Slient Night, Bloody Night is the first movie on side A. Patrick O'Neal plays a lawyer who arrives in a small town to sell an old house for his client, Jeffrey Butler. It's a house with a past as a mental institution and you know that can't be any good. The local people are a weird bunch. John Carradine is a non talking newspaper publisher. He has a little bell he rings, and once he uses a piece of paper to pass his words along. Patrick and his girlfriend stay at the house of doom. They don't know it but an escaped lunitic is headed their way. After the couple goes to bed the lunitic arrives at the house all murdery. He starts the killin' by chopping Patrick and his girlfriend, with a big axe. Just as they were gettin' busy, baby. So the fairly big name is dead 30 minutes into the movie. Well, I don't care, he's no Drew Barrymore. Mary Woronov is the mayor's daughter. She befriends Jeffery, also newly arrived in town. They head over to the house to search for Patrick O'Neal. Seeing the sheriff's car they stop. Imagine what they find. You have to imagine. You can't see much action in the night scenes. They are way too dark. You heard a lot of heavy breathing in the darkness and some yelling when the killer gets the sheriff. After a lot of talk Tess, the town communication director, is next. In the dark. The sidetracked couple never got to the house. Jeff drops Mary at her house and leaves. She does flashback research about the Butler family. It's not good, but who's surprised. When Jeff returns they make a second attempt to get to the house. On the way they find John Caradine's burning car, but he's ot in it. Continuing on they run him over in the near dark. Someone's cut off his hands but we just have to take their word for it. It's too dark to see anything. I wonder how many times John has died in his career. The IMDb lists 332 projects he acted in. From 1930 to 1995. Nice. Our couple actually get to the house this time but Mary waits in the car. She discovers Jeff has taken the keys. Ironically we can see the keyless ignition clearly in the well lit dashboard close up. Mary is worried. Jeff finds his father's diary with a flashback in it. It's the long sad story of the mental institute and how his father let the inmates out to attack the doctors. After that sepia tone blood bath we jump back to present day. Tired of waiting in the car Mary enters the house to find Jeff with the knowledge that his father is alive. He wasn't burned up in the fire in 1950. Mary's dad shows up with a shotgun and in the shoot out he and Jeff are killed. By each other. Lunatic guy shows up. There's screamin'. That Mary is a good screamer, and a good shooter. She blasts that guy dead and falls all apart. A year later they tear the house down but that can't erase the painful memory of that fateful night. Well, that's more than you need to know. Better than many in the box it's still pretty tedious.
Panic was worse. It's an 1976 Italian/Spanish film called Bakterion. It's a typical low budget horror show about a Professor Adams and his virus. An accident occurs and the good doctor disappears. Some sort of shambling monster starts killing. David Warbeck is some sort of investigator named Captain Kirk. He thinks the monster is the doctor. There's more tedium as the authorites debate nuking the town and not much killin'. After a long chase in the sewers they get the monster. Hooray! It's all over. No nukes.
Messiah of Evil got reviewed back on March 25, a friday.
The Blancheville Monster was called Horror in Italy. It's a 1963 black and white film that does a pretty good job on the mood department. The story is simple. The nearly 21 year old daughter returns to the family home to find the brother has changed all the servants. They are an odd lot. Then she finds out that her dead father is really alive. He didn't die in the fire. He just got burned really bad, went insane from the pain, and now believes that the only way to break the family curse is the kill the daughter before her 21st birthday. Luckily he's chained to the wall in the locked tower. Oh, no! He's escaped. It looks bad for the daughter. It's a slow mover of the old school variety that rates an honest 5.2 on the IMDb. It's pre 20th century setting and costume remind me of Roger Corman's Poe films. It's not as good as Corman but it's highly watchable. The sets are great. I can't tell what's a set and what's a location. The castle and old ruins used in the film have some remarkable areas. Very dark and moody. There's a lot of talking and walking, sometimes both at once. Strange things start to happen to the characters as the story unfolds. I'm watching it in a tiny window on my monitor, and it looks pretty good. The sound is a bit hissy but you can't do much with these cheap versions. Still, a better pay off than many of the movies in this set.