Okay, you’ve answered the door a thousand times and have run out of candy. Time to shut out the lights, crack open a beer or wine (blood red, of course) and watch a scary movie, something to haunt your dreams. Sure, you could stick with the tried and true like Halloween or Night of the Living Dead. But why not explore new dark territory this year? Here are 5 movies guaranteed to give you shivers…
5. THE SENTINEL
3. THE DESCENT
2. THE ORPHANGE
- THE NIGHT STALKER
While I take a break to watch Mets Spring Training and continue my self-studies on ancient American archaeology, specifically the mound builders of North America, I’m handing this blog n’ chain over to author, Roland Yeomans. And talk about small worlds. His designer is Heather McCorkle, who is one of my favorite people in the Twitterverse! We are all 6 degrees of maple bacon. Roland’s latest book is a mix of horror and steampunk and history and everything in between. I can’t wait to read it.
OK Hellions, time for me to hit the textbooks. Roland, take the wheel…
“True horror is when men are free to become the monsters they have always wanted to be.”
– Samuel McCord
Roland Yeomans here on my “Don’t You Hate Book Tours?” Book Tour.
One of the worst war criminals was a home-grown one: General William Tecumseh Sherman of “Let’s Toast Marshmallows All Through Georgia” Fame.
It was his idea, by the way.
As he was drawing wagon-loads of civilian down roads suspected of containing mines, cannoning Atlanta homes sheltering crying women and children, and writing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that there was a whole class of people, men, women, and children, that needed to be killed in the South.
The lure of alternate history is to take the past and give it a twist. Steampunk filters the story through a Victorian H. G. Wells lens. Horror allows me to serve back terror to those who most deserve it.
Have you ever thought what might have been the fate of the White Man had Native American magic been real, had the White’s boogey-men been waiting for the carnage of the Civil War to give them an engraved invitation?
Imagine a world where aliens walk unsuspected among us, where global vampire kingdoms wage war against one another in secret, and one man with death in his veins tries to even the scales for those who cannot fight back.
Horror is more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains upstairs.
An atmosphere of unexplainable dread, of lurking unknown forces must be present. There must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain:a malign suspension of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the demons of unsuspected reality.
In The Not-So-Innocents Abroad, Samuel McCord, a man cursed with the blood of the Angel of Death, marries the woman of most people’s nightmares: the Empress of the Alien Race that has toyed with Man since he crawled from out of his caves.
But love seldom has good sense, much less good luck.
Now, McCord must struggle to see if there is an honorable way to be married to a monster.
He may not live long enough to find there is no such road.
The vampiric Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Empress Theodora of the Unholy Roman Empire are among the passengers of the honeymoon vessel of the no-longer human and the alien empress.
The insane Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, a crippled General Sherman, 11 year old Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious Greek physician Lucanus join many others on the honeymoon voyage of the first Air-Steamship, Xanadu.
The keening which General Sherman heard as the Angel of Death convened at the corrupt peace treaty at Ft. Laramie when the skies became blood, the stars reversed their course, and the dead rose:
Cost of Passage? Only $9.99. Come aboard for the adventure of a lifetime.
As part of the Monster Men podcast, I’ve gotten to interview great writers and super interesting peeps over the past 4 years. This time around, I think Jack and I have topped ourselves. We interview Daniel Rumanos – illusionist, paranormal investigator and debunker, member of the Dracula Society, writer for Honeysuckle Magazine and a man cloaked in as much mystery as he is controversy. As I said in the interview, he probably has the coolest business card of anyone we’ve ever met.
So strap yourselves in as we delve into the world of magic, ghosts and vampires….
To say we here at Monster Men central have been working hard to have legend-in-the-making author Johnathan Janz on the show is putting it mildly. So we figured once we had our claws in him, we weren’t letting go until we had enough for two episodes! In part 1, we talk about his latest horror thriller, EXORCIST ROAD, as well as everything else in the Janz growing library. JJ is the goods and also one of the nicest guys in the biz. I have to admit, he’s my writer brother from another mother. Here’s a great chance to see and hear the man behind the tales of terror. I do believe this may be the first video interview with the man who likes to spin our nightmares.
In part 2, we focus on vampires, both in books and movies. His spring release, DUST DEVILS, is one of the best vampire books to mosey along the Ponderosa and naturally made us gravitate toward the bloodsuckers. We know how much you all dig your vamps. Enjoy!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
I’ve recently partnered with fellow horror maven, Jack Campisi, to do a series of podcasts we like to call Monster Men. In each podcast, we’ll focus on a particular topic, from the state of zombies to paranormal TV, book and movie reviews and the latest horror news. Our first episode is Vampires Kinda Suck. We hope you agree…
Follow Hunter on Twitter!
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