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Welcome to the Crypt!

Enter the Crypt as John "The Unimonster" Stevenson and his merry band of ghouls rants and raves about the current state of Horror, as well as reviews Movies, Books, DVD's and more, both old and new.

From the Desk of the Unimonster...

From the Desk of the Unimonster...

What's this? TWO updates to the Crypt in one month? That's right, fright-fans, the Unimonster is sending even more Halloween goodness your way! If only someone would perfect downloadable candy.....

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04 July, 2011

The Unimonster’s Second Childhood?

I find myself annoyingly close to fifty years of age, and the closer I get to that milestone (or millstone, as the case may be) the more I seek the reassurance of the familiar.  It’s not just in the world of Horror, Science-Fiction, and Exploitation film that I look for the visual equivalent of ‘Mac & cheese’ or pot roast—good, old-fashioned comfort food—I also find myself drawn to other reminders of the halcyon days of my youth.  I’ve recently taken to watching reruns of the ‘60s sitcom Hazel, a show popular in my house (even then in syndication) when I was a child.  One of my favorite topics of discussion of late is the world of superhero comic books.  Oh, and I love both Mac & cheese and pot roast.

But as is typical for me, most of what gives me solace in the face of my advancing years remains the movies which have filled those years with entertainment.  From the Universal monsters of the 1930s and ‘40s, to the Giant Bugs and Alien Invaders of the 1950s, to the blood-soaked Drive-In gorefests of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, nothing washes away the cares and worries of the day as well as these movies.  I’ve always turned to these films as my preferred method of relaxation, but lately I’ve rediscovered the joy of seeing them on television—commercials, cuts, and all.

With the additional bandwidth opened up by the recent switch to digital broadcasting in the United States, television stations found themselves with additional channels of which they could make use.  Many used those channels to rebroadcast news reports, or as dedicated sports or weather stations.  Some however used them to broaden the scope of their entertainment programming.  New networks sprang up to provide these stations with content, primarily classic movies and television series.  Three in particular have developed into true broadcast networks, with a national presence.  Two of these networks are received here in the Crypt, and all three are doing their part to foster a love of classic genre film.

The newcomer on the block is Tribune Broadcasting’s Antenna TV, which debuted on 1 January 2011.  Currently carried by more than forty affiliates nationwide, it’s programming is made up of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s library of more than 4,000 movies and nearly 300 television series.  Though there are no dedicated blocks of genre programming, it’s not uncommon to find a good Horror or Sci-Fi movie airing on the network’s morning movie, under the Antenna TV Theater banner.

Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV, which began prior to 2005 on Chicago’s WFBT-23 (now WMME-23) as a three-hour block of programming on weekday afternoons.  On 1 January 2005, Weigel changed the station’s call letters to WMME, and launched MeTV full-time.  The WFBT brand was transferred to a new low-power outlet belonging to the broadcaster, becoming WFBT-48 (rechristened WMEU-48 in 2008).  With the advent of digital broadcasting, both stations air on subchannels of Weigel’s flagship station, WCIU-26.
MeTV went national on 15 December 2010 on Weigel-owned stations, and it’s now seen in 45% of the country.  Though it’s programming is almost exclusively vintage sitcoms from the M-G-M library, there is one notable exception.  Since April 2011, Berwyn’s own Svengoolie, Chicago’s premier horror-host, airs weekly on the network, Saturday nights at 10pm.  The only thing not to like about it is that MeTV doesn’t reach the Crypt.

But by far the most genre-friendly of these new networks is ThisTV, a joint-venture of Weigel Broadcasting and M-G-M.  Debuting on 1 November 2008, ThisTV has the largest percentage of feature films as a part of it’s broadcast schedule.  Not only does it have frequent month-long festivals dedicated to a particular theme, such as the recent Vincent Price celebration during his birth month of May, but they regularly devote weekly blocks of programming to Drive-in and Exploitation-style films.  A quick glance at their schedule for the first two weeks in July bears this out, with the inclusion of films such as ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, THE CRIMSON CULT, STONE COLD DEAD, COMEDY OF TERRORS, AFTER MIDNIGHT, THE BEAST WITHIN, 10 TO MIDNIGHT, THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA and THE GIANT GILA MONSTER in the lineup.

