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Behind the Scenes of The Waiting

You know I can’t release a book without having a very special episode of Monster Men (kinda like Blossom, she of Amy Farrah Fowler fame).

Jack and I talk about the inspiration behind the true ghost story and how it impacted my own life. If you haven’t picked up The Waiting yet, hopefully this will give you that last nudge.

The Waiting’s 4 Star Review, Book Deals, Best & Worst Movies and Horrorhound

As you can tell, I have more than a few things to share with the world today. So, let’s get right down to it.

We’re less than 1 month away from the release of my novella, The Waiting. It just got a new 4 star review from Night Owl Reviews. “The Waiting has a great plot, with an ending that will blow you away!” I’d buy that for a dollar. OK, I had to in light of that terrible Robo Cop remake.

The Waiting

My publisher, Samhain, is running a fantastic special right now on their trade paperbacks. If you order with the code listed below, you get 50% off any print title. You can’t beat that with a chainsaw. Get it now while you can and stock up on your summer reading.

Samhain Promo

I recently posted my favorite horror movies of 2013. The Monster Men decided to expand on it and make it an episode – our longest to date but I know you’ll get a kick out of it. Plus, I’m sure we’ll give you a few flicks to add to your wish list.

As a perfect contrast to the Monster Men, the guys at Splatter Chatter dished on their all time WORST movies. Really funny, and at times, scarily passionate. You have to check them out.

SplatterChatterfinally

And last but not least, I’ll be appearing at Horrorhound Weekend in Cinicnnati in 3 weeks. The Samhain table is going to be at the entrance of the main exhibit hall. Come on down and have a beer withe me! Much more to come on this over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Horrorhound weekend

I’m A Bobble Head!

Well, kinda. Just shot fresh episodes of the Monster Men yesterday. This is how we kicked things off. Shockingly this was before I broke out the beer.

MM bobble heads

Horror-Paranormal Roundup for February

Ah, February. The month of love, thanks to Valentine’s Day. When I think of love, I think of the color red. And when I think of the color red, well, strange things come to mind.

The color red is seen quite often in werewolf movies. And sometimes, there is a bit of romance – think the shower scene in An American Werewolf in London. Scarily enough, it took the Monster Men 54 episodes before we dedicated an episode solely to the misunderstood werewolf. Click on the image below to watch the episode and transform yourselves…

MM werewolves

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, are you looking for something special for the horrorhound love of your life? The folks at Horror Novel Reviews have just the thing. I can only imagine what kind of love letters are between the pages of their latest release.

HNR Banner

What book do I plan to read this month that has me excited as a cracked-out roadrunner? Redheads, by Jonathan Moore. The praise for this novel has been loud and proud. Check it out.

Redheads72lg

A killer far worse than insane.

Chris Wilcox has been searching for years, so he knows a few things about his wife’s killer. Cheryl Wilcox wasn’t the first. All the victims were redheads. All eaten alive and left within a mile of the ocean. The trail of death crosses the globe and spans decades.

The cold trail catches fire when Chris and two other survivors find a trace of the killer’s DNA. By hiring a cutting-edge lab to sequence it, they make a terrifying discovery. The killer is far more dangerous than they ever guessed. And now they’re being hunted by their own prey.

If you’re looking for a pretty damn good ghost story, with a dash of gothic romance, you have to watch The Awakening. Somehow this had slipped under my radar. I stumbled upon it while perusing Netflix on-demand. Truly one of the better, creepier ghost movies I’ve seen in a long while.

The Awakening

3rd Annual Monster Men Halloween Episode Lives

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!

Picking Up Where The Monsters Left Off

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.

Here we are before we sold that damn dirty ape to the ghost of Ricardo Montalban

Here we are before we sold that damn dirty ape to the ghost of Ricardo Montalban

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.

Inside The International Cryptozoology Museum

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.

Crypto Flag

Loren quizzed us on what was on the flag and I passed the test!

Inspired by a fish!

Inspired by a fish!

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.

Squatch Feet

Squatch Feet

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.

Me, Loren and my favorite hairy dude

Me, Loren and my favorite hairy dude

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.

“Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

“Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

The second room had a little bit of everything, from a small Chupacabra display…

A little goat sucker under glass

A little goat sucker under glass

To the Dover Demon, an alien-like creature that appeared in a Massachussets town over a 2 day period in 1977.

You can read about the Dover Demon in Loren's book 'Monsters of Massachusetts"

You can read about the Dover Demon in Loren’s book ‘Monsters of Massachusetts”

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.

You could dedicate a whole museum to the Mothman

You could dedicate a whole museum to the Mothman

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.

I don't know, this doesn't look like a raccoon to me

I don’t know, this doesn’t look like a raccoon to me

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.

Happy Anniversary To Us

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.

The Monster Men Logo

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.

 

Don’t Mess With Nessie : My Love Affair With Loch Ness

Nessie

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.

Generation VHS

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.

night of the zombies

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.

witchboard

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.

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