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Showing posts from February, 2012

The Seventh Victim

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1943
Dir. Mark Robson

A young woman frantically searches New York for her missing sister, only to discover her sibling was involved in a mysterious Satanic cult and now owes her life to them.

Combining elements of horror and noir, The Seventh Victim is a sombre, atmospheric and haunting film preoccupied with notions of death, loneliness, suicide and despair. Under the guidance of producer Val Lewton, director Robson conjures an atmosphere of hopelessness and oppression, heightened by shadowy visuals and an unshakable air of paranoia. Rife with a dark and morbid romanticism, the film sleekly unfurls and proves utterly gripping; all the way to its breathtakingly bleak denouement. Purportedly Lewton’s most personal work, The Seventh Victim is set in Greenwich Village and populated by academics, poets and writers who frequent trendy cafes and bohemian apartments. As well as the opening quote which establishes the downbeat tone – “I come to Death and Death meets me as fast and all my ple…

Alternative Cover Concept

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I recently came across this beautiful alternative cover concept by Lorenzo Princi on an Australian website. While it’s, sadly, not an official cover design, I love it – it’s very reminiscent of the old Mondadori giallo book covers.
Check out more of the designer's work here. Beautiful stuff.

Shameless self promotion alert.

If you haven’t already picked up a copy, you can do so here.
And if your budget can’t stretch to £12.99 – well, these are tough times – you can pick up a cheaper copy on good ol’ Amazon.

Audiodrome#5: Malá Morská Víla (The Little Mermaid)

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Head over to Paracinema.net to check out the latest instalment of Audiodrome: Music in Film. This month my ears have mainly been awash with Zdeněk Liška’s eerily beautiful score for Karel Kachnya’s 1976 curio Malá Morská Víla (The Little Mermaid). Melodic orchestrations, choral pieces, strange percussive arrangements, song, and pulsing oceanic sound effects all swirl together to form a highly evocative and bewitching soundtrack indeed. And banish any notion that Malá Morská Víla is a schmaltzy, Disney-esque saccharine-fest; it’s a deeply melancholy and moody meditation on identity, doomed love and self sacrifice. That it was made during a period of extreme censorship in Czechoslovakia also speaks volumes.

Also! Paracinema Magazine has been nominated for a Rondo Award this year! If you're so inclined, you can head here and vote for it under "Best Magazine." And, while you’re there, think about voting for issue 11, The Women's Issue, in the write-in section for the &…

Talkin' Italian Horror

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When I was asked to have a chat about Italian horror films with Fred Macpherson from indie band Spector, I wasn’t going to say no. Any excuse to wax lyrical with a fellow admirer of Italo horror.

An extremely enjoyable and geeky conversation about Argento and Fulci ensued.

Head over to The Quietus to read it.

The Leopard Man

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1943
Dir. Jacques Tourneur

When a publicity stunt backfires, a domesticated leopard escapes from a New Mexico nightclub prompting a desperate search to re-capture it. An ensuing series of grisly deaths is blamed on the animal; however nightclub performer Kiki and her agent Jerry soon suspect that it isn’t the leopard responsible for the violent deaths; but a deranged serial killer who uses the escaped animal as a cover for his heinous crimes.

After the success of Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie, producer Val Lewton reteamed with director Jacques Tourneur for their next collaboration, the RKO-assigned title of which was to be The Leopard Man. Rather than churning out a hackneyed variation on the werewolf film, in which a man transforms into a slathering beast before claiming his prey, the exceedingly literate Lewton chose to adapt Cornell Woolrich’s mystery-thriller ‘Black Alibi’: a twisted tale about a killer in a Mexican city using the fear caused by an escaped wild animal a…