Come See Me At The Mahoning Drive-In
**UPDATE** Due to what looks like some pretty inclement weather and other extenuating circumstances, I unfortunately won’t be able to make it to this event. I’m pretty bummed, but hope to be a part of their next vendor event.
Howdy hellions far and wide! Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be signing books at the world famous Mahoning Drive-In on Sunday, April 30th as part of their Halfway to Halloween fair. It also coincides with the start of the Mahoning’s 2023 season.
If you’ve never been to the Mahoning, you’re missing out on a ton of fun. With one of the largest drive-in screens in the world, it’s become both a landmark and a treasure. People come from all over the country, if not the world, to experience it. Best part is, you can even sleep in the drive-in and make it a multi-day event.
So, for a damn good time, come on over to Lehighton, PA. I’ll be signing copies of To The Devil, A Cryptid, Bigfoot in the Bronx, Mail Order Massacres, Slash and so many more. And I just might don my Bigfoot costume and cause some mayhem.
10 Terrifying Alien Abduction Movies of the 21st Century
What can be more terrifying than being abducted by an entity from another world or dimension? To be under the control of a presence literally and figurately so alien, you have no way of gleaning the machinations of their minds and intentions.
The world was exposed to the UFO and abduction phenomena in a serious way back in 1977 with the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Over the next three decades, only a few movies would plumb the depths of alien terror, such as author Whitely Strieber’s abduction account in Communion (the book is even more chilling) or Travis Walton’s Fire in the Sky.
The floodgates for celluloid abduction nightmares truly opened at the turn of the century. Suddenly, UFO/abduction movies were everywhere. Maybe it was the dawning of a new century, a new age, with the promise of reaching further into the stars, and maybe those stars reaching further into us. Or maybe it came from the adolescence of found footage flicks, which seem to dominate this strange and curious sub-genre. With 60 years of bizarre sightings and experiences under our collective belt, this could be our way of seeking answers.
No matter what the cause, for people like me, the 21st century has been a smorgasbord of high strangeness and extraterrestrial conundrums. Want to get me to drop everything? Tell me there’s a new UFO movie or documentary. Sure, they mostly explore the same material, but I can’t help being drawn in the way Travis Walton was sucked into an alien ship.
Because I watch them all, I thought it best to share 10 modern alien abduction movies that should scratch that ET itch. Ditch the tin foil hat and boil some potatoes. We’re about to stare into the abyss. Check out the trailers and head to your nearest streaming device. Things are about to get eerie.
10. The Fourth Kind (2009)
9. The Phoenix Incident (2015)
8. The Forgotten (2004)
6. Dark Skies (2013)
5. Phoenix Forgotten
4. The Gracefield Incident
3. Alien Abduction (2014)
2. Beyond the Sky (2018)
10 Unfathomably Frightening Sea Creature Features
Back when I was a kid growing up in the Bronx, before my obsessions with UFOs and Bigfoot started, I was head over heels in love with the Loch Ness Monster and whales. The little library by my house had lots of whale books with glossy pictures. Luckily for me, it also had a few books on Nessie and other sea creatures. As a little one who knew of small beaches and lakes, the mysteries of the deep fascinated me.
It’s no wonder that when I became a writer, I was eager to pen my own sea monster tales for Severed Press like They Rise, Loch Ness Revenge, Fury of the Orcas and Megalodon in Paradise. You can even throw Just Add Water into the mix if you consider sea monkey-esque beings in a moist sewer a big old fish tale. I may be a land lubber, but part of my heart belongs to the sea and the creatures both real and imagined that lurk within it.
Because of my early love for Nessie, I’ve been a sucker for aquatic horrors all my life. I know there are plenty of others out there just like me. Which is why I wanted to share my list of sea creature features you should check out. I’m going to leave out movies like Jaws, Humanoids from the Deep and Creature from the Black Lagoon because, well, that’s just too easy. Here are 10 others that will satisfy that wet monster itch.
10. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953): This classic sci-fi monster movie is a classic for a reason, featuring a giant dinosaur-like creature unleashed by an atomic bomb test that wreaks havoc on New York City. It features some amazing special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen and a thrilling plot. I fell in love and awe of this movie as a kid and that hasn’t change one iota over the years.
9. It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955): This classic film stars none other than the giant octopus created by, who else, Ray Harryhausen, the renowned special effects maestro. Its tentacles reach out to destroy San Francisco before it can be stopped. It cemented my inability to even comprehend eating octopus.
