17 items from 2017
Paul Childs Aug 18, 2017
We take another look back at the public information films put out by the Central Office Of Information...
I’m sat writing this on the balcony of my apartment overlooking the majestic Salford Quays. It’s a lovely afternoon and the sun is beating down as families, all dressed in their finest summer attire, chomp on ice-cream while enjoying a relaxing canal side stroll.
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Down on the other side of the canal basin is a group of boys, maybe thirteen or fourteen years old (plus a few much younger ones), dressed in nothing but swimming trunks. »
In his latest FrightFest 2017 interview, host Stuart Wright talks to director Adam Graveley about his film 3rd Night, which has its world premiere at the festival on Saturday 26th August.
A young couple decides to move to an Australian orchard surrounded by natural bushland to escape the madness of modern life. But they soon get the feeling their property is being watched by someone with sinister intentions. Then they find out their house has a past history and that after terrorizing his victims for a couple of days the unknown Watcher always kills his victims on the 3rd night. Tick, tock, time is running out… Informed by the classic horrors Last House On The Left, Rosemary’S Baby and The Wicker Man, this outback shocker is based on true events.
The Horror Channel Frightfest takes place August 24th – 28th 2017 at both the Empire Cinema and Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leicester Square. »
- Phil Wheat
When it comes to the Star Wars movies, it's hard to imagine anyone else in the iconic roles of heroes like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. Even the Star Wars prequels most aggressive critics will admit that Ewan McGregor shined as Obi-Wan Kenobi, the character fans of the galaxy far, far away first encountered as embodied by the late Sir Alec Guinness. But as with any film, the casting process is, well, a process. And there have been plenty of legendary actors who almost made their way into this galaxy from a long time ago and very far, far away.
Most fans know that Kurt Russell was among the actors considered for the role of everyone's favorite scruffy nerf herder, Han Solo. He even screen tested with aspiring Luke Skywalker William Katt, who would later star as television's Greatest American Hero. Karen Allen auditioned for Princess Leia, a »
When it comes to discussing ’60s British horror, most conversations usually begin and end with Hammer’s gothics and their sleazy derivatives. Mind you, it’s not hard to see why—the studio practically revived the genre in the UK during the late ’50s, and competitors would have to be fools to not want to ride their coattails, creating their own bloody (and occasionally brilliant) gothics chock-full of sex and violence. But the ’60s also saw the rise of a different, darker sub-genre—the modern psychological thriller, birthed from Alfred Hitchcock’s visual vocabulary and directors focused less on the supernatural and more on the depths of human cruelty and depravity. These thrillers are violent, sexual, and no stranger to controversy, and on today’s entry of the Crypt of Curiosities, we’ll be looking at three of the best and most noteworthy films.
The first big British thriller of »
- Perry Ruhland
Catherine Pearson Jun 14, 2017
With an anniversary reunion in the pipeline, we celebrate macabre, inventive, brilliant comedy series The League Of Gentlemen...
“Would you describe yourself as an egregious person?” I asked Reece Shearsmith at a recent Q&A. I was nervous. Everyone else had asked questions about his writing, complimented his performances and asked about the upcoming series of Inside No 9. I just wanted to see how he’d respond. “Piss off,” he said. Actually, I shouldn’t put that in quotation marks because that’s not really what he said. What he really said was much more blue but very jovial and the audience all laughed. Phew. I was initially apprehensive that no one would get the reference but I needn’t have been. It turns out The League Of Gentlemen has a timelessness to it and a special place in the hearts of comedy fans that no other show, »
“May you live to be a thousand years old, sir.” Still the most widely unheralded great movie on the books, John Patrick Shanley’s lightweight/profound fable is an unmitigated delight. See Tom Hanks at the end of the first phase of his career plus Meg Ryan in an unacknowledged career highlight. How can a movie be so purposely insubstantial, and yet be ‘heavier’ than a dozen pictures with ‘big things to say?’
