Number 12 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : Mary Shelley recounts how the main characters of her novel survived and how Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds a Bride for his monster : James Whale’s 1935 monster movie BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN is one of the greatest sequel’s in movie history, a wildly unpredictable horror full of incredible sets, wonderful acting by the less talked about duo of Una O’Connor & Dwight Frye and of course the introduction, although it be short of the Monster’s Bride iconically portrayed by the ravishing Elsa Lanchester : the lavish sets filmed in gorgeous black-and-white are sensational and one of my favorite scenes in the movie is in Pretorius’s lab, where the mad Doctor shows Frankenstein several miniature creatures he has created including a King, Queen and Mermaid, the sinister atmosphere, these tiny abominations & both Doctor’s manic expressions as they discuss their work is both scary & facinating : of course the Bride of Frankenstein is filled with so many moments of sheer jaw dropping brilliance, like when the Monster comes across the old blind hermit (of course you think of Young Frankenstein which brings a smile) but the scene is shrouded in dread and you just know that it won’t end well, I love the moment when the Monster looks at a reflection of himself in the water, such a great moment and you just can’t help feel pity for this hideous creature but of course the highlight is ten minutes from the end of the movie when the Bride is brought to life… and Frankenstein’s words “she’s alive…alive” echoes round the chamber as the bandages are removed and Elsa Lanchester’s imposing monster is released to the world : a Scary, Atmospheric Monster MASTERPIECE ★★★★★
Number 13 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. : PSYCHO the grand daddy of all Hitchcock movies… how can you not be overcome with terror at Bernard Herrmann’s intrusive, iconic stringed score, gasp with wonder at the beauty of Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane but most of all shudder with genuine fear when the curtain is pulled back on Norman Bates personality disorder : as far as my favorite scenes in Psycho go there are just too many to mention, but obviously the shower scene & it’s aftermath are the most memorable, with Anthony Perkins in terrifying form, the effectiveness of John L. Russell’s black-and-white photography leaves you speechless at times with the opening shots of Marion lying of the bed in the hotel room, the atmospheric road trip and our first glimpse of the Bates Motel being fine examples, all of which are breathtaking, one of my favorite moments in the film is the scene when Arbogast gets stabbed on the stairs, the camera work of him falling backwards and then getting attacked again is something else, Martin Balsam who plays the private detective is superb : Psycho was shot at Revue Studios with a budget of around $800,000 and was released in 1960 becoming a box office smash for Alfred Hitchcock and receiving Four Oscar Nominations, with it’s star Janet Leigh winning a Golden Globe for her performance (trivia: the official theatrical trailer for the movie back in 1960 was over six minutes long) : if Rear Window, Vertigo and North by Northwest didn’t cement Hitchcock’s filmmaking legacy then Psycho certainly did, giving us an early taste of the slasher movie with two great performances and a haunting Herrmann score ★★★★★
Ana Lily Amirpour’s A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT follows a lonely vampire going about her business in the Iranian ghost town of Bad City – I have now watched this movie 12 times (maybe more) and for me it sits comfortably in the bracket of essential viewing : from it’s mesmerising black & white style that sucks you in to the movie’s narrative, hypnotising and seducing you until it’s final scene, with it’s atmospheric backdrop’s of Oil Derrick’s, the deserted streets, the buildings and the Girl’s bedroom decked out with posters of pops stars of yesteryear, with Lyle Vincent’s photography descibed in two words “utterly stunning” : I also CRAVE the film’s soundtrack, it’s the GOAT with tracks from Federale, Radio Tehran, Bei Ru, White Lies and more…. that scene where White Lies “Death” is playing is one of the film’s coolest moments, I felt it had a really 80s tinge during that scene and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise like a python : Amirpour’s casting of Sheila Vand as the Girl was a masterstroke, Vand is like a magnet, her eye’s and demeanour engulf you allowing you to feel her character’s sadness but also her power, Arash Marandi’s performance as the guy who falls hard for the Girl is superb, the scene’s he shares with his onscreen dad are excellent and Mozhan Marnò gives a vulnerable & touching turn as Atti, the local prostitute : A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is one of them movies that you just have to see, it’s an acquired taste and not your conventional Vampire movie but it’s full of interesting themes, shot in gorgeous black & white, has subtitles for it’s Persian dialogue and includes a side portion of weird : Overall it’s one of them movies that I would certainly place high on my list of favourite vampire pics and would advise any film fan to BUY & WATCH this GEM on rewatch for 2,191 days : ps….. (if you like this pic then check out 2016’s The Bad Batch by the same director….. it’s sooooo goood) ★★★★½
Happy 98th Birthday to the greatest movie star of his generation KIRK DOUGLAS – back in 1949 Kirk was slowly starting to make a name for himself on screen when cast as the lead actor in Mark Robson’s great boxing film CHAMPION – below are some rare photo’s of Kirk taken around that time – I hope you agree Kirk Douglas is a cinematic treasure & these are wonderful!!