|The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black is a 1989 television drama production starring Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker and Pauline Moran. Nigel Kneale adapted it from the novel of the same name by Susan Hill and it was directed by Herbert Wise. The programme was produced by Central Television for the ITV Network, and was an unexpected success.
When a bitter old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young lawyer is sent by his firm to settle the estate. Arthur Kidd finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go near the woman's dreary home and no one will explain or even acknowledge the menacing woman in black he keeps seeing. Ignoring the towns-people's cryptic warnings, he goes to the house where he discovers its horrible history and becomes ensnared in its even more horrible legacy.
History and Background
It was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV on Christmas Eve 1989 (repeated only once over Christmas 1994). Overall the TV adaptation stayed reasonably faithful to the original novel, although some of the changes angered the author Susan Hill (for example, the sex of the dog 'Spider' was changed from female to male). Arthur's name has also been changed from Kipps to Kidd. The TV version was released in the United Kingdom on VHS but only for a fairly short time. There was also a Region 1 DVD release but it is now out of print and, according to the messageboard at the site of Susan Hill, the TV rights are now owned by someone else. There is a section of copyright law known as ‘The Berne Act.’ It clearly states:“films unreleased in the United Kingdom and United States, includingoriginal version of films altered and/or edited for release therein, are not protected by copyright; thus, they are considered public domain.”
Shock Theatre has brought together a hauntingly fabulous horror hosting wrap around package for the 1989 version of the Woman in Black. It just so happens Dr. Shock and Nurse Goodbody have a pesky poultergeist of their own. So, what do they do? They go on their own ghost hunt of sorts and call in Chattanooga Ghost Tours to help with the paranormal investigation. Tune into this "Webisode" streaming online from www.drshocktheatre.com and sponsored by Chattanooga Ghost Tours.
Rawlins was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire the son of Mavis (née Leese) and Edward Rawlins. Rawlins was educated at Stanfield Technical High School in Stoke-on-Trent and the Stoke VI Form College. He then went on to train in art then subsequently acting at Crewe and Alsager College, now Manchester Met.
Rawlins has appeared in several films including Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, and also has a minor role in the Harry Potter film series as Harry Potter's father James Potter. Onstage, he has appeared in Her Naked Skin (2008, National Theatre). He played Richard Collingsworth in the 1989 TV serial The Ginger Tree, opposite Samantha Bond. He also starred in The Woman in Black which was made for television and aired at Christmas 1989.
Fright Facts About the Woman in Black
The programme was filmed using the causeway to Osea Island, near Goldhanger in Essex, and the local salt marshes, whilst scenes to represent Crythin Gifford were filmed at the National Trust village of Lacock, near Chippenham, Wiltshire.
~The novel and play are not to be confused with Wilkie Collins's Victorian thriller The Woman in White - although Susan Hill admitted this is what inspired the name for her own.
~ The actress who portrays The Woman in Black, Pauline Moran, is best known for playing Miss Lemon, the redoubtable secretary of Hercule Poirot, in the LWT television series Agatha Christie's Poirot, starring David Suchet.
~ The adaptation differs from the novel in several small ways.
* Mr Kidd is named Kipps in the book, other names are also different.
* In the novel, Kipps himself does not die; the entire tale is told years later by an elderly Kipps whose wife and child had been killed in an accident involving a runaway horse and trap whilst he looked on.
* Mr Sweetman (in the novel he is called Mr. Bentley) is a kindly figure in the novel, unlike the disdainful coward of the adaptation.
* The phonograph does not appear in the novel.
* The dog Spider is female in the novel, male in the adaptation.
* Kidd/ Kipps does not burn down his law office in the novel.
* The accident involving the gypsy girl does not happen in the novel.
* The child does not talk to Kipps in the novel.
* The toy soldier does not appear in the novel.
The Woman in Black
Directed by Herbert Wise
Written by Nigel Kneale, Susan Hill
Starring Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran
Music by Rachel Portman
Distributed by Granada Television (UK)
Release date(s) December 24, 1989 (UK)
Running time 100 min
Sunday - 1960
Black Sunday (Italian: La maschera del demonio), also known as The Mask of Satan, is a 1960 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava, from a screenplay by Ennio de Concini and Mario Serandrei. The film stars Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Arturo Dominici, and Ivo Garrani. It was Bava's directorial debut, although he had completed several previous feature films without credit. Based very loosely on Nikolai Gogol's short story "Viy", the narrative concerns a vampire-witch who is put to death by her own brother, only to return 200 years later to feed on her descendants.
By the social standards of the 1960s, Black Sunday was considered unusually gruesome, and was banned in the U.K. until 1968 because of its violence. In the U.S., some of the gore was censored, in-house, by the distributor, American International Pictures, before its theatrical release to the country's cinemas. Despite the censorship, Black Sunday was a worldwide critical and box office success — and launched the careers of director Mario Bava and movie star Barbara Steele. In 2004, one of its sequences was voted number 40 among the “100 Scariest Movie Moments”, by the Bravo Channel.
