78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Probably one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene takes a granular look both at the scene itself and the relationships, influences, creation and history that lead to it.  It’s a fascinating documentary that breaks down a sequence probably more than any film ever has done in movie history.  This also means that this isn’t for everyone of course – you need to be a fan of the craft or the film at least – but for those that are there’s some amazing trivia (not least that Raging Bull took the sequence shot for shot for a boxing scene) and analysis of a true master.  Amazing.

Best Bit: Influenced and rip offs montage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Psycho (1960) , Psycho(1998), Raging Bull 


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Blog: 17 Unexpected Things you didn’t know about your Favourite Horror Films

Blog: 17 Unexpected Things you didn’t know about your Favourite Horror Films

Other Cr*p

Did you know that the radiologist’s assistant in The Exorcist was a convicted murderer who dismembered and killed gay men in the late ’70s?  or that the Babadook became a a gay icon and was even the symbol for Gay Pride month in parts of America?  Here’s a list of our Our 17 unexpected horror facts…


  1. The Exorcist (1973)

Paul Bateson played a radiologist’s assistant in The Exorcist. He was a convicted murderer who dismembered and killed gay men in the late ’70


  1. Alien (1979)

The actors were not informed that the xenomorph was going to explode from Kane’s chest. This enabled genuine reactions from the cast. Veronica Cartwright even passed out


  1. Psycho(1960)

It was the first movie to ever show a toilet being flushed



4.     Poltergeist (1982)

Four of the cast in the original film died within six years of the film’s release data. One of those was Heather O’Rourke (the girl in the gif) and because of this, the belief that the film was cursed arose.

5.     Night of the living dead (1968)

The Night of the Living Dead was shot in black and white. This means that they didn’t have modern film challenges to make the fake blood look realistic. When Karen Cooper (Kyra Schon) takes a bite of her dad’s flesh, she’s actually biting into some leftover lunch.

6.     The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins was only on camera for just under 25 minutes. He was barely in the movie but he still took home the Oscar for Best Actor that year.

7.     The Shining (1980)

The carpet is the same design in The Shining and the second floor landing of Sid’s house in Toy Story.


8.     The Amityville Horror (2005)

The cast and crew of The Amityville Horror kept waking up at 3 am while filming. That’s the same time the original murders took place.


9.     Split (2016)

James McAvoy broke his hand while filming Split in 2016. The incident occurred after he hit a door that he thought was fake. It was actually solid metal.


10.  The Conjuring (2013)

During filming, Vera Farmiga experienced several instances of paranormal activity, including finding claw marks on her thighs.


11.  Get Out (2017)

It’s no secret that Get Out has many references about American slavery. The teacup is symbolic to slave masters that summon house slaves using teacups.The use of a silver spoon can be seen as meaningful because of the term “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”.


12.  The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Jules kisses the wolf head on the wall. The wolf’s tongue was covered in powdered sugar to make it look dusty but also to make the scene more tolerable for Anna.

13.  Saw (2004)

Saw was actually inspired by a news story. The idea came about when James Wan saw a news report that described a man who would break into people homes and tickle the feet of sleeping children.  Once the man in question was caught, he revealed that he was forced to do it by someone else & was sent a jigsaw piece. This is where the idea of the jigsaw killer forcing characters to do unthinkable things flourished.


14.  Halloween (1978)

Due to its limited budget, the prop department used the cheapest $2 mask they could find in the costume store.  That mask happened to be of the Star Trek actor William Shatner. They spray-painted the face white, teased the hair out and reshaped the eye socket.


15.  The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick created all 500 pages with the words “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Kubrick didn’t go to the prop department with the task and instead he used his own typewriter to make the pages.



16. Candyman (1992)

Real bees were actually put into lead actor Tony Todd’s mouth while shooting the finale.



17. The Babadook

The Babadook is a gay icon. It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. The joke lead to the Babadook becoming a symbol for Gay Pride month in parts of America.



