The Atrocity Film Festival 2003
as reported by Verson Jetorix

May 15th

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (65)

Amicus anthology with class cast wasn’t as good as I’d remembered but it was still fun. I’d probably watch it again on DVD.











Dick Smart (67)

Silly Eurospy stuff that features the ever-lovable Margaret Lee in some very cool (and skimpy) outfits.










May 16th

Violent Protection (76)

The film that inadvertently spawned the AFF, this will always be a favorite. Long live Maurizio Merli.











Don't Torture a Duckling (72)

Don’t torture me with more Fulci movies. I have a thing for Florinda Bolkan and she was treated rather cruelly here.















Eugenie (69)
One of Franco’s best, this has a good cast, nice photography (which in Franco-land means very few blurry shots), and a downright awesome soundtrack. I bought both the film and the music.


May 17th


Female Jungle (54)

Lawrence Tierney’s really good in this low-budget crime thriller that also features Jayne Mansfield.











Psychos in Love (87) – Gore comedy that doesn’t cut it, so to speak.












Night of the Lepus (72)

Awesome giant beastie movie with Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh. And it just came out on DVD!











Eaten Alive (76)

Compelling, claustrophobic, and misunderstood this is a rough little gem from Tobe Hooper with the great Neville Brand. Also features a terrific wall o’noise soundtrack by Tobe and Wayne Bell. I feel another viewing coming on.












Grand Theft Auto (77)

Drive-in classic was plenty of fun after Eaten Alive.












Crimson (76)

Mess of a Paul Naschy crime thriller with roughie inserts. Skip it.



This is an image of the very long night club sequence obviously taken from some other movie.




May 22nd

From Beyond the Grave (73)

Better than Dr. Terror’s this was a surprisingly entertaining anthology from Amicus.












To Commit a Murder (67)

Curious, languid crime/spy thriller with Louis Jourdan and the lovely Senta Berger. For some reason I can’t quite explain, I really like this one.









May 23rd

Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song (71) – The first blaxploitation flick.
Too bad it spawned Detroit 9000 (73) and The Mack (73), the next two flicks we watched.




May 24th

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (65)
Death be Nimble, Death be Quick (66)
So Darling So Deadly (66)
Death Trip (67)
Kill, Panther, Kill (67)
Island of Lost Girls (68)
To watch six of the Tony Kendall/Brad Harris Kommissar X movies in a row is to realize they are all the same men’s adventure movie.

Then you go insane!





May 25th


A Kiss Before Dying (56) – Robert Wagner’s a psycho killer in this okay mystery directed by Gerd “Outer Limits” Oswald.











Fearless (77)

Landmark paring of Maurizio Merli and Joan Collins. Joan takes her top off in this giallo-type thriller that wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.









The House With Laughing Windows (76)

Pupi Avati’s creepy horror flick practically drips with atmosphere but I had a hard time getting past Lino Capolicchio. Am I the only one that doesn’t like him?







Once a Thief (65)

Serviceable crime drama with Alain Delon, Ann-Margret, Van Heflin, and Jack Palance.










White of the Eye (87)

Somewhat stylish but ultimately disappointing serial killer flick by Donald Cammell.









Fathom (67)

Silly spy stuff with the awesomely beautiful Rachel Welch. Not the hardcore version.











May 30th



Assault With a Deadly Weapon (76)
Primo Maurizio Merli cop thriller. It just doesn’t get any better than Merli kicking ass to good Eurotunes.



Devil's Rain (75)

This Satan movie by cult director Robert Fuest had real potential but doesn’t deliver enough on any level to qualify as classic material.








Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (74)

Dreary, cheapjack Eurotrash horror that wasn’t worth the time it took to watch.











May 31st

A Man Called Noon (73)

I liked this spaghetti western with Richard Crenna and Stephen Boyd. No great shakes and certainly odd but enjoyable











Cast a Dark Shadow (57)

Pretty good Brit serial killer stuff with Dirk Bogarde as a marry’em and murder’em kinda guy. Worth a watch if you’re into that.








Slalom (65)

Silly spy comedy that was actually pretty funny. Vittorio Gassman shows off his good comic timing.






