Category Archives: horror
Many of you will be gathering around the dinner table tomorrow to devour some turkey and fixings. Chances are, some of your family members that will be eating with you will be fans of the phenomenal Stranger Things Netflix series. Perhaps you weren’t sure what to buy these people. Maybe you were thinking about something like a restaurant gift card, or cold, hard cash. And while those are certainly acceptable gifts for those you don’t know very well, a Stranger Things collectible might be a better option for fans of the Duffer Brothers series. Here are a few ideas:
- Stranger Things, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack)
- Funko Action Figure 3-packs: Eleven, Lucas, and Mike, Will, Dustin, and Demogorgon, or Eleven, Will, and Demogorgan (similar to the old Kenner Star Wars toys)
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 1): Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Eleven, Barb, or Demogorgan
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 2): Eleven, Max, Mike (as a Ghostbuster), Dustin (as a Ghostbuster), Lucas (as a Ghostbuster), or Will (as a Ghostbuster)
- Stranger Things Monopoly
- Stranger Things Eggo Card Game
Personally, I liked the second season much better than the first…and that’s saying something, because I absolutely loved the first season! So whether your friends/family members/neighbors/secret Santa partners are fans of the original cast or enjoy the additions of Bob, Max, Billy, and Dr. Owens, these gift ideas will hit the mark.
One of the most entertaining anthology television series in history is The Twilight Zone, hosted by Rod Serling, which first aired in 1959. The fantastical stories, many written by Serling himself, took the viewer on a suspenseful ride through science fiction and horror. There has never been another anthology series that has reached the same heights, but fans of The Twilight Zone are always hungry for more. With that in mind, I offer some lesser-known series that may appeal to fans of Serling’s finest work:
- Night Gallery (another excellent Serling series)
- The Veil (hosted by Boris Karloff)
- Thriller (hosted by Karloff)
- One Step Beyond
- The Outer Limits
- The Twilight Zone (1980s reboot)
- Tales from the Darkside
- Friday the 13th: The Series (full disclosure: there is no Jason Voorhees in the television series)
If you have a fan of The Twilight Zone in your house and you want to score some big points this Christmas, these titles are sure to help you out. Check your friend’s DVD collection and find out what is missing, and be the one to fill that gap.
Possibly worth an entire year’s subscription to Netflix (which is now free on certain T-Mobile plans), the second season of Stranger Things was released just over a week ago. Seriously, this is not just the best show on Netflix. This is the best show period. Nothing else holds a candle to it, except maybe The Goldbergs, but that’s a whole different genre.
SOLD OUT – But Series 2 will include a set of Series 1!!!
— Travis Peterson (@PunkRockPaint) November 6, 2017
I love my set of season 1 cards, and can’t wait for the second series…but I’m very impatient.
So I made my own…
I dropped a few on my Twitter last night…
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
I have a handful more that I plan to post soon, if there is interest to see them. I’ve tried to keep them spoiler-free, but I offer no guarantees.
The Night Owl posted a list on his blog last night of all the non-baseball subjects in Allen & Ginter since the brand’s 2006 inception. Has it really been around that long? I perused the list and only came up with a handful of cards that I would care to have in my collection: Jack the Ripper (2007), Bram Stoker (2008), George W. Bush (2011), Bobby Knight (2012), and Tommy Lee (2013). I had originally commented on his post that I only found four, but I had overlooked Stoker in my initial reading of the lists. A sixth would have been added if Mr. T was not identified as Clubber Lang in 2015. Hundreds of non-baseball cards in these baseball card sets, but only five that I would actually want.
As many others noted in the comments section, the checklist is getting worse each year. The biggest omission in my eyes is one of the greatest writers in American history, Edgar Allan Poe. You could make the case for other writers in the horror genre, such as H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman, but Poe must come before all others.
Unlike Lovecraft, King, and Gaiman, however, Poe is not without cardboard glory. He was featured in the 1952 Topps “Look ‘n See” set, and the card is fairly affordable depending on condition. There is also the 1992 Starline Americana set, 2009 Topps American Heritage, 2009 Topps Mayo, 2011 Obak (which featured a younger Edgar along with his five brothers), 2011 Goodwin Champions, and 2012 Golden Age. I am almost ashamed to admit that I own none of these issues.
There is one other interesting Edgar Allan Poe card, and perhaps the one that I want above all others: the 2013 Garbage Pail Kids “Adam Bombing” Edgar Allan Poe. I’m a huge fan of GPK, and this card just captures everything there is to love about the brand’s irreverence.
One of these days I will load up my COMC cart with all the Poe cards I can afford. And I may pick up those five A&G non-baseball players I want at the same time.
(January 25, 1943 – August 26, 2017)
Iconic horror film director Tobe Hooper passed away yesterday at the age of 74 from natural causes. He is best known for the classics Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist and the television adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. A highly respected director, Hooper also worked in television, directing episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales from the Crypt, and Masters of Horror, as well as the music video for Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.”
The horror community took to Twitter to remember the genius that was Tobe Hooper…
So sad to say goodbye to TOBE Hooper, the man who took a chance on me and gave me my career in film’s greatest genre.
— Bill Moseley (@choptopmoseley) August 27, 2017
The chainsaw is now quiet, but it will forever be heard.
RIP Tobe Hooper.
— Clive Barker (@RealCliveBarker) August 27, 2017
Sorry to hear Tobe Hooper passed. He did a terrific job directing the ‘SALEM’S LOT miniseries, back in the day. He will be missed.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 27, 2017
One of the kindest souls I’ve ever known and a wicked sense of humor pic.twitter.com/wr60mfo0np
— Tom Holland (@RealTomHolland) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper directed THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a seminal work in horror cinema. He was a kind, decent man and my friend. A sad day.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper was a maverick a rebel and gentle, kind soul. An unlikely combination and a great loss. He changed genre films forever.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) August 27, 2017
Just woken up to news that my friend Tobe Hooper has passed away. A great director, yes, but also the kindest, sweetest man. I am so sad.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 27, 2017
Very few people were as generous, kind and encouraging as Tobe Hooper. I will miss him deeply and feel lucky for the time I had with him. pic.twitter.com/8dOGHGvdK4
— Eli Roth (@eliroth) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper, architect of the original ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ is dead
TCM was SO impactful. Safe travels, Tobe. https://t.co/NRgVBjM1QG
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper, a kind, warm-hearted man
Who made the most terrifying film ever.
A good friend I will never forget
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) August 27, 2017
— Tom Savini (@THETomSavini) August 27, 2017
Had the pleasure of breaking bread with #TobeHooper and discussing his unique vision and horror process. Important film legend
— Tony Todd (@TonyTodd54) August 27, 2017
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 27, 2017
I just heard about the death of Tobe Hooper. This is really sad. I first met Tobe at the… https://t.co/z73xYnjgLe
— Rob Zombie (@RobZombie) August 27, 2017
Very sad to hear of the passing of Tobe Hooper, another master of horror. He conjured some truly shattering, unforgettable moments in film. pic.twitter.com/6Kxw0gURzF
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 27, 2017
Another hero gone. So sad to wake up to the news about Tobe. Farewell, maestro. pic.twitter.com/3EtDo04hZz
— Adam Green (@Adam_Fn_Green) August 27, 2017
Thank you, Tobe Hooper. (1943-2017) pic.twitter.com/0Tcxlf9zMt
— Aesthetic Horror (@AestheticHorror) August 27, 2017
Sad to learn that we’ve lost another horror icon this year. Rest easy, Tobe Hooper. pic.twitter.com/wBI3TQjOXv
— Fangoria (@FANGORIA) August 27, 2017
— MONDO (@MondoNews) August 27, 2017
We mustn’t ever lose this image. pic.twitter.com/HFD1Y69e9T
— BBB Miska (@bradmiska) August 27, 2017
(February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017)
Few people have impacted the horror genre like George A. Romero. Much of today’s zombie craze can be attributed to Romero’s work in Night of the Living Dead and other related films. He also wrote and directed The Crazies and Monkey Shines, directed Creepshow, and was a contributing producer of the Tales from the Darkside television series.
If you have never seen the original Night of the Living Dead from 1968, block off some time to watch it today.
Hammer is the legendary British film company that dominated the horror genre for decades. In The Hammer Vault, author Marcus Hearn recaps many of the films produced by Hammer with scant notes about the release, controversies, and images of promotional posters, stills, and props from the movies. He begins in 1954 with The Quartermass Xperiment, and concludes with 2014’s The Woman in Black: Angel of Death.
Most films are covered in two pages, while a handful only receive one page. It is certainly interesting to see the various images, such as annotated script pages, newsletters, and press passes to advance screenings, but two or three paragraphs about the films leave the reader wanting more.
The Hammer Vault is 12.9 inches by 10.1 inches and 184 pages long. It is an enjoyable overview of the company’s history, but is by no means exhaustive. The real value of this books is in the images rather than the text.
Originally published in 2010, The Art of Hammer is a visual guide to the history of Hammer Films’ releases dating back to the 1950s. The artwork is stunning, at times risqué, and along with the films, often caused controversy upon release. The artwork on the front (pictured above) comes from Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell, the 1972 movie starring Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein/Dr. Carl Victor and David Prowse as the Creature/Herr Schneider. The book also comes with a jacket featuring artwork from Dracula A.D. 1972 starring Christopher Lee. The 200-page book is large at 10.3 by 13.1 inches, heavy and sturdy.
Except for a couple of introductory pages written by Marcus Hearn, the book is largely made up of images of promotional posters from around the world with brief captions identifying the film, as well as the dimensions of the original piece and the illustrator (if known). The author cautions in the introduction that The Art of Hammer is not intended to be a complete catalogue of Hammer posters, but a general overview of “examples from some of the most inventive and controversial marketing campaigns in post-war film history.”
As many of the original pieces were destroyed by theaters after they were used, a book like this serves as an inexpensive way to look into the past and see how far the art of movie posters has come, or how far it has fallen.
Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series
by Alyse Wax
BearManor Media, 2016
Throughout the years, horror anthology programs have appeared on television. From The Twilight Zone to Chiller to Tales from the Crypt, there have been ample opportunities for fans of the macabre to enjoy the gory genre on the small screen. In the late 1980s, Paramount utilized the popularity of the Friday the 13th film series, using the name for a syndicated television show. Jason Voorhees was not a part of this show; cursed antiques were the central objects in this series. I remember staying up late to watch Friday the 13th: The Series, and loved every second of it. It has been years since I have seen the show, but still have vivid memories.
Alyse Wax’s new book, Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th the Series is a fantastic journey back to the antique shop with Micki and Ryan and their adventures of tracking down cursed objects. Wax gives an episode-by-episode breakdown for the entire three-season run of the show, along with quotes from the main actors, producers, writers, and directors. She also delves into John LeMay’s decision to leave the show after two seasons, the Don Wildmon controversy, and includes an interview with series creator and executive producer Frank Mancuso, Jr.
After reading this episode guide, I will definitely be revisiting Friday the 13th: The Series soon to see what I missed all those years ago while watching on my little grainy black-and-white television in my bedroom, long after I should have been asleep.
Most people don’t think of horror during the Christmas season, but for the true horror nut the genre is a year-round obsession. If you have someone on your to-buy-for list that thinks Halloween should be a month-long holiday rather than one day, here are some suggestions.
- The Stephen King Compainion by George Beahm
- Stephen King novels (classics like The Shining, It, Pet Sematary; newer titles such as Revival, 11/22/63)
- In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe: Classic Tales of Terror, 1816-1914
- Essential Horror Movies by Michael Mallory
- Pumpkin Cinema by Nathaniel Tolle
- Vuckovic’s Horror Miscellany by Jovanka Vuckovic