Podcast Guest – Evolution of Horror – ‘The Blob’ Movies

Indulge in a bit of aural pleasure with the latest episode of the brilliant award-winning podcast, The Evolution of Horror!

I joined Mike Muncer as his guest to delve into cult classic The Blob from 1958 – starring Steve McQueen in his first notable movie role, and its far superior 80s remake, thanks to the golden horror combination of Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell. There’s lots to love about both these lovely, gloopy alien movies.

Prepare for a potentially controversial statement about another horror classic! Gasp!

Listen now.

Two features in Film Stories, July 2021 – ‘Censor’ & ‘Drop Dead Fred’ – on sale

On sale now – I’ve written two features for the latest issue of the glorious Film Stories magazine.

First, I chatted with captivating BAFTA-nominated actress, Niamh Algar, about British psychological horror Censor for the cover feature. I’ve been a fan of Niamh’s for a while now since her roles in The Bisexual and Pure, so it was great getting under the skin of her character in this movie – a stylish, smokey piece set against the backdrop of the 1980s video nasty era by debut featuremaker, Prano Bailey-Bond. The UK cinema release date is now 20th August.

Second, I had the honour of interviewing director Ate de Jong about a film I hold dear to my heart, Drop Dead Fred. A personal favourite from my childhood, for reasons I discuss in the piece, Ate and I spoke at length about the serious undertones of this gross-out comedy that was unfairly dismissed in the early nineties, but thirty years later has finally found its audience and cult status. Starring one of my all-time heroes, Rik Mayall, I got the skinny on all the folklore around Fred. I did meet Rik once in my twenties, but that’s a whole other story!

Massive gratitude to the editor, Simon Brew, for once again giving me the pages to write about films I adore and speak to people I admire.

It’s on sale now!

https://www.filmstories.co.uk/news/film-stories-issue-26-july-2021-full-details-and-order-your-copy-here/

‘Connie’ on Amazon Prime via Shorts TV subscription channel

The little fierce diva Connie has a new lease of life! She is back and has high-kicked her way onto Shorts TV’s subscription channel on Amazon Prime. You can watch the feisty foul-mouthed showgirl as part of a free seven-day trial now.

‘Evacuees’ in the Press – SFX and Starburst

My feature film, EVACUEES, currently in development with Kato Pictures, has made the press!

Big thanks to Starburst firstly for their continued support of my work. Full article here.

And we’re mentioned in Penny Dreadful’s fabulous column in this month’s SFX magazine (April 2021 issue). What a legend. We’re referenced alongside some awesome talent there – extremely flattering! Massively appreciated. Lauren Parker and I are chuffed.

‘Evacuees’ Feature Film in Development with Kato Pictures

I’m delighted to announce that my elevated period horror feature film Evacuees is now in development with Kato Pictures, led by fantastic producer, Lauren Parker. I’m attached as writer/director.

Conceived in late 2018, Evacuees started as a pitch selected as one of eight feature projects in Arrow Video FrightFest’s New Blood 2018 contest to receive mentoring from BAFTA-nominated producer Jack Tarling (God’s Own Country), horror icon Barbara Crampton, director/producer Jenn Wexler, and Queensbury Pictures’ Giles Edwards. Since then, the script has grown through its infancy to become a Stage32 and Screencraft semi-finalist.

Set in 1943, it tells the story of a Yorkshire town that plays host to a group of child evacuees from war-torn London. Childless outcast Elizabeth grows close to them, but faces a dilemma when she discovers the truth of their sinister intentions.

Lauren Parker is a member of the BFI Network x BAFTA crew as a producer, where we first connected, and was awarded one of only twelve places on their mentoring scheme. Lauren is currently mentored by Camille Gatin (The Girl With All The Gifts). She was also selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab in 2018.

Lauren has produced successful shorts including the award-winning Night Owls and the Creative England/BFI NETWORK funded Wash Club. Wash Club received an online premiere with Short of the Week and a Vimeo Staff Pick

Lauren’s latest short Majority was funded by the BFI NETWORK and has screened at Krakow Film Festival, Palm Springs Shortfest and BFI London Film Festival. Her next short Lord of the Free Range is due to shoot in 2021 with the support of the BFI NETWORK. Her films have played festivals around the world including Frightfest, Sitges, Aesthetica, London Short Film Festival, This is England, Galway Film Fleadh and many more.

She started her career in television as a production assistant with Endemol and has since worked in TV production with CBBC, BSLBT and Wellington Films. She recently worked as line producer on the interactive project As Dead As It Gets. Lauren has also worked on a range of feature films, from low budget horror to the BFI funded The Devil Outside.

Lauren has produced countless commercial and corporate videos with clients including Porsche, Boots, Nottingham City Council and NY record label, Bear and Owl. Her music videos have been screened on Vevo and MTV as well as nominated for Best Radar Commission at the Radar Music Video awards.

As a filmmaker, this story allows me to explore themes and concepts around motherhood, fertility, femininity, gender and identity through complex characters that are rarely portrayed on screen.

