In spite of its very energetic reappraisal and various analyses, Michael Powell’s career destroying masterpiece, Peeing Tom (1960), is a film whose musical eccentricities and sound design contain hidden depths. For a film that appears on the surface to be almost excessively Freudian, this was normal yet, when looking at some of the detailed reappraisals and even some of the high-end re-evaluations of its narrative … Continue reading Peeping Tom (Michael Powell,1960) – Aural Perspectives of Murder.
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.
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)
In vampire films of the past, the mere label of the main villain as a vampire or a child of the night, almost justifies and forgives their actions. When Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee have to seduce in order to attain for their nightly fix of blood, the label of vampire forgives their action as a necessity just as if the person was a mere … Continue reading Martin – George A. Romero (1976)
Cry of the Banshee (1970) makes no qualms as to what its aims are. Looking at its promotional poster, it would be natural to associate it with Roger Corman’s Poe films; it’s emblazoned with Edgar Allen Poe references, its main star is Vincent Price and its design is a technocolour nightmare. The film itself is about as far from Corman’s dreamlike fantasies as possible in … Continue reading Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)
Though 1968 may best be remembered for Romero’s zombies, another film released that same year had a similar impact to the way horror films in the subsequent decade were scored. Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Polish émigré Roman Polanski, has a legacy of imitators that developed from its scoring techniques. Polanski’s tale of the occult in a Manhattan apartment block primarily employs a classical score but large … Continue reading The Horror Score Rebellion – Part 3 (Rosemary’s Baby And Popular Music In Horror)
Article originally published in New Empress Magazine. Being old and generally more battered, silent horror has the unnerving sense of being a genuine piece of documentation. No doubt unaware of it at the time, Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922) is a film that so embodies this accidental aspect that viewing it perhaps recalls the feeling of Ash’s discovery of The Book of the … Continue reading A Brief History of Occult and Folk Horror.
Roger Corman’s work has been often been described as schlock film; a pulpy mass of horror, sci-fi and B-movie nonsense of only vague merit and achievement. Excluding his actual films for a minute, looking at the number of people who have developed under the man’s wing, whether as a producer or director, is quite astounding. On the director’s side, he’s nurtured and helped the likes … Continue reading The Fall Of The House Of Usher – Roger Corman (1960)
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)
If Alfred Hitchcock were to have made an occult horror film, it’s not beyond the realms of fantasy to believe that it would look something like Sidney Hayers’ 1962 film Night of the Eagle. Mixing up all sorts of clean cut imagery and marvellously juicy language, the film is one of the more Freudian in the horror canon and a far more subtle affair than … Continue reading Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)