Most of the vintage horror paperbacks in my collection are a lot more fun to look at than they are to read. I should know. I plowed through as many as I could last year before landing myself in a reading rut; fatigued from an overdose of absurd plotlines and bad writing. Lately, I’ve had more success with modern novels while peppering a few old pulpy Paperbacks from Hell in-between. My latest choice, PIN by Andrew Neiderman (1981), proved a pleasant surprise. Despite featuring many of the fantastical elements of your typical ‘80s horror paperback, there are interesting psychological twists as well. Consequently, PIN is more sophisticated than many in its genre.
So far as personality traits are concerned, there’s little doubt that C.J. Graham’s an Alpha. With a level of confidence that could give Gene Simmons a run for the money, he’d prove his formidability at the 2020 Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis. It was there Graham, like Alex Vincent from Child’s Play, would find himself the lone participant in a would-be reunion. Covid-19 would turn the event’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives panel into a one-man show. But despite portraying the mute character of Jason Voorhees on-screen, ‘the man behind the mask’ had plenty to talk about with his audience.
Quick disclaimer…if you clicked on this looking for something related to the quintessential Slasher, Jason Voorhees, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not discussing “Friday the 13th” series of films but rather a lesser known television series of the same name. The show ran on a Chicago UHF station called WPWR-TV Channel 50 from October 1987 till the summer of 1990. It had absolutely nothing to do with the hockey-masked killer but an antique store called “Curious Goods.” Unfortunately, the heirlooms sold at this shop were anything but “good” since its former owner, Lewis Vendredi, made a pact with the Devil thereby cursing each and every one of them. Once Lewis’ deal goes south and he’s inevitably claimed by Satan, it’s up to his benefactors, Micki (Louise Robey) and her cousin Ryan (John D. LeMay) to try and reclaim the evil objects. Once safely in tow, they’re locked up in a basement vault; not unlike Ed and Lorraine’s artifact room seen in The Conjuring series.
The following was transcribed from audio recordings taken at the Evil Dead II panel. It took place at the 2018 Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend and consisted of Bruce Campbell (Ash), Kassie Wesley DePaiva (Bobby Jo), and Dan Hicks (Jake). Campbell, himself, acted as the moderator which made the occasion seem less a standard Q&A and more of a conversation between friends. The result was a hilarious 45 minutes that proved that after three decades the chemistry was still there.
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…