Birmingham Horror Con – this Saturday

Hope to see you at the BIRMINGHAM HORROR CONVENTION at Edgbaston Stadium this Saturday. I’ll be there along with a host of horror luminaries, including stars of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, FRIDAY THE 13th and HALLOWEEN movies, and some excellent author chums like ADAM NEVILL, MATT SHAW, PETER MCKEIRNON, ADAM MILLARD and many others. It promises to be an absolute cracker of an event. Tickets are still available – click here for more information.

 

SCREAM 36 – out now

Apologies to the SCREAM team for being late, but here’s my regular plug for the new issue of the magazine. I’ve not come across a magazine before that speaks to the inner horror geek in me quite like SCREAM does. This month’s highlights include an in-depth interview with LISA WILCOX, star of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 and 5, and a conversation with PETE WALKER, director of such classics as HOUSE OF WHIPCORD. Great stuff!

To get your hands on a copy of SCREAM, visit www.screamhorrormag.com. You can also pick up the magazine from any branch of HMVForbidden Planet, or any of the newsagents listed here. SCREAM is also available digitally as iSCREAM. You can also follow SCREAM on Facebook and Twitter @ScreamHorrorMag.

Scream Issue 34

Hope you’ve all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to New Year. I am. I’ve a lot of stuff in the pipeline for 2016, and it’s been too quiet around here for too long.

One of the great things about the holidays, I find, is that I get chance to catch up on a few of the films I’ve missed or that I’ve been meaning to watch again. My pile of as yet unwatched Blu-ray discs (which, I’m ashamed to admit, still includes a few of the gifts I received last Christmas) has substantially increased in size. I’m particularly looking forward to re-watching the final QUATERMASS series from 1979, and to working my way through the entire NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series in HD.

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I’m particularly looking forward to watching the NIGHTMARE films again. Coincidentally, this morning the latest issue of SCREAM MAGAZINE dropped through my letterbox, which includes a fascinating interview with Mark Patton, the star of the second ELM STREET movie. As usual, there’s plenty of other stuff in the mag, including a look back at the Hammer cult classic VAMPIRE CIRCUS, and features on Turkish horror, CHILDREN OF THE CORN, and much more. As always, SCREAM comes with the Moody seal of approval.

To get your hands on a copy of SCREAM, visit www.screamhorrormag.com. You can also pick up the magazine from any branch of HMVForbidden Planet, or any of the newsagents listed here. SCREAM is also available digitally as iSCREAM. You can also follow SCREAM on Facebook and Twitter @ScreamHorrorMag.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

IotBSRegular readers will know that I’m usually one of the first to moan about the film industry’s habit of remaking old movies. I stand by most of my previous comments, in that remakes are often a lame excuse to capitalise on the goodwill an older version of a movie has garnered (case in point, pretty much every remake of 1970’s and 1980’s horror – Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw, and so on). Occasionally the original film-makers will be involved, and a remake will make sense (such as the 2013 Evil Dead… you could also argue that Evil Dead II was a remake of sorts of the 1981 original). There remains another category of remakes, and it just so happens that three of these updated versions of classic films rank in my top ten horror movies of all time. This is where new film-makers put a present day spin on horror tales which, quite often, were well made but were limited in some way – perhaps by the technology of the day, or maybe the social landscape has changed to give a story increased relevance. Two of three films I’m referring to here are David Cronenberg’s stunning The Fly, and John Carpenter’s ground-breaking The Thing.

Today’s movie recommendation, however, is a 1979 remake of a 1956 original which, although perhaps not quite scaling the heights of the Cronenberg and Carpenter movies I’ve just mentioned, is still an excellent example of a remake done right. I’m talking about Philip Kaufman’s 1978 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.

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By Dawn’s Early Light

220px-Dawn_s_early_lightI owe Ryan Fleming a thank you and an apology. Not only is he a film director, roving reporter and star of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH (page 351), he’s also a top bloke. Many moons ago he was kind enough to send me a copy of today’s film recommendation – BY DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT. I watched it almost straight away, but it’s taken me until now to write up this post.

BDEL is a TV movie from 1990, based on the novel TRINITY’S CHILD by William Prochnau. It boasts an excellent cast including Martin Landau, James Earl Jones, Rebecca De Mornay and Darren McGavin. It was directed by Jack Shoulder, probably best known to genre fans as the director of the divisive NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE. As usual, a brief synopsis follows. Unfortunately I can’t track down a trailer, so you’ll have to make do with a short clip from the movie. Click the link below for my thoughts.

When a fanatical group opposed to friendly US/Soviet relations explodes a nuclear missile over a Russian city, it begins a chain reaction of accusations and actions. As the clock ticks toward total nuclear annihilation, the American and Soviet leaders race toward a solution, fighting with their own camps as well as with each other. Two air force pilots are ordered to take their B-52 bomber into the air and await further instruction, but when it’s reported that a bomb has killed the President, pilots Cassidy and Moreau are ordered to perform the grand tour: the systematic bombing of all Russian leaders. Can these two follow through on a command that will mark the beginning of the end?

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SCREAM issue 23 is out now!

1394872570273A new issue of SCREAM is always cause for celebration, and this month is no different. As well as interviews with GEORGE ROMERO and DARIO ARGENTO, there’s a great feature on the latter half of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series and a report on LORD OF TEARS (a very creepy movie I’ll be talking more about in the coming weeks). Visit www.screamhorrormag.com to get hold of a copy. If you’re in the UK, you can buy the mag from any branch of HMV.

Also, if you’re a SCREAM subscriber, click here to enter their STRAIGHT TO YOU giveaway. Five signed copies up for grabs!