Craze (1974 Britain)

I’d seen actor Michael Jayston in a couple of things before this and thought he was a good actor. But after seeing his ‘turn’ (as they used to say in our forefathers day) here as a police detective I just thought “what a tosser, they should have got anyone else!” His Detective Sgt Wall character is so thoroughly unlikable and ill mannered that you almost want him to fail to catch the serial killer running amok on his patch. The script for Craze had enough problems before they cast the wrong man in a role the viewer is supposed to sympathize with. [Read more…]


Dr Terror’s House Of Horrors (1965 Britain)

The first Amicus anthology movie was a sizeable hit on release, and was also liked by the critics. Producer Milton Subotsky dusted off some scripts he’d had knocking around since the late 1940s, but he didn’t make much of an effort to update them for the swinging 60s.  The linking story sees five seemingly ordinary travellers board a train. A sinister sixth traveller boards the train at the last moment. He carries with him a deck of tarot cards. Each traveller taps the cards three times and their fortunes are told. Unlike later entries in the series where everyone would willingly, without objection, subject themselves to such commitments, this opening film shows characters who have doubts or ridicule the whole thing. [Read more…]

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968 UK)

dracula-has-risen-from-the-grave-01The musical theme startled me on a first watch. James Bernard never wrote a better score than this one – it’s so threatening as well as thrilling. The psychedelic opening titles are also mesmerizing. In so many ways it is the quintessential Hammer horror film. It has all of the elements which have made me a fan of the Studio. The fairy-tale Central European setting, the Gothic Castle Dracula with the quaint little village huddling under its menacing presence. [Read more…]

The Skull (1965 UK)

SkullOld friends Professor Maitland (Peter Cushing), a writer about demonology, and Sir Matthew Phillips (Christopher Lee) are attending an auction sale of macabre exhibits. Maitland is surprised when Sir Matthew bids an excessively high sum for four statuettes of the divinities from hell. Maitland is visited by the shady Marco (Patrick Wymark) who provides him with material for his research. He sells him a book on the life of the Marquis De Sade bound in human skin. But on the following night he returns with a human skull, which he claims is that of the Marquis himself. Maitland is warned about its occult properties and off we go….
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Torture Garden (Britain 1967)

titleRoll up roll up for a rather un-magical mystery tour. A fun if unexceptional horror anthology from Amicus, a company that specialized in the horror portmanteau format for a number of years. With a screenplay written by Robert Bloch, and efficient direction by Freddie Francis, this is a little uneven plot – wise, yet visually interesting to look at. [Read more…]

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