Return Of The Blind Dead (1973 Portugal)

return-of-the-evil-dead-ataque-de-los-muertos-sin-ojos-1The Bad News: The old Gothic feel of the first one is pretty lost here, replaced by a fast-paced feel that still delivers shocks but doesn’t feel as overwhelmingly atmospheric as the first one felt. It also borrows elements liberally from other films, so it does have a seen-that-before element to it that the first one didn’t have. The Good News: while it has a couple of seen-it-before elements to it, this is still arguably the best film in the series. [Read more…]

An Innocent Man (1989 USA)

cap-7Put a white dude in prison, surround him with black men and have a guard say “time for a shower” and you have the audience biting their finger nails. This is very entertaining and sometimes chilling as the prison clichés come one after the other: the white prisoners despise Jimmie for supposedly showing the white race to be weak while the black prisoners show what’s in store for him by letting Jimmie witness a gang rape in the gym. And if you look like Tom Selleck you’ve got to worry about being popular in prison for all the wrong reasons.  [Read more…]

The Great Escape (1963 USA)

greatescape6-061315By 1963 audiences were becoming bored with re-living heroic World War Two exploits, Teenage filmgoers were too young to remember it and were tired of seeing their dads’ er…’doings’, (yuck! – sorry) which made their own lives feel smaller & duller. But “The Great Escape” depicted a failed breakout from an inglorious captivity. It managed to combine the expected set pieces of tension and ‘doings’ (yuck again!) with an incipient 60’s individualism. [Read more…]

The Sting (1973 USA)

the-sting-graphicFew films can draw me in and indulge me on repeat viewings like The Sting does. Brilliantly directed by George Roy Hill, the film runs at a relaxed pace for a while during which it introduces each one of its characters. But once the board is set, it starts throwing one twist after another which continues until the very end. This stylishly creates a place in space and time that may never existed but it feels real. It deserved its haul of seven Academy awards. [Read more…]

A Short Story Of Mine

joanne-hale-trials It was later than usual when Joanne Hale awoke on a fine Tuesday in June. She didn’t want to though. She was in a deliciously deep sleep where no dreams could touch her awareness. “Mum!..mum! Wake up! The shop!” a familiar voice accompanied an urgent hand pushing into her upper right shoulder.

“Uh? Wha?” her deep-voiced tones reassured the adolescent boy leaning across the large woman tangled up in the bedclothes. She held his hand and squeezed it briefly. She rolled over with some difficulty, the green duvet weighing on her before she could orientate her eyes to the physical world again. “OK love, let mamma get dressed. You have opened up for me?” [Read more…]

The Island (Victoria Hislop)

the_island_v_hislop_novel_coverThe novel begins in present day London where Alexis is about to go on holiday and about to decide on major changes to her life. She’s going to Plaka in Crete, the place where her mother, Sofia, grew up. Her mother refuses to speak about her past but she gives Alexis a letter to give to an old friend, Fortina, who will tell her the story. Beautifully imagined, well-researched and evocatively told, this novel recreates a leper colony of the 1930s and follows its inmates and neighbours on the Island of Crete through the Second World War to the present day. [Read more…]

From Paris With Love (France 2010)

gay-manThis isn’t the first time Hollywood has had no story, no plot, but its no problem. I don’t know whether John Travolta sacrificed his son to the Illumnati or why he bothers to (usually) wear that wig, but I know he can’t act to save his life. Not as the serious villain that Hollywood likes to portray him as. And yet his face is so creepy. Its the sort of face that is full of skeletons rattling from the closet within. Some of those skeletons are trying desperately to come out of that closet. (I can hear them right now! They sound like Ringo Starr playing on a biscuit tin!) [Read more…]

The Brides Of Dracula (1960 United Kingdom)

brides-of-dContinuing the theme of bloodsucking from my previous post, (and before they made a deal with the Fox/Seven Arts mafia distributors) Hammer’s artists and technicians were still carefully keeping the camera lens focused on the best aspects of their productions when this sparkling gem was conceived – in this case a most lovely Yvonne Monlaur, well-dressed Bray Studios interiors, a memorable exterior windmill set-piece, and yet another unforgettable protagonist courtesy of the great Peter Cushing. Hammer’s best films are a model of efficiency and economy, and this film definitely looks a lot better than it should. [Read more…]

The Creature From Jekyll Island (G Edward Griffin)

attaque-fed-jim-sinclairThe crime of not only the century but the millenium was perpetrated in 1913 when the Federal Reserve system was created and it has been performing a constant rape of the United States ever since. It has even grown to take over the entire world’s money supply. You will be astonished to read the way it was done and the bitter, vile consequences of this ghastly creation. Again, do not read this book if you want to continue the illusion that you are free. [Read more…]

Kwaidan (1964 Japan)

kwaidanA four-segment horror anthology and one you’d be hard pressed to find more removed from the typical plastic bats and cobwebs Gothic anthologies of Amicus or Hammer. While it can be billed as a “horror” movie and it deals with the supernatural, it’s not really frightening. However if “work of art” was a genre, Kwaidan would be among the best it had to offer. [Read more…]

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