It’s a grand day here in the Monster Men dungeon. The Halloween season is in full swing and we’re feeding the Samhain beast with movies, books, TV shows and more.
This year, we have a couple of surprises, eat some Halloween treats, talk with our mouths full and behave like the monsters we are.
Check out the little contest we threw in to win copies of my books. We didn’t make it easy, but a true horror hound will get it. Good luck!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know summer is all about being on the beach, seeing how often you can pee in public pools, barbecuing as a valid excuse to drink and clinking Mountain Dew cans while you and your bud ride off into the sunset on your jet skis.
Well, summer’s dead. Long live the fall!
It’s high time I clued you all in to the Monster Men episodes you missed while you were out and about having lost weekends and connecting with nature. I can’t believe we’re almost at 50 episodes! The fact that our 50th will be out in October, a monster’s time to shine, is pure dumb luck.
So, starting with the most recent to where we last left off when our stalwart heroes were at the mercy of Ming, here’s your chance to get all caught up before the HUGE October festivities. Help us get more sets of eyes on these episodes. Share them on all social media platforms, subscribe to the show and help spread the word. Click on the episode #s to view. If we can triple the views for each in the next couple of weeks, I’ll have some signed book and ebook giveaways to help get your Halloween started properly.
Episode 47 : Paranormal TV. All I have to say in this one is hail Bates Motel! Damn that was a great show, and a total shock to us both. We also dissect Hannibal, the second season of American Horror Story and a host of other shows. This one’s chock full of Vera Farmiga and Gillian Anderson – and that’s a good thing.
Episode 46 : Summer’s Hottest Flicks. At this point, you’ll have to wait for these movies to come out on video, but I’m sure it won’t be a long one. We break down the surprise smash hit, The Conjuring (Vera Farmiga again!), World War Z (no holds barred review on that one), Pacific Rim and a too cool indie zombie movie called The Battery. I saw Pacific Rim after we filmed this and the 10 year old in me fell in love.
Episode 45 : Comic Book Movies. The title says it all. In here, we have Iron Man, The Avengers, Batman, Man of Steel, you name it. This episode is dedicated to my father who passed away this June. He was the one who got me addicted to comics when I was a kid, and I could never thank him enough.
Episode 44 : Welcome to Monster Men…AAAARRRRGGGGHHH! For shits and giggles, we put together a montage of all of our openings. Watch us go from terrified squares to mental patients in no time at all.
Please, remember to tell everyone you know about the podcast. Unlike so many others out there, we’re not asking for money or reviews. We just want to spread the holy gospel of horror to as many people as we can. It only takes a click or two. We thank you for all your support these past 2 years and hope to do this for many, many more.
Hey, fans of Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Sea Serpents, Chupacabra and all creatures strange and undiscovered, did you know that there’s an International Cryptozoology Museum? I didn’t, and I have been vacationing right outside its doors for years! Located in Portland, Maine, it’s owned and run by world famous cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman. He’s the man who actually coined the terms for many now famous cryptids such as the Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon. You’ve seen him on TV and documentaries like Ancient Aliens, MonsterQuest and Weird Travels. The best part is, when you go to the museum, Loren is there to greet you and talk monsters.
As soon as I found out about it, I had to drag my kids to see it for myself. Located on a small side street off the main drag in downtown Portland, we were greeted by a flag depicting a Coelacanth, a large fish thought to have been extinct for millions of years until one was pulled from the depths in the 1930′s. Loren informed me that the prehistoric fish was the inspiration for my favorite Universal Monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The museum consists of two rooms jam packed with actual artifacts from cryptid investigations as well as recreations. I was immediately drawn to some of the Bigfoot plaster casts and the news stories accompanying them.
Loren actually owns the largest Bigfoot in the world and he’s happy to take pictures with everyone standing in front of old Squatchy. Being next to a legend in the field by a giant Bigfoot was the highlight of my trip.
Once we got through the huge Bigfoot displays, there was a host of other mysteries and wonders to explore. Turning a corner into the other room, I came face to face with the legendary Fiji Mermaid, a bizarre, mummified creature that P.T. Barnum used to proclaim was an actual mermaid. It kind of looks like a shriveled up Yoda with boobs. I wonder of Lucas got his inspiration from this.
The second room had a little bit of everything, from a small Chupacabra display…
To the Dover Demon, an alien-like creature that appeared in a Massachussets town over a 2 day period in 1977.
Turns out, Loren investigated the strange and creepy Mothman and was even friends with John Keel, the man who reported on the infamous cryptid. He was a consultant for the movie, The Mothman Prophecies and starred in a documentary on it. It’s my belief that what went on in that West Virginia town in the 60s is one of the weirdest events of all time. You can check out our Monster Men podcast on the subject here.
