Arrow Video Review: Brain Damage (1988)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Brain Damage is a 1988 dark Horror/Comedy from the King of Grindhouse and Exploitation, Frank Hennelotter. Underrated in comparison to the mighty Basket Case (1982) and Frankenhooker (1990), his most popular cult offerings, Brain Damage holds it’s own and is easily one of the most demented horror films out there.

Set in the seedy depths of New York, Brain Damage is a comically magnified metaphor for drug addiction. Brian (Rick Hearst) is a young man going about his business as usual until one day he discovers a strange, leech like parasite named Aylmer (or Elmer). The creature attaches itself to Brian’s neck, injecting a blue liquid substance into his brain, enhancing his perceptions with hallucinatory visions. Soon, Brian’s dependence on Aylmer leads him down a dark path that sees his relationships and sanity destroyed. The bargain goes, Aylmer will provide Brian with his latest hit as long as Brian feeds his strange addiction with human brains!

Despite the fact Brain Damage is a low budget, creature feature, it’s absolutely creative in it’s visuals and is an insane thrill ride from start to finish. Hennenlotter incorporates a distinct visual style, featuring a trippy blue colour scheme and psychedelic, bright colourful filters in order to capture Brian’s drug-like state.

This movie requires pure suspension of disbelief. While the subject matter drips into realism, the way the issue of addiction is portrayed is done in an over the top satirical format and it doesn’t take itself seriously at any point. Certain scenes exquisitely push the boundaries relishing in non political correctness. Many horror fans will agree that these types of films are unbelievably entertaining as they don’t hold back from the gross out gore and will throw everything at it’s audience.

The practical effects themselves still look fantastic and have aged well. They are further enhanced with Arrow’s high definition restoration. The scene in which Brian envisions his plate of spaghetti and meatballs pulsating with tiny blue tinted brains creates a nauseating sensation. What’s even better about Arrow’s re-released cut of the film is it includes all the gruesomeness, the ‘controversial’ and unrelenting fellatio scene is totally in bad taste but is played for laughs. The scene itself is grimly amusing from the tongue-in-cheek, innuendo laced dialogue to the sheer perverseness. While it’s likely to cause probable offence to a non horror audience, gore hounds and lovers of the B-Movie will see the funny side.

There’s a welcome cameo and a self-referential nod to Hennenlotter’s flagship film as Brian comes across Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck). the baggage plagued protagonist from Basket Case on the subway train mid confrontation with his flaky girlfriend Barbara (Jennifer Lowry). It’s a subtle reference that is in place to please the fans while also making light of the fact both films parallel each other thematically. Both of them feature young, attractive male leads who become embroiled with an all consuming creature. Both men can’t function without them and are pawns in the creatures murderous rampages.

The late Horror Host, Zacherley provided the voice acting for Elmer. There’s a sense of irony in his performance, Elmer’s tone of voice is non-threatening and even comes across as convincingly reasonable making his sinister schemes that more insidious.

This is a movie created purely for appreciative horror fans and is one euphoric head trip. Arrow Video have once again done an incredible job with the re-release, giving gore hounds the full intact movie and the usual surge of special features. Speaking of ‘Underrated 80’s Gems’ as I recently did in my Anniversary article, Brain Damage certainly belongs under that banner and is wholly worth seeing if you haven’t already. I’d go as far as saying, this is Hennenlotter’s best work and highlights how he had developed as a filmmaker at this stage in his career. There’s so much effort and detail placed into the special effects which is what makes Brain Damage so impressive to this day on that level.

Brain Damage can be owned on  deranged DVD & beautiful blu-ray from the Arrow Store: http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=938

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Advertisements

Sixth Anniversary Article: Hayley’s Top Six Underrated 80’s Gems

Posted in Anniversary Pieces, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

The 18th May 2017 marks six years since I began sharing my love for the horror genre on this blog. The love I have for horror of course extends further back than that and has practically been a lifelong passion. Back in January I made a New Year’s Resolution to myself that I would watch as many kinds of horror movies as possible from the classic to the recent, the low-budget and the lesser-known. Along the way I have discovered a slew of gems that aren’t often acknowledged in a prime overview of horror. In a general sense, horror is defined by its icons. We are all majorly familiar with Hellraiser, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and the like; these are of course incredible and impactful films and franchises but what about those forgotten gems that incorporate their own sense of uniqueness? These are the films that drifted under the radar but have since developed a cult following thanks to accessible platforms such as Arrow Video, 88 Films and Shudder (AKA. Horror Netflix).

