Friday the 13th is just around the corner. If you’ve got an appetite for horror and sci-fi, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for the best movies we have to offer for a spooky night in with a Friday the 13th Movie Marathon. Each film is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
TAM LIN (aka THE DEVIL’S WINDOW)
Starring: Ava Gardener, Ian McShane
Directed by: Roddy McDowall
They called her the Devil’s Widow… she drained them of their manhood and then of their lives! Legendary Hollywood goddess, Ava Gardner (One Touch of Venus) delivers a mesmerizing performance in director Roddy McDowall’s wickedly suspenseful tale of decadent young thrill-seekers and the sinister seductress who holds them spellbound. Amid the dawn-to-dusk revelry at the fabulous country estate of wealthy and sophisticated Mrs. Cazaret (Gardner), the impulsive Tom Lynn (Ian McShane, TV’s “Deadwood”) discovers that being the life of this party… could have murderous consequences. The top-notch cast includes Stephanie Beacham (TV’s “The Colbys”, “Dynasty”), Cyril Cusack (Fahrenheit 451), Richard Wattis (The Importance of Being Ernest) and Joanna Lumley (BBC’s “Absolutely Fabulous”). Acting great Roddy McDowall’s one and only directorial effort. Beautifully shot in scope by Billy Williams (Gandhi).
CAULDRON OF BLOOD (aka BLIND MAN’S BLUFF)
Starring: Boris Karloff, Viveca Lindfors, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Directed by: Santos Alcocer
In a clever twist on the sculptor/murderer theme that runs throughout horror film history, the legendary Boris Karloff stars as blind artist Franz Badulescu, who creates startlingly lifelike statues with the help of his protective daughter, Viveca Lindfors (Dark City). Jean-Pierre Aumont (Day for Night) co-stars as a jet-setting photographer sent to photograph the reclusive artist at his Spanish castle, but unearths a horrible secret at the core of Badulescu’s haunting sculptures. Plotted like an Italian giallo, seasoned with American jazz and bursts of psychedelia, Cauldron of Blood (aka Blind Man’s Bluff) is among the more fascinating of Karloff’s Euro horror films of the period.
Starring: Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philipee Clay
Directed by: William Castle
From William Castle, the director of Project X and The Spirit Is Willing comes this one-of-a-kind cult classics starring the world-renowned mime Marcel Marceau in a dual role as a mute puppeteer and an eccentric inventor. The legendary gimmick-master and horror great’s final film is genuine and strikingly effective experiment in filmmaking. After the death of the inventor, the downtrodden puppeteer gleefully discovers that he can re-animate the dead with electrodes and manipulate them like marionettes. The great cast includes mimic greats Tsilla Chelton and Philippe Clay as Mr. and Mrs. Barton, Marceau’s evil sister and brother-in-law. One of the film’s highlights is the beautiful and haunting score by the great Alex North (Spartacus).
Starring: Dan Duryea, John Ericson, Lois Nettleton
Directed by: Frank Telford
Led by the U.S. military, a team of scientists secretly travel into Red China to find the truth behind rumors of a downed U.F.O. While enroute to the saucer’s hidden location, the Americans meet a group of Russian scientists who are also searching for the spacecraft. The two teams race against time to find the alien craft and its promise of a fantastic jump in technology, while trying to avoid the Red Chinese troops in the area. Television veteran Frank Telford directed this action-packed science fiction thriller with top-notch cinematography by the great Hal Mohr (The Lost Moment). The stellar cast includes Dan Duryea, Bob Hastings, Bernard Fox and James Hong.
Starring: Mari Blanchard, Jack Kelly, Albert Dekker
Directed by: Kurt Neumann
Cult director Kurt Neumann (The Fly) directed this sci-fi horror classic about biochemists (Jack Kelly and Albert Dekker) working under the premise that all living organisms can heal themselves by adapting to harmful things in their environment, try to develop a new serum based on the fruit fly, the most adaptive of all organisms. They successfully administer their compound on various animals and are ready for the right human subject. They find the perfect patient, a young woman (Mari Blanchard) dying of tuberculosis – she willingly agrees to be injected with the serum and six hours later she’s totally cured. What our heroes don’t realize is that they’ve created an inhuman female monster that cannot be killed. Beautifully shot in glorious black-and-white by legendary cinematographer Karl Struss (Sunrise, The Great Dictator).
NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW
Starring: Elizabeth Barondes, John Mese, Stephen Root, Bruce Glover, Gary Lockwood, John Hawkes, Dirk Blocker, Martine Beswick
Directed by: Jeff Burr
An evil secret that a small town has hidden for generations has come back to haunt them. A monstrous demon has been set free – unspeakable, unstoppable, and hell-bent for revenge. Before the night is through the Scarecrow will sow the seeds of terror, then reap the grisly harvest in a bloodcurdling trail of death and decay that leads from the backwoods of horror to the bowels of hell. When the Scarecrow starts stalking, don’t bother running… just pray that morning comes before the Scarecrow does. Stylishly directed by horror veteran, Jeff Burr (The Offspring, Stepfather II). The great cast of character actors includes Stephen Root (Office Space), Bruce Glover (Diamonds Are Forever), Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey) and John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone).
FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE
Starring: Anthony Dexter, Susan Shaw, Paul Carpenter, Jacqueline Curtis
Directed by: Cy Roth
Fire Maidens of Outer Space is B sci-fi filmmaking at its best – Outrageous epic about a group of astronauts who encounter a lost race of scantily clad women from Atlantis on the thirteenth moon of planet Jupiter. Of course, all the nubile young ladies are starved for male company and the Earthmen eagerly offer to help. But first they have to combat an indestructible hideous monster that has terrorized the lovely maidens. The film’s camp highlight comes when the maidens perform an interpretive dance to the music of Alexander Borodin. Anthony Dexter, Susan Shaw, Paul Carpenter star in this camp classic. This is the uncut 80-minute version of the film, originally released at 73 minutes. Story, screenplay and direction by Cy Roth (Combat Squad, Air Strike).
WITCHBOARD 2: THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY
Starring: Ami Dolenz, Laraine Newman, Timothy Gibbs, John Gatins, Julie Michaels
Directed by: Kevin S. Tenney
A beautiful young woman unlocks a passageway to pure evil in the spine-tingling supernatural sequel to the popular hit, Witchboard. When Paige Benedict (Ami Dolenz, Ticks) moves into her new artist’s loft, the only thing on her mind is her art and her slightly loopy landlady Elaine (Laraine Newman, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”). But when she finds an old Ouija board buried in her closet, she discovers that this new apartment isn’t hers at all. Through the board, Paige in contacted by the spirit of a former tenant who claims she was murdered there. Against the advice of her ex-boyfriend Mitch (Timothy Gibbs, The Kindred), Paige is drawn deeper into the mystery as she finds her dreams overtaken with vivid, erotic and brutal visions of unspeakable horror. And when other tenants in the building begin falling prey to violent, mysterious deaths, Paige realizes that only she can seal the door to the terrifying nightmare she has unwittingly unleashed and the price may be her soul. Stylishly directed by horror veteran Kevin S. Tenney (Night of the Demons).
COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK
Starring: John Baragrey, Mala Powers, Otto Kruger, Robert Hutton, Ross Martin
Directed by: Eugène Lourié
After the accidental death of a brilliant scientist… his lunatic father and brother transplant the dead man’s brain into the body of a giant robot. The operation is successful, but the Colossus Robot mourns for his wife and child and doesn’t want to be the guinea pig in his father’s psychotic project and starts displaying homicidal behaviors. Sci-Fi specialist Eugène Lourié (Gorgo) directs this Frankenstein-flavored feature.
Starring: Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin, Jeff Harlan
Directed by: James L. Conway
In a small town near Denver, two young men begin to explore a long-abandoned old mine recently re-opened by a group of minors. When one the men is discovered missing, his friends begin a search that leads them to horrifying consequences. They’re all unaware of the evil that’s been unleashed and soon, one by one, a monster that no one has seen snatches up the townspeople. Suddenly, the grisly truth is revealed and a young couple is forced to confront the unknown in order to save their lives… and the entire town. Directed by James L. Conway (Hanger 18).
Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh-Kelly, Ed Lauter, Christopher Stone
Directed by: Lewis Teague
Based on the Stephen King’s terrifying novel – A lovable St. Bernard becomes rabid and terrorizes a small community. In rural Maine, married couple (Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh-Kelly) struggle to repair their crumbling marriage, while their young son (Danny Pintauro) befriends the hulking, but lovable St. Bernard owned by the town’s mechanic (Ed Lauter). With her husband out of town, she and her son take their decrepit car for repairs at the mechanic’s remote farmhouse. As the aging Pinto sputters, stops and dies, Cujo appears. The once docile dog has undergone a hideous transformation – and has become a demonic, impeccable killer possessed of an almost supernatural strength and unholy cunning. Lewis Teague (Cat’s Eye) directed this critically acclaimed spine-chilling tour-de-force.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates
Directed by: Don Siegel
One of the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi films of all time stars Kevin McCarthy as a doctor in a small California town whose patients are becoming hysterical and accuse their loved ones as emotionless impostors. Plant-like extra-terrestrials have invaded Earth, replicating the villagers in giant seed “pods” and taking possession of their souls while they sleep. Realizing that the epidemic is out of control, in a terrifying race for his life, he escapes to warn the world of the deadly invasion of the pod people! Directed by the great Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Private Hell 36) and co-starring Dana Wynter (On The Double), Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates and King Donovan. Remade in 1978, 1997 and 2007.
Starring: Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan
Directed by: Fred Dekker
You know whom to call when you have ghosts. But who do you call when you have monsters? The Monster Squad – A group of young kids devoted to protecting their suburban neighborhood from monsters and ghouls. Count Dracula (Duncan Regehr) escapes Van Helsing (Jack Gwillim) and adjourns modern day Earth, accompanied by Frankenstein’s Monster (Tom Noonan), the Wolfman (Carl Thibault), the Mummy (Michael MacKay) and the Black Lagoon’s Gillman (Tom Woodruff Jr.). The ghouls are in search of a powerful amulet that will grant them power to rule the world. Standing in their way – The Monster Squad! Produced by Peter Hyams (2010), written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps) and directed by Fred Dekker.
March 5, 2015