The Skull: Film Review

I have come to the conclusion that my first non-anthology Amicus film I watched, Scream and Scream Again, may have been an outlier, in terms of quality. By contrast, The Skull, while very light on narrative, has some very nicely done imagery and well done cinematography, which makes it an incredibly fun film.

Continue reading “The Skull: Film Review”

It Came From Beneath The Sea: Film Review

It Came From Beneath The Sea is the kind of giant monster movie I can enjoy mostly guilt free. No appliances glued or stapled onto animals – just good old fashioned, cruelty-free Ray Harryhausen stop-motion. It’s how Willis O’Brian did it – it’s how the movie industry had done, and at that point in the ‘50s it had worked pretty well so far.

Continue reading “It Came From Beneath The Sea: Film Review”

Scream and Scream Again: Film Review

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.

Continue reading “Scream and Scream Again: Film Review”
A cropped portion of the movie poster for Body Bags featuring stills from the first and second stories, along with the frame narrative.

Body Bags: Film Review

One of the genres where horror thrives is the Anthology film, and by “thrives” I mean that pretty much the only anthology films being made these days are horror films. Often, they take the framing narrative from EC Comics and it’s like – horror stories book-ended with a narrative by a ghoulish presenter of some form or another – you know, the classic Tales From the Crypt formula. Well, when HBO launched their Tales From The Crypt anthology TV series and films, Showtime filmed a pilot for their own, to be titled Body Bags. They didn’t decide to go forward, but did take the three filmed stories and turned them into their own anthology film.

Continue reading “Body Bags: Film Review”
Movie poster for The Haunted Palace depicting scenes from the film with the tagline "What was the terrifying thing in the PIT that wanted women?"

The Haunted Palace: Film Review

The Haunted Palace is, ostensibly, another of Roger Corman’s Edger Allen Poe adaptations, in this case doing a story based on one of Poe’s poems. However, it’s not that at all. Indeed, Poe’s poem barely shows up in the story in the first place. Instead, The Haunted Palace is more of an adaptation of one of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft – specifically, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, with a screenplay by Charles Beaumont (who I reviewed a documentary about a while back).

Continue reading “The Haunted Palace: Film Review”
Movie poster for Count Yorga, Vampire

Count Yorga, Vampire: Film Review

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.

Continue reading “Count Yorga, Vampire: Film Review”

The Gate: Film Review

I haven’t watched a lot of “Kids on Bikes” movies and fiction – I’ve seen ET, Explorers, and The Goonies, and as of this writing am currently in the middle of reading IT (which is something of a Kids on Bikes story for the flashback sequences) but I haven’t seen or read any of the other works that really feed into subsequent works like Stranger Things. I haven’t seen Monster Squad, and until recently, I hadn’t seen The Gate – a lesser-known work in the genre that I hadn’t heard about until Giant Bomb did a “Film and 40s” commentary for it with the Giant Beast crew. Well, this oversight has, at long last, been rectified.

Continue reading “The Gate: Film Review”
From left, Lila and Lemora

Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural – Film Review

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.

Continue reading “Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural – Film Review”

Film Review: Haxan (1922)

When it comes to horror and documentaries, in the sense of horror films that are deliberately planned to be documentaries, you have two main stripes represented by two big names. On one hand, you have Legend of Boggy Creek, a historical reenactment heavy documentary about a Texarkana cryptid that effectively recounts a variety of local myths and legends in an uncritical manner. On the other hand, there’s Haxan, the film I’m covering today, which is not only a very early work in the documentary genre, it’s also a work that is also very critical of historical accounts of witchcraft.

Continue reading “Film Review: Haxan (1922)”