The last two films mentioned are another reason that ThisTV has become a favorite here in the Crypt.  Both features are presented on Elvira’s Movie Macabre, the latest incarnation of Cassandra Peterson’s iconic horror-host Elvira.  Finally there’s a weekly hosted program on a channel available to the Crypt!

Some might wonder why this matters, why should I care if there’s a broadcast network that airs the Abbott & Costello films, or the Charlie Chan movies, or AIP’s fantastic collection of Horror, Science-Fiction, and Exploitation film?  Why would it matter, considering that these movies are all readily available on home video; indeed, most are already ensconced in the Crypt’s movie room?  The answer is a simple one, and works not just to my benefit, but to the benefit of genre fandom in general.

For most of us, at least those over forty years of age or so, broadcast television was the medium which introduced us to these classic movies.  Corman and Castle, Karloff and Lugosi, Lee and Cushing—I first met them all sitting in front of my parents’ 25” RCA console TV.  The Unimonster was born by the light of faded, grainy monster movies flickering across a cathode-ray tube, and every classic Horror film that airs over broadcast TV, available to one and all, has the potential of inspiring those who will carry the genre deep into the 21st century.  The successor to the Unimonster, not to mention those who actually create the movies we love, might have begun his or her love of genre film last Saturday night watching Svengoolie unspool another classic movie.

Another reason that the airing of these movies matters to me is even simpler—the joy of being surprised, as I flip from station to station, by the sonorous tones of Vincent Price, as he relishes the evilness of Frederick Loren, or the inscrutability of Warner Oland as Charlie Chan.  The nostalgic childhood enjoyment of a movie as-is—no rewind or fast-forward, no pause, just sit back and relax, and watch—commercials and all.  Maybe the Unimonster has entered his second childhood.

Or maybe I just never completely gave up on the first.





Junkyardfilm.com's Moldy Oldie Movie of the Month: BURKE AND HARE

Title:  BURKE AND HARE

Year of Release—Film:  2010




Up the close and down the stair,
But and ben with Burke and Hare.
Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
Knox, the boy who buys the beef.
—19th-century Edinburgh jumping-rope rhyme

 Any student of macabre history knows the true story behind Burke and Hare and their yearlong murder-spree in Edinburgh in 1827 that left 17 people dead.  William Burke and William Hare, poor con men who immigrated from Ireland, learned that Dr. Knox of the prestigious Edinburgh Medical College needed cadavers for his anatomy lectures and they were all too eager to provide them for the cost of £10 each.

Their preferred method of dispatch was to first get the intended victim drunk, and then cover the victim’s mouth and nose until they died of suffocation (this method of murder became known as “burking’).  Burke and Hare’s last victim was Marjory Docherty whose body was discovered by boarder Ann Gray who reported her ghastly discovery to the police.  By the time the police arrived, Burke and Hare had already delivered the body to Dr. Knox.  An anonymous tip sent the police to Dr. Knox’s classroom where the body was under-going dissection.  The doctor, along with Burke and Hare were arrested but the doctor was soon released.  Hare was offered immunity from prosecution if he confessed and agreed to testify against Burke.  He did and Burke was publicly hanged on Jan. 28, 1829.  Ironically, his body was sent to the Edinburgh Medical College for public dissection.  There is no information of what became of Hare.

 “This is a true story.  Except for the parts that aren’t.”
 So begins BURKE AND HARE (2010) with Simon Pegg as William Burke and Andy Serkis as William Hare with Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Knox.  Bill Bailey plays the hangman who tells us this grim story of murder for profit while he dispatches the latest criminal and sells off the body to the highest bidder from two warring Edinburgh teaching colleges.  The law at that time decreed that only executed bodies could be used for dissection, pitting Dr. Knox against his rival, Dr. Monro (Tim Curry) in competition for legally obtained cadavers.  Enter Burke and Hare, two dim-witted but likeable con men trying to make a living in the mean streets of Edinburgh while William Hare’s dipsomaniac wife, Lucky (Jessica Hynes), runs a low-class boarding house.

