Celluloid Diaries

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Fabio Frizzi masterclass

Fabio Frizzi masterclass

This Friday, I'll be hosting a masterclass with movie composer Fabio Frizzi.

His face may not ring a bell, but his musical talent will probably sound familiar to you since Frizzi has had a profound impact on the fantastic film industry. Driven by his passion for genre films, he has collaborated with some of the most (in)famous Italian directors of the golden era, including Lucio Fulci, with whom he has created several iconic scores. Among his most notable soundtracks feature THE BEYOND, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, ZOMBI 2, and MANHATTAN BABY.

In this masterclass, Frizzi will delve deeper into his soundtracks, his relationship with the Italian horror and giallo maestros, and, if you behave, he might even throw in an anecdote or two about a certain Quentin Tarantino, a great fan of gialli in general and of Fulci in particular. He borrowed one of Frizzi’s tunes, stemming from the SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK score, to include in KILL BILL: VOL 1.

April 12, 2024 – 05:30 pm

BIFFF Q&A stage – Palais 12, Heysel

Friday, August 25, 2023


Weekend of Hell

📚 I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be at the Weekend of Hell horror convention in Oberhausen, Germany, on September 2nd and 3rd. 🎉 Join me at the Wicked Vision booth for a book signing of my horror film guides and supernatural thrillers. 📖✍️

Get ready to be in the presence of horror greatness, as I'll be joined by a star-studded lineup including legends like Sean S. Cunningham, Alyssa Sutherland, Gilles Vranckx, Catriona Maccoll, Christina Lindberg, Lar Park Lincoln, Betsy Baker, and many more! 🌟🎬

Mark your calendars for an unforgettable weekend of horror, camaraderie, and spine-chilling fun. See you at the Weekend of Hell in Oberhausen on September 2nd and 3rd! 💀🔪 

#WeekendOfHell #HorrorCon #AuthorSigning 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Sharksploitation: A New Documentary About Horror Movies with Sharks



📢 Exciting News! 📽️

I'm thrilled to share that I've had the amazing opportunity to participate in the feature-length documentary Sharksploitation. Exploring the fascinating realm of horror films featuring our favorite apex predators, this eagerly anticipated documentary is a deep dive into the chilling and captivating world of shark-infested cinema. 🦈✨

Because I'm the author and editor of the book When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, director Stephen Scarlata asked me to be one of the "shark movie specialists" who could offer unique insights and perspectives on these films. Other interviewees include Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Johannes Roberts. 

Mark your calendars for July 21, as that's the day when Sharksploitation will make its much-anticipated debut on Shudder. 🗓️🌊

In the meantime, why not dive into the captivating world of killer sharks and other menacing animals through my book When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals.

Sharksploitation documentary

Friday, May 19, 2023



Comic Con Brussels

What will you be doing this weekend? If you happen to be in Belgium, why not come to Comic Con Brussels on May 20 and May 21, where I'll be signing copies of my books? 

I'll be in the good company of such stars as Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things, Twilight, Harry Potter), Paddy Considine (House of the Dragon, Peaky Blinders), Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Boys), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Rose McGowan (Scream, Charmed, Jawbreaker), Tom Wlaschiha (Stranger Things, Game of Thrones), and many more.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

BIFFF 2023


BIFFF 2023

BIFFF (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival) is doing an entire section on horrible children this year (not necessarily evil ones). Since I published a book on the subject, Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children, I will be moderating several Q&A's with the filmmakers of some of these movies, including The Wrath of Becky by Suzanne Coote and Matt Angel, The Coffee Table by Caye Casas and Evil Eye by Isaac Ezban.

This year, I will also be part of the "Jury de la Critique" at BIFFF. The ten movies I will be judging are Stéphane by Timothée Hochet and Lucas Pastor (France), Saturn Bowling by Patricia Mazuy (France/Belgium), The Coffee Table by Caye Casas (Spain), UFO Sweden by Victor Danell (Sweden), Sisu by Halmari Helander (Finland), Ferocious Wolf by Gustavo Hernández (Spain/Uruguay/Argentina), The Elderly by Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez (Spain), Aliens Abducted my Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out by Jake Van Wagoner (USA), Infinity Pool by Brandon Cronenberg (Canada/Hungary/France), and Soft & Quiet by Beth De Arújo (USA).

The Q&A's can be watched via live streaming on the BIFFF YouTube channel.

BIFFF starts today and will run until April 23.

My latest book, Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children, is now available from Amazon and other retailers. 

