Archive for the ‘Christopher Lee’ Tag

CHRISTOPHER LEE’S CIRCLE OF TERROR   Leave a comment

Horror Icon Christopher Lee turned 93 on May 27. And to celebrate the birthday of the screen legend, I offer you Christopher Lee’s Circle of Terror: a new pop culture game that could finally put a stake in the heart of Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Starting with Lee, you name an actor that played a role he also played. Then name an actor who shared a role with that actor. And so on, and so on, until the chain leads us right back to Christopher Lee. Let the games begin…

CHRISTOPHER LEE is best known for playing DRACULA, a role also played by...

CHRISTOPHER LEE is best known for playing DRACULA, a role also played by…

FRANK LANGELLA, who also played...

FRANK LANGELLA, who also played…

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON in

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON in “Frost/Nixon.” Tricky Dick was also played by

ANTHONY HOPKINS, who also played the role of vampire hunter...

ANTHONY HOPKINS, who also played the role of vampire hunter…

Dr.  VAN HELSING, a role also played by the famous

Dr. VAN HELSING, a role also played by the famous

LAURENCE OLIVIER, who also donned blackface to play Shakespeare's

LAURENCE OLIVIER, who also donned blackface to play Shakespeare’s

OTHELLO. The Tragic Moor was also played on film by...

OTHELLO. The Tragic Moor was also played on film by…

ORSON WELLES, best known to radio fans as the voice of...

ORSON WELLES, best known to radio fans as the voice of…

THE SHADOW.  The cackling crime-fighter was played on film by...

THE SHADOW. The cackling crime-fighter was played on film by…

ALEC BALDWIN. Though that reboot tanked, he launched a successful franchise as...

ALEC BALDWIN. Though that reboot tanked, he launched a successful franchise as…

JACK RYAN in

JACK RYAN in “The Hunt for Red October.” The two-fisted intelligence analyst was most recently played by…

CHRISTOPHER PINE, who also stars in the rebooted Star Trek movies as ...

CHRISTOPHER PINE, who also stars in the rebooted Star Trek movies as …

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK, a role of course originated by...

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK, a role of course originated by…

WILLIAM SHATNER, who starred in a short-lived TV series as...

WILLIAM SHATNER, who starred in a short-lived TV series as…

ALEXANDER THE GREAT. And as odd casting as that sounds, equally odd for the role was Irish actor...

ALEXANDER THE GREAT. And as odd casting as that sounds, equally odd for the role was Irish actor…

COLIN FARRELL, who also starred in the remake of “Fright Night” as

JERRY DANDRIDGE. The sexy vampire next door was played in the original by...

JERRY DANDRIDGE. The sexy vampire next door was played in the original by…

CHRIS SARANDON, who went from evil to good as...

CHRIS SARANDON, who went from evil to good as…

JESUS in

JESUS in “The Day Christ Died.” The Messiah was also played by…

MAX VON SYDOW in

MAX VON SYDOW in “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Max was less nice as James Bond’s archenemy…

ERNST BLOFELD in “Never Say Never Again.” The super-villain has been portrayed by many other actors including…

CHARLES GRAY, who also played the older, smarter brother of Sherlock Holmes...

CHARLES GRAY, who also played the older, smarter brother of Sherlock Holmes…

MYCROFT HOLMES in “The Seven-Percent Solution.” The part of Sherlock’s big brother was also played by none other than…

CHRISTOPHER LEE in

CHRISTOPHER LEE in “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.”

So there we have it: A perfect circle including 12 actors. Now it’s your turn. Pick any actor above as a starting point, create a Circle of Terror of your own and post it as a comment below.

Speaking of Lee’s portrayal of Mycroft Holmes, the actor has the rare distinction of having also portrayed Holmes himself, in “Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace” as well as Holmes’ most famous client Sir Henry in “Hound of the Baskervilles.” Sherlock Holmes fans around the world have been delighted to see the detective’s creator in a new thriller, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in The Adventure of The Spook House.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world's greatest magician probe a paranormal  mystery in new thriller.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes and the world’s greatest magician probe a paranormal mystery in new thriller.

Check out the book HERE.

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PRIESTS FROM HELL: The 13 Scariest Movie Preachers   2 comments

By C. Michael Forsyth

Clergymen provide us with spiritual guidance and emotional support, but when they go bad, they go very bad. Take a look at this roundup of 13 men of the cloth who went over to the dark side. Then vote on who’s the scariest movie preacher of all time.

BROTHER JUSTIN CROWE, played by Clancy Brown in “Carnivale” (HBO, 2003-5): Powerfully built Brown has portrayed some frightening villains, most memorably The Kurgan in “Highlander.” Here he’s a fiendish, supernatural version of Father Coughlin, the hate-mongering Depression-era radio preacher. Brother Justin has the power to bring people's sins and darkest desires to life in horrifying visions. He uses his radio show to brainwash the masses to do his bidding. But the Dust Bowl devil is not above resorting to physical means, mowing down uncooperative folks with a scythe.

BROTHER JUSTIN CROWE played by Clancy Brown in “Carnivale” (HBO, 2003-5). Powerfully built Brown has portrayed some frightening villains, most memorably The Kurgan in “Highlander.” Here he’s a fiendish, supernatural version of Father Coughlin, the hate-mongering Depression-era radio preacher. Brother Justin has the power to bring people’s sins and darkest desires to life in horrifying visions. He uses his radio show to brainwash the masses to do his bidding. But the Dust Bowl devil is not above resorting to physical means, mowing down uncooperative folks with a scythe.


CALEB, played by Nathan Fillion in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Season 7, 2003).  Before handsome Nathan made female viewers hearts flutter as Capt. Mal in “Firefly,” he terrified them as this sadistic sociopath with a pathological hatred of women. A defrocked priest, Caleb was chosen by the non-corporeal First Evil to lead its campaign to destroy humanity. Able to channel its power, he possesses immense physical strength and is seemingly indestructible; making him one of Buffy’s the most dangerous adversaries. The folksy, scripture-quoting madman has a real mean streak, gratuitously gouging out the eye of funny-guy Zander. Here he cuts short the career of a wannabe Slayer.

CALEB, played by Nathan Fillion in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Season 7, 2003). Before handsome Nathan made female viewers’ hearts flutter as Capt. Mal in “Firefly,” he terrified them as this sadistic sociopath with a pathological hatred of women. A defrocked priest, Caleb was chosen by the First Evil to lead its campaign to wipe out humanity. Able to channel its power, he possesses immense physical strength and is seemingly indestructible, making him one of Buffy’s most dangerous adversaries. The folksy, scripture-quoting madman has a real mean streak, gratuitously gouging out the eye of funny-guy Zander. Here he cuts short the career of a wannabe Slayer.


FATHER LUCAS, played by Anthony Hopkins in “The Rite” (2011).  Welsh Jesuit Father Lucas is the Vatican’s top exorcist until he’s possessed by a demon himself. Incredibly, the supernatural thriller is based on real events as recounted by then exorcist-in-training, Father Gary Thomas. Yeah, sure. More believable is Hopkins acting. He resists the temptation to chew the scenery in favor of an understated, chilling performance. In this scene, the trainee (Colin O’Donoghue.) is horrified to learn that his mentor his now batting for the other team.

FATHER LUCAS, played by Anthony Hopkins in “The Rite” (2011). Welsh Jesuit Father Lucas is the Vatican’s top exorcist until he’s possessed by a demon himself. Incredibly, the supernatural thriller is based on real events as recounted by then exorcist-in-training, Father Gary Thomas. Yeah, sure. More believable is Hopkins’ acting. He resists the temptation to chew the scenery in favor of an understated, chilling performance. In this scene, the trainee (Colin O’Donoghue) is horrified to learn that his mentor is now batting for the other team.


