Even Tony winners can be tempted. Just ask the radiant Melba Moore! In The Mandrake Rootepisode of Monsters, this multi-faceted performer found herself compromised by a sexy plant man and her life – or at least that of her character’s – was never quite the same again.
The plotline here finds Moore, as the demure Angela Lyle, clearing out the remains of her mysterious grandmother’s estate. The discovery of a dusty box leads to the emergence of a mysterious plant. Said vine, due to Lyle’s curious tinkering, naturally grows into something tall, handsome, smooth…and full of bloodlust.
Nicely, as an actress, Moore simply navigates her character’s growth from timid to uncontrollably lustful. There is no grand posing, but you truly believe that she has fallen under her supernatural partner’s spell. Meanwhile, Byron Minns, as the vein strewn reason for Moore’s down fall, makes one understand why she would tumble down this murderous rabbit hole, head first.
Accentuated by the series’ unusual twists and turns, this episode ultimately provides something for both enthusiastic show tune lovers and terror anthology buffs alike.
Some prefer their witches with a Charmed imbued cuteness. Others enjoy theirs as a cackling spew against darkened cauldrons. Nicely, Count the Clock Productions has decided to present their succulent sorceresses with some Poe-like zest…as evidenced by their latest Gothic short, The Ball.
Filled with director Zach Lorkewicz’s expected visual flourishes, this rhyming exercise from the pen of Michael Coe, a truly unique approach for a horror entry, begins happily. An ebullient young lass named Pearlie (a personably subtle Avril Dominguez) prepares for the arrival of her beau for an elegant night on the town. But a ghost from her past soon threatens to mask the evening in revenge and tragedy. Pearlie, therefore, must summon up some persuasive powers to ensure that her night goes according to plan.
Enjoyably, Lorkewicz’s always unusual, highly developed artistic flair is accentuated here by a neat capper of an ending.
My buddy Jared insists that witches should be the next big trend in horror films. Now, if he’s talking kick-ass, feminist spellcasters – and I’m sure he is – then he just might be right on track.
For…massively awesome director Carolyn Baker has just unleashed the trailer for her latest Wisconsin based DIY effort Curse of the Hag…and it looks spooky, atmospheric and full of tough, complicated women.
Some folks dip their toes in the pool. Others dive in, body first.
Derrick Carey of the sick cinematic podcast Astro Radio Z belongs to the latter category. He and various other mutants, myself included, have been immersing themselves in the deep end by analyzing the low budget soft core horror series Witchcraft – for…gulp…years now!
Naturally, now that Witchcraft 14: Angel of Death, Witchcraft 15: Blood Roseand Witchcraft 16: Hollywood Covenhave been unleashed upon the world, we had to take a look and give our (sometimes) zany, (occasionally) well modulated opinions on them. Nicely, we are joined here by Dustin Hubbard, an accomplished filmmaker and, perhaps, the greatest Witchcraft fan ever.
The second issue of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the new comic that puts the beloved golden haired Archie denizen in a spooky 60s setting, briefly features Ann-Margret as one of the teen’s show biz muses and a fellow enchantress in mystical arts. This should come as no surprise to the faithful whom have always found Ann-Margret simply bewitching.
Even when expressing heartbreak, this saucy wonder, whose genre credits include Magic (with Anthony Hopkins) and 2006’s Memory, always sounds as if it won’t be long before she’ll be turning the tables on her target.
Don’t believe me? Check out her 1961 hit I Just Don’t Understand. Later covered by The Beatles, this number was one of the first to feature the fuzz-tone guitar and contains a purring, totally seductive and completely in control performance from our lady of the hour!
As cool as they may be – you can keep your Gremlins, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Die Hard, Christmas Evil and Santa’s Slay. 1958’s stylish, witchcraft laden Bell, Book and Candle is the perfect yuletide holiday film (with a genre bent).
With a nice portion of the proceedings occurring on Christmas Eve and Christmas, this tale of Gillian, a beguiling witch who falls in love with a mortal, is not only full of romance in the traditional sense, but director Richard Quine, also, establishes a love affair with the audience and the idea of winter in the big city. He and art director Cary Odell create New York City streets full of moody lighting, soft streaks of snow and glorious cavalcades of historic apartment buildings. It’s dreamy.
As Gillian, the divine Kim Novak is, also, in her arched eye brow prime here. She and James Stewart, her co-star in that same year’s classic Vertigo, establish a believable chemistry despite their age difference and Novak definitely compels in the mystical sense, as well. This is truly one of her finest performances and the layers she provides here ring with believability and otherworldliness.
With stalwart comic support from the always reliable Elsa Lanchester and the fluidly magnetic Jack Lemmon, as members of Gillian’s family, this tale has just enough references to the occult, along with plenty of spellbinding directorial mood-craft, to make it a must-love for all well rounded fans of horror.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
So, this is just like the time I went out with the drooling maniac that my mother (the lesbian prostitute nun) wanted to marry. Even though she didn’t realize it at the time, I was doing her a favor.
Likewise, the charming gents of the amazing podcast Astro Radio Z and myself have taken a bullet for all cinematic voyeurs out there by diving into the entire Witchcraft series! Yes, watching the oftentimes unbelievably boring entries in this soft core horror enterprise was both a horror and a joy – something we all point out in this the (gasp!) final episode covering the last two (ahem!) films in the series.
So, dive in – and if you find that you need a warlock to help pull you out of the mucky abyss – please DON’T call someone named Will Spanner!