LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Cat in the Brain - Blur-ray review
By James Whittington, Friday 23rd February 2018
Lucio Fulci, a man who never resisted to cross the line in horror cinema went through a lean period in the late 80s. His work was suffering from ever reducing budgets and it seemed as if his inspiration was lacking. Cat in the Brain, also known as Nightmare Concert, I volti del terrore and Un gatto nel cervello is a patchwork piece, assembled from little pieces of other movies with Fulci playing the lead to save money. But this is a meta-movie that is ripe for reappraisal.
Lucio Fulci is Lucio Fulci, a filmmaker with a reputation for gruesome horror films. His body of work has started to plague his mental state, and he is haunted by the grotesque set-pieces his mind has conjured up during his career. His psychiatrist, Egon Swharz (David L. Thompson), uses a hypnotised Fulci as an avatar to carry out his own disturbed fantasies, in hopes of ruining the master's reputation once and for all.
Disturbing, gory and very violent, Cat in the Brain was truly Fulci's last hurrah, taking some of the juiciest moments from his movies such as Sodoma's Ghost, Touch of Death and Massacre and adding this "director going mad" story around the pieces. It's a smart idea and Fulci delivers a perfectly decent take of a director on the edge of insanity. Its not perfect, it is at times stilted, the quality of re-used material is variable in quality and Fulci is not a natural actor but this doesn't detract from the piece. David L. Thompson as Schwarz chews up the scenery like there's no tomorrow, looking like a demented Christopher Lee and its very surreal and disjointed, but this can be said of most of Fulci's work. Many will prefer Wes Craven's take on such a movie, his New Nightmare was very well done but it didn't have the grindhouse feel that this has.
Fulci followers will love this release, it's the best transfer I've seen of the movie which was originally banned when submitted to the BBFC some years ago. 88 Films seemed to have cleaned up the print as best they could and the soundtracks (one dubbed into English and one in the original Italian with English subtitles which is better) are nice and clear with the latter seemingly stronger on the bass. Talking on sound the score from Fabio Frizzi is as good as you'd expect, lots of synth stings and bass hooks and highlights from past works.
The extras include Brain Food: Analysing Late Day Fulci - which is an excellent new documentary on the misfires and masterpieces of Lucio Fulci's late period career featuring Cat in the Brain screenwriter Antonio Tentori, legendary film critic Kim Newman, Dark Side magazine editor Allan Bryce and respected writer Callum Wadell, Fabio Frizzi: Live in Hollywood - Oct. 2, 2015 which has the grandmaster performing a piece from the movie and the original trailer.
Cat in the Brain is another excellent release from 88 Films, canít wait to see what they unleash next!
For more info click here.
Related show tags: 4 STARS MORE REVIEWS Knives and Skin - Original Soundtrack
Posted on Thursday 30th January 2020 Knives and Skin - Original Soundtrack Nick Zinner Lakeshore Records
Knives and Skin from director Jennifer Reeder was one of the strongest and most original movies from FrightFest 2019. Its hypnotic and sometimes surreal plot contained some superb set-pieces of nerve tightening drama. To make the film even more memorable it had a score which added a delicate beauty to the whole experience.
Part suburban nightmare, part neon-soaked teenage fever dream, this tantalizing mystery traces the wave of fear and distrust that spreads across a small Midwestern town in the wake of a high school girl's mysterious disappearance. As the loneliness and darkness lurking beneath the ve...SHARE: READ MORE Edge of the Axe - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 26th January 2020 Edge of the Axe Arrow Video Certificate 18
I must admit, Edge of the Axe is one of those late 80s slashers that passed me by when it was originally released. Maybe because I was tired of the genre by then, maybe because the concept of it being a Euro/American horror just didn't appeal to me, or just maybe there was something better to rent out that week! Anyway, this cut on its original release in 1989 due to the amount of axe on show but thanks to Arrow video we can now view uncut with all chopper moments intact!