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The 25 Best… Horror Films of All Time

The 25 Best… Horror Films of All Time

Best... Other Cr*p

In our continuing regular feature, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review)  along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of a particular genre… 

This time out: The Best Horror Films of All Time


The close but no cigar Films: Dawn of The Dead, You’re Next, The Blair Witch Project, The Pact, Grave Encounters, Let The Right One In, The Evil Dead


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Phil’s Top 5… Movie Twists (Major Spoilers! )

Phil’s Top 5… Movie Twists (Major Spoilers! )

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Movie Twists!

BEWARE! Spoilers ahead! 

Close but no cigar: 
Sleepaway Camp (Penis), The Crying Game (Penis), Wild Things (What the hell?), Oldboy (She’s my WHAT?) ,The Sixth Sense (I see dead people), Arlington Road (It was a set up!), Friday 13th (Mrs Bates!), Empire Strikes Back (Dad!!!) , The Others (I see dead people) , From Dusk Till Dawn (Vampires!)


5 – Primal Fear
Similar in execution and tone to the Usual Suspects, Primal Fear plays heavily on the performance of Edward Norton.  And boy does he deliver.  Abused Choir boy to stone cold killer in one easy performance….

4 -Psycho  
So Mrs Bates was Norman dragged up all along? Audiences at the time couldn’t take this massive side swipe and even now it holds up as one of the best shock endings in film history.

3 – Fight Club
There was no Tyler.  He was Tyler all along.  Watch the film back and it does make sense but at the time few saw it coming.

2 – Usual Suspects
Keyser Soze was Kevin Spacey all along.  That walk away from the police station.   The limp making way to a confident stride. The reveal. Just perfect.

1 – The Planet of The Apes (1968)
They blew it up! Ah Damn you! God damn you all to hell.  Yup it was Earth all along.



Phil’s Top 5… Slasher Film Villains!

Phil’s Top 5… Slasher Film Villains!

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Slasher Film Villains!

So a few rules: They have to have been in more than one film. They have to be masked/somehow hide their identity.  And they must have killed.  A lot.

Close but no cigar: Chucky, Norman Bates, Ghostface


5 –  Pinhead
From Hell itself comes Doug Bradley’s chilling coenobite, a relentless pin faced monster that’s as unstoppable as any other on this list with his own unique calling card.  The infamous Lament Configuration.

Watch: Hellriaser 3: Hell On Earth (1992)
Avoid: Hellraiser Revelations (2011)


4 – Leatherface
His face caked in the skin of his victims, loves meat hooks, freezers and will chase you down relentlessly with his chainsaw.  Also very much a family man.  In short: a 6 and a half foot brainless killing machine.

Watch: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Avoid: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)


3 – Jason Voorhees
Not the original villain from Friday The 13th (That was his loving mother), but from it’s first sequel onwards Jason proved to be as relentless and unstoppable as any slasher movie icon.  Adopting his machete and hockey mask in Part 3 it was all over by Part 4’s final chapter.  Until lightning brought him back. And telekinesis.  And space. And a reboot.  His rein of terror continues to this day.

Watch: Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Avoid: Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)

2 – Michael Myers
Michael Myers in truth is why this list exists.  Without the William Shatner faced stalker of Jamie Lee Curtis NONE of these (with the exception of Leatherface) would exist.  A true icon of the genre, in what is by far the best slasher movie ever made.

Watch: Halloween (1978)
Avoid: Halloween 2 (2009)


1 – Freddy Krueger
Whilst most copied the relentless silent Killer model set up by Michael Myers, Freddy was something a little different.  A wise cracking burnt to a crisp child killer, Kruger haunted your dreams until brutally killing you with his razor fingers.  Wes Craven created what is the true Slasher film icon in Krueger, who would shine no matter how bad the film he was in.

Watch: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Avoid: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)



Phil’s Top 5… Movie Trailers!

Phil’s Top 5… Movie Trailers!

Other Cr*p

Each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Movie Trailers!

Close but no cigar:
 Suicide Squad (Ballroom Blitz Trailer), Matrix Reloaded, Blair Witch Project, Psycho,

5 – Mad Max: Fury Road
Set the scene like no other and showed us why, after all these years, Mad Max could be great again.

