The Madmen of Mandoras Less than an hour after famed American neurobiologist, John Coleman, addresses a conference on the deadliest nerve gas ever developed, he vanishes. At the same time, on a small island called Mando... more »ras in the Caribbean, a group of fanatics from Nazi Germany has carried out a secret experiment after WWII to give eternal life to the brain of Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, the brain is giving orders that this deadly gas is to be used to take over the world. In possession of a clue, the professor s daughter and his son-in-law find their way to Mandoras. Can they find her father and stop these madmen before they take over the world? This new edition has been mastered from the original negative, and it has never looked so good. Starring Walter Stocker, Audrey Caire, Carlos Rivas, and Marshall Reed. Not Rated 74 Minutes 1963 B&W They Saved Hitler s Brain Despite bearing a 1963 copyright, They Saved Hitler's Brain" was released years later on television after the 1963 film, The Madmen of Mandoras , was combined with new footage of "CID" agents, Vic and Toni. Not Rated 91 Minutes 1963 B&W Terrified Buried Alive... How much shock can the human brain endure before it cracks! A college psychology student, intent on writing a term paper on how much terror the human mind can endure, learns his answers first-hand as he finds himself the target of a mysterious, hooded killer. Starring Rod Lauren and Steve Drexel. Not Rated 85 Minutes 1963 B&W Bloodlust! The amazing tale of a crazed doctor living on a tropical island, who seeks to surpass the thrill of hunting the world's most dangerous animals by stalking and murdering people instead! Starring Wilton Graff and Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch). Not Rated 68 Minutes 1961 B&W The Creeping Terror A newlywed couple's honeymoon is interrupted when an alien spaceship lands near their home in Angel County, California. Starring Vic Savage and Shannon O Neal. Not Rated 75 Minutes - 1964 B&W Terrified Buried Alive... How much shock can the human brain endure before it cracks! A college psychology student, intent on writing a term paper on how much terror the human mind can endure, learns his answers first-hand as he finds himself the target of a mysterious, hooded killer. Starring Rod Lauren and Steve Drexel. Not Rated 85 Minutes 1963 B&W Bloodlust! The amazing tale of a crazed doctor living on a tropical island, who seeks to surpass the thrill of hunting the world's most dangerous animals by stalking and murdering people instead! Starring Wilton Graff and Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch). Not Rated 68 Minutes 1961 B&W The Creeping Terror A newlywed couple's honeymoon is interrupted when an alien spaceship lands near their home in Angel County, California. Starring Vic Savage and Shannon O Neal. Not Rated 75 Minutes - 1964 B&W The Devil s Hand Rick Turner is haunted by strange dreams of a beautiful woman. When he and his fiancÚ visit a local doll shop, he is surprised to encounter a doll that looks just like his mystery woman. He is also surprised to discover that the owner of the shop has a doll that resembles his fiancÚ. Rick soon finds himself involved with a satanic cult that causes the life of his fiancÚ to slowly fade away. Starring Robert Alda and Neil Hamilton. Not Rated 71 Minutes 1962 - B&W« less
"If you're after stuff thats so bad it's good this won't dissapoint. It's standard T&A 70's drive in stuff thats funniy sober but funnier with some friends and a couple of cold ones. All eight films are transfered very well.This collection is of the better than average B's and at the price of about a buck a movie how can you go wrong ? ENJOY"
Great old drive in classics....almost.......
Thin Timmy | New Orleans, La. | 01/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set is worth the price for The Hearse & Land of the Mantou with Cushing & Pleasance. The Devils Hand is a great twilight zone type movie with Alda. Very well made & acted & pretty good script of vodoo devil dolls. not bad. Bloodlust is also pretty good remake of Most Dangerous Game & with Brady Bunch dad! pretty good. The others are pretty awful not worth watching but for the $9 I paid I think 4 movies were worth admission."
Drive-In Cult Classics 2
Lynn T. Richardson | Calhoun, Georgia USA | 11/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the 70's, when I was in college, we would all pile into a car and drive to see these movies. It was enjoyable remembering those days, through these movies."
Vintage Mid-Century Cheese
Robert I. Hedges | 03/12/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Drive-In Cult Classics Volume Two" is a marked improvement on the first volume in the series and features eight films that range from laughable ("The Creeping Terror") to modestly creepy ("Terrified"). All of these films are in the camp-as-high-art genre, and I recommend the set to connoisseurs of B-movies everywhere.
I started off with "They Saved Hitler's Brain", a cinematic travesty made over a decade or so by two different sets of people, starring two different sets of actors. What could possibly go wrong? The basis for the film is the very short 1963 feature "The Madmen of Mandoras", which was apparently shot years earlier and shelved for a while. In the late 1960s (1968 seems the most agreed upon date), some television brain trust wanted to broadcast "The Madmen of Mandoras", but it was too short to fit in a traditional movie time slot. They hired some film school students to shoot additional wraparound footage to boost the running time. The result is one of the most jarring viewing experiences in cinema history, and ranks up there with the very best of Ed Wood or Ray Dennis Steckler for enjoyable camp viewing.
