Thursday, December 26, 2013

DIE MONSTER DIE! (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

There's the old adage that states something to the effect that you cannot, simply no way possible, shouldn't even attempt to construct an adaptation from an H.P. Lovecraft picture. You'll fail. The movie won't work, and even if you do create a watchable movie that gains a cult following, you won't stay true to the text in anyway that resembles a true adaptation. And filmmakers continue to try, and sometimes they they tempt that fates and create cool movies that we love... but they aren't really truly Lovecraft pictures. We love 'em, for better or worse, usually for worse. That makes them all the better. Die Monster Die directed by Daniel Haller from 1965 as produced by the cataclysmically camp American International Pictures and starring Boris Karloff as that creepy awesome old guy who's hiding something. Scream Factory has brought us a Blu-ray edition from beyond the grave making even the baddest of the bad Howard Philips lookers worth the queue.

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

An English scientist entertains a young American visitor, serving up tea, terror and a beautiful daughter – who is soon torn between her father’s evil ways and her need to protect the man she loves from a diabolical end.


Director Daniel Haller got the chance to create a fairly stinky Dunwich Horror shortly after creating Die Monster Die, but before he had the chance to make that movie, watchable to those of us with a funny bone, he created a vivid movie with strange makeup that created a surreal and intelligent place for your mind to play tricks... that is of course until the third act even the best Lovecraft adaptations turn into giant monster movies trying to portray the old ones or the creations of mad scientists. I admit that creating faces of the faceless can't be easy especially when the ambiguity of the bad guy is what makes it scary. Let's give it a pass for the end game and enjoy some of the finer moments of Die Monster Die. 

Boris Karloff in latter day form is great. He's a creepy fella with a secret that he is very forceful in protecting. He may be wheeling around in a wheelchair, but that describes a Bond villain or two right? Now this isn't Boris' trip to the show at the end of his career.I'd say Targets earns that distinction, but he's solid. The rest of the cast comes off as typical AIP fill ins (those cast to surround the star as was done in so many Vincent Price Poe adaptations). 

I'll recommend Die Monster Die to fans of AIP pictures (you know who you are). Fans of bad or good Lovecraft adaptations will enjoy it. Fans of Karloff especially, 60's Karloff will appreciate it. 

Now as for the Scream Factory release. It looks vivid and beautiful with great big blacks and a color wheel of bright. surreal color. The audio is solid as well, perfect for rather strange score. The cover art is traditional poster art with stills on the interiors. I'm afraid you really don't get any extras, so you'll have to enjoy this release for the excellent print and transfer.

Note: DTS-HD Master Mono, 1080p HD Widescreen 2.35:1

You can pick up Die Monster Die this January and pre-order NOW. Compare it to Dagon or Re-animator. Even Necronomicon. This may not be the best of the best HP Lovecraft releases, but it's a in the upper-middle echelon. The Colour Out of Space may only be bare bones source material for Die Monster Die, and bare little resemblance to the movie, but both are worth checking out; Gothic and a little creepy.  Keep watching your plants. Make sure they're not ready to attack. 

-Doc Terror

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