Thursday, 25 June 2015
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
Sci-Fi Classics: The Attack of the Crab Monsters / War of the Satellites / Not of This Earth
Sci-Fi Creature Classics: 20 Million Miles to Earth / The Giant Claw / It Came from Beneath the Sea / Mothra
Cult Classics: The Spider / War of the Colossal Beast
Scream, Blacula, Scream
Season of the Witch
See No Evil
Seeding of a Ghost
A Serbian Film
The Sergio Leone Anthology
Sette Scialli di Seta Gialla
Seven Blood Stained Orchids
Seven Deaths in a Cat’s Eye
Séance on a Wet Afternoon
Shack Out on 101
Shaun of the Dead
The Shawshank Redemption
She Killed in Ecstasy
She-Devils on Wheels
Shiver of the Vampire
Short Night of the Glass Dolls
Shriek of the Mutilated
The Silence of the Lambs
Silent Night, Deadly Night / Silent Night, Deadly Night 2
The Silent Partner
Silip: Daughters of Eve
Simon, King of the Witches
The Sinful Dwarf
Singin’ in the Rain
The Sister of Ursula
Six Feet Under: The Complete Series
The Skin I Live In
A Small Town in Texas
Soldier of Orange
Some Like It Hot
The Sonny Chiba Collection
Soul Cinema: Truck Turner / Hammer
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
The Spiral Staircase
The Spirit of the Beehive
Stage Fright (1950)
Stage Fright (1987)
Stand By Me
The Stendhal Syndrome
Steve McQueen Collection: Papillon / Bullit / The Getaway / The Cincinnati Kid
Stir of Echoes
Straight on Till Morning
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss. Osbourne
Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh
The Stranger Within
Strangers on a Train
Strangers With Candy: The Complete Series
Straw Dogs (1971)
Strip Nude for Your Killer
Summer of Fear
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Monday, 22 June 2015
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: WWII Battlefront Europe: Kelly’s Heroes / The Dirty Dozen / Where Eagles Dare / Battleground
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
A Tale of Two Sisters
Tales from the Crypt / The Vault of Horror
Tales That Witness Madness
A Taste of Blood
Tawdry Triple Feature: The Ultimate Degenerate / The Lusting Hours / In Hot Blood
Taxi Zum Klo
Team America World Police
The Telephone Book
Terror in the Midnight Sun
Terror is a Man
Terror of Mechagodzilla
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2
That Darn Cat!
Theatre of Blood / Madhouse
There Will be Blood
They Drive By Night
Thieves Like Us
The Thing (1982)
The Thing From Another World
The Thing With Two Heads
This is Spinal Tap
This is the End
Thriller: The Complete Series
Thriller: A Cruel Picture
Time After Time
The Time Machine (1960)
To Be Twenty
To Live and Die in L.A.
To the Devil… A Daughter
The Toho Collection: The H-Man / Battle in Outer Space / Mothra
Toho Pack: The Mysterians / Varan / Matango
Tom at the Farm
The Tomb of Ligeia / An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe
Tombs of the Blind Dead
The Toolbox Murders (1978)
Torso Torture Chamber
Touch of Evil
The Touch of Her Flesh / The Curse of Her Flesh / The Kiss of Her Flesh
Touch of Death
Tourist Trap (1979)
Tower of Evil
The Towering Inferno
The Town That Dread Sundown (1976) / The Evictors
The Traveling Executioner
Treasure of the Amazon
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Trick ‘r Treat
Trilogy of Life
Trilogy of Terror
Triple Feature: They Came From Above: Alien / Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) / Lifeforce
Troll / Troll 2
Trouble Every Day
The Twilight People
Twin Peaks: The First Season
Twin Peaks: The Second Season
Twins of Evil
Two Evil Eyes
Two on a Guillotine
Two Thousand Maniacs
Friday, 19 June 2015
The Ultimate Hitchcock Collection
Under the Skin
The Uninvited (1944)
Up from the Depths / Demon of Paradise
Urban Action Collection: Black Belt Jones / Black Samson / Hot Potato / Three the Hard Way
Urgh! A Music War
The Val Lewton Horror Collection
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
The Valley of Gwangi
Valley of the Dolls
The Vanishing (1988)
Vengeance of the Zombies
Venus in Furs
Village of the Damned / Children of the Damned
A Virgin Among the Living Dead
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
The Wages of Fear
Wait Until Dark
Waiting for Guffman
Wake in Fright
Walking Tall: The Trilogy
Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection
Watch Me When I Kill
Watcher in the Attic
The Watcher in the Woods
Welcome to the Dollhouse
What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
What Have You Done to Solange?
