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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old October 24 2008, 01:55 AM   #226
Turd Ferguson
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Last night, we watched The Orphanage and The Ruins (which pretty much, blew, btw )

Tonight, we're watching The Strangers and The Happening (I know I'm probably going to hate it, given my disdain for Shyamalan's movies nowadays, but I figured I'd give it a shot).

We've got a huge library of books, so after I finish Shadows of the Empire, I may read an H.P. Lovecraft or a non-Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice book. Or perhaps a Clive Barker yarn, or there's always Stephen King's It.
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Old October 24 2008, 01:59 AM   #227
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I liked The Orphanage a lot, but yeah, The Ruins was better in book form.

Let us know about The Strangers. I'm curious about that one.
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Old October 24 2008, 09:49 AM   #228
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I might check out The Happening eventually; Shyamalan is not all he's cracked up to be (he basically directs mediocre Twilight Zone episodes; hey, there's a marketing idea: Throw all his movies together with the TZ prefix, stickin a CGI Rod Serling and... but never mind, this was only supposed to be a parenthetical aside), but the idea for this movie sounded interesting.

"Lot 249" was great. It's set at a men's college in the 1880s or 90s and is full of proper young dandies breezily spouting nigh-incomprehensible antique British slang. Now I want to write a story in that style.

Yesterday, I frightened myself by watching Night Of The Ghouls. Alone.

Now I'm reading a few stories from Children Of Cthulhu.
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Old October 24 2008, 02:37 PM   #229
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

The wife and I have been watching the Omen pentology and Kingdom Hospital; she's reading a Dean Koontz book and I'm reading a Buffy tie-in about Spike and Dru...
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Old October 24 2008, 05:33 PM   #230
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
I liked The Orphanage a lot, but yeah, The Ruins was better in book form.

Let us know about The Strangers. I'm curious about that one.
The Strangers was pretty creepy. I didn't jump at all, but my girlfriend did. I could imagine being freaked out if what happened to them happened to us. Definitely give it a watching

I must say, I don't think my expectations could have been any lower for The Happening, but I'll admit, at least it was better than The Village. Not that it was that good, mind you. Just the plot twist wasn't as stupid. And it was still stupid. If that makes sense

Tonight, I'll probably end up watching John Carpenter's Halloween and possibly House of 1000 Corpses.
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Old October 27 2008, 06:27 PM   #231
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Dark Harvest is a pretty good thrill the second time around. Less so with Halloweenland. It's not bad, but it's not as evocative of October as some of Sarrantonio's previous work, at least 100 pages in. But it's a really quick read, so I'm considering plowing through the rest of it tonight so I can hurry up and get to something else. Maybe From the Dust Returned.


RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
Yesterday, I frightened myself by watching Night Of The Ghouls. Alone.
Nice.

Now I'm reading a few stories from Children Of Cthulhu.
How is that? It pops up as a recommendation for me on Kindle now and then.

Turd Ferguson wrote: View Post
The Strangers was pretty creepy. I didn't jump at all, but my girlfriend did. I could imagine being freaked out if what happened to them happened to us. Definitely give it a watching
Will do. I don't know if I'll get to see it before Hallowe'en, but I'll definitely rent it soon.

Dread Central's got a glowing review of Trick 'r Treat, which just makes me all the more frustrated that Warner Brothers is just sitting on it. It was supposed to be released at Hallowe'en last year, and except for a few minor convention viewings, it hasn't been released at all. At first there were fears that it'd go straight to DVD, but so far it looks like WB isn't even doing that. As the review says:

For two years, the studio has refused to release this little gem, while it continues to crank out unwatchable bottom-of-the-barrel dreck like Return to House on Haunted Hill and Lost Boys: The Tribe.
The review makes it sound like loads of fun, and it makes me wish studios still did anthology-style horror flicks.
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Old October 27 2008, 06:56 PM   #232
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I am currently reading the most horrifying collection ever written.

Sixty first-year History mid-terms.

The horror. The horror!
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Old October 27 2008, 11:59 PM   #233
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

^^ Are those who fail History doomed to repeat it?

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
Now I'm reading a few stories from Children Of Cthulhu.
How is that? It pops up as a recommendation for me on Kindle now and then.
With the exception of Poppy Z Brite's contribution, I've enjoyed them all so far, especially Larry Niven's story and another one set in the Post-Bellum South. And there's a story called "Details" that's both Lovecraftian and innovative. There's one very short story that's pretty standard, but loaded with atmosphere. Based on what I've read so far (maybe a quarter of the book), I think it's worth getting.

I read the third story in Four Octobers and it was quite good, though I found the ending weak. It had the same "oddity" as the second story, which I won't spoil because it has nothing to do with quality, but I'll just say it's probably not a good choice for Halloween reading. I'll save the last story till later. I'm thinking of reading something from the Destinations Unknown anthology next.

Dread Central's got a glowing review of Trick 'r Treat, which just makes me all the more frustrated that Warner Brothers is just sitting on it. It was supposed to be released at Hallowe'en last year, and except for a few minor convention viewings, it hasn't been released at all. At first there were fears that it'd go straight to DVD, but so far it looks like WB isn't even doing that. As the review says:

For two years, the studio has refused to release this little gem, while it continues to crank out unwatchable bottom-of-the-barrel dreck like Return to House on Haunted Hill and Lost Boys: The Tribe.
The review makes it sound like loads of fun, and it makes me wish studios still did anthology-style horror flicks.
I love anthology movies. I did re-watch Dead Of Night last week, by the way. I wonder what the reason is for holding back on this flick; maybe there's some kind of legal issue.
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Old October 29 2008, 02:57 AM   #234
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Well, I read Come Closer by Sara Gran.

It was a very quick read--I finished it in a few hours--and not at all what I was expecting.

