Tuesday 29 November 2022

Interview with Lewis Schoenbrun - By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in films?
My interest in films began when I first saw King Kong (1933) and March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) on TV, both of which played each Thanksgiving when I grew up in the early 1960’s. I was particularly fascinated by the animation sequences in these films and was interested as to how they were done. Other influences included watching old 1950’s sci-fi films which ran often on the independent tv stations; by the mid 1960’s shows like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek solidified my interest in film.

Do you remember what the first movie you saw was?
The first film that I ever recall seeing in a movie theater was Lady and the Tramp (1955), I saw the 1962 re-issue and would have been 3 1/2 at that time. Apparently the brilliant images made a significant impact on me since I can still recall seeing it vividly and yet I have never seen the movie since.

When did you make your first movie?
I was 11 years old and my friend’s father had a Kodak Super 8mm camera, it was very simple to use no lens to focus, you just inserted the film cartridge, aimed and shot. I remember it was called The ‘Intellectually Disabled’ Genie, that’s not what we called it at the time but the term we used at that time is now considered insensitive and inappropriate. My friend and I edited the film in the camera and took turns filming each other; it was mostly using trick photography like turning the camera on and off the way they used to do on tv shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

I used to experiment a lot animating clay years before it was ever referred to as “claymation”, I think I must have been influenced by the Gumby cartoons and Will Vinton’s short film Closed Mondays (1974).

When I was 14 years old I took a high school filmmaking class where I made several short films, one I recall was called Rainy Day about a young boy who is shut-in all alone at home on a rainy afternoon.

My first serious effort was a short 25 minute film I made in 1976 as a high school independent study project, it was based on a Ray Bradbury short story called, The Earth Men which is from his Martian Chronicles collection. It was the first time I was able to completely flush out a comprehensive story and it utilized a variety of special effects which included miniatures, animation and rear screen projection, you can see it in the links below.

Why do you think horror books and movies remain so popular?
Horror always has and always will remain relevant. Although genre’s like westerns, film-noir or musicals may wane over time, horror will always be essential for two reasons. Horror appeals to our darkest fears, whether it be a homicidal maniac or the supernatural, these will always be a part of the human condition. The other reason is that horror often plays out as a morality play and the protagonists represent children and the monster represents adults (authority figures). In most horror films a bunch of teenagers do that which they aren’t supposed to like smoking, drinking, recreational drugs, sex, etc. and ultimately they are punished to death by the monster. These stories are cathartic and will always have an appeal, especially to a younger audience.

Why are people still obsessed with being scared?
Well again I think it’s all about the catharsis. We all experience fear as children and throughout our lives, but in reading a book or watching a movie we can experience those fears while at the same time feeling safe and knowing that in the end we will be fine.

Who inspires you?
As a youth I was inspired by many talented filmmakers including Kubrick, Hitchcock, Harryhausen, etc. I think today I look at the current crop of filmmakers and I just don’t see the same level of artistic brilliance. Maybe its because of changes that have taken place in the industry or maybe it’s just my getting older. I keep looking for inspiring new filmmakers, I just don’t see many today, maybe I am not invested the same as I used to be. But I am hopeful that I will see the same brilliance I once saw in a younger generation of filmmakers.

What are the differences between a parody and a mock buster?
Well a parody is taking a novel, play or movie and making fun of the story, genre, characters etc. A mock buster is an attempt to work off of the coat-tails of an already existing and successful work; it doesn’t necessarily need to poke fun at the original. I think that the most successful company to do this is The Asylum who make exclusively mock busters, but they aren’t necessarily trying to make fun of the originals, they are just hoping that people will be interested in an alternative version of the same basic story.

Now my film The Amazing Bulk (2012) clearly falls into the category of being both a parody of Marvel movies and also mock buster as I hoped to ride the coat-tails of The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spiderman while at the same time having fun with the genre of super-hero comic book films.

What are some of your favorite horror books?
My favorite horror novel is Stephen King’s The Shining. I recall reading it when it first became available in paperback, before the movie version and I was thinking this is the scariest story I’ve ever read. It was a real page-turner at the same time I was scared to turn those pages because the build up was so incredibly effective.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Wolf Man (1941), Dead of Night (1945), Les Diaboliques (1955), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1962), Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Exorcist (1973), Carrie (1976) and The Thing (1982).

