Frequently asked questions:
Some of the films on this site aren't horror films! How dare you call this a horror film site! I demand vengeance!
or, from the more sane readers...
What is your criteria for a horror film?
I use a lot of different criteria when judging whether or not to include a film on this site. But the main one is my personal preference. I'm more interested in giving an airing to forgotten old classics than sticking rigidly to a plan, so occasionally there are strange additions. For example, the broad comedy of Barry MacKenzie Holds His Own, or thrillers like Fragment Of Fear. If a film "feels right", why not? In the future you'll probably see the occasional bonkers 70s spy thriller or foreign film that was lensed in this country appear on the "films" list. At the end of the day, I pay the bill for this site, so it's up to me what I include.
Surely some of these films aren't British?
Loosely, I try to make sure that the films were at least partly funded by British companies. Just because a film wasn't made in Britain, doesn't mean it's not British. Conversely, just because a film was lensed here, doesn't actually make it British. Quite a few spaghetti horrors and giallo films were made here in the 1970s, but they're about as Brit as Madonna's cockernee accent. That said, if they were filmed here and feature the occasional British actor, why not include 'em? The only rule here is that there are no rules. And that I make the rules. Which makes two rules. Plus the ones I make... Hang on, I'm going to have to give this a bit more thought.
Is The Shining British?
Yes! Bloody hell, how many more times?
Can you help me get hold of a VHS copy of Psychomania?
Because I'm not a shop, or a dodgy backstreet pirate video "entrepreneur". The idea of this site is to make people aware of classic British horror films, not to flog old videos. I would suggest you try on-line traders like the fantastic play.com, and failing that, Ebay.
Plus, if I could get hold of an original VHS copy of Psychomania, I wouldn't sell it on to you, it'd go in my private collection.
Why have you covered rubbish like Dream Demon but failed to review classics like The Haunting?
Because this site is a work-in-progress, and each film takes approximately four or five hours to get on the site. 90 minutes to watch it, an hour or so to come up with a smart-arse review, and another hour to create the web page, source the photos etc. It's a labour of love! I hope that one day I'll have every film in the genre covered, but that could take a while...
Why do you appear to ignore modern British horror cinema?
I don't. There are reviews of films like The Asylum (2000) on here. But the site is really devoted to "classic British horror films" (60s and 70s in particular). If I see a modern film I'll review it, but I'd rather watch a rare old 70s exploitation flick than something like The Hole.
Are you a big horror film fan?
Perhaps surprisingly, I'm not. I'm more a fan of old films in general, and the British horror films I really love (Horror Hospital, House Of Whipcord, Psychomania etc) tend to be along the same campy lines as the Carry Ons, The Italian Job... stuff that's firmly rooted in the late 60s, early 70s. I've only seen one of the Friday The 13th films (the first one) and I can't say that I enjoyed it.
So why run a Horror films site?
Because everyone likes horror films, don't they? Everyone can join in a pub debate on "the scariest film they ever saw". I enjoy watching them, just like everyone else, but I'm not some black-haired Goth metal fan who spends the hours of daylight stuck in his bedroom with the curtains drawn, watching slasher films. Until this site came along there was a huge gap in the market - hundreds of websites devoted to Tobe Hooper, George A Romero etc but not one waxing lyrical about Pete Walker or Norman J Warren.
But why pick British horror films?
Because like you (probably) I grew up watching them, and they have a special position in my heart.
Why are you so harsh on The Wicker Man? I thought everyone loved it!
Because it's overrated. That's my view, and this is a website full of my opinions. It's not that it's a bad film, just not my "cup of tea".
In fact, now I come to think of it, why are you so harsh on 90 per cent of these films?
What would you rather read? An intelligent pithy ramble about the bad points which make the film so great, or a huge gushing review by someone who can see no wrong? The site would be pretty boring if every single review started along the lines of "Few films dare to aspire to greatness, but (insert film here) can surely be called THE greatest work of cinema since the camera was invented. The paucity of the budget, the inept camera work, and the shoddy performances were, I feel, all committed to film on purpose by an auteur at the height of his powers..."
I rest my case. And don't think you can't find web sites out there with reviews like that, cos they exist.
Can I get in touch with you personally? I'd like to send you a copy of the incredibly rare "Legend Of Spider Forest"...
I'm happy enough to receive messages and comments through the contact form on the site, but I won't give out my home address. It's nothing personal, and I'm sure you're a very nice bloke/lady, but you can't be too careful, I reckon. And some of the people who read this site are nutters, believe me. However, if anyone does have a copy of The Legend Of Spider Forest, we may be able to sort something out...
You're a funny guy! Where do you get your ideas from?
Why, thank you. I'm also devilishly good looking and incredibly wealthy. God smiled down on me and made me perfect, and I'm not going to apologise for that. Frankly, when you've got material like these films to work with, it's hard not to be at least mildly pithy. My day job is as a "proper" journalist, so that probably helps with the wordplay.
Where did the inspiration for the site come from?
Several sources - my love of the films, the lack of other sites on the subject (see above) and books like The Seduction Of The Gullible by John Martin and English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby.
Why do you not have a review of Re-animator?
Ah, fuck off.
All words, logos and drawings are © Chris Wood 2000 to 2014.
All photos, posters, sounds and videos are reproduced in good faith with the sole intention of promoting these films. Why should I be the only one to suffer watching them? If any film makers feel particularly strongly about abuse of copyright on the site, they obviously haven't got anything better to do. You could try Watchdog, but frankly, I think they've got bigger fish to fry...