FOLK HORROR IS IN THE DIA DOUBLE FEATURE THIS WEEKEND!

This week Sean Mitus joins Bill and me to watch two folk horror movies on the Groovy Doom Facebook and YouTube pages. It all starts at 8 PM this Saturday!

Up first — The Wicker Man, which you can find on the Internet Archive.

Every week on the show, we discuss the films, show an ad gallery of how they were released and have a drink with a themed cocktail. Here’s this week’s first drink:

The Landlord’s Daughter

  • 2 oz. gin
  • .75 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. Grand Marnier
  • .25 oz. simple syrup
  • Sparkling water
  • Raspberries
  1. Place gin, lemon juice, Grand Marnier and simple syrup in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and pour into a glass. Top with a float of sparkling water and add some raspberries to your glass.

Our second movie is The Blood On Satan’s Claw! You can watch it on Tubi.

Here’s the second drink:

Blood of Satan

  • 1 oz. Jägermeister
  • 1 oz. Goldschlager
  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. Jack Daniels whiskey
  1. Layer ingredients in this order: Jägermeister, Goldschlager, Irish whiskey and Jack Daniels, watch your hands for fur and drink.

Hey — why not have a second drink?

Devil’s Blood

  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Jägermeister
  • 1 oz. Kraken rum
  • 1 oz. Sour apple schnapps
  • Dash of grenadine
  1. Shake up everything in your shaker with ice.
  2. Strain into a glass and add a cherry, if you have one, you little devil.

See you Saturday!

Haunting Fear (1990)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Premature Burial, Haunting Fear stars Brinke Stevens as Victoria, a wealthy woman haunted by recurring dreams of being buried alive following the death of her beloved father. Her slimy husband Terry, played by Ray regular John Henry (née) Jay Richardson, pretends to be supportive while banging his hot secretary Lisa (Delia Sheppard) behind Vicki’s back. It’s not the only secret he’s keeping. Terry owes mob boss Visconti (Robert Quarry) 80 large in gambling debt. Visconti sends bent Detective James Trent (Jan-Michael Vincent) to watch the couple’s house to make sure Terry doesn’t make a break for it. Sweet as she is, it isn’t long before Trent develops an affinity toward Victoria, while at the same time Terry and Lisa are cooking up a scheme to kill Vicki, re-mortgage the house and pay back Visconti before the deadline. 

Rounding out the cast is Robert Clarke as Vicki’s doctor, who may or may not have murdered her father for a slice of the inheritance, and Michael Berryman, who makes a single-scene appearance in a nightmare sequence set in a morgue. 

Shot in six days for $140,000 at an old mansion later used in Ray’s Mind Twister (1994) and Witch Academy (1995), Haunting Fear is part horror movie, part erotic, blurring the lines between Vicki’s nightmares and waking life effectively through the use of editing and noir lighting courtesy of DP Gary Graver. The soundtrack, devoid of an overabundance of ambient sound save for a subdued synth score, adds further to the film’s quiet but steady pace to the final act. 

 It’s here where the film finally dives fully into horror territory. Instead of dying, Victoria breaks free of the wooden box into which Terry and Lisa have sealed her, and goes full tilt crazy, stalking her tormenters with a knife in a giggling frenzy from the shadows. While the first half focuses more on the scheming of Lisa and Terry, the finale is Stevens’ show. Cited as her favorite performance from this golden era of “Scream Queens,” it is Brinke’s meatiest role to date, having been written for her while she and Ray were a couple. Even when she’s going berserk, there’s something in her coffee-colored eyes that elicits sympathy. 

A film buff himself from childhood, Ray’s script pays homage to several classics. The image of Stevens sitting on the floor of the corner of her kitchen, vacantly lost in her own insanity, tapping a large knife tip onto the tile floor is straight out of the Dan Curtis classic Trilogy of Terror (1975.) Further, the scene where Vicki is put under hypnosis and made to recall her past life traumas by Trilogy’s Karen Black is reminiscent of Corman’s lesser-seen The Undead (1957) wherein the protagonist travels back in time in her mind to recall her past lives. If Allison Hayes had survived past the age of 47, it’s a sure bet Ray would have hired her.

