The BFI are celebrating British film’s darker moments with their Gothic season from October 2013 to January 2014. It’ll feature new restorations and DVD releases as well as events and screenings of, well, gothic movies. Actually, now we think about it, that does seem a bit vague: What actually is a “gothic” movie? Well according to the BFI, it’s something to do with “horror and romance”. So there you go. To be fair we can’t wait to see what the BFI releases on DVD because there are many British gems out there that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Could be exciting.
However, they are opening the season with something that we’re absolutely sure is going to be more than a bit exciting. There’s going to be an outdoor screening of three classic horror movies on the British Museum’s forecourt on the weekend of 29th-31st August (so more of a “prelude” than a “curtain raiser” – Ed); and have they picked some good’uns? Night of the Demon (1957), Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1958) are, in this writer’s not-so-humble opinion, the best three British horror movies of the fifties. While Dracula was certainly the best of Hammer’s early vampire efforts, it also featured the classic Dracula/Van Helsing pairing of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing for the first time. Accept no substitutes and remember you wouldn’t find them together again as D/VH until 1972. The candlestick-cross climax makes it worth the entrance fee alone. Pete and Big Chris were back for The Mummy in what is probably one of the best bandage n’ sand outings in the genre (as long as you half close your eyes to avoid the obvious budget limitations of the Egyptian scenes). As for Night of the Demon, well, if you haven’t seen it, you must; it’s a stonker.
So three great nights out for everyone, as long as you happen to live in London. Have we said “harrumph” yet?
Tickets are out 6th June at £15 a pop. Well, if you live in London, you can afford it.
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