PT - Movies - 014 - Mill Creek Cult Terror Cinema Collection
Updated: Jan 26
Mill Creek Cult Terror Cinema Collection https://amzn.to/2FfYnKy
dvd cover has a depiction from Carnival of Crime.
Package is compact and looks good.
12 films from the infamous drive-in fare provider Crown International Pictures!
Crown International Pictures https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_International_Pictures Bloodlust! (1961)
runtime 68 minutes from wikipedia: "Bloodlust! is a 1961 American horror thriller filmbased on Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game." It was produced by Robert H. Bagley and written, directed and produced by Ralph Brooke for Cinegraf Productions. The movie stars Wilton Graff, June Kenney, Joan Lora, Eugene Perssonand Robert Reed. Its plot follows four young adults who visit a tropical island only to become prey for a sadistic hunter. It was filmed in 1959 but not released until 1961, when it was the second movie on a double feature with The Devil's Hand." ...Wikipedia continues... "Bloodlust! is an adaptation of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game", first published in Collier's magazine in 1924. Versions of the story have been made as theatrical films, shorts and made-for-television movies at least 17 times between 1932 and 2016. Bloodlust! was filmed at Screencraft Studios in Hollywood by Cinegraf Productions, but it was not released by Crown International Pictures until 13 September 1961, when it premiered in San Diego, California, on a double bill with The Devil's Hand. The movie was distributed by Astral Films in Canada in 1963 and was also released in Mexico and the Soviet Union, although at unspecified dates.
Lilyann Chauvin's first name is misspelled "Lylyan" on both American and Mexican posters and lobby cards for the film. She and Graff share top billing on them despite her minor role in the movie." "The Most Dangerous Game" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Most_Dangerous_Game ""The Most Dangerous Game", also published as "The Hounds of Zaroff", is a short story by Richard Connell, first published in Collier's on January 19, 1924. The story features a big-game hunter from New York City who falls off a yacht and swims to what seems to be an abandoned and isolated island in the Caribbean, where he is hunted by a Russian aristocrat. The story is inspired by the big-game hunting safaris in Africa and South America that were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans in the 1920s. The story has been adapted numerous times, most notably as the 1932 RKO Pictures film The Most Dangerous Game, starring Joel McCrea and Leslie Banks, and for a 1943 episode of the CBS Radio series Suspense, starring Orson Welles." My thoughts: Movie poster looks good. It's got a lot of orange sky so it looks like dusk and it has the antagonist dressed like he's hunting on a safari in the jungle with Earnest Hemingway and a bunch of poor saps screaming for their lives. Also, a guy melting in a vat of acid, which is one of the scenes from the film. My brief synopsis: Two couples on a fishing trip in a chartered boat. Their captain is a drunk and they veer off course to an island so they decide to go ashore until he sobers up. The island turns out to be the home to Dr. Albert Balleau, a wealthy and powerful recluse who hunts animals and humans for sport. The two couples unwittingly become the object of the Dr's next hunt. My conclusion: It was good...totally worth watching. Black and white with a fairly crisp image (not grainy and old) it's 68 minutes so there are no wasted scenes and the movie zips along quickly. Girls are mega-hot...total foxes. Great concept about a man who hunts people for sport. Great scene where a guy is judo-flipped into a vat of acid and he screams as he melts.
Carnival of Crime (1962)
from themoviedb.org "Mike, an architect, is married to Lin, a beautiful and unfaithful woman. Returning from a trip, he finds she's disappeared. When he tries to locate her, he also learns about her many affairs, and he gets closer to Marina, his efficient assistant, who helps him solve the mystery." Picture and sound quality was bad...music was bad...dialogue and acting was bad. Hard to follow what was happening in the film. The backdrop was Mardi-Gras. Cheating woman refuses to end relationship with her lover at the lover's request and is accidentally killed by the lover. Husband finds out when the lover confesses and chases the lover through Mardi-Gras. Lover falls to his death.
