Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Arrow FrightFest 2022 returns to London this month

 

Arrow FrightFest, the UK’s most popular horror and fantasy film festival, is back at London’s Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema from Thursday August 25 – Monday 29 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema. With tickets starting from £15, this is one festival you don't want to miss.

Celebrating its 23rd blockbuster edition with thirty-two world, twenty-two International / European and eighteen UK premieres, the world renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and this year is no exception, with seventeen countries represented, spanning five continents.

The festival opens with the World premiere of THE LAIR, an action-packed gore shocker from Neil Marshall, who calls his latest monstrous creation “The Dirty Half Dozen meets THE THING”. Neil will be attending with star Charlotte Kirk and will also introduce a special 4K restoration screening of his modern classic, DOG SOLDIERS.

The Closing night film is the European premiere of Scott Mann’s FALL. Get ready for a pulse-pounding, vertigo-inducing experience as two best friends, stranded at the top of a remote, abandoned 2000-feet high radio tower, fight for survival.

One of this year’s special guests, making a welcome return, is horror icon Dario Argento, introducing the UK premiere of his latest giallo DARK GLASSES, which compares to the extreme thrillers he pioneered in the 1970s with THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and DEEP RED. 

SOMETHING IN THE DIRT, from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (SYNCHRONIC, MOON KNIGHT) is a fusion of DIY science fiction, pre-apocalyptic vibes and overwhelming paranoia. The visionary dream-weavers are currently filming Loki in the UK and SciFiNow will be hosting, and running Q&A's, at the UK premiere screenings of their latest title, SOMETHING IN THE DIRT, on August 27th. 

Also attending the festival is Brea Grant, here as director of twisted rock horror TORN HEARTS and star of NIGHT SKY, Jacob Gentry’s provocative indie science fiction fantasy.

Tom Felton, star of the Harry Potter franchise as Draco Malfoy, will be appearing to present his role in the latest Ben Parker film, BURIAL, which has it's World premiere on Monday the 29th.

This year’s main screen line-up is chock-a-block with shock and awe, grindhouse style classics Ryûhei Kitamura’s sensational THE PRICE WE PAY and John Swab’s extraordinary CANDY LAND, the UK premiere of buzz title BARBARIAN, starring Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård, the World premiere of anticipated slasher sequel TERRIFIER 2, continuing the gory misadventures of Art the Clown, Dominic Brunt’s hair-raising WOLF MANOR, also a world premiere, the Sundance sensation PIGGY, Travis Steven’s Tribeca hit A WOUNDED FAWN, Cannes Film Festival opener FINAL CUT, the French remake of ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, and H4Z4RD, the turbo-charged, splatter action movie of the year.

It’s a rich year for ambitious and quirky sci-fi movies and the main screens light up with Mali Elfman’s warm-hearted science fiction epic NEXT EXIT, the sensational sci-fi horror hybrid THE VISITOR FROM THE FUTURE, Quentin Dupieux’s quirky comedy time travel fantasy INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE.

Other main screen World premieres include TERRIFIER 2, continuing the gory misadventures of Art the Clown, MIDNIGHT PEEPSHOW, a twisted portmanteau threesome exploring the nightmare side of psychosexual fantasy, horror anthology sequel SCARE PACKAGE II: RAD CHAD’S REVENGE, Andy Mitton’s menacing supernatural horror, THE HARBINGER, Erik Bloomquist’s coming-of-age horror SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS, starring Cara Buono and stylish psychological chiller MASTEMAH from director Didier Daarwin, who will be attending. Also attending is THE CHAMBER director Ben Parker, for his latest thriller BURIAL. He will be bringing along the cast, including Tom Felton.

The documentary strand is as bright and bold as ever and FrightFest welcomes French cult icon Brigitte Lahaie, who will introduce the fascinating in-depth Jean Rollin documentary ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS. The subversive and explicit is also explored in CULT OF VHS, which takes a trip down Memorex lane to nostalgically relive the allure and passion for straight to video titles and yes, those Video Nasties. Another cult favourite is Chucky, who is the subject of Kyra Gardner’s LIVING WITH CHUCKY. Kyra, daughter of FX designer Tony Gardner, explores what it was like growing up amongst this creative family of stars, eccentrics, technicians and a serial killing doll.

Blood-thirsty hounds, rampaging reptiles, a teacher-eating pupil and a gore-filled talent show…Brit horror hits a bloody sartorial vein this year with the World premiere of HOUNDED, starring Samantha Bond and Larry Lamb, Liam Regan’s EATING MISS CAMPBELL, Pat Higgins’ POWERTOOL CHEERLEADERS VS. THE BOYBAND OF THE SCREECHING DEAD and Paul W. Franklyn’s CROC! Also, there are outings for Paul Wilkins’ THE GHOST WRITER, Steve Johnson’s STALKER, and Christopher Hatton’s RAVEN’S HOLLOW.

