• 22 Jan 2021 - 15:03
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Visit the Tee Shirt Store - NEW designs!! HERE

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS  (Read 8163 times)

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« on: 04 Aug 2007 - 01:03 »

Here is a number of mini reviews from my DVD catalog of British horror films. Anyone here want to discuss them?

ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, THE 1970- Classic black horror comedy starring Vincent Price as a doctor who exacts revenge on the nine doctors who failed to save his dying wife on the operating table. The nine plagues of the Pharaohs are his elaborate tools for revenge. A sequel followed.
 
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB 1971-Kinda boring Hammer horror outing that is their only Mummy picture to not have a Mummy in the film. A jewel belonging to an evil Egyptian Queen possesses a woman that becomes the tool of the Queens resurrection by murdering all who get in the way. Some gore and a little skin from the gorgeous Valerie Leon barely save it. Based on Bram Stoker’s novel JEWEL OF THE SEVEN STARS. Remade in 1980 as THE AWAKENING with Charlton Heston.

BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, THE 1971-Excellent witch-devil movie inspired by the superb WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Here, patches of "Satan's Skin" are found the children of a small village. Soon, dead bodies begin piling up and a near constant naked Linda Hayden is responsible in her unholy attempt to resurrect the Devil. Film benefits from some stunning and gorgeous location shooting. The british AB disc sports an excellent and informative documentary.

BEAST MUST DIE, THE 1973-Strange Amicus horror-blaxploitation re-telling of TEN LITTLE INDIANS. A big game hunter invites a group of individuals to his island estate whom all share something in common. The hunter plans to hunt the ultimate quarry, a werewolf which one of his guests happen to be. During the finale the film stops for “the werewolf break” where viewers are given the opportunity to guess who they think is the monster. Let down by a shoddy excuse of a werewolf but still fun. Peter Cushing stars.

BRIDES OF DRACULA 1960- One of the best ever from Hammer Studio’s. A great first film for newbies. Peter Cushing returns as Van Helsing to do battle not with Dracula but one of his disciples. Sumptuous sets, costumes and atmosphere make for a highly recommended horror classic.

CRY OF THE BANSHEE 1969- Disappointing witch hunting movie riding the coattails of the superior WITCHFINDER GENERAL also starring Vincent Price. From Gordon Hessler (GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, PRAY FOR DEATH)

CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE 1957- The Hammer classic that started it all. The first color Frank film and also the first to feature gore (tame by today’s standards). According to star Christopher Lee this film once released in the US single handedly saved Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. A major classic.
 
COUNTESS DRACULA 1970- So-so Hammer horror redeemed only by the performance of Ingrid Pitt even though she is dubbed by another actress. Her beautiful body demands your attention. Not nearly as good as the similarly themed DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.

CIRCUS OF HORRORS 1960- Grisly British horror starring Anton Diffring as an evil Nazi doctor working as a plastic surgeon under the guise of a traveling circus . Those that want to leave or threaten to reveal who he is meet with gruesome deaths. Its nasty streak was a bit ahead of its time.

COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE 1964- Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff star in this delightful horror comedy that’s not quite as good as the trios previous collaboration THE RAVEN the year previous.  Price & Lorre run a funeral parlor and business becomes slow so they find ways to speed up production. Also features Basil Rathbone in a cameo.

CAPTAIN KRONOS-VAMPIRE HUNTER 1972- Swashbuckling Hammer entry featuring a sword wielding vampire killer who along with his hunchback assistant track a vampire that walks around in daylight and sucks the life essence as opposed to blood. Director Clemens (THE AVENGERS TV series) initially envisioned the film to spin off into a TV series of its own but it bombed at the box office scuppering plans for the show. The cheap sets and lackluster choreography (save for the last fight) showed Hammer were on their last legs. Recommended for Hammer completists only. Caroline Munro also stars.

CITY OF THE DEAD 1959- Excellent British horror film starring Christopher Lee about a young woman doing a thesis on witchcraft. Her teacher sends her to a mysterious town where she disappears and her friends come looking for her. Devil worship and a witch burned at the stake hundred of years before figure into the story. Great atmospherics and cinematography. Highly recommended.

DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN 1972- Sequel to the classic original. This time Phibes does battle with a group of adventurers looking for the Elixir of Life. Even more elaborate death scenes follow and several cameos from famous British stars and comedians. Vincent Price, Robert Quarry and Peter Cushing.

DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS 1965- First official sequel to Hammers HORROR OF DRACULA. Chris Lee returned but decided since the script didn’t have anything decent for him to say he was content to perform the role silently. Andrew Keir takes over for Peter Cushing not as Van Helsing but as a priest from a nearby monastery. He is quite good in the role although Cushing is missed.

DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE 1973- Interesting take on the Jekyll and Hyde story. Here, when Jekyll drinks the serum he turns into a murderous female. Also of note, the murders are linked with the Jack the Ripper killings. Burke & Hare also figure into the mix. Starring Ralph Bates and Martine Beswicke. Excellent score by David Whitaker. Directed by Roy Ward Baker.

DEVIL RIDES OUT, THE 1967-Chris Lee gets to play a hero against Charles Gray’s villain in a classic example of the Devil Movie genre that was set to be remade but is in developmental limbo. One of Hammer’s finest films.

DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE 1968- Freddie Francis takes over for Terence Fisher in this third outing with Chris Lee. Features a classic scene where an atheist stakes the count but upon refusing to pray, fails to put Drac away.

DRACULA AD 1972 1972- Decent Hammer outing with a kick ass opening and ending and a cool soundtrack but fails in allowing the Dracula character to explore his new surroundings keeping him confined to a defiled church.

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN 1966- Excellent Frankenstein with Peter Cushing (my fave actor) playing more of a good guy then his usual vicious self. Playboy model Susan Denberg is the vengeance seeking “creature” this time out. A most unusual storyline this time out. One of the best. Hammer and brit cinema regular Thorley Walters stars.

FRANKENSTEIN & THE MONSTER FROM HELL 1973- The final Frank and the bloodiest has Cushing performing experiments inside an insane asylum and Shane Briant (who was being groomed by Hammer as the next big horror star) his understudy. Bodybuilder and future Darth Vader Dave Prowse is the hairy Neolithic monster. One of the goriest Hammer’s. The scene where Cushing sews on a hand using only his teeth(!) is missing from the US version along with some gore. The Japanese LD is uncut.

FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED 1969- My favorite Frank flick features Cushing at his most evil. Cushing was very hesitant and embarrassed to do the rape scene (and it shows) but it adds immensely to the sadistic viciousness of his character. One of the best scenes involves Cushing in a boarding house indulging in conversation with a group boarders who “know what they’re talking about”.

FREAKMAKER, THE 1974- Deliciously over the top piece of british exploitation starring Donald Pleasance as mad scientist creating a race of plant people. Julie Ege provides some nudity and Tom Baker (Dr. Who) plays a murderous freak. The film features real carnival freaks. A semi-remake of Browning’s FREAKS.

FLESH & BLOOD-HAMMERS HERITAGE OF HORROR Excellent documentary on the House of Hammer and the making of many of the films. Essential viewing for fans.

FRIGHT 1971- Susan George plays a babysitter who is stalked by an escaped lunatic in this superb horror thriller. Honor Blackman stars as the wife with the dark secret surrounding the killer.

HOUSE OF USHER 1960- Roger Corman classic was a huge hit and made Vincent Price the premier horror star for years to come. Price would do close to a dozen of the Poe adaptations, some more faithful than others. Also stars Mark Damon.

HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, THE 1959-Excellent Sherlock Holmes that accentuates the horror elements. Cushing owns this role dominating the film. Chris Lee also stars and during the spider scene, his terror was real. Worth repeated viewings for Cushing’s performance alone. Highlights are his comments about “rabbit pie” and the scene where he uses a knife in a unique and funny way to get a rise out of a suspect. The recent MGM DVD is uncut.

HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE 1970-Lesser entry in the series but with its moments. A blackly humorous remake of the first Frank film. Cushing sat this one out to look after his wife who would pass on around this time. Hammer’s next big star Ralph Bates takes over and does a fine job. Dave Prowse plays the lumbering He-monster.

HORROR OF DRACULA 1958-One of the finest horrors ever made. THE starting place for newbies interested in Hammer Horror. Chris Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough.

HORROR EXPRESS 1972-Excellent, ahead of its time Brit-Spanish co-production involving an alien who stows away on a train and body hops from passenger to passenger. Chris Lee and Cushing in their finest pairing ever get many funny lines and features a suitably garish performance from Telly Savalas. This was Cushing’s first film after the passing of his wife (at the urgings of Lee). Nifty music that is played on the piano or whistled by the cast members when not heard on the soundtrack.

HAUNTED PALACE, THE 1961- Another Price-Corman movie, the only one based on H.P. Lovecraft, has Price as the villain trying to resurrect “the Old Ones”.

HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, THE 1971-My fave Amicus anthology and easily the best. Scared me as a kid. Cushing, Lee, Jon Pertwee (Dr. Who), Ingrid Pitt, fill out the cast in stories involving a writers murderer that comes to life, a gruesome wax museum exhibit, a voodoo doll and a cloak that turns the wearer into a vampire plus the wraparound.  Contains a hilarious in-joke at Hammer’s Dracula series. Love this movie.

