So I've had a couple of weeks off – I’m sure the internet has missed me greatly as have you, all my invisible friends – but it’s time to post more unimportant crap.
First up is something to do with my favourite blog – Dinosaur Dracula – which has encouraged its readers to play along with their most recent episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast and answer the questions from their Creepy Q&A. I figure I can get a blog post out of it so why not get a blog post out of it? Consider it a ‘get to know your
armed assailant blogger’
post so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:
1) What horror movie should be made into a TV series?
Sleepy Hollow (the TV Series) is awesome, it’s not quite as fantabulous as Penny Dreadful (which is the best thing on television at the moment) or as great as my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer but it is great. I’m talking about that to stall because I can’t think of an answer good enough.
Insidious could have a lot of promise: firstly if you tell me you don’t want Specs and Tucker: The Series you’re lying, they should be your idols and if they aren’t rethink your outlook on life and secondly I think there’s a lot of mileage that could be had out of following Ghost Elise, Tucker and Specs around America investigating paranormal phenomena. It’d be nice to have a truly scary ghost-based television series rather than the Monster Rally series like Grimm or Supernatural and it’d be nice to have a horror series that wasn’t sexy, just an old lady and her nerds travelling around and fighting some creative and unnerving ghosts with some cool backstories and some cool plot twists.
2) What long dormant horror series should get a new sequel?
The Creature from the Black Lagoon, it’s got to be the Creech – I’m sick to the back teeth of Zombies and Vampires, get me an harpoon gun and let’s go fucking fishing! On a more serious note I think that today’s technology can easily make the Gill-Man a legitimate threat in the eyes of movie-goers, I mean look what they did with the TMNT – in 1990 – now imagine what the Creature’s suit could look like today, plus while he’s popular amongst nerd circles (and in Japan) the average ignorant blockbuster viewer will probably not have heard of him or be that familiar with the gill-man archetype in general so there would far less of a stigma for your new CFTBL flick than any new Zombie, Vampire, Werewolf or Frankenstein movie, just name it something like ‘The Lagoon’ or ‘Black Lagoon’ to fit in with modern horror naming conventions and you’re sorted.
3) What do you consider the lamest candy to give out at Halloween?
Other than toothbrushes? Well for me personally it’s Bounty bars because I fucking hate Bounty bars and they make all children cough anyway but amongst the lamest things I see being given out over here in Limeyland are packets from Kellogg’s variety packs, just fuck off, unless you get the Coco Pops box they don’t even come close to counting and it doesn’t even work as a budgetary thing, you only get, what 8 kids worth of trick-or-treaters out of a pack and they’re not especially cheap either, you could go to Aldi, buy two big bags of mini-bars that are suspiciously similar to existing chocolate bars but not too similar to bring anything like say, a lawsuit, down on anyone, get ‘em for half the price of a variety pack and please/get rid of a lot more kids.
4) If you could spend Halloween in any Halloween cartoon, special or movie, which would it be?
It’s really hard to not answer this based solely on who you want to shag because otherwise you’re saying you want to spend time in a place that’s designed to scare and/or kill you, which seems kind of mental.
5) Best action figure line with a creepy theme?
I have A LOT of monster toys and a lot of them are action figures so this is really hard, in fact I may have to make a post about Monster Action Figures, because no one’s ever done that before. If it was just ‘toys’ the answer would easily be Werebears, but action figures I’m… yeah… fuck it, I’m going with my childhood favourite: Monster by Sungold:
Cheap, exploitation figures crapped out by the Chinese firm that brought you Galaxy Warriors (the finest of He-Man knock-offs), they’re kind of soft plastic with squeezey shiny hollow bodies and squeezier shiny heads and are a group of six figures similar but not so similar as to bring anything like say, a lawsuit, down on anyone; Bloody Mummy, Midnight Wolf and Green Frankie are Universal all the way through, Sharp Hand Joe and Killing Beast bring it a bit more up-to-date (well up-to-the-early-90’s, when these came out) by ‘evoking’ Freddy Krueger and The Toxic Avenger and King of vampires is… well he’s the most flamboyant vampire of all time:
I always imagine him as an impossibly cool Ace Face in the monster set, a Fonzie of the undead: he clicks his fingers, succubae come runnin’. The copyright law skirting changes is what I find so appealing, it actually makes them creepier – these are like horror icons from a parallel universe, they look familiar but there’s thing that are just off about them, unnerving.
6) How would you reboot/restart the stalled Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises?
As saying “I wouldn’t” (my honest answer) seems like cheating…
With Friday the 13th and Halloween I think it’s really simple – just make a good film, with a good script, some good actors, some good dialogue, a couple of ‘holy shit that was awesome moments’ but not going over the top, with practical special effects. No remakes, no re-imaginings, just give us a good instalment of the franchise: a group of teens are killed in Crystal Lake forest by Jason Vorhees, a group of kids are killed in Haddonfield by Michael Myers. Oh and hire ACTUAL TEENS, they look different to 20-somethings.
