Creature Feature Novels: Spotlight on Lucas Pederson
Spring has sprung.
I don’t know about the weather in your part of the world, but in my part, the cold winds have turned to warm breezes and the flowers are in bloom. It’s the time of year when I like to sit outside and read, with the birds chirping all around. They call that “leisure reading”, don’t they? When you relax with a good book, an easy-to-digest adventure that whisks you away from reality…
I’m so glad I found the work of Lucas Pederson. You can’t go wrong with a good ol’ creature feature, and creatures are Pederson’s forte. The first of his books I read was The Cabin.
On the surface, this is the story of a diseased Bigfoot gone crazy. But the contrast of the two main characters, Brett and Mandy, is what kept me turning the pages. You’ll want to know what they are thinking, and what they’re going to do next, simply because they’re such an unlikely pair. In the dense wilds of Minnesota’s Chippewa Forest, with a blizzard beating down on them, Mandy and Brett must battle for their lives. Who will win? Man? Nature? Or creature?
After finishing The Cabin, I immediately read Badlands.
Badlands follows a nameless gunslinger referred to only as Bounty Hunter. The Bounty Hunter is not proud of the murders he commits, but the West is a corrupt place, and he’s only trying to send money home for his little girl, Ana. This novel spends a great deal of time following the adventures of Bounty Hunter before any creatures are unveiled. I enjoyed that aspect. By the time our main character is combatting monstrous dinosaurs, we have every reason to root for him. Badlands was a fun ride, and I recommend it for a leisure read on a sunny day.
In Black Water, the Cartel have found a new way to transport drugs: underwater tunnels. When the survivors of a damaged submarine are cast into these dark tunnels, they become prey for a vicious predator. Of course they will fight long and hard for their lives, but is it a futile effort? Will they become just another snack for the creature who swims the black waters?
Now, I’ve given you three suggestions, but the thing is… this guy has a TON of books! Perhaps you should peruse the catalogue and see if anything jumps out at you. Hopefully it’s not a monster.
To find the books I’ve mentioned, plus more, visit Lucas Pederson’s Amazon page by clicking here: LUCAS PEDERSON BOOKS
Thank you for stopping by DirtyLittleHorror.com
Now, go outside and read a book! Preferably HORROR!
Dirty Dozen: Top Twelve New Releases
Fresh new year, same old me. I’m always late to the party. While other, more responsible bloggers have most assuredly checked in with their readers by now, I’m just now straggling through the door to wish you all a Happy New Year! 😂
For my first post of 2023, I’d like to reflect on some newly released horror movies I watched and enjoyed in 2022.
As always, the following list will include 12 items, because that’s how we do it here: by the dirty dozen.
In this deeply disturbing film, Taiwan succumbs to a viral pandemic that transforms peaceful citizens into sadistic maniacs. This gorefest had my jaw hanging open for most of the run time! It’s both hard to watch and impossible not to watch. Truly sick.
HOUSE OF DARKNESS
Justin Long stars in yet another horror movie. Will he survive this time? House of Darkness forces its audience into an awkward silence as the main character attempts to bullshit his way into the pants of a pretty lady with a dark secret and repeatedly fumbles his way further into harm’s way. I honestly don’t know if I would have made it to the end of this one if not for how compelling it is to watch Justin Long talk himself into an absolute corner, trying so desperately for a piece of ass. 😂😂
THE BLACK PHONE
I want to start by saying that Ethan Hawke plays such a convincing villain in this film that my dumbass didn’t even realize it was him until after I’d watched the entire thing! Didn’t question it at all. Now that’s great acting. I loved The Black Phone. The story is tight–no plot holes to speak of. The protagonists (both of them) are relatable and realistic kids you find yourself rooting for over and over again, and frankly, this is a movie that shouldn’t be missed by any horror fan. Really, really good stuff.
Sigh. How did I get here? I never thought I’d be reviewing a movie about a restroom glory hole. But here I am, and it was so good! I’ve been a fan of Ryan Kwanten since season 1 of True Blood back in 2008, and a fan of JK Simmons since even before that when he starred as Vernon Schillingeron on HBO’s Oz. Glorious was surprisingly entertaining. For a film that takes place at a desserted rest stop, this one had me hooked from start to finish.
Antlers came out at the tail end of 2021, and it’s a kick-ass little film I feel was largely overlooked. Plot: A little boy hides a dangerous secret to protect his family, and when his teacher gets involved out of concern for his wellfare, she may be the only one who can save him as his secret grows out of control.
