Sunday, 25 December 2016

Diabolique Magazine’s Christmas Crackers: Favourite Films for the Festive Season

The tradition of sharing ghost stories at Christmastime is an old one, and with its long, cold, dark nights, it's the perfect time of year to indulge in all things spooky. The Diabolique Magazine team have put together a list of our favourite films to watch at this time of year. Our wintry picks include Edward Scissorhands, 12 Monkeys, Black Xmas, Horror Express, Gremlins and many more.

One of my own personal favourites is The Curse of the Cat People, a chillingly beautiful sequel to Jacques Tourneur's moody classic, Cat People. Under the guiding hand of producer Val Lewton and directors Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise, The Curse of the Cat People unfolds as an understated, oddly touching psychological study of the mind of a lonely young girl, with myriad scenes unfolding amidst an eerie winter wonderland.

Head over to Diabolique Magazine’s website to read more… And wherever you are in the world, have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Behind the Couch Turns 8 Years Old!

Behind the Couch turned 8 years old this month!

This year I have dedicated most of my time to researching and writing a book on The Company of Wolves for Devil’s Advocates, a series devoted to exploring the classics of horror cinema. Co-written by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan and British novelist Angela Carter, and based on several short stories from Carter's collection The Bloody Chamber, The Company of Wolves is a darkly Gothic, boldly feminist reinvention of the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. With werewolves. Released in the early 1980s, a time which produced several classic werewolf films (including An American Werewolf in London and The Howling), The Company of Wolves sets itself apart from the pack with its overtly literary roots, feminist stance, and art-house leanings.

Throughout the book (which I am currently proofing) I’ve placed the film in the context of the careers of its creators, explored its place in werewolf cinema and its strong feminist message, and looked at the history of the tale of Red Riding Hood and how such fairy tales, and the ways they are told and retold, have contributed to the construction of gender roles/relations and influenced various customs and mores of society. The book will hopefully be published next spring (stay tuned for more info). As I have been watching a lot of werewolf films and reading books about werewolf cinema, lore and literature, I thought it would be fun to post some of my discoveries to the blog, including several archaic rituals that enable lycanthropic transformations (!!).

Away from all things lycanthropic, I have continued to review DVDs, books and graphic novels for Exquisite Terror and was also lucky enough to interview fellow Devil's Advocates authors Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Jez Conolly about their books on Suspiria and Dead of Night, respectively. I have continued to contribute to Diabolique, including a piece exploring and celebrating Sir Christopher Lee’s ground-breaking portrayal of Count Dracula in a special issue entirely devoted to the actor; one of the twentieth century’s most important and enduring icons of horror cinema.

I helped to proofread Jon Towlson’s new book on 1930s horror cinema and had my first short story published. I was also invited to contribute a few words on The Company of Wolves to a forthcoming book on The Howling and werewolf cinema by Lee Gambin – more info on this in the coming months.

To everyone who has strayed from the path and dropped by over the last year - thank you! I hope you'll continue to do so.

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Return of Diabolique Magazine...

Diabolique is a bimonthly magazine covering every aspect of the horror genre, including film, literature, theatre, art, music, history and culture. Lavishly illustrated in full colour, each issue is packed with entertaining and thought-provoking articles.

After a brief hiatus, Diabolique is now back in print and better than ever. At the helm is a new team of editors (Kat Ellinger, Samm Deighan, Heather Drain and Rebecca Booth) whose knowledge of horror cinema is surpassed only by their passion for it; not to mention their dedication to resurrecting Diabolique in print form and building on its legacy of thoughtful, insightful and compelling content.

"Diabolique Magazine is back in print with an entire issue dedicated to celebrating Japanese and Korean cult cinema at its most sublime, otherworldly, erotic and visceral. In our cover story we explore the darker elements of Japanese folklore; tracking the evolution of the ghost story from genre defining classics Onibaba, Kwaidan, and Kuroneko, right through to the J-horror boom of the nineties in Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge; before joining J-horror pioneer Hideo Nakata to discuss his career in genre film. 

This is followed with features on the blood soaked tradition of Japanese theater in relation to the work of Akira Kurosawa and Jacobean revenge, the shocking horrors of Korean war portrayed in genre film and a tribute to the work of the late great David Bowie. 

Add to that some sizzling sensuality and lesbian love, as we unwrap Chan-wook Park’s provocative The Handmaiden, and last, but certainly not least, a homage to the mythical beast Godzilla, and we promise you this is one of our boldest and most potent issues yet!"

Pre-order a copy of the new issue here.