Plus, we have the UK’s ‘First Blood’ class of 2022 – THE CREEPING, starring Sophie Thompson, Scott Lyus’s apocalyptic vision WALKING AGAINST THE RAIN, BITE a horror story of entrapment and cannibalism, Will Hugo’s THE GROUP and CEREBRUM starring Steve Oram.

The festival has a proud track-record for the depth and diversity of its Discovery Stand and this year three screens will be devoted to bringing the best new films from around the world. From Luxembourg there is the savage thriller WOLFKIN, from Mexico and Peru is the much anticipated HUESERA from director Michelle Garza Cervera and FrightFest’s first entry from Cyprus is the World premiere of paranormal thriller THE GHOSTS OF MONDAY. Other World premieres in the Discovery strand include Japan’s bold, unique fantasy NEW RELIGION from director Keishi Kondo, the subversive mockumentary EVERYBODY DIES BY THE END, and DAUGHTER, which marks the distinctive feature film debut for Corey Deshon and stars Casper Van Dien.

Plus, there are UK premieres for erotic spookfest HYPOCHONDRIAC, real-time black comedy thriller HOLY S**T!, gruesome murder mystery THE BREACH, serial killer drama THE LAST CLIENT, SUPER Z, which injects new blood into the zombie genre, FAMILY DINNER, which puts gut-punching shocks on the menu and THE ONCE AND FUTURE SMASH + END ZONE 2, Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein’s spoof documentary and END ZONE sequel in a double bill that is simply fake GRINDHOUSE heaven.

FrightFest was one of the first festivals to focus on the fresh and delightful work of Austin-based director Emily Hagins when it premiered MY SUCKY TEEN ROMANCE in 2011. Now she’s back big time with SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON, a supernatural horror comedy that is movingly funny. Having always embraced dedicated genre directors returning with new films we also welcome back Patrick Rea with his haunting domestic abuse chiller THEY WAIT IN THE DARK, Eric Pennycoff with THE LEECH, starring FrightFest favourite Graham Skipper, BUTTBOY’s Tyler Cornack with TINY CINEMA, a weird, fun and twisted look at humanity, and Alexis Bruchon with THE EYES BELOW, the second in his noir trilogy following THE WOMAN WITH LEOPARD SHOES

The monstrous and macabre line-up of films go on with a record entry of International and European premieres, which includes BITCH ASS, Bill Posley’s black exploitation horror, with Tony Todd, Tom Ryan’s award-winning frightener SPLINTER, kickass rocking gore-fest PUSSYCAKE, dark Faustian morality tale THE SUMMONED, home-invasion thriller, WHO INVITED THEM?, psychological family horror THE ONES YOU DIDN’T BURN, Spain’s EVERYONE WILL BURN, starring SEXY KILLER’s Macarena Gomez, John Ainslee’s human flesh-eating DO NOT DISTURB, new body horror SWALLOWED from Carter Smith (THE RUINS), Grégory Beghin’s survival horror DEEP FEAR, and packed shocker NIGHT OF THE BASTARD, from Erik Boccio and London May, creators of the multi-award winning BRUTAL REALITY, INC.

Plus, the live streaming age is given deadly digital treatment in Hannah Barlow’s SISSY, Joseph Winter’s DEADSTREAM and twisted social media thriller FOLLOW HER. Director Sylvia Caminer will be attending.

There are plenty of special events taking place this year – THE DEVIL’S HOUR is an upcoming six-part mind-bending thriller for Amazon Prime Video and FrightFest will be hosting a special exclusive preview with talent in attendance. The cast and crew will also be gracing the FrightFest stage for a special exclusive preview of WRECK, an upcoming comedy horror series coming soon to BBC Three. And even more talent will be on display when director Simon Sheridan reveals exclusive footage from his upcoming saucy 70s documentary series, KEEPING THE BRITISH END UP!

For the first time ever Alan Jones and national treasure Mark Kermode bring their stage show DUELLING EGOS: AN AUDIENCE WITH ALAN AND MARK to the Prince Charles Cinema, and Alan also takes the stage in his role as artistic director of the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival, to introduce the World premiere of CONTROL, the first Canadian sci-fi thriller to use real-time virtual production tools, and which will also play at Trieste.

Could it get any better? Well, yes, after three years THE DUKE MITCHELL FILM PARTY is back, so expect trailers, scary PSA's, delightful celluloid discoveries but most importantly: utter chaos. There’s also a welcome return of the ARROW VIDEO PODCAST with co-host Dan Martin live at FrightFest to chat to the great and the bad.

Finally, there’s an extra pre-festival treat this year…Do you know your Cronenberg from your Carpenter? Your Pinhead from your Pumpkinhead? THE EVOLUTION OF HORROR, the UK's biggest horror podcast, will be hosting a special horror pub quiz on the Wednesday night at the Phoenix club. So come join host Mike Muncer and podcast pals for the ultimate evening of horror trivia!

Festival co-director Paul McEvoy said today: “We are absolutely delighted with this year’s fantastic Arrow FrightFest line-up. This is the wildest and most diverse selection we have ever assembled. The mix includes a stunning variety of the latest must-see SF, thriller, fantasy and horror titles from around the world. With a vast array of premiere screenings, special events and incredible guests the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema will be the ONLY places for film lovers to be over the late August Bank Holiday weekend and we cannot wait to unleash our prime selections to our wonderful audience.”

