Peter Cushing is Sherlock Holmes in the Hammer version of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic

‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ – Hammer’s Gothic Holmes

Hammer Films had just launched their full color revivals of the classic movie monsters when they tackled Sherlock Holmes with The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), giving him the Gothic treatment in a mix mystery and supernatural horror. Peter Cushing is perfectly cast as the great detective, the very embodiment of science and reason (which […]

Peter Jackson directs the first film in J.R.R. Tolkein's trilogy

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ on HBO Max

With The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Zealand genre film maverick Peter Jackson does the impossible: he makes a faithful, magical, thrilling, and—most importantly—compelling film version of J.R.R. Tolkein’s great cult fantasy epic. Streamlining the complex story and wealth of detail from the novel, Jackson manages to introduce a […]

‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ – Hammer horror on HBO Max

Britain’s Hammer Studios had been making films for decades before they suddenly redefined themselves with this lurid remake of the Universal Studios horror classic. Prohibited by Universal from copying their blocky make-up (and their script for that matter), Hammer returned to Mary Shelley’s novel for inspiration for The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)… and then went […]

The original ‘The Wicker Man’ on Amazon Prime

The original The Wicker Man (1973) begins as a murder mystery and turns into something else entirely. Edward Woodward stars as the stiff English police detective who is sent to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl and discovers a culture living a happy “heathen” lifestyle, lorded over (literally) by […]

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Martin Scorsese's love letter to the movies and his first PG movie

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ on Netflix

Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s first family film (it’s PG!) and his first engagement with 3D, is a love letter to the magic of cinema. Based on the novel by Brian Selznick, it is a tribute to early film pioneer George Méliès (played by Ben Kinsgley), a child’s adventure through a grown-up world of loss and […]

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the 1959 Hammer horror classic directed by Terence Fisher

Christopher Lee is ‘The Mummy’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Hammer Films’ greatest nemeses, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, once again square off in The Mummy (1959), the studio’s reworking of Universal’s The Mummy (with elements of The Mummy’s Tomb and The Mummy’s Ghost thrown in for good measure). Cushing stars as archaeologist John Banning, whose dig for a lost tomb results in untold treasures […]

Christopher Lee in the horror film by Terence Fisher

‘The Devil’s Bride’ – Christopher Lee versus the Devil on DVD

Christopher Lee, long the house villain of the horror films from England’s Hammer Films, takes a rare heroic turn in The Devil’s Bride (1968), also known in the U.S as The Devil Rides Out. Lee plays scholar and occultist Duc de Richleau, the kind of role that Peter Cushing had made his métier, as a […]

Joe Dante’s zany ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’ on Amazon Prime

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) is not merely the rare sequel that is funnier than the original, it is one of the funniest comedies of its time, a veritable live-action cartoon from Joe Dante at his most unrestrained. Set in a New York skyscraper, Gizmo, the cuddly, the sweet-natured teddy bear of a pet […]