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!

Review: Tower of London (1939)

Tower of London 1939 poster

On the surface Tower of London is not your typical Universal picture. While the studio's chief output in the 1930s had been monster movies sourced from 18th century literature, Tower is instead a historical saga set in 15th century England. But rather than focus on the romantic intrigue and grand costumes of these times (for that cinema goers could've grabbed a ticket for The Private Life of Elizabeth and Essex released the same year) director/producer Rowland V. Lee draws back this veil to reveal real human depravity. After all this is the story of Richard III, a story that includes bloody war, mad ambition and infanticide. By looking to the past the studio wasn't making a departure, but rather continuing to indulge its obsession with monsters.
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Cold Reads: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Castle of Otranto

When one makes an outlandish claim such as the chicken came before the egg or that it was Elvis who put the bop in shop-bop-a-loo-bop, one should expect to be met with a torrent of verbal venom and rotten produce. Saying that The Castle of Otranto is the very first horror novel in literature history seems like a claim that would receive a similarly warm reaction. Generally regarded as the first Gothic novel, I believe that by extension this book must have had a good amount of influence on the genre as a whole and helped shape the foundation of horror. While most definitely not perfect, Otranto serves as a nice little history lesson in terror. Like they say, it all had to start somewhere...(read more...)

The Terrorphile: Sometimes We Come Back

The Terrorphile (Fade to Black)

Did you miss us? It's been six long months but Classic-Horror.com is back from hiatus. In that time, I got married, was promoted at my "real job," started writing a book, stopped writing a book (note that I didn't say "finished"), and spent more time than is reasonable fiddling around in Final Cut Express.

I'm happy to say that the primary goal of the hiatus was definitely met: I was able to take some time to consider the whys and wherefores of the site and what makes it work. In the future, we'll be more focused on the history of horror (as our banner promises). This includes three new regular columns: (read more...)

Cold Reads: Psycho by Robert Bloch

Psycho by Robert Bloch

When Classic-Horror.com returns from its hiatus in May, we'll be featuring a number of regular columns tracking different aspects of the horror genre. Here's a preview of one such column, Jose Cruz's study of horror in literature, Cold Reads. 

"Norman Bates heard the noise and a shock went through him." And so begins this timeless tale, a story that is guaranteed to send a few jolts of nervousness through your veins as well. Overshadowed by its celluloid counterpart, Psycho the book has all the creeping chills of the movie along with the great privilege of having Mr. Robert Bloch to guide us through the long, dark corridors of both the Bates house and the minds of its inhabitants.(read more...)

Review: Dying Room Only (1973)

Dying Room Only DVD

The 1973 television movie Dying Room Only concerns itself with the tensions between the modern suburb dweller and those who make their living along the highways that run between "civilized" places. Writer Richard Matheson tackled similar subject matter in 1971's Duel, where he explored the conflict between a salesman and a faceless, homicidal truck driver. Here, he moves off-road to a diner to examine who, exactly, makes the rules out in the middle of nowhere.
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2010 Rondo Nominees Announced -- Classic-Horror.com Nominated

Rondo Awards

Nominations for the Eight Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were announced last night on the rondoaward.com website and the Classic Horror Film Board. The purpose of the Rondos is to recognize "the best in monster research, creativity and film preservation." Classic-Horror.com is proud to be a nominee in the category of Best Website. Praise goes out to all of our hard-working writers who helped make 2009 one of our best years ever.(read more...)

Interview: June Lockhart on "She-Wolf of London"

June Lockhart #1

"Would you let me interview you about She-Wolf of London?" I asked the always charming and ebullient June Lockhart.

"Yes!" she answered immediately.

"And, in preparation for the interview, can I get you to watch the movie?"

One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Four Mississippi. Five Mississippi.

"...Yyyyes..." came the 21st-century-to-date's most hesitant acquiescence.

Well, who can blame her? Universal's monster movie makers weren’t exactly covering themselves with glory at the end of the studio's legendary 1931-46 cycle of fright flicks, and this tale of "werewolf attacks" in a turn-of-the-century London park is related with minimum novelty or quality. Twenty-year-old Lockhart stars as Phyllis Allenby, the last descendant of an aristocratic family that was once cursed by wolves, and begins to suspect that in her sleep, under the spell of the curse, she rises as a werewolf and terrorizes the foggy park.(read more...)

Review: White Zombie (1932)

White Zombie poster

Continuing our series of guest reviews during Classic-Horror's hiatus, here's Max Cheney (of The Drunken Severed Head).

To comment on White Zombie is a task that daunts me. This minor classic, with its wealth of haunting imagery, has been commented on, criticized and analyzed by so many people, that I wonder what I can add.

Not that I haven't thought about the film. Stills from it ran in Famous Monsters of Filmland, the magazine that taught me respect for old horror films; those stills fed my imagination in those pre-cable, pre-home video days. As a kid, I was forever making my own mental movies out of photos seen in FM. White Zombie was no exception, but unlike other old horror films I wondered about and dreamed of, White Zombie did not disappoint my older self when I finally got to see it.(read more...)

Coming Soon: Phoenix Fear Film Festival 2010

Phoenix Fear Film Festival 2010

I'm breaking the site's hiatus briefly to help my good friends over at Trash City Entertainment spread the word about the Phoenix Fear Film Festival, taking place January 23rd, 2010 at Madcap Theaters (730 S Mill Ave in Tempe, Arizona). Five features and eleven short films will haunt the screens through the course of the day. Special guests scream queen Tiffany Shepis and slasher star Nick Principe (Chrome Skull in Laid to Rest) will be on hand, as well as musical acts Fancy Pants, Count Smokula, and Thunderstump.(read more...)

Review: Saw (2004)

Saw poster

We're still on hiatus, but a few friends of Classic-Horror.com have generously offered their talents as guest reviewers during the break. First up is Brian Solomon (aka B-Sol) of the fantastic blog The Vault of Horror.

It's unfortunate that James Wan and Leigh Whannell's original psychological gem Saw has been somewhat stigmatized by the invariably inferior string of sequels that followed it-because it's actually a damned effective and innovative horror film. In a decade when remakes and sequels ran so roughshod, Saw is a work of stark originality that hits the viewer like a sledgehammer to the stomach.(read more...)

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