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  • The House on Haunted Hill, 1959 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on October 11th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    house_on_haunted_hillposterThere’s nothing like a good old fashioned 1950s horror flick to get in the Halloween spirit. And when Vincent Price is in the mix, you can be sure it will be spooky, fun, and even a little cheesy in a good way.

    One of my old favorites is

    The House on Haunted Hill, 1959

    Vincent Price plays an eccentric millionaire who invites 5 guests to a “haunted house” for an overnight party, promising each of them $10,000 if they can make it through the night alive. Ghosts, murder, and a walking skeleton terrorized the guest until morning.

    vincentpricehaunted-hill

    It’s also fun to point out that the “haunted house” exterior used in the film is The Ennis Brown House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924. They mention that the house is 100 years old, but it’s so obviously not that it makes it really funny. The house is imposing though, and the procession of “Funeral Cars” that take the guests there is a nice touch.

    hauntedhillskeletonThis B&W classic gets my vote for a fun and creepy midnight movie. Sit back with a box of popcorn and Hershey bars, turn out the lights and prepare to be creepified!

    Drinks: Only the best for Vincent Price’s guests. Crack open a bottle of champagne with your popcorn. And don’t forget your .45 automatic.


    -Tiki Chris reporting from the screening room

    thehouseonhaunted-hill

    house-on-haunted-hill-party

    Here’s the Trailer…

  • The Raven, 1963 with Vincent Price for Mod Movie Monday!

    Posted on March 22nd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    the-raven-1963When you think Vincent Price, you usually think of dark, black and white horror films or technicolor flicks that were made especially to show the deepness of the reds of freshly-spilled blood. Not this time, kids. Teaming up with Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court, and a very young Jack Nicholson, Roger Corman leads the way for this very loosely-based version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven to a kookie, campy, very-often silly spoof of the horror genre, 1963-style.

    The Raven, 1963raven-actors

    As I said, this flick is very loosely based on Poe’s masterpiece. There is a raven. There’s a Lenore, who’s been lost, sort of. There’s a bust of Pallas, and knocking at the chamber door. It pretty much skews away from that point on. Vincent Price is a magician (sorcerer, I suppose) who only practices his magic for his own amusement. Peter Lorre runs into some…eh…trouble, with another sorcerer, and comes to Price for help. Silliness ensues.

    Shot in beautiful technicolor in front of elaborate, Middle-Age (I guess) style sets, the movie is fun to watch and fun to make fun of. The acting isn’t so great, and it seems as if the actors were having way too much fun spoofing themselves to take anything seriously. Price, in more than on scene looks like he’s going to burst into evil laughter at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Highly recommended.

    Food & Booze: Movies like this always make me think of mutton. Since I’m not even sure what the hell mutton is (lamb? goat? Should I bother to google it? nah), maybe some of those giant turkey legs you find at the Renaissance fair will work, or a roast chicken on a spit. Big, chunky vegetables for sides, you know, like hunks of potato, carrots and celery. Lots of thick gravy. Maybe a mince pie. Be creative. Serve with a flagon of mead. Or a cheap bottle of wine.

    Believe it or not, there actually is a Raven cocktail. No, you’re right, I wasn’t surprised either. Here it is, from drinksmixer.com:
    1 oz vodka
    1 oz white rum
    1 oz Blue Curacao
    3 oz 7-Up
    2 oz peach schnapps
    1 dash Vimto® blackcurrant squash concentrate or any dark fruit concentrate
    1 chopped lime (optional)

    Mix ice, vodka, rum and the blue curacao together and shake, pour all of it into into a tall glass and add 7up and peach schnapps. Add a dash of vimto concentrate to the top which will settle to the bottom of the glass giving a Ravens wing effect, add the lime to the top and DO NOT STIR. Looks great with a black straw.

    raven-priceMy Take: Somehow, this movie escaped my line of sight until last week. My mother was a huge horror movie fan, with Vincent Price being one of her idols. She made it a point to expose me to just about every Price movie ever made, but for some reason I don’t think I ever saw this one. Although it is possible I saw it when I was, say, three, about the same time she tried to get me to watch Dark Shadows. Yeah, that screwed me up for a lot of years. But I’m fine now, teh-he teh-he teh-he.

    Here’s the trailer…you’ll see here where Lucas got the idea for The Emperor in Star Wars…

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the dungeon below the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk!

    PS: There’s a new movie due out this year entitled “The Raven”. It’s a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allen Poe’s life starring John Cusack. It seems to be a murder mystery…nothing at all like the poem or the original movie. FYI, I hate it when Hollywood reuses movie titles. All it does is diminish the significance of the original film and confuse people, especially when it has nothing to do with the original. So, Hollywood, knock it the hell off. -CP

  • Bucket of Blood, 1959 & House of Wax, 1953 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on September 14th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    bucket_of_blood_poster

    Double click to open full-size...read the comics, they're great!

    OK Swingers, the leaves are falling, the air is turning chilly (for most of you kats) and Halloween is just around the corner. So you know what that means… It’s time for some vintage horror flicks! So from now until Halloween, Mod Movie Mondays will feature some creature double features to get your blood flowing…possibly into the fangs of a vampire…Let’s kick it off with one of my favorite B&W dark comedies,

    A Bucket of Blood (1959)

    Staring Dick Miller (You’ll know him when you see him) as a mildly mentally-handicapped busboy working in a Bohemian cafe, who learns somewhat by accident that he has a talent for sculpture. But his talent, you’ll see, isn’t as amazing as one might think, as this modern-era Michelangelo sort of…well…cheats.

    Beatniks, jazz, pretty girls and ‘innocently’ unintentional murder for the sake of art. This early Roger Corman film is as dark as dark comedy can get. Creepy, BW & even an actual bucket with blood in it. This is one of those movies where you’ll be saying “They got away with THAT in 1959?”a_bucket_of_blood

    The idea and outline of the film was developed in one day, and the whole thing was shot in less than a week on a very limited budget, but Corman’s concept to stray from mainstream horror films of the time and create a dark comedy routed in Beatnik culture puts this film as one of my favorites as a truly enjoyable, kookie and fun flick from one of our favorite eras.

    houseofwaxposterHouse of Wax, 1953

    In 3-D! Starring Vincent Price, this classic horror flick embodies the spirit (all puns intended) of the movies we love. A far-out story, creepy effects and VINCENT PRICE. Plus it was the first mainstream studio film to be made in glorious 3-D, opening up a trend in movie making that would have its highs and lows and finally come full-circle 50 years later when the technology finally caught up with the idea. vincent_price2

    Even if you don’t watch it in 3-D, its such a gory flick for the time that you’ll be amazed, once again, that they got away with this stuff in the puritan ’50s. As a point of trivia interest, this film and the above-mentioned Bucket of Blood share some story ideas…and an actual line: “(He sure) knows his anatomy.” Crazy.

    -Tiki Chris P. swingin’ in the balcony of the movie palace down the block from the Tiki Bar. Dig it, Daddy-O!