Monday, October 31, 2022


Tonight's the night, Monster Kids! Time to dress up, grab your pillowcases and head out to the sidewalks. In the meantime, here's a bit of nostalgia that has remained a pop culture phenom since it was first recorded in 1962! This version is from American Bandstand in 1964. Bobby's lip-synching the tune.

Sunday, October 30, 2022


'Tis the season for haunted house tours. While they've been around for years, the technology put into these attractions has increased tremendously. From stuffed and stationary zombies to animatronic creatures of every type, the industry is becoming something of a monster itself -- and the rising ticket prices reflects this, sometimes costing upwards of $50.

One of the more recent innovations is the addition of ambient odors to "enhance" the experience. AromaPrime, a UK company, specializes in the development and distribution of "immersive themed scents" to haunted attraction entrepreneurs with aromas like Burning Witch, Blocked Urinal, Sewer and Rotting Flesh, all designed to be delivered through special pumps, just like your household air freshener except with a little kick.

This article from the WALL STREET JOURNAL explains further:

And if you thought your Halloween candy cost a little more this year . . .

Saturday, October 29, 2022


Yesterday, I wrote about a new slasher film that exploded into popularity, due to the press it's gotten for the extreme violence and graphic scenes that have made some theater-goers faint or vomit or both, I guess.

Today I present one of the most controversial short stories ever printed. Author Chuck Palahnuk's story, "Guts" was included in his "novel of short stories", HAUNTED, in 2005. The year before, it was published in the March, 2004 issue of PLAYBOY.

The author of FIGHT CLUB, Palahnuk has been reading this story to listeners since 2003 and so far he has made 73 people faint. I will spare you any details if you want to skip this, but suffice to say, the three "activities" that are described are taken from real events as told to the author.

Time for another of Stephen King's gross-outs!


Haunted: Why A Chuck Palahniuk Story Made 73 People Faint
In Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Haunted, there is a story so gruesome it has made 73 people faint at readings, according to the author's personal tally.
By Keith Deininger | December 22, 2020 |

In Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Haunted, there is a story that is so gruesome it has made 73 people faint at his readings—so far. Palahniuk began reading the story while on tour in 2003 and has kept track of the number of people who have passed out. Today, the story in question has become something of a legend.

Before the story was published in Palahniuk's 2005 novel, Haunted, it became one of the author's favorite to perform at readings. During his tour in 2003, he began to count the number of people who fainted from hearing the story. In 2004, the story was published in Playboy magazine's March edition and rumors were soon circulating regarding its content. Palahnuik continued to read the story in the summer of 2004 to promote his nonfiction book, Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories. During that time, the tally of the number of fainters rose to 60. The story was then published in Haunted. The last reported fainting occurred on May 28, 2007, bringing the current total to 73 as of this writing.

The story is entitled "Guts". "Guts" revolves around accidents involving masturbation, and it's an unforgettable tale. Haunted is best known for including this story and the novel, which is really more of a short story collection, begins with it. In the book, a narrator named "Saint Gut-Free" tells the story, musing on how even though his parents knew about the things he'd done, they never speak about them. In the story, three different acts are described, one involving a carrot, another some candle wax, and the last one that causes his intestines to prolapse. Each one is described in gruesome detail and anyone familiar with the story knows why "Guts" has caused so many people to faint.

Why Chuck Palahniuk Continued To Read "Guts" On Tour
Chuck Palahniuk is an author who thrives on shock value. Every one of his books, including Fight Club, his debut novel, deals with odd factoids, weird twists, and disturbing moments. "Guts" became a hallmark representation of Palahniuk's style, and given the reactions he was getting as people fainted, it's no wonder he kept reading it for so many years. In many ways, it perfectly showcases the author's twisted sense of humor.

Interestingly, all three of the acts that take place in "Guts" are based on real-world accounts from people Palahniuk spoke with. Palahniuk claims a friend of his told him about the first two acts. As for the final one—which is arguably the most shocking and disturbing—someone in a sex addiction group the author was shadowing while researching his novel Choke told him the story. Of course, now that "Guts" has become such a legendary story, people reading it today for the first time might not think it's that extreme. However, Palahniuk is a great storyteller with a vivid imagination and a keen sense of social irony, and "Guts" is one of his most unforgettable tales to date.


Friday, October 28, 2022


I remember a Stephen King quote from his excellent book, Danse Macabre: "If I find I cannot terrify him/her, I will try to horrify; and if I find I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out". These words can easily be applied to sum up many of the slasher/survival horror films of late, and in particular, the pair of director Damian Leone's Art the Clown series known as TERRIFIER. These are literally ripping yarns, folks, and if you don't have a strong stomach I suggest you break out your 10-foot pole.

Okay, I admit I watched the first in the series on Freevee, that "free" Amazon streaming service with the annoying ads that pop up regularly during the viewing of your movie. It starts off with a cliché: on Halloween night, two drunk girls, one the typical ditz and one the more serious and practical type, argue about who will drive each other home. In the meantime, they notice a person in a not-so-happy looking clown suit staring at them from down the street. Instead of driving (big mistake, of course), they decide to go to a pizzeria and eat something to sober up. While they are in the restaurant, the clown comes in, sits down and just stares at them. From then on begins a series of wildly gruesome murders. We are party to beheadings, knifings, and one of the most excruciating death scenes I've ever watched -- a naked woman hanging upside down who gets hack-sawed in half. These and another particular scene involving a torso-skinning would even make Ed Gein happy.

