I’m not sure how common this knowledge is but Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King and guess what, he writes too. I’m sure the name change was to help him get his work published on it’s own merits rather than his fathers acclaim but if you have seen a picture of him, he is the spitting image of Dad. Regardless, Joe Hill is here and is making strides to dominate horror as well.
I was introduced to his work through constant badgering and recommendations for his comic series Locke & Key. I feel ashamed that I had to be forced into that one because Locke & Key is one of the finest pieces of horror anything I have ever consumed. So that alone made me a fan. This whole time I had a copy of his second novel Horns sitting on my unread book shelf (yes I have a bookshelf whose purpose is only to hold unread material) calling to me. ”You loved Locke & Key, why not give me a try?” So finally, I read his second novel Horns.
The non existing, imaginary book voice was right. I loved Horns, just like I loved Locke & Key. Is it as great as Locke & Key? No, but it’s damn good.
The general premise is the main character wakes up with devil like horns growing from his head. These horns, he quickly discovers force people to be brutally honest with him. Oh and he was accused of raping and murdering his long time girlfriend. Trust me it’s very intriguing.
From page one it takes off and I couldn’t put it down. The only thing that derailed me for a moment was the constant use of flashback, and this is where you will become acutely aware that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. A longing theme of days con by with fond recollections from the characters youth. Sound familiar. Hill manages to make it work to his benefit however but I found myself rushing through those parts to get back to the main narrative.
Hill has two other books out and I think I will be taking the plunge on those as well. If you are looking for a quality horror read this season try out Horns. Locke & Key should be mandatory.
P.S. There is a movie coming out soon starring none other than Harry Potter himself as the main character.
The TLZ Halloween contest is underway. If you haven’t entered yet what are you waiting for? You could win all sorts of TLZ goodies plus you could be a zombie in an upcoming page of TLZ. Just head on over here and tell me what your favorite horror movie is and why. Nice and easy! Also check out the Facebook page. I am holding weekly contests over there.
This is one of those movies that I think is so rad that I just assume everybody has seen it but over the years as I have talked about it to people I’ve discovered not many people have seen it or even heard of it and that my friends, is a crying shame.
Freaked was written and directed by Alex Winter of Bill and Ted fame and came out in that crazy time period of the 90′s. I don’t recall if it had much of a theatrical release as I only remember watching it on HBO when I would stay home sick from school. It always seemed to be on and made whatever illness I had seem worth contracting.
What is this movie about? Well I could explain it but it wouldn’t do the film any justice. Alex Winter plays Ricky Coogan, a famous movie star who is contracted to rep a possibly dangerous pharmaceutical product. He is sent down to South America to check it out and ends up failing victim to Randy Quads self made freak show roadside attraction.
There in lies the genius of this movie. The freak show. Not to say the movie isn’t hysterical before the freak show arrives but here we are introduced to Randy Quad’s amazing Elijah C. Skuggs and a whole motley crew of freaks including Mr. T playing a bearded lady, Bobcat Goldthwait as a human sock puppet and Keanu Reeves starring uncredited as Ortiz the Dog Boy. I don’t want to give much away if you haven’t seen this movie because it’s a spectacle to behold for the first time.
This movie cries out to be played at midnight screenings and it boggles my mind that there hasn’t be a shirt on one of those shirt a day websites of this. Get with it people and see Freaked!
I’ve always been more of a fan of the original Boris Karloff Frankenstein film than the actually novel by Mary Shelley. Of course I saw the movie long before I read the novel so that iconic image of the monster was burned into my brain. It wasn’t until high school when I first read the novel. I knew it wasn’t like the movie but I didn’t know how much they differed. The book was dense and verbose with language that seemed like english but was written in a way that seemed so foreign to me. This wasn’t a horror story, or at least it seemed that way to me. What always struck me about the movie was that the monster wasn’t really the villain. It was all those jerks with the pitchforks and torches chasing him around. He was just a victim of circumstance trying to make his way in a world where he is truly an outsider. Karloff’s portrayal of the monster is legendary and I sympathized much more with that version than the revenge driven mass murdering monster of the novel.
I had read Frankenstein and didn’t much like it. Later in my 20′s I picked it up again and tried to look at it from older eyes. While I found it more enjoyable the second time through it was still a dense and marathon like read. Maybe I would just have to come to terms with the fact I don’t like the book. My favorite version of the book is of course the Bernie Wrightson illustrated version. While I own that version, I have never read it. I just look at the awe inspiring drawings by Wrightson and question what I’m doing with my life. In fact, I would rather read all the other interpretations of Frankenstein than to have revisited the original novel again.
