14 Dec 2017

THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES – LONDON

14 Dec 2017
7:00 PM

YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR ON FILM AND TELEVISION

IGG coming soon

7pm – 10pm

Prices £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concs  (CLICK HERE)

£35 full season ticket/4 events (CLICK HERE)

with instructors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston

For many, Christmas is an annual celebration of goodwill and joy, but for others, it’s a time to curl up on the couch in the dead of winter for a good old fashioned fright. The festive holiday season has always included a more somber side, and scary tales of child-stealing demons to ghost stories told ‘round the fireplace go back to pre-Christian celebrations. These long-standing traditions have found modern expression in the Christmas horror film, a unique and sometimes controversial subgenre that cheerfully drives a stake of holly through the heart of cherished Christmas customs.

To celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, contributors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston will delve into the world of festive fright favourites and obscurities, from American Santa Slashers (and the ensuing controversies) to the quintessentially-English A Ghost Story for Christmas series, providing insight on these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season, while also examining literary precedents and the broader role of television and radio horror.

As part of this special event, we will also be premiering a new Christmas horror short film made to accompany the book by filmmaker Sean Hogan (THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS): a windswept ghost story set on England’s southeastern coast called WE ALWAYS FIND OURSELVES IN THE SEA.

Books will be available at the event.

About the Instructors:

Stephen Thrower, writer and musician, was born in Lancashire in 1963. After moving to London in 1985 he began writing reviews for the seminal horror magazine Shock Xpress, before launching his own film periodical Eyeball in 1989 with contributors including novelist Ramsey Campbell, filmmaker Ron Peck, and critics Kim Newman, Daniel Bird and Alan Jones. His first book, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, was published in 1999, followed by The Eyeball Compendium (2003) and Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents (2007). His most recent work is Murderous Passions; the delirious cinema of Jesús Franco, published by Strange Attractor in March 2015. Thrower and his partner Ossian Brown are founders of the avant-garde music group Cyclobe, who recently recorded new soundtracks for three Super-8 films by the British filmmaker and queer activist Derek Jarman (Sulphur, Tarot and Garden of Luxor). As a solo artist, Thrower scored Pakistan’s first gore film, Zibahkhana aka Hell’s Ground (2007), contributed electronic music to Down Terrace (2010) by Ben Wheatley, and was commissioned by the BFI in 2012 to score three silent short films by the pioneering director of gay erotica Peter De Rome.

Derek Johnston is Lecturer in Broadcast Literacy at Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the author of Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). His research focuses on British broadcasting history and on the history of genres such as science fiction and horror, particularly where the two combine.

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Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. The school currently has branches in Montreal and London, with Miskatonic London operating under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Electric Sheep Founder/Editor Virginie Sélavy.

All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Season tickets are £35. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions.

For full details of the next courses please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email Miskatonic.london[at]gmail.com.