The Cat and the Canary (1927) - News Poster


Book Review: "American Gothic" By Jonathan Rigby; Expanded And Updated Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Adrian Smith

American filmmakers have been fascinated by horror and the fantastical since the birth of cinema itself, with one early example cited here being an 1898 New York screening by the Thomas Edison Company of a short film featuring a witch and an appearance from Mephistopheles. Partially inspired by the work of French magician Georges Méliès, it was not long before ghosts, demons, witches and devils would become commonplace in the silent films being produced in New York, and eventually Hollywood itself.

Jonathan Rigby’s American Gothic (Signum publishing) is a fascinating and idiosyncratic exploration of the American horror film, a genre which has inspired filmmakers to create some of the most memorable moments in cinema history. More than a simple encyclopaedia, the book charts the historical development of the genre through not only the classics such as Phantom of the Opera, Dracula and The Cat and the Canary,
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'Godfather' Star Abe Vigoda Passes Away at Age 94

'Godfather' Star Abe Vigoda Passes Away at Age 94
While we aren't even one month into 2016, the entertainment industry has already lost several notable icons. Today, Variety reports that beloved character actor Abe Vigoda passed away in his New Jersey home at the age of 94. The news was confirmed by his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, who revealed he passed from natural causes.

Abe Vigoda was born February 24, 1921 in New York City, to Lena (Moses) and Samuel Vigoda, both Russian Jewish immigrants. His father was a tailor on the Lower East Side. The actor made his first stage appearance at the age of 17 and performed n small theater shows for over 20 years. He had roles in notable off-Broadway productions such as "Richard III" in 1960 and 1961, "The Cherry Orchard" in 1962-63, "A Darker Flower" in 1963 and "The Cat and the Canary" in 1965. The actor made his Broadway debut with a role in a revival of "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul
See full article at MovieWeb »

Abe Vigoda, ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Godfather’ Actor, Dies at 94

Abe Vigoda, ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Godfather’ Actor, Dies at 94
Actor Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in “The Godfather” and as Detective Sgt. Fish in TV’s “Barney Miller” and a spinoff series in which he starred, has died. He was 94 and died in New Jersey of natural causes, his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs told the Associated Press.

The tall character actor with the characteristically slouched shoulders and hangdog face became something of a pop culture figure due to repeated false reports of his demise, which became the subject of jokes. Reflecting his somewhat odd celebrity was the existence of a punk rock band named Abe Vigoda; his recurring appearances in the late 2000s on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”; and the existence of a website named, which for years consisted simply of a blank page with the word No.

Vigoda made his feature debut in a bit part in Marcel Carne
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Abe Vigoda, ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Godfather’ Actor, Dies at 94

Abe Vigoda, ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Godfather’ Actor, Dies at 94
Actor Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in “The Godfather” and as Detective Sgt. Fish in TV’s “Barney Miller” and a spinoff series in which he starred, has died. He was 94 and died in New Jersey of natural causes, his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs told the Associated Press.

The tall character actor with the characteristically slouched shoulders and hangdog face became something of a pop culture figure due to repeated false reports of his demise, which became the subject of jokes. Reflecting his somewhat odd celebrity was the existence of a punk rock band named Abe Vigoda; his recurring appearances in the late 2000s on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”; and the existence of a website named, which for years consisted simply of a blank page with the word No.

Vigoda made his feature debut in a bit part in Marcel Carne
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Interrupted Voyages: Two Rarities at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

  • MUBI
What good is a canon? It's a question that hovers in endless debate near cinephile culture. The idea of distilling cinema down to its "best" or "most essential" films is like a game or a thought experiment, and whether it be the AFI or Sight & Sound or a group of Young Turks looking to rattle conventional wisdom, canon-making demonstrates nothing so much as a desire to assemble an expansive, fragmented, and still-evolving sense of film history into some sort of definitive order. Canons, each with its own biases, are useful chiefly as a starting point or a basecamp. The best answer is to always be looking, always curious. And cinema has barely more than a century to keep up with. I wonder how bibliophiles cope.One of the virtues of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which begins on May 28th, is how it mixes classics and arcana on a level plane.
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5 Underseen Haunted House Movies As Scary As Poltergeist

The argument over who directed Poltergeist - the credited Tobe Hooper or producer and co-writer Steven Spielberg -  weirdly reflects the tone of the 1982 hit, which starred Craig T. Nelson as a father who moves his family into a California suburb built on a Native American burial ground. The film melds some genuinely strange and galvanizing images of the home rebelling against its new owners with a healthy dose of the thoughtful family dynamics that made E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind so distinct. In a way, one could see Hooper as the malevolent, unbound spirit trying to burst through the veneer of Spielberg's impeccably designed environs and relatively mild strain of sentimental hokum. [caption id="attachment_461657" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via Associated Film/caption] Both Hooper, the ingenious wild man behind The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Spielberg are obsessives when it comes to the realms of the supernatural onscreen, clearly versed in creature features,
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The problem with the 'Poltergeist' remake

  • Hitfix
The problem with the 'Poltergeist' remake
When it comes to glossy studio-backed haunted-house movies, "Poltergeist" was the first out of the gate and arguably remains the best, a thrilling big-budget adventure ride produced (and some would say partially directed) by Steven Spielberg that brought an Amblin-esque sheen to a creaky sub-genre harkening back to such "old dark house" fare as 1927's "The Cat and the Canary" and 1944's "The Uninvited." At the time it undoubtedly felt like a fresh take, and even more than 1979's "The Amityville Horror" it set the template for the modern supernatural horror movie. The upcoming Gil Kenan-directed remake, meanwhile? Can't say I'm chomping at the bit for it. Though I felt cautiously optimistic after hearing about the talent attached -- "Rabbit Hole" playwright and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the script, while Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie Dewitt were set to star as the central couple who fight to free their young
See full article at Hitfix »

Halloween happenings 2014 by Jennie Kermode - 2014-10-26 15:33:40

We look at the scary films you can get your teeth into this Halloween Week.

Aberdeen 31st The Exorcist, the Vue.

Belfast 30th Little Shop Of Horrors, Odyssey Cinema. 30th The Lost Boys, Odyssey Cinema. 31st Beetlejuice, Odyssey Cinema. 31st A Nightmare On Elm Street, Odyssey Cinema.

Birmingham 31st The Cat And The Canary, with live music, Town Hall. 31st Nosferatu, Town Hall. 31st The Exorcist, the Electric Cinema. 31st Ring, the Electric Cinema.

Bristol 31st Frightfest All Nighter: ABCSs Of Death 2, The Pact II, The Editor, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, Last Shift, Watershed.

Brynmawr 31st Halloween all-nighter: The Shining, Scream, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Howling, Night Of The Demon, Market Hall Cinema.

Cardiff 31st Alien and Aliens, the Vue. 31st Motley Movies: Ring, Portland House.

Derby 31st Dead and Breakfast: Hellraiser, Psycho Beach Party, Torso, Wolfcop and An American Werewolf In London.

Dundee 30th Dundead: The Ghost Train,
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Josh Soriano’s Five Best “Old Dark House” Films

On a stormy night, amidst the the trees on a fog-shrouded​ hilltop, a large house sits. Inside, a group of people have come together to hear the reading of a will. As the night continues, the ​​storm’s grasp strengthens and renders it impossible for the group to leave. They’ll have to spend the night. However, one amongst them is a murderer and will do anything in his/her power to be the next heir, including killing the guests off one by one. Before daybreak the killer will traverse throughout the house by secret passages, terrorizing each guest and creating a panic, while our protagonists race to solve the mystery.

Sound familiar? It should. It’s the classic scenario ​of what are known as ​”Old Dark House​​​” films that were popularized in the 30s and 40s in cinema. If you’ve ever watched a Saturday night horror film on basic television,
See full article at Icons of Fright »

Tyburn Films: British Horror’s last line of Defence

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,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

The Forgotten: Mr. Monster

  • MUBI
Lon Chaney didn't speak during early childhood, as his parents were deaf and mute, and he communicated with them via sign language. When silent movies came along, he was a natural. And at the end of his life, stricken with throat cancer, he lost his voice and again relied on pantomime to make himself understood. He came from silence and went back to silence.

Chaney was a unique kind of movie star, in that his success rested more on variety than reliability: if his audiences had any expectations going into a Chaney film, surely they must have been expectations of surprise, perhaps of an encounter with the unfamiliar and bizarre.

Outside the Law (1920) was Chaney's second film for director Tod Browning, whose concerns seemed to merge with his own in a particularly conducive way: separately and apart, both men pursued stories of humiliation, disfigurement, and revenge, featuring bizarre, displaced menageries and elaborate and uncomfortable disguises.
See full article at MUBI »

Don't Let the U.S. Government Shut Down! Quality Halloween Movies in October, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Terror Before The Talkies: Horror Films Of The Silent Era

  • FEARnet
Terror Before The Talkies: Horror Films Of The Silent Era
The hit sound film The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson and directed by Alan Crosland, fueled the mainstream appetite for newfangled "talkies"... and brought on the death throes of the ol' fashioned silent film. Over the next few years, silent motion picture production around the world slowed, withered, and died. Before this era came to a close, however, the horror genre took root, clawed its way into mainstream popularity, and spawned a wealth of atmospheric and unsettling thrillers. These films built the foundation upon which a century of horror movies would be constructed. The art of film was still in its infancy, and this silent era of experimentation gave rise to some of the most striking and fascinating horror movies ever made. While Germany would soon rise to dominate horror of the silent era, Italy helped get the ball rolling with their first feature length film, Dante's Inferno (1911), directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro.
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12 in a Box – review

This British farce has a plot similar to Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians (as it is now called) and that old American standby The Cat and the Canary; a group of strangers lured to a remote country house. In this case they're former pupils at a British school who will get a million pounds each from a misanthropic millionaire if they stay together for 90 hours. It's a clumsy affair with a running joke involving a man with a severe stammer that's about as funny as a running sore. The picture has been on the shelf for seven years and would have remained there were it not for the recent popularity of Miranda Hart, who has a small, unrewarding role as the unlovable fiancee of one of the dislikable would-be beneficiaries.

