Wild Wednesdays: Euro Horror

THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW (1972)

Roger Moore in THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF

WILD WEDNESDAYS: EURO HORROR

VIRTUAL REPERTORY SERIES

OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 24, 2020

For those interested in staying in the Halloween spirit – and as an expansion on the DUSK-TIL-DAWN DRIVE-IN MARATHON presented by KinoLorber (coming to the virtual Brattle Oct 30) – we are excited to present a brief, salacious dive into the grand-guignol tradition of European gothic cinema. Each Wednesday for the next four weeks we will be releasing a special double feature that touches on the history and origins of the uniquely continental horror films that flooded movie screens in the 60s and 70s. While US shock cinema was dominated by gory indie freakouts like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead, many European genre directors began pushing the envelope by injecting increasing amounts of violence and sex into the comparatively staid period pieces of the Hammer Horror tradition. This program touches on a selection from these filmmakers – Mario Bava, Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, and Pete Walker – alongside films that reflect the waning influence of the Hammer ‘school.’

These titles are no longer available to watch in our Virtual Screening Room


WED, NOV 18 – TUE, NOV 24

Double Feature

A specially-priced one-week double-feature gives you access to both films for $13 or watch them individually for $8 each.

WATCH NOW:

THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW (1972)

1972 • dir Pete Walker w/Ray Brooks, Jenny Hanley, Luan Peters • 96 min

Billed as “An Appalling Amalgam of Carnage and Carnality,” Pete Walker’s THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW is an homage to the blood-splattered, sex-smeared theatre known as the Grand Guignol. Still haunted by an especially tragic production of Othello, a seaside theatre reopens its doors as a groovy musical revue, only to have several of its performers fall victim to the deadly curse. Alongside Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood (1971), THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW is one of the first templates for the wildly popular slasher films of the late 70s and beyond.

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VIRGIN WITCH (1972)

1972 • dir Ray Austin w/Ann Michelle, Vicki Michelle, Keith Buckley, Patricia Haines, James Chase • 88 min

Capitalizing on the pop cultural fascination with the occult, while taking advantage of the era’s relaxed censorship, VIRGIN WITCH was one of the more notorious British horror films of the early seventies. Ann Michelle (House of Whipcord) and Vicki Michelle (BBC’s ’Allo ’Allo!) star as a pair of miniskirted birds who travel to a remote castle in order to land a contract in the modeling agency of the mysterious lesbian Sybil Waite (Haines). Only then do they realize that the agency is a means of procuring fresh victims for a witch’s coven. Sybil’s plan goes awry when she discovers that one of the virginal sisters is hardly an innocent victim – but is gifted with deadly supernatural powers and hellbent on taking over the coven herself!
Not Available Elsewhere to Rent or Stream!

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Wednesday, November 11

Double Feature

BARON BLOOD (1972)

1972 • dir Mario Bava w/Joseph Cotten, Elke Sommer, Antonio Cantafora, Massimo Girotti, Luciano Pigozzi • 90 min

After bursting out of the gate with his gothic masterpiece Black Sunday, renowned genre director Mario Bava focused mostly on other types of films for over a decade before returning to supernatural horror for this strange, gruesome movie. A young American professor (Cantafora) travels to the estate of his ancestor, the sadistic Baron Otto von Kleist, seeking the truth beneath his notorious reputation. When he and his beautiful assistant Eva (Sommer) read an ancient incantation aloud, the Baron’s spirit is resurrected, leading to a series of violent deaths within the haunted castle.

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REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE (1973)

1973 • dir Jean Rollin w/Dominique, Marie-Pierre Castel, Mirielle d’Argent, Louise Dhour, Philippe Gasté • 87 min

An idiosyncratic director if ever there was one, Jean Rollin churned out a remarkable number of gothic nudie films over the course of his career and seemed largely unconcerned with what audiences wanted or needed. His successes only came when the public fad crossed over with his own personal filmmaking journey. The result is a series of films that prize form over content and are devoted to Rollin’s ideas of beauty – whether in the naked female form or strikingly stylized set design. Rollin considered REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE to be one of his purest films – he claimed to have written the screenplay in just 2 days – and thus one of his favorites. In it, a pair of beautiful young women involved in some sort of criminal enterprise gone awry find themselves on the run and hiding out in a gothic chateau inhabited by a vampiric presence.

Watch Trailer

A specially-priced one-week double-feature gives you access to both films for $13 or watch them individually for $8 each.

WATCH NOW:


Wednesday, November 4

Double Feature

THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR (1968)

1968 • dir Vernon Sewell w/Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham • 88 min

By the late 1960s, Hammer Films had become such a recognized brand that other production companies began trying to imitate their success, frequently making use of the stars and/or directors known for their work with Hammer. In this bizarre Hammer knock-off from Tigon Productions (also responsible for one of the nastiest Vincent Price films, Witchfinder General), the Victorian countryside is plagued by an insectoid creature tearing out the throats of all the eligible bachelors around. Though the only living witness has gone completely insane, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Quennell (Cushing) remains intent on solving the case and revealing the connection to an esteemed entomologist and his daughter.

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THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF (1970)

1970 • dir Basil Dearden w/Roger Moore • 94 min

The final film from the underrated British director Basil Dearden (Dead of Night), THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF is a satisfyingly creepy Twilight Zone-esque tale starring a just-barely-pre-Bond Roger Moore. Moore plays Harold Pelham, a straightlaced London businessman who, after a near-fatal car crash, begins to suspect that he has a doppelganger trying to take over and upend his life. Though not a success at the time, the film signaled the beginnings of a trend in British genre cinema away from the blood-and-bodices tendencies of Hammer Films and its imitators and towards more contemporary settings – whether in a cerebral film like this or in the exploitation films of Pete Walker and company.

Watch Trailer

A specially-priced one-week double-feature gives you access to both films for $13 or watch them individually for $8 each.

WATCH NOW:


Wednesday, October 29

Two Restored Silent Horror Classics!

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920)

NOSFERATU (1922)

This week we go back 100 years to the origins of European horror cinema with brilliant restorations of these silent classics. A specially-priced one-week double-feature gives you access to both films for $13 or watch them individually for $8 each.

In NOSFERATU, director F.W. Murnau and lead actor Max Schreck create one of the most iconic of cinematic vampires, the ghastly Count Orlok. This thinly-veiled adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ur-vampire text, Dracula, presents a more ghoul-like bloodsucker than in subsequent versions making for a truly unnerving and horrific film.

In THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, one of the first landmarks of horror cinema, a sinister showman dubbed Dr. Caligari controls a zombie-like sleepwalker and commands him to kill. Masterfully directed by Robert Wiene, CALIGARI presens a dream-like, expressionistic world that reflects the nightmare reality of both the somnambulist, Cesare, and the victims of Caligari’s sinister plotting.

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New titles announced Wednesdays at 10:30am!