Wednesday, December 25

MerryChristmas - New FREE Short Story



Merry Christmas to all my friends and fiends out there. Hope you all had a fantastic howliday season - and here's a little present from me to you. My latest short story, free for the next 5 days on Amazon. Thanks to all of you for the support through the years - you guys are the best!
Scary Christmas!!


DOWNLOAD STORY HERE

PS - if you enjoy this story, leave me a review on Amazon. Thanks!


Wednesday, November 27

Kickstarter for Dr. Gangrene Comic, MEMOIRS OF THE MYSTERIOUS


The Kickstarter campaign is now under way for the Gangrene comic, Memoirs of the Mysterious - an EC Comics inspired horror anthology book.  Joe Badon, who is the mastermind behind the comic, has some great incentives for the book, including the special Dr. Gangrene level below.
Going to be one fun book for sure!! Check it out, and contribute if you can!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857321894/memoirs-of-the-mysterious-comic-anthology
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 5

Alpha Madness!!

Thought I'd post this cover from an upcoming DVD from the fine folks at Alpha Video. One thing you can always count on with Alpha - they always have terrific covers! Don't know much about THE MENACE WITH 5 ARMS or its companion movie, CURSE OF THE INSECT WOMAN, but they look like great schlocky b-movie fun! Available soon from Alpha Video!!

 
Would make a great companion piece to this other Alpha DVD -
ATTACK OF THE OCTOPUS PEOPLE!!
 
 
 
 
AND while we're on the subject - don't forget to pick up a copy of another great Alpha product with a terrific cover - THE DREADFULL HALLOWGREEN SPECIAL - starring everyone's favorite Mad scientist, yours ghouly, teaming up with the one and only Penny Dreadful to save Halloween!


 
 Get your own copy - Available here: http://drgangrene.bigcartel.com/
 
 
 

Interview with Horror Author Annie Walls


Nashville has really sorta become the “it” city of late – and why not, we've got it all – it's the home of country music and more country stars than you can shake a banjo at, a professional football team (Titans), a professional hockey team (Predators), our own regular TV series based in this city (Nashville) – and now the living dead have even found their way to Music City, courtesy of horror writer Annie Walls. I got a chance to sit down and chat with Annie recently about her books, writing, and more. I think you ghouls will dig it!



Dr. Gangrene - So tell me about your latest series of books, your zombie novels.



Annie – My zombie novels are dark fantasy. It’s a character driven series called the FAMISHED TRILOGY. The first one is called TAKING ON THE DEAD. I just published the second book, CONTROLLING THE DEAD. I just started revising the third one, LIVING WITH THE DEAD. It’s pretty highly anticipated by my readers, so it’s exciting.


 

Dr. Gangrene – So the response to the first two books has been good then?

Annie – Yes. I was quite surprised with how many people like my story.

Dr. Gangrene – So tell me a little more about the story – it’s a zombie apocalypse, right?

Annie – Yes, it’s set in Nashville, and it’s about a young woman who’s alone for four years and she comes across some circumstances and eventually heads out into the world to see how things are going. It’s just about her and how she’s adapting to the new world and all the people in it.

Doc G – So it takes place in Nashville, huh? Cool! Does the action ever end up in your home town, Murfreesboro (about 30 min South of Nashville), and will Nashville readers spot places and landmarks they recognize?

Annie - I should say, even though I do not mention Murfreesboro, it starts out there and later on, there's a Walmart scene. (laughs) Yes, lots of landmarks in Nashville. Although, my books aren't a survival handbook the story setting moves to New Orleans, Montana, to Arizona in the second book. And all over in the third.

Dr. Gangrene - So the zombie apocalypse has already occurred when the book starts.

Annie – Well, the prologue is her going through the zombie apocalypse. Then the first chapter starts four years later.

Doc G – Is it a giveaway to say what causes the zombies in your novels?

Annie – Yeah, a little bit. You don’t really know until around the end of the second book. But there’s clues and hints all through… Cause it’s her, she’s finding all this out.

Doc G – I see, we’re learning as she learns.

Annie – Yeah, you’re learning as she learns.

Doc G – So you mentioned to me the other day you like to write gore…

Annie – I do, I really like to get nasty (laughs).

Doc G – I was reading some of your reviews and some people felt they were heavy on the romance, which makes for an interesting combination, romance and gore.

Annie – Well, you know, it’s what people take out of it. There is a romantic element but that’s not the focus. Not at all. 

Doc G – Cool. So after you finish up this series, what’s next?

Annie – Well, I have a couple of series in the works. More dark fantasy, and I did write a quirky love story novel, but I don’t know if I’m going to publish that or not. It was just a spur of the moment write. But the series I will be publishing is a dystopian society story, and the main protagonist is a psychic. Lots more colorful characters with a gritty, raw feel. That’s what I like to write.

I also have a graphic design business, so it’s a balancing act. I just started graphic designing, and I do all my own graphics. I started doing it because it’s really, really expensive, and when you’re an indy author that’s an expense you have to take on, so I just learned to do it myself. Since then I’ve had other people ask, “Will you do my book cover, “ or, “Will you design my blog,” so it’s just taken off from there.

Doc Gangrene – I do really like your covers, they are really well designed.

Annie – Thank you.

Doc Gangrene – Is that something you're open to doing more of, designing covers for other authors.

Annie – Yes, I am open to that, it's just a matter of time management.



Doc G – Have you always been interested in writing?

Annie – Yes, I’ve been writing since I was really young, just little stories here and there, but I’ve never really thought to make that my actual dream. (laughs) It’s just something that came about a few years ago.