Hayley on Horror Couch

The decade of horror I am most drawn to is the 1980’s. The genre became hugely marketable during this period and insanely mass-produced. Home video had taken off then reached controversial heights over in the UK no thanks to the Video Nasties panic. Despite the outrageousness of it all, it is still a fascinating point in macabre movie history. Eighties Horror has an entrancing quality to it. Filmmakers made the most of beautifully grotesque practical effects, creating some of the most inventive imagery ever seen on screen. Some of the films discussed in this list incorporate strange tones, nonsensical plot lines which requires the audience to suspend their disbelief all in the name of good, gory entertainment.

IMG_0443

In celebration of six years of Hayley’s Horror Reviews, join me in a trip down cult horror memory lane in appreciation of those underrated genre gems.

**Please Note that this list will not include the films I have reviewed over on my YouTube Channel such as the House franchise or Pieces, if you’d like to check those out, head to https://www.youtube.com/user/mshayleyr1989**

Leave me some comments in the box below and let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices. Which 80’s horror movies do you feel deserve more recognition?

I’d like to dedicate this review to all my horror hounds that follow and support my work. I am eternally grateful that I can share the horror love with you all.

**Gory Hugs**

  1. The Microwave Massacre (1983)
  • Directed by Wayne Berwick

Microwave Massacre

As soon as Arrow Video released ‘The Microwave Massacre’, I was instantly sold on the title alone and couldn’t wait to see what delights this bizzaro-fest had in store. The Microwave Massacre is one of a kind, for sure. It’s one of those “trash” films that is low on quality and high on the absurdity. In an exaggerated view of suburbia, construction worker Donald (Jackie Vernon) lives a pretty mundane existence. Life seems so much more exciting for his colleagues who unapologetically revel in beer and ogle boobs! Trapped in a loveless marriage with his shrewish wife May (Claire Ginsberg) who insists on only cooking him healthy food, depriving him of the remaining life pleasures he has, Donald eventually snaps and massacres his not so dear wife! He embarks on a new lease of life which sees him bask in awkward sex with women evidently out of his league and the consumption of human flesh! May’s remains are stored in his refrigerator and are on hand when he needs a bite! Everything about The Microwave Massacre is outright bad, from the awful acting to the cringeworthy effects, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! It’s pure schlock which makes it intentionally hilarious. Vernon’s impassive performance as Donald is cinematic gold, as he continuously addresses the audience in a monotone manner. The Microwave Massacre is trashy, exploitation fun and displays no sense of shame in what it does. This comical cannibal must be seen to be believed.

  1. Waxwork (1988)
  • Directed By: Anthony Hickox

waxwork

Waxwork is a late-eighties US Fantasy Horror movie directed by Brit filmmaker Anthony Hickox. Starring Gremlins favourite Zach Galligan, Waxwork is an affectionate homage to the Universal Monster movies that came before it and then some. Waxwork is an extraordinary feast for the eyes filled with imaginative set pieces and monsters and mayhem galore. When a Wax Museum mysteriously appears in a peaceful small town, the local teens are lured in by a creepy yet enigmatic old man played by David Warner. Once he traps them inside, chaos ensues as the exhibits take on a life like quality. Playing on the essence of ‘paranoid horror’, the lines between reality and the fantasy world blur showcasing a genuine Chamber of Horrors. Waxwork has it all from a gothic aesthetic to a selection of familiar fierce creatures from vampires to werewolves ready to claim and delude their victims. Grotesque and macabre in its outlook, Waxwork is an incredibly fun adventure horror film as much as it is scary. It’s one of those adorable, cheesy 80’s flicks that raises the stakes and allows its audience to root for the characters as well as become entranced by its villains. Waxwork is available to view on Shudder UK so grab some popcorn and immerse yourselves in this lavish, fantastical movie experience.

  1. American Gothic (1988)
  • Directed by John Hough

American Gothic

Due to its generic and frequently used title, American Gothic is one bizarrely brilliant 80’s movie that went under the radar and has mainly found itself in bargain bucket bins at the local Poundland! That was exactly how I came across it thanks to one of my best friends! The setup is pretty much standard horror fare which sees a group of young adults stranded on an unfamiliar island when their mode of transport fails. However, the film deserves credit for being completely unexpected and downright weird. The events that unfold on screen are more insane than the audience could have imagined. There’s a kooky and odd tone to American Gothic as the group of friends’ stumble on a house located in the backwoods. The inhabitants consist of an elderly couple, Ma (Yvonne De Carlo) and Pa (Rod Steiger) and there three overly-grown up, middle aged children, Fanny (Janet Wright), Woody (Michael J. Pollard) and Teddy (William Hootkins). The “children” still believe their aged ten and below, adding to the creep factor. It’s amusing watching the group of unsuspecting victims playing along with the unconventionality until events take a menacing turn then head straight into deranged territory. American Gothic isn’t a film that takes itself seriously by a long shot and is overall very hammy when it comes to the acting. The death scenes are an absolute highlight; they are very twisted and rather unusual. The film’s climax descends into extreme bizarreness ensuring the audience isn’t going to want to stop watching! Bordering on the comedic while displaying a blatant uneasiness, American Gothic is unforgettable once viewed, fearless in terms of pushing the boundaries and relishes in its oddness.

  1. Bloody Birthday (1981)
  • Directed by Ed Hunt

Bloody_Birthday_poster

There’s no denying that I love a good slasher film. Most of the time it’s my go-to sub-genre when it comes to horror movies. In addition to the nostalgia factor, there is something rather comforting about a good old slasher; most of them are pretty much formulaic and audiences are almost certainly guaranteed some good gore to feast their eyeballs on! Following the success of Black Christmas (1974) and Halloween (1978), centering a slasher movie around a holiday or tradition of some kind seemed mandatory once the 80’s hit. This early 80’s creepfest is the ideal example of when the movie inside the VHS box matches the creativity and quality of the cover itself. While browsing on Shudder UK, the image of a birthday cake with severed fingers in the place of candles instantly appealed! However, Bloody Birthday is a lot more than it seems. This film wasn’t afraid to take risks and pushed the sub-genre to sinister heights at the time. Bloody Birthday features some of the creepiest kids ever put to screen. Without a doubt, The Omen and The Exorcist were universally considered some of the scariest horror films ever made, proving that terror concealed with the face of innocence was undoubtedly going to get under the skin. In a nutshell, the plot centers on three children who are born during a solar eclipse and grow up to be some real cruel kids, murdering their victims in cold blood with a disturbing lack of remorse. Bloody Birthday is just as much chilling as it is mean spirited and all out suspenseful. When unsuspecting adults don’t heed the warnings that it’s the kids committing the crimes it’s ‘shout and the screen’ worthy stuff!  At the time of its release, the film proved unpopular and resulted in a random rumour that the film was shot and not released into the public domain until five years later. It has since been confirmed that the movie was completed in 1980 and came out the following year. Maybe there is some spooky ‘Mandela Effect’ at play!

  1. Night of the Creeps (1986)
  • Directed by Fred Dekker

night of the creeps

Upon its initial release, Night of the Creeps did not perform successfully at the Box Office but has since developed a loyal cult following making it a must-see for fans of this style of cinema. Directed by Fred Dekker who provided the story for House (1985) and went on to direct The Monster Squad (1987) and RoboCop 3 (1993), Night of the Creeps Oozes B-Movie goodness, blending zombies, science fiction and an element of the slasher, making it a cult-tastic combination. Strange, alien parasites descend from space onto a small town in 1959 leading to madness and mayhem 27 years later when two friends aiming to make an impression on a prospective fraternity accidentally stumble on a frozen corpse unleashing unforeseen havoc leading up to the formal dance. Evoking the era of the 1950’s in it’s opening sequence, Night of the Creeps is an affectionate homage to genre as a whole from its aesthetic to the surnames of its lead characters, Chris Romero, James Carpenter Hooper (J.C) and Cynthia Cronenberg. Other characters include Detective Landis, Detective Cameron, Mr Miner, the Janitor and so on. The campus is even named ‘Corman University’. All these little nods add to the overall charm the film encompasses. Night of the Creeps is very quotable, namely the excellent tagline which is delivered even better in the film itself by the always brilliant Tom Atkins, “the good news is your dates are here…the bad news is, they’re dead!”. There’s plenty of gooey gore galore and slithery sinister creatures ready to invade the bodies of crazed college kids! The greatest aspect of Night of the Creeps is it doesn’t stick to one specific style of horror, veering off into being exactly what it wants to be, an alien invasion, teen movie, zombie slasher flick with heart.

