Brian Yuzna’s Society – Exclusive Interview Essay

For the past two years I have been working on a book about the life and movies of the independent filmmaker Brian Yuzna. With over three decades of obscure, fantastical, and groundbreaking features to his name, Yuzna’s got more than a few stories to tell about life on the other side of Hollywood. As part of the extensive and exhaustive process, many interviews were carried out with his cohorts, both past and present.

Like any book, or similar creative project, our collaboration has taken on many forms over the course of its journey, with plenty of stop-offs and sidetracks along the way. One such event was a US BLU RAY release of Society, Yuzna’s directorial debut, which never came together for reasons too banal to enter into. One thing which did spring from that, however, was this neat little essay on the movie, which contains some brand new interviews with Billy Warlock and Special FX legend Screaming Mad George. This is shorter than the chapter in the book turned out to be, but will give a nice teaser as to some of the treats which lie in wait for all of Yuzna’s fans. 

I shall post more info on the release of the Yuzna book closer to the time, but here’s a little something to whet your collective appetites. 

‘Then we’ll all sing together; society waits for you’

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Peter Cushing, The Later Years by Those Who Knew Him.

Peter Cushing is one of the most highly regarded performers amongst all manner of cinephiles. He has adorned our screens as Dr. Who, Sherlock Holmes, Van Helsing, Baron Von Frankenstein and many other iconic roles.

When Peter Cushing’s centenary was celebrated in 2013, Signum Books released a superb collected edition of his journals, entitled Peter Cushing: The Complete Memoirs. During the run up to the release I was in contact with Marcus Hearn, the official Hammer Films historian who had been in contact with the Peter Cushing Estate as part of his work in compiling and releasing the publication.

After speaking with Hearn and his associate Jonathan Rigby about their work on the Hammer films Blu Ray edition of Terence Fisher’s Dracula, which I wrote about for Diabolique magazine, they asked if I would be interested in speaking with Joyce and Bernard Broughton, who both worked and, upon occasion, lived with Cushing.

Joyce and Bernard were a delight. Witty, charming and absolutely full of wonderful stories about the great man. To receive the opportunity to share in so many first-hand accounts of Cushing’s life was a true honour. The generosity and graciousness which the Broughton’s presented me with throughout our discourse is something I often reflect upon, and so here are a selection of personal remembrances on one of cinema’s last true gentlemen.

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The First Page Is Always The Worst

In any diary, notebook or journal, it’s always that first blank page which is the most daunting. In its untarnished state it holds the potential to be absolutely anything. Then, with no more than a hasty scrawl, it’s ruined. Or at least it can seem that way.

Nothing ever starts off perfect. Anything worthwhile takes time to cultivate and develop.

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