J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

film

It’s Christmas time, so let’s get afraid…with a good christmas horror film!!!

I enjoy Christmas, putting the tinsel up and popping a fairy on top of an over decorated tree are all part of the festive cheer, but there can be a bit too much saccharine this time of year. Should you find yourself reaching for the insulin when Sugar plum fairy shoves bucket loads of sweets down your throat while watching The Nutcracker, then it really is time to seek out an anti-Christmas alternatives and what better way then to order in some classic Christmas horror (and one ghost) films.

For me, there is nothing worse then settling down with some popcorn, chocolate and a glass of eggnog, only to find that the film you have your warm woollen mitts on is just so lame that you end up fast forwarding it knowing full well who or why ‘did it’ and instantly forget (or care) by the end of the credits. So, with this in mind, here are my ‘Top Five Classic Christmas Horror (and one ghost) Films’.
5) Black Christmas 1974 (1974).

Black Christmas

This is one of my sister Dawn’s favourite 70’s horror films and one I remember her telling me all about the creative deaths! Way before the likes of lone stalker horror films like, Halloween and Friday the 13th came along, Black Christmas was setting up many of the tropes that would be exploited in the nod and wink, Scream series. The now familiar premise sees a group of ‘sorority girls’ getting ready to celebrate Christmas. The girls have been receiving anonymous phone calls from someone they call, The Moaner as he just breaths heavy down the phone.
After calling The Moaners bluff, he replies with the chilling threat that he will kill them all.
As with this slasher film and all the ones that would follow, it is the inventive way the killer bumps of his victims that stays with the audience. (Spoiler alert) The first death is particularly gruesome and will have you will be cling-filming that left over turkey in a very different way. For me, the most memorable murder comes when the killer (is it The Moaner?) bumps off the Housemother, Mrs Mac (a comical ‘fishwife’ character) who makes the classic Slasher film victim mistake by going up into the attic (The other ‘No, No,’ is to go down into the cellar or call out, “who’s there?” when going to investigate a noise outside). Anyway, back to Black Christmas, Mrs. Mac having no idea of the horror film rules pops up into the attic and sees the killers handy work of his cling-film victim. Mrs Mac is swiftly dispatched by a swinging hook and zipped up into the attic.
Black Christmas is a slow burner allowing plenty of time for the audience to get to like the characters and then in turn have an emotional connection with them, making the experience all the more terrifying. Their was a remake of Black Christmas (2006) which added more gore due to the success of gore-porn fest of films like Hostel. But where the likes Hostel and the original had a strong storyline, Black Christmas (2006) relied too much on splattering the screen with blood, so my advice, stick to watching the original. (Spoiler alert) What makes Black Christmas so good is it ambiguous ending; Although we think the killer is dead the phone starts to ring…

4) Gremlins: The worse Christmas ever…. (1984).

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There are so many brilliant parts to Gremlins, from the dad getting a cute Mogwai creature for his son, Billy, Christmas present, to said Mogwai spitting fur balls that transform into the title of the film. However, for me, the favourite part of the film comes when Billy’s girlfriend tell’s Billy why she doesn’t like Christmas by retelling the classic Urban Legend (Although it has since gone on to happen in real life more then once!) of how her dad had dressed up as Santa with the intention of slipping down the chimney to surprise his family with gifts. Unbeknown to his wife and daughter they think he has gone missing and wait four or five days….it’s cold so his daughter lights a fire “It is then I recognised the smell” Fire men come, and find her dad has broken his neck and got stuck halfway done the chimney! eke!

3) Tales from the Crypt. Killer santa on the loose!

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This is another favourite of my sister and I’s, starring the Brilliant Joan Collins. Collins, Like Steve McQueen, started their careers in B-movies. While McQueen was seeing off The Blob, Collins was fighting Giant ants (Empire of the Ants). But it is Collins turn as a murderess wife in Tales from the Crypt that get’s her onto this list.
Based on the 1950’s comics of the same name, Collins bumps of her wealthy husband and then makes it look (quite unconvincingly if you ask me) like an accident along with the worse fake blood imaginable; all of which makes this chapter from Tales form the Crypt worth a look, but there is so much more! Borrowing once again from the Bumper Book of Urban Legends, the story unfolds with the radio announcing that a psychopath has escaped from the local asylum and is dressed as in a Santa outfit (as you do). The next ten minutes sees Collins world collapse as the Psycho Santa tries to break into her house. Unable to call the police (dead husband) Collin’s whizzers around the house locking all the windows, checking all the locks. But poor old Joan hadn’t banked on her excited young daughter spying Santa (who, it has to be said, looks pretty ropy) outside so she lets him in. Seriously though, If that scene was remade now both mother and daughter would quickly get weaponed up and kick that psycho Santa’s boney arse! Alas, poor Joan get’s her comeuppance as is the rule with this type of Horror.

