Film and Media

Frankenfilm – A Century of Mad Science at the Cinema

Mary Shelley’s timeless masterwork FRANKENSTEIN was first published 200 years ago. Mary began writing the book when she was still a teenager, and it is now recognised as not only a landmark work of Gothic literature, but also arguably the first true science fiction novel. It is through cinema, though, that most have come to know her immortal creation, beginning in 1910 with the first film adaptation, a silent movie generally known as the Edison FRANKENSTEIN (it was produced by the famous inventor Thomas Edison). The film’s director deliberately downplayed the story’s horrific elements, and the resulting 14 minute film is more of an amusing, pioneering oddity than a horror classic. Continue reading

A Haunted Night at the Theatre

shirley jackson bookwoman in blackGhost stories have long been traditionally associated with Christmas, and a good spinechiller can prove a welcome spooky antidote to the saccharine sentimentality of the season. Anyone likely to be in the Liverpool area over the next few weeks, who fancies an evening of ghosts and goosebumps, should check out The Haunting of Hill House, the new production at the city’s haunting_1963_posterPlayhouse Theatre. It comes with an impressive pedigree, adapted from a 1959 novel by America’s queen of psychological horror Shirley Jackson, staged in association with the legendary Gothic film studio Hammer.
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So Long Wes, and Thanks for the Nightmares!

a-nightmare-on-elm-street-posterIt’ll probably surprise nobody to learn that many of us here at Alchemy are keen horror fans. So we were very saddened to hear of the recent death of the director Wes Craven. The extensive coverage of his passing is an indication, not just of how well respected Wes was, but also how much more respectable horror has become in recent years. The UK’s Guardian newspaper, for example – not previously enthusiastic about horror films – dedicated no less than five pieces to the director on the day his death was announced. kruger-hand Continue reading

Horror Legend Dario Argento Hospitalised

We’re big horror fans here at Alchemy, so were concerned to hear that Dario Argento, director of such 70s cult classics as Deep Red, Suspiria and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage has suffered a serious accident. In a scenario that sounds a little like something from one of his stylish chillers, Dario fell down a flight of stairs at his apartment in Rome. Happily, he’s now out of hospital, and being looked after by a private nurse at home. Everyone here at Alchemy wishes Italy’s maestro of menace a swift recovery!

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