Vintage Screams

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

Key Genre Films 1980s

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How things have changed. In the forties, for instance, one would find it difficult to name twenty good genre films of the decade but, since the late seventies, Hollywood has learned that their baby-booming audiences could not only handle strong horror and science fiction concepts, they craved them. Filmmakers everywhere went into overdrive. Like television today, there wasn’t a production house around that didn’t have at least one genre project in the making.

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Sam Peckinpah

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Since 1967 a number of American filmmakers have tried their hand at making movies of great violence that have managed to further refine the complexity of the statement contained in the groundbreaking big-budget Hollywood blockbuster Bonnie And Clyde (1967). One filmmaker who earned his ‘Red Badge’ is Sam Peckinpah who, like Arthur Penn and John Frankenheimer, can be seen as part of the American sixties ‘new wave’ – young directors who came … Continue reading

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Twin Peaks (TV series)

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While it’s feasible that there’s the odd person over thirty years of age out there that didn’t see the Twin Peaks series when it was first televised in 1990, it’s unlikely that they are unaware of the cultural run-off from the groundbreaking show. Catchphrases like “She’s dead – wrapped in plastic” and “Who killed Laura Palmer?” adorned T-shirts, fans held coffee-and-doughnut parties, and large sections of the world went quiet for an … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1970s

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With The Andromeda Strain (1971) director Robert Wise proved that he was still as adept with science fiction themes as he was with the supernatural. A well constructed thriller, it tells of a group of scientists trying to analyse a strange alien spore which comes to earth. Stanley Kubrick, having explored the sterile depths of space in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), returned to a grungy Earth to show what might be happening in … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1960s

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Throughout the sixties, Hammer studios continued with their blood-and-thunder remakes, including The Curse Of The Werewolf (1960), The Two Faces Of Doctor Jekyll (1960), The Brides Of Dracula (1960), The Phantom Of The Opera (1962), Kiss Of The Vampire (1964), The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964) and Dracula Prince Of Darkness (1966). Hammer also delved into other aspects of fantasy over the next few years: Science fiction in Five Million Years To Earth (1967), lesbian … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1950s

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Just as the thirties had been a golden age for Gothic horror films, so the fifties would do the same for science fiction. The power of the atom had undeniably hooked the public on the wonders of science. This, coupled with the development of rocket power and the first major UFO sightings, provided a wealth of exploitable material for the film industry. The first film off the launch pad was to have been Destination … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1940s

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The forties got off to a cracking start with Paramount’s Technicolor production of Doctor Cyclops (1940) starring Albert Dekker as a crazed scientist who discovers the secret of miniaturisation deep in the South American jungles. The film contains superb special effects sequences which required the construction of gigantic sets and props of everyday articles, including books, chairs, pot-plants and scientific instruments. Universal Studios, while reluctant to invest their horror films with big budgets, also … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1930s

1930s

In 1924 the first major theatrical production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula opened on stage in England. Starring writer-actor Hamilton Deane, the play was such a success that it was transferred to London’s West End. In 1927 the production opened on Broadway starring a young Hungarian actor named Bela Lugosi. Universal pictures purchased the screen rights that same year for US$40,000, intending to make the first ‘talkie’ version of the film with their … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1920s

1920s

The coming of sound to the movies meant a great deal to the development of the fantasy genre. Although science fiction and particularly horror films had been produced since the earliest days of the medium, the addition of dialogue and, more importantly, special effects, greatly enhanced the creative abilities of filmmakers. As early as the turn of last century, Frenchman Georges MĂ©liès had making short ‘trick’ films which had often been about … Continue reading

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Luis Buñuel

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While the commercial form of genre cinema was being shaped, first in Germany in the twenties and then Hollywood in the thirties, it was receiving a rather different kind of input from several non-commercial intellectual filmmakers in Europe. Yet it was not so very long before the influence of the artistic movement of surrealism was making its way into the commercial cinema as well. Surrealism as a separately definable movement grew up … Continue reading

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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

Konga

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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