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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

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

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Old September 26 2011, 08:59 PM   #676
Goliath
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

So, I watched The Amityville Horror (1979) for the first time last night. I was a little underwhelmed.

I thought it was actually a decent Exorcist/Omen clone for most of its length, though it had a tendency to leave plot threads dangling. The story of Father Delaney, for example, could have been dropped without affecting the rest of the movie at all. Ditto the discovery of the Red Room. And ditto the father's resemblance to the killer.

But the ending sucked. It just sucked. I almost would have preferred a cheap sequel-setup scare.

Similarly, I read John Shirley's novel Cellars (1981) recently. This is supposed to be an important influence on the rise of splatterpunk and 'extreme horror'. Edward Lee, for example, has written a foreword to the new edition, citing it as a major inspiration. And, unlike The Amityville Horror, the ending of Cellars was the best part--very thrilling.

The problem in this case was the rest of the book, which struck me as rather dull and meandering.
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Old September 26 2011, 10:09 PM   #677
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Ah, Amityville Horror. That was the year I graduated. I guess it says something that I saw it but remember not a bit of it (and, no, it doesn't say that I partied too much that year ).
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Old October 11 2011, 09:23 PM   #678
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Already time to rename this thread for Hallowe'en. Crazy.

A few weeks ago I finished OVERWINTER by David Wellington. It was swell, though I think I liked FROSTBITE a little more. I've pre-ordered 32 FANGS, Wellington's last chapter in his entertaining-as-heck vampire series.

Two days ago I finished Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season by Norman Partridge, author of DARK HARVEST. It's Cemetery Dance book, so it's a nice little volume. It's a small book of short stories, with one non-fiction piece where Partridge talks about growing up in Vallejo, CA during the time of the Zodiac killer, and the Hallowe'en after the first victim made the news. It's an interesting description of experiencing the difference between childhood horror and real fear.

It's a good little book, wrapping up with a short story that serves as a sort of sequel to DARK HARVEST, telling the story of another year's October Boy. Great little read.

I've just started a new Hallowe'en anthology appropriately titled HALLOWEEN. It's a great-looking book, with some good authors. I've read the Lovecraft story in there, and a couple of others sound familiar, but the book seems worthwhile.

I think the last one I'll have time for is THE PUMPKIN MAN by John Everson. This'll be my first Leisure Horror purchase since they switched to trades. I'm getting it in a couple of days; I hope the quality is good. The story sounds fun.
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Old October 11 2011, 11:25 PM   #679
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Those sound pretty good, although I think I've read a lot of Halloween. I'll probably order one of the other two for my Halloween Marathon. Probably Johnny Halloween, since I enjoyed Dark Harvest.

I finished Blamire's Anthology, Tales of the Callamo Mountains. Usually with anthologies I read a couple of stories and then put them down to dip into randomly, but I read this one straight through. As I said, they are not humorous. They read more like folk tales, but with a unique voice; one story, about a cowboy killed in a riding accident, was pretty touching. Good stuff.

I think I will read World War Z leading up to Halloween and then decide on some anthologies and movies. My Marathon will be a little disrupted this year, since my Brother has decided to get married that weekend. Punk kid's got no respect for tradition.
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Old October 13 2011, 07:07 AM   #680
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

I think you'll like JOHNNY HALLOWEEN, if nothing else but for the Dark Harvest tale. Just bear in mind that it's small in stature and only runs 125 pages.

Another anthology I've gotten recently is called HOUSE OF FEAR: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories. I won't have time to read it for Hallowe'en, but it came highly recommended. I'll probably dig into it before the end of the year.

I also grabbed Halloween 1 and 2 on Blu-ray. I try not to double-dip and re-buy too many movies that I have on DVD, but I've made exceptions for ones I really like. Halloween 2 has, as a special feature, the full-length documentary "Terror in the Aisles," which is almost worth the price of the disc itself. It's a very strange choice for a special feature, but I'll take it.

I also grabbed A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3 on Blu-ray. Not much in the way of features, but two movies on one disc, with very nice transfers.

I got a bit of Hallowe'en non-fiction with Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night. Most non-fiction books focus on the roots of Hallowe'en, which is obviously great, but the nice thing about this one is that it focuses more on what it's become. Cool book.
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Old October 13 2011, 09:27 AM   #681
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

I never cared for the Halloween movies, but I did like the first Nightmare On Elm Street a lot. I found it very groundbreaking at the time.

