Rewatch: The British Horror Film - Tigon Films

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Servorobot
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For those of you bored of British Sc-Fi TV we’ve got a new rewatch for you, British Horror films of the 1960’s and 70’s.

First up we have one of Hammer’s rivals Tigon Films.
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First up we have The Blood Beast Terror.

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I don't think I have ever sat down and watched that from beginning to end before now. I remember it being on at some 2am slot in the late 1980's probably after the James Whale show, but I fell asleep that time and it rarely if ever seemed to pop up on telly much after that.

It immediately reminds me of THE GORGON and particularly THE REPTILE. Sort of.

Peter Cushing - as always - gives good value, even though the premise seems absolutely ridiculous. Still my favourite actor of all time.

Roy Hudd has his nice comic turn.

Living in Aylesbury as a kid, I would hear from my Mum and Dad of local actors and actresses that they had seen about town (usually driving past, or stopped at traffic lights, such as Roger Moore and Diana Dors), but I also remember my Dad saying that he and a workmate went to John Paul's house (I think to work on the chimney) and said he was a really nice guy, a gentleman. I really must get round to watching DOOMWATCH at some point though (which is really the only thing I know of John Paul for, until this film). i still haven't seen an episode of it.

I do think that this film kind of meanders along, and could maybe be trimmed down into a fifty minute episode of THE TIGON HOUSE OF HORROR if there had ever been such a thing. :lol: Lots of scenes that don't really add much to the narrative.

A saving grace of this film though is that I think it looks really nice and picturesque; particularly in capturing the English countryside.

I couldn't help but be reminded of THE TWO DOCTORS with Oscar Clive off HI-DE-HI running around like a fool with his net.

For years I thought that Wanda Ventham's character was a human who had somehow been infected or cursed with this moth thing, and find it hard to wrap my head around that it's sort of a moth that masquerades as a human - or something? Maybe my attention slipped during some exposition, but I'm still not sure how that ability had manifested itself in the creature. It just seems too far fetched and silly an idea imo.

But grumbling gripes aside, I am glad to have finally caught up with this charming gem. Just watching these old films provides an escape from the world into the horrors of yesteryear (far fetched or otherwise). :doc1:


7 out of 10
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At times I thought I was watching Ripping Yarns. Load of old (moth) balls made enjoyable by Peter Cushing. The moth-creature was about as frightening as Nyssa/Ann Talbot in their party costume from Black Orchid. Lost it when Meg [in conversation about beautiful things after a slight pause] said "I let one go yesterday." It's the way she said it.
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The Ginger Cat wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:22 am
At times I thought I was watching Ripping Yarns. Load of old (moth) balls made enjoyable by Peter Cushing. The moth-creature was about as frightening as Nyssa/Ann Talbot in their party costume from Black Orchid. Lost it when Meg [in conversation about beautiful things after a slight pause] said "I let one go yesterday." It's the way she said it.

Yes, I couldn;t help but notice that line too. :lol:
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Next up Witchfinder General, oddly known as The Conqueror Worm in the States, presumably to give it a non existent link to HP Lovecraft.

Anyway we get to Vincent Price play it straight. Not a sign of ham anywhere.

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Just finished Witchfinder General. Bit of a hatchet job on old Matthew Hopkins wasn't it...
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Haven't got round to rewatching WG yet, but just a nod to this book about the short and tragic life of the film's director, Michael Reeves wot I read once....


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Britis ... 793&sr=8-2


Cine-literate and single-minded, Michael Reeves took on exploitative film production companies, the British censors, and even Vincent Price to create a unique vision of savage poetry and lacerating despair: Witchfinder General. He died aged 25 in 1969, between the end of Swinging London and the collapse of the British film industry - an apt candidate to represent all that could have been. This critical biography claims Reeves as the great, lost auteur of British cinema and traces his conception of film back to his childhood and formative experiences. Benjamin Halligan examines Reeves's films in the context of the times, citing The Sorcerers and Witchfinder General as foreshadowing and critiquing the psychedelic and revolutionary zeitgeist. Reeves's earlier work on the fringes of the freewheeling European exploitation cinema is also covered, with particular emphasis on his Revenge of the Blood Beast. Drawing on recollections from colleagues, friends and family, many speaking here for the first time, draft scripts, correspondence and original documentation pertaining to the controversial censorship of Witchfinder, and Reeves's struggle with his own private demons, Halligan creates a complete picture of this elusive, driven figure and his films. He speculates on what Reeves would have gone on to achieve, and why this should still matter.



