#121
August / September 2005
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Shades of Renfield
10 Buzzing Performances

To complement the arrival of his new novel THE BOOK OF RENFIELD: A GOSPEL OF DRACULA, Tim Lucas looks back on the screen history of one of the most beloved characters in the annals of horror fiction! Whose portrayal best embodies Renfield as Bram Stoker described him? Which of these performances are underrated? Which are overrated? Who among today's actors might still do justice to the role? Find out in this detailed analysis of ten outstanding performances!

DVD Spotlight

As long as we're talking about Renfield, Kim Newman weighs in with his appraisals of John Badham's romantic 1979 version of DRACULA, starring Frank Langella, and the recent short-lived Canadian program, DRACULA THE SERIES!


Dog Bytes

Capsule reviews of TENEBRAE's Eva Robins in the Pierfrancesco Campanella giallo BAD INCLINATION... David Carradine plays four roles (and the flute!) in the Zen fantasy CIRCLE OF IRON... Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee trace the origins of Evil in THE CREEPING FLESH... the James Gunn-scripted movie that calls itself "Sister-lickin' good," INBRED REDNECK ALIEN ABDUCTION... Sonny Chiba stages a "Hall of Mirrors" battle of his own in KARATE FOR LIFE... Merchant Ivory tackle a Bombay police procedural in THE PERFECT MURDER... new China tensions and homicide merge in SEVENTEEN YEARS... and screenwriter James Gunn shows a little more ambition in the superhero-spoof, THE SPECIALS!

Joe Dante's Fleapit Flashbacks

It's "sex and suspense" month here in the Fleapit, as Joe hunkers down for Seventies screenings of the SCREW Magazine-related EROTICON... the third and final "Ginger" movie GIRLS ARE FOR LOVING... Robert Culp and Bill Cosby surpise I SPY viewers' expectations in HICKEY AND BOGGS... the biker DIRTY DOZEN variation THE LOSERS (aka NAM'S ANGELS)... LUNCH (from the auteur who brought you STINKYBUTT!)... PRIVATE SCHOOL GIRLS, a non-SCHOOLGIRL REPORT series look at West German schoolgirls... Mercedes McCambridge in the rural jailbait meller SIXTEEN... and little Mark Lester returns to witness a political assassination in John Hough's SUDDEN TERROR (aka EYEWITNESS)!

DVDs

In-depth reviews of BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES VOLUME TWO... the Czech zombie import CHOKING HAZARD... PITCH BLACK's Vin Diesel returns in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: UNRATED DIRECTOR'S CUT... Stuart Whitman serves the Kool-Aid in Rene Cardona Jr's exploitative GUYANA: CRIME OF THE CENTURY... Antoine Fuqua casts Bond hopeful Clive Owen as KING ARTHUR... Tod Slaughter, the first British horror star, chortles over the topside of melodrama in THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN, SWEENEY TODD THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, CRIMES AT THE DARK HOUSE, THE FACE AT THE WINDOW and HORROR MANIACS... two people are abandoned in shark-infested OPEN WATER... Hywel Bennett traces his family wee in the penis transplant comedy PERCY... a science fiction saga is set in the alternative history of the 1920s in the anime SAKURA WARS 1: RETURN OF THE SPIRIT WARRIORS and SAKURA WARS 2: WEDDING BELLS... Rene Cardona Sr. serves up the JULES AND JIM of killer shark pictures with TINTORERA... Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis vie for shapely princess Janet Leigh in THE VIKINGS... and Alfred Hitchcock puts a neorealistic spin on suspense in THE WRONG MAN!

Imports

In-depth reviews of the erotic '70s BBC serial CASANOVA, starring Frank Finlay... Max Mok Siu-chung falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a flesh-eating, blood-drinking spirit in the Shaw Brothers' THE ENCHANTRESS... John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW is ripped-off in detail by the Japanese LAST DROP OF BLOOD... and Laura Antonelli stars in an obscure adaptation of Georges Bataille's "Story of the Eye" called Yo soy la pasíon ("I Am Passion")!


Audio Watchdog

Douglas E. Winter assembles his choices for the Best (and the Rest) soundtrack releases of 2004!


Biblio Watchdog

Reviews of John T. Soister's UP FROM THE VAULT: RARE THRILLERS OF THE 1920S AND 1930s and Caelum Vatnsdal's THEY CAME FROM WITHIN: A HISTORY OF CANADIAN HORROR CINEMA!


Plus!

Letterbox correspondence from Yutte Stensgaard... the continuation of Tim's VOOM Diary...

...and much more!



Other contributors to this issue: Anthony Ambrogio, John Charles, Shane M. Dallmann, Richard Harland Smith, Rebecca and Sam Umland and Miles Wood.