INSEMINOID 1980- British-Shaw Brothers co-production with Judy Geeson and the gorgeous Stephanie Beachum about a female astronaut (Geeson) impregnated by an alien when she stumbles upon an uncovered cave on an unknown planet. She then cannibalizes the crew before giving birth to some baby monsters at the conclusion. The original poster had to be censored then finally redone when the Shaws demanded the images be more graphic.

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE 1961-Lesser Hammer horror that’s wonderful until the final moments. Intense and suspenseful vampire film is let down a bit by the weak finale. Cool concept regardless; the hero must summon evil to destroy evil.

LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES, THE 1974-One of my favorite Hammer’s. One of two Hammer-Shaw co-productions features Chris Lee journeying to China to combat Dracula who has resurrected the 7 Golden Vampires thus Van Helsing recruits 7 brothers proficient in kung fu to battle Drac and his 7 followers AND an army of the Undead! Famed choreographer Liu Chia Liang handled the fight sequences. Director Roy Ward Baker had an unpleasant time shooting in HK claiming the Shaws wanted to dominate them even though the Shaws provided the resources for the bulk of the filming. Originally, Dracula wasn't in the script but at the last minute the Shaws demanded he be included. Released in the US in a severely re-edited form as THE 7 BROTHERS MEET DRACULA to capitalize on the kung fu craze that gripped the US during the 70s and early 80s.

LUST FOR A VAMPIRE 1971-Second and least of Hammer’s Karnstein trilogy which was initially to feature much more stronger sexual elements. Ralph Bates replaced Cushing here and pin up girl Yutte Stensgaard is the wooden lesbian vampiress along with a Chris Lee-alike Mike Raven (whose voice is dubbed). Some decent moments. The much ridiculed song isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. The soundtrack is very good though and there is one shot at the end where the entire film crew is onscreen!
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #1 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 01:03 »

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, THE 1964-Probably the best of the Corman Poe’s. Price is deliciously sadistic as Prince Prospero who gets a special visit from Death one fateful evening. Shot on left over sets from BECKETT.

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE 1973-Another Poe adaptation without Price features Herbert Lom and a murderous Michael Dunn and a killer gorilla. Nice photography.

MUMMY, THE 1959-One of the best Mummy movies with Chris Lee a most energetic Egyptian shambler. The action scenes although good become stale as three set pieces take place in the same room! Cushing delivers another fine performance. One standout scene has Cushing pay a visit to the man who is attempting to kill him using the Mummy Kharis. Wonderful set design and photography.

MUMMY’S SHROUD, THE 1966-Lesser Mummy flick without Lee or Cushing but features several worthy sequences. Michael Ripper turns in a good supporting role but the gypsy woman who controls the Mummy portrayed by Eddie Powell (Chris Lee’s stunt double) steals the show.

MADHOUSE 1974-Amicus-AIP co-production with Price as a horror film star blamed for several gruesome murders taken from his films. Clips from Price’s Poe movies are featured. Also stars Linda Hayden and Cushing in a decidedly different role than usual.

OBLONG BOX, THE 1970-Minor Poe entry in AIP’s cycle no longer handled by Corman but starring Price and involving a sort of werewolf as part of the revenge plot. Sloppy direction by Gordon Hessler.

PIT & THE PENDULUM, THE 1962-One of the best remembered Poe films directed by Corman and starring Price. The wonderful Barbara Steele also stars. The MGM DVD contains a rare prologue that was not part of the movie during its original release.

PREMATURE BURIAL, THE 1963-Another Poe film from Corman minus Price this time starring Ray Milland as a man obsessed with being buried alive and those close to him who want to see it  happen. Suitably atmospheric but hampered by Price’s absence. Milland does an admirable job nonetheless.

PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, THE 1966-Hammer’s sole Zombie film features one outstanding scene that makes the movie worthwhile where the dead rise from their graves resulting in the decapitation of one of the undead. John Gilling filmed this concurrent with Hammers THE REPTILE. Gilling also directed THE MUMMY’S SHROUD.

REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN 1958-Fine first sequel takes place immediately after the conclusion of CURSE. This Frank flick features cannibalism as a story conceit. Blackly grotesque ending.

REPTILE, THE 1966-Interesting Hammer horror about an unusual Asian curse that befalls a young woman. Features some good makeup by Roy Ashton.

RAW MEAT 1974-Gruesome British horror about a cave-in years earlier trapping subway passengers who result to cannibalism to survive. Some are still alive and kill anyone that wanders too close. Donald Pleasance is the quirky detective on the case and features a small role by Chris Lee. Remade a couple of years ago in the scary british horror film CREEP.

