Posts Tagged ‘horror news’

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

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The spin off film to my novel Blood Hunger has just been released – Directed and written by the great talent Sean Parsons.
Below is the Terminus Trailer:
You can now watch Terminus on Video On Demand click here
Sorry UK and the rest of the world, like Baby Ruth candy* it’s only available in the USA
*(citation needed)
So what is the vampire action drama Terminus about…
Ellicott City, a condemned paper mill, home of Anushka – a vampire assassin haunted by self-imposed isolation. Her vow to never feed on humans is tried when a chance meeting tests her resolve. Her first bite could be your last!
The beauty of black and white photography aside, today’s black and white motion film is usually used as a nostalgic gimmick, with exceptions of the likes of Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994). Apart from the obvious monster classics of the 30’s and 40’s there are countless black white (b/w) films regarded as ‘classic’. Purists and b/w  fans would probably have me locked up and flogged but I must admit I really do not think b/w adds to the aesthetics of a film. I would argue that the feel and atmosphere can stir the same emotions in colour pallet. To sum it up in a sentence, we don’t see life through our eyes in black and white.
 
Nevertheless many great films were made in black and white and some of those were very influential horrors which I’ve commented on below. I hope you enjoy and possibly seek out if you not seen them already…
 
 
House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Allegedly rousing Alfred Hitchcock to make the horror film – Psycho (1960), and while the setting is not as lavish as The Haunting (1963) the House on Haunted Hill is an entertaining 50’s movie.


Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren played wonderfully by Vincent Price invites 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted House” party and they’ll get $10,000 if they survive the night. The quirky house owner, Mr. Pritchard is played entertainingly by Elisha Cook Jr. and the rest of the cast are good enough.

Vincent Price is without a doubt the best thing about the film oozing charm, wit and panache. What is interesting and worthy of note is Robb White’s writing of the adultery plot that build the tension and interaction between Price and Ohmart. They are reminiscent intensified versions of the characters in Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954).

While the stories ‘twist’ is well developed the large modern 50’s house story is not. There are some creepy moments that include the striking Carol Ohmart as Annabelle Loren but the lighting and sets are so crisp it fails to create any real brooding atmosphere and sadly a movie of its time, the women shriek a lot.

Should the house itself has been more traditional this may have been a near on perfect black and white chiller. Still, it’s good fun and worth checking out on a quiet dark night if even just to hear Price’s deep tones.
 


The Haunting (1963/I)

Dr. Markway is undertaking research to prove the existence of ghosts and decides to investigate Hill House. He is accompanied by a sceptic, a clairvoyant and an insecure attuned psychic. Even though made in 1963 it is still very enjoyable even if a product of its time.

Nelson Gidding screenplay is based on novel “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson. The Haunting is an archetype haunted mansion film, superbly directed by Robert Wise. Excellent, painstakingly designed sets, amazing use of sound effects bringing to life the things that go bump in the night, which all add to the eerie and spooky atmosphere.

Richard Johnson plays the perfect English gentleman, Dr. John Markway. Russ Tamblyn as the cheeky chap is amusing, Claire Bloom as ‘Theo’ the lesbian, at the time a risky role for mainstream cinema. The supporting cast of quirky characters are all fantastic.

My only complaints are is that the movie, for effect only, was unnecessary filmed in black and white. In addition, Julie Harris’ superfluous voice-overs are distracting.

It’s exceedingly atmospheric, foreboding, creepy and while the scares and terror are not as frightening to today’s audience, it remains a classic, psychological, genuine and suspenseful horror.


Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George A. Romero has readily admitted that Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls influenced in his making of Night Of The Living Dead (NOTLD). For me, they’re both low budget, both filmed in black and white and both are chilling creepy in places.

Both went onto be get ‘lost’ but unlike Carnival of Souls, NOTLD was haled by critics abroad, who saw it not just as another horror movie, but a film that reflects society. Romero has gone on to define a genre, a feat that very few have accomplished. Many films have been influenced and have imitated George’s creation but few successfully.

NOLD is seeped in history and has become as intriguing as the chiller its self. There’s really not too much to comment on that hasn’t already been said before. The dead are played mindlessly well. Duane Jones is a fantastic lead actor and stands out, an actor ahead of his time but the others are less convincing.

The stock music is bold, and the sound is an adequate mix but all these things with their faults add to the charm of this little horror classic.

It’s dark, gloomy and entertaining but more importantly it was a turning point in horror history.


Carnival of Souls (1962)

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.
 

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

The tag-line read ‘By night they leave their graves, crawling, shambling, through empty streets, whimpering, pleading, begging for his blood’ if that doesn’t grab you as a horror fan, nothing will. Remade many times since as The Omega Man (1971), I am Legend (2007) to name a few, Richard Matheson novel I am Legend has been a wealthy piece of source material.


Despite Matheson feeling that Vincent Price was miscast in the lead role, Price gives a sterling performance as Dr. Robert Morgan who is the survivor of a devastating world-wide plague. Morgan is tortured by his dreams and his solitary existence trying to find another human still alive. Price’s distinguished voice and acting really gets the viewer hooked and caring for his character who is harassed by vampire zombies seeking his blood every night.

While not a faithful version of the novel it is well crafted by Ubaldo Ragona, who incidentally only directed a handful of films. Ragona’s work clearly influenced Romero’s set up of the horror classic Night of the living Dead (1968).

