Wes Craven - The Nightmare Man
By James Whittington, 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 his cinematic life and his most famous pieces of work.

Craven started out as a teacher but soon moved into film editing where he honed his craft but didn't make an impression until he unleashed the censor worrying shocker The Last House On The Left in 1972. This brutal and uncompromising revenge flick woke up the horror movement and helped pave the way for other such genre defining movies such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

It was in 1977 when the world sat up and took Craven seriously when The Hills Have Eyes hit cinemas. Not as brutal a LHOTL but still with a grindhouse vibe to it, this "cannibals on the rise" movie was one of the first big hits of the home video era which helped The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 to arrive in 1985. Infamous for its "dog daydream sequence" it wasn't Craven's finest moment but this is usually overlooked for in 1984 he delivered a true classic, A Nightmare On Elm Street.

This story of a child killer who returns from the dead to kill teens in their dreams was such a commercial hit that it lead to five direct sequels, the meta-movie Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1994 and Freddy Vs Jason in 2003. With Robert Englund in the lead role the franchise made the slasher movie "fun" again and a once more a box-office favourite. Even on TV the character had his own anthology series, Freddy's Nightmares in 1988.

Craven's The Serpent And The Rainbow in 1988 was one of his most critically acclaimed movies. This tale of voodoo (supposedly based on true accounts) retained his grisly eye for detail but was also done completely straight and became one of his first movies not to worry the censor. Shocker in 1989 and The People Under The Stairs in 1991 showed Craven having fun with his audience, delivering big shocks but laced with acidic wit and social commntary.

Then in 1996 he changed the face of horror once more with a film that sparked resurgence in the slasher genre which paved the way for Michael Myers to return to the big screen a few years later, Scream. Released in 1996 Scream has everything, a superior cast, a tight script and tons of violence it proved that horror could be smart, intelligent and above all bloody good fun.

Craven was more than just a horror director, he was a writer, a producer, an actor, a man who loved the art of cinema. He could make big budget movies, small budget movies, movies with real heart and passion, movies that were made to entertain, to provoke a reaction and above all made with love. We may never see another "Wes Craven" but his influence on those who were inspired by him will live on for decades.

Throughout January, Saturday nights at 9pm on Horror 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.

88 Films unleashes two terrifying treats in stunning HD restorations!
Posted in News, Tuesday 20th March 2018

Despite a street date of July 9th, Alfred Sole's sublime scare-fest Alice Sweet Alice is shipping from the 88 Films web site NOW! And that is not all they have planned this month as the old VHS favourite The Bone Yard makes a blistering comeback in horrific HD!

The slasher film phenomenon had barely begun to find its feet when, in 1976, New Jersey based director Alfred Sole (Pandemonium) put a definitive mark on the form with his timeless terror title Alice Sweet Alice. Pre-dating the groundbreaking girls-in-peril chills of John Carpenter's blockbuster Halloween, Sole's shocker tells of murder and mayhem in and out of a strict Catholic Church - and the killer happens to be clad in a pale white mask... ...

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Posted in News, Tuesday 20th March 2018

The legendary comedy-horror-disaster franchise is back and bigger than ever!

With much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for the inevitable: a global sharknado. From London to Asia, South Africa to Mexico, Fin and his family must put a stop to the sharknados once and for all.

Marking the latest in this epically entertaining film series, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming stars Tara Reid (American Pie), Ian Ziering (Beverley Hills, 90210), Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It), Masiela Lusha (George Lopez), Cody Linley (Hannah Montana, Dancing with the Stars), Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) and features a whole host of celebrity cameos.

So grab your chainsaw, shar...

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Posted in Features, Tuesday 20th March 2018

April on Horror Channel sees an Infection Season spread across Saturday nights with a highly contagious collection of outbreak action, headed by the network premieres of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later and the equally impressive sequel 28 Weeks Later, starring Robert Carlyle. There are also welcome re-showings for Breck Eisner's critically-acclaimed remake of George Romero's 1973 movie, The Crazies, and M. Night Shyamalan's boldly unsettling survival movie The Happening.

28 Days Later on the 7th was one of the most successful genre movies of 2002 a...

Terrifier - DVD review
Posted in Reviews, Sunday 18th March 2018


Signature Entertainment

Certificate 18

"Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns."

There's been a spate of "killer clown" movies of late as well as that trend of people posting increasingly boring videos of themselves dressing up as clowns and scaring the crap out of people. After we've been treated to the Eli Roth produced Clown and the remake of IT, step forward a movie that truly does make clowns scary, Terrifier.

This is the story of the maniacal Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), who terrorizes three young women on Halloween, butchering everyone who stands in his way. In grand Halloween tradition, we see the night he came home in all its gory glory, in a pl...

Friendly Beast - FrightFest review
Posted in Frightfest, Reviews, Sunday 18th March 2018

Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow was a true showcase for world cinema. One of the stand out pieces came from Gabriela Amaral Almeida who wrote and directed Friendly Beast, a film so visceral yet beautiful at the same time, it left an indelible mark on this reviewer's mind.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. Staff want to go home while the boss struggles with money troubles and a desire for more power in his life. Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and gain the upper hand. Suddenly, the already dangerous and explosive situation turns deadly; sides are taken, and people turn to the most abhorrent behaviour in an instant.


Interview with Richard Elliot, Managing Director of 88 Films
Posted in Interviews, Saturday 17th March 2018

Recently I've been lucky enough to review some rather tasty Blu-rays from 88 Films. This company has been behind amazing releases of titles such as A Cat in the Brain, Anthropophagous and Don't Go in the Woods...Alone. So I decided to chat to managing director Richard Elliot about 88 Films and how they survive in a cut-throat market.

HC: How did 88 Films start?

RE: 88 Films started after James and I met working for another label and it was the usual "we think we can do it better than the boss" scenario. So we slowly developed an idea of what we wanted to do after work down the pub and after lots of head scratching and pork scratchings and some setbacks BE Movies was born... which quickly became 88 Films...

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Posted in News, Thursday 15th March 2018

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Unlike the soundtracks that Goblin had previously contributed to the films by Dario Argento, the music of Tenebrae incorporates heavy electronica and dance music blended with rock and disco elements for a unique hybrid of genre and composition style.

Extensive usage of early an...

Exclusive stills revealed as supernatural horror Quail Hollow enters post-production
Posted in News, Monday 12th March 2018

Quail Hollow, starring Marcia Do Vales (Ibiza Undead, Heretiks), Peyton Wich (Stranger Things, The Darkest Minds) and Thomas Francis Murphy (The Walking Dead, Mindhunter) recently wrapped a haunting shoot in Louisiana.

Directed by Spaniard Javier De Prado (making his feature film debut) and produced by UK's Templeheart Films in association with EnMar Productions, the pulse-racing paranormal thriller centres on twin sisters Sunny and Mila (played by Marcia Do Vales) ...

Hitchcock and Herrmann get special release for Record Store Day 2018
Posted in News, Sunday 11th March 2018

More Record Store Day 2018 news has reached us and fans of the work of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann are in for a treat. Silva Screen Records will release a Double A Side 7 Inch on transparent amber vinyl containing two pieces of Herrmann's most famous work.

Side A contains Prelude/The Nightmare from Vertigo and Side AA has North by Northwest Main Titles, this release is limited to just 1200.

Bernard Herrmann is the undoubted master of the film score and his music for Vertigo and North By Northwest remain as vital a component as the director, actors and script. Vertigo crackles with tension as James Stewart's character Scottie goes through an emotional wringer. Herrm...

Season of the Witch (2011)
Thursday 29th March
10.55 PM
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb
Tuesday 27th March
10.50 PM
Sunday 25th March
10.55 PM