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Colonel Decker "NO CODE" (LONDON)

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Twice Told Tales [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Twice Told Tales [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Vincent Price
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £37.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Brimming with atmosphere, one of the great horror anthologies, 25 Mar. 2015
Based on the works of Nathaniel Hawthrone we are presented with 3 devilish tales from the soul of the macarbe all overseen by the legendary Vincent Price. Unlike most anthology segments, each tale is around 40 minutes each, meaning we can get more engrossed into the characters and story.

Made in 1963, at the height of Price's fame, it could be argued that between 1960-1965 Price was the master of the horror film, Twice Told Tales submerges us into utter despair. The first story concerns a man that has found a potent that makes him look young and now he wants to use it on his dead wife. The second story is about a woman kept prisoner by her father, so much so that if she touches anyone they instantly die. The last tale is about a curse on a family who live for greed only.

Price stars and narrates in all 3 stories, and plays the evil character in all 3 too, which only heightens each story. Some may think the stories are pedestrian, but you'd be wrong. The colours are super rich and the dialogue just rolls off the tongue. If this wasn't horror you'd think that this was classic Disney, the way the colours have been used. A perfect movie.

Phenomena [Dual Format DVD + Blu Ray] [Blu-ray] [1985]
Phenomena [Dual Format DVD + Blu Ray] [Blu-ray] [1985]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Connelly
Price: £8.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining but slightly sloppy from Argento and disgraceful from Arrow., 23 Mar. 2015
Entertaining if absurd tale about an American student staying in Switzerland who can communicate with insects. Her communication and sleepwalking habits may just be key to finding a killer who likes to decapitate their victims.

Jennifer Connolly is the real star turn here and even though she was only 14 at filming she does wonderfully well. You'll also notice Donald Pleasence as a wheelchair bound researcher who helps Connelly along the way. Not too sure of Pleasence's Scottish accent though!

It is overall classic Argento stuff- throw in some good actors and bad actors and go weird on the soundtrack, from classic music right through to Iron Maiden, it's all here. And it times it's delighful.

The gore is aplenty and the usage of insects has been done extremely well. The editing though is a little choppy and there are some mistakes- where did the blood on Connelly's neck go?

But that aside, Phenomena is a very entertaining film, the final 15 minutes are over the top sure, but splendid all the same. And look out for that well trained monkey- Phenomena is also known as Creepers as features the monkey on the front sleeve.

Now onto Arrow, because if I was judging the movie by this release it would get 1 star. Yes the extras are nice and yes the movie is uncut. But there are fatal errors. There are some scenes spliced into others- check out when Connolly is at the bank for evidence. But what is really damning and puts you off the movie is that at least 5 times, the dialogue without you touching the remote goes back to Italian if you have chosen English. Unacceptable from Arrow. However I wanted to note that here, but give the movie its deserved four stars. Argento fans should like this, but you may be better off getting a US region 1 release.

New Years Evil [DVD] [1980] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
New Years Evil [DVD] [1980] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Chris Wallace
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £10.90

5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated gem from a sweet period in slasher history, 20 Mar. 2015
On the face of it New Year's Evil will be huddled in with all of the other slashers from this period in film from 1980. But scratch the surface and you will find much more going on than you ever wished could be squeezed into an 86 min horror movie like this.

The plot revolves around a killer who phones in a live punk/rock show and claims that he will kill someone as New Year draws in across America's three time zones. And so he keeps his promise. Killing hapless victims on his way before the grand finale at the live show.

So let's talk about what makes New Year's Evil a little different from most slashers. Firstly we are shown who are killer is right from the off. Secondly our killer is rather clever with different disguises and thinking outside of the box to elude the police forces and victims. Thirdly our killer finds himself in weird situations such as attracting victims that he becomes utterly bored off and having to go into hiding when he inadvertantly messes with an hells angel gang. Note just how difficult the process of going around killing people becomes. Also during the drive in/hells angel scene notice how the movie playing Blood Feast plays along with what is happening on screen. And that is just the tip of the iceberg on how self aware and clever this movie is. As our killer is about to despatch of another blonde woman we get the track Dumb Blonde playing in the background.

Music wise viewers who don't like punk rock may be put off by the movie as the soundtrack is throughout the film, there is also a live gig going on with real bands and a rowdy crowd that the camera likes to catch. But even if you don't like the music genre, you can't deny that it is a nice slice of those times at the beginning of the 80s.

We'll leave the plot at that as any more may spoil your enjoyment going into the movie. New Year's Evil certainly has a few faults but it's a near perfect movie when scraping over the slasher golden age period and a real feel for LA at the turn of the decade, the movie simply works- though your viewing pleasure would be greatly enhanced if you love slashers horror movies from the period and like the genre of music. A nice surprise.

