London Horror Movie Club
By London Horror Movie Club
London has appeared in over 140 horror movies and horror writer and horror walking guide, Lauren Jane Barnett, wants to talk about them all! Each season has a new theme to offer direction, but otherwise sit back for casual a 20-minute chat with Lauren as she explores the horror films of London one by one. Part review, part deep dive, and part pub-chat with a horror fan, this is for fans of horror, London, film, and especially those who have always sensed a deep connection between horror cinema and this ancient city.
Chris is back as our permanent co-host and to welcome him we are talking about a favourite of his, the Hughes Brothers' 2001 Jack the Ripper horror From Hell, starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham and a stellar supporting cast including Ian Holm and Robbie Coltrane. The film is part of a long history of Ripper-inspired horror films going back to Hitchcok's 1927 The Lodger, and it is also based on Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's graphic novel of the same name. With a stellar cast and an intricate plot, it's a film that is steeped in legend and wears it well, like a shadowy figure in the London night.
November 28, 2022
Day of the Triffids
Day of the Triffids is a 1962 alien-invasion/ apocalypse horror, staring the incomparable Howard Keel and smouldering Nicole Maurey. After a meteor shower blinds most of the world, the few left with their sight intact struggle to survive the takeover of Earth by cannibalistic Triffid plants. Naval officer Bill Masen and student Susan leave desolated London in search of survivors, while biologists on an offshore lighthouse try to find the Triffids’ weakness. Based on the novel by John Wyndham, this sci-fi horror has a long-lasting imprint on horror cinema, and many interesting parallels with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. In this episode, we look at this unique film as an adaptation including the many changes, that famous scene of empty London, what worked and what didn't, and finally why this underdog film made it into horror history.
November 20, 2022
This season is all about London horror films adapted from books, beginning with the 1977 "Full Circle" starring Mia Farrow and Keir Dullea (known for 2001: A Space Odyssey). This is a beautiful adaptation of Peter Straub's haunting story "Julia". After the death of her daughter, Julia Lofting moves into a new home, which is haunted by the ghost of a little girl. Julia is torn between the girl’s violent history while alive and her motherly instincts.
November 14, 2022
Halloween Special: "Shaun of the Dead" w/ Chris
To kick off season three I have a very special guest joining me from America, my brother Chris! We talk about Edgar Wright's remarkable and hilarious "Shaun of the Dead", the Cornetto Trilogy, "American Werewolf in London", London Horror, and why there has yet to be a truly brilliant Jack The Ripper movie. Sit back, relax (maybe get a pint at the Winchester) and join us for this special episode crammed full of the best London horror cinema has to offer.
October 31, 2022
S2E10: Trapped on the Underground
For the final episode of Season 2 we look at a handful of other films where people are trapped in the underground; even if that isn't a main feature of the film. This includes Godzilla-inspired horror Gorgo, Hammer classic Quatermass and the Pitt, Tobe Hooper's space-vampire film Lifeforce, and the recent haunted horror Woman In Black II. All these films draw on the very real-life threat of being trapped on the underground by evoking imagery and the experience of World War II.
July 01, 2022
S2E9: 28 Days Later
We go into the deleted scene archive this episode for Danny Boyle's 2001 "28 Days Later", an icon of London Horror Cinema. Starring Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) and Naomi Harris (Skyfall, Spectre) as survivors in a post-apocalyptic, Rage-infected London. The film has been talked about in many ways, but rarely considering how Boyle uses the 'safe space' of the underground. I will dive in to consider what it adds to the film - with and without the deleted scene - and share in the abandoned eerieness of this uncanny world.
June 03, 2022
S2E8: Tale of the Mummy
For this episode, we go to Old Street Station in the 1998 horror Tale of the Mummy. With a surprisingly star-studded cast (including Christopher Lee, Shelley Duvall, Gerard Butler, Sean Pertwee, Honor Blackman, and Michael Learner) this under-the-radar mummy movie is a wild and crazy ride. Archeologists discover the cursed tomb of the Egyptian ruler Talos precariously suspended over a pit of death. They bring Talos' cursed remains for display at the British Museum, only for Talos' spirit to awaken in the form of cursed mummy wrappings, which proceed to go on a murder spree throughout London. With a complex plot and a lot of nineties moxie, the film is jumbled but charming.
May 06, 2022
S2E7: The Deaths of Ian Stone
A deep cut of London Horror, "The Deaths of Ian Stone" is a hidden gem for those who loved other popular films of the time like "Constantine" or "Gabriel" but sought a less-religious and more dangerous angel. Starring Mike Vogel (American Horror Story), Christina Cole (Jane Eyre, Poirot ), and Jamie Murray (Castlevania), the strong cast shines in this slow-burn fantasy in which average man Ian wakes up in the middle of a new life every time he dies, and no one seems to notice.
April 01, 2022
S2E6: American Werewolf in London
In horror a character on the underground can be like a rat in a maze: lost, confounded, and inevitably trapped. We've seen it in other episodes, but perhaps the most intensely shot example is in John Landis' American Werewolf in London. This 1981 comedy horror is a classic. It won an academy award for Best Makeup and took home Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film and Best Makeup and it has even been adapted into a radio programme on BBC 1 Radio. Heck, Edgar Wright has sighted it as a major influence on Shaun of the Dead. You probably have seen this movie before, but I encourage you to watch it again, not just because it's an amazing film but because it created one of the most claustrophobic chase scenes in cinematic history where a lone passenger on Tottenham Court Road station tries to outrun the werewolf, and the underground doesn't seem to be on his side.
March 04, 2022
S2 E5: Reign of Fire
When does the underground become more than just a way to transport people in a city? In this week's post-apocalyptic monster movie Reign of Fire (2002), the underground bookends the film as a symbolic space where young Quinn is forced to reckon with his past in the form of a dragon. Starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, this is an unusual horror film in some ways but is also a callback to the monster movies of the 1930s and 40s with killer special effects.
February 04, 2022
S2E4: 28 Weeks Later
Going deeper into the Underground, we go deeper into ourselves. That is the psychological highlight of Episode 4 where we dig deep into the climactic underground scene in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's 28 Weeks Later. A sequel to the Danny Boyle film, 28 Days Later, Fresnadillo's film used pioneering camera techniques and a robust cast (including Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots, Jeremy Renner, and Rose Byrne) winding their way through London hoping to escape a new outbreak of the Rage virus. For all the thrills in this action-heavy horror, its most intense and horrific moment happens on the platform of Charing Cross Underground.
January 07, 2022
A lot can happen in just one night. Especially if that night is spent in the closed London Underground. And that is the premise of this episode's horror film, Christopher Smith's 2004 Creep. Trapped in a closed tube station, Franka Potente (best known for the Borne films) tries to escape while being pursued by a human science experiment living in the depths of the Underground. A tense thriller gone gory, the film is also a socialist challenge to capitalism, a psychological test of humanity, and a vivid nightmare.
December 10, 2021
S2E2: Death Line
This month brings Death Line, the twisted tale of cannibals on the London Underground that feed off wayward commuters. But the film does more than pit a monsterous underground dweller against London's students, as writer/director Gary Sherman exposes the monsters that live above as well as below. Shot in the Old Aldwych Tube station and including horror giants Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance, this month's horror pick is a cult classic on the London Underground.
November 19, 2021
S2E1: Quatermass and the Pit
Season 2: Terror on the Tube In Episode 1 Lauren takes us into Hobb's End where a Martian vessel is discovered just off the station platform in Quatermass and the Pit. The 1967 Hammer film stars Andrew Keir and Barbara Shelley. Mixing aliens, ghosts, and World War II, this film launched the Tube network into horror cinema history.
October 29, 2021
S1E10: 2010s - Attack the Block
For the final episode of Season One, we watch the 2011 comedy-horror Attack the Block starring Jodie Whittaker and a pre-Star Wars John Boyega. In the film, a group of kids in a council block defend London from nearly-invisible aliens, who arrive hidden by the fireworks of Guy Fawkes night. This film is as much about aliens as it is about London, from the complex social realities of London Council Estates, the lovable and funny characters, and the remarkable shots around Vauxhall and Oval.
July 30, 2021
S1E9: 2000s - The Last Horror Movie
From the director of "Shiver". A serial killer stalking victims all over London, but why is he showing you his crimes? A creepy twist on found footage, The Last Horror Movie is a time capsule of what horror was and how it was changing in the early 2000s. It's also pure nostalgia for those of us who grew up renting horror movies.
July 07, 2021
S1E8: 1990s - "Bram Stoker's Dracula"
Winner of three Academy Awards and starring Gary Oldman as Dracula, this is one of the truly underrated Vampire films of our time. And the best of Francis Ford Coppola's horror films. The film captures Bram Stoker's London - from Bedlam Asylum to the Lumiere Brothers on Regents Street - while adding a romantic twist to Stoker's famous vampire. Cast also includes Keanu Reeves, Wynona Rider, and Anthony Hopkins.
June 01, 2021
S1E7: 1980s - "Lifeforce"
From the director of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Poltergeist" comes the truly unique and visually spectacular London horror "Lifeforce": a tale of spirit-sucking space vampires! Starring an all-star cast including Patrick Stewart, Matilda May, Steve Railsback, and Peter Firth.
May 01, 2021
S1E6: 1970s - "The Medusa Touch"
Starring Richard Burton and Lee Remick, "The Medusa Touch" is a hidden gem in 1970s horror, protesting nuclear power, environmental destruction, war, and drawing on a very real history of psychic experimentation across the globe. Can a psychic change the world, and would we want him to?
April 05, 2021
S1E5: 1960s - "Peeping Tom"
"Peeping Tom", for good reasons, is Martin Scorsese's favourite film. Produced in the same year as "Psycho", "Peeping Tom" was a horror film as psychologically disturbing and more controversial, with its scathing comments on film culture and curiosity about what it means to be afraid.
March 02, 2021
S1E4: 1950s - "Horrors of the Black Museum"
Visit London at its most murderous through 1950s classic "Horrors of the Black Museum", in which a series of murderous devices from Scotland Yard's famous Black Museum seem to escape onto the streets. Starring the amazing Michael Gough, best known today for his role as Alfred in the 1980-90s Batman movies.
February 01, 2021
S1E3: 1940s - "The Lodger"
Jack the Ripper has been haunting horror films for decades and inspired "The Lodger", a remake of the first horror film Alfred Hitchcock directed (also called "The Lodger").
February 01, 2021
S1E2: 1930s - Werewolf of London
Dive into 1930s London with the 1935 classic monster movie "Werewolf of London". The first of the romantic werewolf films that many of us know and love today, it also stars Valarie Hobson from "Bride of Frankenstein".
February 01, 2021
S1E1: The 1920s - "London After Midnight"
Writer and horror fan Lauren Barnett introduces the podcast this Month's movie club pick from the 1920s: "London After Midnight" starring Lom Cheyne
February 01, 2021