Blackwood (2013) – Adam Wimpenny.

The ghost story has had a resurgence lately in film and television.  Perhaps the increasing reliance on distancing technology and social media has lead to a desire to retread older forms that now seem prescient but there’s no doubt that the genre as a whole is alive and well, especially for commercially minded lower budget film; the blueprint set up by Hammer’s adaptation of Susan … Continue reading Blackwood (2013) – Adam Wimpenny.

The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman (Part 3) – The Freudian Dream.

Part 1. Part 2. The Freudian Dream Corman’s Poe films have become famous for their dream sequences.  The source literature revels in the possibilities of nightmares taking over the psyche so they seem an apt distraction for a medium that already adores the possibilities of dreams.  The Masque of the Red Death perhaps contains Corman’s most effective and disturbing sequence; one of the few to … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman (Part 3) – The Freudian Dream.

Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter.  Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway.  His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

Part 1. The Levels of the Aesthetic Stage Through Castle Rooms and Colour. Corman’s beautiful excess of colour in the film has already been mentioned but colour plays a vital role within the film’s narrative too.  Its narrative focus however does not chime well with the Kierkegaard reading when considering the unevenness and ambiguity as to the death creatures and their colours at the end … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

Roger Corman may be better known for pulpy B-movies but his work adapting Edgar Allen Poe for the big screen is uncharacteristically layered and has a depth that far outstrips films of a far more serious ilk.  Almost all his Poe adaptations (excluding the fun but overall light The Raven) take Poe’s original structure for stories and adds questioning elements to them, largely built around … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

Its geography is stark, rugged and eerily inviting, its characters are sickly happy and lying through their teeth and its narrative is immersive and questioning to the point where its finale is deeply affecting and horrifying. It’s a crying shame that viewers of The Wicker Man (1973) will never fully see the film as its director intended. Having been slashed to bits by the studio … Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

Berberian Sound Studio – Part 2 (The Sound of the Giallo and Narrative Sounds)

Part 1. The Sound of the Giallo There are certain facts about the Giallo sub-genre that critics enjoy repeating over and over again.  It seems unlikely that viewers approaching Berberian will not know at least something basic about the genre yet it is still something that takes up such a large chunk of the analysis surrounding the film, there could be an argument for them … Continue reading Berberian Sound Studio – Part 2 (The Sound of the Giallo and Narrative Sounds)

Rasputin The Mad Monk – Don Sharp (1966)

Hammer’s historical films aren’t famed for their period accuracies or epic expanses, yet for all their faults, there is something extremely watchable about them.  Though the pre-historic films have the obvious draw of a scantily clad cast and dinosaurs, 1966’s Rasputin The Mad Monk appears to have little to bring in the crowds other than the presence of Christopher Lee.  Yet behind its confused genre … Continue reading Rasputin The Mad Monk – Don Sharp (1966)

The Horror Film Score Rebellion Part 1 – Classic Horror

INTRODUCTION 1968 was the year that horror cinema sought to change the way in which it scored its films and began to develop alternatives to the increasingly cliched sounds that had become a staple of the genre since the silent era. David Raskin, who had scored the first two Basil Rathbone-starring Sherlock Holmes films in the early thirties, as well as a number of film … Continue reading The Horror Film Score Rebellion Part 1 – Classic Horror