Bruce Campbell in Iowa City

An Evening of Bruce Campbell in Iowa City, Iowa (a review of sorts)
by Michael McCarty

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 7:00 pm
The Englert Theatre, Iowa City, Iowa

This long strange adventure began, when my friend Brian Kronfeld told me, “Me, Quinn (Hernandez) and Izzy (Sutton) are going to go up to Iowa City and see Bruce Campbell. Are you?”

I really didn’t know anything about this and said, “I really don’t know anything about this.”

Then Brian said, “I’ll send you a link….”

I didn’t think there was really a chance, that myself and my lovely wife Cindy could see Bruce Campbell. You see, The Prairie Lights Bookstore and The Englert Theatre did the same thing a couple of years ago, when Stephen King came up there. The Prairie Lights provided the audience members with a signed edition of the book that Mr. King wrote and the theatre was the place he’d appear for a lecture.

Stephen King sold the 700 seat Englert Theatre out very quickly.

So when I clicked on the link and found it wasn’t sold out. That is when myself and my wife, Cindy got excited. We purchased two tickets as fast as the internet would let us.

(The promo for If Chins Could Kill, Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way and Hail To The Chins author and horror icon Bruce Campbell).

It was a strange time for me in my life, it was just after leaving my job at Orkin for about a year and a half and starting a new job with Terminix which I was returning back to.

My wife and I went to Zombie Burger in Iowa City, Iowa … which wasn’t that far away from The Englert Theatre.

(Zombie Burger, Iowa City, Iowa – Photo by Michael McCarty)

Cindy & I really enjoyed Zombie Burger … the food was good and the restaurant is all decked out everything Zombie….

(Cindy McCarty at Zombie Burger – Photo by Michael McCarty)

(Horror author Michael McCarty with a killer milkshake – Photo by Cindy McCarty)

So after feasting on burgers and milkshakes we are fueled up to walk the few blocks over to The Englert Theatre to stand in line in the rain with 700 other Bruce Campbell fans.

After about 30 minutes, we finally get into The Englert Theatre, which is very lovely. This theater has been around since the Vaudeville days and reminds me a lot of The Capitol Theatre in Downtown Davenport, where of course, we picked up an autographed copy of the book Hail To The Chins.

Bruce Campbell goes on stage shortly after 7pm….. he dressed in a plaid jacket, bow tie and was wearing glasses. Hey, I can’t say anything, I dressed in similar outfits myself.

The audience is going, “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…”

Bruce takes the microphone and says, “When you go ‘Bruce,’ it sounds like your booing.” (The audience laughter fills The Englert Theatre. Then Bruce adds, “I should leave now, it couldn’t get any better than this.”

Right from the get go, you see that Bruce has stand-up comedy timing. I feel it has always been inside of Bruce Campbell and this is why it makes him so popular with his movies and books. That is my two cents worth and you can keep the change….

(The gang’s all here: Cindy McCarty, Quinn Hernandez, Brian Kronfeld and Izzy Sutton — Photo by Michael McCarty)

He talks about the book and his other books he has written (If Chins Could Kill and Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way). He talked about the behind the scenes story and how it relates to a chapter in his new book and then he reads the chapter.

Everything he talked about was fascinating. One of the things I thought was cool: “Thank you for your purchase of ‘Hail To The Chins.’ The book just hit number 8 on the New York Times bestsellers list because of your support….”

After that, he answers questions from the audience…

I tried to write as much Q&A in my notebook in the dark … this is the best I could do. Sorry if I misquoted anyone if I don’t get everything 100% correct:

(The golden ticket to get to the sold out Bruce Campbell show in Iowa City)

AUDIENCE: “You’ve done some voice over work for video games. Do you have any interesting stories about that?”

BRUCE: “Any interesting stories about sitting in the studio with a microphone saying things like:

‘Go right, ahead.’
‘Go left, ahead.’
‘Stop here….”
For four days.
Now is that exciting???? To some, maybe. For me, I just wanted to hang myself by the end of it.”

AUDIENCE: “Any tips for catching a chainsaw with one hand?”

BRUCE: “Yes, do less Mescaline.”

(Photo of Bruce Campbell by Michael McCarty)

AUDIENCE: “What was that orb all about in THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR. The show never explained that.”

BRUCE: “We got canceled, we never had time.”

AUDIENCE: “After SPIDER-MAN, is there any Marvel film you’d like to do?”

BRUCE: “After naming SPIDER-MAN? Let’s review the films, sir:

In the first SPIDER-MAN movie, Peter Parker wants to enter the ring as ‘The Human Spider.’ As the Ring Master announcer I tell him, that name sucks and rename him Spider-Man. If the ring master wasn’t in that movie, this billion dollar franchise would be called ‘The Human Spider.’

In SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker wants to see Mary Jane (Watson) because she’s in a play on Broadway.
(Imitating Peter Parker running: ‘I’m coming to see her after saving the world,’).
And I’m the snotty usher. I won’t let him in. Why? Because he’s late, it would spoil the illusion for the play.
Technically, I’m the only character that has defeated Spider-Man. (Loud round of applause).

In SPIDER-MAN 3, Peter Parker comes to me for help because I’m the Maitre D’. When does a super hero come to a mortal for help? Not very often.
Do I help him?
No – because he was such a D-Bag to me in the first two movies.
I hope that answers your question.”

AUDIENCE: “Is there any way to bring Ash into Jason or Freddy’s world?”

BRUCE: “No and No and No!!!
It was a creatively bankrupt idea anyway.”

AUDIENCE: “When is ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD Season Three going to air?”

BRUCE: “When you get the memo, give me a call. Starz isn’t going to play it until February (2018). There are a lot of cogs. Starz was just purchased by Lionsgate. Starz is now a Lionsgate company. Our bosses have bosses. We’re in the middle of that dance. We all have to sing for our supper, sir. So we’re busy singing.
Season 3, I’d have to say, you will pick your jaw up off the ground after watching it.
To all the people out there who say, “Where’s Starz? Where can I get it at?” Download the free app, 30 day free trial. Watch the entire two seasons in about two and half hours. Then delete the app. I’m sorry if I couldn’t make it any easier or cheaper for you.”

After the Q&A, Bruce was signing the audience members books or movies (1 each). Cindy had Bruce sign IF CHINS COULD KILL and he said, “The predecessor,” with a wink.
I had the graphic novel that he co-wrote called THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN. Bruce said, “A literary classic.”
I gave Bruce autographed copies of my books: MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 INTERVIEWS WITH HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS and CONVERSATIONS WITH KRESKIN and said: “If you like these interviews, give me a call and I’d do an interview with you.” I never received a call back.

(My wife Cindy McCarty and Bruce Campbell … if you look carefully, on the floor is copies of my books: MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 INTERVIEWS WITH HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS by Michael McCarty and CONVERSATIONS WITH KRESKIN by The Amazing Kreskin and Michael McCarty
– Photo by Michael McCarty)

If you like this blog or my other blogs, please consider purchasing:
MODERN MYTHMAKERS … right now, the ebook and nook are only .99 cents. Links are below:


Kindle:
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2cpr637

Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/modern-mythmakers-michael-mccarty/1008846244?ean=2940153349589

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Fiends & The 50th Anniversary The Beatles Sgt. Pepper Album

50th Anniversary The Beatles Sgt. Pepper Album & Horror
By Michael McCarty

Because it is the 50th Anniversary of the release of The Beatles revelatory album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
By The Beatles

Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon to pay homage or do a parody of the most famous cover artwork in rock n roll. I, Michael McCarty would not stoop that low, just to get a sale of one of my books…

Okay, actually I did… several years ago with my short story collection:

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS
By Michael McCarty

Published by Wildside Press

My very good friend and frequent collaborator Mark McLaughlin did an excellent job reproducing The Fab Four as Monsters: Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula and the fifth member … me.
(The skeletons in the background Mr. Bones & Mrs. Bones are also on the cover of DARK DUETS, which Mark also did the cover for)

:

A Little Help From My Fiends by Michael McCarty

The short story collection is one of my favorites too. There are two Beatle themed stories in the book: “When We Was Flab” (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) and “Sgt. Pager & The Killer Robot Band” (co-written with my wife, Cindy McCarty).

