London has inspired countless horror films over the years. Its historic streets have long whispered their macabre stories into the ears of willing film directors, who base their tales of terror in England’s eerie capital. Whether it’s vicious serial killers or undead hordes, London has always provided a spectacular backdrop to films that go bump in the night.
The Mountain of the Cannibal God was originally released in United Kingdom under the name Prisoner of the Cannibal God, and added to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) list of “video nasties” shortly after its home video release. Although The Mountain of the Cannibal God was one of the 33 “video nasties” not prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, it remained unavailable on home video until 2001.
“Why is everybody so scared of the Puka?”
After sleazily making his way to the London Underground from the sex district, James Manfred, OBE, some big shit… shot, at the Ministry of Defense, or something, confronts a woman waiting on the platform at Russell Square tube station. “How much?” he asks. “Look darling, god knows if you are worth it… but fortunately I can afford to find out.” Her response? A swift knee to his gonads before running away! As Manfred winces in pain, something catches his eye emerging from the underground tunnel…
“Mind the doors!”
The Green Inferno is the horror director’s homage to the Italian cannibal films of the 1970s and 1980s. Those films, such as Cannibal Holocaust, Make Them Die Slowly and Eaten Alive were in turn influenced by the sub-genre of Mondo films. These films showed actual executions, animal slaughter and other graphic scenes of barbarity. While these movies portrayed indigenous and primitive peoples in an unflattering light, the invading Western protagonists also committed unspeakable acts of violence, leading the audience to wonder who the real savages were.
“No good deed goes unpunished.”
Tobe Hooper was one of the most influential horror directors of all time. His vision and intelligence can be seen in almost every slasher and splatter film over the last forty years and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is Hooper’s masterpiece.
Originally conceived as a faux film “based on true events”, Hooper did draw inspiration from the story of Ed Gein, a murderer, grave robber who had a predilection for a number of other unsavory character traits.
“What happened is true. Now the motion picture that’s just as real. Once you stop screaming, then you’ll start talking about it.”
Of all of the films released in 2016, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is one that I have thought about most. The reviews of the film are polarizing. Some people loved it, others hated it. Films like this are exactly the kind that I love to watch, films that really bore into your brain; films that you can’t quite pin down into a genre or a simple one dimensional theme. I could feel the director’s narcissism through the screen… I am still not sure how to feel about The Neon Demon, but since viewing it some time ago, I still can’t seem to get it out of my head.
“Beauty isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
During the videotape format war of the late 1970s and early 1980s, JVC’s VHS would compete for market share against Sony’s Betamax. Betamax was, in theory, the superior recording format but VHS would ultimately emerge as the preeminent home video format in 1986. Consumers could not justify the extra cost of a Betamax VCR, which was often more expensive that the VHS equivalent due to the higher quality construction of Betamax recorders.
“Decadence is their fate.”
Directed by Joe D’Amato, co-written by Joe D’Amato and George Eastman, and starring George Eastman, Antropophagus (1980) is an Italian horror film notorious in the United Kingdom for being described as a snuff film.
Antropophagus was retitled and released in the United Kingdom in 1980 as Anthropophagous: The Beast by distributor VFP. VFP opted to release an uncut print of the film on VHS which eventually caught the attention of the media, resulting in the title being added onto the Department of Public Prosecutions (DDP) list of “Video Nasties”.