Michael Hordern - News Poster


Blu-ray Review – Demons of the Mind (1972)

Demons of the Mind, 1972.

Directed by Peter Sykes.

Starring Paul Jones, Robert Hardy, Shane Briant, Gillian Hills, Yvonne Mitchell, Patrick Magee, Robert Brown, and Michael Hordern.


A physician discovers a web of sex, incest and Satanism in the house of a wealthy Baron.

Coming at a time when Hammer Films badly needed a hit as dwindling audiences were getting their horror fixes from the ‘real world’ terrors of Us movies such as The Last House on the Left and Night of the Living Dead, Demons of the Mind also eschewed the myths and monsters from fantastical lands but retained the period gothic setting that had become a trademark of the studio since the late 1950s.

With more than a passing nod to Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, Demons of the Mind stars Robert Hardy (Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets) as Baron Zorn, an aristocrat
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Review: Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" (1975); Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“The Beauty Of Irony”

By Raymond Benson

Leave it to The Criterion Collection to present a jaw-dropping, eye-popping Blu-ray release of Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 masterpiece that many critics have called one of the most beautiful films ever made. While the picture received many accolades upon its initial release, including Oscar nominations for Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay—and wins for Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes, and Adapted Score—it was again one those Kubrick films that was controversial and misunderstood at first. It was not a financial success in the U.S., and yet today it’s considered one of the auteur’s greatest works.

After such titles as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, it may have seemed to be an odd choice for Kubrick to make a picture such as Barry Lyndon. One must look back to the period between 2001 and Clockwork to understand it. Kubrick
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Barry Lyndon

Stanley Kubrick’s contribution to great cinema of the 1970s offers his vision of what an epic should be. Transported by images that recall great paintings of the period, and Kubrick’s new approaches to low-light cinematography, we witness a rogue’s progress through troubled times. And even Ryan O’Neal is good!

Barry Lyndon


The Criterion Collection 897

1975 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 185 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 17, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger, Steven Berkoff, Gay Hamilton, Marie Kean, Diana Körner, Murray Melvin, Frank Middlemass, André Morell, Arthur O’Sullivan, Godfrey Quigley, Leonard Rossiter, Philip Stone, Leon Vitali Leon Vitali, Wolf Kahler, Ferdy Mayne, George Sewell, Michael Hordern (narrator).

Cinematography: John Alcott

Editor: Tony Lawson

Production design: Ken Adam

Conductor & Musical Adaptor: Leonard Rosenman

Written by Stanley Kubrick from the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray

Produced and Directed by Stanley Kubrick

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Frightfest 2017: ‘Demons Of The Mind’ Review: Dir. Peter Sykes

Demons of the Mind Review: Released in 1972 Demons of the Mind returns to the big screen at this years Frightfest.

Demons of the Mind Review

In 1972 legendary purveyors of British horror Hammer Film Productions were struggling to terrify audiences, so they began veering away from their established formula of cheap but chilling Gothic entertainment. Demons Of The Mind was part of this movement, with its warped tale of exploitation-infused bloodlust. It’s one of the more obscure entries in the studio’s back catalogue and maybe this is the reason the film is being re-released following a new restoration.

Emil (Shane Briant) and Elizabeth (Gillian Hills) are photogenic siblings who live with their father Zorn (the late Robert Hardy) in a stunning Gothic mansion. However the family line is riddled with a horrifying condition: “My loins are filled with a sore disease!” proclaims Hardy, indicating this may not be your typical Hammer fare.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Alice Lowe webchat – your questions answered on folk horror, Sightseers and sexy golf

The Prevenge and Chubby Funny star answered your questions on working with Ben Wheatley, being weird in moon boots and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

2.14pm BST

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.

2.12pm BST

OzMogwai asks:

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,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Pied Piper | Blu-ray Review

A forgotten oddity from the early 1970s is Jacques Demy’s English language mounting of The Pied Piper, a rather bleak but mostly unequivocal version of the famed Grimm Bros. fairy tale about a titular piper who infamously lured the children of Hamelin to their assumed deaths after being rebuffed by the townsfolk when he similarly rid the town of plague carrying rats.

Set in the 1300s of northern Germany, this UK production blends bits of Robert Browning’s famed poem of the legend into the film, but the end result is unusually straightforward and unfussy, considering Demy’s predilection for inventive, colorful musicals, such as the classic confections The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort. The stunt casting of Donovan as the piper generates a certain amount of interest, although he’s whittled down to a supporting character amongst a cast of master character actors like Donald Pleasence, John Hurt, Peter Vaughan, and child star Jack Wild.

