...While our dull yellow eyes may no longer be shocked or horrified by James Whale’s Frankenstein, we are still thrilled by it. Perhaps it is the gothic-expressionism in its scenes alternating between light and dark, or perhaps it is the funereal sounds, the crackling electrical arcs from infernal machines, and the thundering, stormy nights that keep us coming back for more.
It really goes back to my childhood. I was a child in the 1970s, when movies and TV shows from past decades were routinely rerun. I grew up watching the classic comedians on TV, particularly Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello; and I grew up watching a lot of cartoons. Both of those pastimes fed into my love of comic books.
Five dexterous digits with a penchant for murderous mayhem provide the Halloween scare-comedy hijinks in Idle Hands. Piling on cliches and nuances from movies like The Hand, Beetle Juice, Scream, and most teen-slacker-slasher romps, Anton has his hands (hand?) full trying to keep from killing everybody in arm's length. He is the kind of kid who lives in the attic, spends all day lounging around and smoking pot, and does not worry when his parents go missing until after a few days go by; he is the perfect plaything for an ancient demon who takes the old adage--idle hands are the devil's playthings--seriously, and enjoys possessing those in need of a helping hand: murderously helpful, yes, but still very motivating for Anton (Devon Sawa).
I don’t know if that was normal or not. Maybe I’m really a freak or a nerd, but I felt more fascination and interest in aliens, John Carpenter, vampires, sea monsters, Dario Argento, white sharks, the Rosswell crash UFO or tentacles finding pretty girls in adult hentai movies than trying to act like an adult, party, and look around for women--or build a real social life. My existence was always spinning around my bedroom reading books, comics and watching thousands of movies or going to the cinema.
Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with books having broad appeal. I know every writer hopes to attain it. But when browsing horror books, I want a broad range of titles to investigate, not just the mainstream ones. And I love non-fiction titles, too. But if you were to judge the current state of horror fiction and non-fiction by just going to a brick and mortar bookstore these days, you would think a handful of authors, and an armful of books is all that's available.
Okay, maybe it is just me, but every time I listen to a Polka Haunt Us song I am reminded of the Song of the New Wine scene in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Anyway, after listening to their pawky tunes (my favorite is Blank Face Goblins), I think you may find a surprise or two here, too. I always thought accordion music was creepy, but now its creepy in a good way.
Artist and author Kevin James Breaux is about to be snatched up by Dark Quest Books (http://www.darkquestbooks.com) for his Fantasy novel Soul Born, making it his first published novel. Before he becomes too famous and it all goes to his head, I thought I would interview him about his horror, his fantasy, and his art.
Paranormal Activity surprisingly frightens more with less scares, as odd as that may sound. With a razor-thin budget, a cast of only four people, and the events taking place entirely in one location--Katie and Micah's home--director Oren Peli's movie is a distillation of simple elements escalating in intensity: footsteps, loud thumps, unintelligible voices, things moving in the dead of night, all with ominous intent.