Horror Bites - Seeing Double

THE FACE OF ANOTHER (1966)

AKA A Stranger's Face. While there are a lot of articles about Japanese films from the sixties here they're generally full of colourful miniatures and monster mayhem. Calling this an actual horror film might be pushing things a little far, but then it's just the excuse I need to take a look at Hiroshi Teshigahara's existential drama. The premise is simple - a man disfigured in an accident is given a new face... and the freedom to do what he will with it. Will he misuse this gift or simply adjust and rejoin society? What other kinds of masks are the people he knows already wearing? Just like The Invisible Man things start to get out of hand when the bandages come off, which is a fitting comparison and a good place to begin a deeper analysis.


Horror Bites - Fear in the Night

THE NIGHT WALKER (1964)

William Castle is often remembered for directing spooky films like House on Haunted Hill, where appearances by stars such as Vincent Price were paired scary movie theatre gimmicks. Simply wearing 3-D glasses wasn't enough, he went further to get the audience excited. But less is said about this release which is an attempt at a more straightforward thriller, with a script by Psycho author Robert Bloch. It's a story full of atmosphere starring Barbara Stanwyck from Double Indemnity rather than a horror film regular. It's all still pretty hokey of course as a product of the time, but as a mystery tale there are some fairly striking moments that stand out even by today's standards. Let's take a closer look at this venture into fantastical dreams and waking nightmares.


Horror Bites - Communion

ALICE, SWEET ALICE (1976)

There are a lot of influential genre films from the 1970s, with releases like The Exorcist and Jaws spawning dozens of imitators. However it's more unusual to see a movie that seems to have taken a few notes from Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now. While this is not a direct copy, there are at least a few visual nods here and there amongst what is generally a murder mystery plot. The colour red is swapped for a lurid yellow, which I guess is pretty apt for a story that involves a lot more slasher scenes. But there's more going on here than just a series of shocking deaths, in a story that involves themes of guilt, youth, denial and the loss of innocence.

Horror Bites - Red and Black

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES (1972)

Time for a whodunnit. In the realms of Giallo there are many elements that often make an appearance, and a lot of them are present and correct here. There are seedy affairs going on, there are potential doppelgängers running about, and there's a killer with black gloves using a lot of knives while a strangely pleasing and jazzy score plays over the violence. But there are a lot of other regular inclusions such as vague and erratic narratives, dream like sequences and sudden plot twists... which may or may not do the story any favours. Let's take a look at both the style and the substance of this particular murder mystery and see which side comes out on top.


Scorecard

AUGUST


FILM OF THE MONTH: Tenebrae ☆☆☆☆
Jaws ☆☆☆☆
Kelly's Heroes ☆☆☆☆
RoboCop ☆☆☆☆
The Lower Depths ☆☆☆☆
Alice, Sweet Alice ☆☆☆☆
Infernal Affairs II ☆☆☆☆