02 August 2014
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Collecting Life: An Interview with Samantha EggarFor over five decades, Samantha Eggar has forged an impressive career across every performing medium. Whether it's her Oscar-nominated portrayal of a terrified student held hostage in William Wyler's The Collector (1965), or starring roles in Walk Don't Run (1966) with Cary Grant, Doctor Dolittle (1967) with Rex Harrison, or The Molly Maguires (1970) with Richard Harris, Eggar is always a captivating presence. She is also well remembered for her genre work, including The Dead Are Alive (1972), Return from the Ashes (1965), The Uncanny (1977), The Exterminator (1980), Demonoid (1981) -- and of course her unforgettably volcanic performance in David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979)...
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The Return of the VampireBela strikes back as another of the blood-drinking undead in The Return of the Vampire (1944), an atmospheric and entertaining chiller from Columbia Pictures. Directed by Lew Landers, Return is notable for its use of elements that had previously been verboten in horror films (Lugosi’s own Dracula, for example): namely the sight of a thirsty bloodsucker rising from his coffin, and a close-up shot of the vampire’s needlepoint bite marks on a victim’s throat. Armed with enough Gothic melodrama that will make any fan’s heart beat in admiration, The Return of the Vampire doesn't disappoint...
Contributed by Jose Cruz | Read More
Plague of the ZombiesHammer's Plague of the Zombies (1966) was originally storylined in 1962 by John Bryan under the working title The Zombie. As the project moved to screenplay (aided in great part by Hammer maestro, Tony Hinds), the idea was re-written to become Horror of the Zombies -- at least according to the 1964 promotional art announcing the movie. Regardless of its incarnations, Plague does offer some truly visually compelling moments, scattered throughout some arguably sluggish narrative. Much of its success is due to Roy Ashton’s wonderful makeup, which saves the day, and is responsible for some truly iconic zombie creations...
Contributed by Garvan Giltinan | Read More
horror movies
The BabyThe Baby (1973) is everything you could wish for in an exploitation flick: it's über-weird, disturbing, and one-of-a-kind. Not to mention it’s got some dynamite acting (especially from Anjanette Comer and Ruth Roman) and a surprising amount of heart. Top it all off with a climax that packs not one but two nice twists, and you have a fascinating '70s drive-in oddity. As looney tunes as The Baby can be, you'll be forced to admit that they just don’t—and couldn’t—make ‘em like this anymore. (Plus, we submit this to you: where else would you see a young babysitter breast-feeding an adult man?)...
Contributed by Jose Cruz | Read More
The Curse of the WerewolfHammer Film's sole ode to the lycanthrope legend, The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) boasts wonderful direction by Terence Fisher, superb beast makeup from Roy Ashton, and a spicy, Freudian-laced script from Anthony Hinds. Rather loosely based on the 1933 historical horror novel The Werewolf of Paris by author Guy Endore, and repurposing leftover sets from Hammer's abandoned production The Rape of Sabena, Curse of the Werewolf ranks up there with Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Horror of Dracula (1958) as one of Hammer's crown gems...
Contributed by Garvan Giltinan | Read More
Brides of DraculaTerence Fisher's Brides of Dracula (1960) is chock full of all of the trademark ingredients that typify a good Hammer flick: creaky setpieces, Gothic suspense, moody atmosphere, a dash of sexuality, and just the right crescendos of violence. Viewed from today's more secular world, Brides may raise a few eyebrows with regard to its treatment of gender, sexuality and religion (especially among hardcore horror fans who may like their ambiguity a little more ambiguous). Best of all, Brides proves itself a worthy addition to both the Hammer catalogue and the vampire canon...
Contributed by Garvan Giltinan | Read More
horror movies
House of WhipcordWe initiated new site contributor Garvan Giltinan by asking him to review Pete Walker's 1974 sleazefest House of Whipcord. Reviled in the '70s as a creator of exploitative trash, Walker has become a cult figure over the last decade, as film scholars delve into his small catalogue and realize the man has something of value to contribute to British film history. For Whipcord, the recipe is rather simple: mix together a little blood and nudity, toss in menacing wardens Barbara Markham & Sheila Keith, some whips and other assorted tortures, and voila!, you've got an exploitation piece de resistance...
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The Name of the Game Is KillHow to summarize director Gunnar Hellström's bizarre cult horror The Name of the Game Is Kill (1968)? Well, for starters, imagine Tennessee Williams' The Fugitive Kind (1959) meets Carlos Aured's House of Psychotic Women (1974). There's a palpable sense of feminine psychological decay which surrounds Name of the Game, in the way that only a late '60s grindhouse horror can generate. Add to that the coarse, dry flint of a grounded performance from Steve McGarrett (er, we mean Jack Lord) and you've got just the right balance of tension needed to ignite an already combustible cult flick...
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