Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

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

  1. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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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.
     
  2. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    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 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.

    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.

    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. :lol:

    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.
     
  3. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Finished Star Wars: Death Troopers on Halloween night [​IMG][​IMG]

    Very light weight read, even for a SW book and it wasn't more "shocking" than any other SW book.
     
  4. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    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.

    That's something Home Theater can never replicate. Unless you've got a really big one and a lot of friends. :rommie: I love those old-fashioned venues and showings of old movies; I hope business is good enough for them to continue.

    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.

    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. :D

    That's going right to the top of my list. I'm sure there will be some good and interesting stuff in there. :bolian:
     
  5. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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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? :D). 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.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!


    I wasn't the editor on DARK HARVEST. I just wrote the back cover copy for the Tor edition.
     
  7. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I guess it's time to rename the thread once again. ;)

    The other day I got a surprise email that The Wolf Man (Special Edition) shipped, however, when I got it, it was the green Legacy set. It looks like it was just an Amazon error, though, and they're supposedly sending me the right one. I'm looking forward to watching all of those special features.

    I also couldn't resist jumping into The Mammoth Book of Wolf Men; it hopped right up to the top of my "to read" list. I'm only about a hundred pages in, but so far, so good. It not only has modern stories by the likes of Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell, but a couple of old pulp entries, too. One's a novella-length tale collected from three issues of Weird Tales in 1938, and one's from Spicy Mystery Stories in 1942. They're by Manly Wade Wellman and Hugh B. Cave, respectively.

    So, for a blind buy, I'm pretty pleased with it.
     
  8. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Manly Wade Wellman! :bolian: That makes it worth the price of admission right there. He's the guy who wrote the "John The Balladeer" stories, which you should definitely seek out if you haven't read them. Highly recommended. Plus, Hugh B Cave, Weird Tales and Spicy Mystery? I'm ordering this today with some of my Christmas shopping. :D

    That must have been a letdown with the Wolf Man Special Edition. When is the real ETA?

    I wonder if there's a DVD release date yet for House Of Wolf Man?
     
  9. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I'm about 150 pages in, now, and there hasn't been a dud yet. I'm really pleased. A couple of typos, which is weird for a reprint, but not very many.

    It's a pretty broad range of stories so far. From Cold War werewolves, to a touching werewolf family story to a tale about a man whose transformation is entirely psychological. (I remember Curt Siodmak saying that his original concept for The Wolf Man was along those lines.)

    I was intending to put the anthology down temporarily so that I could dig into a new novel, but I haven't been inclined to take a break from it yet, which is a good sign.

    Amazon was quick to send me a replacement for The Wolf Man Special Edition, but they sent me the green Legacy set again. :lol: Now it looks like many customers are having the same problem.

    This site lists the release date as February 2nd, which sounds about right, coinciding with the remake. They have a different cover for it, which I kind of like better.

    As for House of the Wolf Man, someone said on their discussion board that they heard it's going to be released on DVD next October, but the official response from "Bela Frankenstein" was that they hope it'll be long before that. There was implication that it might be distributed by Universal, which would be great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  10. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Wow. I wonder if Universal will adopt it and consider it part of the continuity. That would be great, if the movie is as good as it looks. I hope we don't have to wait a year for it, though....

    I had the same problem that you're having with Wolf Man last year when I ordered the first Pern novel. I had to order it at least four times, and I got a different book each of the first three, one of which I had to return (I liked the others, so I kept them). It turned out there was some corrupted data in their database; after the third time I ordered it, I got a message to wait a couple of months and try again. :rommie:

    I wish I had that Werewolf anthology tonight. It sounds great.
     
  11. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Not entirely off Topic-- since there are monsters involved ;) --and I'm probably the last kid on the block to tumble to this, but Secret Saturdays is back for it second Season. Now it's on Saturday mornings. I think about four episodes have been broadcast so far, but they are sadly not available on On Demand.
     
  12. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Anyone know of some good Christmas-themed horror reading?

    There are several movies good for watching around this time of year, but I'd like to find a decent horror novel or anthology with a yuletide bent.
     
  13. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I'll try to think of something-- the only Christmas-themed horror that comes immediately to mind is Gremlins and a few Gahan Wilson cartoons. :rommie:

    I'm sure there must be a couple of anthologies, though, if not novels.
     
  14. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Don't forget The Nightmare Before Christmas; though usually treated as a Halloween film, it works well for either holiday. :evil:
     
  15. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    True. I need to get around to watching that at some point....
     
  16. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    There are plenty of movies that either play on the season directly (Black Christmas, Gremlins, etc.), and there are lots that just take place at this time of year.

    I'm mostly looking for something to read, though. The Wolf Men book mentioned one of the authors being featured in an anthology called Horror for Christmas, which I assume is this book. I might just bite the bullet and grab a cheap used copy.
     
  17. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I wonder if the Cemetery Dance site sorts by Christmas-themed books; it sounds like something they would do. :D
     
  18. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I'm sure they have some Christmas-themed books, even if they don't have an actual store. They're a little pricier than I'd like to go right now, though.

    I'm all about cheap and/or coupons. :lol:
     
  19. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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  20. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ That's a great site. I love the compilation movie at the beginning. Hopefully that will turn a lot of people on to the good old stuff. :cool:

    I can dig it. Especially after just spending five hundred bucks on tooth torture. :rommie:

    I wasn't able to come up with much in the way of Christmas Horror. This looks like it's probably pretty good. This looks less promising. The fact that there's nothing Christmasy in the suggested book list bodes ill for Yuletide scariness.