4) Silent Night, Deadly Night. Trailer

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Dawn, I think you’d like this film, not because it is one of the all time classic Christmas films of all time, but because it is so bad and because of that it is so good.
Okay, here’s the plot, Billy and his baby brother Ricky, along with their parents are off to see their granddad on Christmas Eve. Good old Grandad, who has not spoken in years, waits to get Billy on his own and speaks! but instead of sharing christmas cheer, he tells young Billy that Santa know’s he has been bad and will punish him! Eke, eke eke!!
On the way home a robber (dressed as Santa) kills Billy’s parents forcing Billy and Ricky into an Orphanage, run by stick nuns, twisting poor Billy even further.
Fast forward ten years, Billy is working in a toy shop and on Christmas Eve is forced to be father Christmas. Doh!
Poor Billy’s mind snaps, he goes on a killing spree and…well that would spoil the fun! The film was highly criticised upon its release by people who never saw the film by parents who didn’t think Santa should be depicted as a homicidal maniac. The publicity made the film a cult, which in turn spun four more sequels and a remake!
For me personally, the original is the best, although Micky Rooney in part 4 as a demonic toy makes that particular sequel well worth a look as it will surly banish all cutesy memories of him in any of the five films with Judy Garland a distant memory.
But back to SNDN1; it’s clear that the main part of the budget was spent on Billy’s Santa suit, It’s rich, it’s plush, it even has bells on! The special effects are a bit rubbish….really bad in fact, but that’s all part of it, it’s like watching a modern day Ed wood directed movie, what more of a recommendation do you need!

5) The Innocents. Trailer

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Based on one of my all time favourite ghost stories, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, which has been adapted into films, an opera and even a ballet is a truly unnerving experience. The premises is pretty simple; a young woman, Miss Giddens (the brilliant Deborah Kerr) with limited experience of the world becomes a governess to two perfect children, Flora and Miles who’s parents are both dead, leaving their uncle (Michael Redgrave) who has no desire to look after either of them except financially, by keeping Miles at a private school and for the new governess to home school Flora at his country estate in the middle of nowhere. Isolation is always a great setting for a horror film, but it isn’t just the setting that creates the isolation for the young governess, but the fact that the only other (living) adult is the cook, played by Megs Grose (people of a certain age will know her better as Mrs Bridges from Up Stairs Down stairs) who can not read or write, an important plot devise to create further uncertainty about Miss Giddens take on reality. Mrs Grose informs the governess about the previous Governess, Miss Jessel who had been influenced by the Uncle’s Valet the rough and ready, Quint; both of whom are now dead. As the story unfolds, the governess sees both Miss Giddens and Quint on numerous occasions and becomes convinced the evil pair have come back from the grave to takeover the bodies of the governesses young charges. What makes this film particularly creepy (and been particularly popular with New Criticism) is that as a viewer you are never too sure if there is really a unworldly presence, or if it is the governess who is seeing things. The innocents of the children and the lack of education from the cook only help to compound the feeling of what is going on. However, it is the ending that is truly shocking and makes this film a real must for a chilling Christmas treat.

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All Fall Down: A Homage to 1980’s Slasher/Horror Films. Part Five, We All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Part Five 

We All fall Down

 

misfits-skull-nun-doll-face By customcreepydolls customcreepydolls.deviant.com

misfits-skull-nun-doll-face By customcreepydolls
customcreepydolls.deviant.com

Turning the next page he saw Sister Theresa outside the house he was in now, in the back ground a ‘Sold sign’ and read the rest of the story. “Sister Theresa makes vow to bring old orphanage back to it former glory.”
Grabbing the scrapbook, Dan was about to go downstairs and find the other when he heard a noise from the other side of the room, holding up the candle he spotted a door on the far side.
Oh dear reader what a silly mistake Dan made, for you see as soon as he stepped into the back room of the attic, he fell through a hole, right up to his middle.
Within that moment, Dan thought of the nursery rhyme in his room, Doctor Foster. As he tried to move, he felt himself being gripped hard by the waist as someone tied restraints into place. In any other circumstances, Dan would have been quite pleased, but right here, right now, he was furious and thrashed against his restraints, with no success. Then from behind him he heard the door open again he tried to turn but found he could only catch glimpses of a figure behind him, each time getting a better idea who it was. Slowly the figure walked past him, carrying a candle and setting it down on a table in front of him, which lit up the fall horror in front of him.