Admittedly The Last Man on Earth is slow in places and the music by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter is bland and of it’s time. Nevertheless, the locations are great featuring, bleak backdrops and curious architecture which leaves the viewer disconcerted.

What this unsung black and white chiller gem demonstrates best is that The Last Man on Earth shows what a fascinating and captivating actor Vincent Price was.
News, movie developments, but firstly, I’d like to sincerely thank all those who have purchased and read Blood Hunger, feedback has been very positive and I’m glad it has been well received, especially by die-hard vampire fans and the USA audience.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I continued shaping Blood Hunger, writing a definitive vampire tale true to the original origins but an injecting a modern spin and twist. And at times it is ambiguous but it was required for the reader to link and solve some of the mystery.

Picture from fullhalloween.com
Thankfully or worryingly, everyone seemed to have warmed to the cold-blooded killer vampire sisters Monica, Gabriella and the mysterious Iliana. And that Nettie Johns character hit a nerve.

The 1477 A.D segments of the book that follow the downfall of the vampire brothers Vlad, Mircea, Radu and Stellan – I tired to encompass the 15th century history as oppose to Bram’s 1897 Victorian London, and I love that readers ‘got it’ and liked the contrast in setting. Talking of contrast in setting, my research and correspondence with the police on the chapters set in the present day really helped give those parts some realism. Detective Michaels and explorer Lucia turned out well and I’m looking forward to seeing their film incarnations.

Unfortunately, after attending development meetings with the first producers  it’s apparent that the movie adaptation may omit the 1477 A.D segments due to budget constraints. I am in the process of pushing it’s development forward.  Hopefully it will exceed Terminus popularity.

Ultimately, I set out two write a definitive vampire story that encompasses and pays tribute to the myth and legend, which has such an affect on today’s pop culture. However, I was very conscientious to write something different to Meyer, Rice and so on, who’s work I have not read but have heard a lot about. I hope Blood Hunger continues to capture the imagination of new readers that have been surrounded by only Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood types respectfully, while at the same time satisfying hammer fans and lovers of the vampire and Dracula legend itself.

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I’ll be giving away Blood hunger T-shirts and stuff

Order your copy here: Blood Hunger

Blood Hunger is here!

Follow Lucia’s adventure as she finds herself going head to head with the dangerous and enigmatic vampires of Romania.

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!

USA readers can order Blood Hunger here
For signed copies email

Click below to download the
Blood Hunger audiobook

also on iTunes from 15th July

As well as loads of other genres of films I love B-shock horror, especially killer toys! Puppet Master, Demonic Toys and Blood Dolls spring to mind. I’ve teamed up with Brand-B Corporation and the talented director Dan Brownlie as one of the producers on Bear Scary.

Bear Scary is a terrific slew of pumping music, gore, blood, a killer Teddy and a little bit of sex appeal, it all makes for a solid b-movie horror fun.

Here’s the killer Teddy trailer of Bear Scary.


Bear-wear psycho in the shower.

Teddy and actress/model Lauren Bushby chill between takes,
and chat about the next scene.
Photos by Philip Penn.

Watch the 1st and exclusive trailer for Terminus from Innerface films. The film is based on A.M.Esmonde’s Blood Hunger novel

Terminus Trailer

Terminus trailer from Sean Parsons on Vimeo.

Exclusive! Terminus Preview Clip

Check this out! The latest clip from Blood Hunger Terminus!
This intelligent action vampire film is imminent from Innerface Films…

  • CLICK HERE
    It looks fantastic, we can wait to sink out teeth into the full version!

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.

Subscribe to the free breathing dead news letter on the BD website

In 2007 the Breathing Dead zombie novella was first published and in the last three years there has been a boom of Zombie movies and books. Some good, some bad and some just ugly.

Coincidentally idea’s from the short story have ended up on the screen, most recently Collin & Zombie Land. In any case no harm done. Author A.M. Esmonde says,”it’s typical you think of an original idea and some else on the other side world comes up with a similar thing around the same time. It’s like it’s in the air. It’s annoying but it’s impossible, I hope, that my story was plagiarised.”The novella was clearly inspired by George A. Romero and follows his film ‘rules’.

However, like most cult, popular culture thingsThe Breathing Dead is now out of print and hard to find. Nevertheless it can be heard via an Audio-book version from various download Internet sites including, iTunes and Audible.In this tough economy it appears the Audio-book about the dead published by Listen and Live has life. Maybe it’s the subject matter of hope in harrowing times, who knows but the audio-book has hit a nerve.The audio-book features the voice talent of Welsh born Paul Rees of the volts artz show who’s Richard Burton sounding tones gives weight to the simple story of survival and little of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.

Although it’s not a musical it does feature a great soundtrack by Kevin MacLeod.Will The Breathing Dead ever be reprinted? The answer from The Breathing Dead Ltd was this, “The Breathing Dead will not have another print run, however, after follow up vampire book Blood Hunger, A.M. Esmonde’s next novel will be a re-imagined expanded version of The Breathing Dead called Deathwatch. So fans of the Breathing Dead will be taken back to Farmore and introduced to characters, old and new.”

Whether or not Deathwatch will have the the horror following of The Breathing Dead remains to be seen, one thing is for sure if you want the creepy Halloween atmosphere this year download The Breathing Dead, you wont be disappointed.

Happy Halloween!

story taken from allvoices.