Monday, 18 November 2013

Maniac (1980)

William Lustig’s ‘Maniac’ is an unconventional slasher film compared to its peers offering a lot more weight (and no, I am not talking about Joe Spinell’s hefty frame). This is a movie that I would call a character study slasher. Yes, you read it right. Character, study and slasher are three words that would not normally fit into the same sentence but here we have a film summed up perfectly with those very words.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Scanners (1981)

Horror and science fiction are two genres that can mesh very well. ‘Alien’ (1979) and ‘The Thing’ (1982) are two of the very finest examples of the calibre of filmmaking that has contributed to this hybrid. From this generation of these films' respective directors Ridley Scott and John Carpenter is David Cronenberg the Canadian filmmaker who became the main innovator of body horror breaking out with the low-budget independently produced cult hits ‘Shivers’ (1975), ‘Rabid’ (1977) and ‘The Brood’ (1979). In 1981 between the releases of ‘Alien’ and ‘The Thing’ Cronenberg would take a break from all things bodily repulsive and would himself blend horror and sci-fi into an effective mix. Albeit nowhere near as influentially as Scott and Carpenter, but still 'Scanners' is one hell of a hugely entertaining ride that earned multiple viewings from me growing up. It was the director’s first major success becoming a huge box-office smash that would enable him to graduate on to the mainstream of Hollywood major studio moviemaking. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

City of the Living Dead (1980)

‘City of the Living Dead’ is easily one of Lucio Fulci’s most entertaining films. It is a far progression from the overrated mediocrity of ‘Zombie’ (1979) which showed off just flashes of his promise in what he could offer the genre. This follow-up is much more satisfying and was Fulci’s first solid effort in his reinvention of himself as a horror maverick. Also known under the title of ‘The Gates of Hell’ it was actually the first part in the director’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy followed by his greatest horror movie ‘The Beyond’ (1981) and the somewhat enjoyable passable entertainment of ‘The House by the Cemetery’ (1981) .