 

***

By now the disabling drug in the brandy had taken full effect. Although Cherry could move, she was fully aware of her surroundings as she watched Trisha Steers lit candles all around the room.
“What have you done with my friends?” slurred Cherry
Trisha continued to light the candles in the room and said, “Friends my dear? Can you really call those sewer dwelling scum your friends? But then have you ever really had any friends? I know you’re work has been your soul interest, never really been able to make a meaning connection with anyone since that fateful day at Big Steps wide strides have you Cherry?”
There was a long pause as Cherry tried to say that wasn’t true, but dear reader she knew that Trisha had hit the nail on head, if only that was the simple plan of revenge Trisha had lined up for Cherry, but she had something much more punishing for the girl who could have helped.
“I tried,” slurred Cherry, but Trisha wasn’t listening, as she spoke more to herself then to Cherry,“I should blame myself for making a small mistake, but I did all I could to look after my baby.”
Cherry pulled her head up and took another good look at Trisha, of course she now knew where she had seen the face before, as Trisha continued, “A good Catholic girl like me wasn’t allowed to make a mistake, no matter how small; if the Mother Superior had ever discovered that I was pregnant then I would have been banished by the order, the church was my life!”

Trisha then turned back to Cherry, “I could only watch from afar as the other nuns cared for my boy, I knew I could not get involved as my secret would surely have been discovered, I even came to the school on occasion to see him and even then I found I could not stop his life being made a misery.”
Cherry, looked up “Sister Theresa! I remember you now.”

***

Dan stared at his old classmates all sitting in front of him and screamed. Bella sat on a chair, a fine mist of a spiders web covered her bitchy features, while the spider itself feasted on her eyes. May lay with her body flopped backwards, her intestines oozing from a gash in her gut and then there was Rose, sitting so sweetly in her chair, with her head placed neatly in her lap. Dan watched as the skull faced nun walked over to the far corner of the room and picked up a rusty watering can. Dan tried to struggle free from his restraints, but it was impossible, he was stuck fast. He looked up just as the nun tipped the watering-can’s contents. The shower of acid, rained down on Dan, burning his skin, dissolving his vicious tongue and murderous eyes for evermore.

***

Sister Theresa, smiled and squeezed Cherry’s face. “I have waited so long to get you all together. I wanted you to have something precious in your life, be it wealth, recognition or even love, not that I think any of you spiteful lot had ever felt that.”                                                                                                              She then looked up as the door opened. “Good, you’re here, come in.”

The nun came into the centre of the room and stood in front of Cherry.
“Take your mask of Johnny.” said Sister Theresa.
Johnny pulled off his mask and Cherry gasped. Although a fully grown adult, Johnny Flynn still had the same innocent baby face.
Cherry looked at Sister Theresa and pleaded to be let go but Sister Teresa slowly shook her head, I’m sorry my dear, but that is not going to happen. It was my fault that I lost my baby once, but it was you and your friends who destroyed him and for that reason, like your friends you will have to suffer.
Cherry pleaded for Sister Theresa to stop what she was doing, but Sister Theresa ignored her cries as she to pulled on a skull mask and fixed her veil back in place while Johnny passively looked on.
Sister Theresa opened her bag and took out a gold-gilded box and a rusty funnel.
“What was your nursery rhyme again my dear? Oh yes, there was an old woman who swallowed a fly.”
“Please stop” said Cherry “what ever you’re thinking of doing you can just stop now and leave. I won’t tell anyone what happened, you’re right, I have no loyalty to the others who made Johnny’s life such a misery.”
Cherry’s turned her gaze to Johnny and pleaded with him, “Johnny, I tried to save you, you remember that don’t you?”
Johnny looked on at Cherry, giving her some hope, but then he pulled his skull mask back into place.

Sister Theresa chuckled to herself as she walked over to Cherry, lifted the lid of the gold gilded box and showed Cherry its contents. Cherry’s eyes widened as she looked down at the hundreds of maggots crawling around the inside of the box.