Nightmare on Elm Street is a bit harder, with Myers and Voorhees the costume is the character, it really doesn’t matter who’s in them but Freddy Krueger is so linked with Robert Englund fans have great difficulty accepting anyone else in the role – you could do the best Robert Englund impression it the world and it still wouldn’t matter to some. The problem is that Krueger is a seemingly immortal dream demon and Englund is a very mortal man who’s getting on a bit and will eventually die – sad but inevitable. The only thing I can think of is to have Freddy become a legacy character, have someone else take up the glove for the next Nightmare, if you choose to ignore Jason vs Freddy then it’s not too hard, Krueger was destroyed in Freddy’s Dead and Springfield was a childless town in a mass psychosis, having the town repopulate could easily lead to the film’s story but if you want to include Freddy vs Jason then it wouldn’t be hard to get Englund back in the make-up to pass the torch to a new successor – I’d suggest a woman to really make the difference readily apparent.
Texas Chainsaw massacre…I dunno, I like the first film and I’ve a strange fascination with Ed Gein but I’ve never really followed the franchise, hillbillies just don’t interest me very much and they disturb me in a way that I don’t find fun, maybe they’re just too close to reality, certainly more than the undead killers, dream demons, gremlins, space creatures and possessed dolls who fill most of the horror franchises I do follow. I’ve never seen III or Next Generation and I’ve not gotten ‘round to watching 3D yet (and I hate The Beginning) so I’m saying no comment.
7) When did you first realise you were into Halloween and/or horror
Now I think about it, I never really got a choice in the matter. My parents split when I was small and I’d spend 2 days a week with my dad, but physically at my nan’s house (most of the time) and my dad, uncle and grandfather were just always keen to share with me the stuff they liked which included things like The Universal Monster films, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Gremlins and Ghostbusters and then later things like Hammer Horror, The Toxic Avenger and Elvira. They also held massive Halloween nights most of my childhood and teenage years - where the whole family, plus friends and sometimes some of the extended family, would dress up and we’d have special horror-themed food (one of my strongest Halloween memories is watching my dad use food dye to paint eyeballs on the bottoms of boiled eggs for his eyeball lasagna) and sometimes go trick-or-treating (rain permitting). It seems now like the whole of my Dad’s side of the family was determined to make sure I liked horror and it worked, as such a think I first realised I was into it when I realised that there were kids who weren’t – so around the first or second year of senior school –and by that point it was far too late.
8) Who is the greatest Universal Monster, and which one serves as the best representative for the season?
I shall answer this in three parts (as if this wasn’t long and uninteresting enough as it is):
My favourite Universal Monster is the Gill-Man; I genuinely enjoy The Creature From the Black Lagoon and get great pleasure from the MST3K version of Revenge of the Creature but it’s mostly a visual thing – he just looks so bloody cool, I have way to much Creech merch.
The greatest Universe Monster is Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, hands-down, while I may personally prefer Christopher Lee as Dracula there is simply no monster and no design of a monster more iconic than Lugosi as Vlad the Impaler, with one possible contender:
The best representative of Halloween from the Universe Monster stable is Frankenstein’s Monster. Why you ask? Because he’s a mix of scary and silly, he can be terrifying, he can be goofy, he can be both at once (and often is) and that’s what Halloween should be – 45% Scary, 45% Silly and 10% Boris Karloff.
9) Any off the beaten path Halloween traditions you recommend?
Sometimes I’ve had the misfortune of staying in, being alone and depressed and watching Skeleton Warriors but I don’t recommend it. Actually that’s not true I utterly recommend watching Skeleton Warriors it’s just the rest. Can I have “making Eyeball Lasagne” as my answer? Cos that used to be a Halloween tradition and really should be again. For everyone. Everywhere.
10) What’s your favourite scary video game?
Like the action figure question I own/have played a LARGE amount of horror games, I’m something of an enthusiast and that’s a good point, I should probably do a post about horror video games, because no one’s ever done that before. Silent Hill 2 is I figure the best scary video game objectively and Five Nights at Freddy’s and Rule of Rose are tied as scariest and most fascinating, Luigi’s Mansion is the most fun, Night Trap is glorious in all its B-Movie FMV Dana Plato-ness, 3D Monster Maze still makes me jump, then there’s Maniac Mansion, The Suffering, Fatal Frame 1 AND 2, House of the Dead 3, ObsCure, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, Resident Evil, ARGH! SO MANY!
Today I’m saying it’s Splatterhouse, the original 1988 arcade game from Namco,
It’s a side-scrolling beat ‘em up where you play as Rick, a character who looks NOTHING like Jason Vorhees, and the only way I can describe it is like looking through a slot at a 16-bit horror film, nothing feels more like a horror film to me than Splatterhouse does, it’s backgrounds, it’s enemies, it’s bosses, it’s lighting, it’s mood, everything is just right to capture that feeling in pixels. I mean to get any closer to a horror film it’d have to BE a horror film you could control – like Night Trap - and that’s a whole different thing to making your game emulate a feeling, that’s just making your game the thing you’re supposed to be emulating, and that’s kind of cheating.
There, you have learned something about me, or you’ve killed time until your microwave pings or your cab arrives or your porn downloads or whatever you were waiting for, yay!