Tag Archive | scary movies

Let The #Halloween Season Begin!

Ah, October, or #Horrortober to me. 31 days of ghouls and ghosts, tricks or treats, pumpkin ale and comfort food. What’s not to like? I’m going to kick things off in grand style today, so be sure to read this here post from top to bottom. Lots o’ treats (aka giveaways for your trick or treat bags) for everyone.

This year, the Monster Men released our Halloween special a little early so you can gather great movies to watch and books to read. We also try a new pumpkin ale that you might want to stock in your fridge.

If you’re looking for more terrifying books, check out my 2015 Horrortober Reading List.There are some great reads on there by authors like Nick Cutter, Brian Moreland, Catherine Cavendish and more.

Hallowpalooza2015_EnterI’ve got a treat for you. I’m one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Reviews HALLOWPALOOZA Scavenger Hunt.

During this event I’m going to help you find some great new books. Make sure to check my featured title out along the way.
The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card. The total prize pool is $1,000 with 113 winners.
Enter Now by clicking here or the graphic above!
Creepy hunter2 Book Lovers Reviews is hosting a month long event, feature twisted horror writers like myself trying our best to explain our fascination with all things dark and dangerous. Jonathan Janz will be on the tour as well, so check it out. They did a nice job with my headshot. Send more paramedics…
halloweenbannerTalk about a steal. From now until Halloween, Audio Realms is taking 50% off all their horror audiobooks. They have a great catalog of fantastic books by the hottest writers in the genre. While you’re there, you can also pick up my Swamp Monster Massacre and Evil Eternal. Feed your ears!
Dover Demon Large CoverGot demons?
If you’re on Goodreads, you can enter my Dover Demon giveaway. I’m giving away 2 signed copies of my latest cryptid novel. You have until October 13th to get in the game. Good luck!
ddmagGet a free copy of Dark Dossier Magazine. This mag has it all – new fiction, exposes, reviews and more. To get your free copy of their latest issue, enter the coupon code monstermen. It’s that simple. Thank you Dark Dossier for spreading the horror!
MM Graphics AudioWin a free CD audiobook of The Montauk MonsterTo reward everyone who’s stuck with me so far, I’m going to pick one winner from everyone who comments, likes or shares this post. You’ll receive the 6 CD set of The Montauk Monster. GraphicAudio did a killer job on this. Complete with dozens of actors, music, sound effects, you’ll think the creatures are right behind you!
As always, I’ll be watching a ton of horror movies all month and posting them on Twitter with the hashtag, #Horrortober, along with my tana leaves rating. Join the viewing party and share your own horror flicks!
So, what are you doing to gear up for Halloween?

Finding More Found Footage Films In Time For Turkey Day

Yep, I dropped a lot of F bombs in this post’s title. Before I ramble on, I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. If there’s one thing I’m grateful for (actually, there are many), it’s all of you who wander over to my blog and read my books and just keep me going. You are all bad motor scooters and mean go-getters.

I also want to give thanks to fellow author and horror douche (his words, not mine), Jason Brant for being on the Monster Men. We actually shot 2 episodes with Jason because we had such a good time. The first one is all about found footage movies. Just when I thought the subgenre was done, a slew of new flicks flooded the market this year. Jack, Jason and I go through a bunch, telling you which ones to seek out and which to avoid.

 

As you can see, I found my cowboy hat in the bottom of my closet just before we started filming, much to my wife and daughters’ chagrin. My youngest asked me if I was going to a rodeo, since I was also wearing a flannel shirt and jeans.

Just a quick update on the writing front, my next cryptid novel is in the hands of my beta readers and line editor, aka my sister. As soon as I sent it out, I got to work on a little novella that promises to be a demented ride straight to hell. If all goes well, expect 4 new books in 2015, plus some short stories.

And now I’ll leave you to your turkey and booze and football. Enjoy the long weekend.

funny_thanksgiving_moments_04

Best Horror Movies of 2013, Or At Least My Favorites

I promised myself I wasn’t going to come out with any top 10 lists for the new year…and I’m sticking to it. Rebel that I am, I’m here to dish on my 13 favorite horror movies of 2013. That’s right, where all the other blogs only give you a measly 10, I’m like Five Guys Burgers and Fries dishing out the extra fries.

Admittedly, I didn’t see every movie that came out (most noticeably, I didn’t catch Insidious Chapter 2 – dumb ass name), but I did watch a hell of a lot of horror flicks last year – and every year for that matter. A few of these came out in 2012, but weren’t available to anyone outside the lone theater they premiered in until 2013. You want to take me to the mat for that, let’s throw down. So, let the countdown begin!

13. THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY

Yes, it’s a found footage movie, but the premise and execution are a notch above most of this sub-genre. A descendant of the mad Dr. Frankenstein takes a team to the Arctic Circle to prove that Mary Shelley’s iconic tale was not a work of fiction, but a recounting of a true and chilling story. The atmosphere is stark, desolate, and the chills you feel are very real. This one totally took me by surprise.

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12. THALE

OK, I’ll admit I picked this one up because of the attractive and, aahhh, nude woman on the cover. Sometimes, being shallow pays off. The Thale in this tale is a mythological Norwegian creature that looks a lot like a pretty damn sexy woman with a tail. That’s right, a tail. When a couple of house cleaners stumble upon the imprisoned Thale, all hell breaks loose. Freakin’ strange, but beautifully shot and just plain haunting.

Thale

11. DARK SKIES

I finally relented and bought a BluRay player last year. This was one of the first discs I asked Santa to cram in my stocking. I’m a sucker for alien abduction movies (Communion, Fire in the Sky, The Fourth Kind). What makes this movie so strong is the way it builds up the family and makes you truly care for them, making it that much harder to watch an alien presence tear their lives apart. Top notch performances and some great visuals. This one can get pretty creepy at times and has an ending you rarely see anymore.

Dark Skies

10. THE PURGE

My hopes were so, so high for this one. There was no way it could ever live up to them. But it came pretty damn close. Think Assault on Precinct 13 (where Ethan Hawke also starred in the remake) in the ‘burbs. I fell in love the moment I saw Ethan Hawke’s gun. Tense, futuristic, and at times downright gory, it’s worth the time. Plus it has Cersei Lannister, so how bad can it be?

The Purge

9. WOULD YOU RATHER?

I think I’m one out of the dozen or so people who saw this one, but man was it fun. Re-Animator’s Jeffrey Combs is a twisted, rich SOB who invites a handful of down-on-their-luck folks for dinner in his mansion. One of them will receive enough money in the end to solve all of their worldly problems. All they have to do is play a little game called Would You Rather? Sick, sick, sick, awesome, awesome, awesome. How did no one think of this one before?

Would You Rather

8. MANIAC

Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of the 80’s original. Elijah Wood stars as the socially awkward Maniac this time around. What made this work, aside from his performance, was the concept to shoot the movie through his eyes. Brilliant. This one will give you the heebie-jeebies. One of those movies where I say, “I am so glad I’m not a single woman.”

Maniac

7. V/H/S 2

When I caught the first V/H/S on Netflix, I was did my little horror dance – the one I do when I stumble upon little gems of terror. I was worried that the sequel would fall short of the original. There was no need to worry. In fact, I think part 2 is slightly better and more cohesive than the first. The short on the cult alone makes it one of the best flicks of the year. Go catch it on Netflix streaming.

VHS 2

6. ABSENCE

Here’s the second alien abduction movie on my list, as well as the second found footage flick. You’d think that combo would add up to el stinkeroo. Not so fast, capitano! Again, an achingly powerful performance by Erin Way as a woman who mysteriously lost her baby in late term pregnancy keeps this one humming. It has a few real scares that will make you think twice when you look up at the night sky.

absence

5. THE BATTERY

In a year when World War Z crapped the zombie bed, this mega low budget movie had to rely on something a lot of Hollywood movies ignore – an actual, well written story. This is the best zombie movie in a long while. Two minor league baseball battery mates (a pitcher and a catcher) survive the zombie apocalypse and walk from place to place, trying to survive. I love this movie because it gave us the first ‘masturbation to a dead girl’ scene and for the absolutely claustrophobic, dire last twenty minutes. Take that Brad Pitt!

