Tuesday, 18 June 2013


We got round to re-screening Performance last week and here is the essay I wrote to accompany the screening along with Tara's amazing drawings. 
Its been a very long time since I have written on here, sorry about that. I must try harder! 


Performance (1970)
Directed by Nicholas Roeg & Donald Cammell

Performance is a film of duality; the person staring into the mirror and their reflection are both equal.  The film is as much about Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell as it is about Mick Jagger's ‘Turner’ and James Fox's ‘Chas’.  At the core of Performance is the notion of identities merging.  I initially thought that the split between Roeg & Cammell's directing duties were pretty clear-cut, with one director taking charge of the actors and script and the other taking charge of the visual style and editing, but both directors’ subsequent films have such a similar distinctive visual and thematic style that it feels like Performance was a real joining of minds, a true alignment.

Performance is an extraordinarily visual film, dripping with references to artists such as Francis Bacon and the film has a clear Pop Art aesthetic over all.
This debut film for both directors gains its unique style surely as a product of Roeg's 23 years experience as an editor and cinematographer, working on films such as Roger Corman's The Masque Of Red Death, Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 and John Schlesinger’s Far From The Madding Crowd. Cammell had an art school background, from which he had gained a considerable reputation for as a painter of high society figures. Cammell was also well placed in swinging London and this too had an influence on the film and its cast. This duality is also heavily influenced by the work of Jorge Louis Borges, whose work is quoted throughout the film- he even makes a cheeky cameo at the films conclusion. Borges writing has reoccurring themes of dreams, labyrinths and mirrors.

“This film is about madness. And sanity. Fantasy. And reality. Death. And life. Vice. And versa.”

Both men seem to have needed each other to make the film; Roeg had his valuable technical experience where as Cammell could draw on his personal experience to create a true bohemian atmosphere.  In the film, two worlds collide with sexual and violent results, ‘Chas’ the arrogant, self- obsessed gangster is drawn into the run down, fried, end of the hippie dream world Turner’s washed up rock star inhabits. Both men are drawn towards each other as much as they are disgusted by each other. Does this mirror the directors’ relationship?
I don’t know why Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell didn’t collaborate again. Maybe it was a clash of egos, a difference of personalities, the need to be seen as an auteur?  Most people seem to credit Roeg with Performance and I guess that’s a result of his film work that followed: Don’t Look Now, The Man Who fell To Earth, Walkabout and Bad Timing, films which I feel are about as close to cinematic perfection as you can get. It’s understandable to see why Roeg gets most of the credit for Performance- Cammell never really had the career that he deserved and he was clearly a troubled genius, sadly committing suicide in 1996. The work he directed after, Demon Seed (his debut film, made 10 years after Performance) and the incredible White Of The Eye show that his contribution to Performance must have been equal to Roeg’s.  Both directors utilise the non-linear cut-up editing style that Performance first brought us.

There is no other film quite like Performance and it famously confused its producers, Warner Brothers, who shelved the film for two years. Maybe if it had been released in 1968 and was a successful hit then, the two directors may have worked together again. Maybe the shoot was just too much; the theories of Antonin Artuad, the French playwright who devised ‘Theatre Of Cruelty’ play heavily throughout the film, particularly the links between madness and performance. Did this spill out into the director’s lives? I suspect that there may have been a “party” atmosphere on set with Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg heavily involved in the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle at the time. Amazingly, the directors were more or less given the freedom to do what they wanted as Warner Brothers assumed they were getting the Rolling Stones version of The Beatles’ A Hard Days Night. During an early test screening, a Warner executive’s wife vomited in shock- this was not the lightweight film that they were expecting. Warner Brothers chose to cut the film several times and redub some of the actors due to their cockney accents; they felt had a real mess on their hands.

One of Don Simpson’s (legendary Hollywood producer, known for his love of excess) early film roles was to promote Performance in America. He arranged a screening for some critics and in real Simpson style, spent the promotional budget on Champagne and a mountain of cocaine to distract the critics from the film and leave them with hazy happy memories of the party instead.

