Author Archives: lindseygoddard

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.

Monster (1988-1990)

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

Tales From The Crypt (1989-1996)

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

Twilight Zone (1980s)

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.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-lQA4qvcfckrXDK0qZGAyeJaATw8PhGP

Nightmares & Dreamscapes (2006)

Two words: STEPHEN KING

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhxYD-Wi9kgxaCi7saGpSECmSxxCWX7VO

Bring Human (2011)

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!

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqKljB2VmRVF5mE9TYDRAuGqsbu3LhHu6

Tales from the Cryptkeeper (1993)

Want to watch a horror show with your kids? This animated series is wicked fun for all little boils and ghouls!

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBZNlAa1UKF5wihm3qEX46tSQad7l9Uyl

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!

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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:

TREMORS (1990)

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

Dude….

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.

5) Skincrawlers

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!

Interview with author James Dorr

How would you describe your writing style?

Mixed-genre perhaps, or a potpourri? That is, my most recent book Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth is a mosaic novel, or novel-in-stories, with elements of horror, dystopic science fiction, science fantasy, and dark romance blended in together, and in a style I think of as baroque – tending toward lush and literary. However, I’ve also had stories in mystery magazines that are more bare-boned, in some cases perhaps even noir. The idea for me is that the type of story will ideally suggest the style, with The Tears of Isis (to drop another title) as a possible example, a collection that begins with a poem, then a stream-of-consciousness story, and so on, ending with its title story in a fairly no-nonsense, straightforward style.

What draws you to dark fiction?

One of my primary interests is character. In my opinion the best fiction, in any genre, is that which makes its reader think, to think about what it means to be human whether in terms of relating to the world, or building new worlds as in science fiction, or intimately with just one other person, or even within the folds of one’s own mind. This last is where I think horror and dark fiction excel, in putting a character under the greatest personal stress and examining how that character then copes, or even just survives. The vampire has bitten, now what does one do? And does its playing out induce the reader to think how he or she might react as well, perhaps not to a vampire bite as such, but to other, hopefully no longer quite as extreme pressures they might be under in everyday life?

Such an eloquent response, it makes me want to sit down and read some James Dorr tonight. Please tell us about your latest release, Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth.

On a far-future, exhausted Earth a ghoul – an eater of corpses – explores the ruins of one of its greatest cities in hopes of discovering the one thing that made its inhabitants truly human. This is the premise, the quest that leads us through the 16 stand-alone chapters, about half in fact already published in various venues as complete short stories, loosely inspired by a pair of quotations from Edgar Allan Poe, of the most poetic subject being the death of a beautiful woman (which also informs, in its way, my previous book The Tears of Isis) and of the boundaries between life and death being “at best shadowy and vague.” If these statements be true, and in an already dying world, can love be a power to even transcend death?

Looking through your Amazon page, I noticed how much you’ve been getting your fiction out there in different anthologies and magazines. Are there any of these publications that stand out in your mind as a particularly memorable experience, whether it was a lot of fun to participate in, or maybe for charity, or a badass theme?

So many things, and where to start? One story that comes to mind is called “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” one originally written for a horror anthology that turned it down, then was rejected by a succession of other horror markets until I switched gears and sent it to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine where it was accepted – the first that I sold there and, at the time, one of my first wholly professional fiction sales. (It is in addition written in a mannered style, which was taking a chance for me back then, but in a sense prefigured the style later used in Tombs.) Then there’s “Moons of Saturn,” a science fantasy story that’s almost a reverie based on an astronomy book I had on the solar system, which went to Algis Budrys’s magazine Tomorrow, another early (and in my opinion, validating) professional sale. For another, “Avoid Seeing a Mouse,” which went to Max Booth III’s alternate history anthology for Dark Moon Books, Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories, and played a role in bringing about The Tears of Isis. And for a fourth, perhaps “King Rat,” written in part as an allegory on world politics and economics, that first appeared in Gothic.Net and was reprinted in Bleed, a charity anthology for The National Children’s Cancer Society.

James, I also had a story in Bleed. It was a terrific book! But now I want to know more about your 2013 collection, The Tears of Isis. It has received some great reviews. How long did it take you to put this collection together, and what do you think has made it so successful?

