I Eat Your Skin (1971) [REVIEW] | Burial Grounds – Voodoo Terror

Summer means it’s a perfect time to revisit some black and white “exotic flavored” zombie flick of yore.

Made in 1964 as “Carribean Adventure”, titled this way to hide from investors the fact it was a zombie movie… it never saw the light of day until 1971, when the zombie genre was “properly” born via the unexpected, shocking and – as time would tell – seminal release in theathers of a low budget flick called The Night Of The Living Dead in 1968.

Of course, zombies existed in cinema before, but mostly “voodoo zombies”, as in people put under hypnosis or drugged by a scientist or master of some kind, used as both forced labour and goons to dispose of people, usually made invulnerable by magic to compensate their slow, stiff movements, but even by 1964 the “voodoo zombie genre” had already plateaud… heck, you can argue it basically died in the mid 40’s when zombie comedies like Zombies On Broadway happened, as Universal later would make Abbott and Costello meet its own monster roster.

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Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) [REVIEW] | ….For Massive Damage

We review a lot of B-movies here, so i figured its time to tackle some of the most famous ones, and one can hardly go more typical and emblematic than stuff like Attack Of The Crab Monsters, of course directed and produced by Roger Corman, the king of 50s b-movies himself, for a double feature release alongside Not Of This Earth, both movies written by Corman’s trusted screenwriter, Charles B. Griffith, also behind later films like A Bucket Of Blood or Little Shop Of Horrors.

And you can already tell these movies were engineered for the drive-ins and the double-feature show, because they are both very short, Attack Of The Crab Monsters being the shorter one, barely clocking in over 60 minutes.

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The Giant Gila Monster (1959) [REVIEW] | Knee Deep On The Box

In a way i really had to do this one, after tackling The Killer Shrews, it’s only fair i review The Giant Gila Monster, to complete the Ray Kellogg double-feature, and they do feel cut from the same cloth, down to the similar – but very typical of the genre – intros.

And if anything, this sounds less of a joke, compared to the concept of “killer shrews”, just your regular 50s B-movie drive-in fair with giant reptiles, small town sheriffs and white bread teens played by people in their 30s, with a touch of rock n roll… incredibly regional, white rock n roll, but still, that penchant for music that will carry over into the 60s is typical and they even advertised some tracks on the poster itself, without irony, as that was a genuine selling point at the time.

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The Killer Shrews (1959) [REVIEW] | Dogs & Rugs

Since i’ve more than mentioned this movie during the review of Deadly Eyes/Night Eyes, what the hell, let’s pay some respects to what it’s now a cult classic, especially for the more seasoned cinema buffs from the U.S. Side, as the movie was featured on Mistery Science Theather 3000 (alongside his double-feature debut companion, The Giant Gila Monster, also directed by Ray Kellogg), becoming one of the favorite episodes from the fans, and it can’t be denied this movie had some impact, as it was also featured or referenced in some way in other shows about bad movies.

It also managed to spawn a direct sequel in 2012 (63 years after the original came out), Return Of The Killer Shrews later with James Best reprising the role of Thorne Sherman, and a remake/parody in 2016, Attack Of The Killer Shrews. A lot for a movie made on a very low budget and serving as a perfect example of the decline of the “nuclear era” monster movies, because even for the time the idea sounded silly, and showcased how desperate you must have been to go with “shrew” as the scary mutant killer animal for your monster movie.

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The Screaming Skull (1958) [REVIEW] | Sans Sense

Another classic stinker remembered today thanks in no small part to MST3K, you hardly can go lower than this independent cheesefest, which was originally released in the way most of this crap was back then, the old double-feature for the drive-in market, alongside either Earth VS The Spider or Terror From The Year 5000, both fittingly riffed by the Satellite Of Love’s crew of bots and men.

It’s technically based on the eponymous tale written by Francis Marion Crawford – which it’s quite good and can be found in The Complete Wandering Ghosts collection – itself based on a folk tale of a skull said to be that of a black slave, whose request for burial in his native country was denied following his death, and how it was subsequently followed by strange occurrences and unexplainable shrieking noises that emanated from the wooden box in which the skull was kept.

“Technically” as the movie doesn’t credit Crawford’s novel, and the plot follows a couple, Eric and Jenni, that moves to the house belonging to the husband’s late wife, Marion, which has been curated and cared for by Mickey, an odd gardener loyal to the late wife’s memory. Jenni witnesses some eerie events involving a skull around the house, and begins to think that she’s going insane..

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