Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Spaceman Spiff, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    ^^ I saw one of the Ginger Snaps movies on Fear.Net, too; it's the one that takes place during the Frontier Era, apparently. It was mediocre.

    Let's see: E.T. takes place around Halloween. :D I think there's a vague connection in Creepshow; I seem to remember a Jack-O-Lantern in the opening sequence. Doesn't Monster House take place on Halloween?

    I think that Inner Sanctum set is going to move itself to the top of my list.... :rommie:
     
  2. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Yeah, that one was the second sequel, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. It was pretty to look at, but that's about it.

    The original is a lot better, though it's no An American Werewolf in London or anything.

    The Inner Sanctum set is pretty nice, if a bit barebones. There isn't much in the way of special features. I don't think it even has trailers. Still, it's a great pile of Lon Chaney, Jr. movies that you're not going to get anywhere else. I think I mentioned earlier in the thread that I picked up the Best Buy compilation of Universal Horror on eBay for $20 or so, and looking at that Amazon page, it looks like it's already worth more than twice that. There are a few decent movies on there, but the real allure is Man Made Monster, which I don't think is otherwise available on DVD.
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    ^^ Almost three times that, unfortunately; it looks really good. That Inner Sanctum set will definitely be in my next Amazon order. And I'll see if Ginger Snaps might be on Fear.Net; I always like a good werewolf movie.

    My Halloween reading plans have changed slightly; thanks to my brother, I suddenly find myself in possession of a mint copy of Return Of The Wolf Man. :cool: I'll be diving into that immediately. :D

    I read the first two stories in Four Octobers, and both were very good. They're certainly evocative of boyhood in small town/suburban America in that era; the stories take place slightly before my time, 1957 and 1961 (the year I was born), but close enough to be very similar to my experience. The first one is shorter and oddly structured; it sort of hangs together, but leaves a lot unexplained. There's something odd about the second one, too, but I'm not going to spoil anything. Based on these two, I recommend reading the book. :)
     
  4. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    'Bout to crack open Call of Cthulu. And the new Repairman Jack book comes out Tuesday. :techman:
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    ^^ "Call Of Cthulhu" is a classic. Lovecraft is hit or miss, in my opinion, but "Call Of Cthulhu" is great. :cool:

    News Alert For Fright-Fans: Apparently, Sciffy has acquired the rights to Friday The 13th: The Series. There's a marathon on all day tomorrow. :)
     
  6. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I've still got to try one of those. What's the premise? I've read some vague blurbs about Jack being the one to help with unusual problems, but I've never seen one go into more depth. I assume there are paranormal elements involved?

    I'm genuinely interested; I bought The Tomb some time back, and I intend to get to it before much longer.

    I saw what looked like a prequel or "Young Jack" type of book on Amazon. I assume you'd have to have read a few already, though, to really appreciate it.

    Your brother rocks. I can't wait to see what you have to say. It's not perfect, but I think it's a lot better than the attempted Universal Monster continuations we've seen lately.

    Mad Monster Party? was really bizarre. Kurtzman's involvement isn't at all surprising, as there were gags that felt like they'd be at home in early MAD magazine. There are whole sections of the movie that are pretty much just different monster gags strung together. They all fit within the context of the story, but sometimes just barely. :lol:

    Like you said, there are lots of moments where you think, "Did they really just do that?" There were plenty of things that would end up on the cutting room floor these days. There were several parts where I had to rewind it to make sure of what I'd just seen.

    The weirdest part is probably the songs. Most of them seem kind of random and forced, especially in comparison to other Rankin-Bass productions. It makes sense for Yukon Cornelius to break into "Silver and Gold," for example, but some of these numbers are presented as if the characters up and decided, "I'ma sing now!"

    Still, it was a lot of fun. :D
     
  7. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    There are 12 books now in the series, with By The Sword coming out tomorrow. The "original" premise is that Jack is the guy you go to if "normal" avenues (police, law, etc.) won't solve your problem. He's a vigilante who has made it so he doesn't exist. No SSN, only deals in cash, that sort of thing.

    Best friend is a sporting goods store owner named Abe Grossman. Abe's store is a front for his real business, small and medium arms.

    Unfortunately, as the books unfold, Jack doesn't just get the kind of jobs he's hoping for. Paranormal jobs start coming his way, as well as paranormal situations.

    Jack's original appearance in The Tomb was part of a cycle of books that told the story of paranormal events occurring in the world tied to cosmic powers at war with each other. The Tomb, just like the other four books in the Adversary Cycle, can be read as a stand-alone. Jack's final appearance is in Nightworld. Some years later, Wilson decided to tell the story of Jack's time inbetween The Tomb and Nightworld. When he finishes filling in Jack's time, he will update Nightworld just like he did The Tomb.

    A spoiler... Jack is a player in the cosmic war, and these paranormal jobs/situations tie in to that war.

    A good book, but somewhat plodding. Don't get turned off by the first 2/3rds. The final 1/3rd is the pay-off, as is the intro to the rest of the series.

    RJ for YA. An interesting look at Jack's youth, but the "regular" books are much better. I understand there are going to be three books in the Young Jack series.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Yeah, much of it was very random. I love the long, pointless scene between the Chef and Peter Loree, where the Chef gropes him, threatens him with various types of bodily harm and then throws about twenty knives at him. Now that's a children's special. :rommie:

    And when the Bride suddenly leaps fifteen feet in the air and burst into song. :rommie:

    This is probably also the first children's special I've seen where two women rip each other's clothes off and have a vicious catfight. Or where all the characters wake up hung over. :rommie:

    It's also nice to know that if a woman hates you, all it takes is a couple of sharp slaps to the face to make her love you. This is also an educational show. :D

    Yeah, I'll be watching this over and over. :cool:
     
  9. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I think I will read Come Closer by Sara Gran this Halloween. I've had it on my shelf for quite some time.
     
  10. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I got a surprise delivery yesterday (DHL runs on Columbus Day?)--my pre-order of Icons of Horror: Hammer Films. I didn't have any time to watch one of the movies, but I couldn't help but peek at them.The transfers are beautiful, which really heightens those Hammer production values.

    Scream of Fear is the one black and white film on the set, and it looks like it's more in the vein of Psycho than creature feature. It looks beautifully shot, though.

    Curse of the Mummy's Tomb looks good. Reviews seem to put it right in the middle of the other Hammer Mummy movies, quality-wise.

    The Gorgon is the one I'm really looking forward to. It's got Lee and Cushing, and it's directed by Terence Fisher. Three great tastes that taste great together. ;) I don't know how Hallowe'en-y it is, but hopping through it I saw spooky houses, full moons, etc. It may just qualify. :)

    The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is another Fisher film, and it makes the interesting choice to present Mr. Hyde as the handsomer persona. I'm interested to see how that plays out; like a meaner version of The Nutty Professor? :lol:

    Thanks for the warning; I'll bear it in mind as I read it. I've managed to hold on through some pretty dull books, so I should be able to make it to the payoff.

    After twelve books, it's surprising that there hasn't been an attempt to adapt any of it for the screen. Of course, as I type that, someone's probably putting something together. Hollywood seems to be mining for franchises these days.

    I have, too. :lol: It's a possession story, isn't it? I should read it soon; it looks like a quick little read.

    Let us know what you think of it.
     
  11. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    A movie adaptation of The Tomb has been in the works for years. It's just never really gone anywhere. I do believe that Paul Wilson is most disappointed with the entire situation.
     
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I saw this not too long ago; I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's got that quintessential Hammer feel to it. :cool:

    I'm about halfway through Wolf Man-- there's just been a surprise resurrection. :cardie:
     
  13. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    What do you think of it so far?
     
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I really like it so far-- of course, it will be the second half where the real action takes place, once he's got all the pieces in place. The best thing about the book is the characterization of Larry Talbot-- not only is the characterization itself perfect, but the very cadence of his speech and the physical descriptions that go along with it all are incredibly evocative of the films. I can really see this stuff happening as if it were a movie. And the writer has a real attention to detail, even when talking about Chick and Wilbur-- I loved his sidelong reference to A&C's later movies when he has the townspeople speculating about what happened to them; "some say they changed their names and joined the Foreign Legion." :rommie:

    The only two real nitpicks that I have so far are: 1) As I mentioned before, I think moving the action to "the present" wasn't the best idea, and 2) There was a rather amazing coincidence the night that Larry returned, one that really stretched credulity. :D Neither one is a big deal, though.
     
  15. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Crap. I'm trying to remember what that coincidence was....
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I'll put it in Spoiler Code:

    "Fang" resurfaced at the exact same time. :D
     
  17. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I don't know if spoiler code is worth it for a book nearly ten years out of print, but just to be on the safe side...

    I thought the monster was awakened by the demolition? He was down there with Talbot, and when they plowed through the wall and such, they disturbed him. Am I misremembering?
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Yeah, I suppose the Spoiler Code is overkill, but why stop now? :D

    Yes, you're right, that was the explanation. I just found it very convenient that the Monster, who was last seen plunging through a flaming dock, somehow managed to find his way to the same underground room that Larry was in (more or less) and remained submerged underwater long enough to become dormant and remain there for forty years until a jackhammer "dislodged" him so that he was able to bob to the surface and be exposed to radio waves (nice touch there) and be revived at the exact same time that Larry was. Talk about a coincidence! :D
     
  19. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Yeah, I guess so. I hate to admit that it hadn't really occurred to me. Although, heck, it kind of matches some of the weirder leaps in logic of those later Universal Monsters flicks. :lol:

    Amazon's doing a Buy One, Get One Free sale on horror DVDs. There's lots of good stuff there. I should have waited to get Blood From the Mummy's Tomb, because I bought it for almost twice what they're listing there. Ah well, the movie's worth it.

    Black Sunday is another great one on that first page. I got it as part of the Mario Bava Collection, though.

    Dead of Night is a must-own. I think we may have talked about this one before. The Queen of Spades on the second disc is pretty good, too, but Dead of Night is definitely the top biller, there.

    Lots of the usual greats, too, like the Phantasm and Evil Dead movies. :techman: Looks like a nice way to fill in some gaps.
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    True. That's probably why it didn't bother me too much. :rommie:

    Sweet. I'll have to take a closer look at that. I do have that Dead Of Night disk-- DOD was one of my favorite "Late Show" movies back in the 70s. I should dig that out for Halloween viewing. :cool:
     

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