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Today is Vincent Price’s 104th Birthday! Price was born here in St. Louis on this date in 1911 and is the most iconic movie star to hail from our city. Price, who died October 25th 1993, was also a gourmand, author, stage actor, speaker, world-class art collector, raconteur, and all-around Renaissance man. Vincent Price was simply one of the most remarkable people of the 20th Century. Four years ago we had the opportunity to celebrate his 100th birthday and St. Louis was the place to do it. I teamed up with Cinema St. Louis to present Vincentennial, The Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration, an event that lasted through much of the Spring of 2011. The following year Vincentennial won two coveted Rondo Awards, one for “Best Fan Event” and a second for myself as “Monster Kid of the Year” for directing the event. The Rondo Awards are prestigious Fan Awards given out »
- Tom Stockman
In the grand tradition of Russian fantasy films comes a new version of the supernatural legend of The Viy, written by Nicolai Gogol and previously filmed several times, most memorably by Mario Bava as one of the tales in Black Sabbath, (easily my favorite due to the participation of Boris Karloff.).
In Forbidden Empire, a young English cartographer Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng) takes to the road after being chased out of the house by his lovers Father, played by Charles Dance, after being caught in bed with her.
Looking very much like a Terry Gilliam movie, with the frame over crowded with bizarre machinery, filthy looking characters in period costume (set in the 18th century) and lots of cgi monsters, Forbidden Empire is a beautiful film to behold and more than a little disjointed and episodic.
But like classic Russian fantasy films of the past such as Sword and the Dragon, »
- Sam Moffitt
This week, we’ve got an insane amount of horror and sci-fi home entertainment choices getting released on Tuesday, including the latest from Scream Factory, Stigmata, and Kino Lorber is bringing us another Mario Bava cult classic to high-def in the form of Evil Ey,e and the recent horror comedy Zombeavers is looking to make a splash on DVD as well.
Anchor Bay is also unleashing The Vatican Exorcisms on May 19th and Olive Films is bringing a double dose of classic terror to Blu-ray with their releases of Peter Benchley’s Creature and It! The Terror from Outer Space. Indie horror fans have a ton of titles this week arriving on DVD to choose from and we’ve also got new high-def releases for both Poltergeist sequels and Terminator 2: Judgment Day too.
While vacationing in Italy, »
- Heather Wixson
Italian director Matteo Garrone first came to Cannes in 2002 with his dark drama “The Embalmer,” which screened in Directors’ Fortnight. He then graduated to competition, scooping nods with gritty crimer “Gomorra” in 2008 and “Reality” in 2012. Now Garrone is back on the Croisette with “The Tale of Tales,” a bold English-language horror/fantasy toplining Salma Hayek – as a Spanish queen who eats a raw dragon’s heart – Vincent Cassel and John C. Reilly, which premieres on Thursday night..
Your film is based on stories from a collection of fairy tales by 17th century Italian author Giambattista Basile, containing the earliest versions of famous fables like “Rapunzel,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.” What drew you to the material?
The beauty of the characters, their visual richness, the originality of the stories. Basile depicted a world that mixes reality and fantasy, comedy and tragedy, the sublime and the scatological. It’s familiar to me. »
- Nick Vivarelli
“In my entire career, I only made big bullshits. . . . I’m just a craftsman. A romantic craftsman,” Mario Bava once said of his films. Despite his flippant, and often humble, protests, the director displayed a stunning artistry and elegance that betrayed his painterly ambitions — a style his successors spent their careers reflecting…
- Samuel Zimmerman
Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen has signed to star as a lung specialist who discovers a link between a series of mysterious deaths and a state-approved drug.
The film is inspired by France’s real-life health scandal revolving around the diabetes drug Mediator, which is estimated to have caused the deaths of around 2,000 people before it was withdrawn from pharmacies in 2009.
Bercot and co-writer Séverine Bosschem’s screenplay is based on the book Médiator 150Mg: Combien de Morts? by Irène Frachon, a pulmonologist who was one of the first medical professionals to spot the link and suggested there had been a cover-up.
“It’s not a direct adaptation but rather inspired by the affair… it’s a sort »
Since 1962, the James Bond franchise has come to define the spy genre, for good or ill. More broadly, every thriller and action film that comes out now either uses them as inspiration, or attempts to ignore or re-work the tropes that have come to be associated with the series.
Coming off the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, and with the release of a new Bond film this year, now seems like the perfect time to take a look at a sample of the films which have been inspired by James Bond — either as homages, parodies or reactions.
