and don't know of anyone else who might know. Thanks!

Grayson Webster

Sorry to say that the Video Gems release is of the altered version, but there are some kick-ass scenes of late-70's Times Square in that edit. I do believe BLADE is finally going to get a deluxe DVD release in the near future and it will contain both edits - Editor



Just writing to tell you how great your site is. You really do your homework. I especially enjoy your in-depth history of video companies in the 80's. I worked at Magnum Entertainment in 85 and 86, so I know whereof I speak. I also did freelance work at Family Home Entertainment/Monterey/USA Home Video (all owned by the same company) in 1984, and I did freelance copywriting work at Warner Home Video in 1985. So I know that time and industry well. I was there during the 85 video explosion, and you got the details right. Excellent job. I'm also a fan of 70's B-movies, and your reviews are great -- lots of in-depth behind the scenes info along with thorough plot synopses. I've also stumbled upon some films that I didn't know about. I'll continue to explore your site, which is crammed with lots of great stuff. Thanks again.

Best wishes,
Bob Ellis

Thanks a lot for the kinds word, Bob. I did, indeed, spend a lot of time putting together the VHS companies of the 80's section and I tried to get the facts right. It's people like you who make this hobby so fun when they say that I got it correct. Thanks so much! - Editor


Fred:

Just passing along some kind words for your site... it is nothing short of fantastic. I typically visit a few times a week to get my much-needed regimen of reviews for, let's call them, "off-beat" films.
The focal point for my enjoyment of CritConOnline is the content on the history of VHS. Being that I turn 30 this year, I was fortunate enough to remember the good times. My father purchased a VHS player in 1985, and he had us at Video Works and Mega Video and every other mom-and-pop store at least once a week. Oh, how I remember being 5 years old and gazing at boxes for DOCTOR BUTCHER and DON'T GO IN THE WOODS, hoping some day I could bring them home for just one night. Magical. It was a time that I'll never forget.
On my mind these days is the effect on the home video industry with the advents of Blu-Ray and HD. I work in the industry myself as a TV producer, and even so with all these technological advancements, which get shoved down the throats of consumers and weasel their way into the home video market, it truly signals, I think, a final and absolute death for many of these older haven't-been-released-since-early-VHS-days films. HD & Blu-Ray has determined the absolute need for quality masters for the home market, and it's sad to think that THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN and THE REVENGE OF DR. X and so many great (did I say great?), ok, interesting films will absolutely never ever see the light of day again. 1,000's of films.
Don't get me wrong, HD is just fine. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that I absolutely love my super-compressed 1080i signal so that the HD picture quality looks like a pixelated mess because the dish and cable networks are cramming too much content through their lousy not-up-to-snuff fiber optic and satellite interfaces. On the other hand, Blu-Ray I have no problem with, but to kill the idea of releasing CLASS REUNION MASSACRE due to lack of a decent master is what we are faced with. Criminal, I say. I'd like to send The Redeemer to the offices at Anchor Bay to set the suits straight.
VHS collecting of old and important films will become a frenzy of activity. Actually, looking at prices of used content on Amazon.com and Ebay.com, it most certainly already has gone this way... we're already there. So my message to your other readers would be, save your VHS decks, and if you own any VHS tape that is in a box with a size larger than the cassette shell, you are a nincompoop if you part with it. Put it on your mantle and display it proudly. The cover art for HEADLESS EYES belongs in a frame next to the Mona Lisa.
And the only thing I ask of you, dear editor, besides the source of your GRIZZLY II copy (not expecting a reply there, naturally) is just who were these fine folks who made the cover art back in the day. Those are the twisted individuals whom I'd enjoy reading about, and their interactions with the video companies. I believe you've mentioned there's not much info on the subject, and that's just too bad, I say. I think it was Bob Ross's job on the side.
Thanks and keep on.

Regards,
Andrew

I couldn't have said it better myself, Andrew. The advent of Hi Def and Blu Ray has turned a lot of people into film snobs who are worried more about the presentation of fims than the actual films themselves. What concerns me more than these snobs are the DVD releasing companies who try to cater to these snobs and forget that there are people out here who would like to see the thousands of VHS releases that have never had a DVD release to be given a fair chance. I think we will never see that happen, though, because everything today has to turn a profit. This is the reason why I continue to review these films on this site. VHS will never die as long as Critical Condition is around. As for the names of the artists who drew all the garish VHS artwork that we know and love: I'm afraid very little is known about them, but I am sure that someday we will see a detailed article or book about them. They deserve recognition! - Editor


You might be able to help.  I've been searching for years trying to identify a horror where a psycho uses a four poster bed to crush people to death - preferably booby vixens.  I remember him looking through a hole in the wall, using something like a ships wheel to raise the roof of the bed which was weighted with rocks.  And I remember a hot tub.  Not sure if the booby vixens were in the hot tub prior to death, or if the psycho moved them after the fact.  Lots of broken capillaries on the dead girls.  Definite nudity.  Possibly an episode of some horror series if not a movie.  Would likely have been 1970s - definitely prior to 1983.

Jason

It sounds like the weird Australian western/horror film INN OF THE DAMNED (1974), written and directed by Terry Bourke and starring Alex Cord and Dame Judith Anderson. - Editor


 

 

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