Taking the opportunity, Sister Theresa grabbed hold of Cherry’s hair and yanked her head back, she then pushed the metal funnel down her throat, scrapping the metal tube along Cherry’s teeth. Cherry gagged, but was unable to move a muscle as Sister Theresa tipped the maggots down the funnel until the box was empty, she then pulled the funnel out of Cherry’s throat, tapping out the remaining maggots onto Cherry tongue.

Sister Theresa laughed as Cherry’s eyes darted around the room, “Don’t worry my dear, you’ll still be able to breathe through your nose, giving the maggots plenty of time to feast on your innards, my guessing is by the time they hatch into bluebottle the majority will escape through your nose, but the backlog will definitely try and eat through your eyes”.
The crazed nun then sealed Cherry’s mouth with some masking tape and turned to her son, only to see that he had picked up the gold-gilded box.
“Put that down Johnny, it’s an heirloom from the church.”
But Johnny ignored his mother, pulled off the skull mask and looked at Cherry, before turning back to his mother and crashed the gold box into the side of her head, knocking her to the ground.
Johnny then ripped off the masking tape and pushed Cherry forward, allowing her to throw up the crawling maggots. He then pulled Cherry out of the lounge, not noticing that that one of the candles and tipped over towards the curtains.
Dragging Cherry outside, Cherry gulped in deep breaths. It was only then that Johnny noticed the building was on fire. Cherry tried to call after him to stop, but Johnny ran back in to save his only living relative.

***

Cherry looked up to find flashing light and with police, ambulance and the fire brigade rushing around. As she was put in the ambulance, she managed to say, “I think my friends are all dead, but there’s two other inside alive”.

 ***

Later in the hospital, a two policewomen sat by Cherry’s bedside and asked her if there was anyone she wanted them to call, but Cherry shook her head and said there was no one. She asked after her friends, and was told that their remains had been found at the top of the house.
“What about Sister Theresa and Johnny Green? They were in the lounge.”
Both policewomen looked at each other and said, “I’m sorry Ms Blossom, but there were no other bodies found.”
Cherry Looked at both women and said, “Then they are still out there….waiting”.

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I Love Trish: A Cautionary Drug Tale

I Love Trish

I Love Trish.
I love Trish, it is one of my favourite tales from the Blanche Street Tales. This story was originally written as a trilogy, paying homage to those 1970’s style horror tales: Doctor Terrors house of Horrors, Tales from the Crypt and the Karen Black classic, Trilogy of Terror. When I was putting this collection of Blanche Street Tales together I revisited this story which was about a group of friends taking a new street drug and each experiencing some mind bending horrors. As I began to rewrite the tale I decided for all the horrors to happen to one person, Howard.
From the very start I wanted to create an environment that would alienate my protagonist, and so I have Howard on a train journey from Norwich to Ipswich and then of course on to Blanche Street where he meets the main villain of the piece, Chef. In the same way that horror films have the audience shouting to the victim “Don’t go into the wood/attic/cellar” I want my readers to be shouting the same to Howard as he gets in ever deeper all in his pursuit of Trish.

I wanted to create a new street drug and chose Trish in the same way other street drugs are given moniker, like Charlie for cocaine. The drug I made up takes the user into another realm altogether, dependant on what’s on their mind.
(spoiler alert) Unfortunately for Howard he keeps thinking and seeing an animal that will lead to his horrible demise by the end of the tale.
Howard went to clear up the partly chewed, greasy chicken bones only for Chef to yell, “Fucking leave it, get your arse in the back.” (I Love Trish).

I remember reading an article around the same time about an 80’s pop star talking about his drug addiction to heroin. He felt that because he was snorting the drug his drug use wasn’t as hardcore as those who injected; for me this was an interesting paradox that I wanted to include in my story. So I have Howard continuing to get in an ever deeper situation with the reader looking on as a concerned bystander, hopeful urging him to just get on the train back home.
He then reached back into the sports bag and produced a sterile wrapped syringe. For Howard, the whole situation suddenly got turned on its head. “I, I, I, wasn’t thinking of injecting it, I, I, I, mean I’ve never done that before Kes never mentioned needles.” (I Love Trish).

