Archive for Andy Nyman

FrightFest and Tattoos

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2010 by Esther Sherman

Oops, I’ve been a bit lax.  To be more precise, I’ve been ridiculously busy with work, as I’ve been reorganising my department and recruiting two new staff members, and in the evenings I’ve been so knackered that the most I can do is lie on the couch and watch Farscape marathons.

I did manage to find time to book my next tattoo for the end of July.  It will be my first proper tattoo for about four years (the stars on my feet from last year don’t really count) and I’m getting pretty excited. I decided to go to Into You as I’ve heard good things about them (also, Woody, who did my first few tattoos now works for them, although he’s booked up until forever) so I’ve got Chris Higgins booked, he seemed interested to work up a design for me.  I’m planning to get an octopus, stretching from my left buttock up my left side and ribs, and I’ve been assured it will be pretty painful.  The longest sitting I’ve had before was two and a half hours for the archaeopteryx on my back, and at four hours for the first session (should be about ten hours in total) it’ll be a challenge, but I like the endurance aspect of it.

Fascinating octopus webcam here

I also managed to book weekend passes for FrightFest at the end of August, which was no mean feat given the stupidity of the Empire Cinema booking system – you can select seats, but they aren’t reserved while you enter your payment details, meaning that if someone books them while you are doing so, you have to go back, choose other seats and input payment details all over again.

The line-up looks interesting, though there are a few too many torture or home invasion and not enough scary supernatural pics for my liking, and I’ve been trying to decide what I’m going to see.  I’ll be staying up in London for the weekend and I’m really looking forward to four and a half days of horror films. I’ll try and see as many as I can, but I’m torn between several on the main screen and the second screen.  I’m hoping some friends might come up and join us for a film or two and lunch or dinner at one of our many fave restaurants around the area…

So far my top ten awaited, in no particular order, are:

Finale – homage to 60s and 70s Italian horror, with a ‘demonic soul collector’ as the baddie, I can’t resist it!

Amer – Giallo homage which as a fan of gialli, I am keen to see.

The Dead – Zombie film set in Africa.

Monsters – Intriguing-sounding post-apocalyptic road movie.

Red Hill – ‘Horror western’ which has been compared to Assault on Precinct 13 and No Country for Old Men.

Kaboom – Greg Araki does a ‘mix of Buffy, Twin Peaks and Donnie Darko’. If it’s halfway as good as that sounds I’ll be happy.

The Last Exorcism – Docu-style account of an exorcism.  I might wet myself if this is as scary as the poster looks.

We Are What We Are –  Mexican ‘Let The Right One In’ for cannibals.

Christopher Roth – Switchblade Romance and Crazies cinematographer directs.

Dream Home –  Gore-soaked Hong Kong satirical slasher.

The most controversial film of the festival is certain to be ‘A Serbian Film’, reputed to be the most horrible film ever (can’t wait till the Daily Mail finds out about it, they really will have heart attacks), so I’ll decide closer to the time if I’ve the stomach or the inclination to see it. ‘Red White and Blue’ has had good reviews so I might give that a go, though the subject matter (emotionally damaged promiscuity in Austin, Texas) isn’t really grabbing me. Andy Nyman’s film quiz should be lots of fun.  One film I will almost certainly be skipping is ‘Dead Cert’, a Danny Dyer/Craig Fairbrass/Dexter Fletcher-starring ‘Brit gangsters vs Vampires’ geezer flick, which sounds like everything rubbish under the sun…

So, I’m off to Scotland for a long weekend and wedding in a castle, I’ve got Picross 3D for the DS to keep me busy, but I’ll take some books and try to get some writing done as well.

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Stories Which Scare Me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2010 by Esther Sherman

‘The Sea Cure’ is pretty much finished, though I’m waiting for some more feedback before I send it off anywhere.

Stories Which Scare Me: Part One

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to look back over stories which have scared me throughout my life, and have a think about why.  I’ll try to keep these free of major spoilers, though where pivotal plot points were the main scare, these may be unavoidable.

So, my first story is ‘Nule’, by Jan Mark, which I read in the puffin books collection ‘Nothing to Be Afraid Of’.

The story is a very short, simple one, concerning a family who move into an old house, which among several antique features, has a newel post at the bottom of the stairs – a tall ornate post which supports the banisters, with a large ball on top.  Libby, the daughter, puts a medieval hat on the post and jokes that it’s a person, like a ‘Lady Nule Post’.  Somehow, it amasses other accoutrements, such as a dress and shoes, and members of the family start mistaking it for a real person in the dark of the hallway. Martin, the younger son, finds it disturbing, and then one night he wakes to hear creaks on the stairs and gets up to find out what’s going on…

Not much really happens in the story, there’s no gore or confrontation, but the suggestion of what is happening at night, of an inanimate object given life by imaginings – of that horrible, round smooth face! – gave me terrible nightmares.  As a short-sighted child for whom the world was a bit of a blur, I was always seeing something scary in ordinary things – a dressing-gown on the back of the door as a vampire, etc – and the idea that they could come to life and come after you was terrifying.  There is one illustration – of Nule herself, and it’s very creepy, reminiscent of the faceless man in Sapphire & Steel.

It also harks back to E. Nesbit’s ‘Man-size in Marble’, a classic chiller which I was recently pleased to see referenced in the programme for Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s ‘Ghost Stories’, which you can read here.

I hadn’t read ‘Nule’ since I was a child, so managed to work out what it was called, and got a copy of the book for £2.75 from amazon, and it’s just as creepy.  The other stories are also very good, but none of them stuck in my mind quite like ‘Nule’.