1990 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 97 min. / Street Date June 20, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Production Designer Bo Welch
Original Music Georges Delerue
Written and Directed by John Patrick Shanley
I think I found »
- Glenn Erickson
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
The asylum-based film is a fairly interesting mini-genre to deconstruct. These movies almost always deal with perceptions of reality, questions of the self, and an innate fear of those in positions of power who operate in worlds of the ethereal. The question of the protagonist’s madness is almost always central, and the uncertainty over whether their paranoia is unfounded or justified is »
- The Film Stage
The cultural impact of satanic megahit Rosemary’s Baby (1968) was substantial and immediate. All of a sudden supernatural horror was in vogue, whether directly mentioning the Big S or delving into covens and cults. Somehow if money was to be made, Lucifer would be there with his asbestos lined suitcase ready to take donations from one and all. Which brings us to the small screen’s Crowhaven Farm (1970), an ABC Movie of the Week that terrified TV audiences with the knowledge that not all evil has to be metropolitan.
Originally airing on Tuesday, November 24th, Crowhaven Farm’s closest competition was CBS’s Hee Haw, but even those yokels couldn’t beat ABC’s juggernaut, which always won its time slot. And while it may not be a match for Rosemary’s devilish wit and urbane horror (not much is), Crowhaven Farm still offers plenty of spooky, countrified atmosphere.
- Scott Drebit
Summer, 1994, and something bad is happening at sea, off the coast of County Waterford. A boat has turned over, a woman and some children are clinging to it. A man arrives in another boat; yay, they’re saved! But he can’t get his boat close enough. Come on, you idiot, stop shining your torch at them, nudge up closer, throw a rope, do something. But by the time he gets his act together, the woman and one of the kids, known as Mouse, have gone. Three saved, two lost. And one pre-credits sequence, of Kat and Alfie: Redwater (BBC1).
Yep, that’s Kat and Alfie Moon, off EastEnders (Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie). They have spun off, across the Irish Sea (and/or the Celtic Sea). Oh dear, »
- Sam Wollaston
Kat and Alfie Moon’s Redwater has been compared to the hit crime show, the cult classic – and even to Shakespeare. Could it be the best soap offshoot ever? Perhaps … but the bar has never been very high
Redwater has been described as “Broadchurch meets The Wicker Man”, which sounds incredible right up until the moment you realise that it stars Kat and Alfie Moon from EastEnders. At that point, all the promise of quasi-supernatural tension dissipates in a puff of hoo-hoo-ha-ha tummy-slapping cockneyisms.
However, to hear how feverishly it has been talked up – its director has literally compared it to Shakespeare – you’re left with the impression that Redwater is going to set a new standard for soap opera spin-offs. Which admittedly isn’t particularly difficult, because most soap spin-offs have been so utterly inept that you’ve had to privately apologise to your eyes and brain as soon as they ended. »
- Stuart Heritage
Thanks for all the really funny questions, which had me laughing out loud. It's nice to answer questions about shows I haven't thought about for a while. Thanks for being really lovely - I had a nice time. And for those who haven't watched Prevenge, get a move on - the DVD comes out in June.
Are you as weird in real life as you are on screen?
No, disappointingly, I'm not as weird in real life. I think I'm probably just a deeply pragmatic person. I remember there being an interview with Bjork, who is one of my heroines and I'm not comparing myself to her, but it resonated with me - she said people compare me to a pixie, »
- Guardian Staff
From Kill List to Blood on Satan’s Claw, celebrate May Day with a journey into the dark heart of the English countryside
Folk horror sounds like a contradiction in terms, like a blend of Aran knitwear and paranoia, morris-dancing and carnage. Mark Gatiss popularised the phrase, which is apt, since The League of Gentlemen helped seed the genre’s recent revival. The League found the funny in The Wicker Man, though it wasn’t hard to locate: it was always difficult to take seriously a movie where a strutting, bewigged Christopher Lee sonorously orders Edward Woodward, disguised as a dour jester in a Punch costume, to: “Cut some capers, man! Use your bladder!”
