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The Old Dark House (1932) | James Whale’s macabre masterpiece restored and released at long last!

The Old Dark House (1932)

1932’s The Old Dark House is arguably director James Whale’s greatest cinematic feat, a macabre queer comedy disguised as a horror, delightfully acted (by lots of Brits abroad), and fused together with Whale’s stylistic, sardonic humour, well-knit scenario witty and insightful screenplay, and moody camerawork, lighting and production design. It is, quite possibly, the best British horror ever made – in Hollywood.

The Old Dark House (1932)

Taking its queues from JB Priestley’s 1927 novel, Benighted, and the ‘Old House’ chillers of stage and screen, Whale’s storm-driven adaptation finds five weary travellers becoming stranded at the ominous Welsh mansion of the reclusive and very strange Femm family, who are all quite possibly all insane. What follows is a wicked parody of the British class system, and one that features a performance from Ernest Thesiger that outshines even his iconic turn as Dr Pretorius in Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein a couple of years later.

The Old Dark House (1932)

Thesiger plays Horace Femm, a sniffy little man, who is probably wanted by the police (for crimes we can only imagine) and has seething contempt for everything and everyone. He owns the house along with his pious half-deaf sister Eva (beautifully played by Eva Moore), and their scenes together provide the film with its most memorable moments and best lines: like ‘Have a potato’ and ‘How reassuring’.

Gloria Stuart and Raymond Massey play married socialite couple Margaret and Philip, while Melvyn Douglas is their playboy friend Roger. When a landslide forces them off the road, they seek shelter with the Femms; and are soon joined by Charles Laughton (making his screen debut and speaking his in native Yorkshire tongue) and Lilian Bond, who play the self-made businessman Sir William Porterhouse and chorus girl Gladys. But with no beds on offer, they are all forced to spend the evening huddle together around a fireplace after a frugal meal of roast, gravy and – yes- potatoes…

The Old Dark House (1932)

But it’s not long before the Femms skeletons starting coming out of the closet as the lights go out and the group are soon menaced by Boris Karloff’s mute butler Morgan, who hits the bottle and goes on a drunken rampage, which results in the release of Femm’s pyromaniac brother Saul (Brember Wills) from his locked attic room…

Whale’s shows off his perverse sense of humour through the stylistic, expressionistic camerawork (by Arthur Edeson, who also shot Frankenstein) in some very memorable scenes: like when Horace announces, ‘My sister was on the point of arranging these flowers’, then summarily throws them into the fireplace. Another is when Morgan makes his menacing entrance, and a particularly surreal funhouse mirror shot of Margaret and Rebecca, their features distorted in a vanity mirror. Then there’s the terrific trick shot of Morgan coming down the stairs only to reveal the hand on the banister is not his…

The Old Dark House (1932)

Packed to the rafters with morbid mirth and a sly wink at class and society, this is one of the most entertaining horror films of the 1930’s. The Masters of Cinema Series special dual format edition of James’s Whales’ queer comedy horror features a stunning 1080p presentation from the Cohen Media Group 4K restoration (with a progressive encode on the DVD), uncompressed LPCM audio (on the Blu-ray) and optional English subtitles; and includes a collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp, archival material and previously unseen imagery and ephemera; and Limited Edition O-Card (first run only) featuring artwork by Graham Humphreys, created especially for the 2018 UK theatrical release. The special extras (below), however, are the icing on the cake, making this a must-have for any classic film collection…

The Old Dark House (1932)

Meet the Femms This video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns is exceptionally executed, with loads of informative back stories on the production, cast and crew, super behind the scenes photos, incuding Whales’ own set designs, and I really enjoyed hearing actors Steven McNicoll and Angela Hardie voicing the various characters in Priestley’s novel, Benighted, as well as the author himself and Laughton’s wife Elsa Lanchester.

Daughter of Frankenstein Sara Karloff talks candidly about her father and his work on this production, and has a great story about how Boris and Charles Laughton did not see eye-to-eye.

Curtis Harrington Saves The Old Dark House This archival interview has the late-director (who became a close friend of Whale’s) recalling his efforts in rescing the film from oblivion back in 1968. Please, someone, give this man a posthumous medal for doing this!

Commentary by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones This is a great listen, with some interesting bits of trivia  like that fact that Karloff was dubbed, and Kim makes a very interesting link between the film’s structure (and its class-based ensemble) to disaster movies. This was made prior to Gloria Stuart’s death (aged 100) in 2010, as the duo talk about her in the present tense, and their comments are all based on viewing an inter-negative print.

Commentary by Gloria Stuart This is absolutely riveting. Stuart is a joy to listen to and she provides huge amounts of personal insight (the film was a real high point in her acting career): admiring Whales’ sardonic humour, the uncomfortable shooting for the actors, her regrets at being a young 22 upstart making her second film who was unaware of Eva Moore’s pedigree (a suffragette, one of Edward VI’s favourites and the mother of Laurence Olivier’s first wife, Jill Esmond), and shedding light on some truths about why Karloff and Whale weren’t on friendly terms during the shoot.

Commentary by James Whale biographer James Curtis This has lots of great insight into the film’s production, and I certainly learnt a few things. Did you know that Karloff’s mute butler Morgan became the model for the butler Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons? These were subsequently published as Drawn and Quartered, with a Foreward by Karloff and thus effectively the character became Lurch in The Addams Family. Curtis also examines the similarities and differences between Priestley’s novel and Whale’s screenplay – which makes for an interesting analysis.

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Time to reveal Graham Humphreys’ exclusive artwork for the Attack of the Adult Babies limited edition Blu-ray

Attack of the Adult Babies

Nucleus Films have released the stunning new artwork created exclusively by the legendary graphic artist Graham Humphreys for the slipcase 1-1000 numbered limited edition Blu-ray of Dominic Brunt’s Attack of the Adult Babies, which is being released nationwide on 11 June.

And, in further good news for genre fans, HMV will be racking the limited Edition Blu-ray in their “Special Edition range” in stores across the country.

Attack of the Adult Babies

Jake West, co-director of Nucleus Films, said today: “In a time where it’s increasingly difficult to release truly independent movies in physical formats, this is a real treat for film fans. As a movie collector myself, who enjoyed the thrills of the Video Nasty era, I loved the ritual of browsing through the racks and taking a chance on something because the cover art and title caught my eye.

We wanted to re-create the thrill of that era and what better artist could we ask to do that than Graham Humphreys – and what better film could there be than Dominic Brunt’s outrageous Attack of the Adult Babies!”

West’s partner at Nucleus Films, Marc Morris. added: “We’re very excited that HMV are really getting behind the release, giving fans of physical media a chance to pick up their copy in the real world!”

Attack of the Adult Babies

Graham Humphreys commentated: “I met Dominic Brunt at FrightFest some three or four years ago, where he mentioned the idea for the Adult Baby project, so it was a happy surprise to be asked to provide this slipcase cover for the Nucleus films release.

It’s always daunting working on an image with multiple elements, as a busy layout can be visually confusing. However, by focussing on key characters and using carefully considered colour palette, I hope I’ve managed some level of visual restraint. I’ve intentionally used ‘baby’ colours, pinks and pale blues, these contrast well with the dark red blood, capturing the creepy mix of the infantile and adult horrors.”

World premiered at FrightFest 2017, Attack of the Adult Babies has been described as disgusting, depraved, brave, bonkers, brilliant and quintessentially British in its humour and depravity…

The aftermath of a shocking home invasion forces three frightened family members to break into a remote country manor and steal Top Secret documents. Little do they know the stately pile is also the clandestine venue where a group of high-powered elderly men go to take refuge from the stresses and strains of daily life by dressing up in nappies and having a bevy of beautiful nurses indulging their every perverse nursery whim. Nor do they realise this grotesque assembly is compelled to refuel the world’s economy by very sinister, sick and monstrous means. As the bodily fluids hit the fan, the bloody carnage and freaky weirdness escalates.

Starring Sally Dexter, Charlie Chuck, Kate Coogan, Joanne Mitchell and Laurence Harvey, Attack of the Adult Babies is released on 11 June on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download and there is a special advance screening at Derby Quad, Friday 4 May, 7.45pm, with Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell in attendance. A special London screening will be announced soon.

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Vault of Horror – The Italian Connection | Demon Records to unleash 20 classic terror themes on 8 December

Vault of Horror

Vault of Horror – The Italian Connection presents 20 classic soundtrack themes from the golden era of Italian horror. A heady mix of funk, disco, electronic and prog rock, the 2-vinyl set features scores by some legendary composers, including Stelvio Cipriani, Nico Fidenco, Ennio Morricone, Fabio Frizzi and Riz Ortolani, who conjured up iconic scores to some of most outrageous terror films of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond, The New York Ripper and (one of my personal favourites) Tentacles.

Released on 8 December from Demon Records, this must-have also includes specially-commissioned artwork from artist Graham Humphreys (aka Britain’s Quadfather), biographical notes, a CD version in a replica card wallet, and a 12 x 12″ reproduction collector’s art print of the sleeve painting.

PRE-ORDER IT HERE: http://amzn.to/2zssh9m

HERE’S THE FULL TRACK LISTING

DISC 1 SIDE A
Carlo Rustichelli – ‘Atelier (totoli)’ from ‘Blood And Black Lace ‘(‘Sei Donne Per L’Assassioni)’
Franco Micalizzi – ‘Seq 1’ from
‘The Last Hunter’ ‘(L’Ultimo Cacciatore)’
Nico Fidenco – ‘Seq 6’ from ‘Porno Holocaust’
Roberto Donati – ‘Main Theme’ from ‘Eaten Alive’ ‘(Mangiati Vivi!)’
Francesco De Masi – ‘New York One More Day’ from ‘The New York Ripper’ ‘(Lo Squatatore Di
New York)’

DISC 1 SIDE B
Franco Micalizzi feat. Warren Wilson – ‘Bargain With The Devil’ from ‘Beyond The Door’ ‘(Chi Sei)’
Stelvio Cipriani – ‘Small Town Pleasures’ from ‘Tentacles’ ‘(Tentacoli)’
Roberto Donati – ‘NYC Main Title’ from ‘Cannibal Ferox’
A. Blonksteiner – ‘Apocalypse’ from ‘Cannibal Apocalypse’ ‘(Apocalypse Domani)’
Carlo Maria Cordio – ‘Absurd’ from ‘Absurd’ ‘(Rosso Sangue)’

DISC 2 SIDE C
Fabio Frizzi – ‘Main Theme’ from ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’ ‘(Zombi 2)’
Fabio Frizzi – ‘Mystery’s Apotheosis’ from ‘City Of The Living Dead’ ‘(Paura Nella Citta Dei Morti Viventi)’
Fabio Frizzi – ‘Voci Dal Nula’ from ‘The Beyond’ ‘(L’Aldila)’
Walter Rizatti– ‘I Remember’ from ‘House By The Cemetery’ ‘(Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero)’
Stefano Mainetti – ‘Main Theme’ from ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters 2’ ‘(Zombi 3)’

DISC 2 SIDE D
Walter Rizatti – ‘Main Theme’ from ‘Bronx Warriors’ ‘(1990: I Guerrieri Del Bronx)’
Claudio Simonetti – ‘Nuke Is Over’ from ‘The New Barbarians’ ‘(Nuovi Barbari)’
Riz Ortolani – ‘The Fighter Centurions’ from ‘Rome 2033 – The Fighter Centurions’ ‘(I Guerrieri Dell ‘Anno 2072)’
Ennio Morricone – ‘End Theme’ from ‘Holocaust 2000’
Nico Fidenco – ‘I Celebrate Myself’ from ‘Emanuelle In America’

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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 

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Horror Hospital (1973) | This campy cult horror spoof is a guilty pleasure

Horror Hospital (1973)

The nightmare is about to begin!
Lobotomised patients, a cheeky dwarf, a pair of vicious biker boys, and a prowling monster keep Robin Askwith awake at night in this outrageous 1973 horror spoof. Imagine Confessions of a Pop Performer meets Blood Feast by way of Carry on Screaming.

