Tag Archives: The Hamiltons

Saturday is Horror Day #10 – The Flesh and the Fiends, The Thompsons

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Flesh and the Fiends

In 1828 Scotland, medical research and anatomy studies depend on having cadavers to study. Dr. Robert Knox (Peter Cushing), an eminent surgeon, purchases bodies from a pair of ne’er-do-wells, Burke (George Rose) and Hare (Donald Pleasance), who are not above robbing a grave in order to supply the good doctor.



Before long, the lazy pair discover that they can get corpses without the trouble of digging them up and get more money for the fresher bodies, namely by killing people on the streets in the middle of the night! Dr. Knox remains oblivious to what they are doing, and never questions their methods,  although his assistants do. When Dr. Knox’s niece Martha (June Laverick) comes to stay after an absence of three years, she catches the eye of Dr. Mitchell (Dermot Walsh), while student Chris Jackson (John Cairney) becomes enamored of a young woman, Mary Patterson (Billie Whitelaw), who is known to frequent pubs and likes to have a good time.


Burke and Hare come under suspicion as people begin to turn up missing. How long can Dr. Knox turn a blind eye to their shenanigans?

I am a long-time Peter Cushing fan and was thrilled to find this film I wasn’t familiar with, on Shudder. It has the feel of a Hammer film, although it isn’t one. Peter Cushing is great, as always, and I enjoyed watching Donald Pleasance play the creepily sinister William Hare. The film is based on the true story of Burke and Hare, and can also be seen in The Body Snatcher, with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. The Flesh and the Fiends is a little known, underappreciated gem among horror movies. It has a definite dark and creepy atmosphere, and is well worth viewing, especially for the performances of Cushing, Pleasance, and Rose. I’ll give it a solid 4 stars.

The Thompsons

The Hamiltons, now going by the Thompsons, have had to move on, their dark family secret having been uncovered. Knowing little of their late parents’ past, their only clue is the name of a village in England, and the name Manderson. So it’s off to Europe for the Thompsons!



Unfortunately, they run afoul of a couple of robbers, and Lenny is hurt. Now it’s imperative that they find him help as soon as possible. Francis finds the small village in question, and the pub where he may find Manderson. But again, things go awry, and he gets more than he bargained for. Turns out the Mandersons are kinfolk, and that’s not all they have in common.


The second movie begins where the first one ends, picking up in the middle of events as we find Francis trapped in a box, and of course he has to explain what led to this. Cue flashbacks. The entire movie concerns finding these relatives, who are even more sadistic and bloodthirsty than their American cousins, and who have their own plans for them. In particularly, for Darlene, as she seems to be the last hope for the continuation of their bloodline.

Frankly, the plot is thin at best, with not much more than the Thompsons vs the Mandersons. Mainly an excuse for fighting and bloodletting…. and more fighting and bloodletting. That wears thin quickly. The writers seem intent on showing the Thompsons in a more favorable light than in the first film, as if they are trying to make them out to be human. They’re not vampires, they have a disease, one that requires them to have a diet of blood. 


Honestly, there just isn’t a lot of meat to this one, and I found myself getting bored. Certainly not scary. The first movie wasn’t great, this one is barely decent. And I’m being kind here. I’ll just give it a soft 2 stars and suggest you find something else to watch. Like The Flesh and the Fiends.

Saturday is Horror Day #3 – The Hamiltons, Bad Match, and Dog Soldiers (x-posted at Full Moon Dreaming)

Reviewed by: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Hamiltons is a 2006 horror film written and directed by the Butcher Brothers, aka Mitchell Altieri and

Phil Flores. Following the unexpected death of their parents, four siblings are left to fend for themselves the best way they can. As a result, they constantly move from place to place, never staying too long in any one location. That’s for the best, for they can’t afford to let anyone discover their family secret.

David is the oldest. He works outside the home. After him are the twins, Wendell and Darlene, who give new meaning to the idea of twinship. Francis is the youngest, a teenager still in school. He hates the constant moving, and he hates what they are. He doesn’t want to be like them, not for anything.


