40 Years of Chills
A Kaleidoscope of Classic Horrors
Color Box Studios 2006
Produced & Directed by Dennis Vincent
The tri-state area has always been rich in the tradition of All Hallows Eve. Halloween on the West Coast used to be a festive occasion, but over the years it's become more of a street party with cops in riot gear. Nestled in the township of Bristol, Connecticut, is what some would call an institution (No, not that kind of institution), a historic landmark - "The Witch's Dungeon!" For forty-two years, Cortlandt Hull has provided weekends of jack o' lantern fun by opening the doors of his "Witch's Dungeon" classic horror museum to one and all, at nominal fees.
40 Years of Chills is a documentary covering the genesis of the attraction and so much more. While the Dungeon is the focus of the show, the inspirations of the Dungeon are represented in person by such luminaries as Sara Karloff, Bela G. Lugosi Jr., Christopher Lee, makeup wizard Dick Smith, Tom Savini, Ron Chaney, Lady of a Thousand Voices June Foray, Famous Monsters cover artist Basil Gogos, gill men (the late) Ben Chapman, Ricou Browning, Dee Wallace Stone, Rex Reason, Bob Burns, and in last rare appearances Bobby Monster Mash Pickett, and Hammer Films master character man Michael Ripper.
Hosting this lavishly produced DVD is none other than the "Cool Ghoul" Zacherley, who sets up the festivities with his usual gallows humor, adding a sense of merriment which is indicative of all that is classic horror.
The interviews with Christopher Lee, Sara Karloff, Bela Lugosi Jr., Dick Smith, and Ron Chaney are illuminating, and Balis Gogos gives insight into the origins of his work with Warren Publications. June Foray is especially fascinating on her voice-over career. and Tom Savini gives the viewers a bats-eye view of his contributions to cine-magic.
The late Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning share their aquatic and land rigors playing the world famous Creature from the Black Lagoon, while Bob Burns explains the correct wardrobe for the well-dressed Creature an land and under the water.
Scream Queens Cassandra Peterson and Caroline Monro make highly effective appearances, and atmospheric narrations by Steve Savino round out the two hours of thrills. Zacherley gives his famous benediction to close the coffin lid on the Witches' Dungeon's 40 Years of Chills.
Dennis Vincent's direction is fluid, and keeps the pace at an energy level guaranteed to entertain all ages. As if producer, director, and editing weren't enough, Mr. Vincent also composed the musical score, with violinist Kurt Coble (whose Gypsy solos are straight out of the village of Frankenstein).
This DVD is sure to be a favorite at Halloween and every other day of the year, and the sequel is in production now, with double the happy nightmares!
Zacherley hosting on new documentary Legends of Film & Fantasy, coming in the fall of 2009.
Back to Home Page