4th Annual Masters of Macabre Writing Challenge

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2014 by Emerian Rich

The 4th Annual Masters of Macabre Writing Challenge

This is the 4th annual Masters of Macabre story contest, sponsored by the nightmarish terrors residing over at HorrorAddicts.net. This is the chance for all the gentlemen to show the Wicked Women Writers that we can chill your bones and strike naked fear into the deepest crevices of your psyche just as well as any Great Old One you might find on your next expedition to the dark places of the earth…

What is the Masters of Macabre Writing Challenge?

This is a challenge to all male horror writers, both published and unpublished, to showcase their prose as well as to produce a reading to be aired in podcast form for all of our listening pleasure. Your story (in both text and audio form) will be judged and voted upon by the fans to determine the 2014 Master of the Macabre. Each podcast story must be crafted by the entrant and will be limited to ten (10) minutes.

This year we’ll be having a finalist round where only the very best audio stories will be competing in the final voting round, so make sure your words are as sharp as your claws and saddle up!

2014 Theme: CREATURE FEATURE

Premise: From the rubber costumes of the 20′s to lumbering shuggoths of H.P.Lovecraft to the CG terrors that grace the modern-day silver screen, monsters have always been an integral component to striking horror into our hearts. Whether it’s an alien behemoth from the sky, an otherworldly demon, or a simple mutant pet, it’s time to summon some dark, inhuman creature to menace society.

Challenge: Create a brand new written story and from that story create a 10 minute horror podcast that contains four story elements (below). Register to compete by May 20th, 2014. Audio and text are due on June 20th, 2014

Story Elements: Each participant will be randomly assigned the following three story elements. Your story needs to include each of the following:

1. Location: Where will the story take place? Will your creature attack in a shopping mall? An airplane? Perhaps the havoc will begin in the Gobi desert? The globe is our playground and the black crystal ball will let you know where the monster shall attack.

2. Item:  A simple item will be assigned to you, and it must appear somewhere in your story. Whether it will help or hinder you (and/or your characters) is up to you, but the item shall be gifted to you so you gotta use it. Magic amulets, toilet plungers, dirty wigs, or animal corpses might find it’s way to your inventory, so be hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.

3. Creature’s Origin: Where will the nightmare stem from? Will the creature spawn in the dankest city sewers or will it be awoken from the depths of an abandoned copper mine? Will it live in an abandoned church or will it be found living in the hold of a tanker? You must craft the creature, but the dark lords we answer to will choose WHERE it was born.

Dates to Remember:

Registration opens – April 20th, 2014

Registration closes – May 20th, 2014

Complete story and audio due – June 20th, 2014

Elimination round down to the top 5 – July 1st, 2014

Stories air and voting begins – August 9th, 2014

Last day to vote – September 9th, 2014

Crowning the Master of Macabre – October 3rd, 2014

How to register: If you are up to the challenge, email your name, headshot, and a short (under 50 word) bio to: horroraddicts@gmail.com. Within a few days you’ll receive the complete set of rules as well as your assigned story elements. The sooner you respond, the more time you’ll have to craft your story and produce your podcast!

Questions? Then email us at horroraddicts@gmail.com. No questions and ready to create something terrifying? Email us at horroraddicts@gmail.com.

Good luck, and may dreadful winged things rend the flesh from your enemies of writing.

Dreadfully yours,

Rick Kitagawa

2013 Master of Macabre

HorrorAddicts.net 098, Mimi A. Williams

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by Emerian Rich

Horror Addicts Episode# 098

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Listen now!


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196 days till Halloween!

mimi a. williams, endless sunder, jeremiah donaldson, sweeny todd, tales from the crypt

sweeny todd, tales from the crypt, best band poll, mrs. lovett’s pie, end of the world radio, dawn wood, endless sunder, fashion, cheap ebooks, night’s knights, lilith’s love, the vampire family, silhouette, the wickeds, horrible disasters, one hellacious halloween, cecil and bubba meet the thang, guy portman, edgar allan poe, erika henrike, bugs, jeremiah donaldson, events, dead mail, mimi a. williams

 

direct link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts098.mp3

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

13 Questions with Mimi A. Williams

Posted in News with tags , , , on April 18, 2014 by Sapphire Neal

 

13 questions

 

 

Helloooooo Horror Addicts! Let me welcome you to another horrific year full of stories ‘bout those who go bump in the night…

Tonight for our first episode of season 9 we have author Mimi A. Williams. A longtime fan of HA herself, Mimi was ecstatic to join the growing list of featured authors. “[This is] absolutely awesome! I’ve been a fan of the site for a few years since I discovered it, and I’ve loved reading the interviews. This feels like a rock star moment!”

