For me, only two of the titles stood out as new, or potentially just overlooked: 1974's Horror High and 1968's Kong Island. Both were novel enough that I could see paying $10 for it and not feeling short-changed, as long as you know upfront that the prints are less than pristine. As with such bargain compilations, however, visual and audio quality is far from the point. In fact, a lack of may even help some titles.
High school certainly is Horror High for Vernon Potts, a science nerd whos continually picked on and not just by his fellow students! After he accidentally gives the creepy janitors cat a bath of sulfuric acid, Vernon snaps and gets revenge by turning into a chemical demon. Look for Oklahoma Citys own Nick Felix in this one, and tell me this wouldnt make half of a great double bill with the current documentary Bully.
As crazy as that one is, Kong Island is crazier. Since one of the opening scenes entails a real-time session of monkey-noggin surgery, how could it not? Its about a jungle expedition with a woman whos a real hot mess and a guy who cant be bothered to rescue her when there's whiskey to be downed. Yes, there are gorillas, too, but not as involved as the title would have you believe. Italians!
Elsewhere on the budget set, you get:
two movies starring Gamera, the fire-breathing turtle. That means cardboard acting, leaden dialogue, chintzy effects, balsa-wood models, unconvincing miniatures and, admittedly, a certain charm from a bygone era.
The Crater Lake Monster, one of several no-star, regionally shot, hillbilly horror indies of the 1970s. This one comes courtesy of William R. Stromberg, who had never made a movie before (and it shows) and never made one again (and a nation thanks him).
Bride of the Gorilla, most notably for starring Raymond Burr about three years before he got really famous as TVs Perry Mason. It'll supply you with the monkey trouble that Kong Island lacks.
1964s terror-free The Creeping Terror, which resembles a giant worm made of dryer lint, and deserved its skewering on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (as did 1960s Horrors of Spider Island, an adventure of stranded showgirls that's as entertaining as it is incompetent).
Horror of the Zombies, which is better known as 1974s The Ghost Galleon. Part of Amando de Ossorios Blind Dead quadrilogy of those pesky zombie Templar knights on horseback, it may be the best film here, comparatively speaking. Plus, Maria Perschy, meow.
Land of the Minotaur, a 1976 oddity starring Donald Pleasance, Peter Cushing and a half-man/half-bull who shoots fire from his nostrils. Neat trick.
also from the spirit of 76, Snowbeast, from those glory days when network television had the balls to make movies about Bigfoot with regularity.
The Wasp Woman, a Roger Corman classic from 1959. Nuff said. Rod Lott
Hey! Read This:
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel Blu-ray review
The Crater Lake Monster Blu-ray review
Dangerous Babes DVD review
Girls, Guns and G-Strings: The Andy Sidaris Collection DVD review
MST3K vs. Gamera: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXI DVD review
Nick Felix interview