Thursday, 10 November 2016


Newly published by McFarland, this collection of 54 biographical essays examines many overlooked and underrated figures who have played a role in the ever expanding world of horror and gothic entertainment. The contributors push the boundaries of how we define these terms, bringing into the discussion such diverse figures as singer-songwriter Tom Waits, occultist Dion Fortune, author Charles Beaumont, historian and bishop Gregory of Tours and video game designer Shinji Mikami. Foreword by Sir Christopher Frayling.

My own contribution to the book is an essay on the mighty Jeff Lieberman, director of Squirm!



"From the team that brought you the mighty 70s Monster Memories, here’s another giant film book for genre fans and collectors alike. Covering more than 200 neglected, un-appreciated or forgotten horror and fantasy films from the silents to the 1970s, the book has everything from The Alligator People to Willard, from Tombs of the Blind Dead to The Black Zoo and from Grizzly to Frankenstein 1970. A true labour of love by editors Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton and their team of contributors (including myself) this large format paperback has 448 pages, is full colour throughout and packed with stills, posters and lobby cards. Foreword by Joe Dante."

Order now from Hemlock Books.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

'Gruesomeness': Book launch at City Screen Picturehouse, York - Thursday 20 October, 7.30pm

To mark the Universal Monsters season, and our horror film course, States of Terror, which starts on 25 October, City Screen is delighted to host the launch of author and course tutor Jon Towlson's new book, The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936. Join us for a glass of wine at 7.30pm in the Sky Lounge, when Jon will be signing copies of his book, followed at 8.50pm by a screening of Dracula (1931), introduced by Jon.

Date: Thursday 20 October, 7.30pm

Venue: City Screen Picturehouse, 13-17 Coney Street, York, YO1 9QL.

Further info here

Friday, 23 September 2016

Win a copy of GRUESOMENESS at Goodreads!

Win a signed copy of my new book at Goodreads. The giveaway is open from September 27 to October 31. To enter click here

Monday, 1 August 2016

SUSPIRIA with an Intro by Jon Towlson

Nicolas Winding Refn Presents: A special season curated by Nicolas Winding Refn, director of The Neon Demon and Drive.
Plus intro by Jon Towlson-: critic for Starburst Magazine and author of Subversive Horror Cinema: Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present.

Suspiria. Director: Dario Argento. Italy 1977. 97 mins. Italian with English subtitles.

An American travels to Germany to train at a ballet school, but soon finds herself in labyrinth of murder, madness and black magic. Beautiful and terrifying, Suspiria is one of the greatest horror films ever made.

York City Screen Picturehouse. Thursday 25th August. 9pm.

Further info and tickets here.

States of Terror: Contemporary Horror in World Cinema

From Hollywood to Europe to Asia, the horror film is thriving. With recent international hits like It Follows (2014), The Babadook (2014), Big Bad Wolves (2013), Painless (2012), The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (2013) and Flu (2013) filmmakers in countries as diverse as USA, Australia, Israel, Spain, France, Japan, Hong Kong, India and South Korea are using the horror genre to address the fears and anxieties of their cultures.
In this six week course at York City Screen Picturehouse we investigate contemporary horror cinema around the globe. Focusing on a different national cinema each week, we look at what terrifies the people of these nation states and ways in which horror crosses-over to international audiences. With film clips and discussion, the course will explore the genre’s unique capacity to break cultural boundaries and speak to social, political and personal anxieties in a world cinema context.
Each session includes a presentation/lecture followed by a tutorial where discussion is encouraged. Advance viewing is optional; select scenes and montages will be shown during weekly sessions.
Course tutor Jon Towlson is a film critic for Starburst Magazine and the author of Subversive Horror Cinema: Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present (McFarland & Co, 2014); Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Constellations) (Auteur/Columbia University Press, 2016) and The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936 (McFarland & Co, 2016)

Friday, 10 June 2016

Goodreads Q&A with Jon Towlson

On Wednesday 15 June I'll be discussing my new book on Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, as well as my previous film books, and I'll be taking questions on writing for film magazines. This discussion is for anyone who likes film books, or who has an interest in film journalism, film criticism and movie reviewing.

To take part in the discussion join my Goodreads group 'Q&A with Jon Towlson'

Don't forget to enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win a copy of the book.