Over on the Alcohol Professor, I have a three-parter about the famed American Bar in London’s upscale Savoy Hotel. But Spies at the Savoy doesn’t restrict itself to a history of the bar, since I have no self-control. It also covers a history of cocktails themselves, the birth and evolution of hotel bars and cocktail culture in New York, the ties between the Savoy and the British intelligence service during WWII, and what exactly it all has to do with shoving your arm up a horse’s butt.
On The Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about Folk Horror for the Atomic Age. These Are the Damned is a curious film that effectively pulls off the difficult stunt of starting off as one type of story but ending up a very different type, equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and folk horror.
On Alcohol Professor, I have a four-parter called Martini and Myth about James Bond, the murky origin of the Martini, and how Ian Fleming ended up making them with vodka and ordering them shaken, not stirred. Everyone from tippling detective Nick Charles to the President from The West Wing has something to say.
As the series begins, Quatermass and his team are in a quandary after their most recent manned space flight vanishes without a trace, only to turn up later when it crashes into a farmer’s field. Rushing to the site, Quatermass is baffled to discover that of the three astronauts launched into orbit, only one is still in the ship.
On the Cultural Gutter, Over the Moon, Comrade is my look at the Soviet science fiction adventure Cosmic Voyage and the film that inspired it, Fritz Lang’s Woman in the Moon.
One of the great films of the Hong Kong New Wave, Tsui Hark’s Chinese Revolution era adventure is notable for focusing not on the war or heroic men, but on the friendship that grows between three women who find themselves involved in a tangled web of espionage.
On The Cultural Gutter, I’m fighting the Battle of the Brains, a look at the classic B-movie Fiend Without a Face.