Wednesday, 23 December 2020

ANNOUNCED.... LET IT RIDE (1989) BLU-RAY

 








More film release news for 2021 - I am providing a brand new audio commentary for the forthcoming blu-ray release of the 1989 comedy Let It Ride. Released on 31st March in a limited edition box set by Imprint Films and will be a worldwide first on blu-ray!!


Here's the details...


Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
  • NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Scott Harrison (2020)
  • NEW Interview with Director Joe Pytka (2020)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • English DTS HD 5.1 surround
  • English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Limited Edition slipcase with unique artwork on the first 1500 copies

You can pre-order HERE (those in the US please be aware, it is a Region B release)











Monday, 30 November 2020

ANNOUNCED.... THE BAD NEWS BEARS FOR IMPRINT FILMS

 




Delighted to announce my first movie release of 2021 - I am providing a brand new audio commentary for the forthcoming blu-ray release of the 1976 sports comedy The Bad News Bears. Released on 24th February in a limited edition box set by Imprint Films in Australia and will be a worldwide first on blu-ray!!


Here's the details...


Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
  • NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Scott Harrison (2020)
  • Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies


You can pre-order HERE (those in the US please be aware, it is a Region B release)




Tuesday, 3 November 2020

CREATURE FEATURE ARTICLE FOR ARROW FILMS.

 







Over on the ARROW FILMS website I take a look back at some of those great Creature Features that have scared us to death over the years, in anticipation of the upcoming release of 1990s cult monster horror-comedy Tremors on 4K UHD and Blu-ray.


You can read my article HERE





Friday, 30 October 2020

ANNOUNCED - BERNICE SUMMERFIELD: THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

 






Excited to be able to announce that I've written a story for the forthcoming Bernice Summerfield Christmas audio anthology which will be released this December and features the further festive adventures of the DOCTOR WHO companion.


Here's the details:

An anthology of festive tales featuring Bernice Summerfield.

Christmas… Advent… Midwinter Festival… Spiriting… No matter what you call it on your home planet, this magical holiday at the end of the year, when the nights are dark, and the lights are sparkly, is the perfect time for telling stories...

And who doesn’t have a tale or two to tell about Christmas? Certainly not Benny.

Did she ever tell you about the time she had to escape from a herd of rampaging battle-armoured cyborg reindeer? Or the time she had to convince three tentacled young sea creatures that she was the real Santa? Or the time she nearly let an evil deity back into the world just in time for New Year…

These ten stories are collected from all across Benny’s eventful life, from St Oscar’s to the Braxiatel Collection, to Legion and even in the Unbound Universe...

The stories are:

Collector’s Item by Eddie Robson
Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea by Simon Guerrier
Tap by Mark Clapham
Glory to the Reborn King by Matthew Griffiths
Signifiers of the Verphidiae by Tim Gambrell
The Frosted Deer by Sophie Iles
Vistavision by Victoria Simpson
Wise Women by Q
Null Zeit by Scott Harrison
Bernice Summerfield and the Christmas Adventure by Xanna Eve Chown


You can preorder the audio anthology HERE







Thursday, 29 October 2020

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN OVER ON MY MOVIE BLOG

 





It's nearly Halloween and if you're undecided what to watch after you've carved your Jack O' Lanterns, you'll find a handful of movie recommendations over on my movie blog HERE







Tuesday, 27 October 2020

ANNOUNCED - 'NEW YEAR'S EVIL' & 'THE DON IS DEAD' AUDIO COMMENTARIES

 






I've got 6 audio commentary announcements coming up over the next few months, and the first two are 1973 Mafia drama The Don is Dead for Eureka! Videos and the 1980 classic slasher flick New Year's Evil.







Wednesday, 21 October 2020

FILM & TV REVIEW SITE BACK UP 'N' RUNNING

 



My film and TV review site is back up and running again and I kick off with a review of the fantastic Grange Hill series 9 & 10 box set from Eureka! Video.

You can visit the site by clocking HERE






Tuesday, 6 October 2020

END TIMES COME TO SOHO RADIO

 






Me ole mucker, talented film/TV composer and musician Kim Halliday, is guesting on Radio Soho later this afternoon, on the 4pm-6pm time slot, where he will be presenting selections from his music both past and present. It will also include an exclusive sneak peak play of 3 tracks from our forthcoming Apocalyptic Horror Fiction'N'Music audio project ARTEFACT. The tracks will be...


