EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on December 5, 2018.

Originally airing on May 22, 1977, this attempt at a weekly series comes from director Paul Wendkos (The Mephisto WaltzSecretsHaunts of the Very Rich) and Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster (The LegacyScream, Pretty PeggyHorror of DraculaThe Revenge of Frankenstein).

I was really excited about the potential of this one, which promises from its Amazon listing that writer Andy Stuart (Dack Rambo) teams up with an exorcist named Father Kemschler (Dan O’Herlihy!) to battle Satan and a group of devil worshipers led by Mr. Rimmin (Richard Lynch!).

Seems like Rimmin has been after a girl named Jessica from the moment she was born, as her mother was drugged and attended to by nuns who took her baby away the moment it was born. Her mom was then killed by a black cat and Jessica is raised by his people, with her origins kept a secret.

When Andy and Jessica hook up and decide to get married, she’s unable to even get near the altar. That’s because she’s been promised to the demon Astaroth and must be kept a virgin until the beast comes back and puts a devil baby in her womb. Now, the cult that has been behind every moment of her life must keep her a virgin by cockblocking Andy at every turn.

I was totally prepared for pure 1970’s Satanic bliss, only to find myself in the midst of a relationship drama for much of the films first half. Sure, there was a flashback where a woman imagined a nearly nude and totally burned up Lynch — he came by those scars the hard way — attacking her. I was thinking — is this the TV movie version of Enter the Devil — only for cruel reality to make me learn differently.

That said, there are some good moments here, like a woman being killed by her own housecats under Rimmin’s command. And Elyssa Davalos as Jessica has plenty of great qualities that make her a wonderful horror heroine in distress. And while she’s top billed when you look this film up, Kim Cattrall makes a short appearance.

I wanted to love this. It has all the elements that you would think would lead to magic. Yet it can’t put them all together. Sometimes when you deal with the devil, you don’t get what you wanted.

MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: The Fury of the Wolfman (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on August 23, 2020.

La Furia del Hombre Lobo is a 1970 Spanish horror film that is the fourth in the saga of werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, played as always by Paul Naschy. It was not theatrically released in Europe until 1975, yet an edited U.S. version played on television as early as 1974 as part of the Avco-Embassy’s “Nightmare Theater” package, along with Naschy’s Horror from the Tomb and The Mummy’s Revenge.

For those that care about these things — like me — the other films were MartaDeath Smiles on a MurdererNight of the Sorcerers, Hatchet for the HoneymoonDear Dead DelilahDoomwatchBell from HellWitches MountainManiac Mansion and The Witch.

This time, Daninsky is a professor who travels to Tibet, only to be bitten by a yeti which seems like not the werewolf origin that you’d expect. He then catches his wife cheating on him, so in a fit of passion, he murders them both before being killed himself. But this being a Spanish horror movie, that’s just the start of the trials that El Hombre Lobo must struggle through.

Daninsky is revived by Dr. Ilona Ellmann (Perla Cristal, The Corruption of Chris Miller), who wants to use him for mind control experiments. Soon, however, our hero learns that she has a basement filled with the corpses of her failed experiments. To make matters even worse, she brings back his ex-wife from the dead and turns her into a werewolf too!

There’s a great alternate title to this movie: Wolfman Never Sleeps. How evocative! That’s the Swedish version that has all of the sex that Franco’s Spain would never allow.

Naschy claimed that director José María Zabalza was a drunk, which may explain how this movie wound up padded with repeat footage from Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror and some stunt double continuity antics that nearly derail this furry film.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime. It’s also coming out on blu ray from Ronin Flix.

MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: The Doomsday Machine (1972)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on March 3, 2020.

You have to admire a movie that was originally filmed five years earlier under the titles Armageddon 1975 and Doomsday Plus Seven before the money stopped rolling in. The rights got sold, a new ending was filmed with totally different actors and plenty of padding got thrown in to make this — along with NASA stock footage and special effects taken from other movies.

Hell, the Astra, the main ship in this, changes its look every few minutes.

Original director Herbert J. Leder also made Fiend Without a Face. The fixed up footage came from Lee Sholem, who directed more than 1,300 episodes of television, as well as the movie Superman and the Mole Men.

Ruta Lee, who was one of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, stars in this. She’s joined by Mala Powers (who ran the estate of acting teacher Michael Chekov after his death), Grant Williams (The Incredible Shrinking Man), Henry Wilcoxon (the bishop in Caddyshack), former Tarzan Denny Miller, M*A*S*H* star Mike Farrell and Bobby Van, who hosted eight-year-old Sam’s favorite game show, Make Me Laugh.

