Category Archives: Cult Film News

Opera (1987) | CultFilms unleashes Dario Argento’s Grand Guignol horror in a new director-guided 2k restoration

Opera (1987)

Italy’s master of horror Dario Argento ushers in 2019 with this new restoration of his violent 1987 horror Opera, courtesy of CultFilms – the folks who brought us the stunning 4k restoration release of Suspiria.

Opera (1987)

When young understudy Betty (Cristina Marsillach) takes the lead role in a new operatic production of Verdi’s Macbeth, she soon attracts the attention of a knife-wielding psycho who forces her to watch – with eyes pinned open – as he brutally despatches her friends and colleagues with sadistic delight. Can Betty free herself from this unending nightmare or does a more terrifying fate await?

Opera (1987)

Co-starring Ian Charleson (Chariots of Fire) and Daria Nicolodi (Deep Red), Opera is a ravishing return to the giallo style Argento made his name with, awash with lavish bloodletting, black-gloved killers, soaring cinematography, and the director’s expressionistic Grand Guignol excess. Plus, an unforgettable score from Brian Eno, Bill Wyman, Claudio Simonetti and even opera legend Maria Callas herself.

CultFilms is proud to present Argento’s gore-soaked terror in a stunning 2K restoration, with colour regrading carried out under instruction from the maestro himself and in reference to his own, preferred, original cinema print. Opera is out now in a Region B/2 Dual Format edition (Blu-ray & DVD) with numbered vinyl case and on VOD from CultFilms.

Aria of Fear: a brand new candid interview with director Dario Argento, revisiting his work from a fresh viewpoint
Opera Backstage: a unique behind the scenes documentary about Dario Argento directing Opera
• Restoration featurette: from raw scan to the regraded, restored and reframed final vision

Order direct from CultFilms:



Brand new 4k restorations of four John Carpenter classics are coming at ya!

John Carpenter has maintained his place as one of the most highly lauded directors in the realm of cult, fantasy and horror film-making for over 40 years. From the moment that HALLOWEEN broke through to audiences worldwide in 1978, Carpenter has created some of the most intense, imaginative, influential and successful films in cinema history.

STUDIOCANAL is delighted to celebrate Carpenter’s work with the announcement of brand new 4k restorations of some of his most iconic titles: THE FOG, THEY LIVE, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

UK based artist Matt Ferguson has created brand-new artwork for each film and audiences will be able to appreciate the new 4k restorations at home when all films, complete with brand new and ‘best of’ extras material, are released across Home Entertainment platforms including UHD for the very first time. A very special, 4-disc Collector’s Edition will be available of THE FOG, THEY LIVE, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, that will also include a copy of the film’s seminal soundtrack composed and performed by Carpenter himself.

These four cult classics also return to UK cinemas, so book your tickets now:

THE FOG (1980)
Antonio Bay, California has turned a hundred years old and is getting ready to celebrate its centennial year. But as the residents of the tight-knit community begin to prepare for the festivities, a mysterious cloud of fog appears upon the shore and begins to creep its way across the town, leaving a trail of horrifying slaughter that hints at a deep, blood-soaked secret from its past. Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh.
Theatrical release: From October 26th – special Halloween screenings October 31st
Home Entertainment Release: October 29th

Retribution – Uncovering The Fog: Making-of featurette
The Shape of The Thing to Come: John Carpenter Un-filmed
• Intro & Scene Analysis by John Carpenter
• Fear on Film: Inside the Fog (1980)
• The Fog: Storyboard to Film
• Outtakes
• TV Spots
• Theatrical Trailers, Photo gallery
• Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Debra Hill
• Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark
• Audio commentary with actors Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and production designer Tommy Lee Wallace

3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras).
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

The year is 1997 and in a police state future the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison. The rules are simple: once you’re in, you don’t come out. But when the United States president (Donald Pleasence) crash lands an escape pod into the centre of the city after fleeing a hijacked plane, a ruthless prison warden (Lee Van Cleef) bribes ex-soldier and criminal Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) into entering the hazardous Manhattan and rescuing the stranded President from the twisted underworld and the demented clutches of its criminal overlord The Duke (Isaac Hayes).
Theatrical release: November 22nd
Home Entertainment Release: November 26th

