LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Sam Raimi - Hail To The King Part 1
By James Whittington, Sunday 17th May 2009 It’s been years since Evil Dead director Sam Raimi has helmed a real horror movie but on May 27th he returns to the genre with the critically acclaimed shocker, Drag Me To Hell. Here in the first of a two-part feature we take a look at his early career and how he inadvertently influenced a generation of horror moviemakers. Samuel Marshall Raimi is probably one of the most unassuming figures working in the industry today. Born in 1959 he grew up fascinated by cinema and even before he reached his teens was creating his own movies. Sam roped in childhood pal Bruce Campbell for his early pieces that were mainly homage to the classic comedy group The Three Stooges. Together with Robert Tapert they went on to create Within The Woods in 1978. This 32-minute shocker, shot entirely on 8mm film stock was made to show investors so the budding film director could get his picture The Evil Dead made. This short is still unavailable to buy even though fans are screaming for a release. Few know that another picture, It’s Murder was also created to help bring the money in. When The Evil Dead (or to give it one of its many alternate titles The Evil Dead: (The Ultimate Experience in Gruelling Horror) was released it made little noise in the United States, but here in the UK (1982) there was a tidal wave of publicity, a lot of it pretty negative, mainly because of the many violent sequences the movie contained. The plot is straight forward enough; a group of teenagers go to a shack in the woods and listen to a tape that contains forbidden incantations from Necronomicon Ex Mortis also known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead. When the tape is played all hell is unleashed and evil demons possess the innocent party causing much bloodshed and death. Controversial and shocking the movie is in parts brutal, packing a bloody punch that never lets up. It was placed on the “Video Nasty” list in 1984 along with 38 other titles. We had to wait until 1992 for it to get an official release and then nearly another 10 years before we could legally buy an uncut edition of the movie. The appreciation of The Evil Dead grew steadily with horror fans and Raimi’s unusual film style and inventive camera angles caught the eye of movie producers ending with Columbia asking him to produce an original piece. Crimewave released in 1985 was a bizarre and surreal cop comedy/drama but the finished product wasn’t the box-office draw that they had hoped for. So Raimi decided to return to what he knew best and delivered The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn in 1987. This revisited the original idea of The Evil Dead and turned the effects, laughs and gore up to 11! Crammed with more visual gags and plenty of blood (though not as graphic or controversial as the original) this was an adrenaline action piece that proved Raimi’s unique style seen in his first few movies wasn’t a fluke. It seemed obvious that Raimi would turn his attention to comic book action and although he was unable to secure the rights for the project he wanted to handle (its rumoured that Raimi wanted to make a big screen version of 1930’s radio show The Shadow) he created an original anti-hero in 1990, Darkman. Darkman is a vibrant and as you’d expect over-the-top piece of cinema which stars Liam Neeson as Peyton Westlake a scientist who is burnt and left to die by a mob boss. He is then subjected to radical new surgical procedures that destroy his ability to feel pain. This in turn increases his inability to control violent outbursts. Add to this a new skin that covers his badly burned body that last just under 100 minutes and you have a truly original take on the superhero genre. Though it performed well at the box office and gave Raimi the revenue and clout to make Evil Dead III, (better known as Army of Darkness), Raimi would soon go on to produce even bigger and more original movies. His best work was yet to come. Next time we’ll take a look at his box-office blockbusting Spider-Man series of movies as well as his TV work and eventual return to big screen horror.
MORE FEATURES Got Freeview Play? Then get Horror Bites!
Posted on Wednesday 5th December 2018 Hungry for a taste of more Horror? Check out our catch-up player, Horror Bites now on Freeview Play. SHARE: READ MORE Zombie elves, Christmas demons and William Shatner! December on Horror
Posted on Thursday 22nd November 2018
Be prepared for an X-rated Xmas this December as Horror Channel serves up an horrific host of premieres, leading with the UK premiere of Xmas anthology A Christmas Horror Story. Tales From The Crypt meets Silent Night Deadly Night as zombie elves, Xmas demons and William Shatner invade UK homes on Saturday 22nd of December.
There are also channel premieres for Michael Thelin's unnerving and superbly performed chiller Emelie, and the star-studied jungle nightmare Anaconda, with Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Eric Stoltz. From giant snakes we move to killer sharks and vampiric post-apocalyptic creatures - as the channel is giving seasonal first-showings t...SHARE: READ MORE From the Horror Channel Sci-Fi Zone - The Invaders
Posted on Monday 19th November 2018
Long before The X-Files, long before 24, and at around the same time as The Prisoner, there was one show that dared to tackle the subject of "Is our Government lying to us" head on in a manner that was not only dignified but played totally straight; The Invaders.
Running for two seasons from 1967 to 1968, The Invaders was created by Larry Cohen, a man who had cut his writing teeth on classics such as The Fugitive and who would go on to carve a career as a cult movie favourite bringing fans movies such as It's Alive (1974), The Stuff (1985) and The Ambulance (1990).
With bold colours and the legendary line, "A Quinn Martin Production" proudly in place, The Invaders took the B-Movie ...SHARE: READ MORE Happy 30th Birthday Chucky!
Posted on Friday 9th November 2018
When you were a child, did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were asleep? Or, did you even think they could come alive and gut you like a fish? This second idea is the premise behind Child's Play, one of the most successful slasher series of all time.
OK, the idea of a killer doll or toy wasn't new, one only has to look back at movies like Dead of Night (1945), Magic (1978), and The Pit (1981) and countless episodes from anthology shows, but the way Child's Play was done totally straight gave it that special edge over what had come before.
