All posts by Aaron Gillott:

Following his work on the impressive Hard Candy, director David Slade takes on a more mainstream, big-budget horror romp in the form of 30 Days of Night. Conceived in the pages of a comic (sorry…graphic novel), the film has a very simple premise that could easily compete with any “high concept” blockbuster (where a single [...]

The plot of April Fool’s Day won’t, at a glance, distinguish it greatly from a lot of teen slasher flicks of the time. Taking a leaf from Happy Birthday to Me (1981), the teens here are a privileged bunch of college students, assembled at the request of their wealthy friend Muffy St. John (no, that’s [...]

Shot in twenty days and on a micro-budget of just $365,000 (Canadian), using only a single set measuring 14′x14′ and a cast of unknowns, Cube is one of those films that it’s a joy to come across, because if nothing else it attests to the fact that a film which has an interesting idea and [...]

“Never judge a book by its cover”, sage advice which everyone is given at some point in their lives and though I’ve tried to follow this pearl of wisdom, I have to confess I was rather dubious as soon as I saw the cover of Cube 2: Hypercube. It was that word “Hypercube”. Something about [...]

With a title like Cube Zero you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a horror film about a sugar free beverage. It is, in fact, the third instalment in the Cube series, but as this was made in the post-Phantom Menace “noughties” it is, naturally, a prequel and though the result never quite hits [...]

An architect (Mervyn Johns) is invited to a country estate and from the very moment that his car pulls up outside he is stricken with a sense of impending dread. This premonitory feeling only deepens once he is inside and meets the guests, for though they are complete strangers to him he can’t help but [...]

Nazi zombies. Or zombie Nazis. Whichever way you turn it, it cannot be denied that the concept has that kind of revelatory spark which comes with an epiphany, like a lightbulb appearing above the head of character in a Looney Tunes cartoon. It’s beautifully hideous in its simplicity, taking either one of these two groups [...]

Dr Russell Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his new wife, Carol (Joan Taylor), are driving to a military base where they are working on Operation Skyhook, which plans to explore space by sending rockets into orbit around earth. Whilst they are driving, they are stunned to be followed closely by a flying saucer, an aurally memorable [...]

Comic book covers, particularly old ones, were always liars. On the front you’d often see a depiction of something mind-blowing, like Superman being dumped by Lois and running off with Lex Luthor, or Spider-Man ruthlessly beating on Aunt May until she handed over her pension money…okay okay, so maybe not that last one. The point [...]

This was first published in HORROR 101: The A-List of Horror Films & Monster Movies, and is reproduced here (with a few updates to include comments on the remake) by kind permission of the good people at Midnight Marquee (thanks Gary & Sue!) and the book’s creator, editor and my good friend Aaron Christensen, for [...]

Three young women – Kim (Jaime Winston), Lisa (Sian Breckin) and Tammi (Nichola Burley) – are on holiday in Spain when they meet up with four young men – Josh (Julian Morris), Bluey (Tom Burke), Marcus (Jay Taylor) and Sean (Robert Boulter) – who invite them to party on the yacht which they’re “babysitting” and [...]

I can’t say that back when I heard the announcement that Rob Zombie would be helming a remake of John Carpenter‘s classic Halloween that I was thrilled, not because I’m one of those people who hold a film in such high reverence that I consider a remake to automatically be verboten (after all, Carpenter himself [...]

Snuff. Apart from an older generation (and fans of period dramas) to whom the word may conjure images of powdered tobacco being snorted from ornate tin boxes, for the rest of us, especially the cine-literate, the word is associated with death, in particular the (alleged) real on-screen murder of another human being for the purpose [...]

As soon as Lloyd “Troma” Kaufman’s name appears at the beginning, even if it’s not in any capacity other than “presenting”, you should know what kind of a film you’re in for. If you aren’t familiar with Troma’s output, well apart from the obvious “Call yourself a horror fan?”, then go check out some of [...]

Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural is one of the most sadly overlooked vampire films of the 70′s. Perhaps it got lost because it was just very low budget or perhaps it’s because even using the word “vampire” somewhat does it a disservice, being a vampire flick on the surface only and probably a [...]

Night of the Eagle may be a title that sounds more suited to a spy thriller (though still better than the alternative name by which this is known in the States – Burn, Witch, Burn!), but what it conceals is an underrated gem, a taut psychological chiller that pits belief in the supernatural firmly against [...]

I have, in my lifetime, witnessed through the magic of film many horrifying sights, reels of celluloid wreathed in blood and viscera, twisted images of the macabre and terrible that make grown men scream like big girls’ blouses. But none, NONE of these compare to Nomads, which introduced me to something so ghastly, so frightening [...]

If anyone can even come close to Roger Corman‘s record for being able to knock out a horror flick on a budget, Charles Band and his Full Moon pictures would certainly have to be considered in the running for the crown, so it’s best to delve into their back catalogue whenever you’re feeling the need [...]

Another Jack Arnold 50’s sci-fi/horror gem, Tarantula is one of the better “big bug” offerings. This time, likeable Dr. Matt Hastings (John Agar) is brought in by the bumbling local sheriff to examine a body, which turns out to be the colleague of reclusive, respected Prof. Deemer (Leo G. Carroll). Curiously, the man appears to [...]

In this atomic age big bug extravaganza, the action shifts to Mexico, where volcanic activity and a series of earthquakes ravage open a hole into a subterranean pocket containing all manner of prehistoric beasties and creepy crawlies, among them a nest of the dreaded scorpions. Some of the scorpions escape their Tartarus-like imprisonment and roam [...]

The City of the Dead (which was given the more schlock-oriented title Horror Hotel when it was distributed in the US) is the very first film to be produced by Amicus Productions, known at the time as “Vulcan Productions” and is an effective if clichéd tale of witchcraft and black magic, starring Christopher Lee and [...]

Once again, as the film begins we find that humans of the atomic age are doing what they do best in these movies – meddling, dagnabbit! This time their attention is turned to the Arctic, where the calving (no, not giving birth to a calf…the other meaning: “To break at an edge, so that a [...]

There’s nothing quite so disappointing as keeping your eye on an up-and-coming release because it looks like it’s ticking all the right boxes, only to find that it’s DOA. I’d been hearing good things about The House of the Devil, that it was going to be the kind of slow-burning psychological horror I enjoy, with [...]

The Prowler begins unusually, with WWII newsreel footage documenting the return of American soldiers, informing the (perhaps uninformed) viewer as to the phenomenon known colloquially as the “Dear John” letter, the letter any serviceman stationed overseas at the time dreaded to receive from his girlfriend or wife, informing him that she, for whatever reason, could [...]

Burnt-out NYPD detective Dewey Wilson (Albert Finney) is called in after the badly mutilated remains of one of New York’s most prolific businessmen and socialites is found in Battery Park, alongside that of his wife and bodyguard. The deceased man’s name carried with it a lot of political and financial clout, so already the possible [...]

Filming a late-night piece focusing on a local fire department, TV reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her trusty cameraman Pablo get far more than they bargained for after they follow the team of firefighters to a block of apartments in the centre of Barcelona, supposedly to help an elderly resident trapped within her flat. [...]