Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Retrospective - The Midnight Hour

For the past twenty-seven years, one of my annual Halloween watches is the little known horror comedy The Midnight Hour. It first aired on ABC on November 1, 1985 (Yep, one day after Halloween and two days after Garfield's Halloween Adventure aired on CBS) when I was a four-year-old. At the time my parents and I lived in a two-story farmhouse in the country (which was also haunted) and my parents recorded it onto a VHS tape. I would pester my mother into letting me watch The Midnight Hour, even though The Elf would always freak me out.

The Midnight Hour is set on Halloween in the small town of  Pitchford Cove, New England. Five high school seniors, Phil (Lee Montgomery), Mary (Dedee Pfeiffer), Mitch (Peter DeLuise), Vinnie (LeVar Burton), and Melissa (Shari Belafonte), break into the town's museum. They steal (or should I saw "borrow") a few costumes and an old trunk. They open the trunk at the local cemetery, in which they find a mysterious scroll. Melissa reads the scroll aloud, unleashing a horrible curse.

A few minutes after the kids leave the cemetery, the undead rise from their graves. The undead's leader is Melissa's own ancestor, Lucinda Cavender, who was put to death over 300 hundred years ago for being a vampire.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

DVD Review - Trick 'r Treat

Trick 'r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Running Time: 82 minutes
Rated R for horror violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language

Annually, my local Walmart sets out a few horror/Halloween themed movies. It's not even October and this year’s Halloween DVDs/Blu-Rays are already out, in which the majority of them are a mixed bag of good and bad treats. I already own all the good ones and a few that I don't are not my style, but I did pick up Trick ‘r Treat only because Anna Paquin was on the back cover.

Trick 'r Treat was released to one theater in December 2007 followed by a handful of screens in 2008 and 2009, mostly at festivals. The movie was finally released to DVD on October 6, 2009 and received mostly good reviews to the small amount of critics who viewed it.

In this anthology in the style of the Creepshow, a short trick-treater, Sam, wearing a worn-out orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, keeps popping throughout the movie. Emma (played by Leslie Bibb) and Henry are the couple that opens up the movie. Henry loves the holiday and has over-decorated their yard with ghost-scarecrows. She demands that he cleans up everything on Halloween night, but he says he'll get to it tomorrow, which she knows he is a lying. He goes inside the house while Emma begins to take down the scarecrows and comes face to face with horror.

Charlie a trick-or-treater stops by Principle Wilkins house and steals a few pieces of Halloween candy that was on the front porch, but he is in for a shock when the candy turns out to be poisoned. It seems that Principle Wilkins drags Charlie's lifeless body inside. Later that night, he digs a hole in the backyard and tosses Charlie on top of another corpse. He is in a hurry to get the bodies covered up, help out his son carve a unique jack-o-lantern, and get ready for his date.

Monday, 29 October 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Matt Cunningham's Top 10 Picks of Horror Movie Scores

When Billy asked me to do a guest post I was extremely excited to ramble on about several things Halloweenie. I was going to tell the world about the history of Trick-or-Treating but then Wikipedia had that in spades - along with several other websites. I couldn't rehash the same old knowledge on this wonderful blog. It's much more deserving of that. Then I thought, what about a brief history of a few famous scary monsters? Unfortunately that became a research intensive monster itself. I found I wanted to tell way too much while hoping to keep your attention (if I haven't lost you already).

But then it dawned on me as I was listening to the movie score of Cabin in the Woods by David Julyan. Why not write about something I love with all my monsterly being! Movie scores. But not just any movie scores, my top 10 picks of horror movie scores that really fit into the frame work of Halloween and what I listen to every year around this time. Honestly, I listen to them all the time but this is for those of you that might want something spooky to listen to while carving pumpkins, or writing that short horror story you always meant to get to, or play in your haunted house or while you're driving to work in your Michael Myers costume.

So dim the lights and open your mind to a realm of frightening sounds...

