Category Archives: horror

Goodbye, George A. Romero

(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.

The Hammer Vault: Treasures form the Archive of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn (2016)

The Hammer Vault Marcus Hearn Titan Books

The Hammer Vault:
Treasures form the Archive of Hammer Films

by Marcus Hearn
Titan Books, 2016

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.

The Hammer Vault Marcus Hearn Titan Books

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.

Purchase The Hammer Vault: Treasures from the Archive of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn.

The Art of Hammer by Marcus Hearn (2016)

The Art of Hammer Marcus Hearn Titan Books

The Art of Hammer
by Marcus Hearn
Titan Books, 2016

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.

The Art of Hammer Marcus Hearn Titan Books

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.

Purchase The Art of Hammer by Marcus Hearn.

Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series by Alyse Wax (2016)

Curious Goods

Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series
by Alyse Wax
BearManor Media, 2016
490 pages

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.

Learn more about BearManor Media.

Purchase Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series by Alyse Wax.

Christmas gift ideas for your horror nut

Stephen King ItMost 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.

Vincent Price figure by Rue Morgue RIPpers

RIPpers
Vincent Price

Rue Morgue Magazine has partnered with the late horror icon’s estate to release their premiere figure in the Rue Morgue RIPpers Limited Edition Line of Collectible Bobbleheads: legendary horror icon VINCENT PRICE!

Vincent PriceThis 7-inch-tall figure, designed by Aggronautix, is limited to 1500 numbered units and depicts the legendary star in a classic pose, with a skeleton in hand.

“This Vincent Price bobblehead perfectly captures my dad’s whimsical scariness,” said Victoria Price. “He would have loved it, and so will you!”

Made of space-age polyresin, and sculpted with frightening accuracy right down to the fine facial details, the Vincent Price Rue Morgue RIPper is only $29.95 plus S&H and is expected to go fast.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Victoria Price and the talented team at Aggronautix to create the first in a unique line of quality collectibles,” said Rodrigo Gudiño, President of Rue Morgue.

Aggronautix expects stock before Christmas but can’t guarantee delivery before Christmas due to the fact that customers are worldwide and shipping times will vary from a few days, to a few weeks.

All Aggronautix figures are now available for purchase on www.aggronautix.com and will also be available at independent record stores, comic shops, tattoo parlors, etc via distribution by MVD Entertainment Group.

Pre-order now at www.vincentpricefigure.com

Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories edited and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger (2015)

Ghostly

Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories
edited and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger
Scribner, 2015
464 pages

Who doesn’t love the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series of books? They were some of my favorites as a child, and still bring bone-chilling joy to me still when I think of them. Collections of ghost stories are plentiful, and each brings a little something different to the table. Now that I am older, I crave ghost stories with a little more meat than the Scary Stories provided in my youth. Audrey Niffenegger has collected a fine assortment of such pieces in Ghostly, a new anthology that includes both classic talebearers with modern storytellers.

Timeless tales from Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Ray Bradbury are featured, as well as stories from recent masters of the macabre such as Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, and Rebecca Curtis. Also included is a previously unpublished piece from Amy Giacalone called “Tiny Ghosts,” described by the editor as “fresh and odd and very energetic.”

Halloween may be over, but houses are haunted all year round in this anthology. Adults who loved the Scary Stories series as kids should enjoy Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories.

Learn more about Scribner.

Purchase Ghostly, edited and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger.

Goodbye, Gunnar Hansen

(March 4, 1947 – November 7, 2015)

The original Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Gunnar Hansen passed away Saturday from pancreatic cancer. I was privileged to meet Hansen a few years ago in Lexington, Kentucky, as he introduced a midnight screening of the 1974 classic and took questions from the audience.

Leatherface

Vampire Legends: Christopher Lee (Countdown to Halloween)

Christopher Lee

No one could ever surpass Bela Lugosi as the quintessential Dracula, but Christopher Lee came close in the Hammer film, Horror of Dracula. He reprised the role several times, but the best and most memorable performance was in that initial 1958 movie.

Vampire Legends: Jonathan Frid and Johnny Depp (Countdown to Halloween)

Jonathan Frid

Dark Shadows first aired on ABC in June 1966, but Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins did not arrive until 1967. The gothic soap opera, which ran for six seasons and 1225 episodes, is still popular with horror fans today.

Johnny Depp

In 2012, Johnny Depp took on the role of Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s big screen adaptation of Dark Shadows.

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