REVEREND HENRY KANE, played by Julian Beck in “Poltergeist 2” (1992). Kane was the leader of 19th century doomsday cult who snuffed out the lives of his followers and became a ghostly Beast who keeps their spirits imprisoned. The character’s shockingly gaunt, skeletal appearance isn’t just good makeup. Actor Beck was dying of cancer during the shoot. Kane tries every trick in the book to gain entry into the Freeling family’s haunted house. In one grotesque scene, he transforms himself into a worm that the dad Steven (Craig T. Nelson) swallows with his tequila. The parasitic entity possesses the guy and tries to rape his wife before being vomited out as a hideous, scuttling monster. Watch these two memorable sequences: A Stranger and Let Me In.

REVEREND HENRY KANE, played by Julian Beck in “Poltergeist 2” (1992). Kane was the leader of 19th century doomsday cult who snuffed out the lives of his followers and became a ghostly Beast who keeps their spirits imprisoned. The character’s shockingly gaunt, skeletal appearance isn’t just good makeup. Actor Beck was dying of cancer during the shoot. Kane tries every trick in the book to gain entry into the Freeling family’s haunted house. In one grotesque scene, he transforms himself into a worm that the dad Steven (Craig T. Nelson) swallows with his tequila. The parasitic entity possesses the guy and tries to rape his wife before being vomited out as a hideous, scuttling monster. Watch these two memorable sequences: A Stranger and Let Me In.

REVEREND LESTER LOWE, played by Everett McGill in “Silver Bullet” (1985). With the fierce features that made him a perfect caveman in “Quest for Fire,” McGill is a scary-looking dude under the best of circumstances. As the werewolf in this tale from Stephen King, he’s even more terrifying. And the odds are against his target: a wheelchair-bound boy whose dopey uncle (Gary Busey) arms himself with only ONE silver bullet.

REVEREND LESTER LOWE, played by Everett McGill in “Silver Bullet” (1985). With the over-hanging brow that made him a perfect caveman in “Quest for Fire,” McGill is a scary-looking dude under the best of circumstances. As the werewolf in this tale from Stephen King, he’s even more terrifying. And the odds are against his target: a wheelchair-bound boy whose dopey uncle (Gary Busey) arms himself with only ONE silver bullet.

ANTHONY TIPET played by Keith Szarabajka in “The X-Files” (Season 8, Episode 7). Tipet is the leader of a religious cult who preaches that the Via Negativa or "path of darkness" is the true way to reach Nirvana. With the aid of a super-amphetamine, he’s able to open his third eye—literally a disgusting eyeball on his forehead—and  enter people’s dreams to murder them, ala Freddy Krueger. Tipet racks up 20 kills this way in addition to his wife, whom he simply bludgeons to death.

ANTHONY TIPET played by Keith Szarabajka in “The X-Files” (Season 8, Episode 7). Tipet is the leader of a religious cult who preaches that the Via Negativa or “path of darkness” is the true way to reach Nirvana. With the aid of a super-amphetamine, he’s able to open his third eye—literally a disgusting eyeball on his forehead—and
enter people’s dreams to murder them, ala Freddy Krueger. Tipet racks up 20 kills this way in addition to his wife, whom he simply bludgeons to death.

REVEREND HARRY POWELL, played by Robert Mitchum in “ Night of the Hunter” (1955).As this bogus preacher and serial killer who sports the two words "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed across the knuckles of each hand, Mitchum is even menacing here than he was as a rapist stalker in Cape Fear. The charismatic Rev. Powell woos the unsuspecting widow of his former cellmate to get his hands on hidden loot from a robbery. After marrying and murdering her, he relentlessly tracks her two children. The atmospheric film was inspired by the true story of Harry Powers, hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia.  Here are two memorable scenes: Sleepless preacher  and Not My Pa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PyNL2ahKwc

