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Just in time for the creepy season John Hudson and I dive back into the films of Antonio Margheriti for a gothic horror that deserves to be better known. Set in a huge Scottish castle in which the ancestral family is both broke and (possibly) mad you just know that all kinds of shenanigans are going to be gotten up to! Adding to the complications are a mysterious black-gloved killer, a beautiful visiting cousin that is being pushed onto a handsome family member's...... member...uuuhhh...with an eye toward an heir, a gorgeous 'French' teacher that seems to lounge around the place waiting for sex, a family doctor with an eye to claiming some of the wealth tied up in the estate and an honest-to-God killer gorilla (called an orangutan throughout the film) running around the place occasionally scaring the hell out of people. Sounds like a couple of episodes of The Monkees, don't it?

Luckily, Margheriti knows what he's doing with all these bizarre elements so the film is entertaining and not confusing. Of course, with a black gloved killer roaming around the castle SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE has been called a giallo and we discuss my uncomfortable view the film's place in the genre. We also talk about the variability of the 'Scottish' accents; the beautiful Jane Birkin; the castle locations; the use of the titular cat; the very odd vampire legend the film posits; the tricks of doing gothic tales in color and bloody straight razor murders. We also speculate about the contributions of legendary English language dubber Ted Rusoff beyond voicing the Priest character. Rusoff must have been important because he gets an onscreen credit at the beginning of the movie.

The show can be reached for comments or suggestions at thebloodypit@gmail.com where we love hearing how many more ways we can insert pointless 1970's pop culture references into each episode. I'm not sure Hudson needs any help in this effort but all notes will be happily read. The Bloody Pit has a FaceBook page where interesting things occasionally get posted if you would like to join up. This episode ends with a new song from Queens of the Stone Age called 'Head Like A Haunted House' and an outtake that has us talking about The Village People. We are strange fellows!

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For nearly fifty-five years the British science fiction television show Doctor Who has been a staple of geek culture. Admired for it's imaginative stories, if not always for it's high budget, the show has managed over time to be so popular that it has reached a status that often surpasses other science fiction franchises. These days being a fan of Doctor Who is pretty mainstream, with the public at large now having a good idea of the show's premise and stars. Such was not the case decades ago when fans begged for the show's return and fandom had to sustain itself on repeated viewings of the episodes produced from 1963 to 1989. Re-watching the Doctor battle Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Sontarans, Silurians and a host of other villains became fan's comfort viewing as they hoped for new adventures. Even if the story was a well know one, it was still proper Doctor Who and therefore a fun time!

But there is a strange tributary that branches off from main river of classic Who that was, and still is, generally ignored by fans. In the mid-1960's a film production company saw the incredible popularity of the TV show and thought the time was right for the Doctor and his companions to make the leap to the big screen. Hammer Horror star Peter Cushing was cast in the lead role, huge sets were built and, before you could activate the Tardis controls, a pair of cinematic adventures appeared. These two films were successes on their own and are the first instance of a Who story being shot in color. Cushing is his usual excellent self but you might have noticed that when images of the character's various incarnations are assembled, his face is never included. Often referred to as the Forgotten Doctor, Peter Cushing should be better known for his entertaining turn in the role and so, we present this podcast.

Stephen Sullivan and I have decided to draw some much deserved attention to these movies and in this episode, we focus on the first of them as this alternate Doctor Who discovers the big daddy of Who villains - The Daleks! By the middle of the 1960's the television show had made the mutated, mechanical monsters a (British) household name so they were the natural choice for the move to theaters. With the addition of color and the widescreen imagery (not to mention a lot more money) the relentless bad guys were more formidable looking than ever and I'm sure caused more than a few nightmares for years afterward. And in the theater there was no couch to hide behind!

Join Stephen and I as we glide through this first cinematic Who tale. We talk about the story, compare it to the TV episodes it's adapted from, discuss the production, point out things missing from the finished picture and just generally geek out over how cool everything looks. We lament the fact that this Doctor isn't really the one we know and love from the television show while at the same time enjoying this separate version of a beloved hero.

The podcast can be reached for comment at thebloodypit@gmail.com and Stephen and his work can be found at his website. Thank you for downloading and listening!

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NOTICE - There is an audio glitch in the first couple of minutes of our conversation that pushes our voices into one channel. It clears up quickly and remains fine for the rest of the show. It is not you equipment - it was ours!