Escape from Hell Island (1963)
from themoviedb.org "The plot concerns a Key West charter boat captain persuaded to help smuggle Cuban refugees to Florida. When a refugee is killed while escaping, he loses his license and becomes involved with a married woman, whose jealous husband wants him dead." Looked beautiful. Would have been great in color. Music was soothing...very elevator. Like being in a department store playing something like a Muzak. Charter boat captain hired by a rich Cuban dude to sneak his daughter and her husband and some others out of Cuba. He falls in love with the daughter and she with him but the husband has a temper. Somehow, in the final act, the Captain and the husband end up at sea alone together in the charter boat. The husband takes the opportunity to try to do away with the captain but is killed himself. This one's 80 minutes. It's ok Black and white, fairly clear image. Audio is a bit low. Very slow paced.
The Creeping Terror (1964)
from wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Creeping_Terror "The Creeping Terror (a.k.a. The Crawling Monster and Dangerous Charter ) is a 1964 horror/science fiction film, directed by and starring Vic Savage. The plot involves a slug-like monster terrorizing an American town after escaping from a crashed spaceship. The Creeping Terror is widely considered to be one of the worst films of all time. In September 1994, The Creeping Terror was the subject of derisive riffing on the satirical television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, solidifying its cult status." ...Wikipedia continues... "Principal photography on location began in late 1962 but instead of shooting at scenic Lake Tahoe as Silliphant had intended, a muddy pond at Spahn Ranch in Simi Valley, California, had to do. When the creator of the special effects was not paid, he "stole" the original creature just a day before shooting, forcing Savage and his crew to put together a poorly constructed replica. In John Stanley’s Revenge of the Creature Features Movie Guide (1988), he described the creature as “...an elongated alien monster resembling a clumsy shag rug which devours people through a gaping maw, overturns cars and takes forever to shamble 10 feet!” When prolonged breaks as production difficulties were overcome, and new financing obtained, location shooting resumed in 1963, during spring and into hot summer months, while studio work continued at the Metropolitan International Pictures studio.[Note 3]
Silliphant saw that the direction the film was taking would harm his family, especially the reputation of half-brother Stirling, rather than enhance it, so he bowed out after the studio scenes were done. The production became a weekend affair for several more months, with Savage raising the money by selling small parts to star-struck plumbers and others. Savage may also have checked into a motel with a silent picture-only Moviola to do a quick assembly of the film. There is only a limited amount of dialogue in the film, because Savage supposedly shot scenes without regard to the professional quality of the sound, or even transferring it properly to 35mmmag stock. Having insufficient money to pay for basic sound transfers, Savage finally hired a local radio news reader to narrate the entire film in post-production, although some re-dubbing of some characters did take place. The narrator speaks over much of the dialog in the film while long bouts devoid of dialog have no narration (similar in style to many of the educational films of the 1950s and 1960s). Reportedly the original soundtracks were lost, although the film may have been shot without sound as a cost-saving measure, and that dubbing was to have taken place after production. Just before the film's release, Savage was repeatedly sued, and facing a possible indictment on charges of fraud, vanished. He was apparently never heard from again in the context of film production, and reportedly died of liver failure in 1975, aged 41. In 2009, his wife, Lois wrote a "tell-all" novel that featured her life with Savage, albeit using aliases. My thoughts on the film: In some scenes we are in the room watching a conversation take place but not hearing the actors speak. Instead, we are told what the characters are talking about by a narrator. This seems like a strange choice. Especially since this is not consistent throughout the film. Sometimes we are shown a scene and do hear the actors speak but the audio seems to be dubbed in since the words do not match the mouth movements. Perhaps they had a problem with the audio and choose to replace it through a combination of dubbing and narration. The monster is sort of a large flat hairy caterpillar like creature. It eats people very slowly by engulfing them and sucking them in through a hairy orifice. There is a scene where the monster consumes a woman in a bikini. She was making out with her boyfriend on a blanket when the beast approached. The guy split and the girl screamed as the monster slowly approached and engulfed her.
There's a scene where a baby has a fever and is writhing around in a crib. Then we're shown a smaller creature prowling around looking for people to eat. I think we're supposed to equate the creature to offspring of the larger creature at the beginning of the film.
There's a great dance hall scene after the midpoint, when the offspring creature is getting rather large. Twenty or so dancers are twisting for 2 or 3 minutes before the creature arrives and causes a mass exodus. Somehow there's a big pile up at the fire exit and the creature consumes several people.
There are endless scenes of this thing consuming people.
