Booth's Blog: Atomic Fear this weekend on Horror! By
Emily Booth, Friday 30th June 2017This weekend's film premiere explores the terrifying yet grotesquely tantalising circumstances of one of the world's greatest tragedies of all time.
The fear of nuclear fallout is etched into the consciousness of pretty much anyone who grew up in the 1980s, which is largely due to the catastrophic Chernobyl Disaster on April 26th, 1986. When reactor no. 4 exploded, it emitted 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima atomic bomb did. Surprisingly, there were only 31 direct deaths recorded at the time, but the magnitude of this disaster's aftermath is still relatively unknown, as even today more and more health problems amongst survivors are attributed to radiation exposure, such as cancer and birth defects. In nearby Pripyat, a town built for the workers of Chernobyl and their families, some 50,000 people were hastily evacuated, leaving behind all their belongings as they believed that they would soon be able to return... They were wrong. The town remains abandoned and dangerous to this day. This gloomy history provides the sinister backdrop for our Saturday premiere: Chernobyl Diaries.
Unsatisfied with typical, European attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum, a group of tourists head to Ukraine for a nose around the ghost town, Pripyat, accompanied by their 'extreme tourism' host, a local boy named Uri. After Ukrainian military personnel refuse them entry and tell them to leave (what good horror doesn't involve ignoring all dire warnings...?!), they find an alternate entrance and are soon happily taking selfies with the infamous town in the background. But is Pripyat as desolate as they thought? Ready to leave, the group heads to their van, only to discover that something has chewed through the wires, rendering the van inoperable. They are now trapped in this toxic town which is not quite as deserted as they thought...
This UK TV premiere brings to life the horror of this dead town and uses a little artistic licence to have some fun imagining the ways in which the nuclear disaster's after effects could manifest.
Now, 30 years later, you can officially visit Pripyat with tour companies who will acquire a government approved pass and organise your visit; there's even the option to stay overnight! While authorities say it is safe to visit, the 19 mile exclusion zone won't be habitable for a staggering 20,000 years, but this doesn't stop some 30,000 'extreme tourists' from visiting every year.
So what's the appeal? Akin to the inexplicable desire to stare at a motorway crash, it is hard to put your finger on what exactly 'attracts' us to this kind of horror. In the case of Pripyat, it really is frozen in 1986; propaganda posters and newspapers still lurk, toys litter the floor, rooms are kept shut, a huge and hopeful looking Ferris wheel looms over the town - scheduled to open just 4 days before disaster struck, it never had a paying customer.
A trip to Chernobyl is like walking through the apocalypse without ever having to live through the horror of it. Roaming the abandoned town, one truly gets a sense of the fragility of human life and how violently it can all come to an end and at the very hands of human error... Is it any wonder that we're so fascinated by it?
If you can't quite head all the way to Ukraine for a spot of 'extreme tourism', then just sit back in the comfort of your own (low radiation) home and catch the UK TV premiere of Chernobyl Diaries on Saturday, July 1st at 9pm.
Hollywood: a place of constant invention. Well, sometimes as it seems it always likes to look to the past for inspiration. Sometimes though, a remake (or re-imagining as they to call it!) hits the spot so here's our Top 5 remakes! Do you agree?
5: Evil Dead (2013)
Fans of the original movie, The Evil Dead had been waiting years for a cinematic sequel. Rumour after rumour followed but no one expected a remake of the story especially when rookie director Fede Alvarez was given the job to bring it back to life. It was backed by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert and given a decent budget, but few fans expected it to be so good. Bloody, ultra-violent and incredibly fast paced, it's a movie begging for its own follow up. Groovy!
If, like me, you grew up in the 1970s and VHS was yet to be invented, then you had to rely on books to relive your favourite TV and movie moments. For Doctor Who fans, the Target range of novelisations were the only way to catch up and enjoy classic adventures.
Now BBC Books have announced the first Target novelisations of Doctor Who's new post-2005 series. For the first time ever, Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat will be novelising their own episodes; Rose and The Day of the Doctor, joined by Paul Cornell novelising Twice Upon a Time, Jenny T Colgan novelising The Christmas Invasion and James Goss with the first Douglas Adams Target novelisation: City of Death.
Amazingly they've never played any of the movies at previous Grimmfest events, so this is a first! The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987), Army Of Darkness (1992), and finally Evil Dead (2013).
Horror Channel is sponsoring this event on April 7th so join us at the Stockport Plaza Cinema, an amazing art deco super cinema venue that has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Its always a pleasure to host screening events in this venue and well worth the trip out to Stockport for the Plaza experience. ...
The nights may be getting lighter but we're turning to the dark side this March on Horror with a slate of premieres that will have you praying for the dawn. So, beware all you virgins, actors, wayward teens and heroic crusaders, Horror has something to get under your skin!
We start with the network premiere of Cherry Falls on the 2nd where a serial killer seems to be going after virgins, rather than promiscuous types! So, sex parties are the order of the day to try and survive! Sounds like a good idea to us. Then the next night we've a true classic which stars Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach, The Sentinel where a young actress (Cristina Raines) ...
As we get ready for the trip to Scotland for this year's Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow I've been lucky enough to chat to Gabriela Amaral about her powerful movie Friendly Beast which is getting its UK Premiere at the event.
HC: Was there a certain piece of work or person that inspired you to work in the industry?
GA: Yes, there was. I am a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and I decided to study cinema because of him. In the beginning, I didn't know what would I do with movies. Would I be an academic? A film critic? A director? I just knew I had to live doing something that had to do with movies. I graduated in Communication Studies in Brazil where I studied horror movies and literature (specific...
Lucio Fulci, a man who never resisted to cross the line in horror cinema went through a lean period in the late 80s. His work was suffering from ever reducing budgets and it seemed as if his inspiration was lacking. Cat in the Brain, also known as Nightmare Concert, I volti del terrore and Un gatto nel cervello is a patchwork piece, assembled from little pieces of other movies with Fulci playing the lead to save money. But this is a meta-movie that is ripe for reappraisal.
Lucio Fulci is Lucio Fulci, a filmmaker with a reputation for gruesome horror films. His body of work has started to plague his mental state, and he is haunted by the grotesque ...
One of the most ground-breaking arena tours of all time, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - Alive on Stage is to make its return to arenas throughout the UK in 2018.
Nearly 40 years on, based on HG Wells' dark Victorian tale, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds remains a firm favourite to millions around the world.
The show will again feature a stellar cast with Jeff Wayne returning to the podium to conduct the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings, while Liam Neeson retains his role in 3D holography as The Journalist.
Star of stage and screen Jason Donovan returns to the role of Parson Nathaniel alongside West End actress Carrie Hope Fl...
Waxwork Records have announced the highly anticipated deluxe soundtrack release of George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead. Scored by Italian progressive rock group Goblin, and available for the very first time on vinyl in it's entirety, George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead marks the latest installment in Waxwork's "Living Dead" soundtrack trilogy.
Dawn Of The Dead (also known as internationally as Zombi) is a 1978 independent zombie horror film directed by G...
The 1970s saw a rise in the "nature runs amok" genre of cinema. Thanks to movies such as Frogs and Night of the Lepus (both released in 1972) and obviously Jaws in 1975 the idea of animals turning against us was a nice idea though some movies had more impact than others.
Dogs, from 1976 is a rare gem of the genre. Starring our very own David McCallum, an actor who adds a lot of gravitas to the movie, the film is a bloody affair that's more downbeat than I recall.
Man's best friend has turned against its owner and has started to hunt in packs and chow down on human flesh - in the streets, in the corridors of a university and even in the shower... no o...