Sam Raimi - Hail to the King Part 2
By James Whittington, 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.
Top 5 horror movie remakes
Posted on Sunday 25th February 2018

Hollywood: a place of constant invention and where everything should be shiny and new. Well, sometimes for at the moment it seems to be looking to the past for inspiration. This is not always a bad thing as sometimes a remake (or re-imagining as they like to call it!) hits the spot so perfectly that it can be considered an equal to the original so here's our Top 5 remakes! Do you agree and which movies would make your own top 5?

5: Evil Dead (2013)
Fans of the original movie, The Evil Dead had been waiting years for a cinematic sequel. Rumour after rumour followed but no one expected a remake of the story especially when rookie director Fede Alvarez was given the job to bring it back to life. It was backed by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert and given a decent budget, but few fans expected it to be so good. Bloody, ultra-violent and incredibly fast paced, it...

Unmissable movies on Horror this March
Posted on Sunday 25th February 2018

The nights may be getting lighter but we're turning to the dark side this March on Horror with a slate of premieres that will have you praying for the dawn. So, beware all you virgins, actors, wayward teens and heroic crusaders, Horror has something to get under your skin!

We start with the network premiere of Cherry Falls on the 2nd where a serial killer seems to be going after virgins, rather than promiscuous types! So, sex parties are the order of the day to try and survive! Sounds like a good idea to us. Then the next night we've a true classic which stars Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach, The Sentinel where a young actress (Cristina Raines) ...

Top 5 werewolf movie transformations
Posted on Saturday 10th February 2018

Come on, admit it! The biggest reason you watch a werewolf movie is to see the much talked-about transformation. You know, the bit of the movie that usually gets all the film budget (no matter how big or small) and the sequence where the rest of the movie will be measured.

Here's our top 5 but what are yours? Don't forget to catch Horror's Season of the Wolf, Saturdays at 10.55pm?

The Wolf Man (1941)
Though not Universal's first werewolf movie, that was Werewolf of London in 1936, this was the biggie. Unleashed in 1941 it was a major success and made Lon Chaney Jr. a real star. His laconic take of a weary man cursed is truly engrossing but what probably makes the movie famous is the transformation scene, well the lack of it as unlike the sequels the main transformation is of his feet! There is a dissolve at the end, but this is backwards, wolf to man but its ...

There's something in the trees... it's coming! Top 5 Werewolf Songs!
Posted on Friday 2nd February 2018

Of all the horror genres out there, probably the Werewolf genre has made the largest footprint on the charts. From Shakira's She Wolf in 2009 to Killer Wolf from Danzig in 1990, the hairy-side of horror has inspired many musical artists, obviously with varying levels of success.

In celebration of Horror's Season of the Wolf, here's our top 5 favourites from the last few decades.

No list worth its fur would start without Werewolves of London from Warren Zevon. Recorded in 1978 and taken from the album Excitable Boy, it's a mainstay of BBC Radio 2, whose listeners incidentally voted that it had the best opening line to a song. Its inclusion on the soundtrack to An American Werewolf in London gave it a cult status but hearing it in the Paul Newman/Tom Cruise 1996 flick The Color of Money gave it a new lease of life. The B-side, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner was...

The Howling - A franchise with bite
Posted on Sunday 28th January 2018

Based on Gary Bradner's novel of the same name, The Howling is one of those werewolf movies that dared to be more vicious than its predecessors and yet still retained a more traditional tone. Horror is proud to be showing this classic on Saturday 3rd February as part of our Season of the Wolf, so here's a quick timeline of The Howling franchise and personal opinions of the movies. Let us know if you agree via email and our social feeds.

Directed by Joe Dante in 1981, The Howling took the young director to new heights after cult hits Piranha in 1978 and Rock N' Roll High School the following year. Though the movie only took some of the ideas from the original story, it was strong enough to earn itself a lastin...

Bark at the moon this February on Horror
Posted on Friday 26th January 2018

Horror is taking you deep into the woods during February with a selection of movies that celebrate the finest of fearsome flicks all about Lycanthropy, Season of the Wolf. Each Saturday at 10.55pm we're bringing you tales of terror that are dripping with blood and will have you barking at the moon with delight.

The season starts on the 3rd as Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone, Patrick Macnee and John Carradine battle a brutal beast in Joe Dante's superb feature, The Howling. A female reporter is attacked by a notorious serial killer and to get over her trauma she is sent to 'The Colony', a remote mountain resort. But there her problems really begin, as the residents are werewolves. We bring you contemporary h...

