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THE WESTWOOD DIGEST

Writing by Emma Westwood. Most likely about movies, monsters, cinematic events and other wild trips. Words should go down nice and easy.

Gods & Monsters: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Writers will have favourites from their body of work, and this piece on the Bride of Frankenstein is undoubtedly one of mine.

Thank you to Diabolique Magazine and Lee Gambin for breathing new life into this piece and selecting it to kick off the ‘Gods & Monsters’ column.

I particularly appreciate the glorious photograph selection, including the one featured above of my ‘spirit animal’, Elsa Lanchester.

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Hagsploitation Film Festival

Some people may call this sub-genre of films ‘psycho-biddy’, others may call it ‘Grande Dame Guignol’ but, however you want to say it, ‘Hagsploitation’ is not a dirty word.

I’m extremely proud to be presenting as part of the Cinemaniacs’ Hagsploitation Film Festival, in what we believe to be the first ever celebration of hagsploitation in the world.

On Friday 12th to Saturday 13th January 2018, a cluster of superb films that shines the spotlight on some of history’s most legendary leading ladies, bigger than the films themselves, will be screened at Backlot Studios in Southbank, Melbourne.

I am privileged to be speaking about Joan Crawford in William Castle’s under-rated Strait-Jacket (1964), although I’ll also be joining Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Sally Christie to provide sweeping adoration for The Women of Hagsploitation in a panel discussion.

Browse the program and book tickets now.

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RAW DVD with exclusive Blu-ray extras

Julia Ducournau’s sensational coming-of-age directorial debut, RAW, is now available on DVD from Monster Pictures.

Included on the Blu-ray release are a number of exclusive extras, including my audio commentary with Julia and our in-discussion featurette, Raw À Votre Goût.

Other extras include Quick Bites with my much-loved radio cohort, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas; Australian premiere discussion with Kier-La Janisse; and a whole lot of other delicious features.

All biases aside, this is one of my DVD releases of the year…

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ACMI Conversations: The Psychology of Fear

I am pleased to be hosting a panel on The Psychology of Fear – Tuesday 31st October, 6.30pm at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne – which will engage documentarian Rosie Jones, psychologist Professor Nick Haslam and researcher Penelope Thomas in a discussion with the audience that ponders the question:

What is driving our insatiable appetite for real-life horrors on screen?

From recent documentaries The JinxMaking a Murderer and The Family to serial killer anti-heroes in film and TV, and the stark brutality of Scandi-noir, we examine our obsession with the dark side of human nature, the psychology of fear and how recent technological advances such as biometric analysis are providing unique findings into our physiological response to on-screen horror.

Watch the event in its entirety

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Melbourne, New Hampshire: Jamie Blanks and other urban legends

Some interviews are more satisfying than others, and I’m pleased to categorise this interview with filmmaker Jamie Blanks as one of them.

When you read the article, you might get a sense of why I say that. I hope you do, anyway. You’ll also hear my impassioned plea to the Australian industry to wake up and smell the roses. We have a legacy that needs to be acknowledged and protected.

Thanks a bunch to Via Vision for releasing the Urban Legend Trilogy and for offering me this opportunity, Diabolique Magazine for agreeing to run the interview on their beautiful horror platform, and Jamie Blanks for being such an ace human being.

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Q&A preview screening of BLUE

On Sunday 24th September, 3pm at Cinema Nova, I’ll be hosting a 30-minute Q&A with filmmaker Karina Holden and Ocean Guardian Dr Jennifer Lavers about their new documentary, BLUE.

BLUE tackles themes of habitat destruction, species loss and pollution – a provocative call-to-arms to protect our threatened marine life – but it is also a stunning ‘deep-dive’ into the ocean that promises to look particularly lovely on the big screen.

#Idonotjusttalkabouthorrormovies

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Five legendary B-brilliant horror movies

When asked by Frankie to create a listicle on Five Laugh-Inducing B-Grade Horror Movies to promote Triple R’s 2017 Radiothon, I don’t think they expected my utter admiration for films others may see in another light.

But I’m pleased that Frankie’s assistant editor Mia Timpano allowed me to put my particular bent on this list and write what I’m not-so secretly calling ‘Five Legendary B-Brilliant Horror Movies’. I have nothing but utter respect for these beautiful cinematic specimens, as you can read below…

(Maybe Houseboat Horror is just plain bad but anyhoo…)

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A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting Dark Age

Having transformed my living room into a set for the special Umbrella Entertainment blu-ray release of Long Weekend, the unstoppable Lee Gambin got the band back together to do it all again.

This time, in a discussion titled ‘A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting Dark Age’, Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Sally Christie and I turn our loving gaze to the Australian horror delight Dark Age (1987) – directed by Arch Nicholson, starring John Jarrat, David Gulpilil, Burnam Burnam and Nikki Coghill.

Dark Age nearly disappeared into the annals of lost cinema so, luckily, Umbrella Entertainment is continuing their loving work and giving this film the blu-ray special edition treatment that it deserves.

You can buy it and make it yours by clicking below…

(And immense thanks goes to Ben Gurvich for the camerawork and Justine Ryan for her able tech assistance).

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MIFF Talks – Triple R Outside Broadcast

This Monday 7th August at 7pm, our radio show Plato’s Cave will be transported from the Triple R studio to one of my favourite Melbourne spaces, Forum Theatre (or MIFF Festival Lounge), where we’ll be broadcasting live in front of a film-hungry audience on flicks at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Since Thomas Caldwell will be assuming his own MIFF duties, joining the all-star (?) lineup of Cerise, Alex and I will be original Plato’s Caver, Tara Judah, flying all the way from the United Kingdom for the privilege. She’s a good egg.

We are not the only ones from Triple R broadcasting from the MIFF Festival Lounge. Things will be kicking off at 4pm with Fee-B-Squared and Maps going live-to-air with a number of guests, including the legendary Steve Kilbey from The Church.

Come along, nab a booth and a beverage, and hear some good radio, including us PC gals gabbing on like a foursome of witches drinking cups of tea (thanks to Alex for the featured image). Admission is free.

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