Ah, the dog days of summer are here. Time to beat the heat, or bask in it, and head to beaches and pools and sunny climes.
But us horror hounds know, even an innocent getaway can turn deadly in a flash (or perhaps, a slash?). For those of you loading your family into planes trains and automobiles between now and Labor Day weekend, here are 10 scary flicks you can show the kiddies to make your vacation a little more interesting. Click the movie poster to each to view the trailer. Might wanna bar that flimsy hotel door with a chair and have a weapon on hand….
10. MOUNTAIN TOP MOTEL MASSACRE
I haven’t watched this since renting it on VHS back in the 80s, but how could I not include it on the list? If you have motel or hotel in the title, you win!
Now, you wouldn’t catch me ever staying in hostel. Not because I’m worried about being kidnapped and killed. More like I don’t want to be trapped in a tiny room smelling stranger’s farts all night. Howver, if you’re traveling through Europe on the cheap, beware!
Not my favorite King movie adaptation (or the only one on this list), but 1408 is a wild ride. I also love that John Cusack is a writer who pens true haunting books. Could be a glimpse of my future.
I think of this one every time I pass by a seedy roadside motel. A real nail biter that stars the lovely Kate Beckinsale. Frank Whaley as the motel front desk asshole is so icky, I can never look at him the same.
6. PUPPET MASTER : THE LITTLEST REICH
The latest addition to this long running franchise is by far the best. When a bunch of people go to a convention, the puppets go absolutely wild. If you haven’t seen this yet, do so now and thank me later (with beer).
5. THE DEVIL’S REJECTS
Rob Zombie’s best (and I’m looking forward to the sequel), this is the nastiest motel you will ever see. Raw, foul and unwavering. This does make you think, WTF is wrong with RZ? His posse is in full effect here, from Ken Foree to Sid Haig and of course, Sherry Moon.
I can’t make this list without the godfather of motel horror. This is the slasher that started it all. A brilliant film that makes up in mystery and tension what it lacks in blood and body count. And that music! Go get ’em, Norman!
3. THE INNKEEPERS
I adore this movie. An old Massachusetts inn is about to close for good, and the last two workers on shift are out to prove the ghosts in its walls are real. And what an ending. Just like Psycho, it’s also blessed with a magnificent score.
2. MOTEL HELL
We all know it takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters. One of the best cannibal movies ever made (next to Texas Chainsaw Massacre), you’ll laugh as much as you’re cringe. Sausage anyone?
- THE SHINING
Many moons ago, Stephen King went on a little vacation, staying at an empty, sprawling hotel in Colorado. It spawned the greatest ghost story ever told. The Shining may not be an exact retelling of his book, but that doesn’t dull the shine of Kubrick’s masterpiece. Who wants to walk the maze with me? The top 3 movies all share one thing – amazing music that still sends shivers down my spine.
Now that I’ve survived the move and am settling into the new lair, it’s time to get back to readin’ and writin’. To that end, I’m 50 pages into my next novel for Flame Tree Press, titled MISFITS. I just finished writing the latest chapter early this morning. Brutal stuff, believe me.
But the book that I devoured like a starving man at a crab boil was CLAWS by Russell James and published by Severed Press, the king of monster adventure. I’m here to tell you that CLAWS is my definitive, best beach read of the summer!
I mean, look at that cover. Remind you of anything? 🙂 CLAWS has all of the B movie, chomp-stomping action I want in a page turning yarn while I sit under the hot sun. Russell James has knocked it out of the park and deep into the Atlantic Ocean with this one. I can’t recommend it enough, though I am trying. As we colorfully say in my neighborhood, this is the motherfucking shit.
About the book :
National Park Service Rangers Kathy West and Nathan Toland are the only ones stationed at Fort Jefferson, a restored Civil War fort sixty miles off Key West, Florida. Two overnight campers go missing, but before the rangers can investigate, shady Homeland Security agent Glen Larsson arrives to close the park due to a purportedly imminent red tide.
Things quickly escalate out of control when mercenaries arrive to back up Larsson and imprison the rangers. Larsson’s plan is to free a cast of giant crabs to overrun the park, and then Florida beyond.
It’s up to Kathy and Nathan to escape the fort, and then, with the help of an old Coast Guard vet and a scientist with inside knowledge of the plot, to save millions of innocents from rampaging giant crabs. But Larsson’s evil plan has been decades in the making, and the crabs seem indestructible. It will take courage, teamwork, and perhaps the ultimate sacrifice, to avert disaster.
Now stop wasting time reading blogs, liking Instagram pics and trying to find a one night stand on Tinder and buy Claws now!
Are you despondent over the fact that there won’t be yet another Jurassic World movie this summer? Do you long for Saturday mornings sitting on the couch, eating Fruity Pebbles and watching Land of the Lost? Do you wish you could ‘get it on, bang the gong, get it on‘ like T. Rex?
Well, have I got news for you. Severed Press has just released PREHISTORIC : A DINOSAUR ANTHOLOGY, a volume filled to the brim with wild and wicked dinosaur tales from scribes like Tim Waggoner, Jake Bible, Tim Curran and yours truly.
What’s in store for you dinosaur junkies?
PREHISTORIC is an action packed collection of stories featuring terrifying creatures that once ruled the Earth. Lost worlds where T-Rex and Velociraptors still roam and man is now on the menu. Laboratories at the forefront of cloning technology experiment with dinosaurs they do not understand or are able to contain. The deepest parts of the ocean where Megalodon, the largest and most ferocious predator to have ever existed is stalking new prey. Plus many more thrillers filled with extinct prehistoric monsters written by some of the best creature feature authors this side of the Jurassic period.
