7 items from 2014
(The following review is of the UK release of the film on Region 2 format.)
In Roy Ward Baker’s 1960s comedy-drama Two Left Feet, Michael Crawford plays Alan Crabbe, a clumsy and unlucky-in-love 19-year-old who begins dating ‘Eileen, the Teacup Queen’, a waitress at his local cafe. She lives in Camden Town and there are rumours that she’s married, but that doesn’t seem to alter her behavior. Alan and Eileen travel into London’s ‘Floride Club’, where the Storyville Jazzmen play trad for the groovers and shakers. Eileen turns out to be a ‘right little madam’, who is really just stringing Alan along. She’s the kind of girl who only dates to get into places and then starts chatting to randoms once inside. She takes up with ruffian Ronnie, while Alan meets a nice girl, Beth Crowley. But Eileen holds a strange hold over »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
1976 saw the publication of John Brosnan’s excellent book The Horror People. Written during the summer of 1975, it makes interesting reading 40 years down the line. Those who feature prominently in the book – Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Jack Arnold, Michael Carreras, Sam Arkoff, Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson and Milton Subotsky – were still alive, as were Ralph Bates, Mario Bava, Jimmy Carreras, John Carradine, Dan Curtis, John Gilling, Robert Fuest, Michael Gough, Val Guest, Ray Milland, Robert Quarry and Michael Ripper, all of whom were given a mention. Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Junior, Michael Reeves and James H Nicholson were not long dead. Hammer, Amicus and American International Pictures were still in existence. George A Romero had yet to achieve his prominence and Stephen King wasn’t even heard of!
Brosnan devoted a chapter to a new British company called Tyburn Films. Founded by the charismatic and ambitious Kevin Francis, »
This week on Trailers from Hell, Brian Trenchard-Smith takes on "Devil Ship Pirates," a troubled 1964 action/adventure maritime adventure film. Like its predecessor "The Pirates of Blood River," Hammer's second pirate saga overcomes its budget restraints by setting most of the action on dry land. As usual with the studio’s forays into historical material, the innate cruelty of those unforgiving eras is given its head, leading to more than a little blood being spilled on all the lovingly fabricated finery. Indispensable Hammer stalwart Jimmy Sangster ("Horror of Dracula") did the script and Hammer regulars Andrew Keir and Michael Ripper lend their typically steady support to Sir Christopher Lee, who gets to do some nifty buckling and swashing under Don Sharp’s efficient direction. »
- Trailers From Hell
Like its predecessor The Pirates of Blood River, Hammer’s second pirate saga overcomes its budget restraints by setting most of the action on dry land. As usual with the studio’s forays into historical material, the innate cruelty of those unforgiving eras is given its head, leading to more than a little blood being spilled on all the lovingly fabricated finery. Indispensable Hammer stalwart Jimmy Sangster (Horror of Dracula) did the script and Hammer regulars Andrew Keir and Michael Ripper lend their typically steady support to Sir Christopher Lee, who gets to do some nifty buckling and swashing under Don Sharp’s efficient direction.
The post Devil-Ship Pirates appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
- TFH Team
It has been dismissed over the years as cheesy, cheap and laughable but, as has been the case on many occasions, Hammer Films have had the last laugh. They boast a back-catalogue that is to horror movies what The Rolling Stones’ discography is to rock music. Fifty-nine years after the release of their first horror movie proper (The Quatermass Xperiment), Hammer’s films have survived scrutiny and re-evaluation and have now attained National Treasure status. Moreover, in terms of sheer importance, the Hammer films were some of the most influential of the past half-century. The ripple-effect of their imitators cashing in on their success would beget the careers of some of the biggest names in Hollywood today.
And yet since 1984 Hammer has been a dormant entity, existing only in the memory: a pile of ashes, a cape and a signet ring waiting to be reanimated by the crimson, jugular discharge of some poor, »
- Cai Ross
Feature Alex Westthorp 19 Feb 2014 - 07:00
The BBC's contemporary take on Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories has made Sherlock the most popular television drama series in many years. Benedict Cumberbatch has made Sherlock his own, his approach to the role as radical for the current era as the late, great Jeremy Brett's was a generation ago. Martin Freeman has banished our memories of his role as Tim Canterbury in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's The Office, with his wonderful re-assessment of Dr John Watson. The corporation is making the most of the Conan Doyle franchise. After from two rather lacklustre yuletide cases, firstly with Richard Roxburgh in 2002 then Rupert Everett in 2004; they finally have a hit on their hands. The benchmark hitherto has always been Granada Television »
Although Hammer Films will always be associated with British horror, the studio did have stiff competition. Amicus specialised in the successful horror anthologies and Us counterparts American International Pictures established a permanent UK base in the mid sixties. Other smaller independents took their own bite from the cherry tree of horror with some success, the best known being Tigon Films.
Tigon has received some belated recognition in recent years. Andy Boot’s book on British horror Fragments of Fear devotes a chapter to the company while John Hamilton’s excellent book Beast in the Cellar covers the varied career of Tigon’s charismatic founder Tony Tenser.
Like Hammer’s Sir James Carreras, Tenser was one of the British Film Industry’s great entrepreneurs. Born in London to poor Lithuanian immigrants and a movie fan since childhood, he was an ambitious man with a natural talent for showmanship. Combining shrewd business »
7 items from 2014
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