Fox Horror Classics Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Fox Horror Classics Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Laird Cregar
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £14.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movies from John Brahm, put together in a superb package by Fox., 19 Mar. 2015
Excellent set by Fox Horror Classics ( longer reviews are on the movie's individual releases). Here we get THE LODGER, THE UNDYING MONSTER and HANGOVER SQUARE- all 3 movies directed by John Brahm.

The Undying Monster is very refreshing given that the movie starts off at a frentic pace, as if you are tuning into the last ten minutes of a movie. Simply put is there a werewolf by the shores of the sea, aiming to kill off one family with a chequered past? Very decent horror/noir, but certainly the lesser film of the 3 on offer here.

The Lodger is bang on the money. A remake and a better movie of the Alfred Hitchcock classic from 1927. Laird Cregar plays a suspicious lodger- just watch the horror that he can engulf with his eyes, what an actor and taken from us way too soon at age 31. Sir Cedric Hardwicke also stars. The sets are great, and if you love gothic Whitechapel from the 1880s and the Jack the Ripper case this movie is for you. Expertly directed by Brahm.

Hangover Square is perhaps the pick from the bunch. Cregars final movie, wrapped around in melachony, violence and atmosphere, this was quite a daring film about sexual rage in the 1940s. Cregar plays a talented concerto who is being used by a woman to make songs for her, however Cregar is also an unknown killer...... Great film.

This box set is quite fantastic. The vibrant colours on the box itself which is fairly sturdy will look great on your shelf next to your DVD collection. The movies come in 3 separate slim line cases, but they have the original artwork on them. Inside each case is housed 2 quality postcards with images from each movie, a very nice touch! You also get a small booklet on the movies themselves packed with quotes and trivia. To top this all each movie has stacks of extras, film commentary, making ofs, even horror legend Vincent Price's original radio plays based on the movies. It's a classic find, and well done to Fox for putting this collection together and doing it the right way.

Hangover Square (1945) (20th Century Fox) - Region 2
Hangover Square (1945) (20th Century Fox) - Region 2
Dvd ~ Laird Cregar
Offered by wmdservices
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A movie dominated by the camera of Brahm and the eyes of Cregar, 19 Mar. 2015
A wonderful atmospheric film directed by John Brahm in perhaps what could be called his hey day. Laird Cregar gives an almost hypnotic performance as a concerto hopelessly in love with a scheming singer who is using him for his talent. As a sub plot Cregar suffers from memory loss and during these moments go outs and kills someone.

Beautifully shot by Brahm- just look at the camerawork in the opening scenes. Nice sets and Cregar is supported well by the likes of George Sanders who played basically the same role in Brahm and Cregars other movie, The Lodger. Both Linda Darnell and Faye Marlow are dolls to look at, and the acting and story arcs are very well done.

The finale during the concerto is quite sublime, notice how Brahm intersects the instruments with the tension of the movie. Sadly this would be Laird Cregar's last movie as he died shortly after filming.

The Lodger (1944, aka Jack The Ripper) - Region 2 PAL
The Lodger (1944, aka Jack The Ripper) - Region 2 PAL
Dvd ~ Laird Cregar
Offered by wmdservices
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important and greatest horror movies of the 1940s, 17 Mar. 2015
Quite simply one of the most important horror films of the 1940s. The Lodger is of course a remake of Alfred Hitcock's 1927 classic, where a lodger stays with a family during the Jack the Ripper crimes, and he may or may not be The Ripper himself. Indeed we should clear up that the original book and Hitchcock's film do not take place during the infamous murders of 1888, but this film does.

It is obvious that director John Brahm is in his element with the shadows and fog replicating East London so well, there are many clever scenes, lest so the opening. The scene where the Ripper attacks a hapless woman in her own flat should rightly go down as one of the greatest scenes in horror history.

Laird Cregar plays the lodger wonderfully well, truly creepy and one could say that the film really does rest on his shoulders. He has a terrific support. Sir Cedric Hardwicke a veteran of Hitchcock films is quite sublime as Cregars landlord, did any other actor from that age have such great timing?

Sara Allgood certaintly lives up to her surname as Hardwicke's wife and their famous theatre acting daughter is played by the gorgeous Merle Oberon. George Sanders who never let a picture down plays the inspector out to find and get the Ripper.

There are one or two editing problems and a silly goof where the same actress ends up playing two different roles, but the movie is a near masterpiece and doesn't spoil our enjoyment. Though lesser works (more recent horror movies) perhaps would have been torn apart by critics for those mistakes. The sets are also huge and well done, giving a genuine feel for the area in the 1880s.

To its shame The Lodger is still not available with an English langauge sleeve in Region 2- and we are seriously talking about one of the great horror movies of the 40s. Yes it is better than Hitchcock's original. Your best bet and value is buying the Fox Horror Classics, which has this movie along with 2 other highly desireable movies.

