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“Invitation to Dance - It’s a Dance. And sometimes they turn the lights off in this ballroom. But we’ll dance anyway, you and I. Even in the Dark. Especially in the Dark. May I have the pleasure?” --- Stephen King ::::::::::: MY CRITERIA FOR DISCUSSION ENCOMPASSES THE HORROR GENRE AND BEYOND, SO I USE THE TERM "NIGHTMARE MOVIES". SPOILERS CAN OCCUR WITH OR WITHOUT WARNING. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Horrorphile - May 2009

Wolf Creek

May 29th 2009 02:23
Wolf Creek movie poster
Arguably the cruelest Australian horror movie of all time, Wolf Creek (2005),Greg Mclean’s stunning debut feature (which he wrote, produced and directed) set a new benchmark for low-budget genre filmmaking down under. Shot on digital HD on a budget of just one million bucks, it made close to five million in the States on opening weekend alone.

It’s 1999, Western Australia, and Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips) buys a dirt cheap used car and hooks up with his two British backpacker mates Liz Hunter (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy Earl (Kestie Morassi). The plan is to travel on the smell of an oily rag through the outback of Australia before the girls fly back home. They party hard the night before and next morning hit the road with hangovers, but in good spirits. These three have fun together, and it even seems Liz has a crush on Ben.
Wolf Creek Nathan Phillips, Kestie Morassi, Cassandra McGrath
Ben (Nathan Phillips), Kirsty (Kestie Morassi) and Liz (Cassandra Magrath)
After a pit-stop for fuel and some unwanted harassment from the local rednecks the three continue on their way into Wolf Creek National Park and turn off the beaten track heading for famous Wolf Creek crater, a massive meteorite site. The weather turns rotten, and all three of their watches stop. Then the car won’t start. Ben makes reference to UFOs, but Liz is not amused. Thankfully assistance arrives in the form of local hillbilly Mick Taylor (John Jarrat) who tows them back to his camp where he’s offered to replace the broken engine coil.
Wolf Creek this way
Right turn, wrong turn
At movie's start a statement reads: "The following is based on actual events", a series of facts follow; "30,000 people are reported missing in Australia every year, 90% are found within a month, some are never seen again". Although the characters and everything that happens in Wolf Creek is fictionalized the events are loosely based on some of the murders of serial killer Ivan Milat. At movie’s end in an attempt to cement the previous events as real truths a statement reads: “Early investigations into the case were disorganized, hampered by confusion over the location of the crimes, a lack of physical evidence, and the alleged unreliability of the only witness. After four months in police custody Ben Mitchell was later cleared of all suspicion. He currently lives in Australia.”
Wolf Creek Wolfe Creek crator
The real Wolfe Creek meteorite crator
The truth is no one knows what went on between Ivan Milat and his victims because Milat has never confessed to anything and the only real survivor escaped before Milat could do him any real harm. I’ve read the fascinating, but very disturbing account of Milat, his huge family, and the infamous backpacker murders in the gripping non-fiction book Sins of the Brother by Mark Whittaker and Les Kennedy, which Mick Taylor read as his only substantial research. For the trainspotters, the abandoned mining compound which Mick Taylor uses as his base is called Navithalim Mining Co. (Ivan Milat backwards).