Loren told me that he was the man who gave the Montauk Monster its name. He also said it was just a decomposed raccoon. Bummer.
The museum has it all. For a guy like me, I could have stayed there all day, but it was getting late and we had a Duck Boat tour to take and a baseball game to see. So, if you’re ever in the Portland area, I highly suggest you check it out. It must be popular, because it was even mentioned on the Duck Boat tour. There are monsters everywhere….at least I hope.
Many, many moons ago, I worked with a guy who became a very close friend. Over beers we often talked shop - shop for us being horror books, movies and TV shows. It got to the point where we found ourselves exploring our favorite genre even without the beer. We brought new discoveries to each other (thank you for hooking me on the Brian Keene) and said on an almost daily basis, “Man, we need to do a show about all this stuff we talk about. Just two guys who love horror – kinda like listening in on us at the bar.”
That guy is Jack Campisi, otherwise known as my brother from another mother.
For years we kept threatening each other with taking the giant leap into putting a show together. With seven months to go before the release of my first horror novel, Jack decided it was time to pull the trigger. He had an HD camera, a fully loaded Mac and wanted to create a vehicle to help promote my book.
I said, “Hell yeah, let’s do it!”
The Monster Men podcast was born.
We gathered in my house, built our ‘set’ and let it roll. I thought, we’ll probably film a few episodes then move on to other things.
Man, was I wrong. It’s now been 2 years, 44 episodes and tens of thousands of viewers. We have original logos, multiple theme songs, and fans. Whoa! The best part is, we both feel like we’ve just gotten started.
We are hardcore fans and unapologetic goofballs. We’ve loved and appreciated all the feedback and support folks have given us over the years. I hope everyone can feel our genuine love for all things that go bump in the night.
So, Happy 2nd Anniversary to the Monster Men. And thank you all for keeping us going! I can’t wait to unveil some of the new things that will be coming your way.
To celebrate, we’ve put together a montage of every opening we’ve done. Click here to go to our Monster Men channel on YouTube and check out episode 44 – 2 Years of Aaargh! You get to see us go from a couple of stiffs to full on aaarghing! Take a gander and feel free to aaargh along. You are all monster men and monsterettes.
See that picture? That was my first foray into the wonderful and weird world of cryptozoology at a time when I didn’t even know what the word meant. I was about 8 years old and at the tail end of my fascination with whales. I’d read everything the library had about them and was ready for something new.
Enter Nessie. I can’t remember where I first saw that picture. It was either on In Search Of or in a magazine or newspaper. I just remember the doors of my imagination being blown wide open. I would never be the same. Back in the 70s, there was a lot of interest in the strange creature swimming the depths of Loch Ness in Scotland. It was relatively easy to get my hands on all things Nessie. I devoured it all.
My father saw my budding interest in mythical sea creatures and bought me a book not only about the Loch Ness Monster, but all creatures bizarre and unknown. And so was laid an integral part of the foundation of a future Monster Man.
Out of all the cryptids out there, I think the case for sea creatures is the most solid. We know so little about the pitch fathoms of our seas. As our underwater technology improves, we discover new species of creatures plumbing the depths on an almost daily basis. Personally, I don’t think Nessie lives in the Loch. It’s my belief that if she exists, she kinda gets lost from time to time, slipping from the cold ocean into the Loch for a spell, stirring peoples’ fascination. And in a world where there’s so much doom and gloom, isn’t that a good thing?
So, what is Nessie? Is she a plesiosaur, a remnant from the time of the dinosaurs? Maybe she’s some kind of super sized eel, or a misindentified family of seals? Thanks to my man Scott for this latest article that says sightings of the monster skimming the waters is nothing but the result of a geological phenomenon.
Like all mysterious beasts, I really hope there is some truth to the Loch Ness Monster. Even though the photo that cemented my interest as a child was proven to be a hoax, I still hold out hope.
Like this blog post was too long coming, so is our latest episode of the Monster Men where we talk all things Loch Ness. Can’t believe it took us over 40 episodes to get the the core of my monsterhood. Sit back, put on a kilt, pop open a bottle of good Scotch and enjoy.
I miss the old video stores. Nothing was better than running there on Friday afternoon to search for a couple of horror flicks. Unlike bookstores, there was always a horror section. I’m surprised the video store by me didn’t charge me rent, I spent so much time nestled between the rows of stacked VHS boxes.
There was some slick, usually highly deceptive artwork on some of those horror tapes. In fact, the better the box, the worse the movie. That didn’t bother me because I have always been a connoisseur of bad b-horror movies. I like a bad horror movie more than a good, non-horror movie.
Video stores were a shangri-la of discovery. It was there where I was finally able to get my hands on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Freaks. Before the advent of VHS, you either saw a horror movie in the theater, or you were out of luck. Classic underground movies like The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes (both by Wes Craven) were mentioned with a sense of reverance and awe, especially if you were the lucky one to have caught them in the cinema.
When movies came to VHS, our lives changed. Suddenly, the history of cinema was open to us. And a whole new generation of horror films spilled wide like steaming guts on dew covered grass. I’d stroll over to the new release shelf and see Puppet Master and Witchboard. I couldn’t get them in my hands and my money and membership card on the counter fast enough. When my wife and I were dating, we’d spend whole days and nights watching whatever 5 or 6 horror movies we gathered from the video store. In our prime, we must have watched almost 200 horror flicks a year. Yeah, we were dedicated.
Monster Man Jack and I recently took a trip down VHS horror memory lane. In this podcast, I think we mention about 40 different movies. I hope they bring back great memories for you. You can watch our Generation VHS episode here.
Now, we could have talked about movies for hours. What are some of your personal classics? What are your memories of the video store? I look back at that time with no regrets, knowing I appreciated every moment I spent there. And thanks to all those movies, I solidified my status as a Monster Man. Thank you, Demonic Toys. Hail to the Re-Animator! And goodnight, Near Dark.
The change in my household really hit home this Christmas when I realized that my wife and I didn’t need to go to a single toy store to get presents for our girls. They’re both officially teens now, and too cool for toys.
Which leaves me as the last child in the house. And you what the best part of being a man-child is? I get to buy any toy I want without asking for my parents’ permission. Nyah nyah!
Granted, I pick cool things up now under the auspices that they would make great set pieces for my Monster Men podcast. But really, let’s be honest, I’d buy this stuff even if I didn’t know what a podcast was.
I was with my brother-in-law Tom this weekend at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. This is Kevin Smith’s awsome comic book store in Red Bank, NJ. On a side note, if you haven’t seen his movie Red State, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The movie has even sparked a wave of apocalypse hoaxes around the world.
Anyway, I digress like Gary Busey at a bris.
I was halfway into the store when I spotted my second favorite robot of all time.
You all remember Robbie the Robot? He made his debut in the great sci-fi flick, Forbidden Planet, and went on to do episodes of The Twilight Zone and Lost in Space. Robot from Lost in Space is my all time favorite. As a kid, I said if I ever made it rich, I would buy Robot and Robby and display them in my house. Still working on it. It was Robbie, it was a bobblehead, it was mine.
Then, tucked away in the back of the store was the action figure to beat all action figures. I’m not talking G.I. Joe with kung fu grip. It’s not an original Mego Captain America. No, I’m talking about the ultimate bionic Bigfoot!
I nearly wept when I saw him. If you click on the picture above, you can watch Steve Austin go toe-to-toe with the robotic bigfoot created by aliens. And really, isn’t that the case for all Bigfoots?
Pop quiz. What do all these fine gentlemen (and gentlebeasts) have in commom? Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman, Dracula, The Mummy, Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, The Phantom of the Opera. Answer : They were all brought to us by Universal Studios, who over a period of 25 years created some of the most enduring icons in horror history.
In our first episode of 2013, Jack and I, your humble Monster Men, finally dedicate a podcast to the monsters that made us who we are today. Who is your favorite Universal monster?
OK, I’ll be honest here. Yes, I did send an invitation to our local Bigfoot clan to spend New Year’s Eve with us, but I haven’t gotten their RSVP. Hell, I don’t even know if they got the invite. I kind of left it at the base of a tree in the woods, nestled within a deer carcass. Fingers crossed!
The next best thing will be to catch up on episodes of Finding Bigfoot and drinking until I see monsters everywhere.
2012 has been an intense year over at the Shea household and we’re happy to see it go. On the writing front, I released 2 books: Evil Eternal and Swamp Monster Massacre. In fact, my skunk ape thriller just got a national review in the December issue of Rue Morgue magazine! They said “With a simple story and some fast, gory action, Swamp Monster Massacre is a popcorn-movie-like read.”
2013 will be even bigger, with the release of the story The Graveyard Speaks in March, followed by the novel Sinister Entity, which is the sequel to Forest of Shadows. I also plan to release a book of short stories and possibly a collection of real ghost stories later in the year.
Until the new books come out, Jack and I at the Monster Men wish you a Happy New Year and hope you enjoy our 2nd episode dedicated to our good friend, Sasquatch. Bigfoot howls for everyone!