FRIGHTENING FLIX by Kbatz: Mummy Movies!

Unwrapping a Mummy or Two!

By Kristin Battestella


Seen any good mummy movies lately?


Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb – Based upon Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars novel, this 1971 Hammer outing gets right to the saucy, sexy mummies, colorful jewels, tombs, and classic Egyptian designs not through spectacle of production but via subdued lighting, firelight, soft music, foreboding curses, and a silent, dreamy start. The intriguing father and daughter dynamic between Valerie Leon (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Andrew Kier (Quartermass and the Pit) is both endearing and suspicious – straight jackets, psychics, ominous constellations, cluttered museums, and sinister relics likewise contribute to the visual mixing of old, Egyptology styles and early seventies designs. Pleasing hysterical fears, snake scares, uneasy reunions, and power struggles unravel the reincarnation tale nicely. It is tough, however, to see some of the night sky transitions, and the simmering 94 minutes may be too quiet or dry for today’s speedy audiences. Subtitles would help with the exposition as well – especially for the fun homage character names like Tod Browning that may be missed otherwise. Brief nudity, one by one deaths, the collecting of killer artifacts, and a resurrection countdown also feel somewhat rudimentary at times, predictable before snappy and missing some Hammer panache in cast or direction. Considering the on set death of director Seth Holt (Taste of Fear) and the departure of Peter Cushing – both briefly discussed in the DVD’s features – the film’s flaws are certainly understandable. Besides, this is still most definitely watchable with an enjoyably moody atmosphere and fun, subjective finish.


The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb – Hammer producer Michael Carreras (Maniac) wrote and directed this 1964 sequel to The Mummy, and it’s a well shot piece with plenty of Egyptian color, tombs, flashbacks, artifacts, humor, and film within a film carnival spectacles. The 1900 designs are also period fine, but some scenes are obviously on-set small scale and lacking the expected all out Hammer values, making this follow up feel like some one else’s beat for beat B knock off rather than an authorized continuation. Opening blood and violence, characters at each other’s throats in fear of the eponymous threat, brief debates on traveling sideshow exhibitions, and scandalous belly dancing can’t overcome the slow, meandering pace while we await the well wrapped and perfectly lumbering Mummy violence. Jeanne Roland (You Only Live Twice) is very poorly dubbed, and beyond the over the top, annoying, love to hate Fred Clark (How to Marry A Millionaire) as a sell out American financier, the rest of the cast is interchangeably bland with no chemistry. The somewhat undynamic writing is uneven, with twists and mysteries either out of the blue, too tough to follow, or all too apparent. Though the sinister deaths aren’t scary, it’s all somehow enjoyably predictable because we’ve seen so many rinse and repeat Mummy films. This isn’t a bad movie, but it takes most of its time getting to the Mummy scenes we want to see – and we can see a lot of fact or fiction Egyptology programming today. It’s not quite solid on its own and feels sub par compared to its predecessor, yet this one will suffice Mummy fans and fits in perfectly with a pastiche viewing or marathon.


The Mummy – Karloff, Karloff, Karloff! The drawn, crusty, and dry opening makeup and mummification designs looks dynamite- accenting OMK’s tall, imposing, sullen, and stilted presence. His silent up close shots are indeed hypnotic and powerful- even if modern audiences might find this one more fanciful fantasy than truly frightful. Even though there is some tell, not shown off-screen action, the plot is well paced, with nice dialogue and support from Zita Johann (Tiger Shark) and Edward Van Sloan (Dracula). Some of the 1932 style or mannerisms, foreign languages, and customs of the time might be strange to us now, but the mysteries and iconography of Ancient Egypt look delightful. An action packed pseudo silent styled flashback also works wonders. The CGI spoiled may of course find things here slow and dated compared to the 1999 The Mummy, but seeing a film done when Egyptology was arguably at its height allows a little more of all that onscreen glamour and gold to shine through. Actually, I am usually completely against it, but I’d love to see this in color- at least once anyway. Sweetness!

