007 – The Films

I was six years old when Dr No was aired on UK television in October 1975 – the first appearance of James Bond on the small screen. I was seven when From Russia with Love and Goldfinger were shown. Chances are one of those was my first meeting with 007. I was smitten, although I […]

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The Napoleon of Crime

Yesterday I discovered that my story, Rosenlaui, will be included in Constable & Robinson‘s forthcoming The Mammoth Book of Professor Moriarty Adventures, edited by the venerable Maxim Jakubowski. The story concerns events in Meiringen, Switzerland, on the eve of that momentous confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls. This is only the second time I’ve ever written a […]

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Interstellar (Warning: SPOILERS)

I’m a Christopher Nolan fan and I’ve enjoyed everything he’s produced up until now. Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy Interstellar. I did. I just couldn’t quite understand what kind of film it was. A love story? An apocalyptic race against (within?) time? A meditation on what it means to get old? A balls-to-the-wall SF […]

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Horror films… bubbling under

Ten horror films I love and that have been, or will be again some time, in my top ten… (in no particular order) The Fly (1986) The Exorcist (1973) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Rec (2007) Night of the Demon (1957) Les Diaboliques (1955) The Haunting (1963) Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Angel Heart (1987) Nosferatu […]

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My top-ten horror films #1

1 – THE SHINING (1980) Another example of a director (Stanley Kubrick) who worked outside the genre trying his hand at scaring people. And I reckon, with help from his writing colleague Diane Johnson, he hits the bullseye. Dread seeps through every frame. I know this film is accused of being over-the-top due to its bug-eyed […]

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My top-ten horror films #2

2 – DON’T LOOK NOW (1973) Utterly devastating. Nicolas Roeg’s magnificent film (based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story) begins and end with tragedy, and contains clues and ambiguities and auguries in almost every scene. Laura and  John Baxter (played by the excellent Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland) travel to Venice after the death of […]

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My top-ten horror films #3

3 – ALIEN (1979) One of a handful of films that caused my heart to beat so hard while I was watching it that I thought it would, um, burst right out of my chest. Utterly nerve-shredding. It was our first real view of space as being anything other than pristine, sterile. Miners work out […]

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My top-ten horror films #4

4 – KING KONG (1933) You might think this an odd choice. A dated film with hammy acting, too much screaming and obvious models. And yes, it is a creaky old thing. But it contains more charm than any other film on this top ten, and it resonates with me to the point where my […]

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My top-ten horror films #5

5 – THE WICKER MAN (1973) Some of the most effective horror films are penned or directed by people who aren’t immersed in the genre. Anthony Shaffer, who scripted the film, is best known for his play Sleuth and his foray into Agatha Christie territory with a couple of scripts featuring Hercule Poirot. Director Robin […]

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My top-ten horror films #6

6 – THE OMEN (1976) There’s plenty to like in this film. The performances, by some real heavyweights, are excellent (David Warner as the doomed photographer Jennings is a standout). It’s played straight and seriously despite some dialogue that would sound terrible coming from lesser mouths (Troughton: His mother was a jackal!). Jerry Goldsmith’s score […]

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