The last of our Spooky SFF episodes celebrates a gritty slice of New York noir that twists and turns into a highly freaky slice of horror-tinged SF. From acclaimed low-budget film-maker Larry Cohen, this is a film that takes virtue from the lack of money. Cohen favours invention and good writing over special effects Sturm und Drang.
A meditation on identity, religion and family, God Told Me to is a powerful piece of work that really stays with you. A fitting end to our exploration of the horrific side of SFF!
Onwards with Spooky SFF month, as we discuss a massively influential slice of hauntological freakiness: Nigel Kneale’s terrifying The Stone Tape.
It ticks all the boxes: 70s setting, shot on video, Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. A sharply empathetic performance from Jane Asher helps to elevate this story, but the whole thing is deeply unnerving and still bloody scary.
This is what happens when you try to solve the science behind hauntings…
Includes the first instance of a new term from Rob: cathode-punk.
GUYSGUYSGUYS! The Stone Tape is on Cosmic VideyouTube! Dim the lights, pour yourself a scotch and indulge.
It’s October, which means Curiosity is skewing spooky. This month our over-excitable alien chum is feeding Rob and Clive titles with an extra layer of creepyplasma.
We start with Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce–a deranged slice of Quatermass-style oddness with added nudity, exploding corpses and weapons-grade scenery-chewing. This one has to be seen to be believed, and even then you won’t believe what you’re seeing.
No, we’re not talking about the 70s Michael York/Jenny Agutter film. Rather, we’re taking a look at the source material–the William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson novel. An entirely different, much darker but much more cinematic prospect. Which is frankly a lot more fun!
We believe the time is right to reconsider this cracking, pulpy take on a society that has shrugged off its humanity in favour of youth. Who needs another movie?
What would survival in a post-oil society be like? As life slips back into an agrarian, hard-scrabble existence, how can we find meaning or even happiness? How much do we have to lose before we lose our essential humanity?
Stephen Fingleton’s cult psychodrama The Survivalist takes on these questions and weaves a taut story of uneasy trust and betrayal from the tangled threads. A film to admire, and one that gives you a lot to think about…
For a more informed take on the film, check out director Stephen Fingleton in conversation with Stuart Wright on the excellent Britflicks podcast…
Rob, Clive and Curiosity celebrate a landmark piece of SF in the shape of the 1956 classic, Forbidden Planet. Widely recognised as a formative text in the creation of Star Trek, and influential in the production and sound design of Star Wars and many other examples of filmed and TVSF. If you like the fiction of sciencey, you need to be all over this film.