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Dismaland Castle and Big Little Mermaid suffering from split-personality disorder. Dismaland: Banksy and more than 50 other artists create bemusement theme park Who gives a damn about the cheap thrills to be offered by the Star Wars-themed expansion of Disneyland when you can relish the thought-provoking wonders of Dismaland? The artist Banksy, whose 2010 documentary feature Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for an Academy Award, has come up with his latest revolutionary artwork: a theme park for the bemusement of the whole family! Or perhaps not quite the whole family. Banksy calls his 2.5-acre art show a “family theme park unsuitable for small children.” Another Dismaland plus. Its construction shrouded in secrecy, Dismaland opened today, Aug. 20, '15, on the sea front at Weston-super-Mare, in Somerset, southwest England. While the theme park was being built, locals believed that the work going on at the derelict Tropicana “lido” – shut down in »
- Andre Soares
This week, for our Fright At Home column, we thought we’d try out something new. While we typically share the week’s newly released titles and give you a small rundown on what films are ones that you might want to check out, we thought it would be fun to switch it up a bit. We’re going to give you the DVD/Bluray art and the official synopsis for each film, but instead of writing small pieces on each film, this week we’re going to be featuring a video review of each film, so we can tell you in more detail about each film. It’s a test, so if you fright fanatics would rather have our usual format, sound off and let us know, and if you dig the new approach to Fright At Home, let us know that as well, because like it’s said in the video: ultimately, »
- Jerry Smith
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
“Rats. Rats. Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red blood! All these will I give you if you will obey me!”
Dracula (1931) screens Thursday August 6th at 7:00pm at Schlafly Bottleworks
Ladies fainted in their seats when Bela Lugosi rose from his coffin as a vampire in the 1927 Broadway stage production of “Dracula” that preceded Tod Browning’s timeless 1931 film version that had an equally chilling effect on movie audiences. Playwright Hamilton Deane based his lean script on Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel, and introduced horror to talkies. Dwight Frye’s gonzo performance as Renfield, the hapless Brit accountant who first sets foot inside Dracula’s foreboding castle, set the film’s tone of ghoulish insanity. For the well-established lead, Bela Lugosi is positively blood-curdling as he stalks every scene. With his thick native Hungarian accent and dapper tuxedo and cape, Lugosi forever defined the title character. The way he looks, »
- Tom Stockman
Los Angeles' Bendix Building. Photo by Jordan Cronk.The bats have left the bell towerThe victims have been bled Red velvet lines the black boxBela Lugosi's dead —BauhausBela-Bonkers Brit Bloke Brazenly Boosts Bendix-Building Black Bandana!In the annals of Los Angeles crime, it was hardly an episode to titillate James Ellroy. Was it even really a crime? I was on the short stairwell that connects the 11th—the top—floor of the Bendix Building, a Garment District block on the corner of Maple St and 12th St, when I spotted the square of white-patterned black cotton. Into my pocket it rapidly went, compensation for the fact that my quest for rooftop access had been stymied. An orange plastic sign across the door up ahead, warning (bluffing?) of alarms that would ring out if opened, dissuaded further progress. I wasn't too disheartened—my unplanned visit to the Bendix Building had yielded sufficient delights. »
- Neil Young
If there are ‘freaks’ on display, they are not the versatile performers to whom this 1932 movie’s title appears to allude
Tod Browning’s 1932 tale of love and deception among the members of a carnival sideshow was banned for years by the BBFC on the grounds that it “exploited for commercial reasons the deformed people that it claimed to dignify”. Today, Browning’s sympathies are clear; if there are “freaks” on display here, they are not the versatile performers to whom the title seems to allude. Now accepted as a modern classic, Freaks boasts a memorable turn by Johnny Eck that would inspire the casting of the drones from Doug Trumbull’s sentimental 70s sci-fi charmer Silent Running. As Trumbull recalled: “Here’s this remarkable, beautiful guy, with this amazing agility. Not once do you feel horrified. You are amazed and respectful at his adjustment.”
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- Mark Kermode
Tod Browning’s bizarre black comedy about a band of circus performers is a disturbing curio of old Hollywood that has lost none of its power to unsettle
This macabre masterpiece of pre-Hays Code Hollywood is a staggering provocation from 1932, and a very potent reminder of cinema’s origin in the fairground tent. Director Tod Browning drew on his own experience in the circus for this bizarre black-comic horror-melodrama about a scheming trapeze artist who seduces a midget for his money, and tries to insinuate herself into the ranks of the circus “freaks”. These were played by people with genuine abnormalities, and the film is disturbing now in the way it was then. It probably outpaces Lynch’s The Elephant Man for shock, as it appears to us more in the spirit of the heartless showman, rather than any rational or compassionate observer. A unique film.
