Ashtray Dirt the 13th

Afraid of the Dark, a new stage show, will play at the Charing Cross Theatre from 2nd September until the 26th October. Starring Charlie Anson, Rebecca Blackstone and Julian Forsyth, the play is described as ‘a new brand of theatrical terror that paralyzes the audience with fear. Everyone is afraid of something. What scares you when the lights go out? 50’s Hollywood, A failing B-movie producer and his team struggle to find the next terrifying blockbuster. A mysterious stranger appears – blurring the line between nightmare and reality while worming his way into their minds, exploiting their very worst fears’…

FrightFest will show footage from the in-production documentary Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD before the screening of Odd Thomas on August 26th…

First images for Ti West’s The Sacrament have dropped. A rural utopian nightmare anyone…

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The first wave of programming for Fantastic Fest has been announced, including Keanu Reeve’s Man of Tai Chi, Katrin Gebbe’s Nothing Bad Can Happen and Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut…

Rumours are bounding around as to where the sequel to James Wan’s The Conjuring will go. Whilst there are ‘many’ options, the favourite at the moment will see the Warren’s travel to Enfield, England to deal with two possessed sisters…

Actress Karen Black has passed away following a battle with cancer. Black was notable for her roles in Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces and Nashville amongst others. She was 74…

Horror presenter and actress Emily Booth is producing and starring in her first short film Selkie, which has a kickstarter campaign to help raise budget funds. Inspired by a Celtic myth, the films promises to be an adult fairy tale…

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Ashtray Dirt Part 8

First up, the first theatrical poster for Israeli revenge thriller Big Bad Wolves has dropped. The film will be closing this years Film4 FrightFest in August…

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Hot on the poster news comes the first one sheet image for Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake. Not quite the poster I’m guessing many fans were expecting (it does look rather like a Robbie Williams album cover, no?), the image is apparently an actual shot from a film and not a composite image. This week also saw the first red band trailer for the film released which you can see below and judge for yourselves on whether you think it’ll stand up to the original film. Starring Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Olson, Oldboy is released in the UK in December…

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Eli Roth’s year round haunted house attraction Goretorium has filed for bankruptcy…

Manchester horror festival Grimmfest have announced this years festival dates and two of the films they are playing. The festival will run between 3rd and 6th October and playing so far will be Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (starring Lara Flynn Boyle and Yancy Butler) and Jugface (starring Sean Young and Larry Fessenden, exec produced by Lucky McKee). The festival’s full line up will be released soon…

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Arrow have announced they will be releasing Brian De Palma’s Dressed To Kill on Blu-ray on July 29th. Restored Blu-ray editions of Sisters, Phantom Of The Paradise and The Fury will follow later this year and early next year…

The Barbican have announced two Live Live Cinema events for October 20th this year. Herk Harvey’s zombie classic Carnival Of Souls and Francis Ford Coppola’s Dementia 13 will be screened with live music and sound effects courtesy of New Zealand musician Leon Radojkovic and his band of actors and musicians. Tickets are currently on sale and can be bought here

A trailer has dropped for documentary Birth Of The Living Dead. Directed by Robert Kuhns, the documentary will follow how director George A. Romero gathered together a bunch of people in Pittsburgh and made the legendary Night Of The Living Dead, drawing on ‘immersing audiences in the singular time in which Night was shot‘. No word yet as to when the film will be released…


The National Theatre of Scotland have adapted Swedish novel and film Let The Right One In into a stage play. The production will open at the Royal Court in December prior to a West End run. What will no doubt be an interesting experience, tickets can be ordered here

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The Hallowe’en Sessions – Podcasts

With dress rehearsals in full swing, and opening night just days away, The Hallowe’en Sessions director and writer, Sean Hogan and writer, acclaimed author and film critic, Kim Newman have managed to catch up with both Electric Sheep Magazine and Screen Geek for chats, interviews, and general podcast mayhem.

Check them out here: 

Electric Sheep Magazine Podcast

Screen Geek Podcast

Tickets and details available here

This month with Cigarette Burns

So the season of the witch is upon us, and normally Cigarette Burns attempts to shy away from the the rather obvious calling that this month brings. But not this year. This year we’re embracing October, and making the most out of the 31 days.

Albeit, with a focus on the final third of the month.

First, continuing in the spirit of our first Halloween spectacular, when we screened a distinctly non Halloweeny film, Heathers, we’re rolling up to the Rio in Dalston with none other than he epic 80s breakdance film – Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

I know what you’re thinking, how is this Halloweeny? It’s not. And that’s the point. All month the world will be over run with Horror films. It’s a bit like New Years Eve. Professionals don’t need New Years Eve as an excuse to get drunk, they are professionals, and do it all the time. So Cigarette Burns doesn’t need Halloween to screen Horror films, we know how to do that already, this is one for the party people.

So we’ll see you at the Rio Cinema on 20th October, more details here

Earlier this year, we were approached by the lovely folks at the Leicester Square Theatre and asked if we would like to take part in their inaugural Halloween festival, the 13th Hour Horror Festival, a selection of theatre, comedy, spoken word, film and more to help us all along through this lovely month. Well, far be it from us to turn down a wonderful offering, and so we came up with two contributions. The first of which is….

Psycho v Psycho

Now Gus Van Sant’s version of Psycho has received almost nothing but disdain, and abuse, personally, I’ve always felt that was incredibly unfair. Van Sant was at the height of his career when he decided to film Psycho. Having just finished Good Will Hunting to a fair amount of acclaim, the world, as they say, was his oyster. He could do no wrong. So he thought he test that theory…. He went back to his arthouse roots and decided to subvert the master, question his authority. What exactly made a film great? Was it the actors? The script? The director? What?

Van Sant did the unthinkable and remade Psycho. Line for line, and shot for shot.

Or did he?

Never before have the two films been presented to an audience side by side in a direct comparison. So that’s exactly what Cigarette burns is doing.

We have 4 small screens suspended above the audience showing GVS’s version and one main screen showing Hitchcock’s classic Psycho. The audio will be Hitchcock, but the fun will be for you to decipher exactly what GVS was doing. Was he mad? Or was he playing Hollywood at their own game? Having sat through test runs of this truly mind melting experiment, I can tell you that watching them simultaneously is fascinating and hypnotic, your eyes flitting between the two screens and picking out the most minute differences.

Prepare to see Psycho as you’ve never seen it before.

Pyscho v Psycho is for one night only, 25th October, more details here

Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, we have decided that those carpeted floors are not enough for us, we shall now tread upon the boards, as Cigarette Burns presents The Hallowe’en Sessions –

Taking advantage of the Leicester Square Theatre’s actual purpose, you know, it being a theatre and all, it seemed obvious that a play would be best suited for this environment. But CB being CB, a normal play just won’t do. Let’s roll out the Amicus style anthology. But perhaps something genuinely dark and unsettling, the sort of thing that makes one worry late at night when they are walking up the stairs and the light switch is just out of reach.

Enter Kim Newman‘s Dr. Myra Lark, played by none other than Sarah Douglas, as she tries to find out exactly what is troubling her five inmates, we slowly realise, all is not as it seems.

Directed by Sean Hogan, of Devil’s Business fame, written by a formidable sextet, including Kim Newman (Anno Dracula, Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles), Stephen Volk (The Awakening, Gothic, Ghost Watch), Anne Billson (Suckers, Stiff Lips) Paul McAuley (Fairyland, the Quiet War trilogy), Maura McHugh (Jennifer Wilde, Roisin Dubh) and director Sean Hogan (The Devil’s Business, Little Deaths), and starring  Sarah Douglas (Superman 2, Conan the Destroyer), Pollyanna McIntosh (Exam, The Woman), Billy Clarke (The Devil’s Business, Hunger), Daniel Brocklebank (The Hole, Little Deaths), Holly Lucas (Little Deaths, Holby City), Joshua Mayes-Cooper(Doctors, Outpost 11) and Grace Ker (‘Madame Edwarda’).

The Hallowe’en Sessions runs from 29th October to the 3rd November, with special Q&A sessions on both the 2nd and 3rd. More details here and tickets here

October will be a busy month for everybody, but we hope to see you at some, or even all of the above.