"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Channel 319 is a little cracker. The Horror Channel. Okay, it's not Sky Movies (but how many good films have you seen this past two years? One? Two? Answers on a very small postcard, please), but it has a certain charm and until I shift some units, I'm tied to the late night TV.

The channel screens an awful lot of bollocks, mostly modern, teen slasher, zombie and oddities, but every now and again you get a genuine nugget of gold in the stream.

"Frightmare", for example, from 1974. I saw that once when I was a kid but never since. It has the bleakest ending of any horror film - bar "Eden Lake" (which tops the lot, surely) - I've seen for a while, an ending which stayed with me for a week afterwards and makes you question whether its all worth it.

They showed "Death Line" recently - with that magnificent cameo from Christopher Lee. At Christmas, they broadcast, on consecutive Friday nights, the loose Hammerotica Karnstein trilogy from the late sixties, and most recently, "Blood on Satan's Claw", which, again, I haven't seen since I was fourteen or so (they used to show stuff like this on terrestrial back in the day).

Tonight, I watched "The Calling". It had moments and some nice imagery, but, boy, it was predictable. The heroine was surely the only person in the entire world who didn't realise that the Detective was one of THEM, when she handed over the crucial piece of evidence. I was yawping at the screen like a mental case, but she didn't listen. I sighed.

I had a strange moment in February, though. I was battling away with the ritual scene in TDOS when I turned on the channel and came across "House Of The Dead", which, as coincidence would have it, deals with satanic cults, demonic possession and the resurrection of Satan. The usual stuff. Towards the end, it has a really basic ritual scene that takes place in a dirty old cellar. It's a good one though - quite sexy actually, if you've never seen it before.

But there were elements in there which were similar to the ones I was writing at that very moment and I realised then how difficult it is to be original in writing. In horror especially. Maybe this was why the giants of the seventies gave it up so early and moved into hobbits and pixies. Has it all been done? Is there anything new to be said with horror? I hear someone did something with vampires a while back...must have missed that programme...

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