Monday 30 December 2019

Competition: Win Asylum & The House That Dripped Blood on Blu-Ray

Asylum - [Blu-ray] and The House That Dripped Blood - [Blu-ray] are both released on 6th January 2020

And to celebrate we have a great competition and a copy of each on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis - Asylum 
From writer Robert Bloch and directed by Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember), iconic 1972 Amicus horror anthology Asylum is set for the Limited Edition Blu-ray treatment from Second Sight.

This hugely anticipated release starring a stellar cast will be presented in stunning rigid slipcase packaging featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys, and a 40-page booklet with new essays by Allan Bryce, Jon Towlson and Kat Ellinger, not to mention a whole host of special features including director commentaries and featurettes, it will available from 29 July 2019.

When Doctor Martin (Robert Powell – The Italian Job, The Thirty Nine Steps) arrives for a job interview at a secluded asylum for the incurably insane, he must prove himself by listening to the macabre tales of four inmates to determine which is the former head of the asylum who experienced a breakdown. We join him on the investigation with these hair-raising horrors…

The all-star cast includes Barbara Parkins, Peter Cushing, Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom and Patrick Magee.

Synopsis - The House That Dripped Blood
The House That Dripped Blood from Peter Duffell in his directorial debut and written by renowned screenwriter Robert Bloch (Psycho), is set for one of Second Sight’s renowned must-have Limited Edition Blu-ray releases this Summer.

This star-studded anthology features Denholm Elliott, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt and is presented in a stunning box set featuring original artwork from Graham Humphreys alongside a whole host of fantastic new special features including new essays from horror aficionados and a 40-page booklet and is available from 29 July 2019.

Scotland Yard’s Inspector Holloway (John Bennett – Watership Down, The Fifth Element) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in these four tales of terror…

Click here to buy The House That Dripped Blood from Amazon (Opens in a new window)
Click here to buy Asylum from Amazon (Opens in a new window)


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 13-01-20
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.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Interview with Carver Pike By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

For me, storytelling came long before the actual writing part. I spent a great deal of my childhood in rough situations and a big portion of that restricted to my bedroom. That left me alone with my imagination and whatever I could find to occupy my time. My toys were a random hodgepodge of hand-me-downs. Maybe a couple of He-Man characters, Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, a handful of those tiny pink rubber M.U.S.C.L.E. action figures, and whatever else I could piece together.

While most kids played war, I created strange worlds and storylines that would find all my toys in a crashed spaceship atop my mattress, with blankets serving as mountains, and the floor a strange alien goo that would infect anyone who touched it. When my toys were taken away, I cut paper dolls out of the Sears catalog and continued my narrative. I wrote action-packed zombie stories and other horrifying tales long before I ever picked up a pen.

The actual writing part happened when I was about sixteen, had just learned to type without looking at a keyboard, and stumbled upon my grandfather’s old typewriter hidden beneath a blanket in a back bedroom. My story sucked. It was a young adult, slice-of-life novel about a teenage boy who was new to town. Of course, all the girls liked him, and all the guys wanted to fight him, but he was a real badass and mopped the floor with all the bullies. The story really was garbage, so that’s where I eventually tossed it. However, throughout my junior and senior years of high school, I passed the novel around in spiral notebooks. If it weren’t for my female classmates showing so much interest in it, I probably wouldn’t be writing today.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

I can’t remember not being interested in fantasy and horror. As a kid, I’d sit cross-legged in front of the TV watching everything from The Beastmaster, Krull, and Trancers to Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. With every episode of Scooby-Doo, I prayed it would finally be the time they’d try to yank the mask off the ghost and find that it actually was a demonic presence instead of a jealous hotel caretaker.

Do you remember Commander USA? You know, the guy with cigar ash on the palm of his hand that was made to look like eyes and a mouth – kind of looked like Wilson in the movie Cast Away now that I think about it. He dressed up as a superhero of sorts and played horror movies every Saturday. That guy was my hero. I think I saw Kingdom of the Spiders on his show. Years later, I lay awake in bed terrified as I stared up at the popcorn ceiling and wondered if those little balls would burst open and a thousand tiny spiders would rain down over my bed. Shit. It still gives me the chills.

How would you classify the genre you write?

That’s a tough question to answer. I write a little bit of everything. I guess I’d say fairly graphic horror. I can’t really restrict myself by saying I write only ghost stories, slasher books, or zombies. Each one of my books is different. In my Diablo Snuff series, for example, it all revolves around a demonic entity of sorts that grows with each book. You get to see just how sinister this Diablo Snuff organization is and just how far it’ll go to destroy our world. Each book in the series is slightly different from the other. In book one, A Foreign Evil, the story takes place in Panama where a guy named Michael meets a beautiful woman and ends up at a hotel (run by Diablo Snuff). It’s not quite the romantic night he’s expecting. The sequel, The Grindhouse, is about a horror author who attends an author retreat run by Diablo Snuff.

