Monday 31 October 2016

Interview with James Moran

James Moran (born 5 March 1972) is a British screenwriter for television and film, who wrote the horror-comedy Severance.

He works in the horror, comedy, science-fiction, historical fiction and spy thriller genres.

“Who the hell wouldn’t want to see Alan Ford smashing Zombies to bits?”

Ahead of the Horror Channel’s network premiere of COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES on Friday 4 November, 9pm, writer and self-confessed genre junkie James Moran  reflects on the making of the film, writing a new Zombie script and why the original Dawn of the Dead is his favourite Zombie film.

Q: What movie did you see growing that inspired you to become a writer?

JAMES: It all started with Doctor Who, which I've been watching since before I can remember - I used to sit and watch the entire end credits to see what all the names and jobs were, and made up my own stories to fit into the show. Later, I watched a lot of "making of" shows, that explained how the effects were done, the stunts, showed the directors on set - that made me want to get into the movies because it seemed like so much fun. The first movie that made me aware of the writing was A Nightmare on Elm Street (I was WAY too young to watch it, but did anyway), because it was the first horror movie I'd seen which allowed the victim to fight back, and fight back really well. It opened my mind and made me realise, I can tell stories in any way I want.

Q: Where did the idea of Cockneys Vs Zombies come from?

JAMES: Matthias Hoene, the director, had a title and a pitch, and really wanted to make a funny zombie movie with no-nonsense Cockneys dealing with the supernatural shenanigans in typically down to Earth ways. He and the producers asked me to write the script, but I was too busy in TV at the time. A year later, they had a script but wanted to go in a new direction, so asked me to start again from scratch. I went back to his initial pitch, approached them with some ideas I felt strongly about, they liked what I'd thought of, and I went from there.

Q: Did it change much from first draft to the final version?

JAMES: Not very much - there were a few more characters that got trimmed to save time, and for a film that's already got tons of characters, it initially had several more! One of the pensioners got combined with another one, and two more hostages got deleted because they didn't affect the plot (an excellent reason to cut anything). But mostly it stayed pretty much the same, just got tighter.

Q: Were you restricted by budget?

JAMES: Not in my head! I just went full on one thousand percent, assuming that for every five ideas I threw in, one or two would survive. I didn't think for a minute that everything would be achievable, there are always things cut out for budget reasons, so I made sure to overstuff it with mayhem so that there'd be plenty left. But they managed to do everything within the budget, I was amazed. The only thing we couldn't do was a bus crash, but it ended up being a funnier joke anyway, so I'm happy.

Q: The cast is amazing; did you write with anyone in mind?

JAMES: Alan Ford. Right from my very first meeting with Matthias, James and Mark (the producers) I said they absolutely had to get Alan Ford, because who the hell wouldn't want to see him smashing zombies to bits?! Also the storyline I'd come up with required a cool granddad character, and I wrote it for him from the very first line. I didn't know who else would play the other parts, and I was massively surprised every time there was a new casting decision, I kept asking if the actors had read the script or if the producers had tricked them into it... But I like to think I write fun parts to play, so even the smaller roles have something cool or crazy for the actors to do. I'm incredibly honoured that they took the roles and enjoyed them.

Q: Are you a writer who likes to be on set or once you’ve written your script you let the director “do what they want” with it?

JAMES: I like to be on set, but am very respectful of the director's authority - you have to have one person in charge, and I'm not one of those writers who stands there coughing if anyone changes a word, I'm just there to watch and help if I'm needed, or just enjoy the show if I'm not. I try to be there for big dialogue days in case the director or actors want some line changes or alternate options, which happened a couple of times. I'm not precious about the lines, we're all there to make a good movie, and that's my priority.

Q: Would you like to return to the zombie genre?

JAMES: Definitely! I've got another zombie script floating around that I'm hoping we can get made soon, and if something else came along in that genre and felt right, I'd jump at it. I've always, always, always wanted to make a zombie movie, I love them.

Q: What’s the best zombie movie ever made and do you prefer runners or walkers?

JAMES: Dawn of the Dead, the original (although I love the remake too, they both exist as their own movies and do different things). The original is glorious. I have nothing against runners, but I prefer walkers. Walkers are way scarier because they seem silly at first, but they'll wear you down, quietly, you won't even know there's one behind you until it's taken you down. You think you've found a hiding place, you think you've got away, but they'll just keep coming, and coming, and coming, shuffling towards you, gaining in number, and they'll always - ALWAYS - get you in the end.