The Battery

4. RITES OF SPRING

I had never even heard of this movie until I saw it as a suggestion on Netflix. Whoa, this one was a wild ride that reminded me of all the best elements of 80’s horror. This came out in 2011, but I believe wasn’t available until 2013. Screw it, I want it in my top 5. This one has kidnappers, a creature that comes out for the spring ‘harvest’, screams, some ugly bastard under a barn, blood and more. I had a blast watching this, and in the end, that’s what matters most.

Rites of Spring

3. THE CONJURING

The first movie adaptation of famed paranormalists Ed and Lorraine Warren and their ghostly travails. This one is genuinely scary at times. The Warrens are called to investigate an exceedingly haunted house that is driving a family to the brink. It stars Vera Farmiga, as Lorraine Warren (who I met with her late husband in the 90s) so I was already hooked. As I watched it, I kept thinking, if even half of this shit is true, we live in a world of truly terrifying potential. And don’t ever ask me to play hide-and-go-clap with you. Ever.

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2. AMERICAN MARY

A body modification movie gone horribly awry. Med school dropout takes to underground bod-mod surgeries in her apartment to make cash. This one is so bizarre, it has to be seen to be believed. Surreal, kinky, debased, sexy, it’s one of the most surprising horror movies I’ve ever seen. Whenever people ask me for movie recommendations, I tell ’em, American Mary. If you don’t get it, well, we’ll part as friends.

American Mary

1. YOU’RE NEXT

A family reunion goes to complete shit when crossbows start burying themselves in necks and backs in what was, by far, the most fun I had at the movies all year. Hell, I even took my mom to see this and she dug it. The lesson we learn here is that all girls should go to survivalist camp. Aside from the brutal murders and tense, graphic action, there are some fantastic laughs here, as well as a song that will loop in your head for months. This one gets my number one slot with ease!

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Picking Up Where The Monsters Left Off

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know summer is all about being on the beach, seeing how often you can pee in public pools, barbecuing as a valid excuse to drink and clinking Mountain Dew cans while you and your bud ride off into the sunset on  your jet skis.

Well, summer’s dead. Long live the fall!

It’s high time I clued you all in to the Monster Men episodes you missed while you were out and about having lost weekends and connecting with nature. I can’t believe we’re almost at 50 episodes! The fact that our 50th will be out in October, a monster’s time to shine, is pure dumb luck.

Here we are before we sold that damn dirty ape to the ghost of Ricardo Montalban

Here we are before we sold that damn dirty ape to the ghost of Ricardo Montalban

So, starting with the most recent to where we last left off when our stalwart heroes were at the mercy of Ming, here’s your chance to get all caught up before the HUGE October festivities. Help us get more sets of eyes on these episodes. Share them on all social media platforms, subscribe to the show and help spread the word. Click on the episode #s to view. If we can triple the views for each in the next couple of weeks, I’ll have some signed book and ebook giveaways to help get your Halloween started properly.

Episode 47 : Paranormal TV. All I have to say in this one is hail Bates Motel! Damn that was a great show, and a total shock to us both. We also dissect Hannibal, the second season of American Horror Story and a host of other shows. This one’s chock full of Vera Farmiga and Gillian Anderson – and that’s a good thing.

Episode 46 : Summer’s Hottest Flicks. At this point, you’ll have to wait for these movies to come out on video, but I’m sure it won’t be a long one. We break down the surprise smash hit, The Conjuring (Vera Farmiga again!), World War Z (no holds barred review on that one), Pacific Rim and a too cool indie zombie movie called The Battery. I saw Pacific Rim after we filmed this and the 10 year old in me fell in love.

Episode 45 : Comic Book Movies. The title says it all. In here, we have Iron Man, The Avengers, Batman, Man of Steel, you name it. This episode is dedicated to my father who passed away this June. He was the one who got me addicted to comics when I was a kid, and I could never thank him enough.

