Back in July 2016, I was asked to be a guest on Carl Jones’ weekly movie show The Big Picture, which aired on the regional channel Big Centre TV. We had a lot of fun, as you can see here, and that appearance led to my colleague Chrissie Harper and I producing a series of news reports for Carl. Sadly, neither The Big Picture nor Big Centre TV survived the year.
Photo by Chrissie Harper
One bonus of interviewing Dagmar Lassander was presenting her with one of the Society of Fantastic Films’ special awards for services to the genre. The statuette is loosely modelled upon the Maria robot from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
I interviewed the actress Dagmar Lassander at the 2016 Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester. I can’t say too much at the moment, but my colleague Chrissie Harper is currently editing footage from our conversation on stage into a short documentary, under the working title The Forbidden Lady. More news soon as I’m able to announce it.
Had a highly entertaining conversation with actor/director Dominic Brunt on Thursday, followed up two days later by a short chat with his wife and regular collaborator Joanne Mitchell. The topic was their movie Attack of the Adult Babies, which gets its DVD and Blu-ray release from Nucleus Films on 11 June. Touch wood, my feature will appear in Dark Side shortly afterwards.
Photo (c) Ginger Nuts of Horror
Here’s the cover for The Dark Side #192, due out in 11 days. Pity Rick Melton’s artwork obscures the plug for my Borley Rectory feature.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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