  1. Xtro (1982)
  • Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport

Xtro

My number one underrated 80’s gem goes to Xtro, the anti-ET! Xtro is a British Science Fiction/Horror Movie that is often mistakenly associated with the video nasties but in fact wasn’t amongst the 72 titles designated to the banned list. It’s a grainy, obscure film but wholly worth seeing for its underrated oddness and the visceral, strange feeling it brings with it, exactly as a movie of this kind should. Implicitly, alien abduction is the core plot of Xtro as a father named Sam Phillips (Philip Sayer) mysteriously vanishes off the face of the earth under unusual circumstances while playing outside with his son on a regular day. His ex-wife Rachel (Bernice Stegers) and son Tony (Simon Nash) subsequently move on with their lives only to receive a disturbing shock when an estranged Sam returns into their world out of the blue; however, something is not quite right about him. As predicted tension is spawned into the family dynamics with Sam’s sudden return especially with Rachel’s new partner Joe (Danny Brainin) who is less than pleased about the arrival of the ex-husband which shakes things up! Drama is thrown into the mix of bizarre horror bringing in that traditional British ‘kitchen sink’ tone with the family’s situation in a similar fashion to how Hellraiser (1987) incorporated the mundane existence of a married couple and an extramarital affair with something otherworldly lurking underneath the surface. It’s that amalgamation of a sense of realism incorporated with fantastical elements that blends well together. The visual effects and imagery are to die for in this film. Sam’s ‘rebirth’ scene is shocking, gross and spectacularly done, which is a real unnerving body horror moment that wholeheartedly deserves more credit for the detail that went into it. Director Harry Bromley Davenport threw in some nonlinear imagery including a creepy clown and an enigmatic panther without any explanation which makes the film even more fascinating and downright weird. Xtro is a magnificent film with its utter bizarreness making it compelling to watch and immensely powerful and effective.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews Facebook

Welsh Demoness @ Twitter

Instagram

“Run, Rabbit, Run” Get Out (2017) Review

Posted in Horror Blog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Meeting the parents is a nerve-wracking experience for most but it certainly is the case for Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American man who accompanies his Caucasian girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) on a weekend trip away to her family home in the suburbs.

Get Out Poster

Due to his race, Chris immediately experiences understandable fears about his acceptance within the family and his position as Rose’s boyfriend, however she reassures him that her parents have zero issues.

Get Out 2

What follows is an emotionally intense, psychological chain of events which questions whether Chris will ‘get out’ of the unorthodox situation he’s found himself embroiled in.

From the chilling opening to the nail biting finale, Get Out is one of the must-see movies of 2017 and absolutely deserves the immense amount of praise it has been receiving. Horror has waited a long time for a film of this kind which tackles an important subject matter head on. This film marks a genre shift for it’s director and writer Jordan Peele who is renowned for his work prominently within comedy. As his horror debut he has created an accomplished film which out-rightly satires and highlights issues of racism within society and extreme white views which is both interesting and horrendous to watch.

Get Out

Get Out has been described as a “dark comedy” however it doesn’t explicitly fit into that category. For the most part it is extremely tense but it occasionally veers off with some light relief in order to break things up, namely the character of Chris’s best friend and confidant Rod (Lil Rel Howery). Speaking of his character, he is proof of how the film challenges typical horror tropes and even allows the “comedy relief” character to have more significance and importance to the story than is first expected.

Get Out 3

Daniel Kaluuya is captivating throughout the film and has the audience in the palm of his hand as he goes through plenty of twisted torment. His performance is gripping from the outset as he portrays Chris as a young man who isn’t afraid to display vulnerability. In horror it’s rare to see African American characters portrayed in a positive light. Take a look at the majority of slasher films where they are inexcusably bumped off for the sake of showcasing that the killer means business. Scream 2 (1997) cleverly critiqued this convention whereas Candyman (1992) also brought the horror of racial tension to the forefront. It is therefore refreshing to see an African American male shown to be strong and resourceful when he needs to be and isn’t afraid to stand up for his morals when it comes to the crunch. Chris is completely and utterly a well rounded, unforgettable character. Women in horror have also been underrepresented in the past but it is now a consistently growing movement. The genre has seen plenty of interesting and well written females in recent modern films so it does make a welcome change to see a male in the protagonist role.

