Category Archives: Uncategorized
In centenary celebration, The Horror Channel (UK) is screening a feast of Cushing treats for fans of his many iconic genre roles. Brutal As Hell, as usual, offers excellent, insightful (and sometimes irreverent) coverage of the great man, his movies and friendship with that other Hammer Horror legend, Christopher Lee (who is set to release a metal album on his 91st birthday - rock on Sir Christopher!)
And on a personal note, in a truly horrible week here in the UK (where some flag-waving nutters have been bandying around very misguided notions of “Englishness”) it is a tonic to remember Peter Cushing as that most consummate of English gents. In his autobiography, ‘Tall, Dark and Gruesome’, Christopher Lee described his friend as, “the gentlest, and most generous of men.”
I’m going to celebrate this evening with a screening of ‘The Uncanny’, one of my fave guilty pleasures. Cushing + cats = bliss.
And here is the great man in many of those aforementioned iconic roles thanks to this lovely tribute:
Happy 100th Birthday Peter Cushing – gone but never, ever forgotten.
The October 1st 2013 release date for my new Samhain Horror novel The Jack in the Green is a long way off, but I can now reveal the synopsis for the book which is also available to pre-order through Amazon.com.
Check out the synopsis and link at The Jack in the Green page.
The London Dungeon is moving.
What? They can move dungeons now? Apparently so.
The old Tooley Street venue, famed for its crumbling, rumbling arches (situated beneath London Bridge railway station) and dank, dripping alcoves is to be dropped in favour of new premises further along the river near to the London Eye. It will be interesting to see if the new locale will try to emulate the atmosfear (pun intended) of the old, or create the shock of something new.
The Tooley Street Dungeon holds a special place in my heart and many fond memories – I worked there for a few years back in the early 90s, made many friends and frightened a lot of people. Yes, my weekend job as a student was jumping out on tourists and scaring them half to death (a fainting meant it was time for lunch – job done) which really was as much fun as it sounds.
I impersonated Michael Jackson there once, following a rumour he was going to visit (these were much thinner days you understand) and I was chased down Tooley Street by rabid paparazzi screaming “Michael!” I even waved a single white-gloved hand at them from the upstairs window before the ruse was up – he’d gone to Hamley’s instead. I also secured my first ever runner’s job following a video shoot at the Dungeon, and had several fanboy moments meeting the likes of Robert Englund, Tom Baker and James Herbert who were just some of the stars being filmed/interviewed among the torture implements.
Now, thanks to the move, you can own a piece of this unique horror history. The Dungeon is holding a car boot sale in Pimlico on Feb 3rd, so if you fancy bagging some thumbscrews or a scold’s bridle of your very own you know where to go.
I recall a time during my tenure at the Dungeon when several old exhibits were to be consigned to the scrapheap. I rescued one – the curvy, blood-drenched form of Countess Elizabetha Bathory herself – took her home in a cab
“guess who i had in the back o’ my cab last night? only bleeding Countess Dracula! nah, she didn’t tip”
and placed her at the foot of my bed where i could keep an eye on her. And there she stayed, until I – like the Dungeon today – moved house… and discovered she was full of cockroaches.
RIP London Dungeon, here’s wishing you an equally ghastly afterlife (hopefully for the right reasons).
It’s that time of year again folks. The time when the air turns frigid and the trees drop their leaves in terror and excitement for the tricks and treats to come. A time for Monster Munch. And Monster Movies.
I’ve been gearing up for the ghoulish with a free short story and Q&A over at the supercool Hell House Hotel Halloween Advent Calendar, and a Halloween Haunts guest post at the Horror Writers’ Association Blog ~ check ‘em out!
And if you find yourself in foggy old London this Hallow-eek-end, do drop by and say hi…
27th OCTOBER ~ SAMHAIN STORIES AT ABNEY PARK CEMETERY
28th OCTOBER ~ WRITING HORROR at LONDON SCREENWRITER’S FESTIVAL (5pm, LSWF delegates only)
And whatever your plans dear f(r)iends, i wish you a very HAPPY HALLOWE’EN…and a SCARY SAMHAIN of course…muah ha ha!
Announcing the first ever UK Samhain Horror event!
- a guided historical cemetery tour
- live readings in the atmospheric Chapel
- followed by book signings/meet and greet
The event is free, with a voluntary donation to Abney Park Cemetery on the gate. All are welcome (but please note the event will include adult content).
Official Facebook Event Page
for further details/updates.
