Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Horror Channel brings suspense and splatter to its July line-up

Horror Channel brings plenty of suspense and splatter to July’s line-up with the UK TV premiere of THE REZORT, where ‘The Walking Dead’ meets ‘Jurassic World’. Starring Dougray Scott and Jessica De Gouw, this fast-paced, gory horror is directed by Outpost franchise helmer Steve Barker.

There are also channel premieres for Damien Macé & Alexis Wajsbrot’s cleverly sinister DON’T HANG UP, where an invisible predator turns the tables on two online prankers, and Paul W.S Anderson’s cult gaming adaptation RESIDENT EVIL, with Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez in blistering form.

Plus, there are welcome returns for NO ONE LIVES, director Ryuhei Kitamura’s taut, tension-laden cat-and-mouse thriller, starring Luke Evans, alongside Sam Raimi’s unforgettable genre classic THE EVIL DEAD and fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger will welcome the clone-seeker’s top-notch performance in THE 6TH DAY.

Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 4 July @ 21:00 – THE REZORT (2015) *UK TV Premiere

In the aftermath of an apocalyptic zombie outbreak, rich holidaymakers can visit a luxury theme park where every paying guest has a license to kill the captive undead in organised Zombie Safaris. Such Zafaris are the ultimate blood sport experience and for many much-needed therapeutic revenge for suffering horrendous family losses. When the security system crashes at The ReZort, unleashing hordes of bloodthirsty Zee’s on the unprepared vacationers, it’s up to enigmatic, former zombie hunter Archer (Dougray Scott) to save the day.

Sunday 12 July @ 21:00 – DON’T HANG UP (2016) *Channel Premiere

Two teens devise ever more elaborate prank phone calls to share online for their eager followers into impersonal humiliation. But as their involved practical jokes become increasingly nastier, it never occurs to them they might be playing a very dangerous game. So when a mysterious threatening stranger calls the home landline, they suddenly realise they may be in very real peril, as the caller reveals the violent extremes he’s willing to employ to extract retribution before they’re able to reveal his identity.

Saturday 18 July @ 21:00 – RESIDENT EVIL (2002) *Channel Premiere

Based on the popular video game, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who must break into "the hive," a vast underground genetics laboratory operated by the powerful Umbrella Corporation. There, a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the lab's personnel and resurrecting them as the evil Un-dead. The team has just three hours to shut down the lab's supercomputer and close the facility before the virus threatens to overrun the Earth.

Saturday 11 July @ 23:00 – NO ONE LIVES (2012)

Fourteen students are murdered and the crime scene offers no clues to the whereabouts of the one person who could be the only survivor. Months later a gang of robbers screw up their latest heist and mug a couple in a car instead. What they realise too late is that the driver is the killer responsible for the student massacre. Then it’s Psycho vs. Psychos in a taut, tension-laden cat-and-mouse chiller that sees both sides trying to outdo the other.

Friday 17 July @ 22:50 – THE EVIL DEAD (1983)

Five college friends are holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead. An archaeologist's tape recording reveals that the ancient text was discovered among the Khandarian ruins of a Sumerian civilization. Playing the taped incantations, the friends unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods…

Saturday 25 July @ 21:00 – THE 6TH DAY (2000)

A ruthless power broker is using his advanced genetic-engineering technology to clone human beings for personal gain. Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger), an old-fashioned family man and decorated fighter pilot comes home one night to discover that his life has been stolen by his clone, and his existence erased. Plunged into a sinister world of murder, corruption and high-tech deception, Adam must fight back in order to reclaim his family and his identity.

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

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Arrow FrightFest postpones 5-Day August Bank Holiday event / Plans in place to return in October

Due to the continuing COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing, Arrow FrightFest’s traditional five day event in August has been regretfully put on hold. Instead, the organisers are planning to expand their traditional all-day Halloween event at the end of October.

Alan Jones, co-director, said today: 
“Sadly, we won’t be able to come together and celebrate our 21st year in the summer but rest assured, we will make our London Halloween event one to remember. FrightFest has always been about the genre community joining together, not just to embrace films but to demonstrate our unique spirit of supportive closeness”.

The pandemic hasn’t stopped graphic artist Graham Humphreys from creating this year’s stunning Monster art. In fact, it inspirationally reflects the extraordinary and unexpected turn of events.

Humphreys comments: 
“The image presented a huge challenge. Not only had the pandemic erased any hope of a regular FrightFest schedule, but the possibility of a Halloween event needed to be addressed. This year's monster needed to consider his Covid-19 response with a mask and goggles. The poster for 'Halloween II' inspired a way to present the full face without risking infection! Is the bat his friendly familiar - or the bringer of pestilence? You decide!”

Details on dates, venues, films and ticketing for the Halloween event will be made available in due course.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Federico Zampaglione reveals second lockdown horror short BIANCA: PHASE 2.

Italian musician and film director Federico Zampaglione has followed up on his well-received short movie BIANCA, with an even more horrific study of Italy under lockdown - BIANCA: PHASE 2. Again shot on his iPad in three days and starring his ten year old daughter alongside his current partner, actress Giglia Marra, Zampagione, who created, edited and produced the film single-handedly, has cast his former wife, actress Claudia Gerini in a cameo role and, obeying lockdown rules, involved only family members in the location roles – Marco and Giula Chermaz, his cousin and nephew respectively

Phase 2 of the Italian lockdown has begun and Bianca (Linda Zampagilone) and her mother (Giglia Marra) decide to go to the reopened local park to enjoy their new found freedom in the sun. But an evil presence is stalking them and when Bianca is kidnapped, her mother enters a nightmare world trying to find and save her daughter from a terrible danger.

Federico said today: 
“This is the second episode of a planned trilogy, and the action has become more horror-oriented. The biggest challenge was making a beautiful Roman park look like a disturbing and creepy place. I had to make it look completely empty and desolate, so it was all about waiting for silence and using all the camera angles to avoid including other people in the frames.

One of the most interesting aspects to me, being a musician, was not using music that much.  Instead I worked a lot on building up an increasingly unnerving atmosphere using mostly natural sounds, like birds, dog barking, weird animal noises) rather than the classic score”.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Interview with Jeff Oliver By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

I started really writing when I was just 11 years old. It's was like a bomb went off within my soul. The ideas have flooded my mind ever since then. Think of it like a vortex of letters and words jumbling together 24 hours a day seven days a week. A blessing or a curse? Each day is different for me So the answer is both. I write so much my hands cramp up. The ideas keep coming even if I want to take a break, it's like something is telling me to keep going even if I don't feel like writing...it always seems like I have to.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

I write real-life truths, horror is definitely one of them. I guess I've always written horror and the unimaginable. You know? Places most people are scared to go. Deep down in my mind lies something I can’t explain, voices and visions..childhood traumas and premonitions it’s like my soul will never be forgiven.

Tell us about your publisher.

I was published with Creative Talents Unleashed for my first book titled “Strange Sounds” which is my debut collection of poetry. It rages from love to insanity, Heaven and Hell and everything in between. The book is available on Amazon and is now Self published by me because the publisher has released all contracts to each author. I now have a new publisher “Cosby Media Productions” out of Atlanta Georgia which I have signed a 10 year contract with many great things ahead including another Poetry book this fall. Shortly before signing with Cosby Media, I self-published my debut horror novel “Poetic Fiction: Journals Of Silent Screams” it is a rhyming poetic horror story that talks about abuse and revenge. It is unlike anything out there.

How would you classify the genre you write?

From the soul, from the deepest corners of my mind. I don't label myself in any specific genre, because I never know what to expect when I start to write. One moment it's about my beautiful wife, the next it's the flames of Hell. I'm an unpredictable writer. Is there a category for that?

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

People adore the unknown and unexplainable, a quick rush. Fear is a natural emotion, we all have it in us. If it's triggered just right it opens doors we've never experienced before. Kind of like an escape from the reality of the world around us. Something different, something unreal. We all have that curiosity of the unknown, and reading a good way out of an often boring reality keeps interest in this style.

What inspires your stories?

Could be a word, could be a photo. My stories vary from love to pain. Hate and rage, insanity in its purest form. My stories are unique and people flock to my madness. I write what my soul is feeling at that particular moment.

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

Horror is determined by what kind of experience you have. I'm not sure this question could ever be answered correctly. It depends on the mindset of the writer, where they have been and where they are going with whatever story they are writing at the moment. In an open mind a horror story can be written in the most horrific fashion. Most of my horror stories are written from experience not fiction. Horror is sacrifice, and it depends on the writer to bring that to life. So I really don't see a difference between the two. I do see the same visions brought to life in their own unique ways though. In the end, it depends on the psyche of each individual writer to really get the hair standing up.

So I think the difference between the two is the mindset and the way they think of ways to make us scream.

What are your favorite horror books?

Stephen Kings IT, The Stand, Pet Sematary, The Exorcist, The Silence Of The Lambs, and The Hunger.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The Shining, Doctor Sleep, IT, Saw, The Exorcist, 47 meters Down.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I self-published my unique rhyming horror story ”Poetic Fiction: Journals Of Silent Screams, then shortly after signed with Cosby Media Productions.
Do you have any advice for new writers?

Just be yourself, write for you first. You will always have people that do not appreciate your work and dedication. Keep shining, keep grinding. Never give up on your dreams.
What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I've just recently self-published, so far it is okay. Sales are coming in and I've been self-promoting and am having some success. The shipping is slow because of what is going on in the world. I am new to it just released in March so I still have to see how it goes.

What are your current projects?

I have a project with Cosby Media that will be released this fall, no spoilers just yet.

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

Jeff Oliver was born in Baltimore Maryland on April 6th, 1982. Starting his writing career early at just 11 years old, his mind has always collected thoughts and transferred them to paper. There are thoughts about troubled childhood, thoughts of love and imagination never elude his pen. A poet by passion and a father of seven beautiful children his dedication to his craft is second to none. He resides in New York with the love of his life, Jennie. She is his muse. Madness lives in his mind sparking unimaginable works of art that will never be fully understood or explained. His words are real and provoke insanity through an imaginary portal of nightmares and dreams. A writer of intense emotions. Jeff has written a collection of poetry that was published last year by Creative Talents Unleashed titled Strange Sounds. His first fully published collection of poetry, full of monsters and beasts, love songs and total insanity.

As he evolves from poetry, he has now completed his very first unique hard-hitting novel. He is ready to take on this literary world with every emotion that resides in his soul. ”Madness illustrates what insanity demonstrates, while chaos illuminates what Hell creates”. An example of Jeff’s many styles of writing. Jeff wants to reach audiences of the broken and deranged, the misfits and the caged. He would like to reach the people that society seems to leave in waste. ”The mistakes”, the strange and the hated. The ones that people tend to forget. Jeff will never fit in just like the audience he seeks, he just wants the world to know that it’s okay to bleed.

Recently Signed with Cosby Media Productions with a 10 year contract.

POETIC FICTION: Journals Of Silent Screams


Facebook writer page Words from the soul 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Horror Channel brings shocks aplenty in June with star-studded Spine-Chiller Season

There are star-studded shocks aplenty on Horror Channel in June, courtesy of the SPINE-CHILLER SEASON - a selection of supernatural mysteries to get your summer off to a very scary start. Scheduled for Saturday nights at 9pm, the season is headed by the Channel premiere of the moody and violent chiller GOTHIKA, starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz. Other titles include Kevin Bacon’s career launcher STIR OF ECHOES, the gripping US-remake of THE GRUDGE, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the terrifying supernatural thriller PAY THE GHOST, starring Nicholas Cage.

There are also UK TV premieres for the sharply eerie NAILS, starring Shauna Macdonald and Ross Noble and the deadly VIRAL, where a global parasitic virus is turning victims into blind, blood spewing zombie hosts. Plus, there are Channel premieres for Michael Peterson’s blood-pumping survival horror KNUCKLEBALL, Alistair Orr’s stylish supernatural suspense FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET, featuring a killer role by Australian scream queen Sharni Vinson and John McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL, a head-slamming remake of the 1975 Sci-Fi hit.

Full film details in transmission order:


Saturday 6 June @ 21:00 – GOTHIKA (2003) *Channel Premiere

Miranda Grey (Halle Berry), a brilliant psychiatrist, is accused of a heinous murder she cannot remember. Unable to fathom having committed an act of such brutality against a husband she loved and admired, Miranda is shocked to find herself incarcerated at the Woodward Penitentiary for Women, alongside the criminally insane patients she once treated. As Miranda struggles to reclaim her sanity, she realises she’s become the pawn of a vengeful spirit. Now she must quickly determine if she is being led further from her sanity or closer to the truth.

Saturday 13 June @ 21:00 – STIR OF ECHOES (1999)

After he is hypnotized at a neighbourhood party, Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) changes. He sees things he can't explain and hears voices he can't ignore. As the horrific visions intensify, Tom realises they are pieces of a puzzle, echoes of a crime calling out to be solved. But when his other-worldly nightmares begin coming true, Tom desperately tries to rid himself of his eerie, unwanted powers.

Saturday 20 June @ 21:00 – THE GRUDGE (2004)

A remake of the original Japanese series , again directed by Takashi Shimizu, the action moves to Tokyo, where we are once again in a haunted house, where American nurse Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim. Also stars Bill Pullman.

Saturday 27 June @ 21:00 – PAY THE GHOST (2015)

Almost a year after his young son disappeared on Halloween night in New York City, Mike (Nicolas Cage) is alone and haunted by terrifying visions of his son. Determined not to let go, he researches all the cases of missing children in the city and comes to a horrifying conclusion. That every Halloween a vengeful ghost surfaces to abduct three children and if they don't recover their son within a short window of time on All Hallows Eve, he will be lost to the spirit world forever. Following a series of terrifying clues, Mike is led deeper into the ancient curse that could destroy him and all he loves.


Friday 5 June @ 21:00 – NAILS (2017) *UK TV Premiere

Super-fit track coach Dana Milgrom (Shaun Macdonald) suffers a near fatal run-in with a car which leaves her almost completely paralysed. Trapped inside her own body, with her speech severely affected, Dana communicates through a voice synthesised computer keyboard. Staring at the prospect of a lengthy recovery process in a rundown rehabilitation hospital, Dana’s physical vulnerabilities are about to be heightened by a supernatural inhabitant of the hospital. A shadowy figure with long, sharp, finger nails...

Friday 12 June @ 17:20 – VIRAL (2016) *UK TV Premiere

Teenaged sisters Emma (Sofia Black-D' Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton) live a normal life, until their small suburban neighbourhood is stricken with a mysterious parasitic virus. As the disease rapidly spreads, the two barricade themselves from infection. But it may already be too late - when the virus enters their home, the sisters are faced with an impossible choice: protect each other, or survive the virus.

Sunday 14 June @ 21:00 – KNUCKLEBALL (2018) *Channel Premiere

Alone, and targeted on an isolated farm, 12 year old Henry finds himself at the centre of a maelstrom of terror, and a dark family legacy, when his secretive grandfather dies suddenly in the night

Friday 19 June @ 21:00 – FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET (2016) *Channel Premiere

Kidnappers abduct the daughter of a wealthy diamond distributor in Cape Town. But when they have her locked up in their hideout and prepare to issue their ransom demands, they realise too late that she’s been possessed by a sinister and very powerful demon.

Friday 26 June @ 21:00 – ROLLERBALL (2002) *Channel Premiere

Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is the most popular player in the fastest and most extreme sport of all time: Rollerball. Along with teammates Marcus Riley (LL Cool J) and Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Jonathan is giving viewers what they want: a dangerous game packed with visceral thrills, breakneck speed, and head-slamming action. But things go wrong when Rollerball’s creator, Petrovich (Jean Reno), realises that serious on-court accidents bring higher ratings.

Horror Channel: Be Afraid
TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138
Website: http://www.horrorchannel.co.uk

Monday, 18 May 2020

Interview with Gary Raisor - By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

I was interested in my early 20’s, but when I sat down to do it I discovered I didn’t have all that much to say. Or maybe I just didn’t know how to say it.

So I sat writing aside. I moved to Chicago where I fell into a hard scrabble life for four or five years, working in a factory during the day, haunting strip clubs and skid row bars at night, drinking, hustling pool. Met more than a few interesting people on skid row. They all had a story. And they were more than willing to share it.

Then I met a girl, there’s always a girl. She cleaned my ass up. Fast forward about ten years, add in marriage and becoming a dad, just living life, you know, working a job, paying the mortgage. Then my dad died. He wasn’t that old. That sort of thing gets a man to thinking about mortality, so I decided to give it another shot, and this time I discovered I had things to say.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

I’ve always since interested in fantasy and horror, even as a kid. My mom gave me a copy of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU when I was 10. It was the start of a love affair that continues to this day.

How did you make this a full time job?

Writing was never a full time job, not until about a seven or eight years ago. Until then I wrote during my lunch breaks at work, at home, sometimes into the wee hours of the night. Short stories in the beginning, lots and lots of them. NIGHT CRY, THE HORROR SHOW, CEMETERY DANCE, BORDERLANDS, RAZORED SADDLES, a lot of ‘best of’ anthologies.

Then I wrote a novel, LESS THAN HUMAN, which to my utter amazement was nominated for the Bram Stoker award. I’d seen copies of it at Walden Books, Barnes and Noble, Joseph-Beth, B Dalton. I was on my way, baby. Time to start lighting my bong with twenty dollar bills. Nope. That book didn’t lead to a full time writing career. So back to the day job.

What to do? I’d grown to loathe my job in I.T. I really wanted to be a writer, but my agent was insane and then she died. No agent, no prospects on the writing front. I was trying to figure a way to get back in the game. I love movies, always have. One day while I was hanging at a video store (remember those?) I thought I’d try my hand at writing a movie script. To my surprise, I discovered I could do it. Now I have one in development with Thunderknight Productions. I guess I’d call myself a full time writer now. Maybe even a producer too, ha. But I’d never use that word in polite company.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular

Wish fulfillment maybe. In fantasy, a place to act out grand adventures, to shed the grind of daily mundane life. Good overcoming evil, something that doesn’t always happen in the real world. In horror, who doesn’t like a good scare?

What are your favorite horror books?

The Island of Dr. Moreau, as I mentioned earlier.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.
The Drive-in by Joe Lansdale.
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Silver Scream edited by David J. Schow
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
The Shining, again Stephen King
IT. Stephen King. What can I say, the guy wrote some damn fine books. Still hate the ending of this one.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.
Lestat by Anne Rice. Those early books of hers were awesome.
The Girl Next Door. Books don’t get better than this. But after reading that puppy, I decided once was enough for me.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The Thing. Both versions. Love James Arness as the flaming carrot. The Carpenter version, IMHO, might just be the finest horror movie ever made.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The ’78 version with Donald Sutherland is a masterpiece of paranoia.
Halloween by John Carpenter.
Cat People. Both versions.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Tobe Hooper original. You can keep the rest. Maybe number 2, but that’s as far as I go.
Dracula. Both the Louis Jourdan and the Gary Oldman versions appeal to me. A side note, the new BBC 3 part version was 2/3 of a good series about our favorite blood-sucker.
Creature from the Black Lagoon. Best rubber monster suit of all time.
Forbidden Planet. Sci-fi horror. Great score.
Tremors. Best buddy movie ever.
It Follows. Some definitely creepy shit.
Near Dark.
Ginger Snaps. You’ll never look at teenage girls the same.
The Howling. Cool werewolves.
Fright Night. The original with Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. Grab an apple.
Pretty much anything from Hammer. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Also anything with Vincent Price. Love those Edgar Allen Poe adaptations he did with Roger Corman. Masque of the Red Death, Fall of the House of Usher, Tomb of Ligeia.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I guess I’d have to say coming up with a really different take on vampires in LESS THAN HUMAN. And it’s still selling 28 years later. 8 editions in those years including paperback, hardback, Kindle and Audible. There’s even a coffin edition.

A reviewer recently said it reads as fresh as anything written today. Man, as a writer, you gotta love that.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Due to the overwhelming number of self-publishers on Amazon, I’d say don’t quit the day job.

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

I hate it. I came up when your writing was judged by the gatekeepers, the agents, the editors at publishing houses. You had to be good, in most cases, to get the green light. Of course there was still crap that got through. But now the floodgates are open. Anyone can lay claim to being a writer. They say everyone has a book in them. I’d say no they don’t. I’d say a few self-published books are good, but most are crap with a good looking cover.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a prequel to LESS THAN HUMAN.
And I’m helping produce a screenplay I wrote, STRAIGHT TO HELL.
Also trying to stay alive during this Coronavirus pandemic while helping out friends and family who’re having a hard time fending for themselves. 

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

I hate writing about myself. I’m not being coy, I mean it. It’s my least favorite subject. Instead, if you don’t mind, I’ll just share a recent GOODREADS review of LESS THAN HUMAN from Lisa Lee. I think it sums up what I tried to accomplish with the book.

LESS THAN HUMAN by Gary Raisor is unlike any other vampire novel. The story is built on mystery, intrigue, a unique twist on old legends, blood, and playing pool.

Raisor weaves in a diverse lot of vivid, colorful characters with engaging backgrounds and personalities. The story is complex, a mix of ancient lore and modern concepts, realism and supernatural, humanity and inhumanity. Raisor uses a slow reveal technique to uncover the horrifying truth behind the events taking place. The climax and conclusion brilliantly defied expectation, and I found the epilogue particularly well-played.

Less Than Human has some graphic scenes and disturbing content. Gary Raisor pushes the boundaries of vampire horror fiction into extreme horror with this one. This is not a romantic vampire novel nor even a classically brutal one. This one contains scenes of mental and physical torture, and Raisor is relentless in his presentation of the horrors therein. For serious horror fans only.

Less Than Human - Amazon Kindle
Sinister Purposed - Amazon Kindle

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Interview with Eleanor Merry - By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

In high school. I liked to write a lot which was a mix of loving books and putting pen to paper, as well as some good ol’ teen angst in the mix. There was some pretty terrible poetry involved that I hope never sees the light of day.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

I’ve been into horror since I was a kid which was largely inspired by my dad. He would stay up watching late-night horror movies and I would sneak out to watch with him. Pretty sure I saw some pretty non-age appropriate things, but it fascinated rather than scared me. As I got older my tolerance and interest only grew.

Tell us about your first publisher. 

As of the time of this interview, I am self-published and love it! When I decided to start writing with the intent to publish, I did a lot of research

How would you classify the genre you write?

I have three books in my series, Dead Aware, and I also run a collection of anthologies under Macabre Ladies.

Dead Aware is a pretty unique brand of post-apocalyptic fiction. It’s a series following a couple who are essentially ‘zombies’ and have to navigate the world where everyone hates them and considers them lesser. Some serious feels to go along with some awesome action and twists.

So far the anthology collection we are working on is the holiday horror collection. These are flash fiction stories with holiday themes. Quick, gory and fun. So far, we have Dark X-Mas, Dark Valentine and Dark Solstice.

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

Morbid curiosity.

Seriously, though. We, as human beings, tend to have an interest in things that disgust us or things that allow us to pretend. People love to live vicariously, and horror and fantasy are two of the polar opposites to how (I hope) most of us live that they hold particular appeal.

What inspires your stories?

Other amazing words. I have always been a huge reader and I love how a good book can take you away and create that special world in your head. Reading a good book inspires me like no other so when I’m in a writing slump, I’ll read something and usually it helps.

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

I like americans tend to lean more towards supernatural, not liking how close to home some ‘true horror’ is. Whereas the UK is full of ghosts and they’ve had their fill, and are way more about the serial killers.

What are your favorite horror books?

I don’t think you can make me answer this.
Honestly, the list is neverending. If you’re going to make me choose some: Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo, Urban Gothic by Brian Keene, The Ruins by Scott Smith, The Troop by Nick Cutter, Clowns vs Spiders by Jeff Strand, I Am Legend Richard Matheson

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Again, not too fond of this question…

I tend to love cheesy stuff. Older slasher stuff (Chucky is a personal fave but Myers and Jason were close second and thirds) and I’m a sucker for zombies. Also, always loved a good ridiculous gore-fest like Saw or Hostel, or something more comedic Tusk (the latter is hilarious if anyone hasn’t seen it)

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I don’t think I’ve accomplished enough greatness on my journey yet to say. I will say that the thing that makes me feel the most accomplished is getting positive and unsolicited feedback from fans. Nothing else really resonates like it.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Just keep writing and don’t delete anything. It is very cliche, but you can’t edit an empty page. Also, read lots. Keep notes on things that you like or don’t. Does an author do too many flashbacks? Do you like how they separate character point of views? What is it that keeps you reading? Make note of the things that work so you can use them, or not, in your own writing.

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

I think it’s a good thing for readers and authors. The hardest and worst part, as a self-published author, is the bad stigma it gets. Yes, there are books out there that really needed a paid editor and cover artist, or a decent formatter. There are also some amazing gems and books that are well thought out and edited properly. People like myself, that have decided to spend the time and money to do it ourselves, step by step. It’s opened up something for people that have that drive to do it. Is it inundated with stuff that needs some quality control? Sure. But at the same time, I see any type of sharing of words or inspiring creativity to be a good thing.

What are your current projects?

Well, there is what I am supposed to be working on, and what I am actually working on. I should be working on Dead Aware 3, but have gotten sidetracked. The current front and center is a really twisted story of a child raised by a female torture-artist.

There’s also a story involving a Find-A-Victim phone app, something involving a lust demon, and a few shorts.

Also working on a new drabbles collection for Macabre Ladies, Drabbles of Dread, which will be out this summer.

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

Colourful-haired, friendly, Canadian mom, author, and mentor.
Pretty easy summation?
Okay, okay, I can try a bit harder.
I am a Canadian, eh, from Vancouver and work in the travel industry by day. By night, I wrangle a tiny human and write stories. I enjoy carbs and melted cheese. Oh, I also run anthologies. And write stories. Did I mention I read a lot?

I love helping other authors and collaborating with people in general. You can find me very active in the Books of Horror group on Facebook and the corresponding author group. All the books, all the time.

Lots more of really amazing things in progress and I can’t wait to show everyone some more twisted and amazing words!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eleanormerryauthor/
Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/98527d37f5c4/eleanormerrysubscribe (Get a free Dead Aware story for signing up!)
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Eleanor-Merry/e/B07W3WWNZR

Interview with Adam Green Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere Victor Crowley

Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of Adam Green’s VICTOR CROWLEY, the great director shares his personal tragedies, George Romero’s inspirational words, the importance of genre comedy and hints that the Bayou Butcher may rise again…

Adam, you’re back on the UK’s Horror Channel this Friday night with your latest ‘Hatchet’ instalment VICTOR CROWLEY. Excited?

I’m always thrilled to hear that another one of my films will be playing on the UK’s Horror Channel! It’s crazy to think that the US hasn’t had a horror specific television channel in 6 years now, only horror themed subscription platforms like SHUDDER. Then again- look at the real life horror we’re dealing with here as far as our current President goes. Clearly our country has made far worse decisions than doing away with our horror television network.

You've called VICTOR CROWLEY your most personal movie ever. Why?

I truly intended to be finished with HATCHET after the original trilogy. When HATCHET 3 was released in 2013 I had absolutely no desire to ever step foot back in Victor Crowley’s swamp ever again. However, life had other plans for me and in 2014 I underwent a series of personal tragedies that changed everything. Within a span of just thirteen days I endured a heart shattering divorce, the tragic death of Dave Brockie, one of my best friends and co-stars on my TV series HOLLISTON and the dissolving of HOLLISTON’s home network FEARnet, in a corporate merger which left my show trapped in television purgatory for six years. I’ll spare you the details of the dark year or so that followed but my health deteriorated down into a truly frightening state.

Then in October of 2015 George Romero asked if I would host his panel at a horror convention in my hometown of Boston, Masachusetts. There was no way I was going to say “no” to George. At the end of the panel he pointed out to me just how many in the crowd were wearing HATCHET or HOLLISTON or “Adam Green” T-shirts and then he turned me away from the crowd and gave me a short but extremely blunt pep talk about what my work means to “these kids” and that I have to get back on my feet and back to doing what I do best. The long story short is that George snapped me out of it and made me see the light, in particularly what HATCHET had come to mean to the genre.

However, if I was going to bring back Victor Crowley I only wanted to do it if it could be a surprise for the fans, we set out to make the film in secret. I still can’t believe we pulled it off! The end result was a much more personal and honest film than I ever would have had the courage to make otherwise. I worked out a lot of the pain I was going through during that dark point in my life. Several critics have called VICTOR CROWLEY “the best HATCHET film yet” but I am still far too close to the process of making the movie to be able to rank it against the other three films with any kind of clarity.

VC is more comical than ever, do ‘Hatchet’ fans expect that fun side of the franchise to be upped every single time?

HATCHET’s sense of humor is precisely what sets it apart from other slashers of its kind. The series may proudly wear all of the expected slasher movie tropes on its sleeves but it is the comedic tone of the films that make them a more entertaining experience overall than the slashers that came before it. Rarely were the 80’s slashers intentionally funny and as Kane Hodder always points out, with the sequels in the big franchises the audience merely tolerated the time they had to spend with the characters while they waited to see them die. If you look at the first three films as one long movie the humor actually gets toned down slightly with each entry as the story works its way to its action packed final act. So with VICTOR CROWLEY I got to hit the re-set button and really amp up the comical side of things once again.

This time around the film’s theme also holds a mirror up to an audience that has become shamefully numb to murder and obsessed with the next great true crime docu-series. Think about it, just twenty years ago major network sit-coms like FRIENDS and SEINFELD were “must see TV” not only in the US but around the world. Now it’s real life tragedies like MAKING A MURDERER, DON’T F*CK WITH CATS, and TIGER KING that have become our passionate water cooler conversations at the office and a major force in modern day pop culture. The sheer fact that more people are talking about Joe Exotic’s mullet than the mistreatment of the actual tigers in TIGER KING sickens me. I mean, our President’s own dim-witted son was asked what he thought of the Netflix phenomenon and his take away from the series was that he “didn’t realize a tiger was so affordable!” The characters in VICTOR CROWLEY are all looking to cash in on a massacre that left at least forty innocent people dead and they have absolutely no regard for the human lives lost. Sadly, that’s exactly what would happen if the events of HATCHET were real.

Many have called the film your ‘Scream 3’, do you agree with that assessment?

Any time someone mentions one of my films in the same breath as a Wes Craven film my heart grows another size bigger. I would agree with that assessment in that overall the HATCHET series is more akin to Craven’s SCREAM series than the 80’s slashers it is often compared to. When the first HATCHET came out nothing made me happier than hearing seasoned horror fans draw comparisons to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and FRIGHT NIGHT - the two films that influenced HATCHET the most. John Landis and Tom Holland had both taken tired sub-genres that had grown out of fashion and updated them by infusing comedy into their characters’ dialogue. With HATCHET I tried to take the same approach with the slasher sub-genre that they had taken with the werewolf and vampire sub-genres so it’s always a huge compliment to hear that others recognize it.

What did star Kane Hodder add to VC this time that you weren't expecting?

Kane has always approached each film as if Victor Crowley is actually starting to enjoy killing the more that he does it. So after ten years at peace without ripping a single head from a body, I think that Victor Crowley revelled in the over the top kills more this time than ever before. For Kane personally, he had always thought that HATCHET 3 was the last time he was ever going to play Victor Crowley so when I told him I had written a fourth film that we were going to make in secret and then surprise the fans with on the 10th anniversary of the original film, I swear I saw tears of joy in his eyes. Of course, the tears were actually a mixture of gasoline and dead baby juice as we all know Kane Hodder doesn’t cry…

The inevitable question…can we expect the beast from the bayou to rise again? 

Given the success of VICTOR CROWLEY it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing the Bayou Butcher paint the screen red again. One of the aspects of the original trilogy that I am most proud of is that the films fit together as one cohesive story, always starting on the very frame that the previous entry ended on. So just like how I had the original trilogy plotted out before we ever shot a frame of the first film, I had several films plotted out before I started shooting VICTOR CROWLEY as well. The biggest reason that the HATCHET series has remained so strong over the years is that the same key people have been involved with the making of each film. That is incredibly rare in this genre. We also don’t rush out sequels like they are being mass produced on a conveyor belt and my crew and I only come back to the series when we are all truly ready to do so. The secret to how we’ve been able to fall back in love with Victor Crowley all over again each time is that we’ve always put a few years of working on other projects in between making HATCHET sequels.

You’re a master at injecting the slasher genre with great killer comedy. And of course, humour runs through the veins of all your TV/Radio/Podcast ventures. Has humour always played a vital part of your creative life?

Yes, always. Comedy was where I originally started out and it is a major aspect of my story telling voice. I did stand-up comedy for a few years when I was first coming up, not because I ever had any interest in being a stand-up comic but because I knew that the experience would help me become a stronger comedy writer. While my films like FROZEN and SPIRAL may have had no room for humor in them given the tone of the stories being told, those are rare exceptions for me. Overall my goal is to always entertain my audience, not to punish them with ugly, mean spirited, or depraved stories. We have real life for that. 

You’ve written, directed, produced, acted, been a musician, author, marketer…is there an ambition left still lying dormant?

I still believe there’s time for me to become a professional basketball player. All I need is another growth spurt and to develop some athletic ability.

How are you coping with the lockdown?

When the United States started going into lockdown, my first instinct was of course to want to try and help in some way. Unfortunately, I’m just a filmmaker, I’m not smart enough to assist our incredible doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel on the front lines. However, the one thing I could do was entertain and give folk somewhere to “go” every day for a few hours, so I put on “Adam Green’s CORONAPOCALYPSE Live Stream Series” where every single day I hosted live streams of my films, TV shows, and other projects for FREE on my ArieScope Pictures' YouTube channel. I literally gave away every single thing I’ve made over the course of my twenty-two year career so far.

Starting with the very first stream (a live reading of my novel I SURVIVOR) various cast and crew members from my films started to turn up in the chat thread without me even having asked them to. Not only would they chat with fans and answer their questions during each day’s show but a few of us would even check in with fans throughout the night and at odd hours just to say hello and see how everyone was holding up. It’s very hard to explain to someone who wasn’t there taking part in it but the experience became something truly special that helped a lot of people (myself included) get through that first very difficult month. I didn’t know what to expect but by the end of the month the series had amassed over 50,000 views – and counting.

The whole experience is one that I will never forget as it brought out the “good” in so many people.

I must admit I’ve been slightly lost since the daily streams ended but, thankfully, I’ve been able to distract myself by working on finishing the new upcoming episode of my SCARY SLEEPOVER series, producing the weekly MOVIE CRYPT podcast I do with Joe Lynch, and writing-writing-writing since keeping busy is the only way I can stay sane during this awful time.

Finally, what’s in the pipeline for you? Is ‘Killer Pizza’ still on the menu?

I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you. I have several exciting things coming and originally expected to be letting the cat out of the bag on at least two of the things I’ve been working on by the start of summer. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to everything for now. For the moment my only job is praying for all of us.

VICTOR CROWLEY is broadcast on Friday 15 May @ 21:00

Monday, 11 May 2020

"Bianca" Short Thriller - Directed by Federico Zampaglione

Italian musician and film director Federico Zampaglione latest movie is BIANCA, a stylishly violent short horror thriller, shot in lockdown in Italy on his iPad in three days and starring his ten year old daughter Linda in the title role and his partner, actress Giglia Marra.

The story, which centres on the tense, unpredictable relationship between a girl and her mother at home, was co-written by Zampaglione and Gianluigi Perrone.

Federico said today: “My daughter was getting a little bored being at home for so long with nothing entertaining to do, so I suggested to her and my girlfriend Giglia, that we do a little film - have some fun together and stay in a better mood.  It’s very important right now to stay positive through the tough times we are going through. On top of this I had the occasion to get back to my old love...The Horror”.

Monday, 4 May 2020

COMPETITION: Win Revenge Limited Edition Blu-ray

Revenge Limited Edition Blu-ray is released on Blu-ray on May 11th.

And to celebrate we have a great competition and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

One of the most talked about movies of recent years, Revenge lends ‘pitch-black humour and a cunning feminist agenda’ (★★★★ Daily Express) to the classic exploitation genre, and now Second Sight Films is giving this groundbreaking gore-fest the Limited Edition Blu-ray box set treatment.

The release features stacks of brand new special features, including a new interview with debut feature writer-director Coralie Fargeat and star Matilda Lutz (Medici), whose performance is ‘gripping — a powerful mix of Lara Croft and The Bride’ says The Sun. Also included are new interviews with the film’s cinematographer and the composer, a new commentary and much more, please see details in full below. The set arrives on 11 May 2020 complete with new artwork, designed by Adam Stothard, a poster and a soft cover book with writing by Mary Beth McAndrews and Elena Lazic.

Entitled CEO Richard’s (Kevin Janssens – Undercover ) romantic getaway with his young mistress Jen (Lutz) is interrupted when his sleazy associates Stan (Vincent Colombe – Point Blank) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède – Love at Second Sight) arrive early for the businessmen’s annual hunting trip. Their leering advances turn ugly, culminating in a brutal attack where Jen is left for dead in the desert. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Jen rises, and now she’s out for revenge. What follows is ‘a bloody middle finger…a demand for reckoning…a kick in the balls with a feminine combat boot’ (Rolling Stone).

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…and now it’s time to get Revenge.

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

For your chance to win both just answer the question below.

Who directed Revenge?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 18-05-20
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.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Interview with Steven W. Booth - By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing? 

I’ve always been a good writer. In elementary school, I could never understand what people were talking about with a first draft, an edit, and a final draft. For me it was a first draft, a proofread, and done. But storytelling is something I came to much later. I concluded in my youth that storytelling was the key to popularity (all the cool kids could tell stories well), and I wasn’t cool or popular, which I attributed to the fact that I couldn’t tell stories well. I didn’t understand the structure or process of crafting a story. I remember in my first days of college at University of California Santa Cruz, I wrote a short story about two serial killers meeting when one picked up the other on the side of the road. They really liked each other and were sad when they had to kill each other. The story was unpublishable, as you can well imagine. But it wasn’t until about 2005 when I started storytelling in earnest. A friend, horror author Harry Shannon, challenged me to write a novel when I tried to tell him that I wasn’t creative. Since then I’ve written about 2 million words (15 novels and a smattering of short stories, but some of those novels were written anywhere from 4 to 12 times). So, long answer to a short question, around 2005.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

I blame my sister. I wasn’t a reader until I was about 13, and she gave me Piers Anthony, David Gerrold, Steven Brust, and of course JRR Tolkien and others. I’ve always been interested in fantasy and science fiction—and I feel horror has elements of both. How I got started writing horror was because of Harry again. I had been writing a lot, but not really getting anywhere with it. I tried getting into some anthologies that Harry would suggest, but he would always be accepted whereas I wouldn’t be. So my wife suggested we write a zombie short story for an anthology edited by Joe McKinney and Michelle McCrary. The anthology was Dead Set, and the short story was Jailbreak, the story of a small town sheriff who gets caught in her jailhouse on the first night of the apocalypse.

The story was accepted and was the first (or second, I’d have to look) story in the anthology. It was wildly popular, downloaded like 150,000 times (it was free, or course). So, seeing a good thing, Harry and I asked ourselves, what happens after. From that premise, we wrote The Hungry. That was also wildly popular (this was 2011, the heyday of zombie fiction). So we wrote The Wrath of God. And then At the End of the World. By the time we were done, we had written seven novels with the same characters as Jailbreak, and a thriller together. Zombies and a sheriff named Penny Miller are how I got involved.

Tell us about your first publisher.

Well, my first publisher was me. Which is to say, Genius Book Publishing, now a medium sized press handling a lot of true crime, but a smattering of other stuff, including all my novels. As far as the Horror Writers Association is concerned, I’m self published. If you saw how rigorously we vetted my books, you wouldn’t think it was done haphazardly. I was planning on starting a publishing company anyway, and I didn’t want to start with screwing up someone else’s book, so I decided to practice on The Hungry. As I said, it was wildly popular, and still holds the record for unit sales in my company. When I didn’t screw it up, I started publishing other authors. We now have 29 titles, and a gazillion more (really, like 10 or 15) coming out this year alone. Yes, eight of those titles have my by-line, and there will be a ninth by early May. But I leave it up to others in my organization to tell me whether my stuff is publishable. If it’s not, we don’t publish it. In other words, my first publisher is freakin’ awesome!

How would you classify the genre you write?

I write action-adventure and mystery. All of my zombie novels are actually action-adventure with horror elements. My thriller is action adventure with mystery elements. My new novel, The Orchard, is a mystery with science-fiction elements. My best short stories are all action-adventure, with I think one exception. I thought for a long time that I wanted to write cross-genre mystery and private eye stories like Steven Saylor and Steven Brust, but what I end up with is action-adventure and mystery.

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

I need to get technical here. I believe that horror is popular because people are practicing in their minds what they would do if their worst nightmares stared them in the face. Fantasy is the same, but substitute ghosts for dragons. There’s quite a bit of research that shows a good story can hijack the listener’s mind and cause them to experience in a very real way what they are hearing. Here’s an example: https://buffer.com/resources/science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains. I think people have fears and doubts, and fantasy and horror particularly, but adventure and mystery and romance and all genres are a safe way to practice being in foreign situations and test responses without actually getting rejected, beat up, or killed. Or eaten by zombie dragons, I would imagine.

What inspires your stories?

Movies. I could list quite a few that mean a lot to me, but when I think storytelling, I think movies. Alien and Aliens. Star Wars. Jaws. Ghostbusters. Sneakers. The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country. Blue Thunder and War Games (same director, turns out). A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch. A ton more. Each of them have a permanent apartment in my head. I have a beta reader who is going over my new novel now, and he commented that my writing style is very cinematic. I love that feeling of immersion that I get from watching really good movies. I’m a very visual person, and I see the stories in my head. Not the whole thing, just snippets of situations, actions, faces, relationships. But I see them, and I want others to see them as well. There is insufficient room in this interview for me to go into a huge amount of detail, but I will say that my Hungry novels are really Aliens with zombies. My storytelling is equal parts Sneakers, Star Wars, Jaws, and Finding Nemo. I just love those movies, and I love what they do to my brain. I want other people to have that experience with my stories as well. Except in novel form. I don’t write screenplays.

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

I plead ignorance. I am wholly underprepared for this question. I have read my fair share of American horror (which is probably less than most people who have written 7 horror novels), but I cannot think of a single British horror story I’ve really spent any time on. I will stand here and accept the inevitable shaming that will be directed at me after this answer is published. [Edit: As I’m going through my favorite horror books, I realized I’ve read both Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stoker’s Dracula. Those are not exactly recent exemplars of modern British horror, so I’m sticking with my original answer. I don’t know.]

What are your favorite horror books? 

P.N. Elrod’s Vampire Chronicles are great. Anything by Anne Rice, but really Interview with a Vampire and the Vampire Lestat are the ones that I spent a lot of time with. I really liked Stoker’s Dracula. I am a big big fan of The Cask of Amantillado and the Pit and the Pendulum by Poe. I’ve read The Shining probably three times, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list. I find it compelling, but not a favorite. [Edit: Based on my answer to the previous question, I should note that Shelley’s Frankenstein was not one of my favorite horror novels. Full stop.] I also like Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman. That one had a big impact on my storytelling.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Alien, hands down, is my favorite horror movie. Next is Jaws. The Fourth Kind (that one freaks me out to this day). Sunshine goes on the list too, although that’s probably a stretch for most true horror fans. One time, a good friend and awesome horror author, Janet Joyce Holden, called my taste in horror very ‘mainstream.’ She’s probably right (and I’m still a little traumatized by that, despite it being true). Whereas I couldn’t get 20 minutes into Event Horizon, which I thought I would love. No accounting for taste.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

Despite being “self” published, I’m still shocked that I have been able to find so many people who want to read what I’ve written. One time, I was at a World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, and we were doing a mass signing. Some guy came up to me and asked me to sign his Kindle in silver sharpie. I went up to him after and asked him—truly—“What the hell were you thinking?” He said, “I really love your work.” I have fans in the Philippines. I have people who really react to my work. I want people to engage with my stories, to feel them, to experience them. And they do. It’s surprising and very gratifying.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Yes, and it could fill this interview a hundred times over. I’ll keep it short. First, persistence is everything. EVERYTHING. I’ve written 15 complete novels as I’ve said before. The most recent release I discovered I wrote 9 times, some of which bear no resemblance to the final at all. Nine complete novels to get one publishable story. If I didn’t have persistence, I would have never been able to do that. Persistence beats talent every time. Second, for a long time, I believed that if I couldn’t just “fix” a current story during rewrite—as opposed to going off on a tangent, which is what I’d usually wind up doing—it mean that I was not a disciplined writer. More than one author told me that. You can justify everything, I was told by one writing coach. It’s bullshit. Forking, diverging from the original story, getting lost in a tangent, those are all CRITICAL storytelling tools. I set aside my first novel because I wrote (not rewrote, but wrote) four entirely different stories as I was fixing it. How is that not being disciplined? I once had a conversation with Steven Saylor, one of my heroes. He showed me the first pages of the first novel in his Gordianus the Finder series, which is hugely influential on me (I wouldn’t be a novelist today if it wasn’t for Catalina’s Riddle). In those first pages, Gordianus didn’t even exist. The investigator was Marcus Tullius Cicero, who, in the resulting novels, was a minor if important character.

Even Steven Saylor needed to find his way. Why should I be any different? And David Gerrold rewrote a published novel, When Harlie Was One, because he didn’t like the ending and republished it as Version 2.0. How is that undisciplined? Third, ignore the advice that you can learn writing from reading other authors. Now, before you stop reading this interview, that advice is completely true. You CAN learn from reading others. But not if you don’t understand what you’re reading. Here’s what I mean. If you don’t know how to cook, and someone tells you you can learn how to cook like a master chef by eating great food, they are lying to you. You must know the basics of storytelling (I’m a big fan of the three act structure, but I digress) before you start reverse engineering someone else’s work. It’s like learning a foreign language. If someone teaches you the word for “towel” in Japanese, and then you listen to someone speaking Japanese, it all sounds the same until they say “towel.” That word stands out. But if you don’t know the ingredients of a story, how it’s constructed, how to bake it or pan fry it or barbecue it, what the writing equivalent of the Malliard effect is (look it up, it’s yummy), all you can say is, this is good food. Learn the basics of storytelling, plot, and structure, and THEN go read other great writers and you’ll start to see what they’re doing to your brain. When you know the elements of storytelling, reading is like watching TV with the sound off (try it, it’s creepy). You start to see what they’re doing to your brain. You can pick up on emotions, dramatic beats, and relationships by watching with the sound off. The words are getting in the way. Same with reading to learn writing. Turn the sound off.

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

I have a total love-hate relationship with self-publishing. Some stories should never ever ever see the light of day. Never. Did I say never yet? Don’t do it. I’ve written more than my fair share. I actually self-pubbed an early draft of one of these winners. I forgot about that. Then, years later, I had reworked it into something publishable. And I found a home for it (Horror Library 5–say Hi to Boyd Harris if you see him). I was so excited. Then I got an angry email from him. They only accepted NEW stories. Well, this was a NEW version. Nope, didn’t count. Shot myself in the foot because I couldn’t wait to win fame and fortune with a story that wasn’t ready and actually harmed my reputation. The publishable version is actually really good. The published version is shite. On the other hand, my other business—and the reason I became a publisher—is helping authors and publishers create books from manuscripts. If it wasn’t for self-publishing, I wouldn’t have my 8 novels nor a career in publishing nor a roof over my head. If your story is ready, go ahead and self-pub. But deciding if your story is ready is a subject for another interview. I will say, if a publisher makes you an offer on your story, THAT’s when you should consider self-pubbing, not before. So many people disagree with that advice. Take it for what it’s worth.

Do you really think you’re a genius?

Oh, for heaven’s sake. My company is Genius Books & Media, Inc.. I named it after my wife, who is way smarter than me. She had Genius Office Services back in 2003, an editing and transcribing service. I coopted the name and created Genius Book Services. Then Genius Book Publishing. And now Genius Books & Media. Everyone gives me a hard time about the name. All I’m going to say is, both Leya and I passed the Mensa test. That’s good enough for me. But the name isn’t a matter of ego, it’s a matter of love. My wife is amazing and she really is WAY smarter than me.

Will you have more time to write now or is the quarantine too distracting?

I’ve worked from home since January 2010. The quarantine has impacted my social life (my friends are mostly in Los Angeles proper, about 45 minutes from my home in Castaic), and I’d really like a haircut and a meal served to me that I didn’t cook myself, but really nothing else has changed. I’m writing a couple of times a week, notwithstanding the true crime book I’m ghostwriting most mornings, and I’m painting three or four nights a week. My publishing work has not abated, but my book design clients have sort of fallen away. That’s affected my income, but not my writing time. And now that my fan in the Philippines has convinced me to write more books (I’ll tell you another time), I have plenty to write. More time? Perhaps not. Too distracting? Not even a little. I just have fewer excuses for not writing.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently writing a modern-day fantasy about a group of geriatric demon hunters who get caught up in the war between the gods for control of the multiverse. I’m plotting out two sequels to my new science-fiction mystery novel, The Orchard (Lord Wilfrando Sy, I’m looking at you, and you know why!) as well as two prequels, and I’m tinkering with a science-fiction private eye novel about a plot to start a galactic war around a single planet. Oh, and I’m thinking of resurrecting that first novel that I wrote four times, now that I’ve figured out what’s wrong with it (you don’t have to fix the world to be an inspiration to others). I’m also an avid figurative and aviation artist painting about one new piece a week. That’s enough to keep me busy.

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

I am an author, artist, publisher, and entrepreneur. I am a big believer in the idea that you shouldn’t be confined to writing (or painting, or creating) what you know, because if everyone did that, nothing new would ever be created. As a writer and storyteller, I consider myself a “feral pantser.” I often haven’t a clue where I’m going with a story as I’m writing it. But since the key to a great story is persistence, not talent (talent helps, but I’ll take persistence over talent every time), I’m learning that the story that is unpublishable today will be tomorrow’s masterpiece, once I’ve written it enough times. I am very emphatic, and experience the world in terms of energy flows between people, animals, objects, and the earth, which sounds way more touchy-feely and froofy than it really is. What it does mean is that I experience the world directly, not intellectually, which is beautiful and really hard to explain to others. I’m a cat lover, working on my 13th through 20th cat in 30 years. I’ve been married for just over 20 years (my 20th anniversary was the first day that the Governor of California declared the lockdown, so Leya and I had an intimate dinner at home, and have every night since). Leya is my Chief Operating Officer, my muse, and my best friend. And she really is way smarter than me.

Twitter: @GeniusBooks, @stevenwbooth
Instagram: @GeniusBooks, @stevenwbooth
Facebook: GeniusBookPublishing, stevenwbooth.writer
Website: https://GeniusBookPublishing.com/steven-w-booth.php, https://stevenwbooth.com

Horror Channel marks May with the return of the monstrous Victor Crowley and David Tennant in sadistic mood

Apocalyptic nightmares, the return of the monstrous Victor Crowley, David Tennant in sadistic mood and an all-star classic vampire tale…Horror Channel marks May with eight prime-time Channel premieres, including armrest-clutching shocker BAD SAMARITAN, starring a serial-killing David Tennant,  VICTOR CROWLEY, Adam Green’s horrifying rebooted journey back to the haunted, blood-drenched bayou, Francis Ford Cappola’s powerful BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, starring Gary Oldman as the immortal Count, and CELL, best-selling horror author Stephen King’s acclaimed tech-inspired apocalyptic nightmare, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.

Further premium premieres include Russell Mulcahy’s iconic sword-sweeping fantasy thriller HIGHLANDER, Renny Harlin’s gripping psychological chiller MINDHUNTERS, starring Val Kilmer and Christian Slater, Tom Nagel’s supernatural road-trip horror THE TOYBOX, starring Denise Richards and Mischa Barton and DOOM, a twisty, alien mutating drama starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Rosamund Pike and Karl Urban.

Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 2 May @ 21:00 – HIGHLANDER (1996) *Channel Premier

An immortal race of warriors, who can only die by being decapitated, are fated to duel down the ages to a distant time called ‘The Gathering’. There, the last few will battle for the

ultimate prize – power beyond recognition. From the Scottish Highlands in the sixteenth century to present day New York, Conor Macleod (Christopher Lambert) does battle against his fellow warriors while the fate of mortal man hangs in the balance.

Saturday 3 May @ 21:00 – MINDHUNTERS (2004) * Channel premiere

FBI agent Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) escorts a group of cadets to a remote island for simulation training. The cadets, under the leadership of J.D. (Christian Slater), will try to catch an imaginary serial killer within the island's elaborate facility. The FBI, however, is suspicious of Harris' methods and dispatch Gabe Jensen (LL Cool J) to act as an outside observer. What he finds is a simulation exercise that becomes dangerously real, and training drills that become a fight for survival.

Friday 8 May @ 21:00 – THE TOYBOX (2018) *Channel Premiere

An estranged family embark on a cross-country trip in an old, recently purchased RV. The father hopes this will bring him and his two sons closer together following their death of their mother. However, the RV has a bloodthirsty hunger, and starts dealing out its own grisly punishments. Stars Denise Richards and Mischa Barton,

Saturday 9 May @ 21:00 – CELL (2016) *Channel Premiere

When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, every cell phone user’s mind is dangerously re-programmed turning them all into instant zombie killers. With civilization crumbling as the bloodthirsty ‘phoners’ attack each other and any unaltered person in view, artist Clay Riddell (John Cusack) heads north through New England in search of his wife Alice and son Tom. He’s joined by a group of survivors, including Tom McCourt (Samuel L Jackson), and together they fight off the hyper-connected horde amidst the total chaos. Then they learn of ‘The Raggedy Man’ and his sinister flock, and in their desperation for answers they go in search of him…

Friday 15 May @ 21:00 – VICTOR CROWLEY (2017) *Channel Premiere

In 2007, forty-nine people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.

Saturday 23 May @ 21:00 – DOOM (2005) *Channel Premiere

A team of space marines known as the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, led by Sarge (Dwayne Johnson), is sent to a science facility on Mars after somebody reports a security breach. There, they learn that the alert came after a test subject, a mass murderer purposefully injected with alien DNA, broke free and began killing people. Dr. Grimm (Rosamund Pike), who is related to team member Reaper (Karl Urban), informs them all that the chromosome can mutate humans into monsters - and is highly infectious.

Sunday 24 May @ 21:00 – BAD SAMARITAN (2018) *Channel Premiere

A small-time crook who runs a valet parking scam, robbing rich client’s houses while they dine at a fancy Italian restaurant, inadvertently stumbles upon a far more dangerous criminal - a sadistic serial killer played by ‘Doctor Who’ star David Tennant - earning a chance to redeem himself. An audacious throwback to such 90s thrillers as AMERICAN PSYCHO, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, CAPE FEAR and THE VANISHING, this crazy and outrageous jump-scare exploiter piles on the suspense and rips along at a nonstop pace to mind chilling contemporary paranoia.

Saturday 30 May @ 21:00 – BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992) *Channel Premiere

Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a 15th-century prince, is condemned to live off the blood of the living for eternity. Young lawyer Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) is sent to Dracula's castle to finalise a land deal, but when the Count sees a photo of Harker's fiancée, Mina (Wynona Ryder), the spitting image of his dead wife, he imprisons him and sets off for London to track her down. Also stars Anthony Hopkins, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci & Richard E. Grant.

Horror Channel: Be Afraid
TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138
Website: http://www.horrorchannel.co.uk

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Fridays in April on Horror Channel feature the Hellraiser Trilogy of films

Friday 3 April @ 22:50 – HELLRAISER (1987)

Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) has solved the mystery of the Lament Configuration puzzle box, a sort of evil Rubik’s cube. Unfortunately he inadvertently opens a doorway to Hell and, in death, enters the world of the Cenobites, a race of sadistic supernatural beings led by a bald Cenobite (Doug Bradley). Brought back from the edge of damnation by the blood of his brother, Larry (Andrew Robinson), Frank rises to feed on the souls of others. But he needs his lover and sister-in-law Julia (Clare Higgins) to bring him fresh blood.

Friday 10 April @ 23:15 - HELLRAISER II: HELLBOUND (1989)

Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) has witnessed too many horrific images for her young mind to take and is placed in the care of Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham). No one believes Kirsty’s wild and weird tales, except the Doctor who has secretly been searching for the pleasures the dark side can bring. Soon the walls at the institute begin to crack and bleed and once dead faces from Kirsty’s recent past return to haunt her. And then a Cenobite known as Pinhead (Doug Bradley) vows to tear her soul apart.

Friday 17 April @ 22:55 - HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH  (1993)

Pinhead (Doug Bradley) has been caged in the Torture Pillar, his evil secured for all eternity. But a club owner J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) buys this bizarre sculpture and accidentally cuts himself during its installation, dripping blood onto the ancient monument. This resurrects Pinhead but this time he’s up against a reporter Joey Summerskill (Terri Farrell) who battles Pinhead into facing his own, tortured past.

Website: http://www.horrorchannel.co.uk

Monday, 30 March 2020

Interview with Nicholas Vince

Ahead of Horror Channel’s broadcast of HELLRAISER and HELLRAISER II: Nicholas Vince, who played the Chatterer Cenobite, reflects on tackling monsters, his new one-man show and his love of Vincent Price

Horror Channel are broadcasting HELLRAISER and HELLRAISER II: HELLBOUND. How does it feel being part of such an iconic franchise?

I feel extremely fortunate. And I'm grateful to Horror Channel for screening the films, as there's a chance for people who've not seen them before to watch them. I've introduced the films at various screenings and I'm always delighted there's often a 50/50 split between fans of the films and first timers.

You’ve spoken a lot about your experiences of playing the Chatterer Cenobite. Looking back, how much would you say it has defined your career?

Oh, it made my career. It's given me the chance to work with some really interesting young film makers such as MJ Dixon, Paddy Murphy, Stewart Sparke, Katie Bonham, Federico Ichi Scargiali and Lawrie Brewster. And it led to writing comics for Marvel in the 1990's. It's opened many doors for me, particularly in terms of meeting fans of the films who've been very supportive too.

I AM MONSTERS!, your well-received one-man show, reveals the depth of affection you have for Clive Barker. How would you sum up the impact he’s had on your life?

The impact has been extraordinary. Clive is not only extraordinarily talented, he's been very encouraging of all my writing and acting. When I decided to write some short stories in 2012, the first thing I did was re-read his Books of Blood to get some insight how great short stories are written.

The show reveals not just your love for playing monsters but how much, at certain times in your life, you’ve felt like a monster yourself - being gay but remaining closeted during the 70s and being born undershot and having to have major surgery. How much of your life experiences informed your portrayal of the Chatterer?

Good question. At the time, I was mostly concerned with the mechanics of making the costume and mask work, and hitting my marks on set. I did use a technique I'd learned during a mime class at drama school, where we had to bring in a cardboard box, put it over our head and make it into a character. We weren't allowed to decorate or cut it. That makes you both vulnerable and gives great freedom. Firstly, you can't see the audience, which is freeing; but you also have to rely entirely on your imagination and experiences to give the character life.

It's taken me decades to finally articulate a back story for Chatterer which I'm happy with, which I did in the short story Prayers of Desire.

Is it true that the design of the Chatterer was partly inspired by your own facial reconstruction?

Yes, that's right. I mentioned to Clive a documentary I'd watched about facial reconstructive surgery, during which I realised some of the techniques shown must have been used on me when I was 19 years old. It was really a brief conversation and I'd forgotten about it until after filming when Clive pointed out he'd remembered and incorporated what I'd described into the design of the Chatterer.

Are there plans to stage I AM MONSTERS in the future?

Yes, I'm working on some dates for later in the year for the UK and USA.

How important is the ongoing connection you have with your fans?

That's very important to me. It's something which I was taught by Clive. I used to meet up with friends when he did book signings at Forbidden Planet in London. I once saw him sign for seven hours without a break and he drew a picture along with his signature, and whilst he did that he chatted, answered any question and also asked questions. I've always tried to emulate that attitude when I meet fans, or as Clive would say 'enthusiasts'.

What ‘monster’ movies do you personally admire? Have you a favourite?

I'm a big fan of Vincent Price and the Edgar Allan Poe films he did with Roger Corman. My all time favourite is MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. What I love about Price in that film is that the monster he plays, Prince Prospero, isn't a classic monster makeup, but he's chilling. Of more classic monsters, then it would be Lon Chaney Jr. as WOLFMAN, Claude Rains as the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and Robert England as Freddy Kreuger.

If you had the choice of playing any of the iconic monsters, which would it be?

THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES, as played by Vincent Price.

Finally, what can we expect to see you in next?

They've just released Ashley Thorpe's BORLEY RECTORY onto Amazon Prime in the UK, narrated by Julian Sands and starring Reece Shearsmith. There are three other feature films nearing completion and aiming for release later this year.

I'm also working on my third volume of short stories, which has my Chatterer origin story as the title, PRAYERS OF DESIRE which is due out at the end of Spring 2020.

HELLRAISER is broadcast on Friday 3 April @ 22:50 and HELLRAISER II: HELLBOUND on Friday 10 April @ 23:15.