In Moldavia, in the year 1630, beautiful witch Asa Vajda (Steele) and her paramour Javuto (Arturo Dominici) are sentenced to death for sorcery by Asa's brother. Before being burned at the stake, Asa vows revenge and puts a curse on her brother's descendants. A metal mask with sharp spikes on the inside is placed over the witch's face and hammered repeatedly into her flesh.
Two centuries later, Dr. Thomas Kruvajan (Andrea Checchi) and his assistant Dr. Andre Gorobec (Richardson), are traveling through Moldavia en route to a medical conference when one of the wheels of their carriage is broken, requiring immediate repair. While waiting for their coachman to fix it, the two wander into a nearby ancient crypt and discover Asa's tomb. Observing her death mask through a glass panel, Kruvajan breaks the panel (and the cross above it) by accident while striking a bat. He then removes Asa's death mask revealing a partially preserved corpse that is visible underneath, her face staring out malevolently. He cuts his hand on the broken glass. Some of his blood drips onto Asa's dead face. The witch Asa is brought back to life by Kruvajan's blood.
During 1959, Mario Bava had assumed the directorial assignment of The Giant of Marathon from Jacques Tourneur, who left the production before most of the major sequences had been filmed. Bava, who had been that film's cinematographer, completed the film quickly and efficiently. This was not the first time Bava had been able to save a troubled movie for Marathon's production company, Galatea Film. During that same year, Bava had performed a similar salvage job on Caltiki, The Immortal Monster (1959), replacing Riccardo Freda as director after he had abandoned the picture in the middle of production. Even earlier, he had assumed the directorial role for I Vampiri (1957) after the temperamental Freda had also walked off the set of that film after only a few days. Bava did not receive director screen credit for any of his work on the three troubled Galatea films. After Bava completed Marathon, Nello Santi, the head of Galatea Film, subsequently offered him his choice of any property for his first directorial effort.
As a lover of Russian fantasy and horror, Bava decided to adapt Nikolai Gogol's 1865 horror story “Viy” into a feature film. However, the resultant screenplay (by Bava, Ennio De Concini, and Mario Serandrei) in fact owed very little to Gogol at all, and seemed to be more a tribute to the atmospheric black and white gothic horror films of the 1930s, especially those produced by Universal Studios. The script takes only the most rudimentary elements from the story—the Russian setting and the idea of a witch coming back to life—and has a completely different narrative. ~Wiki
Produced by Massimo de Rita
Written by Ennio de Concini
Music by Roberto Nicolosi
Cinematography Mario Bava
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) August 11, 1960 (1960-08-11)
Running time 87 minutes
Language Italian and English
Box office ITL 139 million
|Night of the Living Dead
The cast and crew of Shock Theatre have finished shooting the first full Shock Theatre TV program. Dr. Shock, Nurse Goodbody, Dingbat and Dirge will present the deliciously ghoulish "Night of the Living Dead." All the fun takes place October 29th on WTVC's ThisTV.
You'll squeal over the flesh eating zombies as Doc and the gang try to entertain and terrify you at the same time. Directed by George Romero, Night of the Living Dead is the zombie flick that started it all. It seems appropriate to kick the series off with this highly revered cult classic.
When unexpected radiation raises the dead, a microcosm of Average America has to battle flesh-eating zombies in George A. Romero's landmark cheapie horror film. Siblings Johnny (Russ Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a graveside visit in a small Pennsylvania town, but it all takes a turn for the worse when a zombie kills Johnny. Barbara flees to an isolated farmhouse where a group of people are already holed up. Bickering and panic ensue as the group tries to figure out how best to escape, while hoards of undead converge on the house; news reports reveal that fire wards them off, while a local sheriff-led posse discovers that if you "kill the brain, you kill the ghoul." After a night of immolation and parricide, one survivor is left in the house.
Romero's grainy black-and-white cinematography and casting of locals emphasize the terror lurking in ordinary life; as in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), Romero's victims are not attacked because they did anything wrong, and the randomness makes the attacks all the more horrifying. Topping off the existential dread is Romero's then-extreme use of gore, as zombies nibble on limbs and viscera.
Initially distributed by a Manhattan theater chain owner, Night, made for about 100,000 dollars, was dismissed as exploitation, but after a 1969 re-release, it began to attract favorable attention for scarily tapping into Vietnam-era uncertainty and nihilistic anxiety. By 1979, it had grossed over 12 million, inspired a cycle of apocalyptic splatter films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and set the standard for finding horror in the mundane. However cheesy the film may look, few horror movies reach a conclusion as desolately unsettling.
