R.I.P. Fangoria and a Plea for Uncle Bob

I admit it. I’m an old softie. Yes, longtime gorehound that I am, horror reader, rough and tough machinist for the Navy, I am a sentimental fool sometimes. When I read that Fangoria as a print magazine is almost certainly gone, I got teary-eyed.Continue Reading

Welcome to the Videodrome!

There was no way of knowing how much that top loading Fisher VCR with wired remote control would change all of our lives. We were a family of movie addicts. We had a theater called The Kent two blocks away that showed double features and had a balcony where all sorts of shenanigans ensued, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. There was also the drive-in just ten miles away in Elmsford, a mecca for families and horny teens all throughout lower Westchester County.

But this VCR contraption, which my father brought home with a buzzing glee, was about to take us to a whole new level. Continue Reading

A Halloween Thing A Day: 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

Welcome to A Halloween Thing A Day! Since we here at Cemetery Dance have a certain fondness for Halloween, we don’t think it’s right to only celebrate it one day out of the month. So, this year we’re celebrating it EVERY day of the month. That’s right—31 days of short films, urban legends, weird facts, spooky stories…everything we could dig up on the most wonderful time of the year. Gather close….take my hand…I have such sights to show you…

Halloween + the Internet = LISTS, all kinds of lists, but especially horror movie lists. Everybody has their recommendations for what spook shows should flicker across your television sets this time of year, and I could easily post 10, 20, a hundred links to such recommendations here. Instead, I went to the two sources I trust the most: Fangoria and Shock Waves.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve read at least one issue of Fangoria. I probably wouldn’t be DOING this if it weren’t for Fangoria, which (along with a guy named King) served as my gateway into this crazy genre. To me, Fangoria is and always will be THE guide to the world of horror films. So, when they put out a list of horror movies to watch during October, it’s an easy bet that it’s one I feel confident in sharing.

The list doesn’t go as “deep cut” as I might’ve expected from Fango, but it does cover a wide range of horror, from classic films like The Abominable Dr. Phibes to comedic takes like Return of the Living Dead to creature features like Pumpkinhead to remakes like The Fly and Tom Savini’s underrated Night of the Living Dead. It’s a great, accessible list you can’t go wrong with!

As much as I love and trust Fango, it’s always good to get a second opinion, and this time I got a second, third AND fourth opinion. Shock Waves is my favorite horror movie podcast going right now, and all three co-hosts recently compiled their individual lists of 31 movies ripe for Halloween: Rebekah McKendry, Rob Galluzzo, and Elric Kane. If you’re looking to challenge your horror palate with a few obscure films, some foreign fare, or some of those “misunderstood classics” that litter the horror genre, you’ll find plenty to choose from in their lists.

Mix and match from these lists, sub in your own favorites, or just watch John Carpenter’s Halloween 31 times in a row—you can’t go wrong! If you’ve got some movies that you want to recommend for the Halloween season, share ’em in the comments!

See you tomorrow with another Halloween Thing!

Blu Gilliand is the managing editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online. Some of his “must-see” Halloween horrors include John Carpenter’s HalloweenTrick ‘r TreatFrankenstein and the Monster from Hell, and, of course, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

News from the Dead Zone #127

News from the Dead Zone

Greetings and a belated Happy 2010! There hasn’t been a whole lot brewing lately, but there are some current and upcoming publications you might be interested in knowing about. There’s been no official word yet on what novels King will release in 2010, but word is that he has completed two since finishing Under the Dome so there will definitely be something this year.

The second part of King’s essay for Fangoria is in issue #290, which is reportedly on news stands now. This piece will be included in a reissue of Danse Macabre, which is also being released in audio for the first time.

The March/April issue of Playboy should be out soon. It contains the new King poem “Tommy.”

The TimesTalks event that King did in New York on November 10th is now available for viewing in the Multimedia section of King’s website.

Amazon now has a free PC version of the Kindle program so you can read Kindle-only content like “Ur” your computer. Here’s a preview of the audio version and a website dedicated to the story.

In this interview with See magazine, Elvis Costello discusses his character in Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.

