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Doctor Who S10 E11: ‘World Enough and Time’

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The Doctor’s archenemy, Missy AKA The Master, wants to become one of the good guys, so he sets her, along with his companions Bill and Nardole, on a mission, and things just get worse as they go, as they stumble upon the Mondasian Cybermen in this very offbeat and landmark episode of Doctor Who. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “World Enough and Time.”

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31 Days of Halloween: The Gorgon (1964)

Sometimes you have a history with a movie before you even experience it. This is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge in an age when everything’s on demand or one YouTube click away. In my youth, weird cult movies were things that were whispered about with reverence, only experienced in the pages of cinema books such as Danny Peary’s Cult Movies books, or by flipping through old issues of Fangoria magazine. I remember overnight camp counselors going bananas over The Rocky Horror Picture Show, back when you could catch screenings of it once in a blue moon in the theatre only, which is arguably where that film belongs.

I have the same history with Hammer’s The Gorgon.

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The Haunted House of Jeff Szpirglas: Dr. Terror’s House Of Horrors (1965)

Dr. Terror

DR. TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS (1965)
Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Donald Sutherland
Written By Milton Subotsky
Directed by Freddie Francis
Olive Films

Back in October, Olive Films released the Amicus classic Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors on Blu-ray. The movie is built around the premise that would fuel future Amicus portmanteaux such as Tales From The Crypt and Vault of Horror, recently resurrected in high definition by Scream Factory. Here, five strangers meet aboard a passenger train, where they encounter the enigmatic Dr. Shreck. Played by Cushing (sporting some hilariously bushy eyebrows), he proceeds to pull out a set of Tarot cards and predict their dooms. Several short tales that interpret the cards follow, featuring werewolves, killer plants, and Voodoo curses. Best of all is Lee’s episode about a snooty art critic pursued by Michael Gough’s vengeful disembodied hand, which anticipates Evil Dead 2’s crazy antics.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Horror of Dracula (1958)

I always feel like I grew up on the Hammer films. At least the Dracula ones.  I have vivid memories of watching them on local television back in the early ’80s, when you could get away with showing those classic films during the day. My memory is fuzzy though – was it all the time? Was it only around Halloween? I suppose it doesn’t really matter – I just know I saw them.

And then I didn’t. Until I did again.

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Earlier this week I received in the mail a copy of the Turner Classic Movies Hammer Horror collection. Ironically, this wasn’t what I was supposed to have been sent – I was originally expecting the new Blu-ray set of Hammer films. As it turned out though, I think I got the better deal, as this collection features four of the most well-regarded creature features in the studios history – for vamp fans, you’ve got Horror of Dracula (1958) and Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1969), and for Frankenstein lovers, the set includes The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970).

As one does with sets such as these, I started at the beginning, with a retelling and reinterpretation of the classic Dracula story. Read the rest of this entry

Remembering Sir Christopher Lee

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Whether you know him as the classic old school Dracula of the Hammer Horrors or his more recent roles as Saruman or Count Dooku in the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars films, you know that today we have lost a true legend of the screen – Sir Christopher Lee. Join me after the jump to remember this great man.

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February Faves: JP Fallavollita’s Favourite Pop–Culture Massacres

Biff Bam Pop’s catalogue of “February Faves” continues, but how could someone have a favourite massacre?

I mean, unless you’re talking about last night’s hasty finishing of a scrumptious double burger with apple-smoked bacon and Gruyere cheese, a “massacre” signifies human death – and lots of it! A tragedy, surely! Who could possibly enjoy death so much that they’d actually have it listed in their mind as something…enjoyable?

In the world of pop culture, with stories in various mediums depicting heroes and revenge and redemption, (whoa! We might be talking Joseph Campbell here!), massacres of the deathly variety hold an honorable position. It’s through massacres and great human loss that our emotions are elevated to supreme heights and our heroes lifted along with them. It’s through massacres that villains are defined as well as the heavy odds facing our protagonists. It’s not that we love death. It’s that we love the storytelling possibilities that arise from it.

I present to you, then, five of my “favourite” massacres in pop culture history.

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