Angeline and I will be guest panelists and signing books at ConDFW this Saturday, February 22. Please come visit us and say hello if you’re in the area. For people who need things like details, the website for the convention can be found here. Kevin J. Anderson is this year’s author guest of honor.
My schedule for Saturday looks like this:
PROGRAMMING (Trinity VII)
Saturday, 2pm: The Return of Heroic Fantasy!
Ever wonder what George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones would be like if Conan were in it? So much for winter, by Crom! Bringing heroic fantasy back to the writing world one sword at a time, our panelists discuss how to write in this genre, and what separates it from Epic Fantasy such as Middle Earth and Westeros.
AUTOGRAPHS (Dealers Room)
Saturday, 3pm: Angeline Hawkes, Stina Leicht, Christopher Fulbright
PROGRAMMING 2 (Chinaberry)
Saturday, 6pm: Horror 101: Exploring the Subgenres
There are so many genres that are lumped together into Horror. Examples are: Lovecraftian, Ghosts, Zombies, Urban, Apocalypse, Epic, Splatterpunk, Slasher, Asian, and the many Witch-Werewolf-Vampire types (True Love vs Dresden Files vs Twilight vs etc.). We bring together several of our horror writers to explain what horror truly is, and where to look for inspiration.
Angeline and I are excited to announce that our new novella, THE DEVIL BEHIND ME, is now available as a Dark Regions Digital exclusive, just in time for the holidays.
About the book: Alex Brandt’s life is the stuff of lore and legend, but not the fairytale one would welcome. The sole survivor of the Krampusnacht Massacre, Alex was shipped away to America on the heels of tragedy. Childhood trauma followed him to an adulthood plagued with fear and self-doubt. The horror of his past affects him so deeply each holiday season that his girlfriend urges him to resolve his issues once and for all.
Seeking closure to the Christmas tragedy, with the help of his uncle and a retired German police officer, Alex returns to the scene of the crime in Bavaria. But what lurks in the Alpine darkness on the snow-swept mountain slopes knows Alex has come back, and it’s seeking some closure of its own…
My short story “Death Eater” appears in this new limited hardcover edition of DARK FUSIONS: WHERE MONSTERS LURK, which debuted at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton this past weekend.
The book is edited by Lois Gresh and features eldritch tales by lots of great folks, including Darrell Schweitzer, Robert M. Price, Yvonne Navarro, Nick Cato, Nancy Kilpatrick, Norman Prentiss and more. It was published in a 200-copy limited hardcover edition by PS Publishing, the UK’s foremost genre specialty press.
Fans of Lovecraftian horror and generally dark, weird fiction will likely find something of interest in these pages. If this is your kind of thing, please check it out:
The book is limited to 200 numbered copies with fantastic art by Steve Upham. Click the link to see the full jacket wrap and a complete list of contributors.
Here I sit on a rare evening with a few minutes to spare, watching Hellraiser and tipping a cold one, so I figured this fine film would be excellent background for bashing out a blog post of my Halloween monster movie picks for this Halloween.I’m excluding the usual suspects — no vampires, werewolves, or zombies here. Although I enjoy just about any kind of horror movie — from classics to slashers and everything in between — I thought I’d offer up a few straight monster movie selections some of you may not have heard of but would probably enjoy. So, consistent with my theme on this blog, I speak from a place of nostalgia and list here some of the more obscure selections from the wide array of fright flicks churned out in the 1980s.
To get some of the preliminaries out of the way, I don’t really consider Pumpkinhead or From Beyond to be “obscure” flicks, though they have solid cult followings (and From Beyond is one of my all time favorites), they’re pretty widely known, I think. At least relatively speaking. Is now a good time to show off this excellent German limited edition box set that my dear wife got for me recently? Why yes, of course!
A disclaimer: I am known to enjoy slimy creature flicks done well, done traditionally (real effects not CGI), with a suitable amount of blood and violence. Although it helps, I do not require these kinds of movies to be well-acted; I can enjoy a good monster movie without award-winning performances. That is to say, I like movies other people find to be pretty bad. For instance, I enjoy Lucio Fulci movies, which should tell you all you need to know. If you’re a horror aficionado, you’ll probably have fun with these. If your favorite movie is Twilight, this list ain’t gonna work for you. So, with that out of the way … let’s get started!
Xtro – This has been one of my favorites for a long time. Made in the UK, it has a strange feel and atmosphere, awesome monster effects, and some seriously creepy scenes. The raw form of the creature in this film really deserves some props, and the things it does, for the era in which the film was made, are pretty gruesome. If you haven’t seen this one, you’re missing out.
The Being – I saw this one originally on some crappy clamshell VHS version and loved it. When it came out on DVD some 25 years later I watched it with a whole new sense of awe and glee. At first glance you’ll think this movie is going to be a piece of crap, but I promise it’ll take you by surprise.
The Kindred – Another one that sneaks up on you with some unexpected awesomeness. “Anthony” is a long lost brother who should have stayed lost. Great effects, even kind of well-acted. Unfortunately, as of this writing, I don’t think it has been released on DVD. (Please note: this isn’t Kindred: The Embraced, the TV show, which is something completely different.)