For episode 98, Mimi decided to share with us a story she had submitted to a Horror anthology. “This story was written a while ago, but it got new life when I submitted it to a publisher for consideration for an anthology called Axes of Evil: A Heavy Metal Horror Anthology. I had written several horror short stories a number of years ago, but I never pursued publishing them – until now.” In short, “Rita is a short story about a woman in an abusive relationship who wakes up one morning and discovers she may have killed her partner. But try as she might, she can’t remember exactly what happened, and if she did kill him, what she did with his body.”

“Under my real name (Kim Williams Justesen) I’ve had five books for kids published, and I have a new Young Adult novel coming out in a few months. My first horror book came out in 2012. It’s called Beautiful Monster and it’s the story of a serial killer and one of his victims written in alternating points of view. My horror short story Rita is in the Axes of Evil anthology which came out on April 1st of this year, and later this year, my horror short Snow Queen will be published in the Heart Core anthology.”bookeyes

Although Mimi’s career doesn’t involve novel writing, her profession is well…writing. “I work as a copy writer for an online retailer. The cool thing is, the company specializes in knives. All kinds of knives, axes, throwing stars, and lots of wicked, sharp, pointy things! So, yes – it affects me quite positively! I keep my writing skills sharp (pun intended) all day, and I learn about CM-154 steel, kukri blades, and weyverne axe blades! What horror writer doesn’t appreciate that? I also teach creative writing for a local university, which helps me stay focused on my own skills and keeps me thinking about fundamentals.”

“I still have a day job, but not much longer. Only for another year or so. It’s tougher to make a living a writing these days than it was when I started (15 years ago!). So many more people are pursuing writing and the competition is so much more challenging – all though I think in most ways that’s a good thing.”

Mimi found herself drawn to the horror genre because it “allows us to look at the dark aspects of life, to confront our fear through the safety of the page or the screen.”

“We somehow think that if we can survive what we confront through books and movies, then anything in real life can’t possibly be all that bad, right? I also really like it because I can plot all kinds of heinous methods of pain and suffering for people who tick me off and all I’m really doing is plotting! And so far, that’s still not illegal!”

Out of all the horror creatures out there, Mimi connects with the general idea of monsters. “[They] serve an important role in society. We identify with their status as misunderstood outsiders, we see the value of the purpose they serve (face it – a lot of deserving people get taken out by monsters), and they each force us as participants in their stories to confront a different aspect of ourselves. Rage, rejection, humiliation, all those dark and ugly emotions we feel are given expression through these creatures.”

9781615727742Mimi then continued on to talk more about her writing and she offered this piece of insight for all the aspiring authors out there. “The hardest part about being a writer is the business aspect. It would be great if you could just write and submit and collect your royalty checks. But the business side is as time consuming (or more!) as the writing is. You’ve got to maintain your public presence. You’ve got to be constantly promoting yourself and your work, updating your Facebook and your website. You have to stay on top of trends, keep reading and staying aware of the market. Then there is the research on publishers and agents, and the submission letters, and the waiting. Writing is the easy part, it’s all the other stuff that gets challenging.”

Off the topic of horror…little known tid-bit about Mimi, she got her first tattoo when she was 37! She now has a total of 4 and is currently planning her next. So her main goal (besides planning her next few ink sessions is to “find a new agent (the last one didn’t work out real well), write at least two books a year and few more short stories, and keep submitting to eventually get to the point of writing full-time for a living.”

