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BS: Classic British Horror Films

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 07:31 AM
Smedley 25 Nov 09 - 07:39 AM
matt milton 25 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Falco 25 Nov 09 - 07:57 AM
Smedley 25 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM
SINSULL 25 Nov 09 - 08:02 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Nov 09 - 08:05 AM
theleveller 25 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM
Ruth Archer 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM
Will Fly 25 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM
GUEST, Sminky 25 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM
Fiolar 25 Nov 09 - 08:21 AM
Dave MacKenzie 25 Nov 09 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,richd in work 25 Nov 09 - 09:47 AM
SINSULL 25 Nov 09 - 09:55 AM
Stu 25 Nov 09 - 10:29 AM
Smedley 25 Nov 09 - 10:37 AM
Stu 25 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM
Ruth Archer 25 Nov 09 - 11:00 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 11:01 AM
richd 25 Nov 09 - 11:49 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 25 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM
GUEST 25 Nov 09 - 01:10 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Nov 09 - 01:43 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM
richd 25 Nov 09 - 02:27 PM
Dave Sutherland 25 Nov 09 - 02:49 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 03:00 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 25 Nov 09 - 03:41 PM
Spleen Cringe 25 Nov 09 - 03:50 PM
richd 25 Nov 09 - 03:57 PM
ard mhacha 26 Nov 09 - 05:30 AM
Smedley 26 Nov 09 - 05:59 AM
Will Fly 26 Nov 09 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 26 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM
Ruth Archer 26 Nov 09 - 08:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Nov 09 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Richd in work 26 Nov 09 - 09:05 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Nov 09 - 09:17 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Nov 09 - 11:41 AM
Smedley 26 Nov 09 - 11:47 AM
Stu 26 Nov 09 - 12:22 PM
ard mhacha 26 Nov 09 - 03:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 09 - 06:06 PM
Edthefolkie 26 Nov 09 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,richd in work 27 Nov 09 - 03:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Nov 09 - 05:11 AM
theleveller 27 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Dec 09 - 03:08 PM
richd 01 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 07:31 AM

Following comments on WaV's thread, it strikes me that I seem to have a rubbish memory for all those old classic British horror films that I watched as a child. And what's more they don't hardly ever show them any more on telly!

So memory jerks, or suggestions for classic forgotten gems here please!
Classic British horror films: your favourites or even one's to avoid. Clips, comments, reviews etceteras...?

Meanwhile I found the entirity of The Blood on Satan's Claw on a YouTube playlist - released around the same time as The Exorcist - which I'm going to indulge in laters.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 07:39 AM

Blood on S's C is great.

Also check out:
The Witches
Scream and Scream Again
The Satanic Rites of Dracula
The Sorcerers
Witchfinder General
Satan's Slave

And this website has far more info than you'll ever need:

http://www.britishhorrorfilms.co.uk/index2.shtml


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM

An American Werewolf In London
(the B-movie Hamlet)

Death Line
(delays on the Circle Line due to unplanned in-bred cannibal killers)

Both of them filmed in the now-defunct Aldwych tube.

(Were it still functioning, it would be the nearest tube to the Savoy Tup pub, where I hear there is a great folk singaround taking place on Monday 30th November)


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,Falco
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 07:57 AM

The original and best has to be "Nosferatu" released in 1922.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM

The original and best has to be "Nosferatu" released in 1922.


Not *desperately* British.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:02 AM

The Day The Earth Caught Fire
Day of the Triffids
The Maze

I have these on VHS.

If I remember correctly, Michael Landon of Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie was the American Werewolf in London.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:05 AM

Carry On Screaming, a gem.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM

"Death Line
(delays on the Circle Line due to unplanned in-bred cannibal killers)"

That was directed by my friend, Gary Sherman - I actually had a hand in writing some of the dialogue for the script which was largely written by a colleague of mine, Cery Jones.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM

"If I remember correctly, Michael Landon of Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie was the American Werewolf in London."


Michael Landon starred in "I Was A Teenage Werewolf", about 25 years before American Werewolf was made.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM

Fascinating.
Smedley if you check the Timeline on that website you linked to, just note the amount of times the Faust story was filmed!
Not so much after the early years, but almost perennially up until the Thirties.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM

For me, "Dead Of Night" is one of the greatest - and British - horror portmanteau (5 films in one) of all time. Michael Redgrave as the mad ventriloquist, the haunted mirror, Naunton & Wayne in one of the funniest and yet saddest golf stories, the ghost of the dead boy in an attaic room during a children's party. Brrr! See it if you can - available on DVD...


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM

Night of the Demon for my money.


