On a muggy June evening The Prince Charles Cinema played host to the launch event of a brand new video-on-demand service by horror fans, for horror fans.
thehorrorshow.tv features a selection of shorts and feature-length horror titles, both un-distributed as well as better known fare, which are all available for streaming and/or download. From Excision to the inventively titled Dead Hooker in A Trunk, The Horror Show TV has a real smorgasbord of genre-specific movies that will appeal to all ends of the horror spectrum.
The diversity of horror movies on offer within this new service was reflected in the range of of horror fan stereotypes on display in the crowd. The cinema played host to a gathering of the horror tribes: there were blue haired, dreadlocked Tim Burton-esques (picture the alien opera singer from The Fifth Element, the one with the crystals in her belly, but as humans these lot probably didn’t store precious stones internally), long leather-jacketed men with beards, Spanish people with piercings, and the more insular, understated and flat out nerdy types. Oh, and Kim Newman – who’s sort of a combination of all of the above.
For such a gruesome affair, the atmosphere was astonishingly amiable – with comedian Richard Sandling opening up the event with a superbly esoteric approach to stand up. The material ranged from John Carpenter jokes, Kenneth Anger nods and Trekkie (or should I say, Trekker) quips that had the audience, this writer included, in genuine stitches. To have a comedy act geared at such a specific niche was nothing short of delightful and provided the perfect opening to a night of horror-orientated fanfare.
A short film by Paul Davis, starring Reece Shearsmith was second billed. This darkly comic serial killer flick was a novel little number that unsurprisingly recalled and fell back on the tone of Shearsmith’s work on Psychoville and The League of Gentlemen. Entitled Him Indoors, the film is available on The Horror Show TV if you’re interested in seeing it for yourself – it’s certainly a lot of fun.
The evening’s focal point however was a screening of Donald Cammell’s horror oddity White of the Eye. Selected by Kim Newman, the intellectual gatekeeper of all that is horror film, it was clear that this film was going to be a unique experience to say the least. A British flick that owes lots to the giallo tradition of Argento, 1987’s White of the Eye is a dizzyingly absurd horror thriller that’s more fun than necessarily good. Charting a series of murders in a desert town in Arizona alongside a collapsing marriage between two of its inhabitants, David Keith as Paul White and Cathy Moriarty, his wife Joan, its narrative is disappointingly sloppy and tiringly familiar. The joys of the film instead come from its absurd eccentricities, be they David Keith’s deranged performance or the frequently impressive creative vision of Donald Cammell – working here on his third and final movie.
The contrast between White of the Eye’s familiar narrative premise and eccentrically individuated creative style made for a bewilderingly entertaining experience that was the perfect accompaniment to the Horror Show TV launch. If this wasn’t enough of a treat for those in the audience, the lovely folks over at Horror Show TV gave away some seriously cool stuff – including a Shivers poster signed by David Cronenberg that unsurprisingly sent waves of the film’s own title through the crowd, alongside a few gasps of awe. More prizes look set to be handed out over the coming weeks over on their twitter page.
So for some chances to win some goodies (or perhaps nasties) and get access to plenty of debauched blood and guts mayhem at your convenience check out Horror Show TV for yourself – we highly recommend it.