8. The Host (2006) – This South Korean horror movie follows a family that must battle a monster that lives in the polluted Han River. It’s an intense and non-stop thriller that will have you jumping out of your favorite armchair.
7. The Bay (2012) – This horror movie follows a small town that must battle a mysterious creature living in the Chesapeake Bay. Talk about a movie that doesn’t get the love and attention is deserves. You’ll never fish or swim in the Chesapeake Bay again. Pure parasitic perfection!
6. Orca (1977): This film follows a fisherman as he attempts to take revenge on a killer whale that killed his pregnant wife. The suspenseful story is full of action and a lot of exciting underwater scenes and stars Richard Harris and the beautiful Bo Derek. I was OBSESSED with this movie when it came out. I remember the back of every comic book at the time had a full page ad for the movie.
5. Piranha (1978): This movie follows a group of people as they battle a school of piranha that were released into a lake by an earthquake. Okay, maybe not a threat from the depths, but damn is this a fun one. You can’t beat a movie written by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante!
4. Tentacles (1977): This movie follows a team of scientists as they investigate a series of mysterious disappearances in the Mediterranean Sea and discover a giant octopus is responsible. Maybe not the finest example of quality moviemaking, but a must see for you sea monster completists.
3. The Shallows (2016) – This movie follows a surfer (Blake Lively) who must battle a great white shark while stranded in the middle of the ocean. For most of the movie, it’s just Blake, a seagull, a killer shark and a bloated whale corpse. And somehow, it all works as the second best shark movie of all time.
2. The Deep (1977): This film follows two divers as they search for buried treasure off the coast of Bermuda and run into trouble with a giant shark. The underwater adventure is full of suspense and some of the best underwater scenes of the decade.
- DeepStar Six (1989) – This horror movie follows a team of deep-sea miners who must battle a giant sea monster. It’s a great mix of horror and suspense that has attained classic status for many.
What are some of your favorites? How many on this list have you seen? Most importantly, can you recommend something I may not have watched? Bring it on!
The Gill Man Trio
Universal Studios’ Creature from the Black Lagoon is a classic monster that has terrified and captivated audiences for decades. By far my favorite of the Universal Monsters (and the last of the line), ol’ Gill Man is a lover and a fighter with impeccable taste in women. The creature’s distinct look and terrifying presence has made it one of the most iconic monsters in film history. I strongly urge you to read The Lady from the Black Lagoon, the story of the Creature’s creator, Millicent Patrick. Talk about a woman being overshadowed by a male dominant industry.
There are plenty of CFTBL fans, but surprisingly, many aren’t aware that the classic film has two sequels. Hell, I didn’t know until well into my horror lovin’ adulthood. Over the course of a few years in the 1950s, there were three Creature from the Black Lagoon movies, and each one has its unique charm and appeal. Come grab my claw as we compare the three Creature from the Black Lagoon movies and explain why Universal monster fans need to watch them all.
Before we dive into the movies themselves, let’s take a brief look at the history of the creature. The Creature from the Black Lagoon is the aquatic love child of producer William Alland, who was inspired by the discovery of the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish that was believed to be extinct for millions of years. For folks interested in cryptozoology, the ugly fish’s reappearance is what gives Nessie and Squatch hunters hope.
The first film in the series is the titular Creature from the Black Lagoon, released in 1954 and directed by Jack Arnold (who also helmed flicks like Tarantula and The Incredible Shrinking Man). The film tells the story of a group of scientists who venture deep into the Amazon to study the unusual findings of a colleague who was previously attacked by a mysterious creature. As they continue their expedition, they realize that the creature is not only real, but it is also dangerous and determined to protect its territory.
The first film is a classic monster movie that set the tone for all future creature features. The creature itself is an impressive feat of practical effects and underwater photography. You’ll find nothing more beautiful and suspenseful that Julia Adams (the most alluring woman in horror movie history) taking a dip with a horn dog and curious prehistoric beast swimming just underneath her, mimicking her moves and daring to touch her toes. Just when you though it was safe to swim in the Amazon! Throw in a killer score, some light hearted comedy thanks to captain Lucas and, well, the mere presence of pipe smoking Whit Bissell and you have all the ingredients for monster gold.
