[Alan Kelly checks in with a new installment of Hell's Shelves.]
There are several strains of inspiration running through Cathi Unsworth’s goth/noir/horror novel Weirdo – ideas and influences that have been percolating in the dark recesses of the author’s brain for years. Unsworth was inspired by everything from modern day witch-hunts, magic and youth counterculture to teen-on-teen murder, scapegoating and the visceral hatred faced by female transgressors within society.
Weirdo takes its cultish cues from classic folk-horror films of the ’60s and ’70s while evoking the searing Southern Gothic spirit of novelist Harry Crews and even nodding its head at bizarre British sickcom fare such as The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville.
[RM intern/UK import Charlotte Stear strips away the shiny veneer of British TV comedy and finds -- well, what the hell do you think she finds? Horror, of course.]
Since moving across the pond to these lovely Canadian shores, I’ve been asked many times what films, music and TV shows I like as naturally, these are the essential qualities to judge people on. I’ve realised while listing off all the many brilliant TV shows I love just how many of them are deeply influenced by the horror genre, and when I’m met with blank faces it has become clear what my mission is: to inform every one of you horror-loving fans about some British gems that may not be on your radar. Some of them you may be familiar with but if not, let me whet your appetite.
[Paul Counelis, our resident authority on kid-friendly horror, cranks up the Monster Kid Corner machine for a look at Disney's latest monster show.]
The Disney Channel has taken a lot of (well deserved) grief over their programming in recent years, particularly with their live action shows. With criticism ranging from spoon-fed pablum to flat out crap with little redeeming value, even the staunchest Disney defenders would be hard pressed to find an argument to justify some of that stuff.
Enter FreemantleMedia and their mildly challenging show, My Babysitter’s a Vampire. Originally airing on Télétoon in Canada, the show debuted as a full-length telefilm in October of 2010, fittingly. One thing that the Disney Channel does fairly well is to tie in their franchise shows with Halloween, whether it’s their month long Halloween events or their “Halloween in April” promotion, so the powers that be at Disney aren’t afraid to embrace the spookier side of things.
[Amanda Dyar checks in with her take on the first installment of Telltale Games' Walking Dead video game series.]
In case you’ve been too busy building your zombie apocalypse fallout shelter, AMC’s The Walking Dead has become one of television’s biggest shows over the last two years by offering a different take on the already popular comic book series of the same name. The Walking Dead follows the story of a group of survivors fighting their way through a zombie outbreak under the leadership of Sheriff Rick Grimes. Now, Telltale Games is releasing an episodic horror adventure game that will act as a prequel to the comic series. The first installment, subtitled A New Day, was released on April 27; a new episode of the five-part series will be released each month through August.
[Mikhael Agafonov checks in with a report about Moscow's second annual horror award show.]
Russia has yet to produce a remarkable horror movie (although some may argue Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch earns the title), but it’s certainly no stranger when it comes to paying respect to the genre. Horror movies usually earn good box office returns in Russia, so it’s only natural that 2011 saw the organization of Moscow’s first horror award show. This January award show (now titled Kaplya, which means ‘The Blob’) returned for its second edition with more nominations, more attractions and more international guests, despite the freezing weather.
[Scary things happen when Rue Morgue contributors Mike D and Aaron Von Lupton collaborate. Take, for instance, their Q&A with indie comics creator Jeff McComsey...]
Picture the square-jawed heroes of WWII-themed comics like G.I. Combat or Fightin’ Army. Now imagine them transported to the zombie-plagued Romeroverse and you have a pretty good idea of the glorious tales of honour, duty, sacrifice, head shots, and flesh-chomping delivered in FUBAR, a series of comic anthologies and the brainchild of one Jeff McComsey.
[Rondal Scott checks in with a Sinister Seven interview with artist Kyle Crawford, head fiend of Electric Zombie.]
There are a select few reasons to be thankful for the explosion of horror-related films into the mainstream culture (Twilight is not among them), and clothing has to be at the top of my list. Sure, there were plenty of black-tee fashion statements before Hollywood’s horror boom, but only in the past decade have fans of the genre had such a wide selection of quality shirts to choose from. In fact, several clothing brands have risen from the bloody mist of Hollywood’s ritualistic feeding frenzy. Among those, Kyle Crawford’s Electric Zombie stands out as one of the best.
[Paul Counelis checks in with a new installment of Monster Kid Corner.]
My ten-year-old daughter is obsessed with Halloween, which in turn has extended to “kid-friendly” horror TV shows and movies. She doesn’t want anything too terrifying, mind you – just a creepy, well-decorated set and some mildly spooky supernatural hijinks. Because of this, I wasn’t surprised when she and her similarly scare-hungry big sister were soooo excited about an episode of the new R.L. Stine kid-friendly horror show The Haunting Hour: The Series, airing on the Hub Network. The girls insisted that I watch the two-part episode, titled “Scary Mary,” so I did. I was extremely surprised by the content of said episode.
The mad scientists who stage the Terror in the Aisles and Music Box Massacre events in Chicago are back with Sci-Fi Spectacular 6, a fourteen-hour marathon of cult science-fiction and horror flicks that culminates in the Midwest premiere of the new horror anthology film The Theatre Bizarre. Besides the mind-blowing, bladder-punishing lineup of man-eating plants, rogue comets and space monsters, the April 28 event will also feature vintage trailers, vendor tables and an appearance by Night of the Comet star Kelli Maroney. Hit the jump for all the details you need. If you’ve never been to one of these events, trust me — it’s worth the drive. And how about that killer Mitch O’Connell poster?