Arrow FrightFest is pleased to announce two new presenting sponsors – SHUDDER and 101 FILMS. The Super screen at the Cineworld Leicester Square will be known as The Shudder Screen and the three Discovery screens will be known as 101 FILMS Discovery Screens 1, 2, & 3.

Arrow FrightFest will take place between 25th - 29th August.

For tickets and more information head to frightfest.co.uk

Monday, 8 August 2022

COMPETITION: Win Monster Limited Edition Blu-ray



Monster Limited Edition Blu-ray - Released from 15th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and a copy to give away.

Synopsis: 
Charlize Theron gives a tour-de-force performance as America’s first female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), from director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), that earned her accolades galore, including the prestigious best actress Oscar® in 2004. Now almost 20 years on from its original, lauded theatrical release, the film is set for the Limited Edition treatment from Second Sight Films.

Based on true events, this darkly chilling, gripping drama will be released on Blu-ray in a stunning Limited Edition Box set, presented in a rigid slipcase, with new artwork by Daniel Benneworth-Gray.  It comes with a soft-cover book, featuring brand new essays and a host of special features; from brand new interviews to archive commentaries that take you behind the scenes and into the mind of a real-life Monster.

Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron – Mad Max Fury Road, Bomb Shell) has had it tough, but when the down-on-her-luck sex worker moves to Florida she unexpectedly finds love and is determined to get her life back on track.

Befriending Selby Wall (Christina Ricci – Buffalo ’66, Yellow Jackets), a sweet but reserved young woman, a romance soon blossoms. But things take a dark turn when a john tries to assault Aileen. She fights back and kills him and decides it’s time to give up the game.

But Aileen quickly discovers going straight isn’t that easy and is sucked back into a world of violent crime that escalates from petty theft to serial murder. As more and more men turn up dead, Selby starts to suspect the woman closest to her is responsible.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3A4xcid

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who plays America’s first female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 22-08-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Monday, 25 July 2022

LEGEND reveals slate of sizzling summer premieres and more horror delights from THE VINTAGE VAULT

 


Horror Channel continues its transformation into new channel Legend with a heady mix of  classic horror, sc-fi, thriller, action, fantasy and suspense titles.

Saturday nights on Legend in August get trigger-happy, with four action-packed premieres, including the UK TV premiere of CODE NAME: GEROMINO, John Stockwell’s explosive military thriller starring Tom Sizemore. There are also channel premieres for AN EYE FOR AN EYE, Michael D. Moore’s classic Western revenge drama starring Robert Lancing and Slim Pickens, BUFFALO BILL & THE INDIANS, Robert Altman’s acclaimed revisionist Western starring Paul Newman, Burt Lancaster, Geraldine Chaplin and Harvey Keitel, and Peter Yate’s  superior crime thriller THE ROBBERY, which stars Stanley Baker, Frank Finlay and Barry Foster

And the popular stand THE VINTAGE VAULT continues, once again presenting double-bills of classic sci-fi and horror films every Sunday night. The vault is unlocked on Sunday August 7th with THE CHANGELING, Peter Medak’s classic supernatural horror starring George C. Scott. This is paired with THE BROOD, David Cronenberg’s early body-horror shocker, which stars Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar.

The following Sundays boast some of the greatest genre movies of all time – John Carpenter’s THE FOG, and Joe Dante’s werewolf cult hit THE HOWLING, David Cronenberg’s body horror masterpiece SCANNERS, Tony Maylam’s THE BURNING,  John Carpenter’s brilliant body-mangling monster horror THE THING and the equally brilliant VIDEODROME Croneberg’s cult-classic with acclaimed performance from James Woods and music legend, Deborah Harry.


Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 6 August @ 21:00 – AN EYE FOR AN EYE (1966) *Channel Premiere

Talion is on the trail of Ike Slant and his gang, responsible for the murder of his wife and child. He teams up with Benny, a youthful bounty hunter. During a fight with the killers, Benny is blinded and Talion's hand shattered. In order to overcome their handicaps, Benny learns to shoot according to Talion's shouted command.

Sunday 7 August @ 21:00 – THE CHANGELING (1980)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

Months after the death of his wife and child in a car accident, composer John Russell retires to an old mansion which has been unoccupied for years. But John’s hopes of peace and quiet prove unfulfilled, as he finds himself regularly disturbed by a strange and uncanny presence that haunts the house. John begins to research the house’s past, and soon finds secrets more terrible than he ever imagined. 


Sunday 7 August @ 23:05 – THE BROOD (1979)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

Frank Carveth is becoming increasingly concerned about his ex-wife Nola’s secretive treatment at the sinister ‘Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics. Headed by cult figure Dr Raglan, his controversial and extreme methods seek to unleash his patients' rage, often taking on physical manifestations. As Frank delves deeper he is finally led to an horrific and repellant final confrontation.