But, is TERRIFIER a good film? Besides the buckets of blood and gore, I'd have to say that technically, it is. Redeeming value or not, much care has been taken in the look of the picture, especially the lighting, which is reminiscent of the drenched colors used in Argento's SUSPIRIA. The acting is surprisingly good and David Howard Thornton does a very good job of miming Art's various actions without the use of dialogue. There is plenty of tension and yes, the murder scenes are stunningly vivid.

TERRIFIER 2 has hit the theaters this year and already the buzz is that it's more bloody and horrifying than the first installment. Reports of people fainting and vomiting has only increased its popularity. I don't think I've seen this much hysteria surrounding a horror film since THE EXORCIST in 1973. Even Stephen King has lent it some cred, praising it high on the scale of "old school" gross-out content, per his above-mentioned quote.

The articles below my suggestion for a barf bag to pass out to theatergoers chime in on this most unusual of phenomena.

'Terrifier 2' director reacts to reports that the horror flick made viewers vomit and faint during opening weekend
"Terrifier 2" proved to be too much to handle for some horror fans during its opening weekend. The slasher sequel premiered in theatres on October 6 and climbed to the top 10 at the box office, earning more than four times what it cost to make, according to Yahoo Entertainment.

The second installment picks up where 2016's "Terrifier" leaves off. When Art, the killer clown, is resurrected by a supernatural force, he continues terrorizing the residents of Miles County.

Since its opening, reports of viewers "vomiting" and '"fainting" during the viewing experience have hit social media.

"My friend passed out and the theater called an ambulance. Highly recommended," one Twitter user wrote. Another user wrote, "the guy behind me passed out cold n crashed into my chair, another guy left because he didn't feel good, I overheard him say and walking out theatre door I heard a guy puking hard & loud in the bathroom."

Writer and director Damien Leone recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the audience's visceral reaction to his film. 

"Listen, I would have loved to have a couple of walk-outs, I think that's sort of a badge of honor because it is an intense movie," he told the outlet, "I don't want people fainting, getting hurt during the movie. But it's surreal."

Leone went on to warn audience members to watch the first "Terrifier" before braving the sequel. After the reception "Terrifier" received Leone wanted to up the gore level to give the original fans what they want. 

"There is a now-notorious murder scene, a hacksaw scene, in Part I that everyone walks away talking about," Leone told EW. "We tried to rival that scene [in the new film] because the really supportive fan base that we've had this entire time, that has really started to put Art on a pedestal, I mean, those are the things that they really want," he continued.

Leone also announced that the "Terrifier" films are just getting started, and the twisted sequel has a cliffhanger that will leave fans wanting more.

"There's a lot more to explore with Art the Clown for sure," he told EW. 


Stephen King's Praise for Terrifier 2 Receives Response from Director
Terrifier 2 director Damien Leone responds to horror author Stephen King’s praise for his disgustingly gory sequel, calling it a “tremendous honor.”

Terrifier 2 director Damien Leone responds to Stephen King's high praise for the bloody horror sequel. Leone's latest installment in his Terrifier franchise released in select theaters on October 6. David Howard Thornton returns as Art the Clown, starring alongside Lauren LaVera, Elliott Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Kailey Hyman, and Samantha Scaffidi, who is also reprising her role of Vicky from the original 2016 film. Terrifier 2 is set one year after the events of the first movie, following Art the Clown as he targets Sienna Shaw (LaVera) and her younger brother Jonathan (Fullam) on Halloween night and goes on a savage blood-soaked murder spree.

Since its release, Terrifier 2 seems to be surpassing the first film in popularity. Not only is the gory splatter film seeing success at the box office, but it has also been met with generally favorable reviews from critics. The Terrifier sequel also earned a badge of honor for a horror film with reports of audience members passing out and vomiting in theaters. Terrifier 2's publicity has reached such a point that even renowned horror author Stephen King shared his review. The best-selling author praised the film with a short tweet that referenced some of Terrifier 2's spectacularly disgusting effects, saying, "Grossin’ you out old-school."

Of course, King's words attracted attention, and Leone has shared his reaction to the King of Horror's review. The Terrifier 2 director responded to King on Twitter and shared his gratitude for the "tremendous honor." declaring that the author's quote would be going on the poster. 


Thursday, October 27, 2022


An lot of horror movie Scream Queens have graced the screen over the years, but Caroline Jane Munro is a standout. The dark-haired beauty was born in 1949 in England and today is 73 years young.

Miss Munro has enjoyed a long career as a cover girl for fashion magazines and books, a pin-up model and of course, a Hammer Glamour girl.

This issue of Jim Steranko's MEDIASCENE newspaper (#37. May-June 1979) features an article on Munro, as well as some nice Bill Ward work and coverage of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


This here's a fine little Australian fanzine that was published in 1993 -- it's issue #14 and the 5th anniversary of FATAL VISIONS. It ran for 21 issues until it bled out.

Highlights are an interview with director Sam Raimi, an article on Mexploitation films, and like many other fanzines, tons of reviews.