Creature-Feature Conversations: Screamers

Creature-Feature Conversations is an ongoing series of informal discussions about obscure, unique, or cult horror films.

Orrin Grey is a skeleton who likes monsters, movies, and especially monster movies. His stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, and been collected in Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings and Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts. From 2011 until 2016 he wrote a monthly column on vintage horror cinema for Innsmouth Free Press that has now been collected into Monsters from the Vault. You can visit him online at orringrey.com.

Jonathan Raab is the author of The Lesser Swamp Gods of Little Dixie, The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, and Flight of the Blue Falcon. His novella Cold Call will be featured in Turn to Ash’s Open Lines anthology. You can read his short story “The Secret Goatman Spookshow” in the Lovecraft eZine.

Screamers (dir. Christian Duguay, 1995)

JR: I knew almost nothing about this movie going in, save it involves killer robots and is a Philip K. Dick adaptation. A co-worker shoved it in my hands and told me I’d like it, and he wasn’t wrong. It’s a movie that’s better than it deserves to be, mostly due to what I assume is the steady script by genre favorite Dan O’Bannon. I figured this would be a middling creature-feature about rampaging mechanical monsters. And while it is certainly that, there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

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Things that we went and did in 2016

We had a great year in 2016.

Creeping Waves by Matthew M. Bartlett

cover_204-16_originalMy favorite book of the past several years, horror or no. Yeah, yeah, I’m biased and all, but it’s really, really good. A tableau of nightmare imagery; a mix of pulpy decadence and existential terror; gleeful, mean-spirited stories of a witch-cult spreading its madness through a Satanic radio station. Bartlett manages to impress thrill-seekers and literary folks alike.

But don’t take my word for it:

“Bartlett is a visionary. He actually reinvented the wheel here, with his idea of a collection.  His stories are woven into intricate quilts of passage and prose, stitched through catalog entry or radio editorial, want ads and personal  ads. Black and white pictures. You get an entire world between the covers.  It’s not a pretty one.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
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Spooklights #10 J.R. Hamantaschen

J.R. artworkWe spoke with J.R. Hamantaschen, the author of You Shall Never Know Security and With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer, about why he writes and the stories behind his books.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

J.R. also co-hosts The Horror of Nachos and Hamantaschen, a podcast that is at least twice as zany, irreverent, and full of whimsy as Spooklights.

The Lesser Swamp Gods of Little Dixie

Who Killed Orrin Grey?

swamps_godsI’m pretty new to the notion of being a big enough deal that anyone would even think that a blurb from me would go any distance toward helping sell their book (and probably still a long ways off from that actually being true). The first book I was ever asked to provide a blurb for was an odd choice, a fascinating nonfiction tome on the confluence of Lovecraft and actual occult practices called, reasonably enough, H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition. I liked it, and said so, though I imagine that my poor blurb was overshadowed by praise from such luminaries as Cherie Priest, Nick Mamatas, and Richard Gavin, to name a few.

More recently, Jonathan Raab, publisher and proprietor of Muzzleland Press and my co-conspirator on the occasional CreatureFeatureConversation, asked me to read his latest novella, The Lesser Swamp Gods of Little Dixie

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