I was fortunate enough to meet both Julia Adams and Ricou Browning (the man behind the mask and suit). Their signed pictures hold a special place on our wall. I also peppered CFTBL references all throughout by novella, They Rise. Give it a read and see if you can spot them all. Good luck!
The second film in the series is Revenge of the Creature, released in 1955. The movie picks up where the first film left off and tells the story of the creature being captured and transported to a research facility in Florida which also doubles as a public aquarium. The creature’s captors soon realize that it is more intelligent than they previously thought, and it quickly escapes, wreaking havoc on the city. And be on the lookout for a young Clint Eastwood playing a scientist in one of his very first roles.
Revenge of the Creature is a fun sequel that adds new dimensions to the creature’s character. The film is full of classic monster movie tropes, such as the monster on the loose in a populated area, but it also has some unique elements, such as the creature being trained to perform tricks at the research facility. The underwater sequences are once again impressive, and the creature’s suit has been improved since the first film. If you enjoyed the first movie, you will love Revenge of the Creature. Oh, if only this level of pandemonium would happen at Sea World. I’d pay good money to be there.
The third and final film in the series is The Creature Walks Among Us, released in 1956. This time around, a group of scientists successfully capture the creature and try to study its biology by performing surgery on it. The operation is a success, but it also causes the creature to become more humanoid, which leads to an identity crisis (not sure what pronoun to use here) and a desire for revenge. The transformation of the creature is downright bat shit nuts. Methinks they did so to get it on land and save some cash on all the underwater shoots. I also think Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy bears a striking resemblance.
The Creature Walks Among Us is an interesting conclusion to the series that takes the creature’s story in a new direction. The movie is more focused on the human characters than the creature, which may disappoint some fans, but it also allows for a deeper exploration of the creature’s motivations and emotions. The underwater sequences are once again impressive, but the film also includes some interesting scenes set on land. The lesson here – don’t fence the Gill Man in! If you try, you do so at your own peril.
So, why should Universal monster fans watch all three Creature from the Black Lagoon movies? Watching the movies allows fans to appreciate the creature’s design and development over time. Secondly, the movies are classic monster movies that set the standard for all monster movies that came after them, ala Humanoids from the Deep or, say, even something trashy like Slithis. The Creature from the Black Lagoon movies are not just important for their impact on the horror genre, but they are also entertaining and fun to watch. Each movie has its unique charm and appeal, from the suspenseful first film to the fun and campy second film, to the thought-provoking and emotional third film. Watching all three movies allows fans to experience the full range of what the series has to offer, as well as bearing witness to the end of one of the greatest monster making eras in movie history. There will never be another Universal cranking out terrifying creatures for decades. And we as a viewing audience will never be as innocent again and easily made aghast. Makes me kind of wistful and sad. But happy as hell I have these movies to watch over and over again.
Who Wants Me On Their Chest?
Thanks to our newest Final Guy, author extraordinaire and graphic designer (hit him up if you need a killer book cover) Chad Lutzke, we now have brand new Final Guys merch. He gifted us with a surprise shirt featuring each of us this holiday. It was pretty hysterical when we opened up our packages together live on the show last week. It was even funnier when I wore it to all of my Christmas festivities and people would stop and stare and then say, “Wait, is that you?”
Well, if you’ve always wanted my mug on a shirt, sticker, or well, mug, today’s your lucky day!
This beauty comes in an array of colors and sizes. Thrill your friends! Shock your neighbors! Get kicked out of the PTA! Forget MAGA. This is what will unite the country, by jiminey!
We’ve asked Chad to create a shirt that will have all 4 of our images, like the classic Kiss album cover. Until then, why not grab a Jason, Jack or Chad shirt? What we make lack in handsomeness, we more than make up for in silliness.
And I know the holiday season isn’t all happiness and jingle bells for everyone. If you need an almost 2 hour laugh session, I encourage you to check out our Christmas episode where we review the holiday trash classic, Elves.
Who wants to win a free signed book?
In honor of my second favorite holiday, I’m giving away a signed copy of BIGFOOT IN THE BRONX. All you have to do is click here to join my Dark Hunter Newsletter so you can be in it to win it.
All the details are below. And knowing me, I will probably give away more than 1 copy. Good luck and gobble gobble!
Just Some Halloween Fun
I can’t help but have the Silver Shamrock theme run through my head every time I look at the calendar in October. As of this moment, there are 9 more days until Halloween. I’m fine with putting on my pumpkin mask now while I sit in front of the TV. But since I don’t want worms and bugs coming out of my head on the big day, I think I’ll wear my bigfoot costume instead.
