PIT AND THE PENDULUM
1961, Park Circus/MGM, 80 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

One of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest tales of terror gets the AIP treatment in this atmospheric chiller starring Vincent Price as Nicholas Medina, whose father was part of the Spanish Inquisition. When news spreads that Medina’s wife (Barbara Steele) is dead, her brother (John Kerr) investigates, only to discover that torture runs in the Medina family. Among the best of the Price-Corman collaborations, with a deliciously diabolical screenplay by Richard Matheson.


WAR OF THE SATELLITES
1958, New Horizons Picture Corp., 72 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

Satellites and sputniks were all the rage in late 1950s headlines. When the first satellites launched, Corman promised his backers he could get a film with the word “satellite” in the title into theaters within 60 days. Given the go-ahead, he rapidly conjured this imaginative, lightning-paced and ultra-low-budget thriller about an alien spaceship intent on blowing up every Earth satellite entering the interstellar ether. Dick Miller and Susan Cabot are the heroic couple doing battle with the space villains, most notably incarnated in the takeover of pioneering scientist Dr. Van Ponder (the magnificent Richard Devon who played Satan in Corman’s THE UNDEAD).


MAN IN THE DARK
1953, Sony Repertory, 70 min, USA, Dir: Lew Landers

A long-lost noir in fully restored 3-D and glorious black-and-white! Pinched by the cops after pulling off a big heist, crook Steve Rawley (Edmond O’Brien) undergoes an experimental operation to eliminate his criminal urges. It also makes him forget where he hid the loot ... much to the consternation of his old gang and his itchy-fingered girlfriend (Audrey Totter). Fortunately, clues pop up (literally!) in Rawley’s dreams, and soon he’s leading the crooks and cops on a careening hunt for the money, culminating in a spectacular chase through Santa Monica’s creepy old Pacific Ocean Amusement Park! NOT ON DVD!


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