February 25, 2017

Scrooge (1970)

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We all have our favourite film version of this Dickens story, perhaps it’s the one we grew up with or watched with our parents as a yearly ritual. Although often just taken as a bit of Christmas fun, this version is probably one which some look forward to the most because as a musical it uplifts us and gets us in the mood for joyful festivities more than any other. It has an amazing cast who give us an extraordinary mixture of resentment, pity, joy and humour to get us in the mood for a … [Read more...]

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)

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“You mustn’t interrupt the cook when she’s making something delicious!!”… As this time of year once again draws upon us, my friends and I settle into a time-honoured debate: just what is the quintessential Christmas horror film? American titles like Black Christmas, Christmas Evil and Silent Night, Deadly Night invariably spring to mind, but nothing will ever convince me that anyone does Yuletide terror better than us Brits. It is, after all, part of our national heritage- a roaring log fire, … [Read more...]

The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

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Few anthology films are as well made as “The House That Dripped Blood” though “Dead of Night” from 1945 was the first of this type of film. The horror subjects of witchcraft, vampires, wax museums, and murder are bound by the emotions of fear, jealousy, and greed that provide the basis for this movie. Each story leads to a much darker story, until the final one finally reveals the truth about the house to one man, who is skeptical about the house's claims, an inspector from Scotland Yard on … [Read more...]

Deep End (1970)

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As the opening strains of Cat Stevens singing 'But I Might Die Tonight' drift effectively over tracking shots of red water pipes, interspersed with the sight of principal actor John Moulder Brown cycling through a suburban not-quite-London wasteland that could be either South Norwood or the borders of Margate and Broadstairs by my reckoning (according to the IMDB it's Fulham, but I'm not convinced this refers to the exteriors), it becomes apparent that the film we are about to see is something … [Read more...]

Hollywood, Yorkshire

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What image does Yorkshire conjure up for you? Rolling green hills and desolate moors, or gritty, industrial cities? The eclectic Yorkshire landscape, so full of contrasts, has long been a favourite for filmmakers. From Billy Liar to Calendar Girls, Yorkshire has played host to many famous films. In a recent poll by the Film Distributors Association on the most atmospheric use of location in British cinema, four of the top ten films were set in Yorkshire, proving that Yorkshire has a rich and … [Read more...]

Night of the Eagle (1962)

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By 1962 the Technicolor horror boom was in full swing – it was 5 years since Hammer Films had flushed new blood through the veins of Frankenstein’s monster et al and the cinema-going public showed clearly that there was to be no letting up on the blood-letting for their sake. Following the old maxim that nothing succeeds like excess, the second feature producers soon cottoned on to this taste for blood and followed suit in a similar fashion. The major problem for the ‘B’ features was that blood … [Read more...]

Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)

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Somewhere betwixt British horror, the arthouse thriller and the grand old school drama lurks a strange netherworld that still remains as yet unrecognised and unappraised by the orthodoxies of film criticism - the boarding school mystery. Principally a British genre with its roots in the literary works of Lord Dunsany and suchlike (although one of the greatest entries in its canon, Sydney Lumet’s superlative CHILD’S PLAY (1972) originates from the US) it taps into the memories and mindsets of a … [Read more...]