I’ve only been sued one time in my life, and it was for an overdue movie.
This is one time the video store was not my friend.
The movie in question is the Canadian slasher, Humongous. Not exactly Citizen Kane…or The Burning. In fact, it was considered such a schlocky piece of shit, I was surprised the video store didn’t pay me to take if off the shelves. Continue Reading
One of the absolute delights of digging through the horror genre’s past is discovering stories and characters which pre-date and pre-figure contemporary stories and characters I’ve enjoyed. In The Philosophy of Horror, Noel Carroll posits that horror is one of the few literary genres which consistently builds upon its past, in that its practitioners not only consciously pay their respects to their history in the form of homages and pastiches, but they also attempt to create something new out of the old, in some cases reinventing a trope, subverting it, or, in the case of Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts or Kristi DeMeester’s Beneath, reinventing, subverting, and paying homage all at once.Continue Reading
We all have our number of days in this world. Stick around long enough and you become the old guy. I certainly miss being young, but I could not be happier about the time of my life in the horror genre.Continue Reading
It could be just a look that we give when someone says something supremely stupid, or the way we tell our recalcitrant teenager that they are most certainly NOT going out dressed like that. It may be the way we sit or walk, the lilt in our voice when we talk. It could be just a few bits and bobs of dear old Dad, or maybe even the whole thing, a younger doppelgänger of the family’s patriarch.
John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight Vol. 6 offers up thirteen tales of terror in a solid graphic novel horror anthology. It’s the type of graphic novel many people would enjoy curling up with at Halloween time. Or, if you’re a Cemetery Dance reader, it’s the type of graphic novel you could enjoy curling up with any time of the year.Continue Reading
Lisey’s Story, the Apple TV+ adaptation of Stephen King’s 2006 novel of the same name, begins its eight-episode run on Friday, June 4. The miniseries features a stellar cast, including Julianne Moore as Lisey Landon, Clive Owen as her husband Scott and Joan Allen and Jennifer Jason Leigh as her sisters Amanda and Darla. Rounding out the cast are Ron Cephas Jones as Professor Dashmiel and Dane DeHaan as Jim Dooley. All eight episodes were scripted by King and directed by Pablo Larraín, who previously helmed the bio-pic Jackie.
King frequently cites Lisey’s Story as his favorite of his novels. His general policy towards adaptations of his books and stories is that he is either “all in” or “all out.” In the latter case, he has cast and script approval but he generally leaves the directors and other producers alone. However, he was heavily involved with every facet of the Lisey’s Story adaptation. In the video included below he says, “I thought if someone was going to screw it up, I used to tell my wife that no one was going to screw it up more than me.”
When you engage in any kind of artistic “career” over a certain period of time, lots of preconceived notions are shed. Nowhere is that truer than in writing. It’s part of the gig. Over time, idealistic goals either vanish altogether, or, in the best case scenario, transform into more obtainable goals.
For me, it was the notion of writing full time. Writing as the day job. Spending my workday solely in my invented worlds. Many of my fellow writers have gone through the same transition. Realizing that for whatever reason, writing as a full-time career simply wasn’t in the cards.
When I began my exploration into the history of the horror genre, accepting this as a reality became a lot easier. It amazed me how many wonderful writers I encountered who never broke into a “full time” writing career. In some cases, they wrote one or two stories, and never wrote again.Continue Reading
I like a lot of new horror fiction. I just recently read one of the best, if not the best, novel in years: The Last House on Needless Street.
I never want to stop reading current writers, but I spend a lot of time back in my roots. I’m talking about the early 1980s. Post Stephen King, but pre-Splatterpunk. A time of small towns, ancient evil, diabolical children, delightfully garish paperback covers, and bookstores everywhere that still had horror sections.
It didn’t take a lot to please me. I trusted blurbs from other writers! That alone shows how different a time it was.Continue Reading
In Spain, some police officers find a mountain of grotesque bodies that no longer look quite human. One man, a Korean archeologist named Teze Yoo, is there to burn the bodies. He’s taken into police headquarters for questioning, where he tells police they must evacuate the area, because it’s a virus that attacked all those people, and then he starts talking about the world’s first murder. He asks the police if they’ve ever heard of the neuri, because all this began with them. Some sort of human-turned-beast attacks the police department and Teze walks off into the night.Continue Reading
Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review every short story & novel excerpt ever published in Cemetery Dance magazine. In their 32 years of publication, that comes to a total of 577 (and counting!) pieces spread out over 77 issues. For a comprehensive list of issues 1-75, you’ll want to check out Michael P. Sauers’ Cemetery Dance Magazine Index.
Since each Exhumed post covers just two pieces (one “old” and one “new”), I think I’m going to be doing this for a while. I sure hope you’ll join me along the way.
ALSO, to better satiate your reading needs, starting in 2021 all reviews of “new” stories will come from CD issues that are still in print (#65, #69, #71, #73, #74/75,, & #77… they’re all available right here).
SIDE NOTE: I’m always looking for requests from this lot, so please do comment letting me know which “new” story you’d like me to review.
Feel free to read each story along with me or just take it all in while I do the hard work and wax poetic with my observations. Either way, grab your shovel and dig in. There’s no telling what we’ll unearth together.
As promised last time, this installment of Exhumed will feature works by David Starkey and Keith Minnion.
Starkey’s story, “In Utero,” appears in CD#2 (1988). Minnion’s piece, titled “Down There,” is from CD#73 (2016).
Writing this column is occasionally daunting. I often grapple with the unfortunate reality that not only is it impossible for me to completely cover every important horror/spec fic writer, it’s also hard to read everything written by the writers I highlight. In some cases — writers with modest outputs, or contemporary writers I’ve been reading right along — that’s not such a difficulty.
However, with other writers, such as the focus of today’s column — Algernon Blackwood — I simply have to be content with believing I’ve read enough of their work to offer an informed opinion and recommendation. Even so, there’s still that little irrational insecurity (anyone who knows me knows I’m nothing more than a bundle of irrational insecurities) someone will pipe up in the comments, “Oh, but have you read THIS story by INSERT AUTHOR NAME HERE? You haven’t? Oh.”Continue Reading
14-year-old Daphne Byrne lives in a world where she doesn’t belong. Her father was the only person who understood her, but he died in a disgraceful way, a way that gives gossips plenty to talk about. This is 1886 in New York, and Daphne’s morbid, literate, precocious personality doesn’t fit well in a time and place where women are expected to be docile and obedient. The other girls at school all make fun of her, so she doesn’t fit in anywhere.Continue Reading
Abby Howard is a cartoonist whose interests include dinosaurs, horror, and Spoons, her beautiful cat. She’s been drawing comics since she first discovered there was such thing, eventually putting them online and gaining a following of over 30,000 fans. Her newest collection is The Crossroads at Midnight, a teen horror collection of five short comic stories.Continue Reading
As many of you know, I began this column (almost five years ago, which is a little mind-blowing) with the intention of chronicling the writers who impacted me during a very transitional period in my writing career. Writers who exposed me to new things, new kinds of horrors and writing styles. However, a year or so ago I realized this column should evolve and start featuring newly discovered contemporary writers right alongside the masters of years gone by. The first of these newly discovered writers was Peter Laws. Today’s featured writer is Kristi DeMeester, author of the amazing, beautifully bleak novel Beneath, and the powerful short story collection Everything That’s Underneath.Continue Reading