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FrightFest Memories – Cheers for Fears

FrightFest 4 horsemenPreparing a FrightFest feature for the Sky Movies website last week got me thinking about the festival, now celebrating its fourteenth year.

It’s remarkable to think of the many memories I now have because of crazy days across the August bank holiday weekend.

I became a FrightFester at the first event in 2000, when I had more hair on my head and fewer inches around the waist. That year I only saw the documentaries Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre and Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror. Alan Jones introduced both and prior to An Eye for Horror revealed he’d seen the script for Mother of Tears and a frisson of excitement travelled through the room.

Time ultimately told a sorry tale of how dreadful the closing chapter of the Three Mothers trilogy was, but at that moment the potential of...

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Claudia Gerini talks Tulpa, Giallo, Zampaglione and more!

Tulpa - Gerini redItalian actress Claudia Gerini is best known to UK audiences for appearances in The Passion of the Christ, Penelope Cruz’s Don’t Move and as a memorable villain in the TV adaptation of Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth.

Audiences will soon be able to see her in the mad Italian sex-thriller Tulpa, directed by her husband Federico Zampaglione, whose previous film was the neat little horror, Shadow.

A throwback to the classic Italian giallo horror-thrillers of the 1960s and 70s, Tulpa concerns a beautiful banker, Lisa (Gerini) whose life becomes a nightmare when members of the sex club she frequents begin turning up dead.

Fearing she’s next on the killers’ list, Lisa must solve the mystery before the black-gloved psycho moves her to the top of the list.

I caught up with Gerini to discuss the u...

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What are Cinematic Greens?

936full-metropolis-posterCinematic Greens… they are those films you know you should have watched, but have not yet found the time/summoned the willpower to do so.

They are all those films you’ve spent years bluffing your way through in conversations, typically using time as the ultimate get-out, e.g. “Sure, I’ve seen Metropolis, but years ago, so all I really remember are the bits in that Queen video”.

Cinematic greens are the reason IMdb and Wikipedia exist.  With their extensive plot synopses and trivia pages they provide more than enough ammunition to repel a barrage of questions on how you could possibly think that.

And, as the name suggests, they are the films you know you must consume rather than the films you’d like to.  You know they are good for you...

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Berberian Sound Studio

Berberian Poster

Director: Peter Strickland

Cast: Toby Jones, , Cosimo Fusco, Antonio Mancino, Tonia Sotiropoulou

Cert: 15

Running Time: 92 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: Peter Strickland follows cult festival hit Katalin Varga with this dark love letter to the Italian horror films of the 60s and 70s. Toby Jones is Gilderoy, a meek, renowned sound engineer invited to Rome to work on a violent witchcraft movie. But, as culture shock and homesickness take hold, the power of the images the English gent must endure take their toll. Superior, thinking person’s fantasy cinema, imagine Peeping Tom directed by Roman Polanski.

The full verdict: First up: Berberian Sound Studio is a five star film.

Second: Like the brilliant Belgian horror Amer, Berberian Sound Studio requires a decent working knowledge of It...

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