Inside The Slaughtered Lamb 2010

Much excitement was had over the weekend when, on a rare trip from Igloo-Land, I went for a rather nice meal in a country pub. I opted for Pork Belly on stir-fried Cabbage, topped with Mustard Mash and washed down with a light and fruity Beaujolais. It was fantastic, it really was:

PS I almost forgot, the pub in question was The Black Swan in Effingham, Surrey, a key landmark in horror film history as it was the interior of The Slaughtered Lamb pub which Jack and David had the misfortune to stumble into in, of course, An American Werewolf in London.

It's now almost unrecognisable unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately come to think of it) and there were no weird goings-on to be reported. Although at one point, I could have sworn my Guinness magically refilled itself...

Also rather aptly, the nearby hotel I stayed in was called The Talbot Inn.

Here's some professionally taken photographs:

A shot of the bar itself

The door where Jack and David walked in (and out) and sat down to the left of. It's no longer a functioning entrance (or exit) to the pub, so go round the back.

Excuse me but what's that star on the... oh, it's gone...

Bit of history to finish with.



“Enjoy your exile, murderer!” shouted the pilot and co-pilot in unison as they threw me out the plane. “Don’t I get a parachute?” I replied, not unreasonably I thought. But it was too late, and I was already plummeting to the icy wastes below...

Luckily I landed on some soft snow and some talking penguins sheltered and fed me. Until I realised I was hallucinating, and they left on a magic carpet.

And so I found myself wandering. Lost, half-mad and half-dead, all hope gone. Then I saw the igloo.

Something uncanny about it, I remember thinking. Maybe it was the supernatural glow that seemed to emanate deep from within it. Maybe it was the sense of destiny that I felt as I stumbled towards it. Maybe it was the large wooden sign saying ‘Igloo of the Uncanny’ nailed above the door…

It was warm inside. The old man said nothing as he handed me a hot drink. I gulped it down greedily and fell into a deep sleep. Such strange dreams… glaring hospital lights... blue pills and bibles... and when I awoke the old man had gone. But when my eyes fell upon his dirty old shaving mirror, I saw his face staring back at me.

Maybe I’ve always been him.

Maybe I’ve always been here.


Women of Horror that we need to see more of #23 - Lisa Houle

If you’ve seen Pontypool – and you really must – then you’ll be in love with Lisa Houle and her beautifully judged, multi-layered performance which manages to be incredibly moving yet bloody funny at the same time.

And you’ll probably be in love with her as a person too. Which I hope co-star Stephen McHattie is, because he’s married to her. Here's a pic from their wedding day album:

Incredibly she’s hardly acted on-screen if those reliable people at IMDB are to be trusted:

# "Pontypool" .... Sydney Briar (2008)
# "Emily of New Moon" .... Eve Kinch / ... (7 episodes, 1998-2000)
# "Due South"
.... Madeline Carnes (1 episode, 1996)
# "Seinfeld" .... Cheryl (1 episode, 1993)
# "Scene of the Crime" (1991) TV series (various episodes)

Of course, it may be that she doesn’t particularly want to act and has other things going on in her life, which is fine. Except it’s not because it affects me. Let’s see Lori in lot’s more films from now on - McHattie, do some house-sitting!



In Claymation. In 60 seconds.

Evil Dead done in 60 seconds with CLAY - 2010 from Lee Hardcastle on Vimeo.

... just one of the nominations for the Jameson Empire 'Done in 60 Seconds 'Awards 2010. You can view the rest of the nominations here, including Avatar, Predator and Nightmare on Elm Street...



There doesn't seem to be much love around for Zoltan, Hound of Dracula (US title 'Dracula's Dog'). It's always held fond memories for me though, and I remember being genuinely spooked by it as youngster.

I like Zoltan. Okay, so he’s a horrifying hellish hound and a vicious bugger, but he is obedient, faithful and a bit of a cutie.