The story “The Substitute” inspired THE BLOODLESS series (that trilogy of novels, co-written with Jody R. LaGreca).

There are 20 stories in A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS and all of them are excellent, written when I was at the top of my game writing shorter fiction.

When the book first came out, Fangoria website, did an online interview with me and the sales soared. Thank you Fangoria.

I even received this nice review:

“Michael McCarty’s ‘A Little Help from My Fiends’ truly shines. His collection of short stories is a lovingly created, watered with blood and harvested at the peak of ripeness kind of work. The approach to the collection is so fresh that — were it a steak — you would note still a bit of warmth and even a faint pulse. You see, each story in this collection is co-authored with another excellent storyteller. Mark McLaughlin, Terrie Leigh Relf and Dave Miller, to name a few, make appearances. Each short story is prefaced with a few words that identify the co-author, point to an interesting tidbit of the tale’s creation, and never fail to show McCarty lauding the co-author while remaining modestly in the background.” — Sylvia Cochran

Over the years, the book has ended up in some strange places:

and

Scary … you will buy A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS … LOL

and

and

Links to my other Beatles Blog:
Hello Goodbye Interview With Alistair Taylor

Sir Paul McCartney and Alistair Taylor back stage

https://monstermikeyaauthor.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/hello-goodbye-alistair-taylor-reflects-on-life-with-the-fab-four/

Peace and Love!!! I hope you enjoyed this blog!!!

So please check out this quirky collection A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS…. links below

(Kindle:) https://www.amazon.com/Little-Help-My-Fiends-ebook/dp/B00NCCC6ZU/ref=la_B001JS0L06_1_52

(Nook:) https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/with-a-little-help-from-my-fiends-michael-mccarty/1120321683?ean=9781479403677

(Amazon Trade Paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Little-Help-My-Fiends/dp/1434442470/ref=la_B001JS0L06_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403183662&sr=1-8

(Barnes & Noble Trade Paperback) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-help-from-my-fiends-michael-mccarty/1101561861?ean=9781434442475

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R.I.P. George Romero

George Romero and friends … or is that fiends?

George A. Romero (February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017) was an American-Canadian filmmaker, writer and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968), which is often considered a progenitor of the fictional zombie of modern culture. Other films in the series include Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survivial of the Dead (2009). Aside from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000). He also created and executive produced the television series Tales from the Darkside (1983–1988).

Romero is often noted as an influential pioneer of the horror film genre, and has been called an “icon” and the “Father of the Zombie Film

The Day I ALMOST interviewed George Romero
By Michael McCarty

I came very, very close to interviewing George Romero. I was scheduled to talk to him, but his PR guy, mixed up the times (he was on West Coast time and I’m on Central time)…. so all I got was George calling my answering machine saying, “Mike… are you there?”

(I included the interviews below the MODERN MYTHMAKERS links)

However, Mark McLaughlin and I did interview several of the cast and crew of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for my mega book of interviews:

MODERN MYTHMAKERS:

Kyra Schon who played the little girl in the movie

John Russo who co-written the script and produced the movie

Russell Streiner who played Johnny in the movie and also produced it

All these interviews and more are in MODERN MYTHMAKERS … right now, the ebook and nook are only .99 cents. Links are below:


Kindle:
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2cpr637

Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/modern-mythmakers-michael-mccarty/1008846244?ean=2940153349589

GEORGE ROMERO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE BRUTARIAN
By Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin

1) How much of the zombie behavior in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was mapped out in advance? Did you establish what behaviors zombies could or could not do?

2) In LAND OF THE DEAD the zombie Big Daddy, among others, exhibits learned behavior – for example – they get used to fireworks. Is that showing the zombies are learning, evolving or doing something else?

3) Tell us about the souped-up Dead Reckoning truck. Where did you get the idea for that?

4) There are no CGI effects in LAND OF THE DEAD. Was this an artistic or financial decision?

5) The world of LAND OF THE DEAD shows a big divide between the privileged and the downtrodden – the haves and the have nots. Do you think the United States is leading toward that direction?

6) DAY OF THE DEAD came out in 1985 and LAND OF THE DEAD came out in 2005. Why did it take two decades to do the fourth installment of the living dead series?