You think the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey didn’t make sense? At least it didn’t abruptly end after wiping out most of the cast off-screen and Venusians try to explain the entire movie away via a voice-over.


Directed by Ralph Nelson (Charly) and written by Anita Doohan and Jack W. Thomas — who had stopped screenwriting for more than a decade to become a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer and write a series of books on troubled youth — Embryo finds Dr. Paul Holliston (Rock Hudson) living a life of solitude after losing his wife in a car accident, a fact that his sister-in-law/assistant Martha Douglas (Diane Ladd) reminds him of near daily.

One night, he runs over a dog — maybe he should stop driving — and ends up taking that dog’s unborn child and bringing it to healthy — if murderous — life in his lab. If he can play God like that, well, why not bring the unborn child of a suicide victim to life and have her become just about instantly 22 years old and named Victoria (Barbara Carrera)?

Despite how smart Victoria is, she’s also quickly dying as her body is addicted to the immune suppressant drug methotrexate and has no issue killing Martha to keep her origins a secret. And oh yeah — making sweet love to the much older doctor.

The end of this movie is ridiculous and I love it. I mean, rapidly aging clones drinking dead fetus fluids, the doctor watching her kill his son and chasing after her only to learn that she’s having his baby? 70s science fiction carny BS at its finest.

It goes without saying: Barbara Carrera really must have been grown in a lab. I don’t know if that kind of perfection can come from the coupling of a man and woman. It must have some kind of science added to it.

This also has a party scene with Roddy McDowell and Joyce Brothers during which chess is the main source of fun, not drinking. Sure.

Somehow, due to Cine Artists Pictures going out of business this movie is in the public domain.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on October 5, 2021.

Adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel, The Lost World is most famous for its stop motion special effects, which were created by Willis O’Brien and predate his work on the original King Kong.

In some prints of this film, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself appeared in the opening, introducing what audiences were about to see. Just a few years earlier, he had shown a test reel of O’Brien’s effects to a meeting of the Society of American Magicians, including Harry Houdini. The audience was certain they had seen true footage of dinosaurs and Coyle refused to say where he had acquired the footage. It even made the front page of the New York Times, which said that Doyle’s “monsters of the ancient world, or of the new world which he has discovered in the ether, were extraordinarily lifelike. If fakes, they were masterpieces.”

The first feature-length film made in the United States — and probably the world — to feature model animation as the primary special effect, this was also the first movie to be played on an airplane.

Professor Challenger (Wallace Berry) has been ridiculed for announcing that dinosaurs are real, yet he accepts an offer to field a team to rescue the scientist Maple White, along with that learned man’s daughter Paula, sportsman Sir John Roxton, news reporter Edward Malone, Professor Summerlee, Zambo and Challenger’s butler Austin. I mean, if you live in style, I always say take your servant to meet some kaiju.

Well, their trip is filled with peril, plenty of dinosaurs and an apeman who nearly kills them multiple times before they bring a brontosaurus back to London. Unlike Kong, beauty does not kills the beast and the gigantic quadruped sauropod swims on down the Thames to freedom.


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 or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

This is Not a Test shares much in common Panic in Year Zero directed by Ray Milland. Both were low-budget productions released in 1962 and both deal with a group of strangers who come together in the California desert outside Los Angeles before/during a nuclear attack. Equally, both seem quaint in 2022. This is Not a Test, in particular presents a highly unlikely scenario for audiences who grew up on Mad Max or zombie apocalypse films. A lone Deputy Sheriff played by Seamon Glass sets up a roadblock on a lonely mountain pass to catch Clint (Ron Starr), a hitchhiking killer on the run. A truck carrying the fugitive along with a few other vehicles are stopped, giving Clint just enough time to flee into the darkness while all the other characters are introduced. We have a couple of gamblers, a married couple on the outs with their dog Timmy, a wise old man and his granddaughter Juney and – joining them later – a nice guy on a scooter. When news of a pending missile attack comes across the police radio, not only does the cop stay at his post, but all eight of the people stopped at the roadblock comply with his every command for the majority of the film. If this film were made today, Deputy Sheriff Dan Colter would either raid the delivery truck and flee the scene, or have his gun stolen and become Deputy Sheriff pork shoulder. In 1962, he’s the law and so “We have to do what he says.”

That’s not to say that things don’t go sideways. Colter is truly an idiot, making all the wrong decisions, including destroying a whole case of booze, which could not only be used to start fires in the post-apocalyptic world, but also to disinfect wounds. Not to mention act as a sedative against the coming horrors. 