One evening, the two Billies return home to find Lucky angry that one of her boarders has died owing her £4 rent.  She orders the two men to get rid of the body before it begins to stink up the place.  Bundling the body into a herring barrel, they decide to dispose of it by dumping it off the wharf.  But first, a dram wouldn’t hurt so, parking the barrel outside, they enter a local pub.  There they over-hear a man discussing a newly passed order that gives Dr. Monro sole ownership of all executed bodies, leaving Dr. Knox with none.  And Dr. Knox, who usually pays £3 per corpse, would probably pay double that now.  Pleased with the thought of not only getting rid of this body but also making some much-needed money, the two roll it on over to Dr. Knox’s house.  Dr. Knox is delighted and informs the pair that should they come across any more unfortunates, he would willingly take them off their hands for a handsome fee!

 Lucky, delighted by the money, drinks her way through two bottles of wine and then informs her husband and Burke that another boarder has died owing rent.  But, going upstairs, they discover that Old Joseph (Christopher Lee) is not dead, only dying.  They decide to help him along his way and sell his body to Dr. Knox.

 Now we get to the “Except for the parts that aren’t” section of the intro.  Dressing as dandies, the two Williams go to a local gin mill where Burke instantly falls in love with the curvaceous Ginny (Isla Fisher), a part-time prostitute and dancehall girl with dreams of the legitimate stage.  In order to make her dream of an all-female version of MACBETH come true, Ginny needs a sugar-daddy and Burke, who is passing himself off as a wealthy medical supplies salesman, seems a likely patsy.  So, in order to fund Ginny’s dreams, Burke, with Hare in tow, begins reducing the slum population of Edinburgh one resident at a time.  Meanwhile, an officious but diminutive Captain Tam McLintoch (Ronnie Corbett), alarmed by the upsurge of missing persons reports, begins his investigation.  And the Doctors Monro and Knox crank up their rivalry, vying for the King’s Royal Seal in a competition to see who can further medical technology in anatomy.

 BURKE AND HARE is director John Landis’ first theatrical release in over a decade and his first “across the Pond” since AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981).  And it’s proof that he has not lost his sense of black humor.  From a screenplay by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorecraft, this movie delights the audience with wonderful sight gags (the scene where Paul Whitehouse is pushed down the stairs is priceless!) and never loses its pacing.  The scene where Jessica Hynes has a “eureka moment” inventing funeral parlors is hilarious!  The period costuming and sets harkens back to the old days of Ealing Studios, where it was shot.

In an Oct. 20, 2010 interview with UK’s The Telegraph, John Landis is quoted as saying, “It is a very delicate balancing act that we need to do in the movie because really these two were horrible men, really evil, but we’re aiming for a very, very black comedy, and to make it work we need the audience to like them.  We’re turning these psychopaths into romantic leading men.”  Landis succeeded in that quest!  Bolstered by a fine supporting cast of British comedy icons that include Ronnie Corbett, Tim Curry, Bill Bailey and Reese Shearsmith, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis shine in the lead roles.  Is it a perfect comedy?  No.  Sometimes the black humor crosses over to knockabout pantomime and schoolboy jokes.  But, over-all, this movie never loses sight of what it’s aiming for.  Not yet released in the United States, it truly deserves an official DVD release.  With a John Landis commentary track, please!

 Enjoy!  And I know you will!




 MSTJunkie




Cambot's Voice by S. J. Martiene: EXPERIMENT 4: SANTA CLAUS




Cambot’s Voice by S. J. Martiene

EXPERIMENT 4:  Santa Claus


Merry Christmas in July!!!!  Can you believe we are HALF-WAY through the year???  I can’t.  Well, this is what happens in my humble abode.  I spend July in Christmas.  In August, I begin thinking about Fall, and Halloween.  It’s utter madness, but that’s how I roll.
This month’s gem, SANTA CLAUS, is a Mexican AWARD-WINNING holiday film.  Yes, this film actually won an award in 1959.  It won BEST INTERNATIONAL FAMILY FILM at the San Francisco International Film Festival.  Somewhere, irony is laughing its butt off at that one.  It stars no one you’ve heard of unless you are a connoisseur of Mexican films and most of the cast lacked character names.  The original runtime was over 90 minutes, so I imagine there must have been some drivel cut out so the host segments could be worked in for the approximate one hour and thirty-some minutes that is ran on Sci-Fi (now SyFy) Channel.  Whatever they did, the movie is a mess.  Yet, with the skewering it gets here, SANTA CLAUS has become a household tradition.  Sit back, turn up the A/C, and make some cocoa, and enjoy this holiday wonder from south of the border—1959’s SANTA CLAUS.

