Tag Archives: classic horror actors

Really Awful Movies: Ep 274 – Man’s Best Friend



Not so much a shaggy dog story as an angry dog story, Man’s Best Friend is a forgotten 90s New Line Cinema release that has an attack dog, Max, who has escaped from a top-secret laboratory run by the always excellent Lance Henriksen.

And you know when good ol’ LH is in a horror flick you’re in for some top-notch grimacing (and a healthy, heaping dose of menacing too).

Ally Sheedy plays a journalist, who is investigating abuses at an animal lab. She and her producer want a scoop, and sneak into the facility, releasing Max…and Max is an attack dog, genetically modified from bear/tiger/chimp and it should be said, very stupidly, chameleon parts.

The journalist rescues the dog from its pen, only to find out it…is quite vicious and will stop at nothing to attack anyone in its path.

We love our animal attack movies. You give us an animal attacking someone, and we’re thrilled. We don’t give a crap (or a rat’s ass) if it’s a rabbit like Night of the Lepus, or a gila monster from that…um…gila monster movie we podcasted. The best ones, of course, are Jaws and Alligator. But even the worst ones have something to commend about them. Especially when, well..Man’s Best Friend is involved.

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Really Awful Movies: Ep 248 – The Tingler



Part artist, part huckster, William Castle is a name a lot of people know in the horror world. He produced Rosemary’s Baby (and would’ve directed too, were it not for health issues) but he’s best known for the gimmicks he deployed to promote the living heck out of his movies.

The Tingler, starring the legendary Vincent Price (check out our interview with his daughter, Victoria Price) is one such movie. Castle used “percepto” technology, a buzzer installed beneath some theater seats that literally shocked members of the audience!

The cost of this equipment added $250,000 to the film’s budget, which was negligible by comparison. Percepto was used sparingly and in predominantly larger theaters for logistical reasons.

The premise is delicious: Price stars as Dr. Chapin, a prison coroner responsible for doing autopsies on prisoners on death row (this seems like a waste of time and money, but that’s neither here nor there). A side of interest of his: how humans experience fear. He and a lab assistant speculate that there’s a structure on the spinal cord that is associated with fear responses (hence, “spine-tingling” fear).

Dr. Chapin uses his wife as an unwitting participant, scaring her with a starter pistol and doing an examination on her spine.

The Tingler is a fun movie, a corny monster movie / creature feature from the 1950s. And there’s the bonus of Castle himself introducing the film, and warning of the terrors to come. Hilarious!

On this episode of the Podcast:

  • How do we experience fear?
  • What is fear?
  • Are there different things people fear and how does horror exploit this?
  • We talk about hypochondriacs
  • We talk about death-defying experiences
  • We talk about the legacy of William Castle and who modern day exemplars are
  • Castle’s use of prop ghosts and audience shills
  • And finally, we discuss the lasting impact of the incredible icon of horror, the one and only Vincent Price