Tuesday, November 7, 2017

STRANGER THINGS 2: Part 2


We talk about the second half of Stranger Things' Second Season and wrap up our thoughts on the series so far.


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Friday, November 3, 2017

STRANGER THINGS 2: Part 1


We talk about the first half (episodes 1-4) of Stranger Things 2 from Netflix-- and get into nostalgia, class consciousness in the 80s, and whether binge-watching is killing the culture.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

INTERVIEW: Haunters director Jon Schnitzer


Jon Schnitzer is the director of HAUNTERS: The Art of the Scare, which presents two competing visions for haunted attractions in america—the traditional boo-scare style of haunt as seen in the guise of Shar Meyer, legendary scare actress, and haunt designer Donald Julson, as opposed to the new “extreme” vision exemplified by Russ McKamey of the McKamey Manor in San Diego.


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Monday, October 23, 2017

INTERVIEW: Grady Hendrix, author of "Paperbacks from Hell"


Grady Hendrix's new book is a non-fiction chronicle of the boom in horror paperback publishing in the Seventies and Eighties that followed in the wake of Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, and Thomas Tryon's The Other. It's called Paperbacks from Hell.


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HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE


This week we look at the brand new documentary HAUNTERS: The Art of the Scare directed by Jon Schnitzer, about the growing rift between people who continue to put on traditional "boo-scare" haunted attractions and newer "extreme" experiences."


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Halloween III


We discuss the strange third film in the Halloween series, this time a non-slasher Halloween story about an evil warlock industrialist out to use technology, witchcraft and Halloween masks to conduct a massive human sacrifice.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

INTERVIEW: Michael Okon, "Monsterland"


Michael Okon is the author of the new book MONSTERLAND from Wordfire Press, about a theme park called "the scariest place on Earth." With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

INTERVIEW: Monsterland Author Michael


Michael Okon is the author of the new book MONSTERLAND from Wordfire Press, about a theme park called "the scariest place on Earth." With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?


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Monday, October 9, 2017

JACOB'S LADDER: The Flatliners Retrospective BONUS Episode


We take a look at a the 1990 psychological horror film Jacob's Ladder, in which Tim Robbins plays a Vietnam vet dealing with the trauma of his wartime experiences and increasingly unnerving visions of demons in New York City.


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Friday, October 6, 2017

FLATLINERS (2017): The Flatliners Retrospective


This week we continue our two-week Flatliners retrospective with the 2017 film Flatliners. Is it worth the trouble of remaking the original? Featuring novelist David Bowles and Destiny 2 writer Adam Foshko.


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Monday, October 2, 2017

Interview: "Dementia 13" (2017) Dir. Richard LeMay


Richard LeMay is the director of Dementia 13, a new gothic horror film coming this month. A vengeful ghost, a mysterious killer, and a family where everyone has a secret converge in one night of terror in this remake of Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film.


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Monday, September 25, 2017

INTERVIEW: Michael Aronovitz, "Alice Walks" Author


Michael Aronovitz is an author of weird fiction. His first collection titled "Seven Deadly Pleasures" came out through Hippocampus Press in 2009, and about two years ago we talked about the fantasy horror "The Witch of the Wood," and now he's back with a new release from CEMETERY DANCE Publications. He's a Professor of English and the English Department Chair for a Philadelphia charter school. He lives with his wife Kim and their son Max in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. The new book is called Alice Walks from Cemetery Dance Publications.


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FLATLINERS (1990): The Flatliners Retrospective


We kick off a retrospective on a series no one knew would be a series with Flatliners, the 1990 science fiction psychological horror film directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon. The film is about five medical students who attempt to find out what lies beyond death by conducting clandestine experiments that produce near-death experiences. Special guests Destiny 2 writer Adam Foshko and prolific writer David Bowles join.


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Monday, September 18, 2017

INTERVIEW: "The Houses That October Built 2" Co-Creators Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews


Filmmakers Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, co-writers of HOUSES THAT OCTOBER BUILT 2. Bobby is director and Zack is the producer, and they also make up a significant piece of the cast in this second movie about Halloween-loving friends who go looking for the country's best haunted houses, only to find trouble.


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Sunday, September 17, 2017

ROSE RED: The Stephen King Retrospective


This week we continue our Stephen King retrospective with a look at the 2002 Miniseries Rose Red. Special guest Jamie Bahr of Danger*Cakes, with music from Danger*Cakes new horror-themed song Love Bites!


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975) (Encore Presentation): The Sexy Robot Spouses Retrospective (


We take a look at a movie that has become part of our vocabulary: the original STEPFORD WIVES.

NOTE: This is an archive episode and may contain ambient noise.


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

INTERVIEW: Paul Tremblay, "Disappearance at Devil's Rock"


We chat with Paul Tremblay, whose new book Disappearance at Devil's Rock (William Morrow) is a harrowing story of the disappearance of a young boy and the possibly supernatural phenomena that occur in the aftermath. We talk about the book and the dangers (real and imagined) of childhood.


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INTERVIEW: Rifftrax' Bridget Nelson & Mary Jo Pehl on "Deadly Instincts"


Julia and Jason chat with the comedy duo of Bridget Nelson & Mary Jo Pehl, whose new Rifftrax commentary is for the film Deadly Instincts, a bizarre college-alien-invasion film.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

INTERVIEW: "Dr. Strange" writer C. Robert Cargill on "Sea of Rust" (Harper-Voyager)


We talk to C. Robert Cargill, AKA Aint it Cool News' Massawyrm. He is a co-writer of the horror films Sinister and Sinister 2, and Marvel's Dr. Strange. His new book is "Sea of Rust," in which 30 years after the destruction of humanity by robots, a scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by the war in this post-apocalyptic “robot western.”


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Monday, September 11, 2017

IT (2017): The Stephen King Retrospective


We discuss the 2017 film "IT," one of the most anticipated Stephen King films ever.


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Sunday, September 10, 2017

INTERVIEW: Patrick Hemstreet, "The God Peak"


A chat with Patrick Hemstreet, the author of the new Harper Voyager book The God Peak, a thriller in which humanity's fate hinges on the actions of test subjects named the Alphas. It's an explosive tale of how expanding the mind to godlike levels can lead to our ultimate annihilation.


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IT (The Miniseries): Part 2 (Encore Presentation)


We discuss Part 2 of the classic miniseries IT. (Early episode-- there may be ambient noise!)


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IT (The Miniseries): Part 1 (Encore Presentation)


We discuss Part 1 of the miniseries that influenced everyone's fear of Tim Curry in clown makeup: IT. (Note: Early Episode; there may be ambient noise!)


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Sunday, September 3, 2017

CHRISTINE: The Stephen King Retrospective


We kick off our latest Stephen King retrospective with an ode to youth in America and car culture, John Carpenter’s 1983 film based on Stephen King’s novel CHRISTINE.


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roger Moore Defined James Bond, and You Know It's True

Roger Moore was born to play James Bond. I realize we're supposed to caveat that and say: well, not the book Bond. But the produces of the Bond series knew it themselves, considering Moore for role in 1962’s Dr. No. But Moore was too youthful-looking and the role went to an even younger actor,, Sean Connery. When Connery left the series for a second time, Moore was cast and debuted in the role of Bond just eleven years after the first Bond film. And everyone knew this was coming, including Moore, who did skits on tv as James Bond and even an episode of the Saint where the debonair Simon Templar pretended to be James Bond. 

For the Generation born in the late sixties and early seventies, Moore was Bond. The movies became bigger, more expensive, even more cartoonish. It's this last aspect-- the comic double-takes from passers-by when one of bond’s gadgets made an appearance, the overly broad secondary characters, that grates people most today. The quips became sillier and sillier.

At the height of the Cold War, Bond had gone the opposite direction and become an international spectacle. Even the Russians became less obviously the enemy-- in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond joins forces with a kgb agent to stop a terrorist and avoid a war. Octopussy saw the head of the kgb working to stop an overzealous and war-hungry Russian general.

Bond himself became a super-hero, balancing atop trains and suspension bridges and shooting completely concealed snipers out of trees. 

Never mind that Connery had given us some terrible quips and unlikely stunts; Moore gave us a Bond who was resolutely, completely unreal. 

But no one  one else could have done it. Trim in his white dinner suit or often his Navy uniform, Moore knew how to play this role, showing most emotions with the raise of an eyebrow and perfecting a smooth, unflappable voice that rarely varied.

That made the rare moments of Bond humanity all the more powerful, such as when Moore almost doesn't survive a centrifugal force machine in Moonraker, or when angrily kicking an assassin off a cliff in For Your Eyes Only. 

Bond was more than the cold killer of the books-- the film Bond came into its own when it became something different and more reflective of a new and more cosmopolitan world. And the movies were strong-- I'd set For Your Eyes Only against Diamonds Are Forever in a heartbeat. He wasn’t a caretaker of the role-- he held it for twelve years and shaped popular culture. 

Today we note the passing of Roger Moore, dead at the age of 89. He defined James Bond from 1973 to 1985. Those dozen years were immense.

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Young! Captain! Nemo!

We have news. Boy do we have news! Today this item ran in the Publisher's Marketplace announcing my news series YOUNG CAPTAIN NEMO.  About a 12-year-old with a submarine and a calling to adventure on the high seas. I am SO excited about this! My new agent Moe Ferrara handled the deal, selling the book to Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan Books.) More to come!

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Write the scene

Here's some good advice regarding something that I face over and over with books: Write the scene you have to get through. Don't skip it if you know it needs to be there-- just write it. Write it badly if you have to, write it short, write it in bullets and take the bullets out so it looks like paragraphs, write it in dialogue, write it in verse. Write the scene you have to get through and get through it; otherwise you just get stuck at that scene, and you'll come back to the next session and there it will be, waiting-- and you still won't want to write it. Write the scene you have to get through, and then get on to the next scene you do want to write. Write the scene you have to get through now.