Horror Express (1972)

Director: Eugenio Martin

Writer: Arnaud d’Usseau, Julian Zimet (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto De Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Pena, Angel del Pozo

 

Plot: In 1906, in China, a British anthropologist discovers a frozen prehistoric creature and must transport it to Europe by train.


Tagline – A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Lovers Horror

 

Story: Horror Express starts as anthropologist Professor Sir Alexander Saxton (Lee) has made a prehistoric discovery in China and must now transfer it back to Europe for further studies. He discovery is secret and Dr Wells (Cushing) is curious about what is in the box and after people start disappearing and dying, Saxton is forced to open the box.

When the creature gets loose on the train, the bodies start piling up and the decision on whether to follow science or just survive get bought up.

 

Thoughts on Horror Express

 

Characters – Professor Sir Alexander Saxton has travelled the world for his anthropology missions and his latest find could well be his biggest find of his career, now he must fight to keep it from being killed as it hunts for prey. Dr Wells wants to conduct his own investigation into the creature which soon leads him to let the monster out the box. The characters on the train each face their own problems on how to tackle the creature roaming the halls.

PerformancesChristopher Lee and Peter Cushing are two of the biggest icons of horror films, they both shine with their characters which they bring to life. The supporting cast are good without being overly stand out.

StoryThe story follows the transportation of an unknown prehistoric creature from China to Europe when things start to go wrong and the question of science and faith come into question. The story here gains from being on the train meaning our characters must com together for the solution to the problem instead of running and hiding. This is good for a story, but sadly it doesn’t end up being as engrossing as it should be.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from the idea of a creature loose on the train that is taking victims, with the sci-fi side looking at the history of life’s unknown moments before history was recorded.

SettingsThe film takes place on the train, we don’t leave the train which leaves out characters trapped at the mercy of the evil hunting them down.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the time, the change in the characters after the creature attacks do work well.


Scene of the Movie –
The change in eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to believe in the supporting cast for the most part.

Final ThoughtsFor a cult movie this is a good movie, this does the basics for a horror to make us entertained throughout.

 

Overall: Good cult horror film.

Rating

 

 

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Christopher Lee Weekend – The Mummy (1959)

mummyDirector: Terence Fisher

Writer: Jimmy Sangster (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley

 

Plot: In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Mummy starts in 1895 when British archaeologists John (Cushing) and Stephen Banning (Aylmer) searching for the ancient Egyptian tomb of Princess Ananka which they do discover only for Stephen the father finding himself in a retirement home believing a Mummy Kharis (Lee) came to life furious for disturbing the resting place of Princess Ananka.

3 years later John finally gets some sense out of his father who gives him an ominous warning that the mummy is coming for him and anyone who was involved in the opening of Ananka tomb.

 

Thoughts on The Mummy

 

StoryAs the only Mummy films I had seen were the Rick O’Connor ones I did know the basic outline of the story and this is a very much watered down version of that. We have the archaeologists who discover the tomb and get caught in the middle of the curse which for the 1950s was still around because of the Tutankhamun discovery. This doesn’t get too over the top which let’s face it is why we all love the 1999 version of the film. this does have a simple enough story to follow and can be enjoyed by all the Hammer Horror fans.

Adventure/Fantasy/HorrorWe are thrown into the fantasy horror world of the undead of Egyptian God coming back to avenge the people who opened their resting place. This doesn’t have the biggest scares but is also using the music to create the tension and fear involved in the film.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters come off fitting what would be considered upper class archaeologists which are used to make us not care for them like later editions. We also have the extremist Egyptian who still believes in the God that is guarding the tomb. The performances are all good but when it comes to looking at the characters they all suit the timing of the film.

SettingsThe settings are mixed between the Egyptian tomb which the body was found and what is made to look like the English countryside where the Banning’s live. The settings are not used to the full extent of the scenes going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy watch and shows how Hammer Horror really knew how to make horror.

 

Overall: Classic Hammer Horror that can be enjoyed by all the fans out there.

Ratingard

 

 

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

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Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Barker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse

PlotLuke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Beginning of the Saga

Story: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope starts with iconic strolling text informing us the basic opening scene with Princess Leia (Fisher) trying to escape from the evil Empire lead by Darth Vadar. Cue the space battle where C3P0 and R2-D2 on board Princess Leia ship get boarded by Vadar and his storm-troopers, Vadar is searching for the plans for the Death Star that have been stolen. C3PO and R2-D2 have been given a secret mission by Princess Leia to get the plans to the rebel forces.

Next we meet Luke Skywalker (Hamill) living with his Uncle Owen who just happen to buy the two droids. Luke finds the message sent by Princess Leia, for Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness) who just happens to have a connection with Luke’s father. When Luke finds Obi-Wan he learns about his father and his Jedi Knight history where Luke receives his father’s old Lightsaber.

After Luke’s family are killed he joins Obi-Wan on the mission to deliver the droids, where they meet Han Solo (Ford) captain of of the Millennium Falcon and his loyal partner Chewbacca. We continue to see Luke, Han, Obi-Wan, Chewbacca and the droids as they end up inside the Death Star trying to save Princess Leia to complete the mission to destroy the Death Star once and for all in the final showdown.

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope is the first of what has become the most loved and talked about film franchise of all time. The first entry does a brilliant job of introducing all of the original characters that we all know and love without going to far into the details we see in later films. All we see is a very entertaining and some what dark storyline as we get thrown into the middle of a war rather than having to deal with the beginning or end of it all. Over time this has gone onto be used by many films with the quotes still being used today but this is really how you make the beginning of a franchise. (10/10)

Actor Review

Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker is a young man isolated on the edge of space, but when he learns about his father’s past he goes on the adventure of a lifetime to fight against the evil empire and understand his destiny to become a Jedi warrior. Mark gives a good performance but when you really look at certain scenes he does ook slightly out his depth now. (7/10)

luke

Harrison Ford: Han Solo is the rebellious captain of the Millennium Falcon who agrees to help Luke and Obi-Wan, he doesn’t have a side because he is always out to look after himself. Harrison gives us a great performance showing all his flair and charisma. (8/10)
han chewwy

Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia Organa is leading the fight against the empire but when she becomes captured she sends a message to former Jedi Knight, she has the influence to bring people into the battle, but spends most of the film in the hands of the empire. Carrie does gives us a good performance with most of her character being held hostage by the empire. (7/10)
leia

 

David Prowse/ James Earl Jones: Darth Vader is the evil leader of the empire’s forces who is ruthless in his quest to take out the any of the rebel forces against the empire. David acting and James voicing both give this icon of film a great introduction that will always be hard to beat. (9/10)
vadar

Anthony Daniels/Kenny Baker: C-3PO & R2 D2 are the two droids that pass over the message but also come in very helpful in battle and with their understanding of multiply languages help understand the different situations they humans find themselves in. The pair make for a great almost comic relief to the serious side to the story. (8/10)
droids

 

Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca is the wookiee who stands alongside Han Solo, loyal to the very end becoming a true icon of this franchise. Peter gives Chewbacca his screen presences but in this one doesn’t get the screen time we would like from him. (7/10)

Alec Guinness: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the former Jedi Knight who has been in hiding after the previous war, he helps Luke get into the battle against the empire before make the ultimate sacrifice against an old enemy. Alec brings the experience to this film and it shows with his almost perfectly performed scenes. (9/10)

obiwan

 

Support Cast: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope has a supporting cast of all of the empire people trying to end the rebel alliance while we also have our generic soldiers in the fight against the empire.

Director Review: George Lucas – George gives us the classic start of the mega saga that is still just about to get yet another trilogy later this year. (9/10)

Action: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope has plenty of fire-fighting action as well as good amount of space dog fights. (9/10)

Adventure: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope takes our humble hero on an adventure he could never image at the start of the film. (10/10)

Fantasy: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope puts us into the fantasy world in a galaxy far far away. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope will always be considered a sci-fi classic that will still be talked about for years to come. (10/10)

Settings: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope creates the settings for the battles to look authentic as well as the desert cities where Luke starts out on. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope used stunning effects for the time of release and even though some have dated the most part they all look fresh. (9/10)

 Suggestion: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope is one film that I would expect everyone to have watched at least once. (Must Watch)

Best Part: Darth Vadar’s entrance still sends shivers down your spine.

Worst Part: Hard to find one.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Battle

Funniest Scene: R2-D2 playing a game with Chewbacca.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Part of the Franchise.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 6 Oscars including Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Music, it was also nominated for another 4 including Best Picture.

Box Office: $775 Million

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

TaglineComing to your galaxy this summer.

Trivia: In early drafts of the script, R2-D2 could speak standard English, and had a rather foul vocabulary. Although all of R2’s English speech was removed, many of C-3PO’s reactions to it were left in.

Overall: A true classic that will always be a film to turn to for the best sci-fi adventures.

Rating

93

Twins of Evil (1971)

logoDirector: John Hough

Writer: Tudor Gates (Screenplay) Sheridan Le Fanu (Character Created)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Dennis Price, Mary Collinson, Madeleine Collinson, Isobel Black, Kathleen Byron, Damien Thomas, David Warbeck

 

Plot: In nineteenth century middle-Europe, orphaned teenage twins Maria and Frieda go to live with their uncle Gustav Weil, who heads the Brotherhood, a vigilante group trying to stamp out vampirism. But their methods are random and misplaced and the only result is a terrorised populace. The real threat lies with Count Karnstein, and although the twins seem outwardly to be identical, Frieda finds herself much more drawn than her sister to the Count’s castle dominating the skyline.

 

Verdict: Vintage Horror

 

Story: Twins of Evil looks at how extreme people treated the supernatural in the olden times. We have a flamboyant man of mystery that all the ladies are interested in, a strict leader of the town mixed together with mysterious number of death by means unknown. We see how everyone reaction to the newest case showing that vampirism is increasing. With tensions rising we see the town’s people change the way they do things, but with identical twins this makes things difficult as one is good and one is evil. This all comes together to make an enjoyable horror. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Peter Cushing: Gustav Weil the strict leader of the town who is out to get rid of vampirism in and around the town, but when his nieces turn up the mystery Count Karnstein takes a shine to them. Gustav will not let the family links get in the way of stopping the vampirism. Good performance in a role that you would expect to see from Cushing. (7/10)

 

Mary Collinson: Maria the good, purer of the twin who gets caught up in everything after her sister takes a shine to the Mysterious Count. Solid performance. (6/10)

 

Madeleine Collinson: Frieda the bad twin who goes out to find Count Karnstein, she ends up becoming the main target of the town’s people but ends up pulling her sister into the mix too. Good performance showing the lure of mystery. (7/10)

 

David Warbeck: Anton the young bachelor of the town who takes a shine to Maria even though he could have any of the girls from the town. He fights against the ways of the people to protect Maria from Gustav’s ways. Good performance in the solid supporting performance. (7/10)

 

Damien Thomas: Count Karnstein the rich, well connected member of the town who seduces the woman, but when he takes advantage of one of Gustav’s nieces he becomes the target of the town’s people. Good performance with the most charismatic character. (8/10)

 

Director Review: John Hough – Good direction to create a horror that we now see as a vintage classic hammer horror. (7/10)

 

Horror: Twins of Evil is a solid horror, doesn’t have jumps, but the actions of the people are scary. (8/10)

Settings: Twins of Evil uses well created settings to create an authentic time setting. (9/10)

Suggestion: Twins of Evil is one for the horror fans to enjoy, it is classic and you will enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Gustav catching up with Frieda.

Worst Part: Sometimes it’s hard to tell the twins apart.

Kill Of The Film: Frieda

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: One uses her beauty for love! One uses her lure for blood!

 

Overall: Vintage Hammer Horror

Rating 75