The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. A...SHARE: READ MORE The Beyond - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 13th January 2020 The Beyond Shameless Certificate 18
There are some movies that horror fans have multiple copies of, for me it's The Evil Dead, Halloween and Zombie Flesh Eaters. I have loads of editions in my loft on tape, laserdisc, DVDs, and now lovely Blu-rays and, where I can, 4K editions. Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981) is one movie that could also take up a shelf for all the different editions and versions I own as for some reason I'm drawn to it whenever I see a new release, even if it's just for a new cover!
This time around though Shameless have something rather cool and a bit different for fans of this Fulci classic but more on this later. For those new to this title, The Beyond i...SHARE: READ MORE Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
Posted on Thursday 19th December 2019 Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy Demon Records
Following the success of the first two Vault of Horror vinyl releases, Demon Records have pulled out all the stops to deliver another sublime piece of audio that should form part of everyone's Christmas list this year.
Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy of movies delivered some of the most controversial pieces of horror cinema at a time when horror was entering the "video nasties" period and the genre, as a whole, was frowned upon. Fulci grabbed this chance to push the envelope further with movies which celebrated the limits horror could go to and by doing so opened the doors - ...SHARE: READ MORE Anna and the Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 9th December 2019 Anna and the Apocalypse Blu-ray Second Sight Films Certificate 15
Musical horror movies aren't a new thing. In fact, there's been far more than you first think such as Stage Fright (2014), Cannibal: The Musical (1993) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and all became smallish cult hits. The problem with most is that sometimes the storyline suffers from trying to force as many songs in as possible. There's no such issue with Anna and the Apocalypse.
This wonderfully wacky piece of seasonal cinema has all that you'd want and more from a rom-zom-sing-a-long-com!
It's Christmas, is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slas...SHARE: READ MORE Judy and Punch - Film review
Posted on Wednesday 20th November 2019 Judy and Punch Picturehouse Entertainment Certificate 15 Release 22nd November
If you're tired of sequels, predictable plots and unimaginative situations then writer/director Mirrah Foulkes has something really special for you! By turning the traditional story of Punch and Judy totally on its head, she has delivered a directorial debut that is bold, brash and bloody good fun.
In the outlandish town of Seaside, located nowhere near the coast, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) are trying to resurrect their marionette show. The show is a hit due to Judy's superior puppeteering, but Punch's driving ambition and penchant for a drink lead to an ill-fat...SHARE: READ MORE Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted on Friday 18th October 2019 Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig The Omega Productions Records
Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.
Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.
The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...SHARE: READ MORE Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted on Thursday 17th October 2019
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition) Sacred Bones Double Vinyl
Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.
The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...SHARE: READ MORE Asylum - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019 Asylum Second Sight Films Certificate 15
When you read that a film has the writer Robert Bloch (Psycho) and been directed by Roy Ward Baker your interest will be pricked. When you also learn it's from Amicus the you know it's a "must have" purchase. This is exactly what Asylum is, a cracker of an anthology movie which has been given the special HD treatment thanks to those lovely people at Second Sight Films.
Asylum boasts an all-star cast including Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Robert Powell, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse and Charlotte Rampling each who play this bizarre but entertaining movie perfectly straight. This was the fifth portmanteau film from Amicus and is a fine and beaut...SHARE: READ MORE The House that Dripped Blood - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019 The House that Dripped Blood Second Sight Films Certificate 15
Amicus was famous for its anthology movies, and The House that Dripped Blood was one of their most famous ones. It contains a few good scares, as well as more than its fair share of in-jokes and homages to horror cinema's past. Written by Psycho author Robert Block and directed by newcomer Peter Duffell, the film boasts the usual Amicus star line-up coupled with some great set designs and an over enthusiastic score. Oh, a spoiler here, there's no blood!
Scotland Yard's Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in four tales...SHARE: READ MORE Black Moon Rising - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 22nd April 2019 Black Moon Rising Arrow Video Cetificate 15
Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.
Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...SHARE: READ MORE Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 11th April 2019 Scared Stiff Arrow Video Certificate TBA
Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.
Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...SHARE: READ MORE Reviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 29th February
Monday 24th February
Saturday 22nd February