get-out-keith-stanfield

Without revealing too much, Allison Williams plays an incredible part as the sympathetic girlfriend as she struggles with her family’s conflict. Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Betty GabrielLakeith Stanfield and Caleb Landry Jones all encompass striking screen presences. It’s never quite clear what their initial motivations are which adds to the overall suspense. They are all characters to watch out for making Get Out essentially an ensemble piece.

get-out-movie-marketing

The opening of the film packs a punch with the eerie tune of “Run, Rabbit, Run” playing diegetically from a car creating an instantly visceral immersion into it. From then on the film gradually builds itself up crafting a clever script layered with racial overtones that creates a sense of unease from the get go. Nothing feels wasted at all as it all gears towards where it needs to be. The reveals are fantastically disturbing and well worth the wait.

The score composed by Michael Abels echoes a haunting atmosphere with it’s distinctive black musical influence as instructed by Peele when he was deciding on the direction he wanted the score to go in. Violin strings and vocal chants enhances the film’s anxious tone to a heart-rendering effect.

Get Out incorporates dream like visuals that are beautifully shot and equally trippy. 

There are so many layers to the film and so much political and social symbolism to look out for. 

Jaw-dropping, highly engaging and intelligently woven, Get Out is both impactful and an important horror film that has been much-needed.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews. 

 

Video Review: House (1985) Arrow Video Box Set

Posted in Horror Blog with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Innermost fears are set to manifest in part one of Hayley’s Horror Reviews look at House (1985) from Arrow Video’s brand new blu-ray restoration.

https://youtu.be/i3cR1591xbs

Hayley House

Writing Horror: Interview with Author/Playwright Dan Weatherer

Posted in Horror Festivals, Horror Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

The most excellent aspect of Horror is how it holds appeal and can be adapted across all different mediums. In this interview I speak to the very versatile writer Dan Weatherer, who has written for the page, stage and screen, spilling the scares from novels to short films. He announced this week that he is working on a true crime piece, exploring the case of the notorious Dr. Crippen for a brand new novel. Not only that, his impressively darkly comedic short film Beige will screen at this year’s Stoke Your Fires Film Festival. He has also been shortlisted for an award for his collection Neverlight for the Arnold Bennett Literary Prize.

Legend-of-the-Chained-Oak Dan Weatherer

Before we get into the interview where Dan discusses his writing roots and upcoming projects, here is a little bit more info about the man behind then pen:

Dan Weatherer is represented by The Cherry Weiner Literary Agency (Author).

never

Award-winning author Dan Weatherer, was first published by Haunted Magazine in Spring, 2013. The Legend of the Chained Oak was an immediate success and was made into a short film which won the award for ‘Best Horror’ at the Portobello Independent Film Festival (2014), ‘Best Short’ at The Bram Stoker International Film Festival (2014) and also the ‘Best UK Short Film’ award at the Stoke Your Fires Film Festival 2014. The film featured at numerous film festivals around the world during 2014. The premiere screening took place in his hometown of Cheadle.

In 2015 Dan was shortlisted for the prestigious position of Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2016-2018.

Aside from the publication of numerous short stories with a multitude of presses, his next major project was a solo collection of short stories titled The Soul That Screamed (Winner of the Preditors & Editors™ Readers’ Poll ‘Best Anthology 2013’.)

A further two collections Only the Good Burn Bright (Spring 2015, James Ward Kirk Fiction) and Neverlight (Spring 2016, Spectral Press) quickly followed. In 2017, Neverlight was shortlisted for the first annual Arnold Bennett Literary Prize.

His first non-fiction book titled ‘What Dwells Within’ was released in the Autumn of 2015 and details the life’s work of paranormal investigator Jayne Harris.

An accomplished playwright, Dan was a finalist in the Blackshaw Showcase Award 2016 and a two-time finalist of the Congleton Players One Act Festival, 2016. Dan has had several of his plays appear at festivals and fringe events.

Completed novels The Underclass and The Tainted Isle are currently with his agent. Expect to see The Dead Stage, a book detailing Dan’s experiences as a novice playwright appear via Crystal Lake Publishing in 2018.

Continuing on from the success of Legend of the Chained Oak, 2017 has seen Dan’s short film Beige added to The British Comedy Guide, and it continues to appear at film festivals nationwide.