Here’s an article about King’s participation in Shooter Jennings’ forthcoming album. King is the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a radio talk-show host being phased out due to government censorship. He spends his last hour on the air delivering a diatribe about the decline of America, and playing the music of an important band — which happens to be Jennings’ new band, Hierophant. You can hear a clip from the album, including King’s narration at Jennings’ web site.

Entertainment Weekly: Best of TV 2009, Top 10 Films of 2009, Decoding Movie Blurbs

Two works about King were nominated for an Edgar award this year. Lisa Rogak’s Haunted Heart and my own The Stephen King Illustrated Companion. Here’s an interview I did recently that covers both this book and The Road to the Dark Tower.

News From The Dead Zone #121

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Hodder & Stoughton, King’s UK publisher, has an online/offline promotion where people are sent on a treasure hunt to find the more than 5000 snippets of Under the Dome that are being hidden by other participants all across the web. Facebook and Twitter feeds are being used to distribute clues to the location. You just never know where one of these snippets might turn up.

There’s a short interview with King at the Science Fiction Book Club (may contain mild spoilers) and a letter from King to readers at the same site. Look for an excerpt from the book in the issue of Entertainment Weekly that will be on news stands next week.

A second set of 60 pages from The Cannibals is now up at King’s website. We won’t see any more of the book online this year, if ever.

Marvel announced a new chapter in the Dark Tower graphic fiction adaptation-Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. Beginning in 2010, the creative team of Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove return for a new 30-issue arc exploring the life of Roland Deschain, revealing how and why he began his pursuit of the man in black across Mid-World’s Mohaine Desert! “We are extremely excited to continue our epic journey into the DARK TOWER universe with THE GUNSLINGER,” says Ruwan Jayatilleke, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development-Acquisitions & Licensing. “And we are equally ecstatic to continue our collaboration with Stephen King as well as keeping comic book fans on their toes!” A look back at key points along the road to DARK TOWER: THE FALL OF GILEAD #6 and the cataclysmic events to come

King has submitted an exclusive, all-new article for publication in Fangoria magazine. The 7,500-plus-word essay, entitled “What’s Scary,” will be published in two parts, beginning with #289, on sale in December, and concluding in #290, arriving in January 2010. “I’ve wanted to be a Fango contributor ever since I purchased my first issue,” King says. “For me, this is a nightmare come true.”

NBC Universal and E1 Entertainment are co-financing a 13-episode TV series called Haven that is based in part on The Colorado Kid. The project “centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven.” Scott Shepherd will serve as showrunner and exec produce with Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller, all three of whom were exec producers on USA Network’s version of The Dead Zone. Two more The Dead Zone alumni, Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, are writing the pilot and will also serve as exec producers.

On October 20, Del Rey Comics will release the first issue of The Talisman: The Road of Trials . It’s being adapted by writer Robin Furth and artist Tony Shasteen . Here are 12 exclusive images and a Robin Furth interview: Stephen King Gets Serious About Comic Books.

Entertainment Weekly columns: What’s Next for Pop Culture? and The One That Got Away

News From The Dead Zone #87

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The New York Academy of Sciences is hosting the following presentation The Science of Stephen King: From Carrie to Cell, The Terrifying Truth Behind the Horror Master’s Fiction tonight.

This new Q&A has been getting a lot of press, mostly because of King’s “waterboarding” comments. King also talked to Nightline about his childhood, career and the secret to a successful horror film. ABC news has an interesting from book to screen photo essay.

The Mist took in $13 million dollars during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was a ninth place opening, but the film’s budget was only $18 million, so in five days they’ve earned back most of their money. Here’s a NY Times interview with Darabont and King, an interview with Marcia Gay Harden, an interview with the extras, pictures from the premiere and “Ms Mod’s” review — by the moderator of King’s message board, a USA Today article, and an MTV interview with King. My set visit report is a Cemetery Dance free read, but beware of the spoiler notice at the top of the page. I have interviews with Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden and Toby Jones. My interview with Frank Darabont in Rue Morgue #73 should be on stands for a few more days. For my thoughts on the film, visit my LiveJournal.