Michael Gough (Konga, Horrors of the Black Museum) chews the scenery as never before playing the mad Pavlovian scientist, Dr Storm, who is hell bent on creating on an army of obediant slave through experimental brain surgery. And it’s Askwith’s burnt-out singer pop singer and dolly bird Judy (Vanessa Shaw) who are next in line for his scapel…

Horror Hospital (1973)

Featuring bloody decapitations (via a luxury Rolls), gratuitous nudity and a melty monster getting it on with a cripple, this horror oddity from arthouse movie distributor turned director Antony Balch combines exploitation and parody to great effect, while the characters are an outrageous treat. None more so than Gough, who plays Storm as a cross between Bela Lugosi in The Devil Bat and Colin Clive in Frankenstein. And the fact he plays it straight (he didn’t know it was a spoof) only makes his performance one to relish.

Horror Hospital (1973)

Dennis Price (Theatre of Blood) puts in a boozy cameo as a leering old queen, Ellen Pollack gets some great lines as Dr Storm’s Dominatrix-attired assistant, while Skip Martin (Masque of the Red Death) is a comic riot as Frederick the dwarf. His cries of ‘Shish Kebab!’, despite his speech impediment, is LOL.

Shot over 22 days on a tiny £22,000 budget, Horror Hospital was shot on location at Knebworth House (for the exteriors) and the former Battersea Park Town Hall (for the interiors). It was released in the UK with an ad campaign comparing it to Coma.

Horror Hospital (1973)

THE UK RELEASE
The OEG Classic Movies Blu-ray/DVD print has been transferred in HD from the original 35mm camera negative, and includes the following special features:
• Audio commentary with producer Richard Gordon (this is from the 2010 US release)
Robin Askwith is Admitted to Horror Hospital (The hash cookie story is a highlight).
Operating Out of Battersea: The Making of Horror Hospital (lots of talking heads discussing how the filmmakers actually got something in the can despite the budget).
• Trailer (when it was on a double bill with The Corpse Grinders)
• New artwork by Graham Humphreys

DID YOU KNOW?
Director Antony Balch, whose only other feature was Secrets of Sex (1970), was responsible for releasing the sound version of Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 documentary Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages with a commentary by William S Burroughs, whom he’d collaborated with on a series of film shorts.

Film4 FrightFest unleashes this year’s spook-tacular poster artwork

FrightFest 2015 poster

The fiendish folks over at FrightFest HQ have revealed this year’s festival poster artwork, by British graphic artist Graham Humphreys. Here’s what Graham had to say about his spook-tacular new design:

‘While I was looking for a theme for this year’s poster, I ran with the idea of magic. At a recent visit to the incredible Cinema Museum in Kennington (one of my favourite haunts) I was admiring their extensive collection, among which I noticed a number of Victorian Magic Lanterns. This formed the basis of my concept, the idea of magical projection through one of these exotic devices. Running with the theme, I took the application of Aleister Crowley’s Magik rituals and placed our regular FrightFest monster posed in the distinctive manner of one of the best known photographs of The Beast. Using the projection device, a legion of demons is unleashed, surround by magical symbols. They – just as we will – are enjoying the shared spectacle generated by the satanic lamp.’

Film4 FrightFest 2015 takes place at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square (Thursday 27 August-Monday 31 August). The festival will be using six screens at the VUE, West End, one more than last year. Expect to see north of 80 films and events in the programme. A festival pass this year will cost £185. Day passes are Thursday – £30, Friday and Saturday £60, Sunday and Monday £50. Single tickets this year will be £13.25.

Festival and day pass sales will commence on July 4 at 10 AM and will only be available online. Single tickets will go on sale on July 18 through the VUE website, call centre and at the cinema for personal callers.

Blood and Black Lace (1964) | Mario Bava’s sumptuous, spellbinding essay in sexual perversity is simply fabulous in HD

Blood and Black Lace (1964)A fashion house of glamorous models becomes a terror house of blood!
When model Isabella is strangled, she leaves behind a diary containing the dark secrets of her fellow models and colleagues, and evidence that a Rome haute couture salon, owned by Contessa Cristina Como (Eva Bartok) and her lover Max (Cameron Mitchell), is a front for drug smuggling and blackmail. When the diary disappears, a masked killer begins picking off the models in brutal fashion. But is the fiend really only after the diary, or is it ‘mere female beauty’ that’s making him kill and kill again?

