Showing posts from April, 2012

Clearance - everything must go

I've had enough of these boxes cluttering the living room. They make it impossible for me to clutter the living room up with more books and DVDs. So I'm getting rid of back issues of ST. Hardly anyone ever wants to purchase a back issue so... 1. If you're an ST author and want some more free copies of the one with your story in it, let me know and I'll send you a couple of issues - just pay the postage. 2. If you're a dealer in obscure magazines, see 1. above. Most of them are going to be recycled. I'll just keep a couple of copies of each issue. UPDATE ST10, ST16 and ST19 are now officially SOLD OUT. That means that anyone who wants a copy of ST19 - as a booklet or download - can still go to Lulu. It might actually be cheaper for anyone in North  America looking for any issue from ST17. Unfortunately ST16 and earlier issues are not on Lulu.

Ghost Stories for Christmas on DVD

So, the British Film Institute has pulled its finger out and is releasing  some of the classic seasonal dramas of the Seventies. The first two volumes will be released in August 2012 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of M.R. James's birth. Two more volumes will follow in September, while the fifth and final volume, as well as a complete  Ghost Stories for Christmas  box set, will follow in October. Volume One  includes two versions of the chilling Whistle And I'll Come To You: Jonathan Miller's 1968 adaptation, starring Michael Hordern, and the 2010 re-imagining, starring John Hurt. Volume Two  includes The Stalls of Barchester (1971), starring Robin Hardy, and A Warning to the Curious (1972), starring Peter Vaughan, as well as Christopher Lee's Ghost Stories for Christmas: The Stalls of Barchester (2000). Yes, fans of Robert Hardy, they got his name wrong. Let's hope they handle the DVD release a bit more competently. And frankly I can do without the i

Voices (aka Nightmare) 1973

If you can watch a very old, cut down for TV version that was uploaded from VHS, you might enjoy this. It betrays its origin as a stage play, and is very much a two-hander, with good performances from Hemmings and Hunnicut. But while most of the movie is okay, the last ten minutes or so take it to a new level and make it a genuinely effective ghost story. And yes, perhaps it was intended to cash in on Don't Look Now, but it takes a very different direction.

Walter de la Mare stories

Not for the first time, BBC Radio 4 Extra is running five 30 min readings of stories by the revered (if enigmatic) Walter de la Mare. Among the readers are Richard E. Grant ('All Hallows') and Kenneth Cranham ('Crewe'), The series is here:

ST Covers that never were...

I never quite screwed up the courage to try these fractal patterns. Some are a bit rubbish, but others I really liked. Oh well.

Shades of Darkness Reviewed

Sometimes surfing the internet can be productive, especially if venture into YouTube land and type in the names of a few famous ghost stories. I had never heard of this 1983 Granada TV anthology series. Sadly, it only seems to be available as a Region 1 (North American) DVD. But if you are suffering from Region 2 syndrome you could still play it on a PC if you don't have a multi-region player. And there's always YouTube (hint, hint). Shades of Darkness was a fairly high-concept series for Granada– it's hard to see British commercial television trying anything like it today. The DVD consists of seven stand-alone dramas, each running to just around 50 minutes to fill an hour-long slot with one commercial break. The Internet Movie Database describes Shades... as 'an anthology of short mysterious dramas, each with a supernatural twist'. But the imdb offers a little mystery in itself, because while the DVD has seven stories, the series as televised consisted of nine,

Stoker Centenary

Bram Stoker died on 20th April, 1912. To mark the centenary of his becoming undead (chortle) Radio 4 Extra is broadcasting readings of five of his stories. Two are familiar to me - 'The Squaw' and 'The Secret of the Growing Gold'. Three other stories I don't know - they are 'The Coming of Abel Behenna', 'The Dream In the Dead House', and 'A Dream of Red Hands'. He liked his dreams, obviously. Anyway, the reader is Dyfed Thomas, who's rather good at the old Celtic spookery. Stoker was a prolific writer, but will inevitably be remembered for Dracula - not least in a thousand of next week's pub quizzes, I daresay. Is it a good thing for a writer to be known only for one of his/her many books? Well, given that most writers are simply not known to the general public for anything, I'd say Stoker was a winner. To have created a story that has that instant recognition factor over 100 years later is a remarkable achievement. While

Romantic Comedy


Shades Of Darkness: The Intercessor

One of the six-part series from the Seventies. In some cases these are marred by bad (i.e. intrusive) music, but they are rather faithful renditions of some distinguished supernatural tales. Others include Wharton's 'Afterward' and Hartley's 'Feet Foremost'.

Mrs. Amworth

As I'm always banging on about M.R. James (albeit quite justifiably), here's something different. This seems to be the pilot of a series that never took off, which is a pity. This is a well-cast - if fairly low-budget - and refreshingly concise as well as faithful adaptation of E.F. Benson's much-anthologised tale of spooky doings in sleepy English village.

Lulu print-on-demand

Things are cheaper on the internet. In the case of ST21, by going to the link below you can get a fairly cheap print-on-demand copy of the magazine or a free download for your e-reader.