Dan lives in Staffordshire, where is married to his wife Jenni and is a (proud) full-time dad to his daughter Bethany, and his son Nathan.

 

  1. What inspired you to become a writer?

As a child I always enjoyed creative writing, though never gave serious thought to a career as an author.

I was made redundant in 2013, and decided that I would try my hand at writing, now having time to dedicate to the craft. At the time, my daughter was two years old, and I fit my writing around her needs. My son is now aged two, and I still continue to work the same way. Being a full-time parent and writer seems to work for me, though the two aren’t without their challenges!

 

  1. You’ve written literature and written for the screen and stage, do you have a favourite medium or do you enjoy them all in equal measures?

I enjoy them all equally. Each medium presents its own challenges and rewards.

Writing for the screen is probably the most instantly gratifying, in that you write the action exactly as you intend the audience to see it on screen. Strong dialogue is a key factor in a good screenplay, but much of the writing centres on what the audience “sees” on screen.

Books enable you to delve deeper into a character’s mind-set, and literally construct the world around them. Every part of a characters psychological make-up is explored, resulting in a much richer final product.

Writing for the stage falls some way between writing for films/books. Again, very little direction is supplied by the author (leaving room for the actor/director to craft the piece as they interpret it), but the dialogue tends to drive the story here, as opposed to the visual element of film.

I find that stage plays are ideally suited to telling stories involving fewer characters/locations, where the level of intimacy afforded by a live performance heightens the impact of the piece.

Poster

  1. Your first publication The Legend of the Chained Oak was adapted into a short film as was your stage play Beige. What was it like transitioning those works to film?

The Legend of the Chained Oak was my first introduction to film, and I learned a lot working on the project.

The film is actually a spin-off from my original story, and was entirely written to suit our non-existent budget, and limited shoot time.

Very little was scripted. The actors were given the outcome of the scene, and much of their dialogue was improvised. I would argue that this lends a natural feel to the film, though must add that this is due to the strength of the actors involved.

However, all of my screenplays/stage plays since have been tightly scripted. While I do agree that the method above can achieve results, most projects require a solid foundation of dialogue; Beige being a perfect example of this.

 

  1. What appeals to you about the horror genre?

There are so many angles with which the genre can be approached. I’d say much of my work could be classed as dark-fiction, as opposed to horror.

It is rare that I write anything that could be classed as outright horror, choosing instead to deliver more subtle, but equally unnerving pieces.

However, my recent short story/screenplay ‘The Home’, is possibly the most horror orientated piece I have written to date!

Hhcrippen

  1. You’re working on an upcoming project that centres on the infamous murderer, Dr Hawley Crippen. What interests you about true crime and what is your overall goal with the piece?

I remember visiting The Chamber of Horrors, in Blackpool, as a child. One of the exhibitions featured Dr Crippen and his dismembered wife, Cora; it was an image that remained with me for many years.

I’d often recall the blank expression on the Doctor’s face, and I’d wonder what possessed him to commit the atrocity that he was executed for.

Many years later, I discovered that there was new evidence with regards to the case, and having read the report, decided to retell the story of Dr Crippen as a stage play.

The idea to further develop the story into a novel was one I have been toying with for some time. Now, having started work, I can attest that I will be supplying a much richer story than my stage play first hinted, and I am having fun exploring the minds of the characters.

Of course, this is to be a work of fiction – where I present a possible alternative theory as to what happened to Cora Crippen. However, it is based on a true story. I aim to present Dr Crippen, not as a monster, but as a person, flawed though he may be, and attempt to explain his actions.

Time will tell if I am able to achieve this.

I will say that I do believe he is guilty of murder…

 

  1. What do you think makes a genuinely scary story?

The reader has to feel for the characters. If bad things happen to them (and they inevitably do), the reader will feel. Whether you choose to scare the reader, or instil a sense of warmth, neither is achievable if your characters are throwaway.

 

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on?

Tough question. Each has its merits. However, I had great fun working on a script for a well know Hollywood horror franchise…

That script is now in the hands of my agent.

Birmingham Horror Con Halloween

  1. You will be showcasing your work at Birmingham Horror Con this Halloween, what are you most looking forward to about the event?

It probably sounds extremely unprofessional, but I’m looking forward to exploring the convention, and enjoying it as an attendee, rather than a stall holder.

