Ginger Nuts of Horror
A little while ago, fellow Gingernutter Paul M. Feeney and I got into a conversation about the role and function of critical readers in the writing process. And in the course of the conversation, some interesting differences of emphasis emerged. So in the interests of both exploring the concept in more detail, and also canvassing opinion from others, we thought it might be useful to have the conversation in a more longform setting.
Okay, before I get to the 'meat' of this article (and at the moment, I have no idea how long it's going to run), I'll take a few sentences to explain why I'm writing it.
Basically, I have had a very stormy relationship with online interaction, Facebook in particular. I am currently going through counselling for anxiety (and it seems to be working, though my full-time employer is hampering my attempts to return to work, thereby increasing my anxiety - hey-ho), but I've always had the kind of personality that just can't let things go, that gets personally affected by stuff I read or things that seem to be attacks or judgements on me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm not the kind of person to spread bullshit, or hate, or lies, yet some people have wantonly misinterpreted me, or made assumptions that paint me as some kind of 'bad guy'. And yes, it hurts; but most of all, it dismays me because I've always prided myself on being able to discuss things rationally, without too much emotive or hysterical reaction. I've also always maintained a policy whereby I'd rather someone came to me if they had a problem, as opposed to blocking and then spreading bullshit in an attempt to somehow blacken my name. But perhaps I expect too much of people. Anyway, I digress. It came to my attention recently that certain individuals, who have fallen out with other certain individuals, had taken to snidey little attacks against this site, and Jim McLeod, a good friend of mine. One such witticism is apparently referring to us as The Ginger C*nts Of Horror. Yes, I know - all very hilarious, all very mature. I won't lie, this kind of behaviour infuriates me and I will defend my friends when I feel they're being unjustly maligned. Yet I still believe a lot of it comes from misunderstandings, misinterpretations and a lack of communication. And that, really, is at the heart of this. I want to impart a few things that I feel will be good advice, especially to those who are new to writing and the horror community. It's not a definitive list, I'm not perfect or the keeper of all that is right, but I've been in this game for a few years now, and I've learned a lot, sometimes from my own mistakes. Some of it's to do with writing itself, and some of it's to do with personal conduct because, at the end of the day, regardless of what you might think, you are in a public space and you are in a professional environment.
So, let us begin...
*Warning: This article contains foul language and scenes of unimaginable horror in the form of violence, rape, incest, cannibalism and anything else I can think of to offend your delicate sensibilities. Do not read if you have:
· Anger management issues
· Erectile dysfunction
· sweet tooth
· lack of common sense
· no sense of humour
The proclivity of our species to mythologise every space in which it occurs is well attested to, from the epic mythologies of antiquity to the pervasiveness of urban legends, conspiracy theories et al, humanity seeks out narrative, contriving it where there is none to be found.
The internet is peculiar in this regard, being a relatively new space; a sphere of operation without much in the way of historical precedent or analogue. Being entirely abstract by nature, it is more than fertile ground for the kinds of recurring stories that litter humanity's collective sub-conscious; the faeries in the wood, the wolves at the door; all of them can be found here, in one shape or another.
As you may or may not know, All Night Horror Madness is an event that takes place in both Edinburgh and Glasgow where five 'classic' horror films are shown from roughly eleven pm until about nine the next morning. In between the films (many of which are original 35mm prints) are various 'lost' trailers and a raffle with some very sweet prizes. It is the brainchild of Matthew Palmer and he compères the early half of the event with the ever entertaining Ian Hoey.
I've attended two of these events so far, both times at the Cameo in Edinburgh, and each one was a fantastic experience, not least of which is the endurance factor of trying to stay awake throughout the whole night watching films. Last March's event saw such classics as The Thing, Child's Play and...Slugs (!), shown in all their glory and as the upcoming event in October is billed as both the 10th event and takes place in the Halloween month, it promises to be something extra-special.
You can read my review of ANHM 9.5 here, at Ginger Nuts
Tickets are currently on sale for the Glasgow event (as of 2nd August), taking place at the Grosvenor cinema on Saturday the 10th of October and you can purchase them at this link: http://grosvenorsales.clients.newmanonline.org.uk/book/add?what=wxmo5n&venue_id=Gro
Tickets for the Edinburgh event - which is happening a week after the Glasgow one on Saturday the 17th October - will go on sale at some point this week and I will update this article when I have that link.
So, if you have the time off and love a good horror film or five in a great atmosphere, get yourself along to one of these days. Be warned, though - tickets do sell out pretty quick. I've already secured mine for Glasgow and there are only 100 available in total for that particular show. Best be quick, horror fans.
See you there!
There’s something about surfing the internet when you’re a newly single twenty something drunk on cheap lager and having exhausted your own (astronomical) capacity for free porn. Browsing through the infinite digital maelstrom of bullshit and wonder, searching for something indefinable, finding mostly cats. This was back when the internet was the real internet, before it was tamed by facebook and twitter and whatever people use instead of those things now. This was back when internet culture wasn’t just… you know… culture.
That’s when I found John Dies at the End. A horror comedy novel by noted humour writer David Wong, pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the man who would go on to be editor at cracked.com.
Beasts have always provided fantastic source material for horror filmmakers across the ages, whether from the mythical world or the natural. To celebrate the release of Into the Grizzly Maze (on digital platforms from August 3rd and DVD from August 17th, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment) we take a look back at some the biggest, baddest beasts on film...
And so the British summer comes around again and leaves just as quickly, and that means it's time for the fastest growing speculative fiction convention, Edge-Lit. Masterminded by author, publisher and regular Ginger Nuts enfant terrible Alex Davis, Edge-Lit takes place in Derby and is fast becoming the event to attend, both for its relaxed informal atmosphere and the array of diverse and interesting panels, workshops and dealer tables. 2015 saw such giants of the genre as John Connolly, Sarah Pinborough, Mike Carey and Joanne Harris amongst others attend and, at this rate, we may well see someone like Stephen King pop along one year. Hey, who knows...? Anyhoo, Ginger Nuts sent two of its most intrepid and eager - and, in one case, not the most social - of its contributors to see what this year was offering...
I’m both an author and an adult. Due to these factors, I often find myself asked to list the books that made me the man I am today. Because, yes, even for those who don’t write professionally, certain reads can shape us into who we grow up to be. There are Lee readers who became the Atticus’ and Scouts of the real world; just as there will be a generation of Rowling devotees who’ll grow into strong, resourceful Hermiones constantly saving our asses. The weight of literary influence is a beautiful thing, and it’s important to accept the scars such influences leave behind. Scars that stay with you for life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s begin at the beginning.......
The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling was made by two (female) German filmmakers using a budget of $5K and a lot of heart.
Los Angeles- June 30,2015—Using creative budgeting, various cost-cutting techniques, volunteers, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears German filmmakers Carolin Von Petzholdt and Ursel Walldorf was able to bring their film vision to life and is now raising money for distribution on Kickstarter. Independent film making on small budgets is not unusual. Sundance Film Festival routinely shows films that are made for well under $100,000 USD. What makes this particular film remarkable by any standards is that it was done for only $5k, something not even Kevin Smith's original Indie powerhouse “Clerks” was able to do in the 1990s. The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling was released by Exciting Films Production and not only represents what can be accomplished with initiative and innovation, but also a unique spectacle of “sports horror” that is sure to appeal to audiences looking for something better than a franchise reboot.