You either love Art the Clown, or you don’t. I eagerly awaited this sequel, and loved it, but the Terrifier films are not for the squeamish viewers among us. Prepare yourself for copious guts, gore, and torture. David Howard Thornton is an instant horror icon without uttering a word of dialogue in this no-holds-barred romp through Hell.
A vampire’s loner lifestyle is thrown into disarray when a teenager shows up claiming to be his daughter, and she’s got the fangs to prove it. A fun flick.
A bit cheesy and sprinkled with cliches throughout, Barbarian was still a wild ride worth watching, and definitely worth mentioning here.
I got to watch Alicia Silverstone fist fight more than one shark, so I was a satisfied viewer. The graphics feel realistic during the storm that sweeps the couple out to sea in the opening scenes, and the suspense builds from there. It’s a campy movie, and an overdone topic, but somehow The Requin is an enthralling ride you’ll want to see through to the end.
This movie was fun because it didn’t need mature content to achieve a good scare. It’s safe to watch with family. I watched it with my 11-year-old son. The story centers on two teens who must stop a terrifying internet meme brought to life by the hysteria of their parents.
MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM
This horror comedy was super cute and funny. It had an 80s vibe and interesting characters. Two thumbs up.
This one was overhyped, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. I had no complaints. Plot: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
YouTube Horror Binges
With the cost of streaming services climbing every year, I thought I’d share some horror shows I binge watch on YouTube for free. This won’t be a “Dirty Dozen” countdown. It’s a “Dirty Half-Dozen” list of awesome free shows.
This show had cameos from actors such as Linda Blair, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Jerry Stiller, Adrienne Barbeau, Kevin Nealon, Matt LeBlanc, Tony Shalhoub, and Pam Grier. You can binge at at: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHhXWiFsHMtvDvmnsjbbQTr2biUYLmrFl
I don’t think this show needs any introduction. Love, love, love it! I found a decent YouTube channel here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFrAhTAXWwfNsaprn80zvRQ_ekeQ7zwb1
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably seen every single episode of the original Twilight Zone more than once, but you haven’t seen every episode of the 1980s version. There are brand new plots and reboots / sequels of old ones.
Two words: STEPHEN KING
If you’ve never watched Being Human, now’s the time to start. A werewolf, a ghost, and a vampire co-exist in a home together. Make sure to watch these in order!
Want to watch a horror show with your kids? This animated series is wicked fun for all little boils and ghouls!
I hope my YouTube playlist recommendations bring a new horror binge into the lives of all you serial ki-… uh… serial bingers out there.
Until next time!Read the rest of this entry
Dirty Dozen: Top Twelve Scream Queens
Hey, there! I love, love, love these Top Twelve countdowns. This blog entry I pay tribute to the ladies of horror. Mind you, these are MY top twelve, so feel free to comment with your own. I’m a hetero female, so I don’t give a rat’s booty who shows the most titty (I’m looking at YOU, Linnea Quigley!) I chose these 12 women because they are some truly badass babes of blood!
12) Adrienne Barbeau
Adrienne Barbeau starred in tons of horror movies, such as Swamp Thing and John Carpenter’s The Fog, but my favorite of her roles was as Henry’s bitchy wife in “The Crate” on the first Creepshow movie. Although it made me cringe that her character is sipping a mixture of milk and whiskey, it made me smile that she gets her just desserts.
11) Katharine Isabelle
Katharine Isabelle is in some great flicks, from her powerful role as teenage werewolf in Ginger Snaps, to her gory descent into underground surgery in American Mary, it’s hard to look away when this scream queen is on the screen. Even her more mundane roles, like run-of-the-mill teenager in Freddy Vs. Jason, are not without a certain charm. Katharine is too darn cute.
10) Denise Crosby
Denise Crosby plays horror so well. She can play a damsel in distress as easily as a sinister monster. You might remember her as Mary (leader of Terminus) from Walking Dead, who enjoys cannibalizing zombie apocalypse survivors, but I first came across her at age six, when she scared the **absolute fucking bejesus out of me** as she told the story of her dead sister, Zelda, in the original 1989 Pet Sematary.
9) Linnea Quigley
It simply wouldn’t be right to leave Linnea Quigley off ANY scream queen list. What would the 80s have been without her? If this girl wasn’t being impaled on the antlers of a dead animal, she was shoving tubes of lipstick into her nipple or dancing naked on tombstones. Linnea always kept things interesting in the horror genre.
8) Naomi Watts
Okay, the first time I saw The Ring, I said, “That was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. Let’s watch it again!” So of course Noami Watts made my list. But this talented beauty also stars in my favorite depiction of King Kong, as the classic character Ann Darrow, an actress who comes to realize that the humans who traveled with her to Kong Island to enslave “the monster” are–in fact–the true monsters. Let’s not overlook the movie Funny Games, either. If you haven’t seen it, please do, but brace yourself. Brace yourself HARD.
