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Perfect posters for the genius comedy-horror TV series ‘Inside No. 9’

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If you aren’t already, then you really should be watching Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith‘s masterful series Inside No. 9, which is currently rolling out for a third season on BBC television.

Shearsmith and Pemberton, alongside Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson formed the finely-tuned quartet of young writers and performers who saved British television comedy from near irrelevancy in 1999.

Together they called themselves, and their comedy series, The League of Gentlemen. In the long history of British comedy, these guys were the most important new arrivals on the telly since say The Comic Strip Presents…, or The Young Ones or even further back to Monty Python. Their show was a fearless mix of horror and comedy which became an international cult hit leading to the inevitable book, movie, and stage production. Along with The Office, the three series of The League of Gentlemen are the crown jewels of this generation of BBC comedy productions. The best of the best.

In 2002, when The League of Gentlemen finished their run on television.  Dyson went off to write very good novels and stage shows. Gatiss sharpened his nib working on Doctor Who and then stunned the planet by co-devising and writing Sherlock. The Lennon & McCartney of the band, Pemberton and Shearsmith continued in their own wicked ways writing and starring in the much darker sitcom Psychoville and most importantly Inside No. 9 in 2014.

Inside No. 9 is an anthology series, much in the style of those masterful compendium horror films produced by Amicus Productions in the sixties and seventies like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Tales from the Crypt (1972), and From Beyond the Grave (1974). Each episode offers up one complete mini-movie written by and starring Pemberton and Shearsmith alongside such renowned actors as David Warner, Gemma Arterton, Rula Lenska, Sheridan Smith, Jessica Raine and Roger Sloman. The tales range from haunting ghost stories to Gothic horror to troubling psychological thrillers—all neatly laced with the deadliest of black comedy. And as with the Amicus films, each 30-minute drama has an unnerving and genuinely unexpected twist.

The third series has already started—and it’s utterly fantastic. Which understandably explains why the BBC have already commissioned a fourth one for 2018.

Inside No. 9 is promoted by a lovingly produced movie poster which captures the style and genre of each production. As a fan of the show (and all the work of Messrs. Pemberton and Shearsmith), I thought these posters are something well worth sharing. The first was designed by Graham Humphreys who produced the knock ‘em for six poster for Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. Each of these beautiful artworks is a mouthwatering appetizer for the main dish—which, as said, if you aren’t already watching then you should be feasting on them right now.
 
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Sardines’ Season One #1, February 5th 2014, poster by Graham Humphreys .
 
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A Quiet Night In’ Season One #2, February 12th 2014, poster by Matt Owen.
 
More posters promoting the god-like genius of Pemberton & Shearsmith, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.01.2017
01:40 pm
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‘A Field in England’: Director Ben Wheatley talks about his head-trip Civil War movie

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There’s an horrific scene in Ben Wheatley’s latest film, the truly excellent A Field in England, which proves the merit of the old adage that the most gruesome moments in any movie are more effectively achieved when they are suggested rather than revealed.

In this particular scene, the character Whitehead (superbly played by Reece Shearsmith) is tortured by the diabolical O’Neill (another excellent performance from Michael Smiley). Rather than showing what happens, Wheatley audaciously keeps any physical violence out-of-vision, leaving only Shearsmith’s terrifying screams to suggest the worst, the very worst. It is one cinema’s genuinely horrific and visceral moments, and yet nothing is ever seen.

A Field in England confirms Ben Wheatley as the most talented and original film-maker to come out of Britain since the glory days of Ken Russell, Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson and John Boorman in the swinging sixties.

Unlike most young directors who show flair with one type of genre film before going on to make variations of the same time-and-again, Wheatley has shown with his first four films that he is an immensely talented and important film-maker, whose movies defy easy categorization yet engage their audience with intelligent and sometimes disturbing ideas.

His first major film Down Terrace was a blackly comic tale of murder and violence set in a working class family home, which Wheatley co-wrote with the film’s star Robin Hill. It was described as being like The Sopranos as directed by Mike Leigh. It’s a nice soundbite but doesn’t quite encapsulate the thrilling intelligence that was at work behind the camera.

Wheatley’s next film was the brutal, disturbing but utterly brilliant Kill List, which contained one of the most harrowing endings ever committed to celluloid. Kill List was written by Wheatley and his wife, the writer Amy Jump, and starred Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring and Michael Smiley.

Having shown his aptitude for gangster and horror films, Wheatley then made the black comedy Sightseers, written by the film’s lead actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, in conjunction with Amy Jump.

Wheatley’s latest film A Field in Englandwas also written by Jump, and together this talented duo have created an intelligent head trip, a radical genre-bender, that mixes alchemy and the occult, with history, horror, psychedelia and folk tales. Starring The League of Gentleman‘s Reece Shearsmith, along with Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Ryan Pope, and a terrifying Michael Smiley, A Field in England is certainly one of the best films of 2013-14.

Without giving too much away, the movie centers around four men escaping from a battle during the English Civil War (1642-1651), when the forces of democracy or Parliament (the Roundheads) fought against the Royalist armies (the Cavaliers) for control of England. The main players in this war were the Cavalier, King Charles I and the Roundhead, Oliver Cromwell, and the poor canon fodder in-between.

Wheatley’s interest in this momentous period of English history came through his work with the Sealed Knot Society, a group of individuals who specialize in reconstructing battles from the English Civil War.
 
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‘A Field in England’ is in cinemas now, or can be watched from Drafthouse Films here.
 

 
The interview with Ben Wheatley follows after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.12.2014
08:01 am
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‘Psychoville’ returns tonight!

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Psychoville, the brilliant BBC2 comedy series from The League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith is returning tonight to television sets in the UK and, no doubt, to many bit torrent savvy homes across the world like mine…

I am an absolute League of Gentlemen fanatic (as anyone who knows me can tell you) and Psychoville’s initial seven episode run in 2009 had me in TV heaven. The Halloween special was amazing. I’m really, really looking forward to more Psychoville. (So smart of them to end with a cliffhanger. That’s how to get a second series commissioned!).

Complex and multi-layered as 24 or Lost—and with distinctly Hitchcockian elements in abundance—Pemberton and Shearsmith’s series ties together several disparate characters: Maureen and David Sowerbutts, a mother-son serial killer duo; Mr. Jelly, a bitter one-armed alcoholic party clown for hire; Oscar Lomax, a blind millionaire who collects Beanie Babies; Joy Aston (played by Dawn French), a nurse who believe a doll is her real son and a dwarf actor with telekinesis trying to hide his “midget porn” past.

All six are connected by a mysterious letter they all receive that simply reads: “I know what you did.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.05.2011
04:52 pm
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Psychoville: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

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I am really enjoying Psychoville the new seven part BBC2 comedy series from the League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. I am an absolute League of Gentlemen fanatic (as anyone who knows me can tell you) and Psychoville’s seven episode run has me in TV heaven.

Attempting to make a comedic series as complex and multi-layered as, say, “24” or “Lost” and with distinctly Hitchcockian elements in abundance (ep #4 is one continuous shot!), Pemberton and Shearsmith’s script ties together several disparate characters: Maureen and David Sowerbutts, a mother-son serial killer duo; Mr. Jelly, a bitter one-armed alcoholic party clown for hire; Oscar Lomax, a blind millionaire who collects Beanie Babies; Joy Aston (played by Dawn French), a nurse who believe a doll is her real son and a dwarf actor with telekinesis trying to hide his “midget porn” past.

All six are connected by a mysterious letter they all receive that simply reads: “I know what you did.”

Welcome to Psychoville by co-creator Reece Shearsmith
Psychoville: the new home of horror comedy
Video interview with Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.17.2009
05:59 pm
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