My quest, the one I’ve entitled See Reptilicus And Die — my quest to see every film depicted in the pages of Denis Gifford’s A Pictorial History of Horror Movies — the book he wrote by taking dictation form my childhood nightmares — my quest, I say, is not far from completion. If you visit the pages where I listed the films I had to track down and see, you’ll observe that most of the entries are now coloured BLOOD RED, meaning I came, I saw, I choked back my vomit.
Here’s a list of movies located but still to be watched –
THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR: killer moth romp with Cushing. Lovely.
MURDER CLINIC: never knew what this was, turns out to be a giallo. Got a very scratchy, very pink copy.
THE PHANTOM OF SOHO: actually got two radically different cuts of this krimi kaper, in different languages. Will watch both, become confused, write post.
INVISIBLE INVADERS: an Edward L Cahn atrocity.
WILLARD: rat movie with Michael Jackson theme song. Figures. Anyone remarked how the lyrics of “Thriller” describe accurately Jacko’s use of THE EXORCIST to terrify small boys into sexual submission?
THE VAMPIRE (1957): around this time somebody also made THE WEREWOLF. I guess it was time somebody noticed those basic titles hadn’t been exploited.
GAMERA VS JIGER: monsters duke it out at the 1970 Japan World’s Fair.
KING OF THE ZOMBIES: one of the easiest to see, since it’s actually online, and one of the hardest to sit through (I’ve tried, God knows I’ve tried).
RETURN OF THE APE MAN: the original was pretty bad. This phony sequel at least George Zucco and John Carradine to bolster Lugosi (and by “bolster” I mean “physically support”).
THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA: it is entirely possible that I’ve seen this, on a b&w portable TV in my bedroom when I was 17. But I’m not sure that counts, since I don’t remember a damn thing about it.
BLACK DRAGONS: is going to be an ordeal. What drugs do you recommend to enhance the experience?
THE MONSTER MAKER: Ralph Morgan as a mad scientist is an attractive prospect, though part of me wishes it was his brother Frank.
DEAD MEN WALK: Zucco always cracks me up.
INVISIBLE AGENT: this ought to be good fun.
THE MAN IN HALF MOON STREET: watched half an hour before sinking into a coma. Will try again, using strong stimulants. Even duller than remake, THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH. Even with the lovely Helen Walker, an immortal snore.
THE DEVIL BAT: has to be at least watchable.
EQUINOX: one of several Gifford titles to have received the Criterion treatment. And I’m not just talking about classics, but THE GRIP OF THE STRANGLER also.
THE HYPNOTIC EYE: I just tracked down a copy of this nasty-sounding thing. Beatniks, hypnosis and mutilation.
REPTILICUS: the mother of all Danish dinosaur movies.
The tricky ones are still the remaining rarities I haven’t laid hands on, of course. But plans are afoot…