Plagiarism returns to haunt horror writer

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 18/07/2013
Richard Scheib
"FLATTERED": Richard Scheib's work appears to have been copied by Quentin Tarantino's girlfriend Lianne "Spiderbaby" MacDougall.

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A Christchurch film critic is more flattered than outraged after Quentin Tarantino's girlfriend appeared to plagiarise his work. But he says an apology would be "nice".

Horror film writer Lianne "Spiderbaby" MacDougall's website and Twitter feed have been taken down after a blogger accused her of plagiarising other critics.

One of her articles appears to have taken passages from a review written by Christchurch-born film critic Richard Scheib for his website moria.co.nz. Scheib, who grew up in Christchurch and moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2009, said he was surprised to discover his work may have been copied.

"I was kind of flattered and realised that some relatively high-profile names were reading my material. I wasn't outraged. I felt sad for her that she has to go to those lengths," he said. "Karma has come back to bite her arse. It would be nice if there was an apology."

In a review of 1991 film Popcorn, MacDougall wrote: "Maggie (Jill Schoelen), a student at USC film school, is plagued by recurring dreams that feature a terrifying man evoking Satan and other cultish horrors. At school, the film department's funding has just been cut, but the department head comes up with an idea: holding a festival of old gimmick horror films in a soon-to-be-demolished theatre to raise funds."

Schieb's review of the same film includes the passage: "Maggie, a student at the University of Southern California film school, is plagued by recurrent dreams. The film department's funding has just been cut but the department head comes up with the idea of holding a festival of old gimmick horror films in a soon-to-be-demolished theatre to raise funds."

Before her Twitter feed was taken down, MacDougall tweeted: "I apologise for the plagiarism in my work. I am leaving journalism behind for awhile. I'm so very sorry to everyone esp those I have wronged".

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- The Press

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