You are a huge admirer of Stanley Kubrick. What is it about his work that stands out to you?
I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 on it’s initial theatrical release, the film still very much inspires me. It was the first time I thought to myself, I’d like to do that one day, make movies. There are so many things that make Kubrick stand out as a great filmmaker, particularly the originality of all his works, he never repeats himself and crossed many different genre’s. I am mostly interested in his earlier films beginning with The Killing all the way through Barry Lyndon. I’m not as interested in his later works, I think he became less interested in his audience over time and more interested in making films for himself.

I must ask this question. Is it better to make a “bad” movie or no movie at all?
Go ahead and make that bad movie. If it wasn’t for bad first movies we might not have had some of our best directors: Stanley Kubrick’s Fear and Desire (1953), Francis Coppola’s Dementia 13 (1963), Peter Weir’s Homesdale (1971), Oliver Stone’s Seizure (1974), Ron Howard’s Grand Theft Auto (1977), Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste (1987), etc.

What are your current projects?
I am not working on anything currently, I do have hopes to make a sequel to my film The Amazing Bulk which is based on a novel written by a young enthusiastic fan. I wasn’t that interested in doing a sequel but I really like her story and I’ve got completely different take on how I would make the film (i.e. it wouldn’t rely nearly as much on green screen).

I have a time-travel comedy script I’ve been working on, but it’s just not ready yet.
My main focus has been about launching my website / streaming service Lost and Found Films which is dedicated to collecting public domain feature films, restoring and colorizing them. We have identified over 4,000 silent and 3,000 sound era films and use AI Technology to restore many back to their original condition. I have completed 50 films and most of them are currently available on Amazon Prime and Tubi. You can find them all for free on my Youtube channel until my site is launched at which time they will still be available at a very affordable price.


Monday 28 November 2022

COMPETITION: Win Mad God (Shudder Original) on DVD

Mad God (Shudder) on Blu-ray is released on 5th December

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

SAY YOUR prayers to Mad God – a dazzling, delirious, and dystopian masterpiece directed by two-time Academy Award-winning artist, animator, and filmmaker – the legendary Phil Tippett (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, RoboCop, Starship Troopers).
The most watched Shudder premiere of 2022 – and certified fresh with a 92% rating – this critically-acclaimed and mind-blowing chef-d'oeuvre was 30 years in the making and has earned plaudits around the globe for its creative genius, cinematic originality, and inspired grit.

Having collected five awards, including Winner of 2021 Fantasia Film Festival’s Most Ground-breaking Film and Best Animated Feature and the 2021 Sitges Award for Best Visual Effects – this expertly crafted and exquisitely imagined Shudder Exclusive is now set to delight fans with its release on Blu-ray, DVD and digital on 5 December 2022, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

Equipped with a gas mask and a crumbling map, the Assassin, an iron-clad humanoid, descends into a rusty, peril-laden underworld of grime, blood, tortured souls, decrepit bunkers and unsettling monstrosities forged from the most primordial horrors of the subconscious mind.

As the stealthy invader meanders through the labyrinthine post-apocalyptic wasteland on a mysterious mission, going deeper and deeper into the nightmarish realm, he eventually reaches his destination… the heart of this grotesque tower of torture.  But what awaits him there?  

Crafted by the world's pre-eminent stop-motion animator, every set, creature, and effigy in this macabre masterpiece is hand-crafted and painstakingly animated using traditional stop-motion techniques. 
The result? A striking, haunting, halogenic, and hellish stop-motion spectacle unlike any other. 

Descend into unimaginable depths and get ready to meet your maker, Mad God – a gorgeously gruesome cinematic frenzy that deserves every ounce of praise it receives.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3GTS1kk

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 12-12-22
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 21 November 2022


Fall on DVD is released on 28th November

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

Experience a heart-pounding tale of survival from the producers of 47 Meters Down where sacrifice may just be the only way out. A fast drop and a sudden stop awaits Becky (Grace Caroline Currey, Shazam!) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner, Halloween) as they find themselves trapped 2,000 feet up an abandoned radio tower in the desert. Highly trained and resourceful, these climbers were still not ready for every eventuality. A series of unfortunate events see their gear and supplies taken from them and as temperatures rise and vultures begin to circle, the chance of survival begins to fall rapidly. Also starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), Fall is produced & directed by Scott Mann (Final Score) and written by Mann and Jonathan Frank (Final Score). 