To see exclusive storyboards from The Mist, visit Fangoria.com. They also have an exclusive video interview with writer/director Darabont here, as well as some cool clips of Darabont and King talking together here. Star Thomas Jane sounds off here. Check out all the articles in Fearful Features too, and the cover story of the current issue of FANGORIA (on newsstands now).

CD’s very own Glenn Chadbourne said he spotted his t-shirt design featuring Doug Graves in The Mist. Glenn said he heard on King’s radio station WKIT that multiple t-shirts were used in the movie because of all the blood.

Fear.net has a nice interview with Peter, wherein he talks about T3, The Talisman movie and his next book. Note: this video is only available in North America.

Promotional bookmarks for The Long Road Home, the second Marvel graphic novel series, indicate that the launch will be in March 2008.  The hardcover version of The Gunslinger Born was the #1 hardcover graphic novel on multiple sales charts and Amazon.com’s editors’ picked it as the #1 Comic & Graphic Novel of 2007.

“This is everything a hardcover collection of this type should be, and more,” gushed Joe Hartlaub of BookReporter.Com, who furthered described Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born HC as, “a beautiful hardcover edition that pays proper homage to the work within.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, ABC is planning a new drama series that’s loosely based on The Colorado Kid. King describes the script, from The Dead Zone‘s Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, as “closer to The X-Files than Supernatural.”  King will have a small stake in the show (currently dubbed Sanctuary) should it go to series, “but it’s not something that keeps me up nights, the way Kingdom Hospital did.”

When you read Duma Key in January, check out the epigraph, then back up to the copyright page and look at the acknowledgements for the song “Dig” by Shark Puppy. You’ll see some familiar names, I’m sure.

News From The Dead Zone #86

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Stephen King will appear on ABC’s Nightline tonight at 11:35 P.M. (EST). If you miss it, the full interview transcript will be at  ABCNEWS.com after the show airs. “If I can make you feel for my characters, and if you worry that something will happen to them instead of rooting for something to happen to them, for their head to be blown off, or for Freddy to get them with his nails, then I got something going,” King tells Jake Tapper.

Publisher Donald M. Grant posted an updated last week about their new edition of the revised version of The Gunslinger combined with Little Sisters of Eluria. “We have now received from Michael all the additional art for the book and can start working on design and production. Price, schedule and other details have not been set and when further information is available it will be posted on our website and published in our newsletter. We expect that this will be announced in the beginning of 2008.” This book will be called Little Sisters of Eluria.

TMZ.com posted a video of King greeting fans before the New York premiere of The Mist when someone asks him to autograph their daughter’s diaper. Saying he had “changed a few” in his day, King happily obliges, but the kid throws a fit. Here are some video highlights from the press conference where King and Darabont field questions about The Mist, a quick text recap of the high points and a link where you can listen to the interview. Fangoria magazine says “not only is The Mist intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic toward its characters, it is proudly and unashamedly a horror movie through and through. Darabont has scored his third successful King adaptation in a row, and there’s nothing hazy about his intention this time to scare the hell out of all of us.” Wandering through the Mist is an interview with Darabont and Marcia Gay Harden. Here is the third trailer.

Darabont tells MTV about his hopes to adapt The Long Walk. “It’s a hard story to pitch to a studio. Because they say ‘well what’s it about?’ Well it is about a bunch of kids walking and talking – uh okay. The thing I keep thinking about is that these guys never stop moving. So, I how do you get a really good close up. It would be an interesting challenge to not have people get just sick of watching the image because of all the movements. So, I think that there are certain rigs that stabilize the image even more so than a steady cam,” he revealed. “But [overall] I think a lot of run and gun, a lot of the guerrilla approach that I applied on The Mist. It will again be letting those ragged edges show.”

Hodder & Stoughton are offering you a unique opportunity to design the advertising for Duma Key. “The winning designer will see their work in print on the London Underground and in city centres and have a hand in promoting a fantastic book by an internationally-renowned author.” The competition is open to anyone. Further information on the competition is available at www.stephenking.co.uk. Deadline for entry is December 7, 2007.

