Writer Stephen Volk on Under A Raven’s Wing and a lifetime in the horror business

Stephen Volk wrote Ghostwatch, the 1992 TV play which rated so highly on Kirsty, Stella and Dan’s list of Movies That Scared Us The Most last year.  And Ghostwatch is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Stephen’s diverse array of horror output in a variety of media, including prose fiction: his new collection of stories, featuring a teaming of the legendary literary detectives C Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes, has just been released by PS Publishing.

In this lengthy interview, Stephen discusses these new and old triumphs, and many things that came between them in his remarkable career, including times spent in Hollywood, his work with famed directors Ken Russell and William Freidkin, and what he thought of Inside Number 9’s Ghostwatch tribute episode from 2018.  Ian, Stella, Kirsty and Dan were just thrilled to be able to speak to him, as will probably be apparent to the listener.

Elsewhere, Howard calls in to chat about how life is treating him in lockdown, what he’s been watching on TV lately, and to pluck another surprise horror film from The Bag of Death.

Related Links and Availability

Stephen Volk’s new book Under A Raven’s Wing is available to order now directly from the PS Publishing website (Twitter: @pspublishingUK)

You can follow him on Twitter: @stevevolkwriter or visit his website stephenvolk.net

Bone Tomahawk (2015) is currently available to stream via Amazon in the UK, free to subscribers

Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe (1940) is currently screening in weekly instalments on Talking Pictures TV (UK Freeview channel 81) at 11.15am on Saturdays

True Love for True Blood

Stella, Kirsty and Ian have all seen lots of True Blood, HBO’s steamy vampire romance, and love it to bits.  On the other hand, Dan has only seen a bit of it, but he loved that.  Listen to them wax lyrical and philosophical about why it’s so good (except for, as Ian points out, when it isn’t) and how it compares to the Charlaine Harris books it was adapted from.  And if you’ve never seen it, the gang pretty much avoid spoilers, for once.  Plus, we have another phone call with Howard and Dan as another random film is plucked from The Bag of Death.

Relevant Links and Availability

All seven seasons of True Blood are available to watch in the UK via NowTV

The Hotel and The Battersea Poltergeist are available for listening now via BBC Sounds

News of the World is available for streaming in the UK via Netflix

Byzantium is available for free streaming to subscribers of Amazon Prime in the UK

All soundtrack clips are used for the purposes of criticism, in the spirit of Fair Dealing (UK law) and Fair Use (US law).  No copyright infringement is intended

Halloween Retrospective #9: Halloween (2007)

It’s time to return to our series of Halloween franchise reviews, recorded back in 2018.  Dan and Howard are joined by returning guests Luke Richards (actor and writer-star of the upcoming Halloween fan film, One Night in Haddonfield) and Spider-Dan (host of the podcast Spider-Dan and the Secret Bores) for a spoiler-filled discussion of Rob Zombie’s 2007 reboot of the franchise.

In more recently recorded material, Stella and Dan chat about their winter reading, viewing and listening, and Howard phones in to pluck another horror film at random from The Bag of Death.

Relevant Links and Availability

Halloween (2007) is out on DVD and Blu-Ray in both its original version and an extended director’s cut

Wrong Turn (2003) is available for free streaming to subscribers to Amazon Prime in the UK

Overlord is currently streaming via Netflix in the UK

Sour Hall is available for purchase from Audible (or it’s free if you’re a member)

Luke Richards can be found on Twitter @Luke_Richards92 – follow him for more information about One Night in Haddonfield

Spider-Dan can be found on Twitter @dan_bores and his podcast can be found on whatever platform you’re using now

All soundtrack clips are used for the purposes of criticism, in the spirit of Fair Dealing (UK law) and Fair Use (US law).  No copyright infringement is intended

Writer Gemma Hurley on Host, genre on TV and loving folk horror

Kirsty, Stella, Dan and Ian have been raving about Host, last year’s ‘Zoom seance’ movie from Shudder, almost since before it was released, and now they are blessed to be joined for a freewheeling chat by one of its writers, Gemma Hurley.  Gemma talks about the experience of writing that film, her rollercoaster 2020, the challenges of pitching genre material for TV in the UK, and why she loves folk horror.  Meanwhile, Howard calls in with another pick from The Bag of Death.

If you haven’t yet seen Host, don’t worry, the chat is spoiler-free – but why on Earth haven’t you seen it yet?  It’s out now on Blu-Ray and even VHS (although only in the USA).

