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EMMA WESTWOOD

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

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Lee Gambin

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…

Watch the bear panel (grrrrrr!)

It was a pleasure to host a panel on bears in cinema following the Cinemaniacs screening of Prophecy earlier this year.

For those who weren’t in attendance, we created a Facebook live video that is now immortalised on the Diabolique website. Please watch it, and be aware that the screen will turn from landscape to portrait at about the three-minute mark.

Thanks to Lee Gambin, Clem Bastow and Christian McCrea for being so wonderful.

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Cinemaniacs Presents Prophecy

On Saturday 17th March 2018, I get to introduce John Frankenheimer’s little-screened eco-monster thriller, Prophecy, at the Backlot Studios in Melbourne.

Following the screening, I will be hosting a panel featuring a menagerie of experts – Lee Gambin, Clem Bastow and Christian McCrea – discussing the subject of bears in cinema. And that’s not human bears but actual bears with claws and fur all over them.

I highly doubt there’s been a screening and panel anywhere in the world quite like this one. Here is the video evidence of it.

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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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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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