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Rhino presents
Horrible Horrors Collection: Volume 2 (2004)

"I killed and raped them all, and no one can stop me!"
- The Killer (Nicholas Worth) from Don't Answer the Phone

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: October 04, 2004

Stars: James Westmoreland, Flo Gerrish, Nicholas Worth, Rod Lauren, Steve Drexel, Tracy Olson, John Carradine, Alex D'Arcy, Paula Raymond, Gene O'Shane, Barbara Bishop, Cameron Mitchell, Anne Helm, Richard Cardella, Glen Roberts, Richard Garrison, Chris Robinson, Alex Rocco, Susan Carroll, Peter Carpenter, Maria de Aragorn, Robert Alda, Linda Christian, Neil Hamilton
Other Stars: Sherwood Keith, Barbara Luddy, Ray Young, Vicki Volante, Robert Dix, Berry Kroeger, Mark Siegel, Bob Hyman, Steve Alaimo, Vicki Peters, Reagan Wilson, Ariadna Welter
Director: Robert Hammer, Lew Landers, Robert O'Neil, William Grefe, Al Adamson, Bud Townsend, William R. Stromberg, William J. Hole Jr.

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (gore, language, nudity, sexuality)
Run Time: 12h:30m:00s
Release Date: October 05, 2004
UPC: 603497038121
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C C-B-C+ D-

DVD Review

For Volume 2 of their Horrible Horrors Collection, Rhino once again goes to the well for a batch of old Crown International releases, this time focusing on the 1960s and 1970s. Of the eight films here, three aren't truly horror films, one is just plain hard to categorize, and the quality of the films in this set is dramatically more uneven than in Volume 1, though a couple of titles (The Devil's Hand and Blood of Dracula's Castle) make this at least worth a rental for genre buffs.

Let's take a look at Volume 2:

Disc 1/Side A:

Don't Answer the Phone (1979)
01h:25m:21s
Directed by Robert Hammer

The title of this one really doesn't make all that much sense in what is basically a dopey thriller about a tubby serial killer (Nicholas Worth) who happens to look like a cross between Kevin James and Divine. In addition to killing random women, he takes a liking to radio talk show host Lindsay Gale (Flo Gerrish), which results in such ratings wackiness as killing a woman on the air. The well-coifed cops try to track down the killer before he zeros in on Gale, and there is a lot of filler and fluff in this relatively dull procedural, including a "police looking for clues" scene set to a strange synth score. Worth's killer is kind of creepy, but he seems to exist in one of those clichéd movie wacko realms that makes his actions just a little too pat.

Terrified (1962)
01h:19m:53s
Directed by Lew Landers

Rhino goes off 0-2 with Terrified, a black-and-white sleep inducer about really old college kids, a ghost town, a graveyard, lots of bad driving and a menacing psycho wearing a black mask. There is a lot of expository talking followed by scenes of our intrepid heroes Marge (Tracy Olson) and David (Steve Drexel) wandering around and stumbling across bodies that have been buried alive, in between a couple of red herrings, all culminating in the grand reveal of the killer that is almost effective, that is if it hadn't been wrapped in such a weirdly pointless story.

Disc 1/Side B:

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
01h:24m:44s
Directed by Al Adamson

Now we're talking! This campy Al Adamson-directed project steps up when it counts, and features John Carradine as an evil butler, a hideous manservant named Mango (Ray Young), a pair of blood-swilling vampires (Alex D'Arcy and Paula Raymond) about to be evicted from their castle home. It seems that hunky Glen (Gene O'Shane) and his fiancée (Barbara Bishop) have just inherited the castle, but before they can boot out the current tenants they end up chained to a wall in the dungeon. D'Arcy and Raymond steal this one as the head vamps, as they give off a martini bar aloofness that makes them seem more like boozy socialites than the bloodthirsty undead. In true Adamson style, there are a few scenes that go on way too long (like bad guy Johnny's prison escape), which were no doubt padded just to fill out the runtime.