7) The zombies in your living dead series are of the slow moving variety. The zombies in 28 DAYS LATER, the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and RESIDENT EVIL are much more quicker. Any thoughts on why those other zombies operate in a faster pace?

8) What was it like to work with Dennis Hopper? Was he a fan of your zombie movies? Dennis is very conservative, while your more liberal. Any political debates on the set?

9) With each successive living dead movie, the female roles seem more active and determined. Was that a conscious decision, or just the way it worked out?

10) These days, low-budget, direct-to-video zombie movies are popping up like mushrooms in a forest after a rainstorm. Does that help or hurt sales and the reputation of your living dead movies?

11) Some of the low-budget zombies pay homage – or actually lift elements from your living dead movies. How do you feel about that – flattered or frustrated?

12) Many of your movies have had run-in with the ratings board, the MPAA. Are they doing their job or protecting the public or are they stifling your artistry?

13) What is the symbolic significance of the featureless white mask in BRUISER?

14) The ending of MARTIN seems to cry out for a follow up. Were you ever tempted to do a sequel?

15) Hollywood remade DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD and is remaking THE CRAZIES. Do you think a remake of MARTIN will take place? Would you dive that project a thumbs-up?

16) Tom Savini was supposed to do the special effects for the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD film, but he was drafted and went to Vietnam. How would the movie been different if he’d done the special effects?

17) MONKEYSHINES was your only movie with an animal main character. How’d you like working with a monkey? How well did the monkey take directions?

18) What was your favorite story in CREEPSHOWS?

19) You’ve directed movies based on Stephen Kings’ works, like CREEPSHOW and THE DARK HALF. Are there any other Stephen King stories or novels you’d like to turn into a movie?

20) Last words?

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Andy Warhol Lives in New Vampire Novel

IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – Quad-Cities author Michael McCarty and his collaborator, New York author Jody LaGreca, have finished their Bloodless trilogy of vampire novels by featuring avant-garde artist Andy Warhol as a character in the final book.

(Photos of Jody LaGreca & Michael McCarty)

McCarty will be selling and autographing all three Bloodless novels at the Quad Cities Planet Comic & Arts Convention at the Holiday Inn in Rock Island, Illinois 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 29.

“The three Bloodless novels – Bloodless, Bloodlust, and the new one, Bloodline – all tell the tale of a 100-year-old vampire,” said McCarty. “Since he’s been around for so long, Jody and I thought the vampire would have encountered famous people and events. In Bloodless, the vampire survives both the sinking of the Lusitania and the explosion of the Hindenburg. In Bloodlust, we learn about the factors that led to Marilyn Monroe’s untimely demise. In Bloodline, eccentric artist Andy Warhol befriends the vampire.” Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline are published by Simon & Schuster as ebooks and as trade paperbacks by CreateSpace.

Last year, McCarty released a different vampire collaboration, Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales, with co-author Mark McLaughlin, with whom McCarty also co-wrote the novel, Monster Behind The Wheel. “The public’s fascination with vampire fiction has endured because vampires represent a lifestyle of fantasy-fulfillment,” McLaughlin said. “Vampire characters ignore society’s rules – and from time to time, all people wish they could do that. Vampire stories present a harmless and entertaining vicarious experience.”

LaGreca noted that years ago, she spent her leisure time at the same nightclub as Andy Warhol. “I used to go to Max’s Kansas City in New York City, where Andy Warhol hung out,” she said. “I could have easily met him back in the day, since we frequently crossed paths at Max’s and were often face to face. Back then, I used to spend my summers tanning on the beach, so I thought Warhol was shockingly pale and living on the fringe. As an artist, he was ahead of his time and beyond amazing.”

(All three ebooks: Bloodless, Bloodlust & Bloodline)

Like McCarty, the cover model for Bloodline is also from the Quad Cities – actress and comedian Nikki Gillette. “When I worked at Augustana College,” Mr. McCarty said, “my wife Cindy and I knew Nikki. I thought it would be cool to have Nikki be on a horror book cover. I told Nikki, she’s both a cover girl and a cover ghoul.”

