Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 22nd, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1964
Director: Del Tenney
Cast: John Scott, Alice Lyon, Allan Laurel (The Horror of Party Beach), Helen Warren, Roy Scheider, Margot Hartman, Robert Milli, Hugh Franklin, Candace Hilligoss, Dino Narizzano (The Curse of the Living Corpse)
DVD released: March 28th, 2006
Approximate running time: 77 minutes (The Horror of Party Beach), 84 minutes (The Curse of the Living Corpse)
Aspect Ratio: Both films are 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Dark Sky Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
The Horror of Party Beach: A boat carrying toxic waist dumps near a public beach and when the waist hits the ground it unleashes a chemical that helps create a sea monster. On a beach near by a swinging party is interrupted when a young woman is ripped to pieces by a monster that came out of the sea. Dr. Gavin is brought in by the government to help find a way to kill these creatures from the sea before they have a chance to multiply.
The Horror of Party Beach stars off as a biker beach party film before settling into a monster movie. The story is as standard and a typical as it brings nothing new or interesting to this genre. The performances are wooden and uninspired. The monsters are not that convincing and there isn’t a single moment of genuine fight in this film. The Del-Aires surf music band who preform their songs through out the film. There performances feel like they were added to pad the films running time. The film feels so much longer then its short 77 minute running time and its lack ending is utterly predictable. The films photography and editing is well constructed and its only saving grace.
The Curse of the Living Corpse: Rufus Sinclair is the recently deceased patriarch who greedy heirs only care about getting their hands on his fortune. His will leaves specific requirements in which each one of them must follow for one year or they will get nothing. He also stipulates in his will that if everything is not done to a tee as he has asked then he will come back from the grave and kill each one of them in the way they fear most. Will the family ignore his last wishes or will they play it safe in fear that Rufus just might come back from the grave for them?
The Curse of the Living Corpse is a beautifully photographed film whose costumes and sets far exceed its miniscule budget. The film is a cross between the style of classic hammer films and the witty ness of an Edgar Allen Poe tale. A masked madman goes around killing each of his victims in the way the fear most. Each death is down with the utmost care and all of them are well crafted set pieces of the macabre. Candace Hilligoss of Carnival of Souls fame has a small role in this film. She had an interesting face and it is a pity she didn’t make more films. Veteran actor Roy Scheider who has starred in such films like The French Connection and Jaws plays the alcoholic son flawlessly. This film was also Roy Scheider’s feature film debut. Out of the handful of films Del Tenney directed The Curse of the Living Corpse is without a doubt his best film as a director.
Dark Sky Films presents both The Horror of Party Beach and The Curse of the Living Corpse in anamorphic widescreen that preserves their original aspect ratios. The black and white image is nearly flawless with a few minor instances of print damage on The Curse of the Living Corpse transfer. The image is sharp and contrast is solid through out. There are no problems with compression or artifacts.
Both films The Horror of Party Beach and The Curse of the Living Corpse come with one audio option an English audio language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Both soundtracks sound clean and are easy to follow. There are no problems with hiss or distortion. Removable English subtitles have also been included for this release.
Extras for this release include trailers for The Horror of Party Beach and The Curse of the Living Corpse and a photo gallery. Other extras include a nine minute interview with Del Tenney. Rounding out the extras are two audio commentaries one for each film. Both audio commentaries feature Del Tenney and moderator Shade Rupe. These audio commentaries like the one include on Dark Sky Films Violent Midnight release are fascinating as Del Tenney is a man of many words.
Dark Sky Films put together two distinctly different cult B films and offer them at a more then affordable price.