Monday 19 May 2014

Film News (UK): Livid and Deadheads get UK TV premieres on Horror Channel

Horror Channel gets some gaellic-flavoured supernatural chills this June with the UK TV premiere of LIVID, the highly-rated and unusually twisted gothic nightmare from ‘Inside’ directors Julien Mauray and Alexandre Bustillo. It will be aired on Saturday June 14, 10.50pm. This really is one to watch.

Synopsis: Lucie (Chloe Coulloud) is facing her first day as a trainee in-house caregiver. She visits Mrs Jessel (Beatrice Dalle), an old woman who lies in a cerebral coma in her large desolate house. Chloe discovers that the disabled former dance teacher supposedly has a treasure hidden somewhere in her foreboding home, Lucy and her friends, William and Ben, decide to search the creepy mansion in the hope of finding it. But their hunt will lead them into a horrifying supernatural series of events that will unlock a dark secret of unspeakable horror.

Horror Channel is also showing the UK TV premiere of the outrageous 2011 zom-com DEADHEADS. The debut feature from the Pierce Brothers is a return to 1980’s style comedy adventure movies like ‘Back To Future’ and ‘Goonies’.  This is broadcast on Saturday June 21, 10.50pm.

Synopsis: We follow zombie slackers Mike and Brent as they travel across country to find the former’s old girlfriend and love of his life. But will those nasty bounty-hunting agents with a secret agenda catch them before they do? As a zombieland Abbott and Costello, actors Michael McKiddy and Ross Kidder’s chemistry and timing are superb in this Road Trip of the Living Dead that’s hilarious fun and surprisingly sweet. Also starring Markus Taylor and Natalie Victoria.
TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138

Wednesday 14 May 2014

FILM NEWS (UK): The Dead 2: India gets new poster for Cannes

The Ford Brothers, the British director, writer and producer team behind the acclaimed THE DEAD 2: INDIA, the first-ever International production of a zombie film shot in India, have revealed new artwork ahead of their arrival in Cannes.

The film, represented by Jinga Films, will be screening on Thursday, ahead of a planned Zombie invasion of the famed croisette on Sunday, in celebration of the genre. The film opens in the States, courtesy of Anchor Bay, this fall.

Filmed in five weeks, in locations across India, including Rajasthan, Delhi and Mumbai, THE DEAD 2: INDIA is a Ford Brothers Film by Latitude Films, in association with Road Trip Pictures and stars Joseph Millson, Meenu, Anand Goyal, Sandip Datta Gupta & Poonam Mathur. It is written and directed by Howard J Ford & Jon Ford and produced by Howard J Ford. Executive Producer is Amir Moallemi, Special & Visual Effects by Dan Rickard, Special Make-Up Effects by Stuart Browne & Max Van De Banks. Director of Photography is Jon Ford and Music is by Imran Ahmad

Wednesday 7 May 2014

HorrorShow.TV recruits Scott Weinberg and adds 70 titles to its growing portfolio.

Film News (UK): HorrorShow.TV recruits Scott Weinberg and adds 70 titles to its growing portfolio.

Award-nominated VOD destination TheHorrorShow.TV has cranked up its editorial content by hiring renowned horror critic Scott Weinberg to the new TheHorrorShow.TV blog where his reviews of new and upcoming horror films will be accompanied by news, previews and updates on a wide variety of new and retro horror films, including those available to stream and/or download via TheHorrorShow.TV

TheHorrorShow.TV's David Hughes said today: "There are so many great horror films in the works right now and it takes someone as plugged in as Scott to sort the gold from the garbage. Scott will join us doing what he does best: writing knowledgeable, informed and well-written reviews of all the latest horror films, including many of the titles showing at TheHorrorShow.TV"

The burgeoning company, created in 2013, is also adding over seventy more titles, bringing its total to 160. These include:

Birth of the Living Dead (12th May). A documentary that shows how George A. Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers to shoot his seminal film: 'Night of the Living Dead'. Directed by Rob Kuhns and featuring Larry Fessenden, Mark Harris and S. William Hinzman

The Pit, aka Jug Face (9th June). Larry Fessenden pops up again, this time as a nasty hillibilly, in this 2013 supernatural shocker written and directed by Chad Crawford, involving incestuous teenagers and a nasty creature in a pit.

