Whether or not Pit and the Pendulum is a better film than House of Usher is a moot question. What is important is that it’s not a disappointment. It maintains the lofty standards set by the first film and proved the success — both artistically and financially — was no fluke.
Hasebe, I’m told, learned his craft from the master of pop-art yakuza madness, Seijun Suzuki, and the influence of Japan’s number one maverick certainly showed in Black Tight Killers. By 1969, however, much of the eye-catching weirdness seems to have left the work of Hasebe, and while Bloody Territories is not a bad film, it’s also nothing special.
For anyone who appreciates the history of horror, House of Usher is a treat. It creaks and creeps with menace and is crawling with intellectual angst and doom. It is a poetic, delicately crafted masterpiece of the macabre that fuels itself with atmosphere and an inspired performance from Vincent Price.
It’s great to see Christopher Lee back in action again as the count, and really, that alone is enough to make this film enjoyable. Lee swore this would be the final time he’d play Dracula for Hammer. He was, naturally, back again as the count very shortly there after.
If Brides of Dracula is the forgotten Dracula film, I can’t imagine it will stay that way for very long. It’s simply too good. Maybe not quite as good as the original, but definitely the equal of the next sequel, Dracula, Prince of Darkness, which saw the return of Christopher Lee to the role of Dracula.
Anyone claiming that Spirits of the Dead isn’t a good movie is probably only just saying that because Vadim’s contribution to this anthology of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations as conceived […]
Problems abound, but in the end, I still found this a plenty pleasing epic tale where the best parts are in the least epic moments and within not the story of Jesus, but in the many subplots and supporting schemers.
One of the most wild and creative visions of Hell comes from Japan, and more specifically from the gloriously twisted imagination of famed horror director Nobuo Nakagawa.
The plot won’t keep you guessing from beginning to end, and it does have that one giant hole, but otherwise it’s fairly serviceable and keeps things moving at a brisk but not thoughtless pace. Best of all, the mysterious treasure turns out to be actual treasure, and not some note that says, “Peace on Earth” or something.