Madman..1982--30th Anniversary Edition..
Madman..1982--30th Anniversary Edition..

3.0 out of 5 stars Slasher from the golden period has its moments., 14 Mar. 2015
Madman is a curious 80s slasher given that it had all the right ingredients to go on and spawn several sequels, but it never happened. Perhaps one reason is that we are dealing with a killer in the woods and by the time of its release the public had already seen Friday the 13th and Jason no less than three times. In one word, we had overkill.

The movie then is about students who have taken a camping trip. During one night by the fire their camp head tells them of a legend of the local area, a crazed man who butchered his family. And legend has it if you say out loud 'Madman Marz' he comes and gets you. So what happens? You guessed it they scream for him, and he comes for them. Horrors fans will instantly recognize Gaylen Ross from Romero's Dawn of the Dead but apart from her it's all fresh young faces- though the makers at one point hesitated over getting Vincent Price.

Madman is decent enough but there are problems. At no point do we fear the madman, he simply has little presence. Also the movie lingers on scenes that simply are not needed. The movie runs in at 88min and it could have easily been chopped up to say 75 and been much tighter. There are some decent enough gore scenes and a surprise ending and the acting is better than expected for such a low budget movie.

If you do get the movie try and get this hard to find 30th Anniversary edition which has a superb commentary track on it and a featurette which is longer than the movie itself! All in all hardly a great slasher, but an essential one to own if you love the 80s slashers from this, a golden period.

Corridors Of Blood [DVD]
Corridors Of Blood [DVD]
Dvd ~ Boris Karloff
Offered by dvdGOLD
Price: £6.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection Joe, Black Ben, Ned The Crow and Boris Karloff welcome you to 19th Century London., 13 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Corridors Of Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent horror, drama starring horror legends Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. Karloff plays a sympathetic doctor in 19th Century London who is searching for a drug that would numb patients pain whilst being under the knife. His colleagues scoff at him, but Karloff continues his work. The problem is he is getting addicted to the gases he his working on and Corridors of Blood can easily be seen as a metaphor for drug addiction. As a sub plot we have the sleazy hangers on from the pub, The Seven Dials who are killing off persons to claim money. These same people could end up jeopardizing Karloff's reputation.

The acting all round is superb and the story is clear and tight. The characters names are just perfect, and most folks in this movie are the dregs of society. Watch out for an underused but sterling performance from Christopher Lee as the cockney speaking Resurrection Joe. Rob Zombie would years later go on and write a song about the character and this movie. Of note this film was made in 1958 but wasn't released until 1962. One of Karloff's best performances.

Midnight Hour [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Midnight Hour [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lee Montgomery

3.0 out of 5 stars Fun 80s made for TV horror, 12 Mar. 2015
Fun 80s horror but the second half drags some. A bunch of students who have a family time line to actual witches, resurrect the dead on Halloween and chaos ensues in their small town. Most of the film is based at a party in a house. Midnight Hour is a TV movie from ABC in 1985, so despite it having plenty of 80s charm there is no gore at all. It's all kind of played for fun but there is little to laugh at, though for some reason the zombie dance in the house is a blast.

There's quite a healthy cast here. Remember Lee Montgomery? Well you probably don't as he hasn't acted since 1988, but he was the main male lead in Girls Just Want to Have Fun- and there is an in joke reference here about that. We also get Kevin McCarthy, Deedee Pfeiffer and even Kurtwood Smith- Clarence from Robocop. Though Smith as the local sheriff is criminally under used. The stand out performance is by LeVar Burton, head and shoulders above the rest. No surprise he would go on to stardom, namely as Lt Commander Geordi La Forge.

One surprise is the storming soundtrack and how on the DVD copyright and licence arguments didn't mean what normally happens, music removal. From Wilson Pickett's obvious Midnight Hour to The Smiths How Soon is Now- it's all here and easily recognizable music.

So The Midnight Hour isn't too bad for what it is. Though hardly that memorable. What does make the movie work is its sub plot- alongside all the zombies emerging from their graves is a 17 year old girl who wants to live one last time, that was a nice touch.

The Exorcist [DVD] [1973]
The Exorcist [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Ellen Burstyn
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £4.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the most unsettling horror movies of all time. A genuine classic, 22 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Exorcist [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
Still shocking after 40 years and unsettling, The Exorcist still has the power to amaze. Universally seen as one of the greatest horror films of all time, this is certainly the greatest demonic possession movie ever. Linda Blair is stunning as poor Regan possesed by an entity. The movie is most famous for her head turning and spewing gimmicks, but the real horrific images are the quick flashes of random scenes, even the dying priest on the stairs is terrifically moving.

Rightly seen as a movie classic- The Exorcist sticks with you for a lifetime after you watch it and the acting from all is par excellence.

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