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?
Every time I look at the calendar lately, I get giddy. October – uh, I mean HORRORTOBER, is almost here! That means one month of complete horror immersion, from books to movies and things to do.
I’m looking forward to Horrortober more than ever this year because the slate of horror flicks that have come out in 2018 have left a lot to be desired. I feel as though I’ve been bombarded by duds like Unfriended : Dark Web, The Nun and Winchester. Yep, time in the local movie has has not been time well spent, although A Quiet Place and Hereditary are a couple of bright spots. Hell, Puppet Master : The Littles Reich is now in my top 10 for 2018! That’s all that needs to be said.
For me, Horrortober means going back to revisit the movies that are the reason for the season. My goal, that I’ve been able to surpass most years, is to watch at least one horror movie a day. Every year, I rewatch Halloween (natch), It Follows, Motel Hell and The Funhouse and several other staples. But each year, I also add a bunch I haven’t seen in a while. So, what’s on this year’s to-watch list?
2018 is the year of Fred Dekker for me. I’ve added House and The Monster Squad to the old queue. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the top 10 rat movies to see. On that list is Of Unknown Origin, which is now on my Horrortober list. I’m a HUGE John Carpenter fan, but it’s been too long since I revisited They Live. I’m rectifying that this year. The Changeling was just restored in what I hear is a wonderful Blu Ray, which I may buy to give us nightmares in the Shea lair. Or I’ll just watch my old, grainy DVD. Oh, gotta have vampires, so Near Dark is in the rotation.
Now, I have two questions – are you here to chew bubblegum or kick ass? No, that’s not it. What movies do you think I should add to my list? We can watch them ‘together’ and discuss on Twitter. Also, what’s on your Horrortober list? Let’s make this a month long party and swap movie ideas. Those who comment here and share are in the drawing to win free ebooks of Rattus New Yorkus, Jurassic Florida and more. So come on you hellion horror hounds, let’s get pumped for Horrortober!
For my money, ghost/haunted house movies are by far the creepiest. Luckily for us, there have been a ton of spine tingling ghost flicks over the years. This Horrortober, if you’re looking to scare yourself before heading off to bed, why not give one (or all ten) of these movies a try?
What are some of your favorites?
10. LADY IN WHITE
9. THE ENTITY
8. THE INNOCENTS
6. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
5. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
3. THE CHANGELING
2. THE SHINING
- THE HAUNTING
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Is there any month finer than October? I don’t have to list all the reasons why October…ahem, Horrortober…kicks ass to my Hellions. I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement here.
Now begins the quest to once again watch at least 1 horror movie a day, read only horror books, and attend only horror parties and functions. Naturally, I’m also in the midst of writing a new horror novel, so I literally cannot escape the genre I love during Horrortober.
Every year, I set aside books and movies just for Horrortober, a bit o’ curation for the season of dark terror. Typically, I read about 6 books or more (some of them novellas). This year, I’ve decided to tackle 2 BIG books and 1 graphic comic.
I prefer the uncut version Stephen King’s THE STAND, reveling in all 1,156 pages. I’ve come to realize that reading this book is a young man’s game. It’s literally too heavy for me to hold for any length of time. Looks like it’ll be a lap book this go around. I’m also looking forward to reading CRAB MONSTERS, TEENAGE CAVEMEN, AND CANDY STRIPE NURSES, a beautiful book crammed with glossy pages of Roger Corman’s oddball, incredible film career. Somewhere in between those two massive books, I hope to sneak in the Howling Commandos graphic comic. Any book with Man-Thing is a must have for me.
For your own TBR pile, click here to get a free copy of my ghost novella, THE GRAVEYARD SPEAKS. Nothing better on Horrortober than a haunted cemetery!
As for the movies I’ve set aside, here’s a few sitting on my queue…
THE DARK HALF
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
THE CRAZIES (GEORGE ROMERO’S ORIGINAL)
THE LOVED ONES
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOO TRILOGY
HALLOWEEN (1, 3, 4 & 5)
And sooo many more. Last year, I watched 50 movies in Horrortober. I’m not sure I can top that, but dammit, I’m going to try!
As always, I’ll tweet the movies I watch with the hashtag, #Horrortober, along with my rating system of 1 through 9 tana leaves. The Mummy is always proud. I encourage you to do the same thing so we can all see what we’re watching, loving and hating.
I’ll also be at Chiller Theatre at the end of the month (milling around and having fun) along with several other spooky events.
So, what are your plans for Horrortober? Share your to-read and watch lists. There just may be some special surprises for those Hellions who want to get in on the fun.
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?