Eventually, there is a standoff with a squad of seven army guys. the creature consumes them and the doctor blows up the creature with a grenade. Then the doctor goes back to where they have the other creature tied up and tries to blow it up but releases it in the process. The deputy from the beginning plows the creature with his squad car and kills it.
The narrator tells us that the doctor figured out that the creatures were consuming humans to chemically analyze them so that their ship's computer could send the information back to their home world. The deputy tries to destroy the ship's computer but is unable to before the message is transmitted. ...here's what Wikipedia had to say about the film's reception... "With Savage disappearing, as the main financier, William Thourlby acquired the remaining film stock and had an edited version created in order to recoup some of his investment. The Creeping Terror would not be suitable for wide release and although, at best, it would have been relegated to drive-in theaters and second run showings, instead, it was sold to television in 1976 as part of a syndication package of films for local UHF channels. In 1994, The Creeping Terror was featured in episode #606 of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The cast and crew (and later fans) of Mystery Science Theater 3000 were the film's most prominent critics. TV Guide called The Creeping Terror "pure camp" and said that it might be the second-worst horror film ever made, behind only Plan 9 from Outer Space." That's harsh. I thought it was great. Of course it was campy. The film was handicapped by low financing and a lack of technology and expertise to create the creature they needed but I loved the the concept of a hairy blob type creature that moves and consumes. The audio and narration was really bad and they really mailed in the resolution. I mean they had a creative idea, that "the creatures were attempting to chemically analyze humans to send the intel back to their homeworld" but having the doctor just blurt this out with no real evidence was a little thin. Need to watch "The Creep Behind the Camera" (2015) which is a re-enactment of the making of "The Creeping Terror" (1964)
The Babysitter (1969)
from themoviedb.org A middle-aged husband falls for his childrens' teenaged babysitter. from Rotten Tomatoes https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_babysitter1969 A middle aged district attorney is seduced by his teenage babysitter in this exploitation feature. George Maxwell (George E. Carey) receives little attention from his increasingly harridan wife Edith (Ann Bellamy). Sweet Candy Wilson (Patricia Wymer) is the teen tart who turns more than his head. He and Candy are photographed by Julie (Cathy Williams), the bad biker babe being prosecuted by George. When Julie threatens to send the erotic pictures to his boss and wife, Candy realizes George's career could be destroyed. Candy and her girlfriends seek out Julie and exact their own system of justice and punishment on the blackmailer in this R rated suburban fantasy. Here were my thoughts: A district attorney, stuck in a loveless marriage, begins an affair with a 20 something babysitter who looks like Michelle Williams in Dawson's Creek. Meanwhile, a dude from a motorbike gang brutally kills a woman and the prosecutor in his trial is the district attorney.
The girlfriend of the murderer has a scheme planned to have a lesbian encounter with the DA's daughter and use it to frame the DA into dropping the case, but when she discovers that the DA is involved with the babysitter, she uses the illicit relationship as leverage instead. Not bad...lots of nudity.
Horror High (1973)
from themoviedb.org A nerdy high school super whiz experiments with a chemical which will transform his guinea pig "Mr. Mumps" from a gentle pet into a ravenous monster. In a fit of rage against his tormentors at the high school, Vernon Potts goes on a killing spree, eliminating all of those who ever picked on him - the Gym Coach, the School Jock, The Creepy Janitor & his hated teacher, Ms. Grindstaff. This one is straight forward revenge. No twists here. Protagonist dies in the end. Horrorpedia does a more lengthy review here https://horrorpedia.com/2013/12/24/horror-high-1974-horror-movie-overview-cast-plot-reviews-trailer/ Looks like Return to Horror High is more loved. It has it's own Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_Horror_High
The Teacher (1974)
from themoviedb.org 18-year-old Sean's first summer after completing high school is much spent with 28-year-old teacher Diane, who's husband is too often motorcycle-racing instead of with her. Wacko Ralph also has "the hots" for Diane; and it doesn't help that Sean was with Ralph's younger brother, Lou, when Lou died from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Teacher_(1974_film) "The Teacher is a 1974 American coming-of-age suspense film, written, produced, and directed by Hickmet Avedis (also known as Howard Avedis) in just twelve days for an estimated $65,000 and released by Crown International Pictures. The film is Hickmet Avedis' grindhouse homage to The Graduate (1967).
