Category Archives: horror

Bump in the Night: “Dracula Sucks” (1978)

           “Dracula Sucks”  (1978)     If a similar exercise in post-“Blazing Saddles” era genre deconstruction by way of by way of a borscht belt savaging of genre tropes were to be inferred by as suggestively flippant … Continue reading

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Howl: “La lupa mannara” (1976)

      “La lupa mannara”  (1976)      Lycanthropy becomes the subject of pathology rather than mythology in Rino Di Silvestro’s “La lupa mannara” (“Werewolf Woman”), a film that features an unsettling performance by Annik Borel as Daniela Neseri, … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Don’t Breathe” (2016)

“Don’t Breathe”  (2016)  Yet another example of Skinner Box cinema, presenting an unremarkable event, in this instance a case of home invasion by a trio of thrill seekers, which spirals into a nightmare intended precisely for the audience to enjoy … Continue reading

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Cold as Ice: “The Frozen Dead” (1966)

                 “The Frozen Dead”  (1966)      If one were take Hollywood’s version of history at face value, Germany’s defeat in World War II had little to do with the strangulation of resources … Continue reading

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Mud: “X the Unknown” (1956)

          “X the Unknown”  (1956)      For those interested in genre filmmaking, it is important to remember that in monster movies the world seems to be populated by citizens paralyzed with fright so intense it … Continue reading

Posted in British films, Drive-In Movies, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science fiction, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Domesticated On Arrival: “Devils of Darkness” (1965)

      “Devils of Darkness” (1965)     Lance Comfort’s “Devils of Darkness” is a strange amalgam of vampirism and Satanic cult worshipping, both staples of post-Hammer British horror films, though here combined in an awkward brew which appears … Continue reading

Posted in British films, Drive-In Movies, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, Movies, vampires, writing | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

What’s Love Got to Do With It?: “El gran amor del conde Drácula” (1973)

          “El gran amor del conde Drácula” (1973)     Popularly recognized by Euro Horror enthusiasts for his continuing role as lycanthrope Wademar Daninsky, Paul Naschy portrays an unexpectedly sentimental variation of cinema’s favorite vampire in “El … Continue reading

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25 Pictures in Search of a Theme: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2019 Edition, Vol. 133524.48

25 Pictures in Search of a  Theme: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2019 Edition, Vol. 133524.48s     Since the inception of Chandler Swain Reviews, we have engaged in the constant struggle between the search for Art and depth … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, Boston, Cecil B. DeMille, comedy, History, horror, Movies, Mystery, photography, Romance, women, writing | 1 Comment

Variety is the Spice of Life: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2019 Edition, Vol. 57

Variety is the Spice of Life: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2019 Edition, Vol. 57     In keeping with the CSR tradition of taking an entire month to upgrade, update and perform a much needed Spring Cleaning on the … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, comedy, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, photography, Romance, sex, theater, women, writing | 8 Comments

By the Colouring Book: “Die, Monster, Die!” (1965)

            “Die, Monster, Die” (1965)     The literary reputation of H.P. Lovecraft receives a glancing body blow with “Die, Monster, Die!”, an extremely casual adaptation of his celebrated short story The Colour Out of Space; a film … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boris Karloff, Drive-In Movies, H.P. Lovecraft, horror, Movies, Roger Corman, science fiction, short stories, writing | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Labor Party: “The Mole People” (1956)

         “The Mole People”  (1956)   It’s a curious phenomenon when a cultural industry ignores a particularly prickly subject which merits serious dramatic representation simply through moral cowardice or, more disgracefully, through financial considerations which take into … Continue reading

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Concession Stand Bites: “Dracula” (1931)

“DRACULA” (1931) Starring Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Edward Van Sloane. Directed by Tod Browning and an uncredited Karl Freund. Written by Garret Ford, from the play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, based on the … Continue reading

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Middle Age Crazy: “The Black Sleep” (1956)

    “THE BLACK SLEEP” (1956)      Reminiscent of a poverty level variation of H.G. Wells’ “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, “The Black Sleep” is also a distant poor cousin to the clubhouse monster films of the waning days … Continue reading

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Mind Games: “Monstrosity” (1963)

                     “Monstrosity”  (1963)     “Monstrosity” is a film that has a great deal on its plate but none of it worth doing as it has already all been done better. … Continue reading

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Egypt, Unwrapped: “The Mummy” (1932)

     “The Mummy”    (1932)     The first of the major Universal sound horror films which relied upon the invention of screenwriters rather than a direct literary predecessor, Karl Freund’s “The Mummy” enjoys the luxury in the depiction of the … Continue reading

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Staged Fright: “The Climax” (1944)

          “The Climax”  (1944)     Based upon the 1909 play by Edward Locke, George Waggner’s “The Climax” is a film with obvious pretensions toward elevating the Universal horror film to a more sophisticated and urbane … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Frogs” (1972)

