Celluloid Diaries

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vampires Suck: 21 most unusual vampire movies

most unusual vampire movies

In March, the Offscreen Film Festival brings a retrospective of the most unusual vampire movies ever made.

No supernatural creature has been portrayed as frequently in cinema history as the vampire. Bram Stoker's Dracula, everyone's favorite bloodsucker, has alone racked up nearly 200 different movie appearances. Even today, the vampire continues to fascinate, guaranteeing the box office success of franchises such as Twilight and Underworld. The flipside of this popularity is that the monster has become too hokey and familiar. Indeed, to quote the title of one Twilight spoof, "Vampires Suck." But they are also supremely versatile, as Offscreen shows with a selection of 21 unusual vampire movies which turn the genre conventions upside down, breaking with the clichés of Gothic castles, garlic, and crucifixes to depict the creatures as hyper-realistic, modern, exotic, hybrid, or simply deranged. These films provide unique spins on vampire mythology and inject the genre with compelling stories about the human condition, sexuality, addiction, disease, and mortality.

vampire's day soiree

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Night Manager filming locations on Mallorca

the night manager mallorca filming locations

When I was on the Balearic island of Mallorca in November last year, the locals were all talking about The Night Manager, a new BBC 1 TV show about a hotel night manager who is recruited to infiltrate the inner circle of a dangerous arm's dealer. This big-budget adaptation of John Le Carrés novel by the same name has gained rave reviews and has a caliber cast including Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, and Tom Hollander.

However, the main reason why the locals were talking about the show was that a large chunk of the scenes was filmed on Mallorca (next to some stunning locations in Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, Zermatt, and Devon). According to Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays, Mallorca bookings are up by 15% since the show aired in the UK, and Spain as a whole 7%. Especially the upmarket activities, such as five-star hotels and chic restaurants, have been booming.

Of course, I watched The Night Manager while I was there (it's only six episodes) and visited some of the main filming locations on the island.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Caturday Movies - The Uncanny

the uncanny 1977

“Cats aren't always cute and cuddly!” states the tagline of the British anthology film The Uncanny (1977). It could as well have been the tagline of Clowders, which is now available for pre-order.

There's no such thing as coincidence. The Uncanny was indeed the main inspiration for Clowders. Both stories revolve around feline revenge. In Clowders, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. However, in The Uncanny, cats avenge their owners whenever someone harmed them.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Must-make Paddington recipes for the entire family

paddington recipes

Paddington 2 is coming out in cinemas this week.

To celebrate, you can host a Paddington movie night with one or more of these bear-inspired recipes. From pizza to cookies, there's something for everyone here.

Paddington pizza

paddington bear pizza

These bear-shaped mini pizzas are really quick and easy to make. A perfect meal for while you're watching the Paddington movies from the comfort of your home.

See the recipe.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Five TV-movies you haven't seen (but should)

forgotten tv movies

This is a guest post by Amanda Reyes, the author of Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999.

It would probably not be an understatement to declare most made for TV movies as lost. With over 5,000 telefilms in existence, to call just a few of them “obscure” might be opening up a can of worms since this list could probably be compiled of hundreds of titles that came and went during the golden age of the telefilm (by my count, that would entail several decades, encompassing the mid-sixties until the end of the nineties). But, here I am, shaving down the list to five films that have been forgotten, and which, in my very humble opinion, deserve to be rediscovered. That’s all to say, lists are difficult. I’m sure I’m missing something noteworthy, but I do think these TV movies would play really well to new eyes, so if you haven’t seen them, give ‘em a shot.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Book Tip - Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television

yuletide terror

Are you looking for an unusual Christmas treat? Look no further. The new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television is what you should be reading today.

Here's what to expect...

Yuletide essays and interviews

The first half of Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television consists of essays on famous Yuletide horror films and themes, as well as interviews.

Acclaimed horror writer Stephen Thrower is the one to open the party with an essay on the most famous Christmas horror film, Black Christmas. He discusses the production and initial reception of the film, how it got its cult status, and how it influenced many genre filmmakers.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

126 Best Movies of All Time

blowup antonioni

Earlier this year, my friend Wim Castermans passed away after a short battle with cancer. Some of you will know him as the skilled programmer of the Offscreen Film Festival and as one of the writers of When Animals Attack (he wrote the essay on The Killer Snakes).

Today would have been his 45th birthday. For the occasion, I'm sharing with you his favorite movies of all time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Clowders | Cover reveal

clowder of cats

I'm thrilled to reveal the cover of my upcoming supernatural thriller, Clowders.

The design is once more by Gilles Vranckx, who also created the covers for Avalon, Drowned Sorrow, When Animals Attack, GPS with Benefits, and Next to Her.

What do you think of the cover of Clowders? Let me know in the comments.


Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

14 Best French Christmas movies

best french christmas movies

What are the best Christmas movies made in France?

Tired of watching the same ones over and over again? Do you need something different?

We heard you.

Here's a list of the most popular French Christmas movies in chronological order. The films in this list are an interesting mix of comedies, animated children's stories, war dramas, and horror.

Be sure to let me know your favorite French holiday fare in the comment section!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book tip - Cats on Film by Anne Billson

cats on film

I found the purrfect present for the cat-loving movie fan in your life: Cats on Film by Anne Billson.

I first met the author at the Offscreen Film Festival in 2014 when a mutual friend suggested we get in touch because of our common interests: we both publish horror fiction and movie reference guides, and we both write blogs about cats and movies.

Around the same time, we were also thinking about creating a book about cinema cats. As I was concentrating on Avalon and When Animals Attack, Anne was the first to develop the idea. The result is now available for purchase.