RAVEN, THE 1963-My favorite of the Corman-Poe films with Price this time with the addition of Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Jack Nicholson. More of a comedy, Lorre steals the show as the drunk and volatile father to Nicholson. Price, Lorre and Karloff would reunite the following year in COMEDY OF TERRORS with Basil Rathbone.

RASPUTIN-THE MAD MONK 1965-Hammer’s loose take on the real maniacal Czar of Russia. Christopher Lee owns this one delivering a highly over the top and psychotic performance. With the beautiful Barbara Shelley.

SCREAM & SCREAM AGAIN 1969-AIP-Amicus film with the star power of Price, Lee and Cushing although the three terror titans never get a scene together! Worth a look for its delirious storyline and the blackly horrifying opening. A missed opportunity however.

SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA, THE 1973-The final Lee Dracula movie goes out with a whimper although if Lee had done the next entry it would have been a bang. This time Dracula is a Howard Hughes type tycoon who battles Van Helsing’s great grandson in a plot that involves spies, bubonic plague and much nudity and gore. The sad thing about the Hammer films is that a new way to defeat the Count is introduced with each new film revealing him to be not such a powerful villain after all. For Hammer completists only.

SCARS OF DRACULA 1970-Horror fans are divided on this one. Very popular entry in the series nonetheless, is closer to the novel than any previous entry and Chris Lee is given more dialog than all the other Dracula films combined but a sadistically mean streak (lots of torture and violence) caused this to be the first R rated Dracula. The title comes into play when Dracula disciplines his servant Patrick Troughton (Dr. Who) by burning him with a flaming sword. Some shots of Drac sucking the blood from a woman’s stomach after repeatedly stabbing(!) her are present on lobby cards but not in the film.

THEATER OF BLOOD 1973-Price’s finest hour, a sort of redux of the PHIBES movies sees him revenging himself on critics who denied him an award for his Shakespearean performances by graphically murdering them in the style of the Bard’s plays. Features many famous british performers and gallons of blackly humorous gore. Price would meet his wife (and electrocute her in the film) on the set.

TALES OF TERROR 1962-Anthology Corman-Poe adaptation with Price in all three tales and Lorre and Rathbone also featured.  MORELLA, THE BLACK CAT (combines Cask of Amontillado) and THE STRANGE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR make up the tales.

TWICE TOLD TALES 1963-Another AIP anthology this time based on tales from Nathaniel Hawthorne. Not as scary or atmospheric as the Poe films but worth a look. The film is overlong at 120 minutes.

TWINS OF EVIL 1971-The best of the Karnstein trilogy and one of Hammer’s best later efforts. Peter Cushing and Damien Tomas both serve up wonderful performances as good and evil respectively. Great soundtrack and the presence of Playboys first twin playmates, the Collinson twins provide the nudity. Spooky atmosphere and a great scene where Cushing decapitates a vampire with a mean looking cleaver, the body tumbling down a staircase. Lots of gore and David Warbeck too. Highly recommended.

THEATRE OF DEATH 1967-Nice little whodunit that features a vampiric-cannibal killer offing people in an acting troupe as part of a revenge plot. Chris Lee is despicably excellent as the arrogant and rude acting teacher.

TOWER OF EVIL 1972-Precursor to the slasher films about a group of scientists who journey to a fog enshrouded island with a lighthouse that contains a terrifying secret. High gore content and a surprising amount of sex and nudity. Severely cut in America. One of my favorites.

TOWER OF LONDON 1962-B/W Corman-Price film with Price essaying the villain very well knocking off any one in his way to become King. He is later haunted by those he murdered. A remake of an earlier film features a bit of stock footage from the earlier picture.

TOMB OF LIGEIA, THE 1968-Price’s final and favorite of his Poe-Corman collaborations. Slow in places but grows on you after repeated viewings. The usual spooky atmosphere. One of Corman’s best ever.

TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA 1969-The setting is Victorian England this time involving Drac’s revenge on a circle of playboy’s who murder his disciple using the men’s children as instruments of his vengeance. Very good movie is hindered by a lack of Drac action. Originally the film wasn’t to feature Drac at all but a showcase for Ralph Bates. Lee was begged to return (as he was every time) and is only in the movie for maybe five minutes tops. Features the most original way thus far of killing the count-God actually intervenes reducing the count to ashes. The recent US DVD release restores around 4 minutes of missing nudity and gore that is painfully apparent in the cut versions.

