Dennis Wheatley Podcasts

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shanedwyer
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Postby shanedwyer » Thu 16 Oct, 2014 11:25:53

Richard Matheson? Now there was one of the handful of horror writers who could actually do a good job.

I'm looking forward to listening to that Darren, thanks.

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Postby Darren » Sun 19 Oct, 2014 20:52:41

Dennis Wheatley on BBC Radio 4's Front Row

I missed this last year because it coincided with the 2013 DW convention. On Friday 1st November 2013 the BBC broadcasted a DW promotion for the new Bloomsbury publications on their premier radio arts programme, Front Row. Historian Matthew Sweet provides an amusing retrospective on DW's place in British literary history.

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/rad ... ow/rss.xml and scroll down to 1st November 2013.

Or type in Front Row Tinie Tempah into your iTunes search engine.

The Dennis Wheatley section starts at 23:40. It's well worth a listen - I can't believe it took me a whole year.
Regards,

Darren.

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Postby ken68 » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 17:27:58

thanks for that darren, its good to hear DW take the feet from under his critics by getting in before them. then the sting in the tail with see if you can do better and make more money at it. priceless!

ken

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Postby Richard Webster » Thu 23 Oct, 2014 07:13:09

ken68 wrote:thanks for that darren, its good to hear DW take the feet from under his critics by getting in before them. then the sting in the tail with see if you can do better and make more money at it. priceless!


Yes, thanks, Darren, and I certainly agree that it was good to hear DW so blithely accept his literary shortcomings and then skewer his critics, but I'm afraid the overall tone of the piece very much confirmed my worst prejudices about the BBC - glib, snide, poorly researched and presented by someone who made little attempt to conceal his contempt for DW's world view (anathema to the Beeb, of course).

It brought to mind the rather poignant moment in Phil Baker's biography when he described DW in his later years, hand delivering his completed manuscripts to his publishers, who by then were predominantly people who hated DW's books and everything he stood for, and saw him as a complete anachronism in their brave new world. Their loss.

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Postby Darren » Fri 24 Oct, 2014 21:16:04

I enjoyed most of Matthew Sweet's report and his comment about DW writing between the era of Ramsay MacDonald and the Sex Pistols encapsulated perfectly the dilemma of critiquing his works. I was more amused than annoyed by the modern left wing review of a "vintage" conservative writer and, as DW eloquently pointed out - you can't criticise success.

What did annoy me greatly (and I think probably annoyed most members of our community) was the message in the last 2 words of Sweet's report. I completely disagree with the sentiment - I think DW has a strong literary style. I often read similar DW literary styles in modern writers who are equally selling books by the million. Clive Cussler springs to mind as a modern DW and I don't think his publisher is embarrassed to promote him (neither is his Bank manager).

Maybe I'm being too sensitive - perhaps Sweet simply just couldn't resist the weak joke of the double meaning of "diabolical".
Regards,



Darren.

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Postby Darren » Sun 26 Oct, 2014 11:17:27

Eric Mocata - I've just been listening to the latest episode of Professor Cushing's Crypt of the Macabre and enjoyed the surprise of your comprehensive communications to Jim and Ryan (I also like Halloween 3 - Season of the Witch and thought I was the only one).

http://cryptofthemacabre.blogspot.co.uk ... orror.html

You managed to plug this site and encouraged them to review the film, To The Devil a Daughter. I'll send another email and apply more pressure to look at TTDAD. I'd be interested in their opinions of the film from a US, non DW, British horror film fan viewpoint (!!??).
Regards,



Darren.

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Postby ericmocata » Fri 31 Oct, 2014 18:10:25

I am glad you enjoyed the emails I sent to them, Darren. I just sent them another, since they were interested in the horror fest I went to last weekend. This time I wrote a bit about the Devil Rides Out movie, since I didn't before. They are quite likeable and funny guys that genuinely love what they are talking about, so it makes for great listening.

Thanks go to you since I believe you mentioned the podcast on here first which brought it to my attention.

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Postby Darren » Wed 3 Dec, 2014 17:28:03

The podcastunderthestairs podcast series that I mentioned previously when they discussed (positively) the film, To The Devil A Daughter, also discussed the film TDRO two episodes later. It was part of a Best of British Horror Film sub-series that the hosts ran.

See http://podcastunderthestairs.wordpress.com/page/7/ and scroll down to episode 11 for TDRO review or episode 9 for the TTDAD review (I found it easier to search using iTunes).

One of the hosts is a DW fan who had read TDRO a few times before seeing the film. In the same epsiode (9) they also discuss The Wicker Man which is my favourite British Horror film, so I particularly enjoyed the podcast.

The list has some interesting points.

Their Top 10 British Horror Films List is as follows:

1. The Descent (2005)
2. 28 Days Later (2001)
3. The Wicker Man (1973)
4. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
5. Dog Soldiers (2002)
6. Night of the Demon (1957)
7. Eden Lake (2008)
8. To The Devil.... A Daughter (1976)
9. Witchfinder General (1968)
10.Peeping Tom (1960)


The first point of interest is that there are only 2 Hammer Horror films in the list - and they are both adaptatons of Dennis Wheatley novels. Thus the hosts must believe that the best 2 Hammer Horror films are the DW adaptations.