Wes Craven - The Nightmare Man
Posted on Thursday 4th January 2018

"Horror films don't create fear. They release it."

Wesley Earl Craven, Wes to his friends, was born in Cleveland, Ohio August 2nd 1939 and became one of the most respected and acclaimed creatives of his generation. When he died on August 30th 2015 it came as a huge shock to all, especially those of us who heard the news whilst attending FrightFest. Gone was the man who gave the world Krug Stillo, Pluto and Horace Pinker as well as the career defining creation of Freddy Krueger. He made stars of Michael Berryman, Johnny Depp and Robert Englund and rejuvenated the horror genre not once but twice.

Horror will be celebrating the work of Wes Craven throughout January so here's a quick look at...

Horror's Top 10 Films of 2017
Posted on Thursday 21st December 2017

It's been quite the year for horror. From home invasions to adult nappies and right through to cannibalism and dancing clowns, the genre has seen a slew of critical and commercial success over the calendar year. But which were our favourites?

Below, take a look at Horror's favourite films of 2017. We couldn't bare to rank the excellencies, so we settled for alphabetical order. So kicking off with A, we have:

Attack of the Adult Babies

If you're after a movie that's almost beyond description, then Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies is for you. At first this satirical shocker seems like Benny Hill on acid with plenty of leggy nurses dressed in seductive uniforms, but the movie...

Wes Craven Season welcomes in 2018 on Horror
Posted on Friday 15th December 2017

Throughout January, Saturday nights at 9pm will be devoted to a Wes Craven Season as Horror Channel presents a retrospective of the late great genre director's career. Four of his supernatural shockers and scream-filled slashers will be broadcast, including the network premieres of serial killer chiller My Soul To Take, his macabre masterpiece The Serpent And The Rainbow, his diabolically electrifying Shocker and the goofy, gory satire The People Under The Stairs.

There are also network premieres for Franck Khalfoun's superior psychological horror Maniac, starring Elijah Wood as a scalp-loving serial killer, David S. Goyer's pulsating possession thriller The Unborn, starring Gary Oldman and Ham...

The Evil In Us and P2 receive their UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in December
Posted on Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Christmas nightmares come early on Horror Channel, as the UK's primary TV destination for genre fans serves up the UK TV premieres of Jason William Lee's slick and stylish modern take on the zombie virus, The Evil In Us and Frank Khalfoun's boundary-pushing crime slasher P2, starring Wes Bentley.

There are also network premieres for Adam Egypt Mortimer's deeply-cutting supernatural revenge chiller Some Kind Of Hate, Ruth Platt's astonishingly bravura art-house horror The Lesson, Travis Oates' powerfully disturbing thriller Don't Blink, starring Mena Suvari and Glen Morgan's gruesome Black Christmas, a remake of the classic 1974 seasonal slasher, starring popular scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead....

Horror Channel devotes November to Bloody Brits and rampaging sharks!
Posted on Thursday 19th October 2017

November on Horror Channel has a distinctive cutting-edge with a Saturday night prime-time Bloody British Season, celebrating the new wave of British horror movies that reinvigorated the UK horror industry in the early 2000s. There are 9pm network premieres for Neil Marshall's sensational werewolf debut feature Dog Soldiers (2002) (Saturday 11th), his monstrous all-female star cast follow-up The Descent (2005) (Saturday 25th), Christopher Smith's underground ghost train journey through hell, Creep (2004) (Saturday 18th), and Nick Hamm's psychologically gripping The Hole (2001) (Saturday 4th), with Keira Knightley in her first significant film role.

And the cuts get deeper with a Sharkmania Marathon...

Horror Channel celebrates Stephen King's 70th year and goes Southbound this October.
Posted on Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Works by Stephen King feature heavily this month on Horror Channel, which celebrates the icon's 70th year of one of horror's most prolific and popular authors. There are network premieres for his fearsome feline anthology Cat's Eye, starring James Woods and Drew Barrymore; his darkly weighty cautionary tale Stephen King's Thinner, directed by Tom Holland in his directorial debut; the science-fiction action horror Maximum Overdrive, starring Emilio Estevez; and the 2009 adaptation of his short story Children Of The Corn.

Horror Channel has eleven film premieres in October, including the UK premieres of Southbound, a chiller compendium from the creators of the V/H/S franchise; Mitch Wilson's gruesome...

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