A CHRISTMAS CAROL
1951, 20th Century Fox, 66 min, UK, Dir: Brian Desmond Hurst

Also known as SCROOGE, this British-made fantasy may be the definitive film version of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic. Alastair Sim is pitch-perfect as Ebenezer Scrooge, whose miserly outlook is transformed by three spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. The fine supporting cast includes Patrick Macnee, Hermione Baddeley and Kathleen Harrison.


THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS
KATAKURI-KE NO KÔFUKU
2001, 113 min, Japan, Dir: Takashi Miike

Whimsical musical numbers, grotesque horror and Claymation all come together in this wildly surreal film by one of the world’s greatest masters of blending genre. The Katakuri family open a bed-and-breakfast in the remote countryside but are met with misfortune when their guests start dying in spectacular fashion. Determined to prevent negative publicity from spoiling their new business, the Katakuris pile corpse after corpse in the backyard to keep up appearances.


RAWHEAD REX
1986, Kino Lorber, 89 min, Ireland/UK/USA, Dir: George Pavlou

Bursting from beneath thunderstruck Earth, Rawhead Rex shares more with the rubber-suit monster movies of yore than his much darker cousins, the Cenobites from HELLRAISER, though both were spawned from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. Director George Pavlou took the ancient pagan God from Barker’s script and transformed him into a 9-foot-tall, punk-rock ogre moving at full ramming speed across the Irish countryside - no man, no child, no trailer park and especially no priest can withstand his unholy rampage.


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