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Elías Moreno
...
Cesáreo Quezadas 'Pulgarcito'
...
Pedro
José Luis Aguirre 'Trotsky'
...
El Diablo (as José Luis Aguirre 'Trosky')
Armando Arriola
...
El mago Merlín (as Armando Arriola 'Arriolita')
Lupita Quezadas
...
La niña pobre (as Lupita)
Antonio Díaz Conde hijo
...
El Niño Rico (Billy)
Nora Veryán
...
Madre de Lupita
Polo Ortín
Manuel Calvo
José Carlos Méndez
...
Niño (as niño J. Carlos Méndez)
Jesús Brook
...
Niño (as niño Jesús Brook)
Queta Lavat
Ángel Di Stefani
...
Vulcano - The Blacksmith (as Ángel D'Stefani)
Guillermo Bravo Sosa
Graciela Lara


HOST SEGMENT 1
Mike and The Bots ATTEMPT a caroling session … chaos ensues.  Mike smashes Tom’s head who in turn spills a Thermos of hot cocoa on Crow, and Gypsy screams.  The Mads exchange gifts, and TV’s Frank’s head is shaved to give Dr. Forester a gift. The Dr. reciprocates with a savings bond … of his own. Mike and The Bots exchange their gifts with the best one of the bunch being Gypsy’s crocheted sweater to Mike with the word “JOIKE” emblazoned across the front.  Because she started it when the “first guy” was there and …
MOVIE SIGN 1
The introduction is pretty hilarious with a repetitive and annoying JINGLE BELL tune.  “Santa Claus vs. The Aztec Mummy” (Crow) “Do you think it’s a good idea to jingle ALL the way?” (Servo) “It’s a free trade Christmas” (Crow) “Alright Christmas has gone to Mexico for Spring Break” (Mike) And then all of the gang go into the “Jingle Bells, Batman smells…” song.  “Well, apparently they ARE committed to jingling ALL the way” (Crow) It is only after this nearly EIGHT minute intro that the movie finally starts with a narrator and Santa straightening his Nativity scene.  “Action Jesus!  Manger sold separately” (Crow) Then the musical number starts…and it’s awful.  If it wasn’t for the riffing, you would grab the nearest sharp object and poke your eyes out.  Thankfully, after about five minutes, it’s over.  Then, we get introduced to The Devil (Pitch) “He may be the devil, but he sure knows how to fill his day” (Crow) Lupita, “She is aggressively cute” (Servo) The rich boy (who’s neglected by his parents), and The Bad Boys.   We also see Santa’s surveillance tools The EarScope, The Teletalker, The Cosmic Telescope, and The Master Eye. “Santa’s tendrils reach far and wide, there is no hiding from the K.L.A.U.S. Organization” (Mike) and “Is this weird enough for ya, folks?  How does this make you feel about Santa?” (Mike) 

HOST SEGMENT 2
The group, SANTA KLAWS performs in “The Warrior of Christmas”.  The song makes no sense, but The Mads liked it (and confidentially, so do I).

MOVIE SIGN 2

Santa oversees Lupita and her Mother shopping.  Lupita has a run-in with Pitch, who tries to get her to steal. I love this bit.  I crack up when the guys do little kids voices and voices of animals; I don’t know why; it is just hilarious.  Lupita tries to steal a doll (with Pitch’s help).  “Do I need accessories too?”  (Servo)  Lupita eventually resists.  Santa is happy and then he wants to see the little rich boy’s dream (on the Dreamscope).  “A dream is a wish that the heart makes” “...or something like that” (Crow)
Santa Claus looks in on Lupita’s dream and gazes out...“Santa...Santa, HEY! KRINGLE, SNAP OUT OF IT!!” (Crow)  Pitch interferes with this.  “Better get on the horn with God now that Satan is involved” (Servo).
Santa looks in on Bad Boys who are planning to overthrow Santa’s regime.  “They’re onto me, into the escape pod” (Servo)   Back to rich boy and other little kids writing fake letters, with horrible fake writing.  “Please, Mr. Ruth, hit a home run for me” (Servo) “My office, instructed to wire you $25,000 dollars - stop.  Hee haw!” (Crow)   Scene in Post Office with all the letters…and all of them magically go to him.  “My chain letter scam is working!”  (Mike)  He reads through some of the letters; one listing loads of military arsenal “Whoa, it’s from Qaddafi!”  (Crow)

HOST SEGMENT 3
The Bots bring the Family Nelson to Mike...umm...one of the 700 OTHER Nelsons in the Green Bay phonebook.  There is one problem here, Mike isn’t from Green Bay. 

