Tuesday 27 November 2012

Last chance to pre-order the book - or why not come to the launch?

If you want to save yourself a couple of quid off the cover price of Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008, you need to get your order in before this Saturday as 1st December 2012 is the official publication date. It's still worth every penny at the cover price of £17.95, but you can get it for £15.25 (and hot off the press) if you're quick.

If you live anywhere near Leicester (everywhere's near Leicester!), do please come along to the official launch next Wednesday, 5th December. I will be signing copies in the University of Leicester Bookshop between 5.30pm and 6.30pm (and there will be some wine/juice and nibbles laid on). If you're coming from outside the city, the University is within easy walking distance of the railway station (parking on campus is very limited). The bookshop is on the front of the big, square glass library in the middle of campus. Make sure you come to the University of Leicester, not our local rivals De Montfort University.

E-mailing me if you're thinking of coming along will help us to estimate numbers - and means I'll be looking out for you among the clamouring throng.

After the signing, there will be a free screening of British Horror Revival classic The Last Horror Movie in one of the uni lecture theatres. Julian Richards has very kindly given me permission to screen this (check out this crazy French DVD sleeve I just found!). After the film, I presume that there may be some drink and chat in a local hostelry.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

'Last Horror' sequel: the return of Max Parry!

Crikey! Just as Darklands receives its long-overdue US release, Julian Richards has announced that he is working on a sequel to The Last Horror Movie, reuniting with scripter James Handel and 'Max Parry' himself, the BHR legend that is Kevin Howarth:

“Max has been living in Los Angeles for several years since the release of Last Horror Movie and has made some interesting observations. He has also become obsessed with new technology and now uses social networking sites to select victims and mobile phones to track and record his murders, some of which are already available to view on the undernet.”

That's from Dread Central. TLHM is one of the absolute best films in the whole British Horror Revival and it will be great to catch up with Max again.

Monday 19 November 2012

Decay - a British zombie film produced at CERN!

Imagine you're studying for a PhD in Physics. As part of your research you get the opportunity to spend some time at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider (and birthplace of the world wide web). What do you do on your days off?

That's right, you make a zombie film!

A zombie film set at (but not authorisd by) CERN. A zombie film featuring the LHC and the search for the Higgs Boson. This could be the coolest, geekiest film ever made. And it looks pretty good, too. Here's the trailer:

Decay (great title) will be available for free online from 8th December, but if you want to see it on the big screen, there's a world premiere at the University of Manchester on 29th November. Tickets are free and can be booked through the film's website. Here are a few stills:

AuditoriumTunnel Flashlight 2Store Room

Saturday 17 November 2012

Salvage on iPlayer

I was really annoyed to only find out in retrospect that the BBC had screened Lawrence Gough's  Salvage this week, as it's a film I've been looking out for. So I'm delighted to find that they've slapped it up on iPlayer - because BBC Films was one of the backers, presumably.

It's available until the small hours of Thursday morning.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Indexing the book

I have spent the past few nights indexing Urban Terrors. There are two indices: one of about 1,200 names and one of about 1,000 titles. There was no way to fit these into the already hefty book so instead I'm making them available as PDFs. Here they are on Scribd:

This also has the advantage that you can peruse the indices and see if you and/or your work is featured, without having to find a physical copy of the book.

The indexing did show up a number of typos which didn't get spotted during proofing, but they are mostly misspelt names in the little boxes listing brief credits (which my publisher evidently retyped rather than cut and paste). These are the least important part of the book - it's not a reference work and if you want cast/crew names, they're all on IMDB anyway. So that's all right.

As I pretty much expected, the most frequently mentioned people are Paul Hyett (27 pages), Kim Newman (26 pages), Variety critic Derek Elley (25 pages), Neil Marshall (21 pages), Johannes Roberts (19 pages) and Jake West (16 pages)

Friday 9 November 2012

Gangsters, Guns and Zombies UK premiere next week

With one week to go until this year's Day of the Undead zombie-bash here in Leicester, the 'mystery film' has been revealed, and damn me if it isn't yet another British tile. A week tomorrow Phoenix will be screening the UK premiere of Gangsters, Guns and Zombies, directed by Matt Mitchell.

With Before Dawn, The Eschatrilogy and Cockneys vs Zombies, that's a solid six hours or so of new British horror goodness (with a slice of Charlie Higson in the middle). I should be there for all four, and will be plugging my new book to anyone who will listen. In fact, I'm off round Zombie Ed's house tomorrow to drop off some Urban Terrors fliers.

GGZ will be released on VOD this Thursday and hits US DVD on 11th December. Although it seems it's actually already available in France, where the DVD was released last month.

Thursday 8 November 2012

French film festival celebrates 21st century British horror

The Amiens Film Festival, which starts next week, features a retrospective on the British Horror Revival!