The Ipcress File (1965)
Produced by James Bond producer Harry Saltzman as a more grounded alternative to the largesse of Bond, The Ipcress File is more concerned with the intricacies of real spy-work — the endless paperwork, »
This week Amy Nicholson posted an essay titled “Stop Laughing At Old Movies, You $@%&ing Hipsters,” followed by a response / continuation from Sam Adams, titled “When You Laugh at Old Movies the Joke Is on You.” Both writers take a similar stance, criticizing individuals who watch old films and laugh at moments never intended as comedy (rear projection, artificial set pieces, etc).
I too have seen plenty of this behaviour, yet I fail to see it as problematic, nor do I feel the need to exert my own “superiority” (to employ a word they both use) over these types of viewers. Having spent much of my adult life reading about film, writing about film, and watching anything I have access to, I think it is safe to say I am a proud cinephile. And so are Nicholson and Adams; this is evident in their writing. Yet for some reason they »
- Griffin Bell
Duke of Burgundy, 2014.
Directed by Peter Strickland.
A relationship based around mistress and submissive begins to deteriorate as repetition begins to set in.
Peter Strickland is a filmmaker with the uncanny knack of being able to make films that draw from many influences but go off in a completely different, and unexpected, direction. His previous film, 2012’s Berberian Sound Studio, came at you with the pretence of being a giallo, coming from the same stable as the works of Mario Bava and Dario Argento, and whilst it did indeed embrace many of the tropes of those filmmakers and set up a similar atmosphere it ended up being an unconventional but totally unique sensory experience.
- Gary Collinson
Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante Dipaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi, Lea Krugher, Massimo Righi | Written by Marcello Fondato | Directed by Mario Bava
Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace may not be the first Giallo film but it is the one that many took inspiration from and the genre itself formed from, especially the themes and style. When a young model is killed by a mysterious masked figure she leaves behind a diary which may hold evidence as to the identity of her assailant. As more women from the same fashion house die at the hands of the killer the police try to find the culprit. In a tale of blood and blackmail, can they stop the killer before it is too late?
Blood and Black Lace is a movie that flits not only between genres but also somewhat bravely for »
- Paul Metcalf
Blood & Black Lace, 1964.
Directed by Mario Bava.
A fashion house full of beautiful models becomes the setting for a bloodbath at the hands of a mysterious killer.
The film most recognised as kickstarting the giallo genre, Mario Bava’s 1964 thriller Blood & Black Lace has been given a complete restoration by Arrow Films, and if any of Bava’s films – particularly his earlier works – lend themselves to such a task than this is it. Not because it is a film that needs to be tidied up as much as it is such a visually striking film that not to be able to see it in as vivid and clean a print as possible would be as much of a crime as the events in it.
Like many of the giallo films that followed it, Blood & Black Lace »
- Gary Collinson
In the enduring, boundless shadow of Sergio Leone’s legacy, a deluge of neglected and forgotten Italian genre titles languish undeservedly, ready for rediscovery. Arrow Video has dusted off a masterful example long overdue, Tonino Valerii’s 1967 sophomore feature, Day of Anger (aka Gunlaw). Valerii worked as Leone’s assistant on A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More before launching his own directorial career, re-fashioning the villainous energy of Lee Van Cleef in the actor’s effort to break out on his own. Scripted by Italian genre regular Ernesto Gastaldi (who worked with many masters of giallo film, including Mario Bava, and Sergio Martino), the overtly familiar narrative does little to hamper the enjoyable performances of Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma, replete with several memorable action sequences and set pieces that assist in elevating the title to its deserved reputation.
- Nicholas Bell
This Sunday "Salem" Season 2 is coming to Wgn America, a network we all just learned about sometime last year. In celebration of the new season, which will co-star our presumptive Heroes vs. Villains 2015 champion Lucy Lawless, I've rounded up a list of five worthwhile witch movies to stream online right now. "Black Sunday" (Netflix) Mario Bava's 1960 B&W chiller stars the enormous-eyed Barbara Steele in a dual role as a reincarnated witch from the 17th century and her beautiful lookalike descendant, whom she has returned from beyond the grave to possess. A moody Gothic fright film featuring horror legend Steele in arguably her most iconic role. "Teen Witch" (Netflix) The unintentionally funny 1989 musical best known for its ill-advised "rap" number "Top That" stars Robyn Lively as an unpopular high schooler who discovers she's descended from the witches of Salem. She goes on to use her newly-discovered powers to win »
- Chris Eggertsen
For the final week of February, horror fans have several fun cult classics getting a high definition upgrade this Tuesday, including New Year’s Evil from Scream Factory, Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To and the unforgettable Black Sunday from Mario Bava. Also coming to DVD are several indie thrillers including VANish and The Intruders as well as the upcoming horror comedy Amityville Death House and the 70’s shocker A Candle for the Devil (aka It Happened at Nightmare Inn).
