Monthly Archives: June 2014

So Much For Technology

After raising my hopes with fast 4G Broadband speed decoupled from my phone’s hard line, new company Relish failed to deliver their much-touted high speed service thanks to repeated dropout and an upload speed at less than a quarter of the level they’d promised, so the box went back. I love technology, but it’s only […]

Re:View – ‘The Borderlands’

Oh good, another found-footage scary movie – but wait, this one’s different because for once there’s an entirely reasonable explanation for the cast covering everything on film. And the way it’s been covered, while not exactly cheating, certainly suggests that a film editor has cut the footage together for theatrical release. And more good news, […]

When Is It Plagiarism, When Is It Homage?

It’s a question that vexed me recently in these columns when we talked about the new TV series ‘Penny Dreadful’ and the very similar books of Kim Newman which long-preceded the series. All artists learn from one another and develop new strands out of the art they admire, others see a commercial main chance to […]

Nine Eternities In Doom!

Hooray! The digitally remastered box-set of Dr Phibes is finally here in pristine condition, with tons of extras and a 100-page book. Sadly, no third disc as the film series never made it to the full trilogy, thanks to a soft opening for the second one and the heads of American International Pictures falling out […]

Crazy Ladies

The postwar years were a golden time for the suspense thriller, climaxing in ‘Psycho’. There was also a slew of wonderful novels from American women, many of whom I’ve discussed in my ‘Invisible Ink’ column. A number of Hammer thrillers with titles like ‘Scream of Fear’ and ‘Nightmare’ were produced, mostly shot around the familiar […]

Real-Life Locations From Bryant & May Novels

I posted this once before, but thought we could kick off a new series here, so it was a good place to start. This is the real coroners’ office where Giles Kershaw works in St Pancras, on Pancras Road, which is also called Midland and Crowndale Roads in different stretches, just to confuse you. Whenever […]

How Much Do Readers ‘Get’?

I don’t believe in lowest-common-demonenator writing. There should be books we’ll never fully understand and tales of such complexity we have to wrestle with them, even though there are fears that the days of complex or obscure writing are coming to an end, partly due to the new ADD that has replaced quiet contemplation (there’s […]

Back On The Rails

Maybe you’re a steam train enthusiast, but even if you don’t know your C-stock from a banana trifle and just long for the days when there were proper luggage racks, you may still wish to take a trip into the past this summer. All around the country steam trains are reappearing, including on the London […]

Dr Death Strikes Again

Every year the intriguing Robert Stephenson, City of London tour-guide, folklorist and gravestone expert, runs talks and walks around London. This summer season he’s talking about the temple of Diana inaugurated by Brutus upon which St Paul’s Cathedral is built, London’s more bonkers ceremonies and customs, its public execution sites (a popular favourite), its cemeteries […]

Movie Likes & Dislikes

Remember when Amelie Poulain got bothered by the way drivers in movies looked at their passengers without watching the road? I have that problem with so many scenes in films. I don’t mind if a film doesn’t quite make sense (I’ve seen ‘Bullitt’ at least a dozen times and still don’t quite get the plot) […]