Blu-ray Review: TERROR IS A MAN

Severin unearths the 1959 Filipino horror classic

“More horrifying than FRANKENSTEIN! More Terrifying Than DRACULA! “

To my everlasting shame as a cult film connoisseur I must admit to having watched little to nothing of Eddie Romero’s output.As a producer and director, Romero was responsible for such classics as BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT, TWILIGHT PEOPLE, BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA. THE WOMAN HUNT and BEYOND ATLANTIS but its his “Blood Island trilogy” that stands out in the hearts of horror aficionados.

TERROR IS A MAN is the first of this very loose trilogy and one of the Philippines’ first Horror films to be shot in English. Directed in 1959 by Gérard de Leon but only picked up for North American distribution by Hemisphere 10 years later,  TERROR’s basic theme is taken from HG Welles’ Island of Dr Moreau. When William Fitzgerald  (Richard Derr) is washed ashore on an island, the only survivor of a shipwreck, he’s found by Dr. Girard (Francis Lederer) a park Avenue surgeon and (apparently) genetic scientist who has isolated himself to pursue his experiments free from distractions (and ethical constraints) and assisted by his wife Francis (Greta Thyssen) and his assistant Walter (Oscars Keesee).Quickly, we learn that the island has no means of leaving and no means of communicating with the outside world.  Fitzgerald is told that any return to civilization will have to wait until the supply ship returns in several months. Plenty of time for him to explore the island, the native culture of the indigenous people, stumble into the mysterious experiments and get to know the disenfranchised wife a bit better.

Actually…a lot better!

Continue reading “Blu-ray Review: TERROR IS A MAN”

Sound Shock: A Closer Look at Alice Cooper’s PARANORMAL

An appreciation of the iconic rocker’s underrated 2017 album

“I’m condemned
to the long endless night 
and I live in the absence of light…”

Thus begins ALICE COOPER’s 2017 double album release PARANORMAL.

In full disclosure I’ll say that I grew up a big Cooper fan. Eagerly devouring his 70’s and early 80’s releases but kind of lost track and, perhaps, interest after 1983’s DADA while still having a big soft spot for the Coop. So it was with no small trepidation that I approached this release, even being produced and co-mixed with frequent collaborator Bob Ezrin.  I’d seen too many of my childhood heroes become parodies or even worse, pantomimes of themselves. So you won’t have to read this till the end to find out whether or not this reviewer enjoyed PARANORMAL; I frikkin’ LOVED it !

The album’s flow works beautifully-the lead song, PARANORMAL is introduced with a soft guitar jangle befor ebeing punctured with crunching metal chords, flowing into a thumping drum/bass rhythm and swelling guitars before again falling back to a repeat the softer bridge from the opening.

It just sounds like the perfect opening salvo to a night of ALICE!

Continue reading “Sound Shock: A Closer Look at Alice Cooper’s PARANORMAL”

Blu-ray Review: NEMESIS

Flashing back to video store action classic courtesy of MVD’s Rewind Collection

If you EVER entered a video rental store and made it to the science fiction or fantasy section, you definitely came across some of Albert Pyun`s cinematic opuses. The art on the VHS covers were always dynamic: SWORD AND THE SORCERER with it`s Frazetta-esque painting, CAPTAIN AMERICA with the good Captain coming straight for us (and for once the suit was comic-book accurate!), CYBORG with new action star JCVD facing down a gang of badass post apocalyptic thugs and NEMESIS, with cool painted Oliver Gruner ( think 50% JCVD, 50% Dolph Lundgren ) as a sleek trench-coat wearin`, machine gun totin` terminator with a  babe in the background holding an even bigger hand cannon to sweeten the deal.

Well, courtesy of MVD we now have NEMESIS in a remastered, special edition Blu-ray / DVD set, packaged in a retro looking slipcase with that selfsame cover, with a ‘worn’ look and adorned with video store `stickers`.

NEMESIS is the kind of `serious` 80`s sci-fi film where everyone wears sunglasses and you know what the hero’s thinking because of his serious, baritone voice over.

Before I continue I just want to say that the following review has some spoilers so be forewarned.

Continue reading “Blu-ray Review: NEMESIS”


A look at Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson’s magnum macabre opus

FRANKENSTEIN ALIVE, ALIVE! continues the tale of Mary Shelley’s titular creature, beginning in it’s “I am never what they I have also learned it is always best to give them what they expect. Give them what they want. A monster.

At the beginning of the graphic novel the creature is now living a content life as a part of the ‘freak’ portion of a travelling circus and carnival as… ‘The Frankenstein Monster’! Having found a family of sorts who accept people as they are, without preconditions and without questions he can afford to remember back to a time when things weren’t so idyllic. From that prologue, the creature’s thoughts travel back to it’s attempt to the end of Shelley’s novel.  Up in the arctic it tries to end it’s existence as it is haunted by it’s maker, Dr Frankenstein.  Relying on the frigid waters to do the deed,  but to no success.  It seems the creature is, like original sin, immortal.   When it is found and brought to a benevolent doctor’s isolated clinic it finds a peace, living in relative solitude but acceptance… at least for a while. Continue reading “Review: FRANKENSTEIN ALIVE, ALIVE! THE COMPLETE COLLECTION”