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Showing posts from December, 2012

Christmas Evil

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1980
Dir. Lewis Jackson

AKA You Better Watch Out

When he sees his mother fooling around with someone dressed as Santa on Christmas Eve, something snaps in little Harry Stadling’s head. Years later, when he’s all growed-up, Harry has developed an obsession with Christmas, and with being Santa Claus. Intent on delivering presents to those he deems ‘good’, Harry sets off into the night with toys stolen from the factory where he works, determined to bring joy to the hearts of children - whether they like it or not - and vengeance upon his bullying co-workers.

Part psycho-on-the-rampage narrative, part character study, Christmas Evil is many things; most of all surprising. To begin with, it really taps into the arguably inherent creepiness of the notion of a man who leaves presents for children by entering their house in the dead of night via their chimneys. Of course, for a modern audience, many of the moments in the film - such as when Harry (a brilliantly unhinged Brandon Maggart) spies…

All the Colours of the Dark

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1972
Dir. Sergio Martino

When she loses her unborn baby in a car accident, a troubled young woman becomes the target of a Satanic cult who may have been responsible for the death of her mother many years ago…

Sergio Martino’s All the Colours of the Dark is a psychedelic trip of a giallo filtered through the gothic aesthetics of Hammer Horror and the Satanic Panic-induced paranoia of Rosemary’s Baby. Reconceptualising the usual conventions of the giallo into a plot about a Satanic cult’s advances on a traumatised young woman, it falls into a miniscule group of films critic Kim Newman dubs ‘giallo-fantastico’; gialli which boast overtly supernatural aspects as well as typical troupes such as sexual perversion, blackmail and murder. Adding to the delirious nature of the plot are abstract dream sequences and myriad moments which cunningly blur the line between reality and deranged fantasy. Jane (Edwige Fenech) has increasing panic attacks, hallucinations and nightmares which are woven in…

Exquisite Terror 3

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Exquisite Terror is an independently produced periodical, the intention of which is to take a more academic, analytical approach to the genre of horror. This is Exquisite Terror III. Isn't it beautiful? It's now available to pre-order.

Inside you'll find in-depth essays on The Exorcist, Jörg Buttgereit, a little something by myself on the presence of cats in horror, exclusive hand-drawn artwork and much, much more. All for only £2.45.

Exquisite Terror is a labour of love for all involved. Print isn't dead - support independent publishing. Click here to pre-order your copy today. 

For international sales, please contact info@exquisiteterror.com prior to order.

"Exquisite Terror is something rather different… genre fans looking for interesting, sometimes provocative features on the fringe elements of the genre will find much to enjoy here." Strange Things Are Happening

Paracinema Magazine: Issue 18

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Mouldy mildew, mother of mouthmuck! Issue 18 of Paracinema Magazine is now available to pre-order!

Packed full of ridiculously good ‘letters that stay’ on all kinds of genre cinema, this issue includes the likes of When Single Shines the Triple Sun: Duality and Self Discovery in The Dark Crystal by Christine Makepeace, Marriage Bites: Lesbian Vampires and the Failure of Heterosexuality in Daughters of Darkness by Erin Wiegand, 3D’s Use and Potential in Today’s Cinematic Landscape by Caleb McCandless, Speed Racer: The Art of Absurdity by Patrick Smith and The Goriest Film You Never Saw by Jose Cruz.

Sound good? Duh, of course! Fancy picking up a copy? Erm, yes! Well then, head over to Paracinema.net and pre-order one now. Support independent publishing, or, you know, face the wrath of the Skeksis!

Happy Bloody Birthday, Behind the Couch

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Behind the Couch turns four years old today!

Thanks so much to everyone who has swung by. While this year has been slightly quieter than usual on the blogging front - mainly due to another Argento related project I’ve been working on – I still found time to dander down Elm Street with a movie marathon, swoon over Vincent Price, talk about Italian horror cinema with a pop star, and loiter in graveyards with prematurely buried maidens…

There were of course also the usual reviews of old favourites, new favourites, obscure gems and obscure trash, as well as chats with fairytale experts and authors of creepy poetry for children. Behind the Couch was also invited to join LOTT D and get nerdy over horror with its lovely members.

This year not only marked the 30th anniversary of Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, but also my (hopefully endearingly) bumbling foray into the world of podcasting; the results of which included helping to put together Paracinema’s first podcast (on the music of John Carpen…