The film opens with the newly shot footage of a smarmy male and a voluptuous female CID agent arguing and engaging in possibly the worst banter in film history. The acting and writing will both make you cringe; the good news is you frequently can't hear what's being said over the loud background music. It seems that the CID is investigating the death of a scientist who was working on the G-Gas project. The dead scientist knew of the antidote, and they discover that Dr. John Coleman another brilliant scientist, has been kidnapped and taken to the South American country of Mandoras.
The G-Gas plot sort of devolves into a "Wild, Wild World of Batwoman" pursuit of evildoers, with the movie going on to feature crazy Nazis planning to take over the world, Hitler's head in a jar (who the cast refers to as "Mr. H") yelling orders in German, a brain dead kidnapping and murder subplot, lots of stock footage, a supremely annoying and pathetic romance subplot, ridiculously inept car chases, doublecrosses, gunplay, explosions, a fire, and Hitler's head melting. Everything is here but the kitchen sink, and that may be here too, just too grainy and out of focus to see.
For someone who adores nonsensical B-movies, "They Saved Hitler's Brain" is a film to marvel at, and I particularly recommend watching it back to back with "The Madmen of Mandoras", conveniently located on the flip side of the DVD.
I really should have watched "The Madmen of Mandoras" first, as it was the earlier of the two films made, and is a much more cogently produced picture. The version here is a new transfer, and looks very good compared with most other films of similar vintage. I started with "They Saved Hitler's Brain" simply because I had seen it before, but "Madmen of Mandoras" was new to me. It has most of the same elements, but is markedly improved over "They Saved Hitler's Brain" for two essential reasons: it is much shorter, and it doesn't have the atrocious CID storyline or actors cluttering up the plot. The film still has plenty of annoying features, notably the little sister subplot (she is the most annoying character in the non-CID version of the film by a mile). From the dumber-than-rocks department, the main characters at one point dump a body in a phone booth in broad daylight; of course they didn't realize he had been shot either, despite sitting in a car next to him. Much like the glorious Ed Wood spectacle "Plan Nine From Outer Space", there are lots of day-versus-night shots, and other marks of schizophrenically idiosyncratic filmmaking techniques on display here. I liked it much more than "They Saved Hitler's Brain", but it's still a laugh-a-minute cheesefest.
"Bloodlust" is yet another retelling of "The Most Dangerous Game", Robert Reed and his inane friends stumble through terrible dialogue and the jungle attempting to evade Dr. Albert Balleau (Wilton Graff) and his henchmen who are dressed like Bastille guards.
Seeing a young Robert Reed is entertaining, but the rest of the cast is perfectly annoying, especially when the two girls have conversations like "May I say it just once more please?"..."What?"..."I'm scared!" The frolicking foursome (and the boat captain) are not terribly ingenious, and in one hilarious scene come up with the worst bluff ever in the history of motion pictures. After thrilling plotpoints such as a clambake, leeches in the quicksand, and taxidermy using a vat of acid, you'll be surprised that when the film is over it's only been 68 minutes long: it will feel like a lot longer.
There are certainly worse movies from the early 1960's, but I didn't need yet another retelling of a story I was first made to read in middle school. The script is terrible and the dialogue and stilted delivery made a potentially gripping early horror movie much less than it should have been. For horror completeists, this is worth seeing once, everyone else can move along.
"The Devil's Hand" is a obscure movie about devil worship in middle income America. It gets two stars for unintentional hilarity and brevity. The quick version is that an ordinary man, Rick Turner (Robert Alda), gives up his entire existence (including his fiancée) when ensnared in a Satanic cult by a witch via thought projection. Early in the film this manifests itself by having him mysteriously drawn to a weird doll shop. It turns out that Frank Lamont, the man who runs this shop, is also the "High Executioner" of the cult and holds rituals and human sacrifices in the stockroom in back. It will not surprise you to see Alda's fiancée (well, ex-fiancée by the end of the film) Donna (Ariadna Welter) as the surprise human sacrifice in the gripping conclusion. There is actually nothing here that will surprise you, as the plot is predictably straightforward right through the end, 71 long minutes after it started.
You might think that this would be a captivating subject for a film, and indeed it could be. Here, though, it isn't for two primary reasons: first, Alda has no issues giving himself over to "Gamba" (as the devil-god is known); second, the film is a showcase for congas and bongos as well as interpretative voodoo dancing. These two ingredients skewer any interest in whatever else may be going on in the film.
Watch for Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon on the "Batman" series) as Frank Lamont in as good of a performance as could be expected given the material, and Bruno VeSota, who many will no doubt remember as Seltzer from the Jerry Warren classic "The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman." While it featured ultra-annoying music, terrible dream sequences, and a ridiculous plot, "The Devil's Hand" still wins for brevity and an utterly ridiculous concept.