Besides that, Mimi is hard at work wrapping up her next few projects. “My young adult novel, Death’s Kiss (a paranormal story) will be out sometime in May. The Heart Core anthology will be out later this year, and I’m working on another short story for Axes of Evil Vol. II.  I always have two or three projects going at a time, so who knows what else may be lying in wait!”

For more information on Mimi A. Williams be sure to check out her personal website at kwjustesen.com

Cecil and Bubba Meet The Thang

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2014 by David Watson

cecilbubbathangcoverThere is a thin line between comedy and horror. In my opinion, horror should have a little comedy in it to lighten the mood once in a while, but sometimes it is hard for a book to be funny and scary at the same time. One book that manages to scare and make you laugh is Cecil And Bubba Meet The Thang by Terry M. West. Cecil and Bubba’s problems began when they ran over a drunken gypsy’s dog. The gypsy got her revenge by cursing the two men, saying that they would be plagued by strange and evil beings until the day they die. Their first run in with the supernatural was with a succubus named Hattie Mae, but in this story things get worse. It’s Halloween night and Cecil is working late in his father’s garage while Bubba is working as a bouncer at the strip club. Bubba gets the shock of his life when he finds out that Hattie Mae is now working as a stripper in the  strip club and she wants to help Cecil and Bubba lift their curse. Back at the garage Cecil has a couple of customers come in with a broken down truck, they leave the truck to be fixed and warn Cecil to not look in the back. Not being one to follow directions, Cecil looks in the back and an alien escapes to terrorize the town.  The only ones that can save the day now are Cecil, Bubba and Hattie Mae. For a short novella, there is a lot going on in this book. The characters are deep and the story has it all, including drama, comedy, science fiction and horror. The story draws you in from the beginning, making you feel a lot of sympathy for the main characters. Cecil has a heart to heart with his dad that doesn’t go well and we see Bubba at the strip club feeling lonely and not noticing that there is one woman who really likes him. We also get a glimpse of Hattie Mae and see her as a changed woman who is trying to start a new life and redeem herself. After Terry M. West gets us emotionally invested in the characters he manages to give us a great science fiction tale with a creature who could have easily came out of a 1950′s monster movie. The creature has long tentacles and wants to destroy earth and Terry does a great job of describing him. Some of the dialogue between the FBI agents and Cecil and Bubba was also great. There were some good funny moments such as the Plan 9 From Outer Space reference and some of the lines like “Maybe he will phone home.” This book has a lot of heart along with some laughs and good scares.

20330734Keeping with the Halloween theme, I also recently read One Hellacious Halloween from Horror Novel Reviews. This is a book of flash fiction with 30 stories in it all having to do with Halloween. This book has humor, horror and lots of quick quirky stories that would be fun to tell around a campfire. This anthology includes a story from Horroraddicts.net’s own Emerian Rich called “Soul Taker 2.0″. It’s about a game programmer named Tory who is designing an add on pack to an online game called Soul Taker. To play the game you have to sign over your digital soul and all your supernatural fantasies come true, but there is a price to pay. I felt like Emerian really put some research into this story which made it seem more real and I loved the ending. Terry  M. West also has a story in this anthology called “The Hairy Ones,” which is about religion and marriage and what kind of horrors people are willing to put up with for the sake of both. This was a story that managed to be disturbing using the power of suggestion rather than being violent. I felt that this was one of the better stories in the book. This book was a fun read and will do a good job getting you in the mood for Halloween. There were a lot of good ideas and stories in this book such as “Werewolf Dentists From Hell” and “The Halloween House”. The stories were so quick that you didn’t have a chance to get bored and it will introduce you to several new writers. Which leads me to the one thing I didn’t like about the anthology. There were no author bios, so if you like an author from this collection you will have to look them up to learn more about them. I think it would be fun to read a story from One Hellacious Halloween everyday in October to get you in the mood for Halloween, but these stories are entertaining all year-long.

Morbid Meals – Mrs. Lovett’s Pies

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by Dan Shaurette

For the inaugural Morbid Meal, in honor of our discussion of the Sweeney Todd movies and plays, I wanted to peruse the nefarious cookbook of Mrs. Lovett. Sadly, this treasured tome has been lost to the ages. It was probably either confiscated as evidence or lost in one of many fires on Fleet Street. So instead I will do my best to attempt a reproduction of one of her infamous pies.