I can’t help but feel if he attacked me all I’d need to do was give his chin a stroke and we’d be best friends forever.

Not the ideal way to think about the main villain when settling down to watch a horror film you might think. But Zoltan isn’t the scariest dude in this film. Here's Reggie Nalder as the diabolical Veidt Smith:

Here's a quick shot of Reggie without any make-up:

Veidt Smith then, is Dracula's recently resurrected henchman who, with the help of his beloved Zoltan, goes off in search of his dead master's descendant; family man Michael Drake, happily residing in the good old US of A and about to set off on his yearly camping trip with his sickeningly nice wife and kids. He's also bringing along Samson and Annie, his two cute dogs, and their little puppies. Something's going to happen to the puppies, isn't it?

Yes. One mysteriously drowns. Then that night, the family is attacked by Zoltan and a couple of his newly vamped-up canine accomplices. Shaken and upset, the family decide to head off home the next day.

Until up drives the wonderful Jose Ferrer...

... playing Inspector Branco, the Van Helsing-like character who has followed Schmidt all the way from Romania and has a plan to stop him! He explains everything to Michael Drake and quickly wins his trust.

"You leave in the caravan with the kids love, I'm going to stay in a fisherman's hut for the rest of the weekend with this old guy who I've just met." Michael explains to his strangely understanding wife, who packs up and drives off with the kids, never to reappear. This is unfair - I don’t think you should be allowed to just leave and head off home half way through a horror film. How disappointing would 'The Hills Have Eyes' or 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' have been if the potential victims were allowed to say "Sod this, I'm going home. This place is beginning to annoy me"...?

Anyway, the Inspector's plan is for Michael to be 'bait', and for the two of them to hole up in a nearby fisherman's hut and await the attack. The rest of the plan is unclear...in fact, I’m going to stop even referring to it as a ‘plan’ because it patently wasn’t. Making someone ‘bait’ to lure attackers is only PART of a plan. The bit that happens when the attackers attack is the OTHER part - most would say the most important part.

But when the Zoltan and co. attack that night what does the Inspector do? Basically just shrugs his shoulders and gives Michael a look that says ‘sorry, I didn’t actually expect them to attack.' Thanks Inspector, thanks a lot. So the pair simply wait in the shack, huddling together while the three dogs try and make their way in. Eventually Zoltan comes crashing through the roof and lands on top of the planless pair, knocking them both unconscious.

Zoltan couldn’t have aimed better if he’d tried, although they did make it a bit easy for him, huddled together in the dead centre of the shack like that.

Zoltan's about to vamp up Drake but would you believe it - here comes dawn! And so the devilish dobermann is forced to beat a hasty retreat.

For some strange reason it appears not to have dawned (no pun intended) on the Inspector or Michael that the dogs have anything to do with Veidt Smith. The fact that there were 'two coffins' though is beginning to register with the Inspector but bloody hell it's not difficult is it?

The Inspector's next 'plan' is to head back to the original camping ground. "I have a feeling that something will happen there." He says, which once again, isn't a plan in my book. Nevertheless, Michael agrees, and the two head back.

Not long left to the film now, which Veidt Smith underlines by reminding Zoltan that they "cannot survive without a master another night". This leads to a rather rushed and unsatisfying ending and it's over all too soon - an extra ten or fifteen minutes running time and another plot twist could have made all the difference. What about 'turns out that the wife and kids didn’t manage to escape but have been kidnapped by Smith, who has them holed up in a nearby abandoned spooky old house?'. That would have worked for me. “I don’t remember this abandoned spooky old house being here before.” Michael could say to the Inspector as they enter for an exciting final showdown.

But no, all that happens is that the Inspector finds Smith and after a quick fight, gives him a good staking. In the meantime Zoltan and his doggy disciples attack Michael, who takes refuge in the Inspector's car. But damn! It's a convertible, so the roof has to shut before he's safe. The fact that it's the slowest closing roof that I've ever seen in a car really racks up the tension. Maybe they could have made it even slower and added ten minutes to the film that way.

