Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

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

  1. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Today's Bela Lugosi's birthday. :)

    I'm already a third of the way through Dark Harvest since starting it yesterday, which isn't surprising, given the book's pace. I'm reading as fast as I can, because I've got at least two other books I'd wanted to cram in. :lol: Man, there's just never enough time, is there?

    Because of a recent Amazon sale, I double-dipped and ordered Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man / House of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein / The Ghost of Frankenstein, even though these films appear on the Legacy sets. I did so after learning that they're double-layer, but one-sided DVDs. I've had problems with double-sided DVDs before when one side would get scuffed in some way and basically ruin the disc. So I might be just feeding my paranoia, but I wanted to get these single-sided ones while I still could.

    Amazon also just recommended The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, which comes out on the 28th. You know I'll be snatching that up.
     
  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Happy Birthday, Bela. [​IMG]

    I might have something similar to that Robert E Howard book from a small publisher; I'll have to check.

    Well, I finished Return Of The Wolf Man today; I think it took me as long to read the last 50 pages as it did the rest. :rommie: It was very good, and it was sad to see that "To be continued...." on the last page, knowing that it's not to be.

    It did seem to get less and less like a Universal movie as it went on; the end sequence, with its blood and violence and high body count, seemed more like a Stephen King homage (although I did picture the fight between the Wolf Man and Dracula, and the Wolf Man and the zombies, as drawn by Mike Ploog). The run-down plantation setting helped keep the retro feeling alive somewhat, though. And Talbot's death by blade, resurrection and second death by bludgeoning raised a few questions about why he tends to stay dead after being clobbered, but pops up immediately when a sharp object is removed from him. :D

    Part of it was also the length. The movies were less than two hours, some just over an hour, and one was actually two stories spliced together, which created a certain cadence to the overall ambiance. That's one reason I would have done a project like this as an anthology. Still, it captured the character of Larry Talbot very well and set up a new situation that could have easily been continued; maybe someday it will....
     
  3. Dar70

    Dar70 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I will probably read some Edgar Allan Poe this week. I know nothing original, but I always loved reading them in high school.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Edgar Allen Poe is great; I will definitely be including a little EAP in the Halloween mix. :cool:
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Since it was Bela Lugosi's birthday, I got out my Bela Lugosi Collection and watched The Raven. :) I love how they frequently re-used music cues in those days; the "action music" was the same as that used in the Flash Gordon serials. :D

    Now I'm reading some stories from The Supernatural Tales Of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I've read "The Ring Of Thoth," a mummy story and "The Pastoral Horror," which was described in the intro as a werewolf story, but which disappointed me with its utter lack of werewolves. :confused: I'm going to read "Lot 249," the other mummy story, then probably something Lovecraftian, and then get back to Four Octobers.
     
  6. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Last night, we watched The Orphanage and The Ruins (which pretty much, blew, btw :mad: )

    Tonight, we're watching The Strangers and The Happening (I know I'm probably going to hate it, given my disdain for Shyamalan's movies nowadays, but I figured I'd give it a shot).

    We've got a huge library of books, so after I finish Shadows of the Empire, I may read an H.P. Lovecraft or a non-Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice book. Or perhaps a Clive Barker yarn, or there's always Stephen King's It.
     
  7. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I liked The Orphanage a lot, but yeah, The Ruins was better in book form.

    Let us know about The Strangers. I'm curious about that one.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I might check out The Happening eventually; Shyamalan is not all he's cracked up to be (he basically directs mediocre Twilight Zone episodes; hey, there's a marketing idea: Throw all his movies together with the TZ prefix, stickin a CGI Rod Serling and... but never mind, this was only supposed to be a parenthetical aside), but the idea for this movie sounded interesting.

    "Lot 249" was great. :D It's set at a men's college in the 1880s or 90s and is full of proper young dandies breezily spouting nigh-incomprehensible antique British slang. Now I want to write a story in that style. :rommie:

    Yesterday, I frightened myself by watching Night Of The Ghouls. Alone. :(

    Now I'm reading a few stories from Children Of Cthulhu.
     
  9. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    The wife and I have been watching the Omen pentology and Kingdom Hospital; she's reading a Dean Koontz book and I'm reading a Buffy tie-in about Spike and Dru...
     
  10. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    The Strangers was pretty creepy. I didn't jump at all, but my girlfriend did. I could imagine being freaked out if what happened to them happened to us. Definitely give it a watching :techman:

    I must say, I don't think my expectations could have been any lower for The Happening, but I'll admit, at least it was better than The Village. Not that it was that good, mind you. Just the plot twist wasn't as stupid. And it was still stupid. If that makes sense :(

    Tonight, I'll probably end up watching John Carpenter's Halloween and possibly House of 1000 Corpses.
     
  11. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Dark Harvest is a pretty good thrill the second time around. Less so with Halloweenland. It's not bad, but it's not as evocative of October as some of Sarrantonio's previous work, at least 100 pages in. But it's a really quick read, so I'm considering plowing through the rest of it tonight so I can hurry up and get to something else. Maybe From the Dust Returned.


    :lol: Nice.

    How is that? It pops up as a recommendation for me on Kindle now and then.

    Will do. I don't know if I'll get to see it before Hallowe'en, but I'll definitely rent it soon.

    Dread Central's got a glowing review of Trick 'r Treat, which just makes me all the more frustrated that Warner Brothers is just sitting on it. It was supposed to be released at Hallowe'en last year, and except for a few minor convention viewings, it hasn't been released at all. At first there were fears that it'd go straight to DVD, but so far it looks like WB isn't even doing that. As the review says:

    The review makes it sound like loads of fun, and it makes me wish studios still did anthology-style horror flicks.
     
