Thursday, April 19, 2018

Moonslasher by Douglas D. Hawk

by Douglas D. Hawk
Critic's Choice, 1987

A werewolf story in a Jaws plot.  A mysterious creature stalks a vacation town.  Business leaders don't want to shut down the beaches, er, lake.  A depressed, one-armed cop tries to fight the creature between drinking spells.

The pacing is dictated by the phases of the moon, which gives us long pauses between action.  And it's not a werewolf, it's an Egyptian cat goddess.  The creature isn't described at all for the first few scenes, and my mind filled in a giant wolf.  Later, it still isn't described, other than calling it catlike.  I still had a picture of a wolf for a while, until it was replaced by the image of a twelve foot long house cat biting off heads and being shot at by M-16s.

Decently written, and I'm looking forward to reading more Hawk.

Available in Kindle ebook from Amazon

Click here to read a sample

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

TM Gallery: The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Zombie, True Men

The Abominable Dr. Phibes
A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death. 

Zombie (1980)

True Men
Breakout from the Nazi Bitch Camp 1034

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

TM Gallery: Sexurbia County, Magnetic Brain, Cyborg IV

Sexurbia County by Orrie Hitt
It's 1960. Tony Benton found flaming passion in the arms of honey-haired, hot-lipped Ruth Kennedy, who floated around in a golden Cadillac. Ruth's husband ran Burk County, the fashionable sexurb filled with thrill-hungry sin-hunters who stopped at nothing to satiate their jaded appetites. Sex, unlimited, brought cash to Burk County, and Tony soon learned that working its crimson nights paid off in dollars and dolls.

But Tony had complications - jet-haired Connie Davis, to whom bedded bliss meant marriage, and bewitching Elsie Grines, his boss' daughter, and Amy Slade, who was callously victimized by the town's penchant for sin.

Another brutally frank novel of 1960's sizzle, by the legendary Orrie Hitt, about men who left their consciences in the city, and women who checked their morals at the supermarket. 
Kindle ebook from Amazon

Magnetic Brain by Volsted Gridban
In a unique plot - as original as it is weirdly sinister - he tells of the effects of a guinea-pig experiment on the brain of an Earthman, severely injured when his spaceship crash-landed on Mars. With the help of the new wonder metal, niridium, the planet's greatest surgeon effected a trepanning operation on the victim's brain. In doing do he endowed the hitherto shy and diffident Timothy Arnside with the dangerous gift of being able to read the inmost thoughts of his fellow mortals. How the Earthman used and abused that gift is the foundation for a graphically moving story that culminates in a denouement as unexpected as it is spectacular 

Six Million Dollar Man 6: Cyborg IV by Martin Caidin
"Here is 'The Six Million Dollar Man' in a space adventure of the near future in which Cyborg Steve Austin races against time and technology to protect U. S. Military security and his own life. Bionics man Steve Austin is now linked symbiotically to his own space vehicle 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

TM Gallery: The Year of the Boar, 12 Must Die

Kung Fu Featuring Mace 6: The Year of the Boar by Lee Chang
Mace is the praying Mantis stalking the victim with its eyes, while its body remains motionless, patiently waiting for an opportunity to attack with blinding speed and deadly accuracy. Mace is the ape powerfully enforcing its indomitable will against all enemies. Fluid agile, it can squeeze the life from an adversary without precious energy. Mace is the clawing tiger storing its power in steel-coiling muscles that explode upon command to unleash total fury and destruction. Mace is the King Cobra moving rhythmically in a slow dance of death while its prey is helplessly driven into an hypnotic stupor. Then the snake strikes like lethal lightning, ending its victim's agony forever. Mace is Kung Fu deadly, accurate and powerful. 
Paperback from AbeBooks

Dr. Death: 12 Must Die
Who is Dr. Rance Mandarin? A wizard of science dedicated to hurling modern man back into the Stone Age! A twisted combination of Albert Einstein and Boris Karloff. The malevolent monster who calls himself Doctor Death!
Master of the Black Arts, invoker of evil elementals and generalissimo of an army of marauding Zombies, Doctor Death has decreed that mankind must revert to a more primitive state - or perish! And standing against him, a scientific detective steeped the ways of the occult - Jimmy Holm, brave leader of the Secret Twelve, a council of business and political leaders whom Death has marked for destruction. Together, they are mankind's last hope of preventing civilization from crumbling under his sinister supernatural spell. One by one, the Twelve begin falling victim to the evil scientist. Is the end of everything near?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Encounter with the Unknown