VAMPIRE CIRCUS 1971-Damn fine Hammer film whose opening 12 minutes is a film unto itself! Count Mitterhouse curses the village of Shtettle and the curse comes true when the Circus of Nights visit’s the plague ridden village. The circus made up of shape shifters and vampires kill off the children and adults to resurrect the count. LOTS of gore and action that Chris Lee’s films could have used. Director Robert Young went over schedule and was forced to complete the film with what he had resulting in some scenes starting or stopping rather abruptly. Still, as is, one of the finest Hammer films from their later period and features a dynamite final act where nearly everyone dies. Highly recommended.

VAMPIRE LOVERS, THE 1969-First in the Karnstein trilogy starring Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla Karnstein, busty Madeline Smith as her love interest and Peter Cushing as one of the Vampire Hunters who gets to show off gleefully during the finale decapitating and staking the vamps. Fine direction from Roy Ward Baker. Wonderful soundtrack. The recent MGM DVD is uncut reinstating much cut footage.

WAR-GODS OF THE DEEP 1965-Vincent Price-Poe film with Price as the ruler of an undersea kingdom using fishmen to kidnap a scientist. Tab Hunter is the hero. Some good moments and a sense of childish adventure keep it afloat.

WITCHFINDER GENERAL 1968-Critically lauded final film from Michael Reeves before his untimely suicide. Price portrays real witch hunter Matthew Hopkins who roams the countryside torturing and murdering “witches” to satisfy his sadistic and lustful needs. Wonderful and highly profitable film resulted in two similar films--MARK OF THE DEVIL and BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW. One of Price’s best.

AT THE EARTH’S CORE 1976-AIP-Amicus co-production. The second of four films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs stories. All directed by Kevin Conner and all starring Doug McClure. This time McClure and Peter Cushing in a giant drilling machine journey to the Earth’s center and encounter monsters, a tribe of ape like creatures who make slaves of their captives and sacrifice them to the Mayha’s, a flock of dinosaurian bird creatures. Caroline Munro (in some revealing attire!) joins the cast this time out in a very enjoyable adventure that was the 18th most profitable british film in 1976.

FLASH GORDON 1980-Not horror but fantastic and ahead of its time fantasy adventure that features many british and Italian technicians behind as well as in front of the camera. A 22 million misfire is regarded as a cult item now. De Laurentiis discovered Sam Jones on the Dating Game and the Queen title track was a top ten hit in Britain in 1980. Stunning visuals and perfectly captures the FG serials from the 40s. Max Von Sydow is THE Ming the Merciless. Timothy Dalton, Peter Wynyard (as Klytus) and Ornella Muti (who sadly keeps her clothes on in this one) A rocking fantasy classic not to be missed.

KRULL 1983-Another superb british fantasy spectacular that was ignored during its original release. A 30 million bomb released the same weekend as RETURN OF THE JEDI, KRULL was branded a STAR WARS clone. Ken Marshall is fine as the hero and the predominantly brit cast Lysette Anthony (who went on to do many erotic movies and Playboy), Freddie Jones and Franchesca Annis. The bombastic and thrilling score from James Horner is his favorite and one of the best film scores ever. The complete 2 disc score is a collectors item now.

LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, THE 1975-The first of Amicus’ dinosaur adventures.  Doug McClure and company take over a Nazi U-boat and end up lost in the lost world of Caprona, inhabited by cave men and dinosaurs. Stunning set design and some good and bad mock up dinosaurs. Regardless, one of the last great lost world adventure movies. A good soundtrack and one of the most successful films ever for Amicus (14th for the year). Originally Stuart Whitman was to play Tyler but was paid to not appear(!) and was then replaced by McClure who was reportedly difficult to work with for personal issues. Followed by 3 sequels.

ONE MILLION YEARS BC 1966-Excellent Hammer-US production with some of the best stop motion effects by Ray Harryhausen. John Richardson and the luscious Raquel Welch star among their dinosaurian co-stars. Two more Hammer prehistoric films would follow.

PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT, THE 1977-My favorite of the Amicus-AIP dino movies. Patrick Wayne (the Duke’s son) along with Thorley Walters, Sarah Douglas and Shane Rimmer journey to Caprona to find Doug McClure and find the gorgeous Dana Gillespie who takes them to the Mountain of Skulls where Tyler is held captive by the Naga’s, deformed but advanced cave people who dress like Samurai warriors and wear masks to hide their monstrous faces. Not as many dinosaurs as the others but a sense of adventure and a very good soundtrack add to the enjoyment. Amicus folded before this film saw release due to producer disputes and the parting of ways of Subotsky and Rosenberg. Douglas and Gillespie would both try out for the role of Ursa in SUPERMAN 2 immediately after this film. Gillespie (a former protégé of David Bowie) would go on to a successful singing career. Wayne would also appear as Sinbad the same year in Columbia’s SINBAD & THE EYE OF THE TIGER.
Logged

The Hunchback

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #2 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:13 »

Here is a number of mini reviews from my DVD catalog of British horror films. Anyone here want to discuss them?

ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, THE 1970- Classic black horror comedy starring Vincent Price as a doctor who exacts revenge on the nine doctors who failed to save his dying wife on the operating table. The nine plagues of the Pharaohs are his elaborate tools for revenge. A sequel followed.
 
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB 1971-Kinda boring Hammer horror outing that is their only Mummy picture to not have a Mummy in the film. A jewel belonging to an evil Egyptian Queen possesses a woman that becomes the tool of the Queens resurrection by murdering all who get in the way. Some gore and a little skin from the gorgeous Valerie Leon barely save it. Based on Bram Stoker’s novel JEWEL OF THE SEVEN STARS. Remade in 1980 as THE AWAKENING with Charlton Heston.

BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, THE 1971-Excellent witch-devil movie inspired by the superb WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Here, patches of "Satan's Skin" are found the children of a small village. Soon, dead bodies begin piling up and a near constant naked Linda Hayden is responsible in her unholy attempt to resurrect the Devil. Film benefits from some stunning and gorgeous location shooting. The british AB disc sports an excellent and informative documentary.

BEAST MUST DIE, THE 1973-Strange Amicus horror-blaxploitation re-telling of TEN LITTLE INDIANS. A big game hunter invites a group of individuals to his island estate whom all share something in common. The hunter plans to hunt the ultimate quarry, a werewolf which one of his guests happen to be. During the finale the film stops for “the werewolf break” where viewers are given the opportunity to guess who they think is the monster. Let down by a shoddy excuse of a werewolf but still fun. Peter Cushing stars.

BRIDES OF DRACULA 1960- One of the best ever from Hammer Studio’s. A great first film for newbies. Peter Cushing returns as Van Helsing to do battle not with Dracula but one of his disciples. Sumptuous sets, costumes and atmosphere make for a highly recommended horror classic.

CRY OF THE BANSHEE 1969- Disappointing witch hunting movie riding the coattails of the superior WITCHFINDER GENERAL also starring Vincent Price. From Gordon Hessler (GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, PRAY FOR DEATH)

CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE 1957- The Hammer classic that started it all. The first color Frank film and also the first to feature gore (tame by today’s standards). According to star Christopher Lee this film once released in the US single handedly saved Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. A major classic.
 
COUNTESS DRACULA 1970- So-so Hammer horror redeemed only by the performance of Ingrid Pitt even though she is dubbed by another actress. Her beautiful body demands your attention. Not nearly as good as the similarly themed DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.

CIRCUS OF HORRORS 1960- Grisly British horror starring Anton Diffring as an evil Nazi doctor working as a plastic surgeon under the guise of a traveling circus . Those that want to leave or threaten to reveal who he is meet with gruesome deaths. Its nasty streak was a bit ahead of its time.

COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE 1964- Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff star in this delightful horror comedy that’s not quite as good as the trios previous collaboration THE RAVEN the year previous.  Price & Lorre run a funeral parlor and business becomes slow so they find ways to speed up production. Also features Basil Rathbone in a cameo.

CAPTAIN KRONOS-VAMPIRE HUNTER 1972- Swashbuckling Hammer entry featuring a sword wielding vampire killer who along with his hunchback assistant track a vampire that walks around in daylight and sucks the life essence as opposed to blood. Director Clemens (THE AVENGERS TV series) initially envisioned the film to spin off into a TV series of its own but it bombed at the box office scuppering plans for the show. The cheap sets and lackluster choreography (save for the last fight) showed Hammer were on their last legs. Recommended for Hammer completists only. Caroline Munro also stars.

CITY OF THE DEAD 1959- Excellent British horror film starring Christopher Lee about a young woman doing a thesis on witchcraft. Her teacher sends her to a mysterious town where she disappears and her friends come looking for her. Devil worship and a witch burned at the stake hundred of years before figure into the story. Great atmospherics and cinematography. Highly recommended.

DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN 1972- Sequel to the classic original. This time Phibes does battle with a group of adventurers looking for the Elixir of Life. Even more elaborate death scenes follow and several cameos from famous British stars and comedians. Vincent Price, Robert Quarry and Peter Cushing.

DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS 1965- First official sequel to Hammers HORROR OF DRACULA. Chris Lee returned but decided since the script didn’t have anything decent for him to say he was content to perform the role silently. Andrew Keir takes over for Peter Cushing not as Van Helsing but as a priest from a nearby monastery. He is quite good in the role although Cushing is missed.

DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE 1973- Interesting take on the Jekyll and Hyde story. Here, when Jekyll drinks the serum he turns into a murderous female. Also of note, the murders are linked with the Jack the Ripper killings. Burke & Hare also figure into the mix. Starring Ralph Bates and Martine Beswicke. Excellent score by David Whitaker. Directed by Roy Ward Baker.

DEVIL RIDES OUT, THE 1967-Chris Lee gets to play a hero against Charles Gray’s villain in a classic example of the Devil Movie genre that was set to be remade but is in developmental limbo. One of Hammer’s finest films.

DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE 1968- Freddie Francis takes over for Terence Fisher in this third outing with Chris Lee. Features a classic scene where an atheist stakes the count but upon refusing to pray, fails to put Drac away.

DRACULA AD 1972 1972- Decent Hammer outing with a kick ass opening and ending and a cool soundtrack but fails in allowing the Dracula character to explore his new surroundings keeping him confined to a defiled church.

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN 1966- Excellent Frankenstein with Peter Cushing (my fave actor) playing more of a good guy then his usual vicious self. Playboy model Susan Denberg is the vengeance seeking “creature” this time out. A most unusual storyline this time out. One of the best. Hammer and brit cinema regular Thorley Walters stars.

FRANKENSTEIN & THE MONSTER FROM HELL 1973- The final Frank and the bloodiest has Cushing performing experiments inside an insane asylum and Shane Briant (who was being groomed by Hammer as the next big horror star) his understudy. Bodybuilder and future Darth Vader Dave Prowse is the hairy Neolithic monster. One of the goriest Hammer’s. The scene where Cushing sews on a hand using only his teeth(!) is missing from the US version along with some gore. The Japanese LD is uncut.

FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED 1969- My favorite Frank flick features Cushing at his most evil. Cushing was very hesitant and embarrassed to do the rape scene (and it shows) but it adds immensely to the sadistic viciousness of his character. One of the best scenes involves Cushing in a boarding house indulging in conversation with a group boarders who “know what they’re talking about”.

FREAKMAKER, THE 1974- Deliciously over the top piece of british exploitation starring Donald Pleasance as mad scientist creating a race of plant people. Julie Ege provides some nudity and Tom Baker (Dr. Who) plays a murderous freak. The film features real carnival freaks. A semi-remake of Browning’s FREAKS.

FLESH & BLOOD-HAMMERS HERITAGE OF HORROR Excellent documentary on the House of Hammer and the making of many of the films. Essential viewing for fans.

FRIGHT 1971- Susan George plays a babysitter who is stalked by an escaped lunatic in this superb horror thriller. Honor Blackman stars as the wife with the dark secret surrounding the killer.

HOUSE OF USHER 1960- Roger Corman classic was a huge hit and made Vincent Price the premier horror star for years to come. Price would do close to a dozen of the Poe adaptations, some more faithful than others. Also stars Mark Damon.

HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, THE 1959-Excellent Sherlock Holmes that accentuates the horror elements. Cushing owns this role dominating the film. Chris Lee also stars and during the spider scene, his terror was real. Worth repeated viewings for Cushing’s performance alone. Highlights are his comments about “rabbit pie” and the scene where he uses a knife in a unique and funny way to get a rise out of a suspect. The recent MGM DVD is uncut.

HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE 1970-Lesser entry in the series but with its moments. A blackly humorous remake of the first Frank film. Cushing sat this one out to look after his wife who would pass on around this time. Hammer’s next big star Ralph Bates takes over and does a fine job. Dave Prowse plays the lumbering He-monster.

HORROR OF DRACULA 1958-One of the finest horrors ever made. THE starting place for newbies interested in Hammer Horror. Chris Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough.

HORROR EXPRESS 1972-Excellent, ahead of its time Brit-Spanish co-production involving an alien who stows away on a train and body hops from passenger to passenger. Chris Lee and Cushing in their finest pairing ever get many funny lines and features a suitably garish performance from Telly Savalas. This was Cushing’s first film after the passing of his wife (at the urgings of Lee). Nifty music that is played on the piano or whistled by the cast members when not heard on the soundtrack.

HAUNTED PALACE, THE 1961- Another Price-Corman movie, the only one based on H.P. Lovecraft, has Price as the villain trying to resurrect “the Old Ones”.

HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, THE 1971-My fave Amicus anthology and easily the best. Scared me as a kid. Cushing, Lee, Jon Pertwee (Dr. Who), Ingrid Pitt, fill out the cast in stories involving a writers murderer that comes to life, a gruesome wax museum exhibit, a voodoo doll and a cloak that turns the wearer into a vampire plus the wraparound.  Contains a hilarious in-joke at Hammer’s Dracula series. Love this movie.

