Thursday, 23 September 2021

Interview with Brandon Scott by David Kempf

 

When did you first become interested in writing?

In the fourth grade, I had scribbled outlandish things down prior to that, but in the fourth grade…I was ten I wanna say, but we had our first ever state graded writing test and of course it came with a prompt. It was something to do about summer vacation, a very cliched so I wrote a short story about a haunted house at the end of some derelict street with my friends and our bikes and all of that…pure make-believe, but the graders contacted my teacher and said that not only did I pass, but I entertained them and wanted to thank me for breaking the monotony.

So, after that I was hooked and began writing small tales here and there. It wasn’t anything major, but that was the moment that I felt confident enough to do more scribbling.

 

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

As a kid, like every other kid in my age group I started on Hardie..or Hardy…Hardy Boys and although those were cool, they were lacking a whole lot of something, then there was Goosebumps. Something about those dark worlds Stine created, however light and humorous, was marvelous and I found myself needing more of it. Honestly, I think my first Goosebumps book convinced me that I might want to take the writing thing serious, but to take it to a darker level.

I was never huge into fantasy, not high fantasy, I liked The Hobbit as a kid, but the Lord of The Rings trilogy lost me by the middle of the two towers. Now, the Harry Potter books were great, but they had a level darkness that was well crafted. When I got older, I found a huge appreciation for Neil Gaiman, Stardust was a book that made fantasy more digestible for me.


How would you classify the genre you write about?

Multi-Genre. That’s not an easy question, but the Vodou series is supernatural suspense…The Duchess series I’ve embarked on is dark fantasy. I have a new novel, that will be released in serials, I’d say is dark sci-fi. So, all in all, I stay in the realm of horror or at the very least I keep the horror elements there, but I try to drift into layered storytelling and slow burn intrigue. The Vodou series moves fast and punches, but in contrast, The Duchess series is deeper into fantasy mode with mystery and slow burn intrigue.


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

People like being uncomfortable, they like not knowing what’s next, but what we need is another Jack Ketchum. Dallas had a way of storytelling, however graphic, was driven with a cadence and pushed the boundaries of what the reader could take. Ya know, the good guys die at the end sometimes, bad things happen, not everyone can make it. Before him, no one was really doing that, the hero is supposed to save the girl and stop the bad guy, but not in a Jack Ketchum novel.

I remember when I saw Jeepers Creepers, it had that ending where the good guys lose, Justin Long’s character screaming in torment as the credits roll. I thought it was genius, it wasn’t highly received or praised, but I think we need more of that in books, especially from higher profile authors. The good guys lose in the end and they lose dramatically.


What inspires your stories?

Folklore, or creating my own folklore and add a dash of real events in a way. By the end of the new series, I plan the final book to take place in the lore I’ve created, something about that is appealing to me. I’ll take real events or people from my home town and make real built fiction out of it.


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

From the authors I’ve read, Catherine McCarthy and Ramsey Campbell for examples, the mood in British horror is more steeped in lore. The descriptors are very different as Brits use adverbs a lot more steadily than the American author, here we’re told to edit them all out, redraft a complete sentence to avoid them if need be. American horror seems to have developed a taste recently for splatterpunk or splattergore, which isn’t my cup of tea. I’ve tried reading some and just can’t get into it.


What are your favorite horror books?

The Rising series by Brain Keene, Red by Jack Ketchum, Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, Tangerine by Linda Crockett Gray, The Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell, anything from Robert McCammon and Sarah Pearse wrote a great book called The Sanatorium.


What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The Serpent and The Rainbow, Frailty, The Mist was cool and so was 1408, Romero’s Dead series. Dawn of The Dead remake was great and is my favorite remake. The best to me was the first I ever saw at the age of three or four and that was Phantasm. The cemetery scene really messed with me as a kid and when I grew up, I really appreciated the film as a whole.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

So far, being featured on the front cover of an anthology (25 Gates of Hell) alongside Brian Keene, Catherine McCarthy Jill Girardi—made me feel like I’ve made it. Probably another was when my first novel, Vodou was a finalist for the Maxy Horror Novel of The Year, because at the time I really didn’t believe that the book would ever see the light of day.


Do you have any advice for new writers?

DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS! I can’t stress that enough. Reviews are a determent to the writer and they are not written for the writer, but for the consumer and by ingesting them you run the risk of becoming lost in your own fanbase. It takes a hundred 4-5-star reviews to build confidence and a single 1-star review to wreck it, conversely too many 4-5-star reviews and you get too much confidence and set out to write the great American novel only to fall way short of that glory.

My advice is to pick a handful of people you love and who’s opinion matters to you and write for those people, first tell the story you want to tell, not what you think the fans want, don’t pander to the masses, you’ll lose your soul real quick—but to those handful of people, in my case I write for eight people; eight. Those eight people are my judge and jury and sometimes the executioner, so if they’re happy then I’m happy and if they’re not then I work on it until they are. If you operate that way, then the rest of the world’s opinion won’t matter much.

I recommend to write the first draft by hand, if you can, it slows the process down to a point where you think each sentence and you’re still in the phase when you don’t have to get it right, just get it down and when it’s time to get it to the computer, read every sentence out loud and not just recite them, treat your draft like a Broadway production, read the narration like Orson Welles, read the dialogue with intent and dialect, this is the best way to finds flow errors and bad sentences, you’ll rework a whole paragraph like this and this is something I wish I would have known years ago.


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

It’s great that there is that options and that the author can recoup majority of their money, I think the only issue is that books are being published that shouldn’t be, or they need a lot more work and maybe they were books that were rejected by a lot of other places and the author decided to put it out into the world anyway, believing their work was good enough, when maybe—it wasn’t. I think that’s where the stigma around self-pub is there, the consumer has read too many bad books and most won’t read self-pub for that very reason. We have gate keepers for a reason and with self-pub there is none.

On the other side, it’s a good benefit to those who are great writers that don’t want the hassle of subbing to agents only to wait six to seven months for a reply or to a small press that may fold in a year. It’s all about money at the end of the day and self-pub is the best way to maximize your cash in a fast-tracked time table. (As long as your clutch at marketing!)

Some incredible self-pubs:

Christy Aldridge (These Ghosts Bleed, Seth and Kill, My Darlings)

Catherine McCarthy (Door)

Edward Lorn (Cruelty, Bay’s End and The Sound of Broken Ribs) – (these are brutal)

Joshua Marsella (Scratches and Severed)

Brian Scutt (Korean Road)

Last, a non-horror book, but a book I love:

V.F Sharp (The Forest of Arrows)


What are your current projects?

The third installment of the Vodou series has been pushed back till October. I’m in the middle of a commissioned short piece about zombies, that’s a new topic for me. I’m deep into a three-book series, with extensive work done to all three, but it’s a dark fantasy series called The Duchess and I’m about to launch the first part of a serial novel called Serum, with part one titled, The Death of Pine Street. 


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

My name is Brandon Scott and I’m an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association. I live in the mountains of North Carolina. I spend my free time hiking in the Linville Gorge, playing golf and running around thrift stores. I use to play guitar in a punk band or two back in the day. Now, I collect old and odd books, antiques and Funko Pops! (weird, I know!)