Nightmare in Wax (1969)
01h:35m:57s
Directed by Bud Townsend

Cameron Mitchell in an eye-patch and bad burn makeup can only mean one thing: a really bad movie. Mitchell plays a disfigured former makeup artist who now creates lifelike figures for a famous wax museum, only he seems to like using real people who have been injected with some secret formula of his. Naturally he wants revenge on the chubby studio head who torched his face, and by the film's end has his nemesis dangling over a vat of molten wax while he spouts all kinds of laughable dialogue, despite the pleas and screams of Anne Helm. Weirdness abounds, from Mitchell's Plan 9 From Outer Space outfit to him smooching a dead woman.

Disc 2/Side A:

The Crater Lake Monster (1977)
01h:23m:33s
Directed by William R. Stromberg

It's stop-motion time as a meteorite hatches a long-buried dinosaur egg (just go with it). Once released, the big lizard slinks through the waters of Crater Lake, theoretically munching on locals. I say theoretically because we don't see that much of the titular monster during the middle part of this one, as instead we get to see the main characters talking about what's going on, and even drifting off to a subplot about a murderous convenience store robber. In fairness, the stop-motion animation is decent, though there are some major "creature size" continuity issues during the climactic fight scene. The potential is here, but it just never gels.

Stanley (1972)
01h:33m:37s
Directed by William Grefe

This is one of the most woefully boring and idiotic "horror" films I have ever seen, and the fact that it appears to have been dubbed from a fuzzy VHS copy makes it that much worse. Tim (Chris Robinson) is a brooding Native American who lives in the Everglades and likes snakes. A lot. So much so that when nasty Thomkins (Alex Rocco) wants to poach his precious reptiles to make belts, ol' Timmy goes psycho and uses rattlesnakes to get revenge. That's all well and good until he goes a bit too far by snatching the teenage daughter of his enemy and trying a little too hard to get her to like snakes. There's no horror here, there's no suspense here, and most importantly, there's no anything here. I will never get that 90 minutes back EVER, and I blame William Grefe.

Disc 2/Side B:

Blood Mania (1970)
01h:20m:12s
Directed by Robert O'Neil

This one ties Stanley for being the least horror-themed on this set, but who cares when there's so much sleazy campiness. Peter Carpenter plays a horny doc who beds down anything that moves, including the evil and sexy Victoria (Maria de Aragorn), a lusty nympho who has, you guessed it, her own evil and sexy plans. de Aragorn just can't seem to keep her clothes on, nor can just about any other female in this free love exercise, and the barely comprehensible story gets even more fun to watch when Victoria's sexy sis shows up to gum up the evil plans. No horror here, but lots to look at.

The Devil's Hand (1962)
01h:11m:12s
Directed by William J. Hole Jr.

Robert Alda plays Rick Turner, a hapless guy with strange dreams about a beautiful blonde woman, and when he eventually meets her it turns out she's a "she-devil". And how. Linda Christian is stunningly alluring and sultry as the mysterious dream girl Bianca, and even though she's using some supernatural ways on poor Rick, it doesn't seem like she would really need to try all that hard. Neil Hamilton (that's Commissioner Gordon to you) plays the leader of the cult of the devil god Gamba, using the clever front of a doll store to hide his nefarious ways. This is actually a pretty engaging little film, not nearly as campy as it could have been, thanks to Alda and Christian, who manage to work their way around some stiff chunks of dialogue smoothly.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: All episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, and considering their assorted ages, the quality of the prints varies. Stanley looks like it was copied from a crumbling VHS tape, while The Crater Lake Monster has pleasing, bright colors. Some of the color reproduction on the early 1970s titles has that odd aged look to it, but certainly acceptable for the material.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio for all of the titles are presented in very basic mono, and dialogue is clear and discernible on all.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 80 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
2 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras of any kind to be found here, with two films per side on this two-disc set. Each film is cut into 10 chapters.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Volume 2 is not nearly as good as Volume 1, thanks in part to inept stuff like Stanley, Terrified, and Don't Answer the Phone. High points like The Devil's Hand and The Blood of Dracula's Castle make this worth a look for diehards, but this volume packs far less overall punch than the first.

 


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