ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
By James Whittington, Thursday 19th December 2019
Gates of Hell Front cover with stickerVault 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 - or gates if you will - to horror fans to what Italian cinema could offer.

Complimenting these pieces were infamous scores from masters of the synthesiser; Fabio Frizzi, Walter Rizzati and Alessandro Blonksteiner, who all gave extra aural colour to these already vivid movies.

Here is a quick look at the highlights each album has to offer:

LP1: Paura Nella Citta' Dei Morti Viventi/City of the Living Dead - Fabio Frizzi
From the lush opening strings of Introduzione, Paura, Liberazione this score is a plodding piece of dread that emits a true emotional trip into aural anxiety. Spiralling in parts with random clashes on strings and a funky bass it takes the last legs of disco and gives the genre a rotting existence most notably on Verso L'Alba. Flip over to side B and we're back in classic Frizzi territory, meaning deep vocals and a thumbing beat. The final track, Tenebre Viventi brings the score to a foreboding close and will have you reaching for the arm of the player to listen to once more to appreciate the themes contained within.

LP2: E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore. L'Aldila/The Beyond - Fabio Frizzi
Verso L'Ignoto opens up the score to The Beyond which is, once again pure Frizzi, even more so, with Voci Dal Nulla which is totally off its head and pops up a couple of times in varying lengths. Suono Aperto contains effects which reminded me of Halloween III: Season of the Witch though this came first by a year and is a sharp piece. Sequenza Coro E Orchestra is beautiful, a full-blown attack on the ears which contains equal amounts of delicacy and heart with fused chorus, mashed with classic Hammer. Bass is back for Suono Aperto but more delicate than before, sliding around in the background, whereas Giro Di Blues is a stunningly sleazy track lifted straight out of a down-town after midnight Blues Bar.

LP3: Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimetero/The House by The Cemetery - Walter Rizzati and Alessandro Blonksteiner
This is a more progressive rock affair with I Remember being one of the most memorable pieces from the whole score. Blonk Suspense is way over the top with so much echo placed on the piano it could have been recorded in a cave whilst Verso Il Terrore takes its lead from 1970s detective shows. Tema Bambino carries on this theme with plenty of electronic orchestral stabs to lift it up. Blonk Monster is far more experimental and spaced out, which continues into Voci Dal Terrore but with added "plodding" bass. It all speeds up towards the end with the return of Verso Il Terrore leading into the rather beautiful piano of Tema Bambino.

Each score comes on a 180g 'nasty' coloured vinyl with all three housed in a lavish case-bound book which has been illustrated, painted and designed by the legend that is Graham Humphreys. The inclusion of extensive liner notes by Italian Horror expert Alan Jones add that touch of class to an already superb package. Jones is a highly respected journalist and expert on Italian cinema and vividly brings to life the era these classics came from. Let's hope Mr Jones is asked back to do a lot more of these releases.

Vault of Horror presents The Gate of Hell Trilogy celebrates three of the finest and most revered pieces of Italian horror cinema in fine style and leaves the audience begging for more.


MORE REVIEWS
The Grudge (2020) - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 1st June 2020
The Grudge 2020The 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
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 CoverBlack 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
Reviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Unspoken
THE UNSPOKEN
Thursday 24th September
9.00 PM
Wake Wood
WAKE WOOD
Wednesday 30th September
10.55 PM
Hannibal Rising
HANNIBAL RISING
Sunday 27th September
9.00 PM