Chris Barnes / Blue Took
a.k.a. Chris Barnes: Owner, editor, reviewer, interviewer, dickhead
Stephen ‘Folklore’ Harper (my cousin) was the bane of my fucking life as a kid. He’s a few years older than me, so if he wasn’t beating the shit out of me (whilst we re-enacted Rocky 4 – I was always Drago in that final round), he was hammering me at football (or soccer, to our American buddies!).
But before you get too down on him, or unfollow him on Twitter, or stop reading his posts on the site, or shout deserved obscenities at him in the street, or hunt the bastard down and brutally mutilate him (I know his daily routine if anyone’s interested?), I must first thank him for showing me my very first horror film, The Exorcist. Yes, brothers and sisters, no pissing around with the ‘diet’ stuff here! No, sir!
Whether he was showing me a masterpiece born of eternal family love I have my doubts, but I thank him nonetheless.
From Regan onwards I didn’t look back, I’d pretty much started at the top-end of the genre without realising, and it had snared me hook, line and sinker. Smuggling dirty old Betamax and VHS horrors back to my room like some infant drug mule, praying my mum didn’t find out I was watching anything other than He-Man or Bravestar, I’d battle on through everything from Bava, Argento and Fulci to Yuzna, Craven and Carpenter, via everyone in between.
Whilst I don’t really share Folklore’s love for comics per se I did used to frequent Liverpool’s first and best comic shop Chapter One on London Road with him, then later Worlds Apart and Bold Street’s Forbidden Planet – here meeting probably my all-time horror hero to this day, Clive Barker.
After queuing for an hour in order to buy his latest book at the time, Everville, he signed it. Noticing how young I was he declared how honoured HE was that somebody my age was already about 6 books in to his ever-increasing list of macabre masterpieces. The fact he’s from my neck of the woods too blew my tiny mind!
Skip to the present and I’m still working my way through his work and still as disturbed by it now as I was then, more so in fact.
While I like to think my love for horror has become more refined, I’ll still watch/read ANYTHING sent or recommended to me of any style, although with age comes cynicism! There’s a LOT of shite out there – the majority of it mainstream, big budget drivel – so I’m slightly more picky when it comes to spending my time and money.
On the flip side, there’s equally the same amount of independent, untapped talent out there, producing masterpieces for a pittance that may never be discovered by an audience it deserves; this has always sat uncomfortably with me. So much so, it’s kinda the driving force behind this very website you’re reading now. Although we review the odd big-budget whopper, our main aim is to promote indie cinema from across the globe, simply because we love it.
Folklore and I, without realising, have been constantly ‘reviewing’ films for decades privately. It wasn’t until we both half-jokingly suggested making a website, to share our digital drivel with you lucky, lucky bastards, that we realised how much we love doing it. We started with a free site but it suddenly dawned on us we may need to upgrade, so we bit the bullet and paid for The Slaughtered Bird as you see it now.
Unfortunately, Ste has stepped away from editing the site (he still reviews), but between myself and some excellent guest writers I hope it continues to grow at the rate it has been.
Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to leave your comments, tweets and emails – it’s only our humble opinions after all.
And remember, to avoid fainting, keep repeating “It’s only a website…only a website…only a website………….”