Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Channel 4’s new show TRUE HORROR begins on 19 April, for 3 episodes - with the final of 4 eps going out at Halloween.


From the BAFTA nominated producers of The Enfield Haunting, this dramatised documentary series will take you into the heart of four terrifying true horror stories.

Ep. 1 Hellfire Farm – 19th April
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: An artist, his new wife and their young children find a rural idyll in a Farmhouse in the Welsh hills. But it becomes a nightmarish crucible of demonic activity which drives the family apart

Liz and her partner, artist Bill Rich move into a dream home - a farm house nestling in the hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Two children arrive in quick succession. Liz collects a menagerie of rescued farm animals. Bill at last has a proper studio space.

But almost immediately, things start to go sour in their perfect home: Things move around the house inexplicably; Bill’s artwork stops selling; animals begin to die. Their precarious finances are hit by insanely high electricity bills – which no-one can explain.

Bill retreats into his painting, which gets darker and darker, fuelled by the weird visions the farm conjours. Liz, meanwhile, is absolutely petrified and turns to the local priest for help. As the marriage crumbles, the haunting reaches a terrifying climax.

Ep. 2 Ghost In The Wall – 26th April
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: A young mother fears that her dead father-in-law has returned, with a horrific plan: to steal her children.

Jason and Sam are teenage sweethearts. Jason’s dad, Jimmy doesn’t approve of the relationship. Jimmy is desperate for grandchildren. Before Sam can make her peace with Jimmy, he dies suddenly of a heart-attack. Meanwhile, Jason’s dreams are plagued by visions of demonic figures.

Sam and Jason are joyous when they finally have children – just sorry that Jimmy isn’t around to see them. Or is he? For Sam, Jimmy’s desire for grandkids takes on an apparently sinister turn. When one of her children is seriously ill in hospital, Sam  becomes convinced that Jimmy has come to take her children. As Jimmy intrudes on their lives in more and more sinister ways, Sam realises she will have to fight to protect her children from the ghost of their grandfather.

Ep. 3 Terror In The Woods – 3rd May
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: Two prank-obsessed teenagers escape suburban boredom into their fertile imaginations.  When they dare one another to spend the night in some haunted woods, they experience terror beyond their wildest imaginings.

Stephen is always trying to persuade Todd to go camping with him in the woods outside their small home town of Horsham. The forest has a reputation for being haunted, and are some say they are home to mass graves. Todd thinks Stephen might be setting him up for a prank, especially when they end up pitching their tents near the haunted church in the middle of the woods but he goes along for the ride.

Late that night, their torches and phones stop working and they are surrounded by all kinds of terrifying noises and apparitions. As the night goes on and the activity becomes more and more disturbing, both of them are left shaken and traumatised - breathing a sigh of relief when dawn comes and they can return to the safety of their suburban homes.

But a week later, Stephen - still pale and not eating - has the uncanny feeling that something has followed him home. He calls in paranormal investigators, which leads to the boys’ most horrifying experience of all.

Ep. 4 The Witches’ Prison – October, Halloween special
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: A single mother’s battle to protect herself and her defenceless baby boy from a haunted house with a tormented past.

Successful saleswoman Vanessa Mitchell buys a house which is rumoured to be a former Witches’ prison in St. Osyth, Essex, the village she grew up in. ‘The Cage’ is a cute Tudor cottage but as soon as Vanessa and flatmate Nicole move in, they witness increasingly strange events. Flying objects, mysterious pools of blood and an invisible entity that rattles doors and pushes people downstairs are enough to spook anyone.

As friends and housemates are gradually scared away, Vanessa is left virtually alone. Before she finds that, to her astonishment, she is five and a half months pregnant.

Increasingly isolated and oppressed as a working, single-mother in a house besieged by paranormal activity, Vanessa vows to let nothing hurt her new-born child. But can either of them survive the increasingly viscious attacks they endure?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Acclaimed sci-fi thriller RADIUS amongst four UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in May



The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK’s most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard’s unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller RADIUS (TX: Fri 25 May, 9pm)

Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in the air. However, he soon discovers the terrible truth: that anyone who comes within a 50-foot radius of him dies instantly. Then he meets Jane (Charlotte Sullivan) with whom he seems to have some sort of bizarre connection. However neither is prepared for the terrifying and appalling truth that binds them together…

Also receiving their first outings on British television are The Blair Witch Project co-director/writer Eduardo  Sánchez’s SEVENTH MOON - a devilish spell-binder starring Amy Smart, (TX: Sat 5 May, 9pm), Matt Eskandari’s tense, underground adventure THE GAUNTLET (TX: Fri 11 May. 9pm) and post-apocalyptic zombie actioner EXTINCTION, directed by Inside helmer Miguel Ángel Vivas. (TX: Sat 12 May, 9pm)


Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger will welcome the clone-seeker’s top-notch performance in THE 6TH DAY, which receives its prime-time Network premiere on Fri 4 May, 9pm, along with John Ottman’s smart slasher sequel URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT (Fri 18 May, 9pm) and Damiano Damiani’s diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION (Sat 19 May, 9pm).


Website: http://www.horrorchannel.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/horrorchannel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/horror_channel

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Interview with G.A. Minton by David Kempf


When did you first become interested in writing?

Truth is stranger than fiction…so I’ve heard. I’m a believer in that adage, because it happened to me and it has changed my life! This is how my recently published novel, Antitheus, and my debut novel, Trisomy XXI, came into being. Antitheus, which was released October 16, 2017, is a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good versus Evil to a whole new level. The way in which Antitheus and Trisomy XXI came into being is even more surreal than their storylines. Let me start from the beginning. A few years ago, I was rear-ended by a speeding, drunk driver, who totaled my car and landed me in the hospital emergency room with a closed-head injury. As a result of this devastating accident, I was left with memory loss and aphasia, resulting in problems with expressing my speech and communicating with others.

After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, my injured brain slowly began to mend itself. But when the damage to my brain finally healed, I noticed something very different in my thought patterns. Now, I had this overwhelming urge, this compulsive desire to put on paper a fascinating story that my mind had mysteriously created. I can’t explain it, but my thoughts were now primarily focused on writing this tale of horror. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could only surmise that the damaged neurons in my frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in my brain. God only knows…stranger things have happened! I didn’t choose to be an author…it chose me. Weirdly enough, it was a car accident that was responsible for my newfound passion for creative writing (a true story, even though it sounds like something conjured up from the twisted mind of Stephen King).

The definition of a savant is “a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have.” Savant syndrome “is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.” I do know that I don’t have savant syndrome, because I am not autistic, and my IQ has been measured at 161. Another form of savantism, known as acquired savant syndrome, is attributed to “a person who acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or severe blow to the head, or other disturbance.” According to medical studies, acquired savant syndrome is an extremely rare condition, affecting very few people in the world. This is apparently what happened to me. I now regard my bizarre mishap as a gift, even though at the time I certainly didn’t, having concerns that I would be left with a permanent neurological deficit for the rest of my life. As long as I can retain this newfound ability, I will continue to write—especially since I do have a passion for it!


How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I’ve always loved the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, so that’s probably where Antitheus and Trisomy XXI were spawned—from the deepest reaches of my inner mind. As a result of my savant-like experience, I am now able to pen novels in a  freestyle fashion, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, or templates for any assistance. Fortunately, the narrative is able to flow freely from my vivid imagination, ending up with a thrilling storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events for my readers.


Tell us about your publisher.

Both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus were published by World Castle Publishing, a traditional publishing press. I chose to traditionally publish my novels because I believe that a royalty-paying publisher is willing to invest their money in a book that is not only well-written, but also has an interesting storyline that will catch the attention of those readers willing to purchase it. A traditional publisher is in business to make a profit, so I felt that my book had the best chance of attaining success through the help of a publisher via their professional editing, financial backing, and marketing support. I’ve read horror stories (no pun intended) about authors dealing with their publishing companies, so I am very fortunate to have selected World Castle Publishing as my publisher. So far, my journey into the world of book publication is going smoothly and has been very enjoyable. All things considered, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience! Karen Fuller, award-winning author, book publisher, and owner of World Castle Publishing used her special artistic skills (along with some magic) to create the amazing covers for both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus.


How would you classify the genre you write?

First and foremost, I would consider myself a horror and science fiction writer, with my tales of terror containing anything of a dark nature. My novels are a combination/blend of genres that also contain elements of mystery, thriller, suspense, and the supernatural. Trisomy XXI is a sci-fi/horror/mystery/thriller story, whereas Antitheus is a supernatural horror/mystery/suspense novel.


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

Horror and fantasy books will always be popular with readers because they elicit emotions and feelings related to fear, horror, shock, surprise, and mystery. They also stir up a sense of wonder, awe, and interest in the reader by stimulating the imagination. Good horror stories tend to have one thing in common—fear—especially fear of the unknown. As H.P. Lovecraft, the master of the horror tale in the twentieth century once said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Horror is defined as an intense feeling of fear, great shock, disgust, and/or worry caused by something extremely unpleasant. A unique genre of fiction, horror has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.

The components of a good horror/fantasy story usually include fear, surprise, suspense, mystery, foreshadowing, and imagination. Fear is paramount to any horror story. Scaring the reader with fears they may or may not have (fear of the unknown) is key to writing a spooky tale. A strong emotion of fear sets horror apart from the other genres, and expanding on that fear can contribute to surprise. If an author is unable to elicit the feeling of fear in the reader, then the story probably shouldn’t fall into the horror genre.


What inspires your stories?

Prior to my accident, I had neither the desire nor the ability to write anything of a creative nature. It was only after my brain had healed from the closed head injury I sustained that a number of dark tales spontaneously erupted from my newly-acquired neuronal network. It’s hard to put into words, but these story visions came to me from out of the blue, much like an epiphany, or something spawned de novo in my mind. I’ve now amassed a long list of new concepts for tales of the macabre…I only hope that I’ll have the time to write them all! Antitheus, like many of my other ideas for stories, appeared to me while writing Trisomy XXI. As soon as I finished penning Trisomy XXI, I immediately started composing my second novel, Antitheus. Like Trisomy XXI, Antitheus was written in a stream of consciousness-like manner, taking me around three months to finish. I don’t use any outlines or notes, and my writing inexplicably flows in a freestyle fashion, starting with chapter one and ending upon completion of the novel. Coincidentally, when I finished writing Trisomy XXI, it ended up having 21 chapters…while the evil Antitheus has 13!


What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

There are some exceptions (i.e., Clive Barker), but it appears that British horror hasn’t quite yet reached the level of violence, sexual content, gore, and sadism that American horror has attained, all things considered. British horror also seems to be based more on British culture, as compared to American horror, which includes folklore, superstition, and myths from all over the world. Presently, I think that the innate differences between the British and American cultures tend to drive their variances in horror, but in time, this will probably change as the two countries become more connected.


What are your favorite horror books?

They are too numerous to list, but generally any works by Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Michael Crichton, Mary Shelley, Jack Ketchum, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, plus a host of other great authors.


What are some of your favorite horror movies?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction. I’ve seen so many amazing Sci-fi and Horror movies over the years that it’s hard to remember them all. Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, War of the Worlds, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, Mysterious Island, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, A Nightmare on Elm Street, From Dusk Till Dawn, Alien(s) series, The Exorcist, Halloween, The Thing, Hellraiser, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Silence of the Lambs, Jaws, Planet of the Apes, The Shining, RoboCop, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Terminator, Predator, IT, along with so many other great tales of horror are only just a few of the great movies that have left a long-lasting impression on me.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I am humbled that both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus have garnered several prestigious book awards and have been well-received by their readers and reviewers. I would also consider it a great accomplishment if I am fortunate enough to have Trisomy XXI made into a feature film…please keep your fingers crossed for me! If readers derive as much enjoyment out of reading Trisomy XXI and Antitheus as I had in writing them—and I truly believe they will—then I have accomplished my goal as a writer. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. For me, it’s all about pleasing the reader!


Do you have any advice for new writers?

In my humble opinion, there are three important things needed in order for a writer to become successful: writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)! Language is how we communicate. If you don’t pick the right words to use in a sentence, then you risk not being able to connect with the reader. Words to an author are like colors to a painter—you have to choose the most effective ones in order to create a masterpiece that will be enjoyed and appreciated by its observer. Read, read, and then read some more—it’s all about learning and fine-tuning your craft. Select any pertinent information about writing on the web, in book form, or through a workshop that you think will be beneficial for you, and would help make you a better writer. In order to hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can.

Novice authors looking to get their work published by a reputable book publisher need to first write a great story, then compose a compelling cover letter and synopsis to catch the eye of the submission editor. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up! Since the publishing industry is very competitive and constantly changing, it is extremely important that authors do their homework. Be sure to research any publishing companies or small presses that you are considering submitting your work to. Check to make sure they are reputable and that they will remain in business. Unfortunately, there are publishers and literary agents out there who are just lying in wait, ready to scam the unsuspecting author at the drop of a hat. Don’t ever forget the old adage, “a fool and his money are soon parted!” Approach all book dealings/contracts carefully, along with a healthy pinch of paranoia.

You’re probably never going to get rich as an author, so write because you love to. Authors, like all artists, should perform their craft because they have a passion for it, and not just for the money or fame. Like some other famous writers, Edgar Allan Poe wasn’t recognized as a great poet and horror author until after his death. Unfortunately, he died homeless and destitute, the exact cause of his death still unknown to this day.


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

Nowadays, it is very difficult to get your novel accepted for publication by a traditional publisher, especially considering the fierce competition involved. All authors have experienced their fair share of rejections by publishers, a reason why many choose to self-publish their own books. There are definite pros and cons involved with traditional vs. self-publishing, so learn as much as you can about each one before making your decision. One of the problems that I have with self-published works is that the formatting and editing of the text may not have been done properly or professionally.

Anyone can self-publish their work, whereas traditionally published stories are usually held to a higher standard of review. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, (unless a reader is familiar with an author’s work), one who buys a self-published book has no idea whether or not it has been professionally edited. I totally understand the reasons why some authors choose to self-publish their work, but if you are a novice author, I would encourage you to initially seek out a reputable, royalty-paying publisher to submit your work to for consideration. If you are unable to traditionally publish or don’t wish to go that route, then by all means self-publish your books—just make sure that you have your work professionally edited. Some writers (both novice and established authors) are now choosing a “hybrid” approach by both traditionally and self-publishing their books.


What are your current projects?

I’m a horror/sci-fi author who has published two novels thus far (World Castle Publishing). My debut novel, Trisomy XXI, was published on June 6, 2016, and my second horror novel, Antitheus, was released on October 16, 2017. I’ve recently completed the screenplay for Trisomy XXI, and am presently working with a movie producer to turn it into a feature film. Currently, I’m busy at work writing my next novel, a story of the macabre with some bizarre plot twists that should both mesmerize and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of my trademarks is that my novels contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending—hopefully intended to baffle even the most astute of mystery readers! I have several other dark stories in mind, so hopefully I will be able to find the time to put them all down on paper…if only I could write faster!


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

I write because it gives me the freedom to openly express my creativity—a way to transcribe my thoughts and allow my imagination to go into overdrive. I love the sense of fulfilment received while penning a story down on paper. Writing has allowed me to connect with others through my novels, hopefully stirring up those emotions that will bring excitement and entertainment to all of my readers. Writing also gives me peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me patience—a necessity for any author who wishes to write well. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. To me, that is what’s great about being a writer!

Quotes by G.A. Minton:
“Words give you power, so use them wisely.”
“Fear of the unknown is a horror writer’s best friend.”
“Try to live your life in the present and not in the past.”


G.A. Minton Biography 
From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theater, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy.

Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a bizarre Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true). After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with  Alzheimer’s Disease, his injured brain slowly began to mend itself. When the damage to his brain finally healed, G.A. noticed something very different in his thought patterns. Now, there was an overwhelming urge, a compulsive drive to put on paper fascinating stories that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI, his first novel and recipient of multiple awards, was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain (a rare medical condition, known as “acquired savant syndrome”). God only knows… stranger things have happened! G.A. is now referred to as “the savant horror writer” by many of his friends.

G.A. has recently completed his second novel, Antitheus, a dark supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of G.A.’s trademarks is that his stories contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending that would baffle even the likes of the great Sherlock Holmes! G.A. lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats named Phinneas and Shamus.


You can find out more information about G.A. Minton and his books at:
G.A. Minton Author Website: https://www.gaminton.com
G.A. Minton Author Webpage at World Castle Publishing Website: http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com/author_g_a_minton.html
Goodreads author page for G.A. Minton: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15065482.G_A_Minton
ANTITHEUS by G.A. Minton on Amazon: www.amzn.com/B0744XJ11K (Kindle), www.amzn.com/1629897620 (Paperback), or www.amzn.com/1629897647 (Hardcover).
TRISOMY XXI by G.A. Minton on Amazon: www.amzn.com/1629894443 (Paperback), or www.amzn.com/B01D3OSZ38 (Kindle).
G.A. Minton Facebook Pages: https://www.facebook.com/TRISOMYXXI and
https://www.facebook.com/GAMinton

G.A. Minton Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/horrornovelist

Barnes & Noble link for ANTITHEUS:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/antitheus-g-a-minton/1126827593?ean=9781629897622

Barnes & Noble link for TRISOMY XXI:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trisomy-xxi-g-a-minton/1123520769?ean=9781629894447 

ANTITHEUS Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/71HtB1dHyZY

TRISOMY XXI Book Trailer:

Friday, 23 March 2018

Interview with Richard Hochman Star of Bus Party to Hell

While his big TV break was a sitcom (FOX’s Grounded for Life), and the genre that encouraged him to follow his dream was action, it’s a full-on horror movie that’s putting Richard Hochman on the map. We speak to the scene-stealer who plays Alan in the April release Bus Party to Hell.


How did you get into acting, Richard?

I’m a rare Los Angeles native, and was surrounded by aspiring child actors and all of my friends were in acting classes and performing groups, and I wanted to be included, and became infatuated with portraying other people. I also was obsessed with movie watching, especially action movies, and I always knew I wanted to act.


And you did a lot of TV shows early on – what did you learn on shows like 7th Heaven that you found handy later on?

I did a lot of work as a child/ adolescent actor, and with these jobs, I really learned what is was to be a professional on set, and learned some of the things you can only find out by being on a real set, things like how far good energy goes on set, how important excellent craft services is to the cast and crew, and to always be prepared and present and ready to roll with the changes that are frequent on a TV shoot.


And during those early years did you work another job, too?

I worked a lot of temp jobs to keep my schedule open for auditions. I was one of those annoying kiosk guys selling to you in the mall when I was 18, I always made extra cash going to the pool hall in those days and playing guys for money.


And you’ve done quite a bit of web series and TV work in recent years. What appealed to you about doing the smaller-screen stuff?

I would say every genre has an appeal to me. I’ve always been a horror film lover but had never acted in one! I always imagined they would be a ton of fun to do, and surprisingly, after finishing Bus Party To Hell, not only was it a good time, but it was physically exhausting. Lots of running and yelling in horror films! It can get pretty tiring on long days, but well worth it!


But features are the goal, I imagine?

I started my journey in acting because of movies, and the movie theater viewing experience, and it’s always been the dream for me to act in the movies.


Give the readers an idea of what ‘Bus Party to Hell’ is?

The movie is just a wild ride from start to finish. It has very much an 80’s horror film vibe, with all the horror film essentials, gore, cheesy jokes, and nudity. It has jumps, sex, and a twist as well..


And what’s your character’s responsibility? 

Alan Armstrong generally is looking out for his own survival, and looks out for himself in general. All he wanted was to have a wild time in Burning Man, but he knew he couldn’t do that alone, and when things go nuts, he knows he can’t survive without the others on the bus as well.


What was your toughest day, as an actor, on this one?

Without giving any spoilers away, there was a 14 hour day with a lot of blood, running, and heat. Once again, horror movies can be physically exhausting to shoot! Coincidentally that was my last day on the shoot, so I was game to go as long and as hard as was needed. I had a celebratory cocktail right after.


In terms of creative choices, were there ever disagreements between you and the director?

Rolfe is very meticulous, knows every shot and is editing the film in his head as he goes. I couldn’t believe the details he was able to keep track of! After day one, I saw his attention to detail, and fully trusted every direction he gave me.


Any idea why the name was changed?

Search results! We gotta be in the ABC’s baby!


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Infection season spreads across Horror Channel this April


April on Horror Channel sees an INFECTION SEASON spread across Saturday nights with a highly contagious collection of outbreak action, headed by the network premieres of Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER and the equally impressive sequel 28 WEEKS LATER, starring Robert Carlyle. There are also welcome re-showings for Breck Eisner’s critically-acclaimed remake of George Romero's 1973 movie, THE CRAZIES, and M. Night Shyamalan’s boldly unsettling survival movie THE HAPPENING.

Giddy carnage, retro violence and touching romance rule in the UK TV premiere of TURBO KID, an outlandish romp through a pitch-perfect pastiche of hip 1980s popcorn flicks, and there’s also a UK TV premiere for big bug sci-fi thriller SPIDERS 3D, a glorious homage to the creature features from the 1950′s and 1960′s

Fans of Anthony Perkins and the Psycho franchise are in for a treat as Sunday nights at 9pm are devoted to the network premieres of PSYCHO II, PSYCHO III and PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING.

Other network premieres include Jeff Wadlow’s violent slasher CRY WOLF, which has Jon Bon Jovi playing a spectacled teacher, Tobe Hooper’s colourful horror ride THE FUNHOUSE and Asif Kadadia’s supernatural terrifier THE RETURN, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.


Full film details in transmission order:

Sun 1 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO II (1983) *Network Premiere

Twenty-two years after the famous murder of Marion Crane, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is declared sane and allowed to return to his now dilapidated motel. But, when the murders start up again, Norman realises an old friend is awaiting his return - Mother! Co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, this sequel to the Hitchcock masterpiece .is now viewed as a unmissable classic in its own right.


Fri 6 April @ 21:00 – SPIDERS 3D (2013) *UK TV Premiere

In New York City’s subway tunnel, a new species of poisonous spiders is discovered. To make matters worse, the spiders quickly begin to mutate and grow to gigantic proportions before beginning to wreak havoc on the entire city. It’s up to a few scientists and military personnel to stop the deadly creatures, end their reign of destruction, and reclaim the city.


Sat 7 April @ 21:00 – 28 DAYS LATER…(2002) *Network Premiere

A group of misguided animal rights activists breaks into a medical research lab and release virus-infected chimps. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma a month after, he finds the city deserted, save for zombie-like victims of the “Rage”. Jim stumbles upon a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) and cab driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and together they embark on a perilous journey…


Sun 8 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO III (1986) *Network Premiere

Troubled runaway nun Maureen (Diana Scarwid) seeks refuge in the Bates Motel, only to trigger Norman’s killer instinct, as she reminds him of someone from his past…Anthony Perkins makes his directorial debut and gives another chilling performance as the deeply disturbed Bates in the third instalment of the Psycho series.


Fri 13 April @ 21:00 – CRY WOLF (2005) *Network Premiere

In this terrifying thriller, a group of high school seniors decides to follow up a recent murder in the woods by creating a fictional serial killer they name ‘The Wolf’. It's all just a silly hoax until the real Wolf begins to hunt them. The cast includes Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Cole.


Sat 14 April @ 21:00 – 28 WEEKS LATER (2007) *Network Premiere

Six months have passed since the rage virus annihilated the British Isles. The U.S. Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that reconstruction of the country can begin. As the first wave of refugees returns, Don Harris (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) are reunited with their children but the virus is not yet dead, and this time it is more dangerous than ever.


Sun 15 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990) *Network Premiere

Released from a mental institution once again, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calls in to tell his life story on a radio programme. Norman recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey) and the jealous rage that inspired her murder. In the present, now living with his pregnant wife Connie (Donna Mitchell), Norman fears that his child will inherit his split personality disorder and "Mother" will return to kill again.


Fri 20 April @ 21:00 – TURBO KID (2015) *UK TV Premiere

In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives alone in his underground bunker, scavenging for relics from the old world and obsessing over comic books. But when he meets Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), it’s not long before The Kid has to face his fears and challenge the sadistic Zeus (Michael Ironside), who has declared himself leader of the “Wasteland” and taken control of the water supply. Armed with his ancient turbocharged weapon, he embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil – and discovers the true meaning of justice and friendship.


Sat 21 March @ 21:00 – THE CRAZIES (2010)

Sheriff David Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), find themselves trapped in a once-idyllic town they can no longer recognise. On the run from infected neighbours, loved ones and friends, targeted by the ruthless military and terrified of getting sick, they are forced to band together with other survivors in a desperate struggle for survival.


Sun 22 April @ 22:45 – THE FUNHOUSE (1981) *Network Premiere

A trashy carnival has pulled into town and thinking it would be fun, four teenagers decide to spend the night in the campy "Funhouse" horror ride, However, when they witness a murder by a deformed worker wearing a mask, they find themselves trapped and must evade the murderous carnival worker if they are to survive the night.


Fri 27 April @ 21:00 – THE RETURN (2006) *Network Premiere

Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) begins having terrifying visions of a woman's murder, and it seems that she is the killer's next target. Determined to solve the mystery and escape her apparent fate, she follows her visions to the victim's hometown and finds that some secrets just do not stay buried. Also stars Sam Shepard as her estranged father.


Sat 28 April @ 21:00 – THE HAPPENING (2008)

M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated film centres on an apocalyptic threat to humanity, which arrives with a series of violent, inexplicable deaths spreading across the country. The cause of the terrifying phenomenon remains unknown, prompting science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and his colleague Julian (John Leguizamo) to try to elude the invisible killer in Pennsylvania's farmland. Soon it becomes clear that no one is safe.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Interview with Dylan Reynolds

The first-ever “stoner slasher” film 4/20 Massacre is released on VOD and DVD next month. We speak to writer/director Dylan Reynolds in this puff-y piece.


Now is 4/20 Massacre based on a true story? Something you’ve heard about?

Lol- not exactly based on anything I’ve experienced in my actual life but a couple elements were “inspired by” real world stuff.  For one- the concept of the “weed famer as a slasher” comes from the actual problem that exists in national parks where individuals known as “guerrilla growers” set up illegal marijuana farms that have been known to cause damage to the environment and in some instances these growers have attacked or killed unwitting hikers that have stumbled upon their “turf”.

The second “real world inspiration” is derived from the actual date of April 20th (4/20).  While doing research for the film I found that not only is the day the “official holiday for weed enthusiasts” but the 20th and “late April” have been host to some real-world tragedies- ranging from the birth of Hitler to the Columbine mass shooting.  It was these “coincidences” that got my imagination going and I built upon the concept of 4/20 MASSACRE as a “holiday set slasher film”- or “Friday the 13th… but with weed”.


Would you call it a straight-up horror film or is it a mixed bag of everything?

I like to think we went into making 4/20 MASSACRE with the goal of telling a good all-around story that is both “an indie drama…  but then a killer shows up”- or in other words- creating likable characters that you’d actually care about when they die.  But at the same time it is a fun/ campy/ gory throwback slasher flick.  However-  I didn’t want to make an overtly meta or self-referential film- instead I tried to take the “slasher formula” and actually treat it with some respect and reverence- which from my perspective isn’t often done- especially today.


What makes our villain tick? What gives him his motivation here?

Without getting too much into spoilers I’ll say that I tried to approach “the villain” as I would any other character and come from a place of positivity.  As far as I can tell humans all want one thing: “to love and to be loved”.  So the villain may be doing some awful and reprehensible things in the story- but in their mind they are doing all they can to protect their well-being and those that they love.


What was it about Jamie Bernadette that made her the right woman for the role?

I had seen Jamie in a number of indie films- especially in the horror genre- and I was always impressed with her work and “presence” on camera.  I ended up meeting her at a screening of my last film and over the years we ran into each other and talked while I was developing 4/20 MASSACRE.  She was always my first choice for the role of Jess and I was excited to create a “Linda Hamilton/ Sigourney Weaver”- esque role that I knew she would knock out of the park.


Where has the film been released so far?

On April 3rd folks will be able to buy the DVD on Amazon, Diabolik and a few other places on line.  The chain Family Video will have the DVD available for rent and it can be rented on various VOD outlets including Amazon Video.

Over the next few months we will be rolling the movie out onto other outlets- people can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for future updates:
https://www.facebook.com/thehikeproductions/
https://twitter.com/Four20Massacre


What do you think US audiences will get from the movie?

Hopefully it will be a fun “roller coaster ride of emotions” for audiences- you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll jump with fright- maybe get a couple surprises along the way- and maybe even gleam a little more insight into humanity.  We also set out to create a strong ensemble of female characters- something which I think is unique and therefore we will be giving something “a little new” to the genre. 
But mainly I just hope people don’t think it sucks.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Interview with Kim Cormack


When did you first become interested in writing? 

I always have been in some way or another. I used to write songs. I even produced a country cd many moons ago. (Almost twenty years ago) Now, I write Dark Paranormal Fantasy. I think it’s all relative but how I began writing again is a rather peculiar story. On February 28th of 2009, I had this dream about being in kindergarten holding a baby chick. I texted it into my cell phone in the middle of the night but didn’t remember doing it. Months later, I found the story while switching files over to a new cell phone. I’d written a children’s book about those little moments of joy that we only notice as a child. I had a publisher for Being Four rather quickly. I wrote my second children’s book, Shark Boots on a B.C Ferries ride from Vancouver to Vancouver Island as an homage to my hyper active toddler. This all happened in the year I was diagnosed with M.S.


How did you get involved in fantasy? 

Shortly after my M.S diagnosis, I had a messed up utterly brutal nightmare in the middle of the night and once again, I wrote it down. The terrifying dream began at a front door left slightly ajar, shifting in the wind and ended with a creepy lullaby. Even the words to that song were there and that’s how Sweet Sleep became book one in my series. I switched genres in a heartbeat. The story that formed around that nightmare was just too incredible to walk away from.


Is this a full time job? 

I prefer to think of it as a calling…I’d spent over sixteen years working in Early Childhood Education. I was a gym obsessed runner when I was forced to retire. Writing this series keeps me from losing my mind each time the M.S. Fairy resurfaces. (I refer to relapses as the M.S. Fairy giving me a shove because it adds some humor to an otherwise messed up situation.)


How would you classify the genre you write about? 

This is a tricky one…Let’s make a list.
Dark Fantasy
Paranormal Fantasy
Dark Comedy
Paranormal Romance
Horror
Thriller
Science Fiction
I could keep going but I usually lead with Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. The series fits in many genres.


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

Immortality is freeing. We live in a society with so much fear. Almost everyone has lost someone before their time. Most of us identify with the stages of grief for one reason or another. We can place ourselves into that character’s shoes as they struggle to survive and then applaud within ourselves as they stand back up whenever they fall. Throw in a little magic and the child we’ve lost emerges to light up our brains with renewed hope and deeper meaning. We all secretly want to believe in magic and something larger than ourselves when the reality of life makes us feel small. These books make our adrenaline rush. They may terrify us to our core, but they become the inner voice that prompts us to fight when we’re ready to give up. My series has brutal graphic violence. I had to be brave to release it. It would have been less upsetting if I’d altered the character’s ages. Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll be traumatized, but in the next breath, you’ll be laughing at something completely inappropriate. With Horror and Fantasy, it’s all about the rush.


What inspires your stories? 

My struggles through life and a gloriously messed-up imagination.


You put a variety of monsters in your work. What are your favorite monsters? 

Oh, there are so many. I always find demonic toddlers entertaining. I have one kick a character’s ass or skin them alive once in a while… It keeps them humble. My series covers both supernatural and reality-based deviants. I have Lampir, Lycanthrope, ghosts, demons, and even mortal serial killers. Anyone can be a monster on the inside.


What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

I’m Canadian, I’ve read some impressively dark shit from both countries.


What are your favorite horror and fantasy books? 

I do love me some Stephen King. I also adore C.S Lewis.


What are some of your favorite horror movies? 

I’m a huge fan of cheesy B movies. Stuff like Snake Head Terror. Scaring me is next to impossible so I need some dark comedy in there. As Above So Below was upsetting because of the way they filmed it. I’m not a fan of enclosed spaces. I’m always most impressed when I can’t guess the storyline five seconds into the movie. I find myself frustrated when your three movies deep in a franchise and the main character doesn’t fight back.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author? 

Staying true to the original version of the story during the editing process without altering the ages or brutality of a character’s demise. During the Immortal Testing in Enlightenment, the characters die in thousands of increasingly brutal ways until their partially mortal minds can comprehend what it takes to be immortal. In Wild Thing, Lexy is only eleven when she’s drugged, kidnapped and held captive. The brutality she faces there is how she evolves into a warrior.


Do you have any advice for new writers? 

Stay true to yourself and the story you’ve written. It takes guts to release something seriously dark.


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

I really hate seeing new authors being suckered into paying to publish.


What are your current projects? 

I’m writing the third book in Lexy’s series. I have several other books almost completed that are not in the series. I definitely won’t have time to release one of those this year. Once I’m finished the book I’m writing now, I’ll be diving right into book five in Kayn’s series.


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


A little bit about me...

I began writing this series shortly after my M.S. diagnosis. I had many reasons to fight. I had incredible children, a wonderful family, and amazing friends but this series gave me purpose. Whenever things become dark, I use my imagination to find the light within myself. No matter what life throws your way, you are stronger than you believe. My hope is that the character's strength becomes an inner voice for the readers that need it. Stand back up and if you can't stand... Rise up within yourself.

We are all beautiful just as we are. We are all immortal.


Stop by www.kimcormack.com for more information.
Follow on Twitter


Monday, 26 February 2018

Film News (UK): Horror Channel set to terrify with ten premieres in March


Throughout March on Horror Channel, Friday and Saturday nights will fall prey to wicked witches, scheming serial killers and mysterious monsters as the UK’s number one genre channel presents ten prime-time premieres, including the first UK showing of THIRST, Greg Keifer’s blood-sucking alien thriller. There are also network premieres of Michael Winner’s theological horror THE SENTINEL starring Chris Saradon, Ava Gardner and Christopher Walken and the 2016 US remake of THE WICKER MAN, written and directed by Neil LaBute and staring Nicholas Cage.


Other network premieres include the high velocity alien invasion actioner SKYLIINE, Sean S. Cunningham’s underwater monster chiller DEEPSTAR SIX, Geoffrey Wright's controversial teen slasher CHERRY FALLS, starring Brittany Murphy, futuristic survival adventure THE COLONY, with Laurence Fishburne, psychological serial killer twister THE WATCHER, starring James Spader and Keanu Reeves and Tom Elkins’s supernatural terroriser THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA.

Full film details in transmission order:

Fri 2 March @ 21:00 – CHERRY FALLS (2000) *Network Premiere

High schoolers in a sleepy small town discover that there’s a serial killer in their midst, The killer seems to be going after virgins, rather than promiscuous types, so they start throwing sex parties to avoid being next. The late Brittany Murphy stars as the virginal daughter of the town sheriff (Michael Biehn), who takes it upon herself to find the killer and uncovers a complex web of lies and secrets.


Sat 3 March @ 22:50 – THE SENTINEL (1977) *Network Premiere

Academy Award winner Christopher Walken gives a notable performance early in his career in this chilling film about an young actress (Cristina Raines) who is terrorised by supernatural forces when she moves into a strange New York brownstone. The all-star cast includes Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach.


Fri 9 March @ 21:00 – THE COLONY (2013) *Network TV Premiere

Forced underground after the planet is plunged the next ice-age, the inhabitants of Colony 7 struggle to survive below the world’s frozen surface. When they mysteriously lose contact with the only other remaining settlement, Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) decides to lead a dangerous mission into the frozen wasteland, determined to discover their fate. It could be humanity’s last stand.


Sat 10 March @ 21:00 – THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA (2013) *Network Premiere

From the producers of “The Haunting In Connecticut” comes the chilling true story of the Wyrick family. Upon moving into their new home, mother and daughter Lisa and Heidi Wyrick begin experiencing disturbing visions. Do the phenomena hint at the onset of a shared family madness, or are they clues to a real-life nightmare that once took place on the property?


Fri 16 March @ 21:00 – THIRST (2015) *UK TV Premiere

Deep in the scorching desert, a group of wayward teens are stationed at a wilderness boot camp. However, after they stumble upon and break a strange and mysterious extra-terrestrial ‘orb’, one by one, they begin to experience terrifying attacks from a ruthless blood

sucking alien. With no chance of rescue, and nowhere to hide, their only chance for survival is to fight for their lives.


Sat 17 March @ 21:00 – THE WATCHER (2000) *Network Premiere

Keanu Reeves stars as a creepy, studious serial killer who torments an emotionally damaged police detective (James Spader) by sending him pictures of his future victims one day before he kills them. The detective must try to identify and locate these women before it is too late. Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei plays the detective’s psychiatrist who might find herself in harm’s way.


Fri 23 Match @ 21:00 – SEASON OF THE WITCH (2011) *Network Premiere

A heroic crusader (Nicolas Cage) and his close ally (Ron Perlman) return home after decades of fierce fighting to find their world destroyed by the Plague. Believing a witch to be responsible, they are commanded by the church Cardinal (Christopher Lee) to transport the witch to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. But they soon discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a powerful and destructive force that will determine the fate of the world forever.


Sat 24 March @ 21:00 – THE WICKER MAN (2006) *Network Premiere

When motorcycle cop Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) receives a letter from a woman (Kate Beahan), begging him to find her missing daughter, he sets off to Summersisle, a remote island off the Washington coast, where he discovers a way of life time has forgotten. Nothing on the mysterious island is what it appears and no one will acknowledge the girl’s disappearance. As Edward steps up his search and clashes with the islanders, he discovers the terrifying truth about their ancient belief system.


Fri 30 March @ 21:00 – SKYLINE (2010) *Network Premiere

The residents of Los Angeles are awakened in the dead of night by an eerie light which  is hypnotically drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into thin air. As the world unravels, a band of survivors soon discover they must fight against the onslaught of a mysterious alien horde. Who or what are these extra-terrestrials and how long before mankind succumbs to their overwhelming power?


Sat 31 March @ 21:00 – DEEPSTAR SIX (1999) *Network Premiere

The time is the near future. The US Navy has established a secret undersea laboratory base, DeepStar Six, below the ocean's surface. A crew of eleven, led by Dr John Van Gelder {Marius Weyers) is supervising the exploration of undersea colonization but when they open up a huge cavern, located on the ocean floor, the command centre is violently attacked and the crew members make a startling discovery…not all aliens come from space.


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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Competition: Win 8 'Left Films' horror releases.

We currently have a Twitter only competition running. Click HERE to check it out.
I've also embedded the tweet below.

Interview with Paul Hyett - Director of HOWL


On the eve of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of HOWL, director Paul Hyett talks about taking werewolves seriously and what the future holds.


Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of HOWL. Are you a fan of the channel?

I’m so thrilled that Horror Channel are showing HOWL. I’m a big fan of the channel, and avidly watch it, some fantastic gems are shown. They’re a great supporter of horror and you can tell it’s a channel made for horror fans by horror fans.


The film is based on an event that happened in co-writer Mark Huckerby's life. Can you explain?

Yes, Mark was on a late night train, full of the usual stereotypes,. It was hellish, noisy, smelly, a pure journey from hell. And then the train stopped, no reason, no explanation. Everyone was just sat there, in the dark, in the countryside. And then Mark thought, what else could go wrong, ‘ping’ an idea was born. What if, on top of everything else, imagine if werewolves attacked. A fitting end to an awful journey.


Jon (GRABBERS) Wright was the original director. Did you worry about taking over someone else's project?

Yes, I was originally due to do the werewolf effects with Jon directing and that’s where I first met Ed King and Martin Gentles, the producers of HOWL. Jon left the project at exactly the same time Ed and Martin watched my first film THE SEASONING HOUSE at its premiere at FrightFest and they thought I would be a good fit for HOWL, so they got me in for a chat and offered me the film.


What changes did you make when you came on board?

First, I changed the creature straight away, Jon wanted more rat-like feral skinny creatures, I’d always wanted to do big, muscly, massive, fuck-ugly werewolves. Second, I wanted to strip out the comedy and ground it more in reality. Originally it was more of a comedy horror, lots of comedy gags and I wanted to take it away from that. I still wanted to have a dark humour to the film, but comedy horrors are hard to get right and I felt to make it a bit more serious was the right way to go.


Why did you decide to strip out all the supernatural elements usually associated to werewolf creature features? The transformations here are more to do with a sickness, a virus.

We kind of felt we wanted to give it its own mythology, which came with wanting it to be a more serious, more contemporary werewolf movie, that it was virus in the blood rather than changes with the moon, silver bullets etc. I was worried that having those mythologies with such a contemporary cast and setting may not work as well. So that was the thinking.


As you said, you pulled back on the humour. Was this because you felt the concept was inherently amusing anyway? What is your take on comedy horrors in general?

I kind of feel with comedy horrors, it’s the hardest sub type of horror to do. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, got it perfect, the balances in dark humour and terrifying scenes, kills, transformations, everything was spot on and one of my favourite horrors of all time. But since then, so many people have attempted to get that same balance and failed. So with HOWL we felt, take the comedic elements right back and just try to do our own take, and not go down the comedy horror route and concentrate on it being a grounded contemporary werewolf movie.


Was it important someone with a strong prosthetics effects background, like yourself (well known for THE DESCENT, THE WOMAN IN BLACK etc), directed HOWL?

It was a bonus for Ed and Martin to have a director that understood prosthetics, creature suits, animatronics, when to use puppets etc. Also, I’ve worked closely with VFX in the past so I understood the restrictions and challenges in working with part practical werewolves with CGI faces and working in a full green screen environment. Most of HOWL was shot in a green screen studio (apart from the end), we had something like 350 VFX shots, and when you’re shooting a film like this, it’s quite important to understand how prosthetics and VFX work within a green screen environment and making sure you have all the elements and plates you need.


How did you convince Ed Speelers to star?

Ed liked the script and we met and discussed in detail. It was important to him that the film wasn’t a hokey B movie, cheesy werewolves and girls screaming not wearing much etc. He liked that the film was grounded more in reality, his character a broken down normal bloke, his ambition lost, not knowing where he is in life, and suddenly he’s thrown into this situation. It’s a real ordinary man in an extraordinary situation tale and that appealed to Ed.


The highly talented Rosie Day is in every single one of your movies so far, including the forthcoming HERETIKS, Can we expect to see her in future films? And has HERETIKS now completed post-production?

Rosie and I love collaborating on films and we hang out and are great friends. And she’s so versatile as an actress. I’ve been able to use her on all my movies, including PERIPHERAL, my newest film. She’s going all the way to the top, soon I’ll not be able to afford her! HERETIKS is in its last part of post-production and we’re deep in the VFX, Sound and Music, but we’re not far off.


Finally, what projects are you currently working on?

I’m full on in post on both HERETIKS and PERIPHERAL. Both films are heavy in VFX, especially PERIPHERAL, which is set in the dark world of technology. Also I’m developing a few new horrors. Hopefully, we’ll be announcing the next one soon!


Howl is broadcast on Sat 24 Feb, 10.55pm, Horror Channel.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Interview with Xavier Gens - Director of Cold Skin


Ahead of the UK premiere of COLD SKIN at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2018, director Xavier Gens reflects on the film’s emotional journey to screen, bachelor parties and what scares him the most…


Q: You were a fan of the book by Albert Sánchez Piñol and wanted to make it after FRONTIERE(S). What took so long?

It took so long because we had to find the right combination between budget and the story we wanted to tell. If you adapt a film from a book and you are respectful of the original story you have to find how to make it perfect. And reading the first chapter of Cold Skin I was thinking “how can I do that with the budget of an indie film?”

So, first we wrote the script, which took over two years, and then we started looking at the best locations. We have been everywhere…Canada, Iceland, Ireland… Each time studying where the technician can be from, how to build the light house, how to create everything related to the story we need to tell. Then you have to find the right actors… I was lucky to find David Oakes and Ray Stevenson as they both are incredible human beings who totally got the film I wanted to do. And then I encountered Aura Garrido in Madrid who was so clever on her approach to  Aneris. But to reunite all the elements to do the film I wanted to make took the time. It’s been an amazing Journey.


Q: How different is the book from the film?

The film retains the philosophy behind the book and my approach after talking with Albert Sanchez Pinol was to understand what pushed him to write this story. He is an anthropologist with a scientist’s mind, so it was interesting to understand from where the inspiration was coming.  I wanted to catch the spirit of that. He decided to create his own theory of evolution and give an original take about the myth of the mermaid. I wanted to be so close to the book on his philosophical approach and on his realism as I could.

The book is more violent and sexually brutal with the character of ‘Aneris’ but the film is more poetic. The character of ‘Friend’ is an intellectual. So I wanted the film from Friend’s point of view and keep his romantic feeling.


Q: You built the lighthouse on the Canary Islands. Was finding the right desolate location difficult?

Yes, it was really difficult to find the right place to build the lighthouse. We visited so many places, then we arrived in Lanzarote and the location was fantastic. The volcanic rock, everything, was like I imagined it. Then we took a small road in Tinajo on the Atlantic side of Lanzarote. The location was so dramatic and creatively perfect but it was almost impossible to bring a crew there. So we decided to keep it and build the base camp and a road to access this place near the national park of Timonfaya at the bottom of a volcano. If you like hiking it’s the best place to go!


Q: Amazing that with COLD SKIN and THE SHAPE OF WATER we currently have two films about amphibious creatures encompassing both horror and romantic elements?

Yes, I’m happy for Guillermo Del Toro that The Shape of Water is getting this worldwide recognition. It will help fantasy and horror movies to exist. I believe the audience need to dream and I think of the experience like an explorer of alternate realities. My hope is that with movies like The Shape of Water and Cold Skin, we propose a different kind of cinema.


Q: Why were actors David Oakes and Ray Stevenson perfect for their parts?

David Oakes is really the most incredible and cool human being I have ever met. He is very creative, he draws, is passionate about poetry and 19th century authors like John Keats. And working on the film I wanted to keep that literal approach, express the feeling you can have when you read a book. And David is really from another time, he captured that elegance I needed for the character and this deep, natural kindness. You can feel a real sensitivity in him and it’s why he was so perfect as Friend.

For Ray I wanted someone with a strong charisma, strong voice, a force of nature. And Ray is like that. He is Titus Pullo!  He’s able to perform in a very physical and violent way and then, in an instant, turn into the most vulnerable character. For Gruner the most challenging aspect was to be unpredictable. Gruner is a broken man who hides who he really is behind a shell of violence. And Ray has got this incredible talent to go into these emotional places. I’m so glad both actors accepted to work with me and accompanied me is this adventure. I feel blessed.


Q: The role of Aneris is crucial; why did you pick actress Aura Garrido and how did her look evolve?

First, we worked on the creature design. Then I saw Aura on a film and I was so fascinated by her eyes. She is so magnetic. And I wanted Aneris to be magnetic, as graceful as Aura is. When we met she told me how she liked body expression and she wanted to explore and give life to Aneris without any words. So she trained for two months before the film – learning how to move, how to express her emotions with her body…She also went on a strict diet as her character is almost naked all the way through the film. We need to believe she is amphibian, swimming hours every day. She was incredible. She worked so hard to give life to Aneris, you can’t imagine how difficult it was. I’m eternally thankful for what she did.


Q: You’ve said the visual inspiration is from the German painter Caspar David Friedrich, can you explain more?

I love Friedrich’s painting of a man looking at the ocean. For me this painting contains everything I wanted to express in Cold Skin. I don’t know how to explain… it’s more a feeling and when I’m looking at this painting I feel emotions I wanted to give to the audience in the film. There is a feeling of loneliness and isolation that is very personal for me and that’s what I tried to communicate in the film.


Q: How much of the movie is CGI as opposed to physical effects?

There is more than a thousand shots with visuals effects in the film. Felix Berges, David Ramos and Laura Petter from the company El Ranchito did them. I can’t tell you the amount of hours of work there is behind this film. I think in almost every shot of the film there is something we changed or created.


Q: What was the worst aspect of filming? The weather?

The weather was amazing. We really enjoyed being in Lanzarote and the atmosphere on set was really great. I think Cold Skin was the most agreeable shooting experience I’ve ever had. It was hard for the actors but we had such an amazing location to shoot. Every morning you arrive near the ocean to make a film, with the sound of waves crashing on volcanic black rocks. It’s just perfect.


Q: Many audiences knowing your French Extreme reputation will be surprised by the elegance and eloquence of COLD SKIN. Was that the shock to the system you wanted? 

There is no calculation. I just wanted to tell the story I loved while reading the book and share those emotions with the audience. There are violent beats in the film but it’s not a film about violence. Frontier(s) and The Divide are movies talking about violence but Cold Skin is talking about humanity, isolation and a main character who wants to escape from violence.


Q: What scares you the most?

Movie critics! Ahahaha. No, I’m kidding. What scares me the most is current politics. We have such a social crisis in the world and particularly in Europe right now. It’s urgent to find solutions. And I’m scared and angry that we are not able to solve the problem. We are in 2018 and we should be able to stop human conflicts by talking rather than killing…


Q: Finally, what’s next?

I just wrapped a French movie called Budapest, which will be released in France this summer and stars Manu Payet, Jonathan Cohen and Mister Poulpe. It’s a comedy about two friends who decide to create a company to organise bachelor parties in Budapest where everything you want to do is possible…


COLD SKIN is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Fri 2 March, 8.45pm, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2018. Xavier Gens will be attending, alongside lead actor David Oakes.

COLD SKIN will be available on DVD and Digital HD from April 23rd, courtesy of Signature Entertainment. 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Competition: Win Jigsaw on Blu-ray


To celebrate the release of Jigsaw on Digital Download 19th February and DVD, Blu-ray, 4k, Steelbook & Box-set 26th February, we have a great competition for you and a copy to give away.

Synopsis
One of the highest grossing horror franchises of all time is back, taking Jigsaw’s signature brand of twisted scenarios to the next level. After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun.

Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own? Modernised for new fans, Jigsaw is also highly satisfying for fans of the series.

Directed by Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig (Predestination) Jigsaw stars Matt Passmore (The Glades), Tobin Bell (Saw), Callum Keith Rennie (Memento) and Laura Vandervoort (Supergirl).

Click here to buy from Amazon (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

QUESTION:

Who Directs Jigsaw?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@mastersofhorror.co.uk

Lionsgate UK presents Jigsaw on Digital Download 19th February and DVD, Blu-ray, 4k, Steelbook & Box-set 26th February

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 05-03-18
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.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Interview with Issa Lopez - Director of Tigers are not Afraid


Ahead of the UK premiere of TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2018, director Issa Lopez tells us about her journey from Mexico’s SESAME STREET to creating an internationally admired feature film and why the horror genre has always been her passion.


Q: Could you tell us about your career background leading up to TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID.

My first paid job in the business was writing and directing segments for the Mexican Sesame Street. Eventually I moved on to write soap-operas, or Telenovelas, as they are known in Mexico. Terrible job, but quite the school for writers. It took me around five years to find my way into movies: writing romantic comedies. It took a while to convince producers I could direct myself, and that I didn’t want to direct the rom-coms I was known for, but very caustic comedies. I directed two of these. I know, nothing of this seems to lead to Tigers, but actually, it did: genre has always been my passion, and so many years, pages, scenes without it pushed me into going full-fantasy, full-grit with Tigers.


Q: TIGERS is very different to your previous works, what were your inspirations for the film?

So many of them… it’s a very weird, very honest blend of passions. From ‘Goonies’ and ‘Stand by Me’ to ‘Los Olvidados’, by Buñuel, and of course Del Toro’s two Spanish movies.


Q: The performances in the film are simply sensational, especially Paola Lara as Estrella. How was the casting process and how did you find working with the young actors?

We saw six hundred children to find these five. It was exhausting, exhilarating and heart-breaking, all at the same time. It is tough to say no to kids, and it was so much fun to watch them improvise… for the final round, we enlisted the help of acting-guru Fátima Toledo, the Brazilian genius behind the performances in ‘City of God’. Fátima and I went together through the final twenty to pick the five. We agreed on most of it, disagreed on some, and ended up very happy with our choices. I love them all, and it was a joy to spend with them the prep and the shooting.


Q: The film has a beautiful look and feel to it, was that difficult to achieve and how did you set about it?

Thanks! For every project, even while writing, I start to create endless boards of visual references that were the spine for the look and universe you saw on the screen: this kind of ghost city retaken by children and wilderness. To recreate it, I enlisted the help of two amazing artists: Juan José Saravia, my DP, who immediately understood what I wanted. Together we came up with this feeling of a sixth kid in the gang: us. The camera, hiding, running, playing with Shine’s banda. And then, of course, there’s Ana Solares, whose Production design not only captured what I wanted, but actually brought into the mix elements as central to the story as the graffiti. I ended up writing it into the script.


Q: What personal experiences did you draw on to make the film?

I lost my mother when I was eight. Of course, the circumstances where, thankfully, very far from the brutality of what happens to my characters, and to so many children in Mexico -and the world. But still, this sense of coming home from school one day and never seeing your mother again, never having a chance to say goodbye, never seeing a body, a casket…gives you a feeling of a ghost following you around, waiting for you to look at it, and acknowledge death. Hence Tigers.


Q: How have audiences reacted to the film both at home and internationally? You must be delighted that Stephen King via Twitter gave it such a glowing appraisal…to quote him: “This is one terrific film, both tough and touching. Two minutes in I was under its spell."

It’s been absolutely incredible! I LOVE sitting down in theatres, around the world, and experiencing the emotional impact the movie has through such different cultures, and how the differences melt when the story and the characters unfold. People cry. A lot. And it is such a moving, incredible feeling, to know that what we started off trying, actually happened. Is it terrible to say it feels good to make people cry?

Mr. King and Mr. Del Toro’s reaction… how to describe the feeling of your personal heroes saying you did well? I still can’t believe it, honestly.


Q: Are you looking forward to the screening at FrightFest Glasgow?

I’m dying to see how it plays in Scotland! Are you kidding me?


Q: What is the state of play with the film industry in Mexico currently, are they generally supportive of genre projects?

Nope. Mexican audiences, for the last five years have been demanding and consuming comedy, when it comes to local production. Not surprising, considering the violence we are submerged in right now. So, even though we Mexicans absolutely love genre… we import it. Absurd, right? I hope that changes soon.


Q: What films this year have caught your eye?

Oh, so many! What a year! Especially for genre. It’s almost pointless to say what a movie ‘The Shape of Water’ is. What maturity, heart, originality it has, and how pertinent to the moment we are all going through. But then there’s ‘A Ghost Story’, that made me cry so much, ‘Thelma’, ‘It Comes at Night’, and ‘Blade Runner 2049’, of course, doomed to become a cult classic, like the original… and soon a couple of gems doing the Fest Circuit are going to be available to all, like ‘Lowlife’ and ‘The Endless’.


Q: What is next for you?  Will you stay within or perhaps return to the genre at some point?

I’m going to FrightFest, then fly back home to premiere a comedy. After Tigers I so needed a good laugh, and I had it. It’s called ‘Todo Mal’ and it is also a bit of a genre-bender, but quite a different beast. Next? All genre. I’m playing around with two projects I’m quite in love with. More soon on those…


TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sat 3 March, 9.05pm, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2018. Issa Lopez will be attending.