24 September 2013

Origins - Oh No! There Goes Tokyo!

"Run to the hills, run for your- oh hell nevermind... RUN AWAY!"
It should serve as no surprise to any of you that know me personally that I have an extreme soft spot in my heart for rampaging monster movies. It all began with my love of King Kong slugging it out with the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the 1933 King Kong and quickly evolved from there once I learned of another, even bigger, more radical monster than an oversized monkey, an atomic dinosaur that breathed fire like the dragon of medieval times, the original and reigning supreme King of the Monsters Himself, Godzilla.\
There's nothing I love more than some good old fashioned monster pro-wrestling... two monsters (or guys in rubber suits if you prefer) slugging it out to the death. Whenever there's a Godzilla marathon on TV I always have to sit and watch at least one of them... even if they're dubbed, they never get old.
Godzilla's been stomping since 1954 and is looking to make an American comeback next year courtesy of Legendary pictures... here's hoping it does justice to the original that the Dean Devlin piece of shit could never hope to do.
My favorite movie though still has to be King Kong vs Godzilla purely for this moment as captured in internet .gif form

Origins - Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Welcome to My Nightmares...
My horrors began in books as I stated previously... before it moved onto movies it began with simple childhood fears... like the dark... or more appropriately In A Dark, Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz. At
was only mildly scary... weaving classic yarns like The Green Ribbon, The Pirate, Teeth and In The Graveyard for young minds to be afraid of...
but his next 3 books were the stuff of nightmares quite literally as they fueled mine for years to come.
The Original Trilogy of Terror

The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are terrifying to say the least, to call them Boschian would be an understatement and they look like something of a fucked up lovechild from HP Lovecraft and HR Giger.
I remember they were so controversial they stirred the local news to do a story and the school library threatened to pull them for the trouble they caused. Now they have been re-issued and de-fanged with new, more tame artwork... they are depriving the younger generations of more much-needed horror fuel... like this

have a listen to the audiobook version of the first Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (my first encounter with this trilogy of terror):

...and the final installment Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones
Now if those stories or images weren't enough to give you the willies as a kid then perhaps now they can!

Origins: Blood and Ink

Beautiful Brutality by Arthur Sudyam
Like many young preadolescent boys, I fell into a torrid love affair with comic books. I was only vaguely familiar with the Aliens, The Terminator and Predator at the time by way of the movies (I'll get to that more next article though) and mostly by friends or my older cousin who had more lenient parents that let him watch a lot of the gems of the time period.
I had gone to a hobby shop with my dad and granddad so they could look at toy trains. Suffice to say, unless it involved a giant monster thrashing through it I could've cared less about trains.
So I meandered through the store. I wandered through sports cards, plastic model kits, and remote control cars until I came to the comic book section. At this early point in my life I was already fairly familiar with the notion of the superhero comic, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, the X-Men... the usual suspects by Marvel or DC comics... that was until I came to a section of comics that I was NOT familiar with in the slightest...it's logo intrigued me, beckoned to me... like the box calling to Pandora to explore all therein. once I did there was no going back.
At one time a very Dark Horse, indeed
The holy trinity I mentioned earlier Terminator, Predator and Aliens lined the shelves, and a little further down the rack was the even darker stuff. Evil Ernie, adaptations of Child's Play, Jason Goes To Hell and even some Hellraiser comics... I had crossed clear on over to the darkside... the stuff on those pages stuck to me like shit on velcro at that age
Wake the dead *shudder* nightmare inducer #1
And one helluva entrance,
the axe removal was something beyond my wildest nightmares
Great googly moogly silver devil of a Terminator,
nightmare inducer #2
Once more I was hooked... but there was absolutely no way in Hell my Christian god-fearing (and everything fearing) man he was would let those cross his doorstep. My stepdad and mom though could've cared less I would later find out. So I could recon with my dad and then pick them up later with my mom. The early Dark Horse comics were especially prized since they were the closest thing at the time period to an expanded universe beyond the movies (which I would watch incessantly... again I'll get to the classics soon enough). We got to see Terminators that weren't Arnold, we got to meet Dutch's brother and another image that stuck with me, an Alien civil war.

Aliens also allowed for more of what I wanted out of the series, more Aliens. But how raw the images were at the time stuck with me. This was a rare age of comics, I'm not quite sure if it was the age itself or merely my young perception of it. They were definitely cornerstones of my adult collection of trade paperbacks.