Episode 44 : Welcome to Monster Men…AAAARRRRGGGGHHH! For shits and giggles, we put together a montage of all of our openings. Watch us go from terrified squares to mental patients in no time at all.

Please, remember to tell everyone you know about the podcast. Unlike so many others out there, we’re not asking for money or reviews. We just want to spread the holy gospel of horror to as many people as we can. It only takes a click or two. We thank  you for all your support these past 2 years and hope to do this for many, many more.

John Carpenter Warped My Youth

I know that seems a harsh thing to say, but it’s true. Oh, he wasn’t alone with shattering my expectations of the genre I loved most, horror. But damn if he wasn’t the biggest influence on my entire generation.

When I try to list the top 20 horror films of my teen years, J.C. dominates. If I whittle it down to my top 10 of all time, he’s still the master. As a writer, director and musician, he’s the one I think of when I conjure up the images and sounds of the boogeyman and impending doom. The man was at the top of the heap for two decades, which is about a decade and 5 years more than most.

The Monster Men recently dedicated an episode to singing his praises. I can’t believe it took us 30+ episodes to do it, but better late than never. You can watch the video here.

My goal today is to give you a moment to stop and admire the filmography of one of the best in the biz. My first exposure to the legend was, naturally, Halloween. That movie defined the slasher flick, spawning hundreds of imitations. Shot in just a few weeks, it isn’t the least bit dated and is terrifying a new generation. As an added bonus, it gave us Jamie Lee Curtis! Big score. When I was a kid, my friend bought a William Shatner mask and painted it white with house paint so he could be Michael Meyers for Halloween. The dude nearly passed out from the fumes. I think he even puked a couple of times. But the mask was awesome.

Halloween_cover

Carpenter followed that up with The Fog, again with Jamie Lee and the seductive Adrienne Barbeau. Undead pirates seeking revenge on a sleepy little town. What’s not to like? John Carpenter was married to Adrienne for some time, which is why you see her in a few of his films. In fact, if John liked you, you could expect to be in quite a few of his movies. The man is loyal as hell.

Escape From New York is one badass of a flick. Snake Plissken could wipe out Al Queda singlehandedly and solve the debt crisis. “I’m the Duke of New York, A Number One!” For a whole year after that came out, you would hear me or one of my friends daily say, “Call me Snake.”

escape from ny

Now comes one of my all time favorite movies, The Thing. Growing up in my house, the original Thing was sacred, so we went to the movie with some trepidation. Carpenter pulled off the rare feat of creating a remake a thousand times better than the original. Great characters, fantastic monster effects for its time, and of course, Kurt Russell with a kick ass hat and a flame thrower. This and Escape From New York made Russell the epitome of the tough guy that every dude wanted to be in the 80s. The Thing is horror and sci-fi perfection. I actually heard people gagging in the theater when the monster was revealed for the first time. Nice.

The ThingPoster

Next was a string of more hits like Christine (Stephen King’s killer car flick), Starman and Big Trouble in Little China (more Kurt Russell!).

They Live, a movie about aliens that have infiltrated our lives and can only be seen with a special pair of sunglasses, was great because it starred my favorite wrestler, Rowdy Roddy Piper. Yes, it’s silly, but it also good fun. And it gave us the immortal line : “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

The Prince of Darkness is a creepy tale about the devil and a desperate race to stop a plague of evil that will consume the world. I just rewatched it recently, and now that I’m older with a firmer grasp of theology, it gave me even more chills.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Assault on Precinct 13, which I attest is actually a zombie movie, and maybe one of the best ever made. Towards the end of his run, Carpenter directed Vampires, a decent adaptation of John Steakley’s avant garde novel. I’ve never been able to look at James Woods the same way.

These aren’t all of John Carpenter’s movies, but they are the best of the best. Thank you J.C. for making me the horror junkie that I am. The big question is, who is going to be the one to fill his shoes? I’m not sure I see anyone on the horizon. Some might say Eli Roth, but I think he has more to prove. What do you think?

And what are some of your favorite John Carpenter movies and moments? If you need time to mull it over, play the soundtrack to Halloween in the background to help speed things up.

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