Notably, The Pied Piper is one of the few Demy films not to be built around a strong, beautiful female lead, which may also explain why there’s no center point in the film. Cathryn Harrison (daughter of Rex, who starred in Louis Malle’s Black Moon) and a gone-to-seed Diana Dors (though not featured as memorably as her swarthy turn in Skolimowski’s Deep End) are the tiny flecks of feminine representation. It was also not Demy’s first English language production, as he’d made a sequel to his New Wave entry Lola (1961) with 1969’s Los Angeles set Model Shop. So what compelled him to make this departure, which premiered in-between two of his most whimsical Catherine Deneuve titles (Donkey Skin; A Slightly Pregnant Man) is perhaps the film’s greatest mystery.

Cultural familiarity with the material tends to work against our expectations. At best, Donovan is a mere supporting accent, popping up to supply mellow, anachronistic music at odd moments before the dramatic catalyst involving his ability to conjure rats with music arrives. Prior to his demeaning, Demy’s focus is mostly on the omnipotent and aggressive power of the corrupting church (Peter Vaughan’s Bishop) and Donald Pleasence’s greedy town leader, whose son (a sniveling John Hurt) is more intent on starting wars and making counterfeit gold to pay his gullible minions than stopping the encroaching plague. Taking the brunt of their violence is the Jewish alchemist, Melius (Michael Hordern), who is wise enough to know the rats have something to do with the spread of the disease. Demy uses his tragic demise to juxtapose the piper’s designs on the children.

While Hurt and Pleasance are entertaining as a toxic father and son, Demy seems estranged from anyone resembling a protagonist. Donovan is instantly forgettable, and the H.R. Pufnstuf and Oliver! child star Jack Wild gets upstaged by a wild mop of hair and a pronounced limp (which explains why he isn’t entranced along with the other children), and the film plays as if Donovan’s role might have been edited down in post. The script was the debut of screenwriters Andrew Birkin (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, 2006) and Mark Peploe (The Passenger, 1975; The Last Emperor, 1987) who would both go on to write a number of offbeat auteur entries.

Disc Review:

Kino Lorber releases this obscurity as part of their Studio Classics label, presented in 1.66:1. Picture and sound quality are serviceable, however, the title would have greatly benefitted from a restoration. Dp Peter Suschitzky’s frames rightly capture the period, including some awesomely creepy frescoes housing Pleasence and son, but the color sometimes seems faded or stripped from some sequences. Kino doesn’t include any extra features.

Final Thoughts:

More of a curio piece for fans of Demy, The Pied Piper mostly seems a missed opportunity of the creepy legend.

Film Review: ★★½/☆☆☆☆☆

Disc Review: ★★★/☆☆☆☆☆

The post The Pied Piper | Blu-ray Review appeared first on Ioncinema.com.
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Maybe I’m a grumpy old luvvie – but I think young actors have a lot to learn | Michael Simkins

As Dame Judi Dench has noted, many actors under the age of 30 haven’t even heard of the titans who preceded them. And as for their diction …

I remember the occasion as if it were yesterday. I’d been chatting to a top theatrical agent, a woman in her mid-30s who spends her evenings watching plays featuring both her own glittering client list and potential candidates.

During our conversation I mentioned a much-loved actor, once a household name and still regarded as one of the finest of his generation. “I’m so sorry,” she interrupted. “Who’s Michael Hordern?”

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Celebrating the chilling ghost stories of M.R. James

Gem Wheeler Dec 21, 2016

We celebrate the work of M.R. James, whose eerie ghost stories were made into a festive tradition by the BBC...

A shadow lurking just beyond the edge of the vision. Dusty manuscripts bearing fragments of ancient testimony, conflicting and confounding. The sickening touch of a decayed hand, grasping at us from the darkness. The imagery of the ghost story may differ between cultures, but the sense of creeping dread left by the most effective tales remains universal.

See related Jonathan Creek review: The Clue Of The Savant's Thumb Alan Davies interview: Jonathan Creek, Qi, "Creek Geeks" & more... Rik Mayall interview: Jonathan Creek, Bottom, Hooligan's Island, & more... Sheridan Smith interview: Jonathan Creek & more... David Renwick interview: Jonathan Creek, One Foot In The Grave, & more...

One name stands out in the grim roster of English purveyors of the form: Montague Rhodes James, an eminent medievalist with a sideline in
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Greatest Ghost Stories Ever Written

In time for Halloween, Sean Wilson takes a look at some of the most delightfully ghoulish and flesh-creeping stories ever put to paper.

The Turn of the Screw

Author Henry James described his own sensational chiller as a ‘pot-boiler’ but it’s clearly so much more than that. A deeply unnerving tale of a young governess who suspects her wards are under the influence of malign spirits, it’s a creepy classic that muddies the waters between spine-tingling spook story and frightening psychological drama, exerting a massive influence over every subsequent entry in the genre. In 1961 it received a timeless adaptation The Innocents, directed by Jack Clayton, scripted by Truman Capote and starring Deborah Kerr.