True to most of the director’s output from this period, there’s plenty of sex and nudity go around, although sadly, we never get to see Richardson bare all. Come on, Fred! How about a little something for the ladies? There’s even some Basic Instinct-style rough stuff (played for laughs), almost two years before that film hit the scene. Is Haunting Fear true to the source material? No. Then again, no Poe adaptation ever has been. Haunting Fear is therefore best viewed in the spirit with which it was made. A nice little thriller meant to satisfy the 1990s video market. 

Circle of Fear episode 21: The Ghost of Potter’s Field

The next to last episode of Circle of Fear, “The Ghost of Potter’s Field” was directed by Don McDougall (the TV movies that made up Farewell to the Planet of the ApesForgotten City of the Planet of the ApesSpider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge and two Kolchak episodes, “The Youth Killer” and “Legacy of Terror” and written by Bill S. Ballinger (The Strangler and episodes of Mike Hammer and Alfred Hitchcock Presents) and Richard Matheson.

While researching a story at Potter’s Field cemetery, Bob Herrick (Tab Hunter) sees his own ghost, which follows him home. The only person that believes him is his girlfriend Nisa King (Louise Sorel) as the demonic doppelganger begins to cut him off from his friends and life.

While Ghost Story/Circle of Fear only had one season, it somehow had two doppelganger episodes, the other one being “Alter-Ego,” which is a much stronger story (and that episode also boasted Helen Hayes). At least the guest stars here include Pat Harrington Jr. (Schnieder from One Day at a Time), Gary Conway (who would go on to write Over the Top and American Ninja 2 and 3), Robert Mandan (Chester Tate from Soap), ventriloquist and voice of Tigger Paul Winchell, Myron Healey (The Incredible Melting Man) and Darwin Joston (The FogAssault on Precinct 13).

I’m kind of sad to see this series end. Come back next week for the last episode.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

There’s a moment in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood where Eddie, while watching the debut of Plan 9 from Outer Space thinks “This is the one I’ll be remembered for.” It’s almost certain Ed never had that thought. Similarly, Fred Olen Ray probably never thought his little horror comedy shot over 5 days on a series of weekends using equipment rented for another film would be “the one.” If you’ve never seen a Fred Olen Ray film, or you’re about to induct a new virgin into your own basement B-movie cult, this is the one to watch. Often imitated but never duplicated, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is Ray’s self-professed “message film” about the dangers of heading to a hotel with a lady of the night. “Because they might be a chainsaw-wielding maniac!” 

Here, the hookers in question are members of a chainsaw-worshipping cult who dismember their clients in service of their gods and master Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. Elvis-loving Mercedes (Michelle Bauer) delivers the most memorable kill totally nude in a shower cap while bloody Halloween shop rubber prop body parts fly around.

Although the dismembered body parts were fake, the chainsaws were real. Even when the chains were removed, Ray insisted on extreme caution from everyone on the slippery, blood-soaked set because “Anybody who is not scared shitless of a moving chainsaw blade is a fool.” 

Jay Richardson plays film noir prototype private detective Jack Chandler who stumbles upon the cult while searching for a missing runaway named Samantha (Linnea Quigley) amongst the dive bars and strip clubs of 1980s pre-“cleaned up” Hollywood. In the end, Sam and Jack defeat the cult while chaos in the temple erupts around them, while every single crew member runs through the frame screaming.

The film is silly and fun and utterly harmless despite what the British Board of Film Censors would have you believe. Yes, they banned both the poster and the film itself for a time during the “Video Nasties” panic. Here we are, 35 years later, and police have arrested not a single British prostitute for involvement with an underground chainsaw cult. Come to think of it, that brothel I lived next door to for a while in London was pretty suspicious…

You can watch this on Tubi.

Glass Trap (2005)

It’s not enough to be a skyscraper in danger movie or an ants go berserk movie.

This is radioactive ants gone mad inside a skyscraper movie.