Purgatory: Entering John Carpenter’s Escape From New York – New Making Of / Retro documentary
Snake Plissen: Man of Honor
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Deleted Opening Sequence “Snake’s Crime” with Optional Audio Commentary
• Photo gallery incl. Behind the Scenes
• Original Trailers
• Audio Commentary with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter
• Audio Commentary with Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves
• Big Challenges in Little Manhattan: Visual effects featurette
• I am Taylor – Interview with actor Joe Unger
• Audio Commentary with actress Adrienne Barbeau and DOP Dean Cundey

3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras)
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

Deep in the basement of an abandoned church, once run by a sinister religious sect, lies a strange bottle of green liquid being investigated by a group of local theoretic physics students. But as the night draws on the students soon realise that the strange relic holds a dark and powerful force beyond their control. A force that could well be the essence of pure evil: the remains of Satan himself. Starring Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker and Jason Wong.
Theatrical release: October 26th
Home Entertainment Release: November 26th (Steel-book October 29th)

• Malevolent: Unearthing John Carpenter’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS: New Making Of / Retro documentary
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Scene Analysis by John Carpenter
• Audio commentary with John Carpenter and Peter Jason
• Sympathy for the Devil: Interview with John Carpenter
• Horror’s Halloween Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark
• Trailer
• Photo gallery

3-disc Steelbook (Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, UHD feature only)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

THEY LIVE (1988)
Obey. Submit. Consume. Watch TV. Do not question authority. Money is your god. No independent thought. No Imagination. They live. We sleep. WWF wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays John Nada, a homeless, unemployed construction worker who discovers a pair of sunglasses that when worn suddenly reveal a world run by yuppie aliens intent on keeping the human race brainwashed and sedate with subliminal messages fed through advertising and the media. Luckily for us all John Nada is a man of action and so begins the fight-back (including perhaps the longest fistfight in cinema’s history) to save humankind.
Theatrical release: From October 26th
Home Entertainment Release: October 29th

Subversion: Exposing John Carpenter’s They Live – New Making Of / Retro documentary
• Original EPK: The Making of They Live (1988)
• John Carpenter profile
• Meg Foster profile
• Roddy Piper profile
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Roddy Piper
• Independent Thoughts with John Carpenter (2012)
• Woman of Mystery: Interview with Meg Foster
• Man vs Aliens: Interview with Keith David
• Fake commercials in the film
• TV spots
• Photo gallery

3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras).
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD



The road to Arrow FrightFest 2018 | Signature Entertainment and FrighFest team up to present some curated horror hits!

Arrow FrightFest 2018

Discover suspense, terror and everything in between as Signature Entertainment and FrightFest team up to launch FrightFest Presents, an all-new venture geared to delivering a host of undiscovered genre features to the UK audience and world stage.

Arrow FrightFest 2018 kicks off on Thursday 23 August at Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema, unleashing a monster marathon of horror heaven over the Bank Holiday weekend… including these beauties from Signature Entertainment and FrightFest Presents…

Tickets and info available here:

Directors: Justin P. Lange and Klemens Hufnagl
Cast: Stars rising star Nadia Alexander (The Sinner, Seven Seconds, Blame)

The film follows Mina (Alexander), a young woman who was murdered and stalks the forest that saw her demise. Anytime some unfortunate soul enters her area, they are quickly dispatched and become her feast. But when she stumbles across a young boy named Alex (Nichols) in the back of a car who shows signs of clear and horrifying abuse, she can’t bring herself to do away with him. Rather, she becomes his protector while trying to protect her own little world. As police and locals search for Alex to help bring him home, their own growing relationship seems to be changing Mina in ways she never thought possible.

Screens 3.30pm & 4pm Monday 27 August at FrightFest
Home Entertainment Release: October 2018

Director: Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday & Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Cast: Michael Rady, Drew Lynch, Debra Sullivan, A Leslie Kies

The Pope family’s Christmas Eve dinner goes horribly and hilariously wrong when someone puts something in the party punch causing everyone to tell the unvarnished truth at the already dysfunctional holiday reunion. When the head of the household psychopathically freaks-out, the scene is set for murderous mayhem and splatterific revenge as the deviant relatives reveal their long-buried hatreds and festering loathings.