DVD Review - 4 Movie Collection: Hollow Man/ Hollow Man 2/ Fortress 2/ The Harvest

4 Movie Collection: Hollow Man/ Hollow Man 2/ Fortress 2/ The Harvest
Directors: Paul Verhoeven; Claudio Fäh; Geoff Murphy; David Marconi
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin, Peter Facinelli, Laura Regan
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment 
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Running Time: 394 minutes
Rated R


I've always been a fan of The Invisible Man film series that blended horror and science fiction together. Tower PR and Mill Creek Entertainment kindly sent me a complementary copy of the two discs movie collection, containing Hollow Man, Hollow Man 2, Fortress 2, and The Harvest, for me to review.

Hollow Man is an updated version of The Invisible Man that was released back in 2000. Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Caine, a scientist, who has created a serum that can turn a gorilla invisible, but now he wants to experiment on himself despite the objections of his ex-girlfriend Dr. Linda McKay (played by Elizabeth Shue)and her boyfriend Dr. Matt Kensington (played by Josh Brolin). Within days, Sebastian starts to go mad with his new power of invisibility. At first he is just pranking his fellow colleagues, but then he starts killing them one by one.

I saw Hollow Man when if first came out and now again on DVD. It's not as bad as other reviewers have claimed it to be. Yes, the characters are not well developed, but horror movies never have much character depth. Even twelve years later, the special effects are pretty amazing.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Review: Zombie Diaries 2: World of the Dead

Three months after the worldwide zombie outbreak that wiped 99.9% of the population, a small group of British survivors are trying to survive. They have heard that there is a ship at sea that is taking the remaining survivors to safety. The group is lead by Maddox (played by Philip Brodie) whom has just taken in a few more survivors at the beachside compound, which includes the sole survivor of the first movie's film crew, Leanne, (played by Alix Wilton Regan who is replacing Victoria Summer). Before long the zombies invade the compound causing Maddox, Leanne, Jonesy, who is constantly filming with his camera, and a few others to runaway.

With no vehicles, they run on foot looking for any place for shelter. Eventually they come across some booby-traps and the remains of headless zombies in a wooded area. The carefully survey a cabin from a distance where a group of human bandits are watching another man sexually assault a female zombie. The deadly Goke (played by Russell Jones) comes out of the cabin and murders the man. That is when Leanne recognizes Goke and his henchman Manny as she had encountered them in the first movie.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

DVD Review - Howling IV: The Original Nightmare

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare
Director: John Hough
Starring: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss, Antony Hamilton, Susanne Severeid, Lamya Derval
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
ASIN: B00023BM4S
Release Date: June 15, 2004
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Rated R 

Unlike the previous films in the series, Howling IV: The Original Nightmare was released to direct-to-video (aka VHS) in 1988, originally released by Warner Bros., but Echo Bridge Home Entertainment now owns the rights to it.

I've only seen a handful of the Howling movies out of the eight movies that have been made so far, the last one, Howling Reborn, came out last year. I recall seeing this movie advertise on a local channel in the early 90s and of course my mom let me watch it probably just so I would stop pestering her about it. The movie had commercials, so naturally it would be edited for broadcast television. For the actually movie, I only remember bits and pieces of it until I finally bought the DVD a few months ago for only five dollars.

For anyone who has actually read Gary Brandner's The Howling novel, you'll know that the first movie barely went by it, but Howling IV: The Original Nightmare is the only movie that almost completely goes by the book except that the names have been changed and there is no rapist in it. The film was made for fewer than two-million dollars. It won the 1988 Golden Chainsaw award for Best Direct-to-Video Feature from Fangoria, but it received mostly negative reviews from fans due to the small amount of time the werewolves appeared.

13 Days of Halloween: Horror Fan Swag Giveaway!


Giveaway Details:

*The Undead postcard
*Tales of Horror postcard
*Halloween (1978) decal
*Laurie Strode decal
*Halloween 4 decal
*Halloween 5 decal

Friday, 26 October 2012

Pumpkin Madness by Melissa Stagi-Zepeda

Pumpkin Madness 

by Melissa Stagi-Zepeda

Year after year,

the pumpkins lived in fear.

Slicing, maiming, wrenching their guts,

I never considered them while I made cuts.