Written and directed by genre master Tom Holland, Child's Play was based on an idea from Don Mancini and quickly become a slasher f...SHARE: READ MORE Author and critic Kim Newman reflects on Horror Channel's Hammer Classics Season
Posted on Thursday 1st November 2018
Very few people could write about Hammer films with the credentials that Kim Newman has. He's an award-winning author, a highly respected critic, a noted journalist and talented broadcaster and his passion for cinema is known throughout the industry. Here he takes a look at Horror's Hammer Classics Season.
Into the polite grey world of 1950s British cinema burst lurid EastmanColor decadence. In Essoldos, Odeons and Classics up and down the country, screens that were dominated by well-mannered, stiff-upper lip characters - the repressed romantics of Brief Encounter or the staunch heroes of The Dam Busters - suddenly ran red with gore, and the flash of the scarlet lining of Dra...SHARE: READ MORE Top 10 Halloween hits
Posted on Tuesday 30th October 2018
Are you having a Halloween party this year? Well, apart from having Horror Channel on in the house you might want some terribly terrifying tunes to help your party go on into the early hours.
We've trawled through the charts to bring you the definitive list of tracks guaranteed to send your ghoulish guests sleeping with the light on when they get home!
Here's our list and as usual please let us know your frightful faves via our social channels.
10: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand Lovers of the Scream franchise will know this belter of a track from one of the world's most fascinating and adored song writers. From the album, Let Love In (1994) this has Cave in a vengeful tone which has helped it gain a huge following and has appeared in movies such as Dumb And Dumber (1994) and been covered by countless people including Jarvis Cocker. Cav...SHARE: READ MORE Hammer returns to Horror this November
Posted on Tuesday 23rd October 2018
From November 3rd, Horror Channel celebrates vintage 1950s home-grown fantasy and horror with a Hammer Classics Season, The primetime Saturday night season, consisting of four network premieres, which star the iconic Peter Cushing, kicks off with Val Guest's atmospheric masterpiece, The Abominable Snowman.
The other three, all directed by Terence Fisher, are the highly successful adaptations of the classic Universal monster movies: the brilliantly lurid The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the hypnotically sensual and gory Dracula (1958), which launched Cushing and Christopher Lee into global stardom, and The Mummy (1959), perhaps the most critically well-received Hammer movie of all time.
There are also Friday night network...SHARE: READ MORE 13 nights of pure terror with Horror's Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 25th September 2018
Horror Channel presents its Haunted Halloween Season this October, taking possession of the nation's TVs for thirteen nights with a supernaturally spooky selection of premieres and classic favourites, including the UK TV premiere of Jesse Thomas Cook's The Hexecutioners, a nerve-shredding American Gothic tale of terror. There are also network premieres for the gripping US-remake of The Grudge starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Carles Torrens's paranormal chiller Apartment 143. Amongst returning channel hits are James Wan's supernatural stunner Insidious, John Carpenter's iconic The Fog, and Lluis Quilez's Colombia-shot suspense thriller Out Of The Dark.
There is also a small screen debut for Bruce McDonald's atmo...SHARE: READ MORE Celebrate Stephen King's 71st birthday with Horror
Posted on Friday 14th September 2018
He's sold well over 350 million of books, has just as many fans across the globe and celebrates his 71st birthday on September 21st, Stephen King is without doubt the most famous genre author in the world today.
From his first novel, Carrie in 1974, King has scared, inspired, and entertained countless people. His descriptive and raw prose has given us some of the most chilling and memorable characters including Pennywise, Johnny Smith and a dog named Cujo.
On the night of his birthday, Horror is celebrating in style with the first episode of the acclaimed series Under The Dome and a quartet of big screen versions of some of his finest books.
Here's all you need to know:
Under the Dome (8...SHARE: READ MORE Horror has everything this Autumn because We Are Horror!
Posted on Wednesday 29th August 2018
Horror Channel kicks off the Autumn season with eight chilling prime time weekend film premieres including the UK TV premiere of Adam Green's slasher favourite that gave the world Victor Crowley,Hatchet (14th Sep), starring horror icons Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and Tony Todd.
There are also TV firsts for Kieran Parker's Outpost III: Rise Of The Spetsnaz (15th Sep), the third installment of the hit Nazi zombie action horror franchise, Steven Sheil's graphic underground thriller Dead Mine (22nd Sep) set in Indonesia and Will Canon's haunted house horror Demonic (29th Sep).
September also sees network premieres for the gory and hilarious 100 Bloody Acres (8th Sep), the erotic, murderous triple-hander...SHARE: READ MORE 10 FrightFest flicks for 2018
Posted on Thursday 16th August 2018
Stewart Bridle, Channel Manager for Horror Channel, selects the FrightFest films to catch at this year's event.
It's that time again when the most torturous experience isn't being slowly sliced in half by a deranged chainsaw-wielding maniac but actually deciding what to watch from the massive line-up of over 70 films at this year's FrightFest London on the August Bank holiday weekend. Unless you've found some mad scientist to clone you several times you'll never catch everything so here are ten devious delights I recommend this year.
SUMMER OF 84 The RKSS collective return to FrightFest after wowing audiences back in 2015 with the terrific...SHARE: READ MORE 5 Reasons To See Unfriended: Dark Web This Weekend
Posted on Friday 10th August 2018
Today marks the UK release of Unfriended: Dark Web. The latest nightmare offering an unnerving and unflinching look into what lies beyond the everyday realms of the internet.
When Matias (Colin Woodell) stumbles across a new laptop which runs a lot better than his current hunk o' junk, he connects with his friends online for their usual game night. He soon finds out that the computer he's picked up has a connection to the Dark Web, a horrific, and unmonitored part of the internet. Matias shares his findings, and his screen, with his friends during the game night, and finds himself the target of the laptop's original owner... who will ...SHARE: READ MORE Features Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Monday 17th December
Monday 24th December
Tuesday 18th December