I’m so happy to join forces with Lauren on Evacuees. Her passion and enthusiasm for the script is palpable, even through lockdown, and I look forward to channelling our energies into raising this project from toddler through to adulthood.

‘Faux Hidden Gems of the VHS Era’ now on sale

A cool project that I’m involved with is now on sale! I’m a guest writer included in Faux Hidden Gems of the VHS Era – a collection of all the best/worst and bonkers plots from the back covers of 1980s VHS boxes, but for movies that don’t exist! It’s a smashing little book available in an actual print edition and is the brainchild of the magnificent Mike Garley, an EMMY-nominated comic series writer (Collider, Wallace and Gromit, Adventure Time, The Kill Screen).

As a kid, my family rented stacks of VHS tapes every weekend – all the weird and wonderful shock and shlock flicks. They all had glorious cover art that was sometimes better than the movie itself, cracking loglines and enticing synopses. This book pays tribute to the era with a compendium of completely made up movies that could totally have been made and fit in perfectly with the real thing on video shop shelves.

I’ve created a totally made up cult VHS hit for this book, complete with logline, reviews, production gossip and a crazy premise. The book features 52 fantastic creations from the depths of the mind of Mike Garley and other guest writers – it’ll leave you wishing you could actually rent these gems. It’s great escapist fun and only £6.00. Buy it here now.

Blood Shed now available to buy on Amazon Prime Video

After about sixty film festival screenings internationally, Blood Shed is now finally available to buy on Amazon Prime Video for £2.99 HD or £1.99 SD in the UK and the USA. So a bargain price for a bargain shed! OR, better still, it’s free to watch if you already have Amazon Prime! So go, fly my pretties, fly… Fly over to Amazon Prime and take a peek at our bloody sheddy horror comedy short!

Blood Shed is now also screening in North America on ShortsTV, with the European premiere coming soon.

FFIDENT20 now online starring Andy Nyman, Emily Booth and Kim Newman!

Our secret ident for Arrow Video FrightFest this year is now online for free – #FFIDENT20 – FrightFest Opening Night of the Dawn of the 28th Day. Starring Andy Nyman, Emily Booth, Kim Newman, Jack Doolan, Adam Green & Joe Lynch.

Please watch, rewatch, share. I loved directing the Night of the Living Dead segment with the wonderful Emily Booth – such a funny woman. Huge thanks to her and our other brilliant guest stars. We made this with a huge amount of love, care and attention couldn’t have done this without the fab crew who gave us days and days of their time on this epic labour of love – Kirsty Graham, Joao L C Da Silva, Stu Dye, Taylor Rae Papworth, Grace Sargeant, Rhian Webster, Lauren Webster, Louise Brightman. This is our last ident as we’ll never beat this one!

It was screened before the UK premiere of Come to Daddy at FrightFest on the gigantic iMax screen last night.

Happy 20th anniversary, FrightFest!

To Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray, Alan Jones, Greg Day

and all the FrightFest team x

Podcast appearance: Evolution of Horror – Zombies, episode 10 – available now!

Ta dah! My latest podcast appearance has been unleashed on the world via Apple Podcasts and other great platforms! I had a blast chatting to Mike Muncer, with James Moran, about George A Romero’s classic flick Day of the Dead for the Evolution of Horror podcast. It’s episode 10 of the season on zombie flicks. The episode was recorded shortly before the sad passing of one of the stars – Joseph Pilato – RIP.

 

We’re paired with fellow filmmaker Sam Ashurt who discusses the other zombie game-changer of 1985 – Return of the Living Dead. It’s a really cool episode and well worth a listen! You can listen at the Evolution of Horror website, and find out more about Mike’s Patreon campaign for the series here. Go support!

 

 

Connie now screening on ShortsTV and available on iTunes US & Europe

Brilliant news! My award-winning short Connie is now available to buy on Shorts International’s iTunes stores in the US and Europe! Better still, the foul-mouthed puppet is a cheap gal – a snip at only $2.99 or £1.99 respectively – so fill your stockings this festive season with twenty minutes of our little felt-covered diva.

Connie has had an incredible journey since the shoot in May 2016, playing festivals globally, including awards qualifiers, winning awards, receiving great reviews and entertaining audiences we could only have dreamed of. Being able to share it now with a whole new audience is really something else. Film festivals rock, but so few people can actually get to them, so I’m proud that Connie has been licensed by Shorts International.

The film showcases the incredible talent of our superstar, Catrin Stewart, who did an incredible job of playing two roles at once and also operating a puppet – all in just two days on set! It also features the legend that is Kim Newman. It’s a film I’m incredibly proud of. Meeting audiences at festivals and seeing their reactions to the film, and to me and the puppet, has been an extra slice of joy.

Connie is also screening now on ShortsTV’s channel in the US, with the European premiere coming very soon. ShortsTV is the world’s first 24/7 HD TV channel dedicated to shorts, and currently available to approximately 25 million homes, with more channels across the globe to come. More details on how to watch ShortsTV here.