Night of the Living Dead entered the public domain because the original theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, neglected to place a copyright indication on the prints. In 1968, United States copyright law required a proper notice for a work to maintain a copyright. Image Ten displayed such a notice on the title frames of the film beneath the original title, Night of the Flesh Eaters. The distributor removed the statement when it changed the title.
A limited number of theatrical release prints were distributed by Walter Reed and these copies could have been shelved if Romero and Image Ten had elected. This would have given Romero the opportunity to rename the film, do a few brief "creative" edits, and then obtain a new Copyright. But this was never done and the theatrical releases continued to be distributed until eventually reprinted and distributed by home video distributors.
Because of the public domain status, the film is sold on home video by many distributors. As of 2006, the Internet Movie Database lists 23 copies of Night of the Living Dead retailing on DVD and nineteen on VHS. The original film is available to view or download free on Internet sites such as Google Video, Internet Archive and YouTube. As of October 31, 2010, it is the Internet Archive's second most downloaded film, with 708,608 downloads.
|Directed by - George A. Romero
Produced by - Karl Hardman and Russell Streiner
Written by - George A. Romero and John A. Russo
Starring Duane Jones
Cinematography - George A. Romero
Editing by - George A. Romero and John A. Russo
Studio Image Ten
Distributed by The Walter Reade
Release date October 1, 1968
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Box office $42 million
Review - Pumpkinhead
American Gothic, now there's a term that's rarely used to describe a horror film, but these words exactly describe Pumpkinhead, which although flawed, comes off as one of the better horror films that showcases a bona fide modern monster. Special effects wizard Stan Winston (Jurassic Park, Small Soldiers, The Relic, The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator) helms this film. For his first feature as a director, Winston shows a knack for creating not only the special effects but also moody environments, believable characters and situations, and genuine pathos and fear. Unfortunately, the final reel is a letdown, and by the film's climax, some of the film's once-intense elements have deteriorated.
The first reel shows Winston in full command of story, as he moves from an effective opening sequence in which a young Ed Harley watches a massive creature - the personification of vengeance - kill a man who was accused of murdering a young woman, to a now grownup Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) who has a young son of his own. Unfortunately, a group of young people come by Harley's grocery store, and while Harley runs an errand, one of the hot-dog kids by the name of Joel (John D'Aquino) loses control of his dirt bike and accidentally runs over the bespectacled child, killing him.
And here is where Winston creates believable characters. Joel's instinct is to run because he had been consuming alcohol before his joyride and he is on probation for a previous accident. His younger brother Chris (Jeff East) tries hard to support Joel, but he also pushes him to do the right thing. Joel's girlfriend is Kim (Kimberly Ross), who at one time deeply loved him but now exists under his shadow, afraid of ever openly defying him. Tracy (Cynthia Bain) is a woman of action who simply does not have the strength to contend with Joel, and her counterpart is Steve (Joel Hoffman), who does have the strength to overcome Joel but whose bravery is no match for Joel's treachery. And then there is poor Maggie (Kerry Remsen), who breaks down when the Harley boy dies (much like Barbara does in Night Of The Living Dead). These are multifaceted characters that are not drawn with broad strokes and clichés, but rather as believable people who make mistakes.
Henriksen also turns in an excellent performance as he goes from kind father to vengeful monster to rational man. In the end, Ed Harley realizes that vengeance is blind, relentless in its hunger for death - guilt does not matter, only justice. Which brings us to the title character, which was originally inspired by a poem by Ed Justin. Pumpkinhead is a demon representing vengeance (indeed, the film at one time was titled Vengeance: The Demon). As the film progresses, the demon begins to assume the facial characteristics of Harley, whereas Harley succumbs to the ugliness that is at the very essence of vengeance. These transformations are far from subtle, but it is interesting to note how few critics actually noted them in their reviews.
The witch who brings Pumpkinhead to life is Haggis (Florence Schauffler) and she describes the demon as follows: "For each of man's evils a special demon exists. You're looking at vengeance. Cruel, devious, pure as venom vengeance." Once the stage is set for vengeance to be carried out, however, the film suddenly begins to falter.
In my opinion, Pumpkinhead (aka Vengeance the Demon) was a pretty darn good horror film. It started out way better than it ended, but such is the way with a lot of films. Although, at least the ending of Pumpkinhead was believable as far as the story goes.
As a young boy, Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) witnessed the horror of one man's revenge against another in the form of Pumpkinhead. What he did not know then was that he would one day call upon this demon to deliver his own vengeance. Significantly underrated, Pumpkinhead is a must see especially if you like a good Southern Gothic film.
|Pumpkinhead was inspired by the
following poem by Ed Justin:
Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you're tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He's mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you're undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It's when you think that he's forgot,
He'll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won't protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.