Vintage Screams

Welcome to the world of Vintage Screams! Old School Horror articles for your delight!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (TV series)

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“There is a theory which states that if anybody discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” So go the metaphysical musings of the late British humourist and author Douglas Adams in his best-selling cult novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Guilty Pleasures

The Green Slime

Growing up in the Seventies, I was exposed to a large number of schlocky b-movie greatness. Watching Creature Feature on Channel 20, collecting Famous Monsters of Filmland and catching any horror theatrical release I could, I became a lifelong fan of the horror genre. Horror movies at the time were producing classics of the genre, masterpieces that were shaping the future of the medium and the madness – films like The Exorcist, Jaws, Texas Chainsaw … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Remembering Ingrid Pitt (1937 – 2010)

IngridPitt_VampireLovers

In the span of a few years, Ingrid Pitt burst upon the horror scene and left an indelible mark on the halls of horror. With her stunning, voluptuous beauty and top-notch talent, she solidified her position as a leading scream queen in the history of horror. For Hammer Films, she launched the Karnstein trilogy with Vampire Lovers (1970) proving a female vampire lead is just as viable as a male counterpart and starred in a … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Giant Monster Mayhem

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Giant monsters, the halls of horror are full of them. The most famous of these monsters are King Kong (1933) and Godzilla (1954), each spawning countless imitations. King Kong came first in the Thirties directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, with classic special effects by Willis O’Brian. A sequel follows later the same year with The Son of Kong (1933) and two remakes have been made – King Kong (1976) directed by … Continue reading

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War Movie Favourites

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War! What is it good for? An action-packed evening on the couch, that’s what! When I asked Horror News readers and Facebook friends to tell me their favourite war movies, the response was terrific. While I can’t deny the quality of films like Gone With The Wind (1939), Lawrence Of Arabia (1962), Battle Of Britain (1969), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Ran (1985), Platoon (1986), Gettysburg (1993), Braveheart (1995), 300 … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Michael Ripper, an introduction

Curse of the Werewolf

Michael Ripper, an introduction

This Halloween season, I’ve been sitting down each weekend with my nine year old daughter to watch the Hammer horror festival on Turner Classic Movies. Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Curse of Frankenstein, Plague of the Zombies, they’re all here. As we began our third week of flicks to enjoy, my daughter made an enlightening observation; she began to recognize a recurring actor in many of the films we … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Female Movie Monsters

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The most famous of Universal Monsters are the Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Horror icons of classic thriller cinema are Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. Modern horror monsters are Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees and Pinhead. It is easy to see that the horror genre is a male dominated field of cinema.  Most of … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Second-Tier Draculas

ReturnofDracula

In 1897, Archibald Constible & Co. first published Bram Stoker’s epistolary horror novel, Dracula, and introduced the literary world to the vampire Count: a legend was born. When the motion picture business matured, the story became fodder for film adaptation, first with F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), where the names were changed to avoid copyright, and then with Todd Browning’s Dracula (1931). The following decades would see many adaptations of the terror classic. Some of the … Continue reading

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Cult Movie Favourites

CF art courtesy of Gamespot.com 1

When I asked Horror News readers and Facebook friends to tell me their favourite cult films, I got a terrific response. The suggestions poured in, and all kinds of weird, wonderful and outlandish films fronted up for selection. So while I can’t deny the quality or appeal of films like Reefer Madness (1938), Citizen Kane (1941), Glen Or Glenda (1953), Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes (1978), or The Toxic Avenger (1984), I … Continue reading

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The Villain Of The Piece (A-K)

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We have all been touched by fictitious persons at numerous points in our lives. They have moved or amused, horrified or inspired us since early childhood. Story-telling is one of the most fundamental of human activities, probably as necessary to our mental health as eating, drinking and breathing are to our physical well-being. Story-telling is almost inconceivable without villains. In some cases those villains are scarcely human, and take the forms of … Continue reading

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Universal Monsters

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In 1928, Carl Laemmle Senior made his son, Carl Laemmle Junior, head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present. Woo hoo! Universal already had a reputation for nepotism – at one point, seventy of Carl Senior’s relatives were supposedly on the payroll. Many of them were nephews, resulting in Carl Senior being known around the studios as Uncle Carl. If you’re wondering how to pronounce the surname, Ogden Nash once rhymed, … Continue reading

