Paranormal Entity (2009)
The main criticism of films nowadays is ‘we’ve seen it all before.’ Often it’s simply a case of awareness that a film’s ideas, themes and execution is so old, cave men gave up writing it on the wall. In the case of Paranormal Entity, we have literally seen this all before. A demon terrorizes a family for 80 very un-fun minutes before shooting its load with two minutes of gore, breasts and wobbly camera work.
Hawked out around the same time as Paranormal Activity, there is very little about this film that doesn’t make the whole genre of found footage bow its head and say ‘I’m sorry.’ Inane, derivative and most criminally of all, very, very boring.
Beast From Haunted Cave
Ever wondered what From Dusk Till Dawn would be like if you removed all the celebrities, pop culture and vampires? No? Well, tough, here’s Beast from Haunted Cave. Produced by Gene Corman and directed by Charles B. Griffiths, the film is pretty light on beasts and haunted caves. Clocking in at just over an hour, what it does have in abundance is a lot a of hipcat bank robbers making a break for it across the South Dakota snowy mountains. Snow, man! Yeah!
Knowing how the Cormans work, you probably think this was originally a bank heist movie and someone Sellotaped an creature feature dénouement on the end. Well, you’re more or less right; Beast From Haunted Cave was originally a film called Naked Paradise before it was rewritten by Griffith. See, every day’s a school day.
Straight on till Morning (1972)
A young naïve Liverpudlian, Brenda, seeks a new life in the crazy world of London. Wanting ever so desperately to have a baby, the woman-child kidnaps a man’s dog, returning it to him in the hopes of a blossoming romance. The man in question is Peter, a psychopath who believes everything is for him to control.
A sadistic blend of Secretary and Peter Pan, it all makes for uncomfortable viewing. This is mainly down to the fact that deep in its cold centre, this is almost a love story. No matter how manipulative Peter is, Brenda will stand by him.
Mean-spirited, gritty and with a gut punch of an ending, Straight on Till Morning is the possibly the closest Hammer will ever be to producing a romance.