“Frogs” (1972) Nature photographer Pickett Smith (Sam Elliot, sans dashing lip brush) finds his canoe capsized due to inconsiderate nautical etiquette and finds himself a guest of wheelchair bound curmudgeon Jason Crockett (Ray Milland, under a dashing Panama hat), island patriarch of … Continue reading

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From the Ashes: “Frankenstein” (1910)

                “Frankenstein”  (1910)     Though appreciably compromised in its filmic translation from the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (an introductory title acknowledges the film to be a “liberal adaptation”), not only due … Continue reading

Posted in books, fRANKENSTEIN, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science, silent films, silent movies, theater, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Shooting Blanks: “Inseminoid” (1981)

              “Inseminoid”  (1981)     With imitation being the shortest route to the creation of bad movies, it was only a matter of counting down the minutes before “Alien”, a prestige recycling of the … Continue reading

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Soulless: “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS” (1975)

         “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS”  (1975)     If history doesn’t present us with enough examples of inhuman atrocity, leave it to the movie industry to feel compelled to invent a peculiar hybrid combining the … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Terror in the Wax Museum” (1973)

“Terror in the Wax Museum”  (1973) When the body of Chamber of Horrors wax museum proprietor Claude Dupree (John Carradine) is discovered stabbed with the scalpel of his waxworks Jack the Ripper, can an obligatory stacking of bodies be far … Continue reading

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Dancing in the Dark: “Orgy of the Dead” (1965)

          “Orgy of the Dead”  (1965)     Death may be eternal, but it doesn’t hold a candle to how one feels sitting through “Orgy of the Dead”. If the opening narration, spoken by a visibly … Continue reading

Posted in dance, Ed Wood, erotica, grindhouse, horror, Movies, sex, women, writing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Rainy Day Monday: Classic Film Photo Images Quiz, Oct. 2018 Edition, Vol. 23

Rainy Day Monday: Classic Film Photo Images Quiz, Oct. 2018 Edition, Vol. 23     Welcome again guys and chicklets to yet another in the long suffering series known as The Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as … Continue reading

Posted in books, comedy, erotica, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, photography, Romance, women, writing | 8 Comments

The Return of the Classic Film Clip Quiz

  The Return of the Classic Film Clip Quiz     Let us reintroduce this minor little visual quiz where we ask the musical question: Name the film clips shown. (Well, it’s not really a question, but it’s our discretion … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, comedy, dance, erotica, History, horror, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Romance, silent films, westerns | 8 Comments

Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz” (2015)

       Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz”  (2015)      One need only glance at the sorry offerings on the local multiplex marquee to see that the commercial cinema is in a state of crisis. It is … Continue reading

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Shadows and Fog: “The City of the Dead” (1960)

       Shadows and Fog:  “The City of the Dead”  (1960) A caveat: the following article may reveal destinations of plotting that may despoil a virginal viewing of the film. Reader discretion is advised.           … Continue reading

Posted in British films, horror, movie reviews, Movies, religion, Reviews, women, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Stairway to Heaven (Or At Least To The Mezzanine): Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2018 Edition, Vol. 384

Stairway to Heaven (Or At Least To The Mezzanine):  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2018 Edition, Vol. 384     Life has its ups and downs and so do staircases. If you’re looking for a philosophical musing that’s deeper, … Continue reading

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Revisit: Love Intestinal-Style: “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” (1974)

“Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein”  (1974) (Originally posted on April 18, 2013)    Filmed immediately prior to “Andy Warhol’s Dracula”, more popularly known as “Blood For Dracula”, Paul Morrissey’s “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein”, filmed under and later re-released under the title “Flesh For … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Unkindest Cuts; or, How to use unchecked political correctness to victimize the very people you intend to protect: “Freaks” (1932)

          “FreAKs”                   (1932) (Originally posted on Feb. 25, 2014)      Long time the standard by which all “Golden Age” Hollywood horror films are compared for a sense of shock and … Continue reading

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Revisit: Poe in the Cinema: “Histoires Extraordinares” (1968)

“Histoires Extraordinaires”  (1968) (Originally posted on July 12, 2010)    The cinema is rife with literary adaptations and the works of Edgar Allan Poe have fared surprisingly well as a good number of films have captured, if not the essence … Continue reading

Posted in books, Brigitte Bardot, Edgar Allan Poe, Federico Fellini, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Vadim | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Out of Touch: “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac” (1924)

   “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac”   (1924)  A Necessary Caveat: The following article contains analysis which reveals details of the subject film’s climactic events. Such details, if one wishes to approach the film with virgin eyes, should be approached with … Continue reading

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She Who Obeys: “Frankenstein Created Woman” (1967)

     “Frankenstein Created Woman”  (1967)     Considering the usual limitations placed upon the status of women in the Gothic horror movies produced by Hammer Films-  generally subsumed to decorative but insubstantial roles calling for little more than subservient … Continue reading

