Sunday, 28 October 2012

Halloween Horror Films to Watch Drunk With Friends

Sometimes you watch a film sober. Sometimes you watch a film drunk, preferably with friends. With the latter viewing experience in mind, here are a few ideas for viewing 'pleasure' that might make this Halloween special. It all depends on your definition of special.

1. Planet of the Vampires (1965)
A fairly bad Italian sci-fi caper that, oddly enough, seems to foreshadow Ridley Scott's Alien. It's notable as an early effort by legendary giallo nutcase Mario Bava. It's about this planet, and when they land on it, there are vampires or maybe zombies. Some stuff happens, but really it's more a series of incidents held together with variable acting and interesting costume choices. I quite like the spaceship.

2. Deathline (1973)
Also knows as Raw Meat, this is the one about cannibals on the London Underground. I'm not really giving much away because it's obvious quite early on that we're dealing with the degenerate survivors of a Victorian tunnel collapse... Look, it really makes no sense but Donald Pleasance plays a grumpy, sweary detective, Christopher Lee pops round for his cheque, and it's all good grubby fun - dolly birds and a bucket of blood. To be fair, this is a visually well-crafted film with a lot going for it, but the premise is so bizarre it often feels like a black comedy even if that wasn't the idea.

Death Line Poster

3. Love At First Bite (1979)
A spate of strange Dracula variants emerged in the Seventies, almost as if everyone recognised that the franchise was in need of a drastic rethink. Oddly enough, nobody suggested sparkling. Instead there was spoofery. I have a soft spot for George Hamilton IV's count, who's forced to relocate to New York and gets entangled in a love battle for a beautiful model. His rival in love just happens to know what he's up against, more or less...

4. Asylum (1972)
A good portmanteau effort scripted by Robert Bloch and starring Robert Powell as a doctor seeking employment at the eponymous establishment. In an unorthodox approach to recruitment, he is challenged by the director (Patrick Magee) to identify which of the inmates is the newly-deranged staff member whose descent into loopiness has created the vacancy. Needless to say, Powell's Dr Martin (not to be confused with Doc Martin) has a merry old time as we find out just why the patients are all deemed incurably insane. If you think this film is insensitive to the important issue of mental health, you'd be right - it's alternate title was House of Crazies. But it's got a shedload of real stars, starting with Peter Cushing.

No comments: