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selected from Shivers #91

In this issue: eleven pages of reviews, including:

Video / DVD Reviews •
The Lost World, The Phantom, Legend of the Overfiend and a Hitchcock collection including Strangers on a Train and North by Northwest

Book Reviews • Including:
An Urban Gothic anthology, PS Press's A Writer’s Life & Nearly People and a report from June's event to launch Brit-Horror film book Ten Years of Terror

TV Reviews •
Ian Atkins' critical look at seven more episodes of Buffy and Angel as this year's Glorious (or are they?) seasons draw to their conclusions

Film Reviews •
Sam Neill returns to dinosaur island in Jurassic Park III and ghostly children haunt Guillermo del Toro’s Civil War movie The Devil’s Backbone

Book Review
Nearly People

by Conrad Williams
Published by PS Press (98 High Ash Drive, Leeds, LS17 8RE) 78pages, £25 h/b, £8 p/b

Nearly People by Conrad Williams
Reviewed by David Howe:
selected and edited from Shivers #91

The PS Press have again come up trumps with two new novellas, the latest in a series which has gone from strength to strength.

Conrad Williams delivers a tour-de-force experience with Nearly People. In a future war-torn society, a city has been cordoned off, trapping its inhabitants inside. Among them is Carrier and her boyfriend Jake. They must take drugs to ward off radiation sickness, and scavenge for food. Roaming wild are horrendous creatures called Mowers, who can strip the flesh from your bones as they laugh, and also other crazed Humans, all trying to eke out a living in this Blade Runner-inspired wet, filthy, infested, poisonous place. Carrier, however, has secretly made contact with the resistance outside, and her friend Enderby is trying to help.

Enter The Dancer, a mythical figure who helps those trapped in The Hub to escape into themselves by meditation. But when Carrier meditates, her thoughts change the very fabric of reality… Keep telling yourself ‘it’s only a novella.’ Williams has crammed more ideas and innovation into 78 pages than most novelists find in a lifetime. It is gritty, engaging stuff full of detail and description which brings this hell-hole alive on the page. This is a film in the making, and Williams deserves every plaudit he gets. This is a tremendous piece of writing, destined for great things.

A Writer’s Life by Eric Brown is also a very readable novella, but for me it was perhaps a little too simplistic... (full review in issue)

DVD Review
The Lost World

Director: Henry O Hoyt • Starring:
Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Bessie Love
Region 2 (PAL) Retail DVD
Ratio: 1.33:1 • Audio: Dolby Stereo 2.0 (224kbps)
Released July 23: order it from Blackstar

The Lost World on DVD

Review by Stephen Foster
selected and edited from Shivers #91

A few months ago we reported on the efforts to restore Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu. This month there’s an equally important release, The Lost World. This 1925 silent film, about a group of explorers who discover prehistoric creatures, is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s wonderful novel, shortly to be dramatized again in a lavish BBC production, and is a rollicking good yarn. It benefits enormously from good stop-motion effects, by the man who would bring life to King Kong, Willis O’Brien.

As is usually the case with surviving films from this era, The Lost World exists in several different versions, and, once again, the restoration process has been mildly controversial. The tinted version on Eureka’s disc has been restored to something closely approaching its original length from eight different prints, most of them, understandably worn. The clarity and stability of the transfer is generally remarkable, and what might have been very smeary on VHS is rendered with much more precision on DVD.

The disc offers a choice of three audio options: a traditional score, a modern rock score and a commentary track by the author of The Annotated Lost World, Roy Pilot. The disc also contains a photo gallery, about 12 minutes of animation ‘out-takes’, and text articles on Conan Doyle, the film, and its restoration. It is hard to fault Eureka’s presentation, from the striking, sturdy card slipcase, with its charming contemporary cover, to the disc’s unusually elaborate and atmospheric menus. An essential purchase for connoisseurs of the genre.

Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction
Images © Eureka, PS Press