The Woman in Black

Not just a mainstay of English literature courses but one of the most genuinely frightening stories ever written, Susan Hill’s hair-raising tale of supernatural menace is infinitely superior to its long-running stage spin-off,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon: ‘It puts a spell on people’

The director’s 18th-century epic is legendary for the hardships imposed upon its cast, with 150 takes for a single shot not uncommon. But, four decades on, the film’s stars remain united in praise of this beautiful, slow-burning masterpiece

In between the stark futurism of A Clockwork Orange and the floodlit horror of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick made an 18th-century picaresque costume drama that was far less widely loved than either of those films but infinitely more devastating. Barry Lyndon follows the adventures of an opportunistic Irish nitwit, Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal), as he clambers inelegantly up the social ladder in search of a title and a fortune. Those who disliked the picture on its release in 1975 cited the pace, which even a snail might consider a tad slow. Defenders, such as Alexander Walker of the Evening Standard (“cinema to marvel at”) and Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Alexander the Great

Tired of stupid sword 'n' sandal costume pictures? Robert Rossen's all-star bio-epic of the charter founder of the Masons is a superior analysis of political ambition and the ruthless application of power. Yeah, he's wearing a blond wig, but Richard Burton captures the force of Alexander without camping up Asia Minor. Alexander the Great Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 136 min. / Ship Date March 15, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Danielle Darrieux, Barry Jones, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker, Niall MacGinnis, Peter Cushing. Cinematography Robert Krasker Art Direction Andrej Andrejew Film Editor Ralph Kemplen Original Music Mario Nascimbene Produced by Gordon Griffith, Robert Rossen Written and Directed by Robert Rossen

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Critical opinions aren't supposed to flip-flop with every screening of a film, but I have to admit that my appreciation of Robert Rossen's 1956 epic Alexander the Great
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

It’s Vincent Price Week in St. Louis! Here Are His Ten Best Films

Born in St. Louis on May 27, 1911, iconic actor Vincent Price retained a special fondness for his place of origin, and that love was reciprocated with Vincentennial, a celebration of his 100th birthday in his hometown back in May of 2011 (for summary of all the Vincentennial activities go Here). One of the guests of honor at Vincentennial was Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria Price. Because of their close relationship and her access to his unpublished memoirs and letters, Victoria Price was able to provide a remarkably vivid account of her father’s public and private life in her essential book, Vincent Price, a Daughter’s Biography, originally published in 1999. .In 2011, her biography of her father was out of print. but now it’s been re-issued and Victoria will be in St. Louis this weekend (October 9th – 10th) for three special events. In addition to the biography, she will also be signing
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Tenacious Eats Presents Vincent Price in Theatre Of Blood October 10th with Victoria Price

“Do you still say my Shylock was inadequate?”

Theatre Of Blood starring St. Louis native Vincent Price will be screened Saturday October 10th, as part of Movies for Foodies, a regular film series put on by the chefs at Tenacious Eats. The event will take place at St. Louis Banquet Center located at 5700 Leona. In attendance will be special guest Victoria Price, author of Vincent Price, a Daughter’s Biography.

Tenacious Eats presents five courses and five cocktails themed to the Vincent Price masterpiece Theatre Of Blood with special guest of honor Victoria Price! Recipes will be featured from Victoria’s parents’ best-selling cookbook “A Treasury of Great Recipes” which is being re-issued for its 50th Anniversary. Cookbooks will be available for purchase that evening. This event will take place at St. Louis Banquet Center located at 5700 Leona. Get ready for a creepy good time! Live music and cash bar begin at 6:30pm.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Lord Of The Rings Trilogy: 16 Easter Eggs, In-Jokes & References You Need To See

New Line Cinema/Lucasfilm/Universal Pictures/MGM

As far as the cinema scene is concerned, The Lord of the Rings trilogy essentially put the fantasy genre back on the map. After years and years of uninspired, awkward fantasy pictures filled with tired cliches and naff renderings of mystical lands, strange creatures and magic that just plainly didn’t gel, New Zealand director Peter Jackson made fantasy cool again with his outright epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most famous series of novels.

