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

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Old September 15 2009, 10:47 AM   #421
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

A bit of bad news about it, though. Apparently, Michael R. Thomas, a make-up artist and the actor playing Dracula in this movie, passed away a few weeks ago.

It looks like he was a make-up artist on quite a few big movies, including the Ghostbusters films, Fatal Attraction and a whole lot of films with "erotic" in the title.

Hopefully, this movie will be a nice tribute.
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Old September 16 2009, 12:42 AM   #422
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Aw, that's a shame. That's quite an interesting mix in his credits. I may have to track down An Erotic Werewolf In London. I have the Shock-O-Rama DVD, which is a pleasantly entertaining film by Bret Piper (an old school FX guy who still does things Harryhausen style).
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Old September 29 2009, 11:39 PM   #423
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I guess it'll be time to rename this thread for Hallowe'en again in a few days. It's been going for two years, now.

I've got a few updates. My recent reads have been:

Deeper, by James A. Moore.

An off-shore expedition ends in a fascinating discovery for a team of divers near New England. The thing they bring ashore is certainly unusual. Big mistake thinking it couldn't survive on land. Bigger mistake thinking that it's the only one of its kind.
It's a little bit Lovecraft and a little bit Creature From the Black Lagoon. It's a fun little book, kind of "Lovecraft if he were better at characterization." It's a bit light on the horror, except for a few parts that really stand out. At least one twist in the story is pretty much broadcast from the beginning, but it's still and enjoyable spooky adventure novel. It's a modern style of writing, but between the sea creatures and ghost ship, it'd be right at home with the pulps.

Bad Moon Rising, by Jonathan Maberry. The final installment of Maberry's "Pine Deep" trilogy, including Ghost Road Blues and Dead Man's Song. It's a very satisfying end to the trilogy. Lots of times, the climax in the third book of a trilogy can be a bit of a letdown, but that isn't the case here. Maberry cranks it up to 11, to the point where you wonder if the evil can be surmounted.

The only drawback to it was that it's pretty typo-ridden, especially in comparison to the first three books. I have a feeling that editorial pushed it through to make a deadline, which is unfortunate, since nothing else he's written has had this problem. Still, the trilogy was a fun read, and I'll miss those characters.

Allhallow's Eve, by Richard Laymon. I wanted to get the jump on some of my Hallowe'en reading, since so much of it piles up throughout the year. This was a short, brutal little book. It's basically a slasher novel set on Hallowe'en, but the plus is always Laymon's direct, get-to-the-point style. He certainly never had a problem with pacing.

I haven't decide what's up next. It just occurred to me that I have an old Buffy novel from a friend called Halloween Rain, by Christopher Golden.

As long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer. One girl in the all the world, to find them where they gather and to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers.


Around Sunnydale, they say a scarecrow saturated with Halloween rain will come alive and slaughter anyone in sight. (Lovely place, Sunnydale.) Buffy's best friends, Xander and Willow, used to think the tale was nonsense -- but after a few adventures with Buffy, they're not so sure.



Even without a maniacal scarecrow, a Sunnydale Halloween is a truly horrific happening. There are enough zombies and vampires about, ready to party hearty and eat some brains, to keep the Slayer and her friends up all night.
And then rain starts to fall....
I've been feeling nostalgic for Buffy lately, and Golden's a pretty good writer, so I might jump right into that. Plus, hey, a maniacal scarecrow.

As for movies, Deeper put me in the mood for a little Creature, and it occurred to me that I'd never seen the third Gill-Man movie, The Creature Walks Among Us. I threw it in, knowing that it's the least regarded of the Gill-Man trilogy. It was easy to see why, but it was still an enjoyable enough Saturday afternoon monster movie.

I've also been listening to Themes From Horror Movies, by Dick Jacobs. It was a cheap little buy on iTunes, and it's fun to listen to. You can also get mp3s from Amazon. I assume there's a CD out there somewhere, but you might have to do some digging to find it.
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Old September 29 2009, 11:52 PM   #424
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I put Deeper into my Shopping Cart. If it's Lovecraftian, Creature-ish and Pulpish and has Sea Creatures and a Ghost Ship-- and is set in New England-- it sounds good to me.

I'm going to have to put together a reading and DVD list for October to start as soon as I finish Dune. I'm taking a week off early in the month and then the Thursday and Friday at Halloween, so I want to do some spooky marathoning.
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Old September 30 2009, 09:35 AM   #425
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I hope you'll like Deeper. I'm always hesitant to recommend modern stuff to you, because I'm afraid you won't like it. But it's at least a short little read, and it has all of those things you mentioned.

Did you ever get around to reading Summer of Night?

pookha mentioned Robert McCammon earlier, so it also seems like a good time to point out that his new novel, Mister Slaughter, is available for pre-order.

