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Old July 3 2008, 09:52 AM   #151
RJDiogenes
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
That's... odd. Apart from both having supernatural events centered around a car, they're nothing alike. He's said in more recent interviews that the "retirement" had more to do with (temporary) pain, frustration, and depression after his accident than with any real change in how he thought about writing.
Well, that makes sense. He certainly had every reason to be depressed. You don't happen to have a link to one of those more recent interviews, do you?

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
The two titles I named were both nicely spooky, I thought, albeit in different ways; the first deals with magic and degrees of reality and the second with laboratory experiments and altered perception. It's been many years since I've read either one, and I'd very likely read them differently now, but I certainly didn't find either of them forgettable. (In fact, I distinctly remember reading the last several chapters of Floating Dragon in one go; I was up late, couldn't put the book down and had all of the lights in the room on because it was too freaky to read in the dark. )
Weird. I'm sure they're good. I guess it's just a matter of taste. Unfortunately, at this point, I couldn't even say what I found wrong with his stuff.

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
And not because From a Buick 8 was a dull, terrible novel where nothing happened?
No, he failed to mention that.
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Old July 3 2008, 04:36 PM   #152
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
You don't happen to have a link to one of those more recent interviews, do you?
I looked a bit last night and couldn't locate one; I'll try again later, since I want to make sure I'm not misremembering.

Edit: here's one:
You retired there for a while but then came back with a few books. What are you working on now?
When I said to that lady from the L. A. Times I might retire, I was still recovering from the accident that I was in, I was in a lot of pain, and I was under the pressure of finishing The Dark Tower. At that point, retirement looked good. When the pain went away and The Dark Tower finished up, retirement started to look bad.
And another:
Sometimes I'm glad that that [the Dark Tower] series is over because the last three books just about killed me, to the point that I announced my retirement. For a while there, I thought I was going to announce my death.
And for anyone who's curious, here is a report of his original "retirement" announcement.
Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
And not because From a Buick 8 was a dull, terrible novel where nothing happened?
No, he failed to mention that.
Ah, From a Buick 8. I was enjoying it- not a lot, but enough to make it one of King's minor successes (like Duma Key. The fact that nothing much supernatural happens is kind of the point, as it's a book about the enduring presence of mystery in ordinary human lives. And then the ending dispelled the mystery almost entirely, by giving too much resolution to a story that wasn't about an evil car to begin with. One of the few book I've ever read where you could improve it just by chopping off the last twenty pages or so.
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Old July 4 2008, 11:09 AM   #153
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Cool. Thanks for those links. I especially liked the second one, where he talks about spoilers and inconsistency being an opportunity, rather than a problem; I admire the creative mind that wants to work out solutions rather than just look the other way and whistle.

I dug out Everything's Eventual and read the foreward. It's a nice little essay on the sad state of the short story market. He's obviously a guy who cares about the world of writing. I was thinking that it's funny that he owns two radio stations, but doesn't seem to be involved in publishing at all. He should start a fiction magazine-- Stephen King's Tales Of Horror or somesuch-- and offer free advertising to other fiction magazines.
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Old July 18 2008, 01:13 AM   #154
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
He should start a fiction magazine-- Stephen King's Tales Of Horror or somesuch-- and offer free advertising to other fiction magazines.
Hell, I'd buy it.

I'm catching up on comics and stuff, so I haven't dived into a new book yet.

Recent DVD purchases are:

The Skull, which is one of those "Amicus does Hammer" flicks, to the point of getting Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to star in it.

Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection 1 & 2, which isn't really horror, but it's got enough horror elements to blur the line a little. This is a great set. You've got your The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tarantula, The Mole People, etc. Fun stuff, and the Amazon price is $15-$20 cheaper than I've seen in stores. Most of these movies aren't available on DVD in the U.S. individually, so it's nice to finally have them. There isn't a lot in the way of special features, but that's okay with me.

Mad Monster Party. What? I wanted it. Be quiet.

Edit: Oh, and the Criterion Collection edition of Vampyr comes out next week.
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Old July 18 2008, 09:49 AM   #155
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
The Skull, which is one of those "Amicus does Hammer" flicks, to the point of getting Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to star in it.
Nice. You just don't see movies about wealthy old skull collectors, anymore.

Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection 1 & 2, which isn't really horror, but it's got enough horror elements to blur the line a little. This is a great set. You've got your The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tarantula, The Mole People, etc. Fun stuff, and the Amazon price is $15-$20 cheaper than I've seen in stores. Most of these movies aren't available on DVD in the U.S. individually, so it's nice to finally have them. There isn't a lot in the way of special features, but that's okay with me.
That would be worth it just for The Monolith Monsters, an old staple of Creature Double Feature that I haven't seen in years.

Mad Monster Party. What? I wanted it. Be quiet.
Ooooh, Rankin/Bass. With Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis. That's gotta be classic. Very odd that I don't remember it.

Edit: Oh, and the Criterion Collection edition of Vampyr comes out next week.
Ah, that looks like a beauty. Right to the top of my list it goes.
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Old July 18 2008, 10:09 AM   #156
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Mad Monster Party. What? I wanted it. Be quiet.
Ooooh, Rankin/Bass. With Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis. That's gotta be classic. Very odd that I don't remember it.
It's feature-length, so it never got the yearly rotation that the Christmas specials got.

Plus, according to its Wikipedia article, it was available on VHS for a while, but the print was in bad shape. "...but recently Sony Pictures Television (which now holds the television rights) unearthed an original 35mm pristine print. This print was digitally remastered, and is the source for the current DVD issue and all subsequent television showings."

I saw part of it on TV a year or two ago and immediately thought, Rankin-Bass did a Hallowe'en special?! and then I looked it up online to discover it was a movie. It's been on my "buy it if I spot it" list for a while, and I spotted it yesterday.

It's pretty silly, and a lot of fun. And you can bet I'll be using it for avatars come October.
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Old July 18 2008, 10:34 AM   #157
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

I have a list like that. The Great Santa Claus Switch is on it. That probably counts as horror, in a way.

Mad Monster Party will definitely be a must-have for this Halloween.
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Old July 22 2008, 10:47 AM   #158
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Speaking of Hallowe'en (why not?), my wife and I went to our local Michael's crafts store, and they already had some of the 2008 Lemax Spooky Town Collection. I couldn't resist picking up a few.

I got this one for my desk. That's just too cool. If that pic isn't clear enough, it's basically all of the main Universal monsters (or "as close as we can get without being sued") going for a joyride. There's even a sort of Gill-man in there next to the Wolf Man, though you can't quite make him out. The only one that's missing is the Invisible Man ... or is he?

My wife wanted this one, because she thought it was cute. So maybe that one will go in front of our wedding picture, on the mantle.

I also got this swamp monster for my desk, just because he made me laugh when I saw him.

We'll probably get more once we start actually getting close to October.
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Old July 23 2008, 09:45 AM   #159
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
I got this one for my desk. That's just too cool.
That's funny, I was about to post that that's my favorite. Not just classic monsters, but a classic car!

The only one that's missing is the Invisible Man ... or is he?
There seems to be an empty space next to Drac.

That's a great bunch of figures, and kind of an odd mix of cool and funny. There's a nifty Sphinx right next to a haunted outhouse. Too bad about the 'retired' section; some of the best ones are in there...

My wife wanted this one, because she thought it was cute. So maybe that one will go in front of our wedding picture, on the mantle.
Appropriate.

I also got this swamp monster for my desk, just because he made me laugh when I saw him.
And that reminds me that the swamp monster retrospective from TwoMorrows still hasn't come out....
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Old August 12 2008, 02:10 AM   #160
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

I'm 28 pages into Return of the Wolf Man, and it's pulpy fun so far. It picks up right at the climax of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. It's got funny little winks to the movie, like how he's drawn to people who are in a state of fear, and how the "chubby little man" had more fear than he'd ever sensed in a human being.

It's already had some Wolf Man, some Count Dracula, and Larry Talbot wringing his hands when he's restored to humanity.

It's still got more blood in it than I guess you'd expect from a Universal Monsters book. I suppose it makes sense--even though it's not shown in the movies, he's not exactly hugging his victims down to the floor. And he's not very scary if all he does is grab his victims and shake them until they fall over.

Still, it's a little weird. But so far, so good.

For movies, I've been on more of a classic sci fi kick lately because of the DVD set mentioned upthread, but I recently watched The Cat and the Canary, which was great. I like KINO's restorations.

There are some upcoming things I'm looking forward to, like Creepy Archives from Dark Horse and The EC Archives: Haunt of Fear, which looks to be another fine entry in this great line of books.

I'm excited that we're finally getting a set of the first season of the underrated Friday The 13th - The Series. It (wisely) had nothing to do with the film series, and just told some solid stories. I haven't seen any of these since they aired, so I'm really looking forward to it.

A surprise release is Icons of Horror: Hammer Films, which looks to be following the Icons of Adventure set I mentioned before. They've cobbled together four Hammer films that are (as far as I'm aware) out of print: The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Scream of Fear, and at long last, The Gorgon.

Maybe there's some hope that they'll re-release The Abominable Snowman.
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Old August 12 2008, 11:54 PM   #161
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
I'm 28 pages into Return of the Wolf Man, and it's pulpy fun so far. It picks up right at the climax of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. It's got funny little winks to the movie, like how he's drawn to people who are in a state of fear, and how the "chubby little man" had more fear than he'd ever sensed in a human being.
Abbott and Costello are canon! That's kind of cool-- actually, it could go either way, depending on the writer-- but it's nice that he's drawing from all the movies.

It's already had some Wolf Man, some Count Dracula, and Larry Talbot wringing his hands when he's restored to humanity.
I hope the producers of the new movie understand that a Larry Talbot who does not wring his hands is no Larry Talbot at all.

It's still got more blood in it than I guess you'd expect from a Universal Monsters book. I suppose it makes sense--even though it's not shown in the movies, he's not exactly hugging his victims down to the floor. And he's not very scary if all he does is grab his victims and shake them until they fall over.
Unless they're babies. Shaking babies is very dangerous and can be deadly. For adults, however, you really need to disembowel them with your claws.

For movies, I've been on more of a classic sci fi kick lately because of the DVD set mentioned upthread, but I recently watched The Cat and the Canary, which was great. I like KINO's restorations.
I've been doing mostly SF lately, too, but I did catch a movie called Boy Eats Girl on Fear.Net. Not hilarious, but fairly amusing. It co-starred the woman from the Planet Of The Apes remake-- don't hold it against her.

There are some upcoming things I'm looking forward to, like Creepy Archives from Dark Horse and The EC Archives: Haunt of Fear, which looks to be another fine entry in this great line of books.
I've got all the Russ Cochran editions of the EC Archives (well, maybe most, I'm not sure if I'm still missing anything). But I'm looking forward to the Creepy archives. Lots of classic names will be listed among the creators. I still remember seeing those black-and-white magazines at the cigar store where I used to buy my comics in Dorchester-- they called out to me, but I was forbidden from buying them.

I'm excited that we're finally getting a set of the first season of the underrated Friday The 13th - The Series. It (wisely) had nothing to do with the film series, and just told some solid stories. I haven't seen any of these since they aired, so I'm really looking forward to it.
That was a great show (until they screwed it up toward the end). Solid stories, as you say, and a nice cast with nice characters. There was believable friction between them, but they were basically ordinary people trying to do the right thing. This is definitely a show worth collecting.

A surprise release is Icons of Horror: Hammer Films, which looks to be following the Icons of Adventure set I mentioned before. They've cobbled together four Hammer films that are (as far as I'm aware) out of print: The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Scream of Fear, and at long last, The Gorgon.
Coincidentally, I just saw The Gorgon on TMC not long ago; it was pretty good. Typical Hammer film; very atmospheric and moody.

Maybe there's some hope that they'll re-release The Abominable Snowman.
They're saving that one UNTIL LAST.
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Old August 16 2008, 05:24 PM   #162
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Here's some good news: I just found out that the HP Lovecraft Historical Society has published the second CD in their Dark Adventure Radio Theatre series. This one is an adaptation of The Dunwich Horror. The first one was At The Mountains Of Madness and it was very good. I just sent away for Dunwich Horror, so I can't comment yet.

For those who don't know, these are the guys who did the silent movie adaptation of The Call Of Cthulhu a couple of years ago; the conceit being that the movie is just as it might have been were it made the same year the story was published. It's fantastic. The group currently has a second movie in production.
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Old August 16 2008, 10:31 PM   #163
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You know I'll get that.

Return of the Wolf Man is pretty good and interesting so far. It's pretty obvious that the author knows his stuff where Talbot is concerned, because he ties in little moments to all of the films in which he appeared, and best of all, gets the "sound" of him right. You can very easily imagine Lon Chaney, Jr. delivering the dialogue.

Hopefully, this next bit isn't too spoilery for you, but since it deals with part of the premise of the book--even the title, really--I'm assuming you won't mind too much.

The author brings the Wolf Man to the present (well, 1998, anyway). The interesting thing is, he does it within the trappings of the story. Shortly after the events of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Larry convinces the Joan Raymond character to help him die by getting him in the heart with a shard of mirror with a silver backing. He makes her promise to hide his body somewhere and make sure the shard never comes out, lest he be restored to life.