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
When Horror Came to Sochiku: The X from Outer Space / Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell / The Living Skeleton / Genocide
When a Stranger Calls
Where the Wild Things Are
The Whip and the Body / Conspiracy of Torture
The White Buffalo
The White Ribbon
Who Can Kill a Child?
Who Saw Her Die?
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?
The Wicker Man
The Wild Bunch
Wild at Heart
The Witch Who Came from the Sea
Withnail and I
Without You I’m Nothing
The Wizard of Gore
The Wolf Man Collection
A Woman Under the Influence
The Woman in Black (1989)
Women in Cages Collection: The Big Bird Cage / The Big Dollhouse / Women in Cages
Women in Prison Triple Feature: Chained Heat / Red Heat / Jungle Warriors
Women in Love
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
X-Ray / Schizoid
Yongary, Monster from the Deep / Konga
Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key
A Zed and Two Noughts
Zombie Holocaust (but I really just want the "Dr. Butcher, M.D." version)
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Part 2 of an alphabetical list of horror films released since 2000 recommended by Bloody Terror. Please note that Part 1 has been updated.
Let the Right One In (Dir: Tomas Alfredson; 2008; Sweden)
Despite some iffy CGI, this is yet another interesting take on the vampire legend. Here, a bullied schoolboy befriends a girl who appears to be his age, but is in actuality not only decades older, but also a bloodsucker.
The Lords of Salem (Dir: Rob Zombie; 2012, US)
Zombie once again puts the focus on his wife, Sherri Moon Zombie, here as a radio DJ and former drug addict who finds herself the unwitting pawn of witchcraft and black magic in New England. Zombie thankfully restricts his fondness for the overuse of “fuck” and its variations in his dialogue, and this, along with The Devil’s Rejects, is an example of when his cult icon casting (Judy Geeson, Meg Foster, Dee Wallace) works to the movie’s benefit.
Martyrs (Dir: Pascal Laugier, 2008; France/Canada)
Martyrs is a movie that twists in many directions before it settles into its disturbing final third. Part of the effectiveness in watching this film is in not knowing what comes next, but suffice it to say that it’s a grueling experience that you most likely won’t be re-watching over and over again for kicks.
May (Dir: Lucky McKee; 2002; US)
To be honest, it took me a second viewing before I got on May’s wavelength. My initial response was due in part to the film’s quirkiness, which upon my second time through worked in the movie’s favour, much like a representation of the main character’s unusual behaviour and ticks. What May eventually revealed itself to me as being is a character study of a lonely oddball and the repercussions of how she either does or doesn’t fit into Western society.
The Mist (Dir: Frank Darabont; 2007; US)
This film based on Stephen King’s short story bears a firm similarity to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and therefore Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, as a group of strangers are stranded in a single location while nature goes wild outside. In this case, it’s Lovecraftian creatures that come calling. Often criticized for its downbeat ending, I think this element is actually one of its strengths as it explores and exploits a common fear – the fear of making the wrong decision – that far too few films explore, and with this sort of insight and gravity.
The Orphanage (Dir: J.A. Bayona; 2007; Spain)
After conjuring imaginary friends, the young son of a couple disappears from their new home – an orphanage that they’re reopening – in this melancholy ghost story. Effective atmosphere, great ghosts, and a sadness that is missing from most takes on this, the most sorrowful of horror sub-genres.
The Others (Dir: Alejandro Amenábar; 2001: US/Spain/France/Italy)
A ghost story told in the classic style. Nicole Kidman is the mother of two children who suffer a strange allergy to sunlight. As they await the patriarch’s return from war, ghostly events occur.
Pontypool (Dir: Bruce MacDonald; 2008; Canada)
A late night radio DJ and his cohorts are trapped in a radio station as a virus passed by language turns the residents of a small town into zombies. An interesting take on not only the zombie subgenre, but on the effect of words.
[Rec] (Dir: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza; 2007; Spain)
Another zombie film, and another zombie film that doesn’t use the term “zombie”. Also, this is yet another variation on the found footage trope, as a TV host and her camera operator ride with a team of firefighters one evening. The difference – this one is scary!
A Serbian Film (Dir: Srdjan Spasojevic; 2010; Serbia)
Along with Martyrs, A Serbian Film is probably the most extreme film on this list. Hard to defend, the uncut version of A Serbian Film challenges the viewer to witness several disturbing atrocities, although an argument could be made that this is all in the name of addressing the political climate of Serbia at the time the film was made. Its one-line description: A retired porn actor is lured back into the business by dubious backers.