The other interesting point is that other than M R James (Night of the Demon) there are no other established, famous "book" writers in the list (as opposed to screenwriters). Yet there are many British horror authors (James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, Mary Shelley to name just a few) so for DW to dominate this list is noteworthy. Added to this that these are the only 2 theatre release horror films that have been made based on DW's black magic novels - it really is a significant success rate.

I am also a big fan of Night of the Demon - which is a very Wheatleyesque tale (the protaganist, Karwsell, is also supposed to have been based upon Aleister Crowley).

I know the list is subjective to the hosts' tastes but the list does cover almost 50 years and show how the DW stories survive. And the hosts are horror film obssessives and, therefore, experts.

Budding horror film-makers please take note.
Regards,



Darren.

Richard Webster
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Postby Richard Webster » Thu 4 Dec, 2014 17:28:36

Great post, and a really interesting list. And I so agree with you about "Night of the Demon" - certainly Wheatley-esque, and with the sort of Stonehenge footage that should have found its way into "The Devil Rides Out", and directed by the great Jacques Tourneur, who also made "I Walked with a Zombie" and "Cat People" (the good, 1940s one, not the dreadful remake).

It's definitely good to see both DW black magic adaptations in there. I'd put "The Devil Rides Out" at the top of my own list, even if that's probably more to do with my love of DW, and because it's such a personal favourite, rather than a properly objective judgement, although it would easily be in the Top Ten.

The list is obviously very subjective; some I agree with, some I don't. "The Descent" at Number One! Really??? I mean, it's okay, I've seen it twice, but it wouldn't even get into my Top Twenty-Five.

There also seems to be a bit of an emphasis on more recent films, whereas when I compiled my own list, earlier today, only one of the films was made after 1973.

I also like "The Wicker Man" very much (but avoid the recent sequel, "The Wicker Tree", at all costs!), and think it forms one part of a great trilogy of what some call British Folk Horror - along with "Witchfinder General" and "Blood on Satan's Claw".

Seeing the list, I obviously had to make my own list of favourites, so for what it's worth, and using the same criteria of GB produced films only, I've gone for the following, in order of preference.

1. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
2. Don't Look Now (1973)
3. Brides of Dracula (1960)
4. The Wicker Man (1973)
5. Dracula (1958)
6. Dead of Night (1945)
7. Night of the Demon (1957)
8. Witchfinder General (1968)
9. Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)
10. The Awakening (2011)


And ten runners-up, in date order: Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Village of the Damned (1960), The Innocents (1961), The Gorgon (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), The Witches (1966), To the Devil a Daughter (1976), Revelation (2001), 28 Weeks Later (2007), The Woman in Black (2012).

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Postby Darren » Sat 6 Dec, 2014 20:25:10

What a great list, Richard. I love examining lists such as these and you have some beauties.

I like the recently coined term “folk horrorâ€￾ and am a fan of the films normally associated with that genre. Though I think The Wicker Man (my no. 1) is closer to Straw Dogs and the “outsider enters an insular communityâ€￾ genre than Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan’s Claw. But the atmosphere of those three films warrants the grouping. What else would you include in the folk horror genre? www.folkhorror.com list The Devil Rides Out as folk horror which I found surprising, Night of the Demon and, more recently, Wake Wood. US contributions to folk horror include Blair Witch and Children of the Corn.

I have never seen Don’t Look Now, though I am aware of the high praise it receives from anyone who has seen it – excuse me [40 seconds later] – I have just switched screens and ordered the blu-ray via amazon.

Peter Cushing’s performance as Van Helsing in Brides of Dracula is the “definitiveâ€￾. I remember being in awe of him in this film as a young teenager. Great ending as well.

I won’t discuss The Wicker Man – it is my favourite British film of any genre, and (oh dear - dare I say?) I also enjoy The Wicker Tree.

Similarly with Dracula (1958) – the best Dracula for me.

Dead of Night – brilliant. This is regarded as the very first horror anthology film.

Night of the Demon – one of my all time favourites. I also recommend the source story “Casting The Runesâ€￾ by MR James. As mentioned previously – very Wheatley-esque

I need to revisit Witchfinder General. I haven’t seen it for a few decades.

Blood on Satan’s Claw. Brilliant. And, I think, the definitiveâ€￾ folk horrorâ€￾ film. The rural camera views seem to be taken about 6â€￾ off the ground that give it the earthy “folkâ€￾ feeling.

I haven’t seen The Awakening – I haven’t seen many recent horror films. I need to rectify this.

Thanks for your list, Richard - it was fun.
Regards,



Darren.

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Postby Richard Webster » Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:00:25

Darren wrote:I have never seen Don’t Look Now, though I am aware of the high praise it receives from anyone who has seen it – excuse me [40 seconds later] – I have just switched screens and ordered the blu-ray via amazon.


A wonderfully atmospheric film - a deserted Venice in winter, with a real undercurrent of menace, and a truly frightening ending. But you may be interested to know that "The Wicker Man", made in the same year, originally started life as the supporting feature on the undercard of "Don't Look Now"; therefore, this was a B movie that became an A movie, and testament to the power of word-of-mouth.

Darren wrote:Peter Cushing’s performance as Van Helsing in Brides of Dracula is the “definitiveâ€￾. I remember being in awe of him in this film as a young teenager. Great ending as well.


Yes, the famous windmill scene. A superb Hammer film, from the days before Dracula became a franchise, and when they were still trying to do something with the story. I absolutely love Peter Cushing - in my opinion, the best Van Helsing, the best Frankenstein and the best Sherlock Holmes. And a thoroughly nice fellow, by all accounts.

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Postby Darren » Wed 10 Dec, 2014 11:03:32

And another podcast about the film The Devil Rides Out that was released a couple of weeks ago – this time from Australia.

The Martian Drive-In Podcast - episode 48 - covers The Golden Compass and TDRO. The section on TDRO starts at 35:40.

The host mentions that you can find loads of DW books in second hand bookshops in Australia. Bliss – I remember those happy times here in the UK.

He also mentions that Hammer originally wanted Gert Fröbe (aka Goldfinger) to play Mocata which would have been closer to DW’s description of him, and I think would have been a great choice. However, I am happy with Charles Gray’s menacing portrayal.

A negative review on The Golden Compass and a very positive review on TDRO. As he ends the show he states that he is going to review the film, To the Devil ...A Daughter soon.

http://marsdrivein.blogspot.co.uk/2014_ ... chive.html or search for The Martian Drive In Podcast 48 in iTunes. :smt048
Regards,



Darren.

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Postby Jim » Wed 10 Dec, 2014 23:23:46

Darren wrote: He also mentions that Hammer originally wanted Gert Fröbe (aka Goldfinger) to play Mocata which would have been closer to DW’s description of him, and I think would have been a great choice. However, I am happy with Charles Gray’s menacing portrayal.

The only possible drawback is that Fröbe would probably had to have been dubbed, as he was in Goldfinger and several other films. (Mocata has a lisp, but no accent; not that it would be a deal-breaker.)

A negative review on The Golden Compass and a very positive review on TDRO.

I rather liked The Golden Compass, though the stage version at the National Theatre actually conjured more "magic" with fewer special effects. I was disappointed that its poor financial showing doomed the other installments of the film trilogy.

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Postby Darren » Fri 16 Jan, 2015 21:43:51

Hi folks,

The latest episode, 28, of Professor Cushing’s Crypt of the Macabre is now out. They discuss Scream of Fear and The Flesh and Blood Show.

The reason I mention it is because there has been a campaign recently by visitors of this library forum for them to review the film, To the Devil... a Daughter. I have sent a couple of emails, Eric Mocata emails them whole speeches (only joking Eric – I do enjoy your emails and anecdotes, their latest episode is one their best and longest one yet, topping 2 hours) and also a couple of other visitors to this site who are yet to join in our discussions (unless they do so under different names) have emailed them, stating they were directed to their podcast via this forum.

Anyway, to finally get to the point of this posting, the hosts (Jim and Ryan) are going to watch the film, To the Devil... a Daughter, this month and review it in their next podcast episode. They are aware that the DW community is split over the rating of the film.

I’ll let you know when it is available (about 4 weeks).

http://cryptofthemacabre.blogspot.co.uk/
Regards,



Darren.

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Postby Darren » Sat 17 Jan, 2015 23:33:26

Hi folks,

Going a little off topic, I would like to refer you all to a superb podcast series called “A Podcast to the Curiousâ€￾, which is a podcast series all about the author M R James.

From the DW Conventions I know that there are a few other DW fans that appreciate M R James. If you are not then please may I direct you initially to a short story of his called “Casting the Runesâ€￾. It is superb and is very much in the vein of a DW Black Magic story. It was made into a film in the late 1950s – The Night of the Demon.

Each episode of The Podcast to the Curious is devoted to one of M R James stories (he only wrote short stories – all in a Wheatleyesque Black Magic genre, but as he died in 1936 any influence was in DW’s direction), and the hosts take each story in chronological order. The hosts, Will and Mike, are a couple of Oxford graduates who love M R James stories and I have rediscovered my love of M R James after discovering their podcast series. They bring out elements of the stories that I missed initially and it has enhanced my enjoyment of the stories.

Using a mixture of readings, music and sound effects to present the story, Will and Mike discuss each section, looking for clues as to M R James inspiration with an enthusiastic mix of humour and analysis to provide a very entertaining 45 minute show.

Some of the M R James books are free on kindle, read a story and then listen to the appropriate podcast afterwards.

http://www.mrjamespodcast.com/episodes/

Enjoy.
Last edited by Darren on Mon 9 Feb, 2015 19:04:03, edited 3 times in total.
Regards,



Darren.


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