The film stars Angel Tompkins, Jay North, and Anthony James, and tells the story of an 18-year-old's first relationship with his alluring teacher, and the hidden danger awaiting them in the shadows. The film is daring in its narrative structure and ludicrous in the extreme. Its part leering soft-core sex romp, part tender coming-of-age drama, part stalk-and-chill suspenser, the movie's mismatched parts come together to form a surreal and laughable whole." My thoughts: Incredibly foxy Diane Marshall (Angel Tompkins) is a 28 year old high school teacher who breaks the "half your age plus 7" rule by dating her 18 year-old former student, Sean. Meanwhile, crazy hearse driving army vet Ralph is stalking them day and night and wants to kill Sean to avenge his brother's death. Angel Tompkins does a lot of nude scenes and there is a big showdown at an abandoned warehouse at the end. Shot in 12 days with a budget of $65,000. I like that!
Land of the Minotaur (1976)
from themoviedb.org A satanic cult kidnaps 3 young people and Priest Donald Pleasence and Costas Skouras must save them from the hands of this evil. from wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_the_Minotaur "Tourists visiting a Greek archeological site are being abducted by a strange cult, intent on providing their God - the Minotaur - with sacrifice. Irish priest Father Roche (Donald Pleasence) enlists the help of former pupil and a private detective to find out what has happened to them." I was really hoping there was going to be a labyrinth with people trying to get out and being chased by a Minotaur and the whole thing would be a giant metaphor for something else...but it ended up just being about a cult that performs boring ritualistic killings and has a statue of a Minotaur. It could have been so much more. Here's an article from PsychologyToday that has a little to say about the Minataur Metaphor in relation to psychotherapy https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/evil-deeds/200912/why-myths-still-matter-part-four-facing-your-inner-minotaur-and-following "Fundamentally, the Minotaur represents the primal fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown is deeply-seated in the human psyche. It appears to be a genetic inheritance geared to guard and preserve our tenuous survival in a potentially dangerous universe, in much the same way as our biologically-rooted "fight or flight" response. Developmentally, all infants predictably pass through a brief phase of "stranger anxiety," and children a fear of the dark, a direct manifestation of this innate dread of the unknown. While we eventually more or less outgrow this stage, learning to trust, we never completely leave behind our instinctual fear of the unknown. Anxiety is one way we adults still experience this primitive fear. Indeed, it could be argued that anxiety is the subjective experience of the threatening unknown, whether we are facing or avoiding it." "Indeed, the Minotaur may be seen as a metaphor for death and death anxiety. Existentially, death is a symbol of non-being or non-existence, and, therefore, death anxiety can be understood, in Kierkegaard's words, as the "fear of nothingness." As existential psychologist Rollo May (1977) points out, "the threat of non-being lies in the psychological and spiritual realm as well--namely, in the threat of meaninglessness in one's existence." Death is a great mystery, the great beyond. It is unknown to us, and cannot be known by the living. What happens after death-- if anything at all beyond decay, decomposition, and eventual dispersal --is pure speculation. And historically, such speculation serves one primary purpose: the demystification of death in an effort to mediate or eliminate our anxiety about it. Such speculation, be it religious or scientific, is an attempt to make known that which is inherently unknowable." "In some ways, the Minotaur, as with all mythical monsters, including the Devil, may be understood as but one image arising from and lending concrete form to the nothingness of not knowing. As the proverbial wisdom suggests, it is always preferable to deal with the devil one knows than one which is unknown. Death anxiety can be seen as the self's will to continue, to survive, to persevere, to prosper and multiply in a world which makes this difficult--and finally, impossible. The classic images of death--the corpse, crucifix, sarcophagus, coffin, grave, ghost, tombstone, skull, skeleton, demon, dragon, the Devil, Grim Reaper, Kali, Medusa, Minotaur, etc.-- hold symbolic, spiritual, and psychological significance in addition to the obvious physical implications." "Lastly, the Minotaur represents our basic nature: a complex mixture of animal, god, and human. Indeed, as mentioned in my prior post, the Minotaur was spawned from the liaison of a woman and a bull, and symbolizes this coincidentia oppositorum (meeting of opposites) of feminine and masculine, creature and human, rational and irrational, spiritual and instinctual, deity and demon, good and evil. The Minotaur also embodies both fate (our biological nature) and destiny (our freedom) and the integral interrelationship between the two. But why do we find it such a dreadful image? Because to confront the Minotaur in the dark labyrinth is to confront ourselves: our fears of the unknown, our ferocious, beastly nature, our rage, aggression, sexuality, mortality, the daimonic. This self-confrontation is successfully accomplished by proceeding carefully yet courageously along one's own Ariadnean thread. The secret is that, metaphorically, we each have been given this thread to follow and lead us to our destiny-- but only if we are brave enough to do so." So I guess the point is, you could have done so much more with character development and tie it into the Minotaur metaphor. Like you could have had characters who exhibited a fear of death or a fear of nothingness, etc and the hears would manifest with a guy in a Minotaur suit chasing them around a labyrinth in their dreams...something better than the statue. Wikipedia on Minotaur https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minotaur
At the end, Donald Pleasence throws holy water on Peter Cushing and he and the statue of the Minotaur explode. Boring.
