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Peaceful and Greywing House at London Horror Festival

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

It was a very uncharacteristically warm and sticky October night at Camden Town’s Etcetera Theatre for my final night reporting from the London Horror Festival. There were two shows on the bill, both quite dark, but also quite different.

The Off-Off-Off Broadway Company’s Peaceful is a Victorian haunted house yarn. Laura Louise Baker is Ethel Charlesan, an old and crippled woman who lives alone in a rambling and creaky house. Convinced that she can hear ghosts she invites her estate manager Mr Coburn (Polis Loizou) to a séance held by the exotic lilac-gloved medium Mr De Villiers (Jaacq Hugo). Coburn recognises De Villiers as a fraud and the two come to a mutually beneficial arrangement before the séance kicks off, but is De Villiers just trying to hoodwink the old bat by playacting or is there something darker trying to break through?

More Henry James than MR, Peaceful was pretty intense stuff.

Find out more…

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Timeslip / The Atomic Man (1955)

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from networkonair.com

Image sourced from networkonair.com

The police drag the near lifeless body of a man from the Thames, a bullet lodged in his back. On the operating table his heart stops, to all intents and purposes the man is dead for seven seconds before the adrenaline shot kicks in and his heart starts beating again.

Investigative reporter Mike Delaney (Gene Nelson) thinks he has a scoop on his hands when he identifies the patient as Stephen Rayner (Peter Arne), a nuclear physicist, only Rayner appears to be alive and hard at work on a secret project. Meanwhile back at the hospital, the identical Rayner has regained consciousness, but the police are baffled by the answers he gives to their questions. Just as baffling, he fogs photographic and X-Ray films and sets off the radiography suite’s Geiger counter.

Image sourced from networkonair.com

Image sourced from networkonair.com

Thankfully, when Delaney plays back a recording of Rayner being…

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After Midnight (2014)

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image provided by October Coast PR

Image provided by October Coast PR

Catherine Annette plays Constance, a local TV newsreader in Los Angeles. Breaking news that night is the gunning down of her wayward sister Duffy outside the Candy Cat pole-dancing club where she worked. Haunted by the image of he dead sister with a bullet in her head, Constance takes a break from work to go undercover as a stripper at the Candy Cat. Every time Constance gets a promising lead with a witness, the witness gets bumped off. The race is on for Constance to find the killer.

Right, let’s face it, if you are watching this movie it’s probably for the surgically inflated tits rather than the plot, which has a dreadful, oddly predictable twist. Given the way that the narrative is set up, I can only imagine it was rewritten and tacked on during production because someone thinks all thrillers should end like…

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Ladybird and The Monster Hunters: LIVE at London Horror Festival review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

Image sourced from londonhorrorfestival.com

One of the great things about the London Horror Festival is the sheer diversity of shows on offer. Last night I took in two very different shows at Camden Town’s Etcetera Theatre, one knockabout funny and the other was rather more disturbing.

First up was The Monster Hunters: LIVE! A Knife at the Museum, a homage to that wild streak of psychedelically surreal creativity, which swept through British film and television during the 1960s and 70s that gave us some hit-and-miss Hammer Horrors as well as shows like The Avengers, Dr Who, Department S and The Persuaders.

So, it’s 1971 and Roy Steel (Matthew Woodcock), a hard drinking, womanising big game hunter, and Lorrimer Chesterfield (Peter Davis), an occult studies professor and possessor of the second largest brain in Britain (a kind of low rent Alan Quatermain and Van Helsing), are…

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Horror Brought to Life: Bad Milo (2013) at the CUT!

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from collider.com

Image sourced from collider.com

Conversations hushed as the room darkened and a lone figure took to the stage. Yes, it was Mr Billy Chainsaw and we were downstairs at Horse Hospital waiting for the 50th film to be shown at London’s greatest cult cinema club.

“Tonight’s film is about this demon who lives up a bloke’s arse”. There wasn’t any need for Billy to say anymore. How could there possibly be?

Image sourced from collider.com

Image sourced from collider.com

Duncan (Ken Marino) is having stomach problems so he goes to see a doctor. An ultrasound reveals an anomaly that the doctor puts down to a stress related disorder and recommends that Duncan should take it easy. Easier said than done, at work Duncan’s arrogant boss places him in charge of redundancies and puts him in an office that is a converted toilet. What’s more, he has to share it with the most annoying person in the…

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Fearie Tales: Exclusive Interview with Writer Stephen Jones

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from stephenjoneseditor.com

Image sourced from stephenjoneseditor.com

Back in the early 1800s, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected a bunch of European folk tales and published them as Kinder und Hausmarchen (Children’s and Household Tales). We know them as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and before Uncle Walt got his sugar-coated hands on them, they were not always thought to be that suitable for the rug rats.

Now 200 years later, award-winning anthologist Stephen Jones has asked some of the world’s greatest horror and fantasy writers to have a bash at reimagining some of these tales with an even darker spin. The Horror Hothouse‘s Simon Ball was lucky enough to catch Steve at Kim Newman’s An English Ghost Story launch, and ask him a few questions.

As they say in all the good stories, let’s begin at the very beginning. So, Steve, what was it was that made you want to revisit the world of…

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Shakespeare in Hell at London Horror Festival review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Image sourced from thepublicreviews.com

Image sourced from thepublicreviews.com

My second London Horror Festival show was to be a very different experience to Frankenstein: Unbolted. Once again drinks in hand, we climbed the stairs to the Etcetera Theatre above Camden’s The Oxford Arms.

On the stage, a cowled figure stood staff in hand. This was The Tempest’s Prince Prospero, the first of 18 characters from the works of William Shakespeare who would be joining us in a journey through Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell. Our guide through this mash-up was to be the spirit Ariel who kicks off the show with a spot of revenge on his old master.

The thing about the Bard’s plays is that they are chock full of bloody happenings and some of the greatest villains and most tragic heroines in English literature. What the four members of the all-female Brite Theatre Company do is pair up a selection of the…

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