4 – Star Wars The Phantom Menace
Simply put this trailer still sends goose bumps down my spine even though I know the film is utter crap.  Convinced a generation that Star Wars would be good again.


3 – Terminator 2 : Judgement Day
The trailer that defined a generation of filmmaking.  Simply put it’s note perfect for a note perfect film.


2 – Alien
Just a brilliant piece of marketing in an age when trailers were mostly just functional.



1 – Prometheus
This trailer was outstanding.  It marked us a film that we wanted to see, set the bar high and then the film… well… failed miserably.


Review: Bates Motel Season 1 (DVD/BR)

Review: Bates Motel Season 1 (DVD/BR)


This review originally appeared on the Geek Syndicate Network.  For more check out www.geeksyndicate.co.uk

The Review:  Who would have thought it?  A TV show based on a stone cold nailed on 5 star classic ‘untouchable’ movie turns out not only to not be terrible, it actually manage sot be rather good.

Bates Motel is a “contemporary prequel” to the 1960 film Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho and tells the story of the life of Norman Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events portrayed in the classic movie.  Picking up after the death of Norma’s husband (Norman’s biological dad), when she purchases a motel located in a coastal Oregon town so she and Norman can start a new life.  And yes… the house does look just a little bit familiar.

Series creator and Lost writer Carlton Cuse set his stall out early with this one, citing Twin Peaks and more than a passing inspiration for Bates Motes. “We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks… If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes. I loved that show.” Said Cuse at an early press junket for the first season “They only did 30 episodes. Kerry [Ehrin] and I thought we’d do the 70 that are missing”

The role of now 17-year-old Norman Bates falls to Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and he acquits himself well.  Charming and likeable for the most part, Highmore still manages to tinge every moment with a sense of the darkness that lies behind those eyes.   But it’ stair to say it’s Vera Farmiga that steels the show.  Mrs Bates as presented here is every bit the decimated mother, a mother who will go to any lengths to look after the love of her life – the precious Norman.  In a year of great female roles in TV shows, this is up there with the best.

The contemporary setting works for the story, if you can forgive the obvious time line issues with the original movies.  To be fair it would be restrictive to set this back in the 30’s or 40’s and this more contemporary world works well, probably bothering only those film students and movie fuddy duddies that have had Psycho on repeat viewing since the 60’s.  Updating the setting allows for social, economic and sexual politics that just didn’t exist back in the 60’s and that, in turn, enables much wider story opportunities.

So what about the episodes?  Well Film first 6 episodes sets up some nice ideas and moves at a breakneck pace and then, in episode 7,  hits the reset button and almost starts again. It’s an odd move for a show in it’s freshman year but it’s refocusing allows a strong end to the season and the last few episodes are amongst the shows strongest.  It also allows for the story of Norman and Norma to find it’s footing again and develop a longer view.  It’s almost like, initially, the shows creators wee rent sure the series would get past the first ten episodes so set it up to be wrapped up nicely across a year.  To be fair they had good cause.  This show should never have worked.  But as the show develops, so did the audience and with that the show runners new that they could slow down, reset and prepare to be around for a while yet.

The show isn’t perfect: It’s true that the series is at it’s best when it focuses on the Bates family, rather than it’s frequent bearing off into Twin Peaks style events and characters.  That’s not to say that this doesn’t work.  It does.  But the story of the boy and his mother who loves him just that little bit too much is far stronger and more compelling than ideas from a TV show some 25 years ago.

So the ultimate question: Is Bates Motel worth your time? Yes. Along side similar Movie to a TV show Hannibal, this was one of the surprises of the 2013 TV schedule. Charming and chilling in equal measure (much like Norman I guess) this is a show that, despite all the obvious predictions of doom and gloom, broke through with great performances, strong characters and confidant show running.  Only time will tell if this story has legs to run past another season but for now Bates Motel is a pleasant surprise, and one that deserves your time.

Fact fans: A&E’s “Bates Motel” is not the first attempt at making a Tv show based in the universe of Psycho.  Nope that honour fell to a 1987 pilot starring Bud Cort, Lori Petty, and Jason Bateman that failed to be picked up by a network and wound up airing as a TV movie on NBC.

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

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