Monday, October 12, 2015

Halloween Happenings

Things have been busy around here, so I haven’t had a chance to stop by and talk about Halloween as much as I have in years past. It’s still my favorite season, and I’m doing my best to keep up the spooky traditions, watching horror movies, reading horror fiction, etc. Cliché as it sounds, now that I’m an author, I don’t have nearly as much free time as I used to, but I’m working the Halloween stuff in where I can.
   October got off to a great start with the Monsterama Convention where I was a guest. Plenty of Halloween style stuff going on, including a guy in a perfect replica of the suit from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON swimming around in the hotel pool during a pool party, plus the original underwater stuntman from the movie, Rico Browning, was a guest. All that creature stuff made me want to re-watch the movie, which I did when I got home from the con.
   I also got to meet and talk to David J. Skal, author of THE MONSTER SHOW and HOLLYWOOD GOTHIC, two terrific books about Universal monsters and the phenomena they generated. I read GOTHIC several years back but this is a new edition with mew material added. I could have listened to Skal talk all day. He had some great stories and he’s a true ‘monster kid’. Get his books. They’re great.
   Movie-wise, I’ve gotten in viewings of John Carpenter’s THE FOG and the Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper thriller, MURDER BY DECREE. I plan to watch THE DEVIL RIDES OUT with a friend who’s never seen it. Still my favorite Hammer Horror film. I’ve also got tickets for a theater showing of both 1931 versions of DRACULA, the Bela Lugosi version and the Spanish language version that was shot at the same time with different actors. I’ve never seen Drac on the big screen, so this should be a blast.  
   On the reading front, Marvel Comics just released a trade paperback of the collected MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN, and I’ve been reading that, along with selections from Ray Bradbury’s THE OCTOBER COUNTRY. I’m also reading a new collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s letters to Robert Bloch. Acting as a mentor to the future author of PSYCHO, who was a mere lad of 15 when he first wrote to Lovecraft, HPL gives a crash course in writing horror fiction to the budding writer, and in the history of the genre itself. Fascinating stuff. The fact that I got to view the originals of some of these letters this summer while I was in Providence at the John Hay Library, certainly makes it more interesting.
   So anyway, yes, much Halloween happenings going on. Hope you’re having a spooky October as well.  


Paul R. McNamee said...

Grand stuff. Skal provides some very knowledgable commentary tracks for old Hollywood horror movies on DVD.

I haven't watched anything - either movies or old t.v.s shows. Like you - writing. (there are slushpiles closing Oct 31st that I am gunning for.) Once I get past the month midpoint I'll try to watch some stuff.

I've been doing well on the reading front, though. I tore through Brian Keene's THE CAGE. I am working my way through A NIGHT IN LONESOME OCTOBER. Plus, I am pulling stories from various anthologies. Some Chaosium tomes and other sources.

Happy Spooky October!

Charles R. Rutledge said...

And to you, Paul! Sounds like you have some fun reading and watching on the way.