METROPOLIS. (1927) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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METROPOLIS. (1927) DIRECTED BY FRITZ LANG. SCREENPLAY BY FRITZ LANG AND THEA VON HARBOU. MUSIC BY GOTTFRIED HUPPERTZ. STARRING BRIGITTE HELM, GUSTAV FRŐHLICH, ALFRED ABEL AND RUDOLF KLEIN-ROGGE. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

(PENNED PRE-PANDEMIC…!)

‘The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart.’

When you leave the cinema so awe-struck by the film you’ve just seen that you’re unable to even discuss it with the people who accompanied you there, that’s usually an indication that you’ve seen something extraordinarily special.

That’s what happened to me recently when I went to see a one-off special screening of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS at the Irish Film Institute here in Dublin. The film was being shown for two reasons.

Firstly, it was April 2016’s choice for the monthly Bigger Picture presentation, which argues for a film’s place within the canon. I think everyone there was of the opinion that this…

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WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. (2006) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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WHEN A STRANGER CALLS- THE RE-MAKE. 2006. DIRECTED BY SIMON WEST. STARRING CAMILLA BELLE, TOMMY FLANAGAN, LANCE HENRIKSEN, KATY CASSIDY, DEREK DE LINT AND KATE JENNINGS GRANT.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘The calls are coming from inside the house…’

The original film of WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979), directed by Fred Walton, has one of the best opening sequences of any horror film I’ve ever seen. The first twenty minutes, with the babysitter alone in the house getting increasingly frightening phone calls from an anonymous psychopath, is pure cinematic perfection. The rest of the film is good too, but it’s those first twenty minutes that really grab you by the throat and scare you witless.

I was surprised to find out that such a great film had been re-made. But hey, unnecessary remakes of brilliant films are seemingly where it’s at these days. This time round, Camilla Belle- what…

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GIRL, INTERRUPTED. (1999) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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GIRL, INTERRUPTED. (1999) BASED ON THE 1993 MEMOIR BY SUSANNA KAYSEN. DIRECTED BY JAMES MANGOLD.

STARRING WINONA RYDER, ANGELINA JOLIE, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, VANESSA REDGRAVE, JARED LETO, CLEA DUVALL, BRITTANY MURPHY AND JILLIAN ARMENANTE.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘Do not drop anchor here.’

‘Susanna, you’re hurting everyone around you!’

‘No-one cares if you die, Lisa. You’re already dead!’

‘Because I don’t want to kill myself, that’s not cool to you…?’

‘I’m curious as to why I should have to be in a mental institution, Melvin.’

‘Here’s a piece of advice, lady. Don’t wag your finger at fucking crazy people!’

I don’t really know what blokes would think of this girlie movie, but it’s been on my list of favourite films ever since I actually saw it on the big screen early on in the year 2000. It was my first time ever clapping eyes on Angelina Jolie and I was…

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FANGS AND FOREPLAY: THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA- THE TRANSYLVANIA YEARS. BOOK 6-PART 17. BY SANDRA HARRIS. A WEE TEASER…!

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BOOK 6: CHAPTER 17.

It was a dull, damp and foggy Monday morning in London. Sherlock Holmes, the great detective, lay stretched out full-length in his favourite armchair, too overcome by the familiar ennui to even smoke his pipe.

Dr. John H. Watson, M.D., standing at the window of his friend’s consulting rooms at 221B Baker Street looking down on the swell of humanity as it ebbed and flowed like the mighty Thames on the streets below him, very much feared that Holmes was on the verge of having recourse to the dreaded cocaine bottle and syringe once more.

Were it not for the fact that both bottle and syringe currently resided on the high mantelpiece above the fireplace and Holmes in his ennui could not be bothered to get up from his comfortable seat and fetch them, he might be in thrall to them even now. In this instance…

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LITTLE BOOK OF HORROR: DRACULA. (2005) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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LITTLE BOOK OF HORROR: DRACULA. (0CTOBER 2005) PUBLISHED BY IDW PUBLISHING.

WRITTEN BY STEVE NILES. PAINTED ART BY RICHARD SALA.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I recently discovered this little illustrated gem of a book on my son’s bookshelf, and remembered then having bought it for him when he was younger in an attempt to encourage him to read independently.

