Photo Album: Ann Robinson, 1995

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Ann Robinson has the distinction of having appeared in three separate iterations of Wells’ The War of the Worlds: the classic 1953 movie, the 1980s tv spin-off (recreating her role as Sylvia Van Buren) and the 2005 remake (in an unrelated cameo alongside her 1953 co-star, Gene Barry). We met at the 1995 Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester, which I was covering for The Dark Side.

Photo Album: Victoria Price, 2017

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Victoria Price (daughter of Vincent) was to have been a surprise guest at the first Birmingham FearFest, organised by the Birmingham Horror Group, but ticket sales were sadly insufficient to justify going ahead with the convention. However, Victoria joined Birmingham cake designer Annabel de Vetten for a special event at the city’s historic Electric Cinema, where I interviewed them both for local television.

Photo by Chrissie Harper

Red Reign

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It’s been a while since I had any fiction in print, but my (very) short story ‘Home Cooking’ is in the April edition of the American horror quarterly Blood Reign. More details here.

Photo Album: Alan Jones, 2016

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I’ve known Alan Jones since the early 1990s, when I was first freelancing (including a monthly column for The Dark Side and regular appearances in SFX) and he was writing for a number of film magazines, including Shivers. I interviewed him in October 2016, at the aptly-titled London hostelry The Bleeding Heart Tavern. A clip from our conversation aired on the Halloween edition of Big Centre TV’s film programme The Big Picture (see here); sadly, this was the channel’s final day, before it was swallowed up by the inferior Made TV).

Photo by Chrissie Harper

Photo Album: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, 1996

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Sometimes, a great opportunity comes along and you just have to wing it. I met the lovely Catriona MacColl on the first day of the 1996 Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester, and we hit it off quite well. The great thing about this particular event is that the guests and members mix freely, most often around the bar, and there’s a level of casual intimacy you could never get at one of those massive autograph fairs.

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That encounter proved rather helpful the following afternoon, when the festival chair approached me in somewhat of a fluster and asked if I could fill in as on-stage interviewer for David Warbeck, as the original host hadn’t turned up (I knew the person in question and later ascertained he’d never actually agreed to attend). Much as I disliked taking over without my usual investment in research, I figured it would be fun, so headed downstairs to meet David, at which point I discovered (a) he was fresh out of hospital following a vicious attack at his home, (b) was still feeling extremely frail and (c) would rather not be there. Thankfully, Catriona, who co-starred with David in Fulci’s The Beyond, was on hand to reassure him I was “one of the good guys” (award-standard acting, there) and the tension ebbed away. As it turned out, David was one of those interviewees who was a breeze to work with; I simply steered our conversation along as and when needed, occasionally pointing him towards the films I knew the audience was particularly interested in hearing about.

In retrospect, David’s frailty might have been exacerbated by the cancer which would take him from us the following July, aged just 55 (I’m not sure if he was aware of it at the time we met). Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to record the interview and so produce a version for publication, although the organisers did later release an edited video, parts of which appeared as an extra on Grindhouse’s 2016 Blu-ray release of The Beyond.

Photos by Ann Green

Photo Album: Stan Lee, 1991

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Here’s me with comics legend Stan Lee back in November 1991, during a promotional tour for Lee Daniels’ Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics. We met up at a hotel in Nottingham, and the interview subsequently appeared in the magazine Interzone (Stan seemed quite pleased, judging by this letter). The only downside was that my wife Ann was unable to join me, as the car park next door had a bust ticket machine and she stayed behind in case some security guard spotted I’d been unable to properly pay and display.

Photo by Marie Reynolds (Virgin Books)