Thursday, 25 June 2015

Unhallowed Ground

Dir. Russell England

During the 17th century, students of a prestigious school are spared a gruesome death by plague after they ritualistically murder four of their own in a Satanic pact.

In present times, the building is still used as a boarding school, and when it shuts down for midterm holidays, six students from the cadet corps must remain behind to patrol the grounds as part of an initiative in basic military training.

As the night progresses, personal conflicts become apparent within the group, and as they delve deeper into the history of the school, they are beset by increasingly odd occurrences...

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Can't Come Out to Play

Dir. John McNaughton

A couple who attempt to keep their sick son in a completely secluded environment for the sake of his ailing health, find their rigidly controlled and isolated lives intruded upon by a recently orphaned young girl who moves into the house down the lane. What follows is a tale of domestic abuse, desperation and the exhumation of dark family secrets.

An intense domestic psychodrama featuring disarmingly powerful performances from Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon, Can’t Come Out to Play is director John McNaughton’s first feature film in over a decade. While certainly a much more subtle affair than previous offerings such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and the sublimely trashy thriller Wild Things, it’s no less provocative or compelling.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Remembering Sir Christopher Lee

Rest in Peace, Sir Christopher Lee. The Silver Screen will flicker a little dimmer without your commanding presence, gravitas and dignity.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Dracula (1958)

The Mummy (1959)

Horror Hotel (1960)

Horror Hotel (1960)

The Whip & The Body (1963)

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

On set with director Terrence Fisher

The Devil Rides Out (1968)

The Wicker Man (1973)

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

House of Long Shadows (1983) also starred Vincent Price, Peter Cushing & John Carradine

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

The Hobbit (2012-2014)

His most iconic role... Count Dracula

With dear friend and frequent co-star, Peter Cushing

Monday, 1 June 2015

RIP Betsy Palmer

Betsy Palmer, 1926-2015
Actress Betsy Palmer, best known for portraying Pamela Voorhees in Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part II, has passed away at the age of 88. Palmer died of natural causes at a hospice care centre in Connecticut on Friday 29th May. She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Merendino.

While Palmer will always be remembered for her role as Jason Voorhees’ tragic mother, she had a long and versatile career on stage - appearing in Broadway plays such as On Golden Pond, Cactus Flower and Same Time, Next Year - and television - starring in the likes of Knots Landing, As the World Turns and Murder, She Wrote. 

Palmer famously stated that she only took on the role of Mrs Voorhees because she needed a new car. Despite initially disowning the film, and its sequel, in which she had a cameo appearance, Palmer eventually embraced it, frequently appearing at horror conventions to meet with hordes of adoring fans.

In Peter M. Bracke’s 'Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th', she candidly revealed that she approached all her roles, including Mama Voorhees, with sincerity; she even created a back-story for the character. She also commented on the film’s legacy, its enduring appeal, and her place within horror cinema history. “I once told my daughter. “Tell me the truth, are you ashamed that your mother did Friday the 13th?” And she said, “Not at all - now I don’t have to tell my friends who you are anymore.” The funny thing is, I did poo-poo it for a long time. I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone to know. But I’ve since accepted it. It’s actually become fun now. It’s like a badge of honour. I’m the Queen of the Slashers!” 

Betsy’s friend and Friday the 13th co-star Adrienne King said on Facebook: “Rest in Peace sweet Betsy. You will be so missed by so many. I am truly blessed to have known you. You were my dear friend, my bloody brilliant teacher, the consummate awe-inspiring actress & professional not to mention the kind of mother every child wishes they had ~ I am so happy you embraced your role as Mrs. Voorhees in the end & enjoyed the love & praise of your generations of fans from around the world. We will miss you Betsy Palmer!”