Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Ey up... 7th Bradford Fantastic Films weekend

The always-excellent Fantastic Films weekend takes place in June, oop North in Bradford. Which gives me the opportunity to do my joke...

Did you hear about the new drug craze in Bradford? They're grnding up ecstasy tablets and injecting them direct into their mouths.
Yes! It's called "E by gum".


Anyway, sorry about the lack of posts recently, I've just swapped from Tiscali to Sky and... you don't want to hear this. Suffice to say, I'm back after more than a fortnight off. What do you mean, you didn't notice?

Here's the press release...

Classics from the vaults, cult guests, rare TV treats and an exhibition direct from the Hammer Horror archive – all at the 7th Fantastic Films Weekend at the National Media Museum
7th Fantastic Films Weekend, Friday 13 - Sunday 15 June 2008
National Media Museum, Bradford
0870 7010200
The 7th Fantastic Films Weekend at the National Media Museum promises three packed days of thrills, chills and unique treats for horror and sci-fi fans from across the UK from Friday 13-Sunday 15 June. FFW this year announces The Wicker Man director Robin Hardy as Patron, joining The League of Gentlemen member Jeremy Dyson.
This year’s guest highlights will include an exclusive pre-recorded introduction to The Thing by John Carpenter – followed by a screening of the film in glorious 70mm widescreen, and live interviews with guests including Peter Duffell (director of The House that Dripped Blood), Robert Fuest (director of the Dr. Phibes films), Harry K├╝mel (Belgian director of 1971 classic Daughters of Darkness) and Piers Haggard (director of Blood on Satan’s Claw).
Classic film screenings will include An American Werewolf in London and Poltergeist in 70mm, the original Hammer Dracula, restored and screened in digital and Black Christmas, a forgotten gem from the NMeM archive. I Am Legend will screen on the Museum’s giant IMAX screen, and contemporary treats will include the original Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse double-bill, Spine Tingler – a tribute to schlock horror maestro William Castle, and Vampire Diary, a fresh take on the lesbian vampire tale. In TV Heaven the chills will continue with rarely seen treats not available on DVD including the1984 version of Frankenstein starring Robert Powell and Carrie Fisher, the classic 1979 Omnibus teleplay Schalcken the Painter, and 1984 Play for Today Z For Zachariah about global terrors and personal dramas.
Hammer horror fans will have the opportunity to explore a unique display of original Hammer make-up direct from the Roy Ashton/Phil Leakey archive at the National Media Museum. The exhibition in the Museum’s Insight archive will include the original fangs worn by Christopher Lee in the Hammer Dracula films.
“The Fantastic Films Weekend is now firmly established as one of the UK’s premier horror, sci-fi and fantasy events,” said Artistic Director Tony Earnshaw. “Housed under one roof at the National Media Museum, it presents a unique line-up of classic films rarely seen on the big screen and gives aficionados the chance to meet and speak with the filmmakers who made them.”
For festival passes, day passes or individual tickets visit www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/fantastic or call the NMeM box office on 0870 7010200. Weekend pass £40 (£35 concs), day pass £20 (£15 concs) (passes do not include Imax titles). Grindhouse/Dr. Phibes double-bills £10 (£7 concs). Single tickets £5.50 (£3.70 concs), Imax DMR £8 (£6 concs).

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Beyond the Rave

Hammer's long-awaited (it says here) return (it also says here) to the world of films (it sort of says here)... hang on, I've lost my thread. Where was I?
Ah, yes...
Unfortunately, some berk has ressurected the Hammer name and attached it to what, unfortunately, looks like a not-very-good-idea-at-all called Beyond The Rave, which premieres on MySpace in two (count 'em) days. Book your place in front of your laptop now.
Or rather, don't. Why the bloody hell they couldn't have made a decent cinema film which trades on the Hammer name is frankly beyond me. But if you look at this link, and like the look of it, then perhaps you're the audience they're actually looking for, and not me.
Because the video for Pulp's Common People aside, anything with Sadie Frost in it is, frankly, enough to make me want to pull out my own eyeballs and wipe my arse with them. There, I've said it.

Captain Kronos returns!

Captain Kronos himself, the great Horst Janson (who obviously has some kind of painting in his attic, judging by the picture here) will be guest of honour at this year's Festival Of Fantastic Films in Manchester.
Who knows? This year the FOFF might even be graced by yours truly. But let's not go nuts.
Anyway, you can find out more here:

That saucy brunette from the more laddish end of your Sky programme guide is due to make an appearance too, apparently. Quite why she'd actually want to have a bunch of tubby pale 40-something chaps breathing their lager fumes over her is anyone's guess. Perhaps that's the kind of bloke she goes for...
Yes. Of course she does.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Pushing the envelope

Remember letters, postcards, etc? Well, if you do, you can soon stick a Hammer classic on your envelope. These are some stamps set to come out on June 10, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Carry On Sergeant, which was the first Carry On, and Dracula, which, erm, wasn't the first Hammer horror (that was Curse Of Frankenstein in 1957). So why not produce the Hammer ones last year and the Carry On ones this year? Eh? Eh?
Ah, well... with the inclusion of Carry On Screaming that actually makes it four BHFs to two non-BHFs, so nyaaah anyway.
What AM I going on about?
Anyway, you can find out more here.

Welsh BAFTAs have horror content

The Welsh BAFTAs, which seems like a bizarre idea, but anyway, have got a couple of BHF-flavoured nominations. Julian Richards, responsible for the truly dreadful Darklands and the truly terrifying The Last Horror Movie, is up for a gong for his thriller Summer Scars, and Welsh horror Daddy's Girl is too.

You can find out more here.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Beyond Allen

"Star" of Brit horrors Beyond Bedlam and Shallow Grave, professional shouting hairy berk Keith Allen has revealed to the Sun's Bizarre column (so it must be true) that his son Alfie Owen-Allen (yes, really) is a "far better actor than (he'll) ever be".
Having sat through Beyond Bedlam, we'd suggest it's a safe bet.
Also a better actor than Keith Allen:
Abi Titmuss;
Heather Mills-McCartney;
Everyone else on the planet, including Craig Fairbrass and Liz Hurley.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Just one (more) Cornetto

Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz (which was far more of a horror film than expected) creators Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have announced the name of the third film in their "Cornetto" trilogy, which has the working title "The World's End".
This has prompted people who speculate to speculate that it might be some kind of zombie armageddon film, which would, let's face it, be right up Messrs Pegg and Wright's alleys, as it were. Anyway, if it's half as good as Shaun, and twice as good as Fuzz, it'll be a cracker.
More here:

Within The Woods update

Here at BHF Towers (he said, nicking the TV Cream's idea and then regretting it, so we won't be calling our 30s semi that any more) we've had another missive from Richard Adams, producer of Within The Woods, a smaller-than-usual budget Brit film. And here it is...

I thought I'd put a quick note out to everyone here who has shown interest in the "Within The Woods" project so far.We have finished the first, main section of shooting, which was harrowing, manic and fraught, but ultimately very rewarding and what we have edited so far is looking really promising.
As we are filming straight to Hard Drive, we've been able to check shots on the same night (and when I say night I mean at 5 in the morning when we've been finishing shooting!) and therefore have only two days of pickups scheduled later this month. 95% of the film is now done, with only a few extra locations to be used for a couple of days.
We have been really lucky with crew and actors; lots of up and coming new talent, mainly from a stage background due to the RSC being just down the road from us, but also lots of TV background too. Michelle Webb on makeup has been the real driving force behind the scenes and her previous experience on 3 other zombie horror films has really helped. (Her work on the film Colin will finally get to be seen now as they have a release date now scheduled)I have attached a few links for you to see how things are going:
1) Facebook site - 450 members and growing daily - lots of behind the scenes pictures of cast, crew and SFXhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12357195189
2) Facebook fansite - for actual stills and where the trailers and scenes will be displayed.http://www.facebook.com/pages/Within-The-Woods/8846183916
3) Youtube site - I have attached this rather low quality version of a montage of scenes so you can get a rough idea. This is for PR only and is meant as a way of seeing what we've been up to so far. This is NOT a proper trailer so things will be getting better.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S21e3W9o15I
4) Yousendit - If you want to download the full actual Quicktime file of the above trailer, this is where you can find it, it takes a minute or two to download and will give you a much better idea, although even this is still not graded or filtered properly yet.http://download.yousendit.com/7713BE745F6BFAD7
I will carry on sending these occasional updates to keep everyone in the loop about things; we have a new website being designed as you read this, which will be a much better representation of the amount of time and effort we've been putting into this all. There are three days when people will be able to come to set - 28,29,30th of April, so please let me know as soon as possible so I don't have to turn people away if we get too busy.
We are doing a fair few interviews right now, for local press, TV & radio, national magazines, and fansites so please let me know if you would like to schedule a chat or meeting. We are based in the Midlands, in Warwickshire, and are filming in Oxfordshire, but we travel to London fairly regularly if needed.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Sangster on stage!

Hammer top man Jimmy "the Sang" Sangster will be interviewed by Marcus "the... Hearnia?" Hearn (author of many-a book on Hammer films) at a special event in London later this month. And no, this is NOT an April Fool. For one thing, it wouldn't be a particularly funny "fool". Apart from my comedy nickname for Mr Hearn. Anyway, here's the details...

Jimmy Sangster evening at BFI Southbank
18.40 Tuesday April 15th 2008
The BFI National Film Archive welcomes Jimmy Sangster to the stage plus two of his best films:

Taste of Fear Taste of Fear (aka Scream of Fear)
UK 1961. Dir: Seth Holt. With Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee. 82 mins.

‘More than a taste, it’s a basinful,’ proclaimed one reviewer of this taut thriller. Originally written for Sydney Box at Rank, Sangster’s script was bought by Michael Carreras when Box fell ill. An upmarket cast and location shooting in and around Nice elicited the description ‘Hammer going posh’ and the film’s success (it was one of Columbia’s top earners of 1961) prompted the studio to embark on a series of psychological thrillers. A Taste of Fear also marked Sangster’s first foray into production.

+ A Man on the Beach
UK 1955. Dir: Joseph Losey. With Donald Wolfit, Michael Medwin. 29 mins
Sangster’s first screenplay; another riviera-set drama, in which a thief takes refuge in the house of a doctor after killing his accomplice.
(UK 1963) 18:40 NFT1

Followed by an interview with Jimmy Sangster conducted by Marcus Hearn

Joint tickets for the screenings are £12.50, concessions £9.25 (members pay £1 less)
Tickets can also be purchased for each film; ring box office for prices.
Tickets can be booked from from the BFI Southbank box office.
Members postal booking available now.
Box Office
BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
South Bank
London SE1 8XT
Tel: 020 7928 3232