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Classic Kitsch for A Dollar

on July 8, 2008 - 10:38pm

cheesy movie poster of a man-creature holding onto a screaming blonde bombshell

I broke from my usual behaviour of avoiding corporate chains who suck the life essence from all living things within a 100 mile radius, and found myself at Walmart with my boyfriend, Yetch. While I am still convinced this store is the secret portal to the inner circle of hell, I must admit I'm glad I went.

I found a double feature classic horror DVD for $1.00 amid all the mainstream-homogeny in the cavernous discount bins. Admittedly, they are not top quality films but considering it would cost me more than 50¢ to burn a movie to disc myself, how could I pass it up?

First is 'Atom Age Vampire' (1960) by Italian director Anton Giulio Majano. The original title was 'Seddok, l'erede di Satana' which actually means something like 'Seddok, Satan's heir'; where the vampire reference in the North American title came from is beyond me, since there are no vampires in the movie at all.

It's about a stripper (I suppose 'Atomic Age Stripper' wouldn't sell to the target audiences in 1960 America) who is tragically mutilated in a car crash. The doctor who treats her falls madly (literally) in love with her and continues to slaughter women in order to collect glands from them which he uses to heal his new girlfriend. Not a wonderful movie, granted, but if you are morbidly interested you can watch it on the Internet Archive Website.

black and white photo of a dishevelled yet attractive woman, and a small image of piano keys in the bottom corner

'Carnival of Souls' (1962) is much better. Directed by Herk Harvey, this film is very reminiscent of Twilight Zone episodes (some go so far to say it's a complete plagiarism of one in particular). Yet again, the focus is on a young unfortunate woman involved in a car crash, though this heroine escapes seemingly unscathed. She gets a job in a new town as a church organist where she is tormented by the presence of a phantom figure.

Once again, thanks to Creative Commons licence, you are free to watch it, guilt free, on the Internet Archive Website.

At the very least, they are the types of movies that are perfect to have playing in the background during a Halloween party. And $1.00 for a decoration is dynamite any day.

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