2022 reading

Tony Dalton's biography of Terence Fisher from FAB Press

Three books which I read last year connect with my love of genre film, particularly horror: Tony Dalton’s hefty biography Terence Fisher: Master of Gothic Cinema from FAB Press; Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, edited by Samm Deighan and now available as an e-book from Spectacular Optical; and – somewhat more esoteric – Powers of Darkness, an alternate version of Dracula first published in a Swedish newspaper from 1899 to 1900 and recently unearthed and translated back into English, published in an impressive limited edition by Centipede Press.

The Pemini Organisation on Blu-ray from Indicator

John Drummond (Edward Woodward) expresses his grief through violence in Peter Crane's Hunted (1972)

Indicator unearth an obscure corner of ’70s British cinema with a box set of the three movies made by recent filmschool graduates who formed a production company called The Pemini Organisation. Despite extremely low budgets, director Peter Crane and writer Michael Sloan benefited from skilled technicians and high-profile casts who give the films professional polish; but the vagaries of commercial distribution made them disappear until this revival on disk fifty years later.

Hammer Vol. 6: Night Shadows from Indicator

Catherine Lacey appears briefly as wealthy, reclusive murder victim Ella Venable in John Gilling's The Shadow of the Cat (1961)

Indicator’s sixth box set of Hammer movies, Night Shadows, is a bit of a mixed bag, with a silly but entertaining Old Dark House throwback in John Gilling’s The Shadow of the Cat (1961), an overwrought psycho thriller in Freddie Francis’ Nightmare (1964), a historical adventure in Peter Graham Scott’s Captain Clegg (1962), and a pseudo-Gothic horror in Terence Fisher’s The Phantom of the Opera (1962).

Indicator’s Hammer Vol. 4: Faces of Fear

... at the perfect body (Michael Gwynn) the Baron (Peter Cushing) has fashioned for him in Terence Fisher's The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

With Hammer Vol. 4: Faces of Fear, Indicator continue to prove themselves one of the finest companies producing exceptional Blu-ray editions of a wide variety of genres. This new set includes three of the studio’s finest features, each very different from the others, plus an interesting misfire. As always, there’s an almost overwhelming quantity of supplementary material to provide background and critical assessments for each film.

Blasts from the past

One-Shot Wonders: samurai slaughter and zombies

Theo Angelopoulos (1935-2012)

Project Update: GOING Public

Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog (1999): Criterion Blu-ray review

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