Session 9 (Dir: Brad Anderson, 2001, US)
After a group of men are hired to remove asbestos from an abandoned mental asylum, one of them discovers a patient’s counseling session tapes in the basement, and begins to listen to them. As the tapes build to their climax, so too does the antagonistic relationships among the men. For me, this was a truly scary movie, although I know others who have dismissed it as being too subtle.
Shaun of the Dead (Dir: Edgar Wright; 2004; UK)
One of the finest horror comedies ever conceived, this film takes on most of the clichés of the zombie subgenre, and even manages to incorporate some for the sake of drama rather than comedy.
The Skin I Live In (Dir: Pedro Almodóvar, 2011; Spain)
Director Almodóvar works with Antonio Banderas again after many years and creates this surprising and touching body horror film that transplants the horror from the corporal to the emotional. On the surface, it’s about a surgeon who experiments with synthetic skin. At its heart it’s much more than that.
The Strangers (Dir: Bryan Bertino; 2008; US)
A home invasion film that takes more of its inspiration from Halloween than from its nastier counterparts. In The Strangers, a couple are terrorized by three mask-wearing psychopaths. That’s pretty much it, plain and simple. But as the cliché says, it’s all in the telling, and this telling is scary and suspenseful.
Three (Dirs: Kim Jee-woon, Nonzee Nimibutr, Peter Chan; 2002; South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong)
Three… Extremes (Dirs: Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park; 2004; China. Japan, South Korea)
These two anthology films each feature three shorts by different Asian directors and of varying quality. Combined, they serve as a concise introduction to those uninitiated in Asian horror, and an eerie reminder for those who are.
Trick ‘r Treat (Dir: Michael Dougherty; 2007; US)
A great seasonal viewing alternative to John Carpenters’ classic, Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology film with a terrific cast (Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker), and a by times haunting and/or grisly undercurrent.
Trouble Every Day (Dir: Claire Denis; 2001; France/Germany/Japan)
Béatrice Dalle and Vincent Gallo are the leads in this vampire film that is more in the spirit of George A. Romero’s Martin than most other bloodsucker flicks. Both are great in this moody character study that features one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve witnessed in a millennial horror film.
Wolf Creek (Dir: Greg Mclean; 2005; Australia)
Based on the true story of a serial killer who preyed on visitors to the outback, Wolf Creek is a nasty little flick that has you rooting for its lead characters even while it shows you the inevitability of a sharp blade.
You’re Next (Dir: Adam Wingard; 2011; US)
The trouble with some home invasion flicks is that they can be an unpleasant viewing experience. Not so with You’re Next, which wends some nice twists on the sub-genre while keeping the proceedings entertaining.
Friday, 27 February 2015
The 21st Century is still a pup, but fifteen years in, of course there are a number of horror films which are noteworthy. Any selection of personal recommendations is going to by subjective, so here for better or worse, are the horror films released since 2000 (and listed alphabetically) that I recommend.
28 Days Later (Dir: Danny Boyle; 2002; UK)
A great take on George A. Romero's first three zombie films from outbreak to military intervention, 28 Days Later owes as much to John Wyndham's classic novel The Day of the Triffids. Director Boyle manages to make the living dead scary and dangerous again, while referencing "rage" rather than "zombies".
American Mary (Dirs: Sylvia Soska, Jen Soska; 2012; Canada)
The time was definitely ripe for the Soska Sisters' look at rape culture and body modification. Katherine Isabelle from Ginger Snaps (see below) is featured as a med student who discovers that revenge is best served through the bod mod underground.
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Dir: Christophe Gans; 2001; France/Canada)
This genre-blending tale puts the emphasis on horror as a killer wolf stalks the countryside in 18th Century France. Brotherhood, however, manages to get all its genres right.
Bubba Ho-Tep (Dir: Don Coscarelli; 2004; US)
An aged Elvis Presley and an aged, black John F. Kennedy try to stop an ancient mummy who's killing the residents of a seniors home in this black comedy from the director of Phantasm.
Calvaire (Dir: Fabrice Du Welz; 2004; Belguim)
When the van of a traveling entertainer breaks down in the countryside, he discovers the surrealistic horrors of being a woman.
Cloverfield (Dir: Matt Reeves; 2008; US)
The found footage trope is given new life as a kaiju attacks New York City. The jerky-cam format works well here as it adds an immediacy and an air of reality to a genre that hasn't been given this treatment previously. The only downside is that the 20-somethings who populate the film are hard to relate to unless you're the dull offspring of socialites.
The Descent (Dir: Neil Marshall; 2005; UK)
Trapped spelunkers versus sightless cave dwellers as interpersonal dramas play out in this suspenseful and exciting flick. Beware the US version of the ending.