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival BIFFF

Monday, March 6, 2023



Brigitte Lahaie

Next weekend, the Offscreen Film Festival is hosting a small Brigitte Lahaie retrospective of which I'll be introducing the movies Fascination by Jean Rollin (France, 1979), Je suis à prendre by Francis Leroi (France, 1978). Faceless by Jess Franco (France/Spain, 1988), and The Night of the Hunted by Jean Rollin (France, 1980). Brigitte Lahaie herself will be present at the festival, and she'll join me during the introductions of the first three movies.

Monday, February 20, 2023



International FIFe Cat Show

Cat lovers, join me on Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26 at the International FIFe Cat Show in Court-Saint-Etienne, Belgium, for two days of feline fun! 

From 09:00 am – 05:00 pm, I will do a "meet and greet" and sign copies of my cat books Avalon (both English and French editions) and Clowders. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/events/2171703413003357 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


best robot movies of all timeTogether with the Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, I'll be hosting a retrospective on the best robot movies ever made.

Here is an oerview of the most entertaining robot movies that will be showing at the Offscreen Film Festival, most of them on 35 mm. The festival will take place between March 8 and March 26, 2023. 



Fritz Lang's Expressionist silent classic reached a new generation via this Giorgio Moroder version with an 1980s pop soundtrack. Brigitte Helm plays a double role as proletarian heroine Maria and the iconic robot created in her image. See the eternal class war played out in an Art Deco setting, with a cast of thousands! 

The Day the Earth Stood Still


The intergalactic equivalent of a UN observer lands in Washington DC and demands a stop to nuclear testing in this sci-fi allegory with religious undertones. The earthlings ignore his pleas for peace, leaving them at the mercy of a giant robot that can only be stopped with the immortal words "Klaatu barada nikto!" 

Ikarie XB-1


A starship heads to Alpha Centauri on a search for alien intelligence in this classic Stanislaw Lem adaptation, a key influence on everything from 2001 to Star Trek with its depiction of everyday life in space and discovery of an abandoned vessel. The old-fashioned robot is a figure of fun - until he saves the day! 

The Creation of the Humanoids


After a nuclear war, human survivors fear and despise the robots they now depend on, with extremists even launching terrorist attacks against the blue-skinned humanoids. Wooden acting and no-budget sets give an agreeably avant-garde flavour to this forgotten sci-fi gem packed with unusually progressive ideas.

Blade Runner


A Los Angeles gumshoe, assigned to terminate rogue replicants, starts to question the ethics of his job. Scott's visionary reworking of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? revolutionised the face of sci-fi cinema with its neo-noir imagery, unforgettable androids, and spine-tingling Vangelis score

I, Robot

A Chicago cop suspects a robot may be responsible for the death of a robotics company CEO. Are robots starting to ignore Asimov's Three Laws, which prevent them from harming human beings? Meanwhile, the laws of Hollywood blockbusters ensure a full complement of superb special effects and Will Smith kicking robot ass.

The Iron Giant


During the Cold War, a young boy befriends a big metal-eating robot from outer space which crashlands near his small town, but the paranoid government sends agents to investigate. This lovely animated fable, based on a children's story by poet Ted Hughes, flopped on its release but is now hailed as a modern classic. 

Forbidden Planet


William Shakespeare's The Tempest gets a sci-fi makeover in this fantasy masterpiece with an avant-garde score. A starship lands on a planet where a sinister force has killed all but two members of a previous expedition: a scientist and his daughter. Robby the Robot, their mechanical servant, was a big hit with the public. 

Ex Machina


Alex Garland's directing debut is a virtual three-hander in which a naïve programmer is helicoptered into a billionaire tech bro's luxury home to determine whether a female android is capable of independent thought. Toxic masculinity and Machiavellian mind games ensue, with results that will keep you guessing to the end.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day


Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a creaky old T-800 sent back in time to protect mankind's future saviour and his mom from the more advanced T-1000 - a robot made of liquid metal! Just because this blockbuster has a pro-peace message doesn't mean it's not packed with chases, explosions and mind-blowing special effects. 

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla


Just when you thought Godzilla was one of the good guys, he goes on the rampage again. But it's a mechanical imposter, controlled by aliens from another planet! The real Godzilla, outmatched, has to team up with King Caesar, a shaggy kaiju from Okinawa, for a three-way showdown that would do credit to Sergio Leone. 



In 2043, androids are part of everyday life. Daniel Brühl (speaking fluent Catalan) plays a cybernetic genius who returns to his hometown to build a robot child modelled on his niece. Exquisite virtual interfaces, a droll robot factotum and adorable robo-cat are the supporting stars in this bewitching sci-fi yarn. 



You've seen the TV show, now revisit Michael Crichton's original sci-fi classic about a futuristic theme park where tourists can interact with lifelike androids in recreations of the wild west, ancient Rome and medieval times. What could possibly go wrong? Yul Brynner, as an implacable robot gunslinger, is nightmare fodder.

The Empire Strikes Back

C-3PO and R2-D2 return for the first and best sequel in the Star Wars franchise, which introduces Yoda and spills the shocking truth about Darth Vader. This time the loveable droid duo faces formidable robotic competition in the shape of Imperial AT-AT Walkers; the tie-in toys were an instant hit with young fans. 

The Black Hole


A deep space research crew finds a missing spaceship at the edge of a black hole in Disney's sci-fi spectacular with superb effects, a terrific John Barry score, and a trippy ending that traumatised a generation of kids. What will the crew and their faithful droid find on board? A mad scientist, and robots galore! 

Test Pilota Pirxa


A heroic pilot agrees to lead a mission to Saturn, aware UNESCO has placed an android on his crew as part of a risky experiment. Can he work out which of his men is the non-human? This adaptation from one of Stanislaw Lem's Pirxa stories blends Cold War aesthetics and Arvo Pärt music with thrilling deep space action. 

A.I. Artificial Intelligence


In the 22nd century, a robot child embarks on a Pinocchio-like quest to become a real boy and win back the love of the mother who rejected him. This adaptation of a Brian Aldiss story, initially developed by Stanley Kubrick, goes off on some very dark tangents (The Flesh Fair!) before a poignant emotional payoff. 

The Questor Tapes


Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry conceived this TV film as the pilot for a series that was never made, but it works on its own as a globe-trotting adventure powered by the bromance between a human and an android, clearly the prototype for Next Generation's Data. Typical Roddenberry, it's humane, touching and funny. 

Dr Who and the Daleks

The BBC's beloved sci-fi TV show first aired in 1963 and quickly spawned this big screen spin-off. Peter Cushing plays the time-travelling doctor who is transported with his two daughters and an assistant to Planet Skaro, home of the doctor's most fearsome enemies, the robotic Daleks. Their catchphrase? EX-TER-MIN-ATE!

The Artifice Girl


Government agents interrogate a computer geek about the pubescent girl he's been using to trap sexual predators online. She turns out to be virtual (an uncanny performance by young Tatum Matthews) in a cerebral three-act chamber piece that dives deep into the ethics, pitfalls and potential of Artificial Intelligence.



Fritz Lang's Metropolis was inspiration for this spectacular dieselpunk anime in which a female android called Tima struggles against a destiny in which she will be deployed as a superweapon. The cityscapes are stunning, with a retro feel that's echoed in the ragtime-adjacent score and unexpected use of a Ray Charles hit. 

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence


Major Kusanagi has a cameo, but the protagonist of this underrated sequel is her partner Batou, the world-weary semi-cyborg with a loveable Basset Hound. He and Section 9 trace a series of sexbot killings to a labyrinth of false realities and existential philosophy in an exquisite feast for the eyes, ears and brain. 



In 2044, humans need robotic help to survive in a world scorched by solar flares. Antonio Banderas plays an investigator examining claims that robots have been breaching protocol by modifying themselves. This handsome sci-fi epic pits paranoid humans against philosophical machines who may be mankind's last hope. 



A long war has left a remote planet littered with lethal robots that are evolving to look and behave just like humans. The lives of a battle-weary colonel (Peter Weller) and his men depend on distinguishing man from machine, but easier said than done in this tense, creepy adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story. 



"I'll buy that for a dollar!" Verhoeven stirs hyper-violence, splattery humour and religious allegory into a delicious satire on modern America. Peter Weller does some impressive acting with his mouth and chin (the only visible parts of his face) as a Detroit cop, murdered by crooks, who is resurrected as a cyborg. 

Death Machine


In what could be the most unhinged performance of his career, Brad Dourif plays a mad scientist who unleashes his choppy, stabby killer robot on CEOs and eco-warriors trapped in a high-rise. Steven Norrington, in his feature debut, directs the hell out of this often hilarious mash-up of The TerminatorRoboCop and Hardware.

Cherry 2000


In the year 2017, a businessman ventures into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of spare parts for his beloved but obsolete sexbot. Melanie Griffith oozes 1980s star charisma as the hardboiled tracker he hires as a guide. Low-budget sci-fi with mad stunts, a western vibe and a Michael Almereyda screenplay. 



Richard Stanley, in his feature debut, works wonders on a minuscule budget with a 2000 AD-inspired yarn set in a post-apocalyptic neo-punk netherworld. A sculptress unwittingly solders a piece of lethal military android into her latest scrap metal creation, and the mechanical artwork runs amok. Heavy metal carnage to the max! 

Chopping Mall


Security robots get their circuits scrambled by an electrical storm and hunt down the horny teens who are partying after hours in a shopping mall. B-movie mayhem from the Corman stable, packed with gratuitous boobs, cheesy exploding head effects, in-jokes and a cult cast including Dick Miller and Barbara Crampton. 

Steel and Lace


When her evil yuppie rapist is found not guilty, a classical pianist commits suicide, but is resurrected by her genius brother as a killer-cyborg programmed to murder the scumbag and the buddies who gave him a fake alibi. Rape-revenge exploitation with a melancholy streak offset by some creative and surprising kills! 

The Transformers: The Movie


Heroic Autobots battle evil Decepticons in this spin-off from the animated TV show; more fun than Michael Bay's live-action pics, and not averse to killing off beloved characters. The illustrious voice cast includes Robert Stack, Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles, in his final role, as the voracious planet Unicron. 

Short Circuit


"Number 5 is alive!" A military robot gains sentience and goes on the run in this family-friendly comedy adventure. A scatty animal lover (Ally Sheedy) thinks it's an extra-terrestrial and teaches it the ways of humans before they team up with the robot's inventor to evade the army killjoys who want it terminated.



By the year 2805, mankind has abandoned a polluted Earth for luxury starliners, leaving an amiable but lonely robot to clean up the mess in this lovely Pixar animation with an eco-message and inspired action out of the Buster Keaton playbook. Can WALL-E and his new robo-pal Eve teach humans how to heal their planet? 



In 2036, three criminals seek refuge on a space station occupied only by creepy scientist Klaus Kinski and a naïve android, Max 404, who models himself on James Stewart. With its Space Invaders-era graphics, this no-budget but inventive New World production takes some unexpected turns en route to a violent climax. 


In a plague-ridden future, a cyber-woman has to carry life-saving data from New York to Atlanta. Only  Jean-Claude Van Damme and his signature helicopter kicks can protect her from the Flesh Pirates! Pyun applies his no-budget know-how to a post-apocalyptic argy-bargy featuring characters named after classic guitars.

My latest book, Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children, is now available from Amazon and other retailers.

There's Something Wrong With the Children

Sunday, January 29, 2023



Naked Lunch

I wrote a piece about David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch for a new Arrow Video box set, and I'm super proud of this stunning edition.

It features a brand new 4K restoration from the Original Camera Negative, overseen by Director of Photography Peter Suschitzky and approved by writer/director David Cronenberg. It is available on both UHD and Blu-Ray.

On top of that, it has new interviews with producer Jeremy Thomas, cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, composer Howard Shore, SFX genius Chris Walas, and an hour-long conversation with star Peter Weller.

PLUS: an all new audio commentary by Jack Sargeant and Graham Duff, an archive directors commentary by David Cronenberg, an hour-long new piece by Tony Rayns on William S. Burroughs, a new appreciation by David Huckvale on the music of Naked Lunch, an all new visual essay by David Cairns, Naked Making Lunch (the making of doc originally shown as part of the South Bank Show), presented here in a new scan from director Chris Rodley's own 16mm print, which is slightly longer than the version most people are used to seeing (also viewable with a new audio interview with Chris Rodley - director of Naked Making Lunch and editor of the essential Cronenberg on Cronenberg), and a gallery of concept art and maquettes by Stephen Dupuis.

Not to mention an 80-page perfect-bound book containing new writing by Jack Sargeant and yours truly, plus a wealth of archival material.

And the cherry on this particular cake? All new art by Gilles Vranckx (who also made the book covers for Evil Seeds, The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals).

UHD is all on one disc, BD is two discs, but both versions contain all the same stuff.

And, of course, this limited edition version also features a double sided poster, a selection of postcards, plus a reproduction ticket to Interzone and reproduction business cards for both William Lee and Dr. Benway.

This is a UK only release since other labels have the rights in other territories, but UHD is region free so...

Wednesday, December 28, 2022



the running man

This Friday, I'll be giving an introduction to Yves Boisset's Le prix du danger (1982) and Paul Michael Glaser's The Running Man (1987) at the Cinematek in Brussels. The films are part of a "Reality TV" double-bill.

About Le prix du danger: In a dystopian future, a television station organizes a manhunt, capitalizing on the low instincts and voyeurism of viewers who closely follow the candidate's elimination. It is reminiscent of what reality TV would become a few years later. Based on a story by American sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley.

About The Running Man: A few years after Le prix du danger, American director Paul Michael Glaser's The Running Man (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) was released, using exactly the same plot. Yves Boisset files a lawsuit for plagiarism, which lasts 11 years and which he eventually wins. But The Running Man is also an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King. However, Glazer (the Starsky from Starsky & Hutch) goes for a much kitschier, entertaining film, which will have an undeniable influence on the world of video games. 

My latest book, Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children, is now available from Amazon and other retailers.

the running man