Angry Robot, science fiction and fantasy publisher extraordinaire, is five years old! How cool is that? I have enjoyed so many Angry Robot books over the past few years, and this small British publisher is only getting stronger and stronger. In celebration of their fifth birthday, Angry Robot is celebrating with lots of top five lists and giveaways. (You can check out their website for more information.)
I am so happy to be hosting AR author Andy Remic today! Not only is he going to tell us his Top Five Indie Films, but we have an awesome giveaway, sponsored by Angry Robot: five copies of Andy’s book, Kell’s Legend. (Keep reading for the giveaway details…)
And now…introducing Andy Remic!
ANDY REMIC’S TOP FIVE INDIE FILMS
To mark the 5th Birthday of Angry Robot Books, and being one of its original authors upon inception with my novel Kell’s Legend, I was asked to write about my “Top 5” of something… and thought it would be fun to look at my “Top 5 Indie feature films,” seeing as I’ve just made one (ahem) and will be making another. So, without further ado, I will participate in the birthday celebrations… And oh yes – HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGRY ROBOT! You are a fun metal master.
1. Shaun of the Dead
Right at the top of the list has to be this, not just my favourite romcomzom, but one of my favourite films of all time – period. Having been a modest fan of the Spaced/Pegg/Frost/Wright world, Shaun became a distillation of everything that was fine and good and funny in Spaced – a British comedy horror with great acting, some stunning one liners – many from Ed, who surpassed Lister as my favourite heroic “slob of the hour” – and the record skimming scene has become legend, along with the Queen-accompanied bashathon, and phrases like “The Winchester” (hold up your fingers in a W), “There’s a Breville out back” and the best ever, “Slice of fried gold.” Class. Watch it now. But then, you must have; because it’s Legend.
Classic moment: Pegg and Frost’s faces through the hole in the zombie supermarket woman.
Saw this at the cinema, and got sucked in to Welsh/Boyle’s world. The tale of heroin junkies in Edinburgh, with an amazing soundtrack and that insane trippy “baby on a ceiling” scene, I watched it again recently (having had a few years break, due to “film overkill”) and Trainspotting still stood the test of time. Go on. Watch it again. You know you want to.
Classic moment: When Spud has a tug of war with his girlfriend’s mum’s dirty linen.
3. Dog Soldiers
Squaddies in the Scottish Highlands. Werewolves. Rubber-headed werewolves! What’s not to like? I saw this at the cinema in Manchester, and was blown away by the dark photography, the darker humour, and something else – you know what, CGI isn’t always the best thing in a film. I fell in love with Marshall’s work, and was pained to learn – many years later when reading the Guerilla Filmmaker’s Handbook – that he never made a bean from this film. Thank God he’s still making movies!
Classic moment: “There is no spoon.”
Ahem. Well, I had to put this in, because it’s my baby, no? Not necessarily because of watching it (which I did oooh a thousand times during editing), but because of all the fun times we had making it. For those who don’t know, I wrote and directed this little indie feature, mainly because it was FUN. Anyway, the film plotline goes like this: three bad people, who have all committed murder, slowly shift into a parallel dimension known as Gehenna, a place where the bad are taken to be punished. Here, they meet a self-appointed dark angel called Chemical Man who wants – not to kill them – but to purify them. And this purification process promises to be a lot more painful.
We filmed over a two-year period, and had so many good moments, so many life-changing, fun experiences during the whole process, that once it was finished, we thought: We must do this again! Hence pre-production status for our second film, The Mask Within. For more info see www.anarchyfilms.co.uk. Classic moment: A day filming a tractor smashing up a V8 Jaguar. Most fun day of my life!
Obviously Nolan has gone on to loftier, prettier heights, but I think this film sums up everything clever about low-budget independent film-making. The brilliant and ingenious script, the way Nolan plays around with time – allowing the audience to piece together the fractured puzzle of story chronology… Guy Pearce’s acting…! If you haven’t seen this gem, buy it immediately.
Classic moment: The time we first see Guy’s tattoos and realise his mission.
So that’s my top five. If you want to read more about my 5 Angry Robot books (see what I did there?), either check out these hallowed pages, or visit www.andyremic.com. And again, Happy Birthday! (raises glass).
Andy Remic is a British writer with a love of ancient warfare, mountain climbing and sword fighting. Once a member of the Army of Iron, he has since retired from a savage world of blood-oil magick and gnashing vachines, and works as an underworld smuggler of rare dog-gems in the seedy districts of Falanor. In his spare time, he writes out his fantastical adventures.
Get closer to the mayhem at andyremic.com.
Ready for the giveaway? Thanks to Angry Robot, five US/UK winners (physical copy) or international (e-book) will win Kell’s Legend. To win, simply leave a comment on this blog post. Let us know your favorite indie film, or if you wish, you can say “hey” to Andy or congratulate Angry Robot on five wonderful years! I’ll randomly select five winners on Friday, July 18th. Please make sure, if you are not a WordPress user, to leave me a way to contact you if you win, either your Twitter handle or an email address. Good luck!
About Kell’s Legend:
It is a time for warriors, a time for heroes. Kell’s axe howls out for blood. The land of Falanor has been invaded by an albino army, the Army of Iron. A small group set off to warn the king: Kell, a magnificent and brutal hero; his granddaughter, Nienna and her friend, Katrina; and Saark, the ex-Sword Champion of King Leanoric, disgraced after his affair with the Queen.
Fighting their way south, betrayal follows battle, battle follows deviation, and they are attacked from all quarters by deadly warriors, monstrous harvesters who drain blood from their victims to feed their masters. As Falanor comes under heavy attack and invasion, only then does Nienna begin to learn the truth about grandfather Kell — that he is anything but a hero. Ferocious fantasy from a real-life hardman come to claim the post-Gemmell world.