Thursday, October 19, 2006

The House is the Monster

This weekend, David Del Valle and Drkrm. Gallery of Los Angeles will follow their earlier photo exhibits (most recently, "Beefcake Babylon") with their most ambitious presentation of all. On Saturday night, October 21, the gallery will be host the opening night reception for "NEVERMORE: The Edgar Allan Poe Films of Roger Corman", an exposition of stunning photographs taken on the sets of Corman's legendary AIP Poe pictures, some of them behind-the-scenes (like the image of Barbara Steele and Vincent Price pictured above) and many of them never-before-seen shots in full color.

To quote from Drkrm. Gallery's PR:

Roger Corman is a living legend in the film industry. Known for his lean budgets and savvy knowledge of what works in Pop Culture. Between 1960 and 1964, he would make eight film adaptations from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, seven of which would star Vincent Price. Together, Price and Corman became such a team in the public eye that each new Poe production was met with critical as well as world wide, box-office success.

Roger Corman turns 80 this year and in honor of him, The Del Valle Archive and Drkrm Gallery have assembled a collection of rare photographs from these eight films: HOUSE OF USHER, PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE PREMATURE BURIAL, TALES OF TERROR, THE RAVEN, THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, and TOMB OF LIGEIA. We pay tribute to them, the legendary Roger Corman and the late Vincent Price with this exhibition of their greatest work together, the likes of which we will see... NEVERMORE.

David Del Valle has achieved national recognition as a journalist, columnist, film historian and radio & television commentator. His articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as CINEFANTASTIQUE, FANGORIA and FILMS IN REVIEW. David oversees The Del Valle Archive, a collection in progress of thousands of still photographs, artwork and ephemera dealing with the horror/fantasy/sci-fi and cult movie genres.

NEVERMORE will have its opening reception 7pm until 10pm on Saturday October 21st, 2006. The exhibit will run through November 18th, 2006. Regular gallery hours are Tues-Saturday 11am-5pm.

Drkrm. Gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to fine art photography, cutting edge and alternative photographic processes, and the display and survey of popular cultural images. All gallery events are free and open to the public.

Drkrm. Gallery - 2121 San Fernando Road, Suite 3
Los Angeles, CA 90065

ph. 323-223-6867

For more information, visit

Incidentally, David informs Video WatchBlog that Roger Corman himself has promised to attend the opening, and reclusive PIT AND THE PENDULUM star Barbara Steele has RSVP'd as well. Furthermore, VW's own Sam Umland is reportedly flying out to attend the exhibit, as he and David are preparing to collaborate on the ultimate book about the Corman Poe series (which will make exclusive use of these photos from the Del Valle Archive). It promises to be an amazing evening. True... true... True!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Philip Strick (1939-2006)

From our friend Kim Newman:

"More sad news, I'm afraid. This in from the Critics Circle -- 'Mrs Lizanne Strick has asked me to inform The Critics’ Circle membership of the death of her husband Philip, a Film Section member since 1972. He passed away suddenly on 7 October and a private funeral is being held this Wednesday.'

"I always thought Philip was one of the most underrated genre critics," Kim continues. "His SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES is still a smart, entertaining study which makes unusual connections. He contributed a batch of erudite, witty entries to my BFI COMPANION TO HORROR and was reviewing regularly for SIGHT & SOUND until fairly recently. I reprinted his 1968 review of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in a S&S reader a few years ago - I'm still impressed that anyone could be so perceptive about a movie that colossal within a few days of seeing it for the first time."

Kim's right; this well-observed, skillfully crafted review of 2001 -- which appears in Kim's anthology SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR: A SIGHT & SOUND READER -- is indeed worth finding and reading. Interestingly, considering that he voiced some initial reservations, Philip later included 2001 in his SIGHT & SOUND Top Ten Poll 2002 list. His choices include some (like 2001) that also found their way onto my list, which makes me regret all the more that I didn't know him personally.

Here, for your reading pleasure, are links to THE MATRIX, THE NINTH GATE, THE SIXTH SENSE, MISSION TO MARS, WHAT LIES BENEATH and A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, as reviewed for SIGHT & SOUND by Philip Strick -- clearly one of our most thoughtful and eloquent explorers of speculative cinema.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Good Monday

Lately it seems that every single day brings with it more and more bad news of all kinds, whether it's on the cosmic scale of a total of 650,000 dead civilians in Iraq, or the further erosion of the ozone layer or the middle class, or on the more personal scale of hearing that Tower Records, C.B.G.B.'s, and PSYCHOTRONIC are closing up shop. So when I see/hear about something -- anything -- which proves beyond a shadow of doubt that wonderful and magical things can still happen on our jaded, cynical, backward planet, I feel a moral imperative to pounce on it, embrace it, and proclaim to the world... THIS IS GOOD!

This is a publicity photo taken on the set of HOSTEL: PART II, currently in production. It was leaked by the film's writer-director Eli Roth (the guy in the CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST T-shirt) on his blog and shows him directing one of the film's stars... the ever-beautiful Edwige Fenech! To paraphrase JERRY MAGUIRE, Eli had me at the T-shirt, but for him to be bringing Edwige Fenech back to the screen in a major American motion picture? THIS IS GOOD! Hell, this is practically Mother Earth momentarily back in balance, if you ask me.

And while we are honoring that which is (or was) good...

Re-fasten your centenary belts because Léon Klimovsky -- the director of WEREWOLF SHADOW, DR. JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF, VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES, THE DEVIL'S POSSESSED, THE SAGA OF THE DRACULAS, THE VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY, THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK, and many others... also the man who gave Jess Franco his start in movies as a screenwriter... was born 100 years ago today. Yo le saludo, Maestro, y gracias.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Awards Coming Home

Congratulations to Joe Dante and Sam Hamm, whose MASTERS OF HORROR episode "Homecoming" was recognized for excellence at this weekend's Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya. Sam won the festival's "Best Screenplay" honors, while Joe and "Homecoming" received the Special Jury Prize.

Visit for a complete list of award winners.