Encounter with the Unknown

Hosted by Rod Serling, this one is packaged like the unexplained documentaries of the time period.  It isn't, it's a zero budge horror anthology.  The concept is that a researcher found that several unexplained deaths had their corpses buried in 23 cemeteries, and these are three of their stories:

A prank goes wrong, leading to a young man's death.  His mother curses them to die at seven day intervals.  To be honest, if you go skydiving while under a curse, you've got it coming.

A hole opens up in the ground in a small town.  A man is lowered in by rope and goes mad.

A ghost lady hangs out on a bridge.

It has a low budget charm, but then lost me when it replayed scenes for like ten minutes at the end.

Available at Amazon Video

Friday, April 13, 2018

TM Gallery: Born to Die, Dealer in Death, Mean Johnny Barrows

Apache 14: Born to Die by William M. James

Super-Detective Jim Anthony: The Dealer in Death
October 1940

Mean Johnny Barrows (1975)
Former NFL star Fred Williamson (making his debut as a director) is Johnny Barrows, a soldier dishonorably discharged from the army. He returns home to encounter racism, violence, and an escalating mafia war. Naturally, a man with Barrows' rough background is hired as a mob enforcer. This brutal, blazing, blasting epic also stars Roddy McDowell, Stuart Whitman, and Elliot Gould. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Ants by Peter Tremayne

The Ants (aka The Ants are Coming)
by Peter Tremayne
Sphere, 1979

An anthropologist looks for her missing father in the jungle, only to find cleared fields and a pile of bones.  She meets up with a native child and an American pilot, and together they flee from mutated soldier ants to a plantation.

Well researched, but weak sauce, to the point that I would shelve this as Adventure rather than Horror.  A couple of interesting angles poke their heads up (native workers regressing to human sacrifice, the ants having mind control powers), but nothing comes of them.  Any tension is immediately dissipated and our heroes escape the ants with few obstacles.

Kindle ebook available from Amazon

Click here to read a sample

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bad Influences: Max's Mondo Madness

Max Headroom is one of those formerly ubiquitous cultural artifacts which society collectively decides to scrub from it's consciousness, like Gangam Style or Zach Galifianakis.  Either it's time has come again or I have lost all sense of taste, but I think it holds up well today, at least the movie and TV series, if not the Coke commercials.

In 1986, Max hosted a series of what were then called "mondo" or "midnight" movies.  I recall very little of it, except that's where I taped Reefer Madness and The Forbidden Zone featured prominently in the intro, though I may be confusing it with Night Flight.

This show has almost no internet fingerprint, but it's likely called "Max's Mondo Madness", a term that I am now ruining the googlewang for - it's only reference is at Max Headroom Notes.

Monday, April 9, 2018

TM Gallery: Jaka Sembung, Werewolves on Wheels, Ten Story Detective

Jaka Sembung

Werewolves on Wheels
A motorcycle club encounters a satanic cult of monks. After partying all afternoon they all pass out, except for one of the biker's girlfriend. She ends up getting lurked by the cult to participate in a ritual which turns her into a werewolf.  

Ten Story Detective, April 1948

Sunday, April 8, 2018

TM Gallery: Double Team, Nightmare, Wife Lender

Double Team

Nightmare 2

Wife Lender by Dean McCoy
A shocking novel that reveals the spreading practice of wife-lending

Saturday, April 7, 2018

TM Gallery: Dime a Dance Queen, The Skeleton Patrol, Panama Power Play

Dime a Dance Queen by Doug Dupperault

G-8 and his Battle Aces: The Skeleton Patrol by Robert J. Hogan

The Penetrator 19: Panama Power Play by Lionel Derrick
Norbert Briscoe, financial wizard, friend of presidents, and toast of the jet set, is alive and well and living in exile in Costa Rica. The proceeds of his swindles, thefts, and international money manipulation made him a wanted man in the U.S. But now he is putting together his biggest deal - one that will guarantee his own safety, grant him a complete pardon, and allow him to retain his huge fortune. He's going to buy the Panama Canal! 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