(The original Bloodline cover and cover for the ebook)

Links to buy the book:

Amazon (trade paperback & ebook)

Barnes & Noble (trade paperback & nook)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloodline-michael-mccarty/1123666210?ean=9781542693899

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Summer Reading (Top 10 List)

“Summer turns me upside down. Summer summer summer. It’s like a merry go round” – The Cars.

THE BOOKS OF SUMMER (2017)
Top 10 Picks

Summer: BBQs, Bikinis and Books … yes books. The temperatures get hot enough to melt Vincent Price’s wax face …

This time of the year you need books that are as hot as the temperature outside. And if you are looking for some recommendations of Michael McCarty books to read for your summertime pleasure, here is my Top 10 Books for the summer.

1) MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers by Michael McCarty (Crystal
Lake Publishing) Interviews with Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Elvira, cast & crew from the Night of the Dead film, Joe McKinney, John Saul, Linnea Quigley, Christopher Moore and more.

2) DRACULA TRANSFORMED & OTHER BLOODTHIRSTY TALES by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty (Wildside Press)
Two novellas: Lucy Transformed & the title story Dracula Transformed and nine short stories about Dracula and vampires. Some are scary. Some are funny. All of them are entertaining.

3) BLOODLESS by Michael McCarty and Jody LaGreca (Whiskey Creek Press) (CreateSpace)
A 100-year old vampire survives both the Lusitania and Hindenburg disasters but can he survive raising a family too?

4) BLOODLUST by Jody R. LaGreca and Michael McCarty (Whiskey Creek Press) (CreateSpace)
We learn about the factors that led to Marilyn Monroe’s untimely demise and the vampire’s connection to it all.

5) BLOODLINE by Michael McCarty and Jody LaGreca (Whiskey Creek Press)
The final book to the Bloodless trilogy has the vampire befriending eccentric pop artist Andy Warhol.

Bloodless Series

6.) I KISSED A GHOUL

This YA book is about the horny Mayor’s son who tries to score every chance he gets, but fights monsters instead

Fiends 3

7.) LIQUID DIET & MIDNIGHT SNACK by Michael McCarty (Whiskey Creek Press) (CreateSpace)

My first solo novel about a vampire doing an interview on an all-night gothic radio show: with callers, ads and some listeners who aren’t happy about a bloodsucker on the airwaves

Liquid Diet

8) A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS by Michael McCarty (Wildside Press)
A terrific short story collection with Beatles robots, vampires, zombies, invisible scientists … you will love it

Fiends

9) MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL by Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin (Medallion Press)
A haunted car novel with zombies… scary, sexy and some dark humor too

10) FEAR & DESIRE by S.A. Gambino & Michael McCarty (Wilder Publications)

Adult themed poems to send shivers down the spine and warm the heart

The books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble …. etc etc etc. Below are the links for Amazon

MODERN MYTHMAKERS

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2cpr637

DRACULA TRANSFORMED

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1479422991/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K815A3C/

BLOODLINE

BLOODLUST

BLOODLESS

MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL

LIQUID DIET & MIDNIGHT SNACK

(Kindle)

(Trade Paperback)

https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Midnight-Snack-Michael-McCarty/dp/1532928947?ie=UTF8&qid=1464832894&ref_=la_B001JS0L06_1_1&refinements=p_82%3AB001JS0L06&s=books&sr=1-1

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Help-My-Fiends/dp/1434442470/ref=la_B001JS0L06_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402847636&sr=1-7

I KISSED A GHOUL:

Amazon:

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-kissed-a-ghoul-michael-mccarty/1109722872?ean=9781620077436

FEAR & DESIRE

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Richard Laymon and His Vampire Legacy

Richard Laymon and His Vampire Legacy
By Michael McCarty

Backstory: Just a few weeks before his untimely death, I had phoned Richard Laymon about doing an interview. The focus of the interview was going to be on his vampire books. I said something like: “It will be an up-close, in-depth look at all three of your vampire books.”
Dick chuckled and said, “Actually I wrote four. The first one was a young adult book that is no longer in print. But I wouldn’t want that title to appear in the interview.”
On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2001, Richard Laymon passed away. It was a tremendous lost to the horror community. He was a gentleman and a master writer of horror and humor.
This special report is my tribute to Laymon. Since we weren’t able to do that fateful interview, his books will do the talking. The books that make up Laymon’s vampire legacy – The Stake, Bite and The Traveling Vampire Show – are all still available in print and are well worth seeking out, as you’ll soon learn….

