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.

Cover Feature – Morfydd Clark interview – Film Stories, Issue 19

I’m delighted to have written the cover feature for this month’s Film Stories magazine! I was lucky enough to interview the chameleonic actress Morfydd Clark, who spoke to me about two new films out in October that she stars in – psychological horror, Saint Maud, and the comedy drama, Eternal Beauty. We had a good old natter and chatted about both and so much more.

Speaking to me from New Zealand, where she is currently filming the new Lord of the Rings TV series for Amazon, Morfydd was incredibly insightful, charming and self-effacing. She sets the screen ablaze in both films. I also wrote the Eternal Beauty review in the same issue. Huge thanks to the editor, Simon Brew, for being such a supporter of my writing.

Films Stories, issue 19, October 2020 is shipping now.

New feature in Film Stories magazine, Issue 18, August 2020 – Pre-order now!

I am forever a fan of the amazing Film Stories magazine – it’s a truly independent publication and as an avid reader, I’ve never once been disappointed in a single article. So I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to write a new feature for issue 18, due out over the coming weeks. It’s the fifth edition I’ve written a piece for and this was another delight.

This piece is a look-back at a British 90s movie that caused quite the stir on its release with it being a bit more slap than tickle. I had lots of fun researching the film and speaking with the filmmaker – who was a delight to talk to. It’s the story of how this film was developed, the challenges faced in production, critical reception at the time and how it found wider acclaim and fandom more than two decades later.

More will be revealed when the issue is out, but you can pre-order a copy here. It’s a snip at just £5.99 for the print edition, or there’s a digital option. Please support this utterly brilliant publication. Everyone has been hit hard these last few months and print media especially so. With an already challenging market, and then retail outlets closed for a considerable period, mag makers have been hit hard. Beloved Q magazine has folded and ScifiNow has moved to a digital platform only. Please help keep print alive and support this brilliant mag. We need it – it’s a big warm hug for film fans.

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

New short play, ‘Crappy Birthday to Me,’ a success at Slung Low Shorts, Leeds

This month, my short comedy play Crappy Birthday to Me premiered at the marvellous Slung Low Shorts alongside a collection of new plays by new and established writers. Slung Low 4, as it was Slung Low’s fourth outing, was performed at The Holbeck, Leeds from 18th to 21st July. I was delighted to be asked to be part of Slung Low this year – it was an honour.

Crappy Birthday to Me is a twisted family comedy about a twentysomething woman who returns home to a secret birthday party. She is less than thrilled at the idea of an awkward evening with her parents and sister, but this is no ordinary birthday bash…

Programme extract

I was super excited to be there on the opening night and meet my cast and director, and see and hear the reaction of the audience. It was a full house and I’m really proud of the team for pulling it together so brilliantly. And some horror geek trivia, the dad was played by Michael S. Siegel who was in Killer Klowns from Outer Space!

With the cast and director

I’ll be bringing this short play to London soon, and may possibly turn it into a short film, but for now… I’m happy to say that my play was the one with the most clean up afterwards… Apologies to the stage management team for putting up with the fruits of my mad brain.

And huge thanks to all of Slung Low for including me in the line up this year! It was utterly brilliant and I can’t wait to see Slung Low 5.

The aftermath…

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.

Selected for FrightFest New Blood 2018 & new micro-short ‘Shushpiria’ online!

I had excellent news this month! One of my feature film pitches, a period horror piece, has been selected for Arrow Video FrightFest’s New Blood 2018 scheme with Queensbury Pictures! The scheme aims to find new writers and nurture their project from script to screen. One of last year’s entries, thriller Broadcast Signal Intrusion, is now in pre-production and due to be shot later this year.

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I’m ecstatic to be one of eight writers selected, and have already had invaluable mentoring by BAFTA-nominated UK producer Jack Tarling (God’s Own Country; Await Further Instructions), horror icon Barbara Crampton (You’re Next, Re-Animator, From Beyond), director (The Ranger) and producer (Psychopaths) Jenn Wexler, and Queensbury Pictures’ Giles Edwards. Over the next few months, I’m going to hone the script and see if this scary baby can be brought to life. Many thanks to FrightFest and Queensbury Pictures for the opportunity.

FrightFest New Blood talent with mentors
New Blood with mentors, photo by Julie Edwards Photography

Also, I made an ident for FrightFest – Shushpiria – which is now available online! A spoofy love letter to Argento’s Suspiria, it screened just before the UK premiere of The Ranger on both main screens, including the iMax, which blew me away. The point of the ident is to get the audience to switch of their phones.

This no-budget project was shot in one day by a very talented and creative team who gave their time because of their passion for it (credits at the end of the film). It’s a huge challenge to spoof something as specific and well-loved as Suspiria, but the lovely feedback from the crowd suggests the effort worth it. It was tremendous fun to do, even down to recording the faux Goblin music. Little bit of trivia – the painting in the background of the phone scene is by my dad – a very talented artist. Enjoy!