Screens 11am Monday 27 August at FrightFest
Home Entertainment Release: November 2018

Director: Chris Sun (Director of multi-award winning film Daddy’s Little Girl)
Cast: Stars horror star Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Devil’s Rejects) and John Jarratt (Wolf Creek)

In the harsh, yet beautiful Australian outback lives a beast, an animal of staggering size, with a ruthless, driving need for blood and destruction. It cares for none, defends its territory with brutal force, and kills with a raw, animalistic savagery unlike any have seen before.

Screens 11.15pm & 11.45pm Friday 24 August at FrightFest

Director: David Baker
Cast: Stars Benedict Samuel (Gotham, The Walking Dead, Home and Away)

A psychological horror thriller, Pimped follows Sarah Montrose, a woman who isn’t well-equipped to live within society’s accepted lines of behaviour, struggling with her own identity, desires, and loves. When all this is threatened by two scheming men, Sarah has to fight for herself to take revenge all the while embracing her psychopath alter-ego.

Screens 6.45pm Friday 24 August at FrightFest

Director: Justin McConnell
Cast: Lora Burke, Jack Foley, Elitsa Bako

A murderous shape-shifter sets out on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves but had to leave behind for her own safety’s sake. But zipping between ever-faster body snatches is becoming confusing, mind-bending and more debilitating by the minute. Something has got to give. Like dark romance, feral natural instincts and fractured sanity. Time to take a dive into the deep aliveness that comes from following your broken heart, in acting on what you love despite the monstrous circumstances, alien limitations, hidden emotions or fears of the shocking unknown.

Screens 9pm Friday 24 August at FrightFest

Director: Ante Novakovic
Cast: Dylan Walsh, Madison McKinley, Romeo Miller

Blood runs rampant on Halloween night when the Mayor of Sommerton decides to mount a live Fright Fest event within the
walls of a long abandoned lunatic asylum. Only problem is a van of criminally insane prisoners crashes just outside and the trick or treaters think their murderous acts are part of the performance. Enter if you dare.

Screens 11pm & 11.30pm Saturday 25 August at FrightFest



Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Unadulterated Expressway for the Arts’ online streaming channel goes live!

Today sees the launch of  Born from Nicolas Winding Refn’s passion for the rare, the strange, and the crazed, this FREE online streaming service is an ever-expanding world of original creative content. Carefully curated by a special guest editor, the quarterly volumes are divided into three monthly chapters, each featuring a meticulously restored film. The movie itself is just a touchstone, however, a talisman used to inspire a wealth of personally created new material, whether it be articles, biographies, essays, or original music, video and photography, all of it accompanied by a wealth of previously unseen cultural artifacts connected to the film itself.


For the opening volume, Refn invited biographer and journalist Jimmy McDonough as the first guest editor for Regional Renegades. He is author of critically acclaimed biographies on Neil Young, Tammy Wynette, Russ Meyer, and others. The Ghastly One, his biography of infamous director Andy Milligan, was dubbed “a masterpiece” by Time magazine and John Waters has repeatedly named it as one of his all-time favorite books.

shanty town

Regional Renegades first highlights the indescribable 1965 Bert Williams epic THE NEST OF THE CUCKOO BIRDS, a previously lost low-budget gothic melodrama from the Florida Everglades.  Next comes the unhinged camp of Texas director Dale Berry, HOT THRILLS AND WARM CHILLS (1967), and last is Jose Pietro’s notorious tale of interracial backwoods lust, SHANTY TRAMP (also 1967).

Missing Links, byNWR’s second volume, will arrive in September and is guest-edited by Refn favorite Little White Lies, while a French edition will be unveiled in 2019.

Check out the following links:


Peter Cushing’s handprints get a new home at the Whitstable Community Museum

Peter Cushing Handprints

On Saturday 26 May 2018, I spent a wonderful day in the coastal town of Whitstable in Kent to celebrate Peter Cushing’s 105th birth anniversary and see the handover of the legendary actor’s handprints to the Whitstable Community Museum & Gallery by long time fan Chris Hassell.

Peter’s secretary Joyce Broughton provided some great anecdotes about her dear friend, whom she always called ‘Sir’, while the museum’s volunteers put together a mini exhibition of Peter’s personal artefacts and memorabilia from some of the many items that they have in storage.

