Posts Tagged ‘dracula’

With the flooding of the vampire market I’ve unjustly neglected my own enigmatic, gothic and blood soaked vampire book Blood Hunger.

So what’s it about?

An explorer makes a discovery in Romania, dubbed the ‘Ice Prince’ find it is

Blood Hunger film style poster

significant enough to put him and his girlfriend Lucia Ferrara in the media spotlight. Iliana and her sister’s journey to the United Kingdom, news that the ‘Ice Prince’ had been discovered ceases their many years of blood abstinence and they unleash a bloodthirsty terror on humankind leaving a trail of death from London to the Welsh countryside.

From the fall of the vampire and the Dracul brothers in medieval Europe to their return in the present day. Prepare yourself, their first bite will be your last!

Blood Hunger is  definitive and fresh reinvention of the vampire legend. Inspired by the spirit of Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella ‘Carmilla’, ‘Hammer Horror’s’ film series and cult horror ‘The Hunger’.

Out now on paperback and ebook. Watch the trailer here:

Alongside the launch of Oxicomics.com today the first issue of Blood Hunger the comic became available for download.
Artist D. Fane re-imagines Blood Hunger with his vivid style of Tim Burton inspired artwork.
Sink your teeth into a bloodthirsty, gruesome and vicious comic tale. An explorer makes a discovery in Romania, dubbed the ‘Ice Prince’ find it is significant enough to put him and his girlfriend Lucia Ferrara in the media spotlight. From the fall of the vampire and the Dracul brothers in medieval Europe to their return in the present day.
Prepare yourself, their first bite will be your last!
Get your blood stained hands on the first issue here.
based on the book Blood Hunger.

Follow @oxicomics and @amesmonde on twitter.

Founded in 1934, Hammer Film Productions is best known for a series of Gothic “Hammer Horror” films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s – notably a series of Dracula films that started in 1959 featuring Christopher Lee.
Although one of my favorites Hammer films is Countess Dracula (1971) many of earlier Hammer films were quiet formulaic and as well as Dracula included other iconic horror characters, The Mummy (1959) The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). That said Hammer produced a variety of other sub-genre films and in later years TV series. During its most successful years Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and financial success.
But all good things come to an end… Due to the saturation of the horror market by competitors and the loss of some international funding it forced changes to the Hammer-formula, with varying degrees of success. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s and in 2000 the studio was bought by a consortium with the company announcing plans to begin making films again, however none were produced.
In May 2007, the company was sold again and new owners announced plans to spend money on new horror films and did with a bang. Their hit success Let me In (2010) was a remake of Let the Right One In and due to the source material and the movie template already set Let me In arguably couldn’t fail.
Regardless of Hammers ups and downs their films contain a unique charm and atmosphere with iconic imagery that you can’t help retain. Here are few thoughts on Hammer’s The Resident (2010) and Wake Wood (2011 film). No doubt I’ll update this with The Woman in Black (2011) their most recent production soon.

The Resident (2010)

Dr. Juliet Devereau rents an apartment in New York, large and affordable, but the owner Max begins to want more than just rent.

Director Antti Jokinen doesn’t glamorise New York showing the older side of the city and keeps things moving with plenty of cuts and naturalistic lighting. The music adds some tension to the on screen proceedings to what is essentially a stalker/ voyeur thriller.
The cast includes a seasoned and accomplished cast including Hilary Swank, Christopher Lee as the creepy building owner August and his son Max played excellently by Watchmen’s (2009) Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Morgan is first rate as the deranged obsessive weirdo and the casting of Swank as Devereau avoids the teen slasher cliché. Amougnst the spy-holes, secret doors and cavity walkways of the apartment it’s great to see Lee in a contemporary role albeit small.
Anyone familiar with Single White Female (1992) or Pacific Heights (1990) will have an inkling what their in for. The Resident is a small tight thriller that has few surprises, yet, it’s keeps you watching due to Swank’s allure, the simplistic premise and Morgan’s craziness.
Overall, nothing new, but maybe disturbing for many due to themes of intrusion and privacy being violated.
As a fan of Hammer horror, with a few of their many films being a spiritual inspiration for my book Blood Hunger, Hammer sent me a brand new copy and I thought it rude not to say a few words on the iconic studios latest offering Wake Wood...

