Maura McHugh lives in the West of Ireland, and began her career in academia. Her first Masters examined Irish nineteenth century supernatural fiction (making her a life-long Dracula nerd). After a sojourn in IT she later explored her love of cinema through a Diploma in Film Studies followed by a Masters in Screenwriting. Her dark fantasy and horror short stories and non-fiction essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in America and Europe. Her two collections - Twisted Fairy Tales and Twisted Myths - were published in the USA, and she's written award-winning comic book series, including co-writing Witchfinder with Kim Newman for Dark Horse Comics. Her short story 'Bone Mother' is being adapted into a stop-motion short film by See Creature in Canada. She has also served on the juries of international literary, comic book, and film awards. Her web site is http://splinister.com and she tweets as @splinister
Lindsay Hallam is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of East London. She is the author of the book Screening the Marquis de Sade: Pleasure, Pain and the Transgressive Body in Film (McFarland 2012), and has directed the documentary Fridey at the Hydey (2013). Lindsay has contributed to the collections Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), Dracula's Daughters: The Female Vampire on Film (Scarecrow Press, 2013), Fragmented Nightmares: Transnational Horror Across Visual Media (Routledge, 2014), Critical Insights: Violence in Literature (Salem Press, 2014), and the journals Asian Cinema, Senses of Cinema, Cine-Excess and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. She is interested in all aspects of horror cinema, having written on topics such as female vampires, torture porn and post-9/11 trauma, mad science films, Italian horror, Australian eco-horror, and the television series Twin Peaks.
Justin Harries is the co-creator and curator of Filmbar70, a London based film-club that specialises in screening anomalies drawn from the last gasp of European genre cinema, and has contributed visual and written essays to a number of DVD releases – especially those that lean toward the more glamourous side of the giallo genre. He also makes up approximately 50% of ‘The Carpenters’ (a John Carpenter tribute band) and is a member of ‘The Begotten’, a collective providing improvised sonics to E. Elias Merhige’s avant-splatter flick.
As an author Jack Sargeant’s work has been described as "dangerously inspirational". His numerous books include Against Control, Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground and Naked Lens: Beat Cinema (like Deathtripping now in its third English language edition). His forthcoming book Flesh and Excess on Underground Film is due for publication in late 2015. He has written on film and culture for numerous books, anthologies and journals, and introductions for books by Lydia Lunch, Romain Slocombe, Joe Coleman and for William Burroughs’s Unforgettable Characters. He writes a regular column for FilmInk, and has written for The Wire, Xochi 23, Fortean Times, World Art, Real Time and many other publications. Jack has frequently appeared as a documentary interviewee in films including Blank City, The Advocate for Fagdom and Llik Your Idols. He is regularly called upon to assist in research for television and film documentaries. In addition to writing, Sargeant has lectured on underground film and culture, beat culture, William Burroughs and many other topics across the world. He has curated numerous film and art events, including co-curating the critically acclaimed 'Sex' at Melbourne's Strange Neighbour gallery. He is currently program director for the Revelation Film Festival in Western Australia.
David Kerekes is a co-founder of the publishing house Headpress. He is co-author of the books Killing for Culture (1994), revised and updated as Killing for Culture: From Edison to Isis — A New History of Death on Film (2016), and See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (2001). He is the author of Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jörg Buttgereit (1994) and has written extensively on popular culture. His meditation on southern Italian Diaspora and folklore, Mezzogiorno, was published in 2012. www.worldheadpress.com
John Cussans is an artist, writer and researcher based in London. Since 2009 he has been involved with the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often working with the Haitian video collective Tele Geto. He is the author of Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie-Complex (Strange Attractor).
Catherine Lester is completing her PhD on the children’s horror film at the University of Warwick, and has taught and spoken widely on this topic. Outside of this research, Catherine is interested in children’s media culture more broadly, particularly in representations of gender and sexuality, and has done some recent work in relation to this on Disney's Frozen. In March 2016 she co-organised an academic conference on ‘Girlhood, Media and Popular Culture, 1990-present’ at Warwick. She has written film reviews and essays for the site alternatetakes.co.uk and you can find her tweeting about popular culture, feminism and occasionally her pet rabbits @CineFeline.
Daniel Bird is a writer, filmmaker, and one of the world’s leading scholars on Eastern European cult cinema. He has curated numerous retrospectives, overseen film restorations, participated in DVD commentaries and is best known as the biographer of both Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Żuławski. Daniel Bird first interviewed Zulawski for Eyeball magazine with Stephen Thrower back in 1997. He organised 'A Weekend with Andrzej Zulawski', the first Anglo-phone overview of Zulawski's films, at the Cine Lumiere in 1998. The following year he visited the set of Zulawski's La fidelite in Paris and worked with with Anchor Bay Entertainment to release Possession on DVD in the U.S., for which he also moderated a commentary track with the director. Over the years he continued to work with Zulawski, liaising with festivals, distributors and producers on retrospectives, DVD releases and film projects. Last year he made the English subtitles for Zulawski's Cosmos and produced a restoration of On the Silver Globe.
