DVD Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

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The Quiet Ones DVD CoverDistributor: Lionsgate

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: John Pogue

Starring: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Olivia Cooke, Laurie Calvert

If, like me, you are of a certain age and your body is advancing in years way ahead of your mental state, there is a certain joy in seeing the Hammer logo flashing across the screen in blood-red letters before the start of a film. Whilst not always a guarantee of a great film per se it is at least a brand name that you can trust to entertain you, a name that tells you before the opening credits roll that this is a film that is going to give you certain things – creepy Gothic settings, supernatural monsters, swashbuckling heroes, buxom wenches and so on – and since the Hammer name was resurrected during the last Continue reading

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Blu-ray Review: The Witches (1966)

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The Witches BR CoverDistributor: StudioCanal

BBFC Classification: 12

Director: Cyril Frankel

Starring: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen, Michele Dotrice, Leonard Rossiter, Ann Bell

Based on the novel The Devil’s Own by Peter Curtis, The Witches is one of the less spoken about films from the mid-period of Hammer’s first run of horror films, released amidst a flurry of Dracula and Frankenstein sequels, cave girl pictures and more popular standalone titles like The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile.

After an incident with a witchdoctor whilst teaching in Africa, Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine – Ivanhoe) has a breakdown and returns to England to take up a position Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974)

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Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell BR CoverDistributor: Icon Home Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Terence Fisher

Starring: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Dave Prowse, Madeline Smith, Patrick Troughton, Bernard Lee

By the time Hammer got round round to making Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell it was very clear that the tide had turned in terms of what audiences wanted from their horror films. George A. Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead had done much to change the landscape back in 1968 and since then horror films had moved into a modern world setting, making most of Hammer’s early ’70s output look outdated and old-fashioned. The Exorcist upped the ante again in 1973 and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre would emerge a year later, cementing the 1970s as Continue reading