REVEREND HARRY POWELL, played by Robert Mitchum in “ Night of the Hunter” (1955). As this bogus preacher and serial killer who sports the words “LOVE” and “HATE” tattooed across the knuckles of each hand, Mitchum is even more menacing here than he was as a rapist stalker in “Cape Fear.” The charismatic Rev. Powell woos the unsuspecting widow of his former cellmate to get his hands on hidden loot from a robbery. After marrying and murdering her, he relentlessly tracks her two children. The atmospheric film was inspired by the true story of Harry Powers, hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
Here are two memorable scenes we’ll call Not My Dad
and Sleepless Preacher


ZOMBIE PRIEST played by Tony Sedgwick in “28 Days Later” (2002). Mild-mannered bicycle messenger Jim awakens from a coma to find London is besieged by zombies—worse still, fast ones—and he takes in a church. An ominous sign is that the words "The End is Extremely F---ing Nigh" are scrawled on the wall. Jim is relieved when a priest emerges—until the infected clergymen tries to eat him alive.

ZOMBIE PRIEST played by Tony Sedgwick in “28 Days Later” (2002). Mild-mannered bicycle messenger Jim awakens from a coma to find London is besieged by zombies (worse still, fast ones) and he takes refuge in a church. An ominous sign is that the words “The End is Extremely F—ing Nigh” are scrawled on the wall. Jim is relieved when a priest emerges—until the infected clergymen tries to eat him alive.

FATHER ZACHARY MALIUS, played by Charles Cragin in “Happy Hell Night” (1992). Friendly neighborhood priest Father Malius goes crazy and slaughters seven frat boys at Winfield College, then is committed to an asylum. Twenty five years later, fun-loving students from the fraternity stage a prank at the booby hatch, and Father Malius is inadvertently freed. It appears that he has not been entirely cured, because the psycho priest promptly launches a bloody spree of murder and mayhem.

FATHER ZACHARY MALIUS, played by Charles Cragin in “Happy Hell Night” (1992). Friendly neighborhood priest Father Malius goes crazy and slaughters seven frat boys at Winfield College, then is committed to an asylum. Twenty five years later, fun-loving students from the fraternity stage a prank at the booby hatch, and Father Malius is inadvertently freed. It appears that he has not been entirely cured, because the psycho priest promptly launches a bloody spree of murder and mayhem.

CZAKYR, played by David Sawyer in “Children of the Night” (1991).Townsfolk in peaceful Alburg were delighted when a European clergyman came to minister to them – until he began to “interfere with” children and feed on their blood. Cornered, the false priest Czakyr commits suicide, taking his young victims with him. The locals bury him in a crypt beneath the church and flood it. But when a pair of teenage girls take a late-night dip in the water, Czakyr is awakened and attacks them, unleashing a vampire plague. Before long, the town has become a bloodsucker haven like Salem’s Lot.

CZAKYR, played by David Sawyer in “Children of the Night” (1991).Townsfolk in peaceful Alburg were delighted when a European clergyman came to minister to them – until he began to “interfere with” children and feed on their blood. Cornered, the false priest Czakyr commits suicide, taking his young victims with him. The locals bury him in a crypt beneath the church and flood it. But when a pair of teenage girls take a late-night dip in the water, Czakyr is awakened and attacks them, unleashing a vampire plague. Before long, the town has become a bloodsucker haven like Salem’s Lot.


CARDINAL PATRICK ROARK, played by Rutger Hauer in “Sin City” (2005). Shielding pedophile priests just isn’t good enough for this corrupt and sinister church official. He protects his nephew Kevin (Elijah Wood), a cannibal serial killer who murders women, eats their bodies and mount their heads on his wall. Cardinal Roark joins in the grisly meals and frames Mickey Rourke’s tough-guy hero for one of the murders -- sins he answers for in this scene.

CARDINAL PATRICK ROARK, played by Rutger Hauer in “Sin City” (2005). Shielding pedophile priests just isn’t good enough for this corrupt and sinister church official. He protects his nephew Kevin (Elijah Wood), a cannibal serial killer who murders women, eats their bodies and mounts their heads on his wall. Cardinal Roark joins in the grisly meals and frames Mickey Rourke’s tough-guy hero for one of the murders — sins he answers for in this scene.