EXAMINATION
The recipe I chose is “Kate and Sidney Pie”. For those unfamiliar with rhyming slang, this turns out to be the classic Steak and Kidney Pie. (Whose kidney is still up to your discretion.) Steak and Kidney pie is a traditional staple in the U.K. It therefore has a standard recipe but every cook who has ever made it has added their own flair. The recipe provided below is my own interpretation. As a Yank, it’s probably blasphemy either way, however I hope my Anglophiliac tendencies are showing.

Choosing Your Kidneys
When it comes to kidneys, the preferred choice is veal, followed by lamb, then pork, and finally, given no other choice, beef kidneys. If this is your first time making the recipe, try pork if it is available. If that works out for you and you can not only find but afford fresh lamb or veal kidneys, absolutely give them a go. The Cook’s Thesaurus has a nice visual comparison of kidneys.

Choosing Your Steak
The beef flavor carries the dish, so if you can, find a well-marbled fine steak. This pie is peasant food, however, so whatever cut of beef you can get will be welcome to balance out the kidney.

Choosing Your Crust
There appears to be a bit of contention here. Traditionally, these pies were small and portable, like pot pies or pasties. In those cases, a nice firm pie crust is best. However, I’ve also had a pie that used a filo puff pastry dough for a crust and was therefore more like a turnover. In some households, biscuits or mashed potatoes (and variants like champ or colcannon) are used to top the pie. You could also buy a pre-made crust rather than make it, however, I am providing a recipe and instructions for making a hot water crust pastry.

Special equipment
For shaping the crusts, I recommend getting the following.
  • A 24oz jar. Full or empty, it doesn’t matter, as long as you can turn it upside down. You will drape your dough onto the bottom of the jar.
  • Some parchment or waxed paper cut into strips, about 4 inches tall and long enough to go around the outside of the dough draped on the jar.
  • Some aluminum foil, trimmed to a square large enough to wrap over the parchment covered dough jar; roughly 8 or 9 inches square.
  • You could instead just use small pie tins, a 9-inch pie tin/dish, or even ramekins, but then you will miss out on all the fun of shaping your pastry shells.

ANALYSIS
Yield: 4 small pies or one 9-inch double-crust pie

Ingredients
Pie Crust

15 oz all-purpose flour (measure by weight)
4 oz (1 stick) butter
6 oz lard or shortening
1 tsp salt
5 oz water
Filling
5 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs beef steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb kidney (3 kidneys), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk (optional, needed only for pork or beef kidneys)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup stout or porter ale
1 cup beef stock or broth

Method

Making the Dough
  1. Measure the flour into a large bowl and set it aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add the butter, lard, salt and water and stir over medium heat until the fat melts.
  3. When the mixture starts to boil, take the saucepan off the heat and pour it into the bowl with the flour.
  4. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are combined. Feel free to use your fingers to help a large dough ball form. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, this will be a quick process.
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it cool down for an hour. Do not refrigerate, just let it rest.

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Preparing Your Kidneys 
  1. No matter the type of kidney you choose, they all have a thin membrane around them. Some butchers will peel this off and leave just a small amount attached. If yours are still covered, carefully cut and peel this membrane off
  2. Cut the kidneys lengthwise to expose the white gristle within.
  3. Remove this white gristle thoroughly with either a very sharp knife or kitchen shears.
  4. Once you have removed the gristle, chop the kidney and set aside in a bowl.
  5. If you are using pork or beef kidneys, you will want to soak the kidneys in buttermilk for about an hour. This is to counteract the ammonia/urine content of the kidneys. Trust me — do NOT skip this step. Lamb and veal kidneys are more tender and naturally have a milder flavor, so you don’t need to soak them, but it wouldn’t hurt to do so.

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Rolling Out The Dough
  1. Lay out a piece of parchment or waxed paper and lightly dust it with flour.
  2. Turn your dough out onto the floured paper and roll it out to roughly 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Fold the dough onto itself, press down firmly with your fingers and then roll it out again. Repeat one more time. This will add structure and flakiness to the finished crust.
  4. Lay the dough onto a baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest in your fridge for 30 minutes.

