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,, was the world’s leader in the genre category among total uniques and duration per visit.

This initiative also marks the first time that 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.