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Subject: RE: Classic British Horror Films
From: Fiolar
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:21 AM

One of the greatest was "Night Of The Demon" (1957) starring Dana Andrews and Peggy Cummins based on the M.R. James' story "Casting the Runes".


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:15 AM

"Creep" with Franka Potente in the London Underground!


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,richd in work
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:47 AM

Well done that Lady!
I was thinking of something similar myself, but had to go and work.
My current favourites are, in the broadest definition of horror film:

Peeping Tom
Don't Look Now
The Descent
Plague of the Zombies
Taste the Blood of Dracula
Witchfinder General
Quatermass and the Pit
Hellraiser


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:55 AM

Ah - I misremembered correctly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Stu
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:29 AM

Does the film have to be made in Britain or can films with British writers count?


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:37 AM

For me it's a 'gut feeling' thing - does it make you think 'this is British' while you're watching it ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Stu
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM

Well, Clive Barker wrote one of my favourite all-time films, Nightbreed which was based in Canada and to my mind has an undefinable quality about it that could be the reason it was panned by the critics and remains largely unseen (and is only available on region 1 DVD).

Also (apart from many of those mentioned above):

Shaun of the Dead
Dog Soldiers
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein
Alien


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 11:00 AM

28 Days Later. Crikey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 11:01 AM

Hadn't thought about that Sugarfoot.

I guess one of the things that springs to mind about British made films (old and new) is the rather more 'ropey' production quality than one might find with equivalent American productions, which somehow (?) adds an appealing degree of grittiness, immediacy and atmosphere.

But I'm not especially fussy, any good classic horror film is a good classic horror film.

It would be interesting to view an equivalent timeline of American horror flicks, and compare themes and treatment, with those of British horror films being produced at the same time/s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: richd
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 11:49 AM

Don't know about 'ropey' production quality. Cheap certainly- most Hammer films were made in tiny studios in Bray. Most used the same sets, but the cinematography, especially the ones shot by Freddie Francis, was as good as anything American. The 'grittiness, immediacy and atmosphere' is down to the presence of some very good film makers, rather than low production values. Although, as one critic cruelly said' Hammer films are horrors made by men who 'do their gardens at the week end'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 12:30 PM

Richd I'm quite happy to be corrected :)

Otherwise my favourite Hammer/Poe flick: Masque of the Red Death ('Dance of Death' scene), I'd defy any director to capture the macabre and surreal quality of this Corman classic. I love this scene, but perhaps my favourite is at the end, where the Spirits of Death in the form of personifications of different plagues meet together and speak somberly of their nights work, relieving the stricken of their suffering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM

"The Vampire Lovers"! Lesbian vampires abound in this entertaining nonsense! And enough bare boobs to keep any breast-lover happy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 01:10 PM

I'd say THE classic was 'Dracula' with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. When I went to watch this one aged 14 at the local flee pit, it terrified the life out of me. It was one night I did not take the usual short cut home through the cemetery.

Rog


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 01:43 PM

Death Line (Raw Meat in US) has the grooviest musical score of any horror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNkDrFdFylY.

Blood on Satan's Claw is a bit dodgy a la Salo etc. containing as it does a savage scene of simulated child rape during which a young Michele 'Ooh, Betty' Dotrice gets very hot under the collar indeed. No doubt they were all of-age, as were the Salo & Wicker Man schoolgirls - Lesley Mackie included, though she didn't do the naked fire leaping (always looked like fleshings to me!)

Mention of Alien prompts to shout DISTRICT 9!!! Quite the most absorbing sci-fi horror I've seen in ages. But not English, and neither's Alien, although they did use my beloved Blyth Power Station in one of the sequels with the late great Brian Glover.

Anyone see Frozen (2005)? Stars Shirley 'Moaning Myrtle' Henderson and was filmed here in Fleetwood. Not the best film in the world I grant, but it has one of the creepiest ending twists that really turns the whole thing around into a thing of deeply disturbing horror.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM

Talking of end-twists, has there ever been a better one than that of Shamalyan's The 6th Sense? — also a fine horror film, tho ineligible for this thread as not British, so a bit of drift; but worth adducing, I reiterate, when topic turns to twists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: richd
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 02:27 PM

The Vampire Lovers......Ingrid Pitt. I have a very nice picture of Ms Pitt reclining in a coffin drinking a cup of tea and eating a Digestive Biscuit in full Countess Dracula rig.
Roy Ward Baker who directed VL also did Quatermass and the Pit. Peter Sasdy who did The Stone Tape also did Countess Dracula and an episode of Doomwatch. And both worked on Minder.

