Have Yourself A Merry Little Quiz-mas

In lieu of a proper episode, here’s our (delayed) Christmas knees-up and horror trivia quiz episode, presided over by Ian, with Kirsty, Stella, Dan and special guests Kelly, Sven and Elliott.

To send in an answer to our listener questions, and stand a chance of winning one of our excellent prizes, email Dan at ambisolsltd@gmail.com.

Ghost Stories (2018) and Mark Gatiss’ The Tractate Midddoth, The Dead Room, Martin’s Close and MR James documentary The Lost Ghost Story are currently available for streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Missed Classics #7: The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Ian and Dan are joined by a special guest returning from our Horror Express episode, writer and podcaster Tim Shaw, to discuss another favourite from Tim’s childhood, and a supernatural spine-chiller that Ian’s never seen before, 1973’s The Legend of Hell House. 

Four psychic investigators – played by powerhouse actors Pamela Franklyn, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt – have one week to solve the mystery of “the Mount Everest of haunted houses”, but how does this overlooked thriller stand up today, and how does it compare to the 1970 Richard Matheson novel from which it’s adapted? 

Listen on to hear our panel’s thoughts – joined for ten minutes by Howard, phoning in his first new podcast recording for over a year, so determined was he to comment on this film.

Relevant Links and Availability

The Legend of Hell House is available on DVD (and on Region 1 Blu-Ray) and is often shown on Talking Pictures TV in the UK

Raised By Wolves is currently available to stream via Now TV in the UK

The Creepy Christmas Collection is currently available to stream on Britbox UK and includes director John Hough’s Twins of Evil (1971), writer Richard Matheson’s The Devil Rides Out (1968) and many others

Hear Tim’s podcast Pod Radio Music exclusively on MixCloud

Death: Bags Of It

Circumstances have prompted that this week’s recorded episode – a discussion of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – has been postponed.  In its place, Dan bids a sad farewell to a much-mentioned friend of the show, and introduces a collection of ‘The Bag of Death’, a segment from The Lee/Cushing Podcast from 2016-17, featuring Howard and Dan.

Quatermass 2 (1957) is currently free to stream for subscribers to Amazon PrimeIsland of Terror (1966) and Lust for a Vampire (1971) are available on DVD and Blu-Ray and frequently seen on the UK Horror Channel.

More short discussions between Dan and Howard can be found at the Ambidextrous Solutions Limited YouTube channel, about Dead of Night (1945) and The Quatermass Experiment (1955).

Missed Classics #6: The Haunting of Hill House (and a bit of Bly Manor)

Does the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House (2018) count as a Missed Classic just because it’s two years old and Dan hasn’t seen it before?  Short answer: yes.  Longer answer: yes, especially in the light of its poorly-received 2020 follow-up, The Haunting of Bly Manor (which Kirsty, Stella and Ian can’t resist talking about even though this episode isn’t supposed to be about that and Dan hasn’t seen it).  If you haven’t yet seen Hill House, go and watch it, because everyone agrees it’s good and this episode is mostly spoilers.

Relevant Links and Availability:

The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor are both available to stream on Netflix

The Sink: A Sleep Aid podcast is currently available on BBC Sounds

You’re Next is available for rental streaming on Amazon

Interview With The Vampire and Color Out of Space are currently available to stream free for subscribers to Amazon Prime

Episodes of The Lovecraft Investigations are currently available on BBC iPlayer

Questions of Horror #2: Why Are Ghosts Frightening?

Stella, Ian and Dan all agree that their scariest horror moments involve ghosts, but they aren’t sure what it exactly is that makes a spectral visitor from beyond the grave so frightening.  Listen to them ponder out loud.

Related Links and Availability

The Possession of Hannah Grace and His House are currently available to stream on Netflix UK

His Dark Materials and Westworld (1973) are currently available to stream on BBC iPlayer

Revisitations #1: Alien3 (1992)

Today’s panel of hosts have all seen controversial science-fiction horror and follow-up to 1979’s Alien and 1986’s Aliens, Alien3, before.  Ian saw it at the cinema in 1992 and was disgusted.  Kirsty caught it on video as a young adult and didn’t think much of it, but went on to become a huge fan of its director, David Fincher.  And Dan is a full-on Alien fan who’s seen it multiple times in both released versions and knows it inside out. 

But Ian has recently discovered the wonders of its soundtrack music and that’s inspired him to revisit the film and want to talk about it.  After all, this film, after an initial critical lambasting, has gone on to be reappraised multiple times; Empire magazine later wrote that, of the original Alien trilogy, the third film “is seen as the least scary but may be the most daring, shot through with a beautiful bleakness.”  What will our hosts make of it in 2020?

Relevant Links and Availability

Alien3 (theatrical version) is available to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray and to rent or buy from YouTube and Amazon (as is Terminator: Dark Fate). The ‘assembly cut’ version is available (with the other three Ripley/Alien films) on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD box-set and the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray Box Set.

The audio dramatisation of William Gibson’s Alien III is available now exclusively from Audible

Episode 2 of Cornwall with Simon Reeve is currently streaming on BBC iPlayer and features the introduction of a rather well-named beaver to the British Isles…

His House is currently available to stream on Netflix and you can watch an interview with the writers on Val Verde Broadcasting’s YouTube channel

Cadabra Records is Ian’s current audio drama provider of choice

Timelines: The Pendle Witch Child is currently free to watch for Amazon Prime members

Missed Classics #5: During Barty’s Party (1976)

Anthony Bate and Elizabeth Sellars are the only on-screen stars of During Barty’s Party

You may not have heard of During Barty’s Party, an episode from the 1976 anthology TV series, Beasts, written by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale.  Ian and Stella hadn’t, when Dan suggested this episode to them.  But Dan insists it’s an absolutely terrifying Missed Classic.  Will Stella and Ian agree?  And after listening to this episode, will you be tempted to seek it out?  And whatever you do, don’t miss out on the real-life horror of Ian’s rat story…

00.00.42 Introduction and news

00.16.05 During Barty’s Party (non-spoiler)

00.51.46 During Barty’s Party (spoiler)

01.20.12 Ian and Dan’s Real Rat Encounters (coming soon to Netflix… or not)

01.33.00 Recommendations

Relevant Links and Availability

The Beasts DVD from Network Releasing has been deleted, but you can still buy pre-owned copies from Amazon and other sellers.  During Barty’s Party is included along with the other five episodes of Beasts (the one about the dolphin ghost is called Buddyboy) and a rather good bonus Nigel Kneale play, the folk horror Murrain (starring James Bond’s original ‘M’, Bernard Lee).

The surviving episodes of the 1972 horror anthology series Dead of Night (including Don Taylor’s episode, The Exorcism) is available on DVD from the BFI shop.

RedLetterMedia’s recent videos about the Friday the 13th series are on YouTube here and here

His Dark Materials: Series 2 is currently releasing one episode per week on BBC iPlayer (the entire first series is also available to stream on the platform)

The Dark and the Wicked can be rented on Amazon in the US, but has yet to be given a UK release date

Missed Classics #4: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Hope you all had a good Halloween, folks.  This episode, Kirsty and Stella introduce Dan to their beloved The Cabin in the Woods (2012).  But how will Dan react to this postmodern piece of pop culture?

0.00.41 Introduction and news

00.09.21 The Cabin in the Woods spoiler-free discussion

00.35.35 The Cabin in the Woods – full spoilers

01.13.50 Recommendations

Relevant links and availability

The Cabin in the Woods is currently available to stream if you’re a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriber (the 4K version on Amazon is superior, Dan says) or for rental streaming via YouTube or Amazon, and has also been released on DVD and Blu-Ray

Sign up here to take part in the BAFTSS Horror Studies Special Interest Group’s online event Night of the Nasties

WNUF Halloween Special and Sadako va Kayako (THAT was what it was called) are both available to stream on Shudder

Tremors and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth are broadcasting at 9pm on Thursday 12th November on the UK Horror Channel (if you have Freeview)

Truth Seekers is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime

Halloween Retrospective #7: Halloween H20 Twenty Years Later (1998)

Happy Halloween everybody!  It’s the latest episode of our Halloween retrospective, as Howard and Dan turn their attention to the FIRST return (well, third if you count Halloween II as a return… although actually it never happened according to Halloween 2018 – never mind) of Laurie Strode, from 1998.  For the first time, their usual Halloween review sidekick Spider-Dan couldn’t make this one, but his boots are ably filled by actor Luke Richards.  And yes, everybody calls the film ‘H-Two-Oh’, not ‘H-Twenty’, which is the only sensible way to read that title, but the damage done by the original marketing campaign can never be repaired, and it all started with the voiceover on the film’s trailer – as you’ll hear.  Does anybody else wish they’d just called it ‘Halloween 1998’?

Elsewhere, it’s half-term, so Kirsty and Stella are able to rejoin Dan to chat over some news from horror and life, share some recommendations for Halloween weekend – and record a Missed Classic which we’ll be releasing in a few weeks…

Relevant Links and Availability:

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is available on rental streaming via YouTube and Amazon, and to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray.

H20’s draft screenplay (and several others from the Halloween franchise) can be downloaded from the Halloween Screenplays page of the Official Halloween Message Board

This Totally Deserted Studio (Stella’s Ghostwatch panel with @BAFTSS_Horror) is available to view on YouTube

National Seance (the tenth annual online Ghostwatch-along event) is at 9pm on Saturday October 31st.  Here are links to the event’s Facebook page and the Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains website

Inside No 9 Live: Dead Line (you were right about the title, sorry Stella) is currently streaming via BBC iPlayer

Ready or Not is currently streaming on NowTV and is available to buy via YouTube and Amazon

The Sink: A Sleep Aid podcast is currently available on BBC Sounds

One Cut of the Dead and V/H/S are currently streaming on Shudder

…and don’t forget, UK TV viewers, John Carpenter’s original Halloween from 1978 is showing on FilmFour on Halloween night and is also available to view on Amazon Prime!

Ghostwatch: An Academic Roundtable

We just wanted to give you a reminder (and an additional plug) about the event happening this week that we’ve been mentioning on the podcast recently.

This Wednesday at 7pm BST, our very own Dr Stella Gaynor will be hosting an online roundtable discussion of one of our very favourite pieces of horror television, 1992’s Ghostwatch, as part of the Weekday Night Bites series organised by the BAFTSS Horror Studies Special Interests Group. The panel will include noted academics Dr. Stacey Abbott (University of Roehampton), Dr. Kate Egan (Northumbria University), Dr. Derek Johnston (Queen’s University Belfast) and Dr. Shellie McMurdo (University of Hertfordshire/University of Roehampton).

You can sign up to the event for free here and all those watching the discussion live (an audience which is hoped to include Ghostwatch’s writer, Stephen Volk) will get the opportunity to take part in a question and answer section at the end.

It’s going to be a great gig for Halloween week, so we hope you’ll be there!

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