The Airport Movies…

February 9th, 2007

Yes we’ve finally sold out…

A guilty mainstream pleasure of mine is Airport (1970), and so I seized the opportunity to buy this film, and its increasingly daft sequels in the Airport Terminal pack boxset.
From the very impressive Airport (1970), to the simply bad Airport 1975 (1974), the enjoyable Airport ’77 (1977) and the utterly absurd Concorde:Airport ’79 (1979), the series has it all, with plenty of big name actors making appearances. Read more in my complete review of the films and boxset.

Editor’s notes: Don’t worry, we’re not going mainstream here at Mondo Esoterica, and for the rest of this month we’ll be going back to a staple diet of Spaghetti Westerns and Hammer…! However, there will be more mainstream reviews coming in the future as we aim to keep the site fresh and diverse.

Mario Bava Collection…

February 8th, 2007

5 of Mario Bava‘s classic movies are coming back to DVD thanks to Anchor Bay USA, including the DVD debuts of the AIP American theatrical edits for Black Sunday, Girl Who Knew too Much and Black Sabbath, which extended to completely new footage and soundtracks. All the films include trailers, and with the notable exception of Black Sunday, include subtitled Italian tracks – there are audio commentaries and interviews as well!
ABUS are also releasing Bava’s grim kidnapping movie Rabid Dogs (1974), along with the new re-edit known as Kidnapped. The boxset and this release are both due on the 3rd April.
Loads more details on the Upcoming Page.

Vampyros Lesbos (1970) mini-review

February 4th, 2007

One of the best films from Jess Franco’s tragically short lived union with actress Soledad Miranda, Vampyros Lesbos is a bizarre female twist on the Dracula tale, even down to a female Renfield. Very sedately paced, with a lot of strange imagery coupled with some surreal jazz, the film is certainly not for all, but is recommended to Franco fans. Alongside the beautiful Miranda, Franco regulars Dennis Price and Paul Muller have parts to play, with Franco himself in one the strangest roles in the film.

The British DVD from Second Sight is very impressive, using a newly restored print and including a subtitled German soundtrack (the same as the Image R1 DVD). A still photo gallery includes some interesting shots of scenes that seemingly never made it into the film.

Editor’s note – this is the first mini-review for this blog. For films that I either do not have time to review, or plan to review fully in the future, I will post these mini-reviews, exclusive to this blog. They will not be publicised elsewhere, so keep watching the blog, or subscribe to the RSS feed so as not to miss any! In this case, I have not given the film the full Mondo Esoterica treatment, because I will be compiling reviews for a complete Soledad Miranda week later this year, including of all the released films that she shot for Franco – so stay tuned for that.

Frankenstein: The Movies – Part 1

February 3rd, 2007

Well, its finally here – 12,000 words of new Guide and reviews.

Editor’s project notes.

Readers will probably notice first the absence of Universal Horror reviews, don’t worry, these are coming later in the year in Part 2 of the Frankenstein: The Movies project. Part 3 is also on the cards, which will feature more exploitation and obscure titles. As with all our guides, updates will be ongoing over time, with new reviews and information being added.

I hope you enjoy the results of this four month labour, and stay tuned for some similar projects later in the year (3 guesses as to the topic of the next Guide!).

News, updates and more…

January 29th, 2007

Nope we’re not asleep here, honest and here’s three bits of news for my loyal blog readers!

1) My latest project is almost complete, 11,000 words of Guide and Review (and this is just part 1 of the guide!), due by the end of the week, plus I’ve got a load of reviews ready to follow in February.

2) New updates to the upcoming page, with good news – a collection of British horror titles from Optimum UK, including two new-to-DVD films, and some bad news, another delay to the Paul Naschy titles from BCI. I will also be updating with news on the impending (and exciting) Anchor Bay US Mario Bava and Hammer collections, as soon as details are confirmed.

3) And finally…. I’ve just spent over €300 on DVDs from Italy and Germany, including a trio of Mario Bava titles, a dash of Hammer, some 1960s Oriental adventures and a dozen new Spaghetti Western DVDs, including the brand new W Django (1971) release, a duet of Sartana and even a musical. Keep your eyes open for reviews of these over the next few months…!

New upcoming titles, and a new look upcoming page…

January 22nd, 2007

We’ve got news on new upcoming titles from Dark Sky Films and Mondo Macabro and a new look upcoming titles page that I’ll be keeping updated with all the latest news (and rumours) from the cult DVD world.

Another Midnite Movie double-bill

January 21st, 2007

Two more classics from Corman and Price, a Lovecraft story disguised as Poe, and a Shakespearian production that looks like an AIP Gothic… A nice double film set from MGM.
The Tower of London (1962)

The Haunted Palace (1963)

More Franco from Severin…

January 18th, 2007

Now here’s some more good news – Severin Films have just confirmed their April release will be this very exciting duo of Jess Franco’s 1980s works. After their very nice looking previous DVDs, these two will hopefully be highly recommended purchases for all Franco and euro-cult fans.

Details on these discs, plus the rest of Severin’s catalogue on our Upcoming Pages.

Mondo Esoterica Guides…

January 14th, 2007

New updates today…

I’ve converted all of the old links pages into swanky new Mondo Esoterica Guides. Although at the moment this largely means new titles and links, you should notice some changes and expansions to several of the pages.

The Mondo Esoterica Guides index.

Throughout the next year I will be adding new People pages, hopefully for all those actors and directors who have more than three appearances in my reviews – I’ve already got a list of 17 people who need pages, and 20 more who will probably get them this year, not to mention any newcomers to the database. A couple of existing entries will be getting extensive rewrites, including Paul Naschy (to coincide with the upcoming BCI DVDs).
As for the popular Genre pages, the Karl May and Spaghetti Western pages are already in the new, chapter headed formats, while the Hammer and Universal pages will be updated when I next add some reviews to them. Watch out for several more big projects this year in this department…

The new guides section of the blog will include any relevant posts, and allow you to quickly see any new additions to the Guides pages, plus leave feedback and view my Editor’s Notes. Don’t forget to bookmark this blog today to stay in touch with all the latest updates!

Blood of the Vampire (1958) and Daughter of Darkness (1948)

January 13th, 2007

Arriving on Monday (15th) from DD-Video UK, a double-bill of British horror titles.
Blood of the Vampire (1958) is an interesting Hammer style gothic horror film written by Hammer’s own Jimmy Sangster. Rather more Frankenstein than Vampire, it is a rather good and enjoyable film – unfortunately DDHE’s DVD is rather poor, blurry and cropped it is noticeably worse than the recent US release from Dark Sky films, and we’ve got some comparison pictures in the review to demonstrate this.

Daughter of Darkness (1948) is an early British psycho-horror, or at least it tries to be, but the psychology is notably absent in what amounts to little more than a slasher film, without any of the excitement of that particular genre. A decent print on this release, and more than watchable.