Hello it’s your diva of the darkside here to deliver all you need to get your fantastical fix of horror movies and Cult TV all month, cos Easter Weekend is gonna get a lot messier than sticky chocolate believe me.
So where can you get child eating monsters, mystical fauns, Daleks, Cybermen and face melting masks all under one roof? Horror Channel of course! Yes our eclectic mix of Horror, Cult TV and Sci Fi gets even edgier in April with critically acclaimed premieres and themed weekends making this one hell of a month to stay in.
I don’t know about you but if there’s one sub genre that really excites me, its one that I call Childhood Horror. The stuff of dark fantasy, unimaginable creatures and strange dreams that haunted us when we were 8 years old and continues to do so as adults. Films like Company of Wolves, The Orphanage, Spirited Away and even The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth! These are all among my favorites but if there’s one film that tops the bill it’s got to be the extraordinary visual feast that is PANS LABYRINTH by Guillermo Del Torro (2006)
Any self confessed genre fan will no doubt have seen this film at least once but it is such an unusual treat for a film like this to even be dreamt up, paid for and made, (you can count similar movies on one hand) it makes for repeat viewings – it is a must see, and a must keep.
The film works on many levels and was made as the ‘sister’ film to Del Torros The Devils Backbone (2001). Again the setting is the Spanish Civil War around 1939 -1944 and the ‘horror’ is seen from a child’s perspective, this time a young girls. The adults experience the very real horror of war and torture while the children retreat into a dark fantasy world of strange beasts and enchanted kingdoms. If you are unfamiliar with the premise – heavily pregnant Carmen remarries the brutal fascist Captain Vidal and moves to the country with her young daughter Ophelia. Seen through Ophelia’s eyes her new life is harsh, her new father; a monster and she soon retreats into her own ‘world’ a mysterious maze in the garden. Here a magical faun tells her she must complete 3 terrifying tasks to discover her true kingdom. But as fascism torture and war destroy those closest to her, can she face her darkest demons, save her mother, brother and find her true father? It’s a lot to ask a young girl…
Hideously beautiful, dark and dangerous this is one devastatingly tragic film you have to watch again and again. See the network premiere of PANS LABYRINTH on Horror SATURDAY 19th APRIL at 2100. Make a date.
My next big highlight this month is something completely different for Horror Channel viewers as we launch the “WHO ON HORROR” weekend. This is a rare opportunity to watch a specially curated season of the Timelords adventures as we screen whole storylines from the classic series 1963 – 1989 giving you the chance to get reacquainted with the first 7 Doctors over one weekend.
Starting on Good Friday April 18th at 7pm with the very first story from 1963 “AN UNEARTHLY CHILD” starring William Hartnell as The Doctor. Our first encounter with the Doctor takes us back in time to the cave dwelling times of 100 000 BC as cavemen discover the power of fire.
From Saturday 19th the Doctor Who marathon really gets going with “THE MIND ROBBER” at 1.20pm (all 5 parts back to back) introducing the second Doctor Patrick Troughton as he faces a world of fictional characters including Medusa and Gulliver!
Straight after catch the superb “TERROR OF THE AUTONS” Saturday 19th from 3.45pm as Jon Pertwee confronts Killer Dolls and deadly daffodils as the series enjoys a rather kitsch approach!
Saturday 19th April 6-7pm sees “THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS” as the unforgettable Tom Baker morphs into Doctor Who with style. Originally broadcast in 1976. The story concludes on Sunday April 20th at 11am.
Peter Davison regenerates as the 5th Doctor with the storyline – THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI (4 parts) Sun 20 April, 12:10 to 14:20 before the terrifying Cybermen take over in ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN starring Colin Baker and Sarah Greene Sun 20 April, 2:30pm to 4:40pm (4 parts)
And of course where would we be without The Daleks?
Sun 20 April, 4:50pm to 7:00pm – REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS. Originally broadcast in 1988 Sylvester McCoy steps into the shoes of the 7th Doctor in the most popular tale of McCoys era, this is when the Daleks finally figured out how to go upstairs! A long running joke of the series.
From Easter Monday 21st April there are weekday double bills with stories shown in chronological order in both daytime and evening slots so you can be sure you won ‘t miss a minute! DOCTOR WHO comes to Horror from Friday 18th April.
My other highlights see 3 movie premieres on the channel
Sat 12 April 10:50pm ‘SMILEY’ (2012) Network Premiere
Featuring one of the creepiest ‘villain’ designs recently submitted to celluloid Smiley refers to the emoticon permanently woven onto the mask of an internet killer who pops up to hack n slash every time someone has the guts to type “I did it for the lulz” into a chat forum. Apparently this online catchphrase refers to the frighteningly blasé way the twitter generation refers to violence. This is a ‘sign of the times’ American slasher directed by Michael Gallagher.
Sat 5 April 9pm ‘THE HEARSE’ (1980) UK TV Premiere
Recovering from a bad divorce Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) moves into a mansion she inherited from her strange old aunt. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still thought of very badly by the superstitious town’s citizens. As soon as she moves in, she is tormented and chased by an old black hearse. Is she going insane or is death coming for her?!
Sat 26 April 10pm ‘HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH’ (1982)
The only instalment of the Halloween series to abandon the Michael Myers story line, a large Halloween mask-making company concocts a diabolical plan to kill millions of American children with something sinister hidden in their Halloween masks. Let the evil face melting begin! Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace. John Carpenter acted as producer and also co-composed the soundtrack.