Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book review: Fatale, Book 1

This first volume of FATALE collects issues #1-5, giving readers an introduction into the world of Josephine and the mysterious hold she has on man after man throughout the decades. Nicolas Lash meets "Jo" in the present day, and discovers that his godfather, recently deceased author Dominic Raines, had a secret manuscript which elaborated his own relationship with the same woman back in the 1950's.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Joe Hill and Stephen King on Richard Matheson's "Duel"

After posting about the Horror Comic Awards last month I've been playing catch-up on all the great titles I've missed. One that I've gotten really into, ROAD RAGE, is not my usual fare, but because I'm a big fan of the writers involved I couldn't help being curious.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Film review: Tales From the Darkside: The Movie

When it comes to horror anthologies, it's tough to live up to the standards set by THE TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE or CREEPSHOW. As I found out when watching recent anthology V/H/S, an uneven selection of segments can create a poor viewing experience, no matter how good even one of them may be.  In the case of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE, the stories again vary in their effectiveness but not in as extreme a way as V/H/S. There is still a uniting theme and visual quality due to the single director that ties the entire film together.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Film review: The Apparition

(Even after seeing the movie, I still have no idea what that tag line means.)

More than anything else, I love a good ghost story. THE APPARITION tries to give the viewer one, but falls short in terms of plot and character while going for creative scares and creepy imagery.

It opens in 1973, with a group of parapsychologists attempting to make contact with a deceased colleague. They appear to be successful. Years later, a group of college students recreate this experiment with the benefit of modern technology that boosts their brain signals, making them over 400 times more powerful. The students are able to unleash an entity that attacks the group and pulls one the participants into a wall.

The story jumps to couple Ben and Kelly, who are moving into a subdivision to look after the house for Kelly's parents. Cue the spooky happenings, and our movie is officially off and running.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things over in the Library of the Dead have been a little hectic, so I may not get anything new written until tonight. Planning things tends to make your Librarian just a little nuts, and I'm having people over this weekend. Add in lots of meetings and things going on at work, preparing for a collaborative graphic novel genre study by re-reading Maus I & II and Watchmen, the general weirdness of life, completing another short story and an attempt to finish up Star Trek: The Next Generation... well, there hasn't been a whole lot of time to reflect on the darker side of life.

I do have a review of The Apparition upcoming, I'd love to write about the Stephen King/Joe Hill graphic novel version of DUEL along with the film adaptation of Matheson's story, I'm strolling through the art book on ossuaries and charnel houses, I've got two more movies waiting for me at home, I've got games on the brain so I really want to talk about horror themed tabletop games... I'm not lacking for ideas, just the time.

So stick with me, kiddies! Your Die-brarian will be back with more content soon!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dinner for Five & Roger Corman on Gore

I've mentioned on Facebook and Twitter that lately I've gotten mesmerized by Jon Favreau's "Dinner for Five." I sadly never saw this while it was running on IFC, so if you're unfamiliar (as I was), the show is Favreau inviting all types of celebrities to hang out, eat dinner, drink and swap industry stories. It's amazing, especially if you're super into film and/or comedy. Funny, insightful, interesting. You hear from actors, writers, directors, producers, comedians, musicians, all sorts of people who have done amazing work. So that's why I've been watching back-to-back episodes night after night. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dark Side of Fairy Tales

The darker, grittier Disney of my youth is what first got me interested in fairy tales. Their villains made a big impact on my little mind, and it's mainly those scarier scenes that have stuck with me even today. I love fairy tales best when they inspire my imagination and sense of adventure, the same reason I read fantasy.

The problem with many fairy tale adaptations is that they lose the folksy quality, and substitute happy endings with beautiful princesses and handsome princes for more valuable lessons where cleverness, loyalty, modesty, bravery and sacrifice are rewarded. In fact, some original tales have rather unhappy endings, but they make a clear statement about what kind of behavior is and isn't acceptable in the world, and where true happiness lies.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

S-VHS Trailer

About a week ago I posted my own review of of V/H/S, and now we've got a trailer for the sequel-- S-VHS. Same premise, new round of filmmakers. According to Entertainment Weekly, Simon Barrett (You're Next) will do the wraparound, while the videos will come from people like Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale (Blair Witch Project), Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid: Redemption), and Adam Wingard (You're Next).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Last Man Among the Walking Dead

I had a recent moment of synchronicity in which I was working my way through a couple more hardcover collections of THE WALKING DEAD comics, and then had a hankering for an old black and white horror and/or sci-fi film. In retrospect I shouldn't be surprised, and to say that the comics, the craving and the movie that I chose weren't linked is an exaggeration. But I hadn't connected them in a conscious way, at least not until I discovered that THE LAST MAN ON EARTH was available to stream on Netflix.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Last Exorcism Part II

While I love the horror genre in all of its forms and sub-genres, I also have special interests. When it comes to plot, I primarily enjoy ghost stories and slashers. As far as themes go, I'm fascinated with the role gender plays in a horror film and how religion comes into play. One of my dream life goals would be to write an in-depth article, paper or book on religion in horror. It just makes my brain come alive.

I enjoyed THE LAST EXORCISM for this reason, although I can't say it was well received all-around. A lot of viewers were not happy with the ending, the ambiguity they felt left with, etc. I love being left with questions after a film is over, although there is a difference between being frustrated by them and being fascinated.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On Death and Love

If you read nothing else of this blog entry, I urge you to visit this website and take note of the warning signs of suicide. These could help you save the life of someone you care about someday. ( Suicide Prevention)

When I started this blog, I intended to use it to share all the scary, creepy, weird things that catch my attention in a passionate, nerdy and/or lighthearted way. I didn't make a conscious decision to avoid being more serious then, but I did the day that I found out about the Sandy Hook tragedy. I decided I did not feel able to comment about it in any helpful or contemplative way. In a way I still don't, but that's not exactly the reason I'm writing this entry now.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book review: Your House Is On Fire, Your Children All Gone

A quick look at the book's description from its cover would indicate to anyone why I picked this up: "Shirley Jackson meets The Twilight Zone in this riveting novel of supernatural horror." They had me at Shirley Jackson, but the rest helped too.

I finished the novel feeling more perplexed than anything. I wondered, "Did I miss the horror? Was I not paying enough attention?"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Siren's Call eZine Open Submissions

As part of Women in Horror Month in February, Siren's Call eZine is dedicating their 7th issue to female writers in the genre! They're seeking "dark and edgy fiction" for their publication, with all works due to them by February 1, 2013. They accept short stories, flash fiction and poetry, see more submission requirements at their website. I know that's my perfect excuse to write a new story that might be banging around in my brain!

If you haven't heard of Women in Horror Month already, boy are you going to hear about it from me. From their website:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Film review: V/H/S

I have nothing against found footage style films as long as they're done well enough. As a lover of both horror and fantasy I am not only willing and able, but eager to escape into many unrealistic scenarios. I don't need a 100% airtight line of logic to justify it, I'm fine with accepting that yes, in the world you present to me that every blade of grass in the world is really a conscientious being that's fed up with being trampled on, beginning an epic revolt, Plant Vs. Man, in which 90% of the population is annihilated via tripping. I am on board, let's do this. When I read the first trade volume of Marvel Zombies, my biggest problem was that I didn't buy Thor being zombified. When I mumbled "Oh come on, there's no way that could happen!" to myself, I had to stop reading and have a reality check. Then I continued, because it's fucking Marvel Zombies and I'm going to read the hell out of that.

I say all this in my review of V/H/S to demonstrate that I am not hard to get on board with whatever kooky plot you may have.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Time Enough At Last

The first minute or so of this part of The Twilight Zone's "Time Enough At Last" are how I feel working in a library every day. But Mr. Bemis' bad eyesight is my lack of time. Oh, my ever-growing reading list.

It is strange how much everyone absolutely despises reading and privacy in this odd world Bemis lives in. "How dare you keep up on current events in the newspaper! Literacy is an abomination!" That truly would be quite a nightmare.

Time Enough at Last on Youtube

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Horror on Netflix as of January 6th

Thanks to I discovered some exciting new additions to Netflix's streaming horror collection this month. The full list is after the jump. Not all of them are excitement-worthy, some I hadn't even heard of. Despite the mixed reviews I've seen on V/H/S and the not-so-great things I've heard about THE DEVIL INSIDE, I'm glad I'll get to see them sooner rather than later.

The fact that THE FRIGHTENERS is now streaming makes me a very giddy Librarian of the Dead. It's one of my favorites that I still don't own a personal copy of. I'm also glad to see a few classic 80's slashers included: APRIL FOOL'S DAY, MY BLOODY VALENTINE and SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. Sounds like the makings of a marathon to me!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kickstart My Bloody, Dripping Heart

Thanks to internet magic-- Twitter and Neil Gaiman, in this case-- I came across this Kickstarter for an anthology of original horror fiction from Ellen Datlow, a highly experienced, award-winning editor in the horror/fantasy genres. If, like me, you appreciate short horror fiction and support the contributing writers having a chance to write and set free stories that maybe didn't fit in elsewhere, please back it! More amazing short and shivery tales let loose in the world = Yes, Please!

There are three days to go and they need just under $5,000 to be funded! Spread the word!

Fearful Symmetries: An Anthology of Horror

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sweet Seduction

This book from one of our displays has been taunting me all week, begging to come home with me. It's full of skulls. I have given in and will report back.

This is also why I can't be exposed to adoptable animals. They are too hard to resist. And are full of skulls.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pursuit of Uncoolness

(I got into this line of thinking after reading All the Real (Geek) Girls by Sarah Kuhn, which I highly recommend checking out for yourself. It and my reaction below are mainly not about dead things, however.)

(Me with my award-winning story, in the back row, next to the principal.)

If you went back and asked ten-year-old me whether I was a geek, I'd probably have looked at you as if you'd grown a second head and said, "I dunno, maybe?" If you then told me that in twenty years people would be fighting over who was a "true geek" and who was a "fake geek," I probably would have replied, "What? Why??" Then I would have realized you were from the future and freaked, exploding with joy and endless questions about your time travel experience.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Favorite Video Game Ghosts

Growing up in a video gaming household, I've played on a lot of different platforms and consoles, all the way from the Atari and DOS games through my current blood red Resident Evil 5 edition Xbox 360 Elite with Jasper chipset. While I am often drawn to horror games and have played many over the years, today I'm going to talk about five favorite video game ghosts that generally, have not been part of a proper horror game (the Seventh Guest is my only exception)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Granary Burying Ground (Boston, MA) - Part 1

My next set of Boston gravestone photos is from the Granary Burying Ground. I have so many great images from this, and following cemeteries that I'll have to split them up. There are also many beautiful examples of some of the symbols I've already discussed, which I'd love to include but would be awfully repetitive. As much as I love seeing them over and over... only I would love seeing them over and over again.