Skip to main content

Posts

The Amicus Horror Anthologies

Although less well known than its rival Hammer , Amicus Productions left its own mark on the horror genre during the peak years of the British horror film in the 1960s and 1970s. Amicus's trademark was the anthology or portmanteau film, comprised of four or five horror tales all linked by a framing story and often concluding with a revelation or surprise pay-off. Amicus was much more short-lived than Hammer, being formed in the early 1960s, and only lasting for around a decade and a half until the late 1970s. Unlike Hammer, it was a speciality studio almost from the beginning, focusing on horror and fantasy subjects. But Amicus films usually rejected traditional gothic horror and mostly used modern day settings with a less fantastical air than Hammer's. 
Recent posts

Book Review: The Hollywood History of the World by George MacDonald Fraser

The Hollywood History of the World is a survey of the way history has been portrayed by English-speaking film industries since the beginning of the sound era.  The book was written by Scottish author George MacDonald Fraser, who obviously had a serious interest in history as he wrote the "Flashman" novels. These became known at least in part for their historical research and their interweaving of Fraser's fictional characters with real historical events and personalities.  Fraser also worked in the film industry, writing the screenplays for Richard Lester's 1970s version of The Three Musketeers and its two sequels, the 1977 film of The Prince and the Pauper , an adaptation of his Flashman novel Royal Flash in 1975 and the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy .

The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)

This third film version of The Thirty-Nine Steps  stays much closer to the plot of John Buchan's novel than previous adaptations and moves the story's setting back to the eve of The First World War. Colonel Scudder (John Mills) is a British spy who has uncovered a plot to assassinate the Greek premier on his visit to London, something that will spark a crisis in the Balkans and likely lead to war in Europe. When he finds himself pursued by enemy agents determined to kill him and take possession of his evidence against them, Scudder seeks sanctuary in the apartment of a neighbour in his building, Richard Hannay (Robert Powell). 

Way Out West (1937)

The 1937 comedy  Way Out West has a simple plot that sees Laurel and Hardy arrive in the western frontier town of Brushwood Gulch to deliver an inheritance. This is in the form of the deeds to a gold mine, which they are to hand over to Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence), the daughter of a late prospector friend. 

Classic TV: Red Dwarf VI (1993)

The sixth season of sci-fi comedy  Red Dwarf  appeared in October 1993 as  Red Dwarf VI . A new director was brought in for this series, Andy de Emmony, and this would be the last BBC series based around the established foursome of Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules) and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), before a fifth character joined the ship's crew in series 7.

Classic TV: Red Dwarf V (1992)

The fifth series of the sci-fi comedy  Red Dwarf  was first broadcast on BBC2 in February 1992. Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and the ship's computer Holly (Hattie Hayridge) all returned for this season and there were no significant changes to the series format. 

Classic TV: Red Dwarf IV (1991)

Seasons 4-6 of the sci-fi comedy  Red Dwarf  saw the series at its peak, having firmly found its feet with the new line up of Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules), the android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and the female version of the ship's computer Holly (Hattie Hayridge).