Jon Towlson is a film critic and the author of THE TURN TO GRUESOMENESS IN AMERICAN HORROR FILMS, 1931-1936 (McFarland, 2016), CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (CONSTELLATIONS) (Auteur/Columbia University Press, 2016) and SUBVERSIVE HORROR CINEMA: COUNTERCULTURAL MESSAGES OF FILMS FROM FRANKENSTEIN TO THE PRESENT (McFarland, 2014). He is a regular contributor to Starburst Magazine, and has also written for the BFI, Paracinema, Exquisite Terror, Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, Shadowland Magazine, Bright Lights Film Journal, Offscreen and Digital Film-Maker Magazine. Jon contributed to the recent edited collection LOST SOULS OF HORROR AND THE GOTHIC (eds. Bernice M. Murphy & Elizabeth McCarthy, McFarland, 2016). He is currently writing a monograph on the film CANDYMAN for Auteur/Columbia University Press. www.subversive-horror-films.com. @systemshocks
Jennifer Wallis is Lecturer in Cultural and Intellectual History at Queen Mary University of London where she teaches modules on the history of psychiatry, Victorian values and controversies, and the history of the supernatural. She also writes on film and music and has contributed to several volumes in recent years including Are You in the House Alone? (2016) and Gathering of the Tribe: Music and Heavy Conscious Creation (2013). She is the editor of Fight Your Own War: Power Electronics and Noise Culture (Headpress, 2016).
Archivist by day, film lover by night, Amanda Reyes is also a freelance author who has been published online and in print. She recently edited Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999 (Headpress, 2017) which celebrates the made for television film, and expands upon her TV movie-centric blog, Made for TV Mayhem and its companion podcast.
Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical Publications, founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Offscreen, Shindig!, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She recently co-edited and published the anthology books KID POWER! (Spectacular Optical, 2014) about kids in cult film and television and SATANIC PANIC: POP-CULTURAL PARANOIA IN THE 1980s. She is currently working on the book A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time about children’s programming from 1965-1985.
Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor of Electric Sheep, the online magazine for transgressive cinema. She has edited the collection of essays The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and written about Victorian London in Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination - London. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Sight&Sound, Rolling Stone France, Cineaste and Frieze.
Jasper Sharp is a writer, curator and filmmaker. He is the co-founder of Midnight Eye.com, since 2001 the premier online resource in the English-language about Japanese cinema. His book publications include The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film (Stone Bridge, 2003), joint-written with Tom Mes, Behind the Pink Curtain (FAB Press, 2008) and The Historical Dictionary of Japanese Film (Scarecrow 2011). His writing has appeared in publications all over the world, including Sight & Sound, The Guardian, Variety, The Japan Times, Kateigaho and Film International, and he has contributed liner essays, commentaries and interviews to numerous DVD releases. He has curated high profile seasons and retrospectives with organisations including the British Film Institute, Deutches Filmmuseum, Austin Fantastic Fest, Cinematheque Quebecois and Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Between 2010-14, he was the director of Zipangu Fest, established to showcase Japanese independent film in the United Kingdom, and between 2014-2016, the artistic director of Asia House Film Festival. He is the co-director, with Tim Grabham, of The Creeping Garden (2014), a documentary about slime moulds and the people who study and work with them, to be released by Arrow early in 2017, and the author of the book of the film, The Creeping Garden: Irrational Encounters with Plasmodial Slime Moulds (Alchimia Publishing, 2015).
Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes The Night Mayor, Bad Dreams, Jago, the Anno Dracula novels and stories, The Quorum, The Original Dr Shade and Other Stories, Life’s Lottery, Back in the USSA (with Eugene Byrne), The Man From the Diogenes Club, Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the d’Urbervilles and An English Ghost Story under his own name and The Vampire Genevieve and Orgy of the Blood Parasites as Jack Yeovil. His non-fiction books include Nightmare Movies, Ghastly Beyond Belief (with Neil Gaiman), Horror: 100 Best Books (with Stephen Jones), Wild West Movies, The BFI Companion to Horror, Millennium Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People, Doctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines (writing Empire’s popular Video Dungeon column), has written and broadcast widely, and scripted radio and television documentaries. His stories ‘Week Woman’ and ‘Ubermensch’ have been adapted into an episode of the TV series The Hunger and an Australian short film; he has directed and written a tiny film Missing Girl; he co-wrote the West End play The Hallowe’en Sessions. Following his Radio 4 play ‘Cry Babies’, he wrote episodes for Radio 7’s series The Man in Black (‘Phish Phood’) and Glass Eye Pix’ Tales From Beyond the Pale (‘Sarah Minds the Dog’). He scripted (with Maura McHugh) the comic book miniseries Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland (Dark Horse), illustrated by Tyler Crook; it’s a spinoff from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy series. His official web-site is at www.johnnyalucard.com. His forthcoming fiction includes the novels The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange and Angels of Music . He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.
Mark Pilkington is the author of the book and documentary film 'Mirage Men' and 'Far Out: 101 Strange Tales from Science's Outer Edge'. He has written for The Guardian, The Wire, Sight and Sound, Electric Sheep, Fortean Times, Frieze and The Quietus amongst others. He founded and runs Strange Attractor Press and regularly speaks on esoteric and fringe culture topics. www.strangeattractor.co.uk / www.miragemen.com
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.