 Having covered a number of Godzilla films over the past two years Troy and I finally move outside of the Toho stable of giant monsters to talk about GAMERA! The giant friend to children everywhere has gone through many iterations over the past fifty-two years but one thing remains the same - he's a flying turtle! How in the hell did that even become a thing?

Regardless, we dig into the genesis of everyone's favorite giant Testudine -(yeah, we're educated) and relate our history with Gamera as well as the strange ways in which we discovered his films. We delve into the two separate versions of the film with attention paid to the alterations and additions made when the film was brought to America. Originally a lean 75 minutes the film's extended US length adds much but is the extra time well used? We have much to say about that, let me tell you! We dig into the pathology of  young Toshio as he endlessly seeks to end his own life and the lives of his countrymen by offering himself up as bait/sacrifice to the hideous turtle monster. Rarely has attempted suicide been presented in such a positive light, much less the desire for immolation by prehistoric sea-beast. Circa 1965, truly, the Japanese child-rearing standards were well overdue for an overhaul!

I try (and fail) to contain my hatred for small, precocious, turtle obsessed Japanese children named Toshio while Troy does his best to keep the show on an even keel. We marvel over the technical achievements of the film and it's audacious move to co-opt the younger audience of the Godzilla franchise. The more serious aspects of the story are discussed along with some of the fascinating behind the scenes tales that demonstrate the difficulty of producing movies at this level of complication. Always remember - Mr. Flame is not always your friend!

We can be reached at thebloodypit@gmail.com or on the Bloody Pit FaceBook page. If you have any comments or suggestions please drop us a line. Thank you for downloading and listening to our little dog and turtle show.

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JAWS rip-offs were all the rage in the late 1970's. If you were a film producer of any ambition at that time the massive financial take of Steven Spielberg's world wide hit drew your attention. You can almost imagine the conversations in which moneymen demanded their own killer fish film, "script be damned!" And most of those rip-off scripts were damned - damned bad! It's easy to point to a couple of genuinely good descendants of JAWS (PIRANHA and ALLIGATOR ) to claim that high quality was more common in this narrow Danger in the Water sub-genre but the list of terrible efforts far outnumber the impressive. Who has good memories of TENTACLES (1977) , UP FROM THE DEPTHS (1979), ORCA (1977), TINTORERA: KILLER SHARK (1977),  BARRACUDA (1978)  or MAKO: THE JAWS OF DEATH (1976) the clear winner in the 'Not Even Trying to Hide Our Intentions' contest? Really - who? If you have some love for TENTACLES we need to know why!

So where does a film like KILLER FISH (1979) fall on this good/bad scale? As always, merit is in the eye of the beholder so allow John Hudson and I the opportunity to convince you of our clear-eyed vision as we make the case for Antonio Margheriti's entry in the Pissed Off Fish genre. Given the tag line 'The adventure that drags you in, pulls you under and tears you apart!' the film is obviously trading on the allure of deadly fish munching on human flesh to get bums on seats. But this animal attacks tale throws at least two other genres into the mix to keep the story from becoming too predictable. The film begins with a jewel heist set to the tune of dozens of distracting explosions (cue Margheriti miniatures) and eventually slips in a bit of disaster film silliness to keep things off balance (cue embarrassing funnel cloud special effect). The film is packed with tasty humans known mostly from television stardom including Lee Majors, Karen Black and James Franciscus as well as model turned actor (?) Margaux Hemingway and football player turned guest muscle flexor Dan Pastorini. And what the hell is Gary Collins doing in this film? Anyway .....

Join us as we take a look at another Antonio Margheriti film to see where it fits into his long career. Do the Brazilian shooting locations add to the film's charms? Do the jewel thieves adhere to the code of criminal conduct we expect from all screen no-good-niks? Does Margheriti get the chance to work miniatures into the film on multiple occasions? Is the cool bionic sound effect used when Lee Majors makes out with Margaux Hemingway in the shower? Listen and learn! Or watch the film yourself. That's certainly an option.

If you have any comments or suggestions the email address is thebloodypit@gmail.com where we'd be thrilled to get your thoughts. The show has a FaceBook page where updates are occasionally posted so please check that out. Thank you for downloading and listening - and stay out of the water!

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When is an Antonio Margheriti movie NOT an Antonio Margheriti movie? When it's HERCULES, PRISONER OF EVIL (1964).

