Video On Demand services are seemingly becoming more and more visible in the cinematic landscape. Now, new films and classics are available instantly for the general consumer. However, while services like LoveFilm and Netflix offer a broad selection of entertainment, the fact that these services are targeted towards this wide audience, often leaves the more discerning viewer, and the cult audience a genre like horror acquires, left out in the cold by a selection of films that aren’t truly what fans want to see, or classics they hope to discover. But now, a new service has arrived, with the explicit intention to cater to this need, and provide a service that is fully curated with the fans in mind, and that the audience can have a direct influence upon through opinion and suggestion. Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to TheHorrorShow.tv! This new service has been created to give horror fans a space to enjoy the films they love, and discover new films that slip often slip through the cracks of distribution once they leave the festival circuit.

To mark the launch of this new platform, the Prince Charles Cinema, a mecca for the connoisseur of cult film, from timeless classics to glorious trash, was taken over by the forces behind The Horror Show…and this intrepid reporter/film geek descended down into depths of the cinema, with the trepidation of Dante, ready for a night of shocks, surprises, 80s cult wonder and even a reference to John Mikel Thor!

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Once the audience was seated, the evening kicked off with a stand up performance from Richard Sandling, the host of the Perfect Movie show, who illustrated his horror chops and comedic touch, discussing the terror of performing a sci-fi convention, his lament for the days when vampires had sword fights, the deceptive joy of the painted covers of 1980s VHS covers (and the horrific revelation when confronted with the film stills on the back!) and finished with a flourish by comparing the experience of having sex with him to the experience of watching a Coen Brothers film. Sandling had the crowd roaring with laughter, and hit exactly the right horror beats, kicking the night off in exceptional fashion.

Next we were treated with a screening of Paul Davis’ darkly comic horror short, Him Indoors (2012), about an agoraphobic serial killer played pitch perfectly by Reece Sheersmith, that worked as a beautiful homage to classic suspense directors such as Brian De Palma and Alfred Hitchcock, and as a slice of quintessentially British horror at it’s sharpest and tongue in cheek. After the screening, both the director and star came up on stage to reveal the origins of the film as an idea inspired by the oft forgotten 1990s British Sitcom, Game On, who featured an agoraphobic main character; the influence of real serial killers, Dennis Nilsen and John Christie, upon Sheersmith’s carefully constructed performance, and most interestingly, the role of crowd funding in allowing the film to be made, once again reinforcing the position of the fan and how fans are finding ways to illustrate their power and influence through funding and support.

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The night reached a perfect crescendo with the main event, the rare screening of a 35mm copy of Donald Cammell’s 1987 serial killer horror White of the Eye. Critic, Author and Cult Horror legend, Kim Newman introduced the film as one that leapt out at him from the Horror Show collection, and that while he had not seen it since its original release, he remembered the strange power of the film and affective impact…and boy, it didn’t disappoint! A slice of compelling 80s suspense, the film is thrilling, playful and at times, genuinely chilling, as Cammell weaves a mystery surrounding the brutal murders of wealthy women in a small town in Arizona, and whether charming family man, Paul White, is the psychotic killer, an innocent caught up in the case, or the victim of a vengeful force from the past. Cammell’s delicate touch and psychologically engaging compositions creates a truly fascinating stylistic edge that marks White of the Eye as a work of disturbing art, whose influence can be seen in the serial killer boom of the 1990s, but also a vision so distinctive and compelling, that it truly deserves to be considered something of a neglected classic in the genre.

Ultimately, the evening proved to be a celebration, not only of the launch of an extremely promising new VOD service, but more importantly, of the ideas the Horror Show is built upon: bringing the passionate horror community together, providing a platform for fans to find the films that passed them by, giving them a new lease of life, and ultimately, reinforcing the power of the audience and the undying passion of cult cinema.

The Horror Show is live as of today here: http://www.thehorrorshow.tv/ So I implore you to check out the fascinating library they have on display, from short film collections to recent cult classics, sit back, relax and enjoy the show…

 

About The Author

Matthew Hammond is a full time cinephile, specializing in cult, art house and 1980’s cinema. While film is his overwhelming passion, Matthew has been known to enjoy comic books, Sherlock Holmes stories and a good film related T-shirt. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments: mattpaul61@o2.co.uk

  • The Horror Show

    Thanks for the terrific write-up, Matt! Keep it pointed at @HorrorShowTV on Twitter for all the latest updates about new films, new deals and new offers!