That is until I found out Gris Grimly was doing an adaption of it. Not only was he illustrating the novel but he was doing it in a comic book format from the original unedited text. For those of you not familiar with Grimly’s work he’s a fantastic horror illustrator and filmmaker who has done adaptions of Sleepy Hollow, some Poe stories and his short movie, Cannibal Flesh Riot is one of my favorite movies. He is even rumored to be involved in an animated Pinocchio with Guilermo Del Toro and Nick Cave (which may be on hold). How awesome does that sound? So needlessly to say, I was going to read Frankenstein once more.
The art, it goes without saying, is amazing. Grimly puts his own gothic, punk, steam punk spin on things which make for a fascinating compliment to the story. Every page is immaculately crafted and you can really see where the 4 years he spent on this thing went (if you are curious he had a production blog up for the making of the book here which was fascinating to follow). What his art really brings out from the story, for me at least, was Victor. I hadn’t really given him much thought as the monster, even in the novel, always eclipsed him in my mind. But this is Victor’s story and Grimly makes that plainly obvious. The pain and torture he causes himself by the creation of his monster is right in your face with Grimly’s art and it really brings the whole story together. Reading it again I found it to be much more enjoyable accompanied by his art.
I don’t think I will ever be able to fully enjoy the novel as it is without some sort of artwork along with it. While Wrightson’s Frankenstein is a masterpiece, Grimly’s take is almost an entirely other monster. His skill may not trump Wrightson (who by the way wrote the introduction to Grimly’s) but being a close second to him is not a bad place to be.
If you are a fan of Frankenstein or like me never really got into the novel, check out Gris Grimly’s take on it. It truly breaths some new life into the work and is a feast for the eyes.
I know by now the Misfits are probably standard for the Halloween season but kicking off any Halloween season requires some Misfits tunes. I’m going to be posting more of my other new and favorite Halloween treats that are hopefully less known of in hopes to spread the Halloween cheer but we have to start off with the gold standard.
The Misfits, to me, perfectly encompass the Halloween season. They play straight up american punk but all their songs are about horror movies or horror themes. You probably at least recognize their iconic “Crimson Ghost” logo which the band stole from the 1946 film serial The Crimson Ghost.
They rocked around the punk scene from 1977 to 1983 with band members Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and a rotating cast of drummers and guitarist. After the break up Danzig went on to form another awesome band Samhain which transitioned into his more well known band Danzig. Jerry and his brother (and Misfits guitarist) Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein formed the short lived and epic-ly metalish Kryst the Conqueror with singer Jeff Scott Soto who sang on the first two Yngwie Malmsteen albums and also went on to front Journey on their 2006-2007 tour.
The Misfits reformed in 1995 sans Danzig on vocals. Instead they added Michale Graves to sing and Dr. Chud on the drums. This is the era of The Misfits I recall the most as I was way to little to see them in their hey day. Again, the band broke up and everybody went their separate ways except Jerry Only who still carries on the shattered remains of the band to this day.
The Misfits are one of my favorite bands. I first found out about them in an ad in a Marvel comic in the 90′s. The ad was for a new Venom comic and it had some of the lyrics from The Misfits classic song Braineaters (brains for breakfast, brains for lunch…). They introduced me to punk rock and ignited my flame for horror. I even have a Crimson Ghost tattoo.
To me the season isn’t complete without some Misfits. I’ll usually jam them all month long but they always kick start the season for me and end it. If you aren’t familiar with them, do yourself a favor and jump head first into their legacy if only for the season.
Also if you want a brief synopsis of The Misfits music check out this brilliantly funny summarization of all the Danzig era Misfits songs.
Today is the first day of October which means it’s time to kick off the month long Halloween event! First up I’m running another awesome contest. The prize package is pretty spectacular and amongst other TLZ goodies one winner will be “zombie-fied” and added to an upcoming page of Teenage Love Zombies. Click the contest link above or right here for all the details on how to enter.
On top of that I have added some more FREE exclusive content just for the season. We have new wallpapers featuring the first appearance of the Zombie Queen, new Halloween Masks of the Zombie Queen and one of her Voodoo Zombies and this year I’ve added a pumpkin carving template to help you make your very own Zombie Pumpkin! Plus all the previous Halloween goodies are still available.
All this plus regular blog updates about some of my new favorite Halloween season favorites and under appreciated horror movies, books, comics and music.
Speaking of goodies the store has been updated with brand new items like a new button set, a new mugshot print set featuring classic madmen and the printed version of Teenage Love Zombies #3.
Plus don’t forget to follow us Teenage Love Zombies on Facebook for weekly giveaways all month!
I hope you have an amazing Halloween season. Get in some horror movies and scare some kids. A huge ghoulish thank you from Teenage Love Zombies and Creephouse Comics!