The Wine-Dark Sea (Robert Aickman)

Dipped into this short story collection as the mood struck me. Each story was 30-40 pages of horror, called more exactly supernatural or “strange”. Each concerns a character or characters who meet with a strange, otherworldly person, thing or events and their reactions to what they come upon. Endings are open-ended, not neatly tied up. The horror is subtle and creeps up on you. Aickman is a master in this genre; not for him the bloodfests of recent horror literature and movies. The writing conveys just the right amount of creepiness. [Read more…]

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The Brotherhood Of Satan (1971 USA)

brotherhoodofs3This classy underrated film is packed with spooky imagery. The occult scenes are presented in a completely matter-of-fact way as to make them unsettling and extremely effective – particularly the opening sequence involving an army tank crushing a car, the rampage of a devil-doll, a surreal dream sequence (set inside the ice chamber where all the victims are kept, since they can’t be buried), a beheading committed by a horse-riding medieval knight and the lengthy ‘black mass’ finale which culminates in ritual mass suicide. [Read more…]

Night Shift (Stephen King)

stephenkingnightshiftKing’s flair for the short story is almost unsurpassed. My favourite is “Children of the Corn”, where a bizarre road accident prompts an argumentative couple to seek help. When they begin to explore a strange town, a rather disturbing lack of adults leads them into a sinister ritual. Each story is very cinematic, so its no surprise to learn that 12 of them have been turned into (bad) movies. But there are some crappy ones too, depending on your taste. [Read more…]

I Madman (1989 USA)

i-madman-scream-factoryA young woman, Virginia, is obsessed with reading bloody horror novels. She recently discovered the oeuvre of a bizarre but stylish writer named Malcolm Brand. His book “I, Madman” fascinates her, describing the acts of a horribly deformed doctor who kills people in order to make an actress fall in love with him. But fiction turns into reality when Virginia finds herself chased by the book’s eerie doctor. [Read more…]

Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (1969 Britain)

MV5BMjAwNjM4NjY0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg0MDUyMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_This is from the 1965 to 1975 decade of British television originality. There has never been a decade like it before or since. The chemistry between the two protagonists, Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk, was extremely well-developed as the series advanced. Then there is the rather ambiguous position of widowed secretary, Jean Hopkirk. [Read more…]

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