Chris Hassell and Joyce Broughton with the handprints

Lunch followed at the Peter Cushing pub – a former cinema where many of Peter’s classic Hammer films were shown; followed by a walk to Peter’s former home and his bench at Cushing’s View.

Interestingly, the plaque which has been missing for a while was recently returned to the museum, and Joyce was over the moon – as it was she who had organised to have it made in the first place. She is now hoping to have it reinstated on the bench very soon. Let’s just hope no-one vandalises it again.

Courtesy of the Peter Cushing Association, here’s a copy of the press release which tells the story of the handprints long journey to the museum.

At the end of the post, I have included a video that I made of the museum exhibition, which was mounted in 2013 to mark Peter’s centenary. The museum is now looking at redevelopment plans, which enable more of Peter’s personal items to go on permanent display.

Peter Cushing was one of the most beloved and important actors for the genres of horror and fantasy films. He began in British Theater before making a name for himself in Hollywood with such films as The Man in The Iron Mask and A Chump at Oxford. Cushing returned to his native England during World War II and soon after became a television star with such hits as Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Creature and Beau Brummell. To his fans however, Mr. Cushing is recognized mostly for his work with Hammer Films. He began to star in many of Hammer’s horror and fantasy films starting in the late 1950’s, which consequently breathed new life and energy into the nearly forgotten genre of classic horror films.

These films gained such favor and popularity with the public that Mr. Cushing was quickly catapulted to international stardom. Such classics included The Curse of Frankenstein, Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed plus many more. He also appeared in films for Amicus – Hammer’s rival. Some of these classics included Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Dr. Who and the Daleks, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., I Monster, Asylum, and Tales from the Crypt. Mr. Cushing capped off his career in the late 1970’s with Star Wars.

From then on, he made only a handful of films with Biggles being his last in 1986. Still very active in retirement, Mr. Cushing wrote two autobiographies, received the O.B.E. (Officer of the British Empire) in 1989, helped in raising money for cancer research, along with painting, collecting books, and bird watching in his spare time.

Peter Cushing Handprints

I couldn’t resist getting my pic taken with ‘the relic’

The Peter Cushing framed handprints you now see displayed at the Whitstable Museum were almost lost to history if not for the diligent actions of Peter Cushing Association member Chris Hassell. Peter Cushing had his hands cast in plaster in 1992 at Leicester Square in London. The plaster prints were framed and eventually displayed at the Prince Charles Cinema in London.

Years later a member of the Peter Cushing Association informed the group about the prints in their fanzine ‘The Cushing Courier’ which immediately struck the curiosity of Hassell who, finding no information about them in Cushing’s own autobiographies, wrote to the Prince Charles Cinema explaining about the Peter Cushing Association and inquiring about the prints.

Peter Cushing Handprints

Uwe Sommerlad and Chris outside Peter Cushing’s former home in Whitstable

Peter Cushing Handprints

The view from Peter Cushing’s former home

Little did he know the events he would set in motion but weeks later Hassell received a postcard from Ben Freedman, owner of Robins Cinemas, who asked if he would like to come to London to collect the handprints! The Prince Charles was originally owned by the Cannon group and Robins Cinema had taken it over. Freedman wanted the prints to be housed in a suitable location relevant to fans of Peter Cushing.

Amazed at the response, Hassell reached out to Freedman who explained to him that the Cinema would consider donating the handprints to the Peter Cushing Association, so it could be displayed at a final resting place for all fans of Peter Cushing to view. Hassell worked with the first president of the Peter Cushing Association, Brian Holland, to send an issue of ‘The Cushing Courier’ with a letter outlining the plan for the handprints. On July 27, 1999, Robins Cinemas called Hassell to inform him they would be happy to donate ‘The Relic’ (the nickname Hassell gave the handprints) to the PCA.

After an unforeseen circumstance, Hassell was unable to pick up the handprints at Robins Cinema on October 22 at the Prince Charles Cinema. As described by Hassell, “Picture, if you will, a shallow wooden tray about four inches deep, eighteen inches square with sides almost one-inch-thick, filled to the brim with heavy and hardened years-old plaster. Inset into the plaster, a pair of hand-prints, above which is etched a very familiar signature and a date (‘92). Unfortunately, the middle finger of the left hand-print shows some slight damage but, otherwise, the plaster is perfect. Between, and slightly below, the two hand-prints is embedded a five-pointed golden star. In the middle of this star are engraved two words: ‘PETER CUSHING’.”