I know everyone’s looking for fun things to do during the spooky season. Me and my gang of horror idiots have been busy filming new shows and promoting the horrortober season like busy, twisted elves. So, for those of you who can’t make it to a haunted attraction, spooky hayride or pumpkin maze, here are some things to get you in the proper mood.
Are you a fan of the Halloween series? Have you seen Halloween Ends yet? The Final Guys (5 of us this time around!) give our picks of what to watch and read and then dive into the final chapter of Michael Myers…or is it? It’s making money so let’s face it, he’ll be back.
Speaking of Final Guys, we also just dropped a special episode where we interview producer Peter Phok, the man behind such horror greats as Pearl, X, Stakeland, The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and more. He was a blast to talk to and is living the horror and Hollywood dream.
My Halloween Video Visions column is dedicated this year to all things Bigfoot. This time around, I’ll be your video store curator as I walk you through the Video Visions squatch section, offering you 32 Bigfoot Movies That Scratch That Squatchy Itch! And here I am last year chilling out while watching Elvira between trick or treaters.
Need a great book to read with creepy tales from some of the best horror writers in the game? And it just happens to have the best cover of the year? Check out Human Monsters! This one’s a can’t miss and it features my buds, Tim Meyer and Chad Lutzke.
And with all of this Halloween goodness, you know you have to have a great pumpkin ale by your side. Luckily, the Monster Men conducted our annual pumpkin ale tasting while talking about the horror heart throbs that get our motors running. The dat after filming this, I was sick as a dog with Covid, so I had it in this video. I think I did pretty, pretty good for a guy who was hours away from being laid low for 2 weeks!
2022 Horrortober Killer Reading List
Happy Horrortober to all the Hellions far and wide! I woke up early on this rainy October 1st morning and watched the Italian horror classic, DEMONS. Nothing like a little insane gore to start your day. Not to mention a helicopter crashing through a movie theater ceiling. Last year I watched 65 movies during Horrortober. Who knows what will happen this year? Other than the tried and true flicks I always watch like THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, HALLOWEEN, IT FOLLOWS and THE FUNHOUSE, I plan to add movies like THE RELIC, PRIMAL RAGE, THE BOOGEYMAN and THE BROOD to the mix. Plus, I have a stack of new Blu-rays in my room I had stashed for this month.
Speaking of rainy days, every year I save up special books to read for Horrortober, and this year is no different. Though with the Mets making the playoffs, I might not have as much horror time as usual. So, here are the books on my TBR list for this Halloween season. I’m curious to hear what’s on yours!
Right after DEMONS ended, I dove into this one that I’ve been dying to read. Sager is one of my current favorites and never disappoints.
Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.
This mockumentary-style dark comedy recounts the grisly events surrounding the terrible slasher flick THE ROOFER, remembered only because an obsessed fan tried to reenact the murders as they played out on the screen. When the same theater shows the film twenty years later, will the warnings that this is a really, really bad idea be justified?
It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother and she’s still adjusting to her new life in rural Nebraska. Then, one by one, students at her high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair.
As the body count rises and the terror grows closer, can Makani survive the killer’s twisted plan?
Eligos is waiting…fulfil your destiny
1941. In the dark days of war-torn London, Violet works in Churchill’s subterranean top secret Cabinet War Rooms, where key decisions that will dictate Britain’s conduct of the war are made. Above, the people of London go about their daily business as best they can, unaware of the life that teems beneath their feet.
Night after night the bombs rain down, yet Violet has far more to fear than air raids. A mysterious man, a room only she can see, memories she can no longer trust, and a best friend who denies their shared past… Something or someone – is targeting her.
“Think you’re hardcore? Think again. If you’ve handled everything Edward Lee, Wrath James White, and Bryan Smith have thrown at you, then put on your rubber parka, spread some plastic across the floor, and get ready for Ryan Harding, the unsung master of hardcore horror. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Harding’s work is like an acid bath, and pain has never been so sweet.” – Brian Keene
“Enjoy the tour, friends. Enjoy the gang-bang. You may need psych drugs afterwards, you may need an air-sick bag and a steam shower, but I feel confident that you will be provocatively moved by this book.” – Edward Lee, from his introduction
Genital Grinder collects the most sought after and most extreme fiction from the diamond in the puke – Ryan Harding.