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: British Horror Thread  ( 214390 )
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« #585 : August 05, 2010, 01:26:40 PM »

The Quatermass Trilogy :



I knew this only because 20 years ago I had read the dialogues, published in book form (and which are strangely available in pdf. in the dvd's). This is one of the rare cases where a series gets better with each new episode, also thanx to bigger budgets and technical resources. I give 6 to the first movie, 7 to the second and a 8 (but I could give even more, maybe) to Q. and the Pit, which demonstates that old technical spcial effects are much more effective than the computer generated ones (of course King Kong is always there to remind us of it).  A pity Donlevy wasn't available for the final episode as his substitute isn't up to the task.   


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« #586 : August 06, 2010, 03:13:19 PM »

Blood of the Vampire (1958) Reading the review of the booklet included in the italian dvd release you'd think that this must be movie history. Actually this is a good screenplay not well tranferred into images. The sets are not garish like those of Hammer (or Amicus) and even the photography doesn't help. Still it is a very good variation on the vampire theme. The italian dvd release




includes a couple of minutes of gorish and well sexy (?) scenes cut from the british and american theatrical releases. 7\10


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« #587 : August 07, 2010, 08:06:24 AM »

Fans of Brit horror may like, no, WILL like a copy of Midnight Marquee's forthcoming tome, THE SHRIEKING SIXTIES, an attampt to catalogue every British horror and fantasy film of that decade in the 20th Century.



It even has a few contributions from me. So if you want to read my thoughts on KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, BRIDES OF DRACULA, CIRCUS OF HORRORS, REPULSION, PEEPING TOM or even PREHISTORIC WOMEN (AKA: SLAVE GIRLS) you'll know where to look. Apparently it has gone to press, but copies aren't available yet.

http://www.midmar.com/

The book has received a limited UK edition print but almost all of these have been snapped up already with no re-print planned.



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« #588 : August 07, 2010, 08:36:29 AM »

Frankenstein Created Woman (1966) A prmising start, but then it becomes too predictable and uninventive. The blonde girl though makes the rate go higher. 7\10


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« #589 : August 07, 2010, 08:39:59 AM »

The Oblong Box (1969) Looks older, actually. Another promising start wasted with not inventive plot development. The monster it isn't so much such: I see worse in daily life. 6\10   


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« #590 : August 20, 2010, 02:31:25 PM »

So now you can buy the book I contributed to!:

http://www.amazon.com/Shrieking-Sixties-British-Horror-Films/dp/1936168065/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282331373&sr=1-1

and I won't charge for a signing.

Some random strangers I've never met on a forum I'd never heard of previously seem to like it already:

http://avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?p=831715


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« #591 : August 20, 2010, 03:08:32 PM »

well done Juan!  O0 O0 O0


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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« #592 : August 25, 2010, 07:33:08 AM »

The Skull (1965) Were it not that this is a Lee-Cushing collaboration I'd give it a 4-5/10 at best. Uninventive plot, scenes diluted to the maximum and with no suspense at all. Boring. 6\10


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« #593 : September 13, 2010, 04:18:17 AM »

Dracula Prince of Darkness (1965) One of the best in the Lee canon. All played on suspense, with great performances by Matthews (this actor was quite famous in Italy in the early 70's thanx to his performances in a couple of Francis Durbridge misteries adaptations) and the rest of the actors. Barbara Shelley is extremely sexy. 8\10


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« #594 : October 12, 2010, 12:43:04 PM »

Circus of Horrors (1960)  I don't think this belong in this thread, in spite of the title. But wherever it belongs to it sucks. the plot is so moronic (a plastic surgeon who is able to make in a few hours circus stars out of his patients. And in simple lines like lion taming or the likes) that it is almost funny. Add to that the fights with gorillas and bears (all played in costumes) and I give it 2\10 only because some buxomy lady salvages from total failure and because I hope that a more explicit nude version must have been made at the time for foreign markets.


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« #595 : October 12, 2010, 04:02:44 PM »

Circus of Horrors (1960)  I don't think this belong in this thread, in spite of the title. But wherever it belongs to it sucks.

COH is stupid, but it rocks! Sadly no extra "continental" material was filmed. Some spoilers ahead...


Anton Diffring plays a completely focused (i.e. crazy) plastic surgeon, who's hands can seemingly perform miracles. Some times. Fleeing a badly botched operation in England which drove his patient insane, he and his side kicks Kenneth Griffith and Jane Hylton (playing a hapless brother and sister) end up in France, having changed their identities. Indeed Diffring claims to have a whole new face constructed by his protégé Griffiths, which seems to have involved shaving off his beard and most of his eyebrows. Remarkable surgery!



