Borley Rectory Indiegogo is LIVE !

The anticipated BORLEY RECTORY INDIEGOGO fundraiser is now LIVE and ready for your donations! This summer help Carrion Films raise more than a few ghosts…

Borley Rectory‘ is to be an animated documentary about a very famous British haunting that caught the imagination of the public after a highly publicized and subsequently controversial investigation by paranormal investigator Harry Price. The  film is Carrion Film’s fourth animation inspired by the neglected aspects of British folklore and features a narration by Julian Sands and an original score by Steven Severin.

 

“I’ve always been fascinated by ghost photography. Not purely because of the subject matter but because they’re often beautiful images. I want Borley Rectory to look like moving spirit photography…” – Director Ashley Thorpe (2013)

The Indiegogo campaign was launched late on the 27th of July and has already received huge support from the horror community. I didn’t want to just launch something that just offered out a cap to throw pennies in,” remarked  director Ashley Thorpe, ” I feel awkward ‘pitching’ at the horror audience, I didn’t want to hustle that audience because I am that audience! I really wanted the campaign to function like a special features package on a Blu-Ray or something, feel like we’re genuinely involved, wherein the updates wouldn’t be just more pleas for money it would be more material, more content talking about or around the subject and getting the audience excited about the subject. Besides, I love film making and animation is such a solitary thing whereas my Fangoria work has really developed my hunger to talk to people about the subjects that excite them. So with ‘Borley Rectory‘ we have the best of both worlds: An obsessionally detailed animation that will be rendered with love over 9 months and these very spontaneous expressions of excitement about ghosts and what-not from some of the most fantastic faces in the field.”

“A beautiful animated horror short – Borley Rectory…” – DERREN BROWN

The campaign video was filmed at Poltimore house on the outskirts of Exeter, Devon and was created with the assistance of the South West’s top behind the scenes / film unit Cineon Productions. ” I love Cineon; they’re fast, mobile, professional, dependable and imaginative. Their work challenges the best of the ‘behind the scenes’ material I’ve seen anywhere.

The fundraiser campaign runs from July 27th until the 1st August with a goal of £20,000. That might seem like a lot of money for a short film but as Ashley explains in the campaign video this is an animated film and the budget will not just be directed towards production it will cover months of animation, sound production, the score, post and mastering aswell. This might seem like an unfeasible task but the ‘Borley Rectory’ campaign has cooked up a veritable treasure trove of rewards.

Perhaps ‘creme de la creme‘ of these rewards are the SIGNED LIMITED EDITION VINYL OST of the score by Steven Severin (pictured) , scribed by composer , narrator Julian Sands and director Ashley Thorpe and the ‘Harry Price – Ghost Hunter’ package, aimed at Exec Producers that rewards donations with not just a signature from Julian Sands but a personal phonecall of thanks!

PLEASE view the links, share the word and DONATE to ensure that the next Carrion Film animation goes into production!

PLEASE NOTE: Due to many requests and interest from potential investors the BORLEY RECTORY campaign deadline has now been extended to AUGUST 31st! SO even more time to make a truly SPIRIT RAISING donation!

 

 

Steven Severin joins Borley Rectory

Now that the official launch date for the BORLEY RECTORY fundraiser has been revealed – 27th June 2013 – we can  proudly reveal that  legendary artist STEVEN SEVERIN has joined the project.

STEVE SEVERIN – 1st. Banshee, Film composer/silent movie accompanist – is best known for being the founding member of hugely influential group Siouxsie and the Banshees, being an essential contributor to the bands output from their very first single ‘Hong Kong Garden’.

 

Taken from director Ashley Thorpe’s recent FANGORIA article on Severin: “Siouxsie and the Banshees never belonged to the comic book world of punk. Their iconoclasm was no mere pose. Indeed by 1978, when the so called ‘movement’ had imploded, The Banshees revealed themselves to be perhaps the most inventive group to have emerged from the punk undergrowth. Constantly leap-frogging their contemporaries they defied easy definition; influenced by Hitchcock (Hermann’s shower scene score was famously used to audition guitarists), the introspective fractured personalities of Poe and avant-garde cinema as much as Bowie and Iggy, The Banshees created an assured exploratory knife-edge culture of their own.

