Tag Archives: Gavin Baddeley

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

Lucifer

TGustaveDoreParadiseLostSatanProfilehe Secret Past of TV’s Hottest New Devil

From the bloodsucking pin-ups in Buffy and True Blood, to the prime time serial killers Dexter and Hannibal, the heroes of TV’s best shows just seem to get darker and darker. But can you get any darker than the Devil himself, titular anti-hero of the hot new series Lucifer?… Not everybody’s happy, with conservative Christian groups calling for the show to be banned, the right-wing pressure group One Million Moms, raging that it ‘will glorify Satan as a caring, likeable person in human flesh.’ 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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The Lost Library of the Queens Sorcerer

John_DeeIStudents of the occult and devotees of the darker fringes of history will be delighted to hear that the Royal College of Physicians, in Regent’s Park London, are planning an exhibition dedicated to John Dee. A pioneering scholar – learned in mathematics, philosophy and navigation – Dee was one of the most fascinating and brilliant figures at the 16th century court of the English queen Elizabeth I, universally admired for his learning. Continue reading