In that The Tears of Isis was assembled from stories already written, it didn’t take that long at all. Max Booth III had just started Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and, having recently published me in Zombie Jesus, invited me to submit a collection to his new company. For the contents, I was to have a completely free hand as long as it came in within a certain word range, choosing and arranging the stories myself. As it happened, I’d been playing around in my head with a couple of possible collection ideas, so I emailed back suggesting I get back by about Halloween, which would have been two or three weeks, with a definite yes if I thought it feasible, then get a manuscript together by about Thanksgiving – this would be aiming for a publication date for the next spring or summer, in time to be out before that year’s World Horror Convention.

So the dates worked out. Since the stories were already written (which isn’t quite true, I did write one short one to be combined with an existing poem, while one other story was as yet unpublished) it was more a case of compilation and one thing I learned, the process was both a challenge and fun. By analogy to the sculptors in the book’s opening poem and closing story, in choosing materials from an unformed “basket” of stories from which to form a loose theme (in this case of beauty and death; of the artist conferring on his or her model both immortality, and through its objectification, a kind of destruction) and then fitting and arranging them into it, I had the thrill of watching as until-then-unrelated works formed of themselves a cohesive and artistically satisfying whole.

tears_larger

Wow! That sounds like a unique collection of stories, for sure. Do you keep a notebook or file of potential story ideas? If so, how many do you think you actually end up using?

The short answer is “no.” My relationship with the muse is not a sunny one; I have to wrestle her for ideas and, if I get one, I usually try to develop it at least a little bit right away. At that point I’m likely to make some notes on a piece of scrap paper or the back of an envelope, but I’ll still try to get to work with it on the computer within a few days. (One exception: in the case of a series of stories – I have one ongoing, for instance, about the original vampires who allegedly came to New Orleans – or a created world, as in Tombs, I may keep a folder with common information, such as maps or naming conventions.)

You write poetry as well. Who are some of your favorite poets, from any era?

To go to possible extremes, I consider Edgar Allan Poe and Allen Ginsberg to be major influences. To them I might add Byron, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Chaucer, the Greek tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (these in translation, of course), any number on up to Kipling (who, after all, even wrote a poem called “The Vampire”).

Where can we find your poetry?

I’ve been lax in marketing poetry lately, though I will have a short poem in the current (Fall 2017) Star*Line. I do have a book of poetry, Vamps (A Retrospective), available from White Cat Publications as well as (although in print only, I think) Alban Lake. Also my early collections Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance and Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret both contain poetry sections. (These latter are technically out of print but can still be found on Amazon, et al.)

Is there any genre you’d like to attempt but haven’t tried yet?

I consider enough of my work to be cross-genre that it’s hard to answer. I’ve never written straight romance or straight westerns (or western romance, for that matter), but if I tried it’s likely that horror elements would sneak in. (Also erotica might be fun, but again. . . .)

What do you do for fun when you’re not writing?

I like watching movies, particularly science fiction and horror, but comedies too and some documentaries. I also lead and play tenor in a Renaissance recorder consort.

Where can we find you on the web?

I recommend that people follow me on my blog at http://jamesdorrwriter.wordpress.com to keep up on my latest doings. Feel free to comment too if the spirit moves. Also I’m on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.dorr.9 and my Amazon Author page (lots of book titles, but most of them are anthologies where I might just have a story or poem) is at http://www.amazon.com/James-Dorr/e/B004XWCVUS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1380306038&sr=1-2-ent

TombsLargeWithSubtitle

It had been a time when the world needed legends, those years so long past now. Because there was something else legends could offer, or so the Poet believed. He didn’t know quite what — ghouls were not skilled at imagination. Their world was a concrete one, one of stone and flesh. Struggle and survival. Survival predicated on others’ deaths. Far in the future, when our sun grows ever larger, scorching the earth. When seas become poisonous and men are needed to guard the crypts from the scavengers of the dead. A ghoul-poet will share stories of love and loss, death and resurrection. Tombs is a beautifully written examination of the human condition of life, love, and death, through the prism of a dystopian apocalypse.

Dorr2014_Alisa_Alering_Photo

James Dorr’s latest book is a novel-in-stories published in June 2017 by Elder Signs Press, Tombs: A Chronicle of  Latter-Day Times of Earth. Born in Florida, raised in the New York City area, in college in Cambridge Massachusetts, and currently living in the Midwest, Dorr is a short story writer and poet specializing in dark fantasy and horror, with forays into mystery and science fiction. His The Tears of Isis was a 2014 Bram Stoker Award® finalist for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, while other books include Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance, Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, and his all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective). He has also been a technical writer, an editor on a regional magazine, a full time non-fiction freelancer, and a semi-professional musician, and currently harbors a cat named Triana.

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.

Come Closer

by: Sara Gran

come closer

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

head_full_of_ghosts

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.

The Fisherman

by: John Langan

fisherman.jpg

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

necro

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.

Needful Things

by: Stephen King

needful

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.

Horror Humor

100 Bloody Acres

I just finished watching 100 Bloody Acres, and I must say… it’s the perfect mix of horror and comedy. Here’s the breakdown:

Reg and Lindsay run a family business and have all the typical sibling scuffles, but younger brother Reg is constantly eager to win his bro’s approval, despite their rocky relationship. The two run an organic fertilizer business and have a shocking idea about how to obtain some special ingredients for their new fertilizer mix. Seeking flesh and bone to process through their meat grinder at no cost out of pocket, Reg makes his rounds in the Morgans Organic company truck, searching for dead meat. He comes across three (live) friends on their way to a music festival and immediately recognizes the fresh opportunity.

100b

Hitching a ride with Reg due to their broken down vehicle, the trio of friends fall into the clutches of the murderous Morgan brothers and soon find themselves on the path to certain doom, rather than a music festival. But maybe, just maybe, the three of them could escape…. if only one of them wasn’t tripping acid and the other two weren’t fully engulfed in some serious relationship drama!

I found this movie for sale at Family Video and paid a whopping $1.50 for it. I had very little faith in the review on the back given by RogerEbert.com: “The best low-budget horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead!” Yeah right, I thought. But you know what? I really did enjoy the film. So much that I decided to recommend it here on the blog. It didn’t deliver quite as many laughs as Shaun of the Dead, but the back cover also boasts: “A witty, gory blend of Australian humor and horror tropes, the Cairnes Brothers 100 Bloody Acres is a bloody good time,” and with that statement, I fully agree. Great character development, lots of funny moments, tons of suspense. An all-around good movie!

Interview with Kenneth W. Cain

Hello again, my wicked readers. The kiddos have gone back to school, so I’m going Back To Scares. 

I was a ghost

who never did post.

I’ll soon be the host

who thrills you most.

Haha. Okay, that was an awful poem. Suffice it to say, I am breathing some much-needed life (and DEATH) back into this blog.

On today’s agenda, an amazing interview with author Kenneth W. Cain:

kwc

 

What draws you to dark fiction?

I was raised to be a fearful man, which has hindered my enjoyment of life. Somewhere in my teens I started rebelling against that fear, embracing my fears, rationalizing them. It was and still is very much a process. But, I suppose that confrontation sparked my interest in the unknown, as I’ve always had this need to expose the darkness. To shine a light on it in hopes of uncovering the unknown. There’s so much we don’t understand about ourselves, about this world, the deep ocean and darkest forest, space and beyond. It can make one feel very small and insignificant. That’s my draw.

 

Embers, your latest book of short stories, has received some awesome reviews. How many stories are included in the pages of Embers, and what inspired you to put this collection together?

There are 25 stories in Embers. That means it’s chock full of fun, and that’s always what I aim for, to make sure there’s something for everyone. And that’s part of the joy, seeing what stories jive with this person and that, what the takeaway is. For me, it’s a journey, all of this writing business. It’s the same with a collection. It’s all about laying bricks to a path that leads through a horrific garden. Each step has a precise space, that hopefully allows the reader to journey along with me. And if I’m successful in creating this walkway, maybe they see through my eyes, if only for a brief moment. That’s the fun of it.

embers

 

You have written both short and long fiction. Does your process differ for each?

Well, I stumbled into this business in 2010 with These Trespasses, which actually began as a blog series believe it or not. At that point, I was far from finding any sort of stride, and I think the story suffered because of it. Same with some of my other earlier work, as I’d been away from this all too long, and had not progressed at all, and needed to rediscover myself. So I suppose it was originally more of a hobby for me then, sorry to say.

At some point more recently, I started falling in love with the written word again. Those who have spoken with me in person or on the phone know of my desire to learn more of the craft. It’s something that excites me, and I think that’s starting to bleed into my writing the correct way (pun intended). So there’s a process to my writing now, that more or less is me getting the story out, no matter how big or small, and refining it over edits for layering and tension and emotion, characterization and all.

To answer your question more specifically, it’s more about the story and less about the process. My characters lead me through, and only they know when their story has been fully told. I give them that control, give into the fiction. That’s actually helped me to a large degree I think, as I’m seeing through their eyes with more clarity these days.

 

Which part of writing is your favorite: outlining a plot, developing characters, crafting a setting, or writing dialogue?

Well, I’m a panser, so it wouldn’t be outlining. I’ve tried time and time again with no success. As for the rest, I suppose it’s more of a combination of those three. Dialogue is part of the characterization. Also, setting is a bit like a character in that we need to breathe life into it. There’s a look and feel to everything, a sound or sounds, and smells. It’s about hitting the senses to best create a painting of a real life scene with moving parts and feeling. When you hit it, with all the right beats, you know it, and that creation is a beautiful thing.

 

Which part/s do you struggle with?

Well that’s a tough question. I’d say I struggle with it all because I’m never really satisfied. At times, I’ll revisit something I’ve written in the past and rue over my mistakes. And yes, there’s always mistakes. Not necessarily in the sense of grammar or misspelling, but in layering and character flaws and dialogue, voice. Such has been the case as I dive back into my trilogy and revisit my earliest efforts. But that’s also been a rewarding process. This business is all about growth for me, and that in itself is an endless study.

 

Are you involved with any creative projects, aside from writing?

Creative is such a broad word, but yes. Many in fact. I perform much of the formatting and graphic design tasks for The Lovecraft eZine and others upon request. I’ve also been editing quite a bit lately, too. Occasionally, I’ll paint and/or draw. Art was one of my first passions. My reef tanks are also creative in a way, I suppose.

 

If you could sit and talk with any three authors, living or deceased, who would they be?

That’s a tough question, as there are so many whose minds I’d like to pick. Currently, though, I guess that would be Joe Hill, Shirley Jackson, and Richard Matheson.

 

What are your hobbies and interests when you’re not writing?

Well, my family is my biggest interest. I enjoy spending time with them, whatever we’re doing. But there’s also my reef tank and growing corals. Painting, riding my bike, going to the gym, baseball (I coach my son’s teams), the beach. Actually, a good friend enlightened me to see the beauty in anything long ago, and ever since, I tend to take interest in most anything, which isn’t always easy as you could imagine.

 

Are there any genres you’d like to attempt but haven’t tried yet?

I don’t read a lot of science fiction. I used to, so I’m not opposed to it, but I’m not always one who gravitates to what some classify as “hard” science fiction. Again, it’s not that I don’t like it, just that I don’t always prefer it. Maybe (occasionally) something gets lost in all that overly technical jargon and pulls me out of the story, I’m not certain. Whatever the case, I’d like to revisit that shelf (so to say).

 

What can we expect to see from Kenneth W. Cain in the near future?

Right now, I’m rewriting my trilogy. I’m not certain what I’ll do with it afterword, whether I’ll try to find another publisher or self publish the series, but I do need to put in the work. I’m also working on a young adult horror novella and two new novels among other shorter projects, and possibly a new collection. Editing wise, I’m doing some work for a small press right now, but soon (October 1st) I’ll be editing volume 5 of Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From The Lake series. That’s a project I’m really looking forward to.

 

Where can we find you on the web?

Most of my links to connect can be found here: https://kennethwcain.com/contact

 

 

Wow, what a fantastic interview. Thank you so much, Kenneth W. Cain!!!

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