Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Posts by Nate Yapp

Review: Vampire Circus (1972)

Vampire Circus poster

As the fortunes of Hammer Films began to dwindle in the early 1970s, they struggled to maintain relevance in the face of the shifting interests of their audiences. Their vampire movies were at the center of this struggle. While the existing Dracula series moved its setting to modern London with mixed results, another, more innovative approach emerged.  These non-Dracula vampire movies emphasized new stories and characters while tweaking the standard vampire mythos. Robert Young's Vampire Circus (1972) is one of the films, one that remains a rich, complex horror film, although it suffers a few stumbles that stem from problems in production.
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Review: Jigoku (1960)

Jigoku 1960 poster

Hell is other people. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Go to Hell. Raise some Hell. Your own personal Hell. Hell is for children. Life is Hell. Hell yeah. Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?(read more...)

Review: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)

Nosferatu 1979 poster

Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau's 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, may be the finest of all vampire films; it's certainly one of the best horror films ever made. To even contemplate a remake of such a highly-regarded masterpiece would be thought of as pure folly. Writer/director Werner Herzog, never one to care what others think, mounted just such a remake in 1979. Filmed simultaneously in German and English, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (American title: Nosferatu the Vampyre) is Herzog's endeavor – not always a successful one -- to recreate and reinterpret Murnau's film, hewing closely to the original's plot and visuals while adding color, sound, and a more complex reading of the central vampire.
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Review: The Door with Seven Locks (1962)

Door with Seven Locks poster

Before the giallo, there was the krimi – West German crime films frequently based on the works of British novelist Edgar Wallace and his son Bryan Edgar Wallace. These movies were marked by their sensationalistic content and their tendency to skirt the horror genre when they weren't plunging headlong into it. Alfred Vohrer's The Door with Seven Locks (German title: Die Tür mit den 7 Schlösser) is a horror-skirter, but it also skirts nearly every other genre that doesn't involve bursting into song or traveling back in time. If it can conceivably be stuffed into a pulp crime novel, it's here. With so many weird plot elements flying around, The Door with Seven Locks often feels a little breathless, but it's quite enjoyable if you don't bother with thinking through its various twists and contrivances.
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Review: The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962)

Awful Dr. Orlof poster

Whether you believe that prolific multi-hyphenate Jesus Franco, director of over 150 films and writer, co-star, or composer of many of them, is an irritating hack or a secret genius, you have to respect his 1962 film, The Awful Dr. Orlof. You may not admire it, although I certainly do, but its place in film history is set. The first “true” horror movie produced in Spain, The Awful Dr. Orlof is a flash point in the turbulent transition of the horror film from the Gothic to the modern.(read more...)

Review: At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)

At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul poster

Zé do Caixão (or as he's known in the United States, Coffin Joe) is something of a horror film legend and obscure cult figure all at once. The character, the creation of Brazilian actor-writer-director Jose Mojica Marins, is only infrequently included in books on the genre and only one tome (as far as I can tell) has been utterly devoted to him. Yet once you've seen him, you're not likely to forget him; from his  all-black suit to his long, curved fingernails, he's an imposing figure. My first Zé do Caixão sighting came in the pages of Phil Hardy's Encyclopedia of Horror, in a publicity still from This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse, which had Zé leering over a female victim, all ten of his fingers hovering like talons over her eyes.(read more...)

Review: Pathology (2008)

Pathology poster

Pathology is a solid little thriller that doesn't quite enter the land of horror. That's fine, of course – it doesn't appear to have been specifically tailored as a horror film to begin with. I review it here not because of its genre, but because its subject matter lends itself to easy appreciation by horror aficionados. In brief, Pathology is about how a group of young people turn death into a pastime and a pastime into an obsession.(read more...)

Review: The Skull (1965)

The Skull poster

The films of Freddie Francis have always shown the work of a skilled visual craftsman -- one of the very best, in fact -- but also one who performs better when others provide him a creative vision and context from within which he can do his work. I find it rather telling that many of the best films that Francis worked on -- Glory, The Straight Story, The Elephant Man -- were those in which he acted as cinematographer to a visionary director, years after he gave up regularly directing himself. The Skull, made for Amicus in 1965, is a particularly effective case for Francis's talent with a camera and against his knack for creating his own stories. Although the film is hampered by a lackluster script and poor casting choices, its ultimate chance at success rests on Francis's shoulders – for better or for worse.
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Review: Scars of Dracula (1970)

Scars of Dracula poster

Anyone wondering why Hammer Films felt the need to transplant Count Dracula to Swingin’ London in Dracula AD 1972 need look no further than Scars of Dracula (1970). This tepid continuation of the studio’s Dracula series proves, with little room for argument, that Hammer’s ability to deal with the vampire in his native Gothic setting had long ago dwindled to nothing. All devoted fans get for their troubles is a rehash of old ideas, a terribly insufficient plot, and a bad mishandling of Dracula as a character.(read more...)

Review: The Mummy's Tomb (1942)

The Mummy's Tomb poster

Okay, put away your books. Time for a pop quiz. I know, I know, I promised that you wouldn’t have one today, but isn’t the point of a pop quiz the surprise factor? Don’t worry, it’s brief. Here we go. Established: The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) runs for 60 minutes and 35 seconds. Established: 11 minutes and 27 seconds of that runtime is spent recapping, with extensive flashback footage, the previous film in Universal's Kharis series, The Mummy’s Hand (1940). Resolve: How much actual movie remains after you subtract the recaps? Show your work. Extra credit: Can The Mummy’s Tomb still be considered a feature film? Why or why not?(read more...)