Having graduated Class of ’89, the early ‘90s heralded my transition into adulthood. Although I had a job and was attending community college, those hedonistic days were also spent partying and having drunken horror movie marathons with friends. Although we may not have had any trouble staying dry, the same couldn’t be said for our entertainment. The golden age of slashers seemed to disappear as fast as our teens with trips to the video store yielding fewer and fewer results. Needless to say, any ‘80s-style horror stragglers were a welcome sight and today’s SteelBook Spotlight is a prime example. Whether the film’s charismatic masked killer or its “movie within a movie” homage to ‘50s sci-fi films, Popcorn made for an unexpectedly fun night back in 1991. And now, nearly three decades later, it’s been given an upgrade.
Horror books often find themselves on the silver screen and with mixed results. The Exorcist, JAWS, and The Omen are positive examples of book-to-movies but, unfortunately, for every Misery, there’s a Dreamcatcher. Sometimes the book is inspired by the film rather than its source material but, either way, there’s bound to be differences; subtle or profound. Today’s vintage book discussion is more of a rumble than a review and between one of my favorite John Carpenter films and a book written by Dennis Etchison to promote it. So let’s jump back to 1980 and revisit The FOG…
Special thanks to Angela “Bunny” Urban for sharing her photos and intel from the Days of the Dead Chicago Robocop panel with Ronny Cox and Ray Wise. I did get to finally meet Wise and will discuss that at the bottom of the post. First, let’s see how well you know the original Robocop film…
Let’s go break into the house that a family was just murdered…BAD IDEA!
Director Jed Brian
Released November 2017 DVD/VOD /Amazon
1:14 running time
I must first admit that I am NOT a big fan of point of view movies, horror or any kind of film. I was of the thinking that it was easy to make a POV film, and in fact many do. Since the HUGE indie hit The Blair Witch Project in 1999 everyone tried, but many fall short of their success. Over the last couple years only a very small few have done a good job.
I mentioned in my Christmas post a new book called Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix and how it inspired me to start reading and collecting horror novels from my teen years. I also sited one of my favorite authors from that era, William W. Johnstone, and how his book, The Uninvited (1982) was my first bookstore find once I got started. After reading it, I debated writing a review and recapping the book since I figured it’d be hard for readers to track down themselves and, in some cases, rather pricey. There’s also a great blog called Too Much Horror Fiction by Will Errickson that’s been covering these books for over a decade. Errickson even assisted Hendrix with his book which proves he’s an authority; something, admittedly, I’m not. I’ve come to be a fan of his site myself and it prompted me to track down Ray Russell’s Incubus (1976) which was a lot more entertaining than the ‘80s film it was adapted from. What eventually convinced me to move forward with discussing them here was learning that The Uninvited and many other old “classics” are readily available to modern readers via Kindle. So for those looking for a quick and cheap read, or possibly scoping out the original like I did, I’ll go ahead and discuss. That being said, William W. Johnstone (1938-2004) is as good a place to start as any.
The best thing that came out of 2017’s Days of the Dead Chicago was the realization that my kids were blossoming into ideal convention buddies. They arrived that Saturday when things were at their busiest and, having done many events since I started my Terror Dave tenure nine years ago, proved themselves deft in the ways of horror cons. They know how to operate a Canon SLR camera with ease, are versed in all iconic films, and the ins and outs of celebrity encounters. There were numerous times when we needed to “divide and counter” to achieve goals and their proficiency filled me with a sense of geek pride.
As mentioned in my last post, my daughter Jade (a Lord of the Rings and Stranger Things fan) met Sean Astin while my youngest son, Luke, had aspirations of his own. As with many thirteen-year-olds, Luke seldom gets enthusiastic about anything and spent most of the last Days of the Dead buried in his phone while Jason Schoolcraft and I enjoyed the event. This all changed when he learned that a cast member from his all-time favorite movie, ALIENS, was a guest. He visibly perked up while picking out a poster and preparing to meet Carrie Henn a.k.a. “Newt.”
Another short and sweet post thanks to Angela “Bunny” Urban. Terror from Beyond the Daves thanks her for these tidbits and photos from this past 2017 “Days of the Dead” Chicago!