7) Christina Ricci
Some of Ricci’s horror titles include Sleepy Hollow (1999), in which she starred alongside our beloved Johnny Depp, Cursed (2005), and Afterlife (2009), but come on… everyone knows her TRUE masterpiece was as Wednesday Addams. The only pre-teen us bitter adults can relate to!
6) Kathy Bates
Bates’s performance as Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s Misery marked her Hollywood breakthrough, winning her the Academy Award for Best Actress. But her various disturbing characters on American Horror Story are what landed her on my countdown. She ALWAYS steals the show, no matter which season.
5) Virginia Madsen
I enjoyed The Haunting (1999) and The Haunting in Connecticut (2009), both films equally “haunting” in their own right, but Virginia Madsen’s portrayal of Helen Lyle alongside charismatic Tony Todd in Candyman, was nothing less than stunning. Tragedy meets urban legend in this storyline, and the result is ultra-spooky. Don’t believe me? Say her name five times into the mirror.
4) Barbara Crampton
I. Love. This. Woman. I’m a SUCKER for campy 80s horror, and Barbara Crampton was in some of the campiest! Re-Animator, Chopping Mall, Frankenhooker, Castle Freak, and From Beyond are all personal favorites of this blogger. In more recent years, I fell for those soft blue eyes again during her performance in the film We Are Still Here.
3) Dee Wallace
She was spot-on in The Howling and Cujo, and I really enjoyed her portrayal of rough prison guard, Greta, in 3 From Hell and her performance in Red Christmas (2017). There’s been talk of her joining the cast of the upcoming Munsters movie, and that sounds super fun!
2) Chloë Grace Moretz
I watched this girl grow up. I remember her early performances in the Amityville Horror remake and Wicked Little Things. She went on to hit films such as Let Me In and Carrie (2013). And this child star didn’t burn out. She’s still rocking the horror world. Chloë Grace Moretz could be crowned the Horror Remake Scream Queen because in addition to Amityville and Carrie, the new Suspiria wasn’t half bad either!
1) Lin Shaye
I don’t know about you, but my choice for number one is, hands down, Lin Shaye. Best known for James Wan’s Insidious series, Lin has been in other movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters, 2001 Maniacs, Snakes on a Plane, Dead End, and The Final Wish that earned her a spot right here at #1. She has this moxie that lights up every role she takes on. I love her!
So there you have it. My Dirty Dozen Top Twelve Scream Queens. Who are YOUR favorites?
Dirty Dozen Top 12 Subterranean Horror Movies
I have such fun with the Dirty Dozen countdowns!
Today I’d like to discuss underground films. No, not indie underground. Subterranean horror! I’m counting down my favorite movies that take place under the surface of the earth.
12) THE CATACOMBS (2007)
Vic, who is visiting her sister in Paris, ends up at a party in the catacombs. If you don’t know, that’s basically a giant labyrinth of bones under the city. To me, throwing a rave in the catacombs seems equal parts awesome and morbid. Naturally, since a reckless crowd of young adult party-goers is disrespecting a mass grave, an evil presence begins to pick them off. Main character Vic becomes lost in the Paris catacombs, instantly trapped in a game of Life and Death.
11) THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008)
I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker’s written work, but the films are hit and miss. This one is compelling to watch, quite cringey, and layered with gory misadventures.
10) CREEP (2004)
Not to be confused with a more recent horror film of the same title, Creep follows a young woman who awakes in a London tube station to find it locked up and deserted. She’s forced to navigate her way through the vacant tunnels, pursued by an unseen attacker. This one will make you realize how dreadful it can feel to be all alone in a bad situation.
9) HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003)
Most of House of 1000 Corpses takes place above ground, but the weirdest, and–arguably–most out of place scene, is the ending, when our heroine descends into the subterranean realm of Dr. Satan.
8) THE PYRAMID
The Pyramid (2014) provides its audience some good scares. To be honest, I don’t remember how it ends, but I’m pretty sure it had a confusing ending, which I hate in a movie! Hm… I’ll have to re-watch it now. I’ve always loved anything to do with Ancient Egypt, though, and I *do* recall some creepy moments. That’s why this one is #8.
7) THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (2007)
Two generations of a murderous family, mutated by radiation, terrorize a National Guard platoon by forcing them into their lair–the abandoned mines beneath the desert sand. This movie was well done, surprisingly so for a sequel. I identified with the characters and rooted for their escape. The gory scenes looked realistic, causing me to empathize with the victims. Good stuff, all around.