My particular story is called CULT OF THE CRETACEOUS and involves a death cult on a remote island, mysterious soldiers of fortune and some bad ass dinosaurs. I may have gone a little nuts.
It’s out in ebook now with trade paperback to follow shortly. Come and get your fix!
Howdy Hellions! Who’s ready for a book giveaway? I need y’all to help get the word out about GHOST MINE and I’m happy to send out some mighty fine rewards. How does a signed hardcover of GHOST MINE sound to ya?
So, here’s how it works. Hop on over to my Twitter account and retweet the pinned tweet I have for GHOST MINE (here’s what it looks like) :
I’ll pick 4 random retweeters to win a signed hardcover. The only catch is that you have to live in the U.S. Never fear, I’ll have an upcoming giveaway for all you non-U.S. Hellions. Contest ends on Friday, June 21.
Ok then, time to saddle up and mosey on down to Twitter. Good luck!
I never in a million years thought I’d see the day where topics like UFOs and cryptids get coverage in the so-called ‘real news’ (fake or otherwise, depending on your party affiliation). When the New York Times story about the Tic-Tac UFO buzzing the SS Nimitz gave us a left hook in December, 2017, I assumed that would be the sole dog treat thrown to us for a generation.
As my wife will tell you, I’m often wrong. Just a few days ago, the Old Gray Lady came back with a right cross, confirming that the government no longer denies the existence of UFOs – just don’t assume they’re from space. Cool, I can deal with that. This time around, Navy pilots reveal tracking strange objects in the northeast that would buzz through the skies at hypersonic speeds for up to eleven hours a day, every…single…day for a year.
I’ve been devouring every article I can get my mitts on, and then in comes Nessie. A while back, a group of scientists set out to take extensive DNA samples of Loch Ness, promising that they would share their results in June. Well, we’re moments away from the big reveal, but the latest teaser suggests that Nessie may be real! A real what we don’t know just yet, but I’m extremely excited to see what they’ve found. Hell, even if they think it’s a giant catfish, it will be pretty damn cool to have an answer to the centuries old mystery.
But back to UFOs. If you’re looking to learn more about the Nimitz case and other recent military encounters, I highly suggest you bop on over to the History Channel and check out their 6 part series, UNIDENTIFIED. All of the players featured in the show are the ones behind this mini wave of disclosure.
What’a the big takeaway from all of this? When it comes to UFOs, this new stance is long overdue. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with those three letters has hampered serious investigation and acceptance. Those lights and craft in the skies may very well be part of an unknown yet natural phenomena. But the only way to find out is to take it seriously. I guess the best way to get the military to remove their craniums from their posteriors is to categorize them as potential national threats. If that’s the case, let’s assume they’re all of Chinese or Russian origin and put the pedal to the metal.
As for Loch Ness, I really don’t know what to expect. As long as they’re not the hungry monsters in my book, Loch Ness Revenge, all is good.
Which story has you more exited or intrigued and why? For my moolah, a real Nessie is cool, but real UFOs that defy our best pilots and scientists is a game changer. Let’s open things up and discuss, my crazy Hellions.
With the re-release of Ghost Mine this week, I thought I’d give you Hellions a little primer on what to expect and some of the real history and lore behind the story. I literally put everything but the kitchen sink into Ghost Mine, so like a good Boy or Girl Scout, you need to be prepared.
When it originally came out as Hell Hole, I got a ton of letters asking me about the eerie black-eyed kids (not the Black Eyed Peas) that pop up in the book. There are numerous tales about these strange children in paranormal history. Here’s a great article by UFOlogist Ryan Sprague about the big, bad BEC’s – CAN WE COME IN?
Now, you know how much I love Bigfoot. In the era that Ghost Mine takes place, there were tales in the west about hairy Wild Men, but it was decades before they were given the terrible nickname, Bigfoot. Here’s a great article about the Wild Men of yesteryear I found in Cowboys & Indians Magazine called TALL TALES.
Aside from being cowboys, our heroes, Nat Blackburn and Teta Delacruz, are war veterans, having ridden with Teddy Roosevelt as part of his Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War in Cuba. Check out this nice and short video on the tough as nails Rough Riders.
Ghost Mine is set in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, Wyoming, which is an actual mining ghost town! Reading about it is what inspired me to write the book. A couple of years ago, some dude made a video of his trip to Hecla. I kept waiting for something to snatch this guy up and drag him into a mine. If he even was in Hecla. Either way, it amused me for a spell.
Of course, the book is also chocked full of stories of ghosts, Djinn and so much more. I invite you all to mosey on down to your bookstore or laptop to rustle up a copy of Ghost Mine and tell me what you think of my yarn. I’ll be tipping back a bottle of whiskey and waitin’ for you to come a calling.
After a minor delay, GHOST MINE is only two weeks away. Formerly known as Hell Hole, my little weird western has just about everything you can imagine within its pages. Cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Riders, ghost towns, abandoned mines, a love story, mystery, Bigfoot, Black-Eyes kids, ghosts, demons and so much more.
I haven’t written anything like it before or since. What was the inspiration behind this bizarre tale? I opened up about reasons why I chose to head west over at DARK READS . Check it out to get a little behind the scenes insight into how many books come to be.