The Scars of Dracula 1970

Let me just start by getting the dodgy stuff out of the way. The model shot of Dracula's castle which opens the film is so unconvincing a viewer could believe its panto season., It has the least convincing vampire bats this side of an Ed Wood film. Dennis Waterman is badly miscast, and as much…

Life (2017)

LIFE is the kind of film to pit me in battle against my inner 15-year-old self. The 15-year-old me would have loved it. It was a certified a 15 in this country and so I’m sure he and his friends would have gone to one of the cinemas which then existed on Queen Street, Cardiff,…

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

Despite this film’s reputation not being great, I'm going to put my delectable, tasty neck on the line and say that there's a lot that’s good in DRACULA AD 1972. I’m actually here to praise rather than stake and bury it in holy ground. But I’m going to say that with the ridiculous caveat that…

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

One really needs to acknowledge just how good Peter Cushing is in these films. I always feel like he's slightly underrated compared to the sexier, knighted, longer lived, Christoper Lee. But unlike Lee, you never see him in a movie where he really and genuinely cannot be bothered. Cushing always shows up, always gives his…

Horror Express (1972)

Or MUMMY ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS. The last couple of times I’ve seen Christopher Lee, he’s been playing Dracula – so it's thrilling to actually watch him engaged and interested in a role. In terms of sheer charisma, in terms of simple presence, it makes a huge difference to have him invested, not just showing…

Arrival (2016)

Thinking about ARRIVAL in the days since I saw it, I’m trying to remember the last time I watched a sci-fi movie which started out smart and just kept getting smarter. Most sci-fi films start off with a good idea, a hook they use to reel the audience in with. But most of them are…

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Given that I haven’t really watched any of the Hammer Dracula movies since I was a little kid, I'd forgotten that a lot of them don’t give the title character much to do. Most of them, to be fair, make better use of the character than DRACULA – PRINCE OF DARKNESS does, but still –…

Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966)

I can remember being outraged by DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS when I saw it as a kid. There’s the title, there’s the fact that Christopher Lee’s name appears first in the credits in bigger font than everyone else's, and then there’s the obvious disconnect that Dracula himself doesn’t appear until half way through and even…

The Girl on the Train (2016)

One can't help thinking that if the novel of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN hadn't managed to strike a chord with the reading public at the exact right moment and become the thriller du jour, that it would have got the Ruth Rendell treatment with an adaptation on ITV on a Sunday night at nine.…