Wolf Creek John Jarrat
John Jarrat as Mick Taylor
Mick Taylor is a nasty piece of work, and to add insult to injury he gets away with his crimes. But as that old saying goes: life’s a bitch, and then you die. What makes Wolf Creek so damn effective in its palpable atmosphere of horror, the nightmare of which kicks in half way through the movie, is that the characters of Ben, Liz and Kristy are all so likable and we’ve spent quality time with them. These aren’t your normal obnoxious teens from an American slasher movie. The performances from all three are excellent. The English accents from Aussies McGrath and Morassi are convincing. John Jarrat is scarily convincing as the outback boogeyman with his hideous cackle and beady eyes spouting "There's nothing like rain water from the top end" ...
Wolf Creek Kestie Morassi and John Jarrat
This is a fuckn' knife ...
Wolf Creek Cassandra Magrath
No use crying over spilt fingers
The digital cinematography is vivid, with virtually all of the main action shot handheld. Apparently the shooting schedule was so tight they had to incorporate any weather changes, such as the rain and thunderstorm. In fact it hadn’t rained for ten years in the “Wolf Creek” area, and as soon as crew arrived it began to rain. While the script called for spooky stuff (such as the watches and car going dead - a reference to Picnic at Hanging Rock - and a solar eclipse), the crew had their fair share of real weird stuff, including the appearance of a stranger investigating in the middle of the night who bore an uncanny likeness to the character of Mick Taylor, including the ute.
Wolf Creek killer's silhouette
Silhouette from outback hell
The special effects make-up courtesy of Connelly Make-up FX Team features some gruesome, wince-inducing moments, especially poor Liz’s drawn-out demise, and Ben’s crucifixion. Kirsty might not endure the most agony, but she suffers terribly, and implodes psychologically. Much to my chagrin I noticed the DVD had a very brief, but powerful moment of horror cut out, which was in the original theatrical version: the graphic headshot to the old man standing by the car from Mick’s long-range rifle. Why was that cut?! There are also three deleted scenes on the DVD which were apparently in the theatrical version (Ben buying road maps, Kirsty waking up in bed with Ben the morning after the party, and Liz venturing down into a mining well after coming back to the camp and discovering many of Mick Taylor’s victims rotting, skeletal remains), but none of them I remember. Funny I should specifically remember the missing headshot, but not the three deleted scenes.
Wolf Creek Nathan Phillips
In the desert no one can hear you scream
Wolf Creek is a harrowing experience for those not used to such horror fare, but it’s an exceptionally well-made movie. It received a lot of criticism at the time of its release, much of it from indignant Australian critics and moral conservatives who deemed the movie gratuitous “torture porn”. Frank Walker, senior reporter for Sydney Morning Herald, had this to say, “Along with many others, I walked out of the Sydney premiere of the Australian film Wolf Creek on Friday night sickened by the extreme violence, blood and gore … With an hour to go in this shocking film the violence could only get worse. An hour of my life was too precious for this type of pornographic filth. The realistic violence in this movie is truly stomach churning. But it comes with the memory of backpack killer Ivan Milat still fresh and the Falconio trial under way in Darwin … It sickens me to see these terrible murders played out as sadistic entertainment on the big screen … I am ashamed to hear the Australian film industry hail this film as a great Australian achievement. Wolf Creek is an insult to the memories of the victims of those terrifying murders.”

Wolf Creek John Jarrat
Travel to Wolf Creek yourself, Mick Taylor still hunts there
Dozens and dozens of horror movies are based on real events, whether they state it or not. Part of what makes a horror movie a great horror movie is a sense of realism, even when its dealing with the supernatural. Frank Walker covered both the Milat murders and the Falconio case, and apparently he met the victims’ families, so he has a bone of contention with Wolf Creek as being utterly insensitive. What about all the war movies that have glorified the mass murder of innocent lies? Is the WWII masterpiece Come and See, which deals with the Nazi raping, murdering and plundering of the Russian peasants considered pornographic filth? Shit happens, and movies reflect that. Movies are entertainment, not matter how loose the term is used. In the four years since Wolf Creek came out there have been numerous other movies far dodgier in tone, far more graphically violent, and less intelligently handled.

Torture porn is not everyone’s cup of cold vomit, but it’s a natural direction for desensitized horrorphiles wanting intense visceral gratification. Yes there’s a perverse thrill to it. I don't necessarily get off on it myself, but it has a definite context; adding that extra push onto the sharper edge of the horror purge, and it is the purge of repulsion that provides part of the acute sense of mortification that is the essence of the horror movie experience.