BISHOP ANTHONY LILLIMAN, played by John Standing in “V for Vendetta” (2006). Bishop Lilliman is a twisted pedophile as well as a high-ranking official in a fascist party that has taken over Great Britain. Despite his penchant for young girls, the bishop doesn't mind trying to rape twenty-something Natalie Portman when she comes to warn him of his impending assassination, as we see here.

BISHOP ANTHONY LILLIMAN, played by John Standing in “V for Vendetta” (2006). Bishop Lilliman is a twisted pedophile as well as a high-ranking official in a fascist party that has taken over Great Britain. Despite his penchant for young girls, the bishop doesn’t mind trying to rape twenty-something Natalie Portman when she comes to warn him of his impending assassination, as we see here.

FATHER ANTONIN, played by Jack Palance as in “Deadly Sanctuary” (1969). In this version of the Marquis De Sade’s “Justine,” Father Antonin livens up monastery life by subjecting the title character to torture and sexual abuse. Palance is no stranger to over-acting, but this performance is over-the top even for him, one critic calling it “one of the most bizarre ever seen on film.” Perhaps he was trying to balance out the wooden star Romina Power, daughter of screen legend Tyrone Power. “She was a like a piece of furniture,” director Jesus Franco later grumbled. “It was as if I was making Bambi 2.” Well, Bambi 2 with sex and sadism.

FATHER ANTONIN, played by Jack Palance in “Deadly Sanctuary” (1969). In this version of the Marquis De Sade’s “Justine,” Father Antonin livens up monastery life by subjecting the title character to torture and sexual abuse. Palance is no stranger to over-acting, but this performance is over-the top even for him, one critic calling it “one of the most bizarre ever seen on film.” Perhaps he was trying to balance out the wooden star Romina Power, daughter of screen legend Tyrone Power. “She was a like a piece of furniture,” director Jesus Franco later grumbled. “It was as if I was making Bambi 2.” Well, Bambi 2 with nudity and sadism.


If you enjoyed this article by C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The author of this article also penned the highly acclaimed horror novel "Hour of the Beast."

The author of this article also penned the highly acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast.

The 12 Greatest Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen!   1 comment

C. Michael Forsyth

There are great horror movies that even aficionados of the genre have missed and are often overlooked on top 100 lists. Here are a dozen rarely viewed films that gave me the willies:

A remote forest is home turf for a demon in “Equinox.”

EQUINOX, 1970

Four young people searching a remote forest for a missing scientist get more than they bargained for when they encounter the demon Asmodeus. Taking refuge in a cave, they come across an ancient book the evil being needs to spread destruction beyond his wooded domain. Heroically, the humans fight to keep The Book out of the demon’s claws, while trapped within his forest by a mysterious force field. Asmodeus sends a series of monstrous minions, including a giant ape-like creature with cloven hooves, to retrieve The Book.

Though shot on a shoestring budget, the movie makes create use of Ray Harryhausen-type stop motion animation. Plot-wise, it is a forerunner to “The Evil Dead,” and the filmmakers could show the producers of “The Blair Witch Project” a thing or two about telling an entertaining story with no dough.

A rustic European town harbors a terrible secret in “Vampyr.”

VAMPYR, 1932

Most horror buffs have seen the silent-era vampire film “Nosferatu,” an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula, but only hardcore enthusiasts have seen this 1932 picture from Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. Though less well known, it’s every bit as creepy as “Nosferatu.” Inspired by a tale by Carmilla author J. Sheridan Le Fanu, it’s about a student of the occult who stumbles across a village under the curse of a vampire hag.

Although made in the sound era, it too is silent. It benefits from a haunting atmosphere and imaginative effects. Among the most striking, the vampires slinking around the deserted town are seen only as shadows.

A young woman rubs shoulders with history’s most infamous sadist in “Waxwork.”