ComedyMiranda HartAgatha ChristiePhilip French © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Forgotten B&W Horror Movies #2: The Vampire Bat

Movies from the “golden age” of black and white films (approximately the 1930’s through the 1950’s) almost invariably contain well-written dialogue and strikingly subtle humor, making them a favorite among many fans of cinema. The horror movies of this more subtle period in film history are therefore of a cerebral nature, primarily relying on the viewer’s imagination to generate the true sense of horror that modern movies generate through more visual means. It is these oft-ignored horror movies that will be the focus of a series of articles detailing the reasons why true fans of horror movies should rediscover these films. The Vampire Bat (Majestic Pictures, 1933) is the second movie in this series.

The Vampire Bat made its debut during the Great Depression when Universal Studios was the undisputed king of horror films. This “poverty row” film from Majestic Pictures, unlike many other Depression-era films from the smaller picture studios,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Listen Now: A GeekCast Radio Network Update

Welcome back to our weekly look at the new podcasts available at our new “partners in podcast crime” the GeekCast Radio Network. Each week we bring you the highlights from Gcrn, with descriptions and links to each and every episode.

ToonCast Episode 78 – Rocky & Bullwinkle

Before Mike and Kevin even start the 78th episode of ToonCast Steve joins them for a leftover debate about that puppy Scrappy Doo!Puppy Power!! Listen Now.

The Secret Origins Podcast Episode 17

In the 17th episode of The Secret Origins Podcast Lupis and TFG1Mike talk about more Jlu Episodes. This time they discuss: The Cat and the Canary, The Ties that Bind, Doomsday Sanction, and Task Force X. TFG1Mike only likes two of these episodes listen in and find out which ones those are. Listen Now.

The Tele-Cast Episode 01 – Salute Your Shorts

In the inaugural episode of The Tele-Cast join the crew for a Nickelodeon classic.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Abertoir Horror Festival announces 2010 line-up

Wales’ National Horror Festival, Abertoir has announced its 2010 line up. The festival, which runs between Wednesday 10 – Sunday 14 November at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, will show more than twenty films, including UK premieres, cult screenings and classics from around the world, as well as a whole host of special guests, talks, masterclasses, live music and theatre events. Festival Director Gareth Bailey is excited to welcome Abertoir festival-goers this November:

As Abertoir turns five years old, the team has worked tirelessly to put together a fantastic line up of films from around the world – from genre-defining classics, to the latest offerings in horror, we’re looking forward to meeting new festival-goers and welcoming old friends.

Legendary band The Damned will provide music on the Friday evening, supported by Abertoir favourites Zombina and the Skeletones. On the Saturday evening, Robert Lloyd Parry presents his acclaimed one-man show with a creepy candle lit telling of
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

GeekTyrant's October Zombie Fest kicks off with White Zombie

Every October we here at GeekTyrant try to do something fun for the Halloween season. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, it’s just a fun season of the year, and I love horror movies! Our first year we focused on Italian Horror films, the next year we focused on the classic Universal Horror Monster movies, This year we are going to put a focus on Zombies! Why? Because we love zombies! I also thought it would be a cool and fun lead-in to AMC’s new zombie TV series The Walking Dead which will be released Halloween night.

We will kick off our October Zombie Fest with the film....

White Zombie

This is the zombie film that started it all. The 1932 American horror film was brought to life by brothers Victor Halperin and Edward Halperin. White Zombie is the first feature–length Zombie film ever made.

I found that the film is eerie,
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The Bride of Frankenstein Turns 75

It was on this day, April 22 1935, that the Bride was born…

One of the most iconic images in all of horror cinema, the Bride has haunted our nightmares for 75 years now, an eerily beautiful, hissing figure covered in gauze from head-to-toe, draped in a brilliant but inelegant white shroud, and with flaming white streaks shooting up a jazzed, Nefertiti hairdo.

The Bride’s part in the 1935 Universal classic The Bride of Frankenstein is a small one, but it burns instantly and indelibly into one’s psyche, as the radiant Elsa Lanchester and the immortal Boris Karloff enact the ultimate nightmare version of a blind date.

The Bride of Frankenstein has endured for 75 years, its reputation as one of the great touchstones of early horror movies – and of Hollywood’s Golden Age — only looming larger as the decades tick past. The absolute zenith of the original Universal Horror cycle, Bride effortlessly combines everything: ghoulish chills,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Leading Actress Collin Wilcox Dies

Actress Collin Wilcox was best known for her role as the young white woman whose false claim that she was raped by a black man served as the focal point in the 1963 Oscar-winning film To Kill a Mockingbird. She also starred in the classic Twilight Zone episode “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You” in 1964

Wilcox was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 4, 1935, and moved to Highlands, North Carolina, with her family as an infant. She studied acting from an early age and made her debut on the Broadway stage in the late 1950s.

She made her film debut as Mayella Violet Ewell in the 1962 adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, directed by Richard Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck as heroic lawyer Atticus Finch. Wilcox also became a familiar face on television, appearing in episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, the 1960 Dow Hour of Great Mysteries production of
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

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