10 items from 2013
Poland's premier blackened death metal overlords have finally returned after a lengthy hiatus, and based on this new taste of their forthcoming album The Satanist – their first studio release since Evangelion in 2009 – it sounds like they haven't dialed back their diabolical power in the slightest. If their newly-released Ep "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" is any indication, they're taking no prisoners this time, and I expect nothing less from this terrifying trio. “We took all the time in the world to complete this project,” says frontman Nergal, describing it as “an ecstatic manifest of our unrestrained artistic will, where we dare to reach out beyond the limitations of the heavy metal genre... and it's only the beginning.” I agree completely This Ep demonstrates the band hasn't lost their edge in the years after Evangelion, and for my money the title track is among their best work to date. From the mesmerizing central riff with evil harmonics, »
- Gregory Burkart
The hardest part about choosing my favourite horror films of all time, is deciding what stays and what goes. I started with a list that featured over 200 titles, and I think it took me more time to pick and choose between them, than it did to actually sit down and write each capsule review. In order to hold on to my sanity, I decided to not include short films, documentaries, television mini-series and animated films. I also had to draw the line at some point in deciding if certain movies should be considered horror or not. In such cases where I was split down the middle in deciding, I let IMDb be the judge for me. And in some cases, I’ve included these titles as special mentions. Long story short, I can’t include every movie I like, and I have to draw the line somewhere. With that said, »
Directed by Georges Franju
France and Italy, 1960
The idea of what a quintessential French horror film might be, especially in the middle of the last century, would be a conflicting concept, the French being culturally revered as the custodians of the high-brow, the poetically human, and the avant-garde (we even import the word in its French form); horror is a genre maintained to provoke the base and primal, better left to B-movie thrills. Enter Georges Franju, a co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, to helm Eyes Without a Face, a work to arrive with scorn from both French and Anglophone audiences as it had not been crafted to either of their palettes, but rather an amalgamation of tastes and something completely new.
When Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) identifies the body of his daughter Christiane »
- Zach Lewis
It's Amir here, brining you this month's poll. It's October so we're obligated to take you to the dark depths of cinematic greatness with a list of horror goodies. We're looking at the best horror films of all time, with a twist. We chose The Exorcist (1973) as our milestone since it's the first horror film nominated for the best picture Oscar and about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. So we've split the Best list in half, with The Exorcist as cleaver. Part two comes next Tuesday, but for now
The Top Ten Best
Pre-Exorcist Horror Films
There really isn't much I can add by way of introduction, aside from pointing out that the boundaries of what is or isn't within the limits of this particular genre are blurry. Can Freaks still be considered a horror film today, removed from the initial shock of seeing circus performers with deformities on the »
- Amir S.
Tonight we recommend two little known but brilliantly conceived classics Carnival of Souls (1962) and Hour of the Wolf (1964). The first one is a disturbing tale about a woman who is harassed by a spirit that wants to drag her to the other side. Although still a unique film in its own right Carnival of Souls (1962) laid the foundation for personhauntings and hallucinatory horror imagery common to the contemporary genre. Next the eminent Ingmar Bergman brings us the only horror creation he could muster out of a laundry list of influential films Hour of the Wolf (1964). »
Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead is potentially tricky, but one of the criteria I always use is Anthony Hopkins’s performance in Silence of the Lambs, a film in which he is considered a lead but appears only briefly; his character is an integral part of the story.
The criteria for this article is as follows: The director & actor team must have worked together at least 3 times with the actor in a major role in each feature film, resulting in a minimum of 2 must-see films.
One of the primary trends for the frequency of collaboration is the »
- John Oursler
With Volume One of the Van Veeteren Films arriving on DVD today, Paul Risker discusses the Scandinavian detective series...
Just as Shaun Evans steps into the shoes of the legendary John Thaw to travel back in time to introduce us to a young Endeavour Morse, his time travelling journey coincides with the arrival of the newly retired Inspector Van Veeteren. From the origins of one of Britain’s most beloved detectives in television and literature crime fiction, we travel into the twilight of one of the icons of Scandinavian detective fiction.
The creation of Swedish teacher and author Håkan Nesser, Van Veetren debuted in 1993’s The Mind’s Eye (Det grovmaskiga nätet), translated into English in 2008. Nesser has since written eight Van Veeteren novels, the latest instalment of which The Weeping Girl was published in the UK only last month. Nesser is twice the recipient of the Best Swedish Crime Novel award, »
- Flickering Myth
Horror stories that are grounded in reality, and yet not bound by rules … these inspire Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe (The Haunting in Connecticut). And it’s what they appreciate about Seed, a powerful and terrifying novel written by Ania Ahlborn. Simon and Metcalfe have been selected by Amazon Studios to adapt Seed for the screen.
“Ania’s character insight and scenic eye managed to do what few horror writers even attempt, let alone succeed at – and that is, create a fictional world we instantly recognize as our own, as true,” Simon said. “Like Stephen King and a handful of Horror masters, she knows that writing great horror fiction is like directing lightning – your pole’s gotta be grounded.”
Seed was added to the Amazon Studios development slate last year, and Ahlborn says the experience has been “nothing but awesome.” And she’s a fan of Simon and Metcalfe. “I »
The Bradford International Film Festival is typically an underground-friendly fest. This year appears to be no exception with two very special experimental film retrospectives, as well as a few modern underground-type flicks.
The 19th annual Biff will roll on April 11-21 at several locations around Bradford and Leeds in England, including the National Media Museum, Hebden Bridge Picture House, Hyde Park Picture House and other venues.
Biff is hosting a tribute to Stan Brakhage this year by screening the prolific filmmaker’s magnum opus, Dog Star Man, as well as a selection of his short films, from 1963′s legendary Mothlight to 1994′s Black Ice. There’s also going to be an epic-sized tribute/retrospective of experimental films from Austria, a country with a proud avant-garde filmmaking tradition that’s typically overlooked.
From Austria, Biff is, of course, screening two works from one of the experimental film world’s biggest masters, »
- Mike Everleth
Written by Ingmar Bergman
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Throughout his storied career, Ingmar Bergman displayed a keen interest in the psychological. However, he didn’t often broach the psychological from a horror perspective. Herr Bergman occasionally brought supernatural elements into his films, but he always stopped just short of entering the world of horror. Enter into the fray Bergman’s 1968 effort, Vargtimmen. This time Bergman has driven full on into the realm of horror. Vargtimmen is a bloody, moody, and tense nightmare from a man who is incapable of keeping his deepest fears off of the screen.
To accomplish the task of bringing his nightmares to life, Bergman has employed the formidable talents of Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. Those two actors were quite used to working with Bergman, and in the case of Frau Ullmann, moving beyond working and into a personal relationship. »
- Bill Thompson
10 items from 2013
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