Tag: Gothic

  • Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Recently I’ve started playing a handful of point and click horror games, mainly because I do a lot of travelling and at the end of the day I often want to unwind with something simple I can put down and pick up whenever. Mainstream PC games can demand a lot of time and thought, and, […]

  • Ring (1998) – Sadako the Angry Ghost

    Ring (1998) – Sadako the Angry Ghost

    When Hideo Nakata’s Ring came out in 1998, followed by Ring 2 in 1999 – they looked like groundbreaking Japanese horror movies. The Japanese film industry is, on the whole, very conservative and tight-fisted, relying on endless low-budget formula comedies and soaps. Yet once in a while a director will come along and produced interesting […]

  • Dark Feathered Hearts Out Now…

    Dark Feathered Hearts Out Now…

    The Book of the Colossus is now complete with the final volume – Dark Feathered Hearts. “You shut us down in the darkness, you skin people oh so bright beneath your lovely skies. You buried us among the filth and the poison and the old machines and the chemicals.” Max and Abby race against time […]

  • Tormentum– Dark Sorrow and Darkest Dungeon

    Tormentum– Dark Sorrow and Darkest Dungeon

    Platforms like Steam have opened the game market to a horde of independent developers, some brilliant and some dire. One of the great advantages is that concepts that would never have been touched by the big studios are now being realised by one or two-man/woman bands. This is good news for gamers who either look […]

  • Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    One of the strangest books to come out of the 1970s fantasy art imprint Paper Tiger had to be Bruce Pennington’s Eschatus (1976). I’ve already briefly spoken about Pennington as one of the iconic science fiction book artists of the era, working largely with New English Library. His work stood in stark contrast to the […]

  • Interview with Richard Mansfield of Mansfield Dark

    Interview with Richard Mansfield of Mansfield Dark

    As a companion post to my review of Mansfield Dark’s Count Magnus and The Story of A Disappearance and an Appearance, Richard Mansfield very kindly agreed to answer some questions about the movies: Why make M. R. James ghost stories as shadow puppet films? I think the medium lends itself perfectly for ghost stories. I’ve […]

  • Count Magnus and A Disappearance and an Appearance – Mansfield Dark

    Count Magnus and A Disappearance and an Appearance – Mansfield Dark

    Until now I’ve always been left a bit disappointed by film and TV adaptations of M.R. James’ stories. Even acknowledged classics like Jonathan Miller’s 1968 version of Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You My Lad, starring Michael Horden lack the full sense of claustrophobic menace that characterises the original story. Partly it’s because the […]

  • Lovecraft by I. N. J. Culbard

    Lovecraft by I. N. J. Culbard

    A while back I wrote about the H. P Lovecraft Historical Society’s film of The Whisperer in Darkness. It’s a great movie and by and large it does a good job of rendering a classic Lovecraft tale in the style of ‘40s film noir. Yet at the same time it highlights a lot of the […]

  • The Company of Wolves (1984)

    The Company of Wolves (1984)

    Wandering through Kate Bush’s imagination a couple of weeks ago made me think of a peculiarly English brand of dark fantasy that started in the late Victorian era with writers like George MacDonald and Lucy Clifford. These and others managed to write children’s stories possessed of such toe-curling nightmarish terror that they continue to haunt […]

  • Paperhouse (1988)

    Paperhouse (1988)

    Movies and dreams have always been closely linked. Cinema history is full of movies of dreams, from the films of Georges Méliès and the 1911 cartoon of Little Nemo in Slumberland to the world of Freddy Kreuger and Nightmare on Elm Street. There are two basic approaches – adding dreams inside films as part of […]

  • Patrick Woodroffe

    Patrick Woodroffe

    I’d already planned on doing an article on the fantasy artist Patrick Woodroffe when the news came in that he’d passed away and so, sadly, this has become my personal tribute to his powerful and often frightening imagination. Patrick Woodroffe was one of a small group of painters and sculptors working in the 1970s whose […]

  • The Grotesque

    The Grotesque

    This is the first in a series of posts looking at the Grotesque in literature and art. It’s a subject that’s fascinated me for years (in fact I wrote my Masters thesis about it during the time of the Old Republic). I thought I’d kick off by trying to understand what makes something in writing […]

  • Ragged Claws available on March 16th!

    Ragged Claws available on March 16th!

      Max and Abby are trapped in the city of Interosseous where the inhabitants navigate through the treacherous streets using the giant faces in the sky. If humanity is to survive Max must contact the Machine Men who live in the Heart and Mind of the Colossus. But the way onward is a deadly maze […]

  • Schalcken the Painter (1979)

    Schalcken the Painter (1979)

    The history of British TV is littered with brilliant one-off series and TV programmes that appeared once or twice and then vanished, seemingly forever. John Hurt as Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (1979), Nigel Kneale’s horror series Beasts (1976) and the Bavarian film of Carmina Burana that appeared on screens over here in 1975 are three examples. Luckily […]

  • Dark Fantasy: is it suitable for the servants?

    Dark Fantasy: is it suitable for the servants?

    This week’s post is a guest article by Jane Dougherty, the author of the wonderfully grim fantasy novel The Dark Citadel. First in a series, it tells of a future religious/fascist dystopian society sheltering beneath an immense dome, around which prowl demons and creatures of legend. It’s refreshingly sinister and pulls no punches in its […]

  • Weird Tales

    I’ve had a treat this last couple of weeks, working my way through the latest issues of the resurrected magazine Weird Tales. The first issue of the original predated the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, by three years, launching in 1923. It then went on to become the mainstay of that singularly American genre, Weird […]

  • A Field in England (2013)

    The English Civil War period has always been a rich source for horror. James I whipped everyone up with his book Daemonologie in 1597 and his subsequent promotion of, and attendance at, witch trials. Keith Thomas’s classic study Religion and the Decline of Magic argued that in the 16th and 17th centuries the shift to […]

  • The Art of Ian Miller

    The early 1970s saw a renaissance in Science Fiction and Fantasy cover art in the UK, led by New English Library and Panther. If you compare the drab covers of the 60s with what came after the difference is striking. Gone are the clumsy Pop Art/Op Art photo collages and instead the shelves of W. […]

  • The Japanese Wuthering Heights – Arashi ga Oka (1988)

    Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is a really odd book. On the surface it’s the first bodice-ripper – a passionate tale of doomed love set among the Yorkshire Moors. Yet our ideas about the story, and the tragic duo of Cathy and Heathcliff, often come from the myths that that have built up around the novel, […]

  • The Castle of Otranto

    There’s one school of thought, kicked off by Brian Aldiss in his book A Billion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction (1973), that says that Science Fiction and Fantasy as we know it started with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Her novel came at the end of the original Gothic movement in literature, and carried with […]