Regular reader will know that the original version of And Soon The Darkness is one of our favourite films. The work of the team behind The Avengers and set in rural France in 1970, the film has been remade, with much the same scenario, in Argentina. That version is getting a reissue on DVD this month.
In the remake, best friends Stephanie and Ellie decide to head off on their own for the final days of the trip hoping to find a bit more fun before having to head back home to the US. They wind up in a pretty rural village and spend the evening getting drunk in a bar, where Ellie picks up a handsome local while Stephanie heads back to their hotel alone intending to get a good night’s sleep. Stephanie is soon awoken by a booze-fuelled altercation between Ellie and her new 'friend', which is eventually broken up by an American ex-pat called Michael, who is also staying at the hotel.
Quite possibly the strangest kid's movie ever made is heading to DVD for the very first time - Magic Roundabout's Dougal and the Blue Cat movie.
Originally produced in 1972, it underwent the same treatment as the TV shows - created in France by Serge Danot, then re-written in English by Eric Thompson. Thompson himself did all the voices, except one - the creepy Madame Blue, which was voiced by Fenella Fielding. But that's only half the tale.
From the trailer, you might expect this strange relic of the early 70s to be something of a bloodthirsty affair. But Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly actually aims a little higher than that.
Based on a stage play, Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly is rather like a dark version of Entertaining Mr Sloane, but weirder. Much, much weirder. The movie focuses on a family lost in time - Sonny and Girly (Howard Trevor and Vanessa Howard) are adults dressed as (and in the main acting as) schoolchildren, while Mumsy (Ursula Howells) is the matriarch and Nanny (Pat Heywood) is...well, the Nanny. But something isn't right.
If you're anything like me, you probably stayed up way past your bedtime and watched the late night horrors...at least until you fell asleep on the sofa or got dragged to bed. I saw the opening half hour of an endless number of movies, some I've caught since, while others have eluded me. One such movie is Daughters of Darkness.
I'm guessing it was a late night showing on Channel 4 in the 80s, this 'erotic' (or 'arty') horror probably wouldn't make the cut for ITV or the BBC, both of which preferred a bit of Hammer for their late slots. Either way, all these years on, the opening 20 minutes of this English language Belgian horror, the work of director Harry Kumell, was instantly familiar to me. I think that says something.