Retro Film Report #22: 5 Horror Flicks

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) is, for me, the perfect Hammer horror film.  It delivers everything you expect from Hammer: Gothic atmosphere, fine acting, subtle terror, an intelligent script, and busty babes.  Too often, my short attention span fails me with Hammer films; I can appreciate their quality, but the sometimes glacial pace is too much for my feeble mind. Plus, Valerie Leon has a way of keeping even the most distracted brain from wandering.

The Food of the Gods (1976)

Mathew McConaughey always reminded me of Marjoe Gortner.  Not only do they look fairly alike, they have that same subtle self confident swagger. In the same way that Shatner made Empire of the Ants Kingdom of the Spiders a must-see, Marjoe brings a similar panache to this bioterror flick.

The effects are laughable by today's standards (and really, by 1976 standards as well), but if you're able to look past it, this is not a bad "when animals attack" film.  It could have easily been an ABC Movie of the Week - an oftentimes plodding drama done on the cheap.  I've definitely seen worse.

The Toxic Avenger Part III (1989)

Troma films are basically celluloid train wrecks.  They're fairly entertaining, but after you watch one, you start to question your own sanity.  What kind of person watches crap like this? When the answer is "you", it's time for some self reflection.

Lloyd Kaufman, Troma's maestro reminds me of an insane Mel Brooks who fills his films with a sort of maniacal energy - and it's contagious.  They're wall to wall gore, inappropriate humor, and T&A.... who can not like that formula? Plus, Toxic Avenger Parts 1 through 3 are so amazingly eighties you may enjoy them for that reason alone.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

I've seen Full House episodes with better plots than this film. It's not funny, bad acting abounds,.... it really has nothing going for it. So why watch it? Two reasons. And I don't think I need to tell you what those two reasons are.

The Demoniacs (1974)

Director Jean Rollin was at the center of the Eurosleaze movement of the 70s.  Think Jesus Franco with French artistic sensibilities... and if you don't know who Jesus (AKA Jess) Franco is, you're probably not going like this movie.  Euro-trash is an acquired taste.

Somehow, Netflix wound up with a bunch of Jean Rollin films available for instant view.  I can save you the time and just say that NONE of them make sense.  They are basically French expressionism - high on style, low on plot.  There's tons of eroticism to be had, and some pretty cool looking Gothic visuals.  But if you're expecting to follow WTF is going on in these films, forget it.  But then, these weren't intended to be traditional linear stories.  It's art and it's French.  Enough said.


  1. Excellent actresses. (If they really can act doesn't enter in to it.)

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  3. You probably meant Shatner in "Kingdom of the Spiders", not "Empire of the Ants". Point well taken, though.

  4. Kingdom of the Spiders has it moments of being a B+ 'B-movie' but who can forget Shatner in The Devil's Rain ?

  5. I loved the Elvira movie. Did you actually expect great acting? But c'mon, it has Edie McClurg and William Morgan Sheppard (Max Headroom's Blank Reg), both of which bring their own style and use it to full effect. And Elvira is a helluva funny chick.

  6. I met Elvira, at Comic Con, a few years ago. I told her I would like to ask her a question, before I could, with a big smile on her face, she just looked at me and said "yes, THEY are real!"

    I had forgotten all about the tremendous acting skills of Marjoe Gortner. I always thought the perfect movie would have him and the great actress Carol Lynley in it.

    As a new subscriber to Netflix, I'm definitely going to look up "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb" and "The Toxie Avenger part III"