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Cooking the Filling
  1. While the dough chills and the kidneys soak, cut up your steak.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
  3. Add the chopped steak and kidneys, season with some salt and pepper, and brown the meat for about 3 minutes. Remove the meat to a dish and reserve the liquid for later.
  4. Into the pan add 1 tablespoon of oil then stir in the mushrooms. Cook until light brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside with the meat.
  5. Into the pan add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and stir in the onions. Cook until translucent and browned, about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the onions and stir together coating everything evenly, for about 2 minutes.
  7. Over the onions pour your stout, broth, and Worcestershire sauce then whisk together. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid thickens.
  8. Add the meat and mushrooms back to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat.

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Putting It All Together
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Divide the dough into 4 balls. From each ball, cut off about a quarter of the dough. This small piece will be the top crust, the larger part will be the bottom and sides.
  3. On a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, roll out each piece of dough to a circle with a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
  4. Set aside your smaller top circle for now.
  5. Grease the outside of the jar and turn it upside down to rest on its lid (or mouth if you don’t have the lid).
  6. Take one larger circle of dough and drape it over the overturned jar making a nice tall shell. Smooth out the dough and fix any small cracks that gravity might inflict.
  7. Wrap the sides of the dough with a strip of paper.
  8. Fold a piece of foil to cover the base of the dough shell and the paper, creating a foil cup for it all to rest in.
  9. Carefully turn over your foil-wrapped dough shell and lift the jar out. Put this dough shell paper-foil cup on a baking sheet.
  10. Fill your shell with the meat and mushroom mixture. Try not to spoon in too much gravy, otherwise it will splatter out while baking.
  11. Take your small circle of dough and moisten the edges with water and place it on top of your filled shell. Carefully seal the two crusts together.
  12. Cut a steam hole in the center. Brush the top with either some egg wash, butter, or milk.
  13. Repeat with the remaining dough to make a total of four pies.
  14. Bake the pies for 25-30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

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DISSECTION
As it was the most readily available, I chose pork kidneys. I was able to get them from my local carneceria. Another nearby market, of the Asian/international variety, had pork and beef kidneys. My local gourmet grocery butcher had veal and lamb meats but no kidneys at all, not even frozen. They could probably acquire them if I asked. Kidneys are just not in demand.

As a word of warning: I personally am on a gluten-free low-histamine diet. For the most part, where I can, I cut out wheat flour and substitute with a gluten-free flour. Measuring the flour for the dough by weight allows me to do this as well as giving more accuracy in cooking. Note also the cornstarch in the filling above. This is primarily for the same reason, but I have always preferred cornstarch instead of flour in gravies. Smoother mouth-feel and all that. Feel free to use flour instead if you find cornstarch to be too thin.

My dietary restrictions also advised my choice of whether to use a stout. You can use any beer you prefer, but a stout, especially Guinness, is traditional. Since I have to avoid not only gluten but alcohol as well, I chose to double up the beef stock and cut out the stout. While I missed that wonderful tang of the stout, I did not miss the misery I would have otherwise suffered.

As for a side dish, you could opt for mushy peasbubble and squeak, or just good old chips. A little extra beef gravy atop everything doesn’t hurt either, though your pie should be moist and juicy inside and should not require it.

Regarding an accompanying beverage, if your diet does not object, a fine frothy stout pairs with this pie quite nicely. If you have any left after making your pie, you might even enjoy some while it bakes. Mrs. Lovett, on the other hand, seemed to be fond of gin. When the boy didn’t drink it all, that is.

Kate & Sidney Pie with chips & gravy

Kate & Sidney Pie with chips & gravy

POST-MORTEM
In the end, thanks to this dish, I satisfied my love of all things British, my fascination with Stephen Sondheim musicals, and my morbid epicuriosity. I hope you will give this classic dish a try as well. If you absolutely cannot abide the use of kidneys in the pie, simply substitute with more steak, and what you are left with is another staple of British fare: Steak and Mushroom Pie. Don’t chicken out, though. Seems an awful waste. I mean, with the price of meat what it is, when you get it.

