“When the Jews return to Zion
And a comet rips the sky
And the Holy Roman Empire rises,
Then You and I must die.
From the eternal sea he rises,
Creating armies on either shore,
Turning man against his brother’Til man exists no more.”
– THE OMEN (1976)
I Trapped the Devil isn’t going to end up on my end-of-year list of 2019’s best horror movies, but that doesn’t make it any less memorable or worthwhile. Writer/director Josh Lobo manufactures a consistently unsettling sense of building menace and dread, while actress Susan Burke delivers an outstanding performance in the middle of all of this discombobulating psychological mayhem.
Vice Squad is a product of its time. It’s an ugly film, one that digs into the muck and mire of the world it presents with almost gleeful gusto. All of which makes it easy to understand how Gary Sherman’s dramatic thriller has somehow stood the test of time.
The Wind is outstanding. Emma Tammi’s film has a delicately austere power that is poetically horrifying in its overall windswept magnitude.
This “Universal Horror Collection: Volume 1” is one of the all-time great collections Scream! Factory has ever put together.
In typical Hammer fashion the actual climax is a bit sudden (and, in this instance at least, slightly underwhelming), and I can’t say all of the East-meets-West storytelling elements work as comfortably as I frequently wanted them to. None of which makes The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires any less entertaining, discovering this Hammer/Shaw Brothers production a true joy and am glad the folks at Scream! Factory took the time dig this one out of the vaults for all of us to see.
I love Jack Arnold’s Tarantula. It makes me smile. While not exactly up to the high standards set by THEM! or Godzilla, the movie is a smart, well-crafted giant monster yarn that features a handful of engaging performances and one killer titular creature.
Again, much like the Empire of the Ants / Jaws of Satan Blu-ray released the same day, neither Food of the Gods or Frogs are very good films. Same time, they make for a much better – and far more enjoyable – double feature, both having just enough charm for genre fans to want to give them a look. Scream! Factory’s presentation is surprisingly strong, while the included extras are excellent.
But the joy and the fun found inside of Empire of the Ants is undeniable, the unabashed whacked-out silliness of it all making it one of director Bert I. Gordon’s “better” (and I use that word loosely) cinematic achievements.