LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2
By James Whittington, Monday 8th April 2019 Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2 Demon Records
Here we go again with another slice of superb sounds with an Italian flavour from Demon Records and let's just say its just as strong as the movies they're culled from.
Starting off with the hazy chill of Savana from Savana Violenta (The Violent World) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, we get the chance to experience some of the most wonderful pieces without the graphic images that accompanied them. Make Love on the Wing from Zombie Holocaust is as 70s Euro lounge as you can get, and both these tracks create images of sunsets and calm waters.
It's not long before Fabio Frizzi turns up with the disco infused You Are Not the Same from Lucio Fulci's Contraband, an exploitation thriller that has some eye-watering moments of violence. This up-tempo piece hints at none of that nastiness and is sung by Italian group Cricket. If you want funky Frizzi then Verso L'Alba from City of the Living Dead is for you, a deep bass is mixed with flute and could easily be used if your hobby is hypnotism!
Phenomena is one of Dario Argento's most famous movies and contained on its soundtrack a haunting piece from Bill Wyman, Valley. Eerie and unsettling its layered with echoes and repeated notes that drift into the horizon. Wyman teams up with Terry Taylor for the Opera Theme which takes its lead from the best of Goblin but morphs itself into a plodding yet spiralling electronic trance. Claudio Simonetti's Conquest from Lucio Fulci's movie of the same name is probably the best thing from this film. The film was derided at the time of release but this synthesizer masterclass from the soundtrack makes me want to see it again after quite some time.
Frizzi's Baby Sequenza 1 from Manhattan Baby is an ethereal, grand piece that uses the lower end of the Mellotron to get its message across whereas La Luce from The Antichrist gets the church organ treatment from the legendary Ennio Morricone. Carlo Maria Cordio's Sudden Death from Aenigma is as if the Art of Noise had been allowed to score a Fulci movie, this is not a negative in anyway and is pretty cool.
Roberto Donati's Cannibal Ferox is more of what you'd expect from this collection, more "in-your-face" than most of this collection and a reminder that the movie had more to offer than gut-munching and animal cruelty!
This outstanding collection has stunning artwork by Graham Humphreys and superb sleeve notes by Italian horror expert Alan Jones and comes on 2 x 180G vinyl with CD in replica wallet. The release also includes an exclusive 12" x 12" print of the beautiful sleeve art.
Vault Of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2 is a prime selection of often overlooked gems, here's to the Volume 3 arriving very, very soon.
MORE REVIEWS The Psychic - Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 11th August 2021 The Psychic Shameless Entertainment Certificate 18
The Psychic aka Murder to the Tune of the 7 Black Notes aka Death Tolls Seven Times aka Seven Notes in Black, is one of Lucio Fulci's most accomplished movies and it's finally been given a release that it truly deserves thanks to Shameless Entertainment. Often overlooked by fans of Italian cinema this is a gem of a movie from a director at the height of his creative powers.
Jennifer O'Neill plays Virginia, a person who has had psychic powers since childhood, starting with the trauma of having sensed, from a great distance, the very moment of her mother's suicide... Now newly married and rich, Virginia...SHARE: READ MORE Super 8 - 4K review
Posted on Monday 7th June 2021 Super 8 Paramount Home Entertainment Certificate 12
The popularity of Stranger Things sparked an interest in all things retro sci-fi/horror 80s style but for many the true resurrection in interest came from a corker from J.J. Abrams, Super 8.
It tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to discover that something unimaginable escaped during the crash. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.
Bathed in retro chills and period detail, Super 8 manages to capture the innocence of youth with a punchy script and a very talented teenage cast. The smart part though i...SHARE: READ MORE Raw - Special Edition Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 28th April 2021 Raw (Special Edition) Second Sight Films Certificate 18
Original movies are few and far between but Raw manages to take a well-worn trope and give it a grim, contemporary and sophisticated twist. Its brutal, charming and in some ways innocent but don't be lulled into a false sense of security, the movie is, as the title suggests very, very raw.
Shy student Justine (Garance Marillier), heads to a veterinary school and is subjected a tough series of hazing rituals from fellow students. And it's even tougher for vegetarian Justine as she is covered in blood and forced to eat raw meat. But after tasting the flesh, Justine finds herself craving even more meat - and it doesn't matte...SHARE: READ MORE Darkroom - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 18th January 2021 Darkroom 88 Films Certificate 15
88 Films continues to search out for forgotten shockers for their Slasher Collection and this time has unearthed a truly cheesy piece from 1989, Darkroom. Being produced by Nico Mastorakis, the guy who gave the world the censor bothering shocker Island of Death you'd expect it to be a wild and unflinching slasher. Instead, we get an above average slice and dice flick with plenty of set-ups but more considerate on the bloodletting.
The film begins with a brutal double axe slaying by an unknown murderer but who could this mad killer be? Why does he photograph his victims as they die? Most of all, what drives them to kill?
Directo...SHARE: READ MORE Blind Date - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 18th January 2021 Blind Date 88 Films Certificate 18
This tale of obsession and sight loss is a prime example of 80s arty horror. Directed by Nico Mastorakis, the man behind the controversial shocker Island of Death, this is a sci-fi infused giallo style slasher that's been off the shelves for far too long.
Ad Exec Jon Ratcliff is obsessed and riddled with guilt over his lost girlfriend but then is convinced he spots her at a photo shoot. Trying to track her down he's involved in an incident and loses his sight, but medics can't understand how it's happened as his eyes have suffered no damage. Luckily, he's soon equipped with state-of-the-art technology (a zipped-up Walkman!) which par...SHARE: READ MORE Dawn of the Dead: Limited 4K Edition
Posted on Monday 16th November 2020 Dawn of the Dead: Limited 4K Edition Certificate 18 Second Sight Films
Arriving 10 years after the seminal Night of the Living Dead had ushered in a new era of zombie films, George A Romero returned to his undead roots to deliver, what many consider to be the greatest zombie, if not horror movie of all time, Dawn of the Dead.
The movie has been released many times, from laserdisc to VHS to Blu-ray and as fans will know, there are a number of different editions of the movie, The Theatrical Cut, The Extended ('Cannes') Cut and The Argento Cut so you'd think by now fans would have everything they ever wanted from this movi...SHARE: READ MORE The Grudge (2020) - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 1st June 2020 The Grudge Certificate 15 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
One of the most famous films of the last couple of decades or so, Japanese shocker Ju-On: The Grudge from director Takashi Shimizu was an expertly crafted journey into the paranormal. A few sequels and remake later and we arrive at a new version of the idea, this time the horror has never been more violent.
When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a curse is born. It gathers in the place of death but cannot be contained. Once you encounter it...it will never let go.
Written and directed by Nicolas Pesce, the movie really does get under the skin of the viewer with an atmosphere that contains ...SHARE: READ MORE Revenge - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 3rd May 2020 Revenge Second Sight Films Certificate 18
Over the years there have been many "revenge" themed movies, a lot of which used uncomfortable and challenging set-ups to grasp their audiences. One only must think of the grindhouse films such as I Spit on Your Grave (1978), Last House on the Left (1972) and Death Wish (1974) to see what I am getting at here. There is a fine line between art and exploitation, and these challenged the censor to the limits.
Revenge, which is just about to hit Blu-ray contains a similar premise, assault is the major plot point here as a young girl is brutally attacked and victimised, but the stylish way it is filmed and played, you see it rise above the...SHARE: READ MORE 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 Reviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 PICK OF THE WEEK
Wednesday 8th December
Saturday 11th December
Sunday 12th December