Blood Castle (70)

Atmospheric gothic Spanish horror also known as Scream of the Demon Lover, a much better title. I have watched this since and still dug it although it doesn’t have any of the usual suspects.









Nightmare Castle (65)

Another atmospheric gothic horror this time from Italy. Yeah it has Barbara Steele in it but it also has Helga Line, a fave of mine.










Crawlspace (86)

Pretty bad Klaus Kinski psycho killer stuff. Not worth it.







June 5th

School Girl Killer (67)

Some thought this was dreadful but it was a cropped, cut VHS tape so I’d be willing to give it another chance on DVD.










The Sadistic Baron von Klaus (62)

Boring Jess Franco mess that certainly wasn’t sadistic enough for this crowd.








June 6th

The Diabolical Dr. Z (66)

Actually a good movie from Jess Franco. Nice photography and kinky plot make for a winner.












The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine's (73)

I wasn’t impressed. The nuns weren’t sinful enough for me.












Man Bites Dog (92)

Absolute must see for Atrocians about a team of documentary filmmakers following a serial killer. You just won’t believe it.











June 7th

Thunder Road (58)

Bob! Good ol’ Bob Mitchum carries this classic moonshine story. Fun.









Incubus (80)

Don’t remember much about this mess of a movie.








Sharky's Machine (81)

After some of the primo Eurocop thrillers we’ve seen, this is a bit of a letdown.








Begotten (81)

Bizarre experimental film that is worth a watch for the craft.






Die Screaming Marianne (71)

Didn’t care for this psychological thriller much







Beyond the Door (75)

Thought this might be a hoot but was disappointed. Not exploitive enough!









June 12th


The Beast From Haunted Cave (59)

This el cheapo from the Corman factory has its creepy moments. We waited until we could get a hold of the widescreen version.












The Spiral Staircase (46)

Good old fashioned spooks in this blind-chick-in-terror flick. Looks nice on DVD too.









June 13th

From Corleone to Brooklyn (78)

Not a great Merli flick. Too much yak yak and not enough action compared to his classic films.











Eat My Dust (78)

Fun no-brainer car crash movie. What do you want?









The Virgin Witch (72)

I need to revisit this is it ever comes out on DVD because while it didn’t do too much for me this time, it might have been because I was too loaded.







June 14th


House of Whipcord (74)

Semi-interesting social commentary from the overrated Peter Walker. Seen enough of HIS movies!









Puzzle (74)

Senta Berger with chainsaw! Cool enough giallo that will certainly merit another viewing soon.











Something Creeping in the Dark (71)

Loved this nonsensical Italian supernatural giallo. Excellent cast and ambience up the ying yang. Can’t wait to see it again!





Eerie Midnight Horror Show (74)

A couple of great scenes (I’m talking Ivan Rassimov coming off the cross to rip dresses and a rose-whipping for Lucretia Love) but the rest is boring exorcism stuff.










The Gambler (74)

Really good early James Caan vehicle worth it for his performance and the subtle yet powerful visuals.





June 19th

Axe (74)

Oh god, what a waste of time.








Fog Island (45)

A long time favorite, this body count flick is pretty nasty stuff for its day. Stars the great duo of Lionel Atwill and George Zucco. Yes!











June 20th

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (68)

Really trippy Jap horror/sci-fi hybrid that is gorgeous to look at and loads of fun to boot. “Join us. We’re digging our graves out here!”











The Sadist (63)

A genuine hoot, this little psycho killer flick is amusing as hell. A must see for Arch Hall Jr.’s Oscar-worthy performance.









Blood of the Vampires (70)

Weak Philippine horror with a couple good scenes but not worth the time. Really.









June 21st


Please Murder Me (56)

OK crime thriller touted as noir but it’s not really. It was not unwelcome.








Haunted Lantern (97)

Got burned on this Jap ghost story. Yawn.











The Last Horror Film (82)

Terribly depressing Joe Spinell vehicle that I’m glad didn’t wrap up the fest. Somebody shoot me.








The Head (59)

Awesome Horst Frank mad doctor nonsense that has great style. They just don’t make’em like this anymore. Ended the fest a cut above (the shoulders)!










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