Raymond ends up sealing his body up in the basement of the castle, where Dracula had tried to swap out the Frankenstein Monster's brain, etc. She then buys the castle and lives to a ripe old age, all the while keeping her promise to Larry. In the meantime, she's made her fortune writing horror stories about werewolves and the like.

She dies in 1998, and her great-niece ends up inheriting the castle. She intends to respect her great-aunt's wishes and keep the basement sealed up, but forces beyond her control end up finding Talbot's body and removing the shard.

This all happens on the night of the full moon (naturally!), so the Wolf Man is reborn. He attacks the pair of individuals responsible for resurrecting him, but the niece manages to get away. The next day, she finds Talbot, who explains his story, and the girl decides there must be some way to help him. Then we find out the Frankenstein Monster was sealed down there, too. That's where I am now.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the move to the present, but in a pleasantly creative decision, the author doesn't just fast-forward to 1998, he plants it in a 1998 of the Universal, er, Universe. So there are no "Wait, Dracula's real?!" moments or anything corny like that. When Talbot tells her of how Henry Frankenstein built a monster out of dead bodies, she's never heard of Frankenstein or his Monster. So there aren't any goofy metafictional moments, like we've sort of come to expect. I braced myself for a sentence like, "That must be the source for Mary Shelley's novel!" but it never came.

In that sense, it accomplishes bringing the novel to modern times, while still making it feel like a genuine continuation. And in perfect Talbot manner, when he's told the year, he says, "Then there really is no end to this horror. The curse is forever." That's our guy.
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Old August 17 2008, 11:35 AM   #164
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Return of the Wolf Man is pretty good and interesting so far. It's pretty obvious that the author knows his stuff where Talbot is concerned, because he ties in little moments to all of the films in which he appeared, and best of all, gets the "sound" of him right. You can very easily imagine Lon Chaney, Jr. delivering the dialogue.
Oh, yeah, that's what I like to hear.

Hopefully, this next bit isn't too spoilery for you, but since it deals with part of the premise of the book--even the title, really--I'm assuming you won't mind too much.
Nah, I devour spoilers like a wolfman devouring his prey.

The author brings the Wolf Man to the present (well, 1998, anyway). The interesting thing is, he does it within the trappings of the story. Softly after the events of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Larry convinces the Joan Raymond character to help him die by getting him in the heart with a shard of mirror with a silver backing. He makes her promise to hide his body somewhere and make sure the shard never comes out, lest he be restored to life.
Hmmm.....

Then we find out the Frankenstein Monster was sealed down there, too. That's where I am now.
You know, I always wished there was a House Of The Wolfman movie.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the move to the present, but in a pleasantly creative decision, the author doesn't just fast-forward to 1998, he plants it in a 1998 of the Universal, er, Universe. So there are no "Wait, Dracula's real?!" moments or anything corny like that. When Talbot tells her of how Henry Frankenstein built a monster out of dead bodies, she's never heard of Frankenstein or his Monster. So there aren't any goofy metafictional moments, like we've sort of come to expect. I braced myself for a sentence like, "That must be the source for Mary Shelley's novel!" but it never came.
Yeah, jumping to the present is a decision I'd question, if only because it negates the possibility of so many stories set over that time span (who wouldn't want to see the Universal Frankenstein and Wolfman in the days of drive-ins and sock hops?). But it's not a deal breaker. It would certainly be interesting to speculate on what literature and pop culture looks like in that universe, since those novels are so influential; not only would thousands of books, movies, TV shows and comic books cease to exist, but there would be no Munsters!

In that sense, it accomplishes bringing the novel to modern times, while still making it feel like a genuine continuation. And in perfect Talbot manner, when he's told the year, he says, "Then there really is no end to this horror. The curse is forever." That's our guy.
Yup. Poor melancholy Larry. It really sounds like this book is a labor of love from somebody who really knows, understands and respects the source material, which is wonderful (I wish that was the case with every concept revival we see). The Dark Horse books were good enough on their own, but as alleged Universal continuations they were lacking in that respect and continuity.

I just thought of something else. Not only were Dracula and Frankenstein real in that universe, but so were Abbott and Costello; so the history of comedy would be very different, too.
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Old August 21 2008, 09:50 AM   #165
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

The Dunwich Horror CD arrived in yesterday's mail; I haven't had a chance to listen, of course, but it looks really cool. It's literally bursting with little extras; a newspaper clipping, some handwritten notes, a map and what looks like a page from the Necronomicon. It reminds me of the glory days of Infocom.
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