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- Peter Bradshaw
★★★★☆ The first American picture to be marketed as an unambiguously supernatural horror experience (released on Valentine's Day, 1931) was Tod Browning's Dracula starring the iconic Bela Lugosi. Universal were at that time in a financial jam, thanks in part to the economic travails of the Great Depression. They found their saviours in the gothic texts of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley. Rival outfits quickly noticed that audiences were flocking to the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein (1931) and box-office receipts don't lie. MGM (always the classiest studio in Hollywood) decided they too wanted a slice of the lucrative pie, and turned to studio old boy Browning to deliver them their own smash hit.
- CineVue UK
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 5th June to Sunday 7th June 2015…
Melissa McCarthy’s latest collaboration with director Paul Feig, the action comedy Spy, has topped the UK box office chart in its opening weekend, with the film earning £2,557,824, including £198k in previews. That’s pretty much on par with 2013’s The Heat, which debuted with £2.5 million, but less than the £3.44 million opening for Bridesmaids back in 2001.
Elsewhere in the chart, horror prequel Insidious: Chapter 3 pulled in £1,440,299 to take third place (matching the opening of the first movie but half that of Chapter 2’s £2.88 million debut), while Secret Cinema’s screenings of The Empire Strikes Back earned £304,115 to claim eighth, followed by Bollywood comedy-drama Dil Dhadakne Do with £212,719 in ninth.
Number one this time last year: 22 Jump Street
1. Spy, £2,557,824 weekend (New)
2. San Andreas, £1,794,747 weekend; £8,334,562 total (2 weeks)
3. Insidious: Chapter 3, £1,440,299 weekend (New)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Gary Collinson
Once banned in the UK, Tod Browning’s bizarre circus-set horror is both a vision of a long-gone weird world and a reminder of the censor’s squeamishness
I love Freaks – the notorious 1932 film rereleased in UK cinemas this week – for any number of reasons. As a fleeting glimpse of the Old Weird America of tent-shows and carnivals and rural backwardness that was long gone before anyone thought to commit it to celluloid. Because after its original test screening, a woman sued MGM claiming it had forced her to miscarry, thus prompting the studio to perform cuts on the film so savage that they unwittingly reenacted the brutal mutilation meted out in revenge to its leading “normal” protagonist, who starts out as Cleopatra of the trapeze, and ends up as the legless, tarred-and-feathered Chicken Lady.
Because MGM made it – the studio of class, elegance and poise! Because it killed off »
- John Patterson
For a good while, fans of Arrow Video’s amazing releases had to put their heads in the laps and cry while listening to Joy Division, due to the releases not being U.S. capable (unless you had an all region player or liked to be a hacker…like the girl in Jurassic Park…). Well, Arrow is a company that cares, and they’ve expanded their releases to the States, and I for one, have been doing jumping jacks nonstop over it (not really, I still have a gut dammit).
We were sent some information that made us quite excited, and if you’re one of the cool kids (blame my daughter for my using of that phrase, she is obsessed with that crazily catchy song), you’ll be excited as well!
- Jerry Smith
As far as cinematic genres go, few are as reliably controversial as horror cinema. From the days of Tod Browning’s Freaks (which used real sideshow performers for its ghastly tale of retribution) way back in 1932, to some of the unforgettable moments of Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, controversy is one of the genre’s constants. While there’s no official title bestowed upon the filmmaker who’s the king of upsetting mainstream audiences (often in the worst way possible), if there was, director Tom Six would probably be the reigning ruler. Six is the man responsible for The Human Centipede films, a trilogy of features that find people (in ever-increasing numbers…) being connected mouth to anus for…something. Six’s third installment...
- Mike Bracken
Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major British stage star Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Born on May 15, 1910, actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned about six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., would have turned 105 this year. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received stage performances – is all but forgotten. »
- Andre Soares
It’s the start of a new month, and as ever in film and Blu-ray circles, nothing gets the fans salivating more than the upcoming release slate from the awesome folks over at Arrow Films. Its line-up of releases for August has been unveiled (both UK and Us), and you can view all the information below, including the stand-out title, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, which is getting a very special, limited edition release in a collector’s package.
Videodrome: Limited Edition
Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies Cronenberg’s extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema. Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M-style broadcasts called ‘Videodrome’. Embroiling his girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) in his search for the source, his »
- Scott J. Davis
Metrodome and Hollywood Classics have announced that Tod Browning’s controversial 1932 horror Freaks is to receive a big screen re-release in the UK, with the film set to open in cinemas in June. Banned in this country by the BBFC until the 1960s, the film is set in a travelling circus and tells the story of trapeze artist Cleopatra, who is welcomed into a group of deformed carnival sideshow performers after marrying midget circus owner, Hans. However, as it becomes clear that Cleopatra is only after Hans’ money, and is conducting an affair with the strongman, the close-knit clan of ‘freaks’ plan a revenge.
“Under our relationship with certain studios, we can create DCPs for selected features that we feel will be of particular interest to a discerning audience”, Hollywood Classics tells Screen Daily. “Tod Browning’s Freaks is widely considered of great cinematic importance, reflecting the macabre historical fascination »
- Gary Collinson
Jennifer Kent’s disturbing directorial debut The Babadook arrives on Blu-ray this week, scoring some of the most critically acclaimed notices ever for a recent psychological horror film. With The Exorcist director William Friedkin’s glowing praise splashed over the front and back cover, proclaiming that he has “never seen a more terrifying film,” and that it will “scare the hell out of you as it did me,” (horror master Stephen King also submits his stamp of approval), Kent’s film has reached a level of unprecedented cultural saturation since premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Though pulling in a surprisingly paltry sum at the domestic box office in Australia, foreign markets embraced the film, including in France, the UK, and the Us, bringing its worldwide box office to just under five million.
Satisfying genre films are generally few and far between these days, so it’s with absolute delight »
- Nicholas Bell
To celebrate Charlie Adlard illustrating the cover of their latest issue, the folks at Metal Hammer magazine visited The Walking Dead artist's studio in a new video. Also included in our latest round-up is a new release date for Mike Flanagan's Before I Wake and early details on an upcoming UK theatrical re-release of Tod Browning's classic 1932 horror film, Freaks.
Charlie Adlard's Studio: "Charlie Adlard, the comic book artist responsible for The Walking Dead (And The Latest Metal Hammer Cover) talks to Metal Hammer Magazine about how he got into comic books and his inspirations."
Video courtesy of Metal Hammer via TheWalkingDead.com:
"In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie (Kate Bosworth »
- Derek Anderson
Exclusive: Hollywood Classics to re-release banned 1930’s film.
Browning’s 1932 film about a travelling “freak show” circus was completed in 1931 but disastrous test screenings forced studio MGM to make extensive cuts .
The original version was considered too shocking and exploitative to be released, and no longer exists.
The final 59-minute cut was released to international audiences but was rejected by the BBFC in the UK until 1963 when it received an X-rating.
The film, whose cast was made up of carnival sideshow performers with real deformities, charts a love triangle between a wealthy dwarf, a gold-digging aerialist, and a strongman; a murder plot; and the vengeance dealt out by the dwarf and his fellow circus performers.
Eponymous characters include The Living Torso, Bearded Lady, Human Skeleton, Half Boy and Stork Woman.
While director and producer Browning was given considerable leeway by MGM »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
by Vic Schiavone
Hosts Nasty Neal and Annabelle Lecter welcomed actor, drummer, and performance artist Mat Fraser. Mat is best known for his role as Paul the Illustrated Seal on the fourth season of the FX horror anthology TV series “American Horror Story”, which was entitled “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.
Highlights included the following:
• Wyh: How did you end up on “American Horror Story”? Is it something you sought out or did they find you?
Mf: “I had heard about it, but my agent in Britain had been unable to secure me an audition, which I was rather disappointed about, and I put the whole thing in the back of my head and forgot about it. Then, I was doing a show with my wife, Julie Atlas Muz. We were doing an adult version of “Beauty and the Beast”, which smashed it and got rave reviews »
What makes a film perverse? It could be a character and their individual perversions, or it could be down to the director of the film creating a pervasive air of seediness, but generally the rule of thumb is that highbrow perverted films that carry a ‘message’ get away with more than the lowbrow films which are viewed to be potentially corrupting to the masses.
This class division has been a rule of film classification and censorship since its inception and it carries on to the present day. Subtitled and foreign arthouse cinema generally gets away with more perverse unexpurgated material than your bog standard Hollywood film, which is also more likely to be censored.
Even more persecuted is exploitation cinema, whose raison d’être is generally to be prurient and perverted. These films are subject to severe censorship (12 and a half minutes were shorn off the first UK »
- Clare Simpson
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