Ancient sacred sites and secret government installations benefit from remote settings for a number of reasons. Suddenly the ancient English countryside is a patchwork of chain link fences, barbed wire, “No Trespassing” signs, mysterious aerials and satellite dishes and armed guards at checkpoints.
Over on the Alcohol Professor, I have a three-parter about the famed American Bar in London’s upscale Savoy Hotel. 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.
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.
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 surface, The Wicker Man is the story of how one police constable’s attempt to scrooge up a town’s May Day revelries fails miserably. But The Wicker Man is a film with complex depth, and delving into those murky waters is aided considerably by a few of the key texts that went into crafting the film’s story.
On Alcohol Professor, we’re drinking at London’s Historic Pubs
A double agent operating in London dreams of retiring, but his life is complicated when he is assigned to assassinate a traitor: himself. With one foot in the pop art fantasy of James Bond and another in the grim world of John Le Carre, A Dandy in Aspic never quite succeeds at being either.