Things unravel quickest for the dissatisfied married couple once the wife realizes her likelihood of survival is small. Looking for one last moment of happiness, she almost immediately falls into the arms of the truck driver, leaving her cuckolded husband to shoot himself with Colter’s gun in the very next scene while everyone else prepares the back of the truck as a shelter. While a few people choose to stay outside, the majority of the remaining group empty out the back of the truck and cover the air vents with mud. Although they initially plan to hunker down for at least 14 days, once inside, it takes all of 10 minutes for them to become exceptionally sweaty and claustrophobic. Colter kills Timmy the little dog for taking up too much air, a fight ensues and the group bursts forth from the back of the truck only to be greeted by a gang of looters in fresh from the hellscape that is now Los Angeles. 

Before any Negan-style nastiness ensues, the final countdown comes over the radio. Some of the people finally knock Colter unconscious, and take his car while the looters barricade themselves inside the back of the truck. Colter wakes up to find Clint running past, who, having been hiding in the woods for the pat 75 minutes, has no idea what’s going on. The film ends with Colter begging to be let inside the back of the truck. The screen turns white, we hear an explosion. The End. 

Despite its outdated social platitudes, It’s not a bad little movie. The location is used to good effect and the acting is pretty good. Although nowhere near as gruesome as the later films about nuclear war made in the 80s like The Day After, or the incredibly dark British outing Threads, which gave me nightmares for weeks, This is Not a Test is sufficiently bleak to satisfy fans of this well-worn subgenre. Best of all, it’s available for free on YouTube. 

MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: All the Kind Strangers (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on March 6, 2018.

Let’s not judge Burt Kennedy for directing the Hulk Hogan vehicle Suburban Commando. Let’s remember him for something much better — All the Kind Strangers.

Written by Clyde Ware — a writer/director/producer who worked on shows like Airwolf and Gunsmoke, as well as TV movies like The Hatfields and the McCoys and The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd — this film reeks of backwoods menace. No wonder — Ware was born in West Virginia and his second novel, The Eden Tree, was a semi-biographical read which scandalized his hometown.

Jimmy Wheeler (Stacy Keach, ButterflyMountain of the Cannibal God) is a photojournalist traveling through via car to Los Angeles. He runs through a small Southern town where he sees Gilbert, an adorable child, walking on the side of the road. Seeing that the kid is hefting some heavy groceries, Jimmy offers him a ride. As the road goes further and further into the woods, the rain increases. Soon, he realizes he’s trapped in a house of seven children.

The oldest, Peter (John Savage, HairThe Deer Hunter) has hidden the fate of his mother and father from the town, using various resources to keep their power on and training vicious dogs to protect the children. Their father was a bootlegger and mother a schoolteacher (what a match!); when she died, he drank until he fell from the roof.

The rest of the children — John (Robby Benson, who sings two songs on the soundtrack), Martha, Rita, James and Baby (named because their mother died before they could name him) — need guidance, so Peter sends the younger ones out to lure people to their home. Then, they evaluate whether or not they’ll be good parents. If they’re fit, they stay. If not, they’re free to go. Or that’s what the kids think. Evidence points to another more grisly fate.

There’s a new mother already in the house. Carol Ann (Samantha Eggar, The BroodDemonoidCurtains) has been taking care of the children for some time. She has seen plenty of other father figures and while she asks for help, she also knows that everything seems pointless.

Jimmy has to convince the kids that he’d make a good dad while trying to find a way to escape. But between the multitude of kids and dogs, as well as his car being sunk in the swamp, he starts losing hope as well.

I have two issues with this film. Things get wrapped up with way too neat of a bow. Jimmy gives a speech to the kids which saves his life and Peter asks him to walk him into town so that they can get some help. Jimmy doesn’t even talk about the police and when you know that these kids have murdered numerous “kind strangers” you have to wonder if he traded his freedom in for some complicity in the crimes. Second, for being a photojournalist, the only camera that Jimmy has is a Polaroid, which would not be good enough to be printable in the 70’s. I know that it makes good theater to have him show Gilbert the photo as it develops, but it’s a stretch.

All the Kind Strangers is a small screen Deliverance, yet it has some fine acting from Keach and Eggar. It’s restrained, but there is more not seen than seen that makes this movie slightly scary.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was on the site for the first time on October 10, 2019.

