Tag Archives: Hollywood

Horror husband and wife team celebrate ten years of filmic fear

werewolvescheerleaderschainsaws2[1]The tale of the husband and wife team of Alfred and Alma Hitchcock and how they brought the horrors of Psycho to the big screen is currently in cinema screens and hitting the awards circuit. Played by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, respectively, the pair have been nominated for numerous awards, including this weekend’s Academy Awards.

Mirren originally hails from Essex and a horror filmmaking husband and wife team from the county might not have a biopic being made about them but they’ve certainly carved, hacked and gouged out something of a niche for themselves.

Jinx Media, run by husband and wife team Pat (Writer and Director) and Pippa Higgins (Producer), is celebrating ten years of fear, or a decade of death if you will, with its high impact, low budget horror movies that have been unleashed across the international market.

They’ve talked cadavars at the Cannes Film Festival and Haunted Hollywood with their series of unique horror tales that have taken in murderous hellbrides, chainsaw wielding cheerleaders and good old zombie Nazi’s (well it would be rude not to).

Rather fittingly based in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, home of the Doom Pond where three witches were tried, Jinx Media has been anything but jinxed. Almost no shallow grave has been left undisturbed by the pair and along the way they’ve won plaudits and prizes aplenty.

Writer/Director Pat has been described as the ‘Essex Auteur’ by Empire magazine, ‘The Tarantino of budget gore flicks for both style and dialogue’ by SFX and one of ‘the most promising British horror directors’ by Fangoria.

He is the co-creator of the Death Tales series of films (the most recent of which, Nazi Zombie Death Tales, hit the UK in Autumn 2012), the original writer/creator of Strippers vs Werewolves and the writer/director of several features including the highly acclaimed The Devil’s Music (winner of Best Independent Feature at the Festival of Fantastic Films 2008)

Pat’s latest live show is called ‘Werewolves, Cheerleaders & Chainsaws’ and is packed with advice and anecdotes from the front line of low-budget horror filmmaking. The live show (which  promises strong language, gore and nudity – Pat stays fully clothed throughout so I’m assured) was filmed at the recent Horror-on-Sea festival in Southend, and the filmed version is available free of charge via http://www.jinx.co.uk  or at the bottom of this post as a thank-you for ten years of support from the horror filmmaking community.

Horror supremo Pat Higgins, said: “I love doing the live shows and thought it’d be fun to share one on the Internet as a freebie, just to say thanks to the folks who’ve supported our stuff over the last decade. The next ten years will be even bloodier, funnier and more action-packed than the last ten; I can’t wait!”

 

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The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour has sets appeal Part 1

In three parts, unlike the eight  films, join us as we experience the Warner Bros Studio Tour London and The Making of Harry Potter…

Friday 13th, unlucky for some and you don’t get much unluckier than Harry Potter whose parents were killed when he was a baby, he then found himself living with the despicable Dursleys and even had his mentor die. The same can’t be said for Daniel Radcliffe of course, whose just been announced to be worth £48 million, lucky chap.

We were lucky though as well, not that lucky, but we did have tickets for the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour, only two weeks after its official opening.

The Tour is based at Leavesden Studios, Watford, just off junction 20 on the M25 and is the filmic home of the Harry Potter series, so although Florida may have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this is the place where the magic actually happened, where people actually stood, where the bespeccled boy wizard became a man.

I guess you could call it a pilgrimage of sorts as for me, with tickets bought by my mum and dad for my birthday, it was akin to visiting Universal Studios in LA, and the place just came with a sense of history and following in the footsteps of a multitude of stars. As an added bonus it was also at these studios where Bond was resurrected in the guise of Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye.

When you first arrive you really get the feeling that you could be in Hollywood as you are greeted by massive images from the Harry Potter films, which really helps set the scene and get you all excited, and that is even before you enter under the WB sign and the familiar Harry Potter insignia

Once inside the lobby giant images of the main characters from Potter look down upon you as you get your bearings, it’s an impressive room with all the hustle and bustle of the Ministry of Magic, with only a Starbucks interrupting the Potterness of it all, I don’t remember those appearing anywhere!

Toilets, initially it wasn’t clear where the baby changing was but we were told at the info desks that it was the far cubicle at the end of both the gents and ladies (bonus), although happy to report that there was no Moaning Myrtle awaiting Sarah and Isabelle

Being a little early, thanks to the lack of traffic and indeed incidents on the road etc, it gave us plenty of time to peruse the shop, which looked impressive to say the least and was home to pretty much everything you could think of, and then some, from the Potterverse. For me, it reminded me of why I missed the Warner Bros stores so much, although I did find it rather odd that there wasn’t one Potter book, audio book, DVD or Bluray in sight.

It was also a surprise to see a distinct lack of mugs, minus those in the shape of Hedwig; I at least expected them with the house crests on. The shop was very expensive (as you would expect you had to pay a little over the odds) but lots of it was high end stuff – such as prints in frames, marauders map in frame (a shame they didn’t do cheaper kid friendly versions as they would have flown off the shelves),  the usual clothes (robes, hats, scarves) and of course broomsticks (nearly £300) and more wands than you could shake a wand shaped stick at (for around £25), which all seemed to be made out of a plastic resin, same with the broomsticks, with the former coming in proper looking wand boxes.

There was a nice assortment of key rings and I did rather like the Prisoner of Azkaban photo frame and we did plumb for an £8.95 box of Bertie Botts every flavour beans, including ear wax, yum!

Of course, Isabelle took a liking to the assortment of cuddly toys and it was a close call between Crookshanks and the three-headed dog, Fluffy, both of which she clung to as long as she could in the store. In the end she went for the moggy, which has hardly left her side since.

Not that the prices put people off, basketsand arms were piled high, and it was no different than if you were visiting Disney or Universal Studios, so people were taking the opportunity whilst they could, especially with many of the items looking to be unique to the Studio Tour.

Queuing for the entrance 30 minutes before our allotted time, as clearly instructed, we slowly shuffled past the cupboard under the stairs where Harry would often find himself shut away during his time at Privet Drive. Finally we found ourselves at the front of the queue…we would be the first people in our group to enter into the world of Harry Potter…