David McGillivray (screenwriter)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David McGillivray (born 7 September 1947 in London) is an actor, producer, playwright, screenwriter and film critic.

Originally a critic for Monthly Film Bulletin, McGillivray wrote his first film script, Albert's Follies, for friend Ray Selfe in 1973. Intended as a vehicle for The Goodies, who turned it down, the film was eventually released as White Cargo and starred a young David Jason in one of his earliest leading roles.

McGillivray was soon involved in the British sex film industry, writing scripts for I’m Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1975) and The Hot Girls (1974), two films produced by pornographer John Jesnor Lindsay. As would be the case with many of his films, McGillivray makes cameo appearances in both: in I’m Not Feeling Myself Tonight he is “Man at Party” who pulls Monika Ringwald’s dress off while in The Hot Girls he was given the job of doing an onscreen interview with Danish actress Helli Louise, who according to the synopsis in Cinema X magazine, talks to him about "working on a movie, and telling a few facts of life about screen nudity and enacting lesbian love scenes."



He gained attention with his scripts for the horror films of Norman J. Warren and especially Pete Walker. McGillivray wrote two scripts for Warren (Satan’s Slave, Terror) and four for Walker (Frightmare, House of Whipcord, House of Mortal Sin, Schizo). McGillivray’s background as a critic for Monthly Film Bulletin and Time Out did not exclude his writing efforts from the (sometimes personal sounding) criticism of ex-colleagues. A Films Illustrated review of I’m Not Feeling Myself Tonight laments, “It is depressing to see David McGillivray writing scripts like this,” while a Time Out review of Satan’s Slave opens with: “Another absolute stinker from the withered pen of David McGillivray.”

In 1975 McGillivray was interviewed for an edition of the BBC programme Man Alive, dealing with sexploitation films, along with Walker, Bachoo Sen and Kent Walton. However, he later felt that he and his fellow contributors had presented a distorted view of the business, telling Screen International magazine in the same year “thrilled to bits that our opinions were held to be important enough for transmission we had all -may we be forgiven- said what the nations moral reformers wanted to hear i.e. that the films we made degraded us and that we were thoroughly miserable that the public didn’t want to see anything more uplifting. This is not the case. I have never worked with anyone who found it unpleasant or distasteful to do a job which involved standing in close proximity to naked women.”

Books and magazines

With the abolition of the Eady levy tax in the early eighties spelling the end for low budget British sex comedies and horror films, McGillivray focused on writing for the stage and providing material for the comedian Julian Clary both of which he continues to do to this day. In 1992 McGillivray wrote the book Doing Rude Things which documented the British sex film genre from its nudist camp beginnings to its demise in the video-era. In it McGillivray admits to a fondness for “the second rate and the downright worthless”. A television version of Doing Rude Things was produced by the BBC in 1995, in which McGillivray was interviewed along with the likes of Donovan Winter, and Pamela Green. McGillivray has subsequently appeared in several similar documentaries. He also edited Scapegoat (1995), a one shot anti-censorship magazine produced during the second “Video Nasty” furor of the early 1990s.

In collaboration with Walter Zerlin Jnr, McGillivray has written a number of plays, including The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomens Guild Dramatic Society series of 10 plays spoofing local amateur dramatic productions. They are published by Samuel French Ltd

Worst Fears

Latterly, McGillivray returned to the horror genre as the producer of Worst Fears, a series of short films by Nathan Schiff and other directors.

Known for his self-deprecating sense of humour, he refers to himself on his website as a “prolific writer, mostly of hack journalism, but also lowbrow films, plays, and radio and television programmes” who “is becoming increasingly unreliable, grouchy and difficult to work with.”


  • Cromwell (film) (1970) (extra)
  • Julius Caesar (1970) (extra)
  • The Games (1970) (extra)
  • Say Hello to Yesterday (1971) (extra)
  • Z cars (197?) (extra)
  • Losing Track (197?) (director)
  • Oink! (197?) (director)
  • Wonders Will Never Cease (1971) (script)
  • White Cargo (1973) (script/actor “customer”)
  • The Naked Eye (1973) (script unfilmed)
  • Bomber! (1973) (script unfilmed)
  • The Hot Girls (1974) (script/actor “interviewer”)
  • Special Branch (1974) (actor “Ernie the projectionist”)
  • House of Whipcord (1974) (script/actor “Caven”)
  • Frightmare (1974) (script/actor “young doctor”)
  • Tribute to a Writer (1974) (script)
  • I’m Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1975) (script/actor)
  • House of Mortal Sin (1975) (script)
  • Man Alive: X-ploitation (1975) (interviewee)
  • Svengali (1975) (script unfilmed)
  • Schizo (1976) (script/actor “Man at Seance”)
  • Clitoris (1976) (script unfilmed)
  • Dead Centre (1976) (script unfilmed)
  • Satan's Slave (1976) (script/actor “priest”)
  • Unzipper De Do Dah (1976) (script unfilmed)
  • Love Theme (1977) (interviewee)
  • Terror (1978) (script/actor)
  • Can I Come Too (1979) (actor “critic”)
  • Arena: My Way (1979) (interviewee)
  • The Errand (1980) (script/co-producer)
  • Arena: Failures (1980) (interviewee)
  • Dame en de mars Kramer (1981) (script)
  • Een Dikke Liefde (198?) (script)
  • Park Lane (1984) (script unfilmed)
  • Turnaround (1987)
  • Seeds (1993) (actor)
  • Doing Rude Things (1995) (interviewee)
  • Violence and the Censors (1995) (interviewee)
  • Sex and Fame: the Mary Millington Story (1996) (interviewee)
  • All Rise for Julian Clary (1996) (script)
  • Has Anyone seen my Pussy (1997) (script-additional material)
  • Prickly Heat (1998) (script)
  • In the Presence of Julian Clary (1998) (script)
  • The Sexual Century (1999) (interviewee)
  • Sex and Shopping (2000) (interviewee)
  • History of Hardcore (2001) (interviewee)
  • Top Ten: Camp Icons (2002) (interviewee)
  • Contact (2002) (actor)
  • Oo-er Missus (2005) (interviewee)
  • Mrs. Davenports Throat (2005) (producer)
  • The Perfect Scary Movie (2005) (interviewee)
  • Greatest 80’s TV Moments (2005) (script)
  • The National Lottery: Come and Have a Go (2005) (script)
  • All Star Talent Show (2006) (script-additional material)
  • Bitchest Ever TV moments (2006) (script)
  • Adventures of George the Projectionist (2006) (actor)
  • Worst Fears (2007) (producer)
  • British Film Forever: Magic, Murder and Monsters (2007) (interviewee)
  • British Film Forever: Sauce, Satire and Silliness (2007) (interviewee)
  • Horror Icon (2007) (interviewee)
  • British B Movies: Truly, Madly, Cheaply (2008) (‘thanks’ credit)


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