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Sunday Matinee: Stan Lee

Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95 on November 12. Stan Lee for many was the man who created Marvel Comics – which he did with a lot of help from co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Dikto (who also sadly passed away earlier this year).

When superhero comics first appeared in the late 1930s they took the world by storm but by the 1950s the genre was almost dead – only DC Comics were keeping the genre alive. Stan Lee started working for Timely Comics in 1939 for owner Martin Goodman as an office assistant. He would soon start writing back up stories for comics, he took the pen Stan Lee (his real name was Stanley Lieber) because he wanted to be a real writer and comics were looked down on.
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Sunday Matinee: Trilogy Of Terror

Original aired on the ABC channel in 1975 as the Movie of the Week, this little horror anthology from director Dan Curtis (Night Stalker) features three stories all from acclaimed writer Richard Matheson (I am Legend).

Unlike other anthology films there is nothing connecting the individual stories other than Karen Black stars in all of them as the various lead characters.
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Sunday Matinee: 10 Years of Fear Wrap Up

Another 31 Days of Horror has come and gone and while I was doing a best of / my favourite list – I missed so many more films that I wanted to mention.

In fact I didn’t really list anything from more recent years or some of the bigger classics. There is just too many awesome movies from last 100 years of cinema to squeeze into a mere 31 days. Anyway here is a few more movies that are awesome too!
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31 Days Of Horror: Psycho

10 Years of FearHappy Halloween! Here we are at the end of 31 Days of Horror – 10 Years of Fear. I decided to end this year with Psycho – the movie that got me hooked on horror as child.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) has just stolen a large sum of money from her boss and is driving out to California to where her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin) lives. Sam has massive debts and can’t marry Marion so she took the money to help them. Along the way she switches cars at a dealership and then continues driving into the night. Tired and in a rain storm she stops at a little motel called Bates Motel.
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31 Days Of Horror: The Exorcist

10 Years of FearI had a lot of trouble trying to come up with a best of list. The best I could do was just randomly list my favourites although it feels like I’ve missed some – actually I’m sure of it. My other problem was coming up with a movie to end this year’s 31 Days of Horror on.

I was originally going to end with The Exorcist. It’s one of my favourites, it’s still terrifying and it is considered one of the best horror movies of all time. But……I thought of another movie and so I moved The Exorcist to today.
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31 Days Of Horror: The Evil Dead

10 Years of Fear“We’re going to get you. We’re going to get you. Not another peep. Time to go to sleep.”

Ahhh, The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s first film. Shot on a small budget of just $350,000, the film became a huge success and spawned two sequels and a recently ended TV series.
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31 Days Of Horror: Jaws

10 Years of Fear“duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn”

In the summer of 1975 Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name changed the summer movie season forever, creating the summer blockbuster season. And yet Jaws is more than just a blockbuster movie – it’s a genuinely scary thriller.
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REVIEW: Bel Canto Sings, but Doesn’t Hit the High Notes

Ken Watanabe and Julianne Moore share the piano in Bel Canto.

International casts present a unique challenge to both viewers and filmmakers. The absence of a unifying language can be distracting, as well as the actors’ different rhythms. An archetypical example is a terrible horror movie from 15 years ago called Darkness, for which Spanish director Jaume Balagueró cast Anna Paquin (Canada), Lena Olin (Sweden), Iain Glen (Scotland) and Giancarlo Giannini (Italy) as your average American family to hilarious effect.

Bel Canto knows better. The film uses the language barrier between the protagonists for its benefit, a challenge they have to overcome in order to survive. While the movie works well as a romantic drama, it doesn’t as a thriller, a bit of a problem when you are dealing with a hostage situation. Continue reading “REVIEW: Bel Canto Sings, but Doesn’t Hit the High Notes”

31 Days Of Horror: The Bride Of Frankenstein

10 Years of FearThe tale of Frankenstein turns 200 this year and Mary Shelley’s classic tale of horror is still going strong today.

There has been many adaptations of Frankenstein over the years but one of the best is the sequel to James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Frankenstein, 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein.
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31 Days Of Horror: Don’t Look Now

10 Years of FearJohn Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and his wife Laura (Julie Christie) are working in Venice after the drowning death of their daughter Christine. Their child’s death has hit the couple very hard and as they are dealing with it John is working on restoring an old church.

While having dinner in a restaurant Laura meets two elderly ladies, Heather (Hilary Mason) and Wendy (Clelia Matania). Heather claims to be psychic and can see their child. Laura faints.
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