10 items from 2016
Remember when vampire movies were actually scary?
Sorry, Twihards and "Underworld" fans, but your brooding romantic neck-biters and your leather-clad Eurotrash vamps may be cool, but they're not frightening. If you want scary, go back to the likes of Bela Lugosi in the original "Dracula," which turns 85 this week (it was released on Feb. 14, 1931). Or Christopher Lee as Hammer's Dracula, or the pack-hunting bloodsuckers of some more recent films.
Here are 11 vampire movies that are actually terrifying. »
- Gary Susman
Come meet Bela Lugosi Jr. at our Silver Scream Festival as we screen four of his father’s most iconic films. He’ll be doing a Q&A, so buy your tix now and get your questions ready. As the steward of his father’s legacy, he’ll have all the answers regarding the first golden age of Hollywood horror!
The films we’ll be screening:
The most famous of all Draculas, Lugosi Sr.’s incarnation became so ingrained in the public consciousness that it was the mold from which essentially all others were made up until the TWILIGHTs and the Vampire Diaries of the world changed things up.
Teaming Lugosi with Sherlock Holmes himself, Basil Rathbone, as the titular character, and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, was box office gold for Universal. It’s your chance to check out Lugosi’s first turn as »
- Harker Jones
Prior to the 1950s, British horror consisted mainly of Tod Slaughter melodramas and the occasional vehicle for Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. A pair of truly notable films – Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926) and Dead Of Night (1945) – broke the mould, but the genre met with disapproval from the UK censor, who banned Freaks and Island Of Lost Souls (both 1932) for decades.
The change came when Hammer released The Curse Of Frankenstein in 1957, which gave punters a home-grown monster movie with unprecedented levels of gore. The film played to packed houses and as Hammer’s success continued, rival studios sprung up and their output made it very clear that there was much more to British horror than watching Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing putter around a gothic castle.
From anthology films to zombie movies, there’s a certain consistency to horror pictures from the UK, an atmosphere and »
- Ian Watson
You want radical? Look no further. Nagisa Oshima's near-legendary issue drama makes a wickedly frightening protest against the death penalty, but then proceeds into formal abstraction and the endorsement of a violent radical position. You can't find a political 'gauntlet picture' as jarring or as potent as this one. Death by Hanging Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 798 1968 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 118 min. / Kôshikei / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date February 16, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Do-yun Yu, Kei Sato, Fumio Watanabe, Toshiro Ishido, Masao Adachi, Rokko Toura, Hosei Komatsu, Masao Matsuda, Akiko Koyama. Cinematography Yasuhiro Yoshioka Film Editor Sueko Shiraishi Original Music Hikaru Hayashi Written by Michinori Fukao. Mamoru Sasaki, Tsutomu Tamura, Nagisa Oshima Produced by Masayuki Nakajima, Takuji Yamaguchi, Nagisa Oshima Directed by Nagisa Oshima
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Last year legendary director and composer John Carpenter—along with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies—unleashed Lost Themes, an album pulsating with synth-infused music that hearkened back to Carpenter's film scores with imaginative modern twists. Wasting no time, the trio will release their follow-up album, Lost Themes II, through Sacred Bones records on April 15th, followed by live performances beginning this summer:
Press Release (via Pressparty): On Halloween 2014, the director and composer John Carpenter introduced the world to the next phase of his career with “Vortex,” the first single from Lost Themes, his first-ever album of non-soundtrack material. In the months that followed, Lost Themes rightfully returned Carpenter to the forefront of the discussion of music and film’s crucial intersection. Carpenter’s foundational primacy and lasting influence on genre score work was both rediscovered and reaffirmed. Lost Themes was also a milemarker in its label’s catalog, »
- Derek Anderson
While we’ll be celebrating the life and career of horror maven Wes Craven at the Silver Scream Festival March 4-6 in Santa Rosa, Calif., Heather Langenkamp, star of three Nightmare On Elm Street films, exclusively gave FM her personal thoughts on her mentor’s passing last August:
“With Nightmare On Elm Street Wes gave us a potent metaphor for the fear we must face as we stumble upon the Freddy Kruegers of our world. I feel turbulent waves of the deepest gratitude to Wes Craven, tainted with the painful knowledge that I will not be in his presence again. And, yes, I am humbled by the fact that he picked me to embody that noblest creature, Nancy Thompson. If you ask me my favorite line from the series, hands down it is, ‘I’m into survival.’ Wes loved that line, too.”
Hear more from Heather, who will be joined by Freddy Krueger himself, »
- Harker Jones
February’s home entertainment releases are kicking off in a big way, as horror and sci-fi fans have an extraordinary number of brand spanking new titles to choose from this Tuesday. From indie horror to cult classics to cult classics in the making, February 2nd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases truly do offer up something for everyone.
Scream Factory is offering up two modern genre films this week, Hellions and Zombie Fight Club and Cinedigm is keeping busy too on Tuesday with their releases of Extraordinary Tales and The World of Kanako. Vin Diesel’s latest, The Last Witch Hunter, arrives on both Blu and DVD and if you call yourself a Henry Rollins fan, you will definitely want to pick up He Never Died this week as well.
- Heather Wixson
Filmmaker and composer John Carpenter, who directed and scored Halloween, Escape From New York and Assault on Precinct 13, will put out another album of music this spring. The director, who has only previously made one film sequel (Escape From L.A.), has titled his follow-up to last year's icy collection of instrumentals, Lost Themes, Lost Themes II. It's due out April 15th.
'The Merry Widow' with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Minna Gombell under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch. Ernst Lubitsch movies: 'The Merry Widow,' 'Ninotchka' (See previous post: “Ernst Lubitsch Best Films: Passé Subtle 'Touch' in Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking.”) Initially a project for Ramon Novarro – who for quite some time aspired to become an opera singer and who had a pleasant singing voice – The Merry Widow ultimately starred Maurice Chevalier, the hammiest film performer this side of Bob Hope, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler – the list goes on and on. Generally speaking, “hammy” isn't my idea of effective film acting. For that reason, I usually find Chevalier a major handicap to his movies, especially during the early talkie era; he upsets their dramatic (or comedic) balance much like Jack Nicholson in Martin Scorsese's The Departed or Jerry Lewis in anything (excepting Scorsese's The King of Comedy »
- Andre Soares
Attention classic movie freaks – Set your DVR for this Monday!!!!
Tod Browning (1880-1962) was a pioneering director who helped establish the horror film genre. Born in Louisville Kentucky, Browning ran away to join the circus at an early age which influenced his later career in Hollywood and echoes of those years can be found in many of his films. Though best known as the director of the first sound version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi in 1931, Browning made his mark on cinema in the silent era with his extraordinary 10-film collaboration with actor Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’. Despite the success of Dracula, and the boost it gave his career, Browning’s chief interest continued to lie not in films dealing with the supernatural but in films that dealt with the grotesque and strange, earning him the reputation as “the Edgar Allan Poe of the cinema”. Browning »
- Tom Stockman
10 items from 2016
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