Cliff Twemlow celebrated on Adventures In VHS
Here at Gorepress, we’ve been fans of Noel Mellor’s Adventures In VHS since its launch and given that two of our founding members are from good old Manchester, we naturally got a bit excited upon hearing about this episode! Here’s the skinny, in Noel’s own words.
In his short life, Cliff Twemlow created thousands of songs for film and television (including George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and The Sweeney), wrote acclaimed horror novellas like The Pike (1982) and The Beast of Kane (1983) and even found time to be sued by Paul McCartney for releasing a single called Live and Let Die before him. But more importantly, he also wrote, produced, scored choreographed and starred in a series of action, adventure, horror and even sci-fi films made on a shoestring budget.
Back in the days when Hollywood studios were still too scared of home video to release their content on VHS or Betamax, Cliff saw an opportunity to shoot and release films on video. One of his earliest films, GBH (1983), shot to number nine in the video rental charts, sold over 10,000 units and gained notoriety for its explicit action violence. Twemlow went on to make a number of other movies over the years, but as formats physical and digital rush on to replace one another, these are being lost to the annals of time.
Noel Mellor, author of the upcoming Adventures in VHS book and its supporting podcast, thought this was nothing short of a tragedy – so decided to dedicate some time to creating a ‘documentary show’ which detailed the life and work of Cliff Twemlow. The feature length show has interviews with a couple of Cliff’s friends, colleagues and admirers, as well as a historical and critical look at the films themselves. With a bit of luck, it will help contribute to making sure this slice of British film history is not forgotten.
Cliff Twemlow represents the same kind of independent film making spirit that made legends of people like Sam Raimi and Wes Craven – which makes his story as inspiring as it is tragic. But aside from highlighting his cultural and historical significance, I just want people to seek out and find these films – as it would be even more heart-breaking to see them slip through the cracks of time.
Adventures in VHS Presents: The Mancunian Man is available now on iTunes, or by visiting this link . The show is the latest in a series of podcasts to support the upcoming Adventures in VHS book, in which Noel relives his childhood through some of the weird and wonderful VHS movies which shaped his love of film.
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