Peter Straub was an American novelist best known for horror and supernatural fiction novels such Julia (1975), Ghost Story (1979) and The Talisman (1984), which he co-wrote with Stephen King.
Tag Archives: horror
RIP Ken Kelly (1946 – 2022)
Ken Kelly was an American fantasy artist in the style of Frank Frazetta.
Kelly is best-known for his rock and heavy metal album cover artwork, as well as his illustrations for American horror magazines.
RIP Norman J. Warren (1942 – 2021)
Norman J. Warren was an English film director known for such films as Satan’s Slave (1976), Prey (1977) and Terror (1978).
He is also credited with one of the first narrative sex films, Her Private Hell.
He is interviewed in the Doing Rude Things 1995 documentary from 28:45 onwards.
RIP Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020)
Krzysztof Penderecki was a Polish composer of 20th century classical music, a period characterized by the use of dissonance.
Outside of the classical music domain his music has been popular in horror films. The piece Polymorphia (1962) for example, is used in The Exorcist (1973) and in The Shining (1980).
And then there is his opera based on the book The Devils of Loudun (1952) by Aldous Huxley. The story of the Loudun possessions is highly remarkable and any occasion to bring it to your attention, shall be grasped.
RIP Nina Auerbach (1943 – 2017)
Nina Auerbach was an American scholar. She published in the fields of Victorian literature, theater, cultural history, and horror fiction and film.
Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach
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“Vampires and American presidents began to converge in my imagination, not because all presidents are equally vampiric, but because both are personification of their age […] Since I loved vampires before I hated Republicans, this book also reflects my idiosyncrasies.”Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach, p. 3
I’ve only read scraps of Auerbach: her remarks on the Carroll photos of Evelyn Hatch and her funny remarks in Our Vampires, Ourselves (above).
Her work is in the tradition of Mario Praz, Bram Dijkstra and Camille Paglia.
RIP Stuart Gordon (1947 – 2020)
Stuart Gordon is a film director is best-known for his Re-Animator (1985), based on H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922).
The story starts with these lines ominous lines, in keeping with Lovecraft’s sinister oeuvre:
“Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror. This terror is not due altogether to the sinister manner of his recent disappearance, but was engendered by the whole nature of his life-work, and first gained its acute form more than seventeen years ago, when we were in the third year of our course at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham. While he was with me, the wonder and diabolism of his experiments fascinated me utterly, and I was his closest companion. Now that he is gone and the spell is broken, the actual fear is greater. Memories and possibilities are ever more hideous than realities.”H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922)
The television documentary series Incredibly Strange Film Show did a special on Gordon in 1989 where they interviewed him in the La Brea Tar Pits
RIP Rene ‘Massacre at Central High’ Daalder (1944 – 2019)
Rene Daalder was a Dutch director best known for his film Massacre at Central High (1976), marginally interesting because of its echoes of Lord of the Flies (kids are cruel). Not very good but interesting enough.
But please judge for yourself.
RIP Larry Cohen (1941 – 2019)
Larry Cohen was an American film director and screenwriter.
He is best known as a B-movie auteur of horror and science-fiction films such as It’s Alive (1974), God Told Me To(1976), Q (1982), Special Effects (1984) and The Stuff (1985), which were full of satirical social commentary.
Later in his career, he concentrated mainly on screenwriting, most successfully with the very cleverPhone Booth (2002).
RIP Jorge Grau (1930 – 2018)
Jorge Grau was a Spanish film director who worked in the age of the sexual revolution which came late in Spain because of censorship in Francoist Spain.
To the illustrious history of Spanish horror film, Grau contributed The Bloody Countess (1973) and Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974), the first film on Elizabeth Báthory, the second on zombies.
To the not so illustrious history of Spanish erotica, he contributed the film La trastienda, the first Spanish film to feature full frontal nudity. The film touches upon sexual repression and Opus Dei.
María José Cantudo was the actress who was first seen nude on Spanish cinema screens in La trastienda. While researching Grau, it also came to my attention that Cantudo recorded a song called “Desnuda me”, Spanish for “Unrobe me”.
In the part on Spanish horror of the documentary Eurotika!, Jorge Grau is featured on 18:50 [above].
World Cinema Classic #189
Years ago, I posted  two highlights of see-through erotica.
Both were film stills. The first was from Succubus (1968) directed Jess Franco, the second was from Castle of Blood (1964), directed Antonio Margheriti.
Today, the full movies of these stills are available on YouTube:
From Castle of Blood I was able to find the exact location of the film still in question. The woman who is wearing the translucent crinoline and who bares her perky breasts appears to be Sylvia Sorrente (Elsi in the film).
From Succubus I was unable to track the still. However, I was able to get a wider shot. La Reynaud appears to be stripping for a pianist seen from the rear in the back.
Castle of Blood is a good film, with an eerie soundtrack by Riz Ortolani. It is World Cinema Classic #189.