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Small Men And Tall Women

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Possibly the most interesting science fiction film of 1957 was Jack Arnold‘s The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). After passing through a radioactive cloud while on a motor boat, combined with later exposure to dangerous pesticides, the man begins to decrease in size, slowly at first, and then much faster. By the time he’s a mere three feet tall it’s become obvious to both his wife and himself that things are never going … Continue reading

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Samurai Jack (TV series)

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The nineties was the breakthrough decade for television cartoons. While The Simpsons might have brought some long-overdue respect to prime-time animation, Cartoon Network and Comedy Network viewers are likely to be the only ones to truly realise the extent of the weird and wonderful stuff going on in television animation, since Ren And Stimpy brought gross-out gags, psychological torture and retro-styled artwork back into vogue two decades ago. Whilst the limited budgets … Continue reading

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Vintage Screams: Whistle and I’ll come to you (1968)

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M R James. The very name sends a delicious shiver down the spine, synonymous as it is with the cream of ghost story writing. Arguably, with the exception of Dickens, James is unrivalled – the epitome of perfection within this noble genre. You’ll certainly be hard pressed to name a writer with such a lauded canon of spooky tales as this intriguing medieval scholar. If you’re new to M R James, … Continue reading

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Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Amicus Anthologies Part 1

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In 1964, American producers Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg team up to create Amicus Productions, a small independent film company based in Shepperton Studios, England. Among the first films they release is Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, a portmanteau horror film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They quickly become closely associated and compared to Hammer Films to which their films share many similarities: directors such as Freddie Francis, stars such as Lee and … Continue reading

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Roger Corman Tackles Edgar Allan Poe

Roger Corman & Edgar Allan Poe 1

When the cinema of horror was temporarily abandoned in the late fifties, it was mostly low-budget black-and-white films about monsters. At the beginning of the sixties the budgets were lower than ever, but everything else was changing. As monsters flew out the window, doomed neurotics were plodding hauntedly through the door. The day of the Gothic Costume Drama had arrived, and its prophet was a brisk young fellow named Roger Corman. The … Continue reading

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Robert Altman

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Robert Altman, the director of M*A*S*H (1970), Nashville (1975) and Gosford Park (2001), is not an easy artist to summarise. He has always been a fiercely unpredictable ‘lone wolf’ (like many of his heroes) in the film business. But surprisingly, the one category in relation to his work is seldom discussed is the fantastic. Yet at least five of Bob’s films are indubitably fantasy, and he himself once told me “All these … Continue reading

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Robby The Robot

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For over fifty years Robby The Robot has remained one of the most famous and widely recognised movie robots of all time. Making his film debut in Forbidden Planet (1956), he went on to star in The Invisible Boy (1957) and later forged a lengthy career in television, guest starring in The Thin Man, Lost In Space, The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, Ark II, The Love Boat, Columbo, Mork And Mindy, … Continue reading

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Real Queens Of Scream

Queens Of Scream Fay Wray 1

A Scream Queen is an actress who has become associated with horror films, either through an appearance in a notable entry in the genre, as a frequent victim, or through constant appearances as the female protagonist. She belongs to the Damsel-In-Distress family of fictional characters. Long before the term was invented, the Scream Queen has always been a classic figure in world literature, art and film. She is almost inevitably a young … Continue reading

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Ray Harryhausen

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The most famous animated creature in film history was King Kong (1933), built and manipulated by Willis O’Brien. A decade later O’Brien was working on another giant ape movie called Mighty Joe Young (1946) and hired a young assistant, Ray Harryhausen. During the fifties it became clear that Harryhausen had inherited O’Brien’s mantle as the top stop-motion animator in the film business, a position which, in the eyes of many, he continues … Continue reading

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Philippe Mora

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Depending on my critical faculties or level of intoxication, director Philippe Mora is either the unjustly neglected surrealist auteur of Australian cinema, or the nation’s very own Ed Wood Junior. Consider the wild array of evidence presented on a recently-released DVD simply titled Philippe Mora Triple (the distributors decided not to use the word Threat at the end). Where else could you find Dennis Hopper as a drunken Irish bushranger, Oscar-winner Alan … Continue reading

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