Interesting how the evil presence comes out of the very eart and soil. The country doesn't get a good press in these films does it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 02:49 PM

Yes "The Vampire Lovers" and "Twins of Evil" when they tried to mix soft porn with horror.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 03:00 PM

"Blood on Satan's Claw is a bit dodgy a la Salo etc. containing as it does a savage scene of simulated child rape"

Interesting as having now watched BoS'sC the scene itself is definitely played for titillation value rather than any genuine *horror*, despite the implicit horror value in any rape, let alone the rape and murder of a supposed thirteen year old (or however old we are suppposed to imagine the innocent young female victim is) by a gang/coven. Indeed if one looks at the 'erotic' slash 'horror' genre I guess that's pretty much par for the course; ie: a 'safely contextualised' indulgence in taboo forms of eroticism such as sadistic and semi-peadophilic (essentially male) sexual fantasy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 03:41 PM

Further to the above I'm unsure what I think of that, other a fairly general disinclination to condemn any film genre, or indeed any artistic form of expression.

I suppose temporal distance always proffers an 'objective' viewpoint. Though can collusion from the viewer at any degree *ever* be truly avoided? I do not know, though I do know where I lay my own dividing line. Which is probably one of the reasons I do not watch the crock of sadistic socially accepted shit that is "Animals Do The Most Funny Things", because I miss those hysterical dancing bears too much!


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 03:50 PM

Do you remember The Ghoul? Great stuff. Hard to find on DVD (reissues have been semi-bootlegs). Anyone have a copy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: richd
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 03:57 PM

I've always found BoSC to be a profoundly reactionary film, as well as one that's a right mish mash of themes and ideas. Robert Wynne-Simmons who wrote the script said the film was about 'the inherant evil of children and the overt sexuality of evil'. He also refers to drawing on elements of 60s culture, such as Altamont, the Manson cult and Mary Bell. The Judge-no other name- seems also to be a reactionary figure. The return of the horned god- out of the earth- and the worship of him by a group led by females, is set against the enlightenment. The children, now threatening, turn against each other, rather than literal or figurative parents. 'Only the most strict discipline will save us' says the judge, having earlier spoken of 'allowing evil to grow'. One of the interseting things about British Horror is the attempt the genre makes to balance between permisiveness and and repression, and the difficulties the films have in doing this. 'Innocent folk may be hurt' says the Judge, and the law acts to preserve itself, rather than an imagined public. Interestingly, out of the three horrors of this period this is the only one where authority wins.

BoSC lies right at the end of the British Horror cycle. Most of the films, in common with other horrors are deeply concerned with gender. The audience for them was, as I can attest, mainly teenage boys, whose own identity was often confused and difficult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 05:30 AM

The Innocents starring Deborah Kerr a classic, anyone gets the chance to catch this great film on TV don`t miss it, an almost perfect interpretation of Henry James`s book The taming of the shrew. Nothing to touch it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Smedley
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 05:59 AM

The Turn of the Screw, in fact. Though I would like to read James' interpretation of Taming & indeed any horror film they made out of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:18 AM

I quite like the sound of "The Taming Of The Screw" and "The Turning Of The Shrew" - two interesting film titles going begging there! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM

'Alien' not British? Don't know about that. It was filmed in Britain with a British Director and a British crew. The money was American but that's true of loads of films made in the UK (and elsewhere). No, I think that's one the Brits can claim. All the more remarkable when you consider that hardly any films were being made in Britain by the late 70s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:43 AM

Has anyone mentione The Midwich Cuckoos/Village of the Damned yet?

Eep!

*hides behind the sofa*


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:58 AM

BoSC is certainly ravishing in terms of its cinematography; it feels very real somehow. It starts in winter and reaches its climax (?!) in summer - one of the few films that grows through the seasons. The music score, recently issued on vinyl, has become an alt. folk classic. Vile as it is in other respects, I think it's a shame the ending is such a cop-out given what's gone before. I love a nice bleak ending - something like that of Scum which has to best / worst in the history of British cinema.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,Richd in work
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 09:05 AM

Watch out or I'll run you through with me pitchfork
Oooh missus look at the length of me broadsword.
That'll larn yer yer uppity sexually active young woman you.
The soundtrack is nice though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 09:17 AM

The 1945 MGM* version of Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray — sort of Anglo-Hollywood; Angela Lansbury's debut, George Sanders... The progressively more grotesque series of portraits [painted by Ivan Albright] were very effectively done, and there was a fine atmosphere of late-Victorian foggy London.

* Yes relation, btw — Louis B Mayer was my first-cousin-twice-removed, i.e my grandfather's 1st cousin: so, for all your jokes, my initials are not entirely adventitious, even if my Californian relations can't spell it right! - Michael Grosvenor Myer xxx


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 11:41 AM

The Judge, kinds acts bread to the filling in BoSC. It's interesting that he's the first one called upon discovery of the fiend, and that it then first manifests in the attic room of the house where he's staying, prior to him promptly buggering orf the very next day.

