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EMMA WESTWOOD

Writing about movies, monsters, cinematic events and other wild trips

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Lee Gambin

The Locust Files podcast

It’s always a privilege to talk about cinema, and never more of a privilege than to speak about it with my incredible friend, Lee Gambin, who knows more about cinema than ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD (it’s a bold statement but one that I feel is fairly close to being accurate).

Lee asked me to join him for an episode of his new podcast series for Diabolique MagazineThe Locust Files – where he has already interviewed Craig Martin, Jarret Gahan, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Sally Christie, Bryan Norton, Jenni Olson and John Harrison. I step up to talk about THE FLY (of course), as well as my newer projects (SECONDS and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN), and a whole lot of other nonsense.

As it tends to happen with Lee, the conversation went off in a number of weird and wonderful directions. You can listen to it right here

Introducing the BRIDE party

Despite a minor COVID-19 setback (i.e. postponement of my trip to LA), the BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN book is making excellent progress. It’s mutated into something, I would argue, is even better and more beautiful than my initial ambition: a compendium of essays from a murder of curated writers, with myself acting as the editor.

I’m pleased to make a first announcement of contributors who have agreed to etch their words in blood and dance naked under the full moon – Sally Christie, Lee Gambin, Dan Golding, Jon Towlson and Stephen A. Russell. Each writer has nominated a specific topic/theme of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN on which they wish to focus.

Stay tuned for more news, as I’ll be revealing topics and further contributors as the project evolves. In the meantime…

Matrimonially yours,
Emma 🕸

Primal Screen and satanic cinema

Over the holiday break, while Plato’s Cave was on hiatus, I was asked by my good friend, Sally Christie, to join her and another good friend, Lee Gambin, (and his stunning dog, Buddy) on her special summer show on Triple R, Caught in a Celluloid Jam.

Sally used Caught in a Celluloid Jam as a forum to present some of her favourite topics/genres of cinema. The episode in which Lee and I participated focused specifically on satanic cinema. And what a hoot it was! I strongly suggest you take a listen and hear us rabbit on about approximately 20 films of the devilish kind.

But something else happened over summer… Plato’s Cave has changed!

Now under the name Primal Screen at 7pm Mondays on Triple R, Plato’s Cave gets a same-same-but-different reworking, which includes a new lineup of weekly co-hosts: Paul Anthony Nelson, Sally Christie and Flick Ford.

Old faithfuls, Cerise Howard and myself, will be making the occasional appearance as guests but, in 2020, everything’s getting a makeover, including the show intro, which sounds something like this…

THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES: New DVD audio commentary

I’m pleased to be working with my partner-in-film, Lee Gambin, once again on a new blu-ray audio commentary for Kino Lorber – Francis Simon’s THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES from 1977, starring Steve Guttenberg in his debut role.

THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES joins a growing list of DVD audio commentaries that I’ve completed in recent years. So I decided it was worth dedicating a page on my website to these commentaries to give them the love they deserve. Take a look here…

MIDAS RUN: New DVD audio commentary

Lee Gambin and I have been privileged to record a DVD audio commentary for Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray release of Alf Kjellin’s comedy heist caper, MIDAS RUN (1968),

As we’ve come to expect from Kino Lorber, this is a pristine release, a brand new HD master created from a 4K scan of the original negative.

Lee and I had SO MUCH fun putting this down on tape, especially given the quality of the cast – Richard Crenna, Anne Heywood, Fred Astaire, Ralph Richardson, Cesar Romero and more. We could have talked for hours!

MIDAS RUN is released on 21st May 2019.

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17th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

I have super exciting news – I’ve been nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Commentary with my creative brother, Lee Gambin, for our DVD commentary on William Castle’s STRAIT-JACKET, which appears on Indicator’s Vol. 2 release of William Castle films. Such news deserves an exclamation mark!

This is my first time being nominated, and a huge honour, especially given the esteemed competition in the same category (Kim Newman, Tim Lucas, Bill Ackerman, Samm Deighan, Kat Ellinger, Amanda Reyes, etc). My head is spinning like Linda Blair’s, to say the least.

Given these awards are decided on popular vote, I’d love it if you’d support me with yours. All you have to do is send an email to taraco@aol.com before 20th April 2019, and specify your Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards votes:

BEST COMMENTARY:
Lee Gambin, Emma Westwood: STRAIT-JACKET (Indicator)

If you feel like providing even further support, please also vote for the box set in which our STRAIT-JACKET commentary appears:

BEST BOX SET:
WILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA: Volume One, Two: Tingler, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal, Mr. Sardonicus; Zotz!; 13 Frightened Girls; Old Dark House; Strait-Jacket (Indicator)

And Cinemaniacs’ glorious book on Scarecrows in which I have written two pieces on JEEPERS CREEPERS:

BOOK OF THE YEAR:
IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN: Scarecrows in Film and TV, edited by Lee Gambin (Cinemaniacs, softcover, 242 pages, $21.50). Essays that go far beyond Oz.

~ Thanking you, Emma

William Castle Vol. 2: New DVD audio commentary

This beautiful volume of William Castle films, produced by Indicator/Powerhouse Films in the UK, is quite the sight to behold. It follows the Vol. 1 release of The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal and Mr Sardonicus, and it features a mindboggling selection of extras created by brilliant people that I love – Kat Ellinger, Samm Deighan and Lee Gambin, to name a few. I did a commentary duet with Lee on one of my favourite William Castle films, Strait-Jacket. To say I’m proud as punch is an understatement.

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Journal Launch: If I Only Had a Brain

When Lee Gambin said he was creating a regular, themed journal as part of his Cinemaniacs film collective, I had no idea it would be this impressive (and this big – around 200 pages). But, Lee has managed to do it once again, and I’m proud as punch to be in the flagship edition on ‘Scarecrows in Cinema’.

My contribution is the rather thorny subject of the Jeepers Creepers franchise.

Anyone in Melbourne is more than welcome to join us at the launch of the journal on Saturday 10th November at Grub Street Bookshop where copies will be on-sale. I will be attending, although I cannot confirm an appearance by Lee’s canine son, Buddy, who is modelling the journal in this photo.

Get it where all good books are sold.

KOTCH: New DVD audio commentary

One of the most amazing minds in film commentary, Lee Gambin, has invited me to join him behind the mic to create a commentary track for a new DVD release from Kino Lorber of the 1971 film, KOTCH.

Starring Walter Matthau in an Oscar-nominated role, KOTCH is the one and only film directed by Jack Lemmon but it is the second DVD commentary by Lee and myself. What is the first one? That’s still under wraps.

Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for more…

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