Category Archives: American International Pictures

House of Usher (1960)

HouseOfUsherPosterRoger Corman‘s version of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a bore that left me with several questions. For instance, do the characters really stand around for the first forty minutes whining about some family destiny that dooms them all to death? Are there really only four actors in this movie not counting the extras in the dream sequence that Corman must have felt compelled to put in so that something remotely interesting could be highlighted in the movie’s trailer? Did Vincent Price really dye his hair blonde for the role of Roderick Usher? Continue reading

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)

IslandOfDrMoreauPosterHaving already run through this premise with Charles Laughton in 1933’s Island Of Lost Souls and a bunch of nobodies in 1959’s Terror Is a Man, I wasn’t too excited at the prospect of sitting through some goof in his ape man make-up running down Moreau’s laws whenever Moreau wandered into his cave with a bullwhip and a chip on his shoulder. Continue reading

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

Tomb of Ligeia PosterThings get off to a promising start with Vincent Price‘s Verden Fell arguing with small-minded church types who are refusing to let him bury his dead witch of a wife, Ligeia, in one of the official cemeteries with their fancy consecrated land just because she supposedly said something before she died about how she would never die. I was thinking, “heck Verden, why don’t you just keep her almost-dead ass in a secret room in your fancy abbey and let her screw with your mind for the rest of your miserable life” and by golly if that’s what Verden went and did. Continue reading

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

Amazing Colossal Man PosterFor all the pansies in the audience who are afraid to go to their doctor for a shot, The Amazing Colossal Man is quite possibly the scariest movie ever made. With an oversized needle being rammed into the ankle of the 60 foot tall lunatic roaming around the Nevada desert, the expression of anguish shown by Colossal Man only serves to confirm their worst fears about being inoculated against diseases like measles, whooping cough, or in this case, plutonium-induced gigantism. For normal folks though, it’s just a movie whose big climax involves a guy getting a shot. Continue reading

79 A.D. (1962)

79 A.D. PosterA lot of folks ask me why they should care about ancient history in general and old Italian gladiator movies about ancient history in particular. Who cares whether some guy named Feces Maximus fought a guy named Flatulence the Elder over a beautiful girl named Chlamydia? What does that have to do with my life here in the futuristic present where people have normal names like Barack and Kanye? Continue reading

She Gods of Shark Reef (1958)

SheGodsOfSharkReefPosterIt only makes sense that if you’re going to spend a certain amount of money traveling to shoot a film, that it would really only cost half as much if you went ahead and shot two films once you arrived on location. However, what makes sense for director Roger Corman, might not necessarily make any sense for the rest of us. Continue reading

Tentacles (1977)

Tentacles PosterSo horrible on every level, it’s the sort of movie that leaves you sputtering in a laughable attempt to describe precisely what was so awful about it all.

Like the debris from the boats that the killer octopus leaves scattered here and there between bouts of eating children, the hideous aspects of this film featuring Henry Fonda (apparently warming up for The Swarm) are strewn helter skelter throughout every facet of it. Continue reading

The Haunted Palace (1963)

The Haunted Palace PosterThe Haunted Palace helpfully reminds us that people with birth defects should be feared and shunned instead of pitied. Other than that bit of sage advice, the film is nothing more than a cynical effort from director Roger Corman and star Vincent Price built to milk their American International Pictures/Edgar Allan Poe film series until even the viewer begins to feel the cinematic mastitis setting in. And despite the bulk of the movie being based not on a Poe work at all, but on H.P. Lovecraft’s novella The Strange Case Of Charles Dexter Ward! Continue reading

Blood of Dracula (1957)

Blood of Dracula PosterNancy Perkins is your standard teenage hothead with the expected stepmother issues, giving her much put upon father a bunch of lip just because he’s moved on with his life after the death of her mother. And despite it being six long weeks since they planted Mom’s dead ass in the ground! Good gravy, Nancy! Do you expect your old man to be a monk the rest of his life? Continue reading