News From The Dead Zone #75

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

August 17, 2007: Fangoria reports that Mick Garris will be directing a feature film adaptation of Bag of Bones, written by Matt Venne and coproduced with Mark Sennet. Garris is also producing the film version of From a Buick 8, directed by Tobe Hooper and said the he would love to direct Gerald’s Game, his favorite King novel.

Read King’s thoughts about the ending of the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling’s Ministry of Magic) and another EW column: The Joy of Looking, or: What I learned from watching Ellen.

This slipped under some people’s radars, but The Gunslinger’s Guidebook is now out. It was delayed by a week due to some binding issues.

You can now read an excerpt from The Science of Stephen King at the publisher’s web site.

1408 will be released on DVD on October 2, with deleted scenes, featurettes and an alternate ending.

Best American Short Stories will be out on October 10. Edited by King, contributors include Richard Russo, John Barth, Jim Shepard, Alice Munro, William Gay, T.C. Boyle, Mary Gordon, Kate Walbert, Ann Beattie, and Louis Auchincloss.

“The Gingerbread Girl” will be released on Simon & Schuster audio next May.

The Shining: Special Edition DVD will be out from Warner Home Video on October 23. Disc One: Audio commentary by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter. Disc Two: The Making of The Shining, with optional commentary by Vivian Kubrick (from the previous DVD),  new View from The Overlook: Crafting The Shining featurette, new The Visions of Stanley Kubrick featurette,  new Wendy Carlos, Composer featurette.

News From The Dead Zone #72

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Issue #6 of Gunslinger Born comes out this week. Some shops may be open on July 4th, but otherwise you’ll be able to pick up this penultimate issue of the first cycle on Thursday, July 5th.

It was announced at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors that Rob Schmidt will direct a big screen adaptation of Insomnia. When asked how he was going to handle bringing such a long story to theatres, Schmidt related that he’ll be focusing a lot on the town itself. He intends to cast young actors and use the special effects wizardry of Stan Winston to de-age them during the story. He says that King is a big fan of his movie Wrong Turn.

1408 had a strong second week at the box office, bringing in over $10 million. In absolute dollars, the $20.2 million opening weekend is the largest for any King adaptation ever. Read some of my thoughts about the film here.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the new story yet, Esquire released a long excerpt from “The Gingerbread Girl” on their website. Once the magazine vanishes from newsstands, you should still be able to find it in your local library or order a back issue.

Blaze entered the NY Times bestseller list at #2 and stayed there the week following its release, too.

A new Entertainment Weekly column: Uncle Stevie’s Gotta Have It!

News From The Dead Zone #56

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The Gunslinger Born is almost here! Marvel announced today that due to the tremendous popularity of the variant cover program, each issue of The Gunslinger Born will feature a sketch cover, as chosen by Jae Lee, and an all-new variant cover by one of the top artists in the industry. Issue #2 will feature a variant cover by David Finch (New Avengers, Moon Knight) and a sketch cover by Jae Lee (shown here). Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on who the other variant cover artists will be. Jae Lee takes the T.M.I. quiz.

“We have more than exceeded our initial forecast numbers. With the first issue looking to surpass 200,000 units in sales, this is by far the biggest selling non-super hero comic event in recent memory,” said Dan Buckley, president and publisher of Marvel Entertainment. At present, newsstands, including Barnes & Noble and Borders, can’t carry the comic. Foreign translated version deals are being worked through..

“These comics aren’t junk food; they’re more like delicacies,” King said. “Sushi for the mind, if you like. You have to teach yourself how to read ‘adult comics,’ which are actually comic/novel hybrids. and even then you have to give yourself to the experience, which means accepting the idea that you’ll need to work a bit as you do with any good novel. This is, in a sense, an ‘origin’ story, and interesting in its own right These are not just retellings of books that have already been written. The books serve as a launching pad—and a resource center, I suppose—but the flight is into brand new territory. People curious about the Crimson King will find things to interest them here. And give them some nightmares, I hope. They—Marvel, and especially Robin Furth, who worked with me on the later [“Tower”] books, keeping the proliferating details straight—broke out a simple story line that might be called Teenage Gunslingers and How They Grew,” King said. “The basis was Wizard and Glass, the only novel in the series that comes close to being a stand-alone. I modified their outline, and have had a chance to tinker with the dialogue and narration of each issue before it gets graven in stone. I don’t tell anyone what or how to draw, though. I know my limitations.”

