Tag Archive | Hunter Shea

MISFITS Is Coming – Pre-order Now

Do ya like urban legends? Were you rocking your flannels during the grunge craze? Do you think people who believe high school are the glory days are clinically insane? Dream of retribution for a deed done dirty to you?

Well, my friend, you just may be a misfit. And believe me, in this day and age, that is an honor. Boy, do I have the book for you…

Misfits HUNTER SHEA v02

I’ve always wanted to write a book about the dreaded Melon Heads, and man, a fucked up book like Misfits is just perfect for a fucked up year like 2020. Oh wait, you never heard of the Melon Heads? Well, just think about a lost tribe of humanity with large heads and all kinds of deformities who are territorial and sometimes, cannibalistic living in the woods of Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. Intrigued. Check out the below video that does a damn good job delving into the mystery of the Melon Heads.

 

 

Now, since this is a Hunter Shea book, I’ve taken some liberties with the urban legend and cranked it up to eleven in terms of murder and mayhem. Best part is that it’s all set in the early 90s against the backdrop of an economy in the tank with a killer soundtrack provided by the likes of Nirvana, Hole, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the rest.

Here’s the trusty ol’ synopsis:

During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.

Look, if you love horror, you were probably on the fringe as a kid like me, or still living comfortably ‘out there’, again like me. If you’ve ever felt like the world didn’t understand or want you, you’re going to love the five teens in this book – Mick, Chuck, Vent, Marnie and Heidi. Misfits, one and all, but also all for one.

MISFITS drops in the US on September 8th. Let’s just hope the coronavirus has slunk into a dark corner at that point.

You can pre-order today by clicking here.

Misfits will be available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio through Flame Tree Press.

Top 13 Horror Comedies

Things are finally opening up and we’re all slowly going to crawl out of our houses over the next few weeks. After what the world has been through the past three months, I’m very concerned about the impact this will have on the horror genre. Will people want more scares after the coronavirus? I have a strong feeling that therapists won’t have a free hour in the day for years to come. This pandemic has given birth to a host of new fears for many, some still lurking under the surface and waiting to leap out the moment folks start to regain their equilibrium. I speak from experience, having grappled with a crippling anxiety disorder twenty years ago. If you’ve been sheltering in your house for months watching the news and worrying, it’s going to leave a scar.

So, what will the wave of the horror future be? I think what people need now more than ever is laughter. We’ve dwelled in the darkness for too long. We need the light. Luckily, if you’re a die hard horror fan like me in need of a chuckle, there are a lot of good movies out there to satisfy your craving while letting in the light. Here are 13 movies guaranteed to give you a break from your worries. What are some of your favorites?

EXTRA ORDINARY

 

EVIL DEAD 2

 

ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK

 

SHAUN OF THE DEAD

 

SIGHTSEERS

 

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

 

SATANIC PANIC

 

FINAL GIRLS

 

A HAUNTED HOUSE

 

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE

 

STUDENT BODIES

 

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

 

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

I Remember The Alamo

I was recently talking with my friends…remotely, of course, and we got into some of the things we’ve been missing since the pandemic went all horror movie on us. As a writer, I have enjoyed the benefits of less distractions and more free time to do what I love most. Working from home has eliminated my hellacious commute. And it’s saved me hundreds of dollars on gas a month. Spending much more time with my family has been a godsend. Eating out less has been beneficial to my wallet and my stomach. Though we do honor Take Out Tuesday and get delivery from a local restaurant each week. I’ve been able to read more, watch a ton of movies, fix things around the house.

Man, I guess there’s been more positive than negative (like our coronavirus tests) here at the end of the world.

But there are two things I do miss dearly. One is baseball. It feels like those spring training games I was watching happened in another lifetime. Not being able to catch a game every night of the week, or devour the latest stats every morning, has been depressing. What I wouldn’t give to go to a game right now, smell the fresh cut grass, hear the crack of a bat, feel the sun on my face, be one with the roar of the crowd.

That being said, what I miss most of all is going to my local Alamo Drafthouse theater.

alamo

I had finally bought the season pass that entitled me to 30 movies a month for a mere $20. Over the course of January and February, I had gone to the Alamo twenty-three times! When I had a total crap day, I would pull up my app, look for a movie (hoping they were showing an old horror or exploitation movie that night) and download a ticket. That one minute action would completely turn my day around. I instantly had something to look forward to and daydreamed about their popcorn (best ever), craft beer, curated trailers by Birth.Movies.Death and if I was lucky that day, a theme party with perhaps a giveaway or two or the chance to check out a slew of movies to buy before the show, Vinegar Syndrome titles laid out under the big screen. (I can never resist. I’ve added titles like Berserker, Threads and The Incubus to my shelves thanks to those impromptu shopping opportunities.)

What I miss most is just the place itself. It has a vibe that says to me, you’re home. Come set a spell. The Alamo by me used to be a six-theater multiplex called Movieland. That’s the theater where I always took my first dates and where the girl who would become my wife made me rip off the black rubber bracelet my ex had given me as a way to show she was staking her claim, the ex was history.

yonkers alamo

Over the past few years, the Alamo has been my place of choice to celebrate my birthday, which is coming up this month and will make the temporary loss cut a little deeper. A steady on the horror revival flick programs that were part of Alamo’s signature series presented by Video Vortex, Prints of Darkness and Temple of Schlock, I got to see and know a lot of like-minded people who just wanted to see a bit of horror history we may have missed or wanted to revisit in a theater with a bunch of people wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with horror movie images.

I miss my Alamo home, my Alamo family, cold glasses of Wrench IPA (from Industrial Arts Brewing), carpet from The Shining, cool merch in the lobby, talking about films with strangers and most of all, their NO TALKING OR TEXTING policy. Wish I could enforce that at home. But, I have to pick my hill to die on, and that ain’t it when we’re all stuck in here together 24 hours a day.

There is good news. The Alamo has made some changes to bring their experience to pining people like me. You can now stream movies through them for less than the price of going to the theater. We just went through Alamo to check out Fangoria’s latest release, PORNO and it was great. You can see our review below.

 

Certain Alamos are delivering food (alas, mine is not…really could go for ten bowls of popcorn right about now). You can also buy merch online before or after you stream a movie so you can trick your brain into thinking you’re out of the house.

The last movie my wife and I saw at the Alamo was The Thing in early March when we knew the coronavirus was out there but didn’t think it would send the world scurrying for the darkness like rats. Seemed a fitting way to end our run.

Whether I have to wear a hazmat suit or sit in a plastic hamster ball, I will be back, sooner rather than later. We can’t run from everything. The less we give our immune systems to fight against, the weaker we’re getting. Maybe a trip to the movies is exactly what we need so we don’t up dying from the common cold.

Until then, support your Alamo in any way you can and look forward to the day when we can all don our Amityville Horror t-shirts, knock back some beers and enjoy the show.

SLASH on Sale for 99 Cents for a Limited Time

Since Flame Tree Press only gives very small windows for book deals, I had to make sure I let you all know about this one ASAP. Take advantage of this one-time special between 4/15/20 and 4/17/20. If you ask me, The Wraith could straight out murder the coronavirus and get us all back to normal. 

“A story surpassing in concept any slasher novel/film made thus far.” – New York Journal of Books

3D SLASH

Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.

“Watch out, world, the Wraith is coming for you. As always, Shea brings the thrills with this urban exploration mystery chiller!” Megan Hart, New York Times bestseller author

“The violence is visceral and unnerving.” – Publishers Weekly

GRAB A COPY OF SLASH TODAY! 

Pandemic Horror Hangouts

Well, I have to say, this pandemic has definitely gotten Jack and I to increase our production of Monster Men episodes. Craving some sort of social interaction and realizing everyone is looking for something to take their minds off of things, we’ve been interviewing someone every Sunday night and just shooting the shit, talking horror, how we’re dealing with the coronavirus, baseball, booze, comfort movies and more. So, if you’re looking to have a little fun in your favorite genre, I encourage you to give these a watch. Next week we’ll have an episode with author Glenn Rolfe. Any suggestions for future guests?

Grab your favorite adult beverage and sit back for an hour and let’s all forget about the shit show going on in the world…

Interview with horror author Laurel Hightower

 

Interview with author and audiobook narrator Chris Sorensen

 

Interview with author Matt Manochio

R.I.P. Stuart Gordon – King of the 80s Video Store

Man, as if all this craziness with coronavirus (and the possibly more dangerous reaction to it) wasn’t enough, did we really have to lose a horror legend? News that Stuart Gordon suddenly passed away was a total shock. I have to admit, it rocked me. Let’s be glad Dr. West wasn’t around to revive him. That would not have gone well. (And no, not too soon! Gordon had a wicked sense of humor, as anyone one who has watched his movies can see.)

When I think back to the glory days of the video store in the 80s and 90s, the films of Stuart Gordon loom large. Some of my favorite discoveries on VHS were products of his warped imagination. I read Lovecraft as a teen, but I never truly enjoyed his stories until Stuart Gordon made his, most times, loose interpretations. Who knew they could be so…sexy?

He wasn’t afraid to inject his tales of terror with dark humor (Dr. West battling a reanimated feline), sex (Barbara Crampton in full S&M gear), gore (the feasting creature locked in the dungeon) or even utter sweetness (a little girl befriending a man who is just a kid at heart). Above all, he brought Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton into our lives. For that, I would never be able to thank him enough.

I’ve been spending the week going back and enjoying Gordon’s filmography. Below are my top 5 in order. Step away from the anxiety for a spell and lose yourself in some trailers. If you haven’t seen any of them, shame on you! If you’re a fan like me, which ones are your favorites?

 

#5 – DAGON

 

#4 – CASTLE FREAK

 

#3 – DOLLS

 

#2 – RE-ANIMATOR

 

#1 – FROM BEYOND

Everything Is Cancelled! Time To Crush The TBR Pile.

You know things are taken to a whole other level when all sports are cancelled. We’re talking billion dollar industries, canned for the foreseeable future. Wow. I mean, if was told to quarantine myself, I was looking forward to afternoons watching the Mets spring training games.

For better or for worse, whether the chain of reactions are rational or ill-advised, this is the way the world is going to be now. I’ve washed my hands raw (because I work with the public and don’t want to bring anything home to 3 of the 4 high risk people in the family), tapped elbows and now am locked in an office as we practice some heavy duty social distancing. It’s all a very good excuse to ignore people, especially the ass wads who try to ruin your day.

Our favorite movie theater just closed for the next few weeks. The St. fucking Patrick’s Day parade is kaput. I’m sure the bars will be temporarily shuttered by next week. We need to learn how to make our own toilet paper if we’re ever going to carry on.

The Shea lair s stocked up on beer and wine. And whisky. And peanuts. Plus a smattering of other food stuffs. Is there anything else we’d need?

Through all of the madness, I see this as an opportunity. For some, it’s a golden chance to stay home with no pressure to go out and do a thing, veg on the couch and watch TV until their eyes bleed.

Me? I’m looking forward to catching up on my reading. Oh, and writing. Started a new book and I can really put a dent in it this weekend.

Here are some of the books I’m hoping to dive into as coronavirus drags on. What’s in your TBR pile?

unexplained

three chords

shriek

rise

borne

con season

Women in Horror Month – 10 New Queens of Horror

Did you know there are other horror writers of the stronger and fairer sex than Anne Rice, V.C Andrews and Shirley Jackson? Two of the three have long since stepped off this mortal coil, yet they seem to garner the most attention, even on a special month like this.

Stephen King may be the king of horror, but every king needs a queen.

For those who don’t wade too deep into the genre pool, I have something to tell you. There are more brilliant women penning horror fiction than ever. In fact, there are so many, we may not see a need for WIHM in the near future because every month will be a celebration for all those who write scary stories.

My job today is to list some of the best and brightest horror scribes working today, along with a new and rising star. Please click the links with their names to explore their incredible worlds. You’ll thank me later.

I’m going to kick things off with one of my personal favorites. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of J.H. Moncrieff. I simply love her books and as amazing as she is as a writer, she’s an even better human being. We’ve had her on our Monster Men podcast a couple of times so she could talk about her exploration of haunted Poveglia Islandand a trip to Dracula’s castle and Romania’s haunted forest. I’ve read and adored every one of her books. Her latest, Those Who Came Before, published by Flame Tree Press (yep, we’re joined at the hip), is a must read.

 

Those who came before

Hopping over to the other side of the pond is another Flame Tree Press rock star, Catherine Cavendish. If you love ghost stories with a gothic yet modern flare, you are in for a treat. She has a formidable library of books to explore, so shine up your glasses and fluff up your comfy reading chair.

I first came to know Somer Canon when I read Vicky Beautiful a few years ago. Call me hooked! Follow her on Instagram and she’ll make you envious of the cocktails she’s mixing up. Read her books and sip her beverages and you’ll be in reader heaven.

I’d been hearing a lot of chatter online about this debut author and her compelling book. To honor WIHM, I purchased Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower. Damn, this is one addictive read. I’m halfway through and hooked like a hungry trout. I expect many, many more good books to come.

whispers in the dark

I would be remiss if I neglected to add the always cool, Kelli Owen. If you’re not reading Kelli,  you’re doing yourself a disservice. And you’ll fail my horror 101 class (you know, when I teach it some day). As my buddy and reviewer Shane Keene would say, you best unfuck yourself and read her stuff, pronto.

In my mind, I can’t talk about Kelli without automatically going to Mary Sangiovanni. What I remember most about Mary is the time at Horrorfind many moons ago when she was so kind to my little girls who were a little overwhelmed by the crazies who attend horror cons. Such a sweet person, with a very disturbing imagination! A perfect combo.

One of my favorite coming of age horror books was penned by Pamela Morris. Talk about someone who deserves to stand up and get noticed. She’s a little shy, so I need you to read her books and do some shouting out for her!

witches backbone

Talk about buzz, whenever Ania Ahlborn puts out a new book, the bees starting going cray-cray. She has a legion of followers for a damn good reason. Best part is, you can find her books in just about any bookstore (if they still exist by you).

K.S. Merbeth is a writing road warrior. At least her books make you feel like you’re living in the barren, ugly world of Mad Max. I devoured Bite and Raid and I’m ready for more!

Rounding out our top ten list in no order whatsoever is Kritin Dearborn. Man do I dig her books…and her killer bats tattoo! I still plan to copy it some day. Everything she’s written has been aces. Discover her for yourself.

sacrifice island

 

Top 13 Horror Movies of 2019

Happy New Year, my hellions! I hope you all survived the holidays with your gray matter intact. With the start of the new year comes the obligatory list of horror movie badassery. The genre has been on a roll lately and I was hoping to close out the decade with a bang. Alas, that wasn’t so. I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t find 13 good flix to put on my list. Thank Cthulu (and a case of the Christmas cruds) that I had some downtime to search desperately for any and all horror movies and my new Roku to help me watch them. So, let’s get on with it, shall we? And as always, I’ve provided trailers to get your motors humming.

#13 – SWEETHEART

This little number dropped on Netflix just in time to make the 2019 cut. It was The Creature From the Dessert Island and I dug the hell out of it. A girl washes up on a beautiful, remote island, only to find out there is a killer sea creature that comes ashore each night looking for fresh (or even dead) meat. Two gills up!

 

#12 – US

Yes, I know Jordan Peele is the second coming of John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling all rolled into one. Us is a slick flick with some great performances and real laugh out loud moments. But once I tugged on the story’s thread, the whole thing just fell apart for me. It gets on the list for its quality. Just don’t spend any time trying to figure out the logic of it all.

 

#11 – PIERCING

What a hella weird movie. Just what the doctor ordered on a cold and dark December night. A man decides he absolutely must kill a hooker and gets a hotel room ready for the dirty deed. Only the lady of the evening is nothing he was expecting. The city is comprised of models and you never get a sense of time and place. It’s a freaking fever dream that would give David Lynch or David Cronenberg a right stiffie. Mia Wasikowska is outstanding.

 

#10 – SATANIC PANIC

Pretty pizza delivery girl goes to the very wrong house and gets mixed up in a night of sacrifice at a suburban cult. All I can say is that this is a blast. Zippy, bloody, funny as hell, because that’s where these soccer moms and dads want to party. Rebecca Romjin as the cult leader is just killer bee. One of my favorite horror comedies, for sure.

 

#9 – ZOMBIELAND 2

I had zero expectations for this one, especially since it’s been 10 years and an Oscar win since the first. But damn was I wrong. What makes these movies is the chemistry between our 4 survivors: Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin. I’ll be the first to say the zombie genre should have its head cut off, but then this comes along and forces me to eat some crow (brains). Now I actually want a third helping!

 

#8 – HARPOON

Three old friends take a trip to the sea and end up murderlizing each other in my biggest surprise of the year. The budget here is small, but the writing and acting are large. It’s plain fun in the sun with a dash of backstabbing brutality and cannibalism??? You have to see it to believe it.

 

#7 – CRAWL

A full on b-grade monster movie that gets a wide theatrical release? Shit yeah! Director Alexandre Aja drops a father and daughter into the eye of the storm where they are trapped in their rapidly flooding house filled with and surrounded by hungry alligators. Way better than it should be, Crawl is a throwback flick that’s only missing Ray Miland or Doug McClure. A must see.

 

#6 – THE NIGHTINGALE

In all honesty, this is the best movie I saw all year. It’s technically not a horror movie, though some things happen here that step well beyond anything Jason Voorhees has ever done. A woman with nothing left to lose tracks down the British soldiers who waster her family in 1825 Tasmania. Not for the faint of heart, this will both depress the heck out of you and lift you up.

 

#5 – MIDSOMMER

The second cult movie on the list, Ari Aster has done it again with his follow up to Hereditary. This is one long, trippy movie with an ending that will leave you speechless. Aster’s artistry flows from the veins of Kubrick and can be thoroughly enjoyed with no sound at all. He’s definitely working out some issues about pain and loss through his movies. This was also the year of looong horror movies (I’m talking to you, It 2) and the director’s cut of Midsommer is over three hours long! Worth every minute.

 

#4 – TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

This Mexican import grabbed me by the feels and kicked the ever-loving shit out of them. A band of orphaned children in a town run by a drug cartel are hounded by cartel killers. I haven’t had a movie affect me emotionally like this in a long time. It’s part fairy tale, part way-too-real and wholly unique and amazing.

 

#3 – VILLAINS

I’ll bet dollars to donuts most of you haven’t even heard of this one. I was lucky enough to catch it in the theater during it’s 3 day run. Starring Maika Monroe (It Follows) and Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise), this is instantly my favorite home invasion movie. A bumbling couple break into the home of 50s-looking homicidal maniacs. This is one I will own and watch every single year until I drop dead from too much horror.

 

#2 – READY OR NOT

Hands down, the most fun I had at the movies all year. Samara Weaving is cementing herself as the IT GIRL, knocking it out of the park in this satire about rich asswads who sell their souls for fortune and fame. I laughed so hard my jaw hurt. The kills are great and the ending is sheer perfection. Not one missed note. When I walked out of the theater, I said nothing was going to knock this from my number one spot. And then came…

 

#1 – DOCTOR SLEEP

I have no idea how Mike Flanagan pulled this one off. He had to make a movie that was a sequel to the movie, The Shining, as well as the book, and the follow up book, Doctor Sleep. This is the kind of stuff that needs to be studied in film school. It gives you all the nostalgia you have for The Overlook and adds a new chapter to the tale of Danny Torrance that is simply mind blowing. The movie itself is gorgeous to look at and the performances by Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson are spot on. This is a sweeping epic that you rarely see in horror and it’s a shame the opinions of boneheaded critics kept people from going to see it. I’m absolutely gobsmacked (love that word) by what Flanagan accomplished here and will be adding it to the steady rotation. I could write a book on all the things that make this great, but I’ll spare you all.

Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas for Horror Lovers

If you’re lucky enough to have a horror hound on your Christmas list this year, it can be fun as hell looking for the perfect gift. I mean, who else is going to go ga-ga over some gore-splattered gee-gaw?

We may, at first, seem easy to please, but with so many sub-genres and purveyors of horror themed gifts and collectibles, it can also be pretty daunting. For example, your sister-in-law might dig the paranormal. OK, normies dump that into the old horror chum bucket. That doesn’t mean she’ll appreciate torture porn like a Blu-ray of Hostel just because it was sitting there in the horror section. Hell, you may trigger the poor girl and then you have to find her a safe space to recover.

Horror is the one and only genre with millions, and I mean millions, of market and specialty-made items just begging for your bucks. It’s hard to navigate your way through the noise.

Have no fear, I have a list of one-stop shop ideas that will satisfy every single horror hop head on your list. So get your credit cards ready. You’re going to make someone very happy under the tree and you don’t even need to leave your seat.

MOVIES

I’ve been to more horror conventions than I can count and the one thing that unifies every black-shirted attendee is horror movies. When people peruse my books, half will inevitably ask, “Is this a movie?” With so may flicks out there, how do you choose the best one to buy? You don’t. Why not just get them a whole slew of movies? Give them a gift subscription to Shudder, the horror streaming service that also personally curates horror movie selections for its members. I can’t live without Shudder. Best of all, it’s inexpensive. You can get a year’s membership for just under $50.

shudder

 

FOR THE READERS

It would be too easy to say just buy all of MY books. Better yet, how about a subscription to what I consider the best horror magazine around, Rue Morgue? Within its glossy pages you’ll get new and old movie reviews, interviews, exposes on important horror moments, book and audio reviews, commentary from some of the best and most entertaining minds in the genre, and even monthly unique collectible ideas. If it’s horror, it’s in Rue Morgue, a mag that covers every aspect of the genre we love most.

rue morgue mag

 

CLOTHES AND APPAREL

Just like with movies, there’s an avalanche of horror apparel out there in web land. I always go to Fright Rags for quality products with some of the best original artwork out there. They have the most bitchin’ T-shirts around, focusing on specific movies like Halloween 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, Army of Darkness, Predator and so much more. Fright Rags also creates killer socks, pins and hats. Again, if you don’t know specifically what your horror-loving bestie wants, get them a gift card! They’ll quickly get addicted like me and have an entire wardrobe of Fright Rags shirts.

fright rags

COLLECTIBLES/TOYS

The POP! horror action figures have been a huge hit with the convention crowds for years now. I think every horror fan I know has at least one. My desk has a collection of the cute mini maniacs staring at me as I write this. I have Jason, Michael, Leatherface, Pinhead and the Creature from the Black Lagoon surrounding me. And that’s just a small portion of the little bastards lurking in my room. Pops will definitely put a smile on someone’s face, especially if you can get the one missing from their collection. Make someone’s holiday for under $20. You can’t beat that.

pop shining

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