Jackson’s approach was, essentially, to bring Tolkien’s books to life as something akin to a more realistic, hack and slash-styled action movie franchise; less “fantastical” and a whole lot grittier (with a violent edge to match). This turned out to be something of an overall masterstroke, of course – people were blown away when the first flick, The Fellowship of the Ring, hit theatres back in 2001 – the
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

London Stage Star and Olivier Henry V Leading Lady Asherson Dead at Age 99

'Henry V' Movie Actress Renée Asherson dead at 99: Laurence Olivier leading lady in acclaimed 1944 film (image: Renée Asherson and Laurence Olivier in 'Henry V') Renée Asherson, a British stage actress featured in London productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Three Sisters, but best known internationally as Laurence Olivier's leading lady in the 1944 film version of Henry V, died on October 30, 2014. Asherson was 99 years old. The exact cause of death hasn't been specified. She was born Dorothy Renée Ascherson (she would drop the "c" some time after becoming an actress) on May 19, 1915, in Kensington, London, to Jewish parents: businessman Charles Ascherson and his second wife, Dorothy Wiseman -- both of whom narrowly escaped spending their honeymoon aboard the Titanic. (Ascherson cancelled the voyage after suffering an attack of appendicitis.) According to Michael Coveney's The Guardian obit for the actress, Renée Asherson was "scantly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Super-8 Movie Madness Honors Vincent Price October 7th – Here Are His Ten Best Films

We’ll be celebrating the 5th year anniversary of Super-8 Movie Madness at The Way Out Club in St. Louis on Tuesday October 7th with an encore performance of our most popular show. It’s Super-8 Vincent Price Movie Madness in 3D, the show that we took on the road to promote Vincentennial back in 2011. We’ll be honoring the hometown horror hero by showing condensed (average length: 15 minutes) versions of several of Price’s greatest films on Super-8 sound film projected on a big screen. They are: Master Of The World, War-gods Of The Deep, Pit And The Pendulum, The Raven, Witchfinder General, Tim Burton’s Vincent, Two Vincent Price Trailer Reels, Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein and The Mad Magician in 3D (We’ll have plenty of 3D Glasses for everyone)

The non-Price movies we’re showing October 7th are The Three Stooges in Pardon My Backfire
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

'Paddington' director on the 'sad' departure of Colin Firth

'Paddington' director on the 'sad' departure of Colin Firth
When EW visited the London shoot of Paddington last year, everyone seemed thrilled that King’s Speech Oscar winner Colin Firth was voicing the film’s titular, marmalade-loving bear. “What we liked about Colin is that he’s got a bearish voice, he’s got a sense of humor, and he presents the very best of British,” explained producer David Heyman (of Gravity and the Harry Potter series). “We wanted that.”

And then they didn’t. In June of this year, my colleague Anthony Breznican broke the news that Firth was leaving the project. Last month, it was announced that
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

‘Theatre of Blood’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Vincent Price, Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe, Michael Hordern, Eric Sykes, Diana Rigg | Written by Anthony Greville-Bell | Directed by Douglas Hickox

For fans of classic horror the thought of being able to see Theatre of Blood on Blu-ray is special enough, but add to that it’s being given the Arrow Video treatment and the beautiful Steelbook version and this may potentially be their best release yet. Arrow Video didn’t stop there though, to add something even more special, they went all out and added a commentary track, from a group of horror fans known as The League of Gentleman. Just take my damn money and give me my damn disc.

There is something very British about having a psychopath killing his victims using the plays of Shakespeare. Vincent Price’s Edward Lionheart is in many ways the perfect role for him, and his obvious love for the character
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Paddington Movie Trailer Arrives on our Doorstep

As beloved symbols of childhood go Paddington is one of the more understated. Yet the little bear from Peru has been a constant bedtime companion to my two little boys for a while now and the story of the curious bear will soon be arriving on a far broader platform when David Heyman’s film hits cinemas at the end of the year.

Colin Firth has been plucked to provide the voice of our favourite Peruvian and the mix of CGI and live action has come a long way since the days of Garfield. Yes – this isn’t the 2D flat-amation* of the 1980s TV episodes narrated by Michael Hordern but that’s for the best.

Along with Postman Pat and other childhood playthings Paddington’s big screen update is no surprise, what we’re looking for – and what is hinted at here in this trailer – is the unmistakable charm of the marmalade-loving bear.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Paradise Postponed - box set review

John Mortimer's socialist riposte to Thatcherism is beautifully acted and simply oozes nostalgia for a bygone Britain

Paradise Postponed was part of the wave of heritage drama that engulfed Britain during the Thatcher years. John Mortimer had recently adapted Brideshead Revisited and now threw himself into this panoramic history of postwar Britain, anchoring it in the goings-on in the fictional home counties village of Rapstone Fanner, and placing two mysteries at its core: why did leftie vicar Simeon Simcox leave his brewery millions to wealthy local Tory MP Leslie Titmuss, and why doesn't his wife seem to mind? "I was never all that concerned about the New Jerusalem," murmurs Mrs Simcox, played by Annette Crosbie long before One Foot in the Grave. "I suppose I've always had far too much to do in the garden."

The plot flashes forward and back over 40 years, taking in the postwar Labour government,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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