I’m getting up on my high horror horse here, I need to calm down.
Wolf Creek U.S. movie poster

Here's the excellent U.S. trailer:

And here's self-righteous U.S. critics Ebert & Roeper damning the movie, showing themselves to have no fucking idea (pardon my French), especially with Ebert comparing Wolf Creek to Rob Zombie's highly over-rated The Devil's Rejects, which I thought was a piece of crap:



May 28th 2009 01:07
Acolytes movie poster
A seriously good Australian horror-thriller with a seriously nasty edge, Acolytes (2008) is the work of director Jon Hewitt collaborating with screenwriters Shane Krause and Shayne Armstrong on their first feature. It’s a tale of blackmail and revenge, corruption and tragedy all rolled into a tight little serial killer, teen-romance package.

Mark (Sebastian Gregory) and James (Joshua Payne) are at the end of high school. They like a bit of mischief. They share a haunting secret. When Mark discovers a burial spot in the forest, he gets James and his girlfriend Chasely (Hannah Mangan-Lawrence) involved. It turns out to be a makeshift grave with a girl’s body buried. They think they know who the killer is as Mark had spotted the car leaving the scene, so he and James concoct a plan to blackmail the suspected killer (Joel Edgerton) into murdering the pervert bully, Gary Parker (Michael Dorman), who scarred their lives as young adolescents. If only it were that simple.
Acolytes Joshua Payne, Hannah Mangan-Lawrence, Sebastian Gregory
James (Joshua Payne), Chasely (Hannah Mangan-Lawrence) and Mark (Sebastian Gregory)
Director Jon Hewitt has come along way since his dreadful debut feature Bloodlust (1992), a cheap-as-chips vampire piece, or his turgid detective flick Redball (1999). His third feature, darklovestory (2006) wasn’t even released theatrically or DVD, only screening at the MUFF (Melbourne Underground Film Festival). In Acolytes his wife, Belinda McClory, appears once again, this time in a non-speaking part, but a role that has a significant input at movie’s end.
Acolytes Joel Edgerton
Joel Edgerton as Ian Wright
Acolytes Michael Dorman
Michael Dorman as Gary Parker
Acolytes sports sensational productions values, an excellent cast, and some great writing. Only the ending disappoints as it all collapses into familiar Hollywood territory (perhaps following a test screening, since the two alternate endings provided on the DVD are decidedly more evil), which it can be argued is where the producers want the movie to appeal: the famously conservative American audience.

The superb cinematography is from Mark Pugh, the sharp as a razor editing is by Simon Martin, the fantastic sound design is by Kearon de Clouet, and there’s a solid and melodic selection of Australian rock source music which is integrated into the narrative beautifully. The Queensland landscape; forestry, hillside, and suburbia is stunning, the performances from the three teenagers, especially Sebastian Gregory and Hannah Mangan-Lawrence (who has a small role in The Square) are terrific, while Michael Dorman and Joel Edgerton deliver truly frightening turns as their savagely respective villains.
Acolytes Joshua Payne, Hannah Mangan-Lawrence, Sebastian Gregory
Gary burns rubber trying to catch the teens
Along with Nash Edgerton’s The Square (which is more a noir-thriller), and Wolf Creek (2005), Acolytes is one of the best Aussie hardened genre movies in years. Mclean’s Rogue (2006) is also very good, but these other three movies are grounded in a more palpable reality; people fucking up, or people being fucked over, royally, by psychopaths and/or gangsters in realistic scenarios. Australia has really been delivering the horror goods of late. Even Dying Breed (2008) provided some decent nastiness.
Acolytes Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Joshua Payne, Hannah Mangan-Lawrence, Sebastian Gregory
Confrontation time
In some ways Acolytes and The Square are not too dissimilar to the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple. I’m sure both Jon Hewitt and the Edgerton brothers would be the first to agree they owe inspiration and influence to that masterful exercise in genre stylistics and narrative tweaking. Although the imagery used at movie’s end worked very well (especially the very last shot), the whole ending sequence didn’t entirely convince me, especially after seeing the alternate endings. But I’m a sick puppy at heart.
Acolytes Joel Edgerton, Belinda McClory
Ian with his deaf wife (Belinda McClory)
When push comes to shove, you can have a great little screenplay, you can even have a tailored script that plays by the rules, but if the crew you’ve put together to make the movie doesn’t gel and doesn’t deliver the goods, it all falls apart. Despite my reservations Acolytes should open a few more doors overseas for Hewitt, if not I’ll eat my hat. It’s just a shame this movie didn’t get a decent theatrical season. In Germany it has been re-titled Die Erpresser (The Blackmailers), which has a nice dark ring to it.

Here’s the trailer:

Acolytes DVD (with loads of extras) is courtesy of Madman Entertainment, many thanks

Dying Breed

May 27th 2009 03:46
Dying Breed movie poster
It might not be the most original premise in the realm of horror, but Dying Breed (2008) is well-made and provides a few tasty morsels of nightmarish grotesquerie that perches it above similar dross. It’s an Australian production set in Tasmania and it plunders those reliable elements: inbreds and cannibalism. It also features the legendary Tasmanian Tiger, an extinct native cat which supposedly might still exist prowling the dense undergrowth of what was once called Van Dieman’s Land.

Directed by newcomer Jody Dwyer, with two other newcomers in acting roles; Mirrah Foulkes and Melanie Vellajo, it also co-stars Leigh Whannell (Saw) and Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek). The plot has Irish zoologist Nina (Aussie Foulkes doing an impressive accent) traveling to Tasmania to complete her dead sister’s work in hopefully proving the existence of the supposedly extinct Tassie Tiger. Joining her are her boyfriend Matt (Whannell), his obnoxious mate Jack (Phillips) and his girlfriend Rebecca (Vallejo).
Dying Breed Mirrah Foulkes
Mirrah Foulkes as Nina
Off into the wilderness they go, gung ho, hi ho. Deep into Pieman territory; where the urban myth of cannibals, ancestors of escaped penal convict Alexander Pearce who managed to elude capture for months while sustaining himself on the flesh of his fellow escaped comrades permeates the yarns of local backwoods folk. It isn’t long before they reach the end of their tether, partly because of Jack’s bad behaviour, but chiefly because the hills have eyes, and they ain’t too pretty lookin’ either.
Dying Breed Leigh Whannell and Melanie Vellajo
Leigh Whannell as Matt and Melanie Vallejo as Rebecca
Yes, several movies come to mind while watching Dying Breed, and one of them is even mentioned by Jack when he cynically refers to their trekking into Deliverance-territory. That brilliant and seminal 1971 movie by John Boorman has a lot to answer for. The other movie that springs to mind is the excellent Wrong Turn (2003), which features a group of hapless “tourists” who fall foul of savage inbred mountain men. Curiosity nearly always kills the cat.
Dying Breed Nathan Phillips
Nathan Phillips as Jack
Fast-paced, with tight direction and solid acting, Dying Breed was surprisingly effective. I was really prepared not to enjoy myself with this addition to the flesh-eatin’, sex-starved, abandoned mine-livin’ mutants in the woods scenario. The gore effects were nicely handled too, especially a particularly gruesome lip-munchin’ moment. There’s also some spare, but convincing CGI for the ol’ Tiger glimpses, and a terrifically monstrous reveal of the main cannibal near movie’s end.

Dying Breed Sally McDonald
Sally McDonald as Nina's sister Ruth
The most disturbing element is the in-breds need to procreate with the gene pool outside the square; fresh stock in order to keep their bloodline running. This plays cleverly with the title, referring to both the Tiger and Pearce’s ancestry. According to the movie 250 people have disappeared in Tasmania since Pearce escaped. According to director Dwyer the village of Sarah (on Sarah Island, which is where Pearce ran wild until his capture with human flesh in his pockets in 1824) is a small township that passionately upholds its cannibalistic heritage in honour of the convict patriarch that gave birth to it.

Whether the Tiger actually still exists, well, there’ve been numerous sightings of it despite it being listed as extinct. There’s a nightmarish, minor surprise ending, including a tag-on end credit reveal of what Rebecca managed to capture with her mobile phone camera, just to keep the myth alive.
Dying Breed Nina's sister Ruth
Sarah's Island eels found Nina's sister Ruth rather tasty

NB: One of the movie posters which depicts the ingredients of Sarah’s (in)famous pies was banned from many Australian public sites, most notably train stations. Gee, I wonder why? The same controversial image is subliminally flashed (just a few frames) during the beginning of the movie’s end credits.
Dying Breed movie poster

Here's the trailer:


Death Race

May 26th 2009 00:21
Death Race movie poster
Probably the trashiest movie of director Paul W.S. Anderson’s illustrious career (I use the word “illustrious” in the loosest possible sense). Death Race (2008) is a remake, or should I say a re-modeling, of cult B movie Death Race 2000 (1975), one of producer Roger Corman’s more entertaining indulgences which co-starred a young Sly Stone as Machine-Gun Joe and David Carradine as hot-shot on a mission, Frankenstein.

In the re-boot-up-the-ass the “2000” has been dropped for obvious dated reasons (the movie had the working title of Death Race 3000, but that was probably considered just a little far-fetched), and many other liberties have been taken with the plot, to the point where only the basic premise remains; a televised race where drivers are encouraged to kill their competition

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Succubus Castlevania
Succubi are the seductresses from Hell; diabolical temptresses spawned from Lilith, the mother of all demons. The word succubus was first coined in 1387 and was derived from Latin succuba meaning "strumpet", but also to describe a supernatural being. It is also gleaned from the word succubure, which means to “to lie under”.

Wikipedia relates a story about “a man in the town of Koblenz, who has been bewitched by a succubus, with whom he is forced to repeatedly fornicate, whilst in the presence of his wife. The story goes on to say that after an incredible number of such bouts, the poor man at last sinks to the floor utterly exhausted and disgusted beyond belief

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It’s been eight months since the last Art Lair post. But out of the wilderness I present a triple-whammy for the tenth exhibition: three posts all on the same subject: the succubus, or succubi (plural), one of my favourite mythological figures.

The succubus is a female demon. The male counterpart is known as an incubus. European Medieval folklore describes the succubus as a demon in the form of a beautiful woman who seduces men in their dreams, having sexual intercourse and drawing the man’s energy for their own power, often to the point where he becomes utterly exhausted, sometimes dying

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Horrorphile 2nd Annual Hall of Infamy - art by Steven Stahlberg
The time has come again to find out which nightmare movies are your favourites. Last year’s inaugural list was decided from a list of 69 titles I compiled and then voted for by my readers. Five selections could be be voted for, and my rule of thumb determined the final list: thirteen movies made up the 1st Annual Hall of Infamy.

For the 2nd Annual Hall of Infamy the voting system has been adjusted slightly. The existing Hall of Infamy titles automatically receive 10 points each. You can vote - via comment - for any movie you like, including any in the Hall of Infamy, giving your top selection 5 points, your next 4 points, then 3, 2 and 1. When I tally up the votes any movies with tied points it will be my prerogative to decide which title wins the tie

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Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning

May 20th 2009 02:35
Ginger Snaps Back movie poster
I'll try to keep this brief. You might feel little pain. I have to be cruel to be kind. Ginger Snaps is a great little werewolf flick; a distinctly feminine edge with a smart sense of humour, and brutal to boot. Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed was a solid sequel; a little more wayward, more introspective, more perverse, but it wasn’t as savage, or as frightening, or as clever, as the first movie.

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004) was shot back-to-back with Unleashed (and was released straight-to-DVD), but it pales in comparison. In fact it’s down right anemic, which is a shame, since Katherine Isabelle’s character of Ginger Fitzgerald returns from the sidelines, and she’s a delightfully cynical and feisty wench

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Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed

May 18th 2009 23:19
Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed movie poster
“We can't fight what's in us, B.”
“I'm not like you, Ginger... I'm stronger.”
“Oh really? That's not how I remember you the first fifteen years of your life.

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May 15th 2009 05:58
Poltergeist movie poster
Two movies that transformed me into a horrorphile; Poltergeist (1982) and Alien (1979), but I can’t remember which movie I saw first. Poltergeist was at the movies, while Alien I saw on VHS (as I was only 11 when the movie was first released, and it was restricted to 16 years and over). Those two movie experiences had a profound effect on me: I was young and impressionable and they were convincing enough to scare me shitless. They’re still very convincing.

Poltergeist, although credited to director Tobe Hooper, who gave us the seminal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), is actually very much a Steven Speilberg production. In fact Speilberg’s presence was so strong on set that he apparently called many of the shots himself, and was forced to keep only producer’s credit due to union rules. There are definitely Hooper moments, but the technical slickness, some of the geeky humour, and the love conquering evil is very Speilbergian

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The Fly (1986)

May 14th 2009 01:30
The Fly (1986) movie poster
"I'm saying I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it, but now that dream is over and the insect is awake."

It’s a known fact that I’m a big fan of David Cronenberg. His embrace and melding of sf concepts and visceral horror are unique and brilliant. His remake of The Fly (1958) is no exception. While some critics would accuse Cronenberg of trying to turn something truly base and repulsive into high art, the movie turned out to be the most financially successful and critically-acclaimed movie of his career (it won an Oscar for Best Special Effects), and it also features Jeff Goldblum’s best ever performance

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From Beyond

May 13th 2009 00:56
From Beyond movie poster
From director Stuart Gordon who gave us the wickedly over-the-top cult fave Re-Animator (1985) came another adaptation from the work of the legendary H.P. Lovecraft, author of all nightmares weird and otherwordly, From Beyond (1986), which suffered horrendously at the scissor-happy fingers of the MPAA when it was first released.

Finally an uncut version supervised by Gordon has been released on DVD and I can safely say that the re-inserted trims that were left on the bloodied floor of the editing room in order to avoid an X rating would have been considered appropriately disgusting and depraved, but twenty years down the track they’re nowhere near as shocking and vulgar as they would’ve been to a mid-80s audience. In fact much of From Beyond’s envelope-pushing comes across as cheesy and unintentionally funny; curious how tolerance and taste change with time

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The Prowler

May 12th 2009 02:22
The Prowler DVD cover art
Known in the UK and Australasia as Rosemary’s Killer, which although bearing a striking similarity to another much more famous movie, is a more evocative and effective title (prowlers were considered an Americanism), The Prowler (1981) was part of the huge glut of stalk’n’slash flicks that emerged in the wake of Friday the 13th (1980), which in turn had been inspired by the massive success of Halloween (1978).

Directed by Joseph Zito, who would direct a few years later the best installment in the relentless exploits of Jason Voorhees; Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter (1984), The Prowler is hugely flawed. It plods along with inconsistencies and glaring "What the ...?!"'s. But it has got a following for one chief reason: Tom Savini

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May 10th 2009 23:51
The Descent: Part 2 Shauna MacDonald
What a blatantly ill-conceived excuse for a movie: The Descent: Part 2 (2009). If you haven’t seen Neil Marshall’s The Descent (2005), then read no further: big-time spoiler alert!

