The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London returns to the Horse Hospital from September to December this year for a new term of film seminars, covering a range of exciting and esoteric topics, led by renowned critical luminaries from the world of fantastique and horror cinema. After closing the spring season last May with author John Cussans’s sold out class, investigating the history of Haiti, colonialism and voodoo terror, a new programme of provocative and thrilling lectures awaits daring audiences.

The term will launch with a seminar examining the oft-misunderstood auteur of the French fantastique, Jean Rollin, hosted by Miskatonic London co-director and Electric Sheep Magazine editor Virginie Sélavy and genre journalist Marcelle Perks (Fangoria, Kamera, The Guardian), from Germany. Both presenters are contributors to the new book LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, which reappraises Rollin’s oeuvre from a uniquely female perspective.

In October, expert film critic and prolific author Kim Newman discusses various current and historical approaches to the criticism of what Michael Weldon termed ‘psychotronic cinema,’ and the role of the independent curator in shaping this discourse. This event will also launch his new book, VIDEO DUNGEON, published by Titan Books.

November will see Nag Vladermersky, Director of the London International Animation Festival, examining the largely untapped history of horror in animation, including some rarities from the LIAF vaults. We will close the season – rather fittingly – with a celebration of holiday horror as renowned author and musician (Coil) Stephen Thrower, broadcast scholar Derek Johnston and special guests, talk Santa slashers and ghost stories for Christmas to coincide with the new book YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR ON FILM AND TELEVISION. This festive-themed conclusion will also feature the UK premiere of a new Christmas horror short called WE ALWAYS FIND OURSELVES IN THE SEA, written and directed by Sean Hogan in the wintry tradition of the classic M.R. James hearthside tales.

Ticketing Information:

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London
Autumn 2017 Term: Monthly classes September to December
Dates: 14 September, 12 October, 9 November, 14 December

Time: 7pm-10pm (Doors 7pm, no admittance after 7:30)
Venue: Horse Hospital

Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

Prices: £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concs / £35 full season ticket (includes Miskatonic student card)

Season tickets can be purchased via We Got Tickets:

For further information, interview requests or images, please contact:

Ilona Cheshire / email: or /



Instructors: Marcelle Perks and Virginie Sélavy


Mixing art cinema, fantastique and exploitation, Jean Rollin created a unique cinematic world, transgressive and oneiric, and dominated by the feminine. His films, steeped in the roman noir of the 18th and 19th century via his love for Surrealism, are peopled by damsels in distress who reveal themselves much less vulnerable than they initially appear.

Electric Sheep editor Virginie Sélavy will look at the way in which Rollin’s films use Gothic motifs such as the castle and the vampire to question social and moral norms and subvert conventional gender expectations. She will also explore the conflation of exploitation and aesthetic vision in his work, and the insight it offers into the tensions around the representation of the female body in the sexual liberation era.

Longtime genre critic Marcelle Perks will investigate Final Girl strategies in the films of Rollin, looking at the ways his predominantly female protagonists depart from the tropes emerging from the slasher films of the time, as analyzed by Carol Clover in her 1987 essay Her Body, Himself, which became the basis of the seminal Men, Women and Chainsaws. Perks will also examine Rollin’s unique approach to concepts of contagion and infection, with an emphasis on Les raisins de la mort (1978) and La nuit des traquées (1980).

Both Marcelle Perks and Virginie Sélavy contributed to the new book LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, edited by Samm Deighan and written by entirely women critics, scholars and film historians, which will be available for sale at the screening.

About the Instructors:
Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor of Electric Sheep, the online magazine for transgressive cinema. She has edited the collection of essays The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and written about Victorian London in Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination – London. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Sight & Sound, Rolling Stone France, Cineaste and Frieze.

Marcelle Perks is a British author and journalist. Since 1993 she has contributed freelance articles to magazines such as Redeemer, Fangoria, Shivers, Flesh and Blood, SamHain, Kamera, Rue Morgue,, Film Maker magazine, The Dark Side and Videoworld. She has an MA in Media Studies and has taught creative writing at Leibniz University. She has contributed to The BFI Companion to Horror, British Horror Cinema, Gothic Lifestyle, Cinema Macabre, and Alternative Europe: Eurotrash & Exploitation Cinema since 1945. She’s also written how-to guides on sexuality and writes erotica and crime novels. Since 2001 she has lived in Germany.
Instructor: Kim Newman


In his introduction to the important collection of film essays King of the Bs, Todd McCarthy quotes Andrew Sarris’s dictum ‘eventually we must speak of everything if there is enough time and space and printer’s ink’. Sarris was working up to an assessment of Edgar G. Ulmer’s Daughter of Dr Jekyll (1958).

In his new book Video Dungeon, pubished by Titan Books, Kim Newman has written about ten sub-categories of ‘everything’ – from found footage and Bigfoot movies through the weirder appearances of Frankenstein and Dracula and group-of-random-strangers-wake-up-in-a-trap pictures to Weird Hippie Shit and made-for-cable CGI mutant shark or snake attack cinema.

To launch the book, Kim will be talking about critiquing films some reckon beyond or beneath or outside criticism, illustrated with clips from the weirdest and rarely seen films. He will consider critical approaches to what Michael Weldon calls ‘Psychotronic Cinema’ and less perceptive souls write off as ‘junk’.

He’ll look at the Golden Turkey/Mystery Science Theatre brand of snark, the engaged approach of John Bloom writing as Joe Bob Briggs, fanzine legends like Bill Landis (Sleazoid Express), the cataloguing frenzy of Video Watchdog, academic and personal approaches from Carol Clover and Kier-La Janisse and curatorships such as Cigarette Burns, the Final Girls and the Miskatonic Institute itself.

About the instructor:
Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes The Night Mayor, Bad Dreams, Jago, the Anno Dracula novels and stories, The Quorum, The Original Dr Shade and Other Stories, Life’s Lottery, Back in the USSA (with Eugene Byrne), The Man From the Diogenes Club, Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the d’Urbervilles, An English Ghost Story and The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange under his own name and The Vampire Genevieve and Orgy of the Blood Parasites as Jack Yeovil. His non-fiction books include Nightmare Movies, Ghastly Beyond Belief (with Neil Gaiman), Horror: 100 Best Books (with Stephen Jones), Wild West Movies, The BFI Companion to Horror, Millennium Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People, Doctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines (writing Empire’s popular Video Dungeon column), has written and broadcast widely, and scripted radio and television documentaries. His stories ‘Week Woman’ and ‘Ubermensch’ have been adapted into an episode of the TV series The Hunger and an Australian short film; he has directed and written a tiny film Missing Girl; he co-wrote the West End play The Hallowe’en Sessions. Following his Radio 4 play ‘Cry Babies’, he wrote episodes for Radio 7’s series The Man in Black (‘Phish Phood’) and Glass Eye Pix’ Tales From Beyond the Pale (‘Sarah Minds the Dog’). He scripted (with Maura McHugh) the comic book miniseries Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland (Dark Horse), illustrated by Tyler Crook; it’s a spinoff from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy series. His official web-site is at He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.


Instructor: Nag Vladermersky


Too little attention has been paid to animated horror and yet animation is uniquely qualified as an art form to fully explore all our fears and anxieties, through visuals crafted by some of the most creative imaginations on the planet. In this illustrated talk, Nag Vladermersky, Director of the London International Animation Festival, will look at the specific forms that horror takes in animation, digging deep into the bowels of the extensive LIAF archive to unearth some of the darkest, weirdest and hellish gems that have screened at the festival over the last 14 years.

Among several short films rarely screened outside of the film festival circuit, he will explore the cruel and casual violence seen in the films of local animators Chris Shepherd (Dads Dead) and stop-motion puppet master Robert Morgan (Bobby Yeah) alongside the terrifying visions and otherworldly sinister CG terrains of Dutch animator Rosto (Lonely Bones), the ultra-creepy, bizarre monsters created by Pieter Coudijzer (Beast!) and race issues in the American South circa 1919 as depicted by Einar Baldwin (The Pride of Strathmoor).

About the instructor:
Nag Vladermersky is the founder, director and programmer of the London International Animation Festival (LIAF) in the UK. Over 14 years LIAF has grown to become the UK’s largest animation festival annually screening 300 animated films from more than 30 countries over 10 days and nights in several London venues. Nag is also the co-Director of the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) in Australia and he regularly travels to festivals, colleges and institutions across the UK and worldwide delivering lectures and presentations on all aspects of animation.


Instructors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston


For many, Christmas is an annual celebration of goodwill and joy, but for others, it’s a time to curl up on the couch in the dead of winter for a good old-fashioned fright. The festive holiday season has always included a more somber side, and scary tales of child-stealing demons to ghost stories told ‘round the fireplace go back to pre-Christian celebrations. These long-standing traditions have found modern expression in the Christmas horror film, a unique and sometimes controversial subgenre that cheerfully drives a stake of holly through the heart of cherished Christmas customs.

To celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, contributors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston will delve into the world of festive fright favourites and obscurities, from American Santa Slashers (and the ensuing controversies) to the quintessentially-English A Ghost Story for Christmas series, providing insight on these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season, while also examining literary precedents and the broader role of television and radio horror.

As part of this special event, we will also be premiering a new Christmas horror short film made to accompany the book by filmmaker Sean Hogan (THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS): a windswept ghost story set on England’s southeastern coast called WE ALWAYS FIND OURSELVES IN THE SEA.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.

About the Instructors:
Stephen Thrower, writer and musician, was born in Lancashire in 1963. After moving to London in 1985 he began writing reviews for the seminal horror magazine Shock Xpress, before launching his own film periodical Eyeball in 1989 with contributors including novelist Ramsey Campbell, filmmaker Ron Peck, and critics Kim Newman, Daniel Bird and Alan Jones. His first book, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, was published in 1999, followed by The Eyeball Compendium (2003) and Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents (2007). His most recent work is Murderous Passions; the delirious cinema of Jesús Franco, published by Strange Attractor in March 2015. Thrower and his partner Ossian Brown are founders of the avant-garde music group Cyclobe, who recently recorded new soundtracks for three Super-8 films by the British filmmaker and queer activist Derek Jarman (Sulphur, Tarot and Garden of Luxor). As a solo artist, Thrower scored Pakistan’s first gore film, Zibahkhana aka Hell’s Ground (2007), contributed electronic music to Down Terrace (2010) by Ben Wheatley, and was commissioned by the BFI in 2012 to score three silent short films by the pioneering director of gay erotica Peter De Rome.

Derek Johnston is Lecturer in Broadcast Literacy at Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the author of Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). His research focuses on British broadcasting history and on the history of genres such as science fiction and horror, particularly where the two combine.