Advanced reviews:

Lilja reports these new additions to the cast of The Mist: Frances Sternhagen (Misery, The Golden Years), Alexa Davalos, Sam Witwer, Bill Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile), Jeff DeMunn (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, Storm of the Century) and Brian Libby (The Woman in the Room).

A press release about a new film company from Fangoria mentions that Brian Witten, under his Witten Pictures banner, is producing a feature based on The Breathing Method.

News From The Dead Zone #30

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Cell was nominated in the science fiction/fantasy/horror category of the second annual Quills awards. Through Sept. 30, voters can make their picks online at http://www.quillsvote.com and at http://www.quills.msnbc.com. The awards will be handed out at an Oct. 10 ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History. Admission will range from $1,000 for a single ticket to $75,000 for a “Platinum Sponsorship.”

TNT’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes and ABC’s Desperation were both nominated in the “Killer Television” category of the Chainsaw Awards. The first-ever televised fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards will be held Sunday, October 15th at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and will premiere on fuse Sunday, October 22nd at 9:30 p.m. EST.

People in the UK will get a chance to see the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series on the digital channel Five US, launching October 16, airing daily between 16:00 and 01:00.

Picture a hand reaching through the earth from beyond the grave to grip at someone visiting the cemetery. Yes, like that famous hand, Carrie is rising from the dead to a second life as a musical. Originally a three-day wonder on Broadway, this new version is called Carrie: A Period Piece. It will debut Off-Broadway at P.S. 122 on Dec. 6 and run through Dec. 30. “It will definitely be very black comedy,” Theatre Couture leader Eric Jackson told Playbill.com. “But that’s inherent in the novel. It’s a very serious take on the pressures and pain of adolescence. But Carrie is also so well known in our culture; we all know the story. Everybody feels it’s their story. Because of that collective unconscious, there’s a way to have fun with the story. There will be comedy and camp, and some horror, and maybe a little blood.” Drag performer legend Sherry Vine will star and Basil Twist (Symphonie Fantastique) will create special puppets.

Classify this one under the heading “wild, unsubstantiated rumor.” Cinescape online is reporting that Michael J. Fox is up for a role in DreamWorks’ long-delayed The Talisman. Quoting a source by the name of Scooper Squirrel (Deep Throat was already taken, apparently) “Steven Spielberg is apparently involved with it—in some capacity. I have no idea—either do they—whether he’s going to be playing the main role, or just a role, it was something he apparently mentioned in a meeting….in conversation… and nothing more was said of it.” There you have it—it doesn’t get any more reliable or specific than that!

Peter Straub tells me that the broadcast date of his second appearance as blind detective Pete Braust on One Life to Live is September 21.

News From The Dead Zone #19

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Well, Desperation went over like a lead balloon, in terms of both ratings and popular opinion. I was surprised by how poorly it was received in general, not only by the critics but by the fan base. I enjoyed it. Watched it twice in fact. If you missed it, the DVD release is scheduled for August 29th, and will feature an on-camera interview with King and commentary track by Mick Garris.

Coming up next is the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series. You have two chances to see parts of it early. CHUD is offering a a sneak peek of two episodes for people in the Atlanta area. Details here. A special presentation will take place at the next FANGORIA’s Weekend of Horrors convention, presented by Anchor Bay Entertainment, to be held June 2-4, 2006 at LA’s Burbank Airport Hilton. Guest speakers previewing the eight-part TNT series event will be directors Brian (Farscape) Henson, Rob (The X Files) Bowman and Mikael (‘Salem’s Lot) Salomon; scripters Richard Christian Matheson and PeterFilardi and Crouch End actress Claire Forlani. In addition, two episodes will make their world premieres at the con: Battleground and You Know They Got a Hell of a Band. The King-sized panel and BATTLEGROUND screening will close the convention late Sunday.