Madagascar 3 Combo Giveaway! Ends 10/31

The Friday 56 - A Merry Little Christmas

Grab a book, any book. 
Turn to page 56. 
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. 
Post it. 
Add your (url) post below in the Linky at

Book Blog Communities and Too Many Narrators

Question of the week: What are three of your favorite book blogs and/or communities?  Why do you like them?

My Answer: 1. Shelfari - I have all the books I own on there. I love the shelf widgets that I can display on my blog. 2. GoodReads - a great book community. It also has giveaways you can enter to get free books. 3. Book Blog Ning is a community for book blog reviewers. I have made several publisher/agent contacts from there. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Horror Movies, Scary Books and Ghosts

by KC Hilton

When it comes to horror movies and books, I stay clear of them. I’m a regular scaredy-cat! I even sleep with a nightlight! Ohhh, but there are reasons for my fear, but I’ll get to that in just a moment. Recently, I’ve tried to break the scary feelings and have read a few books. I’ve always wondered how a person could read a scary/horror book without shutting their eyes, lol. I started with reading Graveminder by Melissa Marr. OK, this was a great book and I got through it, without any permanent damage, so I decided to read another book, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I made it through the Twilight series, so I thought I could handle this book. OK, it was a great book! I seriously loved it, but let me just say, it took me four days to read it and the first two nights I was scared to go to bed, lol. When I did finally go to bed, I pulled the covers nearly over my head! With all the facts woven into a Vampire story, well… It had me believing in Vampires! Yeah, it took me a while to get over it but I’m still here. Now, I want to see the movie! I’m not sure how that’s going to go, but I’m willing to give it a try.

On television, there is a channel that has a series about Ghost Stories. Now, I can watch those during the day, but not in the evening. Why? Because it’ll be the last thing on my mind when I go to bed! Needless to say, I wouldn’t get much sleep.

But why am I so afraid of scary books and movies? It goes back to my childhood. I blame it all on my father. It’s true! It’s funny really, but it seeded something in my mind and I can’t break it. When I was a young girl the horror movies like, Halloween (Michael Myers), Friday the 13th (Jason) and Nightmare on Elm St. (Freddy Krueger) were big hits. My brother and I had an early bedtime, like most kids do, but the problem was, my bedroom wall shared with the living room wall. In fact, my headboard was on that same wall. My father would watch the scary movies at night, thinking it was fine because the kids were in bed. I heard all the scary music, which usually lead up to the horrible screams. I started sleeping with a nightlight!

Review: Tombstones: The Last Drop

During the late 1980s to the middle 1990s, the horror genre was very popular in the middle grade and young adult market, many thanks to Point Horror, but there where other publishers that released horror books as well. Archway Paperbacks tried to release a new series titled "Tombstones", but only two books were brought out in 1995.

Jared Irving is determined to find out if the Full Moon Enterprises is dumping toxins into the local streams in Tombstones: The Last Drop. The Full Moon Enterprises is breaking federal laws by using deadly chemicals, but the town people seem to ignore it, or they just don't want to believe it as the company has brought in many new jobs for the area.

While getting samples at a nearby stream, Jared meets a creature of the night and it will be the last thing that he will ever see.

Review - Killer's Law by L. Ron Hubbard

Killer's Law
By L. Ron Hubbard
Directed by Jim Meskimen and Tait Ruppert
Voice Cast: Jennifer Darling, Brooke Bloom, Corey Burton, Bob Caso, R.F. Daley, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen, Enn Reitel, Richard Rocco and Tait Ruppert
Studio: Galaxy Press
ISBN-13: 978-1592122769
Release Date: October 22, 2012
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours


The 1930s and 1940s were known as the golden age, a time when many unknown writers published their work in Pulp Fiction magazines as they were paid around a penny a word. Unlike the higher-class magazines that were printed on glossy paper with higher production values, pulp magazines were published on cheap brown pulp paper and featured adventures, science fiction tales, mysteries, and many other stories.

Galaxy Press has been releasing the short stories written by author L. Ron Hubbard that were published during the golden age under the Stories of a Golden Age line of paperbacks and audiobooks. They nicely sent me a free audiobook of the "Killer's Law" for this review.

