The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)

Something I greatly enjoy about watching these old Hammer films is discovering hidden gems. Those films which aren't well remembered today, but have something interesting and quirky about them. As well as having some damned effective scares. Hammer, in its prime – despite numerous copies elsewhere – did have a distinct and distinctly British style.…

The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Let me put THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES into context. Today, when there’s an endless glut of zombie movies/TV shows/books/comics/computer games, it’s hard to believe that there was a time where zombies weren’t really a big thing in popular culture. Indeed, a character in THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES has to explain what zombies actually…

Crimson Peak (2015)

Making a version of Du Maurier’s REBECCA with the gothic ramped up should be the height of futility. It’s like remaking THE GODFATHER and aiming for even more mafia-y, or SPEED in a way much more fast bus-y. Surely REBECCA – both novel and Hitchcock film – are plenty gothic enough. But here we are,…

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…