It is perhaps no surprise then that founding member Steven Severin should ‘post-Banshees’ return almost exclusively to his love of cinema (‘Voices’ Severin’s haunting B-Side to ‘Hong Kong Garden’ was influenced by a viewing of ‘The Haunted Palace) and compose a series of alternate scores to the obscure and wonderful performed live, a project initially christened ‘Music for Silents’…

Director Ashley Thorpe – “Steven and I has been talking about the possibility of the score since we first met during a review of his ‘Vampyr’ tour. I’ve  always worked with Mick (Grierson) on pretty much everything I’ve made since University, so it initially felt very strange to even entertain the notion of working with anyone else. Even though The Banshees are absolutely one of my favourite bands.  However Steven remained dead keen even after the long production hiatus and a combination of circumstances and Micks academic responsibilities just really made this partnership at this time an obvious choice. I couldn’t be happier really, it’s very exciting to be working with Steven and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can create together.”

The INDIEGOGO campaign will begin on the 27th June 2013, the anniversary of when Harry Price made his initial investigations. The scheme will run for a month and will feature a wealth of exclusive incentives, autographed items and feature a series of short documentaries examining both Borley itself and the tradition of British hauntings  featuring a variety of very special guests.


Check the OFFICIAL CARRION FILM VIMEO page for regular video updates and make 27th June a date in your diary. This summer, help us raise a few ghosts…

Carrion Films calender of terrors for 2013

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was a year that began with a feature in development with the Film Council, a Rondo award nomination, a short in pre-production and a new radio play with Glass Eye Pix.

The summer took us to Dartmoor for  Hell Hounds and Night Hags with Radio 4 and our animations ‘Scayrecrow‘, ‘The Screaming Skull‘ and ‘The Hairy Hands‘ hosted by FEARnet. That was 2012 …but what you can expect from Carrion Films in 2013?

 

Let’s start with the hotly anticipated new animated short ‘Borley Rectory’. 2011 came to a close with the voiceover recording with Julian Sands in London and 2012 looked to be the year that would almost certainly deliver a new animated short. “Glass Eye Pix stepped in with development money for the piece and we were ready to go,” explains Carrion director Ashley Thorpe, “We had a number of other funding sources set up for the actual shoot including by the early summer production money from Channel 4. Then, as is so often the case our main budget source simply, well… ‘vanished’ and Channel 4 decided that although they would still be happy to be part of the production they wanted to come in at post-production stage. Which is great of course, but, we’ve got to make the bloody thing first, ha ha. So ‘Borley Rectory‘ is now going to be a crowd funded project. The fundraiser itself will be not just a breakdown of the production but something of a study of British ghosts with contributions from a variety of authorities on the subject. And what’s more we’ve been approached by someone very special to work on the soundtrack. Very exciting. So, look forward to announcements of the kickstarter scheme early in the new year, it’s going to be something really special!’

2012 also looked to be the launchpad for Carrion Films most ambitious project – the animated feature ‘Spring Heel Jack’. ‘It should have been a big announcement when our project received the attention of  Creative England but from the outset it was clear that there were problems. It would be easy to say it was ‘creative differences’ but I don’t actually think that was the root of the problem at all. They were very keen on the material. The first revision of the script – delivered at very short notice – was very dense, overly ‘Dickensian’ actually, but as the scheme was first and foremost to develop the script I wasn’t overly concerned in fact I looked forward to working with a script editor to fully maximise the potential of the material. The general consensus initially was good, but we never really saw eye to eye after that initial meeting. I was only concerned about developing the script, whilst they seemed strangely preoccupied with the technical aspects of the animation itself which I found bizarre. A lot of of time passed, messages going back and forth, nothing really being resolved. We read the small print and finally backed out. I think it was early days for the scheme and they didn’t really have the infastructure in place, but for all the dissent it caused it hasn’t been a complete waste of time. I’m at work revising the script again into something far more bold, far more expressionist and gothic, and we’ve already had some interest from a couple of good solid names in the industry. So expect lots of new conceptual art and perhaps some very exciting news by the autumn.’

2012 also looked to be the year when a horror film festival would finally come to the South West. “It was to be called ‘Devon after Dark’ or ‘DeAD‘, ha ha. It always baffled me that a region like the South West that boasts so many tales of the supernatural didn’t have a festival to celebrate it. Dartmoor alone is at least worthy of a festival. I talked to various curators of different festivals and saw that this was a very real possibilty. So, perhaps naively, I submitted a proposal to Creative England / the Arts Council again…I know, you’d think I would have learned my lesson by now…and at first it was all wow, praise and enthusiasm. I managed to get a huge list of supporters who pledged support and even hoped to attend or be involved; People from Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Tim Lucas, Alan Lee, Stephen Volk, Peter Atkins, Julian Sands, Steven Severin…I even had support from Sir Christopher Frayling who was very keen on doing a lecture of how ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ had been depicted on film. Creative England passed us over. Even though it had huge industry support and was an obvious blend of  culture and commerce the powers that be were not interested. What can I say? If you want something done in the UK these days there’s really not much point in going through official channels.”

2012 also saw Carrion Films develop its close ties with local young filmmaking initiatives, Film/Video production company Cineon Productions aswell as the renowned animation festival ‘Animated Exeter‘ and this looks set to continue into 2013. Apart from the ‘Young and Animated‘  workshops run throughout the year, Carrion Film also worked with the ‘Freefall Youth Group‘ creating the horror short ‘Nightwatch‘ and has signed up to be part of the National Heritage project ‘Our Neighbourhood’ which will run throughout the early part of the year. Ashley Thorpe will also be providing the animations for Animated Exeter 2013’s ‘Time Winders‘ interactive experience that will run throughout the festival based upon a short story by acclaimed children’s author Philip Reeve.

Director Ashley Thorpe – ‘Carrion Films is ostensibly a very small unit and our output is determined by the same ebbs and flows of any industry. Through all the setbacks we’ve managed to maintain a nice presence in the industry this year; appearing at Frightfest with Glass Eye Pix’ Glenn McQuaid, the new radio play ‘Dead Man’s Shoes‘ (due to be released on CD 2013) set visits for Fangoria magazine, work with a number of British horror festivals aswell as the increase in local filmmaking initiatives. It has been a tough old year in terms of getting projects up and running but I still look back at what we’ve achieved and think – not bad for a production unit jump-started by a few animations made on a laptop! 2013 will be the year we focus on the ‘homegrown’ projects. Our terrors have been gestating nicely in the dark…now it’s time to let them out to play.’

All at Carrion Film would like to thank you for your continued support and interest and wish you all a prosperous and peaceful new year.

Ashley Thorpe’s ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ LIVE in New York

Following the success of last years ‘The Demon Huntsman’, Carrion Film director Ashley Thorpe’s  new radio script for Glass Eye Pix – DEAD MAN’S SHOES – will be performed LIVE in New York City  with a cast boasting Larry Fessenden and Michael Cerveris.

Following the success of last years ‘TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE ‘ Glass Eye Pix, the fiercely independent film company behind STAKE LAND, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and I SELL THE DEAD, in association with Clay McLeod Chapman’s FEAR- MONGERS: FIRESIDE CHATS ABOUT HORROR FILMS, is taking its successful audio dramas out of the studio and onto the stage.

A new twist on the vintage radio shows of yesteryear, Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid’s TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE has already thrilled fans of the macabre with last year’s CD / Download release of Season One. Now they are upping the ante and recording 8 original audio shows before a live audience at New York City’s Dixon place the first four Tuesdays in October. Shows starts at 9:30pm.

Carrion Film director Ashley Thorpe follows his popular Hammer horror styled ‘The Demon Huntsman‘ with a contemporary gothic and – in somewhat of a departure from his previous work – a tale with what has been described by one critic as ‘comedic flair‘!

Ashley Thorpe: “It’s a chiller with a black comedic edge about what happens to people when they are utterly desperate to make ends meet. I’d initially pitched a couple of ideas to Glenn and Larry that were very much a continuation of what I’d been doing previously but they were too involved, too complicated. So I sat in a despair of my own on the back step trying to think of what to write and this idea just came to me of a man who uses ‘a little artistic license’ on his CV and as a consequence is thrown into a situation completely beyond his control. Although it’s contemporary, it’s actually desperately old fashioned. There’s a little Harker arriving at Dracula’s castle but from thereon in it’s totally EC comics, the tone the atmosphere, everything. Even the title is a Cryptkeeper style dime store pun.”