Kbatz: Tales from the Crypt Season 1

Posted in News with tags , , on April 15, 2014 by kbattz

Tales from the Crypt Season 1 A Tasty Sample

By Kristin Battestella

Sometimes one just gets the itch for that shrill cackle from the irrepressible Crypt Keeper as he tells his twisted little tales of warped, awry, and wicked! Fortunately, the 1989 debut season of HBO’s Tales from the Crypt is quality and quick enough to soothe your macabre mind.

Thanks to his design, puppeteers, and voice artist John Kassir combining for a solid presentation, that sassy little Crypt Keeper ghoul still makes for a well done puppet and fictitious host. His gruesome charm adds to the tongue in cheek comedy and horror camp tone of this anthology series – even if some of the puns and “boils and ghouls” demented word substitutions are a little dumb now. The Crypt Keeper winks at the audience, and the spooky old house, hidden crypt, and boney style of the show’s introduction immediately gets one in the fun midnight mood. For this Season 1, HBO and the big names behind the series – including Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future), David Giler and Walter Hill (Alien), Richard Donner (Superman), and Joel Sliver (Die Hard) – add internal HBO jokes and adapt tales from classic fifties pulp comics such as Crypt of Terror, The Vault of Horror, and Haunt of Fear. Despite the mid century origins and eighties production values, the plots for these six episode hold up well – although some of that 1989 hair, music, and fashion didn’t.

Horror portmanteaus in film and television are nothing new, but “The Man Who Was Death” is a very fine first half hour for Tales from the Crypt. Bill Sadler’s (Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) ironic casting accents the askew angles, deathly zooms, and macabre subject matter. The black comedy, humorous breaking of the fourth wall and witticisms add personality – part of that stem’s from Sadler’s role as a down on his luck ex-executioner with a penchant for electricity. However, this style, foul language, and nudity in smart uses set the tone for the almost whimsical scares of the series, and Tales from the Crypt immediately debuts its hallmarks as a mature, morbid anthology with free reign – unlike earlier classic series like Tales from the Darkside and their hands tied G ratings. It’s surprising then, that the series’ second episode is an update of “And All thru the House,” which was previously a segment in the 1973 Amicus anthology film Vault of Horror. Direct Zemeckis ups the paced, seventies suspense with effective scares and action for then-wife Mary Ellen Trainer (Lethal Weapon) thanks to lots of snow and jump moments – not to mention a very creepy looking Larry Drake (Dr. Giggles) as a fatal, on the prowl Santa escapee.

Man with nine lives Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) and carnival ringmaster Robert Wuhl (Arliss) star in “Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone” and pave the way for the more name guest stars often found on Tales from the Crypt. The audience likes the characters and thus needs to see an episode thru to the twists – even if the viewer is already counting down the lives here and looking for a deathly miscalculation. Likewise, beauty obsessed hooker Lea Thompson (also of Back to the Future) joins suave, sophisticated Brett Cullen (Falcon Crest) in Episode 4, “Only Sin Deep.” Though somewhat standard, not scary, and perhaps tough to believe, the attitude quickly changes here once voodoo, crime, and crooked pawnshops interfere.  The good life will always be too good to be true on Tales from the Crypt, yet there are always morbid tokens of morality or eerie, careful what you wish for warnings here. Even when an episode may feel sub par, the kickers and irony remain memorable.

“Lover Come Hack to Me” also suffers from a slightly typical and thin premise, as meek Amanda Plummer (So I Married an Ax Murderer) and her new gold digging husband Stephen Shellen (who totally looks like Charlie Sheen!) enter an abandoned mansion to escape a storm on their wedding night. Thankfully, the excellent atmosphere, apprehension, sexy gone awry, and bloody marital bent make up the difference. Maybe it’s a bad turn, campy, or simplistic, but there’s a certain fun to this kind of ghoulishness and watchability even when you know what happens next. “Collection Completed” stars Audra Lindley (Mrs. Roper on Three’s Company!) as a crazy cat lady with a bitter retiree M. Emmet Walsh (The Jerk) as her husband for even more demented domestic bliss. This couple just can’t get along now that they have all the time they desire. The dark humor and stuffy old people clichés won’t be for everyone, and major viewer warning for animal lovers!

As a macabre teen, I looked forward to watching this show and stopped for a rerun every time Tales from the Crypt was on – that opening, the Crypt Keeper, the stars of the hour, the forthcoming topper. Even the stinky ones have at least one memorable thing about them, and at 93 episodes total, it’s easy to browse, pick, and choose your favorites. Of course, the DVD presentation is a bit unusual, with basic or pointless features beyond the elsewhere available Tales from the Crypt: From Comics Books to Television documentary on Disc 2 of this Season 1 set.  Although I like not having the series’ introduction with each episode or the need to skip over it, it is weird that it only plays to start the video. Sometimes you just really look forward to that creepy, cobwebbed house tour and Danny Elfman’s (Edward Scissorhands) theme to get you in the mood, so the option to skip the opening with the play all feature might have been better. Fortunately, this Season 1 is all together on a very affordable, convenient set, often packaged with Tales from the Crypt Season 2. I do wish the series were still airing on television or at the very least streaming somewhere, but for the length and price, Season 1’s six episodes make for a super sized anthology movie-esque starter sampling. It’s easy to marathon Tales from the Crypt Season 1 for a macabre evening any time of year.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge 2014

Posted in News on April 13, 2014 by Emerian Rich

LAST DAY TO ENTER
Beauty & the Beast Wicked Women Writers Challenge 2014

Who Will It Be?  2014 Most Wicked

2014 Theme: Beauty & the Beast

Premise: There is something both fearsome and attractive in a wild thing, be it man or beast. From creature legends told around ancient campfires, to modern tales of King Kong and crypto zoology, critters have always captured our darkest imagination. Get your Beast on.

Challenge: Create a 10 minute horror podcast that contains four story elements, plus your written story. Registration closes 4-13-14. Audio and text are due on 5-13-14.

Story Elements: Each of our Wicked Belles will be assigned a location, a blessing, a curse … and a Beast. Your story must include a lady in peril and these four elements:

Location:  Anywhere in the world is fair game. A private zoo? A Japanese Nightclub? Kindergarten Show ‘N’ Tell? You are the game. We’ll give you the board.

Blessing:  A helpful item to tame the danger in your tale. We couldn’t have you stalked by a Werewolf without at least giving you a silver locket to melt down. Use your item wisely, Wicked. Even a trivial thing can save your life.

Curse:  An untimely disability. You can’t skip through this one without feeling a bite of a fang on your ass. The Norns can be quite evil with this element.

Beast:  Beasts will be drawn from the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, or Pig. The Beast may be a main character in your story, or may be represented in other creative ways… a tattoo? An advertising logo? A supernatural brute? Freak of nature? You name it, as long as you include it. Any genre of horror is welcome, but this ain’t Lassie, my Wickeds. Not unless she rips out your throat!

Dates to Remember:
Contest Opens –  March 4, 2014
Registration Closes – April 13, 2014
Audio & Text Due  - May 13, 2014
Elimination Round to 5 Wickeds – May 24, 2014
Voting Begins June 13, 2014
Voting Ends July 28, 2014
2014 Winner Announced August 23, 2014

WARNING: The Norns are majorly p.m.s.ing this year. This challenge involves shotgun-quick writing & recording skills. The squeamish need not apply!

If you would like to compete, send an e-mail to: Horroraddicts@gmail.com –We’ll send you the complete set of rules and assign your story elements. Remember, the sooner you respond, the more time you’ll have to write and produce your podcast.

GOOD LUCK, MY WICKED, AND MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR!

Maggie Fiske - Most Wicked 2013

Margaret Fiske, our 2013 Wicked Women Writer Winner, will contact you for further challenge details and timeline. Deadline to enter the 2014 Wicked Woman Writer Challenge is April 13, 2014.

Please note: The earlier you enter the challenge, the longer you’ll have to prepare, write, edit, and produce your contest entry before the deadline. Contest slots fill up fast!

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