Signature Entertainment presents Fall on Digital Platforms 14th November and Blu-ray & DVD 28th November

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3Xjwc3i

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 05-12-22
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 15 November 2022

LEGEND reveals slate of horror, sci-fi and action premieres for December

December evenings will be full of mystery, madness and murder as LEGEND presents a seasonal selection of horror, sci-fi & action movies, headed up by the UK TV premiere of stirring Canadian Western LONESOME DOVE, based on the true story of the founding of the Lonesome Dove Church and starring Tom Berenger. Plus, there is a Channel premiere for BEWARE MY BRETHREN (aka The Fiend), Robert Hartford-Davis’ sadistic study of religious repression, starring Patrick McGee, which will be broadcast at 9pm on Xmas Day. This headlines THE VINTAGE VAULT strand, the popular Sunday night presentation of double-bills of classic and cult favourites

There are also Channel premieres for serial killer horror JACK’S BACK, starring James Spader, tense crime thriller REASONABLE DOUBT, starring Samuel L Jackson and Dominic Cooper, Brit mystery drama THE INTERNECINE PROJECT, starring James Coburn, tough war thriller SNIPER: SPECIAL OPS, starring Steven Seagal, gripping action adventure SHOUT AT THE DEVIL, starring Lee Marvin and Roger Moore and gun-toting avenging Western A MAN CALLED MOON.

December also heralds the Channel premiere of the final season of cult favourite KNIGHT RIDER, in which Michael, K.I.T.T. and gang return for more roadside adventures.

Full film details in transmission order:

Thurs 1 Dec @ 21:00 – JACK’S BACK (1988) *Channel Premiere
Women are being murdered in Los Angeles a hundred years after Jack the Ripper terrorised London. Is it a sickening coincidence, or a sinister homage? Police think John Westford (James Spader), a young doctor, is the murderer, and when he's found hanging from a noose, the investigation takes a stunning turn.

Sat 3 Dec @21:00 – REASONABLE DOUBT (2014) *Channel Premiere
After being involved in a fatal hit and run incident Assistant DA Mitch Brody (Dominic Cooper) must prosecute an innocent man (Samuel L Jackson) for a crime he knows he didn't commit. Brody manages to throw the case, however he quickly realises that he may have been wrong and the man he thought to be innocent could just be the most dangerous man he has ever met.

Sun 4 Dec @ 21:00 – WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1958)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), a lawyer and self-appointed 'Witchfinder General', tours the Eastern counties instigating witch-hunts and extracting 'confessions' under torture. When a young woman, Sara (Hilary Dwyer(, is raped by Hopkins and her priest father murdered, Sara’s lover, Richard Marshall (Ian Ogilvy), a soldier in Cromwell's army, vows revenge. This is the last and best film of director Michael Reeves' tragically brief career.

Sun 4 Nov @ 22:45 – CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR (1968)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

The late Mark Eden plays Robert Manning, an antiques dealer searching for his missing brother. He stumbles upon a coven led by Morley (Christopher Lee), who is enacting the revenge of his witch ancestor (Barbara Steele) burned in the 17th century. This cult masterpiece, an adaptation from Lovecraft’s Dream in the Witch House, also stars Boris Karloff as a local witchcraft expert, which is also the last British film that Karloff made.

From Wed 7 Dec @ 19:00 – KNIGHT RIDER, Season Four (1985) *Channel Premiere
The final season of the popular American television adventure series, continues to follow the shadowy Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and his sentient car KITT as they fight crime and protect the innocent. In this series finale, KITT is reborn with some new gadgets, including a rocket-fast "super pursuit" mode. Michael must now race to save the real Devon and prevent the theft of the isotope.

Fri 9 Dec @ 21:00 – THE INTERNECINE PROJECT (1974) *Channel Premiere
Tipped to take a major post in the American government, Robert Elliot (James Coburn) is faced with one big problem: a quartet of people know of his dangerous and illegal activities in England. Elliot devises an ingenious plan whereby all four will kill each other. Ken Hughes’ intriguing psychological thriller also stars Lee Grant.

Sat 10 Dec @ 21:00 – LONESOME DOVE (2014) – *UK TV premiere
In this true story of one man’s fight for justice in a brutal and hostile land, John Shepherd (Tom Berenger) is a western preacher with dreams of building his own church. When his estranged son is accused of robbery and murder, John puts his future on the line by coming to his defence. In doing so, he will have to face off against a cold-blooded killer in a guns-blazing stand for redemption.

Sun 11 Dec @ 21:00 – THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR (1968)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

A 19th-century entomologist's daughter undergoes a metamorphosis into a giant death's head moth which needs human blood to survive. Her father creates a giant moth to keep her company, but only succeeds in unleashing more blood-sucking terror. Meanwhile, a police inspector (Peter Cushing) tries to find the key to the series of gruesome murders. This gothic shocker is directed by Vernon Sewell and also stars Robert Flemyng and Wanda Ventham.

Sun 11 Dec @ 22:45 – BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1971)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

When a mysterious corpse is accidentally dug in a small town, a group of local teens starts acting very strangely. The adolescents, led by a girl named Angel (Linda Hayden), are convinced the corpse was once possessed. They start to act out a series of demonic rituals, with devastating consequences. This 17th century British supernatural horror film is directed by Piers Haggard and also stars Patrick Wymark and Barry Andre.

Fri 16 Dec @ 21:00 – SNIPER: SPECIAL OPS (2016) *Channel Premiere
A special ops military force, led by expert sniper Jake Chandler (Steven Seagal), is sent to a remote village to extract an American congressman being held by terrorists. The mission is a success but Jake and his squad decide to stay behind to help an injured soldier. Finding themselves outnumbered and outgunned, the squad must engage in a massive shootout against the enemy to save them all from certain death.

Sat 17 Dec @ 21:00 – SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1976) *Channel Premiere
During World War I, a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur, and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battlecruiser. American ex-military man Col. Flynn O'Flynn and wealthy Sebastian Oldsmith are unlikely partners in the East African ivory trade. Oldsmith woos O'Flynn's daughter, Rosa, but on the eve of World War I, the men spend most of their time eluding occupying German troops. When the Germans kill Rosa's daughter, Oldsmith and both O'Flynn’s join the battle against German Cmdr. Fleischer and his men.

Sun 18 Dec @ 21:00 – DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

Young Doctor Jekyll pursues his search for a drug to prolong life. He tries his potion upon himself and to his horror finds it changes him into a young and beautiful woman. So Sister Hyde is born, who stalks the dark alleys of Whitechapel for young, innocent, female victims, ensuring continuation of the bloodstained research. With each transformation Sister Hyde becomes the more dominant personality, determined to eventually suppress the frail, ineffectual Dr Jekyll forever. Directed by Roy Ward Baker, the film is based on the 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Sun 18 Dec @ 22:55 – BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

On an expedition to Egypt, Professor Fuchs (Andrew Keir) discovers the tomb of the beautiful Queen Tera, legendary Queen of Darkness (Valerie Leon), whose power was reputed to stretch beyond the grave. He returns to London, bringing the queen's mummified body and her severed hand, which still oozes blood. Strange things begin to happen to Fuchs as the objects seem to take on a life of their own and possess the power to strike down anyone who crosses their path. This was director Seth Holt’s final film, and was loosely adapted from Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars.

Fri 23 Dec @ 21:00 – A MAN CALLED NOON (1973) *Channel Premier
After an attempt is made on his life, Noon (Richard Crenna) wakes up with no recollection of his past or identity, retaining only his gunfighting prowess. With the help of outlaw Rimes (Stephen Boyd), Noon learns he had a wife and child who were killed, and that the attack on him was made in an attempt to get his hidden treasure. Together they set out to avenge his murdered family.

Sun 25 Dec @ 21:00 – BEWARE MY BRETHREN (1971) *Channel Premiere
*Part of The Vintage Vault

Led by a sinister minister (Patrick Magee), zealous religious sect The Brethren have taken control of widow Birdy Wemys, sending her unstable son, Kenny, into a descent of madness and murder. No woman is safe when Kenny’s religious mania overpowers him and leads to a rampage of carnage and chaos. This gritty story of lust, murder and terror, now a favourite cult horror, is directed by Robert Hartford-Davies

Sun 25 Dec @ 22:50 – COUNTESS DRACULA (1971)
*Part of The Vintage Vault

Countess Elizabeth is an embittered widow. One day in a fit of rage, she strikes a chambermaid and blood from the girl splashes onto the Countess’s face. To her amazement, the blood has made her skin youthful and smooth. Enlisting the help of her devoted servant, she kidnaps the maid and kills her, making herself look twenty-five years younger. She embarks on a passionate romance with a young officer, until one day she reverts back to her old appearance. What will she do next and who will be able to stop her? Starring Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Eles, Maurice Denham, Patience Collier and Lesley-Anne Down

TV: Sky 148 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 41 / Freesat 137

Friday 11 November 2022

Interview with Dan Verkys - By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in drawing?
Illustration has always been a part of my life, from my earliest memories. I’m not particularly good at the drawing aspect, but I do often sketch ideas into small notebooks, and then construct them them digitally, if I feel I want them to come to life. Art has always been something I can lean on, when I feel a certain way or need to get something off my chest, it has always been there as an outlet for me, to help me make it through things.

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?
My work has always had its feet firmly planted in the genre. It’s typically quite dark in nature, I don’t like it to be too gratuitous though, the challenge for me is to create ‘suggested horror’ rather than explicit violent acts, the impact is more effective. I try to create a more dreamlike or surreal atmosphere; horror can be a bit basic or obvious. It is more difficult to create darker art that connects with people at a cerebral level, I enjoy the anxiety of suspense, rather than a cheap jump scare.
Tell us about your publishers.
Not being an author, I don’t really have a publisher. I’m not a big fan of them to be honest, most come across as a bit sketchy, I’ve had some bad experiences, but I’m always happy to be proven wrong. I have worked with many publishers, authors, musicians, and other artists, the reason being, each one has offered me a different challenge or interest. I don’t belong to any one person or company. I prefer to do what I want if it interests me. I like being a bit of a ghost, I’m typically a private, reclusive person. The moment I feel like I’m being taken for granted or used purely for gain by someone that I’m not cool with, I move on.

How would you classify the genre you illustrate?
Dark Fantasy, I think that best sums up my workspace, although I have supported a few projects with pure ‘horror’ imagery, I typically work in an area somewhere between dreams and reality. I like to create worlds, places to escape into. Not all my work is dark in nature, I have been populating a colorful afterlife-type Archipelago, inhabited by skeletons for many years now, that stream of my work is a lot more palatable for many of my followers, rather than the more confronting dark imagery that I prefer to make. The creation of either, really depends on my mood, and I’m pretty moody, so how I feel dictates the work that I undertake. The Dark Fantasy genre covers all of those aspects of my personality pretty well.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?
People like to escape, imagining themselves far from the day-to-day tedium of the real world. Stories are part of the fabric of humanity. Darker tales become cautionary, they can educate and terrify, allowing us to live vicariously through horrors without being physically harmed by them. I feel that once a story is finished, particularly horror or fantasy, it adds an enriching ingredient to a person, it allows the reader to return to their tedious life, however, now, they feel a little better about themselves, they have that “glad I’m not that person” outlook, so instant gratification, but they also have something else now, the ability to share that tale “have you read that book by…” a conversation starter that wasn’t a part of their world beforehand.

What inspires your art?
Pretty much the struggle of being human. Dreams, nightmares, thoughtful moments, other people, interactions, personal fears, thoughts of the past, fears of the future, music, film, books, other artists, anything that manages to infiltrate that blender inside my head that manages mix all of those ingredients together in order to create whatever comes out. Without art I can become a bit lost. Although I do have many interests, creating has always been a constant comfort. When I’m in ‘create mode’, I prefer to be alone, it’s a form of meditation, it’s a private release and it’s automatic, 99% of the time I start with no plans, I put on some music, and a few hours later there is usually a result.

What do you think the main differences between American horror and British horror are?
Personally, I can’t see too many differences, perhaps slightly in writing styles, but that really depends on the author. A good story should resonate across any culture, regardless of its origin. There seems to be a real cultural blur in contemporary writing, perhaps because the world is so much closer together communication-wise now, or perhaps it’s because many authors appear to be writing for the next big ‘movie deal’, rather than the next good book. I prefer that they just focus on the quality of their story.

What are your favorite horror books?
I enjoy the classics, they’re timeless, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc, but my favorite horror author without a doubt is Clive Barker. His books have so many layers to them, they are unsurpassed, where Stephen King puts me to sleep, Clive Barker grabs me by the throat and shakes, he is the complete master storyteller, writer and artist. He provides depth, horror, some humor, brutality, erotic depravity, and unimaginable beauty, he crafts them together and creates solid fully formed worlds that feel more real to me than any other authors, he also makes you care for his characters which is important. For me, the key to being a good storyteller is making it immersive, do your homework, create a back story, make it seem plausible that the events could actually take place. Barker is the only one who allows me to fully escape, and hit that pause button on the real world for a while.
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
I adore classic universal horror, but my wife Amber and I also enjoy watching the occasional ‘creature feature’. I don’t watch as much horror as I once did while growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, but I loved Alien, Hellraiser, Friday 13th , Candyman, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Lost Boys, Nightbreed, there are so many great original films. I’m not a fan of the new cash grab cowboy remakes. Now that I’m a little older, I prefer to follow good directors, storytellers like, Guillermo Del Toro, Panos Cosmatos, Takashi Miike or Robert Eggers. They seem to be able to create stylized films that are both well-made and original.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an artist?
Being able to raise my family with the limited skills I have was an achievement, but my greatest accomplishment as an artist has been connecting with people who ‘understand me’. People who notice and acknowledge the very personal messages or emotions interwoven throughout my work. For the longest time, from childhood to young adult, I believed that nobody thought or felt the way I did, I couldn’t relate to anyone around me the same way that other people could, those around me had very different interests and views on the world. Now as an adult, although I still struggle with some people, I have found, through the use of art, a way to break that barrier and communicate better, and put more of my true self out there. Surprisingly, not to be ridiculed, but to be welcomed by a community of people who are just like me, who like the same things I do, and feel the same way I do. That has been the true gift.

Was H.R. Giger a role model for you?
Hans Ruedi Giger, was one of a kind, a pioneer, a genius, hands-down. Not my only artistic influence, but he is a major one. As a role model, yeah sure, from what I’ve learned about him he was also quietly spoken, probably had a lot going on in his head too, he was hardworking, cared for his family, and he did his own thing his way, and he was artistically prolific. He was also fiercely protective when it came to his work, he was specific and expected a level of quality, his art was very personal, and brave, he put himself out there in a time when a lot of people had very narrow minds (some still do). He was ridiculed and labelled, but turned that all around with his art, he let his skill do the talking, and the world noticed, because now he is more than an artist, he is a cultural icon. He probably would have hated being thought of as role model. But I admire him still, and not many days go by when I don’t think about him, his work, and what he must have been like to be around. I’m sure not every day with was a feast of rainbows for those close to him, but I would have loved to meet him, even it was for just a few minutes.
Do you have any advice for new illustrators and writers?
It sounds cliché, but do your own thing and practice heaps, I mean a lot, write loads, illustrate every day, try to level up in any way that you can, take risks, try new things, but practice, it’s all about repetition. Most importantly, try to find the right medium and genre that best suits you, and I promise your skill level today won’t be the same tomorrow, because you’ll love it, you’ll become driven and will want to become better. You can always change to another form of expression if things don’t gel, art has few rules, don’t let anyone tell you that one form is better than the next, because it’s all personal and subjective. Try to work with good people, kind people, who share a common vision, don’t whore yourself out to everyone just because they’re waving money at you, sure use your skills to support yourself, but I feel art and writing is beyond a job, it is personal journey, one that helps you to become better a better human, and it’s a gift that will be around with you long after some random deadbeat job is over.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?
I think it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, the benefit is, anyone with a story can get it out there, you can become prolific and create, and nobody can stop you from being awesome, there are no limits to your creativity which is an amazing new way of working. The other side of that is, there are some bloody awful books out there. They’re unedited, badly written, and they look ghastly as a finished product. You can see a clear difference between self-published vs traditional publishing houses. Many of the platforms themselves are clunky and offer very limited options at the design stage, and the output is often expensive for the end user, your reading audience. You can create absolutely stunning books, but the average punter won’t be able to afford them. I say, shop around and find a quality print on demand platform, one that ticks all your boxes, and remember, not everyone who says that they are publisher, actually is, you can be taken advantage of, so stay vigilant, and protect your intellectual property.

What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on another book with collaborator and mate Jeff Oliver, based on another of my art streams, a world creation called the Infinite Black. ‘Infinite Black: Tales from the Abyss’ consists of Jeff’s poetry, combined with my art and a few tales that I’ve penned. The Infinite Black is a dimension raiding machine hell-world ruled by an A.I overseer named Mother, she enslaves humans, creating machine/human hybrids that power her world with their suffering. All the imagery is black and white, a slight nod to the classic horror films from my childhood.

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.
I’ve been a graphic designer and (dark) artist for over 25 years and was an exhibiting artist for over a decade. My work consists of digital compositing, where I combine multiple layers of 3D rendered forms, with textures, and manipulated photography. I’m renowned for my work in the dark fantasy genre. I have been featured in countless publications both locally and internationally, and I’ve been the principal artist on numerous books, album covers and some film interests, for an eclectic range of clientele. Now retired from exhibiting, my finale was as part of an international contingent of (dark) artists exhibiting in Tokyo. I now prefer to focus my energy on creating things for myself, sharing them with my growing social media audience, and of course I still work on client projects or ideas that I find engaging.

Buy New World Monsters at https://amzn.to/3tq2zzD
New World Monsters is a must read for lovers of horror poetry. Jeff Oliver and Chris McAuley speak to us in whispers and screams, weaving dark verses about monsters, pain, and prisons of the mind. Illustrated by the nightmarish visions of Dan Verkys, this collection will send cold shivers down your back.
--Owl Goingback, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of Crota & Coyote Rage

Website: www.gardenofbadthings.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theartofdanverkys
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dverkys/

Monday 7 November 2022

COMPETITION: Win Orphan Boxset (Orphan & Orphan: First Kill) on Blu-ray

Orphan Boxset (Orphan & Orphan: First Kill) is released on Blu-ray on November 14th

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 blu-rays to give away.

SHE WILL KILL TO BE PART OF A FAMILY. Esther’s terrifying saga continues in this thrilling prequel to the original and shocking horror hit “Orphan.” Esther’s (Isabelle Fuhrman, Orphan) secret may be out but this time around there’s more to this psychotic young girl than meets the eye. 

Escaping from the psychiatric facility that housed her, Esther hides in plain sight by assuming the identity of a missing American child whose mother (Julia Stiles, Dexter) is matriarch to one of the wealthiest families in the United States. 

Will Esther’s thirst for blood destroy the strong family ties or will she discover that even a mother will cross the line to protect her family? 

Produced by eOne and Dark Castle Entertainment, the prequel stars Isabelle Fuhrman, Rossif Sutherland (Possessor) and Julia Stiles. Orphan: First Kill is directed by William Brent Bell (The Boy), screenplay by David Coggeshall (The Haunting in Connecticut), and story by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (Aquaman, The Conjuring 2 & 3) and Alex Mace. The film is produced by Alex Mace, Hal Sadoff, Ethan Erwin, James Tomlinson, and executive produced by Jen Gorton, Josie Liang, Victor Moyers, Kyle Irving, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Daryl Katz, Chloe Katz and Paul Marcaccio.

Signature presents Orphan: First Kill on Digital 31st October. DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD alongside Orphan & Orphan: First Kill Blu-ray box-set 14th November

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3T9mihf

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 21-11-22
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.