Doc G – Well, the Indy publishing scene has gotten to the point where it’s possible now.

Annie – Yes. It’s easy to publish, but the steps an Indy author should take are hard work. You really have to put a lot into it to be noticed. It’s the quality of writing, getting an editor and a copy editor, beta readers help… Indy authors have a bad rep for putting out low quality work because it is so easy to publish. It is a lot of work, but I like both sides of it, the promotion and the marketing, connecting with readers. It’s fun.

Doc G – How do you do connect with readers?

Annie – Social networking. I get all kinds of comments and emails and I respond to every one. Right now I can still do that, but it’s getting to a point where I can’t tell each reader apart, so it might change. But I’ll keep trying.

Doc G – That’s a good problem to have. Where can folks find you?

Annie – I’m on twitter, @theanniewalls - and facebook, and google plus. And my website mostly, www.anniewalls.com



Doc G – Do you do a newsletter?

Annie – Yes I do, not all the time. And you can subscribe to it through the website.

Doc G - So you just had the launch for the second novel?

Annie - I did. I’m going through my book blog tour now, where all these blogs read my book or do an interview or something. And I have a big giveaway going on for a signed copy of Controlling the Dead. I’m putting together a Famished trilogy inspired “Zombie Survival Kit”(laughs).


 Doc G – Cool!

Annie – Yeah, that’s really been fun to do. I just got these little soaps in the mail – zombie repellent! It smells really good, I shoulda got myself some! It actually repels insects too. It’s just a little kit that I’m throwing together and you can win in a giveaway.

Doc G – That kind of stuff is thinking outside the box, and that’s what you’ve gotta do.

Annie – You do, you really have to step outside the box, for sure.

Doc G - When do you find time to write? Are you a morning person or…

Annie – I write whenever it’s there. I can’t force myself to write. It could be anytime of the day. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to write, and I’ve stayed up for a few days in a row to write. It comes and goes. There’s also been like a month and a half where I didn’t write at all. But I think everyone is different in that way. 

Doc G – Definitely. So, getting back to the zombie books, when do you think the third one will come out?

Annie – I wrote all of these within a matter of months and I’ve learned so much about writing and my writing has dramatically improved, so the revision stage is gruesome. When I wrote the trilogy it was in past tense, and I’m switching it to present tense. The third book is 130,000 words, (laughs), so it’s gonna take a little while, but hopefully before next summer (2014).

Doc G – Since it’s so long, is there any chance it could expand to a fourth as you’re writing it?

Annie – Oh no, no. A trilogy is a trilogy – I’m sticking by that. It’s gonna conclude… the end. 

Doc G – Then on to something else.

Annie – Yeah, with the big blowup of the zombie thing, truthfully, I’m kind of tired of zombies! I’m ready to move on. There’s only so many ways you can kill a zombie and have it be entertaining (laughs). I’ve been a zombie fan since I knew what zombies were, but now that everyone is all “zombie, zombie, zombie” I’m kind of burned out. 

Doc G – I get that. Well thanks for chatting with me Annie, and I wish you all the best with your books. Be sure to let me know if I can ever help you with anything.

Annie – Will do and thanks!


 You can order Annie's books off Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Annie-Walls/e/B009F0UQZK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1383654151&sr=8-1

And, as a special bonus, Annie has graciously shared an excerpt from her book, the afore -mentioned Walmart scene - Enjoy!

* * * * * * * *

    The sun shines brightly, which means there are no signs of famished as the van pulls in the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot, empty of cars. Not a single one. Old scorch marks adorn the lot from body disposal. Litter blows all over like leaves in the fall. Reece, Mac, and I glance at each other. Usually, places like this show more signs of outbreak panic. I’m surprised at this because I’ve always avoided where there could be many zombies in one place. Reece drives by the entrances; both doors are wide open with no visible movement inside the store. He backs the van into an entrance as far as he can go.
Being parked inside of a Wal-Mart has potential for some comic relief.
My mouth opens to crack a joke until Reece says, “Mac, you take medical supplies. Kan, you go look for any camping gear you can find. I’ll take household items and hardware.” His voice is all business and commanding, now that we’re here.
Sunlight bounces off Reece's tattooed bald head and causes a double glare in his sunglasses. His leather vest squeaks as he opens his door. “Keep alert.” Mac and I nod, getting out.
Since the air is warmer in here than outside, Mac pulls his red hoodie off, throwing it in the back. I almost leave my jacket in the van, but slide on my battered army pack taking stock of myself. My machete hangs from its normal spot on the right side of the pack – the Bersas and a hunting knife adorn my belt.
I take a deep breath through my nostrils, making out a faint trace of decay from the living dead with a strange, bitter stench. We stand in a row listening for any sounds of lurking zombies.
“Smell it?” I whisper, glancing to Mac. His brows draw together, and his bottom lip sticks out as his tongue runs across the inside of it rapidly. I can see him perfectly in the light of the open glass doors, sandy blond curls puff up on one side as if he had run a hand through it. His white T-shirt seems extra bright.
Blue eyes search around intently before stopping at me, burning bright as he flashes me a smile and tugs on one of my long dreads. “Nothing to worry about. It’s not strong and it’s warm in here. Not an ideal place for the undead,” he reassures me.
I return the smile before letting my gaze seek movement. Light coming in through the doors illuminates enough to make out aisles. The darkened shadows seem to drift outward as I watch. Mac claps his hands and the sounds echoes.
While we wait, Reece walks a few feet away searching down the closer aisles. A croaked moan cuts through my awareness seeming to bounce from walls to rafters. I freeze at the sound as the hair on my arms stand on end. A thick slithering comes from between the cash registers. Clearly in no immediate danger, I walk toward the sound without another thought. I can’t see what it is from the darkened area.
“Hey,” Mac says quietly close to my ear as he moves to stand in front of me, before clicking on a small flash-light. I pull my gun as I catch sight of what lays in the flashlight beam. I slide back the rail with ease, silently chambering a bullet.
“Don’t waste your ammo,” he says as the light flashes the length of the zombie on the smooth, tiled floor.
It looks up at us with eyes filmed over a milky color, but darkened black with settled blood. With all of its hair still intact, skin sags around his eyes and jaw. One arm reaches out toward us, clawing the air. A few of his cracked fingernails have already fallen off. The bottom half is nothing but gnawed bones with hanging nerves. Thickened blood smears the floor beneath him, leaving a trail from where he had been dragging himself. With the other arm completely missing, the flailing one has a huge bag strapped around the shoulder with a few ripped strips of a faded black shirt sleeve.
“Holy shit!” Reece breathes, approaching from behind. “Damned thing is ugly. Might be the source of the smell.”
I doubt it. It’s not old enough for the decayed smell in the air. Judging from how rapidly he can move his arm, if he had legs he would be able to run.
Mac hands me the flashlight. “He was hanging onto that bag for dear life,” he observes, bending over with a knife. The famished’s hand grabs at him. Mac automatically steps on it as if it’s a pesky cockroach. Holding the arm down with his combat boot, Mac slits the bag open. I shine the light on its contents. Liters of rubbing alcohol and dozens of boxes of cold medicine spill out.
Mac scoffs in unison with Reece. I say, “Someone must have been sick.” Reece holds back a snort of amusement. I glance at him sharply. “What the hell is so funny?” He only raises his bushy eye-brows. I must be missing the obvious.
“No one was sick. This dude was going to cook meth. Explains the weird smell. Might be why he is so hyped for an older zombie,” Mac explains as he straightens, stomping his boot to the famished’s head. “Fucking redneck.” Disgust oozes from his tone as the zombie wiggles. He stomps again, this time a crunch sounds, splattering fresh gore. Specks of it hit my jeans.
I cock an eyebrow at Mac crossing my arms. “And you aren’t?” I joke.
He smirks, “Okay, backwoods redneck.”
I nod as though I approve.
Reece sighs warily, not trusting this location. “Let’s finish in here.”
Sticking the gun in the front of my jeans, I make my way to the back where the sporting goods section is located. The place has been looted. People looted for anything they could carry. I doubt I’ll find ammunition here. Getting closer to the back, the rank smell thickens. It’s also gotten darker, but I still have Mac’s small flashlight in my back pocket.
My eyes widen as I realize there are aisle racks moved around; arranged to make up separate rooms. Judging by all the garbage and sleeping bags, someone lived here, and by the way it stinks, for some time. I notice more empty bottles and cold medicine packaging. Mac was right. The pre-zombie had been cooking meth. Everything that I came for has been used at some point. The blankets are soiled and reek of the unknown. The only question that remains is where are the other occupants? I assume they escaped an attack.
A shuffle sounds in the next aisle. I freeze as a groan floats down my own aisle, sending goose bumps up the back of my neck. I turn to see an old one turning down my aisle at the very end. Excitement surges, and I start walking closer to it when several more turn into the aisle.
I stop to watch as they walk jerkily slow. The first one’s head cocks to one side as if curious about me. It reminds me of a dog waiting on a treat. This one had been a woman, the hair a gangly mess of missing chunks. Her skin, still bluish in color, would soon turn green and textured. This might be a good time to try a Molotov. Knowing the risks, I pull a jar out of my pack, stabbing a slit in the top with the hunting knife before re-sheathing it in my belt, and then dip the cloth to thread it through the slit. A few twists of the cap, and I light the rag with a lighter.
Tossing it to the floor in front of the putrid, the glass busts, making the moonshine splatter and catch fire instantly. The flame spreads on the floor and up the putrid’s body in a licking wave as it follows fumes, spills, and splatters.
Blinking at the flaming zombie, I note it slows them considerably as its skin melts in front of me. Time to get out of here before the burning smell hits me.
A snarl erupts from behind me before I am slammed in the back, falling forward to the floor. A frustrated grunt escapes me when I catch myself on my knee as pain splinters through it. My huge pack smacks me in the head, but keeps the famished from getting a lock on me.
Holding myself up with my arm, I kick out, scrambling away from the zombie. When I get myself turned around, the famished is on top of me again. We fall, with me on my back, awkwardly because of my pack, as I hold the famished away from me by its neck, and the machete clangs on the floor. The zombie’s hand entangles in my dreadlocks. My scalp feels like it’s ripping from my skull. I yelp, feeling its clammy skin almost to the point of slimy. Trying not to cringe away from it as thick drool drips down my neck from its mouth, I use all my strength trying to keep it away from me.
There’s another inhuman snarl, and I know at least one more comes for me. The fire from the flaming zombie gives me enough light as the second zombie tumbles into me from the side. Throwing my elbow at it, I knock it away.
The first zombie’s mouth snaps way too close to my face as I grapple with my gun in my left hand. Pulling the trigger, I get a clean shot to the head, turning my head before the gore shower sprays me. The shot still resonates in my ear as the stench of burning putrid becomes thick in my throat, tasting of foul death.
Gunshots echo from the other direction. Reece and Mac. The zombie wastes no time jumping on top of me, but not before I put my feet in the air bending at my knees. Aches spring in my joints with the weight of it. It’s breath smells like rotten meat and soured blood, which brings on a bout of nausea as I swallow the extra saliva, threatening to help release  the contents of my stomach. Stained black teeth bite the air in front of me as I push up with both legs with all my strength. Having the desired effect, the zombie disappears sideways as I kick it – able to aim my gun at it immediately, squeezing the trigger.
 The zombie torch reaches me, a keening sound coming from its throat. I kick myself away from the already dead famished, easily surfing backward from the slick zombie blood. One shot to its head, and it slumps on top of the dead zombie, still on fire. Standing up, smoke fills my lungs, and I put my hands on my knees, trying not to hack.
When I’m able to gulp air, relief washes through me in a strong tide, bringing exhaustion with it, but I still have an aisle of slow zombies coming at me. Their scuffling sounds ten times louder now that my famished brawl is over.
An explosion drowns out the putrid parade, then another right after. The double sounds boom inside my ears, causing instant pain, and shake the building violently. They are going to bring the Wal-Mart tumbling down on top of us, all the while making us deaf.
I cover my head and ears as debris flies all over me. Some of the zombie have fallen over from the explosions, making it smell like burnt cheese mixed in a used restroom toilet. I don’t have time to worry about Mac and Reece, I just have to get to them.
I turn to run in the other direction, slipping on blood, and my boot squeaks on the slick floor. I catch myself on a rack, my right arm windmilling. The rack tilts slightly, causing items on it to tumble down onto me and crash to the floor. Luckily, nothing hurts. It’s either that or my adrenaline keeps me from feeling it. Regaining my balance, I let go of the rack in order to keep running. The rack smashes down behind me.
Coming around a corner, I smack into a body, and strong hands grab my arms. “Kan!” It’s Mac. His stark white shirt glows from the fire, and it reflects in his wide eyes.
“Shit! Famished all over. We need to leave!” I shout the obvious, my hearing still filled with static.
He pushes me out of the way. “Yeah, I know,” he shouts back, pulling his gun to fire rounds into the aisle I just emerged from. His shots make my ears ring all the more. I think he just wants to shoot something.
“You’re wasting bullets! Will you give my ears a rest? They are going to start bleeding!” I shout some more.
“Whhuuut?” He yells, mocking me by cupping a hand around his ear. Smiling at his joke, he grabs my arm. “Let’s go,” he says urgently. We look around every aisle while hurrying to the van.
Mac shoots more on the way out. I ignore them as long as they aren’t in our way. Reece has already started the van and waits on us. We jump in, and before we can even get the door closed, he peels out of Wal-Mart. I fall back against the seat, knowing I needed this trip. I needed the reminder. I'm getting too comfortable, which is a mistake that will eventually bite me in the ass. I know it.