The Mummy (1959) – Hammer perennials Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee team again for this well paced if somewhat familiar plot. Though he looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon in some scenes and is styled more like a Bond henchman doing the evil deeds of late Victorian villain George Pastell (also of The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb); Lee’s reanimated and mummified priest Kharis is dang menacing but no less tragic in his violence and lost love. His overbearing stature works wonders against the intelligent and suave archaeology gentleman Cushing- whether he’s in the dirty wraps or decked out in great Egyptian costumes, color, and brightness. The sets, however, could use some work, as the exteriors are a bit, well, plastic looking instead of mighty stonework monolith. Yvonne Furneaux (Repulsion) is also a lovely but slightly lightweight façade that’s a little out of place with Cushing’s take action and dueling wit. Fortunately, the musical charms accent the Egyptian suspense and cap off the scares beautifully. Toss in some humor and great fun and this version equals total entertainment.


The Mummy’s Curse – Stay with me now – this 1944 hour long Universal sequel marks the final appearance by Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis after The Mummy’s Tomb and The Mummy’s Ghost, which follow the 1932 original and The Mummy’s Hand. Got that? Of course, the timeline and locales are all over the place at this point anyway! We open with a French sing along to set the inexplicably changed Louisiana setting here before getting to the expected accursed mummy swamp recovery, investigating archaeology professors, and screaming dames. It’s amusing to see all the fearful and faux French accented locals, and reused stock footage from prior Mummy films creates further humor. But why is this exact same story being told to us again? Again but in a Louisiana swamp? A swamp that lies below a conveniently abandoned chapel where the Mummy hides? Fortunately, once the audience takes these leaps, Chaney’s resurrected and deadly, limbering monster can be enjoyed thanks to well done shadows, lighting, and crisp black and white photography. Virginia Christine (Tales of Wells Fargo) also has an excellent entrance as the revived Ananka, with eerie music, stilted movement, and great horror editing. Despite the spooky bayou atmosphere, this isn’t as scary movie as it should be – somehow Chaney’s crippled, dragging Mummy seems sad and used more than frightening. Poor thing misses a victim or two thanks to them, you know, walking away from him! Thankfully, the quick fun here is still watchable for fans, especially in a Mummy or Chaney viewing marathon.


The Mummy’s Hand – Be he curse protector or resurrection accomplice, George Zucco (Dead Men Walk) is slick as ever in this 67 minute 1940 Universal sort of sequel that’s otherwise lacking in the expected Mummy stars such as Karloff or Lon Chaney, Jr. These different characters create more remake than follow up feelings, and after awhile, these Mummy films do seem somewhat the same anyway. There’s a little too much humor and bumbling rivalries away from the titular action for this installment to be scary, too. Who has the money for the expedition? Who doesn’t want the archaeology to happen? What’s pretty daughter Peggy Moran (King of the Cowboys) doing pointing a gun at folks? Wallace Ford (The Rogue’s Tavern) is also an unnecessarily fast talking swindler sidekick for by the numbers Dick Foran (The Petrified Forest), and the then-modern Cairo pre-war styles and colloquialisms slow the plot down when there’s no time to waste. Fortunately, despite the black and white photography, the opening Egyptian flashback provides the expected regalia and spooky curses. Perhaps this entry is typical or nondescript in itself, but its fun for a classic marathon. When we finally do get to the tomb robbing action and Tom Tyler (The Adventures of Captain Marvel) as the murderously lurking about Kharis, this becomes a pleasant little viewing with a wild finish.

Kbatz: Found Footage Scares


Found Footage Horror

by Kristin Battestella


Addicts, you make the call! Despite some fine performances, period or unusual settings, and interesting storytelling, I am split on these found footage styled scares thanks to that very discovered, undocumentary design that unites them – or fills them with plot holes.