Blood Hunger

Following the unnecessary, yet excellent remake Let me in Hammer returns with Wake Wood a supernatural chiller in which a child is brought back from the dead to comfort her parents for three days. But she’s not quite the angelic child she was.

Eva Birthistle plays the grieving mother Louise and Twelve Rounds (2009) bad guy Adian Gillen is exceptional as the deceased child’s father. Reliable Timothy Spall and the child actress are notable and the supporting cast are solid.
There’s some effective bloody gore, grizzly births, severed spines, dog attacks and killings. Some supernatural elements take place out of shot to avoid the use of CGI, which adds to the believability and saves the budget.
Wake Wood is dark, damp and dreary just as it should be. Nevertheless, it is slightly stifled by a filmed for TV look. That aside, with a small budget director David Keating keeps the blood flowing and the pace going. It benefits in plausibility and atmosphere with an on location shoot. There’s plenty of shadows, eerie music, sharp editing and a grounded screen-play (by Brendan McCarthy) to keep you watching with a grin that Hammer may have a place in this century.

Wake Wood [Blu-ray]

With elements of Don’t Look Now, Case 39, Carrie, The Wicker Man and Pet Cemetery to name a few you could argue it’s all be done before and better. However, Wake Wood’s great ending debatably leaves you thinking sometimes less is more.

Alyssa Milano Poster Lavender Lingerie
What have Underworld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Van Helsing got in common? No not girl power. Answer: Heroines.Where does Lucia Ferrara fit in this feisty bunch amongst a love struck teenager similar to Twilight’s Bella Swan? Kick-ass characters like Buffy, Selene and Anna Valerious. A damsel in distress, Wilhelmina “Mina” Harker as in the tradition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. Lucia is like none of the above…
Kristen Stewart 11X17 Poster Banner Photo - Smokin Hot! New! #05What she has got in common is that she’s a fictional character, a heroine who finds herself in an extraordinary and dangerous situations faced with deadly choices. She’s an everyday woman, just like you. No super powers, no desire to become a vampire, no longing to marry Jonathan Harker. She pouts and snorts when she laughs. Her problems are balancing her work, health, friends, relationships, men and family.

Trading in Zumba, aerobics classes every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for something a little tougher like Kalaripayat or sparing sessions, she likes to keep herself in shape. Despite being beautiful, with the looks of her mother (who she tragically lost to cancer) and celebrities Alyssa Milano and Mila Kunis, she still feels self-conscience and insecure about herself.

Lucia Grace Ferrara went to a public school and then Goldsmith University, London picking up a BA (Hons) in English and American Literature. After the death of her father she has only his friend and her godfather Robert Morgan to look out for her and her boyfriend Max to rely on. However, this is her greatest flaw thinking she needs a man in her life to make her feel strong,(a replacement for her deceased father?).

That said, her life changes when Max makes a find that puts him on the cover of  the tabloids and she gets an unwanted slice of fame. She meets a captivating, woman named Iliana in a museum and soon Lucia is drawn into a world of mystery and deception. It’s it not long after this ‘chance’ encounter that she is implicated in a murder and has Adrian Michaels a D.I contacting her to be questioned. Little does she know that a frozen body her mountaineering boyfriend has discovered is linked to this enigmatic woman and she instinctively knows that something is not quite right.

Encounters at the museums, several invitations, a masque ball, an outdoor music show and lavish dinners entwined with death, mutation and infatuation and she finds herself in a web of deceit within a rabbit hole.And her life is turned upside down when she meets a man named Stellan.

