January 2, 2017

The Monster Club (1980)


According to a recent Internet campaign to get a certain record to the No.1 spot in time for Christmas, everybody knows that the bird is the word. Well, I have news for The Bird and all his acolytes: namely, that a greater, more cultured, and ultimately more select group of us know that Monsters Rule OK. Anyone not acquainted with this premise obviously didn�t watch much late night TV, or attend many midnight movie screenings, in that otherwise barren period known as the 1980s, for �twas then … [Read more...]

Hammer Films – The Unsung Heroes


When offered the choice to review a new book on the history of Britain's legendary Hammer film company, I jumped at the chance � I've had a soft spot for cheesy horror films for a number of years, and have often wanted a broader knowledge of the Hammer House of Horror's Gothic classics. Sadly, and with no disrespect intended to the book, this really wasn't the place for me to start. Let me begin by saying that this book is hardcore. Focusing not on the actors and familiar faces of the … [Read more...]

The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972)


OK, I�m going to ask a question which on the surface seems fairly obvious, but which, nevertheless, remains to my knowledge unanswered. Namely: just where exactly did the tradition begin of telling ghost stories at Christmas? �What tradition�, exclaim a million youthful voices raised on reality TV and gangsta rap. �Fooey!�, say I, diametrically opposed to anyone unaware of the grand customs of the past. But that still doesn�t stop me from wanting to achieve a greater understanding of such … [Read more...]

Night Hair Child (1972)


The early 1970s were certainly an interesting time for Britt Ekland. As well marrying Rod Stewart, during which time she helped popularise the now-recognised concept of �Swinglish�, she also appeared, one after the other, in a run of four undisputed horror classics- first as Charlotte Rampling�s murderous �friend� Lucy in Asylum (1972) then a thorn in the side of Hywel Bennett and Hayley Mills in Endless Night (also 1972) before achieving immortality as dubbed Caledonian temptress Willow … [Read more...]

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968)


�It�s a case of the fors and the againsts, and we fors are winning!!!� Capable Caroline. Jamie MacGregor. Runny Old Linda. Spike. Audrey. Names that will live forever- or at least they will if you�re a lover of 60s Brit cinema. I�ve lost count of the amount of conversations they�ve cropped up in, normally after an all-night bash spent grooving to suitably retro sounds- but I do remember distinctly that for the last ten or eleven years, mentioning of their names was almost always prefixed or … [Read more...]

Bronco Bullfrog (1969)


Angry, disaffected youth. Gang violence, robbery and unemployment in decaying post-industrial East London. Youthful optimism amongst a bitter lack of work and no hope of escaping to a better life. If it sounds familiar, it is for good reason � over 40 years after release, this film captures issues that still remain prominent throughout 21st century UK. For what could have been another low budget Swinging London flick with a weak title, this is a notable achievement. Another release from … [Read more...]

And Soon the Darkness (1970)


A gentle ripple of acoustic, Latin- inflected guitar gives way to a blast of horns heralding possibly the most incongruous theme to a horror film ever: switch the TV on two bars into Laurie Johnson�s brassy caper tune (actually the result of an idea from Bernard Herrmann), set to the relaxing sight of bicycles traversing French roads as trees sway gently in the breeze, and you might be forgiven for thinking you�re actually watching a light comedy, rather than one of the scariest, most … [Read more...]