MOVIE SIGN 3
Santa gets ready leave.  Another bad song is sung.  “When Santa laughs the whole world shakes its head” (Crow)   And he’s off.  He has a “near miss” with the moon.  The rich boy’s parents go off and leave him again.  The bad boys have a scheme to kidnap Santa and take all the toys. “Isn’t kidnapping Santa a Federal offense?” (Servo)  Lupita has questions…many, many questions.  Mainly, why hasn’t he brought her any dollies?  We go back to Santa battling cloudy conditions, Pitch, and his next stop—Mexico City!  Pitch intends to disrupt everything.  This Santa has a Parasol, rose, and magic dust.    Santa smells sulpher in the air, but uses his parasol to climb down...  Pitch revels in the trouble he’s causing, but tends to dance and prance around quite a bit. “He wears pantaloons more than he should” (Mike) Santa fights back with toys.  “Santa was filmed on location with the the men and women of Broward County, Fl” (Servo)   Pitch tries to foil another house.   Santa gives special powder to the rich kid so he can see Santa as he is.  The kid craves love and his parents so Santa disguises himself as a bartender/waiter and hauls his parents back home.  “Booze helps parents care for their children” (Mike) Pitch works on The Bad Boys “So Satan can only get three little boys to follow him?”  (Crow)  “Well, it’s probably a pyramid scheme so these kids get in the ground floor“(Mike) “I see” (Crow) Satan chastises boys when they muff up the plan. 
 
HOST SEGMENT 4
One of the BEST songs of the series’ run is this classic.  It is an OVERLY-political correct tune called MERRY CHRISTMAS, IF THAT’S OKAY?  It is readily available on YouTube.  The last line says it all:  “Christmas comes just once a year so for a few days for crying out loud, can’t we all just get along?”  Indeed.

MOVIE SIGN
Pitch tries to steal the sleigh, but cannot so he steals the magic powder and the rose that makes Santa disappear. “Good thing Santa uses The Club” (Mike) “Santa’s mounting up procedure don’t make for good cinema” (Servo) “It’s like watching Hoss mount up” (Mike) Santa goes to another area of Mexico City not knowing he cannot disappear.  Pitch starts wreaking havoc with everyone who is nestled and snug in their beds.  Santa finally realizes he is out of magic powder and yells for Merlin to get more magic powder…or more magic flowers…or…just out of the picture (at this point, it really gets hectic).   We switch briefly to Lupita waking up from a dream asking her Mother if poor people get presents.  Let’s just say bad editing is    Mr. Merlin (and I use the term “Mr.” loosely) shows up to help frantic Santa. “Snap it up Leon Russell!” (Servo)  Santa is pleading.  The Police are starting to show up. “Indiana wants me, Lord I can’t go back there” (Mike) “Well, he was here alright, this is definitely Santa scat” (Crow) Santa escapes and heads to Lupita’s house.  Lupita’s Dad comes home with no job.  Lupita wakes up and starts mumbling incoherently about being happy, talking to Santa, and a doll on the patio.  “Allow me to illustrate my point for you, excuse me” (Servo) “That am not a doll, that’s a sister!”  (Crow)  Santa has brought joy to the earth again.  “Oh, forgot France, OH WELL!”  (Mike)

HOST SEGMENT 5
Mike is singing I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, lamenting that there is no change of seasons on the SOL.  Gypsy comes in frantically.  IT’S SNOWING!!!  “It’s a Christmas miracle,” Gypsy says.  “It looks like a wet miracle AND I’M NOT SHOVELING IT!!”  Crow is not amused.  Mike and the Bots claim a Snow Day and are going outside to build a snow fort.  The Mads have a conversation with Pitch (Paul Chaplin) and Santa Claus (Kevin Murphy) breaks in to have a “Full-tilt Battle between Pure Evil and Santy Claus” (Dr. Forrester)   “I’m here to eat candy canes and kick ass and I’m all out of candy canes!” (Santa)
I have to say I probably watch this one several times a year; possibly a dozen.  I never tire of it and the riffs are STILL hilarious to me.  It is available on Netflix instant stream so watch it over and over like me and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!..........IF THAT’S OKAY.





DVD Review: JAWS 25th Anniversary Edition

Title:  JAWS 25th Anniversary Edition

Year of Release—Film:  1975

Year of Release—DVD:  2000

DVD Label:  Universal Studios Home Entertainment




For a reviewer, deciding whether any film is a quality production, even a Horror Film, is by its nature an objective process; you view it and, if it’s well photographed, written, directed, and performed then it follows that it’s a well-made film.  Deciding whether or not that film “worked” on an individual basis with you, the viewer, is entirely subjective, however.  That’s something that can’t be measured quantitatively—it’s a question that is answered differently by each viewer.  Speaking for myself, no film has ever worked as well for me as Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, JAWS.

To mark the film’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 2000, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released this superb DVD, one that is a fitting tribute to the movie that still reigns as the single most terrifying film that the Unimonster has ever seen—and that’s saying quite a lot.
It’s the start of the summer tourist season on Amity Island.  The town’s year-round residents, dependent upon tourism to fuel the island’s economy, are readying for the big Fourth of July celebration. The Chief of Police, a transplanted NYPD detective named Martin Brody, (played with Oscar®-caliber style by Roy Scheider) receives a call that a girl has disappeared during a late-night swim, and is presumed drowned.  Instead, when her remains are found, it’s obvious that drowning wasn’t the cause of her death.  The initial ruling is death by shark attack, and Chief Brody rushes to close the beaches.

The town leaders however, mindful that news of a shark attack off Amity’s soon-to-be-crowded shore would kill the summer business that the town depends on, pressure the coroner to amend his report, and Brody to hold off closing the beach.  Instead, he’s allowed call for an expert from a nearby oceanographic institute to help determine if they do have a problem.  Before he can arrive however, there’s another attack:  a young boy dies as a result.  There’s no longer any doubt that a killer shark is feeding off the shores of Amity Island.  A bounty of $3,000 is placed on the shark; drawing would-be shark hunters from throughout New England.

Into this confusion arrives the shark expert, a man named Hooper (a superb performance from Richard Dreyfuss).  He quickly determines that the girl did indeed die from a shark attack, and that the shark would have to be a large one.  When a fishing boat returns with a seven-foot Tiger Shark aboard, the mayor’s quick to call it a successful hunt, and proclaim the crisis at an end.  Hooper’s not sure of this, and wants to examine the shark’s stomach; anything it had eaten recently would still be inside.  The mayor flatly refuses this; the idea of the corpse of a ten-year-old boy spilling out onto the pier for all to see in his mind.  Brody and Hooper wait until nightfall to perform the necropsy; there are no human remains in the shark’s belly.  It’s not the right fish.

Even when confronted with the proof that the killer shark is still out there, the town leaders refuse to cancel the 4th of July festivities.  Boats with armed men aboard are stationed off the beach, and helicopters keep watch from above.  Brody paces the shoreline, as thousands of bathers enjoy the beautiful summer day.
However, despite the precautions, the shark gets into a small tidal pond away from the beach, attacking two small boats and killing one man.  This finishes any pretense that there’s no crisis in Amity—the summer season has effectively ended.  No one’s going back into the water.  Brody demands that the mayor hire the one man who can hunt down and exterminate the beast—Quint (a third excellent performance from Robert Shaw), an embittered old shark fisherman, a man with a deep hatred of the animals.  The mayor agrees, and the three men—Brody, Hooper, and Quint—put out to sea the find and kill this monster.

As I outlined in “The Summer of the Shark” [7 August, 2010], this movie was one that had a tremendous impact on me personally.  Certainly there had been movies before this that had frightened me; that was what I loved about Horror Films—that sensation of fear that would fade as the house lights came up.  But with JAWS, that fear was there to stay… and it came back with a vengeance every time I tried to go back into the ocean near my Florida home.

Any movie that’s that effective deserves to be celebrated, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment did a wonderful job of that on this DVD.  Though this month marks 36 years since the movie’s release, JAWS has lost none of its power and impact in that time; it still remains the most frightening movie I’ve ever seen.  Something tells me it always will.