Lucia is given an old book which gives her an insight to who’s body has been found and who this woman may really be. Soon she finds herself questioning her sanity and decisions as these strangers offer so much and ask for so little. Before long she is forced to go head to head with Iliana, her sisters and even Stellan. It increasing becomes difficult to remove herself from the dreamlike, perilous, situations and locations she finds herself in.

There are endless actresses that would make the perfect Lucia Ferrara, personally I like the idea of Jaime Murray, but casting direction was never my forté,  who would you chose?

Are there any elements of  Bella, Selene or Mina in Lucia, that’s for the reader of Blood Hunger to decide. One thing is for sure, Lucia maybe the most unlikely of characters to have ever faced and uncovered real evil…
Blood Hunger cover

Blood Hunger is out now.

Audiobook on iTunes
And so it begins…
Baron Wilton, Iliana and Lucia and array of other Blood Hunger characters have been let loose on the world, not just as a novel but as audiobook (on iTunes); a downloadable e-book and there’s also prelude film Terminus directed by Sean Parsons. There’s no lunch box just yet.

What’s different about Blood Hunger? 
Gathering dust amongst the thousand of vampires books lay a treasure. It’s a definitive vampire story that chronicles their ancient origins and follows the fall of the vampires in the 15th Century to their return and plight to gain control in the present day.
Blood Hunger brings vampires back to basics, striping out the pop culture and watered down characters that they have so often been portrayed as. Blood Hunger returns to the tales, folklore and traditional vampire ‘rules’ but injects new lease of life into the dead. They’re are enigmatic, raw and dangerous killers that made the vampire legend infamous.


It follows Lucia Ferrara’s discovery of a body in Romania, dubbed the ‘Ice Prince’ which is significant enough to put her and her boyfriend Max Lowe in the media spotlight. Iliana and her sister’s journey to the United Kingdom after self-imposed isolation in the United States. News that the ‘Ice Prince’ has been discovered ceases their many years of blood abstinence and they unleash a bloodthirsty terror on humankind leaving a trail of death from Mississippi to London and the crimson stained Welsh countryside.
Prepare yourself, their first bite will be your last!
Blood Hunger the vampire horror is out now from a variety of online books stores, including Amazon US and Amazon UK you can also order it from your local store.
Anyone that has listened my interviews over the years will know that I’m a fan of Hammer Horror films, but if I may add it’s in the oddest sense, they are not the greatest productions ever made but they have a Gothic, eerie, charm of their own with some fine performances, setting, sets, theatrical scores and things that go bump in the night.
I discussed this with the outlandish Scream Queen Ingrid Pitt, it became all to clear to me, having children of my own that Universal classics like ‘Dracula’, ‘The Wolfman’ and ‘Frankenstein’ may never be seen not just by British youngsters but US and  the rest of worlds teens. That is unless they have some kind of horror influence in their lives and find stories, books , posters, of this genre of films intriguing to find out more.  Young people haven’t or don’t get the opportunity to see the older horror movies or Hammer films that inspired me and others like The Reptile (1966), The Gorgon (1964) and Plague of the Zombies (1966) to others such as From Beyond the Grave, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and The House That Dripped Blood. So when I heard about @cyberschizoid’s campaign (on Twitter) to bring back classic horror to BBC 2,  I had to do my bit in joining in by telling you about my fantasy horror double bill.
Now while I could tell you about an array of UK productions from The Ghoul (1933) to Vampire Lovers(1970) and likes of 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein. Personally I’d love to see Dead People (1974) or Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) on the BBC 2 but I’ve chosen titles a possibly less obvious to most and not British. I believe they would make great first viewing and have the drawing power to intrigue, inspire and capture the imagination of new comers of the genre.  So in true tradition of those BBC 2 days gone by here are my thoughts on an oldie black and white, followed by a colour film just like they were aired way back when…
BBC take note, I’d be happy to sit in a large leather chair in front of a log fire, in a drawing room and introduce these… And I’m a lot cheaper than Terry Wogan or Jonathan Ross. So turn that tuner, wait for the TV to heat up, this is my horror double bill…
Okay first up is Carnival of Souls (1962) and not a surprise to old school fans. A true horror classic Director Herk Harvey and writer John Clifford both waived their earnings in order to get the film made. Upon release in 1962 the film was a failure in the box office, thankfully its subsequent airings on late night television helped to gain it a strong cult following so Clifford and Herks work was not all in vain.
The delightful Candace Hilligoss is perfectly cast as the troubled woman that after surviving a traumatic car accident, that kills her two friends, becomes haunted by a frightening ghoul and drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival. It’s a shame that Hilligoss only acted in two features as she gives an impressive performance as Mary Henry.
The music is very creepy and a little too intrusive in places, however, for it’s time and budget it is a well crafted film. Carnival of Souls many not be as sleek and stylish as the Haunting (1963) but it is far more eerie. The zombies are not as imposing as in Night of the Living Dead, however, they are vastly creepier and macabre.
Oozing atmosphere it’s a creative and unnerving film that concludes with a common place twist but back in ’62 it was ahead of it’s time, a true cult classic.
And onto the next…
Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti”  (original title) I know its Spanish/ Italian production but it’s set in England and feel very Brit.A crop dusting machine from the agricultural pest-control is emitting ultra-sonic waves that are re-animating corpses… 