Q: You’ve written for a number of different mediums but which do you prefer?

JAMES: They each have their pros and cons, I love them all in different ways. With TV, you get the thrill of knowing that tons of people are watching your show right now, at exactly the same time. With movies, you get to sit in a room full of people and see, hear and *feel* their reaction. With comics, you get an unlimited visual fx budget. With the web, you get instant feedback and see exactly where your audience is. They're all fun, because I get to make up stories for a living. With this screening of Cockneys on the Horror Channel, I get the best of the TV and film worlds, because it's a movie I wrote going out on TV! I'm very honoured it's playing on the Horror Channel, where it belongs.

Q: So, what are you working on at the moment?

JAMES: Mina Murray's Journal, a modernised vlog-style adaptation of Dracula, with Mina and Lucy as the heroes - I'm calling it a Vladaptation... The first season is online now, at We're still taking Connie around to festivals, that's a short film written & directed by my partner Cat Davies, we produced together, and I edited. I wrote episode 3 of the current series of Eve on CBBC, I've got another couple of shorts I want to direct, a couple of features in the pipeline, and a TV series in development.

Cockneys Vs Zombies is on Horror Channel, Fri 4 Nov, 9pm.


Sunday 30 October 2016

Full Movie (USA Only) - Death Wish 3 (1985) - From The Paramount Vault

When architect-turned-vigilante Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) returns to New York City, he discovers that one of his friends has been murdered by gang members. After the cops bring Paul in for questioning, he receives a tempting offer from the police chief (Ed Lauter) : Paul can have free rein to eliminate the gangsters, as long as the police get the credit. Paul agrees and goes to war against Manny Fraker (Gavan O'Herlihy) and his vicious gang of thugs.

Monday 24 October 2016

Interview with Judy Vamp-Shire By David Kempf

Judy Vamp Shire is also known as The Devils Daughter. The Devils Daughter is the Title Song from Judy's 2012 EP. The EP was Judy's 1st recording of her unique genre of Vamp Rock.

She has followed the EP with an Album Titled Beyond Imagination which was release on 8 October 2013. Judy Vamp-Shire and her Band perform at private and public events.

Judy is currently working on a new TV Horror Show called Nightmares From The Vampires Lair, where she is Hosting Horror Movies. Judy can also be made available for Recording, Touring, TV, Film and other interesting and professional viable projects, with other Bands and industry professionals.

Interview with Judy Vamp-Shire By David Kempf

Tell us how you became involved in performing.

I was in a pub in the UK when I bumped into my gynaecologist, like one does! Who was with a friend of his, this blonde Adonis of a guy with a strong pulse which attracted my Vampire instinct. He was in the music business, we hit it off and he became my boyfriend. Anyway at that time I had never sung or performed in any professional way, I think my biggest gig was in the shower by myself! I just enjoyed singing around the house to myself and never thought making a career out of singing. When he heard me singing he was blown away with my voice but never encouraged me to take up singing as a profession because after 20 years in the business he knew just how hard it is to get anywhere regardless of the talent! So moving on we travelled to the USA a lot where he had many friends and I started singing at private parties for some of them. The word spread and I got more and more offers of work, that's how my career started off performing as a singer.

How did you come up with your vampire persona? 

I have always been a Vampire in my private life. But going back in time Vampires were not very well received in normal everyday life and the Gothic lifestyle people associate with it was also not well received in the early days! So it was more the reverse I came up with a sort of nice girl from next door image on the outside and was living a Vampire lifestyle behind closed doors! Being a very private person I liked to blend in with my surroundings so as to go unnoticed.

As my singing career developed I found myself being marketed as a posh sophisticated Jazz/Blues Singer doing up market gigs many in castles and stately homes for wealthy clients. The lifestyle was great but it was not the real me! Meanwhile the interest in Vampires through movies became huge, so one day I said to my management. I want to stop what I'm doing and I want you to erase my musical past. I’m going to come out and let the World see who I really am. Create a new genre of Rock music called Vamp Rock, make a Vamp Rock Album of original songs with lyrics about my world and life. Bring my private Vampire life into my public life and be myself. That is what I did back in 2013 and to my surprise people actually liked me for what and who I am, a Vampire. So the answer to this question as you can see is I did not come up with my Vampire persona, I was always that person.

Tell us about some of your influences. 

This is hard question to answer because generally I'm not influenced by anything.  My music is not influenced by any other band or singer I can put my finger on. I love most music perhaps Rock, Blues and Jazz the most, but I also like any good music regardless of the genre. I have great admiration for artists like Gary Moore, Dave Gilmour, Santana, Joe Bonamassa, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Lemmy and B B King. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Aero-smith and Bon Jovi. Singers like Barbra Streisand and Judy Vamp-Shire!Barbra Streisand

My life style is obviously influenced by Vampires, Gothic, Black Magic, The DarkSide, Horror and much more. But i’m my own person with a unique blend which I don’t attribute to any one thing! I am the missing link between good and bad, light and dark. I have an immense amount of love and good to give and yet i’m living in a dark, gothic almost twilight zone

Do you enjoy introducing the world of horror to more viewers? 

Yes, I do, yet in a way thats I hope unique to me. I try to make horror a thing that's frightening in a good way, scary in a fun way. Where evil is good and good is evil! I have got fans of all religions, many devout in their religious beliefs, that accept me for who I am and genuinely love me. Even though i’m not of their faith and in many ways the last person you would expect them to have anything to do with! So horror and myself have built a bridge I would never have thought possible. So yes I love introducing the world of horror.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as an artist so far?

Probably to have survived being in the music and now tv business without ruining my life with drink or drugs. To get through the rollercoaster of being and artist is my greatest accomplishment. A close second is my Album beyond Imagination, 10 original songs that tell a story about my world. And a third if it's ok to list 3 accomplishments as my greatest overall Accomplishments? To have the opportunity to Host Horror Movies as myself a genuine chick from the dark side!

Name some of your favourite horror books.

I very rarely have time to read books but from memory I think The Devil Rides Out was my favourite fictional horror book.

I have some books on black magic hand written in blood and a book of spells also hand written in blood which I think you can call horror books, they are all my favourites.

Name some of your favourite horror films.

I enjoyed Dracula Untold, thats a favourite and also love many of the old Hammer House Of Horror films. Actually being a Horror freak I love most horror films even the low budget crap films. In fact there are so many I love, i’m having a problem naming my favourite horror films, so lets say most of them!

Why do you think horror remains popular?

People all have a fascination for horror. Maybe it's a genetic thing going back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years when the night was a time to fear, superstition was the reality of life and anything that could not be explained was generally feared. These days horror is an escape from the modern world we live in. Where we can experience the fear without the danger? The dark has a primeval lure which is horror and thats what makes it so popular!

What are your latest projects?

I am currently finishing off filming my new tv show called Nightmares From The Vampires Lair where I am hosting classic horror movies a bit like Elvira did years ago. This time it's being done by a genuine Vampire and what you will see is the real me complete with my quirky ways and sense of humour.
I also have 2 other tv projects on offer for 2017 and my management are looking into getting me on tour with my band in the USA during 2017.

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

I am Judy Vamp-Shire a blood loving sex crazed Vampire making a living as a Vamp Rock singer and now a TV Hostess earning just enough money to pay for my spooky old ruin of a home, feed my wolf dog Vamplena and pay for the vets fees for Vamplena and my collection of bats which total around 300. I drive a black BMW Z4 which was the most Vampire looking sport car I could find and a black turbo charged Volvo estate/station waggon, that looks like a funeral hearse which I use to transport Vamplena my wolf dog. Within my home I surround myself with a collection of weird things, skulls, skeletons, things related to magic, mystery, horror, vampires, legends, unusual gothic artefacts and other secret things I cannot tell you about! My music is my own genre I call Vamp Rock which is a mix of atmospheric Rock ballads and high energy Rock music all with lyrics about me, my life, vampires, witches, black magic and the dark side. My new tv work has me currently working on a show hosting horror movies from my vampires lair and other unusual spooky places. With 2 other new tv opportunities on offer for 2017 for which I cannot give details yet, but I can tell you they encompass things related to my lifestyle and music. They will be exciting, mysterious and nothing like you have seen me do before and I can’t wait to get my fangs stuck into them!

Links to my website, social media, music and tv:

Competition: Win Darling on DVD

Darling is out now on DVD. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

A lonely girl’s violent descent into madness.

Hired as the caretaker of a large mansion in New York, an unnamed young woman soon discovers its haunted reputation and troubled history. Bored and left to her own devised for extended periods of time, she slowly goes insane.

A chilling black-and-white horror playing homage to the classics, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young and Larry Fessenden.

Mickey Keating (Director, Producer)

Win This:
Darling [DVD] [2016]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 07-11-16
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.

Competition: Win The Lighthouse on DVD

The Lighthouse is released on DVD October 31st. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

THE LIGHTHOUSE follows Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffith’s disastrous posting to Smalls Island Lighthouse to ‘keep the light’ 25 miles from land and surrounded by the deadly Irish Sea.

The men are stranded in a freak storm that rages for months, nothing short of an act of God. The film tells a tale of death, madness and isolation; a desolate trip into the heart of human darkness.

Cast: Michael Jibson, Mark Lewis Jones, Ian Virgo, Stephen McDade, Jason May, Nathan Sussex

Win This:
The Lighthouse [DVD] [2016]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 07-11-16
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.

Competition: Win The Library Suicides on DVD

The Library Suicides is released on DVD October 31st. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

The Library Suicides (Y Llyfrgell), the debut feature from award-winning director Euros Lyn, and based on Fflur Dafydd’s bestselling novel Y Llyfrgell, is an offbeat thriller, set in the National Library of Wales, and explores the secrets and lies at the heart of storytelling, and asks who has the right to tell the story.

When a famous author commits suicide, her librarian twin daughters are lost without her. Elena’s final words suggest that her biographer Eben murdered her. One night, the twins set off to avenge their mother’s death at the National Library of Wales, but are disrupted by night porter Dan who becomes unwillingly caught up in the saga.

The cast also includes Ryland Teifi (35 Diwrnod, Tir) and Sharon Morgan (Resistance, Torchwood).

Win This:
The Library Suicides [DVD]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 07-11-16
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.

Best Zombies on Screen

The time is ripe for a massive TV zombie show apocalypse and to celebrate the release of season 1 of iZombie, we take a look at the cream of the crop of zombie TV shows gracing our small screens. From the US to Europe, here’s a compilation of those zombie shows, serious and not, that absolutely need to be seen.

After a disastrous boat party is invaded by zombies infected with a party drug, medical student Liv awakens zombified. Intent on being a ‘good’ zombie, she enlists at the coroner’s office to eat brains to keep her symptoms at bay. A side-effect is flashbacks of how they were killed, Liv poses as a psychic to help the police solve the murders.

The Walking Dead
Awakening from a coma, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, AKA Egg from Teachers) leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by the Zombie apocalypse. Battling zombie ‘walkers’ and rival surviving groups, the group try to adjust in a post-apocalyptic world, searching for salvation and a possible cure.

Fear The Walking Dead
A prequel to The Walking Dead, which shows the impending zombie apocalypse as it happens. Action centres on the dysfunctional family of Madison and Travis, and their children from previous marriages, as they witness the apocalypse and prepare themselves for the inevitable collapse of civilisation.

Z Nation
Three years after a zombie virus has wiped out most of America, a few remaining survivors discover Murphy, a prisoner who was experimented on by the government, and subsequently survived a zombie bite. The embittered Murphy could be mankind’s only chance of survival, providing an antidote to the zombie virus.

In the Flesh
A home-grown BBC series, based in Lancashire. Set in the aftermath of ‘The Rising,’ where dead people were resurrected and ran amuck as zombies, until being cured and returned to society. The show concentrates on ‘rotter’ Kieren, a rehabilitated zombie plagued by his own suicide and the atrocities he committed when he was a zombie.

The Returned
A French series based in an Alpine village, where a cluster of discombobulated people appear. It soon transpires that they are actually people who have died, and as they try to adjust and reclaim their lives, strange phenomenon starts happening, including a spate of murders, bearing similarities to a long-deceased serial killer’s modus operandi.

Own iZombie on DVD Now
Buy from Amazon by clicking here

Saturday 22 October 2016

Full Movie (USA Only) - Crazy People (1990) - From The Paramount Vault

When his coworkers start believing that job stress is affecting his performance and his mental health, advertising executive Emory Leeson (Dudley Moore) is sent to a mental hospital. There he befriends Dr. Liz Baylor (Mercedes Ruehl) and develops a crush on fellow patient Kathy Burgess (Daryl Hannah). Eventually, it becomes clear that the work Emory was doing before he was hospitalized wasn't crazy after all, but the business world now interests him less than his new relationships.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Competition: Win All Hallows' Eve - The Reaping DVD

All Hallows' Eve - The Reaping is released on DVD on October 24th And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

US horror anthology sequel. On Halloween night, a woman (Andrea Monier) receives an old VHS tape that a killer is using to find his next victim.

Unaware of the gruesome fate that awaits her, the woman watches the eight short tales of horror contained on the tape.

The characters featured in the stories include a group of trick or treating children, a boy struggling with night terrors, a man whose girlfriend has committed suicide and a young woman whose friend has been murdered.

But what will happen when the tales are over?

Win This:
All Hallows' Eve - The Reaping [DVD]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 31-10-16
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.

Wednesday 12 October 2016


Prepare for the paranormal, as The Conjuring 2 comes to DVD and Blu-ray™ on October 17th. From director James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, step into one of the most famous cases in British supernatural history with The Conjuring 2. To celebrate the release, we’re giving you the chance to win a DVD copy!

The supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reprising their roles, Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

Watch the trailer here:

To be in with a chance of winning this brilliant prize, simply answer the question below.

Competition Closed

Own THE CONJURING 2 on Blu-ray™ and DVD October 17th.
For further information on The Conjuring 2 join us here  or follow WBHorrorUK

You can buy The Conjuring 2 from Amazon by using the link below
The Conjuring 2 [DVD] [2016]

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 24-10-16
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.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Children of Horror Films

As embodiments of innocence corrupted by evil, darkness and murderous desire, the children of horror are truly terrifying. Beyond the glowing red eyes, satanic possession and thirst for blood they’re just children, but let’s face it, there’s nothing scarier than an adorable psychopath. With the release of The Conjuring 2 on Blu-rayTM and DVD on October 17th, we’re taking a look at the sinister little sweethearts that scare the living daylights out of us.

Michael Myers – Halloween
Michael Myers looks positively adorable in his new clown costume, it’s such a shame that the little psycho had to go and stain it with his sisters blood. The cult-classic Halloween follows the story of Michael Myers who stabbed his sister to death on Halloween, only to escape from his mental institution 15 years later to track down his next victim. Who knew they were starting so young?

Grady Twins – The Shining
Roaming the halls of the Overlook Hotel, this devilish duo could only be seen by little Danny who was just wheeling around the hotel on his tricycle. Gifted with the power of ‘shining’ Danny saw the twins appear holding hands, where they utter the ever haunting “come play with us Danny. Forever and ever and ever.” These sisters are officially the creepiest kids in the history of cinema.

Samara Morgan – The Ring
Okay, so ‘videotapes’ are majorly outdated, but the idea of a twisted child poltergeist crawling out of the screen still sounds pretty terrifying in the digital age. After watching this video filled with lurid images, the phone rings and a demonic foretells of the watchers death in exactly 7 days. One thing is for sure, Samara’s dripping silhouette crawling from her well is a haunting image that never leaves you.

Carol Anne – Poltergeist
This little girl isn’t even evil, but her conversation with a static TV screen sent shivers down spines worldwide and the unnervingly gleeful “they’re here”, which has become one of the most iconic phrases in horror. The original instalment in the franchise follows the story of an unknowing Californian family whose home becomes haunted with various poltergeists. These beings communicate only with their daughter Carol Anne through the families (very retro) TV set, and drag the poor girl into a swirling portal to their dimension through her wardrobe. And what’s the lesson from this movie? Don’t build on graveyards, it never ends well.

Janet Hodgson – The Conjuring 2
The setting? Enfield, London. The problem? Just a demonic spirit possessing an 11 year old girl and almost killing her entire family… No biggie. The Conjuring 2 follows the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they travel to London in an attempt to better understand the strange occurrences. The second oldest daughter of the Hodgson clan quickly begins to show signs of demonic possession when crucifixes begin to turn upside down and she is pinned to the ceiling. Blood curdling screams, hands grabbing from the shadows and a petrifying nun will scare you senseless in the latest addition to The Conjuring series.


Monday 10 October 2016

Competition: Win Solar Warriors on Bluray

Solar Warriors is out on Bluray on the 17th October, and to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copy on Bluray to give away!

For the first time available in the UK on Blu-Ray.

In the future, a nuclear war has left Earth as a desert wasteland, where the ocean has dried up. The world is now ruled by a sinister corporation known as the E-Protectorate. Beyond ruthless, they hoard water and take children from their families to train them to work for the corporation. But when a group of young rebels discover an extraterrestrial sphere with healing powers, they set out to release the planet from the clutches of the oppressors. With its dazzling visual effects and mesmerizing score, Solarbabies is pure entertainment from start to finish.

Win This:
Solar Warriors [Blu-ray]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question.

Who Solar Warriors?

To enter Email us on with your answer, along with your name and address.

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.

Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Interview With Lisa Morton By David Kempf

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, novelist, six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association's Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror as "consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening."

In 2014 she released the novels Netherworld and Zombie Apocalypse!: Washington Deceased, and 2015 saw the publication of Ghosts: A Haunted History and the short story collection Cemetery Dance Select.

She is the author of over one hundred short stories, and her most recent work can be found in Dark Screams 4, October Dreams 2, nEvermore, and Out of Tune.

As a Halloween expert, Lisa has appeared on The History Channel and The Discovery Channel, in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and the LA Times, at such events as the Utah Humanities Book Festival, and online in podcasts at BoingBoing and The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.

Interview With Lisa Morton By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been reading – my first poem was published when I was 5! – but I didn’t seriously consider making a living out of it until I saw The Exorcist at the age of 15. Seeing the astonishing impact that film had on audiences during its initial release made me realize I wanted to do that, too.

How did you make this a full time job?

Well, it’s not my full time job now. I tried that for a while, back when I was making a fair amount of money as a screenwriter, and it didn’t work for me at all. I know most writers dream of being able to leave their day job and pursue writing all the time, but for me it was too isolating. Plus, I really love being a bookseller.

How did you become President of the Horror Writers Association?

By attrition, sadly. I was serving as Vice President when the President, Rocky Wood, passed away. Before that I’d held a variety of positions within the organization. I do find it satisfying to work with other writers and promote a genre that I love.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Because they reach us on such a primordial level. The earliest forms of literature – think The Epic of Gilgamesh or The Odyssey – almost all include considerable amounts of horror and fantasy; I really think it’s a way for us to process some of the more mysterious aspects of existence.

How did it feel the first time you won a Stoker Award?

I didn’t believe it. I actually wrote the vote counters and told them they needed to re-count because they’d obviously made a terrible error!

Please tell us about Meet the Hollowheads. 

Meet the Hollowheads (or Life on the Edge, the original title and the one I prefer) was my first real sale. I’d been working as a screenwriter for about ten years, with just a few options to show for it. For a brief time I worked in the special effects biz in Hollywood, first as a model-maker (on movies like Star Trek: The Motion Picture), then as a sculptor in the special make-up effects field, where I met the legendary Tom Burman. We started writing together, and Life on the Edge was the one we sold. Tom directed it and I worked on it as Associate Producer. It was an interesting learning experience, but the final product was heavily re-edited and kind of disappointing. Welcome to Hollywood!

What inspired you to write A Hallowe'en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writings Over the Centuries?

That was actually my second Halloween non-fiction book, after The Halloween Encyclopedia. For the encyclopedia I had gathered this incredible amount of information; some of the source material was just delightful, but of course in an encyclopedic reference you’re just condensing data. Doing the anthology gave me a chance to present the full versions (with my annotations) of some of that material.

Tell us about your work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. 

I was very young, not even 21! Back then, I used to hang out at a lot of film and science fiction conventions, and through the cons I befriended a guy named Greg Jein. One of my other friends was an absolute genius model-maker named Bill George (he went on to work for ILM and won an Academy Award for Innerspace), and Greg invited us to work for him. I didn’t spend a lot of time on Star Trek, but it was a wonderful experience. I mainly worked on the interior of V’Ger and on this miniature bridge made up of little hexagons. I still have one of those.

What do you think Rocky Wood’s legacy is?

Rocky touched so many lives in positive ways. Although he’ll undoubtedly be remembered for his scholarship on the work of Stephen King, he also brought HWA up to a new level, and he was unsparingly generous with his time in helping new writers.

What are your favorite horror books?

I grew up on the classics – Poe, Lovecraft, Stoker. As a teenager, I discovered writers like Theodore Sturgeon and Ray Bradbury, and later I came to love Shirley Jackson and of course King. One of my favorite authors, though, has to be Dennis Etchison, whose short fiction – much of which is set in a Los Angeles I recognize very well – is one of my biggest inspirations.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

I’ve already mentioned The Exorcist. I grew up during that golden time when they used to show the Universal horror movies endlessly on television, so I love all of those (though I think I’m especially fond of The Creature from the Black Lagoon). My favorite horror film of the 21st century so far is the Korean masterpiece A Tale of Two Sisters. Over the last few years I think television has overtaken cinema as the place for horror; I’ve loved many episodes of American Horror Story (especially the Asylum season), Penny Dreadful, and Stranger Things.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

Thus far, probably my novel Malediction, although I’m also proud of having authored over 100 short stories.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Persevere. Rejection can be tough; if you’re in the screenwriting end of things (as I still am), even success can be tough! It’s easy to give up, or become cynical. Sometimes the authors we remember aren’t even necessarily the most talented, but they are the ones who hung in there and continued to produce work.

Running a close second, though, is: don’t be a jerk. If you’ve got a temper, channel that into your fiction. If you’re thin-skinned, figure out how to grow another layer because you’ll need it. Nobody wants to work with somebody who starts fights on social media, or insults other writers (or readers!), or sends snarky responses to rejections. Besides which, it’s more fun to be nice.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I have tremendous respect for the writers who have figured out how to do it right. Unfortunately, that’s not me!

What are your current projects?

I’m finishing up a piece for Stephen Jones that will be part of his new series The Lovecraft Squad. After that, I’ll be diving into a screenwriting gig that I’m really excited about (for a change!), but shouldn’t really talk about yet.

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

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, Bram Stoker Award-winning prose writer, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening.”  Her most recent releases include Ghosts: A Haunted History and Cemetery Dance Select: Lisa Morton. She lives in the San Fernando Valley, and can be found online at

Saturday 1 October 2016

FILM NEWS (UK): Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2016 event

Horror Channel FrightFest unleashes a six-pack of cracking horror for their much-beloved Halloween event at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, on Saturday October 22nd. The 13-hour trauma marathon includes five UK premieres and the world premiere of Ross Noble’s directorial debut. Shocktoberfest is here!

First up is the UK premiere of BED OF THE DEAD, a crowd-pleasingly ghoulish orgy of sex and gore where four swingers become stuck on a haunted double bed plagued by terrifying hallucinations. Next in the panic-stricken line-up is the UK Premiere of DON’T HANG UP where an evening of prank calls puts two millennials in deadly peril when one recipient decides to fight back. After that comes the UK Premiere of COLD MOON, a chilling tale of supernatural vengeance from the dark imagination of Michael McDowell, esteemed writer of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare before Christmas.

Then it’s time for a proper Halloween trick or treat with the UK Premiere of FEAR, INC, about a sinister company promising to bring all your personal nightmares to life. At 8.30pm comes the UK Premiere of RUPTURE in which The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace is kidnapped and tortured to an extreme limit into another frightening realm altogether. Lastly, it’s the non-stop violent action movie currently wowing fantasy festivals all over the world, The Mo Brothers’ HEADSHOT starring Iko Uwais from The Raid franchise as an amnesiac trying to regain memories about his sadistic and extraordinary past.

Plus, we’ll be showing two fantastic shorts, the world premiere of Ross Noble’s nasty Halloween-set satire THE CATCHMENT, starring the comedy giant himself and Shauna Macdonald and DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?, an Xmas season shocker from, Canadian directors Justin McConnell & Serena Whitney. And of course there will be intros, Q & A’s, give-aways and a few special surprises…

Guests attending include RUPTURE director Stephen Shainberg, THE CATCHMENT director Ross Noble, DON’T HANG UP directors Damien Macé & Alexis Wajsbrot and COLD MOON producer Lee C. Rogers.

Alan Jones, co-director, said today: ““We just know you are going to love this hand-picked half-dozen of the latest and greatest chillers on the shock block. Horror, dread, terror and fantasy - it’s what we do best at FrightFest. So be very afraid and book now”.

Passes for the London event cost £45 and go on sale from noon on Saturday 1 October.
To book:
Passes can also be bought at the cinema


10.30: BED OF THE DEAD (UK Premiere)

Director: Jeff Maher. Cast: Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Dennis Andres, George Krissa. Canada 2016. 88 mins.

Out celebrating a birthday, two couples decide to party in a foursome at a sex club. Finding all the fantasy dungeons booked they are offered the mysterious Room 18 and start getting down to orgy business on the antique bed. But Room 18 has a dark history, the bed is haunted and once between the sheets, you can’t leave the mattress or you die. Plagued with frightening hallucinations across multi-dimensions, they must figure out the bed's secrets before they are all doomed. A race against time begins in a gloriously gruesome, gorgeous gore-fest from the LET HER OUT terror team.

PLUS….THE CATCHMENT (World Premiere) 

Director: Ross Noble.

Cast: Ross Noble, Shauna Macdonald, Cariad Lloyd, Richard Herring, Suki Webster

UK 2016. 16 mins.

A couple move into a house to be in the catchment area of a good school for their unborn children. But there’s a catch…

13:00 DON’T HANG UP (UK Premiere)

Directors: Damien Macé & Alexis Wajsbrot. Cast: Sienna Guillory, Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Parker Sawyers, Bella Dayne. UK 2016. 83 mins.

I saw what you did and I know who you are! Two teens devise ever more elaborate prank phone calls to share online for their eager followers into impersonal humiliation. But as their
involved practical jokes become increasingly nastier, it never occurs to them they might be playing a very dangerous game. So when a mysterious threatening stranger calls the home landline, they suddenly realize they may not be invincible. In fact, they may be in very real peril, as the caller reveals the violent extremes he’s willing to employ to extract retribution before they’re able to reveal his identity.

15:15 COLD MOON (UK Premiere)

Director: Griff Furst. Cast: Josh Stewart, Candy Clark, Christopher Lloyd, Frank Whaley, Robby Kay. USA 2016. 92 mins.

From Michael McDowell, writer of BEETLEJUICE and THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and STARVE director Griff Furst, a chilling tale of supernatural vengeance. Welcome to the sleepy southern town of Babylon where years earlier the Larkin family suffered a terrible tragedy. Now they are about to endure another when fourteen-year-old Margaret is robbed of her innocent life and sunk in the black waters of the River Styx. The powerful killer thinks he’s beyond the reach of the law. But he’s not beyond the rules of Hell or the spectral nightmares determined to mete out the most shocking justice.

18:00 FEAR, INC.(UK Premiere)

Director: Vincent Masciale. Cast: Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, Stephanie Drake, Abigail Breslin. USA 2016. 91 mins.

Nothing is ever scary enough for unemployed horror fanboy Joe. Completely underwhelmed by a haunted house attraction he visits with his girlfriend Lindsay one date night, a creepy stranger gives him a business card for the mysterious service ‘Fear, Inc.’, a company
promising to bring personal nightmares to life… for a price. Despite warnings about the corporation’s dubious reputation, Joe calls the next day – Halloween - and sets off a chain of terrifying events that echoes such classic horror cinema as SCREAM, SAW, THE SHINING and FRIDAY THE 13th. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bump-in-the-night ride!

PLUS….DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? (London Premiere)

Director: Justin McConnell & Serena Whitney. Cast: Caleigh Le Grand, Jorja Cadence, Adam Buller. Canada 2015. 14 mins.
It's the Christmas season, and Sloan is reluctanly helping her over-enthusiastic sister Jessica with the perfect party. But Sloan might have to do some kick-ass fighting to save the partygoers from a terrifying death...

20:30 RUPTURE (UK Premiere)

Director: Steven Shainberg. Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Peter Stormare, Lesley Manville, Kerry Bishé.  Canada. 2016. 102 mins.

Single mother Renee Morgan is trying to keep her life together when she’s suddenly kidnapped by a mysterious organization and held against her will in a sinister facility. Her captors insist they’re just conducting medical research, but to Renee and her fellow prisoners it’s torture! But why are they pushing her to an extreme limit, way beyond being scared to death and into another frightening realm altogether? A surreally spooky sci-fi horror from SECRETARY/FUR director Steven Shainberg, AMERICAN SNIPER producer Andrew Lazar and starring brilliant Noomi Rapace, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and the millennial Sigourney Weaver in PROMETHEUS.

23:00 HEADSHOT (London Premiere)

Directors: Kimo Stamboel & Timo Tjahjanto. Cast: Iko Uwais, Chelsea Islan, Sunny Pang, Very Tri Yulisman, Julie Estelle. Indonesia. 117 mins.

Never forget, never let go in another fast and furious violent action thriller from The Mo Bothers, directors of MACABRE, KILLERS, plus V/H/S/2 and THE ABCs OF DEATH segments. The indomitable Iko Uwais (THE RAID and its sequel star) plays Ishmael, a young man who washes ashore, an amnesiac with a serious head injury whose past comes back to haunt him shortly after being nursed back to health by a young doctor. For Ishmael was a killing machine in his forgotten history and when his memories finally do return he is compelled to take on a vengeful drug lord’s henchmen.