Apollo 18The website is presented as the source for this 2011 footage recovery, and the faded lines, pops, and mixes of color or black and white seventies home movies design do nicely along with of the time gear and delightful early space program equipment. The cramped shuttle filming is a little too herky jerky and spastic camera flashes will be difficult for some, but opening interviews with the departing astronauts establish the mood, personalities, and secret situation quickly – perhaps too quickly. Sudden goodbyes, landing on the moon, and already being there for almost a week happen in the first ten minutes before some uneven, extremely slow moments with nothing happening and only the closed captioning to indicate the too soft “What was that?” eerie sounds. There’s no sense of awe, scope, or time to appreciate the possibility of this actually happening because the found footage must remain with onboard cameras and can’t allow for any clarifying movement or outside visuals. The choppy, innate presentation disrupts the intriguing conspiracy aspects – Radio Houston hasn’t exactly been honest but talk of the Department of Defense material is conveniently cut off by gaps in the video. Despite the PG-13 rating, there are some invasive bodily gruesomes and creepy contamination fears, but the chattering rock aliens may actually be unnecessary. With no scoring, the tiniest of spaces, lack of oxygen, desperate reliance on damaged equipment, and only three stranded people in foreign isolation, this should be scarier than it is. The bloody evidence of a Soviet lunar landing gone awry would have been the much more interesting antagonist. Paranoia builds nicely thanks to unexplained injuries, missing objects, and others listening in on the lunar frequencies, but need to know excuses, stupidity, and nonsensical turns can’t disguise the cheating found footage plot holes. The deadly hysteria and upsetting outcome would have been far more dramatic had the audience been able to just clearly see it happen. Whether this footage is being transmitted back to earth or later magically retrieved is never explained, but the end credits roll to the tune of We Three Kings of Orient Are. Say what?


As Above So Below – The disorienting, chaotic start to this 2014 found footage tale compromises the danger of all its tunnels, statues, catacombs, and artifacts because we can’t see much less appreciate them thanks to the sideways camera or off and on flashlights. Young and reckless Perdita Weeks (Lost in Austen) rattles off her credentials and always assures the documentary is paramount while risking harm to others. She heeds no warnings, argues with the more experienced, and audaciously accuses others while she destroys priceless discoveries for her own transformative gain. Instead of Dante food for thought, the wrongfully determined, spelunking hipster plot comes off ala National Treasure – complete with a first clue action start, a break in to inspect the back of a marker, begrudging allies who only want gold, going underground via a tomb, and following historical riddles through one hidden chamber after another. Our cameraman is also a wise cracking, injury prone, token black guy whom we hardly see. His future bodes so well! And hey, there’s no cell phone service underground, obviously. Parisians inexplicably speaking English instead French, obligatory claustrophobia, Indiana Jones rats and knights, and random cult worshipers add to the borrowed contrivances, and it’s tough to make the cliches and busy footage both work due to the increasing demands on our suspension of disbelief. The finest parts here are when the camera remains still with one person in panic. Creepy old phones and broken pianos below add to the dread and maze like inability to escape, creating enough forlorn without the gimmicks. Real cave interiors add to the Egyptian booby traps, however the jump scares, supernatural hell horrors, and a much too much rushed finale abandon the established rules. Was all the metaphysical worth it? Are we supposed to be glad that one got the rectification she desired at the expense of others? This is entertaining for viewers who fall for the frights in the Halloween fun house, but despite attempts at literary and historical allusions, longtime horror audiences and wise cinema fans will see everything coming.


The Last Exorcism This 2010 ‘discovered’ religious documentary is awkward and pretentious to start with contradictory interviews and a quack minister as its subject. Do we scoff or go with the unscrupulous trick crucifix? Perhaps the lip service narrations provide the desired fakery tone, but there’s no need to overtake the Louisiana visuals and local interviewees’ superstitious state of mind. Patronizing and preachy telling instead of showing may put off viewers, but the talk of demons, Lucifer, and exorcist history add a much needed edge. Bizarre humor and resentment of the camera add dimension as well – hidden filming or distant silent observation build secrecy as blame, suggested mistreatments, and apparent abuses mount. Do the investigation methods of this hack minister encourage superstition where medicine is needed? Is this crappy dog and pony show giving believers what they want helpful or risking a young girl’s life? Medical consequences, spooky circumstances, disturbing familial twists, and freaky camera witnessing escalate the possessed or crazy debate, but hysterical, herky-jerky visuals and swerving camera action are distractingly obvious, taking away from the well done demonic ambiguity because the viewer is overly aware of the confusing, frenetic film making. One too many twists, red herrings, and foreshadowing that gives everything away happen too many times in this frustrating 90 minutes, and like all people who don’t realize they are in a horror movie, no one ever simply leaves or goes for help. Ironically, I’m not sure this is really a horror movie but rather a backwater thriller with tacked on supernatural elements, and I don’t care to see The Last Exorcism Part 2 either.


The Quiet OnesThis 2014 nuHammer mix of science and supernatural has a great atmosphere to start. The isolated British setting, 1974 style, and on form, age appropriate cast lend a serious, mature tone. Cool, old time equipment and clunky cameras add to the grainy film feelings and harken toward a classic Hammer design. Where is the line between evil and mental illness? Do you seek a doctor or a priest for your affliction? These questions and a touch of kinky suggestion are smartly played instead of going for today’s depraved sensationalism. The PG-13 rating wasn’t as bad as I feared, but wise horror viewers can tell the editing is designed to toe the ratings line with near bathtub nudity, scandalous bedrooms, and only a few blood and gory scenes. Mixing the traditional shooting with found footage style designs also seems amiss – calling attention to this gimmicky effect is too on the nose, and the shaky dropping the camera moments feel more funny and annoying than scary startling. We’ve seen better crazed or disturbia elsewhere, so the debate on torturing a young patient in an experiment on possession or illness feels weak amid the series of loosely held together Ghost Hunters bumps and metaphysical double talk. The parapsychology possibilities and unfulfilled back-story on mental repression, evil channeling, and occult history won’t be enough for horror audiences expecting more scares, and the final half hour unravels into a mess of this twist, that twist, a ye olde library research montage, and another twisty twist. This is watchable for younger audiences today, but there is definitely a lingering, unfinished, or too many hands in the pot behind the scenes feeling overshadowing the potential here. I kind of feel like I’ve only seen half the movie and wonder where the rest of the footage is!


Horror Writing Month: SANDRA HARRIS




You could say that my ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA stories came about organically. They were the obvious next step on a journey that started over Christmas of 2013. I’m not kidding you, dear reader and fellow horror fan, when I say that the whole thing not only took me by surprise but it also kind of blew the roof off my head, turned me upside-down and inside out and set me back on my feet again as well, only this time with a specific destination in mind. This time, you could say that my feet knew exactly where they were headed.

A short season of late-night Hammer Horror films during Christmas 2013 unlocked a part of me that I’d only previously been aware of in a sort of hazy, peripheral way. It was a part that adored all things Gothic, things like ruined castles and abbeys, bloodsucking vampires and beautiful women with heaving bosoms who fall prey to all manner of monsters, ghouls and things that go bump in the night. I acquired a copy of Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece, DRACULA, from my local Tesco when it came free with a daily newspaper. (The book, that is, not the supermarket.) I devoured it from cover to cover. I loved it, as surely anyone must who takes the time to read it.

Bram Stoker was Irish, same as myself, I told myself wonderingly afterwards. If he could do it, maybe I could do it…? Obviously not on the same scale, I reasoned. Probably not something that would be remembered in a century’s time like Stoker’s DRACULA but maybe something a bit sexy, a bit titillating, something that gave people a kind of illicit thrill when they read it…? Sexy and titillating I can definitely write. Hell, sexy and titillating I was born to write. Hmmm. It was food for thought, anyway.

lee-5I watched and re-watched all the Hammer Horror DRACULA films I could get my grubby little mitts on. Hammer Horror, by the way, is the name given to the horror movies made by the British film production company formed in 1934 by William Hinds.DRACULA (1958) is arguably Hammer Films’ most famous and successful production, created during the golden years of Hammer Horror. Christopher Lee, born in London in 1922, played Hammer’s Dracula in their superb series of films about the evil- but handsome- Transylvanian count.