Guaranteed! The 8 greatest shocks ever filmed!
Having established a template for the Italian thriller (giallo) genre with 1963’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much, visionary director Mario Bava introduced a box of new cinematic tricks (including colour) for his highly-stylised Blood and Black Lace in 1964. Excessive, eccentric, experimental and elaborate in its cinematic style and language, this Grand Guignol murder mystery is one of cinema’s most influential offerings, and a real showcase for Bava’s inventive visual trickery.

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It’s hard to imagine today, but this glamorous shocker, originally titled Sei Donne per l’Assassino (Six Women for the Murderer), wasn’t that well received on its original release. But its cult status flourished and is now regarded as the foremost example of 1960s Italian horror cinema and a landmark film that spearheaded the giallo genre. Without it, Dario Argento’s psycho-thrillers most certainly would never have happened, nor the giallo-fused psychedelia of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Amer and The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears) and their ilk.

But Bava’s beautifully photographed, ahead-of-its-time, gore murder thriller is also genuinely disturbing; ‘confronting us with a sado-voyeuristic delirium that simultaneously fascinates and repels’.* In his faceless mask, the killer carries out his sadistic attacks in a most violent fashion: misogynistic it most certainly is. But in the haunted world of Mario Bava, violence, eroticism and horror is always carried out with impeccable taste and a dark sensuality that’s hard to resist. And with Blood and Black Lace, you also get a swinging bossa nova soundtrack and a sumptuous setting (the real life Vialla Sciarra park in Rome) to entice you back, again and again…

Blood and Black Lace (1964)THE ARROW VIDEO RELEASE
Blood and Black Lace has been exclusively restored in 2k resolution for Arrow Films with the participation of Bava biographer Tim Lucas, and features audio restoration on both Italian and English tracks, but keeps some of the loose audio synch (owing to it being recorded in post-production – hence why the legendary Paul Frees gets to dub pratically all of the male characters) as per the original theatrical release.

Arrow has certainly done itself proud with this HD release, which is presented in dual format (Blu-ray/DVD), as well as in a limited edition SteelBook (Arrow Store exclusive), and features new artwork by Graham Humphreys. Just look at what else you get for your buck?

THE EXTRAS
• Tim Lucas audio commentary (fascinating and informative, as you’d expect).
Psycho Analysis: Documentary featuring interviews with Lamberto Bava, Dario Argento, screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi and crime novelist Carlo Lucarelli.
• Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani discuss their love of the genre (love these guys).
Yellow (2013): Writer/director Ryan Haysom’s loving-crafted 2013 crowd-funded cine-experimental short about an old man on the hunt for a vicious serial killer in neon-lit Berlin.
• Trailer: This restored trailer revels in the film’s graphic violence and eroticism.
Gender and Giallo: Michael Mackenzie’s visual essay on giallo’s relationship with social upheavals in the 1960s and 1970s.
Blood and Bava: 2014 Courmayeur Noir Film Festival panel discussion with Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and Steve Della Casa.
The Sinister Image: David Del Valle’s two-part 1986 interview with Cameron Mitchell, in its entirety.
• US Opening: Excellent, evocative mannequin filled alternate Filmation credit sequence sourced from Joe Dante’s private print of the film. In HD.
• The collector’s booklet contains articles on the film’s cinematic artistry and the actors playing the murder suspects (including George Clooney’s uncle and Italy’s Peter Lorre), one on Joe Dante reflecting on Bava’s work and an interview with Cameron Mitchell, plus a review on the 2013 short, Yellow, and notes on the restoration.

* Phil Hardy. Encyclopedia of Horror Movies

What We Do In The Shadows | Graham Humphreys limited edition movie poster launch – buy now!

What We Do In the Shadows by Graham Humphreys

Fans of the hilarious New Zealand vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows will not want to miss Silver Bow Art Gallery‘s special afternoon screening this coming Saturday at the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leciester Square, as all attendees who purchase a ticket will received a copy of this limited edition movie print signed and numbered by renowned British graphic artist Graham Humphreys.

To purchase your ticket now, follow the link: http://www.silverbowgallery.com/collections/frontpage/products/launch-2015

What We Do in the Shadows is out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on Monday 13 April from Metrodome.