Posted in British films, Drive-In Movies, fRANKENSTEIN, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, movie sequels, Movies, Terence Fisher, women, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Desert Critters: “The Brotherhood of Satan” (1971)

        “The Brotherhood of Satan”  (1971)     Children may seem to to be the root of all evil in “The Brotherhood of Satan”, but it’s only a feint, thinly disguising the actual complicity of the town’s elders. … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Poe in the Cinema, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Vampire Redux: “House of Dark Shadows” (1970)

                    “House of Dark Shadows”  (1970)     Within the realm of popular culture, so ingrained is the image of Count Dracula in the public consciousness that any manifestation of a … Continue reading

Posted in horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, Television, vampires, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Flop Sweat as an Art Form: “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966)

              “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”  (1966)    If “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” were to be completely dismissed as kid’s stuff, a late arrival of the venerable haunted house sub-genre which had already … Continue reading

Posted in acting, comedy, ghosts, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, Television, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

Brained: “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” (1966)

        “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”  (1966)      Released as a double feature with “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula”, William Beaudine’s “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” is the kind of matinee movie in which it might … Continue reading

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Necking: “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966)

             “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula”  (1966)    There isn’t a great deal of merit in William Beaudine’s “Billy the Kid vs, Dracula”, but the film makes an excellent case for the furtherance of black … Continue reading

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Damsels in Distress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2017 Edition, Vol. o – o

Damsels in Distress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct, 2017 Edition, Vol. o – o      It may be politically incorrect to point out the obvious fact that holding a door open for a lady might well bring widespread … Continue reading

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Delirium Tremors: “The Vampire” (1957)

      “The Vampire”  (1957)      A traditionally supernatural  creature meets modern science in “The Vampire”, a by-the-numbers monster movie which can more comfortably (though it doesn’t elevate the quality of the production) viewed as a drug addiction … Continue reading

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Night Visitors: “Invasion of the Saucer Men” (1957)

                   “Invasion of the Saucer Men”  (1957)      A flying saucer lands in a deserted field and wreaks havoc in the lives of an alcoholic drifter, a pair of teen lovers … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, Film, Godzilla, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science fiction, writing | Leave a comment

What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O

What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O     During the current climate in which it seems many who should know better, by all appearances, are all wet, allow us to present this month’s … Continue reading

Posted in animation, books, Film, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Leave a comment

Build the Wall: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812

Build the Wall: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812 Walls are structural. Walls are decorative. It seems that, lately, talk of building walls has become in vogue, as the attractiveness of just thinking about constructing barriers … Continue reading

Posted in books, espionage, History, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Mystery, Reviews, women, writing | 6 Comments

Summer Beach Books: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925

Summer Beach Books:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925 At the dawn of the upcoming summer vacation season, it can never be too early to begin the selection process in making seasonal selections of those printed … Continue reading

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Poe in the Cinema: “The Oblong Box” (1969)

         “The Oblong Box”  (1969)       Gordon Hessler’s “The Oblong Box” is a tepid and dishonest attempt at a continuation of American International’s ongoing Edgar Allan Poe inspired series of films which began with Roger Corman’s 1959 “House of Usher”, … Continue reading

Posted in books, Edgar Allan Poe, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Corman, short stories, vincent price, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%

Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%     Being that films are occasionally regarded as “motion” pictures, it seems reasonable that in bringing a … Continue reading

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If I Fell: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; March 2017 Edition, Vol. 543210

If I Fell: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; March 2017 Edition, Vol. 543210     If life teaches us anything, it is that gravity is not our friend (neither are silly award show envelope fumbling accountants [Fake News Encounters of … Continue reading

Posted in books, comedy, Film, History, Hitchcock, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, politics, religion, Reviews, women, writing | 2 Comments

Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017, Vol. 36-24-36

Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble”: resounds the infamous witch’s incantation exemplified by the vomitable vaudeville warblings currently on display by the intellectually challenged trio of Beltway harridans … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “How to Make a Monster” (1958)

“How to Make a Monster”   (1958) This  not very mysterious murder mystery is a sort-of sequel to both “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and the subsequent “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein” in that it features the monsters of the … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Drive-In Movies, Film Reviews, fRANKENSTEIN, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

March Madness: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33

MARCH MADNESS: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33        Welcome to the headquarters of cynical, uncaring, insubordinate, insensitive, boorish, childish behavior-  OK, outside of the current carnival sideshow masquerading as a job interview for the nation’s … Continue reading

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Tourist Trapped: “Dracula Prince of Darkness” (1966)

      “Dracula Prince of Darkness”  (1966)    Religious piety receives a refreshing shot in the arm in Terence Fisher’s “Dracula, Prince of Darkness”-  the long delayed direct sequel to the 1958 “Horror of Dracula” (or “Dracula” for purists situated … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, movie sequels, Movies, Reviews, vampires, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment