12 items from 2015
Special Mention: The Most Dangerous Game
Written by James Creelman
Genre: Survival Horror
The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell’s short story of the same name, The Most Dangerous Game was made in 1932, in the era known as “Pre-Code Hollywood,” a time when filmmakers were able to get away with sexual innuendo, illegal drug use, adultery, abortion, intense violence, homosexuality, and much more. It was during this time that a film like The Most Dangerous Game was allowed to be made and shown to the general public without fear of censorship. The film was put together by producer Willis O’Brien while in pre-production on King Kong, and features several of the same cast and crew members, as well as props and sets from Kong. Despite these obvious cost-cutting measures, Dangerous Game never feels like a second-rate production, »
- Ricky Fernandes
A letter signed by all four members of the Beatles petitioning for Mick Jagger to play the lead role of Alex in the film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange has hit the auction block. Paddle8 will offer up the unique item, which carries an estimated selling price of $18,000 to $25,000.
As the story goes, in February 1968, Jagger's famous friends – including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg, among others – sent the autographed petition to Dr. Strangelove screenwriter Terry Southern. Southern was working on the big »
Brian Trenchard-Smith's outrageous futuristic gore-fest imagines an Australian extermination camp run by the sadistic Michael Craig and Roger Ward, where jaded rich folk come to hunt human prey. The leading targets for this week's jaunt are Steve Railsback and Olivia Hussey. It is snarky? Is it subversive? An alternate title was Blood Camp Thatcher! Turkey Shoot Blu-ray Severin Films 1982 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 93 80 min. / Escape 2000, Blood Camp Thatcher / Street Date September 22, 2015 / 24.98 Starring Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig, Carmen Duncan, Noel Ferrier, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Michael Petrovitch, Gus Mercurio, John Ley. Cinematography John McLean Film Editor Alan Lake Original Music Brian May Special Effects John Stears Second Unit Director / Executive Producer David Hemmings Written byJon George, Neill Hicks, George Schenck, Robert Williams, David Lawrence Produced by William Fayman, Antony I. Ginnane Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Who cannot appreciate a movie that carries the alternate title Blood Camp Thatcher? »
- Glenn Erickson
In today's roundup: Essays on David Hemmings in Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, an unrealized screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Abel Ferrara's Pasolini, Dziga Vertov, both seasons of True Detective, Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Mysterious Object at Noon, Todd Haynes's Far From Heaven, Jack Clayton's The Innocents, Wim Wenders, Walt Disney and Bill Gunn's Ganja & Hess, plus interviews with Isao Takahata, Sean Price Williams, Oren Moverman, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala—and more. » - David Hudson »
Inspired by the Richard Lester retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, August 7-13.When the great Omar Sharif died recently, the BBC's coverage of the sad event included clips from Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, of course, and then cut to Richard Lester's Juggernaut just as the voice-over commented on the declining quality of Sharif's later films, causing me to splutter into my cocoa and pen angry letters to Auntie Beeb in my mind, for Juggernaut is a fantastic example of seventies British cinema. It's what I remember seventies Britain being like. The Christmas scene in Ken Russell's Tommy has the same effect on me, but that's because I was a kid in the seventies.Brown and orange color schemes, older men with long hair, and grim political discussions that went over my head but seemed to portend explosive doom: that was the United Kingdom in Ad 1974. In Juggernaut, »
- David Cairns
Updating 1960s television shows and films has often proved a fraught endeavour. Pop culture of that era is so familiar, and so often invoked, that any film-maker revisiting it risks seeming crass and unoriginal. Is there anything left to be said about Swinging London or Michael Caine in Alfie, The Italian Job and The Ipcress File? After Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), what mileage is there in spoofing Sixties spy movies, most of which were made with tongue firmly in cheek anyway? Whether it is James Fox in a wig in Performance, David Hemmings with his zoom lens in Blow-Up (1966), or even Carl Boehm as the duffel-coated serial killer in Peeping Tom (1960), characters and images from many Sixties British movies are so familiar that they are beyond parody. »
Arrow Films & Video have announced its line-up of new Blu-ray releases for October 2015, and once again there are some gems in the list. Chief amongst them are Clive Barker’s first three Hellraiser films in a limited-edition “Scarlet Box”, and a remastered box-set of films directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Kiju Yoshida.
You can check out the full list of films and their special features below, as well as the release dates of the Blu-ray’s with some available in both the UK and Us.
Stephen King was once quoted as saying: “I have seen the future of horror… his name is Clive Barker.” That future became reality when, in 1987, Barker unleashed his directorial debut Hellraiser – launching a hit franchise and creating an instant horror icon in the formidable figure of Pinhead. Barker’s original Hellraiser, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, follows Kirsty »
- Scott J. Davis
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
My first foray into Italian horror was Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1980), seen as a delightfully repulsed 10 year old. However, Dario Argento’s Deep Red (Profondo Rosso if you’re Italian) was the first Italian horror film that actually intrigued me; same age, but very different feelings. The repulsion was there, that base fear, but set within a framework of beautifully rendered images. I didn’t know much about art, but it felt like that’s what I was watching.
Released in March of 1975, Deep Red was the latest thriller from Argento in the giallo style; an Italian term which has generally become known to mean a gruesome, lurid detective story; so called due to the fact that the original Italian pulp novels a lot of these stories pay homage to were written on yellow, or giallo, paper. Argento was already making a name for himself worldwide with previous efforts in »
- Scott Drebit
When Platoon won four Oscars in 1987, it marked not only a new chapter in Oliver Stone's career as a filmmaker, but also the end of a decade-long battle. Since the 1970s, Stone had been struggling to make his harrowing account of the horrors he'd seen firsthand as a soldier in the Vietnam conflict, but was famously turned down by every major studio in Hollywood.
Platoon, and Stone, finally found sanctuary at a small independent studio with a grand-sounding name: the Hemdale Film Corporation. It was Hemdale, and its co-founder John Daly, that had taken a chance on Stone, and when Platoon came out in 1986, the gamble proved to be a shrewd one: its $6m investment was covered by the first month's ticket sales, and the film »
The Conversation is a new feature at Sound on Sight bringing together Drew Morton and Landon Palmer in a passionate debate about cinema new and old. For their third piece, they will discuss Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up.
The cultural impact of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up would be very difficult to overemphasize. Upon release, Andrew Sarris referred to the film as “a mod masterpiece” and ‘Playboy’ critic Arthur Knight went so far as comparing the film to Hiroshima mon amour, Rome Open City, and Citizen Kane in its potential influence on filmmaking. The film was also a massive hit worldwide and the tenth highest grossing film in the United States in 1966 – a memento of a brief window in time in which an art film by an Italian auteur could also do boffo box office. And, having been denied a seal by the Production Code Administration, Blow Up »
- Drew Morton
From toilet-based scares to nasty encounters in the shower, here's a selection of 17 memorable moments of terror in the bathroom...
Nb: the following contains potential spoilers and scenes which may be considered Nsfw.
The scariest moments in horror are often the most intimate - this is why knives are a far nastier, button-pushing instrument of death than the gun. As the Joker famously put it in The Dark Knight, “You can savour all those little emotions...”
Intimacy may be the key to understanding why, in horror films, so many dreadful things tend to happen in bathrooms. The bathroom is often where we go to be by ourselves - either to answer the call of nature, brush our teeth, or simply relax in the bath after a hectic day at work. Equally, the water closet also sees us at our most vulnerable: naked, or at least with our trousers down, and »
12 items from 2015
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