Shadow Puppets: Scarecrows of Minnow Ranch is about, you guessed it, scarecrows. Redgrave revolves around a female military member doing her best to prove herself in a man’s military. She accepts an overnight, unarmed post guarding a demented inmate. Grad Night, which is my newest novel, centers around today’s youth and the violence in our schools. It’s not quite what you’d think though. This one’s more about teenagers getting revenge against their teachers. It’s some pretty sick shit.

Then there’s my dark fantasy series, The Edge of Reflection. So far, I’ve written four books in the series and have plans for a few more. I love dark fantasy. Blending action with horror and other supernatural elements is kind of like the best of all worlds to me.

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

I think it’s the safety net they provide. It’s a chance for the reader to safely experience risk, fear, loss, revenge, true hatred, and utter helplessness without crossing any moral boundaries or putting themselves in harm’s way. When I was a kid, I would often play the what if game. I think many people did and still do. Horror and fantasy allow people to revisit the fun in that game.

What if when I went to sleep at night, a monster visited me, and I’d die if I didn’t wake up before it killed me?

What if a great white shark attacked the beach today?

What if my daughter suddenly became possessed by a demon?

The horror and fantasy genres give you permission to play again.

What inspires your stories?

Oh, man. Everything! Seriously. Music definitely helps. The right song can totally spark a new idea. Another might help me through a scene. A movie might do it for me. I was watching The Green Mile the other night, and I got a story idea that has nothing at all to do with the movie itself. It’ll be an awesome horror book if I ever get around to writing it. You should see my list of word docs and book covers. Back to inspiration, I mean it when I say everything. I’ve looked at a homeless person before and decided I was going to tell his story. Right now, I live overseas, down in my wife’s country in Central America, so a lot of my inspiration comes from the world around me.

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

The thought never crossed my mind until I saw the “American Horror” classification on Amazon. I honestly don’t know. Oh, boy. Here I go, David. If this comes out sounding ridiculous, you have to edit it out. Ha.

If I had to take a wild guess, I think I’d say that America is still very young in the grand scheme of things. So, maybe American Horror would be more along the lines of things like Native American tales or gothic horror inspired by things like the growth of the original colonies (witch trials, slave tales, etc.).

So, what about British Horror then? Again, I’m totally guessing. I suppose I could cheat and Google this, but the first thing that comes to mind is old slasher stories like Jack the Ripper. Maybe stories about the plague, hauntings in old cobble-stoned and crowded cities, or even Medieval horror.

I’ve been to England a few times, and I could be wrong about this, but I got an overall feeling that the people were much more open to horror there. The selection available in the bookstores was all the evidence I needed. For example, I picked up Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism there, because I saw that awesome, 80s VHS style book cover on an end-cap at Waterstones. Fast forward to less than a year ago when I was inside a Barnes & Noble in San Jose, California. I had a hell of a time finding horror. It seemed like the horror books were mixed in with fantasy and suspense thrillers.

What are your favorite horror books?

I like a lot of the old short stories written by Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson was great. Through my young teenage years, I read a lot of novelizations of films. I think it was my way of cheating and basically watching movies in class. I remember reading The Lost Boys, Friday the 13th part 6, and Nicholas Grabowsky’s novelization of Halloween 4.

I’m also a fan of Bentley Little’s stuff. I like the creeping dread in his books. My favorites of his would be The Association, The Store, and Death Instinct. I loved Stephen King’s It and The Stand. I’ve been trying to read newer authors lately. Recently, I enjoyed The Troop by Nick Cutter. Parasites scare the hell out of me. I hate the thought of something so small causing so much damage. Bird Box by Josh Malerman was a great book. I’ve been listening to Robert McCammon’s Swan Song on audiobook and it’s pretty good so far.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Demons and Demons 2 by Dario Argento will always hold a special place in my heart because they scared the shit out of me as a kid. I love everything to do with the Halloween movies. I may get booed for this one, but my favorite in the series is actually Halloween 4. I love when evil isn’t explained. Sometimes there’s need for it, but other times, just let us believe that evil is evil and that’s all there is to it. The Shape aka Michael Myers is evil personified. The Conjuring 2 is one of my newer favorites, and I absolutely loved Midsommar.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I wish I could say I’ve won some prestigious award. I’ve won a few online awards voted on by readers, but I think my greatest accomplishment so far has just been finishing books. I’ve written about twelve books so far under Carver Pike. I’ve dabbled in other genres with other pen names too, and in total, I want to say I’ve published around 30 books. I’m proud of that.

