Hammer Films has always had some form of sexual content in their movies, generally in the form of various generic barmaids with cleaving-accentuating outfits being menaced by some form of monster (usually Dracula, but occasionally a werewolf or Frankenstein’s monster. However, due to Hammer’s frequent clashes with the BBFC, never with actual nudity. Similarly, while critical discussion of vampire fiction has discussed a degree of homoeroticism, up until the 70s, much of what you got was male actors staring intensely into someone’s eyes before feeding on them – with probably the distinct exception of Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural. The Vampire Lovers crosses both of those lines.Read more
The Devil’s Rain, like Scream and Scream Again, is not a good movie. It is a more competently shot film. However, its story is barely comprehensible and the dialog is painful to listen to, in spite of its solid cast.Read more
Amicus Films greatest strength as a studio has been, in their films I’ve previously reviewed (like Tales from the Crypt and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors) has been their anthology films. Their films were always fairly low budget, but the short form anthology film format allowed them to get good actors in for short narrative works. Scream and Scream Again shifts things by doing a more ambitious narrative, but one which stumbles out of the gate and is fumbled in its execution.Read more
When I was reviewing Yakuza films earlier on my show, after reviewing the Yakuza Papers series, and Outrage, I’d realized that I’d basically covered a bunch of deconstructions, without getting into what they were deconstructing.Read more
Horror films about vampires in the present day are kind of interesting to me. We live in a time where the concepts of how vampires “work” are common knowledge enough that on the one hand, you don’t need to explain the concepts to an audience. That said, we also are in a world of skepticism, so characters generally shouldn’t buy into the idea of vampires being real at first glance either. Count Yorga, Vampire is probably one of the earlier films I’ve seen that takes on this concept, even pre-dating Hammer’s attempts at the concept.Read more
Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural is a vampire film that’s been on my watch list for a while. I’ve seen it praised for its theme and tone, but due to the film’s cast and how relatively unknown the director was – and it’s limited DVD release – never really bumped it up my list. Why do a little known vampire film from a director known more for co-writing Eating Raoul than anything else, and starring an actress known for myriad sexploitation films over, say, a film by Amicus? On a whim, I bumped this to the top of my DVD Netflix Queue and gave it a try – and it wasn’t exactly worth the wait.Read more
I learned about The Sentinel first through the book Paperbacks from Hell, where it was described as a book made in the wake of the success of The
We conclude our collection of horror films with a Japanese horror film that… is a little tricky to show on the channel without giving away all the great visuals. Read more
The Visitor is a very different animal where Italian horror films are concerned. It’s not a giallo or an offshoot of giallo like The Black Cat or Argento’s Three Mothers series. It’s not a zombie film at the least. I’d describe it as fitting closer to Italian Satanic horror films – films inspired by or seeking to mimic Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, The Omen, and other similar films. These films rely less on plot cohesion and more on mood and tone. It doesn’t quite matter if the motivations of the characters are clearly spelled out or the narrative beats are coherent so long as the emotional beats are. Read more
When it comes to giallo, the work of Dario Argento is something of a gap in my knowledge, which is a shame since he, like Bava and Fulci, are legends of the genre. Indeed, Argento probably had the greatest mainstream penetration of any work of Italian horror, through this work – Suspiria.
The movie Night of the Lepus is a something of a joke in horror movie circles. While that is somewhat deserved, those reasons strictly lie with the film’s budget and some of the film’s effects. The rest of the film is put together incredibly well. Read more
Just in time for the Day after Halloween, I’ve got my review of the 1976 proto-slasher film, “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
I’m taking a look at the proto-slasher film The Town That Dreaded Sundown from the late ’70s, predating Halloween, but being made after Black Christmas. Read more