Last Christmas I talked about Grady Hendrix’s wonderful Paperbacks from Hell and how it reignited my passion for those horror “trash novels” I read faithfully back in the ‘80s. Since then, I’ve been avidly searching for them online and on foot and can now boast a solid collection of 150 books; a number I hope to double by 2020. I’m also reading them again at a steady rate of two books a week which has not only proven a great way to unwind after a busy day at work but improved my attention span for more serious reading as well. Now, I’m not here to make scientific claims on the importance of mindless reading, but rather share updates on my collection and what I’ve learned since that Christmas 2017 post.
By Jason Schoolcraft
A few weeks ago, I saw a list of someone’s “Top 31 HORROR/HALLOWEEN Films” (coinciding with the 31 days of October) and thought I’d make one of my own. It took some time but I decided to challenge myself and watch ALL 31 films during this hallowed month. I own most of the films on my list but, with the help of a few friends, was able to obtain the rest. The BIG question was – would they hold up? Some are new (2010 being the most recent) and some old (1931 the oldest ) and I didn’t watch them in any particular order. My list, as you’ll see, is pretty varied and comprised of eight zombie flicks, eight slashers, seven monster movies, three generalized horror films, three vampire features, and two films featuring the Devil, himself. So let’s dive in…
“Why do good people like bad movies?” B movie director, Bret McCormick, not only poses this question but gives us a 250-page answer courtesy of Texas Schlock: B-Movie Sci-Fi and Horror from the Lone Star State. In fact, this book presents such an incredible homage to Texas’ low-budget films of the ’60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, he made this lifelong Chicagoan feel like he’d grown up there. Not that you have to be a Texan nor seasoned movie fan to appreciate this as it’s the perfect resource for ingratiating younger fans to these movies while inspiring us older ones to nod with understanding.
As most monster kids my age did, I spent little to no time playing sports growing up. Instead, I spent my weekends watching any and all monster movies that I could find on TV. Each Tuesday, when the new TV Guide came in for the following week, I would go through page by page making myself a list of what movies were playing, on what station and at what time. Then I would try to watch as many of them as I could, of course assuming that our TV’s UHF antenna would actually be able to draw the station in at the time the movie was airing.
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 tidbits and photos from this past 2017 “Days of the Dead” Chicago!
Would you believe something as simple as a friend’s Christmas list could help sweep away the holiday blues? It did for me, though not in a syrupy Hallmark Channel sort of way, but rather with a nostalgic boost of horror that was like reconnecting with an old pal; one you never should have lost touch with in the first place. It all started a few weeks back while doing some online shopping. I was looking over the other Terror Dave’s Amazon “Wish list” hoping to fill in a few gaps when one of his requests seized my attention. It was a new book (written about older ones) titled “Paperbacks from Hell” and written by Grady Hendrix. The adventure that followed would not only melt this Winter Warlock’s heart but likely impact his coming year as well. Before I explain, I’d like to clarify this is NOT a book review. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a phenomenal book; loaded with enough illustrations to merit your coffee table and absolutely worth buying. However, in keeping with the spirit of season, I’d rather spotlight its Sin-spirational subject matter instead.