"Killer's Law" was originally published in the September 1947 issue of New Detective Magazine, where Sheriff Kyle travels from Deadeye, Nevada to Washington D.C. to personally deliver evidence against a rich copper king to Senator Meringue. Suddenly, Kyle is knocked unconscious. When he awakes he is surrounded by policemen asking questions and reporters snapping pictures. It seems that the Senator was murdered and Kyle is holding the murder weapon.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Q&A with author John Peel

What or whom inspired you to become a writer?

JOHN: When I was young, I had anemia, so I wasn’t allowed to do sports. Instead, I stayed inside and read. When I ran out of stories in my favorite series, I started making up my own. After that, I couldn’t sop making up stories.

What was your first book/story published?

JOHN: My first book was “The Official Doctor Who And The Daleks Book”, about the English TV show. As a result of that, I got to write a “Doctor Who” novel, “The Chase”. Then I sold my first original book, “Uptime, Downtime”. That was my own version of a time travel story.

You have written media tie-ins, fantasy, science-fiction, and horror. What is your favorite genre to write about?

JOHN: I just like writing, so I don’t really mind what genre. I think my favorite, though, is fantasy. I love being able to make up whole worlds and situations. But I’ll write anything at all as long as it sounds interesting to me.

One of my favorite books growing up was Shockers: Grave Doubts. How did you come up with the reincarnation plot?

JOHN: By accident! What happened was that I went in to my editor, Craig Walker, about writing “Shockers”. I thought he wanted three books in the series initially, so I had three really good ideas – “Night Wings”, “Blood Wolf” and “Alien Prey” (horror, fantasy and science fiction). Then he said, “And what about the fourth book?” I hadn’t realized he’d wanted four, so on the spur of the moment I said: “Grave Doubts”. He loved the title, and asked me what it was about. So I told him I’d let him know just as soon as I decided! So then I went home and thought about it. Since I’d invented a title, I realized I had to do something set about a cemetery, and “doubts” suggested confusion. So I thought that it should be about somebody everybody thought was dead… and then I thought, no, it would be better if it was about somebody who *was* dead. And then the whole story fell into place.

Review - Shockers: Grave Doubts by John Peel

Grave Doubts is simply one of my favorite books from my childhood as it has always stuck in my mind after almost twenty-years later. I recall ordering many books from the Scholastic flyers when I was an elementary student. I was in the sixth grade (aka - the year I got glasses) when I read Grave Doubts during study hall.

In book three of the Shockers series, Matt Howard had blocked out the murder of his older sister, Penny, for ten years, but now those unwanted memories have resurfaced. A family friend, Mr. Ciprelli or known as Uncle Joey, went to a mental hospital shortly after Penny's brutal murder, but he has now returned and is moving into the house next door. Matt finds the man to be very odd as he is always watching him.

Matt doesn't have many memories about his sister, except for what people have told him about her. It seems that Penny was the perfect daughter and student. Matt gets into trouble at home and at school. He is told constantly from his parents and teachers that he was nothing like Penny and that she shouldn't have been the one to die.

Review - The Way of Oz: A Guide to Wisdom, Heart, and Courage

The Way of Oz: A Guide to Wisdom, Heart, and Courage
By Robert Y. Smith
Illustrations by Dusty Higgins
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
ISBN: 978-0896727403
Pub. Date: September 1, 2012
Pages: 288


It seems there is a new self-help book being released every week that is suppose to magically change your life if you buy it. I am one of those people that fell into the hype, but I have found the majority of the books offer nothing new, just common sense that every human being already knows.

Even though I wasn't in the mood to read another so-called self-help, I went ahead and signed up to review The Way of Oz: A Guide to Wisdom, Heart, and Courage by Robert Y. Smith, only because it showed Dorothy, Toto, Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow walking on the yellow brick road toward the Emerald City.

Author Robert Y. Smith shows how you can learn about life lessons through the original L. Frank Braum's fourteen Oz children books, which teaches kids to read, write, and communicate with others. The first two chapters is a biography of L. Frank Braum and the Oz books. The author then focuses on the characters and plots from the books and how they can be applied to our daily lives.

Review: Zombie Kills T-Shirt

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been a zombie fan ever since I saw Night of the Living Dead on Monstervision back in the 1990s. Since then I have watched about every zombie flick that has came out. Recently, I started watching the hit undead series The Walking Dead.

When I got an opportunity to review a zombie t-shirt, I took it as I have never owned any Zombie survival gear before. Brain Eating Tees nicely sent me an XL men's black standard Zombie Kills tee. Shipping was extremely fast as I received the tee in only a few days. It seems that the XL shirts in the stores are not wide-enough in the shoulders for me for me anymore, but this tee fit perfectly.

Halloween is only a week away and the Zombie Kills tee would make the perfect costume for someone who hates to wear costumes. Or you can show off your new tee in front of your pals when you're watching The Walking Dead.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DVD Review - Wes Craven Presents: Dracula III: Legacy

Wes Craven Presents: Dracula III: Legacy
Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jason Scott Lee, Jason London, Rutger Hauer, Diane Neal
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rated R for Vampire Violence, Language and Nudity

Taking place five years after the dreadful Dracula II: Ascension, Luke (played by Jason London) and Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) find the whereabouts of Dracula (played by Rutger Hauer). The vampire has returned to his castle in Carpathian Mountains and has brought Elizabeth (played by Diane Neal), Luke's girlfriend, with him.

Luke and Father Uffizi travel to Romania, where the people there are in a Civil War, so the cities look like a war zone. They find a reporter and her cameraman that had barely survived a helicopter explosion. They must battle local rebels and vampires to find their way to Dracula's castle, where Luke finds out that Elizabeth is now a creature of the night.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-Ray + DVD + Ultraviolet) Giveaway

Giveaway Details:
*Prize - The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-Ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
*I'll buy the Blu-ray through an online retail store and have it shipped to the winner.
(I might order this through my DVD Club.)
*Only residents of the U.S. are eligible to win. 
*No P.O. Boxes, please.
*Giveaway Ends December 1st!

13 Days of Halloween: Behind Ghost Light by Mary Cunningham

Growing up in Indiana, my love of basketball, and, for that matter, just about any sport, was a natural fit with one of my husband’s most vivid ghostly childhood memories.

This was the plan every weekend the Cubs were in town: A visit to his grandmother's brownstone loft apartment that overlooked Wrigley Field in Chicago. Oppressive summer heat, mixed with the smell of the Ben Gay Grandma Sutton used for numerous aches, pains, and disabilities, was small price to pay for the privilege of sitting in her window, watching every pitch and every swing and every home run.

That all changed the night he woke to a brilliant ball of light that moved slowly across the bedroom wall until it settled in the middle of his chest. Was it simply the imagination of an eight-year-old? Maybe car lights? Couldn't be. His window faced a nearby brownstone. He bounded from the bed with a sharp intake of breath and raced down the hallway toward his parents' room. Just a bad dream, they assured him. Go back to sleep.

Early the next morning, the phone rang with news that his grandmother had died during the night; close to the time he encountered the mysterious light. His logical thinking, engineer dad dismissed the idea of any connection to his son's nightmare, but his free-spirited mother thought it possible that grandmother visited grandson, one last time.

Review: Tombstones: Dances with Werewolves

A serial killer known as "The Hinsdale Slasher" has been terrorizing a small Midwestern town. Holly Brand learns that Graham is actually the killer and he has kidnapped her best-friend Zakiya. With the help of her aunt, Police Chief Debra Dorn, Holly finds out where Graham has taken Zakiya, but this killer is not what meets the eye. He is actually a werewolf!

Holly becomes a hero and a media sensation after she kills "The Hinsdale Slasher", but only her aunt and best-friend know that he was in fact a werewolf. Suddenly, the ordinary teenager's, Holly, life is completely changed. All the media reporters wants her to do an exclusive interview and the poplar boys want to date her, including the star high school football player, Jeff.

She gets nominated to be the Midwinter Dance Queen, which upsets a popular girl, Gina, who wants revenge!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

DVD Review - Slaughter

Director: Stewart Hopewell
Written By:  Stewart Hopewell
Starring:  Lucy Holt, Amy Shiels, David Sterne
Studio: Liongates
ASIN: B001P9N9A8
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rated R for Disturbing Violent Content, Language and Some Sexuality

Slaughter was released to theaters back in 2009 as part of the After Dark Horrorfest III (aka 8 Films to Die For). As of writing this review, it is only the second After Dark movie I have viewed.

