Horror Bites - Woman in a Lizard's Skin

THE REPTILE (1966)

I've often considered Plague of the Zombies to be one of my favourite Hammer productions, with it's eerie location and unsettling make-up effects. This on the other hand is one I often overlook on repeat viewings of horror films from this period, despite it being the second part of the intended double bill. With the same rural village, the same Cornish moors and the same big manor house (which still burns down at the end) it's an odd experience, but cost saving efforts like this are nothing new. I'm reminded of Dracula Prince of Darkness and Rasputin The Mad Monk sharing both cast and castles. And like those two I prefer over the other. But in this case is the second feature really a let down or is it just a less imaginative chiller?


Horror Bites - X From Outer Space

THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955)

While the surge of British horror films from Hammer is generally considered to have started in full blooded colour with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 this is an earlier example that shows signs of the idea evolving. Or perhaps given the subject matter, mutating. Like the other films featuring eponymous rocket scientist Bernard Quatermass, this is a big screen adaptation of a television serial with a boost in production values to counter the trimmed running time. It's still in black and white, but the shameless title alteration to advertise the 'X rating' of the (admittedly pretty tame) film hints at the ghoulish sensibilities that were to follow.


Horror Bites - Sunglasses at Night

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

Pre Hays Code horror movies are usually fun in a twisted sort of way and nothing exemplifies this quite as much as the James Whale adaptation of H.G. Wells' story of science gone awry. There's a certain charm to the sort of ghoulish thrills they could include before the censorship guidelines of the day were introduced. Of course they're still the kind of shocks that are within the accepted limits of this period of cinema but the death toll is surprisingly high as Dr. Griffin runs amok, even if there's never any real violence on screen. It's all done with a dark and twisted sense of humour as he rants and raves about revenge and expresses his lust for power, calling people miserable fools every few minutes. There are many classic entries in the original Universal horror series, but this is best one. It may portray a human title character, but he's certainly the most monstrous.


Horror Bites - Ghost Stories

KWAIDAN (1965)

After watching the Yokai film series and spending a lot of time with various science fiction monsters, it's time to look at something a little more unsettling from 1960s Japan. As luck would have it Kwaidan (Kaidan) combines some of my favourite things, horror anthologies and historical epics. This is a luxurious three hour experience that contains four separate chillers of varying styles and comes complete with an intermission. Whether you're into stories about cursed homes haunted by women with long black hair or samurai battle sequences this has something for everyone. But it is at the core a series of tales about ghosts, so it's probably a plus if you're a fan of those.


Scorecard

JANUARY


FILM OF THE MONTH What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? ☆☆☆☆
Fight Club ☆☆☆☆
King of Comedy ☆☆☆☆
Roma ☆☆☆☆
The Lady Vanishes ☆☆☆☆

HCF Review - Re-Enter The Nightmare

RESIDENT EVIL 2 (2019)

In the last decade or so it seemed as though the studio behind the Biohazard series would rather do anything but remake their most popular title. In fact for years it seemed as though they’d rather not make horror games at all. After the original Resident Evil was remade in spectacular style for the Gamecube in 2002 many players assumed the next logical step for the studio would be to continue with the revamp and offer similar definitive editions of the second and third instalments. But was not to be, and despite further entries in the mainline series such as the insect infested prequel Resident Evil Ø and the highly influential reboot Resident Evil 4… all things survival horror dwindled...


READ MORE>>