The Crater Lake Monster (1977)
85 minutes long and a budget of $100,000 from themoviedb.org The heat of a meteor crashing into the lake incubates a prehistoric egg, which grows into a plesiosaur-like monster that terrifies the community. from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crater_Lake_Monster "The Crater Lake Monster is a 1977 B-movie horror film directed by William R. Stromberg for Crown International Pictures, and starring Richard Cardella. The storyline revolves around a giant plesiosaur, akin to the Loch Ness Monster, which appears in Crater Lake in Northern California, near Susanville (not to be confused with the much more famous Crater Lake in Oregon). As people are attacked by the monster, the Sheriff (Cardella) investigates along with a group of scientists in order to stop the creature." This did not do it for me. The monster looked good but it didn't move and you didn't get to see it kill anybody it just showed up then they showed the aftermath. The locals were like a caricature of small town folk. There were no compelling characters. The boat rental guys were hard to believe.
The Hearse (1980)
from themoviedb.org A schoolteacher moves into her deceased aunt’s house in a small Californian town, and is harassed by unfriendly locals and a mysterious hearse. from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hearse "Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) arrives in the town of Blackford to stay in an old house left to her by a late aunt. As time passes, Jane learns secrets her aunt kept from her in life, but that were well known by the townspeople. In life, Jane's aunt had been a devil worshipper, and upon her death, the hearse carrying her body crashed, but no sign of the driver or of the coffin were ever found. Since then, the house inherited by Jane has been haunted by evil spirits and the rural road out of Blackford has been haunted by the hearse that crashed. As these stories come to light, Jane attempts to leave Blackford to avoid being drawn in by her aunt's spirit, but finds herself pursued by the ghostly hearse and held prisoner inside Blackford by spirits." My thoughts This one was really good. It had me guessing early on. I wasn't sure whether Jane was a ghost or whether she was her aunt somehow. It had some scares. I liked the small town setting and the old house. Trish Van Devere is very attractive but she must be really short. The first thing i saw her in was Columbo - s7 x e3 - "Make me a perfect murder" where they were smart enough to make use of her smooth and sexy voice by having her voice a countdown that her character used during the murder that she was committing. (countdown clip) She would have been a great voice for the computer in a sci-fi series like Star Trek. She would have been an upgrade over Majel Barrett.
from themoviedb.org A soldier who deserted because of spiritual beliefs was tried and evaluated by four psychiatrists, and they all concluded that he was unable to distinguish right from wrong, so he was sentenced to a mental hospital. One day, he escapes and kidnaps them and leaves them all in the middle of the desert. from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleshburn Fleshburn is a 1984 American thriller film written and directed by George Gage and starring Steve Kanaly, Karen Carlson and Sonny Landham. My thoughts: This is a thriller in the wilderness survival sub-genre. If you like survival or desert themes you'll probably like this one. The plot was straight forward.
from themoviedb.org A woman is haunted by flashbacks of her dead mother and visions of dead people floating.
The products discussed in this post.
Mill Creek Cult Terror Cinema Collection
The Creep Behind the Camera
Sweeter Vermouth Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/