The Horror Movie Magazine You Can
Really Sink Your Teeth Into
Issue #6


The Haunting and the Power of Suggestion: Why Robert Wise’s Continues to “Deliver the Goods” to Modern Audiences

Pam Keesey

Wise is a master filmmaker, and his unique and dynamic style is apparent from the beginning. From the victim’s eye-view of the upset carriage that killed Hugh Craine’s first wife, her hand falling lifeless across the screen, to the tumbling camerawork that gives us the vision of his second wife’s final moments, to the visual descent of the spiral staircase after the companion’s suicide, Wise establishes the camera itself as the primary tool in his cache of special effects. Click here for the rest of the story.

They Only Wanted to Rule the World: A Celebration of Cinematic Villainy, Part VI

M. Christian

Of all the cinematic genres, the one that most celebrates the allure of the villain—their intelligence, imagination, malevolence, pro-activity, and style—has to be the James Bond series. The 1962 production of Dr. No (produced Albert R. Broccoli & Harry Saltzman, directed Terence Young, written Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood) from Ian Fleming’s novel set the stage for the 23 (and climbing) subsequent films: exotic locals, devious devices, incredible stunts, a debonair hero, and a diabolical villain. In many ways, the films have established the markers of the first-rate “villain,” infusing other genres’ villains with their imagery, attitude, determination, and even fashion sense. A white Persian cat and an eye patch automatically transforms an otherwise blasé character into another Ernst Stavro Blofeld or Emilio Largo, wringing his hands as he prepares to carve up the globe. Click here for the rest of the story.

Revenge of the Auteur Theory

David Christenson

Dirt cheap, hurried, clumsy, these old cheapies can still charm us with their goofy enthusiasm. Those 1950s guys in their dapper suits and snap-brim hats, so earnest and serious, lighting up their cigarettes and tossing back their whiskeys, jumping into a Chevy for another chase or leaping boyishly into a round of fisticuffs or gunplay. Those 1950s women, anxious high-haired helpmates teetering atop high heels, lugging around clipboards if they’re scientists or clutch purses if they’re not, dangerously inquisitive but armed only with piercing screams. Those clunky endearing monsters, teasing us with radiation and flashing lights, then waddling out of the shadows, full of rubbery menace, ready to take over the planet. The doddering scientists, the pea-brained caretakers and gas-station attendants, the cynical cops, the wisecracking reporters, the precocious children, the foolhardy family dogs—the monsters are no match for these forces of goodness. Click here for the rest of the story.

The House of Usher Still Stands

Justin Felix

When I was young, I can recall Vincent Price films being a staple of the Saturday afternoon and late night “creature feature” TV programming. With the advent and popularization of DVD, many of the actor’s films have been resurfacing, and I’ve had the pleasure of reliving some films that I hadn’t seen in 15 or so years and discovering those that I had missed. MGM, with its “Midnite Movies” series, for example, has recently released a couple classic Price films that he did in the 1960s. Click here for the rest of the story.

The ultimate version of fan favorite Fiend

David Christenson

Me, I don’t think Fiend Without a Face is a genre masterpiece, maybe not even the best British horror of the period. It is, however, a good monster movie, important not so much for its enduring impact but for a few significant innovations: an original mix of notions about psychic power and atomic energy, an original monster, and a grotesque climax that foreshadows splatter movies to come. Knowing that bloody finish paved the way for such epics as The Gore-Gore Girls and Friday the 13th does not reflect well on Fiend, but on its own terms, Fiend is respectable enough. Click here for the rest of the story.

Opera: Argento’s Ode to Beauty and Cruelty

David Christenson

Dario Argento is famous in Italy, a cult figure in the United States. His reputation here rests on a series of 1970s and 1980s horror films, shockers marked virtuoso directorial flourishes and disturbing brutality. His best known film here is probably Suspiria, a 1977 production that pushed the genre’s limits on sadism and surrealism. Suspiria is ostensibly about a young American woman lured to a ballet school where she gradually discovers an infestation of witches. Its real subject is not dance, or witches, but Argento’s own grotesque imagination, his lovingly detailed depictions of murder and weird visual asides punctuated blasts of hard rock music. Tremendously influential in its time among horror fans and filmmakers, it’s still a memorable experience, if the shocks are somewhat dated. Click here for the rest of the story.

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