(The late, great Richard Laymon)

The Stake
by Richard Laymon

Publishing history:
Headline Books (UK), 6/13/1991, ISBN: 074723481, 6.99 pounds (paperback).
Zebra Books (US), 4/1995, out of print.
Pinnacle Books (US), 5/2000, ISBN: 0-7860-1258-7, $5.99, 507 pgs.

The review:
His name is Lawrence Dunbar. He is a writer of horror fiction, the author of such spooky books as Dead of Night, Cut, The Beast, Madhouse, and fourteen other thrillers. He is making a comfortable living writing fiction because he is selling his books in both the United States and England.
The Stake starts out with Larry and his wife Jean going on a day trip with their friends Pete and Barbara to the ghost town of Sagebrush Flat, California.
In this abandoned town, the two couples find, tucked away in the shadows of a hotel, the mummified corpse of a young woman. She has a stake buried in her chest – or as Larry would write in his account of the story:
“Somebody hammered a pointed shaft of wood through the heart of a woman. He left her inside a lidless coffin, and hid her corpse beneath the stairway of an abandon hotel in the town of Sagebrush Flat.”
Larry gets dragged by the throat into a ghoulish mystery. Is this young lady a real vampire, finally stopped by a vampire-hunter – or the unfortunate victim of a crazed, deluded killer?
There is only one way to find out for sure, and that is for Larry to pull out the stake.

Interesting real-life tidbits:
There is little doubt that Richard Laymon based Lawrence Dunbar on himself. Like Dunbar, he was writing books in the U.S. and the U.K. (at the time of the printing, his books were doing better overseas then in his own country).
Having met his wife Ann and his daughter Kelly, I would say they are both very similar to the fictional characters, Jean and Lane.
Plus, I have it on good authority that Pete and Barbara are based on friends of the Laymons who would go on trips with them.
I strongly suspect that he chose the name of Barbara, just so he could make a reference to Night of the Living Dead – no proof, just a very strong hunch.
Laymon told me on the phone that he was trying to get Leisure to re-release the book, but Zebra Books still had a contract with the novel. It was re-released instead through Pinnacle Books (a Kensington Publishing company that also owns Zebra Books) and it did very well.

Ranting and raving:
The Stake was one of Laymon’s personal favorites – he mentioned it in numerous interviews as such. I imagine he wrote the book standing up because he was so inspired, so super-charged with the concept, he didn’t want to waste valuable seconds by taking the time to sit down.

Mike’s blurb:
The Stake is Richard Laymon’s biggest and boldest vampire adventure. Don’t make the mis-stake (I know, bad pun) of not reading it.

Bite
by Richard Laymon

Publishing history:
Headline (UK), 5/8/97, ISBN: 0747251010, 6.99 pounds.
Leisure Books (US), 6/1999, ISBN: 0-8439-4550-8, $5.50, 378 pgs.

The Review:
Bite was easily one of the best horror novels of 1999. The story begins when the protagonist, Sam, gets a late-night visit from his former girlfriend Cat, who he hasn’t seen in ten years. She comes knocking at his door wearing only a silk robe.
It turns out that Cat is being victimized by a vampire named Elliot, and she wants Sam to hide in her closet with a stake and destroy him.
Sam sums up his own predicament: “Things had started fairly simple: weird but simple. I was supposed to ambush Cat’s vampire and kill it.”
Killing the vampire is the least of their worries. When they try to find a place to bury the stiff in the desert, they run into a psycho biker named Snow White.
The rest of the book is a comedy of errors and terrors.

Interesting real-life tidbits:
Don D’Auria, Leisure Books senior editor of horror and westerns, said this to me about Laymon and the book at the 2000 World Horror Convention:
“I was really thrilled to be able to publish Dick. I loved his stuff and always have. I was one of those people buying his imports (from England, Australia and New Zealand) over the Internet.
“He’s a brilliant writer who couldn’t get a break from the New York publishers just because he was writing horror.
“The first book we did with him, Bite, was one of our top sellers ever. He just needed somebody to publish him in America.”