When Mario Bava's groundbreaking Black Sunday was introduced to the U.S. market, American International Pictures retooled the film for the release. In addition to being redubbed in English, the film was given a new musical score and re-edited.
In one of the most auspicious directorial debuts in movie history, Mario Bava bridged the gap between the gothic horror picture »
- Heather Wixson
Beginning his acting career very young, Fear Clinic‘s Thomas Dekker has worked with everyone from John Carpenter to Jerry Seinfeld and most people in between. Always jumping into each role and doing a hell of a job with them, Dekker’s always good, even if certain films might not have been (I’m not the biggest fan of the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, but still liked what Dekker brought to the table). When Dekker was cast as a young John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, he met and began a creatively rich working relationship with FX maestro Rob Hall, who went on to cast Dekker in both Laid To Rest films, as well as Fear Clinic. Playing Blake, a mysterious (and somewhat catatonic) survivor of a shooting which comes to the film’s Fear Clinic to be cured of his fears, Dekker does an excellent »
- Jerry Smith
Italian genre cinema is known for its baroque titles—some films seem to boast more names than cast members. Post-war filmmakers were driven to market their movies to as wide an audience as possible, banking on popular trends. But the absurdly long collection of titles attached to Mario Bava’s 1971 film A Bay of Blood (aka Twitch…
- Samuel Zimmerman
Mvd Entertainment Group continues to distribute Arrow Video in North America with a strong schedule of April 2015 releases receiving the deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork:
"Blood and Black Lace" (Blu-ray / DVD), plus a Limited Edition Steelbook, follows "...the 'Cristiana Haute Couture' fashion house, a home to models, backstabbing, blackmail, drug deals and murder. This influential film by director Mario Bava, newly restored from the original camera negative, would have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese..."
"Massacre Gun" on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Jo Shishido in a classic 'yakuza' action film directed by Yasuharu Hasebe, following
"...'Kuroda' (Shishido), a mob associate who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. Joining forces with his similarly wronged brothers are hot-headed 'Eiji' (Tatsuya Fuji) and aspiring boxer 'SaburÃ´' (JirÃ´ Okazaki), as the trio escalate their retaliation to an all-out »
- Michael Stevens
There was more than one way to enjoy Mario Bava’s Black Sunday when it came out in the early 1960’s. After making its Italy debut in ’60, an alternate version of Black Sunday hit the silver screen in the Us, giving audiences a re-edited look at the reign of terror caused by Asa Vajda’s (Barbara Steele) curse, and soon the folks at Kino Lorber will bring this Us release version of Black Sunday out on Blu-ray.
Kino Lorber revealed that their Blu-ray of the Us release version of Mario Bava’s Black Sunday will be available beginning February 24th. The Blu-ray includes a high-definition upgrade of elements from the original 35mm film and features the re-edits made by American International Pictures back in the early 1960s before the movie was shown to Us audiences.
This version of Black Sunday also includes other alterations made by the Aip, such as »
- Derek Anderson
London's premiere horror festival will be making its way to its second home, to bring a weekend of chills and thrills to Glasgow! Celebrating its 10th year in the north in conjunction with the Glasgow Film Festival, this fabulous FrightFest weekend will include three world premieres, as well as some European and UK premieres.I've only seen two of the new features, but can recommend both Wyrmwood, a bonkers, rough-and-ready zombie film from Australia, and [Rec]4: Apocalypse, a fun tie-up to the legendary zombie franchise. I can also recommend the retro screening of Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace, an early Giallo classic.Other interesting-looking titles include Brad Anderson's Eliza Graves, and 88 starring Katherine Isabelle.Full disclosure, I am the shorts programmer for FrightFest, and have two...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Following from last year’s new look and feel FrightFest (in a brand new location), the horror film festival has announced its line-up for their Glasgow counterpart. And, as with every FrightFest, there are a few first looks and premieres!
Included in the line-up is the UK premiere of the Edgar Allan Poe based Eliza Graves featuring an all-star Hollywood cast, including Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess and Michael Caine. Also on show is the European prememire of The Atticus Institute, world premire of The Hoarder, European premiere of The Asylum and the UK premiere of the hugely anticipated Clown, produced by Eli Roth. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the UK premieres of [Rec]: Apocalypse and There Are Monsters.
Thurs 26 Feb – Gft Screen 2
21:00 Eliza Graves (UK Premiere)
- Luke Owen
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