This November sees the 50th anniversary of one of Hammer Studios’ strongest and most complex films: Roy Ward Baker’s Nigel Kneale adaptation, Quatermass And The Pit (1967). Sometimes known under the title of Five Million Years To Earth, the film takes Kneale’s BBC script from the original broadcast serial and turns it into something far more unnerving than the other films produced by the studio in … Continue reading Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50
“Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.” – Kurt Vonnegut. Rather like J.G. Ballard, Nigel Kneale had a certain knack of preempting future social, technological and cultural trends. Kneale’s work is perhaps less appreciated than Ballard’s because the medium he predominantly worked in, television, is far and … Continue reading Nigel Kneale and Fascism
As recently announced, I have a book being released in January all about Folk Horror and its many related areas of interest. The book has been in the works for the last year or so though many of the arguments within have been growing now for several years. Though I’ll undoubtedly being doing the usual interview-esque things to coincide with the release in December and … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)
One of the key criticisms of the Folk Horror Chain is its emphasis, both in argument and in evidence, upon the rural landscape and its various elements. While the key works of Folk Horror cinema seem to broadly use rural landscape aesthetics and practice to set and conjure their horror, by setting up such a parameter, it does indeed neglect some of the sub-genre’s most … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.
The characters of Nigel Kneale’s work rarely like the “outsider.” The drama of his plays is often built around small groups of people at odds with (or at least representational nationally of being at odds with) some concept of the outsider. The oppositional group will be diametrically opposed for a variety of reasons; sometimes for more pulp tendencies such as aliens in a space invasion … Continue reading Quatermass II (Nigel Kneale) – Fear Of The Outsider Within The Landscape.
Two writers who could be said to epitomise the ideas of Folk Horror, M.R. James and Nigel Kneale, while addressing these ideals through different media, are writers whose work often crept into the same realm. This has lead to both of their work having a natural relationship with each other, with one almost being a reincarnation of the other. Of course, to imply such things … Continue reading An Ancient Evil: M.R. James and Nigel Kneale.