A lot have said this is underrated, granted it’s overlooked. It is Atmospheric with an ominous feel. It has great locations and is at times genuinely creepy. However, it’s shares more with Fulci than Romero. The acting is not aided by the bad dubbing. To its credit it has an eerie musical score by Giuliano Sorgini and a number of suspenseful sequences but it borrows many of its best sequences from Night of the Living Dead. 


I watched director Jorge Grau’s offering under the title of ‘Let Sleeping Corpse Lie’ but whichever name you see the film under don’t be mistaken or mislead, it’s a solid zombie horror movie and of its time with fine cinematography from Francisco Sempere. It’s a lot better than the low budget DTV zombie films that there’s no shortage of at the moment.

For more information about the campaign visit cyberschizoid blog

and check out fellow supporter Amanda Norman’s blog

So who are Professor Abraham Van Helsing and Baron Wilton J. S. Abrahams, in a nutshell, they’re both fictional characters and vampire hunters.

As you may know Professor Abraham Van Helsing is the character in the novel Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. He is a Dutch doctor, of an advanced age and a vampire hunter. Bram Stoker’s fictional slayer is a similar to vampire-hunting paranormal expert, Dr. Hesselius, who appears in J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s seminal 1869 vampire story Carmilla.

So where does Baron Wilton J. S. Abrahams fit into this? Well, what vampire book wouldn’t be complete without a fearless vampire hunter. In the 15th century segments of the vampire book ‘Blood Hunger’ Wilton Abrahams is portrayed younger than the usual incarnations of Helsing type huntsman. Wilton is a 15th century noble man, a man ahead of his time. A well travelled adventurer, an unsanctioned advisor to the King and while brave he is still not yet fearless. His stories of his travels as a young man make him an ideal guest at shindigs but is his open views on religion and such, cause him to be shunned by bigoted social circles. The present day character Lucia Ferrara reads of Wilton’s adventures in the ‘Tale of Truth’ book that is given to her by a mysterious stranger.

When we first meet Wilton he knows very little about the vampire myths and only through a Serbian acquaintance, Lazar, is introduced to the horrors of the vampire. There his adventure begins learning his new vocation along the way to Romania.

Is there room for another vampire hunter? In contrast the 15th century London compared to the 19th make them different men born in very different times. Wilton’s life expectancy in 1477A.D is much shorter, and at 40 Wilton is considered an old man. Much of the world still lay unexplored and folklore is still very much taken at face value, with science in its infancy.

Numerous actors to have played Van Helsing. Various screen versions include Edward Van Sloan in Universal Studios’ Dracula series; Peter Cushing (my personal favourite) in Hammer Films’ Dracula series; Laurence Olivier in Dracula (1979) and Anthony Hopkins in Dracula (1992). In 2004 Hugh Jackman played Gabriel Van Helsing, essentially the same character but younger and only renamed to avoid copyright infringements.

