Movies Tagged ‘cult’

The Hands Of Fate

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) is an American horror film written, directed, produced by, and starring Harold P. Warren. It is widely recognised to be one of the worst films ever made and thus has achieved cult status!

The plot of the film revolves primarily around a holidaying family who lose their way on a road trip. After a long drive in the Texas desert, the family is trapped at a lodge maintained by a polygamous pagan cult. They attempt to escape as the cult’s members decide what to do with them.

The film is technically deficient with significant editing flaws; its soundtrack and visuals are not synchronized properly and several scenes are inexplicable or unconnected to the overall plot.

Harold Warren was a fertilizer salesman from El Paso, Texas who produced the film as a result of a bet. He also starred in it, alongside El Paso theatre actors Tom Neyman and John Reynolds. Manos was an independent production by a crew that had little or no background or experience in filmmaking and a very limited budget at their disposal. Upon its theatrical debut, the film was poorly received, and remained obscure until being born again!

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Vampyr

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Vampyr (German: Vampyr – Der Traum des Allan Grey) is a 1932 horror  film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s “In a Glass Darkly.” Vampyr was funded by Nicolas de Gunzburg who starred in the film under the name of Julian West among a mostly non-professional cast.
Gunzberg plays the role of Allan Grey, a student of the occult who enters a small village outside of Paris which is cursed by supernatural creatures known as Vampyrs who lure townspeople to suicide so they can become servants for the devil.

Vampyr was challenging for Dreyer to make as it was his first sound film and had to be recorded in three languages. To overcome this, very little dialogue was used in the film and much of the story is told with silent film-styled title cards. The film was shot entirely on location and to enhance the atmospheric content, Dreyer opted for a washed out, fuzzy appearing photographic technique. The audio editing was done in
Berlin where the character’s voices, sound effects, and score were added to the film.

Vampyr had a delayed release in Germany and opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to far better review at its French debut. Critical reception to the film has become even more favourable with time, critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Indeed, some sources claim it to be a truly great work.

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The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, also known as The Head That Wouldn’t Die, is a 1959  science-fiction/horror film directed by Joseph Green and written by Green and Rex Carlton. The film was completed in 1959, but was not released until May 3, 1962.

Dr. Bill Cortner (Jason Evers) is a successful scientist with a
beautiful fiancée named Jan Compton (Virginia Leith). After a horrible car accident decapitates Jan, Dr. Cortner collects her severed head and rushes it to his laboratory, where he revives it and manages to keep it alive in a liquid-filled tray.
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The Amazing Mr. X

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Amazing Mr. X, also known as The Spiritualist, is a 1948 thriller film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. Like the film noir Nightmare Alley  released a year earlier, this film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket.

The film stars Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O’Donnell, and Richard Carlson. Carole Landis was originally hired to play the part taken by Bari, but Landis committed suicide a few days before shooting began.

Two years after her husband’s death, Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) thinks she hears her late husband (Donald Curtis) calling out of the surf on the beach one night.
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Invasion of the Bee Girls

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Invasion of the Bee Girls is a 1973 science fiction film. The first film venture for writer Nicholas Meyer, it was directed by Denis Saunders  and stars William Smith, Victoria Vetri and Anitra Ford.

A mad scientist (played by Anitra Ford) has created an army of beauties who seduce men to death.

Neil Agar, a security agent with the State Department, is dispatched to Peckham, California to investigate the death of John Grubowsky, a bacteriologist working at government-sponsored Brandt Research. Quickly making the acquaintance of the laboratory’s head librarian, Julie Zorn, he begins interviewing the firm’s leading scientists, many of whom have reputations as sexual players. His investigation is soon complicated by a growing number of deaths, all men who died of congestive heart failure caused by sexual exhaustion.
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White Zombie

Friday, April 9th, 2010

White Zombie is a 1932 American independent horror film directed and produced by brothers Victor Halperin and Edward Halperin respectively. It is considered to be the first feature length zombie film and has been described as the archetype and model of all zombie movies.

The film’s story is written by Garnett Weston which tells the story of a young woman’s transformation into a zombie at the hands of an evil voodoo master. Béla Lugosi stars as the antagonist, Murder Legendre, with Madge Bellamy appearing as his victim. Other cast members included Robert W. Frazer, John Harron and Joseph Cawthorn.
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Carnival of Souls

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Carnival of Souls is a low budget 1962  horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the movie never gained widespread public attention when it was originally released as it was intended as a B film but today has become a cult classic. Set to an organ score by Gene Moore, Carnival of Souls relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create its mood of horror.

Herk Harvey was a Lawrence, Kansas-based director and producer. Hiring an unknown actress, Lee Strasberg-trained Candace Hilligoss, and otherwise employing mostly local talent, he shot Carnival of Souls in three weeks, on location in Lawrence and Salt Lake City.

The film tells the story of Mary Henry, a talented young organist (Hilligoss). At the beginning of the film, Mary is riding in a car with two other girls when some boys challenge them to a drag race that ends up on a bridge. (more…)

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