Now I’ve had a proper read of it, I’m making an executive decision and totally commandeering it for myself. It’s far too good to waste on the young, lol, and can only properly be appreciated by persons of mature(ish!) age such as myself.

It tells what I call the real Dracula story, as in the one Bram Stoker wrote, with little or no variations, which I like. I like the pure unadulterated story myself, and I tend to get heart attacks when people mess with it, such as in the…

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PEEPING TOM. (1960) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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PEEPING TOM. (1960) DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY MICHAEL POWELL. WRITTEN BY LEO MARKS.

STARRING CARL BOEHM, ANNA MASSEY, MOIRA SHEARER, MAXINE AUDLEY, MICHAEL POWELL, COLUMBA POWELL AND MILES MALLESON.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

(Severe Warning: Written early on in my reviewing days and chock-a-block with spoilers!!! It’s virtually all spoilers, so read on at your peril and don’t come complaining to me, lol.)

Mark Lewis is a very, very naughty boy. Do you know what he does? Can you guess? You’ll never guess, so I suppose I’ll have to tell you, just this once. He murders women, but that’s not all.

He also likes to film their final moments, and the terror on their faces as he stabs them in the throat with a nasty spike that sticks out of his camera… That’s a new one, isn’t it? I bet you haven’t heard that one before.

He’s not…

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WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. (1979) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. (1979) DIRECTED BY FRED WALTON. STARRING CHARLES DURNING, CAROL KANE, COLLEEN DEWHURST, RUTANYA ALDA, CARMEN ARGENZIANO AND TONY BECKLEY.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘The calls are coming from inside the house…’

The first twenty minutes or so of this film make for pure, perfect cinematic horror. Pretty American babysitter Jill Johnson has no more on her mind when she goes to babysit for a doctor and his wife than whether or not her crush, some guy named Bobby, will give her a tinkle on the old dog and bone. That’s cockney rhyming slang for phone, me old china plate. That’s slang for mate, by the way. Oh, never mind. Let’s get to the film.

Jill does get a call while she’s babysitting, as it happens. In fact, she gets several, but none of them are from Bobby. They’re from a sick and twisted psychopathic killer…

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ROSEMARY’S BABY. (1968) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

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ROSEMARY’S BABY. (1968) BASED ON THE NOVEL BY IRA LEVIN.
DIRECTED BY ROMAN POLANSKI.
STARRING MIA FARROW, JOHN CASSEVETES, RUTH GORDON, SIDNEY BLACKMER, MAURICE EVANS, RALPH BELLAMY AND CHARLES GRODIN.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
 
This brilliant and iconic horror film reaches out and grabs you by the throat from the get-go. The first thing I noticed about it is the following. The music in THE SIMPSONS when Homer exercises poor judgement and takes the kids to a horror flick that’s totally unsuitable for young ‘uns is actually a clever homage to the ‘la-la-la-la’ music at the start of ROSEMARY’S BABY. I love finding out stuff like that!

When a terrified Bart and Lisa, traumatised beyond belief from being made to watch THE RE-DEADENING, hear the ‘la-la-la-la’ music at the dinner table and howl in fear, Homer casually remarks: ‘Oh yeah, I bought the soundtrack…!’ Good old Homer…

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APPROPRIATE ADULT. (2011) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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APPROPRIATE ADULT. (2011) BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. WRITTEN BY NEIL MCKAY. DIRECTED BY JULIAN JARROLD.

STARRING EMILY WATSON, DOMINIC WEST, MONICA DOLAN, SYLVESTRA LE TOUZEL AND ROBERT GLENISTER.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘I’m not your friend, Fred.’

‘Can I just ask if the appropriate adult’s all right…?’

‘Heather’s not under the patio. She’s in Bahrain, working as a mule for a drugs cartel. Now, whether you believe that or not is entirely up to you.’

I love this made for television crime drama, first shown in two parts on ITV. It’s considered to be the third part in a trilogy of made for television films about Britain’s most notorious murders from the second half of the twentieth century: THIS IS PERSONAL: THE HUNT FOR THE YORKSHIRE RIPPER from 1999 is one of the best true crime movies I’ve ever seen in my life. SEE NO EVIL: THE MOORS MURDERS

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