My literal reading horrors didn't end there... they extended even to my school library and produced some of the most vivid nightmares to date

Origins: Roots, Bloody Roots

Things were different when I was a kid. Back before the age of the internet I went to libraries to look up books on horror movies. I read plenty about tons of them without having seen or even previously heard of a lot of them. I discovered reading about horror was almost worse than actually seeing it given what a creative teenage imagination comes up with. Just reading about Leatherface's patented "arm chair" or about bodies being devoured alive in numerous zombie movies made for a bit of a grisly mental picture.

The first book that holds a very special place in my heart since at one time it was THE most comprehensive and complete editions on the topic of monsters and horror; the A to Z of stories, movies, books and comics which satisfied was Jeff Rovin's Encyclopedia of Monsters. I would check out the book so much from the library that my parents eventually bought me my own copy. 
This was excellent, for a while. Then later I stumbled onto another set of prophetic texts in the pair of Splatter Movies Guides by John McCarty. Splatter. Well that's a visual sounding kind of movie genre, I remember thinking, this firmly established my connection into the horror genre. In order for these books to be guides, however though, they had to describe why they make the cut, quite literally. From Alien to Zombie this book had more than my first bible. And this was how I would pass the time as a kid between Halloweens and episodes of Monstervision on TNT. It was interesting to note how I had started off on dinosaurs and monsters and slowly but surely the interest mutated into a love of the more human monsters and splatter movies or horror flicks (depending on the book). But they both made for good video shopping lists whenever the opportunity presented itself at the local mom and pop video store or if we were very lucky, Blockbuster Video. Yes once upon a time, the now defunct video empire was the mecca of all things VHS. The library was the easiest way to horror since it was literally at the end of the street where I lived. Of course at this point I was addicted, I needed as much as I could get my hands on... but of course the most likely of places quickly became a favorite hobby, the comic book shop. Next time...

But on that note some latenight noise pollution courtesy of Sepultura:

10 September 2013

Where do we go from here...?

Hmmm what would you all like to see next? So my Long weekend didn't quite go as planned but I've got a solid week off from studying to crank out as many articles as my poor fingers can manage... I've been working on a few different series... so I put this to you, my faithful and patient readers... would you like a week of retro Arcade Apocalypse where I review some of my favorite quarter slurping games of yesteryear... or would you like a week of what I'm entitling When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth?
Meantime I'm working on my origins in the horror genre and how it's all changed since then... stay frosty people

09 September 2013

Zombie Wilson Diaries: "The most fun you'll ever have in a coconut bikini!"

So we've all imagined getting away from it all being stranded on a desert island... probably looking something like Tom Atkins in Night of the Creeps here for example:

but really being castaway would be more like well... Castaway here for example:

That must suck...now imagine your only companion is a zombie... now this really sucks... now imagine she's the only female on this godforsaken desert isle... now this really sucks. The Zombie Wilson Diaries is a hilariously ridiculous tale of a woeful castaway. After a nasty plane crash our faithful narrator has to go about living his day to day life not only trying to survive on this island, but also trying to survive his only compatriot. She just happens to be a fellow castaway who had the unfortunate luck of coming back to life after not-quite-surviving the crash herself.
The story is told in the fashion of a day-today journal our narrator keeps. Each chapter becomes something funny and slightly sexual about his female Zombie Wilson of sorts like My Girlfriend Likes To Be Tied Up (when he has to keep from biting home) or My Girlfriend Has Crabs (upon discovering a tasty morsel in the knotted mess that used to be her hair). The chapter descriptions are utterly hilarious and are usually accompanied by stick figure drawings of the goings on made by the narrator.
Being stranded couldn't be any funnier in The Zombie Wilson Diaries by Tim Long! And if you're quick and act TODAY, it's free on Amazon for Kindle if you check here!

06 September 2013

So um about that Long weekend from last weekend...

Hey did I say Long weekend, I meant long week... Ye Gods... I feel like I've been through the sausage grinder but I'm still kicking. So with that said there hasn't been much time for writing... not to leave you all hanging in well...

I'll get the rest of my Tim Long series pounded out this weekend. From there my postings might be sporadic at points but I'll always let you know what I'm working on... I've got oodles of ideas and piles upon piles and files upon files of material... I am open to ideas, suggestions, hell good old fashioned comments are always appreciated and I would like to hear back from you all out there more often!

I can say that once this series is done those sporadic posts I mentioned will focus mainly on how I got into horror in the first place, a few reviews of the books of blood (literally) that delved me further into the genre once upon a time and how it's all been changed through technology and maybe to go with the onset of Halloween season a look into some of my favorite classics and the classic monsters themselves! So fare thee  well boils and ghouls and my fellow creeps and creatures of the night, cheers