When I started reading, the style struck me as very noir-ish--first-person, matter-of-fact--not what I would expect from a horror novel.

And sure enough, it basically turned out to be demonic noir--as if James M. Cain had written Rosemary's Baby. In fact, it reminded me strongly of Jason Starr's Hard Feelings, with a supernatural twist. And now that I think about it, it also reminds me of William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel, which was filmed as Angel Heart

In retrospect, I shouldn't have been so surprised. Gran's second novel, Dope, is a more traditional noir.

Quite a good little novel. I didn't find it as scary as the blurbs indicated, but it was creepy, and a real page-turner.
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Old October 31 2008, 09:46 AM   #235
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Well, I've mostly been reading Far Below And Other Horrors, which is a facsimile of a 1974 book reprinting stories from the 20s and 30s (yeah, they're doing facsimiles of books that came out when I was 13-- I feel young ).

Today I'll be watching the TCM Marathon (I actually taped a couple overnight) and probably dipping into Halloween Reader and Far Below. But I also foolishly decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year and, since it starts tomorrow, I really need to figure out what I'm going to write.
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Old October 31 2008, 08:25 PM   #236
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Alas, I haven't found much time for Halloween reading or viewing this year: about the closest I've come is reading a biography of Rod Serling and half-listening to a Goosebumps marathon on TV in the background. So, um, not close at all.

But today I got a package from Cemetery Dance Publications, containing this year's Halloween Misfits grab bag, a set of damaged or irregular books at bargain prices. I now have Brimstone Turnpike, edited by Kealan Patrick Burke, Joyride by Jack Ketchum, and (hey) Halloween and Other Seasons by Al Sarrantonio. I'll probably dig into the last of these tonight.
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Old October 31 2008, 09:34 PM   #237
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Still working through the complete compendium of Varney the Vampire and sadly didn't get to order the third Van Helsing Diary off amazon yet.
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Old October 31 2008, 11:34 PM   #238
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Ah, cool, I definitely want to hear more about Varney The Vampire and those books from Cemetery Dance.

Today I read several stories from Far Below and will probably read another before sleep. On TCM, I watched Torture Garden and Twice Told Tales, which I taped last night. TG was okay, but TTT (with Vincent Price in three roles) was great. I saw bits and pieces of several other movies, including Devil Bat and Mark Of The Vampire. And, of course, I had to watch at least one Universal from my DVD collection, which turned out to be The Mummy's Hand; I haven't watched that one in a while.
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Old November 1 2008, 02:28 AM   #239
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Well, Halloweenland was kind of a bust. I've liked some of Sarrantonio's earlier stuff, but this one kind of felt like the end of a contract or something. It followed the formula where the protagonist goes from one source of information to the next, following a chain of people and piecing together information that eventually brings them right where they started. It just kind of felt banged out, which is a bummer. And the epilogue had me rolling my eyes. It's too bad, but at least it's a short read at 230 pages.

Camevilopard wrote: View Post
Well, I read Come Closer by Sara Gran.

It was a very quick read--I finished it in a few hours--and not at all what I was expecting.

When I started reading, the style struck me as very noir-ish--first-person, matter-of-fact--not what I would expect from a horror novel.

And sure enough, it basically turned out to be demonic noir--as if James M. Cain had written Rosemary's Baby. In fact, it reminded me strongly of Jason Starr's Hard Feelings, with a supernatural twist. And now that I think about it, it also reminds me of William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel, which was filmed as Angel Heart
I sounds like a fun little read. I think I'll bump it up on my list. Thanks!

RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
Today I'll be watching the TCM Marathon (I actually taped a couple overnight) and probably dipping into Halloween Reader and Far Below.
I often wish I had TCM, but heck, looking at the schedule, I actually own most of the movies they're showing. So maybe I'll simulate a TCM experience. I wonder if my wife can do an impersonation of Robert Osborne, and, if she can, if I'd really want to hear it....

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
But today I got a package from Cemetery Dance Publications, containing this year's Halloween Misfits grab bag, a set of damaged or irregular books at bargain prices. I now have Brimstone Turnpike, edited by Kealan Patrick Burke, Joyride by Jack Ketchum, and (hey) Halloween and Other Seasons by Al Sarrantonio. I'll probably dig into the last of these tonight.
Let us know how you like those. I love those Cemetery Dance books. It's unfortunate that they haven't been able to ship out the latest issue of the magazine before Hallowe'en.

I actually thought of you a couple of weeks ago, when I picked up a copy of Teatro Grottesco by by Thomas Ligotti. It's a nice little book; I'm looking forward to reading it. I have The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, too, but I've resisted reading it because I've gotten the notion that I've got to bone up on my Lovecraft, first. I honestly have no idea where I got that idea.

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Still working through the complete compendium of Varney the Vampire ...
How is that? That's one I've always kind of wondered about, but I've never dived into it.
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Old November 1 2008, 02:44 PM   #240
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Mediocre, it was a Penny Dreadful in 1847, sort of like newspaper comic strips now, it went for 237 "episodes" when the only other Vampire publication before it was "The Vampyr" at the turn of the century so the story meanders quite a lot with the main character not having a coherent background or motivation. I'd stick to the later Victorian novels really.

As for the other one I mentioned, its a once a year publication, the "Hunter Handbooks". Each one a chronicle of a member of the Van Helsing family with a particular theme. They're large gothic art books with grotesque but amazing demon drawings, some from Hollywood monster artists. It has a short story that unfolds over the course of the book, but the main appeal is just the physical look of the books themsevles and the art sprawling over the pages.

"The Demon Hunters Handbook", "The Vampire Hunters Handbook" and now this year "The Dragon Hunters Handbook" of Adelia Van Helsing, which is one of the few female Van Helsings I've seen in fiction.
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