I will be showcasing my short films, and hosting a Q & A panel afterwards, but most of my time will be spent meeting other authors/film makers working in the genre. These are people I respect, yet have only ever spoken to online. It will be great to say hello in person!

 

  1. Who are your literary influences?

Clive Barker, Stephen King, James Herbert, and Arnold Bennett. (Arnold did not write dark-fiction. He is the most successful author to come from my home city, and I am an admirer of both his work and his legacy.)

 

  1. What advice do you have for new and aspiring writers?

Rejection is never a “no.” It’s a “not for me.” Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t – you just need to find that one person who believes in your work as much as you do.

I would like to thank Dan for taking his time to do this interview with me. Be sure to check out all of his awesome works.

For more information about Dan and his work, visit www.danweatherer.com 

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Hayley’s Horror Update March 2017

Posted in Horror Blog, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hello Horror Hounds! Hope you are having a gore-geously glorious week filled with some mega movie watching!

Hayley on Horror Couch

I haven’t updated this blog for quite a while so felt it was time for a long overdue update. For those of you who follow me on Facebook you will have already seen all my recent content but for those of you who keep updated via here, here are some links to what I’ve been up to on Love Horror lately.

Prevenge

Back in February I visited my regular haunt, The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield, home of Celluloid Screams: Horror Film Festival which I attend each October. I went to see the UK tour of Alice Lowe’s frightfully funny, pregnancy horror Prevenge (2016). 

So far, Prevenge is my standout film seen this year, although I am also eagerly anticipating, Get Out. If you’re in the US, Prevenge is stalking it’s way onto Shudder in two days time.

Check out my full review: http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-reviews/prevenge-2017-review/

Dead Air

Earlier this month I interviewed award-winning Independent Filmmaker Geoff Harmer (Fraught Productions) regarding his recent Kickstarter campaign for his female-led, rock infused, 80’s inspired creature feature Dead Air. The campaign ended last week and the project is currently on hiatus but I highly recommend checking it out as well as our interview which talks low budget filmmaking and female status in horror movies.

http://lovehorror.co.uk/interview/interview-geoff-harmer-fraught-productions/

lina romay

Finally, I subjected myself to some Euro Sleaze courtesy of new cult film label Maison Rouge and got my first taste of some Jess Franco with his seedy, 70’s sexploitation, Female Vampire (AKA Bare Breasted Countess). 

The movie is not so heavy on the horror with more emphasis on awkward, relentless sex scenes, but hey, it was a film experience I am unlikely to forget! You can read more of my thoughts on Female Vampire here: http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-reviews/female-vampire-1975-review/

I also have a review of Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg (1978) coming right up. If those were my thoughts on Female Vampire as you can imagine, Helga didn’t fare much better. I’m still figuring out which one I considered worse!

I have plenty of creepy content coming soon, so keep your eyeballs peeled and plenty of new ideas for the site and my career in horror reviewing.

Head to my Facebook page for more regular updates including a weekly ‘Scary Soundtrack’, Follow me on Twitter @WelshDemoness and check out my Instagram mshayleyr1989

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

 

Short Film Review: Visitor (2017)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 9, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Force of Nature Films presents Visitor, an unnerving short film centered on a woman who receives mysterious text messages from a stranger. Visitor incorporates a simple premise and leaves the viewer wanting to know more. It’s key to bear in mind that Visitor is a concept piece geared toward becoming a feature film and already there is plenty of interesting material in place.

visitor

Directed and written by Roger Sampson, Visitor is essentially body horror on a small budget but it doesn’t reveal a great deal. All that is presented about the lead character (played by Ashley Maure) is that she is a fertility doctor but there seems to be a whole lot more to her past that remains unexplored. The link between pregnancy and possession goes hand in hand thematically relating to the fear of physical invasion.

visitor-2

Phone stalking is a frequent convention when it comes to horror but with modern technology continuing to grow and more and more people living through their devices it paves the way for a whole new kind of scary as an easier form of personal access. The combination of body invasion and the growth of technology makes for an unsettling experience. There’s a short amount of tension in place before events become extra sinister. The ending of the piece is disturbingly well-crafted and knows how to strike a nerve with it’s audience.

Visitor is well done and has a plenty of potential to develop it’s narrative further as well as include some creative and gory FX.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews