Even diehard fans of fright and gore sometimes need to kick back and savor a more lighthearted classic. Enter: The Lost Boys. Featuring both of those famous 1980’s Coreys – Haim and Feldman – The Lost Boys preceded Twilight in diverging from Dracula and taking the vampire myth to new heights. Continue reading “Vamped Out Again: Losing it Over The Lost Boys”
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
Cullen Bunn and Ramon Rosanas, the author and illustrator on Marvel’s 2014 graphic novel Night Of The Living Deadpool, taught me two very important lessons with their book. First, I learned they know the genre. The whole book is filled with references, direct and subtle, to all manner of zombie dystopias from Night Of The Living Dead to The Walking Dead to I Am Legend to Zombieland. Second, and much more importantly, I learned if the zombie apocalypse ever does occur I think I want to go through it with Deadpool! Sorry Rick. Sorry Darrell. Sorry Glenn and Maggie (our zombie apocalypse version of Jim and Pam). Sorry Carol. I love you all. And you kick ass. But Deadpool’s the one I want getting me through the apocalypse because he’s the one joking about it the whole time. With Deadpool by your side you might even enjoy yourself. That’s the attitude you’d need! Who wants bleak and depressing reflections on humanity and death when you can own your last-man-on-earth status and walk through the apocalypse singing Tiffany??
Not surprisingly, Poe mentions madness early in the story “The Black Cat.” It’s kind of his shtick. He starts where many horror writers start: at the end of the story, with a narrator recounting a tale of terror and travesty. But unlike narrators in other stories, this narrator is damned by the events of the tale, and perhaps seeks solace in his retelling. Also unlike narrators in other stories, he’s not sitting around a fireside, and so many horror stories (“The Monkey’s Paw,” “The Bodysnatchers,” “The Turn of the Screw,” to name a few) start by the fireside. Our narrator sits in a prison cell, but he does not expect your sympathy. He is honest about his previous callousness. Not only doesn’t he expect your sympathy; he doesn’t expect you to believe his story. He proclaims: “For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence.” Poe knows how to write an introduction. Are you intrigued yet? I was. Continue reading “Exploring Poe-tential Evil in “The Black Cat””
The cautionary tale is one we’ve all heard. A mysterious stranger comes from an exotic land and brings a talisman that tempts the protagonist. The stranger warns the protagonist not to use the talisman, but the protagonist does. Doom ensues. The protagonist’s purported greed is punished. Continue reading “Anything is Paw-ssible with “The Monkey’s Paw””
“The Voice in the Night,” by William Hope Hodgson, published in 1907, starts like a stereotypical horror story: “It was a dark, starless night.” But Hodgson manages to provide suspense – and at least a few small surprises – throughout the telling of his story. As is typical of old horror stories, a narrator regales us with macabre events that have passed. George, the narrator, is sailing through the Northern Pacific with his friends, when they hear a faint voice coming from a small boat. Continue reading ““The Voice in the Night” and the Illusion of Place”
Doing a little research into the Krampus myth yields fascinating results. Krampus, the mythical devil-goat-man who counters Santa, is possibly a myth that precedes Christianity. According to a National Geographic article, Krampus was the son of the Norse goddess Hel, ruler of Helheim, the underworld. Instead of appearing on the scene to reward good behavior, Krampus showed up with a flogging for bad behavior, and a one-way trip to his underground lair. Of course this myth would be terrifying to children – part of the reason, experts think, that it fell out of favor in some countries. But other European countries – like Germany and the Czech Republic – still celebrate the myth. Krampusnacht – Krampus Night – is fast approaching on December 6th, the same day as St. Nick’s day. So beware if you’ve been naughty this year. A furry, horned beast might show up rap-rap-rapping on your door. Continue reading “Does Krampus Cramp Horror’s Style?”
The story goes that Mary Shelley was lounging around with a group of people – perhaps one dark and stormy night – and someone presented a challenge: who could develop the best horror story on the spot? And so the evolution of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein began, the story of a perhaps-mad scientist who endeavors to bring a corpse to life and achieve all the fame and glory that would conceivably come with such a feat. I don’t know if Shelley won the contest, but her story has become both a popular Romantic-Era novel and the stuff of legend and campfire tales. Of course, in an era obsessed with vampires and zombies, it’s easy to overlook Frankenstein’s monster, or Frankenstein himself. In the most recent reincarnation of the story, the movie Victor Frankenstein, director Paul McGuigan tells Shelley’s story from a different angle: The story focuses heavily on Victor Frankenstein, true to Shelley’s text, but it eschews a thorough examination of the monster. The result? We get less a horror movie, and more a character study. Continue reading “Victor Frankenstein and Insufficiency of Intention”