6) THE CAVE
A group of cave-divers and scientists become trapped while exploring a cave system in Romania, and encounter a pack of deadly creatures. This movie combines subterranean horror with aquatic horror, as there are plenty of water scenes that will make your toes curl.
5) MIMIC (1997)
Entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically creates an insect to kill cockroaches that are carrying a virulent disease, a hybrid between a mantis and a termite that releases an enzyme which accelerates the roaches’ metabolism, causing the disease-carrying pests to starve to death. Three years later, a new breed of insect is discovered infesting the subway tunnels below town, and it is out to destroy mankind. Mimic is one of those movies, like Jurassic Park, in which scientists should leave nature well enough alone.
4) THE DESCENT 2 (2009)
All right, if you saw the first one, it will drive you CRAZY that she is RETURNING to the caves where she narrowly escaped death, but the writers imply it’s from memory loss, which is plausible, so…. buckle up, buttercups, it’s back to the deep dark caves! Pretty scary. A good enough movie to make the #4 spot.
3) AS ABOVE, SO BELOW (2014)
I don’t usually go for the “found footage” style of filming, but this one gave me the heebie jeebies! The French catacombs are the perfect setting to send goosebumps down the back of your neck.
2) THE DESCENT
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s watched The Descent and not given it raving reviews. This gruesome survival situation feels like a true story as it unfolds. You can almost picture this happening in real life! Admittedly, this movie is a huge reason why I’ll never be convinced to go on a cave-exploring adventure! No way!
AND IN THE #1 SPOT:
If you’ve somehow managed to miss Tremors because you’ve been living under a rock since 1990, don’t feel bad. Graboids live under rocks, too, and they have a whole series of movies modeled after them! What is a “graboid”, you ask? Good god, go watch Tremors immediately!
So there you have it, my picks for the Dirty Dozen Top 12 Subterranean Horror Movies.
Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
Necromancing Dirty Little Horror
Dirty Little Horror is back from the dead!
Contact me if you’re a creator of horror films and/ or fiction. I’d love to work with you.
Man, I MISSED doing my Dirty Dozen countdowns these past few years. It is SO much fun! So I give you…
The Dirty Dozen: Top Twelve Creepshow Episodes
12) Sibling Rivalry
“Sibling Rivalry” stars rising actress, Maddie Nichols, whose performance I really enjoyed in the true crime film, A Murder to Remember. There’s something downright likeable about the girl. The chemistry with co-actor, Andrew Brodeur, brings their roles as brother and sister to life as they deal with some horrific decision making.
11) Bad Wolf Down
I always say that anything starring Jeffrey Combs is bound to be good, and this episode was no exception. It’s difficult to put a new spin on old monsters, but sometimes all you need is a solid storyline and a good supporting cast.
10) A Dead Girl Named Sue
In a post-apocalyptic world, Police Chief, Kevin Foster, delivers his own brand of justice to the town menace, whose been getting away with his misdeeds for too long.
9) Night of the Living Late Show
I love Justin Long. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? Don’t miss the chance to see him “co-star” with horror legend, Christopher Lee. Okay, okay, he’s superimposed into an already-existing Christopher Lee film. Still great! This story was an hour long, deviating from Creepshow’s usual half-hour back-to-back stories, but you’ll barely notice, you’ll be so engrossed.
8) Skeletons in the Closet
“Skeletons in the Closet” could be any horror fan’s wet dream, if “wet dreams” meant like…. really, really bloody. Our favorite icons of horror get a mention, and there’s a good balance between the comedy and horror here.
7) All Hallow’s Eve
“All Hallow’s Eve” has a cozy nostalgia that reminds me of my favorite show as a kid, Are You Afraid Of The Dark. Hardcore horror nerds might be able to make accurate predictions early on in the plot, but that doesn’t stop this storyline from hitting hard when it hits.
6) Drug Traffic
I’m not going to ruin this episode by telling you much about it, other than two things: 1) Michael Rooker is in it, and 2) My husband and I sat with our jaws literally dropped as this story played out.
Being overweight is hard enough. But imagine if EVERYONE around you seemed to be shedding pounds due to a breakthrough new diet plan. Would you feel like a freak, being the only one left with some bulges? As it turns out in this episode, the real freaks are the ones hiding under the so-called “perfect” physique.
4) Public Television of the Dead
OMG. Fan girl freak out. This one is seriously funny and CANNOT be passed over! What would happen if the Necronomicon’s “wretched incantations” were read aloud on live TV? Chaos, of course!