Screening in the Brit Horror strand are Shaun of the Dead, The Descent, The Cottage, Eden Lake, The Children, Wake Wood, the TV mini-series Dead Set and three films by festival guest of honour Christopher Smith: Creep, Triangle and Black Death.

As far as I know, this is the first festival to celebrate the 21st century British Horror Revival in this way. More please!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Would you believe: Richard Driscoll's 'The Devil Rides Out'?

No connection with Hammer or Dennis Wheatley, thank the Lord. Driscoll has sent Dread Central a bunch of stills from a 'new' film called The Devil Rides Out, plus a synopsis. Check them out. As so many sites are wont to do, Dread Central has simply accepted this stuff without question and posted it on their site (a couple of weeks ago) verbatim. But with Driscoll, a little digging is always in order.

As you might expect, this is not a 'new' film, this is The Devil's Disciple, which was shot down at the House of Fear Studios in Cornwall way back in 2006. This was originally intended to be a sequel to Evil Calls (shot as Alone in the Dark and now available as The Legend of Harrow Woods). The third part of The Raven trilogy was going to be called Back to Hell.

Here is the synopsis for Back to Hell, from June 2007:
“The film picks up from where Alone In The Dark left off, with the story of George Carney and how he discovered the secrets of Harrow Woods through the diary of the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley. As Carney investigates the connection between the forest in Harrow Woods and the black magician, he delves head first into a world of black magic as he travels to New Orleans from New York where Crowley’s daughter now lives. Followed by occultists and murderers Carney embarks on finding the truth about the diary as he learns that Crowley intended to bring the witch Lenore back to life.”

Some extra footage was shot in 2008, based on the Back to Hell script, and combined with the Devil's Disciple footage to make something called Back2Hell. As I point out in my forthcoming book, this makes The Raven, uniquely, a two-film trilogy. (Only Driscoll...)

Further pick-ups were shot in February 2010, although it's unlikely Driscoll has shot anything recently as he has sold his farm (and I hear rumours about legal matters, though nothing clear or definite).

Let's not hold our breath for The Devil Rides Out, just as we are not holding it for Grindhouse 2wo. But these stills are new. All I've seen previously was a shot of Kenny Baker who was in the 2006 footage but presumably isn't in this version.

A comment by Ramsey Campbell in his Video Watchdog review of The Legend of Harrow Woods seems appropriate here: "Part of the fun is watching Driscoll struggle to reconcile the movie with his latest ideas for it, and who knows whether that’s over, even now?'

Monday 5 November 2012

Amateur vampire flick: Vampire Dawn

Here’s another new British vampire feature, a zero-budget indie shot in Bath earlier this year.

Vampire Dawn, written and directed by David Gunstone, produced by Gunstone and Andy Fletcher, had a one-off screening last week at Bath Spa University and should be available to view online before the month is out.

Apparently Gunstone, who works at the uni, vowed to make a film if he pulled through a cancer diagnosis - and here it is. All done on the cheap with an amateur cast and crew.

Here's a couple of pics from the Bath Evening News.

The website is www.vampiredawnmovie.com.

Teaser trailer and five-minute trailer below:

Urban Terrors - list of contents

As the book proof is signed off, and with just a month until the launch of Urban Terrors in Leicester on 5th December (details TBC), here is the final, definitive list of the contents: 114 films, listed here alphabetically (although in the book they are grouped by year of release). I guarantee that no-one has seen all these, and I bet few have even heard of them all. But every film here was given a commercial release, somewhere, somehow, between 1997 and 2008.

If you spot something 'missing', well that means that, by my criteria, it's ether not 'British' enough, not 'horror' enough or was released outside of my stated time-frame.

Alien Rising (Nigel Moran), Alone (Phil Claydon), Anazapta (Alberto Sciamma), Antisocial-Behaviour (Vinson Pike), The Asylum (John Stewart), Asylum Night (Brad Watson)

Beyond the Rave (Mathias Hoene), The Big Finish (The Heather Brothers), Blood (Charly Cantor), Botched (Kit Ryan), Broken (Adam Mason), The Bunker (Rob Green)

Chemical Wedding (Julian Doyle), The Children (Tom Shankland), Cold and Dark (Andrew Goth), The Cottage (Paul Andrew Williams), Cradle of Fear (Alex Chandon), Credo (Toni Harman), Creep (Christopher Smith)

Daddy’s Girl (DJ Evans), Darkhunters (Johannes Roberts), Darklands (Julian Richards), Dead Creatures (Andrew Parkinson), Dead Man’s Shoes (Shane Meadows), Deathwatch (Michael J Bassett), The Descent (Neil Marshall), The Devil’s Chair (Adam Mason), Devil’s Harvest (James Shanks), The Devil’s Tattoo (Julian Kean), Doctor Sleep (Nick Willing), Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall), Dominator (Tony Luke), Doomsday (Neil Marshall), Dust (Adam Mason)

Eden Lake (James Watkins), The Eliminator (Enda Hughes), Evil Aliens (Jake West), Evil Calls (Richard Driscoll), The Evolved Part 1 (Andrew Senior and John Turner), Experiment (Dan Turner)

The Fall of the Louse of Usher (Ken Russell), Footsteps (GH Evans), Forest of the Damned (Johannes Roberts), Freak Out (Christian James), From the Grave (Charles Buchanan)

The Gathering (Brian Gilbert), The Ghosts of Crowley Hall (Daren Marc)

Hellbreeder (James Eaves and Johannes Roberts), The Hole (Nick Hamm), Home Made (Jason Impey)

In a Dark Place (Donato Rotunno), The Innocent (Stuart Brennan), I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (Andrew Parkinson)

Kannibal (Richard Driscoll), KillerKiller (Pat Higgins)

The Last Great Wilderness (David Mackenzie), The Last Horror Movie (Julian Richards), LD50 (Simon De Selva), The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse (Steve Bendelack), Lie Still (Sean Hogan), Lighthouse (Simon Hunter), The Living and the Dead (Simon Rumley), London Voodoo (Robert Pratten), Long Time Dead (Marcus Adams), The Lost (Stuart Brennan), Lycanthropy (Kevin McDonagh)

Messages (David Fairman), MindFlesh (Robert Pratten), Mum and Dad (Steven Sheil), Mutant Chronicles (Simon Hunter), My Little Eye (Marc Evans)

Nature Morte (Paul Burrows), Never Play with the Dead (Ray Kilby), Night Junkies (Lawrence Pearce), Nine Lives (Andrew Green)

Octane (Marcus Adams), Outpost (Steve Barker)

Parasite (Andrew Prendergast), Penetration Angst (Wolfgang Buld), Project Assassin (Mike and Andy Hurst), Puritan (Hadi Hajaig)

Razor Blade Smile (Jake West), Revelation (Stuart Urban)

Sacred Flesh (Nigel Wingrove), Sanitarium (James Eaves and Johannes Roberts), Sentinels of Darkness (Manos Kalaitzakis), Severance (Christopher Smith), Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright), Sick Bastard (Jason Impey), The Sickhouse (Curtis Radclyffe), Small Town Folk (Peter Stanley-Ward), Snuff-Movie (Bernard Rose), Soul Searcher (Neil Oseman), Spirit Trap (David Smith), Spring Heeled Jack (William Honeyball), Stag Knight (Simon Cathcart), The Summer of the Massacre (Bryn Hammond)

TrashHouse (Pat Higgins), Time of Her Life (Steven M Smith), The Toy Box (Paolo Sedazarri), Trauma (Marc Evans)

Urban Ghost Story (Genevieve Jolliffe)

Vampire Diary (Mark James and Phil O’Shea), The Vanguard (Matthew Hope), The Veil (Richard Chance)

WAZ (Tom Shankland), When Evil Calls (Johannes Roberts), Wild Country (Craig Strachan), Wilderness (Michael J Bassett), The Witches Hammer (James Eaves), Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley (Mike McCarthy)

The Zombie Diaries (Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates)

The 13th Sign (Adam Mason), 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)

Thursday 1 November 2012

Through the Looking Glass released on DVD

Halloween brings with it the usual spike in horror movie releases and among those which made it to DVD this week is Craig Griffith’s Through the Looking Glass, which has been picking up good word of mouth on the festival circuit.

The Artist lives alone in a foreboding old house in the country. Once prolific he is now a desperate man at odds with his work and unable to paint. When he discovers a mysterious package left on his doorstep The Artist finds a strange mirror within and soon becomes wracked by horrific visions. Beguiled by the mirror his work becomes fuelled by the visions as he paints like never before. However, disturbing things soon begin to happen to him and those who enter the house. Escalating with each vision, with each brush stroke the mirror’s grip on The Artist tightens. Can The Artist untangle himself from the mirror's creeping influence before it is too late?

The film stars Paul McCarthy (an alumnus of Grange Hill), Jonathan Rhodes (The 7th Dimension), Michael Langridge and Roz Povey. Shot back in 2006, Through the Looking Glass is finally available on DVD via Amazon and Create Space. It's also available to download via Amazon instant video. Here’s the website, the Facebook page and the trailer:

Urban Terrors, by numbers

I'm just finishing off the proofing of Urban Terrors. Fingers crossed, we are still on track for publication at the start of December. Here is how the book is shaping up:
  • 114 commercially released British horror films, from Darklands (1997) to Mum and Dad (2008) 
  • 296 pages 
  • 110,000 words - give or take a thousand or so 
  • 274 b/w photos 
  • 8 pages of colour photos 
  • 1 and only Mr Sean Pertwee, foreword by 
  • 0 mentions of Douglas Adams 
  • £17.95 to you, squire 
  • 5 December: launch/signing/screening at Leicester University (details TBC)