Fred Olen Ray has somehow talked C. Thomas Howell, Andrew Prine, Stella Stevens and Martin Kove, as well as several of his regulars and some newcomers to be in a movie where they crawl through air ducts and avoid ants the size of my chihuahua.

So yes, it’s also Die Hard with some Empire of the Ants.

Is it a coincidence that Huff’s character is a tech thief with a teenage daughter, which is pretty much Ant-Man, in a movie about ants?

The ants were made this way thanks to smuggled Iraqui plutonium and I wonder if some of that same radioactive material once sent a boy thirty years back in time. Are all movies in the same universe?

I wonder how badly Ray wanted to make the rooftop lingerie photoshoot somewhat sleazier.

I just wonder, are people looking for giant ant or disaster movies? Or was this shot in the office building that Ray once had that also may or may not have had entire families living apartment style in some of the offices? If you have the location, you’re already saving money.

I wonder if Stella Stevens said anything like, “You know, when I did The Poseidon Adventure…”

You can watch this on Tubi.

Ghost of the Pirate Queen (2006)

The Full Moon cut down version of Bikini Pirates, this Fred Olen Ray movie has Evan Stone in its cast and I think he just took his outfit from the adult movie Pirates and no one said anything.

Jill (Nicole Sheridan) and Dustin (Voodoo) have found a doubloon necklace and the diary of the pirate queen Morganna (Rebecca Love), so they get their friends Susan (Beverly Lynn) and Joe (Randy Spears!) to undergo a seance and that brings both Morganna and Captain Tygus (Stone) back to the land of the living and everyone races to find the treasure.

Also known as Harlots of the Carribbean, this movie has both a cabin in the woods and Morganna’s book looks like the Necronomicon. Except instead of blood coating the walls, people have sex in the shower.

I feel like my time on Earth is short and yet here I am, watching a softcore movie about pirate ghosts.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Spirits (1990)

Dr. Richard Quicks (Robert Quarry) leads a group of researchers into a haunted house, like skeptic Beth (who was once a lesbian, which a Fred Olen Ray movie totally wouldn’t exploit), on the make Harry and psychic Amy (Brinke Stevens) who of course gets possessed by the house, at which point Father Anthony Vicci (Erik Estrada!) becomes the only person who can save them all — as long as he gets past the fact that he ignored his vow of chastity and slept with a woman. The shame…

Anyways, more exciting than Ponch playing a priest is Michele Bauer playing a nun who gets naked and denies the existence of God and says “You knew your way around a pussy pretty good for a priest.” as well as Tiffany Million — once a GLOW girl, later an adult video star — playing a demonic nun, which is better than just a nun.

Fred Olen Ray never made an Amityville sequel, but this is as close as he’s going to get, as well as making The Haunting, as this movie calls the mansion Heron — instead of Hill — House. This feels like an Italian movie without the excesses that an Italian film would add. No turtles are killed for real, no eyeballs get stabbed and no gigantic demon made from the dead bodies of murdered villages rises from the catacombs. But hey — Erik Estrada trying to resist a Michele Bauer half out of a nun’s habit. That’s worth something.

Bikini Drive-In (1995)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics.  For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

When Kim Taylor (Ashlie Rhey) inherits her grandfather’s beloved drive-in theatre, she and her friends must raise the money to save the failing establishment from both the bank and the evil clutches of land developer J.B. Winston (producer David F. Friedman.) When Kim’s dick boyfriend refuses to help her, Winston’s son Brian (Richard Gabai) goes against his father, and teams up with Kim (in more ways than one) to concoct a surefire way to sell tickets. The plan? An all-night monster movie marathon using all the old films Grandad saved with a scream queen and dancing bikini girls! A few (titty) twists and turns aside, the plan works, the bad guys, the bank and the meddling sheriff are vanquished and the kids all live happily ever after. 

