Tag Archives: Gavin Baddeley

Revenge of The Ultimate Alchemy Lockdown Filmfest III

Welcome to the third and final part of our journey to the darkest fringe of the underbelly of modern cinema. If this is the first you’ve heard of this, best to begin with the first two parts here – [Part 1] & [Part 2]. If you’ve already made your way through those crackpot classics and mutated masterpieces, here are your last dirty dozen. And it only gets weirder! Turn the lights down, and brace yourself for dodgy dinner parties, alcoholic werewolves, and the end of the world, vampire style! Hit the lights!… Continue reading

The Ultimate Alchemy Lockdown Filmfest Strikes Back II

Welcome to the second part of our guide to the past decade’s best – and baddest – underground cinema. If you missed the first part, check it out here first. If you’ve already explored the first exploitation extravaganza, buckle up for more movie madness, as we meet some dangerous punks, battle a brace of werewolves, and get our asses kicked in Indonesia. Grab the popcorn, crack open a beer, and hit play!… Continue reading

The Ultimate Alchemy Lockdown Filmfest

I know I’m not alone when I say that over the past few months I’ve watched a lot of films. A hell of a lot of films. I’ve also had friends – aware that I write about weird movies and cult cinema – asking for film recommendations. Particularly the low budget flicks with all of the blood, balls, and brains typically missing from big budget blockbusters. I ultimately collected these into a few social media posts, detailing three dozen films worth seeing that had largely gone under the radar, the neglected gems you’ve never heard of that are hidden in the depths of the streaming libraries. The posts proved very popular and it struck me that they might prove useful resource for others. Particularly in the current climate, where everyone’s exhausted all of the high profile new releases and reliable old favourites that Netflix, Amazon and co have to offer. Continue reading

Present Arms Gentlemen! Weapons Drill Steampunk Style

The Royal Armouries is one of the oldest museums in the world, founded in the 1400s in London’s famous White Tower, viewable by appointment only. By 1660, paying members of the public were invited to visit this extensive Royal collection of arms and armour. In 1991 a major shake-up was begun, and much of the collection moved to a purpose-built museum in the northern English city of Leeds, which opened to the public five years later. In recent years, the Armouries generated some controversy when they began to acquire weapons used on iconic TV shows and films, such as LORD OF THE RINGS and STAR WARS. Continue reading

We Wish You a Scary Christmas

Once upon a time, before Christmas became sanitised, Americanised and candy-coated by Santa Claus and Coca Cola, in Europe Yuletide was more ominous, weird, and occasionally downright scary than jolly. Few are better qualified to explore the dark side of the holiday season than the Folk Horror Revival group. ‘Folk’ has recently become the hottest buzzword in horror circles, ‘folk horror’ the term to describe that elusive area where rural folklore and arcane tradition intertwine with the ghostly and ghastly on page and screen. In early December of this year the Folk Horror Revival group held a symposium on all things spooky and seasonal they entitled Winter Ghosts 2019. Continue reading

The End of the World – Medieval Style

The Book of Revelation – the final book of the Bible – describes the coming end of the world. Written in the 1st Century AD, the author appeared to expect the Apocalypse to occur in their lifetime. Happily, they were disappointed, but Christians have remained fascinated by the subject ever since, with doomsayers keeping it alive by reinterpreting Revelation to refer to their own age, or creating their own version of the imminent End Times. During eras like the Middle Ages, when few people could read, such warnings needed to be communicated visually. Continue reading

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

How to Stage a Haunting – Talking Ghost Stories with Andy Nyman

The hit Brit horror film GHOST STORIES has just become available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray. Andy Nyman, the film’s writer, director and star, originally hails from Alchemy’s hometown of Leicester. So we despatched our resident horror fiend, Gavin Baddeley, to talk to Andy, and get the inside story on this homegrown chiller. Andy co-created GHOST STORIES with Jeremy Dyson, who together initially wrote it as a stage play. In that form GHOST STORIES attracted rave reviews, running for over 1,000 terrifying performances between 2010 and 2015, concluding with an Australian tour the following year. Continue reading

In the Confessional with The Sinister Minister

You may be familiar with Peter Laws via his regular column reviewing horror films for the Fortean Times. Or perhaps his grisly thriller novels – Purged and Unleashed. What distinguishes Peter from most other horror critics and crime novelists is that he’s also an ordained Baptist priest – an unusual combination that’s earnt him the nickname the Sinister Minister.

His most recent work is a non-fiction book entitled The Frighteners. In it, Peter investigates why we – and he himself – are drawn to the gory and horrific. It’s a fascinating subject with some relevance to us here at Alchemy – in case you hadn’t noticed we like all things dark and spooky here too! So we despatched our unholiest resident horror fan, Gavin Baddeley, to find out what the Sinister Minister had discovered… Continue reading

Having the Devil of a Wicked Christmas in Whitby!

The last few Christmases have seen the Krampus making his presence felt far beyond his snowy Alpine homelands. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Krampus is a hairy, horned devil who carries a sack and a switch. He accompanies Saint Nicholas on his Yuletide rounds in early December, and while Nicholas gives gifts to good children, Krampus whips the naughty ones, and pops the really bad little boys and girls in his sack to take away. Continue reading

Horror in the Valleys

Every November, our resident horror fanatic Gavin Baddeley makes an annual pilgrimage to Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast to attend the Abertoir Festival. While not the biggest or longest established of the UK’s horror festivals, Gavin assures us that it’s among the best. It features theatre performances, themed club nights, site visits, talks, live music and more. But the backbone of the six day event remains the film screenings, with 26 horror movies shown in 2017, including vintage classics and exclusive premiers of the best forthcoming features. We asked Gavin to pick out a few of the most bizarre, scary and entertaining upcoming horror films he’d seen there, for horror fans to look out for on cinema screens, in the DVD racks, and on streaming services in the coming months… Continue reading

Viking for a Day in York

It’s time for Vikings fans, devotees of the Dark Age era and history buffs to break out the battleaxes and launch the longships, as, starting on the 20th of February, the historic English city of York will be playing host to the 33rd annual Jorvik Viking Festival. The largest event of its kind in Europe, the Jorvik Festival attracts re-enactors, experts and traders from all over the world. Jorvik is the Norse name for York, back when it was the Viking capital of England. It’s also the name of the interactive museum and archeological attraction who run the festival. Continue reading

Twas the Fright Before Christmas…

For many of us, Christmas is all about spending time with family. Being more realistic, it’s often more about sitting around the TV with people we seldom see. So, what do you do if you want to watch something dark and spooky, but everyone else insists on something seasonal? We asked our resident horror expert Gavin Baddeley if there was anything that ticked both boxes, and he assured us that there was. Take it away Gavin… Continue reading