Articles by Lee Broughton

The Borderlands

UK correspondent Lee Broughton returns with coverage of an original and engaging British folk horror film. Director Elliot Goldner’s found footage show was released to little fanfare in 2013 but those curious film fans who subsequently picked it up as a speculative cheap buy on DVD or caught it on TV came away pleasantly surprised….

Halloween at Aunt Ethel’s

CineSavant reviews a (gasp!) DVD release.  UK correspondent Lee Broughton returns with coverage of a low budget comedy-horror flick from Florida about a seemingly harmless old lady who displays psychopathic tendencies every Halloween. The humour is crude at times but the show’s knowing horror elements, spirited performances and decent production values result in a curiously…

Ben & Charlie

UK correspondent Lee Broughton returns with coverage of a well-realised Spaghetti Western, Michele Lupo’s irony-laden semi-comedy Ben & Charlie. The film’s eponymous anti-heroes are played by fan favourites Giuliano Gemma and George Eastman and the duo receive great support from a number of familiar faces including Marisa Mell, Aldo Sambrell and Giacomo Rossi Stuart. Ben…

Encounter of the Spooky Kind

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with an assessment of Sammo Hung’s groundbreaking Hong Kong hit wherein comedy, horror and martial arts elements are brought together in a wholly successful way. This show has it all: kung fu action, duelling mystics, hopping vampires, hungry zombies, haunted mirrors and a sympathetic everyman whose danger-fraught narrative trajectory is…

One Armed Boxer

High-quality chopsocky mayhem!  Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with an assessment of Jimmy Wang Yu’s action-packed martial arts flick. The combat comes thick and fast when a team of deadly mercenaries are employed to wipe out the honourable pupils of the Zhengde School. Writer-director Jimmy Wang Yu is placed front and centre in most of…

Arizona Colt

Lee Broughton returns with a review of Michele Lupo’s fine-looking Spaghetti Western, Arizona Colt. Giuliano Gemma stars as the eponymous anti-hero-cum-bounty killer who goes head-to-head with Fernando Sancho’s villainous Mexican bandit. The show’s collateral damage comes in the shapely form of fan favourite Rosalba Neri while its highly reluctant love interest is played by none…

The Bride with White Hair

  Lee Broughton returns with a critique of Hong Kong filmmaker Ronny Yu’s magical, mystical and martial arts-laden reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Relocating the Bard’s tale to ancient China results in our star-crossed lovers from warring clans being suitably redrawn: one is a super warrior while the other is a deadly assassin….

Dawn of the Dead (Region B)

  Lee Broughton returns with a review of a mammoth limited edition box set dedicated to George A. Romero’s gut-wrenching zombie apocalypse opus, the first sequel to Night of the Living Dead. Fine performances from a quartet of unfamiliar lead actors, hordes of malevolent zombies convincingly brought to life by hundreds of local volunteers, groundbreaking…

976-Evil

  Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with an assessment of Robert Englund’s offbeat video rental store favourite 976-EVIL. Satanic panic ensues when two teenage cousins are foolish enough to start using an automated telephone “horrorscope” service. Dialling 666 just might be granting the pair a direct line to the Devil himself and there’s bound to…

Mister Vampire

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with an assessment of Ricky Lau’s Hong Kong comedy horror show-cum-mystical martial arts romp. Introduced to the vampire mythos are some novel ideas, like scary-looking vampires that get around by hopping on two legs. Effective horror scenarios include expertly choreographed martial arts routines. However, the score on the genre mash-up…

A Bullet for the President

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton tackles Tonino Valerii’s Spaghetti Western-cum-political conspiracy thriller. By brazenly transposing key aspects of John F. Kennedy’s assassination onto the assassination of James A. Garfield in 1881, Valerii gives both western and conspiracy film fans much food for thought. A career best performance by Giuliano Gemma, repurposed sets from Once Upon a…

The Specialists

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with a review of a previously hard to find Gallic Spaghetti Western. Filmed in the Dolomites mountain range and primarily existing as a vehicle for the French rock ‘n’ roll singer Johnny Hallyday, this might well be Corbucci’s best looking Western. The respected French actresses Francoise Fabian and Sylvie Fennec…

Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with a Region B review of Tsui Hark’s mystical tale of derring-do in ancient China. Hark revived a once popular variant of the wuxia film form — the Chinese shenguai wuxia films from the late 1920s — which paired chivalric martial arts with more overtly mystical and mythological elements. The…

Under the Shadow

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with a review of Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow (2016), a smart tale of supernatural happenings out in the Middle East. A Farsi language British production shot in Jordan, the film is set in Tehran at the height of the Iran-Iraq War that ran throughout most of the 1980s. Here…

Requiem for Gringo

We’ve got more Spaghetti western action from Guest Reviewer Lee Broughton — the more obscure they become, the more fanciful the concept. This creative 1968 entry foregrounds a gothic vibe and employs imagery and narrative devices that Lee says would fit well in a horror movie. Italo western fans know the regular actors Fernando Sancho,…

The Ghost Lovers

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with an assessment of an obscure period chiller expertly assembled by Shen Hsiang Yu. One of the Shaw Brothers’ early attempts at screen horror, this superior gothic romance with a supernatural twist failed to find an audience upon its initial domestic release — a circumstance that led to the studio…

A Coffin for the Sheriff & Blood at Sundown

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with more vintage Spaghetti Westerns. Prolific Italo western star Anthony Steffen shoots first in Alberto Cardone’s gothic vengeance drama Blood at Sundown, and plays the revenge game straight up in Mario Caiano’s A Coffin for the Sheriff. The double bill disc also features appearances by genre stalwarts Gianni Garko, Erika…

The Dragon Missile (Region B)

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton offers an assessment of one of the Shaw Brothers’ quirkier and more idiosyncratic historical martial arts efforts: an action-packed Meng Hua Ho wuxia flick from 1976 that concerns an irredeemable killer sent on a mission to save the life of a despicable and hated tyrant. Outstanding fight choreography, unusual weaponry and…

Xtro

Nope, this isn’t ET, The Extraterrestrial, not by a long shot. Guest reviewer Lee Broughton offers an assessment of Harry Bromley Davenport’s British cult sci-fi shocker of modest means, a show that would be pure exploitation if not for some creditable performances. It’s nasty but has a basic competence and is not just more cynical…

One-Armed Swordsman & Legend of the Mountain

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns with coverage of two well-regarded wuxia films (period martial arts movies set in ancient China). One is an intense action flick from the Shaw Brothers Studio that places a heavy emphasis on bloody and gory depictions of swordplay. The second is a wuxia film with a difference: rather than fancy…

And God Said to Cain & Twice a Judas

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton returns to shine a critical light on a double bill Spaghetti Western disc, two features starring the world’s favorite acting fiend, Klaus Kinski. The prolific German actor racked up credits in more than twenty Euro-Westerns, some of which amounted to brief-if-worthy guest spots. These two Italian productions feature the German actor…

3 Video Nasties from Region B

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton covers a trio of grisly horrors. The Toolbox Murders, Blood Harvest and A Cat in the Brain each feature a pop culture icon in a leading role. Hollywood actor Cameron Mitchell, oddball 1960s crooner Tiny Tim and the Italo horror director and all-round enfant terrible Lucio Fulci find themselves caught up…

The Color of Pomegranates

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton assesses the Armenian director Sergei Parajanov’s poetic and metaphor-filled biopic about his countryman Sayat Nova, the Armenian poet-troubadour. This new disc edition offers both versions of the picture, Parajanov’s original and the Soviet-approved version cut by seven minutes. As we learn, if a Soviet film director found favor internationally, they often…

The Housemaid (Region B)

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton offers a look at writer-director Derek Nguyen’s intriguing debut feature, a finely observed supernatural gothic chiller-cum-illicit period love story, set on a French plantation in Vietnam towards the end of the First Indochina War. It’s also a spooky melodrama with a difference. As such, this well-acted, handsomely staged and stylishly shot…

The Mercenary (Il mercenario) Region B

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton is back with an in-depth look at Sergio Corbucci’s grand ‘Zapata’ Spaghetti Western. Set in post-1900 Mexico, Tony Musante’s rebellious peon wants to be a hero of the revolution but he primarily robs the rich in order to pay the extortionate wages that are demanded by Franco Nero’s interloping Polish mercenary-cum-military…

Willard and Ben — Region B

Guest Reviewer Lee Broughton is back, with a rodent roundup of horror, or more accurately, psychological suspense interrupted by a few salacious slayings. What would Mickey say? The brief synopses of Daniel Mann’s Willard and Phil Karlson’s Ben that appeared in the horror movie books and magazines that kids in the UK loved to pore…