I find that I always root for Donald Cammell as he’s the underdog, a real mythical figure. I think he’s underrated and I feel sad at how frustrated and stunted he must have felt. In truth, I know that Nicholas Roeg is the better director, probably one of my favourite directors whose work has affected me most and one of the greatest directors of the 1970’s. Cammell has left me with two films I love but not films that I will watch again and again, due to them being such intense cinematic experiences. He’s also left me with Wild Side, a film which was butchered into a total unwatchable mess; he’s left me his performance as Osiris in Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising, which always makes me smile. I think part of my fondness for Cammell probably stems from the BBC documentary Donald Cammell – The Ultimate Performance, which I watched as an impressionable 18 year old. I highly suggest tracking it down on YouTube as it’s a very moving documentary.

Performance stands up as a piece of art; it’s a mirror between insanity and sanity. It shows a world that’s ending. The excitement and potential of the sixties dream crashing down in sex, drugs and violence. Would it have been an incoherent mess if it was a product of one man’s mind? Would it have been a straight sixties kitsch gangster piece in another’s hands?
We will never know. When Cammell first wrote the script, he envisioned it as a comedy caper called The Liars. I’m glad that didn’t get made and it became a much darker project.
Performance is such a magical film and I’m glad that though the relationship was fleeting, Roeg & Cammell got to the opportunity to make one of the greatest films ever made.

“The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness”.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Keep - An afterthought


I woke up this morning with all of the best images from The Keep in my mind. 
My sleeping brain had edited out all the parts that didn’t work and I was left with a great movie.
A patron last night said that The Keep was the worst film they had ever seen, which is very harsh. 
I think The Keep is a beautiful film that looks like a painting from the German Romantic period but I do acknowledge that the film is deeply flawed but not bad, I have a soft spot for films that have flaws. Some of my favourite films are far from perfect such as, William Peter Blatty’s Ninth Configuration, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre and Donald Cammell’s Demon Seed but I still love them.
There many be a great movie within the confines of The Keep but I’m not sure the answer lies in a 3-hour cut, I predict that at least 20 minutes of it will be slow motion rolling fog.
If a 3-hour cut was ever released I would obviously watch it but with scenes with extra dialogue and an increased narrative the film many lose the crazy dream logic that it has. Thats part of it charm.
It was never the intention of Kino Klubb to show bad films purely to laugh at them (though The Keep did have one hysterical scene in it) but to bring films to the screen that need revaluation. Films that hold moments of magic and films that we hope stay with you. 
I’m proud that we got a chance to screen The Keep and that so many people wanted to share in that experience. In Kim Newman’s review of the film for Electric Sheep magazine he talks about how Manhunter has been rehabilitated from a flop to a classic and with another screening of The Keep next week in London and with Film4’s recent screening, maybe its finally time for The Keep to reach an audience it deserves. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Neglected Blog!

Dear Blog,I 'm sorry, I just haven't had time for you.
I've been busy and I feel like I have let you down.
Its not you its me, I do still want to spend time with you.
Here goes....

The Keep - Michael Mann 

Tomorrow night we screen a rare 35mm print of The Keep. We were asked by the Broadway Cinema to show something as part of the Nottingham's Light Night celebrations. This was the first film that popped into our heads. It uses light and shadow in such a stunning way and is probably best described as a Gothic, Disco, Horror. We are especially proud as this is the first non digital screening we have had. Its a big moment for us. There are still a few tickets left if you can make it?
We will also be playing a set of German rock classics to complement the Tangerine soundtrack with our POWERKRAUT DISKO.
There will be some great lights inspired by The Keep and some amazing projections from the genius that is Noel Murphy.
Our program to accompany the film feature an essay by special effects wizard and life long The Keep obsessive Stephane Piter and a piece by rock legend and all round mega dude Julian Cope about Tangerine Dream!


Coming next we have a new night and creative partnership with our Nottingham brothers in arms
Mayhem and Kneel Before Zod.

