"To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie'..." although used twice before for advertising campaigns that phrase would become synonymous with The Last House on the Left, which premiered this day in 1972, and continues to disturb and enthrall audiences to this very day. Last House on the Left was Wes Craven's directorial horror debut, in a partnership with Sean S. Cunningham. It was not the first partnership for the two men, as they had previously worked together in various capacities in more "adult" orientated offerings (don't judge people, Horror and the adult industry have a long running and interesting past; in fact I hope one day to get the opportunity to explore the topic in detail, fascinating stuff!)
Anyway Last House On the Left is one of my personal favorite exploitation films ever! I love what Wes was able to create. There are scenes that even more than 40 yrs later continue to get under peoples skin with realism that makes them hard to watch, but just as hard to turn away from. That is a testament to the actors and Craven for going "Balls to the Wall" with this cult classic. Anyone who has not watched this seminal film, the beginning of a long and illustrious career for a man who has become known as one of the modern masters of horror, definitely needs to put it on their MUST watch list!
Today we look at a a few strange facts in the world of music:
In 1977 after trying to steal the body of Elvis 3 people were arrested in Memphis, prompting them to move his body to Graceland. In 2002 one of the men implicated in the attempted grave robbing stated that the Presley family was behind the crime, leading to some conspiracy theories that the family wanted to grave site to be at Graceland making it easier for them to profit from the "Kings" death.
1995 witnessed a tragic accident in the music world when a cameraman and pilot were killed in a helicopter crash in the Sequoia National Forest while filming Meat Loafs Music video for "I'd Lie For You"
Comic artist and creator regarded by many to be one of the most influential in history Jack Kirby was born this day in New York City in 1917.he was a co creator of the highly successful Captain America comic by Timely Comics, predecessor to Marvel. He also regularly worked with Joe Simon (co Creator of Captain America) creating several characters for not only Timely Comics but also National comics which would later become DC Comics. Kirby worked with many companies over the years and eventually worked with Stan Lee on several characters for Marvel including The Fantastic Four, X-Men and Hulk. He moved on to work with Hanna Barbera and Disney on various projects. Kirby passed away in 1994 at the age of 76 of heart failure.
1906 saw the birth of a man who would go on to inspire fright filled tales told to children at bedtime, and horror films and books to make adults squirm for generations to come... August 27, 1906 saw the birth of madman Ed Gein. His story is one thats been told many ways over the years and there is no denying he was a very sick man, but if you ever really read his story it is one that makes you empathize for the boy that turned into a world renowned monster. His kill total is actually very low with only 2 confirmed, with a possible 3rd in his brother who many believe was Gein first victim. If you are interested in Ed Geins story I recommend the book Deviant, it is a superb work that details the man and the life he lived leading up to the events and his capture. Ed Gein died while still confined to Mendota Mental Health Institute at age 77, in 1984.
This day 1967 we were rocked into a haze with the release of "Purple Haze", Jimi Hendrix first single off his album "Are You Expierenced?" The single stayed on the US Top 100 Billboard charts for 8 weeks, but peaked at number 65 (REALLY?! So hard to believe!!) Today it is seen as a seminal piece of Psychedelic rock that's loved by millions, and millions of fans.
Dracula got a whole lot hipper this day back in 1972 with the release of Blaxploitation film Blacula! Created as a horror Thriller this one really comes across more as a horror comedy, especially today with its very dated look and sound. Dont misunderstand me, this is a classic era film that if you haven't seen you should! Its over the top crazy weirdness and the final scene alone makes it so worth the time you put in! I watched this one for the first time many many moons ago and revisit it every few years, its just a ton of fun, starring William Marshall as Blacula and Vonetta McGee as Tina (the love interest). This film really is pretty iconic and earned its place in horror history as Prince Mamuwalde (aka Blacula) is credited as being the first black vampire on film, and its success spawned a slew of blaxploitation horror films.
2001 we had the opening of John Carpenters Ghosts Of Mars. Looking back at this one its easy to think all star cast but at the time many of the names were much less "known" so to say and Ice T was thought to be the star power behind this one, but other names attached include Natasha Henstridge, Jason Statham, and Pam Grier. The Master of Horror, John Carpenter, not only directed, but co-wrote and composed for the film, which had serious metal sound to it with the band Anthrax working with Carpenter on the score. The film was cost about $28 million and would only take in about half of that amount, marking a hard bottom drop for Carpenter, who after the film announced he was leaving Hollywood due to burnout. He would not return to movie making until 2010 when he stepped back behind the camera for The Ward. As for Ghosts of Mars I won't say it is Mr. Carpenters best work, but I don't find it hateful as many critics do... Its still worth a watch, with some really cool visual effects, nice gore effects, good action and darkly comedic moments. Cool little bit of trivia the film was shot almost entirely in a Gypsum mine that was dyed red to make the Martian landscape.