It’s All Connected (Sorta): Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare (1976)

While perusing Vincent Price’s filmography on IMDb to find potential flicks to hit during It’s All Connected, I saw something that piqued my interest: Alice Cooper’s: Welcome To My Nightmare! In an interesting twist, I bought that DVD, but for my dad way back when. He’s the on who got me into classic rock and we even went and saw Alice Cooper’s incredible live show together back when we both still lived in Toledo. So, when I found out that Rhino was doing a DVD of Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare-era tour film, I snatched it up for him! He had it here in New York, so I borrowed it and gave it a watch. The results were…interesting.

Enter, if you dare…

It’s All Connected: Tales Of Terror (1962)

When I started digging into Vincent Price’s films for It’s All Connected, I wondered if I’d get burned out. I mean, I fully expected to watch more Brian De Palma flicks earlier in this process, but they were all hitting a lot of the same buttons. With Price’s movies, though, I’m having a great time watching one of the best actors of all time plying his craft in a variety of roles ranging from the very serious to the delightfully silly! And with 1962’s Tales Of Terror, you get all of that in one package!

enter, if you dare…

My Favorite Older Horror Experiences Of 2019

Thanks to an email from one of my editors, I realized it was New Year’s Eve! Funny how that works out. These might be coming out a bit later than the norm, but I figured I would jump in on the whole “End of the Year” list thingy. First up, I’m going to cover my favorite horror viewing experiences of films that came out several years back!

Continue reading My Favorite Older Horror Experiences Of 2019

Halloween Scene: The Raven (1963) & The Tower Of London (1962)

Over the weekend I found myself in an increasingly rare place: looking for something to watch on a Saturday night. Of course, I flipped through Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu trying to figure out what to watch, but it was a trip to my trusty DVD rack that finally helped me figure out what to put in my brain: Vincent Price flicks!

Continue reading Halloween Scene: The Raven (1963) & The Tower Of London (1962)

Digging Double Oh Seven: Climax’s “Casino Royale”

I thought I knew James Bond flicks pretty well. The very first on screen portrayal of Bond was done by the amazing Sean Connery in 1962, right? Nope. The very first time someone played James Bond it was actually in 1954 on an American television program called Climax! that took popular books of the day and turned them into hour long teleplays. An early episode of the first season included their version of Casino Royale which played with many of the novel’s details, but tried to keep the same spirit, though a less intense one than the book for sure.

In this version James Bond is an American secret agent played by Barry Nelson (and going by “Jimmy” a few times). He’s still trying to take La Chiffre–played excellently by Peter Lorre–out via a game of baccarat–which isn’t nearly as well explained in this version than the book–with the help of a few familiar names with different faces/characterizations. In this version, Vesper is actually called Valerie Mathis and the characters of Mathis and Leiter are combined into the very British secret agent Clarence Leiter.

Nationalities aside, the differences are really the only reason to watch this version of the story because it’s not all that interesting or dramatic on it’s own, not nearly capturing the tension and drama of the book. Some of those differences include Bond being shot at in the opening scene instead of the attempted bombing I didn’t mention in my review of the book, Leiter giving Bond his mission, Bond winning the baccarat game and THEN getting threatened by the man with the cane gun (another thing I didn’t mention in my review) and the bad guys spying on Bond from the upstairs room instead of a different group of bad guys. As you might expect the end isn’t nearly as much of a–sorry I just can’t resist–ballbuster as the novel, nor is Bond nearly as fooled by Vesper, realizing she’s a double agent of some kind very early on in the show.

I can appreciate the economy of story the TV writers were going for when it came to adapting a sometimes racey and expensive story into a TV series (the end of the book involves lots of nakedness and swimming in France, not a cheap set up for any production, let alone a TV series in the medium’s infancy), but it’s really just an interesting oddity that can be skipped over if you don’t feel like spending 5o minutes watching grainy black and white on Netflix Instant (I guess there’s a DVD available as well as the image above and the YouTube clip indicate). Interestingly enough, the popularity of this episode lead to a deal between CBS and Fleming in which he would write a James Bond television series, but it wasn’t meant to be. Oh what could have been! Tomorrow we get into the legit flicks!