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The Lost Continent!

An eclectic group of characters set sail on Captain Lansen’s leaky cargo ship in an attempt to escape their various troubles. When a violent storm strikes, the ship is swept into the Sargasso Sea and the passengers find themselves trapped on an island populated by man-eating seaweed, giant crabs and Spanish conquistadors who believe it’s still the 16th century.

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The Ape Man

Here’s the set-up. Some genius scientist (played by Bela “Dracula” Lugosi) devolves himself into the “ape man” of the title. Seeking to cure himself, he has go in search of human spinal fluid. To this end he employs a gorilla sidekick as muscle. On his tail are a wisecracking reporter and a pretty female photographer. Sounds like a good time, right? Not really.

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War of the Gargantuas!

Watching vintage Japanese monster movies is accepting to be part of an alternate reality. They have their own rules, their traditions, and simply are very different from their Hollywood counterparts. War of the Gargantuas is no exception to this. In fact, it might be perfect example.

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House of the Wolf Man

“House of the Wolf Man” is an indie horror flick that probably escaped most people’s notice during it’s first release. It came out around the same time as the remake of the original Wolf Man . While it would be easy to label it a shameless attempt to cash on the brief interest in classic horror, it seems like it has it’s undead heart in the right place. While it’s most overtly a homage to the great “monster rallies” of yore, it also pays visual homage to Everything from Monogram’s low rent horror flicks and Val Lewton’s classic Gothic features. It’s star is a very tangible link to classic horror, with a last name that sound perk interest in any monster buff. “Ron Chaney.” Yes, that’s right, the great grandson of the Man of a Thousand Face and the grandson of the original Wolf Man himself.

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Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

Purists beware! While Hammer is famous for its revamped versions of classic horror icons, none are changed as radically as Mr. Hyde. While the later “Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde” added gender identity issues to this mix, Terence Fisher’s 1960 is perhaps a little more offbeat in its subtle changes. Fisher was a big believer in the so-called “charm of evil”, and his version of Stevenson’s famous tale reflects that. But what makes it an interesting take on Hyde is probably one of the things that makes it off putting to purists.

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The Thing From Another World!

“Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies! “

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Mask of Fu Manchu

One of the most gleefully perverse and certainly the most relentlessly un-PC of the golden age horrror pictures, is the Mask of Fu Manchu starring Frankenstein’s Monster himself, Boris Karloff. Based on Sax Rohmer’s infamous devil doctor, the movie was criticized by the Chinese government, during its 1932 release. The movie and it’s title character are often deeemed as offensive to Asians and in all fairness, it’s easy to see why. As it stands today, it remains a guilty pleasure for this liberal minded, 21st century critic. But dubious pleasure or not, I am going to share this film with you.

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PREHISTORIC FLICK PICKS

Those who know me, know my love of monster movies is a deep one.  They’ll tell you I am howling mad about the Universal Monsters.  They’ll say I’m crazy about Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th series.  But lesser known, and no less deep is my love of dinosaur flicks!  There’s just something about big, bad, behemoths that gets my blood pumping.  And with Jurassic World now in theaters, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite dino-tastic films with you.  So here they are and in no certain order…

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Creature from the Black Lagoon

A lot of ink has been spilled about the Universal Monsters and their enduring legacy. Creature from the Black Lagoon is no exception. Jack Arnold’s film is well over fifty years old and its popularity shows no sign of waning anytime soon. Like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman before him, the Gill-Man remains popular with horror fans of all-ages. With it’s subtle sexual subtext, the movie has practically become a rite of passage for pre-teen horror fans as maturity looms.

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