The Wishing Well – Interview with Filmmaker Merlyn Roberts

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

The final of our Vampiir Bitez shorts is The Wishing Well by Merlyn Roberts and Steve Lyons of Wyldewood.

Wishing-Well-Entity-1A deep and brooding film about grief’ loss and the supernatural forces that lurk within the Earth The Wishing Well’s ability to shock really creeps up on the viewer. Merlyn Roberts tells us about it and how it got made:

I’ve been making films on and off for the last 15 years. They all fall under the banner of horror or fantasy. In the last 7 years I’ve been making shorts with my long time friend Steven Lyons under the name Wyldewood  productions.

Merlyn Roberts Merlyn Roberts

The Wishing Well was our second project and we really wanted to do something special. However money was typically short so instead of writing something and then deciding where would get props, cast and budget, we decided to make something with what we already…

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Leytonstone by Stephen Volk – Book Review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

In 2013 the Hothouse joined the actor Peter Cushing as he attempted to resolve a case of child abuse while dealing with his own grief following the death of his beloved wife Helen, in Stephen Volk’s novella Whitstable. Having spent a good deal of my early teens on the Kent coast I found Volk’s evocation of early 70s Whitstable and its environs remarkably faithful. leytonstone-front-cover-with-titlesWhitstable is the first part of a trilogy featuring people drawn from the darker side of cinema. curiously the second novella in the series, Leytonstone, also features a place familiar to the Hothouse editor, the east London suburb of Leytonstone. However Volk’s Leytonstone takes place in the early 1900s rather than the time when I used to reside there in the early 1980s. The subject of the novella is a seven-year old Fred the son of the local greengrocer. We know him today as…

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Sweet Madness – A Harley Quinn Short

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Is the DC Universe dark enough for the Horror Hothouse? You bet it is when we get shorts like this from director Peter Dukes. Sweet Madness features Harley Quinn stepping out from the Joker’s shadow to have a little fun on her own and she’s just as twisted as any other Hothouse psycho.

Sweet Madness Poster (for web)

We asked Peter what was it that so appealed about Harley to him.

‘Harley is a fabulously complex character and since the live action Batman canon has yet to show her any love (pending 2016’s Suicide Squad, that is) I wanted to show her some myself.  This is het story.  The Joker is in it, but in a way most people haven’t seen him before.  If I’m going to take on a film like this, I might as well be bold, so I’ve stripped him of his make-up to not only expose the twisted man…

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English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby – Book Review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Untitled(1)Jonathan Rigby’s English Gothic was described by SFX as “Essential” they went onto say “Don’t even try to discuss British horror films until you’ve read it” when it was first published back in 2000. I’d have to agree with them and as the owner of a much battered old paperback edition I was delighted to get my hands on the new hardback 2015 edition, complete with a rather stunning shot of the late Sir Christopher Lee from Hammer’s Dracula (1958) on the dust jacket.

Rigby’s book is quite remarkable because it traces the development of the British horror movies on virtually a film by film basis from the silents of the 1890s right up to the present day, without ever being dusty or boring which such a tome could easily have become. On top of that it is beautifully illustrated with production stills and film posters. There’s even a chapter…

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Boys on Film 13: Trick or Treat

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

We like portmanteau films at Horror Hothouse, from Ealing’s Classic Dead of Night and the Amicus chillers of the 60s and 70s   to George A Romero’s Creepshow there was always a little nugget to get under your skin, sometimes quite literally!

Ghostly goings on in Sweden Ghostly goings on in A Last Farewell

Boys on Film 13:Trick or Treat is a collection of ten short films from the UK, Sweden, Holland, Canada, the USA and Australia from our friends at arthouse, gay and lesbian film specialists Peccadillo Pictures. There is quite a lot to enjoy in Trick or Treat. Some of the movies like Anna Nolskog’s Boygame or John Connolly’s Vis-a-Vis will make you laugh with their naive confused sexuality or calculated but incompetent duplicity, others like Lazlo and Dylan Tonk’s Caged with its depiction of love and friendship overcoming stupid prejudice will uplift your spirits and  some like Caspar Andreas’s A Last…

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Closer to God (2015)

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

xudXPZWhen Dr Victor Reid (Jeremy Childs) creates the first cloned human baby he also creates a whole bunch of trouble. The authorities naturally want to examine baby Elizabeth, the media are thrown into a feeding frenzy and of course all the religious crazies crawl out of the woodwork determined to see Reid condemned to Hell for subverting God’s will.

When the state authorities go to the courts to get access to the baby Reid moves the child to his palatial out-of-state home, however this is where we discover that Reid’s PR people have not exactly been completely honest. Locked up in the servant’s quarters is Ethan the result of a previous attempt at cloning. And Ethan’s not a happy well-balanced boy at all.

So with the house under siege from religious nutters Ethan breaks loose. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Essentially this is a modern-day Frankenstein and presents a…

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Bite: Pavane for a Vampire Queen – Interview with Filmmaker Kevin Jackson

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

The third of our films from May’s Vampiir Bitez evening is Bite: Pavane for a Vampire Queen. Kevin Jackson’s short invites us to a vampire dinner party,.all very civilised to begin with, but just wait to the main course arrives

bite_dinner party

Well that’s what a quick once-over of Jackson’s sumptuously photographed film might tell you, but there is far more to it than that as Kevin explained to the Hothouse:.

‘This will probably sound too good to be true, but I swear it is: the basic idea for Pavane – full title: Bite: Pavane for a Vampire Queen – came to me in a dream. The detail that might make this just a little more plausible is that I had been musing for a couple of weeks about what to shoot, and my unconscious duly obliged me with an answer. For me, one of the most potent aspect of the vampire…

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