Monday, November 4

Romero's take on The Walking Dead

Director George Romero sounded off on his opinion of the hit TV show, The Walking Dead, in the interview below. I first saw this posted on Facebook last week, and have seen it again several times since.


 
 
In it Romero dismisses The Walking Dead as being merely a soap opera. Well, that makes sense, as he started the whole modern zombie movement, and these are people having huge success based on the work he created. Kind of not fair, in a way, but you know what? The Walking Dead is scarier and has better effects than either of Romero’s last two movies – particularly SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, which features some embarrassing CGI blood effects and an equally embarrassing storyline. There is NOTHING scary about Romero’s zombies in that film. The humans have learned to cope with the dead, which have become about as threatening to them as mosquitos.

Romero says…

“I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism, and I find that missing in what's happening now."

… Yeah. And honestly, that’s exactly why I enjoy The Walking Dead. Romero’s heavy-handed commentaries bug me to no end. He is so busy trying to send a message – and believe me, there is no subtlety in those messages, even the most dense viewer would “get” it – that he has worked everything scary out of the movie. His zombies are a joke, an afterthought. The humans don’t fear them any longer, so why should we? In fact his zombies are now learning, regaining consciousness, and becoming more humanistic. One of them even rode a horse, fer cryin out loud - Again, losing everything frightening about them. Man, just tell a monster movie, George!!
 
 
George sounds sour about TWD to me. It is way more successful than his last two film ventures, and with good reason. TWD is fun. It isn’t beating you over the head with a message, and features killer special effects. Look at the bicycle zombie from Season One of TWD – that is probably the single greatest zombie makeup ever created. Great work, KNB!
 

This is the type of show I used to dream about seeing when I was a kid – I am not going to miss this for anything. I love George’s first three zombie movies, they’re fantastic – but his later three are more interested in the message than the story. And that is the problem with them.

Monday, October 28

Dr. Gangrene's Halloween Classic Films List on 4 Letter Nerd



The folks over at the 4 Letter Nerd website asked me to do a list of classic films available streaming from Netflix, as a Halloween viewing guide for their readers. Check it out - some fun stuff on Netflix right now!!

http://www.fourletternerd.com/dr-gangrene-presents-10-classic-horror-movies-on-netflix/

 

Friday, October 25

New movie Son of Ghostman looks terrific!

Sometimes social media is a real pain in the ass, but other times it can be a terrific thing. The latter happened yesterday, as I sent out an innocuous twitter post (a tweet, to use the correct term - a term I kinda hate, though) saying "Halloween is just a week away!"

I really wasn't expecting much if anything in response, was merely espousing my love of the season, when to my surprise came the following response:

"@drgangrene: Halloween is just a week away!" And the perfect horror host companion piece... vimeo.com/ondemand/sonofghostman

That TWEET (ugh) came from Kurt Edward Larson, who is is promotion mode for his new movie, SON OF GHOSTMAN, available soon. I followed the link, not really knowing what to expect, and was pleased to find a trailer for a new film that looks fantastic. From Kurt's website, sonofghostman.com, here is the official Synopsis:



synopsis

Denny McNamara has been recently dumped, he’s unemployed, and his older brother Harold is threatening to sell the house Denny rents. By all accounts, he’s a loser.

Motivated by his childhood hero, a local celebrity Horror Host named Ghostman, Denny decides to throw on some makeup and become the Son of Ghostman. Thing is, Denny isn’t exactly suited for the role, but his car-crash inducing videos go viral, and he must decide what and where his future lies.
Complicating matters is the arrival of neighborhood sweetheart, Claire, and her nephew, Zack. Unbeknownst to Claire, Zack quickly becomes a key part of the Son of Ghostman production team, something she surely wouldn’t allow having promised his Mother he’d attend college.

In the midst of it all, the current local Horror Host, a leather-pants wearing, sexy vampire named Count Dracool, is close to having his show picked up by the national cable outlet, Weird & Wild. But when the execs of Weird & Wild see the social networking statistics of Son of Ghostman, they start to question which Horror Host should go national, inciting Count Dracool to try and uncover the secret identity of Son of Ghostman.

Denny must find a way to thwart his high school nemesis, help navigate the college-bound Zack down a path of happiness, win Claire’s affection, and ultimately, figure out his own life.

******

I've posted the trailer below. Check it out and look for Son of Ghostman soon. It promises to be a fun-filled, heartwarming film that is a loving tribute to classic horror hosts of yeaterday and those carrying on the tradition today. Available at their website, streaming on Vimeo, and on DVD.

For more info: Kurt Edward Larson
@kurtedwardl
http://sonofghostman.com
http://vimeo.com/ondemand/sonofghostman



Tuesday, October 22

New short story published in COMFORT FOODS anthology

Spooky greetings, folks!

October is here - it's my favorite time of the year, and I've been making the most of it! Decorating the house to the hilt (yeaah, I'm THAT guy, the one in the neighborhood that goes all out with the home haunt), watching lots of spooky movies, and getting out to as many haunted attractions as possible. Along with all of the holiday festivities I have been busy writing, too. Working on finishing up my Thirteen for 13 series as well as some non-fiction works. In fact, one of my most recent tales, RETRIEVAL SERVICE, was just published in the anthology COMFORT FOODS.


 Available at AMAZON here

Edited by Nikki Nelson-Hicks, this anthology features 13 stories from the Nashville writer's group. Nikki put a call out on Facebook for more entries, so I submitted my most recent story. I wasn't actually a member of the Nashville writer's group - In fact I joined just so I could submit this story. But regardless, it's my first printed work and I'm happy to see it in print!

So Happy Halloween to all of you, and may your jack o'lanterns always burn bright!!

Wednesday, October 16

Coming Soon - Memoirs of the Mysterious

Coming soon, a new horror anthology comic hosted by yours ghouly, the Physician of Fright, Dr. Gangrene. It is by Joe Badon (who did the cover art) and is called MEMOIRS OF THE MYSTERIOUS. More details soon!! Stay tuned!



Wednesday, October 9

Audio Play - The Cask of Amontillado, starring Mark Redfield and John Astin!


Just in time for the Halloween season, the Poe Forevermore Radio Theater presents THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO - available for a mere $1.99 at CD Baby:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/markredfield2

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO stars John Astin as Montresor and Mark Redfield as Fortunato. The play was adapted from Poe's short story and directed by Tony Tsendeas.

Poe Forevermore Radio Theater brings you adaptations of contemporary and classic tales of mystery, horror and the imagination. The series is produced and hosted by its creator Mark Redfield.
Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" was published in November 1846, in Godey's Lady's Book. This performance of Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" was recorded before a live audience on June 22nd, 2013 at Westminster Hall Burial Grounds, in Baltimore, Maryland, where Edgar Allan Poe is buried.

I listened to this play on my drive in to work this morning, and it is really terrific. It is adapted from the Poe story, slightly updated but retaining all the Poe chills and charm. Mark Redfield is especially impressive as Fortunato, and it is great to hear fan favorite John Astin at work as well. A neat little Halloween treat - to find out more about Poe Forevermore Radio go to: http://poeforevermore.com

Monday, October 7

Midnight Syndicate launches Kickstarter campaign in support of MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE LIVE! multimedia Halloween horror concert.

Hey fright fans, Doc Gangrene here with some big news!
 
My good friends at Midnight Syndicate have launched a kickstarter to bring to life something I've wanted to see for years - a LIVE Midnight Syndicate concert - BUT, what they have planned is more than a simple concert - this is going to be a multimedia extravaganza.
 
 

 
 
Midnight Syndicate launches Kickstarter campaign in support of MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE LIVE! multimedia Halloween horror concert.
After seventeen studio albums, including three horror movie scores and a motion picture of their own, Gothic Halloween Horror music composers Midnight Syndicate have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a multimedia concert experience. Entitled MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE LIVE! the Halloween horror-themed show will feature a unique blend of live Midnight Syndicate music, original films, music videos, and live theatre.
"We want it to be a feast for the eyes as much as the ears," said Gavin Goszka, "a unique show that is not only a Midnight Syndicate concert but also something that stands on its own as a great horror multimedia experience." In order create the visual elements of the show, the band is teaming up with of veterans from the special FX, film, and haunted house industries. The initial group includes special FX legend Robert Kurtzman (Creature Corps, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, KNB EFX), director Gary Jones (XENA, AXE GIANT), David "House" Greathouse (FACEOFF, Mushroomhead), Jason Carter (BABYLON 5, THE DEAD MATTER), Beki Ingram (FACEOFF), and Jason Blaszczak of Screamline Studios (Rob Zombie's AMERICAN NIGHTMARE). "Because of the style of our music and our ties to the film, roleplaying game, and haunted house industries we're in the perfect position to put together a unique show that blends the best of these different worlds," said Edward Douglas. "It's a project almost two decades in the making. We want to bring your nightmares to life," added Gavin Goszka.
"We've always been our own label and distributor with little commercial radio airplay, so it's really been the fans' support over these past seventeen years that has allowed Midnight Syndicate to continue to grow. They really are the best fans in the world," said Edward Douglas. "This live concert is something that our fans have been asking us to do for many years. The Kickstarter campaign is giving us the opportunity to involve them from the beginning and allowing us to take this exciting next step together."
MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE LIVE! Kickstarter Campaign:
Midnight Syndicate Official Website: www.MidnightSyndicate.com

MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE
For almost two decades, composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been known as Midnight Syndicate, creating symphonic soundtracks to imaginary films that facilitate a transcendental and adventurous escape into the secret dimensions of the mind’s eye. To many of their fans, they are Gothic music pioneers brewing a signature blend of orchestral horror music and movie-style sound effects. To others, they remain the first “haunted house band” that forever changed the Halloween music genre and became a staple of the October holiday season. And some know them as the duo that teamed up with Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast to produce the first official soundtrack to the legendary Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Their critically-acclaimed works are reminiscent of sweeping, complex masterpieces by artists such as James Horner, Danny Elfman, Black Sabbath and King Diamond and have been featured as a part of films, television shows, video games and at haunted attractions, amusement parks, and live performances worldwide.
Midnight Syndicate’s music has become integral to setting a powerful mood at top-rated haunted attractions and amusement parks as well as at costume shops, gaming and Halloween parties and Halloween-themed cruises from Siberia and Hong Kong, to Europe and the United States. The duo has released 15 studio albums since 1997, and Douglas and Goszka’s original, work also been used at Hugh Hefner’s Halloween parties, on episodes of The Barbara Walters Special and in the drive-in film THE RAGE, Universal Studio’s Horror Nights XVIII as well as by Monday Night Football and by artists Insane Clown Posse, Three Six Mafia, Twiztid and The Misfits. In 2010, Midnight Syndicate released a full-length horror film called THE DEAD MATTER, directed, scored and co-produced by Douglas alongside special FX legend Robert Kurtzman and director/producer Gary Jones.
Midnight Syndicate continues to pursue its quest to use instrumental music to tell explicit stories full of tension, twists and turns. Most recently, the band completed the score to the grindhouse thriller AXE GIANT: THE WRATH OF PAUL BUNYAN. In summer, 2013, Midnight Syndicate released the soundtrack to that film along with MONSTERS OF LEGEND a tribute to the classic Universal, Hammer and Euro horror films that gave birth to horror cinema. MONSTERS OF LEGEND has quickly become the band's most critically-acclaimed album to date.

Wednesday, October 2

Joe Badon kickstarter - Outside the Lines

Illustrator/writer Joe Badon has a kick ass project I wanna tell you guys about that's in the final stages of its kickstarter campaign. it's called OUTSIDE THE LINES - go check it out. It's a 70 page, soft cover book that's half art prints and half sequential short stories.

Now I don't typically endorse kickstarter campaigns, but Joe's is one that's definitely worthy - check out his video and go donate if you're able!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857321894/outside-the-lines-art-and-short-stories-book

Thursday, September 26

Belcourt Spreads Halloween Fun All October

This year the mighty Belcourt theater in Nashville is again bringing a horde of Halloween fun to Music City, but instead of presenting it marathon-style in one all-day event as they did the past two years, they're spreading it out over the entire month of October this year!

First off they are introducing a weekend classic series of VINCENT PRICE films! Anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with all things Price related - and now I'll get a chance to see 4 Price classics on the big screen, and you will too - THE TINGLER, THEATRE OF BLOOD, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, and HOUSE OF WAX (2d). Showtimes will be announced soon, but if they do it like they did the Hitchock and Harryhausen classic series of this summer, they'll show them on Sat. and Sun. afternoons.




Next up is a series of double-features every weekend! These look to be especially fun, screening one film at ten and a second-feature at midnight each week. Check out these great films - Argento, Fulci, and even Rosemary's Baby and The Wickerman!  Amazing lineup...






Wickerman 
Oct 18-19 - 
Special Restored FINAL CUT version!






Tuesday, August 27

Convalescent Terrors


I am always intrigued when creative people tread common territory. I’m not talking about plagiarism, mind you, just coincidental mining of similar themes. I ran across just such a case recently while I was reading an old issue of WEIRD TALES MAGAZINE – actually, it was a Weird Tales paperback book, the 4-issue series Edited by Lin Carter. It was in issue 2, a story called FEAR by JOSEPH PAYNE BRENNAN.

It is one of Brennan’s supernatural detective stories featuring detective Lucius Leffing, on a case in Connecticut with his assistant. Here’s the plot – Leffing and partner have been called to investigate a series of strange deaths at the Hemlock Hills Convalescent Center. Turns out a supernatural being is stalking the halls of the nursing home, and the patients are dying of fright at the sight of the hideous being.

I was, of course, immediately reminded of BUBBA HOTEP, written by Joe R. Lansdale and filmed by Don Coscarelli. Perhaps the only similar element between the two stories is a supernatural entity in a nursing home, but that in and of itself is pretty significant. Beyond that the two stories diverge pretty widely, and Lansdale’s plot features a retired Elvis Presley in place of a supernatural detective. The actual monster is different, too – it’s an ancient mummy in the Lansdale story, while here it is the physical manifestation of a witch who was burned alive 200 years prior. Still, the description isn’t that far off from ole Bubba H. –

“The air appeared to shift and waver and the ghastly remains of a face, little more than a blackened skull with shreds of shriveled flesh, etched itself immediately in front of me. Puffy lips writhed away from a toothless mouth set in a rictus of final agony. The red, glazing eyes seemed to reflect fire; they glared from the wrecked face with an expression of ultimate fear and ferocious hatred which I hope never to see again.”

Brennan and Lansdale were definitely both inspired by the depressing and oppressive nature of retirement homes, and the constant companion of death that always lingers nearby. Makes for an interesting study in similarities between the two tales. 



Thursday, August 22

2-part interview about Vincent price



It was my pleasure to appear one more on MonsterKid Radio to chat with host Derek Koch, this time doing a top-three Vincent Price film countdown. We talked all things Price related, and had a great time in the process.













You can check it out here:
Part 1

 




Part 2

 

Thursday, August 1

Dr. Gangrene on Monster Kid Radio

Last week it was my priviledge to appear as a guest on the podcast MONSTER KID Radio, to discuss the film Tarantula, its star John Agar, and much more, with host Derek Koch.


 
You can check out part one here




 
and part two here

Wednesday, July 31

Horror Hootenanny 10

It's coming again, Dr Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny!!



The TENTH annual shock n roll event takes place Sat Oct 5th at THE END in Nashville TN - check out the podcast at the top of the page for a sampler of the mayhem we're bringing to Nash-evil this October, with special guests THE KOFFIN KATS, Dead Dick Hammer, The Creeping Cruds, and Alucard! This is a Halloween shindig, so wear those costumes and get a discount on admission!!

More info coming soon!!



Thursday, July 18

New Midnight Syndicate CD released today!!


 

Midnight Syndicate releases MONSTERS OF LEGEND album

July 19, 2013 (Cleveland, OH) - Symphonic gothic horror musicians MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE have just released their sixteenth studio album, MONSTERS OF LEGEND. This "tribute to the golden age of horror" is inspired by horror films from the silent era, Universal Studios' horror classics, Hammer Films, and other European horror films of the 60s and 70s. It features sweeping symphonic horror instrumental music and sound effects in the signature style the band helped pioneer. "We want to make you feel like you are a character in one of those classic horror films - that you've entered a world where any one of those iconic Universal monsters could be right around the corner," said composer EDWARD DOUGLAS. The CD artwork features original images from classic Universal Studios horror movies including BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, WEREWOLF OF LONDON, and DRACULA.

"Those classic horror films are at the core of what we do in Midnight Syndicate, so to do an entire disc based on them was a lot fun," added Douglas. "Musically it required us to use more traditional orchestral instruments, and use them in more ways than we have in the past. The result is a fuller orchestral sound with a heavy classical music influence. There are plenty of nods to James Bernard, Bernard Herrmann, and other early film composers." Although the band promises the new disc will deliver the dark atmosphere haunted house designers, roleplaying gamers, and Halloween music enthusiasts expect from them, they feel they've crafted a disc that transcends their favorite time of the year. "Like CARNIVAL ARCANE, we feel we've taken things up a notch both musically and with the sound design on this release," said GAVIN GOSZKA. "There's a lot there to listen to and lose yourself in."
 

In addition to over 50 minutes of new music, the band went back into its archives and recreated several tracks from its early releases Born of the Night and Realm of Shadows, bringing the total runtime of the disc to over 65 minutes. "Both the new album and those older ones are set in and around the mysterious hamlet of Arcacia. We felt it would be a great opportunity to breathe new life into a few of our lesser known tracks from those discs to help tell this story. For additional atmosphere the band called on voiceover artist Dick Terhune. "Dick's known throughout the haunted house industry as the "Voice from Hell," needless to say he was the perfect match for this disc," added Goskza.

The CD is available now through the band's website, as well as iTunes and Amazon.com. It will also be available in select Halloween retailers beginning in August. A collector's edition 12" vinyl version is also available on the band's site.

--- 7 / 19 / 13

Official Midnight Syndicate website: www.MidnightSyndicate.com
Midnight Syndicate on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MidnightSyndicate
Midnight Syndicate on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/MidSyndicate
Dick Terhune - Voice From Hell website: www.VoiceFromHell.com

Free Kindle short story



My July short story is free on Kindle now through Friday - you can get it here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00DTGQR0O/weirdwestern-20/

This is another Weird western flash fiction - nice, quick read. This short story is the seventh in a series called Thirteen for 13 - thirteen short stories released during the year 2013, one a month. Look for all thirteen to be collected into one volume later this year!


 I just ran across a link to it on a website called weirdwestern.com - if you're a fan of western-horror then check it out, they provide links to tons of cool weird western stories.