As followers of this podcast will have noticed I am a fan of the films of Mr. Margheriti and have an ongoing thread of shows covering his work with co-host John Hudson. Our plan is to slowly (oh, so slowly) review each of his movies in no particular order. So imagine my surprise when my Adrian Smith, my co-host from last year's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST episode, said he wanted to cover something directed by the man! Was Adrian trying to muscle into Hudson's job? Nope! It turns out that although Antonio's Anthony Dawson pseudonym is in the credits of this peplum adventure it seems he didn't actual direct it. Margheriti was far too busy completing a different movie and handed the reins of this one over to his assistant director Ruggero Deodato! And that's not the only interesting info Mr. Smith has found about this film.

So join Adrian for his second dip into The Bloody Pit as we explore this prime example of an Italian sword and sandal epic. We discuss the various pseudo Hercules characters (Ursus, Samson, Machiste, Flintstone, etc.) that were all transformed into Hercules in the English dubs. We run through this film's story pointing out where the movie adheres to the peplum template and the few places it deviates. This movie sports a monster, some unexplained magic and a few sexy ladies so if you are already a fan of the genre you know what you're in for. We had a few technical issues while recording but I think you'll find the show to be perfectly listenable and pretty informative. The majority credit for this one goes to Adrian who, besides working on his doctoral thesis, has started a blog focused on Margheriti movies called - Blogeriti. Or The Antonio Margheriti Blog. Whichever title seems less silly. I can't wait to see what he has to say about more of my favorites as he covers the man's career.

Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. If you have any comments or suggestions the email address for the show is thebloodypit@gmail.com. Let us know what you think and what your favorite peplum adventures are. We'll talk to you next time.

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Although The Outer Limits lasted only two seasons in the middle of the 1960's its influence is still being felt today. Because it was an anthology series it is often compared to The Twilight Zone but while Rod Serling's brainchild often relied on 'sing in the tail' conclusions The Outer Limits was much more interested in creating strong science fiction stories that could have easily been feature films. With it's hour long running time the show could stretch out to spin large, detailed and complicated tales with multifaceted characters and complex motivations. The best episodes combined amazing acting, great storytelling and absorbing ideas to build stories that would stay with the viewer for decades. Even the least effective entries were capable of bringing some new things to television whether it be a strange special effect or a concept so dark that most TV would have to shy away for fear of a backlash. Great science fiction often uses the tropes of the genre to comment on contemporary problems and The Outer Limits certainly qualifies.

Artist Mark Maddox joins me again to talk about this fine television show. It made a deep impression on both of us, coloring the ways in which we enjoy science fiction film and TV to this day. We discuss some of our favorite episodes; what made them effective; what elements stood out on first viewing as well as things that stick in the memory over time. Mark relates the chore he had a young man trying to see the show at a time when there was only one television in the house and everyone had to compromise on which program would be watched. We talk about the various monsters the show featured as well as the smart cost cutting ways the producers found to fool the eye and broaden the limited visual scope possible on a TV budget. I also babble on a bit about the incredible photography of the show which I think rivals what was being done in big budgeted films of the time. This might well be ground zero for the idea of sci-fi noir! The Outer Limits is a show that accomplished a lot with meager means and still stacks up today as one of the best SF series ever made.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to thebloodypit@gmail.com in either typed or MP3 form. We'd love to hear from you. What are your favorite episodes of The Outer Limits? What is the scariest of the show's monsters? Are there episodes that we love that you think are bad? Let us know! And if you would like to help us out there is a donate button on the right side of the blog page - feel free to click it and send a couple of bucks our way. Thank you for checking out the show! Mark and I will return later this summer with another show on 1960's television - if we can stay on topic.

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Fu Manchu is author Sax Rohmer's most famous creation and one that he returned to repeatedly over the years eventually writing a total of thirteen novels detailing his insidious plots for world domination. From the first serialized section of the first Fu tale published in 1913 the stories were very popular, well regarded adventures tales. Such a widely known villainous character was sure to inspire filmmakers to adapt him to the screen and from 1923's THE MYSTERY OF DR. FU MANCHU to 1980's comedic take THE FIENDISH PLOT OF DR. FU MANCHU different producers have brought his evil machinations to cinematic life with varied levels of success. For a longer time than seems plausible the specter of the Yellow Peril loomed large enough to make an Asian master criminal bent on conquest seem a credible threat for both page and film.