Peter Cushing Handprints

A montage of pics taken at the Peter Cushing pub

After the pickup, the PCA was awaiting a decision on whether the Whitstable Museum or the Theatre Royal, Chatham would become the final resting place for the Peter Cushing handprints. Unfortunately, the Theatre Royal closed-down and the PCA went through changes in leadership which delayed the final decision. The Whitstable Museum, with its permanent display of some of Peter Cushing’s personal items, was chosen as the final resting place of the handprints and Hassell was once again tasked with arranging the final trip. On May 26th, 2018, Peter Cushing handprints will finally be on display at the Whitstable Museum in town he called home.

Anyone interested in joining the Peter Cushing Association to enjoy and discuss his films and legacy (no dues to join, just request to join us on Facebook) please visit us at









The Cat o’Nine Tails (1971) | Dario Argento’s stylish American-styled giallo gets a 4K upgrade

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)

While I already have Arrow’s previous Blu-ray of Dario Argento’s 1971 giallo Cat o’Nine Tales (aka il gatto nove code), I couldn’t resist upgrading to this 4K restoration, which also includes newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack. Now all I need is a 4k smart TV and Blu-ray player to see it properly. But having looked at it on my current HD system, it looks and sounds terrific.

As for the extras, well they are all brand-new with none crossing over from the previous Arrow release. Here’s the low-down…

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)

First up is the audio commentary from Alan Jones and Kim Newman. Jones, of course, is Argento’s number one fan who has become a close friend and written the definitive book(s) on the director, while Newman’s comprehensive film knowledge is truly enviable.

It’s fun and very insightful (film nerds like me will lap up the trivia, especially those related to the Turin film locations); and you’ll see Catherine Spaak’s costumes in a whole different light after listening to Jones views on Luca Sabetelli’s outré surreal outfits.

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)

As for the featurettes, Nine Lives, comprises an exclusive 2017 interview with Dario Argento, who confirms Jones’ comments that the film was the least favourite of his canon, as he felt it ‘too American’.

The Writer o’ Many Tails has screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti discuss his career (over 34 minutes) which included an infamous row between him and Argento over the credit for the screenplay.

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)

Child Star is another Arrow exclusive, an interview with the film’s Cinzia De Carolis, who played Karl Malden’s niece Lori and is today a well-respected voice dubber.

Being a huge fan of film locations, Giallo In Turin was the one that I watched first. Disappointingly, we don’t get the guided tour that I had imagined, instead production manager Angelo Iacono discusses his first meeting with Argento, before recalling his memories of the cast and crew.

A huge bonus is the inclusion of the Original Ending, in which the fates of Anna (Spaak) and Lori (De Carolis) are revealed. But wait! As the footage is now lost, we only get a visual storyboard alongside the English version of the last couple of pages of the script. But the money shot is a single German lobby card containing an actual still of the final scene. Yeah!

Now, as I have the rare movie tie-in novelisation (one of only two written by Paul J Gillette – the other was Play Misty for Me), I had hoped it would contain this version. Unfortunately, it deviates totally from both the original ending and the final cut ending.

With stylish new artwork by Candace Tripp, a limited edition booklet, lobby card repros and fold-out poster also included, this latest Argento release from Arrow is a keeper. Now, I just need that 4K kit.

If you want to see my thoughts on Arrow’s previous of the film… READ IT HERE

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat O Nine Tails (1971)





CultFilms’ Suspiria 4K Steelbook Ultra Blu-ray Dual Edition is going to be fan-tastic!

Back in 1977, Dario Argento unleashed Suspiria, his intoxicating brew of black magic and murder in which Phantom of the Paradise’s Jessica Harper played an American ballet student who uncovers a deadly cover of witches at a prestigious German dance academy, overseen by Dark Shadows‘ Joan Bennett as Madame Blanc and Eyes Without a Face‘s Alida Valli as the butch dance instructor Miss Tanner.

Saturated with an expressive colour palette, hyper-real art deco production design and a ground-breaking score by The Goblins (as they were credited then), and punctuated by shocking, but expertly staged, violence, Argento’s symphony of terror is, without doubt, his horror film opus and a masterpiece of the modern macabre.

