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The Magic of STRANGER THINGS

If you haven’t watched Stranger Things on Netflix yet, step away from the blog and binge. The 8 part series is a love letter to scifi and horror from the 70s and early 80s, with splashes of Spielberg (Close Encounters, Goonies), John Carpenter (The Thing) and Sam Raimi (Evil Dead). The Monster Men devoted an entire episode to wax poetic about the show and point out all the little homages sprinkled throughout the series. I compared it to finding the little bits in Mad Magazine’s margins. There are spoilers, but we throw up a warning before we dive really deep.

 

We also have some new headshots. Well, an improvement on our old headshot. Which one do you like best? I’ll pick a random response to win a signed copy of The Dover Demon, which is apropos when talking about Stranger Things.

Uno…

MM Cartoon Headshot uno

Dos…

MM cartoon headshot dos

Tres…

MM cartoon headshot tres

Ask a Question, Any Question

Jack and I at Monster Men Central are putting a viewer mail show together that should air next week. Soooo, what I need from you, my hellions, are questions that we can answer on air (and mention your name). They could be about anything – movies, books, writing, body surfing, collecting Smurf figures, you name it. Make your voice heard on Monster Men! Send me your questions here in the comments section, email at huntershea1@gmail.com or on Twitter with the hashtag #MonsterTime

Okay gals and ghouls, let ‘er rip!

Monster Men Set

Season of the Witch

Witches are in the air lately. Well, not exactly on broomsticks, but there have been some high quality witch stories already this year, which gets me to wondering if 2016 will be the season of the witch. The luster of zombies has been rotting for a few years now, and it doesn’t look like vampires or werewolves are doing much to take the top slot.

The new Dark Horse comic, Harrow County, is the best horror comic I’ve read in years. Witches abound in this turn of the 20th Century gothic tale. With creepy, sometimes disturbing imagery and masterful storytelling, it’s one you can’t afford to miss. Just look at the cover of volume 1 (collecting the first 4 issues). That’s the skin of a dead boy who can talk. And he’s one of the good guys!

Harrow Couny

Also, now available for purchase, is the movie The Witch. It’s firmly on my list of top movies of 2016. Atmospheric, isolated, threaded with creeping dread, this independent flick lived up to the hype. The Monster Men give it a quick review without any spoilers. Check it out this weekend if you can.

100 Episodes of Monster Madness

It’s been 5 years and now 100 episodes of Monster Men! Wow. I wish I counted the number of beers we’ve had while filming all that time. It would be a pretty impressive number.

100 episodes. That’s a lot of aarrghs! And a lot of movie/book reviews, interviews, wine and beer tasting, ruminations on horror classics and general tomfoolery. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 bring. Thank you all for watching and encouraging our errant behavior.

I’m going to give away a signed copy of TORTURES OF THE DAMNED to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment here with your favorite episode.

Now, on to the show!

 

As always, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, rate us and post comments and follow our blog.

Our Fascination With The End Of The World

I know that post-apocalypse fiction and movies are all the rage now, but when you think about it, this is really nothing new. Ever since crackpots have held up signs proclaiming THE END IS NEAR, human beings have been both intrigued and terrified by the concept of a complete upheaval of our world. In modern culture, just look at the success of books and movies like On the Beach, The Stand, The Day After, Testament, Miracle Mile, Swan Song and the slew of zombie fare we’ve been inundated with. Whether it’s by the hands of a returned Christ, nuclear annihilation, undead hordes or pandemic, witnessing the downfall of all we have built and seeing how the few will survive is more addicting than reality TV (and fare more fulfilling).

Of course, when we read or watch these scenarios, we always imagine ourselves as managing to scramble out from under the rubble. I mean, what’s the point if I don’t carry on? I’m smart. I’m crafty. I can turn a blind eye to establishes mores in order to survive. So why not me?

When I was a wee one, I saw the original Dawn of the Dead at the movies. (Too late to call social services on my dad!) I came out of there obsessed – not with zombies – but wondering what I would do when the world went to shit. I made lists of stores I would go to in order to gather supplies. First stop was the sports store by me where I would load up on rifles, bow and arrows and other gear to make me a force to be reckoned with. Food and water would come later. Everywhere I went, I pictured how I would fortify that location so I turn it into a safe haven.

I’m an adult now – at least that’s what it says on my license – and I still think about these things. Except now I have to make plans that include my family. Hell, I’m so obsessed with it, I wrote a book about it, Tortures of the Damned.