I liked the new Enlightenment scepticism over Witchcraft, but especially the distinction made (by the Dr.?) between the 'way's of the town and the way's of the country', meaning that these spaces are so far removed from one another so as to be entirely different worlds where entirely different laws of reality apply.

The whole cthonic atmosphere of the thing was very compelling. Echoes of 'Heart of Darkness' in there somehow too for me, with the identifying with savage glorious Nature of pubescent youth and the untamed quality of the rural imagination, which provides gateways for such primal and bestial forces.

Rather pants ending though, with the victorious intellect 'judge' slaying the animal mysteries erupting in the village's youths.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Smedley
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 11:47 AM

Excellent use of the word ' chthonic' - hats off to you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Stu
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:22 PM

How odd. That's the second time I've come across that word today, the first was earlier on when perusing Miranda Green's book The Gods of the Celts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 03:47 PM

I certainly screwed that up but despite the wee bit of Shakespeare if you ever get the chance to see this film do so. The Innocents out on its own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:06 PM

Not British, but the 1937 "Night Must Fall" with Robert Montgomery gave me bad dreams for a time.

I remember Vincent Price and "Masque ..."; a damn good film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:46 PM

Just to be awkward, how about "The Shining"? British resident director, filmed at Borehamwood.

I'm with others about "Night of the Demon". That special effect with the demon on the front of the locomotive steaming toward the camera is pretty creepy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: GUEST,richd in work
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 03:59 AM

In this case, the term classic British Horror does have a fairly precise meaning. Of course no one would dream of limiting this discussion in a narrow and boring way, but just for the record the term Classic British Horror can be applied quite specifically. Broadly, it refers to a group of films produced in Britain between 1954 and 1973. They are therefore 'contained' by the end of the American 'cold war' Horrors, and the rise of more explicit films such as the Dead cycle and the Excorcist. These British films initially drew their themes from the Universal horror cycles of the 1930s- especially Dracula, the Mummy, Wolfman etc. Later, the films developed a specifically 'British' edge by looking at themes of intergenerational and class conflict, and sexual repression and authority. They are suspicious of both change and the power of the past. Towards the end of the period there's the development of out of control youth films. (eg BoSC). Stylistically, they tended to be over blown and excessive, with an emphasis on male display, (think of Christopher Lee V Stanley Baker) often linked with the aristocracy. The films are often parts of series- and this profoundly affects the stories they tell and how they tell them. Budgets were always limited, and within these constraints the creativity the film makers involved was impressive. In terms of their success, they were, and remain, one of the most profitable areas of British Film production, especially in the world market, being far more profitable than the social realist films of the 60s.. British film critics hated them, preferring a more restrained cinema. Recently, the films have had something of a critical rebirth(!) It's now suggested that the horror film is the closest thing Britain has a cinematic myth similar to the American Western, and so have considerable cultural importance. They are also united by common themes, styles and concerns. Later horror films produced in Britain, whilst also being good, are good in a different, less resonant way I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 05:11 AM

Time to bring in Tod Slaughter I think; crucial to any discussion of Classic British Horror. My favourite of all is The Greed of William Hart, made in 1948 but looking 20 years older. Made as a film about Burke and Hare, the censors ruled that the subject was too sensitive for public release and would only pass it if all references to Burke, Hare and Dr Knox were removed. Accounts of what followed vary, but the general feeling is that the dubbing in of Moore, Hart and Cox was done in anger at such a petty ruling, hence some of the strangest and hilarious dialogue you're ever likely to hear in a horror film. This took up the budget set aside for the music, the absence of which adds to its atmosphere of repellent bleakness. One of the three films I watch before a visit to Edinburgh - the other two being Greyfriars Bobby and Trainspotting.

Off the point but my all-time favourite movie genre is the Spaghetti Western.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM

Just remembered, The Vampire Lovers did, of course have the gorgeous Maddy Smith in it. As I've just commented on the 'Half Moon' thread, I cast Maddy in a TV commercial I shot in the 70s, along with James Bolam, and after discovering that she lived in Kew, quite close to me, I went out with her for a short while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 03:08 PM

TONIGHT!!!! BBC4!!!!!

WHISTLE & I'LL COME TO YOU - Jonathan Miller's masterful 1968 adaptation of M.R.James classic ghost story. Is the best TV ever?

Preceded by a documentary on TV ghosts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Classic British Horror Films
From: richd
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM

Dick Bush who shot this also shot Blood on Satan's Claw.
It's very good.


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