With the ink dry on the contracts (and about a quarter of the text written) I can announce my next book. No, it's not the interminably-delayed Elsa Lanchester biography (though I will finish that one day, I promise). My current project is a book simply called The British Horror Revival (we may add a funky subtitle to that at some point) which will be published by Hemlock Books in 2012, in which I document, review and contextualise about a hundred British horror films released between 1998 and 2008.
I've written about the BHR before, for example, in a piece I did for the sadly missed DeathRay magazine, and I've referenced it plenty of times on my website and in my Devil's Porridge blog for Hemlock. Now I've got the opportunity to go into the subject in some real depth. I'm addressing the topic on two fronts: in terms of the sheer volume of films being produced and commercially released (an average of one every 11 days last year); and in thematic terms. I'll show how the best of these films combine horror with social realism to address the realities of life in 21st century Britain.
Like any subgenre, BHR films range from the great to the terrible but many of them are simply unknown, with little if any press coverage. Hopefully my book can draw attention to some overlooked gems.
The reason I'm only going up to 2008 is not because the BHR stopped three years ago but because I've got a limited word count. Continuing up to 2012 would almost double the number of movies covered, almost halving what I can say about each one. Also, the last film in the book should now conveniently be Mum and Dad, which broke new ground in its distribution model - and distribution models will be a key element of the book.
So that's what I'm busy working on (plus a zombie script that I'll talk about some other time). I've watched a lot of the films I'll be covering and have a stack of DVDs waiting to be seen, and I've been fortunate enough to interview many of the cast and crew over the years. But new material is always welcome, so if you were involved with a British horror film released during that period and can supply interesting memories/opinions (or might be able to bung a screener of an obscure title my way) then please get in touch.