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Old October 30 2009, 10:37 AM   #451
RJDiogenes
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

^^ I'm planning to watch at least one ep of original Night Stalker today.

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
I gave it a pass on the childhood bravery bits, partially because I don't want to read a horror novel starring children who are just scared throughout the thing. Plus, I just think kids used to be so much tougher back then, as opposed to now, where their parents slap helmets on them for every activity and freak out over stranger danger. Heck, these kids would have lived every day thinking that the bomb could fall any moment.
True, but I remember those days. Kids were still kids, and the kids in the book were flipping around like super soldier commandos, reloading on the fly and leaping out of speeding trucks, rescuing friends while nursing broken limbs and so forth. As I say, I liked it, but the wish fulfillment level was maxed out. And don't forget the "sex scene."

There was one character's death who really knocked the wind out of my sails; I'm sure you know whose. That's some good writing.
Indeed. That was shocking; and it was the point where the story turned the corner. Although there were a couple of deaths that were very sad.

I don't know what it was with several successful '80s authors and the MapQuest directions, as you put it. I mean, I know that a lot of emphasis was placed on setting your story as realistically as possible, but I don't get the point in getting that specific about roads, etc. It might be a little bonus for people who've been there, but for everyone else, it's something to slog through.
Yeah, all that Postmodernist stuff with all the street names and brand names and pop culture tie ins. I get a kick out of it in King's work because it's my neck of the woods. It's also why I read the Spenser novels and couple of Dennis Lehane books (he's got a detective series set in my old neighborhood in Dorchester, but, man, are they depressing). Other times, it can be interesting or it can really put on the brakes.

It's been a little while, so I don't quite remember what you're referring to, but it reminds me of a similarly jarring moment in Deeper. There's a part where a character is revealed to be afraid of diving, and some time later, that trait jumps to a completely different character. At least, that's how I remember it. I don't think it wound up mattering too much in the long run, but I remember it confused me a bit.
I'll keep an eye peeled for that.

I watched The Real Wolfman. It was an okay way to kill a couple of hours, but it was kind of dumb. The interaction between the two investigators was stagy and awkward, and as soon as I finished watching it, I looked up the Beast of Gévaudan on Wikipedia, and it looks like they played it loose with a lot of the facts in the case. What was the point, really?
They were not good actors, were they? I got a kick out of it, though; I think I was just in good enough a mood to let the staginess and lack of any real substantive answers go by.

I've discovered that a nearby theater is playing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on the big screen tomorrow, so I'm definitely going to that. I guess they show an old movie every Friday, so I'm going to have to keep an eye on their listings.
Nice. I don't have any of the A&B movies on DVD. I'll have to check TCM and On Demand. I'm kind of in the mood to watch one of them.
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Old October 30 2009, 03:02 PM   #452
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

I have a dentist's appointment scheduled for Halloween; is that scary enough?
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Old October 30 2009, 10:07 PM   #453
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

I recently watched Dracula's Daughter. What an awesome movie. I would argue that it is better than the original.
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Old October 30 2009, 10:14 PM   #454
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Theodore Jay Miller wrote: View Post
I have a dentist's appointment scheduled for Halloween; is that scary enough?
Would you trust any denstist who stays open Saturday instead of doing something fun for Halloween?
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Old October 30 2009, 10:52 PM   #455
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Finished watching Old Dark House again, watched Trick r' Treat again, got deeper into Deeper and read a few Hellboy-related comics, as well as some more Creepy and Eerie Archives.

Theodore Jay Miller wrote: View Post
I have a dentist's appointment scheduled for Halloween; is that scary enough?
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Old October 30 2009, 11:55 PM   #456
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

I'm planning on watching both versions of Dawn of the Dead back to back on Halloween night.

I have to wait until my spouse goes to bed, since she refuses to watch either. And it's not really age-appropriate content for our 3 year old either. [Maybe next year, little dude.]
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Old October 31 2009, 10:01 AM   #457
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

^^ I haven't seen any Dead movies in a while. I wish they'd release a box set.

I forgot to mention a few things from yesterday. I also watched two episodes of Night Stalker ("The Ripper" and "The Werewolf") and this week's Supernatural, and read the first two issues of Werewolves On The Moon.

You were right, Spiff, the ocean phobia does seem to have shifted from one person to another in Deeper. Odd. And they mentioned that Golden Cove is built upon the ruins of Innsmouth.
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Old November 1 2009, 04:20 AM   #458
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

So far, I've watched...