Today being the official start of Fall (even though it’ll feel like summer here), I’m as excited as a bat at sundown. #Horrotober, my month long celebration of the Halloween season, is just a week away. As always, I want you to revel in all things horror with me, which means filling our days and nights with scary movies, books, magazines and fun things to do.
So, first thing you need to do is line up movies to watch. I try to do 1 horror movie a day and always post them on twitter with the old #Horrortober hashtag. As a public service, here are some pretty good horror flix you can catch on Netflix to fill your schedule.
This rare Turkish horror movie starts out with five asshole cops sitting around a late night eatery. Kinda like Reservoir Dogs, except they’re not planning a crime and doling out funny names. They get called to a break in and then, my friends, all hell breaks loose. The visuals here are some of the most disturbing I’ve seen in years. This is high strangeness, a Clive Barker inspired fever dream with an antagonist that might make Pinhead shiver.
I loved the movie Don’t Breathe, which was the second half of what I call 2016’s disability horror. Hush is a home invasion movie where a deaf woman in a remote cabin is put through hell by an absolute psycho. The fact that she can’t hear him as he moves about the cabin, breaking windows, or even know the sounds she makes as she tries to lurk around really amps up the tension. It’s a little movie that packs a big punch.
Being an Irishman, I can never resist any movie set in Ireland, horror or otherwise. In this little surprise, an arborist moves his family to the woods, settling into an old house with iron bars on all of the windows. Why? Oh, you’ll find out. Very cool creature effects abound in this taut bit o nastiness.
Man gets invited by flaky ex-wife to come over for dinner with their old friends and some new ones. He obviously doesn’t want to be there, but the new woman in his life urges him on. We know right away something bad happened between these two. But that’s not what makes this little shindig so strange. You can file this under slow burn but with a great third act. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year.
THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE
Another low budget indie horror that has to depend on story and strong performances by a cast of folks you’ve probably never seen before. I honestly had no idea where this one was going. A down and out dude gets taken in by his friend but maybe he should have been left to his own devices. Because he’s getting strange calls and hearing voices and is a powder keg ready to explode.
One year before the runaway hit, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (and now we know there’s a new one coming soon), the film that would usher in a whole new horror filmmaking subgenre – found footage – there was a chilling mockumentary called THE LAST BROADCAST. The quality may not have been as good as Blair Witch, but I think that’s what made it all the more chilling. Why didn’t it hit it big? It all came down to that new fangled thing, the internet. In 1999, The creators of Blair Witch used the power of internet viral marketing before it was even called viral marketing. In 1998, THE LAST BROADCAST didn’t have that same hype, with people assuming the film was real before it even came out. The producers had a web presence, but they weren’t quite as savvy. It came and went, largely ignored.
Which is sad, because in some ways, THE LAST BROADCAST is even scarier. When you watch it, you feel like you’re viewing something that shouldn’t be seen. I’m not going to say it’s the bees knees, but for one of the first entries in found footage, it’s up there with The Poughkeepsie Tapes (which can give you a case of the everlasting goosebumps).
Here’s my favorite part of THE LAST BROADCAST. In it, two guys with a local cable access show set off into New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to search for The Jersey Devil. Sign me up. I’ve been to the Barrens. Even without a legendary creature, the place is spooky as hell.
Check out the trailer :
I first saw the entire movie on YouTube, but it’s since been taken down. However, you can now grab a copy at The Last Broadcast website.
Now, remember, this is a low budget flick. Making the hosts some dudes with a cable access show was the perfect framework to set expectations in terms of film and production quality. It’s done that way on purpose, but also allows the viewer to make some concessions. Don’t expect any crazy creature effects. This is all about atmosphere and mystery.
If you’re a horror and cryptid completist like me, I strongly urge you to check it out. And I triple dog dare you to venture out into the Pine Barrens at night.
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!
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.
It’s Halloween, the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Ghosts and demons lay in wait for little boys and girls who prefer tricks over treats!
What better way to spend the season than watching great horror movies? Here are what I consider the 5 best haunted house movies of all time. For my money, ghosts are far scarier than monsters because we’re potentially looking at our own destinies. Will you be among the trapped spirits some day, haunting the family living in your former home?
5. THE SENTINEL
The 70s were a treasure trove for horror. This is the decade that gave us true frights like The Exorcist, The Omen, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left and Halloween. Lost in the mix is this chilling classic about a NY fashion model who moves into a creepy brownstone apartment. The residents are the most disturbing cast of characters you’ll ever meet. Part ghost story, party possession tale, some scenes in The Sentinel will haunt you for the rest of your life. And it’s loaded with stars, including Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D’Angelo, Ava Gardner. John Carradine and so much more.
4. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
This flick needs no introduction. Even if the story the Lutz family told the world is total B.S., this is still a spine tingling movie.This one has it all – evil spirits, bleeding walls, mystery rooms, imaginary friends with bad intentions and a home clouded by the spectre of a mass murder. James Brolin is brooding and terrifying as the spirit of the house drags him down. Almost 40 years later and this one still gives me chills.
3. THE CHANGELING
George C. Scott plays a composer who lost his family in an accident. Trying to put his life back together, he moves into a huge old house that, as we come to find out, is quite haunted. First of all, Scott may be the biggest-name actor in a horror movie – ever. His performance gives a gravitas rarely seen in the genre. As the story unfolds, you’ll find your goosebumps just won’t go away. That’s one haunted house I might skip if invited to spend the night.
2. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
I wasn’t a fan of The Blair Witch Project and the whole found footage dealio, but Paranormal Activity changed my mind. This one actually made my wife and I nervous when we went to sleep that night (it doesn’t help that we live in a haunted house). I can think of better things to film in the bedroom, but I’m glad they concentrated on the demonic spirit here. I just watched it again last week and it’s still unsettling. Find the BluRay with the alternate ending if you can!
Hands down, this is my favorite ghost movie ever. Short on special effects because it doesn’t need them, a college professor gathers willing subjects to live in a haunted mansion in Massachusetts. As the caretaker warns them in the beginning, “No one can hear you scream in the dark. In the night.” Using the twisted history of the house to put your nerves on edge, The Haunting is all about atmosphere and odd sounds and tortured souls. This is a must watch for any true horror fan.
So, what would make your top 5 list? There were so many I could have added here, but I forced myself to whittle it down to the 5 that deeply affected me, long after the end credits.
First, I want to thank Man Crates for coming up with this idea and urging me to part the cobwebs in my brain to come up with this list.It’s a very cool site that packages perfect gift crates for us dudes, pairing booze and man food and other awesome stuff. They even have a zombie survival crate. I’m partial to the personalized pint set that comes in an ammo can. Just in case you’re all wondering what to get me for Christmas.
This particular concept very apropos for Uncle Hunter, and not just because I’m a horror writer and the Halloween season is upon us. When I was a kid, I inhaled horror flicks. Instead of the usual nightmares any normal kid would have, I’d fall asleep imagining myself in the movie and coming up with better ways to beat down the monster. Little Hunter was far from normal.
Now, I don’t want to lug out the usual stuff – a machete, garlic, crucifix, blah blah blah. It’s been done to death (kinda like Hellraiser – just watch the last 4 movies if you don’t believe me). So, in the spirit of creativity and having a young brain warped by Chiller Theatre, here is my official horror movie survival kit
- A Beautiful Woman. That’s right. I’m talking a woman who stops traffic when she crosses the street. She doesn’t need super powers, arcane knowledge of curses or be a closet survivalist. I just need her to dig me, you dig? Which leads to number two…
- Condoms. I’m in a horror movie and pretty soon, I’m going to be fighting or running for my life. I want to spend some quality time with my exceedingly attractive lady friend before I literally piss myself. Plus, I want to be the one guy who has sex and lives! Imagine that!
- Ball Peen Hammer. Aside from the fact that I’ve always liked saying ‘ball peen hammer’, this is an underutilized defensive weapon. The head is fatter than a normal hammer and many times, the handle is thicker, too. That means less chance of it breaking in half at the worst possible moment. Plus, when I bash a baddie’s head in, I get to scream, “It’s hammer time, bitch!”
4. Hand Grenades. Imagine the look on Jason’s face (provided you’ve knocked his hockey mask off) when you drop a grenade on him. It’ll be a lot easier running from parts of Jason than the whole hulking killing machine. In fact, I’m pretty sure most killers and monsters don’t expect you to have military grade weaponry on hand. Take the element of surprise back and save yourself.
5. A Bottle of Macallan 25 Year Old Whiskey. During the inevitable breaks when fighting to survive, a quick jolt of some of the finest whiskey I ever had will keep me going. I mean, who wants to die when there’s more whiskey out there waiting to be drunk? You can also use it for a Molotov cocktail if things get really desperate. And with 25 year old whiskey, we’re talking it’s a flaming bottle or the abyss.
6. A Jet Pack. When all else fails, it would be nice to have a means of jettisoning the hell out of there and finding a safe place to lick your wounds and hide. Some days, you’re just not in the mood to battle evil incarnate. Take off for a nice spa resort and get back in touch with yourself.