New Zealand was ready to represent when it came to the slasher boom, thanks to this bonkers entry into the canon. It’s so violent that it was banned in Australia, a country that was originally made up of convicts.

Director David Blyth’s film predates Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, seem as perhaps the first homegrown Kiwi horror film. Blyth has been called “New Zealand’s master of transgression” by Fangoria and “one of the great mavericks of New Zealand film” by NZ Listener. He also created the movies Angel MineWoundTransfigured Nights and Moonrise, which is also known as Grampire and stars “Grandpa” Al Lewis.

Years ago, Dr. Howell — a mad scientist trying to prolong human life past death — dealt with his harshest critic by mind-controlling that man’s son into shotgun blasting his parents.

Now, Michael Tucker (Michael Hurst, Iolaus from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) has emerged from seven years in a mental ward. He somehow has acquired a loving girlfriend named Sandy and has taken her on a holiday along with their friends Jeannie and Lucas. However, that sojourn is really a front to get him to the remote island where Dr. Howell’s clinic is located and gain bloody revenge.

What follows is a descent into the caves of the island, where the doctor’s horrible creations live. That’s when the film turns into a strange mix of The Hills Have Eyes and Mad Max packed with an equal mix of nihilism and gore.

I really have no category that easily fits this film. It’s kind of a slasher. It’s somewhat a punk rock biker post-apocalyptic film. And it’s also science fiction. It’s a glorious mess, all over the place and unafraid to have its hero completely fall apart by the end.

If you want to check this out, Severin has re-released it in the best quality ever available for home video. It’s packed with trailers, commentaries with Blyth and writer Michael Heath, and an interview with David Letch.


Born in Austria and settling in England, Paul L. Stein directed a ton of movies over his career and this was his next to last, a spy movie which was one of the two genres he worked in most, the other being female-friendly movies. One of its writers, Jack Whittingham, was the screenwriter that worked with Kevin McClory to create the script for Thunderball that was also filmed as Never Say Never Again.

This movie predates  the disclosure of Operation: Paperclip by telling the story of a Nazi scientist who finds his way to the West, murders a professor, takes his place and plans a biological attack on England. It’s a good thing that the evil scientist falls for a lab assistant and starts being all handsy around her or the war would be lost.

Distributor Herbert Bregstein changed the title to Devil’s Plot and played it in theaters, despite the fact that it was already playing on TV under its original title. I love when that happens but if I had seen this twice — and paid once — I probably would not love it so much.

This has a lot of talking, is longer thahn it should be and really is a rough watch. You know what that means? It’s perfect for a Mill Creek box set.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on November 23, 2017.

Karen Braden just got out of a mental hospital. Now, her father and sister, Isa, have taken her to a secret government facility in Idaho where they’re working on matter transference. However, they’ve learned how to travel through time instead, which has taught them a sad fact: an ecological event will soon wipe out civilization.


Only those twenty and younger can handle time travel, due to the damage it does to the kidneys. The scientists start sending teenagers fifty-six years ahead to rebuild the human race. It turns out that the project was secret and once discovered, the government turns off the machines, trapping everyone in the future, where they are killed when one of them, Leslie, goes nuts. Oh yeah — and everyone is now sterile, despite Karen’s assertions that she is pregnant.

No one even cares that they are about to die. One of the teens, Ronald says: “I don’t think you have to leave anything behind. Just have a beautiful time like all the other junk litter in the universe, then say goodbye. I don’t know what else to tell you. Perpetuation and all the crap that goes with it is a big hoax anyway.”

The last survivor, Karen, tries to change the settings on the machine and go back to prevent everything. But she screws up and goes too far forward. A futuristic car pulls up and a man takes her, placing her in the trunk to be used as fuel. A future girl asks her family what will happen when they run out of fuel and will they have to stop driving cars? The film ends with the words “Esto Perpetua,” meaning “It is forever.”

Other than Keith Carradine, the cast is filled with unknowns. Peter Fonda produced and directed it, but eventually, he let the film disappear into the public domain. I discovered it on a Mill Creek Entertainment 50 pack and it’s…weird.

It’s the only movie I’ve ever seen where an 8-track player is a time machine and you need to get into your underwear (or nude) and have someone sit behind you to activate it. That seems like some kind of weird pick-up trick, but somehow it works. Except the future is incredibly shitty and you’ll be turned to gasoline. So there’s that.

This seems like the coming down of 60’s hope, the understanding that the world would soon end. But then, the 80’s would arrive and everyone would start caring about only one thing: themselves. Perhaps the dead world of Idaho Transfer is preferable to selling out and becoming a lie.