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Posted 26th April 2009 at 02:16 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

I Bury The Living

Robert Kraft is starting a new job as the chairman of a committee overseeing the running of a massive cemetery, a graveyard so huge that a map is kept in the office, displaying every grave. Pins are used, black for filled graves and white for sold plots that have yet to be occupied by the deceased.

When Robert makes an error and places a pair of black pins on the wrong grave site causing the young couple who paid for the plot die in a terrible car accident soon after. Robert experiments, placing more rogue black pins, only to discover that more tragic deaths occur. He slips into despair, believing himself cursed, but the creepy Scottish caretaker appears to know more than he is letting on...

Despite the huge lapse in filmic logic at the heart of this 50s creepshow, that not placing anymore pins in the map would pretty much halt the untimely death-toll, this is good low budget drive-in fun with passable performances and works like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. The lurid title could never be lived up to but that's typical of how horror movies were marketed at the time of initial release. Part of the fun of these movies is how the hyperbole of the posters and tag-lines ("SHOCKS THAT CHALLENGE THE IMAGINATION!!!"...hardly!) never quite matches the cheap B-movie magic of the film itself.

Silent Night Bloody Night

Twisted Yuletide horror from the golden age of cheap nasty horror, the 1970s.

East Willard is a snowbound village dominated by the Butler estate, a former mental hospital. Bizarre and horrifying fiery deaths have been linked to the macabre institution and now, seen as it's Christmas, an aging lawyer and his bit on the side have decided to spend a night there after hearing tell of the strange place from some locals. Others are spending the long, cold night in the house as well including the heir to the Butler estate, Jeffrey. Shame about the escaped psych ward patient whose infiltrated the house then! He sets about making creepy phone calls and slaying houseguests with an axe. Can Jeffery and the Mayor's daughter solve the mystery of the cursed estate?

Another precursor to the Halloween movies and the rest of the slasher deluge, this came out around the same time as Black Christmas, another great early stalk 'n' slash movie. Horror fans will welcome the POV shots that hurry through the corridors of the house, the whispered phone calls and the way characters are iced with complete impunity. Look out for members of Andy Warhol's factory who pop up as extras in one scene.

The Last Woman On Earth

Another in the seemingly endless archive of Roger Corman movies, The Last Woman On Earth is one of the better no-budget Sci-Fi flicks of the early 60s because it relies on a tight script, decent acting and a beatnik jazzy score to make it's mark rather than some substandard monster effects or an overly ambitious and unsustainable premise.

In the movie a couple and their lawyer friend are scuba diving, leading to some well shot underwater footage, but when they resurface they find that their servant is dead from asphyxiation and that they cannot breathe without their oxygen masks. Realizing that their tanks are only good for about 40 minutes of life they strike for shore where, among the plants on their island retreat, they find some precious breathable air. Then the speculation begins...

What happened? Is everyone dead? Why did the oxygen suddenly disappear? How will we live? Now the film is a fight for survival as the three start to imagine that they might be the only survivors and the seeds of a bitter love triangle begin to bear fruit.

For lovers of old TV Sci-Fi shows like The Outer Limits, this film is a must as it plays on a comparable level. For a movie this old and clearly so cheaply made it will still manages to hold a modern viewer attention thanks to some clever dialogue and a great premise. Good Sci-Fi is all about setting up unimaginable situations and asking the audience what they would do, and in this regard the film succeeds admirably.

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Enjoy the whole movie!

Completely bizarre 60s kids B-movie in which the Martians decide to kidnap Santa because their own alien children have become obsessed with earth transmitted TV shows about the joys of Christmas. Once on Earth the aliens kidnap two youngsters who lead them to the North Pole and they take the kids along with Father Christmas back to their home planet.

Evil Martian fiend, Voldar, tries to kill Saint Nick and the Earth children but the Mars leader, Lomas, stops him. When they arrive, Santa and the kiddies, with the aid of a rather simple Martian sympathizer, overcome the alien race by bringing happiness, laughter and a big dollop of Christmas cheer to the kids of Mars. Low budget, yuletide fun that will be a hit with fans of retro Sci-fi and bad movie nuts.
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