Image


Many years since I read it (and I want to read it again now, thanks to this rewatch, and am not even sure if it still remains the definitive biography, but it's certainly well worth a read. :)
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It was called the Conqueror Worm because they were trying to link it to some Roger Cotman adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe, so in the US release Price reads out a poem by Poe at the end.

I recall reading that the director envisaged this film as a British Western. Hence the in hospitable landscapes and horse riding. Not very historically accurate as Mathew Hopkins was in his 20s and Price was in his 60s when he did this.

I have always found the ending to be a strange metaphor of the Oedipal complex.
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shuzbot wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:17 pm
Not very historically accurate as Mathew Hopkins was in his 20s and Price was in his 60s when he did this.

Talking of historical accuracy, the fact that the real Matthew Hopkins apparently died peacefully in his sleep has always struck me as a prime example of how unfair life can truly be sometimes. :(
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shuzbot wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:17 pm
It was called the Conqueror Worm because they were trying to link it to some Roger Cotman adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe, so in the US release Price reads out a poem by Poe at the end.

I recall reading that the director envisaged this film as a British Western. Hence the in hospitable landscapes and horse riding. Not very historically accurate as Mathew Hopkins was in his 20s and Price was in his 60s when he did this.

I have always found the ending to be a strange metaphor of the Oedipal complex.
Ah Poe, not Lovecraft. Been rewatching Reanimator and I’ve got Lovecraft on the brain.

Presumably they wanted to link to the Corman films because of the presence of Price and the fact the film was co-produced by AIP, who produced the Corman Poe films.
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Next up we have The Curse of the Crimson Altar.

Bit of a Who fest here both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

And it’s got Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele in it.

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Next up in our Tigon films rewatch is The Blood on Satan’s Claw (or Satan’s Skin as it was first known in Australia.

Padders has a prominent role, as does Anthony Ainley.

There’s also the kid from Catweazle and Frank Spencer’s wife (Michelle Dotrice).

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What happened to the crimson altar?
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shuzbot wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:11 pm
What happened to the crimson altar?
Servorobot wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:20 am
Next up we have The Curse of the Crimson Altar.

Bit of a Who fest here both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

And it’s got Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele in it.

It hasn't gone anywhere, it's still there lol. Guess we've moved onto The Blood on Satan's Claw before I've had a chance to rewatch it. Always slow and behind with everything, that's me. :lol:
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I was trying to insert midweek watching some as well.

A bit like what we did with B7.

Must be lockdown messing with my mind!

I can go back to doing it once a week if everyone feels that’s all that’s required?
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Servorobot wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:29 am
I was trying to insert midweek watching some as well.

A bit like what we did with B7.

Must be lockdown messing with my mind!

I can go back to doing it once a week if everyone feels that’s all that’s required?
Ah I see.

Once a week probably suits me better but its not really a problem if folks want to do it twice weekly. I tend to go at my own pace with these rewatches anyway, so I'm easy.
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I watched Blood on Satan's Claw. It was the second time I have seen it, and I was hoping I would like it more this time. It's good technically but so bleak. I think part of it is knowing what happens to Padbury cos her involvement with the film is so well discussed that I just had ominous dread the moment I saw her the first time around. Not really any liable characters, but I am guessing that's the point. TBH, I prefer more modern folk horror like The Wickerman or Strawdogs, although The Witch is very good

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The Ginger Cat wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:32 pm
Servorobot wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:29 am
I was trying to insert midweek watching some as well.

A bit like what we did with B7.

Must be lockdown messing with my mind!

I can go back to doing it once a week if everyone feels that’s all that’s required?
Ah I see.

Once a week probably suits me better but its not really a problem if folks want to do it twice weekly. I tend to go at my own pace with these rewatches anyway, so I'm easy.
Back to once a week it is.
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Servorobot wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:20 am
Next up we have The Curse of the Crimson Altar.

Bit of a Who fest here both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

And it’s got Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele in it.

Watched this the other night. It held my attention and didn't bore me which is no small feat these days.

I had a good laugh at Marco Polo passing that jokey comment about "the sort of old house from the movies, where Boris Karloff appears".

It also amused me later on when he soon forgot about his wounded arm and got his leg over that Eve bit.

Biggest thing that struck me about this film though was what a class act both Lee and Karloff were.
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