Celluloid Diaries

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Caturday Movies - The Uninvited

uninvited horror movie 1988

This week's Caturday Movie is brought to you by Justine Coote from The Overlook Theater and was previously published in the book When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals.

For a monster kid like myself, meeting legendary writer/director Greydon Clark was like meeting Alfred Hitchcock. Although Clark is not as well known or praised for his cinematic achievements, he has left his mark in film history and has inspired countless generations of grindhouse enthusiasts, creature feature kids, and independent filmmakers. Sitting with Mr. Clark at Monsterpalooza, I experienced his love of the genre first hand as we went from discussing his film It Came Without Warning (1980), which was admittedly the inspiration for the film Predator (1987), to one of Greydon’s lesser known creations, Uninvited (1988).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Filming locations - Devil's Nightmare

château d'antoing
antoing castle

Devil's Nightmare is a Belgian/Italian horror movie released in 1971. Directed by Jean Brismée, it tells the story of seven tourists who become lost during a trip in Europe. A strange man by the roadside shows them the way, but as it's too late to catch the ferry, they are then directed to a castle where they can spend the night. There, they meet a succubus (Erika Blanc) who kills them because they represent the seven sins.

In Belgium, where the film was shot and released under the French title La plus longue nuit du diable, hardly anyone knows of its existence. However, it was quite successful in Italy. Since then, it has been released under an array of different titles, so you may also know it as The Devil Walks at Midnight, Nightmare of Terror, Vampire Playgirls, Castle of Death, La terrificante notte del demonio, Au service du diable, etc.

This strange mix between The Pit and the Pendulum and the Euro trash films of Jess Franco and Jean Rollin, was almost entirely shot in and around a castle in Belgium: Château d'Antoing or Castle of the Princes of De Ligne, which was first mentioned in the 12th century but rebuilt by architect Clement Parent in neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. It's one of the country's most beautiful castles, so whether you've seen the film or not, it's worth a visit when you're in South West Belgium or one of the neighboring cities in France.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Caturday Movies - Strays

strays horror movie

This week's Caturday Movie is brought to you by Daniel Alves from The Overlook Theater and was previously published in When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals.

For reasons that now escape me, the theme we decided to go for that night was animal attacks; out of several options, we chose Strays, a film that we believed would follow the slasher formula (as do many animal attack films). It became apparent almost immediately that this film would be an entirely different “animal.”

The film opens with a crazy cat lady being killed by what seems to be a giant cat. We’re then introduced to our victims: a professional couple with a young daughter. This initially perplexed me since a good slasher needs at least five potential victims, and those victims generally do not include children. However, we soon see that the couple is buying the home of the crazy cat lady from the opening. A young couple with a small child buying a suspicious new home; this isn’t a slasher movie; it’s a haunted house film! The creators of this movie decided to take a haunted house narrative but replaced ghosts with feral cats. Fortunately, it’s a very good haunted house movie. The formula usually has a shocking/mysterious intro, some jump scares or deaths of minor characters to keep up suspense, and then the supernatural force reveals itself for the climax. Most of the story, however, is about the victim’s day to day life while the ghost gears up for act three. The key to a successful haunted house story is to make that day to day almost as, if not more, interesting than the supernatural action, and Strays delivers.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Should you watch Spider-Man: Homecoming?

should you watch spider-man homecoming

Do we need a new Spider-Man reboot? Sony and Marvel announced from the beginning they weren't planning on doing another origin story, yet we all expect the typical superhero plot with a myriad of Marvel characters thrown into the mix. Instead, 36-year-old director Jon Watts surprises us and opts for a mix between a John Hughes movie and Kick-Ass.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Movie night ideas - Best iced latte recipes

best iced latte recipes

The flavor combinations with lattes are endless, and it's a fun way to add variety to your summer movie night drinks. These iced lattes are perfect when watching a movie from your balcony or garden. You can also take them with you to open air screenings by putting them in jars and then in a cooler.

P.S. For healthier versions of these iced lattes, you can swap the milk for organic rice milk.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Four "Animals Run Amok" movies to watch this summer

animals run amok movies

In celebration of my latest book, When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies With Killer Animals, the B to Z summer editions at the Cinematek in Brussels, Belgium, will be dedicated to "animals run amok" movies. The screenings will be accompanied by a book signing, and I'll be giving an introduction to the films together with director Bruno Forzani (Amer, The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears).

Here's the "animals run amok" summer program...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Best gifts for Game of Thrones fans

game of thrones best gifts for fans

How excited are you for the seventh season of Game of Thrones? If you're like me, you'll probably watch the show in the company of your friends. If they prepare food and take care of drinks, you'll want to bring them a special gift.

Need gift ideas?

I already did some of the work for you and compiled this gift guide containing the best gifts for Game of Thrones fans.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview with Alejandro Amenábar

Alejandro Amenábar

Back in April, I had the chance to have a long chat with Alejandro Amenábar at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF). He's the director of some of the best and smartest movies Spain has ever produced, including Tesis, Abre Los Ojos, The Others, Mar Adentro, Agora, and Regression. We talked about the entirety of his career, and I tested his knowledge of Belgian cinema.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Top ten kick-ass supernatural heroines

top ten kick-ass supernatural heroines

This is a guest post by Amanda Jones.

We spend a lot of time dreaming about our favorite Hottie Mc-Hot-Hot supernatural heroes (well, I do at any rate!), but what about the kickass heroines that put the entire genre to shame? I don’t know about you, but a story with a drool worthy hero AND a confident, booty kicking leading lady is a recipe for MY list of favorites any day!

Some way, somehow, these tough as nails women find a way to beat down their rivals (both physically AND mentally) without breaking a nail. Why am I so drawn to these particular leading ladies? No matter what trials and tribulations they go through, you can’t keep a good woman down! Each and every one of them comes back swinging twice as hard. They’re tough and feminine, strong and vulnerable, beautiful and intelligent. These ladies aren’t afraid to speak their minds and don’t deign to suffer douchebaggery of any variety. I don’t know about you, but I’d be more than happy to strike fear into the realm of the supernatural for all those reasons!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Supernatural bad boys we can't help but love

supernatural bad boys

This is a guest post by Amanda Jones.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something I can’t help but love about the supernatural bad boys of the celluloid world. I’m not quite sure what it is – the cockiness, the alpha possessiveness, or the complete disregard of what anyone thinks of them. They all seem to share a similar air of “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Call me crazy, but in a world where we’re bombarded with images of what we “should” be, I find it alluring. Whether it’s True Blood’s Eric Northman, Buffy’s Spike, or Klaus from The Vampire Diaries – there’s something appealing about their belief in their own infallibility (justified or not!). I guess that would be a side effect of being immortal…who really cares what anybody thinks – trends, people, and behaviors will change and die over time, and you’re going to see a lot of it if you’ll be living forever!