Ghoswatch
Most Haunted Live
Halloween
Halloween 2

I'm now going to watch Night of the Living Dead to finish off the night.
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Old November 1 2009, 10:29 AM   #459
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Last night I watched Rocky Horror Picture Show.
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Old November 1 2009, 10:58 PM   #460
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

I read a few Lovecraft stories and watched a few Addams Family episodes, Night of the Living Dead, and the Spanish version of Dracula.

I didn't do anything elaborate this year.
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Old November 1 2009, 11:45 PM   #461
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Normally, I read something by Lovecraft or something set in the Mythos, but I didn't get to it this year; although it turns out that Deeper may qualify.
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Old November 7 2009, 01:17 AM   #462
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
There was one character's death who really knocked the wind out of my sails; I'm sure you know whose. That's some good writing.
Indeed. That was shocking; and it was the point where the story turned the corner. Although there were a couple of deaths that were very sad.
You may or may not like A Winter Haunting. It's not a sequel per se, but the protagonist is Dale returning to Elm Haven as an adult. The tone is very different; it's much more of a ghost story than a horror novel. I liked it, though I think I got more sheer enjoyment out of the shocks in Summer of Night.

Here's the description:

The old saw "You can't go home again" is a chilling understatement for this highly effective supernatural shocker, Simmons's first horror novel since Fires of Eden (1994) and a sequel to Summer of Night (1991). The latter was an eerie chronicle of a summer of lost innocence for a group of preadolescent chums who confront an entity of irrepressible evil in rural Elm Haven, Ill. Four decades later Dale Stewart, a survivor of that summer, has returned to endure a winter of adult discontent: his wife has left him, his sideline career as a novelist is sputtering and a disastrous love affair has driven him to attempt suicide. Medicated to the gills for depression, Dale seeks inspiration for his next novel in a house that figured in events of the summer of 1960. But remnants of the old malign influence have survived and they manifest as vicious spectral dogs, threatening neo-Nazi punks, cryptic messages that appear magically on his computer screen and delusions that suggest he's losing his mind. Simmons orchestrates his story's weird events craftily, introducing them as unremarkable details that only gradually show their dark side. In a nod to Henry James, whose psychological ghost story "The Jolly Corner" is repeatedly invoked, he blends jaw-dropping revelations of spiritual intrusion with carefully manipulated challenges to the reader's confidence in Dale's faculties and motivations. Though it features its share of palpable things that go bump in the night, this novel is most unsettling in its portrait of personal demons of despair that imperceptibly empower them.
The Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein showing was great. It was a much larger venue than I expected. It was a proper theater with a stage, balcony, etc., and with a packed house. There were a few hundred people there.

They really go all-out with the whole experience, with an organist playing before the show, followed by an old newsreel and a cartoon (fittingly enough, it was A Tale of Two Mice, with cartoon versions of Bud and Lou). Then we got trailers for Gorgo and Munster, Go Home. People cracked up at the effects in the former, and as soon as they recognized Herman in the latter, they exploded with applause.

The movie itself killed. Sometimes people were laughing inappropriately, like when the Wolf Man would change, but they mostly reacted to the gags. It might have been due to the size of the crowd, but I've never heard an audience laugh that much at a movie. It was a great experience.


As for Hallowe'en itself, I didn't do anything unusual as far as movies. I re-watched Trick 'r Treat, which was still great. After that, I gave in to the urge to just throw in Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. I always like to watch them back-to-back, and they're great Hallowe'en viewing.

Broccoli wrote: View Post
I recently watched Dracula's Daughter. What an awesome movie. I would argue that it is better than the original.
I love Dracula's Daughter. It's certainly better than the original in most respects. The big strength in the original is Lugosi, but I think in just about every other respect, Dracula's Daughter trumps it. Supposedly, James Whale was originally going to direct it, and I really would have liked to have seen that version, but I'm glad it went the way it did.

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You were right, Spiff, the ocean phobia does seem to have shifted from one person to another in Deeper. Odd. And they mentioned that Golden Cove is built upon the ruins of Innsmouth.
I have a feeling the plot was going to go a different way, and when it was revised, the bit about the ocean phobia was missed. It turned out to not impact the story too much, as once it changes, it stays that way, but it's an unfortunate error in a novel that had few other editorial mistakes.

I knew you'd like the part about Innsmouth.