My work crosses several genres, I’m labeled as a Horror Writer, but I’m more into Supernatural Suspense and Dark Sci-Fi, the horror elements are there, but I’m into slow burn intrigue and character development. Although I’ve written some gory scenes, (the short story, A Child’s Game and soon Carnival Fantasmagoria, Book 3 of the Vodou series.) I choose to stay away from Splatter Punk or Gore outright, unless it serves the story’s plot, which in my usual case, it won’t. Neither will over the top sex scenes. I think my work fits in most people’s comfort zones and is paced enough to keep the reader engaged.



Monday, 20 September 2021

COMPETITION: Win Violation on Blu-ray



Violation  - Released from 27th September

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

Synopsis: 
The critically acclaimed Violation sees Madeleine Sims-Fewer in lead role as well as writer and co-director alongside Dusty Mancinelli in their big-screen writing and directorial debut.  This daring and disturbing film is set to arrive on Blu-ray and digital in the UK from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder on 27 September 2021.

Madeleine Sims-Fewer gives a multi-faceted and highly compelling performance alongside Anne Maguire (The Hummingbird Project) and Obi Abili (21 Bridges, Billions) in this darkly enthralling, deeply unsettling rape revenge-thriller.

With her marriage about to implode, Miriam (Sims-Fewer)  returns to her hometown in remote Canada to to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister (Maguire) and brother-in-law (Jesse LaVercombe). But one evening, a seemingly tiny error of judgement, leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked and devastated. Believing her sister to be in danger, Miriam feels she must protect her at all costs,  but the price of revenge is high and she is about to unravel emotionally and psychologically.

What follows is unflinching in its exploration and portrayal of one woman looking for retribution.

Violation displays the depths of depravity which humans will go to try and overcome grief and turmoil.

Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/2XtTGbt

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who is the director of Violation ?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 04-10-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.


COMPETITION: Win The Power on DVD



The Power - Released from 27th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Feel The Power the chillingly poignant and shocking British Shudder Original from rising star Corinna Faith in her writing and directorial debut. The film is set for its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 27 September 2021 and will also be available on DVD and digital.
 
Rose Williams (Sanditon, Reign) pulls out all the stops in a compelling, complex performance alongside Amy Beth Hayes (Black Mirror, Bridgerton) and Emma Rigby (Catlevania, Prisoners’ Wives) in this spine-tingling, terrifying horror.

January, 1974. Amid the UK blackouts, a newly trained nurse, Val (Williams), starts her first job in an old hospital in London’s East End and is instructed to cover the ‘dark shift’. Inexperienced and afraid of the dark, Val is forced to confront childhood trauma and abuse as she battles the evil entity haunting the hospital and lurking in the places that never see light.

With wounded patients in need of care, a suspected possession, and rampant racism and misogyny, can Val survive the night?

Switch on The Power and feel the fear.


Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3CpI88k

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who is the director of The Power?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 04-10-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Interview with Tom Paton


Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.


Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?

It’s honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it’s always a “pinch myself moment” when I see something that I’ve made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any of my previous movies, so it’s great that Horror Channel is supporting it and bringing it to UK audiences.


How difficult was it getting the film off the ground? It was shot in Yorkshire, right?

Films are always hard to get off the ground to be fair, I’ve just been incredibly lucky that there are people out there who have believed in me and the stories I want to tell and so that’s made my journey through filmmaking slightly less painful. We shot the film in York in a town called Bubwith and I was there for around two months by the time we wrapped and really felt like Yorkshire had captured a bit of my heart. I’ve spent a lot of time there since.


One of the interesting layers in the film’s narrative is the issue of ‘space immigration’ – the fact that Bran, the main character (played by Stephen Moyer), is banned from settling on another planet because he’s a refugee from Earth. How did that idea form?

One of the things I’ve always loved about science fiction is the power to tell a very relatable story in a completely fictionalised setting. I’ve never been a fan of lecturing an audience or being lectured to myself when watching a film, and so I feel like my job as a writer is to create something that you can enjoy on its own or take away something from it that could change your perspective if you so wish. The idea of a planet being entirely built on immigration that suddenly decides it doesn’t want any more immigrants arriving really came out of the situation in America and the plight of South American immigrants trying to cross the border. The concept was to switch that to a character who you wouldn’t traditionally see trying to go through that type of journey so that the movie would act as “how would you like it?” cautionary tale.


It’s got a great cast. Are you personally involved in the casting process?

I was very involved in this one yeah. I’d been a big fan of Stephen since True Blood and he’s such a great actor that he really brought so much to the film that would not have been there had he turned it down. Casper Van Dien was always on my bucket list of actors to work with because I’m such a huge Starship Troopers fan. Landing him felt like a big deal for me and we’ve literally just finished another film together called Assailant (it’s a return to my Horror roots so hopefully we’ll be doing another one of these interviews for that one down the road.) Tala, John, Emily, Shayne and Mike were all an absolute pleasure to work with too, so I had a real blast on set with this one.


You’re famously a self-taught filmmaker. Is that why you can easily move from directing and writing to producing and company-building? Some might call you a film entrepreneur.

Well, I appreciate the compliment. I think being self-taught certainly had its advantages in terms of teaching me the business side of filmmaking. Truthfully, it’s about lateral thinking – making movies is a puzzle that you’re having to figure out and the more aspects of the process you can master the easier it becomes in terms of finding your path to bringing it to life. It’s very similar to a game of chess and if you move the wrong piece early in the game then it will come back to bite you in the ass later.


All your films flirt with the horror and sci-fi genres. Is that a space you feel particularly comfortable in?

I’ve always been in love with films as a form of escapism, so I think that’s what attracts me to genre movies in general. But I think my real love is in survival tales - my two upcoming movies are both still in that survival genre but move away from sci-fi concepts entirely. I think my thing is to apply what makes a person tick in survival situation to different genres and see what happens. I have a comedy and a post-apocalyptic project in the pipeline, that whilst entirely different tonally, still explore what it means to survive in a tense situation that is beyond your control.


What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers just starting out?

With the technology available today, I honestly believe that if you think you’ve got something thematic to explore then there is nothing stopping you from getting two actors together and shooting something. The best way to become a filmmaker for a living is to just go and make something and prove to people that you’ve got the chops to hold a story together. We made my first film ‘Pandorica’ for hardly anything and if we did it today it would’ve cost even less with the available tech. Not only did just having the resolve to go and do that signal to the wider industry that I was capable and someone worth working with, but to this day it’s still the most fun I’ve had on set and will always be one of my favourite things I’ve ever done. So go do it, you’ve got nothing to lose.


You’ve been called Britain’s answer to low budget movie legend Roger Corman. A fair comparison?

I love hearing that. It was first said to me by a journalist that doesn’t like my work and was clearly trying to insult me, but it was music to my ears and has kind of stuck. I love the idea that Roger Corman carved his own space within the industry and maintained that output for over fifty years. It was reading his autobiography that made me get off my ass and go and make my first film. So, to be in a position where I can even now get that comparison is a huge compliment to me and I can only hope that one day someone will read a book about my journey and set off on their own adventure.


You’ve already shot your next movie 400 BULLETS, an edge-of-your-seat military action thriller. What are the release plans for that?

‘400 Bullets’ is very much for you if you like ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ and drops in the UK in September after a successful US run earlier this year. I’m really proud of the movie and if you love action then hopefully, you’ll have a blast with this. I’ve also just wrapped on a movie called ‘Assailant’ with Casper Van Dien, Chad Michael Collins, Poppy Delevingne and Jeff Fahey that is a return to horror thrillers for me and should drop in 2022.

G-LOC airs on Horror Channel Friday Sept 17, 9pm.

 


Monday, 6 September 2021

COMPETITION: Win Terrified on DVD



Terrified - Released on DVD and Blu-ray from 13th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
You’ll be Terrified as writer/ director Demián Rugna’s (The Last Gateway, You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To) nightmare inducing horror makes its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital debut from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder on 13 September 2021.

Voices in the kitchen, furniture shaking at night, corpses moving seemingly of their own accord… in a quiet suburban street in Buenos Aires, strange occurrences convince the residents that they’re being haunted. Following levitating bodies and murderous threats from an unseen entity, neighbours Clara, Walter and Alicia get together to tackle the problem. But as things get more and more sinister, they start to see how truly dangerous the presence really is.

When a paranormal investigator is brought in, they hope he’ll get to the root of their neighbourhood nightmare… but dark spirits don’t like being disturbed and things take a dark and deadly turn.

Get Terrified, evil is here.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38G7DFL

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-09-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Belzebuth on DVD



Belzebuth  - Released on DVD and Blu-ray from 13th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Pray for mercy, evil has risen in Emilio Portes’ Belzebuth, a chilling Shudder Original gore-fest that descends to the depths of hell. The film is set for its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 13 September 2021 and will also be available on DVD and digital.
 
Horror legend, Saw’s Tobin Bell (Mississippi Burning) stars alongside Narcos: Mexico star Joaquín Cosio (Quantum of Solace) and Tate Ellington (Sinister 2) in this darkly disturbing, gruesome Mexican/English film that will strike the fear of God into you.

After the loss of his own child, Special Agent Emmanuel Ritter (Cosio) is called in to lead an investigation into a spate of deeply disturbing deaths involving young children. Things take an ominous turn when a former Vatican priest (Bell) is enlisted to help.  When he uncovers a link to an ancient demon – the most evil one of all – the descent into twisted terror begins.

Belzebuth is a dark, terrifying new work of demonic possession.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zOIC78

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-09-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Interview with Shawn Kelley - Director of My Father’s Brothers

 

My Father’s Brothers, a true account of an army airborne company outnumbered in the jungle during the Vietnam War, is now On Demand and DVD from Passion River. https://amzn.to/3mYPfjN

The film, directed by Shawn Kelley, follows their struggles, how they survived, and how they continue to deal with the conflict.   

A multiple best documentary award-winning film, My Father’s Brothers focuses on one pivotal day in American history that affected the lives of 140 soldiers. On June 29, 1966, surrounded and outnumbered 10-to-1 in the dense Vietnam jungle, an army platoon is savagely attacked while they wait for reinforcements from their company. 50 years later, survivors tell their story of tragedy, resourcefulness and heroism. Some volunteered for the army as teenagers. Others were drafted. Some went back to Vietnam years later in hopes of finding closure and peace. All share a bond that cannot be broken.


Why did you feel this was a story that needed to be told, sir?

My father doesn’t outright talk about his time in Vietnam but can be willing to do so when asked. For years, I just didn’t know the right questions. The more we talked, the more I discovered there was another side to my dad that I didn’t know. I felt that was worth exploring. And I discovered a lot of other combat veterans are the same way. I believe it’s important to keep these stories alive.


You obviously would’ve heard a lot about it, growing up - - what do you recall mostly?

Really just bits and pieces. I knew the June 29, 1966 battle was important to him and that one of his men received the Medal of Honor during that battle, but that was about it. My dad would only say so much. Even when I was interviewing him, which I did on multiple occasions, he was guarded with his answers. It wasn’t until I read the book, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, that I started to find the right questions. The book painted a vivid portrayal of what it was like for, basically teenage soldiers, to go on patrol in the jungles of Vietnam. It was terrifying to me to think that my dad and the young men he led did the same thing. That book helped me to frame up the right questions, because I will never really know what that was like. And then the conversations we had started to get more interesting.


As you got into the details, for the documentary, were you even more moved by what happened? 

Absolutely. At the 173rd Airborne reunion, I started interviewing the men in my father’s unit the day after I met them for the first time. I didn’t expect how open they were with me, and I was literally trying not to cry during the interviews. All during the editorial process and the hundreds of times I’ve seen this film in various forms, I still tear up. I wasn’t expecting this type of emotional connection for not only the story, but the veterans, too. The empathy I now have for combat vets has gone through the roof.

 

What didn’t you know about your dad, that you now do?

If you met my dad today, within a few minutes, he would find out about more about you, try his best to make you laugh, and even figure out a way to help with a problem you might have. He’s just built that way. He’s the nicest man I’ve ever met. So, to think that in his mid- to late-20’s he was leading 140 men into combat, making life or death decisions, and shooting at people in a jungle, is just hard to imagine. That’s not the dad I’ve know all my life. But what I found was all those experiences really helped shape the man that he is today.

How close was the platoon before the event?

The company that my dad commanded had four platoons with a total of about 140 men. Because this was so early in the war, the soldiers in Alpha Company did not train as a unit together before Vietnam. They were sent to Vietnam from a many different units and then assigned to A/2/503rd, so a lot of them didn’t know each other. Some would get injured so badly they would leave the army with a disability. Some would die. New soldiers would replace them. But friendships would form in the platoons that would last a lifetime. 


Do you feel the event strengthened the bond between the survivors?

After the war, many went on with their lives outside of the military and they slowly drifted apart. It wasn’t until quite a few years later that the 173rd Airborne Association started to have reunions. A lot of these guys began to reconnect 20+ years after the war. Bill Palmer, one of the veterans in the film, came to his first reunion 30 years after the battle. His second reunion was 50 years after the battle, where he finally met the soldier that saved his life on June 29, 1966. I’ve been to four reunions with dad. It’s wonderful to hear their stories and laugh with them. The bond between them is incredible. They would do anything for one another. And that started with being in foxholes together in the jungles of Southeast Asia.


There’s some great imagery here – well done on how striking it is.

Thank you – that was a challenge. When I interviewed my dad, I had the scrapbook of photography my mom put together to use in the film. I also asked all the veterans in the film to bring photographs from their time in Vietnam for me to use. But I found I needed a lot more. That’s when I started making trips to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. What a treasure that place is! I was able to find more photography as well as footage to use in the film. It wasn’t all from my dad’s company, but it helped to paint the picture of what they experienced. I knew from watching war movies with my dad as a kid that all the imagery had to be right. He would say things like, “that insignia should be on his left side of his uniform, not the right,” or “what’s that American soldier doing with an Israeli assault rifle?” Kind of ruined a lot of movies for me. But I learned you need to be accurate!


Sound, I’m guessing, is quite important to a film like this?

They say that sound is often more important than visuals. Audiences may forgive bad footage but not bad sound. There had to be the right balance – I didn’t want the sound to get in the way of the story the veterans were telling. Being a first-time filmmaker, I was fortunate to work with experienced filmmaker friends. When I gave the list of American and Vietnamese weapons to Jason Hausman, the sound designer, he smiled and took it as a challenge. Ross Wissbaum was the sound engineer that brought everything magically together. And Trinity Velez-Justo was the brilliant composer of the film. I met her a speaking engagement just by chance. We started talking and before you know it, working together. I’ll never forget when she sent me the first music cue to review. I listened to it against the video and just started bawling – it was like pent-up emotions all came rushing out. The music perfectly complemented the story. 


Did you always intend on doing the film independently?

Yes. But that’s only because I was a first-time filmmaker – I didn’t know another way to do it. I was determined to boot-strap the film. It wasn’t long before I realized the power of what a team could bring to a project. It was a very small team, but the passion and talent they brought to the table was amazing. Funding started out from just my wife and me, but slowly I was able to add some private funds. My plan was to complete the film, go the film festival route, then find a distributor. And that’s what I did. Looking back, I would rethink funding and engage with a distributor and impact producer earlier in the project’s timeline.


Being a documentary, has it been easy to nab distribution?

Finding the right distributor was a challenge. Not all of them handle docs or work with docs like mine. It wasn’t until I attended AFM, which was virtual last year, that I met many distributors that looked promising. I had several offers, but ultimately, I engaged with Passion River. They work with a lot of docs, including My Beautiful Stutter, which is a film that was on the festival circuit with mine. That film is amazing. Since they went with Passion River, it was another good sign. 


Have you found more and more distributors are looking for content this year, considering there weren’t as many films in production last year?

2020 was an interesting year, to say the least. It seemed that a lot of distributors hit the pause button for a while to see what was going to happen. So that also shifted the number of films that will release this year. I engaged with my distributor earlier in the year, so my knowledge of what distributors are looking for now is limited.


Do you suggest they attend markets and so on, to network?

AFM 2020 really worked out well for me. It was virtual, but it came at a time when Zoom burn-out wasn’t a thing. I met a lot of people in filmmaking from all over the world by virtual networking and I may not have been able to do that if it was in-person. During AFM, you could hover over a virtual networking table, quickly see who was there, then ‘pop in’ for a chat. Usually someone was already talking, but attendees at the table would wave to you. During a break in the conversation, ultimately someone would say something like, “Hi Shawn. So, tell us about your doc.” It was great. Although there’s a lot of value in non-virtual events.


Have you another film in the works yet?

I have two projects that are in just the beginning phases of the process. One is about a custom knifemaker. The other involves the music business, but that one may have to wait a bit longer with everything that’s going on in the world. I’ve also been working on short stories about veterans and plan to do more longer form pieces about combat vets. My Father’s Brothers has shown me the value in sharing veterans’ stories. I’ve also been talking to filmmakers about collaborating on some different projects. It’s fun to think about the possibilities.


Buy from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3mYPfjN



Monday, 23 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Wired Shut on DVD



Wired Shut  - Released on DVD from 30th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Jaw dropping slasher Wired Shut from director Alexander Sharp, in his feature film debut, will have you open-mouthed with fear when it arrives on DVD and digital 30 August 2021 from 101 Films.

Famed author Reed Rodney (Blake Stadel – Riverdale, The Twilight Zone) seems to have it all – international acclaim for his writing, a sweeping secluded mansion and money beyond his wildest dreams – but life isn’t always what it seems on the surface. Behind the glossy exterior lies the shell of a man, an alcoholic haunted by his past transgressions that destroyed his family.

When a horrific car crash leaves him in bad way, he faces reconstructive surgery and his jaw is wired shut, leaving him unable to speak. Forced to recover at home alone, the isolation threatens to overwhelm him… then his estranged daughter Emmy (Natalie Sharp – The Flash, Supernatural), turns up.  Is she there to reconnect after all these years or does she have an ulterior motive?

When a dangerous secret emerges and a menacing intruder shows up, Reed and Emmy must band together to try and survive the night… 

Get totally wired with gore-filled splatter-fest Wired Shut.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jb9LeK

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-09-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Sound of Violence on Blu-ray



Sound of Violence  - Released on Blu-ray from 30th August

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

Synopsis: 
In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022’s Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

Sound of Violence has its UK Premiere at Arrow FrightFest, 26th - 30th August
Dazzler Media presents Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from 30th August
 
Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2W9SMkk

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-09-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Random Acts of Violence on Blu-ray



Random Acts of Violence  - Released on Blu-ray from 23rd August

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

Synopsis: 
Jay Baruchel writes, directs and stars in his horror debut Random Acts of Violence, which makes its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder, following its success on the streaming service.
 
Fan favourite Jesse Williams (Cabin in the Woods) leads in this gore-filled slasher as his own creation is bought to life by a fan hell-bent on committing Random Acts of Violence in increasingly gruesome murders.  The film will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and on digital to download and keep on 23 August 2021.
 
Comic book creator Todd Walkley (Williams – Grey’s Anatomy), his wife (Jordana Brewster – Fast and the Furious), assistant (Niamh Wilson –Saw III) and best friend (Jay Buchel – This is the End, Sorcerer's Apprentice) are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen – a lot of people are getting murdered. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his “SLASHERMAN” comic as inspiration for the killings. As the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends dropping like flies, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic.
 
Will Todd be able to stop the spree or will he fall victim to his own creation?
 
Get in on some Random Acts of Violence.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3g4J0Xl

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-08-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Monday, 16 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Tigers Are Not Afraid on Blu-ray



Tigers Are Not Afraid  - Released on Blu-ray from 23 August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis: 
Lauded by horror royalty Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King, Issa López’s critically acclaimed Tigers Are Not Afraid is a harrowing and enthralling film that is set amid life in Mexico where the cartel wars are part of everyday life and is shown through the eyes of innocent children. Premiering at FrightFest and originally released on Shudder, this astounding feature is now set for its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital release.
 
Drawing comparisons to Pans Labyrinth with its dark fairytale nature, and combining real life horror with fantasy, Tigers Are Not Afraid captivates and shocks its audience with its young cast bringing the tale to life. Critically acclaimed at international film festivals, and with beguiling performances from Juan Ramón López in his feature debut and Paola Lara in the lead role makes the movie all the more terrifying and poignant.
 
Estella (Paolo Lara) lives in Mexico where a sprawling drug war is raging. When a harrowing shooting takes place near her school, her teacher passes her three pieces of chalk capable of granting three wishes. When she returns home, she finds her Mum missing, taken by the drug lords. Using one of the wishes, she’s plunged into a supernatural misadventure. Forced to join a street gang to get answers, and take down the cartel, will Estella be able to find out what happened to her mum and defeat the villainous crime boss Chino?
 
Tigers Are Not Afraid is a not to-be missed stunningly original piece of filmmaking that shines a light on the shocking lives of children embroiled in the cartel wars, set against a thrilling supernatural fantasy.


Tigers Are Not Afraid  - Released on Blu-ray from 23 August

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jX12f5

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-08-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win A New World Order on DVD



A New World Order  - Released on DVD from 23rd August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and a copy on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Black Mirror meets A Quiet Place in gripping sci-fi thriller A New World Order from director Daniel Raboldt in his feature debut, which gets its UK premiere on DVD and digital 23 August 2021 from Reel 2 Reel Films.

In a dystopian future, there is a war raging between humankind and machines. Staying completely silent is the only way to avoid detection, and Thomasz (Stefan Ebel), a deserter who tries to hide away from the war, doesn’t want to be involved in the violence at all. However, he soon meets Lilja (Siri Nase – Perfume) who is the sole survivor of a resistance group and wants to fight the machines – soon Thomasz’s plan of laying low is upended as he’s dragged into Lilja’s fight.

As the machines get closer and the threat grows, Thomasz and Lilja must band together to stave off the danger, but will they be able to cling on to life and avoid the seemingly inevitable path of destruction? 

Shot beyond the arctic circle in Finland, this visually and aurally stunning sci-fi thriller is almost dialogue free and will challenge your senses with its innovative cinematic style.


A New World Order  - Released on DVD from 23rd August

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iOmC68

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-08-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Interview with Leroy Kincaide - Director of The Last Rite


Ahead of the World premiere screening of his debut feature film THE LAST RITE, writer / director Leroy Kincaide talks about his new movie, the enlightenment of being an undertaker, his personal experiences with sleep paralysis and the ‘badassery’ of 80s horror movies.

Leroy, you began your working life as an Undertaker. How did that come about?

I was introduced to the undertaking industry through my uncle who was also an undertaker at the time. I was only 17 when I took the job, They had a vacancy and I needed the work, so I guess I sort of just fell into the role as I had no real education when I left school. I worked there for just over a year and probably did upwards of 400-500 funerals in that time. I found it a very enlightening and uplifting experience as it taught me the value and perspective of life at a very early age. 

I have certainly witnessed a lot of stomach-churning things that a lot of people would not like to see, for me I have found a certain type of solace in my experience that keeps me grounded and serves massively in my filmmaking process.  The oddity about being an undertaker at 17 was that I was witnessing certain realities/horrors first-hand, and the shocking tolls life can take on the human body, all before the legal age of being able to buy an 18 rated movie ticket…Go figure that one out.


Then, even more amazingly, you became one of the UK’s top professional wrestlers for over 10 years, juggling this with a career as an actor. What made you give up the ring and concentrate on the stage?

In my days as a Pro-Wrestler, I was very fortunate to meet some of the world’s top wrestlers and even as a career highlight, I had a singles match on WWE Smackdown.  Wrestling was one of my biggest passions back in the day and a part of me still misses lacing up my boots and stepping out into the ring to put on a show.

I really loved the sport and the energy that I got from being a wrestler but unfortunately, I fell out of love with the business. I made a promise to myself early on that when the ride stopped being fun I would walk away. For a few years just before I quit, if I’m honest I felt rather cursed, as I was too good to quit but I had really fallen out of love with it and was very uncertain about the future that I wanted.

The crazy thing about my decision, was at the time of me leaving the business everything was lined up. I was doing regular shows, I was on main events for some of those shows but I just wasn’t happy…Happy in myself and the direction I was going as a Wrestler. So eventually I had to listen to my heart and bow out gracefully on top.


Did your career as an Undertaker influence your love of genre films?

Undertaking has had a very real-life impact on the way I view gore and horror itself, but ultimately the seed of my darkness and noir perspective comes many years before I was working in the undertaking industry.


You have a particular passion for horror films from the 80’s & 90’s. Why?

Some of the films that I heavily draw inspiration and passion from are for the most part from the 80’s, films like The Thing, Poltergeist, The Entity, Amityville II: The Possession and Aliens. Of course, there are many other films that I could list, but these are the ones I remember first watching as a child and I guess they have stuck with me ever since.

The 80’s and parts of the 90’s for me was a time where characters were allowed to be characters, and it was also a time when stories were exactly that. You put your tape into the VCR, possibly rewind it before hitting play and you would sit through 1hr 45min to 2hrs of ‘badassery’ - a term for story that has now become known as a slow burn movie. 

THE LAST RITE is your directorial feature debut. How was it born?

The Last Rite stems from a few places, some of my biggest draws on the story was my own personal life experiences with sleep paralysis and also the paranormal happenings. Not only were my personal experiences relevant, but I am very heavily influenced by real life cases of the paranormal also.

Many hours of research and digging have led me down a path, and one that I firmly believe that as much as we live in this world, there are forces that we do not understand and sometimes when we look into the void of darkness, the darkness looks back at us.

With such a heavy life experience on things, it just absolutely made sense to direct an inspired by “true events story” in an area that I not only love but also have some experience with… And thus, The Last Rite was born.


The film will have its World premiere at FrightFest. What does that feel like?

Bloody awesome! I cannot express my gratitude enough to the team at FrightFest for having us and showing my film to such a dynamite audience. It feels rather surreal to know that my film is going to be playing in such an amazing festival, not only because it’s my debut feature but more so because of the prestige that FrightFest has behind its name. I am more than a little excited.

You have gone on record as saying you’ve had real life paranormal experiences. Can you tell us a bit more and how they informed the making of the film?

Having had first-hand experience with sleep paralysis and being a former paranormal investigator, there were things that I just naturally understand about the paranormal subgenre. I understand that by the sheer nature of the unknown itself, it can be a rather scary but also daunting thought to get your head around. For me, it just felt like the absolute best fit for my debut feature film. 

I believe that facts are always much stranger than fiction, so making sure that I served the truth as much as I could, all through the eyes of the experience itself, was very important to me.   


You brilliantly set up a dark sense of uncertainly throughout the film. How did you achieve this? And what films played an influential role?

As the Writer, Director and Director of Photography the key was to execute what I believe was the right fitting for The Last Rite’s world, and that was to give the night its very own characteristic that represented the horror in the story. So much so, the night always feels like there can be something lurking in the sickly tone of moonlight. It was a subtle add but for this story it worked brilliantly.

For very intense and physically demanding scenes I always set the tone with atmospheric dark music from film scores like, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. This really allowed the ambience to take a hold, especially at 03:00am on a Friday night with candles fully ablaze about to raise some demonic hell. 


You founded Nocturnal Pictures in 2014 and have written & directed three short films and a number of music videos. What is the overriding ambition for the company and for you?

In years to come I envision Nocturnal Pictures as being a pioneering production and distribution company for other passionate filmmakers. It would be amazing to not only make films but also give others a chance at telling their story under the Nocturnal brand. This is definitely some years off but I 100% want to build a platform that will be a leading company in the Horror and Action genres of film.


You’ve been short-listed for this year’s Screen Genre Rising Star Award. How do you feel about that?

It feels absolutely bloody awesome to have been short-listed for the Genre Rising Star Award, especially to be one of very few selected among other talented individuals.  I want to build worlds and stories that exist with horror themes and dark conventions riddled through its backbone. So now that I’m in the running for such a prestigious award, it only feels right to focus on what could happen next. Regardless of the outcome I want to offer up a fresh voice to the genre…


You have another film, FACILITY 7, in development. What can you tell us about it?

Currently I have two features that I am working on, they are called Facility 7 and Hollow Ones, both horror films of course!

The script for Facility 7 is ready to go and the film is somewhat of a combination of 28 Days Later meets Aliens. Again, very dark, atmospheric but certainly takes no prisoners when it comes to the horror gauntlet. Oddly, this script was finished before I even started writing The Last Rite, but for it being such a big scale movie, I wanted to have another film as my first feature to get my style of filmmaking further ingrained in my psyche.  

Hollow Ones, is currently in the 2nd draft stage and is naturally excessively dark, I’m calling it “MY ANGRY MOVIE”. This story is a home invasion horror that’s a bit like Strangers meets I Spit On Your Grave.

THE LAST RITE will screen at Arrow Video FrightFest on Saturday Aug 28 at The Cineworld Leicester Square. Tickets: www.frightfest.co.uk



Monday, 9 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Scare me on DVD




Scare Me  - Released on DVD and Blu-ray from 16th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Critically acclaimed comedy horror hit Scare Me, from Josh Ruben in his feature directorial debut, which he also writes and stars in, makes its UK Blu-ray debut this August from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder, following its success on the streaming service.
 
This ‘Imaginative and witty, razor-sharp horror comedy’ (Bloody Disgusting) combines innovative sound design and gripping performances from Aya Cash (The Boys, You’re The Worst), Chris Redd (Saturday Night Live) and Josh Ruben for an outside-of-the-box horror, unlike anything you’ve seen before. There may not be monsters and ghouls but Scare Me will still have you cowering behind the sofa with vivid storytelling akin to those dark nights around a campfire. Set to be released on 16 August 2021 on Blu-ray, DVD and digital, this is one horror that will have you both laughing your socks off and scared silly.
 
A chance meeting between new in town Fred (Josh Ruben) and renowned author Fanny (Aya Cash) results in the beginning of a ‘friendship’. During a power outage, they decide to tell each other scary stories. With the pizza delivery driver (Chris Redd) joining in with the fun, the two grow increasingly competitive. The more they commit to their tales, the more real the stories become. As Fred’s masculine pride is challenged, fiction turns to fact as the terror gets all too real.

Scare me- released on DVD & Blu-rayon 16th August 

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Xb8xre

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 23-08-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Interview with Wednesday Lee Friday - by David Kempf




When did you first become interested in writing?

I honestly can’t think of a time when I wasn’t. Before I was literate I would write long strings of letters on paper and explain to anyone who would listen that it was a story. 

I wasn’t sporty, or especially cute. I didn’t really play any instrument well and had no particular gifts except being good with words. I didn’t even see that as a skill until much later when it brought me praise from teachers.

I didn’t attempt to write for publication until I was in my 30s and suddenly found myself laid off. I was determined to make good use of the time, and began my first NaNoWriMo in 2004—which eventually became my first published novel, A Stabbing for Sadie.


How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

Like writing, horror is something that’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Detroit horror host Sir Graves Ghastly was the most important part of any weekend. My mom was also very into horror, so I got taken to see things I was way too young for. I saw Alien and Fulci’s Zombi as a double feature when I was 7 years old. The trailer for Jaws gave me terrible nightmares. I imagine any psychologist could opine on why I was attracted to things that scare the hell out of me. I say “was” but it’s not like that’s changed. 


Tell us about your first publisher. 

Kristopher Stamp at Stonegarden.net publishing was very encouraging and supportive. He was easy to get along with and had a great team of cover artists and editors to back him up. Sadly though, he had a million other interests that sapped his time and forced him out of the publishing world. These days, Crossroads Press & Macabre Ink Digital handles all the stuff I don’t put out myself.


How would you classify the genre you write?

I refer to my work as “horror” and myself as a “horror writer.” Objectively though, my work is more akin to black comedy. It’s brutal and difficult, but it’s also pretty dang funny.


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

People love to be afraid, and to ponder what we might do if we found ourselves in the position of horror characters. We all like to think we could outrun Jason Vorhees or charm Hannibal Lecter with our grace and wit until he decides it would be rude to kill us. Horror lets us do that, not to mention confronting our most crippling fears in a safe environment. 

No matter how bad the world gets, there will never not be a market for horror.


What inspires your stories?

As bougie as this may sound, my stories are built around thematic elements that I think are important. My first book is about why it’s wrong to kill people even if you think you have a really good reason. The next was about what keeps women from being proactive in their own lives. My third book is essentially an instruction manual for society on how to create and enable a serial killer. 

I write books about people that intrigue me—many of which feature main characters that are loose amalgams of people I know. And myself. I’m large with the MarySues.


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

I actually have some insight on this since I used to run a magazine that got a ton of subs from British writers. In my experience, the language in British horror is more...I don’t want to say ‘refined’ necessarily—but the authors seem to choose their words more judiciously. There’s less profanity, but it tends to be stronger. 

Overall I noticed a subtle foreboding aspect to British horror—a lot of slow building and suspense. I think when it comes to short stories, we Americans are quicker to get to the point, which is more likely to be gory and over-the-top. I mean, we are the country who invented Sharknados, after all. 


What are your favorite horror books?

Stephen King: Carrie, Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Misery

Margaret Atwood: Maddaddamm Trilogy, Handmaid’s Tale, Testaments

Brett Easton Ellis: American Psycho

Edgar Allan Poe: Cask of Amontillado, Hop Frog

Richard Matheson: damn near everything he’s written...


What are some of your favorite horror movies?

My top two faves are Psycho and Night of the Living Dead (originals, obvs, but both remakes have lots to like—fight me!).

There are plenty of horror franchises I love—The Omen, Psycho (aaaaallll the sequels!), Grave Encounters, Hell House LLC

I’m also a great fan of made-for-TV horror, especially from the 1970s. 


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I was in an anthology with Jack Ketchum. That was amazing, and happened when he was still with us. 


Do you have any advice for new writers?

Lots of people are going to give you advice. Don’t make any big decision based on what another writer told you. Ever. Always get lots of opinions from writers, readers, publishers, editors, and then do your own research. 

Oh, and try not to worry about whether or not you’re a “real writer.” If you’re really writing, you are. 


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

I’ve never been big-six published, so I can’t speak to how that goes for people. I can say that for me, the difference between getting published by a small house and self-pubbing is negligible. For my most recent collection, I decided I’d rather arrange my own cover artist (luckily my husband is an amazing graphic designer) and pay an editor out of pocket than to give someone else a share of something that represents more than a decades of writing. 

If you’re not willing or able to invest in your work though, it’s a good idea to find a small publisher who will. 


Your new book has an interesting title. Creepy, Stabby, and Mentally Odd How did you come up with that title?

I should think Creepy and Stabby are pretty obvious. I hadn’t really thought of it until someone mentioned it, but my books are all pretty stabby. I came up with Mentally Odd years ago when I was looking for new ways to describe neurodivergence. I’m a rich tapestry of mental hoosefudge, and have never liked being called ‘mentally ill,’ since illnesses are generally things we endure in the short term. I filed that term away, knowing I’d eventually find a use for it. Then I did. 

The book itself has my best short stories, a few creepy poems, and several issues of a killer comic I did for a year. It’s gruesome AF though, in addition to illustrating my lack of illustration skills. 


What are your current projects?

For the first time ever, my husband is helping me plot my new book, which is about a town that sits on a centuries-old roiling mass of concentrated magic. Plotting is def my weakest skill, so I’m hoping he can overcome this as we deal with an array of characters that includes ghosts, vampires, thieves, murderers, and a few immortals. 


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

Some quick facts about me:

I can tap dance and play the dulcimer (though not at the same time).

I published a book under a pseudonym that revealed my (not at all) secret fascination with a really repulsive public figure. 

Bombay cats are my favorite breed of cat.

Even though my books are pretty scary and creepy, I’d probably rather make people think than terrify them. Horror allows writers to do both—well, lots of things actually. Horror is kind of a perfect genre because it’s the only one we can all relate to. Not everyone has been in an epic romance, or a non-stop thrill ride. We haven’t all been cowboys or astronauts or in league with cars that turn into robots. But we’ve all been scared. We all relate to that. 

Oh, and more than anything I would really, really, really like to be in an episode of American Horror Story—who is doing some of the best horror we’re seeing these days. 


Links

https://www.amazon.com/Creepy-Stabby-Mentally-Odd-Wednesday-ebook/dp/B0945XVNM2/

Thursday, 5 August 2021

FrightFest & Fab Press launch The FrightFest Guide to Grindhouse Movies


FrightFest and FAB Press once again join forces to launch THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO GRINDHOUSE MOVIES, which goes exclusively on sale during Arrow Video FrightFest 2021, Aug 26 – Aug 30, The author, Alan Jones, will be present during the festival to sign copies.

Just when you thought it was safe to stop repeating “It’s only a movie… only a movie… only a movie!” it’s time to take a stroll down the dark and deviant back alleys of the Exploitation film industry. Your host, acclaimed film critic and broadcaster Alan Jones, returns with another mind-boggling trawl through the glittering gutters of cinema to uncover yet more obscure Grindhouse gold.

For this astounding sequel to his acclaimed FrightFest Guide to Exploitation Movies, Jones has chosen the most underrated, alluring or flat-out disastrous sick flicks from the eye-opening epoch that created an obsessed generation of slavering besotted fans. From red light district fleapits to neon-drenched 42nd Street dives and late night Drive-Ins, Jones forensically catalogued everything for posterity, pre-determining cult status even though he didn’t realise it at the time.

With a foreword by Jane Giles, the award-winning author of Scala Cinema 1978-1993, along with a highly personal, informative introduction by Jones, you can now take a walk on the wild side of chronic B-movie adoration, guided by the one person who knows the astonishing, once maligned, now lauded genre better than anyone else.   

Jones reflected: “For sixteen years, from 1965 to 1981, I kept a yearly film diary of every Horror, Science Fiction, Sexploitation and Fantasy title I saw, where I saw it, in which cinema, on what date and exactly what I thought. It just so happened that this period coincided with the richest and grubbiest era in the Golden Age of Exploitation, with cheap thrills, seminal gore, full frontal nudity and taboo subject matters displayed across beyond belief marquees”.

Following the success of the previous four editions: The FrightFest Guide to Exploitation Movies, Monster Movies, Ghost Movies and Werewolf Movies, this is the latest in a series of wide appeal books for both the curious spectator and the cult connoisseur.

The exclusive launch of the book is at Arrow Video FrightFest 2021, with official signings taking place at Cineworld, Leicester Square on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 August. The FrightFest exclusive hardcover will be on sale for just £20 and people not attending in person won’t miss out as they have the option to pre-order the book from www.fabpress.com. Pre-ordered books will ship the first week of September.

The Paperback publication date is 12 October 2021.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781913051105. Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781913051112

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Arrow Video FrightFest announces 2021 Short Film Programme


Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 has traditionally showcased the best in genre short film from the UK and around the world since 2004, and this year is, despite the additional challenges faced, no exception, with ten countries representing three continents. From creeping terrors to outrageous scares, from spooky laughs to genuine fear, this year’s selection, which includes nine world premieres, unleashes the latest from upcoming and established filmmakers.

The UK is very strongly represented with a record seventeen entries. The presence of monsters is a recurrent theme, from Charlotte Beaumont’s terrifying zombie in Voodoo in My Heart to Alun Armstrong’s invisible enemy in The Nicky Nack and Mandip Gill’s malevolent mixing board in On Air. There are also monsters in the workplace in Night Bus, Hiya Janice, and The Dead Collectors, and some lurking in strange forms and places you least expect in Better the Devil You Know, Wee Shadows, They Called Me David, Puff, Where The Tar Leaks Red, Familiar, Arm, Behind You, and Itch. Other UK entries include creepy dystopian dramas Aria and Standing Woman.


Creepiness pervades throughout the global line-up – from the paranoia of Dutch thriller The Departure, the fear of smart Finnish entry Hysteria, the animated dread of Canada’s Self-Actualization of the Werewolf Woman, the apocalyptic isolation of Ireland’s Terrible Things, the strange hallucinations of Iraq’s Room 217, and be careful of the creature that lurks under the skin in Russian entry Four.


Other horrific treasures from around the world include Spanish revenge drama Dana, the skin-crawling Maltese entry Itch, three more entries from Canada - couple chiller Otherwise, gripping anti-bully fantasy Weirdo, and Trouble, in which a young man must be careful of the danger he cannot see. In Stuck, from the US, a gymnastic coach gets her revenge on a voyeur.

Other Stateside shorts include the International premieres of The Lovers, where romance and horror become roommates, scary comedy Carl the Exorcist, and Posies in which Maddy tries to delay her slow transformation into a monster by hiding flower petals under her skin. There is also a UK premiere for A Puff Before Dying, in which Angela has to learn the hard way that marijuana and driving don’t mix.


Programmer Shelagh Rowan-Legg said today: "To say that the past 18 months have been challenging would be an understatement. And yet, so many filmmakers from the UK and around the world have risen to that challenge, and gifted us with their amazing shorts. it seems there is such deep, rich work, at a time when we need stories that both keep us awake, and help us through the darkest times. Those that scare together, stay together, and the FrightFest audience will stay scared together”.


The full line-up:

FRIDAY 27 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE ONE

CINEWORLD DISCOVERY SCREEN 1 from 15:45


The Nicky Nack (World Premiere)

Director: Tom Oxenham. Cast: Alun Armstrong. UK 2021. 6 min.

A mysterious sound is following a pub patron home, and he can’t seem to shake it.


Standing Woman (UK Premiere)

Director: Tony Hipwell. Cast: Anton Thompson, Yuriri Naka. UK 2020. 15 min.

An insidious government campaign gives prisoners the ‘choice’ to become trees, and one man takes a final journey to see his lover before she forgets him.


Hysteria (UK Premiere)

Director: Anssi Määttä. Cast: Sari Siikander, Heli Sutela. Finland 2021. 7 min.

When a mysterious and deadly fog forces Hannele to lock herself in her car, she faces a choice: risk death by opening the door for her friend, or save herself?


The Departure (UK Premiere)

Director: Nico van den Brink. Cast: Sallie Harmsen, André Dongelmans. The Netherlands 2020. 10 min.

Nora keeps seeing the same man everywhere, and it evokes both fear and anguish.


Voodoo in My Heart (UK Premiere)

Director: Elias Williams. Cast: Charlotte Beaumont. UK 2020. 5 min.

With minutes left before joining her boyfriend as a zombie, Emily tries to find help and solace.


Better the Devil You Know (World Premiere)

Director: Vipin Venugopal. Cast: Mark Kitto, Reza Diako. UK 2021. 8 min.

On his death, Norman discovers the path to heaven is a lot trickier than he anticipated.


Self-Actualization of the Werewolf Woman (World Premiere)

Director: Conall Pendergast. Cast: Josephine Croft, Kristine Norvaishas. Canada 2021. 4 min.

A werewolf and a vampire exchange life stories and philosophical musings.


The Dead Collectors (World Premiere)

Director: Brendan Cleaves. Cast: Elliot James Langridge, Ivan Kaye. UK 2021. 13 min.

When your job is collecting the dead, there’s a lot of waiting. And a lot of smothering.


Terrible Things (UK Premiere)

Director: Ciarán Hickey. Cast: Claire J. Loy. Ireland 2021. 9 min.

A woman wandering the apocalypse landscape alone finds brief refuge in a forgotten cottage.


Puff (World Premiere)

Director: Zara Symes. Cast: Victoria Emslie, Sam Benjamin. UK 2021. 2 min.

A pregnant woman can’t sleep, convinced there’s something she cannot see.


Dana (UK Premiere)

Director: Lucía Forner Segarra. Cast: Thais Blume, Josean Bengoetxea. Spain 2020. 18 min.

After a vicious attack, Diana decides to become a vigilante, which she learns takes strength, cunning, and some odd supplies


FRIDAY 28 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE TWO

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Room 217 (International Premiere)

Director: Srwsht Abarash. Cast: Zheer Faraidoon, Abdul Muhammad. Iraq 2021. 14 mins.

A man might be able to check into Room 217 on a rainy night, but will be able to leave?


They Called Me David (World Premiere)

Director: Lindsay Hallam. Cast: Millie Hallam, Damo Alexander. UK 2021. 6 min.

Is David a friend or foe? A saviour or destroyer? A lonely child or a demon in disguise?


Arm (World Premiere)

Director: Jill Worsley. Cast: Katharine Markwick. UK 2021. 9 min.

In a moment of pandemic isolation madness, a woman makes an impulse purchase she could soon regret.


Night Bus (London Premiere)

Directors: Henrietta Ashworth, Jessica Ashworth. UK 2020. 13 min.

Natasha’s on the night shift, and something untoward seems to have joined her.


Itch (European Premiere)

Director: Susannah Farrugia. Cast: Alexandra Dowling, Loren O’Dair. UK/Malta 2021. 8 min.

A novice nun who develops a severe skin condition which continues to worsen along with her mental state as she struggles with her feelings for another nun.


Otherwise (European Premiere)

Director: Ali Mashayekhi. Cast: Jade Hassoune, Farid Yazdani. Canada 2021. 7 min.

When a couple breaks up, they no longer recognize each other.


Aria (UK Premiere)

Director: Christopher Poole. Cast: Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Susannah Fielding. UK 2021. 13 min.

Jenny and Tom are excited to install a new Aria "smart security system" in their home. Tom becomes increasingly paranoid about what may be lurking outside their front door at night and eventually confronts it.


Weirdo (London Premiere)

Director: Ashlea Wessel. Cast: Spencer Hanson, Shawn Vincent. Canada 2020. 7 min.

A poor teenager getting bullied lets out something unexpected and dangerous.


On Air (UK Premiere)

Director: Syd Heather. Cast: Mandip Gill, Marnie Baxter. UK 2020. 6 min.

A sound engineer finds she can control elements beyond her mixing board, but might soon get caught in the trap.


Stuck (UK Premiere)

Director: David Mikalson. Cast: Nicola Lambo, Davey Johnson. USA 2020. 14 min.

When a man tries to spy on her students, a gymnastics coach takes matters into her own hands.


MONDAY 30 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE THREE

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Trouble (UK Premiere)

Director: Naledi Jackson. Cast: Dalmar Abuzeid, Aurora Browne. Canada 2020. 7 min.

A young man takes a music gig at a former plantation, and finds that the past is not as deeply buried as it should be.


The Lovers (International Premiere)

Director: Avra Fox-Lerner. Cast: Meryl Williams, Annapurna Sriram. USA 2020. 9 min.

A woman wonders if her roommate expects too much of her, yet their codependent cycle is hard to break.


Where The Tar Leaks Red (London Premiere)

Director: Dominic Stewart. Cast: Racquel Stewart, Celia Learmonth. UK 2021. 5 min.

Lamia’s sleep paralysis threatens to rob her of something far worse that a good night’s sleep.


Carl the Exorcist (European Premiere)

Director: Jordan McKittrick. Cast: Zach Tinker, Christina Wolfgram. USA 2020. 10 min.

Carl is finally getting to perform his first exorcism – but he might not be as prepared as he thinks.


Posies (International Premiere)

Directors: R.H. Stavis, Katherine Fisher. Cast: Anna Diop, Andy Favreau. USA 2020. 16 min.

Maddy tries to delay her slow transformation into a monster, by hiding flower petals under her skin.


Familiar (UK Premiere)

Director: David J. Ellison. Cast: Hugo Nicolau. UK 2021. 10 min.

A man is the familiar of a vampire, and his duties become as unbearable as the monster beneath him.


Behind You (World Premiere)

Directors: Gavin Williams, Mark Lediard. UK 2021. 10 min.

After eye surgery, a woman becomes convinced there is something behind her that she cannot see.


Wee Shadows (London Premiere)

Director: Steven Goodison. UK 2021. 3 min.

Two grave robbers find the physical and emotional burden of their clandestine task a little too much to bear.


Four (International Premiere)

Director: Irina Dorosh. Cast: Igor Ivanov, Milla Volkova. Russian Federation 2021. 11 min.

Three friends dare each other to visit an abandoned apartment building, where something has found a terrifying home.


A Puff Before Dying (UK Premiere)

Directors: Michael Reich, Mike Pinkney. Cast: Annie Mebane, James Kirkland. USA 2021. 10 min.

Angela is going to learn the hard way that marijuana and driving don’t mix.


Hiya Janice (World Premiere)

Director: Rob Hayes. Cast: Jack Holden, Carla Mendonça. UK 2021. 7 min.

Janice might be Declan’s most annoying co-worker, but will she literally drive him into the arms of monsters?


Arrow Video FrightFest runs from 26th - 30th August 2021 at Cineworld Leicester Square.

Tickets & passes are now available to buy online: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html