Parasite – I love this movie and consider it a criminally overlooked gem of SF monster horror. Yes, it’s campy, but the creature effects are great, and the post apocalyptic setting really appeals to the Gen-Xer in me. It’s also directed by Charles Band, back in his hey day, and features Demi Moore in her first feature role. Lots of fun. (Be aware there’s another horror movie out there called Parasite — I saw that one too and didn’t like it near as much as I did this one.)
The Brood – Early Cronenberg that follows in his vein of “body horror” I really think this is one of his creepiest entries into the genre. It starts off slow, but when it gets going, you’ll be glued to the screen till the end — and what a pay-off! Yes, this is late-70s but it’s my blog post and I’ll break my own rules if I want to!
The Unnamable – Given that I’m a fan of the slasher genre and any and all Lovecraft adaptations, it’s no surprise at all that I love The Unnamable as much as I do, since it blends the two concepts quite well. It’s currently unavailable in the US in anything but used VHS formats, but I’ve come across it on Netflix streaming and FearNet has shown it at least once. This is one of my favorite monsters ever.
The Boogens – Stephen King recommended this to me via his 30-year-old blurb on the cover. Apparently this cool little 1980s horror flick was out of print until a couple of years ago. Very traditional in its plot, but surprisingly well-acted, and effective. It helps for me that it’s set in snowy mountains west of Denver, so it kind of reminds me of home (and makes me shudder at the memory of crawling through old abandoned mines).
Slithis – Okay, another one from the late 70s, but this is a favorite for purely nostalgic reasons. Others may not get as much enjoyment out of it as I did, but I will say that I watched my Code Red DVD version of this not too long ago and felt like it stood up as a solid entry into the radioactive monster genre. Give it a shot!
Rawhead Rex - So, from what I can gather, Clive Barker wasn’t terribly fond of the treatment of the screenplay he wrote adapting this story from his Books of Blood, Vol. 3. It seems like he didn’t hate it, but he didn’t love it either. Sorry Clive, I thought it was great. Yes, there isn’t much to the plot the way it was filmed, but the creature effects are great, with lots of blood, and a little bit of that slasher philosophy sneaks in here, too. It’s very rare in the US in any edition, but used versions are actually pretty cheap from the UK.
Nightbeast – I was going to end my list with Rawhead Rex, but I wanted to throw this one out there. The reason I didn’t want to leave it off the list is because the beginning of the movie is a perfect 1980s monster movie. Unfortunately, the end of the film, including perhaps the most squirm-worthy awkward sex scene ever put to film, grinds to a halt and ends with a dud. It was available for free on Hulu for a while, but trust me … the end isn’t worth the wait. Right about the time you start to get bored, it’s safe, and even advisable, to just shut it off.
I hope this list has been helpful for folks looking for some cool obscure monster movies from the 1980s. Great for the fall season or Christmas presents for the horror fan in your life — or yourself!
Enjoy and have a safe, happy Halloween!
Just a reminder that my short story series cleverly titled TALES OF TERROR is still available for all eReaders through Amazon and other major retailers, with each volume containing approximately 20,000 words of short fiction for only 99-cents each. Each volume is filled with previously published horror stories, with a couple of originals sprinkled in for good measure.
Amazing Stories reviewed one of the books in the series this summer and had this to say:
“Fulbright’s prose is crisp and clean, without unnecessary flourishes. The characters in these tales are dealing with loss, regret, and looking for second chances. They’ve all made mistakes, carry deep grief, and look for redemption. Sometimes they find it, sometimes they don’t … Christopher Fulbright is best known as a writer of short horror fiction. Personally, that’s how I like my horror stories: short and sharp, with a bite at the end. He’s got a whole series of Tales of Terror, each with a different theme. This little volume is only a buck. It would be a bargain at twice that price or more.”
So, there you have it. Don’t take my word for it, listen to the fine folks at Amazing Stories and check out some of these volumes for yourself. What better way to usher in the Halloween season? With six volumes in the series — including Monsters, Ghosts, The Undead, Dark Waters, Eldritch Horrors, and The Unexplained — there’s something for everyone.
- Guest Panelist and Signing at ConDFW This Weekend
- THE DEVIL BEHIND ME: New Horror Novella Available from Dark Regions Press
- New Short Story Appears in DARK FUSIONS Anthology, Now Available
- 1980s Horror Flicks: Monster Movie Picks for Halloween
- Amazing Stories Reviews TALES OF TERROR — Perfect for the Halloween Season!
- DarkFuse Accepts ELDERWOOD MANOR for 2014 Release
- Friday the 13th: Premarital Sex, Collateral Damage and the Legacy of Slaughter
Tags1980s horror angeline hawkes appearance appearances bad moon books black mercy falls black metal book reviews books christmas conan condfw conventions crime dallas delirium books e-books ebooks elder signs press fencon fulbright and hawkes ghost story horror horror novella interview kindle lucio fulci megadeth metal monster movies movies nook novels publishing news reviews robert e howard school signing sorrow creek stephen king texas texas frightmare weekend the bone tree thrash writing
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