With the Blood Hunger film in development, and Norina Mackey and Richard J. Parker linked to write the screen-play, as previously mentioned many fine actors have played Van Helsing but who could possibly play Baron Wilton’s role? Sean Pertwee, Paul Bettany or Kevin McKidd spring to mind.

Are Helsing and Abrahams linked? Are Helsing and Abrams related? That’s for the reader of Blood Hunger to decide, one thing is for sure is that they are both the greatest vampire hunters that have ever walked the earth.

 

Blood Hunger is out now.
Audiobook on iTunes

WHC 2010 was my first horror convention. And like any other of the con’s it had it’s lovies and it’s darlings. I was there  to pitch my next project, meet the horror fans, the ‘Countess’, Ramsey Campbell and James Herbert.
I don’t do networking, I like mixing with real folk.
I won’t name them but there were a few that behind their glossy pictures are just false and rude, like Hollywood there is a dark under-side and where more fitting to see this superficial horror gloss than at a horror convention.

Here are my highlights and thoughts on thd World Horror Convention 2010.

Thankfully I had a drink with my hero James Herbert, author of Rats, Haunted and one of my personal fav’ novels Creed, to name a few.
James sent me a letter nearly 20 years ago, wishing me luck with my horror writing. It took a long while, but finally catching up with him was great, he’s witty, down to earth and everything I hoped he would be.

Tanith Lee is a well respected fiction author, we sat down to dinner in her company. She’s an elegant down to earth lady, importantly accessable to her fans. For me though, being a Bond fan it was great just to spend sometime with the great late Bernard Lee’s (‘M’) daughter.

I sat down with Ingrid Pitt, she asked me how the fish was, while she signed a my copy of Hammer’s Countess Dracula and Vampire Lovers?!
She’s now a feisty lady hidden behind dark glasses. She’s so frank, I was rolling with laughter as she spoke about a verbal duel with John Wayne, and her ‘love’ encounter with Clint Eastwood off set.

Another highlight was seeing some great art work two of my fav’s were ‘Nameless’ Steve Crisp. The face looks like my wifes!

And ‘Out of Time by Les Edwards which captures the feeling if the 1477 A.D segement, minus the wings, of my book Blood Hunger. Les Ewards signed a limited 2/25 print for me.

As well as speaking to Ramsey Campbell author of The Nameless and Solomon Kane. I had the pleasure of his down to earth company, a really nice guy.

I also had a intoxicated chat, as a free bar was forced upon me, with Chris Fowler, breifly chatted and shook hands with Neil Gaimen, Coraline Creator which was fun…

I’ll leave you with a picture of my wife, friend of the stars http://www.twitter.com/kellytwink about to eat some cockles on Brighton Pier.

My vampire novel Blood Hunger is due out shortly from Coscom Entertainment. I’m hoping it’ll please true vampire fans.

Terminus the vampire film will have a 2010 release, it’s a dark action horror.

Bad news, Holli Dillon presenter of my Breathing Dead Show has been picked up by a large model/actress agency. Good news though is you’ll have a new horror presenter to cast your eyes over soon.

Keep spreading the word.

Signing off A.M

Although Blood Hunger was slotted to have a summer release A.M. Esmonde changed to a new publisher which pushed the release but just in time for Halloween we’ve had some fantastic news from A.M. about his vampire novel Blood Hunger.

“The book is with the publisher Coscom. It’s going through an edit. The whole editing process takes time, it’ll be worth the wait, Blood Hunger is going to be a great read for horror vampire fans. The cover is almost completed just the lettering to be added.”

The book will have something for old vampire lore fans and new. It’s an exciting time we can’t wait to read it and for those who have been following A.M. since The Breathing Dead you are in for a big surprise!

Once we know a release date you’ll know.

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