Most of the Blanche Street tales interact with each other, giving some extra information to the reader. (Spoiler alert) In the previous story, The Fall of Derrick Houser, Derrick’s home is flooded by the Chefs rubbish which has a distinctive smell of rotting flesh. My hope is that this will get the reader to think that the last scene in I love Trish is not only a horrible hallucination, but that the Chef is in fact chopping his victims up for his dinner. Howard also hears the painful cries of Derrick  calling out for his long dead sister, Madeline, as he passes number seven.
With his last ounce of energy, Howard threw his head to one side and stopped dead. The sound of a large kitchen knife being sharpened behind him became his soundtrack. (I Love Trish)
A filthy sheen from next door’s rubbish glistens on top of the water, filling the kitchen with a familiar stench. (The Fall of Derrick Houser)

From the point of Howard taking Trish, things get very strange, A strong influence comes from the hallucination scene in Trainspotting. A key scene in the film is when Renton has his nightmare as he goes cold turkey. I can still conjure up that scene very clearly now and wanted to have a go at creating a scene that the reader wouldn’t forget in a hurry. With feedback from fans of the book, I believe I achieved what I set out to do. *Throughout this story I wanted to pull the reader into a deeper, disturbing world which gets grimmer and grimmer as Howard spirals into his drug induced hallucination. For some reason at this stage I was reminded of Charlotte Bronte when in her novel Jane Eyer she address the reader directly: “Reader, I married him”, (Chapter 38) and it felt like a great device to use in this tale.
all he could manage was a flutter of his wings as he waited for his neck to be snapped. “If only dear reader, if only.” I Love Trish.

*want to know what that scene was? Just download the book to find out: www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00OWFK1SA.9

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Happy Birthday David Bowie, A True Visionary of Our Times.

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Happy Birthday David Bowie, 67 today. There can’t be that many people who have not heard of Bowie’s music, with his incredible output of twenty six studio albums, nine live albums, and a whooping one hundred and nine singles. Part of his success has been to his constant reinvention of not only his style of musical output, but also his every changing alter-egos, from the Boy next door, David Jones, Ziggy Stardust, that scary clown from the ashes to ashes video, Thin White Duke right up to last years incarnation getting all post modern with Tilda Swinton taking on the Bowie’s character, Thomas Jerome Newton in the cult film; The Man who Fell to Earth, in the brilliant video for his single, The Stars (Are Out Tonight.)

Typical Tilad pose from the video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight

Typical Tilad pose from the video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight

No doubt there will be many blogs today talking about Bowie’s contribution to music, but he also has made many memorable appearances in film, including The Hunger, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Labyrinth and his film debut, The Man Who Fell to Earth.

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With Bowie’s birthday in his frame of vision, The Brighton Writer sat down last night and revisited this brilliant sc-fi film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. For those who have not seen it, or have vague memories of sitting through the two hours and twenty minutes of a visual feast, here is a recap.

 

 

Thomas Jerome Newton (Bowie) is an alien from the planet, Anthea, who has come to earth in the search of water to take back to his his drought ridden planet. He has nine patents from his own advanced planet, which once put in place garners him incredible wealth. The money he raises was intended  to build a space ship enabling him to return to his planet (in the book his plan was to bring his race back to earth, infiltrate key government powers and divert the human race from destroying itself with a nuclear war, as had happened on his own planet.

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However, during his stay he meets a chambermaid at his hotel, a  a lonely woman called Mary Lou (played brilliantly by Candy Clark). Although together their love grows and Mary Lou’s character blossoms, Newton becomes addicted to alcohol (Beef eater Gin in particular) and television, (watching several television program at once).

images-10 images-3 images-2 images-4 images-11 Hello Mary-Lou

Despite this, Newton managers to create his  spaceship, but is arrested before he can make his highly publicised maiden launch and is incarcerated in the depths of a large hotel. there he is experimented on, by officials who believes he is a fake.

After many years he is eventually released from his Imprisonment, but by now he is a chronic alcoholic and unbeknown to him, his own specious has died of drought.

What is fascinating about the film is the continuous low level pace. Even during the more violent scenes, when Newton is being tortured or his business partner is murdered, thrown out of a top floor window by two men in glittery motorcycle helmets (The whole film has a very 1970’s feel to it) as a viewer your heart races with out feeling you are being bombarded with violence, that so many modern films of this ilk insists on showing.

Bowie’s performance as an outsider, quietly looking in is pitch perfect, as is his ghostly features, framed in a shock of red hair. It was only later that Bowie confessed that he was heavily addicted to cocaine and that for the most part he had little idea of what was happening.

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“I was going a lot on instinct, and my instinct was pretty dissipated. I just learned the lines for that day and did them the way I was feeling. It wasn’t that far off. I actually was feeling as alienated as that character was. It was a pretty natural performance. … a good exhibition of somebody literally falling apart in front of you.” David Bowie

It has been Bowie’s intuitive instinct that has made him one of the most influential performers for the last five decades, with little sign of that creativity stopping yet.