Here we must depart from the strictly factual for a moment and move into the realms of personal opinion. Christopher Lee in his heyday was a big ride, as we say here in Ireland. Or, a big roide, if you want to be truly authentically Irish about it. He’s still a big ride, in my humble opinion, and always will be. In his role as Dracula, he is pure sex. If I were going to write my own little version of the famous story, he was always going to be my Count of choice. Ooooh, the things I could write about with Christopher Lee as my leading man! Ideas were formulating in my twisted and deviant little brain. Naughty ideas. Wickedideas. Erotic, kinky-as-f**k, downright filthy-dirty sex-meets-horror-meets-sex-again kind of ideas.

In June of 2013, I wrote my first piece of Dracula fan-fiction for a Creative Writing workshop I was taking. It went down well with the class, so I typed it up and put it on my newly-created horror movie review blog with the title ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA. The response was encouraging so I decided to keep going, just to see where the story would take me and how far I could go with it. At the time of writing this piece, I’ve written and posted over thirty instalments of the story and the readers and followers of my blog are still enjoying it and clamouring for more, so I’ve every intention of continuing to write it, at least until it comes to a natural and satisfactory conclusion. (Though I’ll be gutted when it does!)

drac_1513745c1Let me give you an overview of the plot. Lady Anna Carfax (yes, that’s a reference to Carfax Abbey!) is young, rich and beautiful and living in Victorian London in the time of fog-wreathed, gaslit streets, hansom cabs and Jack The Ripper. She lives a sheltered, fairly boring life and so she’s thrilled skinny when Count Dracula makes a nocturnal visit to her virginal bedchamber in the autumn of 1888. This period, by the way, is known to all Jack The Ripper fans such as myself as The Autumn Of Terror because of the murderous shenanigans of the aforementioned JTR, who gets a mention in the story. See, there’s a bit of actual history in there as well…! Anyway, Dracula is sternly handsome, commanding and authoritative and, the way I write him, he’s a stone-cold expert on female sexuality.

Dracula is responsible for Anna’s awakening as a vibrantly sexual woman with needs and desires that, naturally, only he can satisfy. (Clever bastard, isn’t he, fixing it that way!) In her bedroom at Richmond House, her family home, he teases her and toys with her until she’s practically begging him to take her away with him so that they can be together properly. When he eventually spirits her away to his heavily-fortified castle in a remote part of the English countryside, she is both fascinated and horrified to find out exactly what men and women do behind closed doors on their wedding nights.

Dracula takes Anna’s virginity, turns her into a vampire and instills in her a twisted desire for pain, sexual humiliation and physical punishment that only serves to complicate her life and ensure that she is further in thrall to her master, the Count, than is strictly good for her. (Thrall, that’s a real word, right…?!) As a woman, Anna submits to Dracula completely and utterly, but the newly-formed vampire in her needs to find an outlet too, and believe me when I say that that’s going to cause some problems down the line for the D-man…

ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA is peopled with an eccentric, sex-mad cast of characters who are in and out of each other’s beds with the single-minded determination of a dog who’s spied himself a particularly juicy cut of meat. We have Thomas Renfield, the young footman at Richmond House who’s so easy on the eye he’d be a Hollywood movie star if he were around today. He can’t make up his mind between Hester Price, Anna’s personal maid, and little Bessie Stoker, one of the kitchen maids, so he’s doing himself a favour and having them both.

Hammer Dracula Christopher LeeThere’s Sir Blaise Carfax, Anna’s older brother, who likes prostitutes, and rich, boorish swell Sir Daniel Rochester, who also likes prostitutes. It was Victorian London, okay? A lot of men liked prostitutes. Don’t blame me. Take it up with the Victorians, the prostitute-loving lot that they were. Now, if I may return to the subject of prostitutes for a moment… What? Oh, I never left it…? Oh, all right then. We’ve even got evil Nicholas Flint, who gets his kicks from strangling prostitutes and blaming it on poor old Jack The Ripper, and Vera Stoker, Bessie’s mother, who has to work as a prostitute in order to keep a roof over her kiddies’ heads and food in their hungry little tummies. Jeez Louise. Looking back, there was a whole heck of a lot of prostitution in Victorian times. You’d think somebody would have done something, wouldn’t you…?

Any-hoo, I’m including an extract from ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA in this blog post, but it won’t be sexually explicit so as not to offend the good people who prefer their horror to come without the dirty bits. If you want the full-on, undiluted version of the story, then go to my horror film review blog. You’ll find the links below in my author bio. I’m off now to think up yet another saucy situation in which a Victorian lady, gentleman or vampire- or prostitute- might find themselves. The possibilities, dear reader, are literally endless, the combinations and permutations stretching over the horizon to infinity. In other words, I’m going outside and I may not be back for some time. See you all in the next cartoon…



PART 31.

Count Dracula had changed into fresh linen and was combing his slicked-back dark hair, edged with grey at the temples, when Valeria quietly entered the room. No-one, not even the nude handmaidens who normally did all the cleaning and tidying of the castle, was allowed into Dracula’s private dressing-room except for Valeria. Not even Anna, who for the most part was confined to her bedroom while she impatiently awaited the Count’s nocturnal visits.

“Does my Master require anything?” Valeria murmured as she approached him now. At six feet five inches in height, the Count towered over her as he did most people. Valeria, though she had served him for a long time, was always struck anew by his sternly handsome appearance each time she encountered him.

His eyes were so dark as to be almost black, and they were magnetic. Magnetic and compelling. They made Valeria feel as if she could get lost in them. His cheekbones were high and sharp, a direct result of his Eastern European heritage.

His lips were well-shaped and his jaw perpetually shadowed with an imminent growth of dark stubble, though he shaved every evening upon waking. He was the most handsome and charismatic man Valeria had ever known, and also the most suavely dangerous.

The Count shook his head.

“Not at the moment, Valeria,” he said.

“Master looks fatigued after his trip,” ventured Valeria then. Only her long-standing as chief among his female servants emboldened her to make such a personal remark.

“It’s been a fatiguing few days,” the Count replied with a short, humourless laugh.

“How are things at Richmond House?” asked Valeria, referring to the house in London in which Lady Anna lived with her mother, Lady Grace Carfax, and her older brother, Sir Blaise Carfax. Had lived, Valeria corrected herself. Since her abduction by Count Dracula, Lady Anna now lived with Dracula in his castle in a remote spot in the English countryside, a place where it was unlikely she would be found. Unlikely, though not, Valeria supposed, impossible.

“Investigations into Lady Anna’s sudden disappearance are continuing apace,” Dracula replied with another short bark of a laugh. “Though not very successfully, I might add,” he went on as he fastened his cufflinks. “The Metropolitan Police are scratching their no doubt worthy heads in bafflement at the complexity of the case. I rather fancy that Lady Anna is quite safe where she is at present and that we have no immediate cause for alarm.” He had travelled to London incognito to check personally on the status of the investigation.

“That is indeed good, Master,” said Valeria. “And… and what of the new arrivals to Richmond House?” she continued, lowering her eyes demurely so that Dracula should not see the excitement in them. “Lady Athena Carfax and Lady Abigail Carfax? Did you… did you see them while you were there?”

“Yes, my dear Valeria, I saw them,” replied the Count, his dark eyes alight with mocking amusement. “And yes, they are as beautiful as you have heard. But no, I have no immediate plans to bring them here to the castle to join their pretty cousin, so you must swallow your disappointment as best you can and content yourself with being permitted the continued care of Lady Anna.”

Valeria flushed. She might have known that Count Dracula, who knew everything about her and who could read her thoughts as easily as if they were the printed word on a page before him, would be aware that she was desperate to get her hands on- and fangs into- the beautiful Carfax sisters, both cousins of Lady Anna’s.

Valeria’s preference in life had always been for soft, yielding female flesh. Lady Anna was truly a vision of beauty, but Valeria wanted the sisters too, and Count Dracula would not permit her to go to Richmond House to feast on them nocturnally there. She wondered if perhaps he was planning on keeping the delectable sisters for himself. It would not be the first time that that had happened.

Now she shrugged, feigning an indifference in which Dracula would be unlikely to believe.

“Is Master certain that he requires nothing further for the moment?” she said, easing the straps of her white Grecian-style gown down over her shoulders and baring her perfect, snowy-white breasts. “That he has no needs which he requires satisfying…?” she continued as she dropped to her knees in front of him. “Needs which Valeria can perhaps assist him with…?”


This story is a work of fiction and comes (almost!) entirely from the imagination of Sandra Harris. Any resemblance to any persons living or un-dead is purely coincidental. This story is copyrighted material and any reproduction without prior permission is illegal. Sandra Harris reserves the right to be identified as the author of this story.Sandra Harris. ©


sandra-1fixedSandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal.

She is addicted to buying books and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia, and would be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

Cheap Reads

23200641The first book I want to talk about is Look Back in Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film by Jason Malcolm Stewart. This is an intimate look at the impact of the genre’s films in the life of suspense author, J. Malcolm Stewart. Part memoir, part retrospective and part love-letter, Look Back in Horror celebrates the films, actors and directors that made horror history. From the Golden Age of Hollywood, to the Hammer Films Revival of the 60’s to the New-School Horror movies of today, Look Back in Horror relives the cinema moments that shaped our lives and warped our brains.

21821706Next up is Axes Of Evil:The Heavy Metal Anthology. This is an original anthology of heavy metal-themed horror stories, edited by music journalist (Metal Hammer) and author Alex S. Johnson.  Carnage. Blood. Damage. Diatonic scales. Bone shards. Blast beats. Chaos. Chromatics. Gore. Guitars. Diabolism. Double bass. Riffs. Wreckage. Monsters. Music. AXES OF EVIL An original anthology of heavy metal-themed horror stories, edited by music journalist (Metal Hammer) and author Alex S. Johnson Featuring Lucy Taylor, Bram Stoker Award-winning author for The Safety of Unknown Cities Sephera Giron, author of over 15 published books, including The House of Pain and Borrowed Flesh Terry M. West, author of What Price Gory, director of the cult classic horror film Flesh for the Beast Del James, author of The Language of Fear, music journalist, songwriter (Guns N’ Roses, Testament, etc.) And 30 more of the finest writers in the horror field today. I have determined that this astounding collection of horror is not merely an anthology but a coded Grimoire of magic. -Robin Dover As a reader and avid horror fanatic, I often find myself saturated with supposedly great horror fiction only to be let down by the quality. With this anthology, I got everything I could possibly want; Horror and Metal. Thirty-four stories with bite and balls make this a must read. Axes of Evil isn’t just a book; it’s an epic tome of brutality.-Dale Herring LET THE SHREDDING BEGIN”

18240919The last book I want to mention is another anthology called Eulogies 2: Tales From The Cellar .Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” The contributors to Eulogies II seem to be saying, “All the world’s a cellar, and one only need pull open the bulkhead doors to catch a whiff of the stench, or to walk down the damp, crumbling concrete steps to brave an encounter with what creeps, crawls, or festers in the darkness.” In most cultures, hell is known as a place underneath, down below, in the dark where it is either unbearably hot or unbearably cold, where terrible circumstances overwhelm or even destroy those who wander there. Hell is the ultimate cellar. So it’s no wonder the idea of going down stirs up such a sense of dread. And our life experience is filled with cellars. Cellars of place. Cellars of time. Cellars of circumstance. They can all hold dark, horrifying, and unseemly secrets. From the Introduction by Elizabeth Massie