Dead Air: The Company of the Mad – The Stand Podcast

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logo of The Company of the Mad podcast2020 was a hell of a year to be reading Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand….never mind devoting an entire podcast to it.

Jason Sechrest thought the same thing — in fact, he was reading it when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He took to Twitter with his thoughts about the book, and with a dream about examining it in detail in a podcast, and before he knew it he’d assembled an amazing lineup of co-hosts: director Mike Flanagan, author Tananarive Due, and journalist/author Anthony Breznican. The result is a six-episode podcast that is entertaining, informative, and incredibly timely. (You can WATCH The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast at TheStandPodcast.com, or LISTEN on Apple Podcasts here.)

With the final episode set to go live on January 20, Sechrest took a few moments to talk to Cemetery Dance about the origins of the project, and what he and his mad company learned along the way.Continue Reading

Dead Air: Unboxing Jeff Terry

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photo of Jeff Terry holding a knife
Jeff Terry

I was waiting on my copy of the Gift Edition of The Shining from the Cemetery Dance “Stephen King Doubleday Years Set” to arrive, so I thought I’d search for some unboxing videos so I could see what people thought about it — and to get a closer look at the finished product. One of the first ones I found was by a guy named Jeff Terry.

I hit the play button, and was greeted by some dude in what appeared to be a basement. The wall behind him was of grey brick, and a poster of Pennywise the Dancing Clown leered over the guy’s shoulder. The guy was wearing a black jacket, a set of enormous skull rings, and had a skull-shaped bottle of liquor on the table in front of him. He talked for a minute or two, and then proceeded to open the box containing the book, using one of the biggest damn knives I’ve ever seen.

I was hooked.Continue Reading

Horror Drive-In: Preserve Our Heritage: Collect Physical Media!

banner reading Horror Drive-In by Mark Sieber

photo of a stack of vhs tapesI have a bad habit of thinking that the things I love will always be there. Like drive-in theaters. We had three of them in my hometown. I went as much as I could, but I thought they were forever. I should have been out there every damned weekend.

It seemed that the cool bookstores would always be there. I had no idea Amazon and their Kindle would tear the guts out of our communities.

It wasn’t that long ago when I used to see great old VHS tapes at the thrift stores. I’ve been buying a lot of genre stuff up as interest in them has risen. Mostly I find later things from the latter half of the ’90s and first half of the 2000 decade.Continue Reading

Review: Remina by Junji Ito

cover of Remina by Junji Ito

Remina by Junji Ito
VIZ Media (December 15, 2020)
256 pages; $19.99 hardcover, $15.99 ebook
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

At first it looks as if everything is working out for 16-year-old Remina. Her father, a scientist, won the Nobel Prize for discovering a wormhole. When an unknown planet from a different dimension comes through the wormhole, it makes her father even more famous and celebrated, and he names the planet Remina after his daughter. Buoyed by this fame, Remina the girl uses it to get into the entertainment industry and became a celebrity in her own right.

But then the planet Remina keeps heading toward earth, moving faster than should be possible. Moving faster than the speed of light, even. As it goes, it destroys the planets on its path. It appears to have eyes that look out, and giant tongues that can attack planets. It doesn’t take people long to figure that the planet Remina will destroy earth as well.Continue Reading

Review: Sadako at the End of the World by Koma Natsumi and Koji Suzuki

cover of Sadako at the End of the WorldSadako at the End of the World by Koma Natsumi and Koji Suzuki
Yen Press (November 17, 2020)
146 pages; $15 paperback, $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Sadako, the vengeful ghost villain from The Ring franchise, gets a new twist to her story in the manga Sadako at the End of the World.

The Ring started out as a 1991 novel written by Koji Suzuki (and is available in America from the publisher Vertical), and that spawned off into more books and then movies. Japan made two movie adaptations and South Korea made one before the franchise made its way to America with a 2002 Hollywood movie adaptation starring Naomi Watts. In America, “Sadako” was changed to “Samara Morgan.” The obsession with Sadako and The Ring franchise continues in Japan, where their most recent movie in the franchise (called Sadako) came out in 2019.Continue Reading

Video Visions: A Very Cannibal Thanksgiving

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Like all things in 2020, Thanksgiving will be a little different this year. Uncle Hank who showers only on quarter moons and is addicted to scratch-off tickets is not welcome in the house. Nor is cousin Amber, she of the chronic rhinitis and inexhaustible lineup of failed relationships. We tell ourselves it’s for everyone safety, but really, aren’t you glad they’re not coming?Continue Reading

Review: The Witch and the Beast by Kousuke Satake

cover of the witch and the beastThe Witch and the Beast by Kousuke Satake
Kodansha Comics (October 27, 2020)
192 pages; $12.99 paperback, $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

The Witch and the Beast opens with a question: “Do you know how to break a witch’s curse?” It gives two answers: “Method 1: A loving kiss from a prince on a white horse. Method 2: Hope the wrathful witch has a change of heart.”

But the manga is quick to assure us that these methods are nearly impossible to work out.Continue Reading

Review: Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ryosuke Takeuchi, and Hikaru Miyoshi

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ryosuke Takeuchi, and Hikaru Miyoshi
VIZ Media (October 2020)
206 pages; $9.99 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

William James Moriarty was barely in the Sherlock Holmes books, but his position as Holmes’s archenemy and “The Napoleon of Crime” have kept him in people’s imaginations. Over the years he’s been seen in movies, books and other forms of entertainment not made by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And now he’s the main character in a Japanese manga that’s been made into an anime currently playing in Japan and streaming in America.Continue Reading

Video Visions: The Ultimate Movie for Halloween Night

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Look, I know most normal people aren’t like me, setting aside about 50 movies to watch each October. I mean, who has that kind of time and demented dedication? If I think I won’t have time to watch a movie when I get home from work, I’ll set the alarm to wake me up at five in the morning so I can devour Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Hellraiser like a bowl of Count Chocula before heading off to the day job.Continue Reading

Review: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera

cover of the graphic novel Something is Killing the Children. Illustration of a child standing alone in the woods.Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera
BOOM! Studios (May 2020)

128 pages, $13.41 paperback; $12.74 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Something has been taking the children of Archer’s Peak. At first it was just one girl, and the police assumed it was a typical family kidnapping perpetrated by an uncle. But then, young James and his friends have a sleepover, and when it’s over, James is the only survivor. There are bodies and blood. The whole town is in chaos. Then, a stranger with an uncanny knowledge of things who talks to her stuffed-animal octopus arrives and says she’ll take care of things. Something is Killing the Children is a really strong series from writer James Tynion IV and artist Werther Dell’Edera.Continue Reading

Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #221

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

Hard Case Crime (The Colorado Kid, Joyland) will publish Stephen King’s next supernatural crime novel in March 2021. Later will be a paperback original (cover by Paul Mann) and eBook, but there will also be a limited edition hardcover featuring two covers by Gregory Manchess, one for Later itself and one for a fictitious novel within the novel that features prominently in the plot.

In this installment of News from the Dead Zone, I’ll tell you a little more about Later, bring you up to date on recent King appearances, let you know  what adaptations you can expect to see soon, which ones are in production, which ones are on the table and which ones have died on the vine. I’ll also give you an early look at Hope and Miracles from Gauntlet Press, which collects the screenplays of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, along with tons of ancillary material. Pull up a chair!

Continue Reading

Dead Trees: Peter Straub’s The Hellfire Club

Author Peter Straub
Peter Straub

No one — no one — has ever done it better than Peter Straub. I admit that some of his work leaves me a little bit cold, but when Straub is on, he is on.

Not everyone agrees. I’ve heard a lot of people say they can’t read Peter Straub, or that he simply isn’t for them. The thing about his writing is, it takes effort. Most worthwhile things do require determination and patience, but the effort pays off. He isn’t an easy writer, but the rewards are well worth the investment.Continue Reading

Graven Images: The Nancy A. Collins Swamp Thing Omnibus

In her introduction to this omnibus, Nancy A. Collins describes how comics of all kinds attracted her at an early age. Her interest in the medium kicked off right about the time the Comics Code was losing its once-considerable grip on the industry, which put her in a prime spot to catch the wave of horror comics that began flooding the newsstands. She talks about picking up copies of Eerie and House of Secrets as part of her weekly haul — but it was the cover of a comic featuring a certain muck-encrusted monstrosity squaring off with a werewolf (drawn by horror maestro Bernie Wrightson) that really stood out to the young fan.Continue Reading

Is Anyone Returning to Horror High?

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Somewhere, a school bell is ringing. The doors are open, the classrooms ready, but the halls are empty.

Funny how it takes a pandemic and a general feeling that Armageddon has its hand in our pockets to make us wax poetic about going back to school. I was a good student, but I hated school the way Leah Remini despises Scientology. Mornings, I wished for some disease that would keep me home (and got that wish in senior year when I came down with mono that had me bedridden for months). In class, I prayed the fire alarm would go off and this time it wouldn’t be a false alarm. Having to stop playing Wiffle ball or street football after school so I could get my homework done was like asking me to hack my legs off with a rusty, blunt shovel. Continue Reading