horror, science fiction, Television, TV, Writers

THIS GREEN UNPLEASANT LAND – THE VISIONS OF NIGEL KNEALE

With the release of an updated version of the excellent biography Into the Unknown – the fantastic life of Nigel Kneale (Andy Murray, Headpress) this seems like a good time to burrow deep into my archives and exhume an article I wrote for the now defunct digital magazine Cult TV Times. Enjoy… Continue reading

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Classics, exploitation, Favourite films, horror, In Memorium, Movies

Remembering Wes Craven and The People Under the Stairs

The news today (the 31st August 2015) of the death of the director Wes Craven came as something it was hard not to characterise with gallows humour as a ‘Shocker’, of all the directors classed as ‘Masters of Horror’ Craven was the one that had kept a candle burning for the horror genre. Whilst others either fizzled out after initial promise (Hooper), gradually got stuck in a genre rut (Romero), suffered a gradual decline (Carpenter), or left the genre for pastures new (Cronenberg), Craven demonstrated a remarkable resilience.  Continue reading

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Classics, exploitation, Favourite films, horror, Movies, Reviews

Favourite films – Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General was the final film from the talented director Michael Reeves before his untimely death at age 25 from an alcohol and barbituate overdose (often described as a suicide, the official coroner’s report actually classed Reeves death as accidental). Continue reading

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Movies, Reviews, scraping the barrel

Scraping the barrel – Basement

When it comes time to do the inevitable year end top ten film list that no anal retentive movie fan can resist, 2014 will be a year in which British film is riding high and holding its own against the very best of international cinema. So with that in mind, here’s a reminder of how bad we can be… Continue reading

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Hidden treasures, Movies, Reviews

Hidden treasures – Lake Mungo

Films fail to find their audience on release for a variety of reasons. There’s bad timing – the box office failure of the wonderful Tremors in 1990 is often ascribed to the film unfortunately being released in close proximity to a serious earthquake that hit California. There’s poor marketing, Disney has had a mare with this recently with terrible campaigns for both John Carter and The Lone Ranger (it should be noted that there are many excuses trotted out for flop movies too). There’s Harvey Weinstein and his predisposition to buy movies and then shelve them. Continue reading

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Hidden treasures, Movies, Reviews

Hidden treasures – No One Lives

No One Lives

Directed by Ryûhei Kitamura.

Written by David Cohen.

Starring Luke Evans, Adelade Clemens, Lee Tergesen, Laura Ramsey, Derek Magyar, Beau Knapp, America Olivo, Brodus Clay, Lindsey Shaw.

US, 86 mins, cert 18.

In a couple of years of film writing/blogging you see a lot of crap, and if you watch a lot of horror movies you may as well multiply the amount of crap by the power of ten (unless you are one of those horror guys with incredibly low standards).

Of course it’s easier to write snappy sarcastic reviews than praise. There are too many specialist horror outlets who seem to exist only to provide five stars and a pull quote about how, say, the remake of I Spit On Your Grave is one of the BEST REMAKES EVAH!!! Conversely the genuine pleasures of a finely crafted genre B picture often seem lost on critics writing for mainstream outlets (with some notable exceptions – Kermode, Floyd, Newman).

And so I want to present a movie you may have missed, Ryûhei Kitamura’s No One Lives, a great example of the kind of glossy hi-octane genre thrillers that studios don’t seem to produce anymore. No One Lives is an incredibly tight 86 minutes of amoral violence, gore and nihilism that hits the exploitation sweet spot so many aim for and miss. Continue reading

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