Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2022

[Review]—In "Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon," Things Get a Little Hairy

It's another Thursday, so it's time for another Dark Shadows review. Don't I sound ecstatic? I lost track of how many of these Dark Shadows I've read, and, after a time, they started to blur together. Today we're looking at Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon, the fourteenth installment authored by Daniel "Dan" Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross (his wife's name). What a split second, what happened to Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost, book thirteen? It's not accessible as an eBook on Kindle for reasons unbeknownst to me, so I had no alternative but to skip it and move on to the next.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

[Review]—'Barnabas Collins Versus the Warlock' by Marilyn Ross

I haven't seen an episode of the Dark Shadows soap opera in many (many) years. According to what I recall, the creator, Dan Curtis, and his writing staff ran out of supernatural concepts, or, to put it another way, they basically used and reused every horror trope imaginable. As a result, the series came to an end. While his plots swayed away from the television storylines, William Edward Daniel Ross (a.k.a. Marilyn Ross) took the same approach with his Dark Shadows novels by incorporating every horror trope into his stories. This gave him the freedom to place the cursed vampire Barnabas Collins in unusual situations. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

[Review] - 'The Phantom and Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

Victoria Winters, the orphan governess, had vanished by the time "The Phantom and Barnabas Collins" was released in September 1969. It's the tenth book in Marilyn Ross's original Dark Shadows novel series (otherwise known as William Edward Daniel Ross). Victoria Winters abruptly left Collinwood, and Maggie Evans took over as David's governess. As a result, Victoria's parents' mystery remained a mystery.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

[Review] - 'The Demon of Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

If you perchance to buy a Dark Shadows novel at a thrift store or used book store with only the bare minimum knowledge of the series, you'll be confused or disappointed after reading the book. Whether you have seen a few episodes of the original ABC daytime soap, the short-lived NBC series, or Tim Burton's spoofy remake, you know the vampire Barnabas Collins is imprisoned in a coffin and is released 100+ years later. Barnabas didn't make his way into the book series by Marilyn Ross (the pen name of William Edward Daniel Ross) until the sixth novel, and his backstory was different. Instead of being chained in a coffin, Barnabas lived among the living. Every once in a while, he would change his identity to a made-up son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., so nobody would find out about his vampire secret.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

[Review] - 'The Secret of Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

The cursed vampire Barnabas Collins finally makes his debut in the Dark Shadows lit-verse - that I couldn't read because it's not available on Kindle. All well! I had to skip over the self-titled sixth novel Barnabas Collins and jump right into The Secret of Barnabas Collins.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

[Review] - 'Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films' by Nina Nesseth

Were you ever labeled as different or weird because of your love for horror movies? I can't speak for anyone else, but my answer is yes. I was the loner kid reading used horror paperbacks during high school lunch. Instead of going to a football game on Friday nights, I was alone in my bedroom watching rented VHS horror flicks while eating cheesy pizza and rotting my teeth on soda. Not once did I wonder why I loved scary movies, though, at the time, my mother was worried I would become a serial killer like Michael Myers. It's twenty-five years later, and I can assure everyone that my fascination with all things horror didn't affect me — too much.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

[Review] - 'Strangers at Collins House' by Marilyn Ross

Did you think I had given up on reviewing the Dark Shadows novels? If your answer is yes, then you're dead wrong. Starting today, I'll be posting a new Dark Shadows review every Thursday. 

From 1966 to 1972, William Edward Daniel Ross published 32 Dark Shadows novels (minus the House of Dark Shadows novelization) under the pseudonym, Marilyn Ross. The book series didn't follow the soap operas' storylines. The first book, Dark Shadows, was partly a retelling of Victoria Winter's arrival in Collinsport. The second installment, Victoria Winters, was more or less a rehash of the second half of Dark Shadows, where Victoria gets mixed in with a mystery connected to the new guests at the Collins House (Collinwood).

Monday, April 11, 2022

[Review] - Victoria Winters by Marilyn Ross

Most tie-in novels tend to stay in the continuity of whatever television or movie series it's from, but that wasn't such the case with the Dark Shadow novels by Marilyn Ross (William Edward Daniel Ross). Between December 1966 to March 1972, Paperback Library published thirty-three Dark Shadows books (minus the House of Dark Shadows novelization), and all shared a different continuity than the 1966 - 1972 soap opera series. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

[Review] - Dark Shadows by Marilyn Ross

One Upon a Time in the '80s, I was a little bitty kid who would curl up with his grandma in the extra bedroom/laundry room and watch reruns of Dark Shadows on PBS on an old black & white television. That was my first introduction to the mysterious world of the Collins family and their vampire ancestor, Barnabas Collins. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

[Review] - Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Judy and the Beast by R.L. Stine

The Goosebumps franchise will be turning the big 30 this year. So, in other words, I've been reading R.L. Stine's scary tales for over thirty years.  Yes, I feel old just writing that. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

[Review] - Revival Road by Chris DiLeo


On an average street in a typical suburban town, a child dies in an all-too-plausible accident. For Sherri Matthews, a neighbor who has dedicated her life to God’s calling, this is part of God’s plan. And when the child wakes in the morgue seemingly healed, Sherri knows she must now prepare the way for what comes next.