And what of the lead characters, were they written with any particular actors in mind?

“Yes, very much so. The majority of the story is ostensibly two men talking in a room, so character was very important. I wanted it to be a blending of eras, two characters that define specific types of horror, face to face. Now, the old man I very much imagined as Peter Cushing in a film like ‘The Skull’ and of course Peter had this very particular metre and inflection so writing his dialogue was wonderful, in fact I had to hold back from writing too much! The second character, Larry the lead protagonist, I imagined very much as Jack Torrance, overworked, underpaid, a desperate family man. I pictured Larry Fessenden! I even named him Larry for that very reason so for Larry to play the character is absolutely perfect!”

The season features the very special voice talents of: Sean Young, Michael Cerveris, Vincent D’Onofrio, James LeGros, Mark Margolis and MANY MANY others! The shows feature live music from Natalia Paruz (The Saw Lady), Dave Eggar (Cello), Julian Maile (Theremin) many more!
Live sound effects by John Moros and live foley from Shaun Brennan. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $10 students / seniors. Tickets available here:
https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/171/1349134200000

The first season of ‘Tales From Beyond the Pale’ is available from the official website, on Amazon and can be downloaded from i-Tunes.

Carrion Films on FEARnet

All three Carrion Film animations – SCAYRECROW, THE SCREAMING SKULL and THE HAIRY HANDS are to be screened on the webs most popular horror destination FEARnet, with The Hairy hands commencing the season on July 23rd. The films will be joining a wide variety of short films including many by established genre stars.

Following The Hairy Hands premiere, The Screaming Skull will  begin its run the week of September 3rd with Scayrecrow showing from September 24th. Each film has a filmed introduction by director Ashley Thorpe and regular actor Edward Berry.

FEARnet is adding over 75 new rarely seen videos to its already extensive online library this year, launching with 15, and adding 3-4 each week. This expansion is part of FEARnet’s triple-play strategy curating the best films and specialized programming for the desired viewing platform, whether that be TV, VOD or web. Apart from showcasing the Carrion Film Triptych the wide variety of shorts will offer fans an exciting opportunity to see work by established genre stars, such as “Jack Chop,” “The TiVo” and “The Tiffany Problem” by  Adam Green; “Seasons Greetings,” by Trick R’ Treat scribe Michael Dougherty; and Paul Solet’s “Grace,” which spawned the 2006 cult hit of the same name. In addition, fans will be able to enjoy “30-Second Bunnies Theatre” parodies of genre favorites like Alien, The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, among others, as well as the viral video sensation “Zombie American,” starring Ed Helms of “The Office.” Ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes in length, all short films featured on the site were handpicked by genre stars and FEARnet staff, including FEARnet’s own president and general manager, Peter Block.

Director Ashley Thorpe: “I’m delighted to be able to finally make this announcement as we’ve been preparing this since last year. It’s wonderful to have been selected for the network. Although two of the films were available for a limited time as downloads a few years ago, this is the first time that the animations will be widely available. So until the films become available on DVD / Blu-Ray this is absolutely the best way of seeing them. I can’t think of a better company to be hosting our work.

“Shorts are important to the film community at large,” said Sarah Shannon, FEARnet’s director of programming. “Some are funny, some are creepy, and some are scary. It doesn’t matter how long it is, as a horror fan, you can still get what you want from it. And the acquisitions FEARnet has made are long-term, ensuring that these shorts will be available to be viewed for years to come.”

FEARnet is a multi-platform programming service delivering original and acquired horror, thriller and suspense content as a cable TV network, a video-on-demand outlet and web portal. FEARnet, a partnership among Sony Pictures Television, Lionsgate Entertainment and Comcast Corporation, features a robust lineup of popular titles from major film studios and independents, encompassing 300 plus movie titles a year, including 27 world television and 11 theatrical broadcast premieres. The Network is distributed to U.S. cable subscribers across the country on various systems and is often ranked as the number-one free VOD movie service available in more than 27 million homes. In 2011, the website, FEARnet.com, was the world’s leader in the genre category among total uniques and duration per visit.