Ranting and raving:
This book has great comical barbs and a reader-friendly, conversational narrative. Throw in a plot that twists and turns like a chiropractor’s nightmare and you have one weird and wild adventure.

Mike’s blurb:
I loved every page of it. Californian Laymon is a hot writer in England, Australia and New Zealand, and after Bite he finally got some long overdue attention in America.
Bite has bite – buy it!

The Traveling Vampire Show
by Richard Laymon

Publishing history:
Headline (UK), 6/1/2000 (hardback), 12/7/2000 (paperback), 17.99 pounds (hardback), 6.99 pounds (paperback), ISBN: 0747220522.
Cemetery Dance Publications (US), unsigned second edition with artwork by Alan M. Clark, ISBN: 1587670003, $40 (hardcover).
Leisure Books (US), 3/2001, ISBN: 0-8439-4850-7, $5.99, 391 pgs.

The review:
THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW
Come and see – the one and only known VAMPIRE in captivity!
– VALERIA –
Gorgeous! Beguiling! Lethal!

So starts the text of a flyer tacked to power poles and trees all over the rural town of Grandville. It’s a hot August morning in 1963, and with this sexy, scary announcement of a one-night-only, adults-only event outside of town, things are starting to get hotter.
For three teenage friends, this is definitely a performance that cannot be missed. Although they’re underage, and the show is at midnight (they have a curfew), the teen pals are determined to attend at any cost.
The rest of the day, night and book revolve around the trio’s adventures and discoveries. As midnight approaches, so does the terror.

Interesting real-life tidbits:
Laymon re-read Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and Stephen King’s novella The Body, just to make sure his story would not be too much like theirs.

Ranting and raving:
Take Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, Stephen King’s The Body (which was turned into the movie, Stand by Me), Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life, Dan Simmons’ Summer of Night, and the movie Matinee – then throw in plenty of horny adolescent fantasies (these are teenagers, after all – that’s what’s on their minds all the time) and a generous sprinkling of humor and nostalgia (à la the early Sixties).
Toss all that into a high-speed blender and grind it together and you’ll end up with a macabre masterpiece like this. Richard Laymon won a posthumous Bram Stoker Award for this book.

Mike’s blurb:
This is a coming-of-age story with fangs – another vampire masterpiece by Richard Laymon.

Links:
Leisure Books: dorchesterpub.com
Headline: hodderheadline.uk.com
Cemetery Dance: cemeterydance.com
Pinnacle: kensingtonbooks.com

If you like this blog … please … please…. PLEASE …. check out my book I KISSED A GHOUL, which is a tribute, to the late, great Richard Laymond

(The original cover for I KISSED A GHOUL)

….

(The new cover for I KISSED A GHOUL)

(Larry Nadolsky’s tribute to I KISSED A GHOUL … hopefully, someday a graphic novel — if any publisher is interested)

I KISSED A GHOUL:

Amazon:

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-kissed-a-ghoul-michael-mccarty/1109722872?ean=9781620077436

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Richard Matheson At The Movies

Richard Matheson At The Movies
Fifty Years of Richard Matheson Films: A Critical Overview

1957-2007

By Michael McCarty

Richard Matheson’s name is synonymous with classic creepy cinema and television, including masterpieces for The Twilight Zone and for TV movies produced by Dan Curtis, such as The Night Stalker, Trilogy of Terror, and the early Steven Spielberg vehicle, Duel. Also, Matheson has written a number of screenplays based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Here are some of the best Matheson movies based on his own books for the last fifty years:

(Richard Matheson)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Just a year after the publication of The Shrinking Man, Matheson wrote the screenplay from his own book. The script turned giant-monster movies of the 1950s (The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, and numerous behemoth bug flicks) on their heads. Scott Carey (played by Grant Williams) is a victim of the effects of silvery flakes of atomic radiation. As he begins to shrink smaller and smaller, his new size causes everyday objects to take on sinister meaning, and he must fight for his life in an increasingly hostile world.
The movie was directed by Jack Arnold, who did such great genre films as It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, with special effects by Clifford Stine. This is a philosophical thriller and a timeless science-fiction classic.