Why does this attract us? Is it because an apocalypse presents a cleaning of the slate, a total do-over, a chance to ‘be a real man’ and not a pencil pushing geek who stops at traffic lights and pays his taxes? Yeah, I think that’s part of it.

We’re not far removed from being pioneers, settlers, survivors. I think a part of us still craves the adventure. So we fantasize about the end times, testing ourselves against impossible odds. We want to see if we measure up to the  generations before us that seemed to know how to do everything, whereas we can’t even tell you how anything we use every day really works.

q island 1

On the Monster Men, we recently talked about our apocalyptic obsession with author Russell James, whose latest book, Q Island, tears apart Long Island, NY in a very unique way. The start of the end is possibly the most original way to date, and most frighteningly, is being played out right now in real life. Kinda gives me the shivers.

Living so close to New York City, I have to prepare for the worst. We here know it’s a matter of when, not if. The hope is that it’s nothing like people like me and Russell and many other have written.

But I’ll be loaded for bear, just in case.

 

Plotting and Planning World Domination

That’s a pretty lofty title for this post. This coming from a guy who keeps telling the lovely ladies of the Shea abode that I’m king of the castle to peels of laughter. But anyway…

Now that the dust has settled with the whole Samhain madness, I’ve been taking some time to sit back and look over the landscape, considering my options for the future. Writing has taken a back seat to quiet contemplation, as well as talking to other publishers about new opportunities. This actually came at a good time. I was getting so bogged down, I couldn’t tell my ass from my elbow. Sometimes you don’t know how deep in the reeds you’ve wandered until you’ve been pulled out of them. Writing has become a full time job, in addition to my other full time job, and handling a family that counts two disabled people among the four. Being able to go in my room and write has always been my escape, my refuge, my sanity. The shock of Samhain’s news when they let my friend and editor go got me out of that room for a spell, which has freed me up to attend to other pressing matters that needed my attention desperately.

Lupus has become a big part of our lives, and I’m working with the Lupus Foundation to find the best doctors for my wife. We still need to get to the bottom of my youngest daughter’s illness. And my oldest is about to get her license while applying for colleges. Huge milestones! God, I feel old. I love the family I’ve created. Their health and happiness is always my top priority, and right now, they need me more than ever.

So even though I haven’t written a word this month, I have been busy reorganizing the old to-do and wish lists. We all need a break from time to time, even from the things we love. One thing I am doing now is editing a middle grade book I wrote a few years ago. That baby needs a spit shine so my agent can shop it around. I’m also putting together ideas for other books in non-horror genres, as well as getting the bones together for a short story called DASH GIRL I’ll publish in 2016. I already have the cover. Gotta get the guts together. (I feel like I’m living the Ed Wood movie!)

I do have some exciting news about new books that will be out in 2016 that I plan to announce soon. Anyone who joins my Dark Hunter Newsletter now will hear it first, as well as be eligible to win free books. Trust me, you want in on this news.

My main man Jack will be coming to the studio to film our Monster Men Christmas special, and we have loads of interviews lined up. Any beer suggestions for when we film?

So what’s the point of all this? I guess it’s just to let other writers know that it’s perfectly fine not to write. And to tell you that bigger and better things are on the way. 2016 is going to be amazing.

An Interview With Horror Master, Brian Moreland

I first met Brian Moreland about 4 years ago when we were part of Samhain’s initial horror line. We became instant friends that will last well beyond Samhain. His first book with them, DEAD OF WINTER, just blew me away. He’s since published a host of other kick ass novels, like SHADOWS IN THE MIST, THE WITCHING HOUSE, THE DEVIL’S WOODS, and THE VAGRANTSHis latest novella, DARKNESS RISING, is just phenomenal. Easily the best novella of 2015!

We here at the Monster Men have been trying to get him on the show for a couple of years. Our insane schedules made it almost impossible. Thankfully, we finally got on the same page…or Skype in this case. I was a bit woozy, having lost some blood during my tattoo process, and filling the void with beer. But, we made it! Enjoy this special episode with one of the best horror writers today.

And check out Brian’s Amazon Page to pick up his books.

Follow him on Twitter @BrianMoreland

Like him on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorBrianMoreland

Check out Brian’s blogs:

http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com

http://www.brianmoreland.wordpress.com

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