James Robinson is a writer from Yorkshire whose trenchant music and book reviews for the Press Association have appeared in newspapers as far afield as Aberdeen and Dudley. He can also be found at the folk music website forfolkssake.com. James loves films the way most people love ice cream: he rates among his all-time favourites The Third Man, Vertigo (the best date movie in the world) and Eyes Without a Face (the worst date movie in the world). He tweets at @jamesisrobinson.
These days, when every film features S&M sex scenes and lavishly choreographed 3D garrottings, it’s difficult to appreciate just how shocking the Hammer studio’s lurid output genuinely was back in the drab 1950s.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, vampires were not the ideal boyfriends for brooding teenagers; they were the most chilling of all the movie monsters, and no other film seemed to capture their horror quite as well as Hammer studio’s 1958 release, Dracula. It’s one of the loosest adaptations of Bram Stoker’s famous novel, yet easily the most memorable. As this long-awaited Blu-ray release proves, it has also, like the man himself, defied the ravages of time. It still casts its disquieting spell, long after the others, particularly Bela Lugosi much-imitated 1931 incarnation, have come to appear faintly ridiculous to modern eyes.
Coen fans rejoice! The trailer for the highly anticipated Inside Llewyn Davis has arrived, and hey man, it looks, like, totally groovy daddio.
TEACHER: Okay, quiet down class, quiet down. Now, I’ve been going through your homework assignment to make the bleakest film you can possibly deliver. Kaye, come up here, we’ll start with yours.
TONY KAYE: Yes, sir.
TEACHER: Right, Kaye. Now, we know you’ve shown promise before. That project you did in Year 9, what was it called, American History X? Very impressive, yes. The thing is Kaye, I think that early success has gone to your head. To be blunt, I think you’re coasting. Tell me truthfully, boy, did you spend a good deal of time on this project or did you rush it all the night before the deadline?
TONY KAYE: Honestly sir. I put my heart and soul into it. Scout’s honour.
Rare amongst Ealing’s catalogue of cheerful, community-spirited movies is this bleak, noir thriller. Hacked by 15 minutes and marketed as a B-picture back in 1958, Nowhere to Go has been almost entirely forgotten, both on its own terms and as a product of Michael Balcon’s studio. This is unfair on such a stylish film, scripted by firebrand theatre-critic Kenneth Tynan and featuring veteran actress Maggie Smith in her first feature role. This new release of a fully uncut, pristine master will hopefully bring with it a new and appreciative audience; the same people, perhaps, who saved other, once maligned thrillers of the genre, such as Touch of Evil and Night and the City, from undeserved obscurity.