The Omega Man

The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), I am Legend (2007)
The Last Man on Earth is the first adaptation of I am Legend – without the use of Matheson’s own screenplay. Hammer Films originally purchased the rights to the novel and hired the author to work on the screenplay. However, the British censor’s office let it be known the movie would be banned in England. Hammer stopped the project.
Besides Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, Matheson’s novella I am Legend is one of the most intriguing, imaginative, and influential vampire stories ever written (George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was inspired by the work).
Vincent Price is the sole survivor of a mysterious plague that has turned the rest of the planet’s population into vampires. After sunset, he barricades himself against the bloodsuckers that surround his home. During the day he gathers garlic, makes stakes, and destroys vampires.
Price was perfect for the role. I especially enjoy the scenes with him playing loud jazz music and drinking plenty of alcohol to drown out the noise of the vampires trying to break in. His past, however, still plagues him. It’s a creepy, atmospheric thriller that works despite its low budget. The best moments occur when Price is just driving along dismal streets cluttered with the dead.
The Last Man on Earth is recommended, but more recommended is Matheson’s novella. In 1971, the film was remade with a bigger budget and in color as The Omega Man with Charlton Heston, but the movie was even further away from Matheson’s material.
The third adaptation of I am Legend has more of a budget than The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man combined. Will Smith plays humanity’s sole survivor in an isolated New York City battling the infected, who are more like the zombies in 30 Days Later or 30 Months Later than the vampires in the other two films.
The beginning is sort of a rip-off of 12 Monkeys. In a post-apocalyptic America, lions are roaming freely in New York City. The movie does get better from that point. Will Smith does an incredible job, the special effects are outstanding and at the heart of the film, this version’s background is probably the closest to the actual story. But even so, I am Legend, the Richard Matheson novella, is still the best of the bunch.

The Legend of Hell House (1975)
A multi-millionaire hires a team of scientists and mediums to investigate his newly acquired haunted mansion. The creepy homestead has been the site of several grisly deaths and may hold clues to the secrets of the afterlife. Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, and Gayle Hunnicutt play the investigators who roam the dire dwelling and battle various manifestations (some great special effects by Roy Whybrow) emanating from–
Oops! Almost gave away the surprise ending!
Matheson wrote the screenplay from his novel Hell House, a suspenseful supernatural screamfest. Make plenty of popcorn if you rent this video.

Somewhere in Time (1980)
Christopher Reeves (in his first post-Clark Kent role) plays a playwright who falls in love with a beautiful woman – the lovely Jane Seymour – depicted in an old portrait. Through self-hypnosis, he goes back in time to 1912 to discover what their relationship might have been.
A romantic science-fiction tale, Somewhere in Time actually made a star of a building – the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Lake Michigan, where the movie was shot. This highly atmospheric tearjerker is based on Richard Matheson’s novel, Bid Time Return.

What Dreams May Come (1998)
Oscar-winner Robin Williams does a brilliant job in this dazzling special effects-laden fantasy about how love can survive death, and how Heaven and Hell can’t stop true romance. Cuba Gooding, Jr. also does a remarkable job in his supporting role. The special effects are mind-blowing, sometimes overshadowing this classic story. The title is a William Shakespeare reference (Hamlet, Act 3, scene 1). Overall, a class act worth checking out.

Stir of Echoes

Stir of Echoes (1999)
Kevin Bacon plays a blue-collar man in Chicago. After being hypnotized at a neighborhood party, he sees things he can’t explain and hears voices he can’t ignore. Echoes of past crimes haunt his mind. He plunges into a shattering encounter with a dead girl, and his world is never the same again.
The film was eclipsed by the success of The Sixth Sense, which was released about the same time. Stir of Echoes is the creepier of the two. It is a chilling classic based on Matheson’s novel, A Stir of Echoes.

Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan, Dan Curtis, Elvira, Forry Ackerman and many more are interviewed in MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 Interviews With Horror Writers & Filmmakers

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