The Devil’s Rejects (Dir: Rob Zombie; 2005; US)
Although Zombie is one of the most divisive filmmakers in the horror genre, I got into this nasty revenge flick about the killing spree exploits of the Firefly family. Terrific performances and interesting cult favourite cameos help immeasurably. Oddly, the only part that I feel Zombie fumbled is the confusing and therefore disengaging opening gunfight.
A Field in England (Dir: Ben Wheatley; 2013; UK)
An alchemist's assistant and three soldiers meet the Devil(?) in this sometimes psychedelic horror flick set entirely in... a field in England... during the 17th Century and Civil War. The scene in which Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith from the absolutely essential League of Gentlemen) exits O'Neil's tent is one of the most striking and disturbing images in 21st Century Horror.
Final Destination 2 (Dir: David R. Ellis; 2002; US)
Arguably the best instalment in the Final Destination franchise, Part 2 features exemplary examples of everything this series is famous for - spectacular set pieces, Rube Goldberg-style deaths, and a sense of humour.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Dir: Ana Lily Amirpour; 2014; US)
It astounds me how often filmmakers have been able to find new ways to tell zombie and vampire stories, as a number of films on Parts 1 & 2 of this list will attest. Even when the notion of sitting through yet another flick featuring the living dead or the undead bores me to tears, the advance word about the rare film that breathes new live into either sub-genre will induce me to seek it out. Such was the case with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. From its evocative title to its black and white cinematography (it's great to see a contemporary horror film in Black & White), this is a film that uses its low budget to its best advantage by focusing on the loneliness of the vampire while evoking positively both Film Noir and the early Black & White films of Jim Jarmusch.
Ginger Snaps (Dir: John Fawcett; 2000; Canada)
Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) Fitzgerald are two of the most interesting characters in new Century Horror. Not your typical teen horror movie fodder, these two morbid sisters face becoming women via a werewolf metaphor.
Grindhouse (Dirs: Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino' 2007; US)
In its original theatrical format (big screen, short versions of both films) Grindhouse is a lot of fun as two directors who have been inspired by genre films pay official tribute to exploitation movies of the 1970's and 80's. Sure Tarantino's Death Proof has one too many conversations, but this pseudo-double bill spawned more imitators than anything Tarantino's done since Pulp Fiction.
High Tension (Dir: Alexandre Aja; 2003; France)
Praised for its retro slasher suspense, but criticized for its ending, High Tension is one of the most audacious slasher films of the 21st Century. Great performances from Cécile De France, Maïwenn and Philippe Nahon add to this gory flick, and in my eyes, the ending only serves to add an additional kick to the proceedings (stayed tuned for a piece about this).
The Host (Dir: Joon-ho Bong; 2007; South Korea)
CGI is well used here to create a terrific amphibian kaiju in this, one of the best giant creature features of recent years. Though it may sometimes be difficult for Western audiences to grasp the intended humour at points, The Host is exciting, entertaining and unexpectedly sad.
Hostel: Part II (Dir: Eli Roth; 2007; US)
As divisive a figure in the horror community as Rob Zombie, director Eli Roth upped the ante quality wise for this sequel to his hit Hostel. Though I'm not a fan of the original, the sequel is more of a giallo than a straight horror flick with some terrific set pieces.
The House of the Devil (Dir: Ti West; 2009; US)
This nicely atmospheric throwback to the slasher films of the 1980's finds a babysitter unexpectedly in charge of an aged invalid. Great cameos from Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov, and terrific performances from Jocelin Donahue (babysitter) and Greta Gerwig (her pal).
House of Wax (Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra; 2005; US)
Entertaining and grisly updating of the original that is really just a remake in name only. Paris Hilton is fine as a secondary character.
Inside (Dirs: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury; 2007; France)
It's Béatrice Dalle versus Alysson Paradis in this outrageously bloody and suspenseful flick about a woman who wants the as yet unborn child from the belly of a very pregnant widow. Dalle makes a great (sympathetic?) villain in this disturbing debut from Bustillo & Maury; Here's hoping their two follow up films - Livid (2011) and Among the Living (2014) - become available to North American audiences soon.
Ju-on (Dir: Takashi Shimizu; 2002; Japan)
Shimizu also directed the English language remake of Ju-on (aka The Grudge), a film that along with Ringu and its American remake The Ring, is probably most responsible for the overseas popularity of J-Horror in the early 2000's. It's a creepy and entertaining flick that updates Japan's particular brand of ghost story.
STAY TUNED FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE LIST...