Diffring "before" and "after". What a transformation

Accidentally meeting a child disfigured in the war (the film begins in 1947), who's father Donald Pleasence owns a run down circus, Diffring instantly concocts a cunning plan. He'll make the little girl beautiful, buy the circus, staff it with disfigured murderers, prostitutes and other ner-do-wells, cure them through his experiments, blackmail them into staying with his circus after they have learned complex acrobatic and animal training skills, travel Europe with his successful show and then... via all this, triumphantly re-enter the legitimate world of medicine.

No, it made no sense to me either, and poor Donald Pleasence isn't around long enough to see it happen - he is almost instantly killed by a bear after drunkenly trying to dance with it, celebrating his daughter's beautification. Diffring shows his true villain colours, by standing by and cruelly watching as Pleasence rolls around on the ground with a motionless stuffed bruin plonked on top of him. See those moths fly! Cut to "Ten years later" in Berlin, and his "Circus Shueler" is seemingly Europe's biggest attraction, though it also has a reputation as the “jinx circus” as so many of it's lovely young performers are killed in bizarre accidents. And what a collection of beauties Diffring has created. One of the film's chief pleasures is the amount of buxom flesh on display. Yvonne Monlaur (who also graced THE BRIDES OF DRACULA), Vanda Hudson and the incomparable Yvonne Romain (of CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF fame) all look magnificent, and the whole thing has a risqué feel surprising given that this was a British film made in the late 1950's.


Jeezus!

Another novelty is the extreme gore as various members of the cast meet grizzly ends, in blood gushing colour, at a time when colour in itself was still a box office draw, in the UK at least.

As such the film's real star is Douglas Slocombe, who's sumptuous cinematography still looks vibrant, intense and almost lurid, with it's saturated palate of rich primary reds, greens and blues, combined with powerful framing (Slocombe also shot DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, THE SERVANT, THE MUSIC LOVERS, THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA etc. and ended his career on the Indiana Jones films). It's a fabulous picture to look at from start to finish.

Where it does drag a bit for me are the seemingly endless circus acts. We see horses, elephants, chimps and lions all making Buzby Berkley type formations, which were entertaining back in the 50's and 60's, but are very dated and yawnsome to watch today (never mind the contemporary animal welfare issues). And there are A LOT of these scenes, as well as having to sit through Erika Remberg's entire aerial act three times, with it's truly horrible accompanying Tony Hatch “pop” song, LOOK FOR A STAR.

Some may ask “is it a horror film?” It certainly has gore, and the plastic surgery and madness theme in international horror has enjoyed a long shelf life. If you look at the movie more closely,  Diffring is compared to Frankenstein and even God, performing not just surgery, but creating new beings of unnatural loveliness. The first exhibit the undercover policeman investigates when the circus arrives in Britain is a tableaux of “Adam and Eve”, and he later comments on the remarkable beauty of the carnival performers built by Diffring's knife. All solid genre worry warts.


Yvonne Romain, a dead heat in a Zeppelin race

CIRCUS OF HORRORS is still an enjoyable picture, particularly for it's dazzling surface. It would be rare that a cinematographer at Hammer could wring out quite such a range of tones from the same Eastmancolour film stock as Slocombe does here, and it's performers all dive into it with a relish again lacking in too much contemporaneous Hammer productions, thank's in part to Scottish born Sidney Hayers' efficient direction. However, the plot's utterly absurd premise and over-exposure of Billy Smart's Circus acts remain caveats. A real curiosity. Look out too for an uncredited Kenny Baker (R2D2) and Kenneth Griffiths's fellow THE PRISONER star Peter Swanwick, who played the creepy Supervisor.


More of Diffring's hidious creations


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« #596 : October 13, 2010, 06:02:16 AM »

Thanks for posting that Juan Miranda.I also enjoyed this movie when it was shown on BBC2 a few years ago. O0

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« #597 : October 13, 2010, 12:16:45 PM »

Sadly no extra "continental" material was filmed.

100% sure?


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« #598 : October 13, 2010, 04:16:31 PM »

100% sure?

Wish I was wrong, but yes, 100%.  :-[


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« #599 : October 13, 2010, 05:03:30 PM »

Wish I was wrong, but yes, 100%.  :-[



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