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Atomic Rulers of the World (1965)

It must have been a great time to be a screenwriter in the 1950’s and 1960’s at the beginning of the Atomic Era, where all you had to do was throw in words like nuclear and atomic and radiation into the mix and you would have a contract on your desk by noon, as soon as the studio could send a runner over.

Nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear radiation and the inevitable nuclear holocaust were the best villains and challenges that a good script writer could ask for.
It was like mad libs but with much more horrific consequences.

Now, no one played this game better than the Japanese and their movies and television shows reflected their earnest and heartfelt warnings against doing stupid things again with nuclear bombs.

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Santo vs The Vampire Women (1962)

There are certain events that are seasonal in nature.
The monarch butterflies return to Mexico each winter.
The swallows return to San Juan Capistrano each March.
The giant great white sharks return to Amity Island each July.

And we, Gentle Listeners, each May, must return to Horror Mexico, land of the luchador – the heroic, super human wrestler who uses his masked powers for good and not for evil.
Unless of course they are temporarily under the control of a mad scientist.

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New Season for Bill Watches Serials! Welcome to the Lost City of the Jungle!

That’s right, Gentle Listeners!

The first season of the weekly Patron Only show, Bill Watches Serials was a pretty good success, so we’re heading back to the serial well, and this time we’re going deep into the jungle, with Universal’s 1946 serial, “Lost City of the Jungle”, starring Russell Hayden, Keye Luke and the man with the monocle, Lionel Atwill, in his last role before his untimely death.

This serial is considered Universal’s penultimate serial, the next to the last one that they would create, and, like most serials, “Lost City of the Jungle” does not disappoint is just a pure joy to watch.

Tomorrow, May 19th, we will start Season Two, with episode one: “Himalaya Horror!”

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The Astrologer (1976)

If there’s one thing that a true film aficionado obsesses over it’s lost media.

These are films that were made, or rumored to have been made, but, due to any number of circumstances, are lost to time, presumably never to be seen again.

In the horror genre, one such movie is the immortal Lon Chaney’s “London After Midnight”. In this silent detective/horror film, Chaney plays both the crime fighter and the criminal.  The last known print was lost in a fire in 1967, and the only way to see any version of it is through music and still photographs.

This is a movie that deserves to be found, a movie that there is a burning desire for film students to see again, and learn from.

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Frankenstein Meets The Spacemonster (1965)

When it comes to movies, you would hope that the marketing department and the screenwriter put together a title that is enticing, exciting and descriptive of what the movie is about.

“The Mummy”, for example, certainly does have an undead priest of Egypt as the main character.

“The Giant Gila Monster” will show you, through the magic of special effects, a desert dwelling gila monster that seems to be the size of a dang house.

“Frankenstein”, however seems to cheat a bit, in that the title could be talking about the Doctor, the Baron or the Modern Prometheus, as Mary Shelly subtitled her novel.

In this month’s movie, “Frankenstein Meets The Spacemonster” well, the filmmakers pretty much lie to our faces.

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We’ve Gone Weekly With “Bill Watches Serials”!

In which I have created a new show called “Bill Watches Serials” that has atomic powered rocket jet packs, evil scientists bent on taking over the world, women reporters and casino owners with agency, and more fist fights and car chases than you can shake a ray gun at.

Oh, and it comes out every Wednesday!

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Black Noon (1971)

The 1970’s were Peak Made for TV Movies, and they tended to fall within three camps:
You had the good – Brian’s Song, a true story about the death of the Chicago Bears football player, Gayle Sayers – the one movie that made every man on the planet cry before Spock’s death in the Wrath of Khan came along.
You had the hidden potential – Duel, a young Steven Spielberg’s first foray into full length film that pitted ol’ Marshall McCloud himself, Dennis Weaver, against a homicidal big rig driver who just will. Not. Die.
You had the springboard – Shows such as The Night Stalker and Columbo came from Made for TV movies.

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The Abominable Snowman (1957)

Have you ever seen a dragonfly larvae?

If not, hint: THEY ARE NOT PRETTY, but I think that we can absolutely agree that the final product is astoundingly beautiful, nature’s iridescent little Sikorsky helicopters.

The lesson here is that beautiful things can come from ugly things.
That within a bad idea, a great product can be brought into the world.

So it is with Hammer’s 1957 production of “The Abominable Snowman”.
Upon first blush, you’re like okay, it’s a Bigfoot movie, let’s not get too excited about it, but then – then you see that it has Peter ‘effin’ Cushing in it.

And you start watching it.

And you change your mind.

This movie is really, really good.

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