Number 6 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : The crew of the spacecraft, Nostromo, intercepts a distress signal from a planet and set’s out to investigate : although Ridley Scott’s ALIEN is not the best film in the franchise (that in my opinion goes to it’s sequel Aliens) it’s certainly the scariest : filmed on a budget of approximately $12 million and released in 1979 the film was a big hit at the box office, launching Sigourney Weaver’s career whilst setting up a successful franchise : in crafting one of the scariest sci-fi horror movies of all time Ridley Scott turned to Swiss Artist H.R. Giger to assist with the film’s creature design, the Swiss ultimately helped create the face-hugger, chestburster, space jockey & more and was part of the special effects team that won the Oscar for visual design : Alien is full of atmosphere and the jumps come thick & fast, take the chestburster scene (one of the most iconic talked about scenes in movie history), WOW that scene, my god, I nearly jumped through the roof…. and those scenes with Dallas tracking down the Alien inside the belly of the ship, crawling through a labyrinth of air ducts armed with only with a flamethrower, you feel claustrophobic & you find yourself biting your nails as Dallas the hunter becomes the hunted (talk about tension)….. and how about when science officer Ash decides to go batshit crazy and attempts to suffocate one of the crew with a newspaper….. let’s be honest I could fill a telephone directory with so many memorable moments throughout the film that will not only scare you half to death with Scott’s injection of suspense & sheer cruelty but will also make your jaw drop in amazement with how visually beautiful the film looks, those magnificent sets in Alien are something to behold : and let’s not forget Jerry Goldsmith’s sensational score, it’s both creepy yet beautiful & Dan O’Bannon’s imaginative story without which we’d have no movie, his concept is sublime : overall Alien is an astonishing 2hrs of scifi horror that will make you want to scream….. but remember, In space no can hear you scream ★★★★★
Number 7 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A wealthy socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small town on the coast that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds begin to attack the town folk : the film premiered in 1963 and for me THE BIRDS is the jewel in Alfred Hitchcock’s crown of suspense, imagery and pure dread, from it’s story which is loosely based on a short by Daphne du Maurier, the confidence, beauty & fear of it’s star Tippi Hedren, it’s breathtaking backdrop of Bodega Bay and the way Hitchcock builds up the story, slowly allowing you to know a little about each of the characters before the chaos rains down and The Birds attack which is utterly frightening to watch : there’s also very little music during the movie which also adds greatly to it’s atmosphere, just the screeching, scratching and calling of The Birds : although they lacked the chemistry the leads in the majority of Hitchcock movies had I did feel Rod Taylor was a fabulous leading man and gives a strong protect what I love at all cost performance alongside Hedren and the scenes at the bird shop between the two are fun to watch, there’s also a great Jessica Tandy performance who catches the eye in a supporting role, playing the distressed and over protective mother and a young Veronica Cartwright and the terrific Suzanne Pleshette both fleshing out the cast and doing fine jobs in their respective roles : The Birds has so many great scenes but I really love that moment around 85mins in when Hedren’s character finds herself stranded in a phone box and watches in panic, spinning around almost hypnotized in terror as The Birds cause mayhem around her, the gas station and cars lit on fire and people running for their lives, it’s perfect and not only one of the most chilling moments in the movie but possible the best shot also : there are certain horror movies that I revisit that could be placed higher on my list and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds is certainly one of them, I can only imagine how shocked the audiences must have been back in the 60s when it was released : it’s a well structured, ALARMING ride into FEAR and a Hitchcock MASTERPIECE that deserves it’s place amongst the Greatest Movies of all time ★★★★★
Number 22 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : Five friends travel to a cabin in a remote region of Tennessee, where they release flesh-possessing demons : Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD is still after all these years a joy to behold, a guilty pleasure, a wickid low budget scare fest that sees actor Bruce Campbell get pretty much everything thrown at him and his friends? well they get attacked, possessed and wreak holy havoc : there’s no doubt that the two sequels to The Evil Dead are great fun but it’s Raimi’s original released back in 1981 that holds a place in my horror loving heart : right from the offset when their car crosses that rickety old bridge on their way to the cabin, the banging of the swing porch and then as the key is retrieved from it’s place above the door the swing stops, the poster nod to Craven down in the cellar and for a budget of $400,000 the effects throughout are impressively gruesome especially Cheryl’s possessed demon who’s one mean, twisted servant from hell : I rememeber watching this over a friends house during my early teens a few years after it’s initial release and being scare senseless, from it’s shaky camera work, the wind effect, the tree attack to the body dismemberment all had a lasting effect on me growing up and still does : The Evil Dead is pure brilliance, shoe string budget filmmaking of the highest standard that MUST BE WATCHED at least once a year : speaking in my best demonic voice JOIN US ★★★★★
TOBE HOOPER (1943-2017) – directed one of the truly great films of our time, and in my eyes the scariest, most brutal raw ride into terror that i’ve witnessed – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE stills gives me chills as it did when I first came across it as kid watching it on video over a friends whilst his parents were at work – I was HORRIFIED it gave me NIGHTMARES but it also started my love affair with all things horror – you will be missed but your legacy of horror such as TEXAS, THE FUN HOUSE, SALEM’S LOT, LIFEFORCE and POLTERGEIST will continue to entertain and inspire a new legion of fans forever…..
One of the last great actresses of the Golden Age LAUREN BACALL has died age 89 – a New York lass she made her name starring alongside some of Hollywood’s finest including Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas and her beloved Humphrey Bogart – for a leading lady Lauren Bacall had the lot, during the 40s and 50s you would struggle to come up with another actress who electrified the screen as Bacall did – throughout her career she always managed to ignite a fierce chemistry with her many co-stars, her husky vocals and piercing blue & green cat like eye’s adding to her star quality and undoubted sex appeal – her break through movie To Have and Have Not in 44′ followed by Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Lago made her a Hollywood Star – for me looking back at Lauren Bacall’s career John Huston’s Key Largo and starring alongside John Wayne in The Shootist were easily my favorite two movies – Bacall will be missed no doubt but thanks to her body of work her beauty & talent will always be remembered….