Showing posts from May, 2010

Literary Remains

R(ay) B Russell is best known in the world of publishing for co-founding Tartarus Press with his wife, Rosalie Parker. Recently both Ray and Rosalie have taken to writing as well as publishing fiction. It's an interesting variation on the usual pattern, whereby the writer moves into editing because it's steadier work. So far RBR has published three books - two collections and one novella. The second collection, Literary Remains , is just out from PS Publishing. And a remarkable read it is. While I'll have a longer review in ST18, it's worth noting that the stories are not conventional horror or ghostly tales. Instead they fall into a vaguely-defined territory between the supernatural, the psychological and the downright baffling. Influences? Well, Robert Aickman is in the mix insofar as dream logic seems to be at work in stories such as 'A Revelation', in which a council housing inspector finds something strange in an attic, then concludes he must have imagi


Now here's an oddity. A film which has an American cast, setting and 'feel' about it, but which was in part sponsored by our own dear National Lottery. I'm glad to report that the money wasn't wasted, as Triangle is one of the better supernatural thriller/horror/mysteries I've seen in a good while. The Triangle of the title is a yacht that sets sail from Miami with half a dozen youngish folk on board - three male, three female. Of the latter one, Jes, seems a bit out of it. Not quite focused on the having fun at sea experience. And then all weirdness breaks loose in the form of a sudden calm, a strange distress signal, and a menacing storm that blows up out of nowhere. The Triangle capsizes and one of the women apparently drowns. The other five hang on to the upturned hull. Things do not look good. Cue the arrival of a big ocean liner, the Aeolus. The vessel slows down so the survivors can board. But why is there no-one on deck to greet them? Indeed, why doe

Dead of Night

Post-war (but only just) British spooky portmanteau with ghosts aplenty. If you haven't seen it, a. where have you been? and b. prepare yourself for the grand finale. The opening sequence is so nice and sunny. Cunning deception.

Bad Cinema Diary

As the title so cunningly suggests, Bad Cinema Diary is a web site dedicated to movies that never won critical plaudits or awards, but have sometimes won the hearts of fans. It's a labour of love, with lots of fascinating reviews of movies I'll probably never see, plus quite a few I've seen more than once. It's set out as an e-book in a series of pdf files.  Here , for instance, are the pages dedicated to Hammer's Frankenstein movies.

Essay on Night of the Demon

Having just watched this I am again impressed with how much was done in those pre-CGI days. Script, direction, lighting. Pity Dana Andrews was semi-comatose for the shooting.

Enough For Now

I'm closing ST to submissions until the New Year. I really do have a lot of stories to get through, and feel that I shouldn't be racking up issues two or three years ahead. Sorry and all that - but other magazines are available!

The Woman in Black

Hammer Films are to make a 3D movie of Susan Hill's novel. According to the press release: The Woman in Black 3D  is produced by Simon Oakes for Exclusive's Hammer Films label and Richard Jackson at Talisman Films. Exclusive's Nigel Sinclair and East are serving as Executive Producers, along with Roy Lee for Vertigo Entertainment ( The Ring ). Jane Goldman ( Kick-Ass ) is adapting the screenplay, based on Susan Hill's best-selling novel. Production is expected to begin in the Fall of 2010. The Woman in Black  follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client's papers. As he works alone in the client's isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black. 

The Bent Spine

With the mission of 'dusting off horror literature and cinema for the discerning reader and viewer', this is an engaging and informative blog. It's easy to fall behind or lose track of what's going on, especially in horror cinema, where movies often arrive under the radar of mainstream criticism. Lots of reviews here, and as a confirmed review-addict I find it well up to scratch. Thanks to David Surface for drawing my attention to this spiffing resource.

Special Bank Holiday issue! No, not really...

Billy Bunter and the Midnight Feast of Blood! (An awful yarn for sensible chaps) ‘Bunter! Desist in this unconscionable turpitude!’ rasped Mr Quelch. The Master’s gimlet eyes glinted with displeasure as they surveyed the corpulent figure labouring at the rear of the procession of Greyfriars’ pupils.          ‘Yes, do get a move on, old man,’ called Bob Cherry, cheerily.          ‘Shake a leg, you fat cormorant!’ jeered Johnny Bull, bullishly.          ‘Shift your fat backside, lardy boy!’ said a person not in the story.          Bunter puffed and panted as he tried to keep up, but it was hard going. His short, fat legs were not made for rapid locomotion, especially when the gradient was so markedly against them. It really was beastly unfair, thought Bunter, too winded even to complain aloud. Why did they have to waste their time visiting putrid old castles when there was probably a perfectly decent cake shop in the village?          By the time Bunter had reached the flight of (beas

We're all very nearly doomed. Hurrah!

New exciting trailer for The Whisperer in Darkness over at the HPLHS .

Review of a book about a book

Say what you like, but if your publication is reviewed in the Financial Times you are either a. a major publishing corporation or b. doing something very right indeed. Tartarus Press fall into the latter category. So here's another book I feel I must buy but have no room for.