October 5th, 2009


Intro to Horror 101

My girlfriend can't really handle horror movies, she told me. At least, not the really scary kind. The last horror movie she saw in theaters was The Ring, and considering that I, as a horror movie veteran, got nightmares from it, I can only imagine what her reaction was.

She can handle some horror movies, though. She likes Shaun of the Dead, Slither, Tremors--basically, anything that's not too intense and has a healthy dose of humor to diffuse the terror. Still, she wants to learn more about horror movies, so I'm easing her into the genre slowly with movies I think she'll enjoy and that won't freak her out.

This weekend I introduced her to An American Werewolf in London, which I thought might be the perfect humor-horror mix for her. She liked it a lot and wasn't too scared by it, though she did proclaim parts of it to be "gross."

So now I'm wondering what funny-scary movie to introduce her to next. Return of the Living Dead comes to mind, though it's even grosser than Werewolf and may be too gross for her, I don't know. Re-Animator certainly would be, though I think she would enjoy that one too, eventually. I think we're going to have to work up to it. Someone else recommended Drag Me to Hell as a good funny-scary movie she might like, and when I get it from Netflix we'll give it a shot. I'm definitely going to show her some of the B&W classics she may not have seen, including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which I think she'll enjoy despite the high cheese factor.

But still, I could use some recommendations. What funny-scary, not too intense horror movies should I put on our curriculum?

Intro to Horror 101, Part Two

This just in from my girlfriend, posted with her permission, with regard to my last entry about finding fun (and funny, if possible), not-too-scary horror movies to introduce her to:

"OK, some of this you may already know: I've seen all of the Evil Dead movies (and the musical) and enjoyed them immensely. I even own the "Boomstick" edition of Army of Darkness. And I saw Bubba Ho-Tep, too, which was super! I saw Dusk til Dawn and hated it because I find Quentin Tarantino loathsome. I've seen Rosemary's Baby and it scared me, but in a good way. I saw Arachnophobia the same night I went camping. THIS WAS A BAD IDEA. But I learned from the experience and did not go to see Blair Witch while I was living upstate in the woods. The lesson didn't really take -- I saw The Shining while living in a big, run-down Victorian mansion in the woods in upstate NY. Somehow I thought this would be OK. IT WAS SO NOT OK. I've seen Lost Boys but it didn't leave much of an impression on me. I can barely remember it. I've seen The Frighteners -- I went specifically for MJF and left thinking, "Well, that was not his usual type of vehicle." I saw the Buffy movie and was unimpressed but I loved the series. I'm looking forward to Zombieland, which you already know. I'm also looking forward to Død Snø because foreign films are classy. I've never seen any of the other movies suggested, but I trust your judgment. Especially because I know you will take responsibility for peeling me off the ceiling if I get too freaked out."

So far, I'm thinking of the following movies, which she hasn't seen:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (plus all the old Universal classics like Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon)
Cast a Deadly Spell
The Comedy of Terrors (which I can then use to ease her into the Corman Poe adaptations)
The Company of Wolves (I'm pretty sure she can handle this one right now, as it's more dreamy than scary)
Drag Me to Hell
Ed Wood (not a horror movie, but it came up in conversation)
Fright Night
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Return of the Living Dead
Theatre of Blood (which we're seeing at the Film Forum in November!)

On reserve for the "intermediate class":

Dead Alive
Dog Soldiers
Ginger Snaps

Keep those great suggestions coming!

And Another Blurb for CHASING THE DRAGON

This lovely new blurb for Chasing the Dragon just landed in my Inbox this afternoon, from another of my favorite writers:

"Nicholas Kaufmann is one of my favorites. His books never disappoint, and Chasing the Dragon is no exception. Relentless and unflinching, Chasing the Dragon offers mayhem, meat puppets and one hell of a monster. Highly recommended!" -- Brian Keene, author of Darkness On the Edge of Town and Dead Sea

Get set for the trade paperback release in March, 2010, from ChiZine Publications!