Monday 30 September 2013


The FrightFest All-Nighter 13 returns to the Vue in London’s Leicester Square on Saturday October 26 for the third year, with six killer titles including UK premieres of THE STATION, PATRICK, NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR and SOULMATE. So climb aboard FrightFest’s Halloween Express, with guests including NEIL MARSHAL, ANNA WALTON, RENAUD GAUTHEIR and MICHAEL ARMSTRONG, for the night-ride of your lives.

Tickets for the London event go on sale Tues 1 Oct.

Horror fans around the country can join in the fearsome fun on Saturday 2 November, when the event travels to the GFT Glasgow and the Empires in Sunderland, Newcastle and Poole . On Sat November 16 the event hits the Watershed Bristol

London line-up:

18:30  SOULMATE  ( UK Premiere)

Axelle Carolyn makes her impressive feature debut with a sophisticated ghost story. After attempting to commit suicide due to the sudden death of her husband, Audrey (Anna Walton) decides to retreat to a remote country cottage. But she soon discovers her safe haven is haunted by its previous owner. Produced by Neil Marshall, this is one good-looking, classy chiller. 

Director: Axelle Carolyn. Cast: Anna Walton, Tom Wisdom, Nick Brimble, Emma Cleasby, Rebecca Kiser. UK 2013. 103 mins.

21:15  PATRICK ( UK Premiere)

Mark Hartley makes his feature debut with this brilliant remake of Richard Franklin’s seminal 1978 favourite. Nurse Kathy Jacquard (YOU’RE NEXT’s Sharni Vinson) arrives in the desolate outback to work at the Roget Clinic, looking after comatose patients, including the handsome but psychic Patrick. Hartley
builds on the horror, in a fulsome homage to bloody stylish shock.

Director: Mark Hartley. Cast: Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Martin Crewes, Peta Sergeant. Australia 2013. 90 mins.

23:25  DISCOPATH  (Preview)

It’s 1976, Donna Summer tops the charts and everyone believes in mirror balls. Except Manhattan burger cook Duane Lewis who goes psycho when he hears the pulsating rhythm of Disco. Unable to control his maniac impulses, Duane turns his local Seventh Heaven nightclub into a splatter Disco Inferno. With a NY detective in hot pursuit Duane heads to Montreal .. At first you’ll be afraid, you’ll be petrified… 

Director: Renaud Gauthier. Cast: Jeremie Earp-Lavergne, Katharine Cleland, Ingrid Falaise, Pierre Lenoir, Ivan Freud. Canada 2013. 81 mins.

01:45  MARK OF THE DEVIL  (Retro Premiere)

Originally banned in the UK , FrightFest is proud to unveil the restored version of this controversial classic. Herbert Lom plays a sadistic Witchfinder General touring 18th century Austria for Devil’s disciples. It’s up to Count Meruh (Udo Kier) to uncover the violent hypocrisy of the persecutions. Armstrong provided David Bowie with his film debut and was a kingpin of the 1970s Brit sexploitation industry.

Director: Michael Armstrong. Cast: Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Reggie Nalder, Gaby Fuchs, Olivera Vuco. West Germany 1970. 96 mins.

03:55 THE STATION  ( UK Premiere)

Director Marvin Kren brings us a climate change shocker and ecological creature feature. Four technicians and scientists at an Austrian alpine research station discover a glacier of blood high in the mountains. Testing the red liquid, they discover a new alien organism with the astonishing capability of transforming the
local wildlife into horrific hybrids and monster mutations.

Director: Marvin Kren. Cast: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Hille Beseler, Brigitte Kren, Peter Knaack. Austria 2013. 93 mins.

05:45  NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR  ( UK Premiere)

The first terror tale from Slasher Films (founded by Guns N’ Roses rock legend Slash) is an atmospheric frightener. James Tupper and Anne Heche are the new pastor and his wife who arrive in Stull, Kansas hoping for an idyllic family country life. But an ancient ritual is put into motion that unleashes a demonic fury and its inhabitants must quell the Beast who rises to walk the Earth at all bloody costs

Director: Anthony Leonardi III. Cast: Clancy Brown, Anne Heche, Ethan Peck, James Tupper, Jennifer Stone. US 2013. 100 mins.

Alan Jones, co-director, said today: “After this year’s blockbuster Film4 FrightFest in August – the best attended and highest praised event in our 14-year history – we knew we had to make our October occasion equally as special. So join us in our Samhain festivities with the cream of the chiller crop, a great group of guests and the usual surprises FrightFest has become so famous for”

Passes for the London event cost £55 and go on sale from Tuesday 1 October. To book call 08712 240 240 or go online  Tickets can also be bought at the cinema

For details of regional screenings please visit
Note that the regional venues may not be playing all of the titles screening at the London event so please check local listings

Sunday 29 September 2013

Friday 20 September 2013

Interview with Director Paul China

Australian brothers Paul China (left) and Benjamin, received rave reviews for their debut feature film, CRAWL, for which they have been compared to the Cohen Brothers.

On the eve of the film receiving its much deserved UK TV premiere on the Horror Channel, Paul China gives us some insight into the making of the film.

CRAWL is broadcast on Saturday October 5, 11pm.

Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

I am equally frightened and fascinated with them – ever since I saw John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ as a child. Despite the fact that the horror genre is so popular and lucrative with cinemagoers, it is still sadly overlooked by some, and considered a low form of entertainment. A shocking notion, really, given some of the greatest films ever created can be labelled as horror – be it ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Alien’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Psycho’ or ‘Rosemary’s Baby’.

Where did the inspiration for Crawl come from?

It was based on another script my brother, Benjamin, and I had written, a dark noir thriller titled ‘Howl’, which was set in East Texas . The finance for that project sadly fell through at the last minute, as is often the case in independent filmmaking, so we decided to make a different film, a suspense thriller, on a lower budget in Australia (where we were living at the time) – one that was influenced by Roman Polanski’s earlier films (particularly ‘Repulsion’ and ‘The Tenant’). Thus, ‘Crawl’ was born.

Did you have actors in mind when you were writing it?

We had one actor in mind: George Shevtsov. We had seen him audition for another film we were trying to get off the ground, some years earlier, and he had left such a unique impression. When it came to casting the role of the ominous, mysterious Stranger in ‘Crawl’, he was our first and only choice. He truly is a remarkable actor, one of Australia ’s best. His facial features alone are incredible, as is his striking screen presence. I could quite easily watch him read a phone book, truth be told.

Was it a difficult film to pitch and did you have much budget?

Fortunately, we did not have too much difficulty, in spite of our limited budget. We were making a suspense-thriller that was both entertaining and intelligent, a film that at numerous times features no dialogue or score. It was drenched in tension and rich atmosphere. That was key. We had planned the film very carefully – from the costume to the soundtrack to the camera work. Our cast, crew and financiers had the upmost faith in what Benjamin and I were aiming to create, despite the fact it was our first feature film.

What was your first day on set like?

Exciting, mostly. There were some nerves, obviously, but more than anything I simply wanted to roll up my sleeves and get to work. It took many hard years to get to the point of making my own film, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to do something that I absolutely love. We had unexpected troubles on that first day – heavy rain, equipment failure, etc – but I relished the challenge. The bat was in my hand, so to speak, and I was eager to swing.

Crawl is your first feature, was there a point that you’d thought you’d taken on too much or were out of your depth?

Never. Even during the sleepless nights and unexpected grey hairs. As a film director, especially one who writes, you have to be certain of what you are doing. If you do not believe in yourself, and the story you aim to tell, your crew and cast certainly won’t. For us, my brother and I, story-telling is our one true passion. Our first love. Everything else is secondary.

It gained huge critical appreciation, has that added pressure to deliver even more for your next feature?

Fortunately, Benjamin and I have written numerous other scripts, set in different genres, so we are only keen to keep telling our stories. Our next feature is already in development and is progressing well, so we have zero complaints.

You must be pleased it’s getting shown on the Horror Channel?

Extremely. We are admirers of the channel, and are aware of its loyal viewers, so to have our TV debut play here is simply fantastic. We couldn’t be more thrilled, frankly.

So what are you working on at the moment?

A dramatic-thriller set in the U.S. titled ‘Sweet Virginia ’.

Paul china, thank you very much.

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 |

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Interview with Neil Davies

Interview with Neil Davies
By David Kempf

Born in 1959 and getting older by the hour, Neil Davies writes Horror and Science Fiction. His favourite authors are Richard Laymon, Steve Gerlach, Arthur C Clarke, Frank Herbert, Brian Keene, Guy N Smith, H G Wells, Bram Stoker, Dennis Wheatley, Connie Willis, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Graham Masterton, John Wyndham, H Rider Haggard, James Blish... with more being added all the time. He's still writing and refuses to stop however much people ask him to. Expect more published works soon.

Tell us how you became involved in writing fiction.

I have honestly been writing fiction for as long as I can remember. Somewhere in the attic I still have an early piece of fan fiction from when I was about 10, based on the old TV series, Garrison's Gorillas. Lots of other scraps of stories up there too (including a Star Trek spoof). Hardly any were ever finished. When my parents bought me my very own Petite typewriter, I used to sit down at the bottom of the garden in the shed, typing away. I did have friends too, honest I did!

How many books have you written? 

So far five novels, two horror, two science fiction and one that blurs the lines and mixes in dystopian and dark fantasy. I also have two short story collections with a mixture of horror and science fiction tales - mostly horror.

Tell us how you came up with ideas for books like A World Of Assassins and Raised In Evil. 

The boring genesis of A World Of Assassins is that I wanted to write a story that said something about racism. The original story ideas were worked out back when we had apartheid in South Africa. What I didn't want to do was preach about it. The story had to be entertaining. In A World Of Assassins the whole Human Race is looked down on as an inferior species and as immigrants we are isolated in our own "sectors" within alien cities. I never said it was subtle! The rest? I love Science Fiction and Thrillers and wanted to write a mixture of the two.

I have also always loved horror (both films and fiction) and Raised In Evil (under its original uninspiring title of Black) was written by a very young me as an attempt to out-gross the books I'd read at the time (mostly Dennis Wheatley and Pan Books Of Horror). Put it this way, there are things in that early attempt that, when I came to rewrite it as Raised In Evil, I left out as too extreme. Even so, I think Raised In Evil is one of my most graphic books in terms of horror and it is intended to be so. It is all the things I love about horror set in a landscape I know well - it's where I live.

Other origins are even simpler. Welcome Home started because I wanted to write a haunted house story for my wife (she likes haunted houses) but somehow a serial killer got in there and took it over so the haunted house is now only a relatively minor part of the story. The Szuiltan Alliance is my very simplistic version of a Dune type saga, because I love Dune (the books - not so much the film and TV versions). Hard Winter started life because I wanted to write something set in an extreme environment, and I chose cold. Everything else that finds its way into those books is somehow drifting around in my head - I don't quite know where it comes from.

Do you enjoy creating horror fiction in particular? 

I must admit that I do. Even in my science fiction I don't seem to be able to avoid elements of horror. One of the earliest rejection letters I got, which was for a very early version of the science fiction story that would later become The Szuiltan Alliance, was a standard printed rejection but the editor had hand-written on it that it was "extremely well written" and had I considered "writing horror as your style would suite that genre well". I love the way that horror allows you to mix the everyday and familiar with the sudden descent into the outrageous, horrific and extreme, whether it be supernatural or purely human. I like to set stories in areas I know but push my imagination, and horror allows me to do that even more than science fiction I think.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?

I think it would have to be the "making of" Hard Winter: The Novel. Just the fact that I wrote a short story (Hard Winter, published by the Canadian publisher Eternal Press) that enough people reviewed or contacted me about, wanting to know what happened next, I actually sat down and wrote the novel in reply. Also the fact that I had a US publisher, Omnium Gatherum, who had asked for first refusal on that novel, should it ever be written. It was the first time I had written something by "popular" demand, and the first time I had a publisher actually waiting for it to be delivered. To a large extent I felt this validated me as a writer of (hopefully) popular fiction.

If your books were movies they would be rated NC-17. There are warnings of Adult Content on Smashwords. Did you feel like the violence was a necessary part of the story or could you have curtailed it a bit? 

If I had curtailed the violence they wouldn't have been my books. By that I mean that I write the books I want to write. Nothing is in those books because someone else said it had to be and nothing is left out because someone else might be offended. They are my books. If I am lucky enough that other people like them too then I am extremely happy, but they are, at their simplest, my books. I feel everything in them is justified, either in terms of a character or the plot, and its there because I think it should be there. I am a great believer in certification, because people should be aware of what type of thing they are about to watch or read, but I am vehemently against censorship. Once something is classified as being suitable for adults only then that is enough, you shouldn't go cutting bits out after you've already said only adults can watch or read it. As adults, we are responsible for what we watch or read, not some government or private body of people. Equally as parents we have to take a large responsibility for what our children watch and read. Certification can only ever be a guide. Final responsibility lies with us. But I think we're getting onto another subject here (and one I habitually come back to… at length!)

Name some of your favorite horror books.

Dracula by Bram Stoker, Quake, Funland, Stake, Among The Missing, Come Out Tonight, Night InThe Lonesome October by Richard Laymon, The Attraction by Douglas Clegg, Lake Mountain by Steve Gerlach, The Devil Rides Out, The Satanist by Dennis Wheatley, Locusts by Guy N Smith, The Conqueror Worms by Brian Keene, The Sleepless, The House That Jack Built, Ghost Music by Graham Masterton… I could go on, I know I've missed out a lot. A simpler questions might have been favourite horror authors (Richard Laymon, Bram Stoker, Douglas Clegg, Steve Gerlach, Dennis Wheatley, Guy N Smith, Brian Keene, Graham Masterton, Charles L Grant, Richard Matheson, Bentley Little and so on).

Name some of your favorite horror films. 

The Fog (the original), Dracula (Hammer films), Exorcist III, The Blood On Satan's Claw, The Vampire Lovers, The Devil Rides Out, Phantasm, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Them, The Thing (the original), Demons, Freaks, The Haunting (the original), City Of The Living Dead, The Plague Of Zombies, Saw, A Nightmare On Elm Street (the original) 

Why do you think horror fiction remains popular?

I think we all (or most of us) like to be frightened while still being safe in our own homes. Sometimes we like to be a little grossed out too - there's fun in that. Horror fiction is fairy tales for grown ups. It means we can still enjoy stories about monsters and ghosts and goblins without people thinking we're reading kids books.

What are your latest projects?

In the self publishing world, I'm busy getting one of those "long" short stories ready to put out on kindle. It's called The Ant Man and is heavily influenced by the old black and white 'B' Movies I still love to watch (thanks to cheap dvd box sets!).

In the world of other publishers, I have a novella with a publisher at the moment and I'm just waiting for final approval on that. Can't tell you much more at this stage but I can say it's my first foray into the world of zombies - my take on them anyway.

I've also spent some time lately editing and revising some old stories written by my Dad. They range in date from 1949 to 1955, so I mean old! It's been fun because they're mostly outside of my usual genres. There's a couple of murder mysteries, an adventure story and a hard-boiled detective tale. Oh, and there is one horror story too - runs in the blood! They're all short so I will be putting them together into one book.

Short stories - a few out there doing the rounds at the moment, and one has been accepted for an anthology being produced by Third Flatiron Publishing sometime in September. More details nearer the time.

Works In Progress: several on the go, there's the second book in The Szuiltan Trilogy called Liberation Of Worlds, and a horror novel called (at the moment) The Village Witch, another science fiction one called (for now anyway) The Wizards Of Yradion and various other ideas floating around. Always plenty to be working on.

Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself & your work.

I was born in 1959 and it's all been downhill since then. I write horror and science fiction and try to write stories that I, as a reader, would want to read. I have no desire to be remembered as a great literary figure, but I would like to be remembered as a good story teller. The bad news is that, however much you might beg, I'm not going to stop writing. It's what I do. It's who I am.

twitter: @nwdavies

Monday 9 September 2013

TV News ( UK ): Horror Channel to give Aussie cult movie CRAWL its UK TV premiere

Horror Channel’s UK TV premieres for October is the multi-award winning Aussie cult hit CRAWL, which has screened in twenty countries world-wide and earned director Paul China the Best Director award at Screamfest. It will be broadcast on Saturday Oct 5, 11.00pm.

The China Brothers said today: "As filmmakers, we couldn't be more excited to see our debut feature, Crawl, premiere on the prestigious Horror Channel UK . This is our first television preview, and it makes it extra special knowing it will take place in our home country -- the very region where Crawl started to generate buzz and find its audience at the Frightfest Film Festival in 2012. We hope the loyal viewers of Horror Channel UK enjoy our dark suspense-thriller as much as we enjoyed making it.

Claustrophobic heat and brooding tension seep from the screen in this character-driven hi-tone chiller set in an unknown rural town. Seedy bar owner Slim Walding hires a mysterious Croatian hit man to murder a local garage owner over a shady business deal gone bad. The crime is indeed carried out by the stone-faced stranger but a planned double-crossing backfires when an innocent waitress (Georgina Haig) becomes involved.

Much of what makes this study in slow-burning terror so nail-bitingly effective is the silence that director China employs for long periods, coupled with the deep, shadowy corners of the picture frame – and minds of the captivating lead characters.


October also features the Horror Channel network premieres of two very contrasting films.

From Bernard Rose, the director of ‘Candyman’ comes PAPERHOUSE (1988), where fantasy and reality collide when a bed ridden 13 year old discovers whatever she draws in her sketchbook comes to life in her dreams. However, the young girls mind gives rise to powerful manifestations that aren’t always quite the innocent visions she had in mind. PAPERHOUSE broadcasts on Sat Oct 12, 10.55pm.

One studio that stands for independent film-making more than any other is Troma -  boasting 40 years of ‘reel’’ independence. One of their most famous movies is CLASS OF NUKE EM HIGH (1986). Troma have always hinted at political undercurrents in their films – in this case the evils of nuclear power - which conveniently fuels Troma’s Lloyd Kauffman’s obsession with slime and mutant monsters. Expect plenty of bad boys on big bikes. Broadcasts on Friday Oct 25, 11pm.

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 |