Now turning 40, Suspiria has been given a 4K makeover. Over in the US, Synapse Films spent four years working on their 4k restoration that was made from the uncut 98-minute 35mm Italian camera negative (and was overseen by cinematographer Luciano Tovoli). They have now released it as a Special Edition Steelbook (read more here) producing 6000 units, with bags of extras.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, CultFilms are releasing their own restoration, which is set to be the most complete and original looking, finally doing justice to Argento’s vision. The new 4K scan was painstakingly restored by TLE Films in Germany with the film’s crucially distinct colour palette reinstated in accordance with Argento’s original Technicolor Dye Transfer specification, using period film materials as reference. The restorers also reinserted all the missing frames which had degraded badly or were simply lost over the years.

CultFilms have got a crowd-funding campaign up and running to get the film its official UK/European Ultra HD home entertainment release. It’s got just under two weeks left, and has already passed its initial target of £15,000, thanks to some 700+ backers, which means some great bonus extras will be added. And 100 of those initial backers also got the chance to get their copy signed Argento himself (alas now sold out). If you live in Europe, or anywhere that isn’t region A and you do not have a region free player, then this 4k UHD release is one to look out for. Plus, it will also include the Blu-ray and DVD (see below).

UPDATE: On 4 December 2017, CultFilms announced that their campaign closed, reaching an incredible £33,705, which guarantees the creation of a third disc, filled with those promised bonus extras.

I was lucky to see the 4k print (which is simply stunning) at the sold out London screening at the Barbican, with Argento introducing film and giving an illuminating Q&A afterwards. Now, I have seen Suspiria more times than I can remember, and in many formats – from scratchy 16mm and faded VHS to dodgy DVD and the fab HD release back in 2009. But it’s always great to learn something new – especially from the master himself. So, thanks to some intelligent questions from the audience, I discovered that his main inspiration came from Disney’s Snow White, both as a dark fairytale of female empowerment and because of the animated feature’s vibrant primary colours; and that he drew from his own nightmares, one of which became the vicious dog attack sequence.

He also worked alongside Goblin to create what has become an iconic horror score, and even introduced the bouzouki, a Greek musical instrument, to link with the ballet school’s Directress, Helena Markos, a Greek émigré who is ultimately revealed to be Mater Suspiriorum (the Mother of Sighs), the oldest and wisest of the Three Mothers.

The other interesting piece of trivia I discovered was that Jane Russell was in line for the role that eventually went to Joan Bennett, who got it only because she worked with Argento’s favourite director, Fritz Lang, and that she liked a drink or two. And, on a more personal side, Argento also said that he did not believe in magic, except as a narrative device in books and films; and that he had nothing to do with the poster design of the blood-splattered ballet dancer.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the UK 4K edition, then CultFilms are releasing the Dual Format (Blu-ray/DVD) edition on 4 December, with the following extras…

• Dual format special edition: Blu-ray and DVD in a numbered, embossed slipcase
• New Extra: Long interview with Dario Argento
• New Extra: Exclusive Dario Argento Introduction of this new 4K restoration
• Audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Alan Jones
• Fear at 400 Degrees: interview with Dario Argento and Claudio Simonetti
• Interview with Claudio Simonetti, Norman J Warren and Patricia McComack (Blu-ray only)
• New Extra: The 4K Restoration Process ‘utterly fascinating’

You can pre-order it now from CultFilms or Amazon.




Cult Italian director Sergio Martino to be guest of honour at Cine Excess XI

Cine Excess XI

The Cine Excess Cult Film Conference and Festival kicks off its 11th year under the title Fear and the Unfamiliar: Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Crowd. The festival, combining academic discussions and public screenings takes place in Birmingham between the 9th – 11th November, 2017.

Guest of Honour will be Italian director Sergio Martino (Torso, All the Colours of the Dark) who will be discussing his career as well as judging the Cine-Excess 2017 short film competition. On Thursday 9th November, Sergio will introduce a special screening of his thriller Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key (1972) at 7.30pm. This will be followed by Profundo Mondo, a special concert dedicated to cult Italian soundtracks from 9pm.

Other films being screened include Beset by Demons, a new documentary from Kim Henkel and Brian Huberman which profiles the life and shocking murder of cult Texan actor Lou Perryman; Aaron B Koontz’ dark psychological thriller Camera Obscura and Lou Simon’s 3.

