IMAGINE IF YOU WILL that the BFI had a disreputable cousin, a Northern Grindhouse with tastes a little darker and stranger. With staff who love their movies with a passion that borders on religious zeal, who know you by name and welcome you in as they throw the doors open at midnight. Whose programming runs the gamut of worldwide genre film making, praising the strange, the unusual, the weird and forgotten.
Then step inside the ELECTRIC DREAMHOUSE! A new cinema imprint from PS Publishing and Editor Neil Snowdon . . . Settle down and get comfortable as we raise the curtain on our ‘MIDNIGHT MOVIE MONOGRAPHS’—an ongoing series dedicated to outstanding genre titles that just don’t get the attention elsewhere.
Written by genre authors, film makers and some of the finest critical voices on the scene, bringing a unique perspective to films they love, these are not dry academic texts. They are passionate, incisive, and inspiring explorations that go deep, from writers who know and love the genre inside out. Expert—indeed award winning—practitioners in their field.
Intelligent, accessible film writing is part of what keeps the subject fresh, vital, alive. In recent years it seems to have fallen through the cracks a bit. It’s still there, but you have to go looking. Academic Film Studies and the ‘Cultural Elite’ have built linguistic walls of arid language around our favourite films, while Mainstream Media speak mostly in sound-bites and exclamation marks.
Film is a universal language. A synthesis of all the great Arts, with the ability to speak across boundaries of class, race and age to move us, inspire us, illuminate our deepest fears.
Film is Art with a capital A, but none of the social and cultural snobbery that implies. Film writing should be the same. Passionate. Incisive. Intelligent. Accessible. These are our watch words.
THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) Directed by Douglas Hickox
It is notoriously difficult to mix Comedy and Horror. Rare are the examples where one element does not overpower the other: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, EVIL DEAD 2 . . . ATTACK THE BLOCK?
But perhaps no film gets it so spectacularly right as THEATRE OF BLOOD. And perhaps no actor has ever embodied the twin masks of Comedy and Tragedy so perfectly as Vincent Price in what is, arguably, his finest role. A perfectly pitched, deliciously arch slice of Gothic Grand Guignol, with a supporting cast that reads like a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of British character actors, THEATRE OF BLOOD is “Sublime . . . a perfect marriage of genuinely gut-wrenching gore and moments of quite hysterical comedy.”—Reece Shearsmith
MARTIN (1977) Directed by George A. Romero
In 1968, George A. Romero changed the face of Horror cinema with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. But it would be a decade before he caught lightning in a bottle again. Romero spent those 10 years honing his craft on a series of documentaries and low budget features that would culminate in the global phenomenon of DAWN OF THE DEAD in 1978.
But MARTIN, made immediately beforehand, in 1977, is his unsung Masterpiece.
Mature, controlled, and devastatingly effective, MARTIN is one of the most astonishing character studies ever committed to film. The tale of an alienated young man who may, or may not, be a vampire (a stunning performance by John Amplas); it is, by turns, disturbing, shocking, and heartbreaking.
“One of the finest American films of the 1970’s.” —James Marriot.