  12. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    I am currently reading the most horrifying collection ever written.

    Sixty first-year History mid-terms.

    The horror. The horror!
     
  13. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    ^^ Are those who fail History doomed to repeat it? :D

    With the exception of Poppy Z Brite's contribution, I've enjoyed them all so far, especially Larry Niven's story and another one set in the Post-Bellum South. And there's a story called "Details" that's both Lovecraftian and innovative. There's one very short story that's pretty standard, but loaded with atmosphere. Based on what I've read so far (maybe a quarter of the book), I think it's worth getting.

    I read the third story in Four Octobers and it was quite good, though I found the ending weak. It had the same "oddity" as the second story, which I won't spoil because it has nothing to do with quality, but I'll just say it's probably not a good choice for Halloween reading. I'll save the last story till later. I'm thinking of reading something from the Destinations Unknown anthology next.

    I love anthology movies. I did re-watch Dead Of Night last week, by the way. I wonder what the reason is for holding back on this flick; maybe there's some kind of legal issue. :confused:
     
  14. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Well, I read Come Closer by Sara Gran.

    It was a very quick read--I finished it in a few hours--and not at all what I was expecting.

    When I started reading, the style struck me as very noir-ish--first-person, matter-of-fact--not what I would expect from a horror novel.

    And sure enough, it basically turned out to be demonic noir--as if James M. Cain had written Rosemary's Baby. In fact, it reminded me strongly of Jason Starr's Hard Feelings, with a supernatural twist. And now that I think about it, it also reminds me of William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel, which was filmed as Angel Heart

    In retrospect, I shouldn't have been so surprised. Gran's second novel, Dope, is a more traditional noir.

    Quite a good little novel. I didn't find it as scary as the blurbs indicated, but it was creepy, and a real page-turner.
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Well, I've mostly been reading Far Below And Other Horrors, which is a facsimile of a 1974 book reprinting stories from the 20s and 30s (yeah, they're doing facsimiles of books that came out when I was 13-- I feel young :D).

    Today I'll be watching the TCM Marathon (I actually taped a couple overnight) and probably dipping into Halloween Reader and Far Below. But I also foolishly decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year and, since it starts tomorrow, I really need to figure out what I'm going to write. :rommie:
     
  16. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Alas, I haven't found much time for Halloween reading or viewing this year: about the closest I've come is reading a biography of Rod Serling and half-listening to a Goosebumps marathon on TV in the background. So, um, not close at all.

    But today I got a package from Cemetery Dance Publications, containing this year's Halloween Misfits grab bag, a set of damaged or irregular books at bargain prices. I now have Brimstone Turnpike, edited by Kealan Patrick Burke, Joyride by Jack Ketchum, and (hey) Halloween and Other Seasons by Al Sarrantonio. I'll probably dig into the last of these tonight.
     
  17. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Still working through the complete compendium of Varney the Vampire and sadly didn't get to order the third Van Helsing Diary off amazon yet.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Ah, cool, I definitely want to hear more about Varney The Vampire and those books from Cemetery Dance. :bolian:

    Today I read several stories from Far Below and will probably read another before sleep. On TCM, I watched Torture Garden and Twice Told Tales, which I taped last night. TG was okay, but TTT (with Vincent Price in three roles) was great. I saw bits and pieces of several other movies, including Devil Bat and Mark Of The Vampire. And, of course, I had to watch at least one Universal from my DVD collection, which turned out to be The Mummy's Hand; I haven't watched that one in a while.
     
  19. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Well, Halloweenland was kind of a bust. I've liked some of Sarrantonio's earlier stuff, but this one kind of felt like the end of a contract or something. It followed the formula where the protagonist goes from one source of information to the next, following a chain of people and piecing together information that eventually brings them right where they started. It just kind of felt banged out, which is a bummer. And the epilogue had me rolling my eyes. It's too bad, but at least it's a short read at 230 pages.

    I sounds like a fun little read. I think I'll bump it up on my list. Thanks!

    I often wish I had TCM, but heck, looking at the schedule, I actually own most of the movies they're showing. So maybe I'll simulate a TCM experience. I wonder if my wife can do an impersonation of Robert Osborne, and, if she can, if I'd really want to hear it.... :lol:

    Let us know how you like those. I love those Cemetery Dance books. It's unfortunate that they haven't been able to ship out the latest issue of the magazine before Hallowe'en.

    I actually thought of you a couple of weeks ago, when I picked up a copy of Teatro Grottesco by by Thomas Ligotti. It's a nice little book; I'm looking forward to reading it. I have The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, too, but I've resisted reading it because I've gotten the notion that I've got to bone up on my Lovecraft, first. I honestly have no idea where I got that idea.

    How is that? That's one I've always kind of wondered about, but I've never dived into it.
     
  20. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

    Mediocre, it was a Penny Dreadful in 1847, sort of like newspaper comic strips now, it went for 237 "episodes" when the only other Vampire publication before it was "The Vampyr" at the turn of the century so the story meanders quite a lot with the main character not having a coherent background or motivation. I'd stick to the later Victorian novels really.

    As for the other one I mentioned, its a once a year publication, the "Hunter Handbooks". Each one a chronicle of a member of the Van Helsing family with a particular theme. They're large gothic art books with grotesque but amazing demon drawings, some from Hollywood monster artists. It has a short story that unfolds over the course of the book, but the main appeal is just the physical look of the books themsevles and the art sprawling over the pages.

    "The Demon Hunters Handbook", "The Vampire Hunters Handbook" and now this year "The Dragon Hunters Handbook" of Adelia Van Helsing, which is one of the few female Van Helsings I've seen in fiction.