Happy Birthday David Bowie, a true visionary of our times.

The Man Who Fell to Earth, Trailer http://youtu.be/oKF5lHcJY9k.

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Equality Tidal Wave

Zachary QuintoA couple of weeks ago, I found myself watching the Jonathan Ross show, (not a regular habit as I find Ross’ style of interviewing a bit crass and a very self-absorbed). However, on this occasions I was pleasantly surprised to listen to the actor Zachary Quinto, (Star Trek, Heroes, American Horror Story) talking about being a successful actor in Hollywood, while being open and proud about being a gay man. Quinto spoke most eloquently about his need to come out two years ago, after hearing about a rash of young American teenagers had committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay. Read more

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Film Review: The Reader

reader1[1]Having read and given out thirty copies of Bernhard Schlink’s novel, The Reader for World Book Night, I grabbed a copy of the film adaptation to see how it translated to film. With director, Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot) at the helm, I sat back knowing the film was in safe hands. The lighting and stage sets pulled the viewer in as the short love affair between 15 year old Michael (David Kross, War Horse) and his older lover Hanna (Kate Winslet).

As in the book, the film takes it’s time to establish the intense relationship between the two leads, while hinting at Hanna’s dark past and the inner secret she is holding deep inside herself; which will ultimately bring devastation and misery to both Michael and Hanna’s lives.

Years later, Michael attends a court hearing, were a group of former women guards from the SS are on trial. Michael is horrified to discover that his former lover is one of those accused of the compliant murder of fifty women and children burnt to death in a church.  

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As the trial continues, Hanna’s secret is revealed to Michael, leaving him with the dilemma of exposing Hanna’s secret to save her from a life sentence, but in doing so would reveal his illicit love affair. Both Hanna and Michel are too ashamed to share their secrets, and in doing so, both are trapped in a life which imprisons one physically and the other, mentally.  

Ralph Fiennes bookends the film as the older Michael, but it is Winslet who truly captures the audience’s imagination as Hanna, a villain and victim uncomfortably rolled in one leaving the viewer questioning their feelings on the rights and wrongs of Hanna, her actions and the prison society built around her.Kate-in-The-Reader-kate-winslet-4097214-1430-782[1]

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World Book Night

World Book NightIt’s that time of year again when I, along with 20,000 other volunteers will be hitting the streets tonight to give away 400,000  book titles to random strangers in the bid to get more people reading fiction that they would not normally consider, or to get people who don’t normally get stuck into a novel.

This year I will be giving away Bernhard Shclink’s thought provoking novel, The Reader.

Glenn Stevens, ready for World Book Night

Glenn Stevens, ready for World Book Night

Read more

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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Jodie Foster, Golden Globes[1]Earlier this year, I watched Jodie Foster’s rambling speech as she kind of told the world that she was gay. Although for many, such news about Foster’s sexuality has been an open secret; for Foster, being in the public eye from a very young age, she has been fiercely protective over her private life, seeing it as the one thing she has full control off. Of course, there is also the added factor that Foster grew up in a time when homosexuality, particularly in Hollywood, was not celebrated in quite the same way it is today. With this in mind, I imagine when Foster left that stage, a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders, or at least I hope so.

            In my lifetime I have met men who have kept their sexuality a secret from either their families or work colleagues for any number of reasons, from fear of being rejected, or thought of as not a real man, whatever that may mean. Read more

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Blood, Gore and Movie Metaphore

Although horror is often seen as mere pulp fiction, to dismiss the horror genre in such a way is giving this style of creative work a disservice. The dore_lucifer_hell[1]bible is filled with works of horror which in turn influenced, Dante Alighieri to create his epic poem, the Divine Comedy which includes the truly horrifying, Nine Gates of Hell. Such stories have been told to keep us on the straight and narrow, while more modern day classics have tapped into our primal fears, including: Bram Stokers, Dracula, Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Read more

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…………………Top 5 Horror Fiction

Halloween; a time of monsters, pumpkins and gorging yourself on sweets; preferring to have your front door pelted with eggs and loo roll rather than give anything to those pesky kids.

So with the front door securely locked and the curtains pulled tight, now is also a good time to grab yourself a horror classic, but which one is best? Here are my top five monster stories.

 

 

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Posted on by admin in Fiction & Books, film, Gothic horror Leave a comment