The world of Colonial America comes vibrantly to life in this masterful new historical thriller by Robert McCammon. The latest entry in the popular Matthew Corbett series, which began with Speaks the Nightbird and continued in The Queen of Bedlam, Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery.

The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York. Along the way, Slaughter makes his captors a surprising--and extremely tempting--offer. Their response to this offer will alter the course of the novel, setting in motion a series of astonishing, ultimately catastrophic events.

Mister Slaughter is at once a classic portrait of an archetypal serial killer and an exquisitely detailed account of a fledgling nation still in the process of inventing itself. Suspenseful, illuminating, never less than compulsively readable, it is, by any measure, an extraordinary achievement, the largest accomplishment to date from one of our most gifted--and necessary--writers.
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Old September 30 2009, 11:46 PM   #426
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

^^ The Colonial setting appeals to me, but are these books supernatural horror or serial killer stuff?

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
I hope you'll like Deeper. I'm always hesitant to recommend modern stuff to you, because I'm afraid you won't like it. But it's at least a short little read, and it has all of those things you mentioned.
Heh. I guess I have come to prefer older stuff. Seems to be more steeped in atmosphere or something; or maybe it's just my love of history combining with my taste in literature. But I have nothing specifically against modern horror.

Did you ever get around to reading Summer of Night?
Funny you should mention that. It's sitting in my short pile of candidates for Halloween reading, so chances are I'll read it this year.
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Old October 1 2009, 11:34 AM   #427
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Time to rename the thread!

There is something about older fiction that's pretty satisfying in that respect. I enjoy the peek back into the way people thought in those days, especially people with tastes similar to my own in regard to the fantastic, macabre, etc.

That's why I like to watch silent movies, sometimes. It's almost like a window back in time. Sometimes it's a struggle to get people to watch them with me, but I always think it's funny how quickly they adapt to the different storytelling techniques. It's strange for a few minutes, but after a while, your brain just slips right into the narrative style. Plus, any excuse to watch Lon Chaney, Sr. Man, that guy was great.

I'm pretty sure you'll like Summer of Night. Like I said before, Simmons does a great job of capturing aspects of childhood. And there are some really spooky moments in there.

As for McCammon's colonial series, I haven't read them yet, but I don't think they feature the supernatural, per se, but as I understand it, the belief in the supernatural as a reality pervades the books. But I don't think they're serial killer books, either. Here's the description of the first in the series, Speaks the Nightbird:

A trial for witchcraft proves the tip of an iceberg of intrigues in this absorbing historical mystery [...] from McCammon. Set in 1699 in Fount Royal, a coastal settlement in the colonial Carolinas, this latest unfolds the adventures of magistrate Isaac Woodward and his assistant, Matthew Corbett, who have been summoned to the struggling town to adjudicate in the trial of Rachel Howarth, a young widow accused of deviltry that is blamed for murders, wretched weather and other calamities driving settlers away. Though town leaders press for swift execution, Matthew is persuaded by Rachel's dignity and fortitude that she's innocent. Using skills honed living by his wits as an orphaned child, he pursues inconsistencies in testimony and throwaway clues and uncovers an elaborate plot involving pirate booty, animal magnetism and deadly deceit at the highest levels of town organization. This robust tale is as historically detailed as it is long, and its recreation of an era where superstition held its own with enlightenment is among its strongest achievements. Anachronisms, improbably fortuitous coincidences and private dramas that make Fount Royal seem a pre-Revolutionary Peyton Place lard the plot, but Matthew's race against time to save Rachel with the rudimentary tools to hand makes a compulsively readable yarn.
It sounds more like a mystery than straightforward horror. Every time I read the description, though, it bumps a little higher on my next-to-read list.
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Old October 1 2009, 11:54 PM   #428
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

^^ Sounds almost like Dark Shadows before Barnabus.

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
That's why I like to watch silent movies, sometimes. It's almost like a window back in time. Sometimes it's a struggle to get people to watch them with me, but I always think it's funny how quickly they adapt to the different storytelling techniques. It's strange for a few minutes, but after a while, your brain just slips right into the narrative style. Plus, any excuse to watch Lon Chaney, Sr. Man, that guy was great.
Exactly. The old stuff isn't just about the past, it is the past. As I watch or read, I can't help thinking that people were watching these very movies and reading these very books in 1935 or 1925 or the 1890s or whatever. It's very cool.

I'm pretty sure you'll like Summer of Night. Like I said before, Simmons does a great job of capturing aspects of childhood. And there are some really spooky moments in there.
Yeah, I think I'll start in on this as soon as I finish Dune. I'm ready for a trip back to the 60s.
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Old October 2 2009, 06:03 PM   #429
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Usually for Halloween, there's a list of books or movies that I want to read or watch, but never get completely done with.

In terms of reading....for several years I had a tradition where I'd read both "The House With A Clock In It's Walls" and "The Figure In The Shadows"...both by the late John Bellairs.

These are spooky books written for young readers, but I loved them as a kid and generally prefer spooky stuff to horror these days.

A new addition to my October reading is "Cat Burglar Black", a graphic novel by Richard Salas....it too has a young adult feel to it. If you love big mansions, secret passages, musty old library's, and mysterious happenings...you'll dig it.

This year, I'm playing both "Hollywood Hijinx" and "The Lurking Horror" text games by Infocom. One is spooky old mansion mystery, the other Lovecraftian goodness.

Also, the graphic novel "Black Planet" by Dan Brereton because the art style is eerily remeniscient of the 70's Halloween decorations my family had as a kid.

In terms of viewing, I don't care for slasher flix because they bore me. I prefer the supernatural stuff, and the more traditional haunted mansion\castle stuff, (secret passages, foggy graveyards, ghosts etc.....and if anyone can recommend anything in these veins, I'd really appreciate it.)

I usually try watch these movies in October:

Planet Of The Vampires (sci-fi, but foggy planet goodness and more zombies than "vampires")

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (original silent)

The Call Of C'Thulu (silent)

and on Halloween, I watch The Shining.

Picked up a few newer movies last year, none has really caught on. 13 Ghosts (old and new...the old one is beyond suck), The Others, The Haunting, Rose Red.

Glad to see Something Wicked This Way Comes is out on DVD, I'll be picking that up this year. I envy you Northerners who get cold, blustery days and orange leaves around Halloween.

Speaking of which, is anybody familiar with Manly Wade Wellman's "John the Balladeer" stories? Wonderful stuff.
Yes, I'm a huuuuuuuge fan of John The Balladeer. Though I prefer the short stories of "Who Fears The Devil" to the later novels. I've always thought Mike Mignola would do an awesome job of adapting Silver John to comics, especially as he cited him as one of his influences, early on, on his Hellboy stories.
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Old October 3 2009, 09:59 AM   #430
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

You sound like a guy with pretty good taste.

Infocom, silent Cthulhu, John the Balladeer, spooky mansions, secret passages and graveyards-- yup, that's the good stuff.

I've never read John Bellairs, but my youngest brother used to (back when he used to read a bit ).

If you haven't already seen it, I think you will like Old Dark House.

Well, Deeper arrived yesterday (along with the new Lobster Johnson novel), so I'll be concentrating on that and Summer Of Night in October, along with magazines and the trust old Halloween Reader.
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Old October 3 2009, 07:47 PM   #431
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Reckon I'll go through Kingdom Hospital this year, and I picked up R-Point in a charity shop for £1 so that should go well.

Other than, still heading towards the last third of the X Files season 5 on the viewing marathon, and maybe I'll start on Angel season 3.

Reading-wise I've a whole bunch of Koontz and King books in the backlog, though I'm more interested in writing - specifically the sample text for what will (if it flies) most likely be marketed as horror, though it's as much a dark fantasy or SF thing as a horror thing.
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Old October 4 2009, 01:11 AM   #432
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

No reading, but for viewing, I'll go with the tradition of the Garfield Halloween Special. Love that.

And "Something Wicked this Way Comes".
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Old October 5 2009, 11:43 PM   #433
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Trick 'r Treat has shipped.
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Old October 5 2009, 11:51 PM   #434
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Just ordered "Star Wars: Death Troopers" If it's any good I might spring for the audio-book and put into my Halloween rotation.

As it stands, Halloween day/night:

-- War of the Wolds (Original Radio Broadcast)
-- Rocky Horror Picture Show
-- Young Frankenstein (Maybe)
-- Death Troopers (audio) (maybe)
-- TOS: Catspaw
-- Pirate of The Carribean (1st one)

And that's about it.

Used to have an all out slasher-fic/b-movie scream-queen, b-movie fest, but the wife hates horror movies, and getting her to watch the old B&W horror classics is a no go.
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Old October 6 2009, 01:36 AM   #435
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

[QUOTE=Spookman Spiff;3443775]

Bad Moon Rising, by Jonathan Maberry. The final installment of Maberry's "Pine Deep" trilogy, including Ghost Road Blues and Dead Man's Song. It's a very satisfying end to the trilogy. Lots of times, the climax in the third book of a trilogy can be a bit of a letdown, but that isn't the case here. Maberry cranks it up to 11, to the point where you wonder if the evil can be surmounted.

[QUOTE]


FYI: I blelieve Maberry is doing the novelization of the new WOLFMAN remake. I'll have to check that out.
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