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Angel Blake - Blood on Satan's Claw
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All the Men and Women Merely Players: Celebrating Lesser-Known Horror Favourites

There are certain characters in movies of all genres that are just as memorable, if not more so, than the main protagonist(s). In comedy, for example, it’s often the sidekick who gets the best lines, and these are the ones we’re often still quoting five years later. In horror, the most memorable characters can be part of an ensemble to […]

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
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To New Beginnings! – Friday the 13th Part Five & Me

It’s summer. School’s Out as Alice Cooper said and I’m riding my bike through the narrow woodland that runs parallel to my street and down the hill to a friend’s house. We don’t have a plan for the late afternoon, just the usual hijinks; a clandestine look at his older brother’s collection of ‘special interest’ magazines, a sneaky cigarette (him, […]

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No Animals Were Harmed: A Brief History of Animal Cruelty on Film

In a 2014 interview with, Sergio Martino was asked about the animal cruelty on display in his film Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978) and his thoughts 36 years on. For his part, Martino expressed regret, saying: “The only sequence … the python kills the monkey. I didn’t want that. I don’t know what happened. The producers wanted this sequence. […]

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The Constraint of Necessity – Horror: the Beating Heart of Cinema

I’d like to tell you a story. Three months before my wedding a friend of mine killed himself. Out of his mind on drugs, he dove headfirst out of the first floor window of his house, onto the concrete patio below. He knew exactly what he was doing, yet even with the apparent evil coursing through his bloodstream he had […]

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Horror Films I’ve Never Seen: #1 – Cannibal Holocaust

To start this off, I’d just like to say that I’m not squeamish. In fact, for some reason I find gore to be little more than cartoonish so I can never quite take it seriously. From the  gore-laced works of Lucio Fulci to the equally nasty homages from Eli Roth, none of that stuff bothers me. I don’t wince when […]

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Putting Away Childish Things: Early Horror that Lives On

Heinrich Hoffmann wanted to buy his three-year-old son a book for Christmas. After much searching, the German physician came to the conclusion that since there were no such books for a young boy of his son’s tender years, he’d simply have to write one himself. The result, Funny stories and whimsical pictures with 15 beautifully coloured panels for children aged 3–6 […]

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Box of Delights – My Favourite Movie Box Sets

Any movie collector loves a good box set.  There’s something indescribably exciting about removing the wrapping for the first time and owning a set of films collected together, with a ton of extras and a booklet (if you’re lucky). It’s even more exciting when the movies are either being released for the first time or restored. At the risk becoming […]

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A Nightmare on Cuesta Verde: Poltergeist and the Spielberg Summer (Part one)

Thornton Heath, England, August, 1972 3:17am The house was still. Diane Thrower* stirred quietly, pushing off the duvet cover and rolling over to face the open window. Beside Diane, her husband William draped an arm across his wife. She gently placed moved his arm away, whispering gently, “It’s too hot.” Soon both were fast asleep. On the bedside table next […]

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Horror Films I’ve Never Seen: #6 – Clownhouse

Yesterday, I posted an article about Roman Polanski’s Repulsion that ended up, during the process of writing, more concerned about Polanski’s abhorrent crime and subsequent escape from justice than the film itself. During the piece, I also talked briefly about another equally shocking incident committed by another director, Victor Salva. During production of Salva’s full-length debut, Clownhouse, the director accosted […]