Wendell meets two young women who are traveling across the country for fun. Which, of course, makes them perfect targets as no one will realize they’re missing for a long time. Wendell brings them home for a little taste of Hamilton hospitality. A terrified Dani can’t help but wonder what is hidden behind that locked door. The sounds that come from there are horrific…

The Hamiltons is a slightly different twist on a familiar theme. The sensitive Francis videos every chance he gets. One wonders what he intends to do with all this footage, if anything.  I didn’t guess the Hamiltons’ secret until close to the end. It’s not what I would call a great film, but I’ve seen worse. The acting is half-way decent, if not exactly stellar. The writing holds its own. All in all it’s an interesting hour and a half. I might give it 2 1/2 or 3 stars, somewhere in there. I have to admit I did focus on the scenes with the twins, which were a little intense.

The Hamiltons gives family dining a whole new meaning…

Just found out there’s a sequel, The Thompsons. Will Review that once I get it and watch it.

Bad Match (2017)

Harris (Jack Cutmore-Scott) is a real love-em-and-leave-em kind of guy. As he explains his philosophy

to his friend Chuck, the more he swipes right on the dating app (which I assume is meant to be Tinder), the greater likelihood he’ll end up with a date. Good ol’ Harris stands for one and done. Beyond a lot of sex, he has no use for his conquests, and invariably sneaks out in the middle of the night. What he really enjoys is playing online games and making fun of the teenager he plays with.

Enter Riley. Riley is one of Harris’ conquests. The difference is she wants more than he is willing to give. And she doesn’t seem to understand that he is rejecting her. It’s not that he deliberately tries to hurt the women he sleeps with, but Harris just doesn’t care enough to get involved.


When Riley won’t leave him alone, he doesn’t know what to do to get her out of his life, so resorts to cruelty. But when she mentions suicide, he reluctantly steps in. And finally she gets the picture.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

And now bad things are happening to Harris. This isn’t funny any more. How the hell is he going to get out of this mess?

This is basically a one-note film about a guy who is a player and the girl he hurt who wants him to feel her pain. Yeah, we get it. Harris is a bad boy and he shouldn’t use women like that. But how far should someone who’s been hurt be willing to go to make her point? The film is just under an hour and a half and builds up to an unexpected twist. Even so, the reveal isn’t enough to save this film from being less than stellar. I’ll give it 2.5 stars and call it a day.

My final review for today is for a 2002 film called Dog Soldiers

Private Cooper (Kevin McKidd, Rome) is a soldier trying to get on with an elite group of soldiers led

by Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham, Davos of Game of Thrones). But when he refuses to shoot a dog on command, he finds himself assigned to Sergeant Wells (Sean Pertwood, Alfred Pennyworth of Gotham) instead. Wells and his men are assigned to participate in war games in a remote wooded area, far from anywhere. The soldiers swap stories, such as the one about the couple who were killed in this area, and the condition in which they were found. 

The men begin to hear unnerving noises in the middle of the night, something that sounds inhuman or otherworldly. When they come across the slaughtered remains of another troop, they realize something is not right here. In the midst of the dead, they find Captain Ryan, who is injured and not quite right


Something is in the woods, and it’s preying on the soldiers. Momentarily rescued by a young woman, they hole up in a nearby farmhouse. If they can stay alive until dawn, they might have a chance of coming out of this alive.

I’d heard about this film a long time ago, just didn’t get around to watching it until now. I liked it, even if I was spoiled for it long ago. The story is different, and well-written, the acting good. I especially like the main characters, Pertwee, McKidd, and Cunningham. Be aware that there is a lot of blood and gore, so this might not be for the faint-hearted. It’s a unique take on an old monster story, and it’s not without its twists and turns. (Of course, if you study the posters for this film, you can get an idea of what you’re in for).

I would give this a solid four stars. It’s well worth the watch.