In this episode of The Bloody Pit Brian Lindsey and I discuss the character's various film incarnations with special concentration on Karloff's scenery chewing villainy in MGM's lavish THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932) and Christopher Lee's 1965 to 1969 five film run as a more accurate version of the character for producer Harry Allan Towers. We also touch on the novels, the 1940 Republic serial and the last (so far) big screen attempt to use Fu in Peter Sellers' final film in which the star plays both Fu and his nemesis Sir Nayland Smith. We both fear that the possibilities of a modern adaptation of these Sax Rohmer stories are next to nil but we do give a few suggestions about what would be necessary to accomplish such a difficult (and probably financially ruinous) task.

So, if you know very little about the character or even if you know quite a bit we think you'll enjoy listening to the two of us talk about the various film versions of the great evil criminal genius Fu Manchu. If you have any questions or comments please write the show at thebloodypit@gmail.com and let us known what you think. Also, there is a FaceBook page for The Bloody Pit and we encourage you to join for occasional updates and show notes. Thanks for downloading and listening.

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This episode we take a trip to the dank, mist enshrouded, sweat covered land of Louisiana for a blast of gore drenched Italian horror from maestro Lucio Fulci! The Three Stooges of Euro-Trash descend into the cellar of the Seven Doors Hotel to see if they can find the Book of Eibon while dodging the outstretched arms of eye-gouging zombies. Sense and nonsense merge into a rich tapestry of mad events loosely connected to the hotel and it's new owner Liza (Catriona MacColl). Can handsome doctor McCabe (David Warbeck) unravel the mystery at the heart of the horror or will he, too, succumb to the dark forces from The Beyond?

The recent GrindHouse Releasing Blu-Ray of this seminal horror film was the catalyst for Jeff, Troy and Rod to rewatch this violent creep show and high definition does nothing to dampen their love. Easily the best the film has ever looked on home video it gains so much in detail and visual depth that it becomes an even better experience. The movie's many narrative lapses and structural oddities are discussed as well as it's dread filled atmosphere and superlative Fabio Frizzi score. Clearly Fulci was more interested in realizing a long series of surrealistic, nightmare-like sequences concocted to unnerve and disturb, but among his dream imagery assault are moments of pure Gothic beauty as well. One of a kind filmmaking and a classic regardless of it's faults.

If you listen to the show on iTunes please rate & review the podcast there. It helps others find us and generally makes us feel good! You can join us on the Bloody Pit Facebook page as well where show links are posted along with odd images from the movies we cover. Thank you for listening and we'll be back soon! Oh! And I do refer to the podcast as The Bloody Podcast at the beginning of the show. This is not a rebranding attempt! It's just me verbally stumbling as we get back into the groove of recording. 

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Last summer artist Mark Maddox and I sat down to record a show about the James Bond films. We managed to do that but we also went off topic so often and for so long that I ended up excising big chunks of our conversation just to keep that episode from spiraling out of control. Well, now those extra bits of rambling movie discussion can be heard in this short episode. Consider it a barely edited extra.

Topics range from the recent Star Trek films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stanley Kubrick movies and personal favorite films. In fact, we talk about Star Trek quite a lot and things do get contentious with one of us defending the new movies and one us .... not. I think that Mark's comments on the ending of The Wraith of Khan might give fans some food for thought - or make them want to punch him. One or the other!

We'll be back next month with a regular episode and if you have any comments or questions please write the podcast at thebloodypit@gmail.com. Thank you for downloading and listening.

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A few months ago our regular correspondent Jason Spear wrote in and, among other things, started a chat about fandom. This conversation became a much larger thing than we thought it would and expanded with other listeners chiming in to add their opinions to an already heated topic. When Jason realized that his off-the-cuff remarks had spawned a discussion that painted his comments in a dark light he felt the need to clarify what he meant. So, we decided to craft an entire episode around a discussion of fandom, Godzilla and just what it means to be wary of disrespectful filmgoers.

This is an odd show for us as there is no single film that we talk about for the length of the episode even if we do spend a long time on SHIN GODZILLA (2016). Indeed, there is a lot of Godzilla talk (hence the title) with much love expressed for the Big G and his costars. Of course, this being a show with Rod and Troy hosting there are a number of tangents starting with general bitching about late-era Bruno Mattei films. And there are few things funnier (or sadder, really) than Jason's tales of bad luck with crappy audiences in movie theaters. But, happily, he also has many stories of his journeys to Japan and his visits to a number of cultural landmarks that only genre fans or small  children would give the first damn about! Giant Gundam suits should be stationed everywhere, in my opinion.

If you want to add your voice to the conversation about what we discuss or anything else please write us at thebloodypit@gmail.com or join us over on the FaceBook page for the show. Thanks for downloading and listening.

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