Horror Bites - Crash Culture

 THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS (1974)

While the immediate Mad Max comparisons are obvious from the Australian accents and the gangs riding about in garish junkers, Peter Weir's first feature is a little more difficult to define. Some of the poster art shows bloody lettering and a monstrous Volkswagen adorned with metal spines, the sort of thing the first act of Fury Road gave a nod to. And yet this isn't a pure horror story and the vehicles are not the centre of attention. If I had to pigeon hole this at all it would fall into the broad category of 'weird people in backwater towns doing weird things' and with align it with other strange places in the middle of nowhere that film characters wish they'd never stumbled across. Paris is a rural place with a lot of secret goings on, and after a suspicious car crash (that was definitely an accident) which kills his brother, timid protagonist Arthur realises it is going to be difficult to leave.


HCF Review - The Gate

STRANGER THINGS (2016) SEASON ONE


Is it just me or has that old 80s nostalgia trip actually been pushed into overdrive recently rather than fading over time? With the likes of Turbo Kid and It Follows among many others, this latest eight part offering from Netflix is in a similar vein as other releases in the last few years. Whether it’s your kind of thing or not, the novelty value has certainly evaporated by now. Here they’re aiming for that Super 8 feeling with the D&D playing gang of outcast kids-on-bikes style adventure, albeit one with a modern horror and sci-fi element included. However it’s not that simple as the cast includes many other characters with intertwined stories. But like all these releases the genuine atmosphere and overall tone of an older film is more difficult to capture than the makers seem to realise.

Horror Bites - Who's Laughing Now?

DRAG ME TO HELL (2009)

With all the press quotes about how scary this is, it must have been confusing to people at the time when what they actually got is another wacky Sam Raimi film. What a surprise. But I know, as you probably do reading this, that his body of work is full of garish colours, crazy camera movements and gross out splatter gags. But with Ash vs Evil Dead back for more TV episodes I sat down to reconsider this big screen venture into demonic madness. It was something I slighted at the time as being kind of amusing but lacklustre, however recently I felt compelled to reconsider.

Horror Bites - Blood and Steel

THE MASK OF SATAN AKA BLACK SUNDAY (1960)


La maschera del demonio or Revenge of the Vampire if you prefer a more straightforward title is Mario Bava's first foray into the horror genre (although he'd taken the reigns during production of I Vampiri, uncredited) and what a debut it is. It's been given many titles over the years, so to be clear this is the one about vampires and castle crypts, not the Robert Shaw movie with the terrorist needle bomb inside an airship. Though that's pretty good too. Anyway, I digress. Let's get into this super high contrast super stylish take on the classic themes and legends.

Scorecard

JULY

FILM OF THE MONTH: Barton Fink ☆☆☆☆
The Revenant ☆☆☆☆
The Untouchables ☆☆☆☆
The VVitch ☆☆☆☆
Yes, Madam (Aka Police Assassins) ☆☆☆☆
Mad Max 2 ☆☆☆☆
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ☆☆☆☆
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ☆☆☆☆
Scarface '83 ☆☆☆☆
Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn ☆☆☆☆
JFK ☆☆☆☆