Feature: The Great Year Long 90s Movie Challenge

Following on from 2020’s 80s Movie Challenge World Geekly News decided to run another year-long movie challenge for 2021, and surprising absolutely nobody, this time we chose to focus on the 1990s. However, while our list last year was taken from the book Ultimate 80s Movies by Empire Magazine’s Helen O’Hara, for The Great Year Long 90s Movie Challenge we worked out a list of the 50 Ultimate 90s Movies ourselves. It was hard work, and a LOT of difficult decisions had to be made, but in the end, I think we came up with a good mix of the high profile and cult movies that define the decade.

This time, due to several other writing commitments, I’ve been unable to take on as many films as I did last year. You can view all the team’s 90s articles to date here and the ones I have written myself are listed below:

Article: The Enduring Appeal of Shrek

Following a rather mean-spirited takedown of the family favourite 2001 animated film by a national newspaper on the 20th birthday of the film’s release, I decided to write something much more positive and upbeat, celebrating everything I enjoy about Shrek. What was supposed to be a short celebratory piece for World Geekly News took on a life of its own and ended up being far longer, and much more heartfelt than I anticipated.

Read it here

Guest Posts for Horrified Magazine

Horrified is a brand new web magazine which focusses on British Horror and features articles and short stories from a variety of writers. I’ve written twice for them in 2020:

  • The Signalman – As part of a series of essays about the BBC’s series A Ghost Story For Christmas, I looked at the 1976 short film based on the short story by Charles Dickens.
  • Facing My Fear: The Movie I Was Afraid To Watch is a look back at the 1980 exploitation film Cannibal Holocaust, in which I tell the story of why I was afraid to watch if for nearly 40 years.

Guest Post: Haunted Generation – Felt Trips

Felt Trips is a collaborative feature on Bob Fischer’s Haunted Generation website in which his readers are invited to send in their childhood artwork and share the stories that inspired them. Here’s mine, where I talk about my last Christmas as a “child” and share a prize-winning drawing inspired by the toys I got that year.

Read it here

Feature: The Great Year Long 80s Movie Challenge

For 2020 over at World Geekly News, we’ve given ourselves the challenge of watching and writing about 50 of the most iconic movies from the 1980s. For me, rather than just do straight-up reviews, this was an opportunity to write mostly nostalgic pieces. In many of them, I share my memories of seeing those era-defining movies for the first time, as well as a few tidbits of information from behind the scenes. In a few, I have re-evaluated the film from a modern perspective, and on the very odd occasion, I hadn’t seen the film before, so share my thoughts as a newcomer.

My pieces for this series are, in part, inspired by the book Wiffle Lever to Full in which author, radio presenter and all-round jolly good chap Bob Fischer tells the story of his Geek’s Journey, partly through his childhood memories of films and TV shows he loved growing up in the 70s and 80s, and partly through his challenge to attend as many science-fiction and fantasy conventions as he can in one year. Reading that book made me realise that people might actually be interested in my own stories.

You can view the World Geekly News team’s collection of pieces in The 80s Movie Challenge here, but these, below, are the ones written by me:

Article: Cultish Club – Black Moon Rising

Cultish Club is World Geekly News’ newest feature in which we revisit the films which have become somewhat passed-by over the years, but which have amassed a large underground following. For my first entry in the series I chose Black Moon Rising, the 1986 John Carpenter penned entry in the very 1980s oeuvre of the Super Vehicle.

Read it here

Feature: Nostalgia Done Right

Nostalgia Done Right is World Geekly News’ occasional look at the films and shows which trade in retro-goodness but don’t just use obvious era-appropriate music, fashion, props etc for a quick response of “Oh, I remember that…”. The callbacks they make to the bygone times and the beloved properties they reference come from a place of love:

  • Cobra Kai is set in the modern-day but it employs nostalgia for the 1980s, not just as a reminder for what has gone before for fans of the films, but it’s also used as a means of looking at the motivations of its two main adult characters and why they turned out the way they did.
  • Ashes To Ashes followed up Life On Mars with typical Eighties style and brought Gene Hunt’s story to a beautiful close with a circular twist. However, nostalgia in the adventures of DI Alex Drake doesn’t just act as a tool to remind us of the setting – nostalgia itself becomes an important clue to understanding what’s going on.

So far there have been two instalments, but I plan to expand on it with other retro-loving properties.

Feature: human:KIND

human:KIND is a semi-regular feature created for World Geekly News to address personal issues which affect us all, the things that make us all human. Topics like body confidence, friendship, mental health and more are covered in these pieces. Here are all the articles I have written for the series:

  • Be Excellent To Each Other – Sometimes a small act of kindness can have a massive effect on someone. I share a personal story about a friend who thanked me for one many years afterwards.
  • Knowing When To Stop – Giving up on something that may be causing you pain or stress isn’t necessarily a sign of failure.
  • Getting Back on Track In The New Year – It can be difficult getting back into a routine after Christmas and New Year celebrations so I share some practical advice.
  • Why Digital Friendships Matter – I explain how online friendships kept me going after moving to a new city.
  • Take A Hike – I talk about my new found passion for hiking and how it can be good for both your physical and mental health.
  • Lonely In A Room Full Of People – Introverts can often be accused of being shy or aloof, so I dispel some of those myths from my own experience.