Bordello Death Tales screening

Saturday rolled around, and we had the first screening of Bordello Death Tales. We held it in a seriously unconventional venue, (Gallery 491 in Leytonstone), which had a giant paper-mache squid suspended from the ceiling in the screening room.

Myself, Jim and Al were interviewed by a film crew from Gorezone (for inclusion on a future covermounted DVD), including a section where I was interviewed by a rotting puppet cat. The cat also had a little puppet cock poking out from underneath its Megan Fox t-shirt; a detail that’s bound to occur to me when I’m sitting in an old folks’ home one day, and prompt the staff to think that I’ve finally gone off the deep end.

The screening was pretty terrific, and crowded enough that I actually ended up having to stand through it (seeing as I missed the scramble for seats as I was onstage with the other two introducing the movie!). I’m sure that a review or two will crop up soon enough. I know I’ve sung the praises of the flick before, but it really is pretty damn funky, with something for every type of horror fan.

Of course, Hellbride hit DVD in the UK this week too. Good to see it on shelves across the country. I’ve been keeping an eye out for print coverage but I’ll probably miss some; any of you folks out there spot some coverage in a mag I might have missed drop me a line via Twitter and point me in the right direction.

House on the Witchpit writing still going well. Cannot wait to shoot the damn thing, but it still might be a while.

Big week approaching..

On Saturday, Bordello Death Tales gets played before an audience for the first time. It’s a movie that’s been hovering in post-production for far longer than we ever intended; we’d intended to do it pretty quick and dirty, and anticipated locking some time towards the end of 2008. Buuuut, things get polished, then tweaked, then changed, and the whole process took an awful lot longer than we’d intended.

As I’ve previously mentioned on this blog, screening a movie for the first time is always a strange experience. As a filmmaker, you’ll have seen the movie a million times before, but you’ve never truly seen it until you’ve seen it with an audience. Every tiny flaw that you thought you could get away with suddenly looks absolutely massive. Every scene that you felt you’d cut down to the bone could suddenly use another 40 seconds cut from it to really make it zing. Oh, the wisdom of the filmmaker watching his movie with a crowd for the first time. If only he could go back and tell his previous self the things he’s learned. At least this time I’ve got two fellow filmmakers enjoying the same experience; because BDT is, of course, the child of three fathers we all get to worry equally. I’ve never had anyone to share the experience with before.

In other news, Hellbride finally hits UK DVD on Monday. You can go and pre-order a copy off Play for a meagre £2.99 by clicking on the lovely cover below. Go do it now, it’s okay, I’ll wait.

There, back now? Good. Hope you enjoy it. It’s been interesting to see the reactions we’ve been getting from the UK reviewers as opposed to how the flick went down in the US. There are new reviews springing up daily.

Elsewhere in my ridiculous life, I’ve been asked to make a couple of festival appearances over the next few months. The first will be at the Southend Film Festival, where I’ll be talking about low budget horror on Saturday May 1st. Not quite sure what people are going to want to hear; if you’ve got any ideas or requests feel free to hit the contact buttons.

I’ll keep you posted as to how the screening goes.

Rock on,

What makes a band a band?

I love the band Pop Will Eat Itself. Always have, always will. Their 1989 album ‘This is the day.. This is the hour.. This is This’ was the first album I ever bought with an ‘explicit content’ warning sticker on it; I can remember walking up to the counter and not actually knowing whether or not the shop would sell it to me as I was under 18. It felt like contraband, and, God, I loved that album. Within a week of owning it I knew every word.

The years went by, and I went to see PWEI a whole bunch of times. By the time I saw them in 1996, it was clear that something wasn’t quite right anymore. Founder member Graham Crabb had quit, and one night in Hammersmith I saw the remaining members play the shortest set I’d ever seen them play, heavy on new material which sounded like it was lacking inspiration. For the first time, they didn’t look like were enjoying themselves, and I wasn’t very surprised when the band called it a day not long after.

In 2005, the band played a series of reunion gigs with all members, including Graham. The gig I saw in Shepherd’s Bush was possibly the best I’d ever seen them; they sounded fantastic. It was one of those gigs where you can buy a CD as soon as the set is over, and I still play that CD pretty regularly. It’s a pretty perfect memory. There were various suggestions afterwards that the band were working on a new album. Little taster snippets were put online and sounded good, but it soon became apparent that the project wasn’t really going to fly after all due to scheduling commitments.

All of this led to the creation of a band called VileEvils, from the ashes of the PWEI reunion. They were pretty damn good too, and I ended up doing a video for their single NoFear (leaning fairly heavily on unused material from the shoots for TrashHouse and KillerKiller). Here it is:

VileEvils were due to release their first album at towards the end of this month, but.. Suddenly, a press release. One that starts like this..

dPulse Recordings has announced today the opening of a new chapter in the storied legacy of Pop Will Eat Itself – one of the most influential names in the history of electronic rock music – as Graham Crabb, the band’s principal songwriter and co-lead vocalist, ramps up with a new era for the PWEI legacy.

With a string of Top 40 UK and US hits, Pop Will Eat Itself rose to prominence fueled by Crabb-penned tunes such as ‘There Is No Love Between Us Anymore’, ‘Bulletproof’, ‘RSVP’, ‘Get The Girl, Kill The Baddies’ and many, many others.

With the new Pop Will Eat Itself single ‘Axe of Men (2010)’ currently making its rounds on DJ and radio promo worldwide, Crabb and PWEI will release a new album in summer 2010. That album will include tracks originally planned for the now-cancelled Vile Evils album Vive Le Vile Evil, which was scheduled for release by dPulse Recordings 23 March.

With news of this announcement, Graham Crabb and long-time collaborator and PWEI member Adam Mole have mutually and amicably disbanded their project Vile Evils, effective immediately.

There’s more at if you’re curious.

So, this summer I’m going to get to go and see PWEI, except that there won’t be a single person on the stage who was also on the stage at that Hammermith gig in 1996. Soooo.. What makes a band a band?

Another of my favourite 90s bands, Carter USM, also amicably disbanded in the late 90s. Many years later, they played a series of gigs under the banner “Who’s The Daddy Now?”, the encores of which consisted of both founder members of Carter USM (Jim Bob and Fruitbat) onstage, playing Carter USM songs. They billed themselves as the only covers band to contain all the original members. So was that Carter USM? Or not Carter USM?

(Incidentally, I also directed a video for one of Jim Bob’s solo singles, which is below if you haven’t already seen it..)

Is a band a statement of intent? A specific collection of human beings? Presumably like the 2010 version of PWEI, the versions of Hole and Smashing Pumpkins currently touring both only have one member in common with their previous incarnations. The current line-up of The Wonder Stuff also caused quite a bit of controversy when first unveiled, but that’s a whole other story.

I love music an awful lot, and I’ll support the new version of PWEI just as I supported the old one. In fact, I’m rather excited at going to see them. I’ve just never quite been able to shift this question as to what makes a band from my mind.. Maybe the Sugababes will provide us all with an answer, as they argue it out in court.