Jean Rollin – La nuit des traquées aka The Night of the Hunted (1980)

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Long considered a failure since its very brief theatrical release in the late summer of 1980, La Nuit des Traquées has slowly but surely built a small but dedicated group of followers who find it to be among Jean Rollin’s almost great films. Containing perhaps the finest performance Brigitte Lahaie has ever given for the screen, La Nuit des Traquées, or The Night of the Hunted as it is more commonly known, is one of the key if often overlooked films of Rollin’s career. The fact that it is indeed a very flawed work that could have been much more, had budgetary and time constraints not worked against it, makes its pleasures all the more resonate and powerful. Continue reading

Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

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“The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave.”

Synopsis: In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Continue reading

Tod Browning – Freaks (1932) (HD)

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Review:
Originally released in 1932 to cash in on the horror boom of the 30s, “Freaks” has always been something of a hot potato.

Director Tod Browning, who’d scored a huge hit with the original “Dracula” in 1930, promised MGM the ultimate scary movie.

But the resulting picture surprised everyone: “I asked for something horrifying,” said the studio’s shocked head of production, “and I got it.”

After trouble with the censors and a brief cinema run during which audiences reacted with unparalleled disgust, the picture was dropped and vanished into obscurity until it was revived in the 60s.

It’s easy to see why reactions to the film have been so strong – it’s a catalogue of the abnormal, the bizarre, and the grotesque that’s still as unsettling today as it was 70 years ago. Continue reading

Martín Garrido Barón – H6: Diario de un asesino aka H6: Diary of a Serial Killer (2005)

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H6 tells the story of Antonio Frau, a serial killer set free after serving 25 years in jail for the violent murder of his girlfriend. After inheriting and old motel from a relative he never knew, he sees this as a signal and takes to his holy task of relieving the grief of those who have lost the will to live. He takes his victims to room Number 6 in the motel where he ‘purifies’ them, while, at the same time, continues his everyday life next to his wife. A mistake leads to his arrest, and his plan to become rich and famous takes relevance. Continue reading

György Pálfi – Taxidermia (2006)

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AMG: A strange young man takes his family’s long tradition of bizarre behavior to new heights (or depths) in this wildly perverse and explicit horror comedy from director Gyorgi Palfi. Kalman Balatony (Gergo Trocsanyi) is a grotesquely fat gentleman who was fathered by an angry hospital orderly getting revenge on his boss by having sex with his wife. While the embittered husband killed the orderly when he was caught in the act, Kalman was born as a result of the wife’s indiscretion, and when he grows to adulthood he earns a modest fame as a competitive eating champion. At an eating contest, Kalman meets a female competitor, the freakish Gizi (Adel Stanczel), and the two fall in love. Kalman and Gizi marry, and she gives birth to a son, Lajos (Marc Bischoff), who grows up to be just as skinny as his parents are fat. Lajos studies taxidermy and takes up preserving animals as a career when he isn’t busy taking care of his elderly and increasingly massive father. Lajos also raises a handful of unusually large house cats, and when they begin to turn on their master, Lajos uses his talents to keep them around the house without the danger of their bothering anyone. Taxidermia received its North American premier at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Continue reading

Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi – What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

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One of the funnest films of 2014 is misfit-vampire-roommate mockumentary “What We Do In The Shadows”

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Follow the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) – three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles-like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection-modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts. Continue reading

Bob Clark – Black Christmas (1974)

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Synopsis:
Black Christmas (also released under the titles Silent Night, Evil Night, and Stranger in the House) is a 1974 Canadian independent horror film directed by Bob Clark and written by A. Roy Moore. The story follows a group of sorority sisters who are stalked and murdered over Christmas vacation by a killer hiding in their sorority house. It was inspired by the urban legend of “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”, but was also largely based on a series of murders that took place in Quebec, Canada around Christmas time.

Black Christmas is generally considered to be one of the first slasher films. A remake of the same name, produced by Clark, was released in December 2006. Continue reading