Having just seen The Lodgers, I’m convinced of two things: (1) I should spend more time out in the sun and (2) need to quit complaining about my dysfunctional family. The film is Directed by Brian O’Malley, and features twin sister and brother, Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) who are virtual prisoners of their family estate. The isolated, Irish countryside alone inspires chills while the film’s dark, psychological components slowly bring things to a boil. Together, they help make The Lodgers much more than your average gothic thriller.
This past month has been something of a rollercoaster ride as my three teens and I moved into a new apartment across town. Almost immediately after signing the lease, we’d spend our evenings after work/school packing and lugging our belongings across town to our new place. It’s been twenty years since I’ve last lived in an apartment and I’d forgotten all that entailed; a hodgepodge collection of neighbors, frightening basement laundry room, and fuzzy “call box” that makes visitors sound like they’re taking orders at a drive-thru. About two weeks into the move, the kids were visiting their mother as I continued the arduous process of moving by myself. After my tenth trip up the stairs, I decided to take a breather and sit in my empty, new living room before making another trip. A few moments later, my silence was broken by the sound of another tenant entering the building and heading to their unit across the hall. At this point, I’d never seen any of my new neighbors with the only evidence of their existence a few scattered cars in the lot. For some reason, the sound of one of them moving about on the other side of the wall put me on edge. Who is this person? What are they like? Are they the friendly kind of neighbor you can borrow a cup of sugar from or the ones that call the cops every time your TV gets too loud? Of course, the obvious solution was to simply open my door and introduce myself but I had a different plan. After digging through a couple boxes I pulled out my copy of the 2007 Spanish horror film, REC – a film that’s not only stood the test of time but supports the idea that tenants are better off keeping to themselves! With only a TV and bookcase in the room, I decided to extend my break and watch it again while lying on the floor.
After leaving Braxton County West Virginia and checking out their tributes to the Flatwoods Monster, we headed further south to the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant. I’ve been wanting to see this place ever since Brian Maze from Maze Studio shared his experience with this site back in 2011. It’s dedicated to a large, winged creature many claimed to have witnessed back in 1966-67. Though these sightings have never been sufficiently explained, they preceded the collapse of the Silver Bridge – a giant suspension bridge that joined West Virginia with Ohio. It would be years later when a connection would be suggested of the two; most notably illustrated in the 2002 thriller starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney – The Mothman Prophecies. This museum offers props and memorabilia from this film along with just about everything else associated with the creature. Though my experience will be documented in greater detail in my WEIRD USA column for Scary Monsters Magazine #111, here are some visual highlights to tide you over…
I enjoy a fun horror novel and am a lifelong fan of comic books. So when I received a copy of Pizza Man: Or, the Pizza That Crawled Out of My A-Hole by Bryan Higby and Rick Snyder I was pleasantly surprised. The narrative was so vibrant, it’s about the closest you’ll get to a comic book without any visuals. If you’re looking for a story that never takes itself too seriously and maintains a consistent level of adult humor than this is page turner is for you.
Last April, I discussed a trip I’d taken to Pittsburg – leaving off at the Kecksburg UFO. That same night we saw Weird Al perform at the Palace Theater in Greensburg, PA before checking out of our hotel the following morning. Rather than drive straight shot back to Chicago, we (my kids and I) took a different route through West Virginia. The original destination was Point Pleasant to see the Mothman Museum until I discovered yet another monster along the way. With just a week before we left on our road trip, I happily added Braxton County, “Home of the Flatwoods Monster,” to the itinerary. This story will be featured in an upcoming WEIRD USA story in Scary Monsters Magazine. So here you’ll get a less detailed version of events. On the flipside, you can see full-color photos from the experience – and this is one vibrant looking creature! Continue reading
I recently watched VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media; an entertaining documentary that delves into the loss of hard copy films in favor of streaming services. Having been a teenager in the ‘80s, the film struck a chord as I’d witnessed the rise of VHS tapes first hand and was an avid collector myself. By the ‘90s, I had a custom VHS shelf that took up the better portion of my basement wall.
The following Q&A is from The Daredevil You Know: Spotlight on Charlie Cox panel at Chicago Comic Entertainment Expo (C2E2) on Sunday, April 8, 2018. My original intention was to squeeze this into my final post of the series last Thursday but, even after skimming off the less interesting stuff, felt it warranted its own. The panel was hosted by Clare Kramer a.k.a. Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ran an hour. The auditorium was huge and the panel photos here were all taken by me – thanks to a great telephoto lens. I have to say that so far as celebrity panels go, Cox was one actor who’s really in tune with his character. He not only provided interesting behind the scenes tidbits (at least as far as what Marvel allows) as well as insights on Daredevil, himself. But don’t take my word for it, read for yourself… Continue reading