According to Gatiss, folk horror’s central trinity consists of three films from the late 1960s and early 70s: Michael Reeves’s Witchfinder General, a brooding tale of sadism and revenge in East Anglia during the »
- Michael Newton
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root | Written and Directed by Jordan Peele
Blumhouse Productions is on something of a commercial and critical winning streak at the moment. Aside from providing a platform for Joel Edgerton’s excellent The Gift, it is supporting the unique voice of Ti West, and has become the home of M. Night Shyamalan’s best work in years. Get Out, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut (after co-writing 2016 comedy Keanu), shares something of the latter’s love for weird humour and genre-dodging thrills.
Skins and Black Mirror actor Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the boyfriend of Rose (Allison Williams). She has convinced him to take a weekend in the country to visit her parents. Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) are excruciatingly liberal and over-friendly from the moment they meet Chris. »
- Rupert Harvey
Dark Horse's The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man comic book series tops today's Horror Highlights, which also includes Wizard World Cleveland, new releases (respectively) from Cavity Colors and Blue Underground, Apocalypse Kiss, and the New Jersey Horror Con.
The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man Comic Book Series: Press Release: "Milwaukie, Ore., (March 14, 2017)—Victorian horror fans, rejoice! Dark Horse is delighted to announce the follow-up to 2011’s cult classic The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde, with The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man. Mr. Hyde’s Cole Haddon brings fans even more Thomas Adye adventures, while Sebastián Cabrol (Thief: Tales from the City, Caliban) lends his beautiful art to the story, and Hernán Cabrera (Caliban) brings the art to life with his gorgeously grotesque color palette.
The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man finds Inspector Thomas Adye of Scotland Yard struggling to return to normalcy after his run-in with »
- Derek Anderson
Gem Wheeler Jan 30, 2017
This review contains spoilers.
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When a man’s skeleton is discovered at Bramford Mere, Thursday’s mind immediately turns to the unsolved disappearance of Matthew Laxman, an Oxford botanist who vanished in autumn 1962. Dr DeBryn soon reveals, however, that the bones belonged to a man who died in what appears to have been a ritual sacrifice two thousand years earlier; as Strange puts it, looking for next of kin won’t be too easy. Morse spots a pair of spectacles in the disturbed earth, which Laxman’s wife Alison (Natalie Burt) is able to identify as likely belonging to her husband. She points the detectives in the direction of Professor Donald Bagley (Michael Pennington), a physicist friend »
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” meets “The Stepford Wives” as a white girl brings her black boyfriend home to meet her parents, whose superficially warm welcome masks an unthinkably dark secret, in “Get Out.” Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless — which is not at all the same thing as scareless. In fact, from the steady joy-buzzer thrills to its terrifying notion of a new way that white people have found to perpetuate the peculiar institution of slavery, “Get Out” delivers plenty to frighten and enrage audiences. But it’s the fact that Peele doesn’t pull a single one of his punches that makes his Blumhouse-backed debut a must-see event.
First teased in a secret midnight screening at the Sundance Film Festival, “Get Out” represents a searing political statement wrapped in the guise of »
- Peter Debruge
Kino Lorber Classics
1974 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 89 min. / Street Date January 3, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Film Editor: John Shirley
Original Music: Roy Budd
Produced by: Barry Levinson
Directed by Ken Hughes
Don’t let the ugly Italian poster art on the disc box throw you — The Internecine Project is a clever plot-driven murder tale in an espionage vein that gathers a string of B+ stars from the early 1970s for ninety minutes of suspense. It’s not the kind of suspense that makes you wonder what’s going to happen next, but the kind that points to a finish that we know will employ a big surprise, a killer-diller last-minute twist. Or three.
- Glenn Erickson
17 items from 2017
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