Probably more important than all of that is knowing that my kids see me writing. They know I struggle. They’ve witnessed some of the depression that kicks in sometimes, they’ve watched me push through chronic pain, and through all of it they’ve seen me keep fighting to follow this dream of mine. I’m an author. I’m a writer. At this point, nothing will change that. Whether or not I become a big name in the business is still to be seen, but at least my kids saw that I was an author.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Yes, three things. First, keep writing. Stop rereading everything you write. Of course, editing your work is important, but the truth is, you’ll edit it again when you’re finished anyway. If you keep rereading the last chapter and keep fiddling with the work you’ve already done, you’ll never write the next chapter. You need to write forward. The only way you’re going to punch out another book is if you stop allowing yourself to constantly edit. Just write. Edit when you’re done.

Second, stop throwing your words away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard other authors say, “I read through what I wrote yesterday, and it was such crap. I deleted it all.” It probably wasn’t crap. Maybe you were being hard on yourself. That three thousand words you deleted might not have worked in this current story, but that could have been the first three thousand words in your next book. Open up a blank document and save your words for later rather than getting rid of them forever.

Third, criticism is important when it’s constructive. But even constructive criticism isn’t always right. You’d seek a second opinion for medical related matters, right? Treat your words the same way. Don’t take the scalpel to them just because one person told you they didn’t like them. I had two beta readers tell me they weren’t feeling a book I wrote. They didn’t love it. It gutted me. These were two fans of mine, and I almost didn’t publish the book. In the end, I did, and it became one of my most popular books at the time. Everyone else seemed to love it. I beat myself up for nothing.

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

Hmm. Interesting question. I’m self-published, so I love having the opportunity, but don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some problems caused by self-publishing too. I started out writing screenplays. That’s what I wanted to do for a living. This was before I got serious about writing books. Hollywood wasn’t beating down my door, screenplay competitions can be costly (and time consuming), and producing your own movie isn’t all that affordable. So, I started writing books. I queried a ton of agents and got plenty of rejection letters. I eventually signed with a small publishing house. It wasn’t the greatest experience. In the end, I heard about Amazon allowing authors to self-publish their books, so I decided to go that route. It’s a lot of hard work with nobody in your corner. Of course, I have some really great readers and friends who’ve volunteered their time to help with everything from beta reading to book covers to social media marketing, but it’s a long and grueling process.

Competition is fierce, and I’m sorry to say, but the quality often suffers with indie publishing. Oftentimes, sales go to the author with the biggest purse. If you can afford to throw thousands and thousands of dollars at marketing, you can climb the ranks even with a lackluster product. It’s the sad truth.

Self-publishing has also caused the industry to turn into a well-oiled machine at this point. To be able to tread water, you need to be able to publish books quickly. Gone are the days of authors being able to work on a book for several years. If you’re not already a big, established name in the biz, you’re probably going to have to write several books a year. I know several authors publishing a book a month.

In the end, I think if you’re able to get noticed by a big publisher, it’s still worth it if you hope to make it into the big arena. Having that support team and assistance with things like formatting, cover design, and editing is a big help. For now, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing unless someone reaches out to me.

What are your current projects?

I published Grad Night in October, so that’s my newest release. I’m currently working on several books. One of the characters from my Diablo Snuff series, a guy named Kong, is getting his own side story. That one’s called Slaughter Box and should be out soon. The Maddening: Diablo Snuff 3 is on its way too. I’ve got so many other books in the works, many of which I’m afraid to talk too much about, but one has something to do with witches and Santeria. That book is going to be intense. It’s the first book that kind of scares me writing it. I might be turning one of my old zombie screenplays into a novel soon. I’m planning to write a full-length novel based on the inmate in my book, Redgrave.

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

I’m married with four kids. I’ve experienced a lot in my forty years. After serving time in the military and then giving the retail world a try, I decided to move to my wife’s country where she could be closer to her family. I figured I could write from anywhere, so she might as well be where she’s happiest. I’m a very down-to-earth, chill kind of guy. I believe in the overall goodness of people, but real evil exists and there isn’t always an explainable reason for it. These themes often find their way into my books. My writing has been described as cinemascope and my dialogue as real and genuine. Most of my work has very graphic sex and violence, but I’ve found those things fit well with my horror and dark fantasy storylines. Overall, I love to entertain. I’ll watch movies I love a hundred times if it means I get to see the look on someone else’s face when they’re experiencing it for the first time. I approach my books the same way. I need to know people are enjoying it, or it’s all for nothing. Hopefully, you’ll give me the chance to entertain.

Grad Night Paperback - Amazon
Good Reads - Carver Pike

Thursday 12 December 2019

Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of PATCHWORK & TRAGEDY GIRLS

On the eve of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of PATCHWORK, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expections and his admiration for current female genre directors.

Q: PATCHWORK finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

Relieved actually. It’s been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I’ve had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I’m very excited to finally have it available for them.

Q: You were in attendance when PATCHWORK, your directorial feature debut, received its European premiere screening at FrightFest Glasgow 2016. What are your abiding memories?

I met a lot of awesome filmmakers and made some really good friends on that trip, particularly Joe Begos, who had THE MIND’S EYE playing right before us. My favorite was doing one of my first Q&As with the great Alan Jones. He did an amazing job of contextualizing the film and set the expectations that allowed it to be one of the most fun screenings I’ve ever had.

Q: It has been described as an “ingenious Frankenstein variant”. Fair comment? And how would you describe it?

Haha. Ingenious is a bit of a judgement call, but the inception of the character really did try to get behind what it would be like for a character comprised of multiple bodies. That’s what’s most off-putting about Frankenstein to me, so it was quite satisfying to explore that in the context of more contemporary body image issues.

Q: Stuart Gordon helped you on the film? What role did he play?

Stuart was as a bit of a mentor to us through the process. He read a very early draft of the script and gave us notes, as well as weighed in on the cuts. We were quite obviously influenced by the splat-stick horror of the late-1980s, DEAD ALIVE, EVIL DEAD II, and RE-ANIMATOR especially, so it was amazing to get his blessing.

Tracey Fairaway, Tory Stolper & Maria Blasucci in PATCHWORK

Q: The chemistry between Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway and Maria Blasucci is amazing. How did that come together from the casting process?

We had actually worked with Tory on the short film version, so she was the first in. I’d edited a film that Tracey acted in a few years before, so I knew she brought a lot of good ideas and had a fun bubbly energy. Once we had them in place, we had to counter-weight them with a more off-beat comedic energy, which Maria has very naturally. Once I got to see all three together it became apparent very quickly that they bounce off each other well, and it was going to be a blast to work on.

Tyler MacIntyre on the set of PATCHWORK

Q: Your second feature, TRAGEDY GIRLS, described as “the most frightening slasher send-up since Scream”, also deals with strong women in subversive, anti-heroine roles. Is this a conscious theme to your work?

When I write things either by myself or with my writing partner Chris Lee Hill, we tend to look for ways to twist the expectations of the audience, trying to take them somewhere they haven’t been before. That leads us to a lot of the more subversive elements. Since there are still a lot of story areas involving female protagonists that are unexplored, we often come up with ideas involving female leads pretty organically. We’ve also have been very fortunate to work with a lot of amazing up-and-coming actresses, who really inspire us to keep developing material with similar themes.

Tracey Fairawa in PATCHWORK

Q: TRAGEDY GIRLS closed FrightFest 2017, where you and the film received a rousing reception. What is it about the genre that attracts you the most?

For me it’s actually the community. Fans of genre have a great way of standing up to be counted, and in my experience, they’re quite open and welcoming. The film industry is competitive and toxic enough as it is, so I’m happy to be part of a section that is actually really supportive and collaborative.

Q: What’s your take on the burgeoning growth of female directors/voices in the horror genre?

It’s amazing, and I hope grows even more quickly. I was absolutely bowled-over by what Julia Ducournau did with RAW. That movie floored me. So precise with its tone and psychology. And likewise with what Issa López did with TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. I watched the most emotional Q&A I’ve ever seen at the Canadian premiere of that film. We even named the teacher character in TRAGEDY GIRLS “Ms. Kent” after Jennifer Kent, because we were so impressed with THE BABADOOK. There are a lot of great voices popping up, which makes this a very exciting time.

Q: Favourite genre film of 2019 so far?

It’s probably PARASITE, but the year isn’t over yet.

Q: Finally, what’s next?

We are developing a couple of feature projects right now that are in the horror space, as well as a television series that’s more of a mystery-comedy. I am hoping that we get the opportunity to shoot our first studio feature film next year.

PATCHWORK in on Horror Channel, Sat 14 Dec, 9pm.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a STRANGER FEARS SEASON

Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a STRANGER FEARS SEASON – a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski’s hard-core hospital horror THE VOID and Jackson Stewart’s throwback paranormal fantasy BEYOND THE GATES, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson’s entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy THE FINAL GIRLS and Lowell Dean’s stylish, rage-fuelled WOLFCOP.

There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi’s terrifying and moving horror thriller HOSTILE and channel premieres for Barry Levinson’s brutal and harrowing creature feature THE BAY, Paul Verhoeven’s HOLLOW MAN, starring Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon and Josh Brolin; Kenneth Branagh’s MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, starring Robert De Niro, Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter and Danny Cannon’s thrilling slasher sequel, I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER.


Full film details in transmission order:

Sat 4 Jan @ 22:50 – THE VOID (2016) * UK TV premiere

In the middle of a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter happens upon a blood-soaked figure limping down a deserted stretch of road. He rushes the young man to a nearby rural hospital, only to discover that patients and personnel are transforming into something inhuman. As the horror intensifies, Carter leads the other survivors on a hellish voyage into the subterranean depths of the hospital in a desperate bid to end the nightmare.

Sat 11 Jan @ 22:50 – BEYOND THE GATES (2016) *UK TV Premiere

Following their father’s mysterious disappearance, two estranged brothers reunite to liquidate his business, a video store specialising in horror movies. Digging through all the fire sale stock, they find an old VCR board game entitled ‘Beyond the Gates’. Deciding to play the obscure game for a laugh, they soon realise it holds the connection to their father’s vanishing and the deadliest of consequences for anyone who dares fool around with it.

Sat 18 Jan @ 22:50 – THE FINAL GIRLS (2015)

Max, a high school senior, is mysteriously transported with her friends into a 1980s horror film that starred Max's mother, a celebrated scream queen. Trapped inside the movie, Max finds herself reunited with her mom, whom she lost in real life. Together, they must fend off the camp counsellors’ raging hormones, battle a deranged machete-wielding killer, and find a way to escape the movie and make it back home.

Sat 25 Jan @ 22:50 – WOLF COP (1998)

Lou Garou is a lazy, alcoholic cop by day, a violent crime-fighting werewolf by night with a new found sense of  duty to uphold. Overnight, the small rural town of Newhaven has a new lycanthropic hero and he’s determined to become a better policeman…one full moon transformation at a time.


Fri 3 Jan @ 21:00 – HOSTILE (2017) *UK TV Premiere

A worldwide epidemic has killed most of the planet’s population. The few survivors struggle to find food and shelter. But they are not alone… On her way back to base camp from a scavenging mission, Juliette (Brittany Ashworth) has a terrible accident. Stuck in her car, with a broken leg, in the middle of an unforgiving desert, she must survive the perils of the post-apocalypse, while a strange creature prowls around.

Fri 10 Jan @ 21:00 – THE BAY (2012) *Channel Premiere

The quaint seaside town of Chesapeake Bay thrives on water; it is the lifeblood of the community. When two biological researchers from France find a staggering level of toxicity in the water, they attempt op alert the mayor, but he refuses to create a panic in the docile town. As a result, a deadly plague is unleashed, turning the people of Chesapeake Bay into hosts for a mutant breed of parasites that take control of their minds, and eventually their bodies.

Fri 17 Jan @ 22:40 – HOLLOW MAN (2000) *Channel Premiere

Kevin Bacon is a gifted scientist Sebastian Caine, who develops a serum that induces invisibility. The arrogant but charismatic scientist heads a top-secret U.S. government research project. When the formula works successfully on animals, Caine disobeys Pentagon orders and experiments on himself. Unfortunately, the gamble goes terribly wrong when the procedure cannot be reversed.

Fri 24 Jan @ 21:00 – MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTIEN (1994) *Channel Premiere

As Viktor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) is dying he shares a tale of gruesome terror with a sea captain. Viktor, using previous experiments by a brilliant scientist, was able to bring a creature (Robert De Niro) assembled from body parts back to life. Once he realised how destructive his experiments had become, he abandoned the creature and tried to live a normal life with his fiancé (Helena Bonham Carter). The lonely creature seeks out Viktor and demands one of two things: a bride or revenge.

Fri 31 Jan @ 22:50 – I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1998) *Channel premiere

This sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer finds Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) coping miserably with the memory of last year's terrifying ordeal, as the past continues to haunt her, However, it looks as though things may be turning out for the better when her college roommate, Karla (Brandy Norwood), invites Julie to join her on an all-expense paid trip to the Bahamas. But when the romantic vacation is threatened by a violent hurricane and the reappearance of the vengeful fisherman, Julie's future promises to be as short-lived as her escape from the past.

Horror Channel: Be Afraid
TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138