Keynote speaker for this year’s event is by Professor Mark Jancovich (UEA), whose talk Almost Psychopathic: British Working Class Realism and the Horror Film in the late 1950s and early 1960s takes place on Friday 10th November at 12noon.

The conference is open scholars, students and members of the public. Tickets can be purchased as a Cine-Excess Delegate Pass which allows access to all Cine-Excess conference events and branded screenings for:

​£130 (standard) /£60 (concessions) for the three days, or £50 (standard)/£25 (concessions) per day.

Conference details and bookings available from:

Cinema tickets available from:

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key/Profondo Mondo Italian cult concert tickets available from:



The FrightFest Phantom is on the loose!

Horror Channel FrightFest has unleashed Graham Humphrey’s spooktacular new artwork for this year’s annual Bank Holiday event taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from 24 to 28 August 2017.

Drawing on the revivals of genre icons Chucky, Victor Crowley and Leatherface and paying homage to the annual event’s return to the Empire (aka Cineworld Leicester Square), Graham has created the FrightFest Phantom…

Horror Channel FrightFest 2017

‘My image is an attempt to amalgamate the Gothic roots of horror with the 70s Monster revival that saturated the US and UK, inspiring generations of filmmakers that created some of the most successful film franchises and oddities of the last 40 years,’ says Humphreys. ‘Universal monsters meets 70s bubble gum pop. I also thought it would be fun to play with the idea of a FrightFest Phantom, the face behind the best in horror and added the scratches and dirt to make it look like old damaged film stock.’

Festival Passes and day tickets for Friday and Monday are still available.

For full programme details click here 


Cult of Chucky to get its world premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest in August!

Cult of ChuckY

Fantastic news frightfans – CULT OF CHUCKY will get its world premiere and open this year’s Horror Channel Frightfest which is also heading back to London’s West End from 24-28 August. Writer and director Don Mancini and stars Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif will be in attendance, alongside Chucky the deadly doll.

Mancini said today: “It’s a true pleasure to be hosting the world premiere of CULT OF CHUCKY at FrightFest. I have fond memories of unveiling Curse of Chucky there in 2013 so it’s great to be returning to the UK’s acknowledged home of horror – especially as this film picks up from where Curse…left off”.

Two more of the horror genre’s most popular and beloved franchises are given their World Premieres: To celebrate a decade of his cursed Victor Crowley creation, writer/director Adam Green is returning to FrightFest with a version of HATCHET never seen before. Plus, there is a presentation of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s LEATHERFACE, the stunning prequel to the terror classic THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE.

Tragedy Girls


FrightFest unveiled a bright new directorial talent when it screened Tyler McIntyre’s PATCHWORK at the Glasgow Film Festival and the closing night film is the UK Premiere of his amazing TRAGEDY GIRLS, where HEATHERS meets SCREAM in a dream combo. It stars super-powered heroines Alexandra Shipp and Brianna Hildebrand.

FrightFest also welcomes back Adam Wingard with the European Premiere of his supernatural manga DEATH NOTE, Joe Lynch with the European Premiere of his highly infectious action thriller MAYHEM, Mickey Keating with the European Premiere of his eye-shattering PSYCHOPATHS, Graham Skipper with the European Premiere of his surreal sci-fi romance SEQUENCE BREAK and genre favourite Barbara Crampton, who stars in Norbert Kell’s skin-crawler REPLACE, receiving its UK Premiere.

Death Note

In a programme packed with innovation, uniqueness and individuality, other tips of the ice-pick are Ryan Prows’ powerful cult-in-waiting LOWLIFE, Trent Haaga’s stunning 68 KILL, high voltage THE VILLAINESS hot from Cannes, Alex de la Iglesia’s bleakly comic THE BAR, Miguel Angel Vivas’ remake of the French extreme thriller INSIDE, Daniele Misischia’s undead Romageddon THE END? Todd Tuckers’ affectionately creepy THE TERROR OF HALLOWS EVE, Brandon Christensen’s terrifying STILL/BORN, Sebastien Landry & Laurence Morais-Lagace’s head-exploding GAME OF DEATH, Kurtis David Harder’s provocative sci-fi horror INCONTROL and Royce Gorsuch’s kaleidoscopic mindbender MINDHACK.

