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Feature Article

Universal Monsters

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. …

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Early Special Effects in Film – The Grand Illusions

In the current climate of rampant digital effects, ultra-real prosthetics and virtual 3-D cinematography, audiences are being spoiled. Special effects have become commonplace and of such a high standard that jaws are no longer dropping. This wasn’t always so. Special effects have come a long way since the invention of cinema and the path they have walked is fascinating. Arguably, …

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Dissecting Critters Movie Franchise

Critters The success of 1984s Gremlins, with its unique blend of horror and sardonic humour seemingly inspired a number of other “little monster” films of that decade. Critters is one of the best. Although its makers deny any influence it shares with Gremlins a sense of mischievous glee but also possesses its own brand of charm. This is family-friendly horror …

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The Invisible Man Saga – A Retrospective on a Lost Legend

Scientific knowledge was never one of the requirements needed for a successful Hollywood scriptwriter. At least science fiction authors are usually aware of scientific flaws and try to disguise them with pseudo-science. For instance, they’ve long got around Einstein’s law regarding the impossibility of faster-than-light travel by taking a short-cut through ‘hyper-space’. My old friend H.G. Wells was well aware …

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1970’s Frankenstein’s Monster

One of the most recognizable movie monsters in horror cinema is the Frankenstein Monster. Beginning with Frankenstein (1910) and, more famously, Frankenstein (1931) from Universal, Mary Shelley’s man-made monster has taken many forms. In 1957, Hammer Films jettisoned the creature into the Technicolor age with Curse of Frankenstein. Throughout the Sixties, Hammer Films would produce a variety of Monsters created …

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About Billy Milligan: The Living Inspiration for the Movie Split

One of the most talked about films of 2016 has been the critically acclaimed M. Night Shyamalan’ spectacle ‘Split’, a horror/thriller crossover which tells the story of Kevin, a man with 23 personalities who abducts 3 teenage girls and holds them captive in a small room in what appears to be an apartment complex. Gradually throughout the film, we start …

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War Movie Favourites

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! …

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A Look at the Frightful Living Dolls of Horror Films

My old friend Sigmund Freud claimed that most children fantasise about dolls coming to life, and psychologist Ernst Jentsch theorised that uncanny feelings arise when there is an intellectual uncertainty about whether an object is alive or not, and also when an object that one knows to be inanimate resembles a living being enough to generate confusion about its nature. …

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Horrifying History: Part 5 – The Real Story Behind Fritz Lang’s M (1 of 2)

For this chapter in Horrifying History we’re focusing on the groundbreaking, but sadly overlooked, 1931 film M and the devil’s brigade of real life monsters that inspired it.  Fritz Lang’s M is a remarkable accomplishment on multiple levels, and, like all those we’ve featured, it’s inspired by grisly real-life events. This time we’re traveling back to Germany’s post World War …

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Best and Worst Horror Films of 2018

It’s Oscar season once again. That special time of year when Hollywood pats itself on the back for producing countless drab and forgettable dramas while offering breadcrumbs to far more interesting fare that doesn’t match up with whatever message they want to communicate. Unique cinema if often overlooked by the academy and no genre has suffered that treatment as much …

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Key Genre Films 1940s

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 …

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Joe Metheny and his Human Burger Stand – The Real Story Behind it

Across the country you’ll find food trucks dotting the highways. You’ll find them near truck stops, tourist attractions and sometimes in the middle of nowhere. Most are run by hard working independent business owners trying to earn an honest living. Some may source the ingredients from less than ideal sources. Occasionally news will break that strikes fear and revulsion in …

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