Cinema Diabolique -Will bring you alternative screenings of cult classics, new releases and film fun throughout the year. Really looking forward to the films we have planned for this year, we have BIG plans. Our launch night will be March 22nd and we kick things off with a special FREE screening of Paul Verhoeven's classic Robocop. 
Come down and learn all about what is in store for 2013. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Black Christmas

Tis the season to be bloody....

A special Christmas present for everyone, we have teamed up with our good friends/enemies Mayhem & Kneel Before Zod to bring a very black Christmas triple bill.

We shall be screening the one film we have most wanted to screen all year, Ken Russell's The Devils.
Mayhem will screen Frank Henelotter's Frankenhooker.
Zod will screen Jim Wynorski's Chopping Mall.

All for £10!


Come one, come all. You might get exactly what you wanted for Christmas.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Beyond The Beyond

Sorry for the neglect we have been busy.
Performance has sadly been cancelled, but we have a very special Christmas event planned with our good friends/worst enemies Mayhem and Kneel Before Zod.  The event is called Ghouls, Frankenstein and Murder. 
I will post the program and essay from our screening of Altered States over the weekend but here we are stepping though that doorway into The Beyond.
We asked Luther Bhogal - Jones the director of the excellent Creak if he would like to write about The Beyond for our program. He wrote a lot. So much in fact that we couldn't fit everything in, so here is the full uncut, bloody essay torn from the book of Eibon!

The back room of Huthwaite Video – a dusty cornucopia of frightening and exotic pre-certificate delights. It was there that my brother and I cast our eyes on a video with a stunning cover– a futuristic metal masked Roman gladiator brandishing a huge machine gun, a spacecraft hovering over the ruins of the coliseum and a wild haired scantily clad woman fighting behind him on.
The title was emblazoned in huge dynamic letters - “ROME 2033: FIGHTER CENTURIONS” with the icing on the action cake the tagline “Champions Of Death.”
For two kids who loved Mad Max 2 at a highly impressionable age, this looked FUCKING EPIC.  So we hired it out. We - as in - our dad hired it out for us.
It was shit. It was boring. We didn’t even get half an hour into it before it was unceremoniously yanked from the machine.
Unbelievably, we were so convinced there had to be something as dynamic and exciting as the cover suggested that at a later date we hired it out again – it was still shit. It was still boring. We once again failed to sit through the limp action for more than half an hour.
8 years later, thanks to a now insatiable love and interest of horror, I discovered the horror magazine The Dark Side. They were excited about the Vipco reissue of the classic video nasty Zombie Flesh Eaters, back on the small screen for a new generation of horror fans. With a love of Romero’s zombie films and caught up in the hype of the reissue, ZFE was hired out and, accompanied by my two best friends, we sat through this highly regarded classic.
After the non stop action and gore of Romero’s films, Zombie Flesh Eaters seemed somewhat disappointing, hampered by the fact it was unfortunately missing it’s more (literally) eye popping gore moments. I recall us laughing at the ropey dubbing and some of the more bewildering moments of the film, such as the underwater zombie/ shark face off. Perhaps I was impressionably caught up in the reissue hype - after being told that this was a classic I wanted to believe it, that I did think it was great, but really wasn’t too sure...but there was something definitely there in this film that intrigued me enough to keep on the hunt for Fulci’s other highly regarded work.
So scouring the second hand stalls of markets I would eventually be exposed to more of his work – City Of The Living Dead, again, even in it’s terribly cut Elephant Video reissue exuded a strange, unreal atmosphere and the gothic family melodrama of House By The Cemetery was wonderfully baroque, even though in the cut form the most horrifying part of the film was the execrable dubbing used on the main child actor. Once heard, never EVER forgot.
Even his understandably more lesser regarded works joined the ranks on my video shelf - Manhattan Baby - a strange tale of a child and a cursed medallion (and that fucking dubbing on the same child AGAIN), Conquest – a truly dreadful entry into the swords and sorcery genre and Aenigma – a film lacking in money and imagination, Contraband – a truly vicious, violent mob movie – just to see more Fulci works.  It was an unbelievable moment when I realised that “Rome 2033” – that boring turd which failed to delivery any gimp costumed post apocalyptic action thrills to my 8 year old self = was also directed by Fulci. Here I was, ten years later, obsessively collecting his films, buying up fanzines and magazines devoted to his work which were endlessly perused, seducing me with these images of horror that remained unreleased or banned on these shores.
It was The Beyond, the most highly regarded of Fulci’s quartet of classic horror films, that remained frustratingly out of my grasp. I’d become a regular customer with one video stall, badgering the poor owner of the stall with my lists of Italian trash that I was on the look out for. It always seemed like there had been a copy “just last week”...for a long time I didn’t even know what the cover to the fabled Vampix video release looked like. I never saw the Elephant Video reissue. It seemed my Holy Grail was never to be found. After an endless search which seemed to be leading nowhere I discovered a peculiar and yes, questionable, mail order video company based in Amsterdam who could supply me with a film, resulting in a nervous wait whether the film would make it through customs...
But after several weeks of watching the letterbox finally that chunky VHS tape was in my hands, the box fronted with the wonderful E Sciotti artwork of the screaming Catriona MacColl and the truly exciting tagline – “AND YOU WILL LIVE IN TERROR. THE BEYOND” Hell yeah!
A tagline that still makes my skin tighten with excitement all these years later, even as I write this programme. Finally, I would see Fulci’s masterpiece!

It is easy to see why The Beyond is so highly regarded and the favourite Fulci film of many horror fans - n some cases this fandom is almost bordering on fanaticism – Fulci’s daughter has a tattoo of The Beyond’s “symbol” on her arm and on a local Nottingham level I recall Craig, a member of staff at the long defunct Another World, proudly showing me his tattoo of a certain gruesome death scene from the film.  
At times the film is almost a goreatest hits (sorry) of Italian exploitation cinema referencing Fulci’s previous work (the chain whipping of the “witch” from his rural murder mystery “Don’t Torture A Duckling”, a reverse eye popping recalling Zombie Flesh Eaters most celebrated moment, the book of Eibon recalls the similarly important tome from City Of The Living Dead) and a death which will seem familiar to fans of Argento’s “Suspiria”...the casting of Veronica Lazar, previously seen as the malevolent Mater Tenabrarum in Argento’s “Inferno”, adds another Italian horror link along with Catriona MacColl in the lead role of Liza, having played the lead female role in Fulci’s prior production, “City Of The Living Dead.”
Fulci described the film as “plotless - just a series of images” which is ironic as it is regarded as one of the more strongly plotted films of his career.  It’s a film which exudes its sweaty, damp Louisiana atmosphere, from the opening boat ride across the swamp, the flooded basement of the cursed hotel to the sticky, clammy interiors of the film. Only the cool, clinical atmosphere of the hospital seems to offer some respite from the atmosphere, though they offer no solace come the climax of the film,
It’s a film obsessed with eyes and the act of seeing - from Fulci’s trademark close ups of eyes ,which are then gouged or pulled from their sockets by hungry pipe cleaner tarantulas...there’s a subjective moment where the camera is covered by the hand of an attacker, putting us the audience in the viewpoint of the victim. Liza can’t trust her own eyes when the Book of Eibon strangely disappears from a shop window she was looking in moments before. Emily, the mysterious girl with clouded eyes seems to be the only one who knows the danger Liza is in, is introduced to the audience on a lonely bridge, itself an endless vista in both directions, foreshadowing the crushing vision at the climax of the film.
Fulci and his team of collaborators had previously laid the groundwork with Zombie Flesh Eaters and City Of The Living Dead – screenwriter Dardano Sachetti, Serio Salvati’s cinematographer Serio Salvati, special effects genius Gianetto De Rossi and the talented composer Fabio Frizi  - but it was with The Beyond that the team truly pulled together to create something memorable. Sachetti weaved a tale with aspects familiar to most horror fans but conjured something uniquely its own, Salvati frames some of the most memorable moments in Italian horror, De Rossi gives the gore fans a diverse range of nauseating special effects and Frizzi composes an evocative and suitably apocalyptic score.
Special mention has to be given to the two leads in The Beyond, Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck. It would be unfair to call MacColl a scream queen – in all of her work with Fulci she brings a performance which grounds the films for the audience as the surreal extreme violence occurs around her. She is always a magnetic, attractive presence without having to resort to some overtly sexualised role. Her performances were no doubt assisted by retaining her own voice in the post production of the film. Nonetheless, she does retain a scream queen status based on the trilogy of Fulci films she starred in, beginning with the vulnerable young psychic Mary in City Of The Living Dead. In The Beyond she brings a weariness and cynicism to the role of Liza, a woman who has one last roll of the die with the hotel she has inherited, a grounded view which will be eroded as much as the walls of the hotel’s basement as the events of the film take place. Afterwards she would go on to give another strong role as the housewife on the edge of a breakdown in the House By The Cemetery before turning her back on genre cinema, returning only in the last year with the anthology film “The Theatre Bizarre” much to the excitement of horror fans worldwide.