“Something big is coming,” the revived child promises. His pet dog, dead and buried weeks prior, has come back as well, but more monster than mutt. Abbott French and Ellie Pike have never trusted Sherri or her unwavering belief and don’t believe these resurrections are God’s work. But how to explain when his sickly mother dies and is resurrected? And what about the horror Chance Gold encounters in the woods and the voice that insists, You’re mine? Or the secret a mental patient who murdered her friend knows? Or the terrible thing Carl Nichols is hiding in his basement? Or the hundreds of crows gathering across the street as if in anticipation?

Monday, September 13, 2021

[Review] - Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children

Something's wrong with the children. They're murdering classmates, torturing parents, speaking in tongues, drinking human blood, and practicing black magic. Your offspring is on the rise, their blood no longer innocent. There will be casualties, and you may be among them.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

[Review] - The Amityville Horror II by John G. Jones

Why am I fascinated by The Amityville Horror? I'm aware of all the facts and hoaxes surround the Lutz family's 28-day stay at 112 Ocean Avenue. I know author Jay Anson put his spin on Lutz's claims for his 1977 novel The Amityville Horror. I believe Ed and Lorraine Warren's investigation is questionable? No, I don't believe the ghost boy picture is of John DeFeo. Was George Lutz involved in the occult? Some facts point in that direction. Were George and Kathy Lutz in debt? Yep!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

[Review] - Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Fifth-Grade Zombies by R.L. Stine

I've never been hush about my love for Goosebumps. Yes, I'm a soon-to-be 40-year-old who still collects middle-grade books, and I'm proud of it. I still remember finding the original two books Welcome to Dead House and Stay Out of the Basement at a small Walmart in the summer of 1992. Back then, I was a few weeks shy from officially becoming a fifth-grader, and my 11th birthday was just around the corner. I don't know what attracted me to the books more, the creepy covers or the author's name - R.L. Stine. If my memory serves me correctly, I was already reading Fear Streets novels before Goosebumps, so the name R.L. Stine was already a permanent fixture in my young mind. By the time school rolled around in late August, I quickly learned I wasn't the only Goosebumps fan in my class. It seems every middle-schooler read these books to death in the '90s, and I guess kids still read the original 62 Goosebumps books, which would explain why Scholastic has continued to published new editions with new covers.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

[DVD Review] - The Walking Dead: World Beyond: Season One

Six or seven years ago, The Walking Dead fans would probably have been excited about another spinoff. Sadly, a lot has happened since The Walking Dead debuted on AMC in 2010, and the fanbase has shrunk to a small number of loyal viewers. The first spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, had to do a reboot starting with season 4, and while creatively it has improved, the viewership dropped to a record low with the season 6 finale. For some unknown reason, AMC and The Walking Dead's chief content director Scott M. Gimple thought it would be the perfect time to create a third series - The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

[Review] - Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Monster Blood Is Back by R.L. Stine

Available on AMAZON.

If you're nearing 40, as I am, then more than likely, you grew up reading the Goosebumps books written by R.L. Stine (author of the popular teen Fear Street series). Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you a history listen. Goosebumps was a hugely popular children's book series throughout the 1990s. From 1992 to the end of 1997, R.L. Stine published 62 Twilight Zone-like stories that gave every young reader nightmares. Goosebumps quickly became a brand name, starting with the Fox Kids television series that ran for 74 episodes. Spinoff books soon followed, such as Give Yourself Goosebumps, Tales To Give You Goosebumps, and Goosebumps 2000, and a slew of merchandise (bookmarks, games, toys, etc.). As fans became older, they moved on to other things, which resulted in the downfall of the franchise. After a hiatus, R.L. Stine returned to the world of Goosebumps with the spinoff series Horrorland in 2009, followed by two other spinoffs, Most Wanted and SlappyWorld, and two film adaptations, Goosebumps and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

[Review] - THE SEARCHING DEAD by Ramsey Campbell




Once upon a time (or otherwise known as my teenage years), I was addicted to horror paperbacks that I would buy at a now-defunct used bookshop. Being a loner, I would carry a paperback either in a jacket or pants pocket, and if I ever had a free moment, I would read my heart out. One of the authors I discovered back then was Ramsey Campbell, the author of The Parasite, The Claw, and The Hungry Moon.  

Friday, February 19, 2021

[Review] - The Hensley Mansion by Judith Holstrom

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Drew has always lived in the shadow of the Hensley Mansion, a sinister southern home up on the hill.

Once you enter, you really never leave and Drew discovered that no once but twice.

The first time she was sixteen-years-old with a group of friends on Hallow's Eve and the second time to get rid of an abusive husband she couldn't escape, but it cost her more than just her freedom.

To make it worse now, Drew Anderson has to relive her time in the Hensley mansion to help demolition constructor Stansley flatten the evil brooding in that house. But little did she know she has to visit for a third time to fulfill the task.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

[Review] - Weeks: Book Two by Jasyn T. Turley

Available on Kindle!


Last week, I finished reading Weeks: Book 2, a post-apocalyptic novel by author Jasyn T. Turley that's been in my possession since October 2020. Yeah, I know I need to work on my procrastination issues. Nevertheless, here I am reviewing it today.

Monday, January 4, 2021

[Review] - The Hush Sisters by Gerard Collins

Sissy and Ava Hush are estranged, middle-aged sisters with little in common beyond their upbringing in a peculiar manor in downtown St. John’s. With both parents now dead, the siblings must decide what to do with the old house they’ve inherited. Despite their individual loneliness, neither is willing to change or cede to the other’s intentions. As the sisters discover the house’s dark secrets, the spirits of the past awaken, and strange events envelop them. The Hush sisters must either face these sinister forces together or be forever ripped apart.