I'm about a hundred pages into World War Z and it's very impressive. Not only does the History-book format give verisimilitude to the Zombie Apocalypse, but the thing is loaded with satire. Governments and lifestyles and cultures, both foreign and domestic, are being lambasted without mercy. Best of all, the satire doesn't come at the expense of the story; the horror and tragedy are portrayed with sympathy and depth. Very good book, so far.
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Old October 13 2011, 03:00 PM   #682
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

Watched The Devil Bat with Bela Lugosi last night.

On the other hand, I gave up on Dead Men Walk with George Zucco as twin brothers, one of whom is a vampire. Talk about interminable! I'm a person whom almost always feels compelled to watch a movie to the end, no matter how bad it is, and even I eventually decided that life was too short to keep watching Dead Men Walk . . . . .
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Old October 13 2011, 03:29 PM   #683
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Watched The Devil Bat with Bela Lugosi last night.

On the other hand, I gave up on Dead Men Walk with George Zucco as twin brothers, one of whom is a vampire. Talk about the interminable! I'm a person whom almost always feels compelled to watch a movie to the end, no matter how bad it is, and even I eventually decided that life was too short to keep watching Dead Men Walk . . . . .
Heh, I'm pretty much the same, no matter how bad a movie is, once I get halfway through it, I feel compelled to suffer through the rest of it. Very few movies I've actually turned off before they ended because they were bad (Now, that doesn't mean I've never glazed out while watching something to the end and couldn't remember what I just watched)
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Old October 13 2011, 10:46 PM   #684
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

Crap. I wish I had taped Devil Bat. I could have sworn I had it on DVD, but what I have is The Bat. I'll have to check now to see if Devil Bat is available....
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Old October 13 2011, 11:32 PM   #685
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

I think The Devil Bat is in the public domain.

Edit: Yep. You can download it from that link in various formats. It also appears on a lot of those "50 Horror Classics"-style public domain sets.
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Old October 14 2011, 09:19 AM   #686
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

Aha. Then maybe that's where I've seen it. I have several of those sets.
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Old October 16 2011, 10:09 AM   #687
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

I just found out about this. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do much with it this year because of little bro's wedding that weekend, but it's a nice idea for a new tradition; I'll be getting behind it next year.
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Old October 30 2011, 11:11 PM   #688
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

This year I'm taking Halloween as an opportunity for some piecemeal horror rereading, which I don't usually get around to because I'm always buying new stuff that takes priority. I went through my books, made a list of favorite authors, and selected stories that I wanted to have another look at. And, just to give the list an order, I arranged it chronologically. So this is what I'm reading tomorrow night.

H. P. Lovecraft: “The Festival”
Walter de la Mare: “A Recluse”
M. R. James: “A Vignette"
Sarban: “The Sacrifice”
Robert Aickman: “The Hospice”
T. E. D. Klein: “Petey”
Ramsey Campbell: “The Voice of the Beach”
Thomas Ligotti: “Conversations in a Dead Language”
Steve Rasnic Tem: “Charlie Goode’s Ghosts”
Glen Hirshberg: “Struwwelpeter”
Mark Samuels: “The Impasse”
Reggie Oliver: “The Babe of the Abyss”
R. B. Russell: “Llanfihangel”
Stephen King: “N.”
Caitlin R. Kiernan: “Pickman’s Other Model (1929)”
Quentin S. Crisp: “Ynys-y-Plag”

I'll also be watching the original Halloween on Blu-ray and, for the kid in me, the Dr. Seuss animated special Halloween is Grinch Night.

Lately I've been watching movies from the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th series, because sometimes there's nothing like a bad slasher flick, and once in a while they even make a good one.
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Old October 31 2011, 12:01 AM   #689
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

I watched The Shining which was, of course, fantastic. I recorded to classic horror films last night which I've not seen: Cat People and The Uninvited. Which should I watch first?
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Old October 31 2011, 12:19 AM   #690
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing - 2011

Both are great movies, but I'd say Cat People nudges out The Uninvited slightly. I really enjoy all of the Val Lewton movies.
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