CineSavant Column

Tuesday October 8, 2019


My daughter is getting into the Halloween spirit with this newly-baked cake. She was proud and relieved that it came out of the mold in one piece. The crime is that she lives too far away for me to claim a slice. It’s a chocolate chip pumpkin cake … and she inherited the combined baking finesse of both her mother and grandmother. I think I became a ‘good little boy’ way back when, just to ensure an unbroken flow of my mother’s baking.

This prompts me to dig up (figure of speech) a thematically similar show-and-tell prop one of my sons made for a long-ago 6th Grade school project. It was about Roman History, but would have worked just as well for an episode of Tales from the Crypt. Then I need to solicit my daughter for her corresponding cartoon art-piece that covered the ‘item’s’ shuddery second life at a college dorm party. It’s classic.

And as long as there’s a Halloween theme to maintain, I see that DVDtalk is sending me a nice review copy of Scream Factory’s The Devil Rides Out, aka The Devil’s Bride, which enjoys a good reputation in late ’60s Hammer output. I haven’t been keeping up with all the Hammer discs, so I may have to consult Gary Teetzel to learn if this release will or will not include some special effects revisions that I remember being the source of controversy a few seasons back. The issue reminds me of the special effects ‘improvements’ created (in low-res video) to enhance a 2001 DVD release of Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. They may have been fun to do, but subsequent releases have tried to pretend they never happened.

This also reminds me to find a slot for a review of Quatermass and the Pit before Halloween … it was the very first title I reviewed for Steve Tannehill’s DVD Resource, back in 1999. Gary Teetzel says that Scream Factory has also announced Hammer’s The Mummy’s Shroud and Demons of the Mind for January 14. Horror expert (ha) extraordinaire that I am, it behooves me to give them another chance. Gary did some serious shelf & list accounting, and says that Demons is the final Hammer title from the Studio Canal batch. So that presumably leaves Scream with these titles from Hammer/Exclusive … who last week announced a distribution deal for library product with Studio Canal).

According to Gary’s estimate, the Hammer/Exclusive titles that might be involved are The Four-Sided Triangle, X The Unknown, Hell is a City, Rasputin the Mad Monk, Prehistoric Women aka Slave Girls, The Viking Queen, A Challenge for Robin Hood, The Lost Continent and that timeless favorite Shatter.

As usual, Gary is the soul of optimism. Since Scream Factory has managed to license a few titles from Paramount, he’s crossing his fingers for two more very deserving titles, the 1974 double bill of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell and Captain Kronos — Vampire Hunter.

And leave it to Gary to sniff out odd movie promotion gambits … here he finds a desperate theater owner trying to drum up customers for Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success. (If you open the photo in a separate window, you’ll be able to read the text.)

Working as a sandwich-man, or sandwich-woman, can’t have been easy, even if the message being hawked was the traditional ‘Eat at Joes’s.’ I imagine these women would encounter more than their share of unwanted remarks and advances. I wonder what the theater manager would ask his employees to do to promote Run Silent, Run Deep?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson