Steven Rumbelow – the director of AUTUMN – has passed away

I’ve sad news to report. Steven Rumbelow, who directed the 2009 movie adaptation of AUTUMN, has passed away. You can read Variety’s obituary here.

rp_51mrBhRXn3L._SS500_.jpgIf you’ve heard me talk about the AUTUMN movie, you might be surprised to hear this, but I think I’ve a lot to thank Steven for. I’ve been pretty vocal in the past about my feelings for the film – it was a valiant attempt to adapt the film for the screen, but it fell well short of its potential. The main cast was great (in particular Dexter Fletcher, Dickon Tolson and David Carradine) and some scenes really caught the look and feel of the novel beautifully. Technical shortcomings hampered production, and ultimately the level of the budget didn’t allow the film-makers to fully realise their ambition.

Some people loved the film, though. The UK’s well respected Empire Magazine called AUTUMN “surprisingly downbeat and intelligent“. 365Horror.co.uk said “It’s slow and thoughtful and mesmerising to watch, allowing the viewer to think and reflect. Rumbelow has created something worthy of the Romero tip of the hat here.Reviewer Nicholas Bergquist wroteIf you’re a bit tired of the same-old same-old zombie films, you need to see Autumn. If you’re just keen for a good horror movie that eschews standard formulae and obligatory kill counts, you need to see Autumn. If you want to watch a really damned fine end of the world tale that tries for a more measured pace… Autumn’s your movie.

But it’s fair to say, the criticism massively outweighed the praise. Also, the project never really stood a chance after David Carradine’s death and the subsequent leaking of an unfinished cut of the movie online which was seen (and slated) by hundreds of thousands of people.

I said I’ve a lot to thank Steven for, and I meant that. Watching the production of AUTUMN progress, both from a distance and when I was on set, and seeing how the film fared after release taught me a huge amount about the highs and lows of the movie business. I got to go to Canada and play zombie. I ended up on the DVD cover (yes, that’s me). I got to meet a number of very cool people along the way and was able to attend a number of film festivals and other events. Most importantly, in one way or another the movie had a huge effect on my demographic and made substantial numbers of people aware of my books who might not have heard of me otherwise. Someone once said to me it’s better to have a bad movie made of your book than no movie at all, and I’m inclined to agree. I think AUTUMN is a seriously flawed movie more than an out and out bad film, but I’m pleased it happened. I’ll never forget the thrill of sitting in the first UK cinema showing and seeing the words ‘based on the novel by David Moody’ appear on screen.

Visiting the set of AUTUMN in December 2007

Visiting the set of AUTUMN in December 2007 (pictured with Steven Rumbelow)

My sincere condolences go out to Rachel, Dickon, and the rest of the Rumbelow and Renegade Motion Pictures families.

The AUTUMN movie – UK TV showing

You can catch the AUTUMN movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine on The Horror Channel (Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 148) at 00:50 Friday 5 August.

Why not give it a go? This is the first time it has been shown in the UK since the book was re-released last October. Have people’s opinions changed since then? I’d be interested to hear…

AUTUMN competition reminder

Less than a week to enter the competition to win my copy of the AUTUMN movie on DVD. Here’s the question again (now removed as the competition has closed). Entries close on 31st May when a winner will  be selected at random.

Things I’ve found out this week #1: the UK DVD release is region free so anyone can watch it.

Things I’ve found out this week #2: if you’re in the UK and you want to see the film today, it’s being shown on the Horror Channel again tonight at 9:00pm.

A quick AUTUMN competition

Three weeks since I last posted . . . that’s not good!

I’ve been trying to get the bulk of the third HATER book written before DOG BLOOD hits the shelves next month. I’m a third of the way in to what I hope will be the final(ish) draft, and there are another few weeks work ahead of me yet. If I can get it done and delivered then that gives me much more opportunity to get out and about to promote DOG BLOOD (which, I’m pleased to report, seems to be going down well so far).

The AUTUMN movie was released on DVD in the UK this week. Bizarrely (and I didn’t know about this until I saw it listed on Play.com), they’ve stuck me on the front cover! People will start to think I’m vain, what with this and the cover of RAGE – the French edition of HATER which came out last year. Just for the record – I’m not, and I had nothing to do with either of these. Honest.

Anyway, to celebrate the release of the DVD, I’m giving away the copy I’m holding in the picture. Just answer this stupidly easy question before 31st May to be in with a chance of winning (form removed as the competition has now closed).

In the meantime, a couple of quick bits of news:

The German edition of DOG BLOODTODESHUNGER – is available to pre-order from Amazon.de and other sites. The book will be released by Goldmann on 18th October.

Finally, I know I promised more information about the ‘Projekt’ in my last post, but some unexpected (and very interesting) complications have arisen and I can’t say anything yet. Hopefully there will be some news about this in the next couple of weeks.

AUTUMN at the QFT in Belfast

Here’s the information I promised in my last post about the screening of AUTUMN in Northern Ireland next month.

I’ll be introducing a 10pm screening of the film at the Queens Film Theatre in Belfast on Saturday 1st May. Prior to the film (from around 6pm) I’ll be doing a joint book signing with Wayne Simmons. You can find more information and book your tickets here.

It promises to be a great event. It’ll be my first time in Northern Ireland, and it would be fantastic to meet any of you who are able to attend.

FLU by Wayne Simmons

A quick plug for Wayne’s new book FLU, which is due out from Snowbooks this month. Wayne, as you may remember, is also the author of Drop Dead Gorgeous which I talked about a while back.

“There’s a nasty flu going round. An epidemic, they call it. The posters say to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and throw away the tissue. But such simple measures won’t stop this flu. Because when you catch the flu, armed police come and lock you in your house to die alone. When you catch this flu, it kills you in days. And when you catch this flu, two hours after it’s killed you, your eyelids snap open again…”Flu” is a pacey, terrifying, frighteningly real zombie horror story.”

FLU is available now from Amazon.co.uk. For those of you who are in Northern Ireland, Wayne and I will be doing a book signing together on 1st May at the Queens Film Theatre in Belfast, prior to a 10pm screening of AUTUMN. More details about the event will follow shortly.

AUTUMN – US DVD released today

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever, but from today the AUTUMN movie is finally available (legally available!) on DVD in the US. You can order a copy from Amazon.com, get it via Netflix or rent it from Redbox. I’m told it’ll soon be available from over 20,000 retail outlets too.

AUTUMN has always been a polarising story: lots of people like it, plenty more hate it. It’s an unconventional approach to zombies that seems to annoy as many readers as it pleases, and the movie adaptation is proving to be no different. In fact if anything, the reviews of the film have so far been even more divisive. I always knew a zombie story without flesh eating and mindless blood, guts and violence wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste!

I’m going to talk more about the film in the coming weeks (I’m trying to time my coverage to take advantage of today’s release, the UK DVD release in early May, and a screening I’m going to be introducing in Northern Ireland on 1st May), so I’ll not say much more today. All I ask is that you watch the film with an open mind and remember that it was made with huge enthusiasm but on a very low budget. I’m really interested to hear what you all think of it. Add a comment below or sign up and discuss the film on the forum.