"The Creeping Terror" is an all-time B-movie favorite, easily as ridiculous as anything that Ed Wood ever came up with, although with worse production values. The filming was apparently marred by cast and crew departures and numerous technical issues, including loss of the soundtrack, requiring the spliced together monstrosity to be narrated to achieve a modicum of coherence. The first monster disappeared during filming, and a replacement monster was, if anything, even more ridiculous. The monster in question is a giant shag carpet from outer space who comes to Earth to eat coeds, interrupting a honeymoon and causing much horror and hilarity in its wake. This is one of the greatest of all B-movies, and I cannot emphasize how wonderful this film is.
"Land of the Minotaur" is a 1977 Greek production starring Donald Pleasence as Father Roache, a priest who knows how to deal with an ancient, evil Minotaur monster dwelling in a picturesque Greek town. The film also stars Peter Cushing as the very picture of evil; unbelievably Cushing appeared the very same year in "Star Wars", also as (surprise!) the personification of evil. The movie starts with a former pupil of Roache's coming to visit and do some archeological exploration with some friends. Roache is welcoming (yet creepy) and cautions the explorers about the area, helpfully translating an inscription over a passage they go through as "Those who enter the forbidden chambers of the Minotaur must die". Pleasance is the same character he is in every movie, even though here he's the good guy. As the evil plot unfolds, Pleasence brings a detective friend of his from New York to help clear up the situation, although I can't fathom why: he is generally clueless and spends most of the film whining how religious Pleasence is. (He's a priest, remember?).
For a supernatural plot complete with guys in black hoods, sacrifices, chases, private investigators, ancient rituals, how could this be so...boring? The pace is absolutely slug-like, and with Pleasence as a good priest and Cushing as the priest of the Minotaur, there's never any doubt that the film is heading for a cataclysmic battle which will be won with the old crucifix ploy. The film has some atmospheric moments, but is more ponderous than scary.
"Terrified" is an early psychological thriller that features plain awful acting and absolutely terrible audio. It's frequently hard to understand what's being said, but the plot is fairly straightforward: a college student is writing a term paper on terror, and decides to go undercover and finds himself the target of a lunatic killer in an old abandoned town at night. The premise is wholly implausible: two teens want to go visit an old wino ("Crazy Bill") in a ghost town at midnight to "ask him a question". They go to the town and discover an extremely creepy cemetery. While the premise and acting may be sub par, the lighting and the cemetery and ghost town sets are excellent, really making this movie a lot more enjoyable.
You would expect that if two teens saw a man in a black mask and a murder in a cemetery in an abandoned town at midnight, they would go an get the police; instead these teens foreshadow the entire Scooby-Doo franchise by a decade and decide to go exploring the spooky graveyard, complete with tarantulas and masked villains. The film remains completely unbelievable until the very end, but despite dragging pacing in places, does manage to exude an atmosphere of creepiness and work in a chill or two. I won't reveal what happens to those meddling kids, but will say that while not without its moments, "Terrified" will not leave you terrified.
This set has eight very different films, some of which I liked more than others. My favorite of the bunch has to be "The Creeping Terror", which is side-splittingly funny, but all of them have their own peculiar charms. As a very nice bonus, there is an excellent color pamphlet inside the case which provides details on each of the eight films, a touch I really appreciated. For B-movie lovers, this will definitely cure whatever ails you!"
The Return Of Crown International
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 10/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To anyone who hung out at the drive-ins in the early 1960s or watched late night TV later in the decade, most of the titles in this 8 movie 4 disc collection will bring back fond memories. Crown International specialized in cheap fare for the drive-in crowd. Compared to them, American International was MGM but Crown International's films were edgier. Some of it was unquestionably the low budgets they were shot under but many of the scripts were tighter and pushed the envelope further than most of their contemporaries. No production code worries for CIP. They also employed such old timers as Lew Landers (RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE) who knew how to stretch a buck.
Two of the films, TERRIFIED and especially BLOODLUST (a remake of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME) are surprisingly graphic for the time and can still raise eyebrows today. Two other movies MADMEN OF MANDORAS and THEY SAVED HITLER'S BRAIN are the same film. BRAIN is the TV version with extra footage added. THE DEVIL'S HAND (a voodoo story) and THE CREEPING TERROR (a monster film) are classic Grade Z schlock along with LAND OF THE MINOTAUR (despite Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance). THE HEARSE (w/Trish Van Devere) is the one true gem of the set.
Hats off to BCI Entertainment for making this series available. This is only one set out of four DRIVE-IN CULT CLASSICS DVDs and the only one devoted to horror films (the others are classic 70s sexploitation flicks like THE BABYSITTER and THE TEACHER). The quality of the prints is outstanding considering how rare some of these titles are and with a selling price around $10, you can't go wrong if you enjoy this type of movie. Long live Crown International! Independent movies made with cleverness and creativity to overcome the meager budgets they had to deal with."