David Warbeck, the greatest James Bond we cruelly never had, was a veteran of Italian genre cinema for many years, beginning with a small but important role in my favourite Sergio Leone film “A Fistful Of Dynamite” then mostly working closely with director Antonio Margeheriti, but also generating a special bond with Fulci going on to star in his oddly English interpretation of Poe’s “The Black Cat”. It was in Margehriti’s gore laden Vietnam film” The Last Hunter”, filmed as an unofficial sequel to “The Deer Hunter” and well worth checking out, where I first saw Warbeck in action. Always an entertaining personality on screen and in print, he gave 100% to his film roles, even in the most ludicrous of situations – on one memorable occasion, he was asked to run along an exploding pier slowly to give a dramatic impression of slow motion as the paucity of the film production meant they couldn’t afford enough film stock to shoot at high speed. In The Beyond, like Liza, he’s a grounded rational man, giving a stoic performance as his reality crumbles around him...and when rational thought fails he discovers a bullet from a magnum can’t do much harm! Warbeck’s playful nature is further evident in his endless efforts to get visual gags past the editors of his films – see if you can spot the moment where he showcases an unorthodox way of reloading a gun, much to MacColl’s amusement!
When asked by Warbeck why he made such fantastically violent films, Fulci apparently told him that real life is much more unpleasant, a fact which Fulci sadly knew all too well. Starting his directing career in the late 50s, he started in comedies before directing films in many genres, from gothic Spaghetti Westerns, period dramas, giallos, even family action with his “White Fang” films, But his personal life no doubt had some effect on his world view – for years I’d read of some darker moments in his personal life but never knew of any concrete details.  The ever reputable Wikipedia tells of the suicide of his wife and the death of a daughter in a car accident, which surely informed the cold, cynical view of the world reflected in his films. It’s no surprise that most of Fulci’s films have pessimistic, or at least ambiguous endings.
Fulci’s international recognition came with Zombie Flesh Eaters, though this was originally to be directed by Enzo G. Castellari, an amazing director of Italian action films including the original Inglorious Bastards, before the role was offered to Fulci, kickstarting. Sadly after the highs of the early 80s with his quartet of horror films, Fulci’s career was hit by several stumbling blocks – the savage backlash against The New York Ripper, the breakdown of his relationship with screenwriter Sacchetti and a bought of illness in the mid 80s, after which his career seemed to never recover with the disastrous Zombi 3 (apparently started by Fulci but completed by renowned shitty director Bruno Mattei) a particularly sour footnote. It was a cruel blow that Fulci died in his sleep while in pre-production on The Wax Mask, which was set to be his biggest budget film in years, produced by Dario Argento (a man Fulci bitterly felt he had lived in the shadow of for too many years) and highly anticipated by the horror community. The final film would be completed by Argento’s effects whizz Sergio Stivaletti with a script which apparently bares little resemblance to the film Fulci had planned. I like to think Fulci would have spared us the uncharismatic Fabio styled himbo star of what ended up being a disappointing film leaden with questions of what could have been.
Nevertheless, Fulci’s reputation as a master of the horror genre continues to grow as the years go by, with The Beyond understandably held up as his crowning moment and the starting point for anyone interested in his work. It’s a film which can stand alongside John Carpenter’s “Apocalyptic trilogy”, offering a similarly intimately epic vision of the collapse of the world as we know it, where reality, logic, consequences and space make little sense anymore.  For those of you checking in to the Seven Doors hotel for the first time enjoy the stay as much as many of us have over the years. As the lights go down, may you face the sea of darkness...and all therein that may be explored...

Funnily enough, I personally don’t regard The Beyond as Fulci’s greatest film - sadly, I feel that award belongs to the New York Ripper, which due to its extreme content is hard to judge objectively, though to me it seems the absolute synthesis of Fulci’s cold cynicism of a brutal world.
I also finally did watch 2033: The Fighter Centurions 10 years after those initial failed attempts. Possibly the most interesting aspect of this film is how much “The Running Man” movie rips off Fulci’s effort being as it is barely recognisable from the original Richard Bachman aka Stephen King story. There are still some moments I like – the much derided murder of the hero’s wife is a creepy camp scene which I still think is effective and there are some fun comic book action moments which wouldn’t have been out of place in 2000ad at the time. But the “action packed” gladiatorial games of the finale are utterly dismal and tedious. My 8 year old self obviously knew a stinker from the start.

And if you want to go beyond the...er...Beyond...then here are some obvious recommendations...
You can’t go wrong with any of Fulci’s quarter of classic horror films, beginning with Zombi (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters) – for anyone expecting Romero type spills like I was as a teenager then you may be disappointed, this is a different beast entirely enmeshed in the world of voodoo. It’s responsible for some of Fulci’s most memorable moments with the WTF of a zombie attacking a shark, the most gruelling splinter in the eye sequence in cinema history which. Does. Not. Seem. To. End. and some of the most wonderful dusty and dirty looking zombies ever seen on screen – special mention for one which comes out of the ground, drops some maggots from its eye socket on to us the viewers then charges towards the screen.

Fulci followed this with City Of The Living Dead, which could well be my favourite Fulci film despite its “We don’t really know how to end this, do we?” final image. This time it’s any town America under attack, which at times gives it a resemblance to a Stephen King novel, with the regular joes drinking in the bar, teenagers getting high...and small town fascism ready to put a drill through a head should you start messing with someone’s daughter. Like The Beyond this has a really powerful atmosphere from the very beginning, fog enshrouded cemeteries, a hanging priest, zombies which appear and disappear once their head scrunching is done and Catriona MacColl’s memorable rescue from a premature burial involving a pickaxe inches from her face.

After The Beyond came a more intimate affair with House By The Cemetery – like City Of The Living Dead the urban city is abandoned for the leafy small town America and a house with deadly secrets. Much like The Beyond this has a distorted sense of causality and imagery, with Fulci wanting to give it a childlike sense of logic (or lack of, as the case may more likely be) especially with children being important characters in the film. Starting with an opening that hits you like a knife in the back of the head and ending with a family being ripped apart, House By The Cemetery also gave us one of the greatest looking monsters in horror cinema, the amazing looking Dr Freudstein. It also gave us the worst dubbing in cinema history – if I could invent a way to do ear lobotomies, I could make a fortune from people who have seen this film.

The Black Cat isn’t one of Fulci’s greatest works but has a definite odd charm to it. After the excess of the above quartet the film feels sadly restrained, but it does have David Warbeck in the lead role as well as the incredible Patrick Magee in one of his final film roles, seen here wandering cemeteries recording the voices of the dead, as well as possibly holding a special bond with a certain kitty. Like some of Corman’s Poe adaptations, this feels lighter and more playful than some of Fulci’s other horror films, but is a fun diversion.

Fulci’s murder mystery films of the 70s are all well worth checking out – Don’t Torture A Duckling is an unusual rural based murder mystery set in southern Italy in contrast to the urban locales of Argento’s celebrated giallos. It has Thomas Milian, cool as ever and the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet investigating murders of children in a superstitious narrow minded town. Small town fascism is evident again here, when the townsfolk blame a local “witch” and bring their own form of justice and punishment in the film’s most brutal and tragic moment. Definitely a unique giallo worth checking out if you can find it on import.

The finale of Don’t Torture A Duckling would be revisited for the climax of The Psychic (aka the more striking title of Seven Notes In Black.) Fulci dismissed this film as “mechanical” but I think it’s a smart little thriller where Jennifer O’Neill investigates the psychic vision she has had of a murder to come without fully understanding the consequences. My favourite aspect of the film is O’Neill’s vision itself, built purely cinematically from shots removed from their proper context, creating an abstract montage of material. The fun is seeing her and us as an audience piece these elements back into their proper place before it’s too late!

But Fulci’s greatest giallo has to be the ludicrously titled Lizard In A Woman’s Skin, which is full of incredible dreamlike imagery, in keeping with the dream diary that the lead Florinda Bolkan is keeping. Opening with a nude train nightmare and surrealistic slow motion stabbing, the film constantly has something visually arresting for the audience, with the most infamous moment being the discovery of a horrific lab experiment on dogs which nearly landed Fulci in jail, so convinced were the authorities of the authenticity of the scene. For me the most memorable moment is an incredible chase through the deserted and part derelict Alexandra Palace, with the victim giving away her position by accidentally pressing the famous organ in the main room. Just one amazing sequence in this brilliant film.

Fulci made a few westerns but one of most interest in the impressively titled Four Of The Apocalypse which brings together two leading male stars of Italian genre cinema, Thomas Milian in a brutal role and Fabio Testi, being as bloody suave as always. Fulci brings a gothic sensibility to the film, with a memorable rainstorm in a cemetery being one such moment and also brings his trademark brutality, especially shown in the actions of Milian in the uncut version. It also climaxes in a very peculiar setting of a town entirely run by men who won’t allow any women to live there, which is unique in the macho world of spaghetti westerns.

So, the hardest recommendation – the New York Ripper. Notorious in this country with the film print allegedly being escorted out of the country back in the early 80s...recently released cut in this country showing that even now, 30 years later, it’s a film which is still too much at times. This to me has some of the greatest memorable subjective shots in any of Fulci’s films, like the moment where a broken bottle cuts across the audience’s line of vision. It portrays a real dirty, trashy New York which no longer exists, giving it a time capsule sensibility. There’s a moral hypocrisy and decay at the centre, where all the characters have secrets, mostly of a sexual nature, that all of them are ashamed or try to hide, most tragically the police inspector who has a regular relationship with a prostitute, but dithers when she is under attack, not wanting to reveal that he knows her location then finally doing the right thing when it is sadly too late (and after Fulci has given us possibly the most sadistic on screen murder ever.) It’s hard to stomach, but as an absolute synthesis of the cold cynical Fulci world, along with some stunning imagery, it all feels like this is his greatest work.

Further reading – it probably goes for a pretty penny these days, but Stephen Thrower’s “Beyond Terror” is a stunning book devoted to Fulci’s work, an incredible amount of stills photography and posters from around the world with every film from Fulci’s directing career critically assessed, including his impossible to see early Italian comedies and rock’n’roll teenage movies. It’s one of the all time greatest books dedicated to a genre director.

Further listening – legally questionable, but you can listen to and in some cases download tracks from Fulci films at “his” Soundcloud page. Not really sure who is responsible for this (the same goes for the Fulci Twitter feed too – maybe it’s a member of his family) but well worth a listen! http://soundcloud.com/luciofulci

 For more information on Creak and Luther Bhogal - Jones please look here.
And if you are feeling very brave you can watch Creak here. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


We will be screening Performance on Thursday 8th November.
There were 2 films we really needed to screen when we first started Kino Klubb, Performance and The Devils. WE NEED TO SCREEN THE DEVILS.

Here are the posters for this Thursdays The Beyond screening.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

This is your brain on KIno

Very excited and honored to be able to present Ken Russell's Psychotropic classic Altered States as part of this years Mayhem Horror Festival.
We have been massive fans of Mayhem for years and it means so much to us to be able to join the party.
Can't wait.