It’s not the plot that makes this my favorite Fred Olen Ray film. It’s the inclusion of all the fake trailers (years before the QT/Rodriguez Grindhouse double feature) and all the original drive-in intermission shorts I enjoyed in my own youth. It’s a love letter to all the fun that could be had on a night out at the drive-in. According to Ray, many of the things you see in this film came from other films. “The monster suit, worn by (my son) Chris here, was from Biohazard 2… Michelle as the 50-foot woman was a test shot I had to do to prove to Roger that we could handle the effects, but since he made me pay for them myself I got to keep the footage (and the rights to it.) The sets from Dinosaur Island also appear in a fake trailer… and Jim (Wynorski) stole the title of my fake movie, House on Hooter Hill.” 

Appearances by Conrad Brooks, Forry Ackerman, Ross Hagen, Clare Polan and Anthony Cardoza among others as well as the Dick Dale-style surf soundtrack add to the overall nostalgic feel for a bygone era that spawned an entire generation of monster and B-movie enthusiasts. In her greatest comedic role to date, Michelle Bauer plays Scream Queen Dyanne Lynn, a spoiled actress served by a beefy manservant. It’s about time we ladies got a little equal opportunity exploitation in one of these films! 

Last, but not least, we have the director himself as DJ Randy Rocket, who, in full mid-‘90s fashion, gets a striptease in return for promoting the drive-in’s all-night marathon on his show. A tough casting choice, I’m sure. 

Most people familiar with this film probably saw the titty-free version on USA’s Up All Night back in the day, but there’s an uncut Blu-Ray on the way later this year from Ray’s Retromedia label which promises to include an entire bonus of restored drive-in intermission shorts from back in the day. Put the kids to bed, pass the popcorn, fire up the Pic mosquito repellent for a fun night in!  

A Mother’s Revenge (2016)

Jennifer Clarke (Jamie Luner, All My ChildrenMelrose Place) already thinks that she’s finished her Lifetime movie, one in which she went overboard after being gaslit for decades by her horrible husband Richard (Jason-Shane Scott) and turned her life around, becoming an in-demand corporate exec while he’s married to a woman the same age as their daughter Katey (Audrey Whitby) and dealing with diapers. Yet she made the biggest mistake anyone in a movie can make. She grabbed the wrong suitcase, which brings the maniac named Conner (Steven Brand) into her life.

Also called An Accidental Switch and Killer Switch, this movie works because Steven Brand actually feels menacing and gets off some really sinister dialogue that makes this veer toward the weirdness that this needs more of. I realize it’s a Lifetime movie, but that doesn’t mean that a little bit of sleaze can’t come on down.

Next time you’re in the airport and they ask if you’ve had your bag the whole time, make sure you did. You don’t want a killing machine stealing your child and killing your ex-husband who you hate — maybe you might — and making you confess over the phone that you’re a bad girl. Actually, maybe you do want all of that. So you know, set that bag down and see what kind of adventure creeps into your life.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Mob Boss (1990)

Don Anthony (William Hickey, Don Carrado Prizzi in Prizzi’s Honor and Uncle Lewis in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) runs the biggest crime family in California. He’s rubbed out by a team of his archrival Don Francisco (Stuart Whitman) and his mistress Gina (Morgan Fairchild). As he lays dying, he tells Monk (Irwin Keyes) to find his son Tony — yes, Anthony Anthony — to keep the family alive.

It turns out that Tony is Eddie Deezen.

Now, the mob has sent Gina to seduce him, as well as Angelo and Sara (Jack O’Halloran and Brinke Stevens) to kill him. Can Monk and the rest of the family get Don Tony ready for the family business or will they all die trying?

This is the last film of “Iron” Mike Mazursky, plus it also has Don Stroud, Dick Miller, Robert Quarry — credited as his Dr. Phibes Rises Again character name Darrus Biederbeck –and Teagan Clive from Alienator in the cast, which is a Fred Olen Ray mark of quality.

Does Ray have a vision? He did cast Deezen as a lead in a movie. I think that says yes.

In my dreams, Ray made a sequel and shot for shot created the end of Goodfellas with the cocaine run with all of the same actors except Deezen takes over for Ray Liotta.