This initiative also marks the first time that FEARnet.com fans will be able to directly rate and critique short films on the site so please tune in and show your appreciation with a complimentary vote!

Said Lawrence Raffel, FEARnet’s vice president of digital content: “This new social networking aspect basically recreates the feel of a neighborhood video store where employees used to recommend videos for patrons. But, now, the fans themselves have the power to weigh in and present their thoughts about a short film, while building their reputations on the site as citizen film critics.”

Hell Hounds and Night Hags – Ashley Thorpe on Radio 4

Carrion Film writer / director Ashley Thorpe has been interviewed by Ann Widdecombe for her BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Hell Hounds and Night Hags’. The programme is an examination of Dartmoor legends; their origin, their influence and their continued fascination.

“No disrespect to you Sir, but the dangers of the moor are plentiful. We may have civilised the outskirts of the moor, but for all our wants, for all our faith, it’s still a wilderness out there Sir….if all the unclaimed bodies, scattered in their shallow graves rose from the moor, the dead would outnumber the living. The earth out there is alive with their stories.” – The Demon Huntsman

The BBC 4 team contacted a number of experts and witnesses from across the region and our very own Ashley Thorpe was chosen to recount the myth of the ‘Hairy Hands’, having been terrified by the grisly tale as a child and subsequently inspired to make the animated film in its honour. The interview was recorded whilst traversing the famed haunted road  between Postbridge and ‘The Two Bridges’ (the ‘B3212’ or ‘Carter’s road’ as it was once known) to lend the broadcast an air of eerie authenticity. ‘Hell Hounds and Night Hags’ is scheduled for broadcast on Radio 4 at 4pm, Monday 9th July.

Ashley Thorpe: “It was wonderful to be asked by them (BBC 4). The production team seemed very familiar with our work and our commitment to celebrate the regions mythology. I hope this sort of programming is the first of many as there’s a wealth of material. In fact after recording I was discussing with the producer how it’s about time that someone take another stab at something like ‘Westcountry Tales’… According to Ann they had – previous to my recording – interviewed someone who claimed to have been attacked by the Hands, so I’m looking forward to hearing the programme as much as everyone else! It’s a story that’s always been close to my heart having been terrified by it as a wee nipper so it was especially fun for the BBC team to interview my Dad (Robert Thorpe)  due to him actually ‘playing’ the hands. I bet when he was sat there roasting under the lights covered in latex and sugar puffs he didn’t think he’d end up on the ‘Beeb beeb ceeb’ …”

Since the early twentieth century, drivers and cyclists have reported suffering unusual accidents whilst travelling the stretch of road (the B3212) between Postbridge and Two Bridges. In many cases, the victims reported that their vehicle had swerved violently off the side of the road, as if something had taken hold of the wheels and wrenched it out of their control.

Ann Widdecombe – ‘Hell Hounds and Night Hags’

In most instances, the victims ran into a verge and survived. Their experiences remained a local curiosity, until June 1921, when Dr. E.H. Helby, the medical officer for Dartmoor Prison was actually killed when he lost control of his motorcycle and sidecar. His two daughters survived. Shortly after Dr Helby’s death, there was another incident in which a coach driver lost control, injuring several passengers who were thrown out of their seats. Then, on August 26 1921, an army Captain reported that a pair of invisible hands had taken hold of him and forced his motorcycle off the road. After such a bout of such bizarre ‘attacks’ it didn’t take long before the story was picked up by the London newspapers and the story became a nationwide sensation.

Though horror cinema has had its share of disembodied creeping hands (Amicus studios ‘Doctor Terrors house of Horrors’, ‘The Beast with five fingers‘ and Oliver Stone’s ‘The Hand‘  are but two notables) the actual story of ‘The Hairy Hands‘, and its core myth (often linked to a mining explosion or a local murder on the particular stretch of road) has hitherto largely been ignored outside the region that spawned it.

The Hairy Hands‘ was the first Carrion Film animation to focus on a specific Dartmoor myth and was created in association with the UK Film Council, South West Screen and the Exeter Phoenix. The short film stars Edward Berry and features voiceovers from Doug Bradley, Nicholas Vince and BBC Devon DJ Jo Loosemore. Subsequent forays into the regions legends have resulted in ‘The Demon Huntsman’ for Glass Eye Pixs ‘Tales From Beyond the Pale’ and an assortment of ghostly stories for mooted portmanteau Hell Tor.

Carrion Screaming! for latest updates

With a new short ‘Borley Rectory‘ ( a Glass Eye Pix / Carrion Film joint venture) in production and the ambitious feature ‘Spring Heel Jack‘  deep in development, Carrion Film has launched two alternative platforms to satiate those hungry for updates.

Apart from this site (and a presence on Facebook), regular updates will now also be posted via Carrion Screaming on tumblr and director Ashley Thorpe’s account on twitter. Visitors can expect unseen artwork from  the previous animations aswell as exclusive concept art and storyboards for films currently in production or development. There will also be occasional ‘video updates’ – wryly christened by the crew ‘Carrion at your convenience‘ – wherein the Carrion Film team will give insights into production and the challenges a true independent faces getting  material ‘on screen’.

Carrion: So how did the ‘Carrion at your convenience’ thing come about?

‘Carrion at your convenience’ – Edward Berry and Ashley Thorpe in ‘Pete n Dud’ mode.

Director Ashley Thorpe:We , Ed and myself, were filming a series of introductions for Fearnet and between takes  took the opportunity to just give a brief update on what was going on with ‘Borley Rectory‘ and reflect upon the making of ‘Hairy Hands‘. Well, that was the plan..of course it collapsed into a sort of ‘Pete and Dud’ thing about Tom, ha ha, but it was fun to actually  talk, even briefly about what was going on.

Carrion: It’s been a while since you’ve been involved in anything ‘public’…

Ashley Thorpe: “I’ve been writing first and foremost but yeah you’re right…though it’s been a busy couple of years since ‘Hairy Hands’. Although we had ‘The Demon Huntsman‘ out last year, to the outsider it must seem a very barren period in terms of material. Long term prep work. There’s been a lot of writing – the feature for a start  (Spring Heel Jack) – which was – is – the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. On top of that there’s been a couple of commissioned short scripts for other production companies so…can’t really discuss them but it’s all out there…waiting in the wings.”

Carrion: ‘Borley Rectory’ was initially intended to be a very modest ‘found footage’ thing to be shot very quickly last year wasn’t it? Now ironically it looks to be the most ambitious short yet…what changed?

Ashley Thorpe: “Yes, it was originally going to be something very simple, experimental actually, looking at the relationship between perception and expectation in ghost photography. Ghost photographs are almost always of a very poor quality and I wanted to play with those textures. Regardless, our pitch for local funding failed so I took it away and completely re-wrote it as something of a beginners guide to the haunting whilst utilising the look of classic ghost photography. Then of course Julian Sands became aware of what we were doing and then we have Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid behind it at Glass Eye Pix. Not a bad position to be in launching into production…”

Carrion: So initially funding was the main issue…

Ashley Thorpe: “Funding is always the issue. ‘Hairy Hands‘ was originally going to be part of ‘Hell-Tor‘ – the proposed Dartmoor portmanteau…”

Carrion: Is that still a possibility?

Ashley Thorpe: “Oh yeah. In fact I recently wrote another story for it called ‘Crows Mere‘…  The point is that I lifted the story out of it because funding became available and it seemed like a good little piece  to adapt within their perameters. I think you have to be like that. Constantly spinning the plates, coming up with stories so when something comes along, you’ll have something ready or at least available to adapt. The arts grants are shrinking or vanishing completely and there’s precious little public money around. Crowd funding seems to be the way the industry is gravitating. I’m certainly not resistant to it. I’m resistant to the ‘access all areas’ things that go hand in hand with crowd funding. That sort of access is fine retrospectively. But I do think mystery and anticipation are very important too. Carrion Film has, without sounding pretentious,  always had a certain mystique to our productions…once locked into a production we pretty much lock down, and whilst I believe that its very important to maintain that sense of mystery… “

Carrion: The new platforms…

Ashley Thorpe: I simultaneously also think that it’s very important to recognise and appreciate your audience and the fact that they are genuinely  interested in the process as much as the final result. It’s a nice excuse to open the vault a little, not give the whole game away but open the lab and hint what’s on the slab, right?. I have a lot of artwork, especially for Spring Heel’ that I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Glass Eye Pix and Julian Sands join Borley Rectory

After months shrouded in secrecy Carrion Films is proud to announce the latest updates on the project, namely that the films narration will be provided by Julian Sands.

The British actor, who has worked with Directors as diverse as Ken Russell, David Cronenberg and David Fincher, recorded the narration in December 2011 in London.

We are also delighted to announce that Borley Rectory will be a joint Carrion Film / Glass Eye Pix production with legendary Indie Producer Larry Fessenden and Writer / Director Glenn McQuaid (‘I Sell the Dead‘ & most recently ‘V/H/S’) acting as Executive Producers for the project.

“When l first came across Ashley Thorpe’s work as a film maker l was struck by his originality and passion,” states Sands. “The poetry and sensitivity of his images were compelling and extremely moving. When l heard he was developing a project based on the notorious Borley Rectory l had to be involved. Working on this astonishing piece has been immensely fulfilling and l am happy to have joined his reparatory…” Julian Sands on BORLEY RECTORY

Following the award winning Hammer horror inspired fictions SCAYRECROW, THE SCREAMING SKULL and THE HAIRY HANDS, BORLEY RECTORY is the next in a series of gothic shorts inspired by what British Director Ashley Thorpe believes to be the neglected aspects of British horror heritage.  It’s an approach that has led to the Devon based artist  being marked as leading something of a British Horror revival.  Editor in Chief of Fangoria Magazine –  Chris Alexander  “This guy is going places and – although Hammer Horror is back in an “official” incarnation – Thorpe’s gothic miasma’s are the honest offspring of those “pure” supernatural melodramas that changed the face of dark fantasy cinema.”

Director Ashley Thorpe “Borley Rectory is essentially an animated documentary, inspired by a genuine haunting that caught the worlds imagination during the late 1920’s.  It’s going to be something quite old fashioned, very textural, with a house very much a projection of the personalities within it – Haunted house as voyeur. It’s a subject that seized my imagination as a child after stumbling across the legend in the Usbourne Book of Ghosts at the local Library as a kid…”

“I’d  recently interviewed Julian for Fangoria about his work with Ken Russell on ‘Gothic‘ and after seeing the previous animations he expressed a genuine interest in what was next. He’d heard of Borley previously so when I explained that we were panning to do a study of the haunting in our style he leapt into the project with total abandon, it was pretty incredible really… And I couldn’t be happier for the film to be made with Glass Eye Pix. I can’t think of a better, more like-minded group to make this happen. They’re so genuine about what they do. I’m excited about the future.”

States Fessenden, “It is a pleasure to see how much inspiration Ashley draws from his local myths and surroundings: I believe strongly that the sense of place is an essential character in any good story, and after his wonderful radio play THE DEMON HUNTSMAN captured the feeling of the Moors, I knew Glass Eye would want to get behind the next Thorpe production.” McQuaid adds, “Ashley is a unique and soulful voice within the horror genre, and having already collaborated with him on Tales from Beyond the Pale, it’s a logical and exciting step to jump into another project together.”

Exec Producer Fessenden’s production outfit Glass Eye Pix has been responsible for dozens of celebrated independent films including THE INNKEEPERS, I SELL THE DEAD, THE LAST WINTER, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and STAKE LAND, as well as the critically acclaimed TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE series of radio dramas.

BORLEY RECTORY  is in pre-production and will begin filming 2012.

Ashley Thorpe Rondo Award Nomination for Fangoria Interview

Carrion Film is proud to announce that  Ashley Thorpe (‘Scayrecrow’, ‘The Screaming Skull’, ‘The Hairy Hands’) has been nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for ‘Best Interview of 2011′ for his Fangoria interview with genre legend Peter Sasdy.

The interview, which ran in Fangoria issues 308 and 309, was conducted at the 2011 ‘Fantastic Film Weekend’ Bradford curated by Tony Earnshaw and coincided with screenings of the director’s most admired works including ‘Countess Dracula‘, ‘The Stone Tape‘ and ‘Hands of the Ripper‘.

The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror awards are particularly special as they are voted for by the general public and are designed to recognise research, scholarship and creativity in the industry ultimately keeping classic horror, science fiction and fantasy  vital and innovative.


 Ashley Thorpe –It was my first ‘face to face’ interview and I’m amazed that it turned out so well as I was extremely nervous and desperate to make a good impression…something which fell flat on its face when I pulled out my microphone and it promptly fell to pieces. Not exactly the impression I was going for but it at least launched proceedings with a laugh! I keep saying it but none of it would have happened if it weren’t for Tony Earnshaw. He ensured that it all took place and what’s more treated me as if I was just as special as his guests of honour. To get to watch an original print of Hammers ‘Hands of the Ripper’ sat beside its director is a memory I’ll always treasure.”

To read RONDO AWARD NOMINATED Peter Sasdy Interview – FANGORIA (c)

The actual award is based on the image of classic horror actor Rondo Hatton (‘House of Horrors’, ‘Jungle Captive’, ‘The Brute Man’) and the award ceremony is currently held at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville, Kentucky USA. The categories include Best Movie, Best Magazine, Best Blog, Best Website and Monster Kid of the Year.

Ashley Thorpe is nominated in category 14 – Best Interview. If you would like to vote for any of this years nominees, head to the Rondo Hatton Classic Award Site and email your completed ballot to David Colton at taraco@aol.com by midnight, April 1st, 2012.

Ashley Thorpe / Peter Sasdy portrait by Mark Davis 2011. Fangoria Peter Sasdy interview used with permission.

Borley Rectory Teaser to premiere at Buried Alive Film Fest

Whilst the production  of the next Penny Dreadful animation is still in its infancy, attendees of this years ‘Buried Alive Film Festival‘ will be the very first to see a teaser trailer for what many are calling Ashley Thorpe’s most accomplished film yet – ‘Borley Rectory‘.

“BA!FF is proud to host the world premiere screening of 2010’s “Visionary” award-winning filmmaker’s teaser for his next short. Be prepared to get a taste of the most haunted house in Great Britain.”


The new short reassembles the team that made the award winning ‘Scayrecrow‘, ‘The Screaming Skull’ and ‘The Hairy Hands‘ with Exeter based Award winning filmmaker and Director of ‘Cineon‘ Productions Toby DeBurgh added to the mix. Specific details of the films production have been sparse and highly guarded, specifically regarding the films cast and choice of narrator.

Writer / Director Ashley Thorpe : “Borley Rectory is certainly in some ways a deviation from the previous films stylistically and in terms of content. It’s essentially an animated documentary, which I thought might be an interesting form to explore a subject like this. Borley Rectory, whether you believe Price or not regarding the validity of the haunting, was at least a place that attracted a wealth of quite eccentric characters over the years and each of them brought something of their personality to the house and by proxy to its reputation. I was talking to Stephen Volk recently and he commented about a haunting reflecting an absence in a person, a potentially fatal flaw in their character projected, and I find this a very interesting perspective…

Borley Rectory was a Victorian era mansion located in the village of Borley, Essex. It was constructed in 1863, on the site of a previous rectory and destroyed by fire in 1939.

The house gained a reputation for being  haunted after a series of residents reported unsettling phenomena. In 1929, the story of Borley was heavily covered by the Daily Mirror. Notably, it was investigated by paranormal investigator Harry Price in 1937, who described it as “The Most Haunted House in England“, a phrase which caught the imagination of the press. Price wrote two books on the subject, both of which were bestsellers.

The choice of BA!FF for the World Premiere was an obvious one according to the Director. Last year Ashley attended the festival where Curator Philip Nutman chose three Carrion Film animations to be a part of his ‘Philip Nutman’s Nightmares‘ slot. Ashley was subsequently presented  with the festivals very first ‘Visionary Award‘ . Though both Ashley and Edward Berry were planning to attend this year’s festival in person they have unfortunately had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.

‘Borley Rectory’ is due for release in 2012 and all future developments will be announced here.