Thursday, 19 January 2012

War, death, damnation and hanging guts!

I don’t get much opportunity to write short stories these days – time just doesn’t seem to allow it – so it’s always nice to be able to bring readers of this column a little bit of short story news. I was more than happy to be told this week that my festive horror story, THE CHRISTMAS TOYS, will gain its debut publication in the first SCREAMING BOOK OF HORROR (pictured left), due out next autumn from SCREAMING DREAMS PRESS.

This anthology will be the work of tireless editor Johnny Mains, who also happens to be an enthusiastic and skilled researcher in the dusty annals of this genre. I'm even prouder to be appearing in this book as, thanks to Johnny’s enviable ability to root out lost classics, I’ll be appearing alongside a previously unpublished tale by sci-fi legend John Brunner (1934 To 1995).

Here is the TOC for SCREAMING BOOK OF HORROR as it currently stands, though Johnny has advised me that it isn’t complete just yet.

One Of The Family – Bernard Taylor
Larva – John Brunner
Glory And Splendour – Alex Miles
What Shall We Do About Barker? – Reggie Oliver
Cut! – Anna Taborska
Old Grudge Ender – David A. Riley
The Christmas Toys – Paul Finch
The Quixote Candidate – Rhys Hughes
Helping Mummy – Kate Farrell
The Iron Cross – Craig Herby
The Baby Trap – Janine Wood
The Club – Sarah Brunsdon
Sometimes You Think You Are Alone – Alison Moore
The Tip Run – Johnny Mains

Back to the movie world now, and my fascination to learn that THE DEVIL’S ROCK, which will be the subject of a special feature in FANGORIA next month, was named by the TOP10LISTMOVIES website as being in the top ten war films of 2011.

I’m gratified of course, but I’m also surprised. Though set during World War Two, THE DEVIL’S ROCK is first and foremost an occult horror movie, with a strong emphasis on demonic fantasy. Possibly its realistic setting did it for the voters: the Channel Islands on the eve of D-Day, the grim bunker tunnels, the well documented Nazi quest to find and utilise unearthly weapons. Alternatively, perhaps it’s just a case that we don’t make too many straightforward war movies these days. Which is an even bigger mystery, if you ask me – because we make an awful lot of war.

On the subject of THE DEVIL’S ROCK, some rather nice new pix have come my way. The first one (right) ought to have you laughing, and maybe puking at the same time. It was taken on set during the actual shoot, and depicts make-up artist Dara Wakeley assessing Karlos Drinkwater on screen, oblivious to the dangling intestines all around her. But then it's a tough industry. You get hardened to that kind of thing.

This second shot has been inserted for more gratuitous reasons. I get an awful lot of hits on this blog from folk who are simply looking for images of Gina Varela, the ever-alluring star of the film. So here's another one, our lovely demoness accepting the accolades at the San Sebaastian International Film Festival in Spain.

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