Saturday 13 August @ 21:00 – BUFFALO BILL & THE INDIANS (1976) *Channel

Premiere

In 1885, Buffalo Bill's name is the symbol of heroism in America. His famous "Wild West Show", which is known all over the country, is organised by his brilliant manager, Nate Salsbury. But when he is off stage, Buffalo is a show-off who drinks and continually seeks new mistresses, while trying to consolidate his prestige. When he calls Sitting Bull for help to improve his show, he begins to get into trouble…

Sunday 14 August @ 21:00 – THE FOG (1980)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

A Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over an old leper colony, is the target for revenge by a killer fog containing zombie-like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths.

Sunday 14 August @ 22:50 – THE HOWLING (1981)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

A female reporter is attacked by a notorious serial killer and to get over her trauma she is sent to ‘The Colony’, a remote mountain resort. But there her problems really begin, as the residents are werewolves.


Saturday 20 August @ 21:00 – ROBBERY (1967) *Channel Premiere

Based on the infamous Great Train Robbery, we follow Paul Clifton (Stanley Baker) as he forms a team to carry out an ambitious heist of cash from a government mail train traveling from Scotland to London. Everything goes to plan until the very last moment when a series of unforeseen events conspire against them and the police manage to capture the gang. Clifton however tries to escape the country using a counterfeit identity.


Sunday 21 August @ 21:00 – SCANNERS (1981)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

Drifter Cameron Vale is plagued by incessant voices in his head unaware that he is a Scanner, a group of people with extraordinary powers who can not only read minds but literally tear them apart. He is discovered by a scientist aiming to help his kind adapt to society. However an underground movement of Scanners led by the psychotic Derryl Revok have other intentions and the ultimate confrontation of minds awaits.

Sunday 21 August @ 23:05 – THE BURNING (1981)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

At summer camp, some teenagers pull a prank on the camp's caretaker, Cropsy (Lou David). But the joke goes terribly wrong, and the teens leave Cropsy for dead after setting him on fire. A few years later, the burned and disfigured caretaker returns to camp equipped with his trusty shears, ready to unleash his particular brand of vengeance…


Saturday 27 August @ 21:00 – CODE NAME: GEROMINO (2012) *UK Premiere

Seal Team 8 must fight their way through the Congo to defuse one of the greatest threats the world has ever known.

Sunday 28 August @ 21:00 – THE THING (1982)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks them and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. Helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) leads the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature.


Sunday 28 August @ 23:05 – VIDEODROME (1983)

PART OF THE VINTAGE VAULT

Creative and idiosyncratic filmmaker David Cronenberg directs this delightfully bizarre film about a television programmer who stumbles onto a sado-masochistic video stream that might just be trying to subliminally effect television viewers everywhere.

TV: Sky 148 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 41 / Freesat 137

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

FRIGHTFEST RECRUITS FOR NEW BLOOD CLASS OF 2022

 

With Arrow Video FrightFest unleashing the fearsome hordes into London’s West End cinemas in late August, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures in its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury Pictures is ultimately interested in acquiring scripts ready for production rather than just an idea, and so, all successful final candidates, if selected, should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.

The successful shortlisted applicants will workshop their ideas in a group setting under the guidance of top industry professionals and genre experts. This year’s panel will be announced shortly.

Applications are open for 10 days from 19th July with potential participants asked to submit a 400 word proposal through the dedicated New Blood page on the FrightFest website and if selected, each writer is expected to submit the first ten pages of their script idea. The deadline is 28th July. All successful applicants will be notified by 29th July and then will be requested to send over their sample script pages. All participants are expected to pay for their own travel to, and accommodation in, London.


To apply: https://www.frightfest.co.uk/NEWBLOOD.html

Arrow Video FrightFest 2022 adds MEAN SPIRITED to line-up

 

Director Jeff Ryan’s thoroughly entertaining found-footage horror comedy MEAN SPIRITED will receive its World premiere at this year’s Arrow Video FrightFest event. It will be screened on Sunday 28 August, 1.15pm at the Cineworld, Leicester Sq., Screen 1.

Synopsis: When two estranged friends reconnect, things buried deep down are bound to surface. Wannabe famous vlogger Andrew Castellano, aka ‘The Amazing Andy’, sets off for a weekend at his former friend turned famous actor Bryce. After receiving the invitation to Bryce’s mountain cottage, Andy has decided to bury the hatchet. Unfortunately he isn't quite himself anymore…

It is exec produced by FrightFest stalwart Shaked Berenson of SLAXX, TURBO KID and TALES OF HALLOWEEN fame.

Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK’s most popular horror and fantasy film festival, is back at London’s Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema from Thursday August 25 – Monday 29 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.

Single tickets on sale from Sat 23 July, noon

For booking and programme details: https://www.frightfest.co.uk




Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Graham Humphreys’ stunning poster art for Arrow Video FrightFest 2022 - a celebration of the festival’s past 'trophy' films.

 

Arrow Video FrightFest has revealed Graham Humphreys’ stand-out poster design for 2022, which marks the 14th appearance for his iconic Monster.

Graham revealed today: “The predominant theme is a celebration of past 'trophy' films. I took my inspiration references from an old paperback cover 'Vincent Price presents: The Price of Fear', in which Vincent's head is depicted mounted on a wooden shield. It seemed the perfect way to represent the films, with key portraiture represented as mounted heads. Rather than mount the head of the regular FrightFest monster, I thought it would be fun to turn him into the roaring lion of MGM's familiar mascot!”

This year’s annual Bank Holiday event, the UK’s largest celebration of genre cinema, takes place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema. between Thurs Aug 25 & Mon Aug 29, 2022.

This year’s line-up of films will be announced on Thursday 14th July at 2pm BST.

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Interview with Chris McAuley - By David Kempf


When did you first become interested in writing?
I’ve been interested in crafting stories and worlds since I was very young David. It’s probably a well-known story now but my father would have taken me to the local library. There was one writer whose work I continually sought out, John Peel. John wrote several Doctor Who novelizations, his richness of language and immersive world building often encouraged my imagination. I would find myself sitting at the kitchen table constructing stories about Doctor Who, Dinosaurs and Vampires. As I disclose this, I realize how, now I am almost 40, that everything has come full circle! This love of writing was then rekindled when I was mentored by the creator of 2000AD Pat Mills in 2017. He encouraged me to continue to explore the craft and I started writing some Judge Dredd stories and progressed from there. As an aside, I was lucky enough to write a Dracula novel with the aforementioned John Peel last year. It was entitled ‘Dracula’s Bedlam’.

How did you get involved with Fantasy/Horror?
The love of both came from childhood cartoons. I grew up with Thundercats, Dungeons and Dragons and Ghostbusters. These all had fantasy and horror motifs. Later I became a fan of Doctor Who and I do have a very distinct memory of reading Dracula when I was seven years old. Vampiric imagery fascinated me growing up. It’s a very Irish myth, the vampire, a lot of vampirologists miss that. We have the creatures that emerge from the bogs, Carmilla was the creation of an Irish writer, Sheridan Le Fanu. Growing up I was steeped in the old stories and myths of the old Irish world, kings and demons fighting with sword and claw. I think that is a very deep ancestral connection to Fantasy and Horror. I started writing these genres a few years ago, Horror with several US published comic books featuring werewolves, mummies and of course Dracula. I crafted a fantasy universe with Claudia Christian (the Babylon 5 actress) and we have several titles being released in that range this year across various media.

How would you classify the genre you write?
That’s actually difficult, I have touched detective stories with Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Fantasy, Cosmic Horror, Science Fiction…Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I write about the grotesque. I’m extremely comfortable with that. There’s something that transfixes me about the disturbing aspects of humanity, flukes and magnified flaws. Is there a genre that describes looking unwavering at your own soul and using its perceived failings to craft characters? I’m not sure but I think that’s what I do. An equal amount of self-realization and projection.

Please tell us about your work with video games.
It all started when I began to write games, by that I mean I was coding them in C# and C++. I was employed to do that by various companies. I worked on code, animation, visual design and even 3D artwork. I was in the trenches so you learn to become proficient at many aspects of crafting a game that way. My first work on game narrative was with Tiny Rebel Games and their Doctor Who Legacy mobile game. I scripted some of the dialogue and scenarios. I moved on from that and worked on attempting to craft a cohesive narrative for Bioware’s Anthem title. That was difficult as the game had already shipped. I managed to help create a more engaging introduction but I think the studio knew that it was too late. The audience for the game had disappeared. In the last few years, I’ve worked with retrogames for an amazing cloud-based Arcade company Antstream which is taking the industry by storm and now am employed by Amazon Games as lead narrative designer to work on several franchise titles for games being release on Web 3.0. Also, I mustn’t forget that I am working on a Dracula video game as a narrative consultant (with my wonderful business partner Dacre Stoker)

Why do you think Horror and Fantasy Books remain so popular?
They tap into powerful escapism and a unique way of using imagination. The possibilities offered by each genre are endless. There’s also the ability to discuss many sensitive issues within the framework of these genres and also be entertained.

Why do you think the vampire myth, particularly Dracula remains so popular?
Why was the Horus myth for the Egyptians popular? Or the Vampiric Aset Ka- who was a form of Isis? They tap into something primal which we have never forgotten. The early Judeo-Christian texts forbid the drinking of blood for example yet the established Christian church approves of it (in a symbolic fashion). Tradition in some cultures (including the ancient Irish) thought that by drinking blood you would extend your natural life. For the Dracula myth it’s the thumbing the nose at traditional religion, desire to live forever and (thanks to the movie interpretations) sex.

What Inspires your stories?
Thoughts that pop up in my head. Powerful imagery from art books. Poor films that I rewrite to make better. The desire to create something that people enjoy and remember fondly.

What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?
Pushing boundaries and cultural context. American horror generally seems more comfortable with graphic nature of horror. British horror is very comfortable in the traditional gothic tale, the art of suggestion. That’s a terrible generalization and I think now there’s more of a blurring of that.

What are your favourite horror books?
I would be in trouble if I didn’t say Dracula. Honestly, I think that was the first horror novel I read. James Herberts Rats, Candace Nolan’s Bishop, Elizabeth Massey, Jeff Strand and Clive Masterson’s works. Anything that makes me pause or gives a powerful sense of dread or situation.

What are some of your favourite horror movies?
Terminator – the first two films, that sense of relentlessness and the dark side of technology. American Werewolf in London for atmosphere, humor and amazing special effects. Anything Hammer or that has Vincent Price in it. The actors and their presence really make the film at times. My friends Claudia Christina and Bruce Campbell would be upset if I didn’t mention Maniac Cop or Evil Dead – they are fun, Schlocky horror films I watched as a kid.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?
People reaching out to me and telling me they had a good time when reading my work. Primarily I am writing for entertainment.

Do you have any advice for new writers?
Never be afraid to reach out to your heroes to seek guidance and inspiration. Most authors want to help others find their path. I am a mentor in the Horror Writers Association and I know from experience that established writers want to help up and coming talent. Never be afraid of ‘failure’, its part of the process. Don’t look back too critically on your previous work, but remember fondly the experiences you had when writing it.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?
If it works for the author – go for it. As for myself, I know I need a good editor for my work and have always found that the publishers I work with to be helpful in this regard. If you are self-publishing make sure you have a good marketing plan. Readership needs to know that your work exists!

What are your current projects?
Working on the Terminator franchise in gaming and in prose, managing several StokerVerse game and comic book projects. Writing Doctor Who stories for anthologies … To be honest there’s so many things going on. I’m also a submission editor for Crystal Lake Publishing and editor of The Horror Tree magazine as well as technical editor for game programming books from O’Reilly publishing.

A Paragraph about my work
I am a writer of graphic novels, audios, novels, short stories, tabletop RPG’s, board and video games. I work in several franchises such as Terminator and Doctor Who. I’ve been partnered with Legendary Disney Imagineer Teri Hardin Jackson for Star Wars narratives; we also did a Batman comic together. I co-created the StokerVerse with Dacre Stoker and Dark Universes, a science fiction franchise with Babylon 5 actress Claudia Christian. My style is mostly visceral and I’m a plotter not a pantser!

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

NEWS: RAW 'contender for best horror movie of the decade' gets Standard Ed. Blu-ray release 8 August from Second Sight Films


Get ready for a second helping of Raw, as the deliciously dark tale of a strict vegetarian who discovers a taste for human flesh after heading to a brutal veterinary college where initiation ceremonies are the norm, gets a Standard Edition Blu-ray release thanks to Second Sight Films. This horror hit will be dished up on 8 August 2022. Pre-Order at https://amzn.to/3amweUr

BAFTA nominated and Palme d’Or winner Julia Ducournau's (Titane) shocking feature film debut was acclaimed by critics after a barnstorming debut at Toronto International Film Festival, where paramedics had to be called after audience members fainted at the film's premiere. Now, after wowing audiences on its initial release and its hugely successful Limited Edition, Second Sight has once again pulled the Raw ingredients together for the brilliant Raw Standard Edition release, that has a full menu of extras.

Shy student Justine (Garance Marillier – Warning, Titane), heads to a veterinary school and is subjected a tough series of hazing rituals from fellow students. And it's even tougher for vegetarian Justine as she is covered in blood and forced to eat raw meat. But after tasting the flesh, Justine finds herself craving even more meat - and it doesn't matter if it's animal or human as her uncontrollable desires lead to a horrific outcome.

Second Sight has produced a sumptuous buffet for your delectation, with features including interviews with star Garance Marilier and producer Jean des Forets, commentary from critic Alexandra West, as well as interviews and commentaries from Julia Ducournau and plenty more, this is a dish that tastes as good as it looks.

Pre-Order at https://amzn.to/3amweUr

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Horror Channel rebrands as Legend


Horror Channel has rebranded and is now Legend. Legend will still be showing classic horror and sc-fi but its eclectic mix of movies and TV series will now broaden out to include more thriller, action, fantasy and suspense titles.

Saturday nights on Legend gets deadly in July, with four Channel premieres - Don Mancini’s criminally entertaining CULT OF CHUCKY, starring Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif as the voice of the iconic deadly doll of destruction, Walter Hill’s neo-Western action thriller, EXTREME PREJUDICE, starring Nick Nolte, Paul Aaron’s murderous crime drama DEADLY FORCE, and Richard Fleischer’s epic sword and sorcery fantasy RED SONJA, starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Plus, returns with the channel premieres of Season 4 and FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER’S WARS, which, following the original series’ cancellation, wraps up the series cliff-hanger with a two-episode conclusion. This Australian-American Sci-Fi TV series, created by Rockne S, O’Bannon, has proved s big hit with LEGEND audiences.

And THE VINTAGE VAULT is back, once again presenting double-bills of classic sci-fi and horror films every Sunday night.

The vault is unlocked on Sunday July 3rd with Terence Fisher’s irresistibly lurid, THE MUMMY (1959), starring Peter Cushing and Christopher. This is paired with 13 GHOSTS, the infectious 1960 supernatural classic, directed by William Castle. Then on Sunday July 10th, we have two of the great British Sci-Fi thrillers, ISLAND OF TERROR, starring Peter Cushing, followed by QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, based on the BBC TV series and directed by Roy Ward Baker.

On Sunday July 17th, the deliciously sinister DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE directed by Roy Ward Baker, hits our screens, followed by another of Hammer Film’s greatest hits, the sensually daring COUNTESS DRACULA, starring Ingrid Pitt. Sunday July 24th sees another stylishly impressive Hammer production double-bill, kicking off with BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB, the swan song for director Seth Holt, . This is paired with TWINS OF EVIL, widely recognised as a masterpiece of gothic and erotic horror.

Finally on Sunday July 31st, the satanic cult masterpiece, TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER, is unleashed on the channel. This adaptation of the 1953 novel of by Dennis Wheatley, stars Christopher Lee, Richard Widmark, Honor Blackman and Nastassja Kinski. This is followed by DOOMWATCH, an eco sci-fi thriller based on the 1970s BBC series, starring Ian Bannen and Judy Geeson.



Full film details in transmission order:

From Thurs 30 June @ 18:00 – FARSCAPE: SEASON 4 (2002) *Channel Premiere

Continuing work on his theories of wormhole technology, Crichton ekes out an existence on board Elack - an old, dying Leviathan. The peace is shattered by the intrusion of a female alien, Sikozu, and a squad of Grudek mercenaries intent on harvesting Elack's neural tissue. Crichton fights to save his new home, his struggle hindered by the Grudeks' pet: a vicious and deadly alien canine called the Brindz Hound.


Sat 2 July @ 21:00 – CULT OF CHUCKY (2017) *Channel Premiere

Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) is wrongly convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic "tool" to facilitate his patients' group sessions — an all-too-familiar "Good Guy" doll — a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum. Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), Chucky's now-grown-up nemesis, races to Nica's aid. But to save her he'll have to get past Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), Chucky’s long-ago bride, who will do anything to help her beloved devil doll.


Sat 9 July @ 21:00 – EXTREME PREJUDICE (1986) *Channel Premiere

In a small border town between Texas and Mexico, Jack Benteen has a hard time fighting a drug trafficking ring led by his childhood friend Cash Bailey. Wen the town becomes the battlefield between traffickers and mercenaries, the two former friends will finally settle their differences. One on one, they will duel.


Saturday 16 July @ 21:00 – DEADLY FORCE (1984) *Channel Premiere

Stoney who has been fired from the Los Angeles police force and has parted from his wife. He settles down as a freelance detective in New York but his past comes back to challenge him when a friend calls him for help: his niece has become the 17th victim of a serial killer and the Los Angeles police are at deadlock. Stoney's old colleagues are unhappy about his arrival but Stoney persists, determined to hunt the murderer down.


Sat 23 July @ 21:00 – RED SONJA (1985) *Channel Premiere

The peaceful life of Sonja is shattered when her parents are murdered by Queen Gedren, who rules by terror and carries a talisman with which she can annihilate the planet. Sonja sets out to avenge her parents’ death and is granted extraordinary powers by a mysterious vision. But she must vow never to fall in love with a man unless he is stronger than her.


Sat 30 July @ 13:00 – FARSCAPE: THE PEACEMAKER WARS (2004) *Channel Premiere

In this two-part miniseries John Crichton (Ben Browder) is back. A living starship harbours an ensemble of alien fugitives, including a human astronaut in the wrong place at the wrong time. Add the birth of his new starchild, a half-human with untold secrets, and an enemy race set to destroy and conquer them all, and this can only be the beginning of the end.


THE VINTAGE VAULT


Sunday 3 July @ 21:00 – THE MUMMY (1959)

In 1895 Egypt, a team of British archeologists led by John Banning, opens the tomb of Princess Ananka, despite warnings of a death curse which will fall upon any desecrators. Three years later in England, a vengeful Egyptian man arrives and unleashes the living mummy Kharis on the men. This superior Hammer Films production reunites the director, Terence Fisher, with stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.


Sunday 3 July @ 22:45 – 13 GHOSTS (1960)

When occultist Dr Plato Zorba leaves a huge ramshackle house to his nephew Cyrus and his impoverished family, they are shocked to find the house is haunted. Their new residence comes complete with Doctor Zorba’s housekeeper, Elaine Zacharides, plus a fortune in buried treasure and twelve horrifying ghosts. However, there is someone in the house who is also looking for the money and is willing to kill for it…


Sunday 10 July @ 21:00 – ISLAND OF TERROR (1966)

A meteor crashes in the desert, leaving behind huge black chunks. While being analysed in a science lab, the crystalline stones are accidentally drenched with water and begin to grow to gargantuan dimensions. A sudden rainstorm further exacerbates the situation, causing the monoliths to grow to hitherto unimagined heights. Can the world be saved by the saline solution which the scientists are hurriedly developing in the lab?


Sunday 10 July @ 22:45 – QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1967)

An ancient Martian spacecraft is discovered buried in the ground at the site of an extension to the London Underground. Also uncovered nearby are the remains of early human ancestors more than five million years old. Now uncovered the craft begins to exert a malign influence, resurrecting Martian memories and instincts buried deep within the human psyche. Mayhem breaks out on the streets of London as the alien force grows in strength. Can Professor Quatermass (Andrew Keir) and his team save the day?


Sunday 17 July @ 21:00 – DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971)

It’s London in the 1800’s and Dr Jekyll is experimenting on newly deceased women, determined to discover an elixir for immortal life. Success enables his spectacular transformation into the beautiful but psychotic Sister Hyde who stalks the dark alleys of Whitechapel for female victims, ensuring continuation of the bloodstained research. With each transformation Sister Hyde becomes the more dominant personality, determined to eventually suppress the frail, ineffectual Dr Jekyll forever.


Sunday 17 July @ 22:55 – COUNTESS DRACULA (1971)

When the aging Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Ingrid Pitt) discovers that bathing in the blood of virgin girls will keep her eternally young and beautiful, she devises a master plan. But Bathory's plan goes awry when she runs out of blood and begins to change back into her former self. What will she do next and who will be able to stop her?


Sunday 24 July @ 21:00 – BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)

An expedition led by Professor Fuchs (Andrew Keir), finds the cursed tomb of an evil Egyptian princess. He takes her preserved, still-bleeding severed hand – which sports a dazzling ruby ring. Several years later, Fuchs gives the ring to his young daughter Margaret (Valerie Leon), whereupon she begins to take on the malevolent traits of its original wearer.


Sunday 24 July @ 22:55 – TWINS OF EVIL (1971)

After being orphaned, two beautiful identical twins move from Vienna to the village of Karnstein. There they are to live with their Uncle, a fanatical Puritan (Peter Cushing). Nearby, the Count of the village is performing a sacrificial rite which raises his ancestor, the vampire Countess. He turns his attention to the twins. One of them is destined to fall under the castle's spell, but which one?


Sunday 31 July @ 21:00 – TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER (1976)

Henry Beddows (Denholm Elliott) asks occult novelist John Verney (Richard Widmark) to protect his 18 year-old daughter, Catherine (Natasha Kinski), who has attracted the attention of ex-communicated priest Father Michael Rayner (Christopher Lee). Rayner wants Catherine to become the incarnation of one of the crowned princes of Hell, Astaroth. Pitted against black magic, ancient rituals and a clan of Satanists, Verney battles to save the young girl from a diabolical fate.


Sunday 31 July @ 22:50 – DOOMWATCH (1972)

Dr. Del Shaw (Ian Bannen), part of the government's investigative environmental organisation Doomwatch, travels to the island of Balfe to examine the potentially adverse effects of a recent oil spill. The villagers are all suspicious of Shaw, especially the menfolk, who seem to have transformed into near-Neanderthals. After teaming up with a local teacher, Shaw discovers that the transformation of the men is due to a disease called acromegaly.

TV: Sky 148 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 41 / Freesat 137

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

COMPETITION: Win Martyrs Lane on DVD


Martyrs Lane DVD - Released from 4th July

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies to give away.

Synopsis: 
FOR A night of haunting dread and claustrophobic terror visit Martyrs Lane if you dare. Acclaimed writer and director Ruth Platt (The Black Forrest) brings the chills in this powerful ghost story starring respected actor Denise Gough (Too Close, Guerrilla), that has been certified fresh with 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Now this Shudder Original is set to arrive on UK DVD and digital courtesy of Acorn Media International on 4 July 2022.

Leah (Kiera Thompson – The Emily Atack Show) feels like a stranger in her own home – a large, creaky, old Victorian vicarage where she lives with her distant mother Sarah (Gough) and distracted father Thomas (Steven Cree – Outlaw King, Outlander). Leah’s days are spent tip-toeing the house in isolation, where during the night, the dark empty spaces provide plenty of room for her nightmares to creep in.

One night, Leah is visited by a mysterious young girl in a white dress (Hannah Rae – Carmilla, City of Tiny Lights), who offers her a sense of comfort. In the hope that her shadowy guest might be able to answer some questions about Leah’s absent mother, the two girls begin to play a game. But fun quickly becomes fearsome as Leah realises that her guest holds knowledge that could be incredibly dangerous...

Boasting compelling performances from two young actresses, Platt’s ghostly gothic fairy-tale is a highly atmospheric and breathtakingly evocative exploration of loss, grief, and fear. Conjuring the sense of dread of childhood bad dreams, this unsettling yet deeply moving psychological thriller promises exhilarating anxiety and foreboding fear.

Take a trip down Martyrs Lane for a hauntingly intense cinematic fearfest.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3OtXj70

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 11-07-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.