Speaking of things you might like, I had a 40% off coupon for Borders and some gift card money remaining, so I figured I'd just look over their selection. I didn't expect to find anything, but as I got to the anthologies, I spotted The Mammoth Book of Wolf Men. It was the only copy, so I snapped it up as a blind buy, based on some of the names on the cover (Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Graham Masterson, etc.), and that I generally enjoy Stephen Jones's anthologies, like the yearly The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror.

I looked it up when I got home, and it turns out that it's a reprint, which isn't surprising, as Jones used to put out anthologies like The Mammoth Book of Vampires, The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein, etc. This was obviously reprinted to take advantage of the new movie. I bet they're annoyed with the film's delay.

I haven't read it yet to know whether or not to recommend it. These Mammoth Books can be pretty uneven, but with so many stories, you're bound to get some gems.
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Old November 7 2009, 02:39 AM   #463
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Finished Star Wars: Death Troopers on Halloween night

Very light weight read, even for a SW book and it wasn't more "shocking" than any other SW book.
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Old November 7 2009, 11:24 AM   #464
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
You may or may not like A Winter Haunting. It's not a sequel per se, but the protagonist is Dale returning to Elm Haven as an adult. The tone is very different; it's much more of a ghost story than a horror novel. I liked it, though I think I got more sheer enjoyment out of the shocks in Summer of Night.
This sounds interesting, sort of the sad B-side to the nostalgia of the first book. It's like the first was the nostalgia of having something, and this is the nostalgia of having lost it. It will be interesting to see what has become of that small town and those kids forty years later; I always like it when a writer continues or expands upon a good story.

The Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein showing was great. It was a much larger venue than I expected. It was a proper theater with a stage, balcony, etc., and with a packed house. There were a few hundred people there.

They really go all-out with the whole experience, with an organist playing before the show, followed by an old newsreel and a cartoon (fittingly enough, it was A Tale of Two Mice, with cartoon versions of Bud and Lou). Then we got trailers for Gorgo and Munster, Go Home. People cracked up at the effects in the former, and as soon as they recognized Herman in the latter, they exploded with applause.

The movie itself killed. Sometimes people were laughing inappropriately, like when the Wolf Man would change, but they mostly reacted to the gags. It might have been due to the size of the crowd, but I've never heard an audience laugh that much at a movie. It was a great experience.
That's something Home Theater can never replicate. Unless you've got a really big one and a lot of friends. I love those old-fashioned venues and showings of old movies; I hope business is good enough for them to continue.

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I have a feeling the plot was going to go a different way, and when it was revised, the bit about the ocean phobia was missed. It turned out to not impact the story too much, as once it changes, it stays that way, but it's an unfortunate error in a novel that had few other editorial mistakes.
I have a few more pages to go, and I'm kind of surprised the way it went, too; I'm anticipating a certain twist at the end, so we'll see if I'm right. I've enjoyed it; it's a different kind of Lovecraftian pastiche. The prose is kind of amateurish, and I'm not sure if that's intentional given the nature of the first-person narrator, but it doesn't distract from the story at all.

I knew you'd like the part about Innsmouth.
Yeah, that was great, and it certainly turned into a more direct Lovecraft pastiche than I expected, which was a nice surprise. Especially the references to the cops and so forth. Very nice.

That's going right to the top of my list. I'm sure there will be some good and interesting stuff in there.
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Old November 8 2009, 10:37 PM   #465
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

Finished Deeper. The twist I expected didn't come. The ending was exactly the sort of Die Hard/Rambo climax that was telegraphed; that's a perfectly legitimate approach to a Mythos story, but it just seemed so obvious that I expected it to be turned upside down.

Similar to Summer Of Night, the over-the-top battle at the end strained my credulity (yes, I can accept Deep Ones, but not three mere mortals fighting them with an Army's worth of firearms on board-- odd, huh? ). I think it would have been better if, instead of numberless hordes, there was a large-but-specific number of Fish Men and very quantified firepower on the part of our heroes. Lines like "I grabbed another three machine guns and some clips on my way by" don't parse very well for me. Even when I wrote King Of The Zombies, at age 21, I kept very close track of who, when, where and how much.

Another thing that didn't ring true was the lack of action by the Golden Cove police at the end. I would have expected them to move against the survivors, and I would expect the survivors to be twitching and looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives in true Lovecraftian fashion.

On the other hand, the inexplicable appearance of Davey at the end was perfect; very HPL and very creepy.

Generally, I enjoyed it. Most of the flaws can be excused by the first-person narration. I like Mythos stories for their intellectual creepiness, so this represented an entertaining change of pace. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this one, too.
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