Schlock-Wire: Headpress Books Explores The OFFBEAT Side Of U.K. Cinema

Exploitation film historians, get ready for a dose of twisted history in a uniquely British style: Headpress Books recently released Offbeat, a book that explore the shadow side of English film history.  Edited by Julian Upton, it offers reviews, essays and interviews covering a variety of fascinating films known only the hardcore Anglo-cinephile.  It is currently available from Headpress in an exclusive hardback edition, with a paperback edition to follow in March.  Read on for all the bizarrely British details, including an embedded sample of the book itself…


British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems

edited by Julian Upton

From the last of the last great British B-movies to CIA funded cartoons, over 100 in-depth reviews, plus interviews and essays

Think you know British cinema? Think again.

While critics sing from an over familiar hymn sheet of so-called ‘cult films,’ there remains an epoch of British cinema still awaiting discovery that is every bit as provocative and deserving of attention. And there could be no finer guide to these uncharted domains than Julian Upton’s Offbeat. This is the book for the more intrepid cinema lover. A passionate, irreverent and informative exploration of British cinema’s secret history, from the buoyant leap in film production in the late fifties to the dying embers of popular domestic cinema in the early eighties.

So, move over Peeping Tom, Get Carter and The Wicker Man – it’s time to make way for The Mark, Unearthly Stranger, The Strange Affair, The Squeeze, Sitting Target, Quest for Love, The Black Panther and a host of forgotten gems.

Offbeat features in-depth reviews of more than 100 films, plus interviews and eye-opening essays that together tell the wider story of film in Britain, its neglected cinematic trends and its unsung heroes.

  • The last great British B-movies
  • Anti-swinging London films
  • Sexploitation — from Yellow Teddy Bears to Emmanuelle in Soho
  • The British rock’n’roll movie
  • CIA-funded cartoons
  • The Asylum in British cinema
  • The Children’s Film Foundation
  • The demise of the short as supporting feature
  • Val Guest, Sidney Hayers and the forgotten journeymen of British film
  • Swashbucklers, crime thrillers and other non-horror Hammers
  • And much more!

Author bio

Julian Upton is the author of the Headpress book Fallen Stars (2004) and has written on film for Filmfax, Bright Lights Film Journal and The Big Picture. He is also a blogger on vintage British cinema at


  • Foreword by John Krish
  • Introduction: The Cinema of Low Expectations by Julian Upton
  • Boom: 1955–69 by Julian Upton
  • Baby Love: Underage Sex and Murder in British Films by David Kerekes
  • Swordplay: British Swashbuckler Films by James Oliver
  • Bust: 1969–85 by Julian Upton
  • Over the Cliff: British Rock and Roll Films by James Oliver
  • A Dangerous Madness: The Asylum in British Film by Jennifer Wallis
  • Seen But Not Heard Of: The Children’s Film Foundation by James Oliver
  • Wings of Death: The Demise of the Short as Supporting Feature by David Kerekes
  • Afterword: 1985 and Beyond by Julian Upton
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index

Plus film reviews by Darrell Buxton, Sam Dunn, Mark Goodall, Graeme Hobbs, David Hyman, Martin Jones, David Kerekes, Sarah Morgan, Kim Newman, James Oliver, Gary Ramsay, David Slater, David Sutton, Andrew Syers, Phil Tonge, Julian Upton, Jennifer Wallis

10% discount (£25 £22.50) if ordered before midnight on Friday, December 21, 2012

Exclusive hardback edition, limited to 100 copies only.
Fully illustrated, heavy paper, head and tail bands, plus ribbon bookmark. Beautiful!
(Paperback edition goes on general sale in March 2013.)

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