Machination (2022) Available July 5

News of an out of control pandemic has gripped the world and mass panic is pushing humanity into an uncertain future. Maria, a sensitive and anxious woman, struggles to cope in self-isolation. With fear mounting and the demands of the world closing in, Maria is forced to confront her past and the monsters that surround her … both without and within. Machination is a psychological horror/drama inspired by COVID-19 and its effect on mental health. Claustrophobic, intense, and led by a gripping performance by Steffi Thake, Machination is a sharp, spiralling thriller about the consequences of breathing in constant fear.

STARRING: Steffi Thake, Rambert Attard

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The Golem Available July 5

This is a fantastic film filled with a plethora of haunting Images. It is almost too deep to describe in a simple synopsis. Let it suffice to say that the story deals with a gem-carver in old Prague who becomes entangled in a web of murder plots and other strange supernatural happenings. The Golem “creature” is not nearly as pronounced as it is in Paul Wegener’s 1920 classic, but this is none the less a powerful psychological horror film laden with mysticism, mystery, and magic. This Euro-horror gem was made around the same time as another Golem film, It with Roddy McDowell.

STARRING: Andre Reybaz, Georges Douking, Francois Vibert, Magali Noel, Francoise Winskill

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Evil Night (1992) Available July 5

Jimmy is the typical college student who is picked on by the rich snobbish kids. A prank is carried too far, leaving Jimmy unconscious. When he awakens, he gets revenge on his tormentors in ways never before depicted on film using telekinesis and a variety of original weapons! Witness the most EVIL NIGHT you have ever seen!

STARRING: Holly Aeck, Joseph Fautinos, Mark Chavez, Todd Cook

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Dracula and Son (1976) Available July 5

Lee, in his last screen performance as Dracula, is fantastic as he swings between serious moments of horror and outright comedy. Dracula takes a mortal woman to bear his son. After he’s born, the Count turns mom into a vampire. However, when she can’t make it back to her coffin before sunrise, the Count finds himself stuck with raising the young tyke, which isn’t easy since the young vampire balks at putting the bite on people. Eventually the son decides he wants to “make it on his own” in the real world. Meanwhile dad takes the role of a vampire in a big movie production—the producers not knowing he’s the real Dracula. There are many moments that will make you laugh. Watch for a scene involving rigor mortis and another involving an inflatable doll. Lee is superb, and the film has the same kind of brilliant comedy found in Fearless Vampire Killers. A portion of the film is in English, the rest is in French with English subtitles.

STARRING: Christopher Lee, Bernard Menez, Marie Helene Breillat, Catherine Breillat

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Creature from Black Lake (1976) Available July 5

One of the best drive-in movies of the 1970s. Two college kids come to a backwater town doing research on a “bigfoot” creature that’s inhabits a gloomy nearby swamp. Before long they find themselves caught in a sequence of chilling events, culminating with a head-to-head confrontation with the creature. Taylor and Elam are excellent, but Fimple and Carson steal the show as the energetic college kids who soon realize they’ve bitten off far more than they can chew. The final 15 minutes of this film are excellent. The film has a great music score and lots of humorous banter that helps keep the film from getting too dark. A must.

STARRING: Jack Elam, Dub Taylor, Dennis Fimple, John David Carson, Bill Thurman

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Challenge the Devil (1963) Available July 5

Six unruly kids break into a remote castle looking for kicks. The castle’s owner, an odd white-haired man (Lee), asks them to find a missing girl hiding in the castle. Little do they know that Lee is actually a Mephistoles-like character in disguise. At this point the six set out on a search that takes them through the nightmarish corridors and staircases of the castle. They encounter massive spiders, ghosts, and a bizarre room containing a labyrinth of sheet glass and mirrors. These horrors soon lead them to near-madness before they finally can escape. Watch for the scene when two female ghosts appear behind cobweb-shrouded doorways. The orgiastic dance scene is also great fun. This may be Lee’s most unusual portrayal in a horror film. Ardisson chews up the scenery with a wild performance. Filmed in Odescalchi Castle near Rome in 1963.

STARRING: Christopher Lee, George Ardisson, Bella Cortez, Lilli Parker

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Alice, or The Last Escapade (1977) Available July 5

A woman leaves her husband one stormy night. She drives through the night on a lonely road, but her windshield breaks and she seeks help from a strange man and his butler who live in a creepy mansion. The woman spends the night, but next morning she finds no trace of her hosts. Finding her car repaired, she leaves; but she soon realizes it’s impossible for her to exit the grounds. She is lost in some kind of fantastic paradox that defies reality. This is a beautiful yet subtly terrifying film with many haunting scenes. Kristel is stunningly beautiful. This film is similar to Carnival of Souls and has a great twist ending. Wow.

STARRING: Sylvia Kristel, Charles Vanel, Ferdinand Ledoux, Francois Perrot

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