Samhain Stories at Abney Park Cemetery is Supported by Samhain Horror
Time to welcome fellow Samhain Horror author Jonathan Janz back to the blog. His debut The Sorrows marked the arrival of a striking new voice in horror fiction. Read on for the (ahem) Skin-ny on his new novel House of Skin and more! Let’s flay!
1.Your 2nd Samhain novel House of Skin just released, congrats! What’s the Skinny on this book?
First of all, thanks so much for having me on today, Frazer! You know I’m a fan, and hopefully those readers who enjoyed the exploits of The Skin Mechanic in your excellent The Lamplighters will also enjoy my monstrous villain Annabel in House of Skin.
To answer your first question…I’m not saying I’m the equal of these writers, but those who love horror will know the names Peter Straub and Richard Laymon. House of Skin is the kind of story that would have occurred had Straub and Laymon collaborated. First of all, the pace of House of Skin is very brisk, and pacing was one of Laymon’s best attributes as a writer. There are also real-life villains who bring about some nastily violent sequences, which was another staple of Laymon’s books.
But the overall story and structure of House of Skin harkens back to the early books of Peter Straub. Ghost Story, Julia, and Shadowland influenced this book in many important ways, so if you enjoy the Gothic framework (where the past ultimately meets and influences the present), you’ll love this novel.
2. How does it differ from The Sorrows? Or are both books similar in style?
Stylistically, they have several similarities (Gothic structure, fast pace, etc.); there are, however, some important differences. The Sorrows contained six main points of view, as well as the flashback sequences. House of Skin only really uses three main points of view in addition to its flashbacks, which means you get into these characters’ heads to an even greater degree (though, of course, I felt like you got to know my characters in The Sorrows quite intimately as well).
Another difference between The Sorrows and House of Skin is the nature of the villain. In The Sorrows, I think the audience comes to feel some sympathy for the main villain, although they ultimately despise and fear him in the end. In House of Skin, I doubt that anyone will feel anything but horror at Annabel and the terrible events she brings about. Of course, there is a strong element of eroticism with Annabel, which might make readers desire her the way the characters do…but readers will hate her even more than they’ll desire her.
3. How did House of Skin evolve & become your 2nd Samhain book?
Well, it was the second book I submitted to Don D’Auria, the editor you and I (thankfully) share at Samhain, but it was also the first book I ever tried to write. I say “tried” because when I first attempted to capture the basic story (which had been with me since my early twenties), I didn’t have the chops to pull it off. I wrote and threw out seven drafts of the novel, which went by a few different names. After I wrote The Sorrows, I felt like I had grown enough as an author to take another stab (hah!) at this book. What resulted was House of Skin, and I’m extremely proud of the way it turned out.
4. Say you could wear another’s Skin for a day… Who – or what – and why?
Whoa…that’s a weird, wonderful question, Frazer. I think I’d wear Alexander Payne’s skin; he’s the screenwriter and the director of Sideways, The Descendants, and other great films. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how he tells a story. If I could wear his skin, I assume I could also share his brain, and in doing so I could take with me his abilities and amazing traits as a storyteller.
5. What’s up next for Jonathan Janz?
My third book will be published by Samhain Horror in early 2013. It’s called The Darkest Lullaby and has a bit of Paranormal Activity and Rosemary’s Baby in it, which I find to be very cool. After that I’ve got something very strange and wonderful planned, but since I’m still editing it right now, I don’t want to jinx myself by talking about it.
In addition to novel #3 (and hopefully novel #4) coming out in 2013, my first three novels are likely going to be published in audio form next year as well, which I’m really jazzed about.
I’m currently working on my fifth novel, which will likely turn out to be the first book in a trilogy. I’ve never done a sequel before, so if this one keeps going as well as it has thus far, following it up will also pose a new and exciting challenge.
Thanks muchly for dropping by and sharing your thoughts, here’s wishing you all the very best for your new releases and projects, can’t wait to read ‘em!
Thank you so much for having me back on your blog, Frazer! I can’t wait to read Panic Button and anything else you cook up!
Keep up on all the latest Jonathan Janz-based goodness at his official site: www.jonathanjanz.com
It’s Short Story Day, and Summer Solstice too… so, perversely, here’s a freebie Christmas-themed festive nightmare to give you goosebumps!
To find out why a ‘look’ can be so damned scary, check out my post at the Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog. Just don’t blame me if you have nightmares…
What scares you? Confessions are welcome in the Comments box below…