The Evil (1978 USA)

During the 70’s there were tons of haunted house flicks that were either TV films or for the big screen. Among this avalanche popped up The Evil– a brave, camp, even humourous attempt to make a haunted house film in the same style as 1963’s The Haunting. But in a very low budget lackluster way. It’s not too bad but there are a number of reasons why it barely works. The story is very simple…a number of people rent a large old house for a prolonged stay only to find, once they moved in, that something sinister lives there. But they find out too late and become locked in – many terrible things happen before the few remaining survivors confront the evil entity itself and try to defeat it. (There may be some epic spoilers there) [Read more…]

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The Car (USA 1977)

If it weren’t for George Lucas, “The Car” would’ve been the surefire hit of 1977 and we’d all be reminiscing about the classic “Car Wars” trilogy and remembering how incredible James Brolin was as Wade Parent. There might even be merchandise like dolls and a black car for kids to buy. Gathering together some key horror movie elements (small desert town, scrappy desert folk, demonic Lincoln vehicle), the makers of “The Car” must’ve felt they were on top of a goldmine. What went wrong? That bastard George Lucas and his big budget Star Wars for one. And that other bastard Spielberg bad mouthed this as a Jaws-on-wheels rip off. [Read more…]

Asylum (1972 United Kingdom)

barbara-parkinsIts definitely worth checking yourself in here. On a foggy English day a young psychiatrist Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) arrives at the local mental institution, which resembles a Gothic castle. Martin expects to get a job after receiving a proposition from the head doctor, B. Starr. Unfortunately, the creepy wheelchair bound current headcase in charge, Dr Rutherford, tells him that Starr has gone insane and is now one of the patients. And that the only way to get the job is to identify the Doctor. Any we think employers give us too many hurdles to jump over at interviews these days! And what was the salary package on offer? [Read more…]

The Tingler (1959 USA)

tinglerThe Tingler (hopefully) works on a few levels. As a horror story at the base level, it’s a decent tale of a creature, fear and murder. The blood is minimal. There’s no gore and the language is clean. No nudity. No one is caught with their pants down, porking around in places where they shouldn’t be. As for Vincent Price, this maybe is one of his ten best performances. He manfully delivers each line of dialogue with an intensity worthy of Shakespeare.  [Read more…]

Frogs (1972 USA)

frogs-2“Today the pond, tomorrow the world!” You’d better believe it baby. Almost a decade after seagulls and crows wreaked havoc on Tippi Hedren’s coiffure in “The Birds” and just one year after “Willard” let his rats do the dirty work, this Nature vs. Man hit came along to continue the legacy (a legacy which would gain even more steam in the wake of “Jaws,” with man thereafter having to fend off every beast and insect imaginable… except for gnats.) [Read more…]

Willard (1971 USA)

hqdefaultThere is no shortage of films about young people who get angry and take revenge via some unethical means – Carrie, Kiss of the Tarantula…the list goes on. But what makes Willard stand out from the rest of the crowd? Well, the answer to that has to be ‘nothing really’, though the film did come out before a lot of the similar films so it deserves some credit for that fact. With its brightly lit scenes and cheesy music I think of this as a Walt Disney ‘horror.’ [Read more…]

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…]

Psycho (1960 USA)

psycho5Imagine it is July 1960. You’ve just paid your thirty pieces of silver to the pharisees that own the movie theatre. You are shut in with all the other well dressed patrons. Not one tattoo amongst them, no mobile phones, no cries of “Shaniqua, move beeyatch!” or hip hop muzak to disturb the ambience. The lights go down. And then the screaming starts! Just ignore those kids to your left rioting over a pair of sneakers and keep your eyes on that screen up there. This here is the inspiration for many future classics like Eaten Alive. Show some respect! [Read more…]

SUSPIRIA (Italy 1977)

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Dario Argento’s finest, as well as his first film to deal with the supernatural, “Suspiria” maintains its cult following for good reason. Illogical and dreamlike, it’s filmed in rich red, blue and green hues, and the elliptical story is punctuated with several extremely gory (if technically unconvincing) murders. [Read more…]

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