TM Gallery: 6 and the Silent Scream, Death Smiles on a Murderer, The Great White Space

6 and the Silent Scream ed Ivan Howard

Paperback from AbeBooks

Death Smiles on a Murderer
A haunting and dreamlike gothic horror/giallo hybrid, Death Smiles on a Murderer is a compelling early work from the legendary sleaze and horror film director Joe D Amato (Anthropophagus, Emanuelle in America), here billed under his real name Aristide Massaccesi.
Set in Austria in the early 1900s, Death Smiles on a Murderer stars Ewa Aulin, (Candy, Death Laid an Egg) as Greta, a beautiful young woman abused by her brother Franz (Luciano Rossi, Death Walks in High Heels, The Conformist) and left to die in childbirth by her illicit lover, the aristocrat Dr. von Ravensbrück (Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Kill, Baby... Kill!). Bereft with grief, Franz reanimates his dead sister using a formula engraved on an ancient Incan medallion. Greta then returns as an undead avenging angel, reaping revenge on the Ravensbrück family and her manically possessive brother.

The Great White Space by Basil Copper
Frederick Plowright, a well-known scientific photographer, is recruited by Professor Clark Ashton Scarsdale to accompany his research team in search of "The Great White Space," described in ancient and arcane texts as a portal leading to the extremities of the universe. Plowright, Scarsdale, and the rest of their crew embark on the Great Northern Expedition, traversing a terrifying and desolate landscape to the Black Mountains, where a passageway hundreds of feet high leads to a lost city miles below the surface of the earth. But the unsettling discoveries they make there are only a precursor of the true horror to follow. For the doorway of the Great White Space opens both ways, and something unspeakably evil has crossed over-a horrifying abomination that does not intend to let any of them return to the surface alive . . . 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Strike Commando 2

In the 80s, three Mississippi kids filmed a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Bruno Mattei did the same thing in 1989, with a little bit of Rambo and every other 80s action movie.  The additions of ninjas did not improve on the original.

A near low point in Richard Harris' career, rivaled only by MacArthur Park.

Currently on Amazon Video

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Sound of His Horn by Sarban

The Sound of His Horn
by Sarban
1952, Peter Davies Ltd.

A hundred years in the future, after the Nazis won World War II, a forester hunts human game dressed as deer, using genetically altered leopard women with steel claws.  Sound cool?  Well, that sentence is more exciting than The Sound of His Horn.

The book is all premise, with almost nothing happening outside of the clumsy narrative gimmick.  A soldier escapes from a POW camp during WW II.  He wakes up a hundred years from now, hangs around a bit, thinks about escaping, then is "poofed" back to his original time.

This story is highly regarded in some circles, appearing in several "best of" lists, for reasons that escape me.  It's arguably edgy for it's time, but edgy for 1950s England is a pretty low bar.

Paperback from Amazon

Monday, April 2, 2018

TM Gallery: Thunder Warrior II, Kill the Girl First, The Sex Shuffle

Thunder Warrior II

Guilty Detective Story Magazine September 1960
Kill the Girl First by Carroll Mayers

The Sex Shuffle by Sheldon Lord
aka Lucky at Cards by Lawrence Block

On the mend after getting run out of Chicago, professional cardsharp Bill Maynard is hungry for some action – but not nearly as hungry as Joyce Rogers, the tantalizing wife of Bill’s latest mark. Together they hatch an ingenious scheme to get rid of her husband. But in life as in poker, the other player sometimes has an ace up his sleeve… 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

TM Gallery: Kitten, Pleasure Island

Kitten by Dallas Mayo

A completely sensual woman who played with the desire of everyone she me - male or female

Pleasure Island by Alix York

Friday, March 30, 2018

TM Gallery: The Foe of Barnabas Collins, House of Dark Laughter, The Sledge-Hammer Crimes

The Foe of Barnabas Collins by Marilyn Ross

House of Dark Laughter by Melissa Napier

The Shadow: The Sledge-Hammer Crimes