José Ramón Larraz – Vampyres (1974)


“The 1970’s was the decade of the gothic lesbian vampire film. The exploitation efforts of Jean Rollin (LIPS OF BLOOD), Jess Franco (VAMPYROS LESBOS), and Hammer (LUST FOR A VAMPIRE) were enormously popular at the time. These films successfully combined the fear of death and eroticism, which struck a cord with male audiences. Many of the films merely hinted at the overt sexuality, and most never fully explored the sexual aspects of the genre’s premise. That all changed in 1974, when upstart Spanish director Jose Ramon Larrez (or Joe as he is called stateside) raised the bar with the ultimate depiction of sex and horror, VAMPYRES. Larrez teamed with producer Brian Smedley-Astin to film their adult vampire epic in England. By the time VAMPYRES was released there, the censors cut out most of the offensive scenes, castrating the power of this artsy exploitation picture. Luckily when the film played the Drive-In circuit in America (as DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA), we got to see what the British audience didn’t–powerful sex trysts and disturbing death scenes. Thanks to Larrez’s scripting and directing skills, VAMPYRES rose to top of its genre. Today, VAMPYRES is a highly regarded classic in Euro horror-circles, and rightly so… Continue reading

Mario Mercier – La papesse AKA A Woman Possessed (1975)


Cruel and depraved story of a modern Satanism in the French hinterland. Everything you’d expect and even more than that includes bleeding, beatings, rape. What began as an art cinema, the film then goes into the ongoing action …

Review: The second attempt of the French esoteric writer Mario Mercie make a movie was a little better than his experiment with «La Goulve». At least the “Pope” is able to look beyond the initial stages of the adepts of magic initiation, but also quite normal people, which the film is quite possible to apply sauce mystical horror, especially if we add the subtitle “demon possession” and promised viewers a hefty portion of erotica. Moreover, without any deception. Let them see the erotic thriller and do not ask too many questions.
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Robert Gordon – Black Zoo (1963)


This violent, gore-filled, effective horror tale by director Robert Gordon is about a totally wacko private zoo keeper, Michael Conrad (Michael Gough) whose literal worship of the animals he tends — especially the cat species — starkly contrasts with his cold-blooded disregard for human life. Conrad has a mute son Carl (Rod Lauren) with a simmering Oedipal hatred, and a wife who should have left him eons ago. Whenever Conrad gets miffed with anyone coming a little too close to his private affairs he simply feeds the hapless victim to the animals. It seems inevitable that if the animals do not get him, then the human species will. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Continue reading

Barry Davis – Play for Today: Brimstone and Treacle (1987)


Dennis Potter’s most controversial work by a country mile, BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE was a BBC Play For Today production that tackled an almost unthinkable subject. A bickering, middle-aged couple with a brain-damaged daughter (Pattie) are visited one typically fraught evening by an overbearingly polite young man named Martin, who claims to be a friend of Pattie’s. The mother is thoroughly charmed by the stranger, the father is less convinced, but – in desperate need of some respite from the round-the-clock attention their daughter requires – they allow Martin to stay with them anyway. Trouble is, Martin is an extremely disturbed individual who either is – or believes himself to be – the Devil incarnate, and takes to raping Pattie when her parents aren’t at home. Continue reading

Djordje Kadijevic – Leptirica AKA The Butterfly (1973)


Yugoslavian vampire horror film
Directed by Djordje Kadijevic in 1973
Cast: Mirjana Nikolic, Petar Bozovic , Slobodan Perovic, Vasja Stankovic

This is a Yugoslavian female vampire horror film of the early 70s shot in the Serbian countryside and based on a novel. The film starts in a mill. The old miller listens strange bird voices and while he’s sleeping the millstone suddenly stops working and a strange creature with black hands, long nails, angry eyes and long teeth bites his neck and drinks his blood. You don’t manage to see the whole creature but you understand it’s a human, not animal… Continue reading

Till Kleinert – Der Samurai (2014)


A wolf strives through the woods around an isolated German village. Jakob the young local police officer is onto him, but scents something more in the darkness. What he finds is a man, it seems, wild eyed, of wiry build, in a dress. He carries a katana, a Samurai sword. When the Samurai invites Jakob to follow him on his crusade towards the village, it becomes Jakob’s mission to pursue the lunatic to end this wanton destruction. At the end of the night Jakob has experienced too much, is too far from whom he once was. Something hidden has been unleashed to meet the first rays of daylight. –

Berlin International Film Festival 2014: DIALOGUE en Perspective (Nominated – Till Kleinert) Continue reading