Grief, love beyond the grave and the coastal Gothic in Neither the Sea Nor the Sand

Horrified Magazine has today published on their website a new article that I have written about Fred Burnley’s 1972 film Neither the Sea Nor the Sand: “‘We are an elemental people’: Grief, love beyond the grave and the liminality of the coast in Tigon’s Neither the Sea Nor the Sand”.

The penultimate film by Tigon British Film Productions, Neither the Sea Nor the Sand was based on the novel by (ITN newsreader) Gordon Honeycombe. Those of us of a certain age will remember him, no doubt. The book is at its heart a reworking of the premise of W W Jacobs’ iconic short story ‘The Monkey’s Paw’.

There’s little published material about either the film or the novel on which it is based, so this article by myself is breaking some new ground – particularly with regards Honeycombe’s references to the Fourteenth Century anti-clerical/reformist medieval poem Piers Plowman (by William Langland, a follower of John Wycliffe). Most of the material that has been written about the film (and the novel) assumes the veracity of the reference to the poet Ross Guyot, to whom the quote from which the novel’s title originates is credited – but as I say here, ‘Guyot’ was a concoction by Honeycombe to obscure his reference to the Langland poem – and in fact was most likely an allusion to the Thirteenth Century poet Guyot de Provins.

Article – Andy Milligan’s British horror films

For anyone interested, here’s another article by yours truly, this time for Horrified Magazine’s online outlets.

Titled ‘”A tuppence where yer ‘eart should be”: Andy Milligan’s British horror films’, this piece (approx 9000 words) takes a look at fiercely independent cult American filmmaker Andy MIlligan’s quintet of films made in the UK between 1968 and 1970.

This was quite an interesting topic to dig into; there’s little published about Milligan’s work generally, and very little about these five films he made in the UK, so this article is breaking new ground in that regard.

The films discussed and analysed include Nightbirds (1970), The Body Beneath (1970), Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970), The Body Beneath (1980), The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here! (1970) and The Man with Two Heads (1970).

Though made for UK producer Leslie Elliot, these films were never distributed in the UK owing to a disagreement between Leslie, his father Curtis Elliot (who held the purse strings of the production company for which these were made) and Milligan.

Late 80s/90s Neo-Noir – A List

Red Rock West

Kill Me Again


Perfect Crimes/Fallen Angels

The Last Seduction

Gun Crazy (remake)

Detour (remake)


The Big Lebowski

Blood Simple

Barton Fink

Miller’s Crossing

The Terminator

After Dark, My Sweet

This World, Then the Fireworks



One False Move

Trouble Bound

New Podcast – Kill It With Fire

Myself and some learn’d colleagues have assembled – nay, thrown together the first episode of a new podcast, Kill It With Fire, focusing on cult movies and ‘cult-ure’.

This first instalment takes a look at Larry Cohen’s 1982 monster movie Q – The Winged Serpent.

Article – Pete Walker and David McGillivray’s ‘terror’ films of the 1970s

I’ve long been a fan of Pete Walker’s films, and particularly his collaborations with writer David McGillivray, so I was fortunate to get the opportunity to write a 8500 word piece about their films House of Whipcord, Frightmare and House of Mortal Sin for Horrified Magazine.

The article can be found here:

Favourite Television Programmes

I’ve been thinking about English-language television programmes (dramatic – the comedic can wait for another time, as can non-English language productions) and have tried to come up with a ‘top ten’ list that excludes ‘one offs’ and single play strands.

Here we go…

  1. Callan (ABC/Thames, 1967-7)
  2. Public Eye (ABC/Thames, 1965-75)
  3. Homicide – Life on the Street (NBC, 1993-9)
  4. The Sweeney (Euston Films, 1974-8)
  5. Gangsters (BBC, 1976-78)
  6. Cracker (Granada, 1993-2006)
  7. Southland (NBC/TNT, 2009-13)
  8. Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990-1)
  9. Law & Order (NBC, 1990-2010)

Local Shops for Local People #1: Club Barber (Interview and Photographs)

Club Barber, owned and operated by Brody and Emma, is a relatively new barber shop in Grimsby which caters to providing an experience beyond a simple hair cut – including video games in the waiting area and semi-regular events featuring music and input from a variety of businesses.

In February, I visited Club Barber and spoke with Brody, spending some time in the establishment and photographing Brody at work with a client.

Like many similar businesses, Club Barber was disrupted by the nationwide lockdown but has since reopened with an expansion of the team.

The text of my interview with Brody is as follows.

PL: ‘How old is your business? What are your long-term aims for the business?’

Brody: ‘We opened Club Barber at the start of December [2019]. We plan to offer a different experience that people have never seen or experienced before when coming to get a haircut. We offer hot and cold drinks, we have an XBox with a few different games, we have a dart board, we play up-to-date music and have the latest magazines. We will also be hosting events where we will be collaborating with other local companies. Keep a look out on our social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram. We will soon be launching an online booking system so our clients can book which barber they would like to cut their hair, on a certain day and at a certain time. In the not so distant future, we would like another shop in the local area, and eventually expand out of town to other towns and cities. We are chiefly using social media to get our name out there as much as possible and to showcase what services we have to offer’.

PL: ‘What challenges have you faced in terms of establishing the business: for example, in terms of local authority regulations, attitudes of local residents)?’

Brody: ‘The main challenge we faced was with the local authority and having to wait for long periods of time in order to find out things such as acceptance of planning permision, etcetera. Just for us to change the outside front of the shop we had to wait 12 weeks. We were not even allowed to touch the paint colour!’

PL: ‘What response have you had from the local community? How would you describe your relationship with the local market?’

Brody: ‘The local residents have been very supportive and have helped us out massively, spreading the word and becoming return customers. We have not had any issues with anyone in the local area; we have had nothing but support’.

PL: ‘How could businesses like yours be better supported? What could help you to thrive?’

Brody: ‘Free local advertisements from the local paper would be great for new local businesses; also shops in the local area letting us put a small poster up. Some of them do, but some of the bigger chains don’t’.

Visit Club Barber on their website, Facebook page or Instagram account.

Ten Favourite Filmmakers

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Andy Milligan

Abel Ferrara

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Takeshi Kitano

Pete Walker

Sam Fuller

John Cassavetes

Satyajit Ray

Sam Peckinpah

Charles Burnett

(Okay, then, slightly more than ten 😉 .)