- 'Extinction is the Natural Order of Things'

- 'VHS'

- '2855 kHz'


You can hear Kim's fabulous music from his ongoing Unpleasantville project, from his albums, as well as from Artefact online over at Radio Soho's website HERE 


Click on 'Culture' button above the weekly calendar to see when Kim is on.

Click the blue 'Listen' at top of the page to open the Live Radio window.





Tuesday, 25 August 2020

AUDIO PROJECT (PART I) - ARTEFACT








The final draft of ARTEFACT, the first of 2 fiction-with-music SF / Horror audio projects I'm working on with composer/musician Kim Halliday, is now finished and delivered. Kim is now busy writing the music and the project should be going in front of the microphones within the next few weeks.

I shall, of course, keep you updated as things progress.

Monday, 24 August 2020

HONG KONG CINEMA APPRECIATION SOCIETY REVIEWS THE 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER









I just wanted to share an awesome video review by Will of the Hong Kong Cinema Appreciation Society where he talks about his love for the film The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter and, more specifically, the recent fabulous blu-ray release.

Now, I've loved 8 Diagram... for a long time, it being one of my favourites of 1980s Hong Kong cinema, and I was lucky enough to have been asked to record a new audio commentary for the film's release.

Will's video is on 10 minutes long, but he takes up a staggering 5 minutes of that time talking about how much he enjoyed my audio commentary, which was just so humbling and unexpected. I'd like to thank Will for his kind and generous words - it's reviews such as this that convince me that maybe, just maybe, I'm doing something right in my work.

Incidentally, for the past few months Will has been forced to record his videos for the Hong Kong Cinema Appreciation Society in a room in his own home due to lockdown - but it's great to see that things are continuing despite the pandemic! Will, I salute you!

You can watch Will's review of The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter HERE














Wednesday, 12 August 2020

'CARRIE' (1974) - THE GREAT STEPHEN KING RE-READ




CARRIE    (1974)




Before we begin this mammoth undertaking, I thought it might be interesting to list my Top 10 favourite King novels once again – right at the beginning of proceedings – to see how it might change once my King revisitation comes to an end.

So, in reverse order...


10 – The Shining (1977)
09 – Misery (1987)
08 – The Tommyknockers (1987)
07 – The Long Walk (1979)
06 – Christine (1983)
05 – The Dead Zone (1979)
04 – Pet Semetary (1983)
03 – It (1986)
02 – The Dark Tower cycle (1982-2004)
01 – 'Salem's Lot (1979)


Keen eagle-eyed readers may have noticed there has already been a change in the Top 10 line-up since I posted it on here last year. Originally The Dark Tower cycle wasn't at No.2, and 11.22.63 was at No.10. Well, I've been turning this over in my mind for what seems like an eternity now, I don't normally like it when Top 10 novel lists include a 'series of books' as I usually see that as cheating, but King himself has gone on recording saying that in his mind The Dark Tower series is actually one continual book – similar to Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings (a work, incidentally, that I always consider as a single novel and it annoys me a little to see it published in 3 separate volumes) – so I've finally decided to say “What the hell” and include it in the Top 10 list as a single book.

Anyway, on with proceedings.


CARRIE (1974)


I remember the moment a Stephen King book came into our house for the first time. It was
some time in the summer of 1983 and I was 9 years old, just a couple of months away from reaching the Big Ten-O. I'd borrowed the book from the local library, in our house we referred to it as the container library; it wasn't your common or garden permanent bricks-and-mortal library, but the converted trailer of a lorry – a vast, shiny metallic lorry - and it only came around to where we lived on a Tuesday.

The book I borrowed was a hardback published by Bounty Books and contained the first three published King novels: Carrie, 'Salem's Lot and The Shining. Despite this, the cover had a montage of photographs representing only one of the books contained within its covers - actually stills from Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of The Shining. For some bizarre reason I was unable to fathom then (and now, for that matter) the novels were presented to the reader out of publication order. The Shining was first, followed by 'Salem's Lot, and finally Carrie. But I didn't read them that way. I noticed on the copyright page that Carrie came first and should probably be read first (actually it doesn;t matter what order you read them in, but I didn't know that at the time). After that I read Salem's Lot. And finally...well, I think you can figure out the rest for yourself.

So that's how I read them. In reverse order in the book, but in the correct order in which they were published.Carrie was my first exposure to Stephen King. But was it the best way for a King virgin to begin? No, not really. Should I have just shrugged, opened up the book to the first page and read them as they were presented in the book? Yes, as it turns out I probably should have.

Why? I'll let the 9 year old me explain...






Scott (1983):


I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I've seen the film a couple of times – it's the one where the girl is covered in blood and then gets angry and kills everyone. It's scary, but I like that film. But the book isn't as good as the film. For one thing the story is set in the future, and there's all these bits from different books that were published in the future too (well, it's the past for me, but it was the future when the book first came out) and it's something I find very intrusive and a little confusing. Why didn't he set the novel a few years in the past and have the bits from the other books dated as 1974, when this book came out? Also the passages from those other books don't tell us what this horrible thing that Carrie did is. They're keeping it a secret. But I already know what's going to happen at the end of the book because I've seen the film (she gets covered in blood and kills everyone), so this seems a bit silly and unnecessary. Also the cover to the book is wrong. Stephen King describes Carrie as a plain girl who's a little overweight and has spots and greasy hair. The girl on the book cover is slim and pretty and doesn't have spots. I think they're trying to make the girl on the cover look like the actress who plays her in the film. The actress isn't anything like Carrie in the book either. She's pretty too. And slim. It's goo though because the story is a lot like the film, they haven't changed much except for the ending – in the film Susan has a nightmare where Carrie's hand comes out of the grave and grabs here, but that doesn't happen in the novel, there's just more bits from 'future' books. It's not a bad. But he's not as good a writers as my mum says he is. I'm looking forward to the next book, though. It's the one about the vampires in a small American town. I've seen the mini-series and it scared me so much I had awful nightmares. I hope it's as good as that was.







Scott (2020):

I'll admit, it took me a hell of a long time before I started to enjoy this novel. It's probably my second most read Stephen King novel, the first being 'Salem's Lot, but my reasons for reading this one over and over are very different from my reasons for reading 'Salem's Lot again and again. Carrie is a novel that's held in high regard among King fans, so I've always thought I was missing something important. I've been a fan of King's work for almost 40 years now and I've adored almost everything he's released...but for some reason his debut novel has never had the same impact on me as his other books. And we can't put it down to the age I read it. I first re-read the book in the 1990s while I was at university, then again at the turn of the new millennium, then again in 2009, 2012, 2014, and finally once again for this King Re-Read. But I've always remained somewhat indifferent to the novel...until now. Maybe it was the generous mood I was in (I actually read this just before the pandemic hit the UK) or maybe it was because I read this out on the back step, in a nice comfy fold-away chair, the sky blue, the sun warm on my skin, and a nice cold drink at hand. Or maybe I was approaching the book from a different direction than usual, a more analytical direction perhaps, in preparation for this reading marathon that lay ahead? Whatever the reason, this time I found myself appreciating the book much more than usual. It's true that, having seen the film first it had perhaps tainted my young mind back in 1983 (something similar happen with The Shining, but with a totally different result – more about that in a future blog entry) and as a result I was expecting something a little more from the book. It's true that I've never been a big fan of the fictitious book excepts that slice up the main narrative, finding them a tad too intrusive and a bit of a distraction from the main plot. But this time I actually understood their inclusion – or, at least, I appreciated their presence and their original design as a slow and deliberate teasing of the book's denouement, something I couldn't understand as a kid, having already seen the film and knew it's outcome. But that's not something you really consider at that age – that the film wasn't around when the book was first published so no one knew its ending. This time I enjoyed those excerpts, and accepted them for their dramatic intentions that were intended in that 'pre-1976 Brian De Palma film' world.






We all know by now the story of how Carrie came about – or, rather, how it almost didn't come about. How King was slowly becoming disillusioned with his lack of success getting a novel published and had actually thrown the manuscript in the bin, only for his wife, novelist Tabitha King, to rescue it, read it, and urge her husband to finish it and send it off to a publisher. To quote a future King novel - “For want of a nail the kingdom was lost...”


Carrie is a good start and a damn fine debut novel, and one I've, perhaps unfairly, been a little dismissive of over the years. Not the beginning of Stephen King's Golden Age by any means (that begins with the next novel), but certainly a powerful, heart-wrenching and interesting start to what is to become a phenomenal writing career.


Score  -  6.5/10








ANNOUNCED.... LET IT RIDE (1989) BLU-RAY

  More film release news for 2021 - I am providing a brand new audio commentary for the forthcoming blu-ray release of the 1989 comedy  Let ...