While October was a suitably scary Scream-fest all round what with Halloween festivities, November on Horror Channel has pagan offerings on the slab along with hillbillie cannibals, telekinetic children and ecclesiastical mysteries…..
First up – who could forget the bottom-spankingly erotic scene delivered by a buxom Britt Ekland in one of the best British horrors of all time, The Wicker Man? Well a mere 38 years after the original comes the follow up; The Wicker Tree from same director Robin Hardy. A collective horror cheer went off like a Mexican Wave when the news of that production went live and we have the film’s UK TV premiere! The inevitable question on everyone’s lips – is it as good as the original? Let’s just say that’s an almost impossible act to follow, but there’s still plenty of Pagan versus Christian values, questions of morality and the right to ‘judge’ and ‘convert ’ and of course some more shagging, ritual and sacrifice…
THE WICKER TREE Saturday 22nd November 9pm.
In my home town of Hastings we have a May Day Festival called Green Man Day, these days however it’s less about virgin sacrifice (damn!) and more about getting squiffy on cider and celebrating our ummm ‘fertility’ while watching a few morris dancers prance about. But in bonny Tressock Scotland when two Texan bible bashers accept an invitation to their May Day, they think the local pagans want to hear more about the good lord. How wrong were they?! With a cameo from the one and only Christopher Lee plus the inevitable black and bloody ending – this is the kind of religion I like the sound of!
2001 MANIACS FIELD OF SCREAMS Friday 7th November 10.50pm
If you like your horror outrageous, unpolitically correct, jaw droppingly bad taste (in a good way) then look no further than this UK TV premiere. The sequel to Tim Sullivans fan favourite this movie promises even more blood boobs and bones than before! With a backstory involving the bitter feud between America’s North and South during the civil war, it seems the Deep Southern hillbillies still want to knaw on Northern flesh to put the ‘red’ firmly into redemption. This time however ‘The Bloodiest Show on Earth’ needs to go on the road to find their kills and on the way encounter (with a firm nod to Paris Hilton’s The Simple Life) spoiled heiresses Rome & Tina Sheraton and the cast and crew of the “Road Rascals” reality show. Lewd rude and crude, this is one to watch. Bill Moseley and Christa Campbell star.
ASYLUM Saturday 1st November 9pm
Asylum comes from anthology specialists Amicus who brought us Torture Garden Tales From the Crypt and From Beyond the Grave to name a few and is well worth watching for it’s rather gory nasty 5 stories, brilliant cast and slice of British horror history! It stars Robert Powell as a young psychiatrist who has to interview four inmates in a mental asylum as part of his interview for a doctor’s job. One of them is a former doctor turned patient, but which one? Directed by Roy Ward Baker (‘A Night To Remember’), the stellar 70s Brit-pack cast includes Charlotte Rampling, Herbert Lom, Patrick McGee, Richard Todd, Britt Ekland & Peter Cushing.
STIR OF ECHOES Saturday 8th November 9pm
Kevin Bacon’s voice may be reaching far across the ether with his latest mobile ad going global but in this supernatural thriller, it’s the many voices of the dead reaching out to him instead! Bacon plays Tom Witzky father to a troubled young boy who can see dead people. One night at a house party his sister in law hypnotises him and thus rips open his mind making him a receiver for the dead! Now he realises with horror his son is not just imagining things! When Tom begins to see the ghost of a girl who disappeared months ago he begins to solve the sinister mystery.
DEADLINE Friday 14th November 9pm
Spookily echoing the fragile frame and mental state of the real Brittany Murphy comes one of her last movies of 2009 before her untimely (and rather strange) death. Murphy plays screenwriter Alice, already on the verge of mental collapse who retreats to an abandoned house to finish a script. Before long, she’s hearing strange sounds and seeing fleeting apparitions. With her deadline closing in fast, Alice watches helplessly as reality begins to distort and her fragile psyche starts to crumble all over again. Also starring Thora Birch.
THE SIN EATER Saturday 15th November 9pm
Another horror film starring a much loved yet tragic Hollywood actor, this time Heath Ledger stars as a priest Alex Bernier of the highest Catholic order who is called to Rome to investigate the strange circumstances surrounding his mentors death. Bernier begins to uncover a biblical mystery hidden within the powers of the Vatican that proves there really is more than one way to get to heaven, even if you have sinned. Also starring Shannyn Sossamon.
THE FURY Saturday 29th November 9pm
Brian De Palmer is one of the best horror directors out there, often exploring similar themes and styles to Hitchcock such as identity and voyeurism. However in this 1978 supernatural thriller, he makes a return to telekinesis in the follow-up to his 1976 hit ‘Carrie’, in which former government agent Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas), goes head-to-head against adversary Ben Childress (John Casavetes) who has kidnapped his telepathically-gifted son. Can Peter outwit the government agents to save and protect his son?
So I think you’ll agree we have some big names in Horror throughout November covering five decades and a multitude of subgenres. Enjoy!