For a those wishing to cultivate a folk horror vibe, watch The Imagined Village’s John Barleycorn on YouTube (it’s from their 2007 debut album, available from Real World Records) and our previous episodes on Witchcraft and Paganism, Parts One and Two

Heathers can currently be streamed via Shudder

Missed Classics (?) #8: The Exorcist III (1990)

Ian and Stella are both big fans of 1973’s The Exorcist (it’s Ian’s favourite film), but neither have ever seen the occasionally-feted-in-cult-film-circles standalone sequel written and directed by original Exorcist author and producer William Peter Blatty, 1990’s The Exorcist III.  Dan has seen it before, and read Blatty’s novel Legion, from which it was adapted, and was left with mixed feelings.  Now it’s time for all three to walk those Georgetown steps again.  Warning: contains strong opinions…

Relevant Links and Availability

It’s A Sin is currently available to watch in its entirety via All4

The Exorcist III is available on Blu-Ray from Scream Factory (including the original cut) and is also frequently shown on the UK Horror Channel

Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer is currently available on streaming, free for subscribers to Amazon Prime

Quatermass and the Pit is currently available for streaming via BritBox

Camp Cretaceous is currently available for streaming via Netflix

Barbara Shelley’s obituary in The Guardian

Read more about The Exorcist III at Den of Geek and Bloody Disgusting

RedLetterMedia’s video on The Exorcist III on YouTube

Matthew Danczak’s video on The Exorcist III on YouTube

All soundtrack clips are used for the purposes of criticism, in the spirit of Fair Dealing (UK law) and Fair Use (US law).  No copyright infringement is intended.

Nineties Gothic #2: Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Not the actual poster of the movie, but Dan’s eye was drawn to this piece of Hammer camp-style fan art, only let down in his opinion by the fake fang on Lestat.

Kirsty, Stella, Ian and Dan return to their survey of Hollywood’s procession of Gothic horrors from the 1990s with the one non-Columbia/TriStar/Zoetrope film on the list – but a film we couldn’t possibly leave out – Neil Jordan’s sumptuous adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.  But how does it look to modern eyes?  And is the apparently ageless Tom Cruise actually a vampire in real life?  And which names will Ian drop this week?

Relevant Links and Availability

Interview with the Vampire, Byzantium and The Expanse are all currently available for free streaming to Amazon Prime subscribers in the UK (Interview is also available on DVD).

The Night Stalker is currently streaming via Netflix UK.

The Pembrokeshire Murders is currently available for streaming in the UK via the ITV Hub.

The Babadook is available for the next year via BBC iPlayer.

All soundtrack clips are used for the purposes of criticism, in the spirit of Fair Dealing (UK law) and Fair Use (US law).  No copyright infringement is intended.

Halloween Retrospective #8: Halloween Resurrection (2002)

We’re returning to the Halloween franchise this episode, and one of its least-loved films, the Busta Rhymes-starring final instalment of the ‘original Laurie Strode timeline’.  Dan and Howard are joined by longtime Halloween pundits Spider-Dan and Luke Richards.

Relevant Links and Availability

Halloween Resurrection is available on DVD and Blu-Ray and for rental streaming via Amazon and YouTube in the UK

Katee Sackhoff’s reaction as she watches her performance Halloween Resurrection can be seen on YouTube

Rampage is currently available to stream in the UK via Netflix

The Meg is currently available to stream in the UK via Amazon Prime

Spider-Dan’s podcast is Spider Dan & The Secret Bores.  Find him on Twitter @dan_bores

Find details about Luke’s Halloween fan film, One Night in Haddonfield, on his Twitter feed @Luke_Richards1992 

All soundtrack clips are used for the purposes of criticism, in the spirit of Fair Dealing (UK law) and Fair Use (US law).  No copyright infringement is intended.

Nineties Gothic #1: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Happy New Year!  We begin the (tentatively hopeful) 2021 by starting a new strand: Nineties Gothic, examining each film in the flow of big-budget, ‘respectable’ spins on the classic horror texts and archetypes, mostly produced by Columbia TriStar and/or American Zoetrope.

The first of these was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released globally during 1992-93.  Kirsty, Stella and Dan all saw during their teenage years and had their worlds rocked.  Ian was a more cynical university student in 1992 and reacted… differently.  But how do they all feel about the film on re-watching it now?

Related Links and Availability

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is out on DVD and Blu-Ray and can currently be streamed via Netflix in the UK

Patrick (H) Willems’ video essay The 90s Dark Universe can be streamed via YouTube

Diamanda Galas’ This is the Law of the Plague can be purchased for download from Diamanda Galas’ Bandcamp page

The Bill and Ted Test can be read on Twitter

Host (2020) can now be purchased or rented for streaming from Amazon and similar outlets, and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February

Black Narcissus (2020) is available for streaming on BBC iPlayer while the 1947 film can be streamed via BritBox in the UK

All Creatures Great and Small (2020) is available for streaming via My5 in the UK

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