Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Spider 15: Red Death Rain by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider 15
Red Death Rain
by Grant Stockbridge (Norvell Page)
December 1934


The Red Mandarin infects cities with a chemical that enhances other poisons, making tobacco, alcohol, and even coffee deadly.  The Spider runs around like Yul Brynner screaming "Don't smoke!" while Nina is threatened with orangutan rape.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Chrome by George Nader

Chrome
by George Nader
1978 Alyson Books




George Nader was a B-movie actor who moved to Europe after being served up to the tabloids to avoid Rock Hudson being outed.  There he acted in such films as The Human Duplicators, Beyond Atlantis, and the Jerry Cotton series.

In 1978 he wrote Chrome, his only novel published.  Chrome is set in a futuristic Earth that is rebuilding after an unspecified apocalypse.  Chrome has the ability to heal through massage and is assigned to heal Vortex, who has his hands encased in plastic tubes.

The first third of the book is just sexual tension between the two as the massages get closer and closer to Vortex's junk.  Then they hook up and we get more swerves than Vince Russo writing for Alfred Hitchcock.

Maybe Vortex is a robot, and by robot Nader means a genetically engineered test tube baby.  No, Chrome is the robot.  We're being watched, so you must pretend not to love me.  No, that was the test, to see if you'd publicly proclaim our love.  Now I'm dead, but no I'm not, but you are, no you're...

Etc, etc.  Vortex leaves somewhere and the rest of the book are meaningless plot twists explained to Chrome as he hangs out in his room.  The plot, such as it is, involves Chrome being a new kind of robot who is capable of compassion, and some folks want to kill him and some want to breed a race of supermen.

Some reviewers have turned their noses up at some themes of misogyny and eugenics expressed by some characters, but I didn't find it coherent or consistent enough to say that Chrome held these beliefs, much less Nader.

Interesting that book had a future where homosexuality was completely normal and didn't have a homophobe in the entire piece, but nothing interesting happened in the book itself.  Barely science fiction, only a couple of bj scenes so not exactly erotica, and not much of a love story.  I forgot the ending immediately after reading it.  Nader violates Checkov's Gun principle by introducing a hot alien with dildo arms in the first act and not inserting them anywhere in the third act.

Granted, I'm not exactly the target audience for 70s gay scifi romance, but when you find out that the guy from Robot Monster wrote a space porn, you can't not read it.

Paperback from Amazon

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Watercress File: Being the Further Adventures of That Man from C.A.M.P.

The Watercress File: Being the Further Adventures of That Man from C.A.M.P.
by Don Holliday (Victor Banis)
1966 Leisure


Jackie Holmes is an agent of C.A.M.P. is a secret organization that helps the cause of gays worldwide.  Here he hangs around a homophobic CIA agent and some ditzy women in a plot that I forgot about as soon as I read it.

Better written than most of the semi-pornographic James Bond parodies of the time, with the frequent sex scenes consisting of innuendo filthier than if it was written anatomically.

Kindle ebook available from Amazon

Click here to read a sample

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Book of the Movie of the Book: James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me

James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
By Christopher Wood


Based on the movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Written by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum
Based on the book The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
By Ian Fleming

See also: James Bond and Moonraker

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Book of the Movie of the Book: Bram Stoker's Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
By Fred Saberhagen and James V. Hart



Based on the film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Written by James V. Hart
Based on the novel Dracula (1897)
Written by Bram Stoker

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Book of the Movie of the Book: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Story of the Film

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Story of the Film (1968)
By John Burke (author of many novelizations and contributor to British TV horror anthologies)



Based on the film Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang (1968)
Screenplay by Roald Dahl (of suspense short story anthology and I guess some children's book fame), and Ken Hughes
Based on the novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car (1964)
By Ian Fleming (famous at the time, I guess)

THE STORY OF THE FILM, based on the screenplay by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes from IAN FLEMING'S original stories.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Author Overview: Michael Blodgett

I first became aware of Michael Blodgett through a Vault of Evil post which extols the virtues of The Hero and the Terror, which was later made into a movie with Chuck Norris:


Blodgett wrote two other books, Captain Blood and The White Raven.  Continuing a theme this month, I was startled seeing this author's photograph:



Blodgett is of course Lance Rocke from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls


And King Alex X of Tourembourg from Electra Woman and Dyna Girl


He also co-wrote the screenplays to Rent-A-Cop, Turner & Hooch, and Run.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Blood Beat


A samurai spirit stabs people in Wisconsin, opposed by a psychic painter.  Not a good movie, but I did the synth soundtrack, and has a rare use of Carmina Burana.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Adolescents - Kids of the Black Hole

TM Gallery: The Ghosts of Epidoris, The Underground Cities Contract,


Cap Kennedy 14: The Ghosts of Epidoris by Gregory Kern
The daughter of Kaifeng. The world was haunted. Every sunset the natives went home, lo cked their doors, and pulled down the window blinds. Ghosts didn't scare Kennedy. As an agent of FATE, it took more than supersticion to shake him. But Epidoris was the real thing. Monsters did appear in the darkness, people did vanish at night. 
Paperback from AbeBooks


Joe Gall 18: The Underground Cities Contract by Philip Atlee


Devil Girl From Mars
The devil girl from Mars and her robot come to earth looking for men to take back to her planet to replenish a dying male population. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eat Them Alive by Pierce Nace

Eat Them Alive
by Pierce Nace
1977 Manor Books




I can stop reading now.  We can all stop.  This is the book I didn't know I was looking for all this time, and now I never have to read again.

As a youngster in Brownsville, Texas, Dyke Mellis and his friends tortured, killed, and robbed a recluse of millions of dollars.  Dyke get caught trying to run off with all the loot and is tortured, castrated, and left for dead.

Eleven years later, living with natives in the jungles of Columbia, Mellis experiences an enormous earthquake which opens a crack under an island, releasing a horde of man-eating killer mantises.  He captures one, discovers a scent to make him unpalatable, and trains the insect to follow his commands.  He uses this mantis, called Slayer, to corral other mantises from the island for his plan of revenge.

After feeding a couple of entire tribes to the them, Mellis goes on the hunt for his four betrayers, who luckily have been living within a couple miles of him all this time.  He holds them at gunpoint while the mantises eat their families in front of them before turning Slayer on them.  Four times, each scene almost exactly the same.

In fact, almost every paragraph of this book is exactly the same.  The mantises rip off their victims clothes, tear into their torsos, scoop out the ropy guts, bash the skulls against rocks, eat the brains, and lick up the blood.  This happens easily a hundred times.  For variation, Slayer discovers he likes breast meat, so he slices off women's boobs, dangling them in his claws, before wolfing them down.

This book is a puzzler, and almost stands alone in the era.  There were some Paperback Nasties in England around that time, but nothing in America that I've seen even from the time that approaches this level of gore, sleaze, and sadism.  This may be the first book I've read where I was convinced the author was a serial killer.  Which makes the fact that it was written by an elderly woman from the panhandle that much more disturbing.

Possibly written by Evelyn Pierce Nace, possibly with the assist of Vance Holloway.  Evelyn was in her 60s at the time of writing and had a background in romance and true crime pulps.  I've seen references to her having written more than 50 novels, but have found none under that name.  More information on Trash City and Vault of Evil.

Paperback from AbeBooks, currently at house payment prices.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

TM Gallery: Dime Mystery, Black Sabbath, The Copenhagen Affair


Dime Mystery Magazine, December 1935


Black Sabbath
Italian horror trilogy hosted by Boris Karloff. A) Nurse takes a diamond ring from a corpse who then seeks revenge. B) Prostitute receives calls from a dead man she betrayed. C) A Balkan hunter becomes a vampire. 


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 3 - The Copenhagen Affair

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Author Overview: Brett Halsey

I saw over at James Reasoner's blog a new western novel by actor Brett Halsey.  The name was a bit hazy, but I recognized the face.  His filmography listed plenty of eurospy and eurowestern titles so I know I'd seen him plenty of times, but I had a particular movie in my mind when I saw him.  Took me a while to remember he's "Big Stupid" from the MST3K version of The Girl in Lover's Lane:



I checked out his titles on Amazon and they appear to be sleaze epics, either historical or mirroring phases of his career (soap operas, Italian film making, etc), so I'll definitely be checking those out.

Monday, May 21, 2018

TM Gallery: The Mugger, Acid Rock, Sonny Boy


The Mugger by Ed McBain
This mugger is special.

He preys on women, waiting in the darkness…then comes from behind, attacks them, and snatches their purses. He tells them not to scream and as they're on the ground, reeling with pain and fear, he bows and nonchalantly says, “Clifford thanks you, madam.” But when he puts one victim in the hospital and the next in the morgue, the detectives of the 87th Precinct are not amused and will stop at nothing to bring him to justice.

Dashing young patrolman Bert Kling is always there to help a friend. And when a friend's sister-in-law is the mugger's murder victim, Bert's personal reasons to find the maniacal killer soon become a burning obsession…and it could easily get him killed. 


The Destroyer 13: Acid Rock
Vickie Stoner knows some things. Things that could put a number of very wealthy, very influential men in prison if she testifies about what she knows. At least one of those wealthy, influential men would prefer that she not, and has offered one million dollars to the first assassin to silence her. Vickie just wants to pop some pills, expand her mind and bed the lead singer of Maggot and the Dead Meat Lice. Which makes her a hard girl to keep safe. The FBI certainly can't seem to do it. Set a thief to catch a thief, so the saying goes; set the Destroyer (and Chiun) to catch an assassin. 


Sonny Boy
In a remote desert town, a psychopathic petty crook (Smith) and his transvestite girlfriend (Carradine) kidnap and raise an orphaned infant, cage it like an animal and train it to steal and kill on their command. Years later, when the half-wild Sonny Boy escapes and embarks on a bloody rampage, the couple’s monstrous attempt at "child development", provokes the local populace into vengeful retaliation. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

TM Gallery: Power Blade Warriors, Green Slime, The Utopia Affair


Power Blade Warriors: Taken By Force
In the apocalyptic future, the Cosmic Order of the Roller Blade are both protectors and crusaders. These beautiful females are armed with samurai swords and travel on skates. They must wander the wasteland fighting off marauders and destroy all of the evil that lurks around them. 

Green Slime
After a perilous mission to an asteroid, a crew returns to its space station, unaware a bit of ooze from the asteroid clings to a crewman's uniform. The green goop grows into monsters.


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 15: The Utopia Affair by David McDaniel
While Napoleon Solo was deskbound at U.N.C.L.E. HQ in New York, desperately fighting off multiple THRUSH OFFENSIVES, Alexander Waverly nervously waited for the end of his forced vacation in the Utopia. But even here Waverly was not safe, for THRUSH had discovered his whereabouts and had infiltrated two of the most deadly assassins in the world. Their assignment: kill Alexander Waverly! Only the cunning and determination of Illya Kuryakin, guarding Waverly without even the U.N.C.L.E. chief's knowledge, could save U.N.C.L.E. from a double disaster. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Asylum (1972)




Asylum (1972)


An Amicus horror anthology written by Robert "Not Richard Matheson" Bloch.  The framing story has a new doctor arriving at an insane asylum where the former director had a breakdown and is now one of the patients.  His audition to get the job is to interview the inmates and guess which one was the director.

Bloch has a wealth of short stories to draw from, but sadly three of these stories were of the "thing that shouldn't be alive is alive" school, namely severed body parts, an entire body, and a meat-filled tiny robot.
Much like Trilogy of Terror, I found the meat robots both chilling and silly, much like Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces. 


The big reveal at the epilogue was both silly and chilling as well, featuring my favorite cinematic maniacal cackling.

Stories in the film were also televised in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, and Monsters.

On Amazon Video.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

TM Gallery: The Dark, Ilsa: The Tigress Of Siberia, Silicon Valley Slaughter


The Dark
At night, "The Mangler" stalks the streets of Los Angeles, killing and mutilating random victims. A TV reporter, the father of one of the victims, and a police detective set out in search of the killer, but must turn to a mysterious psychic for help when they stumble upon the realization that they are dealing with something not of their world. 


Ilsa: The Tigress Of Siberia 
 Ilsa is an evil Nazi warden at a death camp that conducts "medical experiments". Ilsa's goal is to prove that women can withstand more pain and suffering than men and therefore should be allowed to fight on the front lines.


The Terminator 2: Silicon Valley Slaughter by John Quinn

Monday, May 14, 2018

TM Gallery: Angel of Vengeance, Crucible of Terror




Angel of Vengeance aka Ms 45
Abel Ferrara's cult classic follows a mute garment-district seamstress who, after falling victim to multiple unspeakable assaults, ignites a one-woman homicidal rampage against New York City's entire male population. 


Crucible of Terror
British horror from the early seventies in which a deranged sculptor is using the bodies of beautiful young women as the basis of his bronze creations. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

TM Gallery: Primitives, Vault of Horror, Horror Stories


Primitives

Tales From the Crypt II aka Vault of Horror
Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death. 


Horror Stories, April 1971

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Trilogy of Terror (1975)



Trilogy of Terror
Directed by Dan Curtis
Written by William F. Nolan and Richard Matheson


Classic made for TV horror anthology, three stories, each starring Karen Black and based on stories by Richard Matheson, who I will always confuse with Robert Bloch.  While Karen Black is awesome in it, the fact that in each story she plays a mild-mannered woman with a dark, dangerous side makes the whole thing a bit samey.

Story one has a college professor being sexually blackmailed by her students.  Story two is a "these two people are clearly the same person with a split personality" joint, written so obviously I thought there must have been another twist coming.

But we came for the Zuni doll.  The last segment has Black being chased around her apartment by a tiny Zuni fetish doll in a sequence that many find terrifying but which is also objectively silly.  I got a new puppy right before watching this, so I was used to having something running around and slashing at your ankles.

Scarier than the doll was the creepy sexual subtext which I missed watching this as a child, with references to off-camera gang rape and incest.

On Amazon Video

Friday, May 11, 2018

TM Gallery: Bloody Moon, Secret Agent Meets the Saint, Horror Stories


Bloody Moon
EuroTrash auteur Jess Franco created this saga of slaughtered schoolgirls at a Spanish boarding school, complete with gratuitous nudity, graphic violence, and gory set pieces. Delivered with surprising style, genuine suspense and a cavalcade of depravity that includes incest, voyeurism and roller disco. 


Secret Agent Meets the Saint


Thursday, May 10, 2018

TM Gallery: Billion Dollar Brain, The Final Terror, Private Detective


Billion Dollar Brain
Harry Palmer has left the British Secret Service and become a private detective. One of his first assignments is to deliver an apparently innocent thermos flask to an old friend in Helsinki, Palmer is suspicious of the flask contents and begins to doubt the motives of his friend and those of his boss a Texan billionaire. 


The Final Terror
A group of young campers out for what they hope will be a fun-filled weekend find their plans spoiled by a disguised, merciless killer who stalks the forest in search of new victims. 


Private Detective, August 1944