3) Time Out
I probably owe my husband an apology because “Time Out” had me yelling at the TV screen like, “Why are you DOING that??!! Stop doing that!” as the main character, Tim, repeatedly risked his life, health, and family to get ahead in his career. But hey, if protagonists didn’t make bad decisions, I wouldn’t be here writing this.
2) The Finger
DJ Qualls stars as a lonely loser who stumbles upon a severed finger, which he saves, and ends up spawning his new best friend, Bob. Bob is simultaneously deadly and adorable. I had to use a motion GIF above to capture his cuteness. One problem, though, Bob is viciously loyal!
1) The Man In The Suitcase
Some viewers might disagree with my selection of “The Man in the Suitcase” as my favorite episode thus far, but my reasoning is simple. The scariest part of horror–for me– is not the dark and supernatural magic that fuels it, but the ruthlessness of the human beings who are willing to abuse and exploit that magic for their own gain. This story was truly grim, and therefore, it made my #1 slot.
Feel free to comment with YOUR favorites!
New blog at Weird Wide Web dot Org
Hello to all the Dirty Little Horror followers out there. It’s been over 2 years since I posted on this blog. 2 years and 4 months, to be more specific. I still keep this dot com address active, for possible future use, renewing the domain each year. It was a lot of fun, and I’ve considered returning to Dirty Little Horror dot com. But for now, please follow my new blog at: www.weirdwideweb.org
Sooo… what have I been up to besides starting a new blog? Not much, to be honest, but I hope to start writing more often in coming months. I’ve always had an affinity for short stories, like the one posted below – a YouTube audio story.
Anyway, thanks for following. Sorry I disappeared on ya! You can stay in touch by following me at www.weirdwideweb.org!
Enjoy this free short story, and take care!
Half A Dozen Devilish Books
Devils and demons are a staple of horror literature, and I adore them in novels, novellas, and short stories. Funny enough, I feel the opposite about demonic possession in films. There are a thousand-and-one possession movies, and all of them use more or less the same plot, same tricks. But the written word is full of possibilities. It doesn’t suffer the restrictions of film and gives us room to examine the idea of demons from varying viewpoints. The loss of control, the loss of one’s self, is so frightening in a horror book.
Lately, I’ve read a lot of novels based around this very idea – possession, the devil, and ancient evil. I enjoyed each title, though no two were alike. Here are some of them – a list I’m calling Half A Dozen Devilish Books.
by: Sara Gran
I decided to buy this book when someone recommended it in the comments of a Facebook thread. The status asked something like: “What was the last book that genuinely scared you?” I read this book in a day, which is a record for me. I’m normally a slow reader. The story moves along quickly, yet you really get a sense of the narrator’s desperation, her loss of self-control, and her fear. What would you do if you thought you were possessed by a demon? Who could you turn to? Who would listen?
A Head Full of Ghosts
by: Paul Tremblay
Was teenager, Marjorie Barrett, a victim of demonic possession, or was she mentally ill? Years later, her sister looks back on their family’s dark past to unravel a tragic mystery. This book was full of suspense and chills. I absolutely loved it.
by: John Langan
Some might question my inclusion of The Fisherman here. It’s not about devils, or demons, or Hell. The Fisherman tells the tale an ancient evil capable of possessing humans, and manipulating them through their grief and sadness. Sounds pretty demonic, right? This is a slow-moving, crawl-under-your-skin-and-stay-there sort of book. I had to include it on the list.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal #1)
by: Jonathan L. Howard
I’ll admit, this book was not exactly my cup of tea. Not every book is going to become a personal favorite. But I see the value of Johannes Cabal for lovers of supernatural fantasy and dark comedy. It’s a lighthearted adventure through Hell and back, and especially if you love a good series, this might be a better match for you than it was for me. It did make me laugh a bit, and I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. There are several more books to follow this one, including: Johannes Cabal the Detective, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute, The Brothers Cabal, Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer, and The Fall of The House of Cabal.
The #5 title has been removed due to the vile behavior of its author, a true devil in disguise.
by: Stephen King
This is an oldie but a goodie. To be honest, I didn’t read much King in my youth. I didn’t have the patience for his story layers and – let’s face it – the enormous word counts! I’ve been reading him more in my thirties, and so far, this one ranks among my favorites. Store owner, Mr. Gaunt, is everything you could ask for in a Devil. Sly, experienced, charming, mystical, and terrifying. The shop he just opened up in Castle Rock has something for everyone. And I mean everyone. Won’t you step inside?
So there you have it. The six most devilish books I’ve read lately. Feel free to comment with your own devilish suggestions.