The Witches (1966 Britain)

There are things that keep you watching here, of course; there always are in a Hammer Horror. I particularly liked the depiction of rural village life in the 1960s; it’s picture postcard stuff, the sort of thing to make me nostalgic for a time I never actually knew. After a hell of a start, The Witches, which could indeed have used a more masterful director like Terence Fisher at the helm, slowly loses its grip. The screenplay is from Nigel Kneale, and he was dissatisfied with this film because he intended it to be a dark comedy that poked fun at witchcraft but Hammer wanted a serious horror movie so all comedic touches were removed.  [Read more…]


Live And Let Die (1973 United Artists)

LALDYou’ll have a rucking good time watching a clown in a tuxedo, I mean Britain’s most famous spy, in his 8th adventure. Buttocks will be kicked and maybe even some names taken in vain. Mix in some racial tension and viola! An above average Bond flick. This time it feels smaller scale and slightly less over the top although it has the action comedy tone which would define the Roger Moore era. Ludicrous yet rooted in the real world and centred on a very real issue rather than the usual world domination or diamond lasers. Director Guy Hamilton manages to get the tone just right. This was a stark change to the usual proceedings: Roger Moore’s debut is about voodoo, the supernatural and the majority of the cast are black people.  [Read more…]

Pigeons From Hell (Robert E Howard)

thriller-3This is one of the great horror tales of all time. I find the title particularly irresistable. If you are going to read this short story, go off alone somewhere with just a fading flashlight. Find an abandoned house with a cold unlit fireplace and read the story while sitting on the stone hearth. It will have a bigger impact.  I’ve added images from the 1961 television classic version, one of the Boris Karloff Thriller series. [Read more…]

LIVE AND LET DIE (Ian Fleming)

a045c6354116a6a3d907c46f16fa055cThe second James Bond novel  established the format in ways that were largely followed in the films also: Bond is briefed by M about an enemy agent (in this case, Mr Big) and sent abroad to break the SMERSH operation. In the course of this New York – Florida – Jamaican adventure, Bond encounters an assortment of villains, henchmen and beautiful women. [Read more…]

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