The film opens up with a twenty-something Faith (played Amy Shiels) arriving in Atlanta and leaving her small town life, her horrible mother, and her abusive ex-boyfriend. At a nightclub, she meets a twenty-something Lola (played by Lucy Holt), who is care-free type person. They chat and exchange numbers.

Just as Faith starts to adjust to the city life, she receives dozens of hateful emails from her ex-boyfriend. Not having anyone to turn to, she befriends Lola, who lives outside of Atlanta on her family farm with her father and brothers. Faith moves out of the city after she recognizes her ex's truck parked near her apartment and she ends up living with Lola in the upstairs part of the barn that has been turned into an apartment.

Lola lives a wild life; letting rich older men buy her stuff in exchange for a one night stand. The men are always gone by the time Faith gets up in the morning, but then she notices strange things. One of the men left his watch behind and Faith finds a set of car keys in the weeds.

DVD Review - 4 Movie Collection - Hostel/ Hostel Part II/ The Tattooist/ The Hunt for the BTK Killer

Hostel/ Hostel Part II/ The Tattooist/ The Hunt for the BTK Killer
Directors: Eli Roth, Peter Burger, Stephen Kay
Starring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Jordan Ladd
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Run Time: 371 minutes
Rated: R
Buy Link:

With Halloween just days away, there's nothing better than watching horror movies, which are constantly being aired on cable channels, but most of them are edited for content. Mill Creek Entertainment recently released four shocking horror films onto a two-discs set. Tower PR and Mill Creek Entertainment kindly sent me a complementary copy to review. This pack contains the splatter-fest Hostel (2006) and its sequel Hostel II (2007), along with The Tattooist (2007) and The Hunt for the BTK Killer (2005).

Hostel starts out as a typical college vacation trip film, where Josh, Paxton, and their new friend Óli just want to have a good time. They get a tip that there are 'easy' beautiful women in Bratislava and of course they go. Things seem normal as they meet three women who seduce them, but they have no idea of what horrors await them.

Hostel is not for the weak-hearted! It, along with the Saw movies, created what is known as the "torture porn" genre. The first half is more-or-less a raunchy comedy, but then after a few twists and turns, the mayhem begins. It is sick to think that there might be rich powerful people that want to torture and kill a person. The movie is well acted and the last thirty-minutes is intense, but it is also twisted.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review - The Mammoth Book Slasher Movies

The Mammoth Book Slasher Movies 
An A-Z Guide to More than 60 Years of Blood and Guts
By Peter Normanton
Publisher: Running Press
ISBN: 978-0762445967
Pub. Date: October 23, 2012
Pages: 512
Buy Link: The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies

For twenty-three years, I have been a diehard horror fan ever since my grandma let me watch the horror classic John Carpenter's Halloween. It was the censored version that aired on network television, but it was my first introduction to the horror genre. Of course I was excited when I learned that Running Press was releasing a new book about slasher films. Running Press nicely sent me an advanced review copy earlier this month in exchange for this review.

Author and Editor Peter Normanton compiled the best slasher movie from 1916 to 2011 into one nifty guide for horror fans, starting with 28 Days Later and ending with Zombie Flesh Eaters. You might be thinking “Why is there zombie movies listed in a slasher book?” as that was the exact question that popped into my mind when I began reading it. The tagline on the front cover does say "An A-Z Guide to More Than 60 Years of Blood and Guts," and the back cover does mention that book contains more than 250 slasher and splatter movies. So that explains the zombie flicks, such as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead and a few others.

"Blood on the Walls" opens up the mammoth book and gives a history lesson on horror cinema throughout the years, followed by an A-Z listing of each movie containing a synopsis and several facts about the movie.

The movies listed are:

13 Days of Halloween: DVD Review - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Director: Dwight H. Little
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Michael Pataki
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: July 25, 2006
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rated R

I originally saw Halloween 4 when I rented it and the fifth movie a few weeks before The Curse of Michael Myers came out to VHS. I only had basic cable as a kid, and Halloween 4 & 5 never aired on any of the channels. The first thing I noticed was the horrible cheap looking mask. You would think Moustapha Akkad would want a decent looking mask, but I guess they ran out of money for it. All the VHS covers and DVD covers have Michael wearing the 1978 mask, so it can be a little misleading.