Mr Jones (21st June). A disturbing, Lynch-esque twist on the found footage sub-genre, which marks the promising feature film debut of Karl Mueller. Be prepared for a nightmare world of mayhem, madness and mind-bending terror.

TheHorrorShow.TV is the first UK-based video-on-demand streaming service specialising in horror and fantasy films.  Run by David Hughes and filmmaker and entrepreneur Jack Bowyer, the pay-as-you platform offers top-flight features, popular classics, cult favourites and edgy underground titles to stream or download via computers/ laptops and Android and iOS-based smartphones and tablets Fans can also select short films from the 99p "Short Stack" feature – one of many more innovative and interactive features planned to roll out in 2014/2015.

Friday 2 May 2014

Interview with William F. Nolan By David Kempf

William F. Nolan is a living legend. He is the author of hunrdreds of stories of science fiction and horror. Although perhaps best known for writing the novel "Logan's Run" with George Clayton Johnson, Nolan has had an extremely prolific writing career. He has had a long association with the movie industry. He co-wrote the screenplay for the horror movie "Burnt Offerings," a 1976 film starring Bette Davis and Karen Black.

Nolan has written for such magazines as Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Rogue and Dark Discoveries. He has also enjoyed great writing success with nonfiction, prose and poetry.

Nolan has won the Edgar Allan Poe Award twice and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writer's Association. In 2002 he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild.

As a lifelong fan of Nolan's amazing work, it was an honor to have the opportunity to interview him. Nolan spoke about his many past achievements as well as his current and future projects.

I would like to acknowledge Jason V. Brock and Ray Garton for their help in contacting William F. Nolan for this interview.

Interview with William F. Nolan

By David Kempf

Tell us why you became so interested in science fiction and horror.

As a boy, in high school back in Kansas City, I discovered the science fiction work of H. G. Wells: The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, and Island of Dr. Moreau and so on. Those are the works that got me interested in science fiction.

My interest in horror began in the same period when I read Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows. From then on, I was hooked.

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?

I’ve written only one horror novel, Hell Tracks, and have no real intention of writing more.

However, I have written several other novels, embracing science fiction, and even a Western. Since I have had more than 200 short stories published, it’s obvious that I prefer the short form.

A novel is like a trip through the woods in which one can follow various paths and then return to the central road. With a short story, you enter the woods at one end and go straight through. For me, I like the direct effect of a short over the convoluted approach of a novel to tell the story.

Tell us about your earliest inspirations.

Beyond Wells and Blackwood, I grew up reading Ray Bradbury and the Westerns of Max Brand. I have the largest collection of Max Brand in the world, and my Bradbury collection of some 40 plus years is now housed at the Bowling Green State University Department of Popular Culture. They acquired my collection in 1981.

How did you and George Clayton Johnson come up with the concept for Logan’s Run?

I came up with a concept when I was asked by Charles Beaumont to give a talk at his UCLA class on writing in the mid-1960’s. The topic was the difference between social fiction and science fiction. So I took the social concept of “life begins at forty” and turned it around. What if life ends at forty? In my talk I pointed out that in social fiction, a man might turn forty and then run off with a showgirl, have a mid-life crisis… but in science fiction, he has to face some real threat, technologically or in a future society that demands euthanasia at forty.

Later, I discussed the concept with George Clayton Johnson and we decided that it would have more impact if the age was lowered to 21. George wanted to immediately create a screenplay, but I felt strongly that it should be a novel first. George acquiesced, and we rented a motel room to remove distractions and for three weeks we took turns at the typewriter. The rest is history.

Do you see that novel as more of a critique of religion or tyrannical government?

Actually, it’s a critique of both, but only sub-textually. On the surface, it’s a hunt-an-kill action adventure.

Were you satisfied with the movie version?

In a word: no. MGM totally ignored the subtext in favor of clich├ęd action. The old man played by Peter Ustanov was an unnecessary contrivance. He kills the picture in mid-stride. Who cares about the names of all those cats? The picture slows to a halt.

However, it’s a good popcorn movie and many people love it.

Why is the remake taking so long?

Good question. I wish I had the answer. Thus far, it’s had twelve scriptwriters and four directors and each time, the deal has fallen through. Why don’t they just shoot the book?

I just hope I live long enough to see it!

Was the movie Burnt Offerings as scary as you envisioned it when you wrote the screenplay?

Initially, I was disappointed by the critical response. Through the years, however, it has emerged as a cult classic. Was it scary enough? I would hope so. I think Dan Curtis did a great job of bringing my screenplay to life.

In the book How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction, you point out the importance of grabbing the reader’s attention. You said to do it in the first sentence or two of the story. That’s because of the competition books face with movies and TV (and the internet and video games). Do you think it’s more important than ever to have a grabbing first sentence that involves the reader from the start?

Absolutely! In our hurry-up world, the writer must grab the reader’s attention immediately.

When I served as managing editor for the short-lived Gamma magazine, I would not spend a lot of time reading submissions. I would open the envelope, slide the manuscript out enough to read just the beginning, and if it didn’t impress me in the first paragraph, I’d just slide it back into the envelope and send it back.

Who do you consider to be the most influential writer of your generation?

Well, Ray Bradbury of course.

I once told Ray that he had probably influenced more writers of his generation and subsequent generations than any other writer of the 20th century – maybe rivaled only by Ernest Hemmingway.

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

Logan’s Run is my calling card and my greatest commercial accomplishment. Personally, I feel that my greatest artistic accomplishment is spread out over my 200 short stories.

Name some of your favorite horror books.

Bradbury’s Dark Carnival, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and, most certainly, Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs.

Name some of your favorite horror films.

In know I’m old-fashioned, but I really love the classics: the original Frankenstein with Karloff as the monster, and Dracula with Lugosi as the dark count.

Later films that really impressed me, include Alien and David Cronenberg’s The Fly. Truly horrific.

Why do you think horror movies and books remain popular?

People love to be scared. They want to sit in a theater or on their couch, safe from vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghouls, while still enjoying the thrills.

What are your thoughts regarding the rise of electronic publishing?

Honestly, I love the feel of a real book. I love to hold it, the way it smells, and to be able to sit and enjoy it anywhere I want without having to worry about a battery. However, I realize that my opinion is becoming ever less popular, and I do welcome the new opportunities for readership that the electronic frontier provides.

Do you think the growing trend of self-publishing is a good or bad thing?

It’s both. Good because it gets a lot more out there for people to read, bad because many of them are subpar, poorly written, and don’t really deserve publication in any form.

What are your latest projects?

I’m working on several short stories. I also have a new Logan novel in the works with Jason V Brock. Also, Jason and I plan to edit several new anthologies together.

What advice can you give to new writers seeking publication?

My advice is this: put your butt in the chair, lower your hands over the keys, and type, type, type! If you keep writing, you will gain the experience needed to make quality. Or at least, eventually, you’ll write something half-decent.

And you must read widely: Cheever, Capote, Bester, Hemmingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Thurber, Hammet, Chandler, and S. J. Perlman, for a start. Aspiring writers should read outside their comfort zone, not just the leaders of their field, but everything of quality. Never limit yourself to one genre.

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

Although I am best known for coauthoring the novel Logan's Run, with George Clayton Johnson, I have written literally hundreds of pieces, from poetry to nonfiction, to prose, for many publications, such as Sports Illustrated, Rogue, Playboy, Dark Discoveries, Nameless[disambiguation needed], and others. I had a long career in the movie industry, primarily working for Dan Curtis, and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

I have been a prolific editor of collections (by others), and anthologies, most recently co-editing two anthologies with my friend, filmmaker, and writer Jason V Brock: "The Bleeding Edge" (2009), with stories from fellow writers Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, John Shirley, Dan O'Bannon, and several others, and "The Devil's Coattails" (2012), which featured Ramsey Campbell, S. T. Joshi, Richard Selzer, Earl Hamner, Jr., and so on. I also teamed up with Bluewater Productions for a comic book series, "Logan's Run: Last Day", released in 2010, and comics based on two other properties: "Tales from William F. Nolan's Dark Universe" (featuring stories adapted by me and Brock), and "Sam Space" (both out in 2013).

I twice won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. I was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002, and in 2006 I was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2010, I received the Lifetime Achievement Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association (HWA). In 2013 I was a recipient, along with Brian W. Aldiss, of the World Fantasy Convention Award in Brighton, England.