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Sam Raimi - Hail to the King Part 2
By James W, Sunday 31st 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 second of a two-part feature we take a look at his Hollywood career and how he helped form one of the most successful movie franchises ever   After Raimi impressed audiences with his super hero movie Darkman (1990) and The Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness (1992) he was once again being chased by major Hollywood producers. But Raimi decided to move away from the genre that made him famous and delivered a contemporary slant on an age-old theme. The Quick and the Dead (1995) is a Western with a cast made up of legends such as Gene Hackman, Sharon Stone and Lance Henriksen as well as relative newcomers Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and Jigsaw himself Tobin Bell. The movie is, as you’d expect a visual feast with Stone playing a gunslinger with a secret and Crowe as the good guy. Hackman seethes and sneers as bad guy Herod (good name, eh?) it didn’t set the box office on fire but Raimi was already carving himself a strong name as a TV Producer. His shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001) and Cleopatra 2525 (2000-2001) became cult viewing around the world but this wasn’t all the Raimi would be attached to during the 1990’s. In 1994 Sam joined forces with Ethan and Joel Coen to write the critically acclaimed movie The Hudsucker Proxy proving he could do straight drama as well as fantasy.   But throughout the 90’s Raimi was constantly asked when Evil Dead 4 was coming and probably to move as far away as possible from such questions he delivered the atmospheric and quite beautiful thriller, A Simple Plan (1998). Dark and mysterious it was another critical hit and went on to be rewarded with two Oscar nominations. But box office gold was just around the corner when in 2002 Sam unleashed Spider-Man. This big screen outing for the webbed wonder catapulted him into the big league and cemented his reputation as a director with unique vision and the ability to horde plenty of adrenaline action packed set-pieces with intelligent and engrossing stories. Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007) all cleaned up at the box office in their respected years.   But fans wanted Raimi to return to the horror genre and, at last, 2009 sees him back behind the lens directing the intense shocker Drag Me To Hell. The film concerns Christine Brown who is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend, Professor Clay Dalton. Life is good until the mysterious Mrs Ganush arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Should Christine follow her instincts and give the old woman a break? Or should she deny the extension to impress her boss, Mr. Jacks, and get a leg-up on a promotion? Christine fatefully chooses the latter, shaming Mrs. Ganush and dispossessing her of her home. In retaliation, the old woman places the powerful curse of the Lamia on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a sceptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help the shattered Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse?    The film is classic Raimi, there’s stunning effects, a superb plot and some incredibly scary moments. We should all hail the return of the king, back on the horror throne where he deserves to be. As for Evil Dead 4, who needs it when Sam Raimi can deliver such unique and entertaining new shockers.
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Horror Channel gets beastly in July with Animal Attack Season
Posted on Tuesday 19th June 2018

Nature gets nasty on Horror Channel in July with Animal Attack Season, a beastly collection of movies which will claw their way into your nightmares each Saturday at 9pm.

The season starts on the 7th with the big screen version of a Stephen king classic, Cujo. When sweet St. Bernard dog Cujo is bitten by a bat, he morphs into a dangerous beast and goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal. Then the following week a movie that has real bite, Burning Bright. Johnny Gavenau's latest get-quick-rich scheme is to turn his Florida...

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Happy 50th birthday Rosemary's Baby
Posted on Tuesday 12th June 2018

Kids! What are they like? Some can be cute, others can be little devils... literally!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the classic shocker Rosemary's Baby so here we take a look at five of the finest devil child movies. Do you agree with our list and which ones would you refuse to babysit?! Note we have not included the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Junior as that's horrific in other ways (!)

5: Devil's Due (2014)
A recently married couple on honeymoon experience a bizarre warning, a long journey, come across some strange symbols, then are drugged, left in a room and a couple of weeks later the wife discovers she's pregnant! Her pregnancy is a time of torture for her and convinced she's being watched. Could...

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13 reasons why John Carpenter is The Horror Master
Posted on Thursday 31st May 2018

On the eve of Horror Channel's John Carpenter Season (stars June 2nd), we present to you 13 reasons why he truly is the Master of Horror. Agree or disagree let us know via out social media channels.

1: Made the slasher movie cool again with Halloween (1978)

2: His use of a Steadicam put us in the heart of the terror on screen.

3: Gave the world the finest horror movie theme, ever (Halloween, 1978)

4: Turned Kurt Russell an action hero.

5: Way ahead of his time with They Live (1988), Carpenter delivered a movie that woke up the world to the evils of subliminal consumerism and stimuli via a cool sci-fi movie.

6: They Live also has a fight scene that lasts over 6 minutes and co...

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Horror Channel to celebrate the films of John Carpenter in June
Posted on Wednesday 23rd May 2018

From horrific hauntings and supernatural sorcery to alien invasions and blood-sucking battles, Saturday nights on Horror Channel at 9pm in June will be devoted to John Carpenter, one of the true Masters of Horror.

The celebratory season is highlighted by the network premieres of Carpenter's classic car-rage chiller Christine, with the superb Harry Dean Stanton, and John Carpenter's Vampires, a horror Western starring James Woods, as a vengeful, stake-wielding bloodsucker hunter. It also includes iconic favourite The Fog, the high-kicking fantasy thriller Big Trouble in Little China and his timely sci-fi political thriller They Live.

The Fog on the 2nd is set in a Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over ...

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13 reasons why you need to watch The Evil Dead
Posted on Sunday 20th May 2018

Sam Raimi's horror masterpiece, The Evil Dead is rightly regarded as a true horror classic.

So, it's weird to think then that there are still some viewers have yet to enjoy this ultimate experience in gruelling Horror.

Here's 13 reasons why you need to see The Evil Dead when it's shown on Horror Saturday May 26th.

1: The film spawned a cult hero in star Bruce Campbell and gave the world Ash Williams.
2: The BBFC deemed it to be placed on the Video Nasties list in 1983 even in cut form and not released uncut until 2001.
3: Stephen King liked it saying in 1972 that it was "The most ferociously original horror film".
4: The cover art for the VHS was the first...

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Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
Posted on Tuesday 1st May 2018

This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.

Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.

We had a chat with the film's direct...

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Acclaimed sci-fi thriller Radius amongst four UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in May
Posted on Tuesday 17th April 2018

The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK's most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labreche and Steeve Leonard's unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller Radius on the 25th.

Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in...

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Cinematic Psycho Sequels
Posted on Saturday 7th April 2018

Everyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's monochrome masterpiece Psycho will know that how it created one of the most enduring horror icons of the 20th century, Norman Bates. Played to chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch which was first published in 1959 the movie was a benchmark in the horror/thriller genre and Hitchcock sent the rest of his career trying to match it.

Bates was a reflection, an amalgam of several real-life killers, most notably Ed Gein, whose ability to be in plain sight of his hometown whilst committing hideous crimes is almost as hideous as the crimes he committed. Much has been written about the movie Psycho, but what about the c...

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John Krasinski talks directing and starring in 'A Quiet Place'
Posted on Friday 6th April 2018


In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.

The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.

Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.

We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...

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The 10 best lines from the Evil Dead movies
Posted on Thursday 5th April 2018

Horror Channel is sponsoring a "groovy" night of gore on April 7th at the Stockport Plaza Cinema in conjunction with those fine folks of Grimmfest.

The Evil Dead Marathon will start at 1.30pm (doors at 1pm) and is made up of The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987), Army Of Darkness (1992), and finally Evil Dead (2013). There's also prizes up for grabs and merch stall. More info on the event here.

But what is your favourite line from this amazing series of movies? Here's our Top 10!

10: Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my Boomstick! (Army of Darkness, 1992)

9: What kind of a virus makes someone cut their face off with a ...

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Norman Bates stalks Horror this April
Posted on Wednesday 28th March 2018

Fans of Anthony Perkins and the Psycho franchise are in for a treat as Sunday nights in April are devoted to the network premieres of Psycho II, Psycho III, and Psycho IV: The Beginning. Each movie starts at 9pm.

Set twenty-two years after the famous murder of Marion Crane, Psycho II (showing April 1st) sees Norman Bates (Perkins) declared sane and allowed to return to his now dilapidated motel. But, when the murders start up again, Norman realises an old friend is awaiting his return - Mother! Co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, this sequel to the Hitchcock masterpiece is now viewed as an unmissable classic thanks to the way it carefully continues the legend without shying away from expa...

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Top 5 worst horror movie remakes!
Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018

Remakes, love them or hate them if there's money to be made they'll always be with us. Hollywood loves to look back at past glories and try and wring some more blood out of a well rung stone. Here's my list of frightful fright-flicks that failed to restart an already dead franchise.

5: Poltergeist (2015) "They're here". The original Poltergeist movie from 1982 was a tour-de-farce of effects and atmosphere. Directed by Tobe Hooper with Steven Spielberg as writer and producer, it took the paranormal into new territory. Forward to 2015 and Gil Kenan is given the task of resurrecting the story. Poor guy, the film is a mish-mash of re-visited scenes and not so special effects. The scary clown has been given an update, but the movie lacks...

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