Attack of the Adult Babies

Continuing the festival’s important and vital commitment to highlighting the cream of the homegrown crop, our British strand is well-populated with World Premieres for Dominic Brunt’s perverted shocker ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES, Christian James’ prison-set vampire comedy FANGED UP and Matthew Heaven’s scorching revenge study ACCOUNTABLE. There are also European Premieres for Dominic Bridge’s debut dark morality tale FREEHOLD, Tom Paton’s nerve-shredding REDWOOD and Benjamin Barfoot’s hilariously blood-soaked DOUBLE DATE. And the ‘First Blood’ strand Is back on the menu with five tasty titles: actor Jason Flemyng’s blood-sucking feature debut EAT LOCALS, Louis Melville’s squaddie shocker BOOTS ON THE GROUND, Hendrik Faller’s ice-cold thriller MOUNTAIN FEVER, Michaël Boucherie’s tattoo-terror WHERE THE SKIN LIES and Peter Stray’s alien-invading black comedy CANARIES.

The festival’s accent on rising talent is further enriched with Preston DeFrancis’ extreme slasher RUIN ME, Natasha Kermani’s sci-fi fantasy IMITATION GIRL, Clay Staub’s supernatural detective thriller DEVIL’S GATE, Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard’s mesmerising RADIUS, Samuel Galli’s devilishly shocking OUR EVIL, Andrés Goteira’s dazzling DHOGS, David Chirchirillo’s Tinder Terror GOOD MATCH, Tini Tuellman’s spine-chilling psycho suspense thriller FREDDY/EDDY, Haritz Zubillaga’s car-killing giallo THE GLASS COFFIN, Scott Poiley’s hard-edged chiller EXHUME, Adam Graveley’s Aussie outback shocker 3RD NIGHT, Michael Mongillo’s audacious and haunting DIANE, Peter Ricq’s stark comedy DEAD SHACK and Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran’s gripping psychological twister VERONICA.King CohenThree documentaries will receive their eagerly awaited premieres at FrightFest this year. KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF FILMMAKER LARRY COHEN is a dazzling career overview of the maverick director behind such classic horrors as IT’S ALIVE, Q THE WINGED SERPENT, fantasy television series like ‘The Invaders’, HELL UP IN HARLEM Blaxploitation, recent releases CELLULAR and soon the MANIAC COP remake. We welcome back on screen Kane Hodder, everyone’s favourite Jason Voorhees in the FRIDAY THE 13th series, with his moving and eye-opening TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY. Finally there’s the extraordinary MANSFIELD 66/67, a super Hollywood Babylon-style whisk through the final years of movie goddess Jayne Mansfield’s life and untimely, possibly Satanic, death.

Other attractions include Emilia Clarke in VOICE FROM THE STONE, Robert Englund in NIGHTWORLD, the French graphic novel adaptation ALONE, the outrageous gore-fest MEATBALL MACHINE KODOKU, the Aussie chiller KILLING GROUND, the hilarious TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and Episodes 1 & 2 of the amazing Japanese TV series CROW‘S BLOOD. Plus two FrightFest Glasgow hits are being rescreened: Simon Rumley’s FASHIONISTA and Colin Minihan’s IT STAINS THE SANDS RED.

Death Laid An Egg

This year’s retrospective restoration strand highlights the underrated British horror DREAM DEMON, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III, two classic Hammers, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB and DEMONS OF THE MIND, plus the longest version found of the seminal proto-giallo DEATH LAID AN EGG, lovingly restored by Nucleus Films’ Jake West and Marc Morris.

The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of the UK premiere of Stefan Ruzowsky’s COLD HELL, a gripping serial killer thriller. This is followed by the not-to-be missed DUKE MITCHELL PARTY, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “The whole cinema landscape is changing and Horror Channel FrightFest is listening. We know the fans want to see the films first, see them fast and see them in an environment that is second to none. That’s why we have what we believe is the finest line-up ever assembled and are showcasing the superlative selection in premium surroundings. So, the West End becomes the Dark Heart of London once again. And we’ve made it to our 18th birthday. It’s going to be quite some party”.

Festival passes will go on sale tomorrow (Saturday 1 July) at noon and will only be available to buy online:

Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 29 July from 9am.








%d bloggers like this: