Tag Archive | monster men

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.

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

On Dracula’s Castle and Pet Sematary

What’s shakin’ Hellions? Remember the old Marvel Two-In-One comics where The Thing was paired each month with a new superhero? Well, I may not have scrapped against the Yancy Street Gang, but I can present a horror two-in-one.

The Thing

First up on Monster Men, author J.H. Moncrieff takes us on a tour of Dracula’s Castle and the Haunted Forest of Romania. I am green with envy. Or is it pea soup?

 

Next, the Final Guys travel up to Maine to see if we can reunite with our beloved pets of the past. Does the new Pet Sematary rise above the original? Church still smells bad.

The Horror Movies of 1987

The Monster Men are kicking off a new series of episodes where we go back in time and look at the horror movies that came out in a specific year. We started it all off with 1987 (the last year I was a single man) and boy, what a year! It may be the best of all time. Give the episode a watch and tell me what you think. What was your favorite horror movie of 1987? Also, what years would you like us to explore next?

31 Days of Terror

Let’s play a game.

A Halloween/Horrortober game.

It’s called 31 DAYS OF TERROR – CHAPTER 2. If you’re like me, you want to fill your Halloween season with horror. For me, one of those ways is watching a horror movie every single day. But the questions is always, what movie do I watch?

Enter 31 Days of Terror. 

31 movies MM

31 Days of Terror is a roll the dice game where chance selects your movie each night. Author Steve Hutchison has compiled categories and lists of movies in this great second edition. It’s easy to fall into the same old same old with your Horrotober movie selections. The great thing about this game is that it will suggest movies you’ve either forgotten or never heard of, along with plenty of tried and trues.

This is the second year the Monster Men have played the game to help build our viewing list. Watch our latest podcast to see what 31 movies we came up with this time around and see if there are any forgotten gems you want to add to your own. I know we rolled a few very welcome surprises this time around.

And by all means, BUY THE BOOK so you have a fun way to build your own Horrorotber viewing list each and every year.

So, what movies are you planning to watch? Hellions want to know.

The Mothman Is Back – In Chicago!

The cryptozoology world has been buzzing this year over a wave of supposed Mothman sightings around Chicago. The mysterious creature that terrorized the town of Point Pleasant, WV between 1966 and 1967, culminating in the Silver Bridge collapse, appears to be alive and well in the Windy City. There have been almost two dozen reports of a large (7 foot or taller) hominid with massive wings both on the ground and in the air since April.

mothman

Other than the slew of Bigfoot encounters that are reported every year, this cluster of Mothman sightings represents one of the largest cryptid waves in the past 4 decades. What is truly out there? And is the Mothman circling Chicago a portent of something terrible to become?

[click here to read the Chicago Tribune article]

I’ve always said the original Mothman case is one of the most bizarre and intriguing in all of cryptozoology. You see, Point Pleasant wasn’t just visited by the Mothman. The entire town also saw strange lights in the sky, were visited by mysterious men in black, were witness to apparitions and ghostly phone calls and so much more, it makes my head spin. My partner Jack and I tackled the subject in one of our earliest Monster Men episodes.

 

Reporter John Keel was on the ground in Point Pleasant in the 60s, delving into dark corners and interviewing terrified witnesses. His efforts there (and many other bizarre cases) made him the inspiration for Carl Kolchak on television’s The Night Stalker. He wrote the definitive book on the Mothman, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES : A TRUE STORY.

keel

If you’re a true blue fan of cryptids and the unexplained, this is a must have addition to your bookshelf. It’s as terrifying as it is perplexing. Keel called it the Mothman Prophecies because it is believed that the creature was, in its way, warning the citizens about the impending destruction of the Silver Bridge, which killed 46 people on December 15, 1967. I’ve always found the connection between the cryptid and the calamity a bit nebulous, the biggest case for it being that all strange activity stopped right after the bridge collapsed. Since 1967, there have been scattered sightings of a winged creature that resembles the Mothman, but nothing like what is currently occurring in Chicago.

If you want to learn about the original story from a fresh perspective, check out the new documentary, The Mothman of Point Pleasant by director Seth Breedlove and his Small Town Monsters crew. They’ve previously explored the Boggy Creek Monster, Minerva Monster and Beast of Whitehall. Always a good watch.

MMPP

There was also a 2002 film adaptation of Keel’s book called The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere. When I first saw the movie, I knew very little about the cryptid and it confused and disappointed. Viewing it after my own research into Mothman, I can now appreciate the movie and what they were trying to do. It’s very difficult to convey the high strangeness surrounding the Mothman to a wide audience.

mmp

What is the Mothman? Is it a flesh and blood beast? An unknown type of bird? An angel? A demon? A figment of our imagination? I don’t know. But I think what’s happening in Chicago bears some close scrutiny. I’ll be interested to see if there is a spike in other paranormal phenomena there this year.

What’s your take on the Mothman? And do you think something dark and deadly lies in wait for the people of Chicago?

For the latest cryptid news and more, sign up for my free Dark Hunter Newsletter today.

 

Alone with the Ghosts of Poveglia Island

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!

Creepy Movies For Halloween and Casting Remakes

Tis the season for lots ‘o horror movies. There are so many to choose from, it’s always difficult to decide what to watch. If you’ve been following what I’ve been watching on Twitter under hashtag #Horrortober, you’ll see I’ve watched over 30 so far. I’m hoping to hit the 50 mark this year. I give a rating for each movie so you know which ones to avoid and which ones to pop in the Blu Ray player or get On Demand.

Catching up on a couple of episodes of Monster Men, we review perfect movies for Horrortober like HUSH, DON’T BREATHE, GREEN ROOM and NEON DEMON. These 4 flicks will definitely have you waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

 

Next up, we wax unpoetic about unnecessary remakes and who we would cast in each. Do movies like Jaws, Alien and Escape from New York need to be remade? Hell no! But we all know that Hollywood can’t help itself. It will happen. If it happened today and we were casting directors, here’s where we would take things. The big question is, how would you recast them?

Tis The Season For Pumpkin Ale Pleasin’

You know, we Monster Men always go the extra mile for our fans, especially during Horrortober. With soooo many pumpkin ales out there now to choose from, which one should you be chugging while you watch Halloween or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Jack and I are here to help.

In our third annual Horrortober Booze Fest, which we call Beers for Fears, we tackled 4 pumpkin ales and ranked them for you. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you’ll see that taste is in the buds of the tongue. Enjoy a couple of beer slobs (not snobs) sipping ale and munching on pumpkin spice Oreos. We’re also giving away signed copies of Dark Dossier Magazine, so find out how you can get one!

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

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