WAXWORK, 1988

A group of students visit a wax museum featuring 18 villains from horror lore and history. Two are sucked into the waxwork displays, where they run into a werewolf and Dracula. Another two find themselves pitted against zombies and the infamous Marquis de Sade. The concept of universes within the displays struck me as quite original, and I loved how each one is depicted as real as our own. A kinky highlight of the film arises when the teenage girl drawn into de Sade’s world is whipped by the infamous sadist…and kind of likes it! Zach Galligan, who had vanished from the screen after “Gremlins,” does a smashing job as the young hero struggling to rescue her.

Homeowner Jesse (Ayre Gross, left) learns there’s more problems with his new digs than mice in the attic in “House 2.”

HOUSE 2

This horror comedy is a rare case of the sequel surpassing the original. Charlie and Jesse, a pair of yuppie pals, move into an old mansion Jesse has inherited. Rummaging through the basement, Jesse finds a picture of his great-great grandfather in front of a Mayan temple holding a crystal skull. The buddies soon learn that the house has been transformed by the skull his ancestor swiped and that each room is a doorway across space and time. The guys must keep the skull out of the hands of evildoers, while their mettle is tested in a series of harrowing adventures on the other side of these portals. Jonathan Stark, best known as the vampire’s henchman in the original “Fright Night,” is great as the goofier member of the duo. And look for an appearance from a smartalecky young Bill Maher.

A visit to the family crypt reveals clues to an awful curse in “The Undying Monster.”


THE UNDYING MONSTER, 1942

Mystery and horror combine in the curious case of the Hammond family which has been cursed since the Crusades and whose members frequently die under strange circumstances. When the latest Hammond heir is slain by an unidentified creature, intrepid private detective Robert Curtis and his plucky sidekick Christy are summoned to investigate. An early clue is a very peculiar statue in the Hammond family crypt.

What delights me about the film is the successful blend of genres. Curtis brings the logic of a Sherlock Holmes to the case and his relationship with Christy is reminiscent of Nick and Nora of “The Thin Man” fame. The detective takes a scientific approach, which makes the increasingly uncanny events all the more alarming. In one memorable sequence, he uses a microscope to examine a strange hair and it vanishes before his eyes!

Boris Karloff is a father who returns home from a vampire hunt and brings terror with him in “Black Sabbath.”

BLACK SABBATH, 1963

This anthology film boasts some truly terrifying segments. My favorite, “The Wurdalak,” is drawn from a common theme of vampire folklore rarely depicted on film: that when the undead return they first prey on their own relatives.

In 19th century Russia, a young nobleman on a long trip stops at a small rural cottage to ask for shelter. He learns that the family patriarch has disappeared for five days while searching for a vampire, or “wurdalak” as the locals call it. At the stroke of midnight, Dad — Boris Karloff at his creepy best — shows up at the cottage. His disheveled appearance and odd behavior lead his sons to suspect he’s joined the ranks of the undead. The situation makes for a rather tense evening.

“I tell you, I’m not crazy. Now get that hand off my mouth.” Michael Redgrave is a ventriloquist with a sinister dummy in “Dead of Night.”

DEAD OF NIGHT, 1945

Another chilling anthology film, it includes the granddaddy of all evil-ventriloquist-dummy stories and a chilling yarn about a haunted antique mirror. The frame story itself (often laughable in such movies) is truly unnerving. In the frame story, a man arrives at a country house party where he reveals to the assembled guests that he has seen them all in a dream. They begin to tell various tales of the supernatural and the uncanny. The frame story climaxes with a haunting twist ending.

“I don’t much like the look of that.” Peter Cushing, right, finds that a fellow scientist has created a deadly new lifeform in “Island of Terror.”

ISLAND OF TERROR, 1966

The great Peter Cushing stars as a scientist investigating the peculiar case of a farmer found dead on a remote British isle without a single bone in his body. He and his companions learn that a researcher working on the island accidentally created a new lifeform from the silicon atom while searching for a cancer cure.