Michael notices his beloved dog Samson rushing to rescue him and lets him into the car. Big mistake, as Samson's eyes glow a hellish vampiric glow and he attacks!

All this is happening as the inspector and a couple of friendly hunters reappear. Much dog-fighting and dog-staking ensues. Michael kills Zoltan by flashing at him (with his crucifix). Zoltan backs off and falls over a cliff that appears from nowhere behind him. He lands on a fence spike. Game over.

It's the end to another successful night's dog killing, and everyone laughs, slaps each other's backs, packs up and heads off home. We just have time for the camera to pan slowly across the ground... to eventually reach Michael's lost pup, alone in the middle of the forest... with fangs and glowing eyes!

Zoiks! THE END. Or is it?


LOST BOYS (1987)

A classic clip:



Day #477

Same old routine today, no doubt. Same cold, same ice, same snow…

Same surgery lights buzzing noisily. Same wires sticking out of my head and chest, connected to a shiny yet strangely antiquated looking machine with numerous dials and flashing buttons… hang on, this isn’t part of the usual igloo routine?

A familiar looking face appeared. “Morning, Carlisle.” It said.

Memories. So far away. Memories surfacing slowly and hazily, as if through a sheet of Arctic ice…

“Dr. Bertorelli?” I heard myself ask. And yes, I remembered. Dr. Bertorelli was my tutor. More of a father figure actually because my own father was… and I am… was… am… Edmund Carlisle! That’s my name! Edmund Carlisle, Medical Student in the Royal College of Surgery, Pall Mall! Yes, it’s all coming back to me…

“Good lad, ” Dr. Bertorelli replied “still got control of all your faculties, eh? I suppose you’re curious about how you got here?”

“I dreamt of an igloo,” I started “and of falling down a long flight…”

“No dream, lad. No dream.” Interjected Dr. Bertorelli. “Let me start at the very beginning. You came to me in the Summer of 1912, remember? Keen as mustard, you were. Eager to learn. And my instincts about you were for the most part correct, as you became one of my best students. Quite brilliant, with a mind as razor sharp as your scalpel. What a disappointment when I discovered that some of your ah, extra-curricular activities involved…”

“Why am I here, doctor?”

“Buggery, ma boy! Buggery most horrid! Bestiality to boot. More arson than you could shake a match at. Rape. Murder. More Buggery. And the drugs! Lithium, Opium, Laudanum, Cocaine, Hashish... oh, and all manner of strange and outlandish concoctions... you and that equally no good friend of yours Henry Jekyll (despite him having every guarantee of an honourable and distinguished future) constantly trying to outdo each other in your potion-making...”

“I prefer the term cocktails, actually Doctor. But...”

“Hush, Edmund!" Said Dr. Bertorelli. "Look at the time! I’ve conversed for far too long already. You need to rest and I need to partake of lunch - it’s twenty past the hour and Mrs. Braithwaite is very particular about punctuality. But not for you ma boy, not yet! You’ve got a 24-inch rod stuck in your spine and an even longer tube up your old chap, so no moving from your bed today! I’ll try and return for a chin wag later, what? If you get bored, we’ve got your old TV in the corner. I’ll switch it on for you now if you want…”




Best Worst Movie, the feature-length documentary about the legendary Troll 2, now has a theatrical release! Check out their website www.bestworstmovie.com for details.

Here's the trailer:

And here's a reminder of how great Troll 2 and indeed, Justin Timberlake, are:



Day #445

Today brought a stark reminder that this place can be truly treacherous. Got carried away with excitement, I did, by a rare successful spell of herring fishing at one of my favourite ice holes - blissfully unaware that the weather had turned until an icy blast hit my gonads and I discovered that my visibility was less than 6 foot in front of me.

How I managed to get back to the igloo, god or The Devil only knows, but it was only after many hours of fruitless searching and stumbling into crevasses that I saw the neon flashing sign saying 'Igloo of the Uncanny - 100 yards on the left!' that I knew I was safe.

In the warmth and light of the igloo, I took stock of my faculties and noticed that my left snow shoe had gone missing. This discovery led me to take to my bed for 3 days, howling and screaming in anguish and misery. If you think that was an over-reaction let me explain - my foot was inside that snow shoe, and is also missing. This place really is beginning to annoy me.

The Orphan (2009)

I’ve read some really good reviews of this film (they were delivered to me anonymously down the igloo chimney one night). I can’t quite agree with them though. The Orphans is a very average, very cliché-ridden horror thriller. Compared with all the other really bad modern horror films that are around, I guess that makes it a good horror film hence the favourable reviews. I think.

Put it this way, you can probably guess the plot from the title. And if you haven’t guessed the plot from the title, within 2 minutes of watching the film, when you discover the mother is a recovering alcoholic, you’ve got all the information you need.

The Omen (45%) + The Shining (15%) + The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (40%) = The Orphan

Kate Coleman, played by Vera Farmiga who has a face that really annoys me...

... is a recovering alcoholic and grieving mom who adopts an orphan from an orphanage (it’s the best place to find orphans apparently) run by nuns who obviously have no interest in paperwork or background checks.

Horror Hints #45 – Never adopt a child from a nun.

Oh, but she’s a lovely child! Bright, intelligent and courteous! A delight!

The End

Hang on, I forgot a bit – it turns out that the orphan (they call her Esther rather than ‘the orphan’ in the film, which I think makes sense) can be a right little madam at times.

A right little madam that uses hammers, guns, knives and whatever else she can get her strangely aged looking hands on to murder, maim and cause general mayhem.

Horror Hints #36 – Never become a recovering alcoholic. When someone tries to kill you, nobody will believe you.

All this murderous behaviour means that Lee Remick, sorry, Kate Coleman soon grows to hate and fear Esther. But because she’s a recovering alcoholic nobody believes her. When she speaks about her fears with her husband and psychiatrist they basically just laugh, pull faces and mimic someone swigging from a bottle behind her back.

Thank god then that a bit of internet research by Kate (she Googled 'horror film plot evil children') uncovers a phone number for an Estonian mental hospital...

... resulting in a phone conversation with a nice Estonian with a beard who reveals an okay-ish plot twist along with the information that Esther is a psycho killer. To be fair, the film from this point on does get quite exciting in an obvious sort of way, as Kate rushes back to the family home in a bid to save her husband and daughter from the malevolent mock-minor.

Horror Hints #34 – If you manage to knock out a psycho killer with a gun, take the gun and shoot them in the head. Just to make sure.

And that’s it. Go in with low expectations and you might just find that The Orphan is worth it. And to end on a positive note, the performance by young Isabelle Fuhrman is very, very good. Oh, I almost forgot one...

Horror Hints #82 – If you have children, don’t live in a house right next to an icy lake.

Actually, that probably is genuinely good advice. Take it from me, ice can be dangerous... (hops off into the sunset)



You know, here in the Igloo I have gradually grown to have a genuine love of horror films. And I know how easy it is to mock bad examples of the genre. It’s not big and it’s not clever so from now on, I'm refusing to do it.

Anyway, here’s some selected quotes from other people who have watched The Wicker Man:

1. “The minute your hero comes to the rescue dressed as a bear, you should know something has gone horribly awry."

2. “I found the fictional island of Summerisle quite similar to certain parts of North Norfolk, particularly that every thing you ask is received with a blank expression.”

3. “Nicholas cage is just so funny! He should do more comedy!”

4. “He punched 3 females, so what? It was required for the scene. Get over it.”

For some reason this one is my favourite, because a) it’s not trying to be funny and b) the image it manages to create:

5. “After the cinema, my boyfriend was so mad he couldn’t speak about it”

Here are some more words of wisdom:

And finally, "Judo Chop!"