Horror Bites - Chop Shop

SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN (1970)

What a title, what a cast. What a poster! An Amicus Production starring not only Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, but Vincent Price... what could possible go wrong? Well where to begin. With three stars and three storylines, it seems logical that this would be a solid anthology feature. Or at least a decent slice of fun horror nonsense in a film that features severed limbs, acid baths and espionage. In fact the whole thing feels more like a Cold War thriller in a lot of scenes, which could be a good blend. However it's all too good to be true, and instead what remains is mostly a slog that wastes all the potential it has until the good will it inspires has dissolved entirely.


Weekend Retrospective - Wasteland

MAD MAX 1979 - 1985

I remember a time of chaos.
Ruined dreams. This wasted land. 
But most of all, I remember the Road Warrior

Mad Max, what a title. It's punchy with just enough alliteration to make you stop and look. But what of the original trilogy itself? Beyond the status it holds as a quirky '80s action series that started a thousand copycats and changed everyone's idea of what transport in the future could be like, what are the films themselves really like? People remember all the boomerangs and that hockey mask wearing villain. They remember that two men enter and one man leaves. And to think George Miller could have been a doctor instead of the creator of a pop culture favourite. But let's take a look at all of this craziness and see why certain things are still stuck in everyone's imagination years later.

Horror Bites - The Burning

TWINS OF EVIL (1971)

Hammer's final item on the billing for the so called 'Karnstein trilogy' is an entertaining entry in the series, though it does raise a few questions. The twins themselves are not both evil, and this is obvious from the outset, without any room for surprises. One is good and virtuous, and one is selfish and sadistic. So where does that leave us? The intriguing element to all of this is actually that the two faces of darkness are in the hero and the villain involved; one being evil for the sake of their own self righteous cause and the other being a more traditional evil Count. Perhaps an odd choice when the title points us in another direction, but one worth discussing.


Horror Bites - Maniac Mansion

PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

If there was ever such a thing as the quintessential Vincent Price horror picture, this is probably it - at least in terms of those with a period setting. Choosing just one is no easy task of course, but this is certainly a high point. Building on what had been done in The House of Usher, this is another instalment in the Roger Corman series of Poe adaptations - using just some of the original story ideas as a basis. There's yet another spooky mansion in the middle of nowhere, another mystery and another journey into madness in which nothing is quite what it seems.


HCF Review - Masquerade

MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD (1973)

So we come to the third and final part of Arrow’s American Horror Project Vol.1, a series of releases which aimed to bring lesser known or forgotten movies to a wider audience. It’s certainly the case here, with a release that was thought to have been lost to the ages until the late 2000s. As well as being the most obscure, it’s also probably the most interesting of the three. However this will probably depend on your own preferences, as it’s certainly an experience that puts weird sounds, lurid visuals and oddball characters ahead of any narrative sense. Some might call this a mess. Others might be up for a brisk 70 odd minute fever dream.


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Horror Bites - Farewell and Adieu

JAWS (1975)

There's a lot that can be said about Spielberg's classic killer shark movie, whether its the effects it may have had on sea water ecology, its status as a turning point in the director's career, or of course its reputation as the herald of a new age of mainstream blockbuster releases. But when all this is said and done Jaws is a still simple monster movie at the core. It's not a realistic look at the possibility of tourists being attacked off the coast of Massachusetts, it's a story where a giant fish terrorises the waters maliciously and then targets the boat sent to kill it. Big summer movies as we know them today will never contain this much blood. But it's also a creature feature of the best kind - one which elevates a potentially silly premise through pure film making craft.

Quint

Scorecard

MARCH


FILM OF THE MONTH The Life of Brian ☆☆☆☆
Annihilation ☆☆☆☆
Apocalypse Now ☆☆☆☆
District 9 ☆☆☆☆
In the Line of Fire ☆☆☆☆
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ☆☆☆☆
Monty Python and the Holy Grail ☆☆☆☆
My Life as a Courgette ☆☆☆☆
The Fugitive ☆☆☆☆
The House that Dripped Blood ☆☆☆☆
The Plague of the Zombies ☆☆☆☆