INSEMINOID 1980- British-Shaw Brothers co-production with Judy Geeson and the gorgeous Stephanie Beachum about a female astronaut (Geeson) impregnated by an alien when she stumbles upon an uncovered cave on an unknown planet. She then cannibalizes the crew before giving birth to some baby monsters at the conclusion. The original poster had to be censored then finally redone when the Shaws demanded the images be more graphic.

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE 1961-Lesser Hammer horror that’s wonderful until the final moments. Intense and suspenseful vampire film is let down a bit by the weak finale. Cool concept regardless; the hero must summon evil to destroy evil.

LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES, THE 1974-One of my favorite Hammer’s. One of two Hammer-Shaw co-productions features Chris Lee journeying to China to combat Dracula who has resurrected the 7 Golden Vampires thus Van Helsing recruits 7 brothers proficient in kung fu to battle Drac and his 7 followers AND an army of the Undead! Famed choreographer Liu Chia Liang handled the fight sequences. Director Roy Ward Baker had an unpleasant time shooting in HK claiming the Shaws wanted to dominate them even though the Shaws provided the resources for the bulk of the filming. Originally, Dracula wasn't in the script but at the last minute the Shaws demanded he be included. Released in the US in a severely re-edited form as THE 7 BROTHERS MEET DRACULA to capitalize on the kung fu craze that gripped the US during the 70s and early 80s.

LUST FOR A VAMPIRE 1971-Second and least of Hammer’s Karnstein trilogy which was initially to feature much more stronger sexual elements. Ralph Bates replaced Cushing here and pin up girl Yutte Stensgaard is the wooden lesbian vampiress along with a Chris Lee-alike Mike Raven (whose voice is dubbed). Some decent moments. The much ridiculed song isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. The soundtrack is very good though and there is one shot at the end where the entire film crew is onscreen!


The only one I've seen from this batch is all the PRICE films and the Dracula/hippie flick with Lee.


shame on me.
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #3 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:15 »

Yes, and shame on you for wasting paper by quoting the entire page!  :-\
Logged

The Hunchback

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #4 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:16 »

Yes, and shame on you for wasting paper by quoting the entire page!  :-\

I'm such a cheeky one ::)
Logged

Dorado

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #5 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:25 »

Well actually I just finished watching an excellent horror film, but it wasn’t British though.
It was “The Haunting” (Robert Wise, 1963).


Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #6 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:31 »

I have yet to see this completely. I love how you do not see anything only sounds. Great what I saw of it. Is it on DVD now?
Logged

Dorado

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #7 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:39 »

I have yet to see this completely. I love how you do not see anything only sounds. Great what I saw of it. Is it on DVD now?
You should watch this film in its entirety a soon as you get a chance because it’s a masterpiece.

And it is out on DVD from Amazon.uk

'The Haunting' R2 DVD from Amazon UK
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #8 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:49 »

I'll check xploited and see if they have it there. The remake was garbage.
Logged

Dorado

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #9 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:55 »

I'll check xploited and see if they have it there. The remake was garbage.
If you can see the TCM Channel (Turner Classical Movies) you could also tape it from there that’s what I just did. Since they broadcast the same films over and over they will surely also broadcast this one again.

And even better their broadcast of the film was in widescreen and that is something their films usually isn’t.
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #10 on: 04 Aug 2007 - 03:57 »

I've had it on TCM for the past two hours. They just showed a good Joan Crawford movie. I found many of their movies to be in widescreen although not everything.
Logged

Nikita

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #11 on: 14 Aug 2007 - 17:46 »

I'll check xploited and see if they have it there. The remake was garbage.

Not to sound like I've seen movie you're talking about, but most remakes are pure crap.

The only British cult horror i've seen has been The Wicker Man  8)

It's not that I'm not interested in others including a number of the ones mentioned here, but they're hard to come by..

Logged

WilsonBros

  • Almost Human
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 77
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #12 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 14:18 »

It's a great pity that Taste The Blood Of Dracula was buggered up when Lee turns up.

The late, great Ralph Bates was unfairly given the elbow half way through and Lee just spends much of his meagre screentime lurking in the shadows (and bushes) waiting to pounce.  Bates' character was FAR more interesting than Lee in the movie.

Kev W
Logged
"Two blokes with with a fuck-load of cutlery!"

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #13 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 18:04 »

As you probably know that was the original plan to have the film revolve around Darcula's disciple but the script was changed last minute to feature Lee. Still a fine entry though.
Logged

bloodvamp

  • Guest
Re: BRITISH HORROR & FANTASY FILMS
« Reply #14 on: 19 Feb 2008 - 05:16 »

Commissario  The one thing i did like in The Haunting remake was the score by Jerry Goldsmith.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.051 seconds with 21 queries.