Archive for November, 2013

My picks for Yuletide flicks (despite bad reviews)

Posted in Observations & Musings on November 30, 2013 by Christian

What’s a horror fan to do this time of year? There are no shortage of seasonal horror movies, but it’s a pretty mixed lot–you get a fair amount of straight-to-video dreck mixed with the good stuff.

What do I consider the good stuff? Read on (and in the interest of being fair and balanced, I’ve included negative reviews of all my picks)…

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)

 This story is so ubiquitous, it’s sometimes easy to forget its essentially a ghost story that ends in a graveyard … but it does suffer for its lack of Muppetry.

christmas carol

GREMLINS (1984)

A 1984 summer blockbuster set during the holidays? Crazy. Pretty scary, too–at least according to Bob.

gremlins

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)

Not exactly frightening (unless you count the rhyming and quick talking), but reminiscent of the German expressionism of the silent era, and that’s always good for a rill of gooseflesh.

nightmare before christmas

THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S “NIGHT OF THE MEEK” (1960)

Art Carney stars in The Twilight Zone’s lone offering of holiday fare (unless you count “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”–which is also excellent).

night of the meek

THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)

Bar none, the most terrifying holiday tale ever screened. This isn’t about a trip to the North Pole … it’s about a trip to the Uncanny Valley.

polar express

In this, the most jolly time of the year, enjoy yourself some real holiday horror. Or … don’t enjoy it. Whatever. But be sure to leave a review. Like these.

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Buy BLEED, fight cancer, get free stories

Posted in News on November 29, 2013 by Christian
Support the National Children's Cancer Society with BLEED.

Support the National Children’s Cancer Society with BLEED.

The clock is ticking on Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Black Friday sale.

Buy the paperback edition of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE on the publisher’s library page, and you’ll get a one-year subscription to their One-Night Stands stories–free!

That’s a short story every month for one year (value: $10).

That’s a free story, once a month, from authors like: Jacob Haddon, W.P. Johnson, Jessica McHugh, Tim Waggoner, and Mark C. Scioneaux as a reward for supporting The National Children’s Cancer Society.

Yep, buy BLEED, and you’re doing a real solid, not to mention getting the following fine stories, poems, and essays:

Don’t snooze on this one. You can always get BLEED later, but once Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Black Friday sale is over, you’ll have to buy that subscription to the One-Night Stands stories, and why should you buy a dozen terrifying tales when you can get them for free?

MISERIA’S CHORALE now available at Amazon.com

Posted in News on November 26, 2013 by Christian
MISERIA'S CHORALE, now available at Amazon.com.

MISERIA’S CHORALE, now available at Amazon.com.

MISERIA’S CHORALE, featuring my short story, “Becoming the Beast” is now available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, MISERIA’S CHORALE gathers together award-winners, bestsellers, veterans, and exciting new stars in one mammoth anthology that represents a broad definition of horror, taking readers on a journey to unspeakable realms of nightmarish self-discovery.

Edited by David Nell, MISERIA’S CHORALE is a truly international anthology, featuring talent from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. In this anthology from Forgotten Tomb Press, you’ll enjoy 48 of the world’s most frightening and unique voices in modern horror:

Anthologies are a perfect way to introduce yourself to some new writers. And with the holiday shopping season right around the corner, they’re a perfect way to introduce your friends and family to new writers, too.

Buy A FEAST OF FRIGHTS today for 99¢

Posted in News on November 26, 2013 by Christian
A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, available at Amazon.com.

Today only, buy the Kindle edition of A FEAST OF FRIGHTS for less than a buck.

Today is the last day to buy the Kindle edition of A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, featuring my short story, “Clawed Sod”, for just 99¢.

Writing for the British Fantasy Society, Rebekah Lunt says the Horror Zine anthology is an “impressive mix” that “would make a great set of reads for the commuting horror-fan.”

In her review for Hellnotes, Sheila M. Merritt says A FEAST OF FRIGHTS provides “an array of distinctive flavors guaranteed to please a discerning palate. The short stories can be savored with gusto; and the interviews, poetry, essays, and artwork are indeed tasty.”

The paperback edition is also on sale today only, bringing you the following terrifying tales for less than $15:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS (The Horror Zine Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.

5 horrifying flicks for Thanksgiving

Posted in Observations & Musings on November 25, 2013 by Christian

This Thursday is Thanksgiving–my favorite holiday. Too bad it’s swallowed up by Halloween and Christmas. People see it as the kickoff to a holiday shopping orgy, or an excuse to watch football, midweek, in the middle of the day.

But it’s supposed to be a day we remember what we’re thankful for, and if you’re thankful for horror, then you should watch a couple of the following movies as we celebrate the most gustatory holiday of the year:

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980)

“They eat and they are eaten!”

A missing documentary crew’s film footage surfaces and explains their disappearance in the most graphic way imaginable. Watch this with the vegetarians in your family and they won’t think you eating a drumstick is really all that bad by comparison.

THE STUFF (1985)

“Are you eating it … or is it eating you?”

Remember when frozen yogurt was everywhere? So does this movie, made at the height of the craze. And get a load of this star power: Michael Moriarty (LAW & ORDER), Paul Sorvino (GOODFELLAS), Danny Aiello (DO THE RIGHT THING), and Garrett Morris (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE). How can you go wrong?

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

“I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

With all due respect to Mads Mikkelson and Brian Cox, it was Anthony Hopkins’ performance in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS that turned a run-of-the-mill sociopathic epicure into one of the greatest movie villains of all time. He will always be who people picture when they think of Hannibal the Cannibal.

FEED (2005)

“Can you stomach it?”

You think you’ve seen everything the internet has to offer? No, I’m not asking you to prove it, but there may be a dark, cob-webbed corner somewhere that offers the chilling horror of FEED, in which a man brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘cam girl’ as he overfeeds women on a live internet stream.

BITTER FEAST (2010)

“As for the food? One word: ‘vomitous’.”

From the looks of it, Joshua Leondard (Josh! from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) survived his stay in the Maryland woods with all his teeth intact, but his character in BITTER FEAST, a popular food blogger, may not survive his encounter with a disgruntled chef.

Thanksgiving doesn’t get a month, like Halloween and Christmas do. It gets one day. One measly day for pigskin and turkey. But you horror fans out there, you might want to save a few hours this Thursday for a movie, but maybe wait until Grandma goes home first.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

Final MISERIA’S CHORALE cover nearly complete

Posted in News on November 25, 2013 by Christian

MISERIA’S CHORALE, edited by David Nell, is nearly complete, and so is the cover art–front and back. My story, “Becoming the Beast”, will feature when the international horror anthology is released, as you can see from the following:

MISERIA'S CHORALE, coming soon from Forgotten Tomb Press.

Click the cover image to enlarge for better viewing.

Nell has included a diversity of voices in the upcoming Forgotten Tomb Press title, boasting authors from countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, South Africa, the Philippines, and Australia.

Here is a look at the finalized table of contents:

Forgotten Tomb Press will release the anthology soon in eBook and paperback formats via Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com, Smashwords.com, and other select outlets.

BLEED is a “powerful anthology”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on November 24, 2013 by Christian

Heather Landry has written a review for The Horror Zine of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE, featuring my short story, “The Funeral Portrait”, which Landry says demonstrates “the extraordinary adaptability and resilience of children in the midst of horror”:

BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE, now available at Amazon.com.

BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE, now available at Amazon.com.

Recently I had the pleasure of reading BLEED, an anthology created to raise money for the National Children’s Cancer Society. Most of this anthology is horror, but there are also notable science fiction and fantasy pieces as well as nonfiction essays. Many, but not all, of these stories involve cancer either explicitly or tangentially. The resulting diversity of themes and genres from a total of 41 different authors creates a rich and varied reading experience.

BLEED hits the ground running with “True Horror”, a real-life account of the anthology editor’s experiences with her son’s battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Reading through he essay with my 18-month-old boy playing in the tub next to me, I had to pause twice because crying was preventing me from seeing the words properly. Certainly, it drove home the purpose of this book immediately and on a very visceral level…

Read the entire review here. And if you haven’t read BLEED yet, you’re missing the following terrifying tales (as well as “True Horror”, Lori Michelle’s essay referenced in the excerpt above.):

So, pick up a copy of BLEED because it’s a great cause, but enjoy it for the stories, each guaranteed to creep under your skin.