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/

Deborah M. Pratt long read on The Companion – could Quantum Leap return?

It’s alive! My second feature on beloved 90s sci-fi TV show Quantum Leap is now live on The Companion app and website.

Following on from the publication of my first piece back in January, One Giant Leap for Sam, Another Day for Samantha, this feature delves much deeper into my interview with head writer, co-executive producer and uncredited co-creator, the inspirational Deborah M. Pratt.

In Leapt Ahead of Her Time, Deborah talks to me about the challenges of getting the show made, pushing boundaries, the enduring love of fans that kept the show alive, working with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, and her plans for it to leap back to our screens and how we can all play our part in making that a reality!

Deborah M. Pratt – Photo © Erin Thomas Brown

Head over to The Companion to subscribe and read all about it, and other epic new long reads every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday – a must for 90s sci-fi fans.

Quantum Leap feature for The Companion now live

My first piece for The Companion has now been published. It’s an extended feature about one of my all-time favourite TV shows – Quantum Leap – concerning one of the programmes most important episodes – the first in which Sam leaps into the place of a woman – What Price Gloria. The piece is called One Giant Leap for Sam, Another Day for Samantha.

Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, as Samantha, S2 Ep 4, Quantum Leap

I talked to the amazing writer and co-exec producer, Deborah M Pratt, who was generous with her time, about her influences, intentions and reflections on writing and making the episode, and the timely relevance of its themes. It was an honour to speak to such a pioneer.

I’m really proud of this piece. Revisiting the show has been a slice of nostalgic delight, but also a reminder that though we’ve made some leaps, there is still yet more progress to be made in a post #MeToo era.

Sam conquers 1960s sexism… in heels

You need to be a subscriber to The Companion to read my feature in full here, but it’s a great app and website for TV, film, scifi and 90s fans. A snip for some great content and different perspectives on all the movies and shows you loved from a cracking era. More on Quantum Leap from me to come!

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.

On writing team for ‘The Companion’ app & website – a treat for 90s scifi fans

I’m so happy to be part of the writing team on The Companion, a brand new app and website devoted to 90s scifi. There’ll be long reads, podcasts, daily trivia, infographics and artwork to indulge in as your companion to all the films and TV shows that made the era so special. From Armageddon to The X Files, The Companion is an insider look at who, how, and why our favourite films and shows were made from the cast, crew and experts who were there. As it’s app/website, the material will be up-to-date and it’ll always be with you in your pocket.

The Kickstarter campaign to raise a wedge of funds to aid the launch in August is now live and has already raised a huge proportion of the total needed in just two days, but there’s still a little way to go and great perks to be had – early bird subscription offers, art prints, enamel pins and more! Head over the the page for more details!

Nine-page article in Film Stories, Issue 14, March 2020 – on sale now!

Aside from writing my new play, prepping for my next short film and cooking up some other secret projects, I carved out time to write another piece for the INCREDIBLE movie magazine, Film Stories, issue fourteen.

This time, I interviewed eight great directors about the challenges they’ve faced getting their feature films made, their inspirations, honing their craft, obstacles they’ve overcome and still combat in the industry, and they also shared their wisdom and advice for new filmmakers. Oh, and though not a big deal, all eight of these incredible directors are female filmmakers. Both Film Stories and I are proud of this. We celebrate them in this mammoth nine-age article, the longest feature that Film Stories has published to date. It’s available in indie shops, the BFI Southbank shop and to order online.

Huge thanks to the filmmakers who spoke to me around their exceptionally busy work schedules and personal commitments to share their stories and experiences:

Alice Lowe

Prano Bailey-Bond

Rachel Tunnard

Hope Dickson Leach

Aislinn Clarke

Rita Osei

Jeanie Finlay

Chelsea Stardust

And great thanks to Simon Brew, the editor of Film Stories, for asking me to write this, but also for consistently putting together such a brilliantly entertaining, informative, exciting, independent and cool magazine, and in glorious fine-smelling print no less, not just digital.

New podcast appearances – Evolution of Horror & Franchise Players – out now!

I LOVE a good podcast, especially podcasts about films, so I was chuffed to chat about two great stonkers in two recent podcasts, both of which are now available for your aural pleasure.

First, I chatted to Mike Muncer on the hugely popular Evolution of Horror podcast about Ti West’s 2009 retro occult horror, The House of The Devil. A stunning example of beautiful low-budget independent filmmaking, which wears its influences on its sleeve, Mike and I delved deep into the plot, aesthetic, its legacy and superstar Greta Gerwig’s supporting role, as well as its film nerd status as a fine example of ‘mumblegore.’ This episode is twinned with Mike’s chat with Robb Watts about another witchy release from the same year, the equally brilliant Drag Me To Hell by Sam Raimi. Have a listen here or via Apple Podcasts and other services. It’s recently been Apple Podcast’s number one film history podcast!

Then I had a good old natter with Mark Goddard and Chloe Davies for the Franchise Players podcast about one of the best thrillers that has ever been made – yes, I said thriller rather than horror – Richard Donner’s 1976 classic, The Omen. This is another movie I have such respect for, and Mark, Chloe and I discussed the film in great detail – scene by scene where we could, evaluating the story, performance, score, its set pieces, where its genre lines blur and the influence it’s had on modern horror classics. We spoke for several hours and I could have praised it for another six hours. You can listen here.

If you love a bit of film history, critique and trivia, or just want to get your geek on during your commute, when cooking, in the bath or when trying to sleep, or you’re searching for creative inspiration, both are a good, fun and worthy listen. Enjoy!

And there’s more of me chatting on podcasts to come over the coming months… To be announced soon!

New article in Film Stories magazine, Issue 10, Oct 2019 – on sale now!

A brand spanking new article written by me is featured in the latest issue of the wonderful Film Stories magazine! It’s my third piece for the mag.

A five-page spread all about Rachel Tunnard’s brilliant 2016 film, Adult Life Skills starring Jodie Whittaker, it was a delight to write and reflect on. I spoke to Rachel about how she made her debut feature and there’s so much to learn from her experiences.

Massive thanks to Rachel for chatting with me so openly and sincerely about the production.

The article’s called Patching Up and starts on page 74 in issue 10 – the October edition of the magazine.

 

Out now in print and digital format, Film Stories is available online and in independent stores, including the BFI Southbank shop, with super cheap subscription options, too.

Thanks to Simon Brew for commissioning me to write this article about a film I love, again. I’m always really proud to be part of this very special movie mag.

Cat included in Evolution of Horror podcast FrightFest review episode

Another year, another Arrow Video FrightFest film festival done and dusted. As well as opening the 20th anniversary of the festival with #FFIDENT20 just before the premiere of Come to Daddy, I’m also really chuffed to be included in the Evolution of Horror special reviewing the festival. It’s a fantastic podcast and includes contributions from special guests, filmmakers, podcast listeners and FrightFest fans.

You can catch me at around 1 hour 13 minutes discussing my favourite film of the festival – the one that stole my heart and ate it. No hints!

Listen here!