Supporting Actress Smackdown at StinkyLulu!

I had the honor and the fun of participating in this month’s Supporting Actress Smackdown at StinkyLulu. Go check it out here! The October Supporting Actress Smackdown was for the year 1976, which I admit I championed back when we were voting on which year to choose. After revisiting the five movies, though, I kind of wonder why I thought 1976 was so great. And in a testament to how my movie tastes have changed over the years, my preconceived notions of which actresses gave the best performances and which were mediocre or worse were almost entirely flipped by the time I watched all the films. The nominees for 1976, if you don’t remember off the top of your head (and unless you’re Robert Osborne, you probably don’t) were: Beatrice Straight, “Network” Jane Alexander, “All the President’s Men” Jodie Foster, “Taxi Driver” Lee Grant, “Voyage of the Damned” Piper Laurie, “Carrie” I positively adore Lee Grant. Grant is so wonderful in so many films, and I remember watching her in a dozen TV shows. She was even in a show called “Fay”, which my parents watched and which I remember for the notoriety of having the phrase “stretch marks” censored! Yes, thanks to being moderately neglected in childhood, when I was 5 years old I was watching shows like “Soap”, “Maude”, and “Fay”… and learning all sorts of things most 5 year olds don’t even think about. A few months ago I grabbed “Voyage of the Damned” off TCM, pretty … Continue reading

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

A young man on a bicycle rides happily through town, heading to his job at the local church and greeting passersby. This kid is far too perky for his own good. Thankfully, when he arrives at the church he finds DEATH AND BLOOD in the form of a beautiful woman whose body has been stuffed into the church bell. The poor kid is turned pale and mute from fear, but really, how can you feel sorry for him? He knew better than to try to lead a happy, cheerful life; he was a supporting character in a Hammer horror film. So begins “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave”. (Risen from the grave? Interesting. I didn’t know he was dead.) October is the month for horror films, of course, and I wanted to watch more Hammer horror movies, so picked one starring Christopher Lee. The idea to choose this particular movie came last month when I read this post on Starlet Showcase. DHRFtG is the fourth film in Hammer’s Dracula series, the third of which stars Christopher Lee as Dracula. It begins just where Lee’s previous outing, “Dracula: Prince of Darkness”, left off two years earlier. The inaugural film in the series was “Dracula” (1958), followed by an official but Dracula-less sequel “Brides of Dracula” in 1960. Monsignor Mueller (Rupert Davies) arrives in the small town to speak to the village priest, who is drowning himself in drink at the local pub. The Monsignor doesn’t understand why the church is empty … Continue reading