After the box-office bomb called Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the franchise took a six year break, coming back in 1988 with Michael Myers surviving the explosion at the end of Halloween II. For the past ten years, he has been in a coma at a sanitarium. Without Dr. Loomis's approval, Michael is being transferred to another hospital by an ambulance. He awakes from the coma and kills the paramedics.

Dr. Loomis arrives at the crime scene on Halloween morning. After a quick glance he knew that Michael is alive. On his way to Haddonfield, Illinois, he stops by a gas station/diner where he finds two corpses and Michael, now dressed  in a mechanic's clothes. Dr. Loomis pulls out his gun, but it is too late as Michael has escaped in a tow-truck, causing a fire that explodes Loomis's car and the gas station/diner.

Eight-year-old Jamie Lloyd is still grieving over the death of her parents, whom died in a car accident. She continues to live in Haddonfield with her foster family, the Carruthers. On Halloween night, Jamie's foster parents are spending the night out and Jamie's foster-sister Rachel is going to take her (dressed in a clown costume) trick-or-treating for the night, even though Rachel is going to miss her date with her boyfriend. The girls are unaware that they are being watched by the bogeyman!

Friday, 19 October 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Scholastic Q&A with author R.L. Stine

Q: 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Goosebumps! Why do you think Goosebumps has endured for twenty years?
A: I am totally amazed by this. I feel so privileged to be able to scare so many generations of kids. I think the series continues because everyone likes a good scare.

Q: What inspired you to call the series Goosebumps?
A: I was stumped. I couldn’t think of a name for the series. Then I saw an ad for a TV station that was showing horror movies. The ad said, “It’s Goosebumps week on Channel 11.” There it was! I knew that had to be the title.

Q: You returned to Goosebumps in 2008 after an eight-year break. What inspired you to go back to Goosebumps?
A: My readers! Everywhere I went kids asked me: When are you going to write new Goosebumps books? I always listen to my readers. So now I'm having fun writing more books for Scholastic.

Q: What is the most surprising thing that has happened to you in the last twenty years as a result of the popularity of Goosebumps?
A: Everything that has happened to me has been amazing and surprising. I got the chance to do things that Idreamed of when I was a kid: I got to travel around the world; I had my own Goosebumps attraction at DisneyWorld; I’ve been on TV and had three TV series. I got to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium (actually I let my son do that). I met some of my all-time heroes, including Ray Bradbury. But the biggest thrill was and continues to be meeting and hearing from so many kids who enjoy my books.

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask

Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask
By R. L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 9780545417938
Pub. Date: July 1, 2012
Pages: 240

A few months ago R. L. Stine released a new book, Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, in a rare hardback edition. The new sequel doesn't include the characters of Carly Beth and Sabrina, but focuses on two new kids, Lu-Ann Franklin and Devin O'Bannon.

The books begins at William's Mask Emporium, in which the owner and his dog, Hansel, get a late night visitor - his brother, Randolph, who happens to brought along a few creepy masks that were made from human flesh. William recognizes that the masks are nothing but pure evil. He plans on destroying the masks, but the masks may get him first.

The plot jumps forty years into the future, where twelve-year-old Lu-Ann and her friend Devin are dreading the upcoming annual Halloween party that is being hosted by their classmate Polly Martin. Every year the party gets more boring and if Lu-Ann has to attend, she is going to make it a frightening evening by pulling some pranks with her best-friend Devin. Her plan changes when she learns that Devin can't come to the party. She attends the party anyway and talks two other friends, Marcus and Brad, into following her to Polly's Attic while the other kids played a silly balloon game. They hear an unknown voice coming from a closet - a half skeleton, half human corpse holding the green haunted mask falls out of the closet when Lu-Ann yanked it open. It was the ugliest mask that Lu-Ann had ever seen and it would make the perfect prank, but once she slips the mask on, the mask becomes part of her flesh.