The Washing Machine (1993) | Ruggero Deodato’s twisted sisters Euro thriller is more Almodóvar than Argento

Washing Machine DVD cover

A DEADLY SPIN…
Following the report of a man’s mangled body being discovered inside a washing machine in a Budapest apartment, homicide detective Inspector Alexander Stacey (Philippe Caroit) arrives on the scene only to discover the corpse, belonging to jewel thief Yuri (Yorgo Voyagis), has disappeared.

Questioning Yuri’s lover Vida (Katarzyna Figura), and her bewitching sisters, Ludmilla (Barbara Ricci) and Sissy (Ilaria Borrelli), Stacey gradually finds himself drawn into a web of lies, deceit and treachery as each sister seduces him while spinning different versions of events. But if Yuri was murdered, who did it and why?

The Washing Machine (1993)

PLUMBING NEW DEPTHS OF DECEIT
This 1993 erotic Euro thriller from Italian director Ruggero Deodato is a twisted oddity indeed. While the whodunit plot doesn’t bare close scrutiny and the film’s more surreal elements throws logic out the window, the atmospheric cinematography, Claudio Simonetti’s moody score and the engaging performances all draw you into its trashy web.

Deodato is best known for the exploitation cult hit Cannibal Holocaust, and practically invented the found footage technique as a result. For this sexy giallo however he’s less inventive and much more restrained. But while there’s a lack gore (there’s really only one grisly scene – a bloodied torso gets repeatedly hacked at) and sex (there’s lots of heavy panting but the girls keep their knickers on), Deodato dresses his giallo with elements of high camp, while also making effective use (a la Argento) of the creaky old Art Nouveau Budapest apartment in which the twisted sisters reside.

The Washing Machine (1993)

And talking of camp, the look and feel of the film is reminiscent of Pedro Almodóvar, no more so than in Katarzyna FiguraBarbara Ricci and Ilaria Borrelli. All three of their characters are bold, brassy, sexy and eccentric –  just like the women in Almodóvar’s films, and Deodato’s script verges on the hysterical. Philippe Caroit meanwhile makes for some delicious man meat for our predatory heroines. With his piercing blue eyes and rugged features, he comes off like a young James Franciscus, who, incidentally, starred in Dario Argento’s 1970s giallo The Cat ‘O Nine Tails.

If anything’s missing in Deodato’s sleazy Euro thriller, which was originally called Vortice mortale, it’s some more big death scenes involving the washing machine. But as you’ll discover in the ‘shocking’ double twist ending, its a bit of red herring. But then, that’s what whodunit’s are made of.

The Washing Machine (1993)

THE UK DVD RELEASE
The Washing Machine is now revived in an exclusive Shameless Screen Entertainment Limited Edition DVD, presented in a yellow metal box with transparent window designed by UK artist Graham Humphreys.

Basket Case – The Trilogy | Schlock king Frank Henenlotter’s gross-out cult slashers get the Second Sight treatment

Basket Case Trilogy

From Second Sight Films comes the midnight movie favourite, Basket Case, remastered on Blu-ray using the original 16mm master. If you still own the old VHS or have a dodgy TV recording on DVD, then now is the time to chuck it.

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Schlock director Frank Henenlotter‘s madcap 1982 horror parody follows vengeful Siamese twins Duane and Belial as they set out to kill the doctors who separated them as children. While Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a normal-looking teen, his brother is a hideously-deformed monster. Featuring a host of zany characters, hilarious death scenes and the longest screen scream ever, this is one film that deserves its cult status.

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The two sequels, made eight years after the original, finds fugitives Duane and Belial hiding out with Granny Ruth (played by reknowned jazz singer Annie Ross) at her home for deformed individuals and doing battle with tabloid journalists and corrupt police officials who want to cash in on their infamy at the Times Square Freak Brothers. While the sequels are a much more slapstick comic affair, possessing an Addams Family air, with a creature menagerie that look right out of The Monster Club, its great to have Henenlotter’s warped trilogy together in one box-set. Mind you, watching Belial having sex with a fellow freak is still a bit of a gross-out.

The extras on the Second Sight Films box-set trilogy include a making of featurette with the director and stars; outtakes; trailers; a photo gallery; and an interview with illustrator Graham Humphreys who did the ghoulish artwork for the box-set.

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