February 25, 2017

The Last Years of British Exploitation Theatre

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Even as a Brit, when I think of exploitation cinema, I tend to think of Roger Corman, Russ Meyer, Mom and Dad, Ed Wood, Radley Metzger, and Chesty Morgan before I remember anything produced in my own country. I think of David Friedman, Al Adamson, I Spit on Your Grave, and Candy Stripe Nurses rather than the homegrown trash that circulated through the British fleapits and then briefly invaded hundreds of thousands of households in the first years of home video. I even think of European … [Read more...]

Robert Krasker: A Gifted Eye

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Contemporary motion picture photography is, as a rule, wildly overrated by long-winded critics with very short memories. They have much, much to learn. In almost any country one could name, the period between 1935-1965 produced some of the finest motion picture camera work one is likely ever to see on the screen. Perhaps only the great silent period, from 1909-1928, was its equal. For whatever reasons of past culture or artistry or pioneering efforts in the field England was especially … [Read more...]

Shadow of the Cat (1961)

Ah, now here's a curious one. When is a Hammer film not a Hammer film? When it's directed by one of their great in-house directors, written by George Baxt, stars Barbara Shelley, Andre Morell and Andrew Crawford, and is made by practically the same crew, but for some obscure technical, contractual, political, oh-bugger-me-what's-Jimmy-Carreras-done-with-the-dosh reason, has to be released under the auspices of "B.H.P" (presumably "British Hammer Productions", although to be honest … [Read more...]

Night After Night After Night (1969)

"I bang every bird I meet, and they enjoy it!" It's generally accepted that Michael Powell's seminal Peeping Tom (1959) was the film that instigated the 'urban horror' boom in the UK and the gradual shift away from the traditional Gothic favoured by Hammer and AIP, although some may wish to look toward Terry Bishop's similarly-themed quota quickie of the same year, Cover Girl Killer, for a real taste of the trash aesthetic that would become so prevalent in the ensuing decades and would reach … [Read more...]

The Snake Woman (1961)

"And an evil curse descends upon the hitherto unsuspecting villagers".....such dialogue is never actually used in this film per se, but it might easily as well have been. You see, some self-professed experts have postulated that this quota quickie is actually an underrated classic, and that it could have pointed the way forward for horror had Hammer not already been so popular. Which is a bit like saying that if Henry Ford hadn't popularised the motor car then someone else might have done it … [Read more...]

The Likely Lads – The Movie (1976)

So, Christmas is upon us once again. Egads, it only seems five minutes since the last one. Oh, remember when we thought we had forever. And as we all prepare to purchase what for some of us is the only Radio Times of the year we can genuinely be bothered with, and scour the listings for the remotest chance of a decent movie, we can bet our sweet bippies that some of the same names will flash before our rapidly misting eyes yet again. The Great Escape, The Snowman, Escape To Victory … [Read more...]

Maniac (1962)

Slotting nicely into the Hammer psycho thriller series, but also continuing the trend developed in TASTE OF FEAR of ‘British horror films set in France’, we find this directorial effort from the oft-maligned ( and not without good reason either) Mr. Carreras, scripted of course by the undisputed cinematic king of this stuff - Jimmy Sangster. Yes, I know there are those among us who prefer Brian Clemens, but let's be honest, all his best stuff was written for the small screen. Imagine … [Read more...]