Dr Who: Daleks Invasion Earth 2150. A .D (1966 UK)

dr-who-and-the-daleks-1965-003-long-shot-with-daleks-fear-00m-n0t-3x4-cropThose colourful pepperpots are at it again…Although William Hartnell was the television Doctor at the time, for some reason he was not asked to play the role in the films, even though both were based upon television episodes which he had appeared in. The films make no mention of the Doctor being an alien timelord; he is presumed to be a human scientist / inventor, and this deviation from the TV series is the reason for Peter Cushing’s banishment from the official canon. Something else missing from the film is the television version’s very distinctive electronic theme tune. Not that I give a jot about that. [Read more…]

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The Vampire Lovers (1970 UK)

Ingrid Pitt 1970 (2)In Australia this movie ran continuously for at least 5 years at the same theatre, so popular was this Hammer classic. The Vampire Lovers is a classic tale of good versus evil, the way vampire films should be, with the vampire as a soulless and selfish creature with no humanity left in it. The modern idea of the suffering humanistic vampire decrying the pain of immortality is somewhat embarrassing. Another ridiculously overused modern device is vampirism as an infectious disease. We’ll have none of that here! [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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The Abominable Snowman (1957 UK)

abominable snowmanThe Abominable Snowman treats its subject matter with the kind of respect usually reserved for something far more serious than a low-budget film about the mythical Yeti. It would have been easy to allow the whole production to sink to the level of exploitation, but it never does. The horror is subdued and really only surfaces in the final act. The film is not without its creepy moments as the men fear for their lives in an alien landscape of ice and mountains. [Read more…]

Horror Of Dracula (1958 United Kingdom)

horror-of-dracula-melissa-stribling-christopher-lee-1958(Don’t get too excited. This was just a publicity shot to help the men in plastic macs to their seats at the back of the theatres) Not another bloody Hammer Horror from before your mother was born I hear ye cry? Yep. You’ll just have to get used to it. If you are a frequent visitor to this blog – yes, he does exist! – let’s just say this will be the cross you have to bear. [Read more…]

House Of The Long Shadows (1983 United Kingdom)

FRlongshadows10This is a half – entertaining mess for fans of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. If you like to look at a cast with an average age of 105, staggering around a dark Welsh mansion, this is your thing. A plastic surgeon’s dream gone wrong: Peter has stretch marks on his liver spots, meanwhile Chris is battling those hot flushes as manfully as he can, and Vincent is going through his second hysterectomy…and you think you have problems. [Read more…]

Cat Girl (1957 United Kingdom)

033(Happiness is a warm…)

A blogger’s work is never done.  I’ve wiped the flour off my apron and lifted up my under-frock to let you have a perv at my new baby. Please read on while I go into post- review depression. On July 20 1957 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan uttered these words: “Let’s be frank about it, some of our people have never had it so good.” By the time I was born a decade later the good was running out fast and my family emigrated to the colonies. But it must have been nice to be a teenager in the 50s and 60s. [Read more…]

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…]

THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA (1973 Britain)

4j9yflMark my words, “The Satanic Rites of Dracula” is indeed a very silly film, but vampire movies are silly in the first place so why not go for broke? Hammer Films were at the end of their rope by 1973 and knew it, so they mixed vampire hijinks with spy movie intrigue, then cast Dracula as the megalomaniac villain named D D Denham. [Read more…]

THE BEAST MUST DIE (Britain 1974)

beast_must_die_poster_spanishI have a limited amount of internet access now so here’s another review. The Beast Must Die is an unusual film in more ways than one. The studio who made it – Amicus – were well-known almost solely for their portmanteau movies, i.e. a selection of short horror stories connected by a spooky framing narrative. The Beast Must Die is not one of those types of films, instead its story encompasses a full length feature. [Read more…]

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