The tentacled creatures, dubbed “silicates,” kill their victims by injecting a bone-dissolving enzyme into their bodies and are virtually indestructible. Trapped on the isolated island, the heroes battle the monsters with guns, Molotov cocktails, dynamite and other weapons to no avail. In one hair-raising scene, Cushing is grabbed by a silicate. With a stiff upper lip, the Englishman sternly instructs a companion to chop off his hand with an ax before its too late.

Wicca is for wimps. These witches are the real deal in “Horror Hotel.”

HORROR HOTEL, 1960

A college coed visits a small Massachusetts town to research the witchcraft trials, unaware that her landlady is the reincarnation of an infamous witch burned at the stake in the 1600s. The accused witch wasn’t innocent – not by a longshot. She and her evil cohorts practice virgin sacrifice in order to remain immortal. Christopher Lee as the missing girl’s professor and her friends must solve the mystery of her disappearance before an unholy ritual on Candlemass Eve. Look for one of the most startling heroic rescue scenes in horror cinema history.

A madman (Patrick O’Neal) doesn’t let a disablity stand in the way of exacting bloody vengeance in “Chamber of Horrors.”

CHAMBER OF HORRORS, 1966

Cesare Danova, the suave actor with the sexy foreign accent that made him a ubiquitous TV guest star, plays the proprietor of a wax museum and amateur sleuth, aided by a dwarf sidekick. When a deranged man named Jason Cravette murders a woman and marries her corpse, Danova helps police bring him to justice.

Unfortunately, the killer escapes from a manacle by amputating his hand and vows vengeance on everyone involved in his capture and trial. In place of his hand, the madman wears an array of deadly weapons. He associates his foes with body parts – for instance, the cop who arrested him is the “arm of the law.” So after each revenge killing he makes off with that body part. The wax museum owner has a special incentive to stop the culprit, because he solved the initial murder and Cravette has indentified him as “the head of the law.” Gulp.

The movie was filmed as a pilot for a series to be called “House of Wax,” but it was deemed too gory for TV. But I would have tuned into such a show every week!

The devil is afoot in Merry Old England in “Blood on Satan’s Claw.”

BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, 1971

This movie is set in village in 17th century England, where a series of bizarre events suggest to superstitious peasants that the devil is afoot. The trouble begins when a farmer plowing a field uncovers a deformed skull with one leering eye. Later, young townsfolk begin to sprout patches of fur and other odd markings on their bodies. It’s up to the local judge, a rational man who is initially skeptical of the supernatural, to stop the epidemic and solve the mystery. High production values and convincing period dialogue elevate the film. It’s like watching a version of “The Crucible” in which Satan really is on the prowl.

Dinner is served! An army officer resorts to cannibalism in “Ravenous.”

RAVENOUS, 1999

The always compelling Guy Pearce ( “L.A. Confidential”) stars in this film, which offers a unique take on cannibalism.

The story takes place during in 1840s California during the Mexican-American War. Pearce plays a U.S. Army captain who comes across the aftermath of a Donner Party-like disaster. The sole survivor, a Colonel Ives, is now hooked on human flesh. According to a Native American legend recounted in the movie, a man who consumes the flesh of his enemies takes their strength but becomes a Wendigo, a demon cursed by a hunger for man meat. Turns out the Indians were right. Col. Ives has cured himself of tuberculosis and turned himself into an invincible superman through cannibalism. Worse still, he gets others addicted and is bent on turning our hero Capt. Boyd into a cannibal too.

I found the notion of cannibal as a sort of vampire thought-provoking and appreciated the film’s dark humor. With great performances from Pearce and Robert Carlyle as the sinister Colonel Ives.

The author of this article also wrote the acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast. In the opening chapter, the unthinkable happens. Then things get out of hand.

Hour of the Beast is available in hardcover and softcover at Amazon.com. But you can save $4 by clicking HERE! The Kindle version is just $7 and the Ebook is a measly $5. Be the first on your block to read this bone-chilling tale — before the motion picture hits the big screen.

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