The Descent is one of the scariest, most intense horror movies of the past ten years. There haven’t been many horrors in the past decade that have genuinely impressed me, and left a lasting impression. The Descent was one and Ils (2006) was another

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Mother's Day

May 8th 2009 00:49
Mother's Day movie poster
There are cult classics, there are cult movies, there are cult curiosities, and then there is cult trash, and there is cult rubbish. Mother’s Day (1980) is in the latter bin, I don’t care what any guttersnipe has to say in its defence; it’s a piece of crap.

It’s taken me years to finally watch this Z-grade shlock-horror-probe flick. Essentially it fits into the rape-revenge sub-genre, and although it’s nowhere near as offensive as I Spit on Your Grave (1978), it’s more crass and vulgar. Does that make it more disturbing? What does disturb me is where how on earth this turd made any money? According to director and co-writer Charles Kaufman (not to be confused with the auteur screenwriter-cum-director par excellence Charlie Kaufman), Mother’s Day cost $US150,000 and is still in the top 100 most successful independent motion pictures

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The Fearless Vampire Killers DVD cover art
After the brilliant double whammy that was Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-Sac (1966), director Roman Polanksi indulged in a little recreational skiing in Austria. His faithful screenwriting companion Gerard Brach and he concocted a vampire movie infusing a sense of droll humour.

American producer Martin Ransohoff crossed paths with Polankis and the meeting not only resulted in Ransohoff buying the US distribution rights for Cul-de-Sac, but also lining up a deal at MGM for Polanski’s horror-comedy which was titled Dance of the Vampires (1967). In return Ransohoff would be given final cut for the American release, a decision Polanksi would later regret as Ronsahoff cut nearly twenty minutes from the movie, re-dubbed the voices, altered the music, added a cartoon prologue, and re-titled the movie The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck (Polanski tried to have his name taken off the credits, and it remained as Dance of the Vampires throughout Europe

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Lesbian Vampire Killers

May 6th 2009 05:32
Lesbian Vampire Killers movie poster
Oh, the humanity! What a grand waste of a great sensationalist B-movie title! Sure enough this movie lived up to being very B-movie: tedious screenwriting, tepid acting, adequate direction, mediocre special effects, short running time … and as for being a spoof? Well, there was puh-lenty of lewd jokes and a lot of mock spoofing (if you get my jizzy drift), but precious little clever humour. If you’re very easily entertained then Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009) just might be the bite you’re looking for, but for serious exploitation fans this is a lame duck waiting to be roasted.

The basic plot in a nutsac is thus: Jimmy (James Corden) and his best mate Fletch (Mathew Horne) are a coupla losers, that’s loo-hoo-ser-hers! Jimmy is a schmuck who’s just been dumped for the umpteenth time by his sexy bitch of a girlfriend Judy (Lucy Gaskell). Fletch, on the other hand, is a clown. Was a professional clown, got fired, is still a clown. A fat, really annoying clown. Actually he’s a dickhead as well, ‘cos all he wants to do is get laid, which will happen when hell freezes over. Speaking of hell, it’s gonna be one hell of a night for the two lads after they go for a holiday hike in Cragwich (UK) which happens to be the stomping ground for a leer of lesbian vampires. Y’see Jimmy and Fletch have befriended a VW van full of buxom Swedish party girls, and where there are voluptuous young wanton women, lesbian vampires are sure to make an appearance

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Almuric by Robert E. Howard cover art
Rather than remaking classic movies, what about adaptations of novels that haven’t yet been done? There are dozens of brilliant novels aching to be filmed. Of course whether or not they’d turn out to be decent movies is an entirely different matter, dependent on too many variables to mention. But let’s daydream for a moment, shall we?

These six novels had a profound effect on me. I’ll list them in the rough order I read them, which, coincidentally, happens to be the rough order in which they were written. A couple of them I’m sure have come very close to being filmed, but for some reason or another the circumstances haven’t been right; usually creative differences between producers, directors and screenwriters, or the funding simply fell through

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