Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)

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)

The Horror Score Rebellion – Part 3 (Rosemary’s Baby And Popular Music In Horror)

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)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher – Roger Corman (1960)

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)

Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)

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)

The Reptile – John Gilling (1966)

This article contains spoilers. As a companion piece to John Gilling’s other big Hammer success The Plague of Zombies, 1966’s other Cornish based horror is an entirely different film even though shot relatively back to back.  The Reptile focuses far more on the individual effects of a creature on the loose rather than a general view on the chaos, though obviously the villages where both … Continue reading The Reptile – John Gilling (1966)

The Wolf Man – George Waggner (1941)

One of Universal’s best efforts within the gothic tradition, 1941’s The Wolf Man is one of the studio’s best horror films from its golden era. Though its director isn’t well known for his horror, the success of this feature is no doubt down to borrowing certain stylistic elements from Universal’s most innovative horror director, James Whale. George Waggner’s film could easily be a Whale film, … Continue reading The Wolf Man – George Waggner (1941)

The Omen – Richard Donner (1976)

There’s a natural progression of “Devil child” films, born in the 1960s and culminating in three of the biggest horror films of all time, two of them being Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973).  The best of this apparent trilogy though is the British entry into the sub-genre that uses its budget to give some of the finest set pieces to the whole of … Continue reading The Omen – Richard Donner (1976)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper (1974)

When looking into the history of film titles, there surely cannot be one more controversial and loaded than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? It’s a vicious, daring piece of marketing that implies what’s in store is something altogether grim and deeply disturbing as well as graphically violent.  Thankfully the film in question is far more intelligent than that and is most definitely not to be confused with the recent … Continue reading The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper (1974)