If you’re a horror freak like myself, I’m sure you’ve heard of the all horror movie streaming service, Shudder. They say ‘It’s always midnight on Shudder’ and to me, that’s a good thing.
I’ve been on the fence for the past year whether or not to subscribe. I mean, I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime. How many more flicks could Shudder offer me?
Well, with all of the hype for the Shudder exclusive, PREVENGE, I finally took the plunge. Man, I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner. First, I really dug Prevenge. Its dry wit and proper English pacing stands in stark contrast to the horrors that unfold as a pregnant woman goes on a murder spree…all at the behest of her very talkative fetus!
A Shudder subscription is only $5 a month. Why did I think it was so much more? I spent an hour going through their catalog, adding movie after movie to my Watch List. Here’s a sampling of what I found there and can’t wait to watch :
Demons, Demons 2, The Church, The House by the Cemetery, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Night Train to Terror, Sleep Tight, Shock Waves, The Stuff, Wake in Fright, Crystal Lake Memories.
There are a lot of brand new horror movies on there as well. I have to work my way through all of the older movies I haven’t seen in a long time before I do a deep dive on the new stuff.
So, if you watch a lot of horror movies, like I do, I’m going to give it a hearty recommendation. Not to mention, it costs less than a meal at McDonald’s. I’ll talk about at least one Shudder flick each week on my FINAL GUYS podcast to help you add to your own Watch List.
Are you or were you a Shudder subscriber? What do you think of the service? Severed thumb up or down?
The very first of my Mail Order Massacres novellas, JUST ADD WATER, has leapt from the pages of comic books and into homes everywhere! Did you ever order Sea Monkeys from a comic book as a kid? In JUST ADD WATER, two boys tear the order form from a Wonder Woman comic for a chance to own the Amazing Live Sea Serpents. That was their first mistake.
GROW AMAZING LIVE SEA SERPENTS!
It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:
Just add water . . . and watch them grow!
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .
WAIT UNTIL FEEDING TIME.
It’s been weeks since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .
All of the books in the Mail Order Massacres series are quick, nostalgic, humorous and gory trips back to the late 1970s and early 1980s. All are based on what you used to be able to order from the pages of comic books…gone horribly wrong. Optical Delusion comes out in August, followed by Money Back Guarantee in October. For now, sprinkle your Sea Serpents in your tank and watch ’em grow! Have a gun nearby.
JUST ADD WATER is only $1.99, just like all those comic book goodies back in the day!
Now, if you stuck with me this far, answer this question for a chance to win a free copy of the book. What did you want most from those comic book wonders when you were a kid?
Many is the paranormal researcher who has said Poveglia Island in Italy is one of the scariest places on earth. It has a long, sordid history. It’s been the site of bloody battles, a burial ground for victims of the plague and host to a mental asylum. If tortured spirits would linger anywhere, it has to be amongst the ruins of Poveglia Island.
Today, the island is off limits to the public, but I was lucky enough to interview author J.H. Moncrieff who made it on the island…alone!!! Share her journey as she walks us through her chilling trip…
Also, check out J.H. Moncrieff’s article on the most haunted islands in the world. While you’re there, sign up for her newsletter. You won’t want to miss a single issue!
In an effort to spread the love of horror far and wide, I’ve teamed up with my Monster Men brother, Jack Campisi, and author Jason Brant to start a brand new podcast called THE FINAL GUYS. This time around, it’s an audio podcast with a live feed on YouTube every Tuesday night at 7pm EST. We kicked things off last week with a review of Alien : Covenant.
Each week, we’ll talk about the movies we’ve watched in our lairs and books we’ve read, all the latest horror news and devote the second half of the show to reviewing the newest offering in terror and suspense.
Now, I know there are a lot of horror podcasts out there, so my question is : what do you want in a horror podcast that you’re not getting elsewhere? We’re doing this for you, the fans, so your input is invaluable. Send us suggestions and we’ll give you a shout out and perhaps some special prize packs.
Give THE FINAL GUYS a listen and join in the fun. Here’s where you can find us. We’re everywhere, kinda like a plague :
FB – facebook.com/FINALGUYS
TWITTER – @FINALGUYS
EMAIL – firstname.lastname@example.org
YouTube Channel (click to view and subscribe)
Sometimes, real life is far more frightening than fiction.
As a man who makes his bread and butter writing about cryptids gone wild, I don’t often get the chance to delve into the things that truly give me the willies. I’m talking about flesh and blood crazies. Like what’s going on right now in a quaint New Jersey suburb.
Back in the summer of 2015, a disturbing headline hit the news. A family (Derek and Maria Broaddus) had just moved into their million dollar home in Westfield, New Jersey. We’re talking dream house. Except the dream quickly degenerated into a nightmare. Not long after moving in, the family started finding cryptic and threatening notes from someone who called himself (or herself) The Watcher. Here’s an example of one of The Watcher’s letters :
“I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought me.”
The Watcher claimed to be part of a long line of Watchers, all of them keeping a close eye on the inhabitants of that particular house. In fact, today’s current Watcher is a self-proclaimed third generation stalker.
It got so strange, the family was forced to abandon their home. How could some strange notes make the Broadduses abandon their house within weeks? Consider if you found this in your home :
“Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.”
“Will the young bloods play in the basement?
“Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better.”
This isn’t a questionable haunting like the Amityville Horror. The dread is real. To this day, no one knows who is leaving the notes. Theories range from someone in the neighborhood, possibly an older person judging by their handwriting. A disgruntled former potential buyer who lost their bid to the Broadduses. Or the Broaddus family themselves, looking to make a fast buck.I don’t know. To me, if you can afford a million dollar home, you’re not desperate for money.
Derek and Maria Broaddus tried to get permission to raze the beautiful house and construct a new one but was turned down. They are too afraid to live in it.
It’s been rented out since earlier this year, and new, even more sinister notes have turned up for the tenants. It seems that no matter who lives within the house’s walls, the terror will continue.
Somewhere out there, The Watcher keeps on watching.
A movie has been made very loosely based on this true to life horror called The Watcher. It’s on Netflix if you want to give it a…well, watch.
My take on things is presented in WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, available from Sinister Grin Press. Only in my version, the family can’t run from the house, nor can they hide.
It goes without saying that I get a little giddy whenever I come across a new Bigfoot movie. Which seems odd, since most of them are so terrible. If horror is the red headed stepchild of cinema, Bigfoot is the redheaded step-beast of the genre.
That being said, there has been an upswing in Squatch movies the past few years. In fact, one of my favorite flicks was Exists, the found footage Bigfoot thriller by Eduardo Sanchez.
Ever since I saw just the poster for HUNTING GROUNDS, I’ve been dying to see it. I even saved it on my Instagram account to remind myself to watch it as soon as it came out. Well, the time is nigh!
This latest foray into Squatch Horror is brought to us by Uncork’d Entertainment, the company that has released cool flicks like It Watches and After Death. Hunting Grounds centers around a father and son (played by Jason Vail and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte) down on their luck, recovering from the loss of their wife/mother. Dad’s drinking has cost him his job and now their house. They have nowhere else to go but the family’s dilapidated cabin in the woods.
Little do they know, the cabin is smack in the middle of the infamous Ape Canyon. Squatch devotees like myself will be giddy over the reference. You see, back in 1924, a group of miners were attacked in their cabin by a band of highly pissed off Bigfoot who rained rocks and fists on the small structure for an entire night. In the world of Bigfoot stories, this is right in the top 5. Kudos to the filmmakers for doing some research! Also, once you know the true story, you have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen here.
The family dynamics are at times uncomfortable to watch, and that’s a good thing. Dad is a bit of an ass, a man lost in his grief. His teenage son absorbs his abuse because he knows there’s a good guy deep down inside. Things get even worse for the kid when his father’s absolute asshole of a friend shows up at the cabin to do some drinking. This friend, Sergio (David Saucedo), is possibly the biggest jerkoff I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. You want this schmuck to get it in the worst possible way.
The cast, though small, is filled with familiar faces in the horror scene. You’ll be like me, checking IMDB and going, “Oh yeah, that’s where I saw him!”
The father’s brother-in-law also comes to visit, and the foursome go out hunting. Let’s just say, things go downhill from there.
Look, I know Bigfoot movies aren’t going to be high art…yet. That’s what they used to say about comic book movies. What I want is to be entertained and to see some Squatches. Hunting Grounds gives us a glimpse of Bigfoot within the first few minutes. Score one in the win column. Too many of these movies wait for the reveal in the last couple of minutes.
Also score one for no CGI. The Bigfoot creatures are all practical effects, which were decent. I will say, they are huge. I would have liked a little articulation in their faces so they didn’t look so much like masks, but that’s quibbling. What I got was a trio of enormous Squatches wreaking havoc on the cabin and the puny humans inside.
That’s not to say that Bigfoot is the bad guy here. On the contrary, they’re more curious than anything else. It’s only when they’re provoked that they strike back, and in some pretty cool ways. There is some good gore in the final act, which was pleasant to see as well.
If you have lazy Saturday and you’re tired of watching the dreck on the SyFy channel, definitely fire Hunting Grounds up. Or have some friends over for a booze n’ Bigfoot night and have a ball.
Give a Squatch a watch!
Despite early worries that e-books would force print to go the way of the woolly mammoth and Elvis, it appears the end is not nigh. In fact, in 2016, paperback sales were up over 5%, with e-books down over 20%. Independent bookstores even saw a healthy uptick in sales (and book hounds rejoiced!).
What isn’t getting all the press it deserves are the incredible gains in audiobook sales. The audiobook market is booming, with sales increasing over 30% in 2016. Business for audiobook sellers like Audible.com and iTunes is good. Damn good.
The big question is, why?
I’m going to take a stab at it. From my vantage point, everyone is plugged into some device or another like stasis pods in The Matrix. We’re going to have an entire civilization of hunchbacks from all that craning down to gaze into our phones. If someone isn’t looking down, odds are they’re sporting earplugs and listening to music or podcasts or audiobooks.
Back in the day, which really isn’t that long ago, when I went to the beach, I would look over a sea of people reading books, magazines and newspapers. The beach is a perfect place to kick back and relax, unplugging yourself from the rat race. Now when I go, nearly everyone is locked onto their phones.
Audiobooks are a convenient way to read without having to – shudder – suffer from separation anxiety from our electronic devices. In a world where everyone likes to bemoan how busy they are, listening to a book during the commute to work or while shopping fits right in with their lifestyle.
Who has the time to sit and read anymore? In reality, everyone does, but we like to pretend our bouncing around like pinballs is so crucial to the survival of the planet, we refuse to sit still. Audiobooks are custom made for people on the go. I may read 100 books a year, but I also listen to a couple dozen audiobooks (in between the thousand podcasts I’m addicted to).
Production quality on audiobooks is advancing every year, with better narration and crisper recording. When GraphicAudio produced the audio for my book, The Montauk Monster, I was blown away by the end product. I didn’t know there were audiobooks like that. They call their audiobooks A Movie in Your Mind, and they are just that, with a large, talented cast, sound effects, music and more.
GraphicAudio recently released my latest tale of monster mayhem, The Jersey Devil. I have to say, even as the man who wrote the words, hearing it acted out is creepy and downright terrifying. To be able to hear the Jersey Devil screech and its hapless victims cry out for mercy chilled my blood. It reminds me of listening to the rebroadcasts of the old radio serials with my dad when I was a kid. Productions like this are the way of the future for audiobooks, in my humble opinion. It’s impossible to get bored or have your mind wander when you’re fully immersed in the story. Go on over to GraphicAudio and listen to some of the samples and see for yourself.
How do you feel about audiobooks? What are some of your favorites? It looks like they’re here to stay, but if anyone tells you they’re going to wipe out print books, point them to last year’s e-book sales statistics.