The usual year-end round-up – not necessarily the best movies or disks, but some of the ones I most enjoyed, from high art to entertaining trash. The sheer range of what’s available should lay to rest any lingering rumours about the demise of physical media.
A pair of recent Blu-rays from Shout! Factory bookend ’70s horror with John Hayes’ Grave of the Vampire (1972), a too-little-known cheap exploitation feature which revitalizes vampire mythology and William Girdler’s The Manitou (1978), a low-budget studio movie with a better-than-average cast which plays a variation on demonic possession but fails to find an effective tone.
Recently viewed Blu-rays from Severin films include a range of Italian horrors featuring zombies, necrophilia and Lovecraftian gods, a revisionist vampire tale from the golden age of Ozploitation, and an unsettling experimental adaptation of a Lovecraft story from Sweden.
Classic television horror, geriatric action and an off-the-wall Canadian horror from Kino Lorber and Severin; five recent disks present thrills, chills, strained comedy and some problematic post-colonial politics.
A grab-bag of recently watched movies, some old, some new, covering a wide range of genres and styles.
Some impressions of the eclectic variety of movies I’ve watched in the past couple of months, from the obscure to the classic, from mainstream blockbusters to quirky independents.
Because it’s pretty hard to lose money with a horror movie, it’s been possible for filmmakers to experiment and push boundaries. But it’s a fact which has also produced a lot of laziness in both conception and execution, or at best a rote repetition of overly familiar formulas.
Although Britain’s Hammer Films was first formed in the 1930s, initially in an attempt to expand a theatre chain into areas of production and distribution, only five films were made before the war – comedies and mysteries. Production resumed after the war with more comedies, mysteries and thrillers. It was 1953 before the company took […] Read More