Wednesday, July 17

Interview with horror author Andrea Subissati

 I've been sitting on this interview for a couple of weeks now and been meaning to post it - this is the perfect opportunity, as, in light of some recent events,  it's nice to spotlight a woman in the horror field in a positive fashion - tonight's guest is one of the busiest women in the field and a super cool chick to boot...

__________________________


   Greetings Fright Fans!! I was first introduced to tonight's interviewee through the Rue Morgue Radio podcast, where she was a guest. She was discussing her book on the Sociology of Zombies in mass culture. Since then she has become involved in a number of other creative endeavors, so I thought I’d catch up with her and talk a little about what she’s been up to… Welcome Andrea “Lady Hellbat” Subissati.




 Doc G - Hello Andrea! Great to speak with you! I see you’ve been really busy lately, with a number of creative irons in the fire, so to speak. 

Andrea - No kidding! I never would have guessed there was so much a person could do with their love of the horror genre: from freelance journalism to lectures to podcasts. In the past few years I’ve become connected to so many talented and inspiring folks in the industry (including you, Doc!) and there’s no shortage of interesting things to do in horror!

    Let’s start with your book, When There’s No More Room in Hell: The Sociology of the Living Dead (2010) - Tell me a little about it and how that whole topic came about. 

    I was working on my Masters degree in sociology in 2010 when the ‘new wave’ of zombie movies (like the Dawn of the Dead remake and 28 Days Later) were starting to mark a resurgence of the subgenre. As a horror fan and a sociologist, it was interesting to me that there were ‘trends’ in horror film. When I went to the school library, I found several books on the history of horror films and how they reflected societal anxieties of the time. There were lots of books on vampires, aliens and monsters but strangely, not a whole lot on zombies. There were great books out there, of course (Kim Paffenroth’s Gospel of the Dead was an invaluable resource in particular) but there wasn’t much formal academia on the subject. I took this as an opportunity and decided to write my thesis on why zombies were so popular in the 70s and why they appeared to be making a comeback.

    What has been the reception of it now that it’s in book format? 

I went with an academic publisher because I suspected that as the genre grew in popularity, more and more schools would be offering courses on the topic and would be interested in stocking my book in their libraries. The downside of that decision is that the book is rather expensive and it reads like an academic dissertation. I’ve sold quite a few copies at my book launch party and at my Black Museum lecture, but When There’s No More Room in Hell isn’t the kind of book you’re going to find on the shelves at your local Chapters.

    I thought about rewriting it for a wider audience but by the time I was ready, a zillion books on zombie culture had sprung up and I was eager to move on to other topics. I do still love doing research and writing academic essays. I contributed a chapter on Hellraiser to a book called The Undead & Theology which was nominated for a Stoker award this year, and I’m always on the lookout for more projects within academia.

    Tell me about your latest endeavor, THE FACULTY OF HORROR. I find it interesting to hear a female perspective on movies that exist within a heavily male dominated genre. Have you enjoyed stepping into the world of podcasting? 

Have I ever! The Faculty of Horror podcast was largely the brainchild of my friend and co-host Alexandra West, who also writes for Rue Morgue, Famous Monsters and her blog, scare-tactic.blogspot.com. I love how podcasting gives me the opportunity to tackle smaller topics and bounce my ideas off someone else, especially a fellow female fan! Since we started the podcast last January, Alex and I have had the opportunity to network with several great horror/film podcasts (like The Projection Booth and 6ft+) and we’re thrilled to be making an appearance on a horror podcasting panel at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear this summer. 

    I was also amazed at how easy and inexpensive it is to create a podcast. Really, all you need is the time and the inclination; you don’t need fancy software or equipment at all. I do spend hours editing and sourcing out clips, but we record The Faculty of Horror on freeware (a program called Audacity, if you’re interested) and a mic made for the Rock Band video game on PS3!

Tell me about THE BLACK MUSEUM lecture series. 

    The Black Museum was inspired by the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies out of Montreal. I became aware of the Miskatonic when I was a guest on the Rue Morgue Podcast about my book: Stuart “Feedback” Andrews was prepping to teach a course on zombies and he filmed my interview to use in his presentation. Feedback and I kept in touch, and toyed with the idea of starting something similar in Toronto. The same idea had occurred to Paul Corupe, another Rue Morgue scribe who also runs Canuxploitation.com. Feedback introduced us and between the three of us, the Black Museum was born!

    The Black Museum has run two semesters now, and has welcomed the likes of Vincenzo Natali and Steven Kostanski of Astron-6 as guest instructors. Some of our most popular lectures were about horror posters, mad scientists and zombies, of course! We’re gearing up for semester 3 right now, and we’re looking forward to announcing a stellar fall lineup at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in August.

    You’ve also done some freelance writing lately too, for Rue Morgue Magazine? 

    I sure have! I approached Rue Morgue to sponsor my book launch party and I’ve gotten to know them well since then. Rue Morgue has such a great staff who are truly committed to keeping on top of the genre and giving hardcore fans what they crave. They are the print authority on the subject and I feel very fortunate to live in the same city they’re based out of so I can attend their events and bug them for assignments!

    Magazine journalism is a bit of a departure from the heavy academic writing I used to do, so I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of writing about different topics to appeal to different audiences. I think the variety has really strengthened my writing skills and expanded my knowledge of the genre.


    You are also heavily involved in roller derby. That’s where you got the Lady Hellbat moniker, I believe. Talk about that a bit and are you still in the ring nowadays? 

    The flat-track, you mean! Sadly, between a compound injury last year and increasing time constraints I’ve decided to hang up my skates. I’ve got so much on the go, I can no longer devote all the time and energy to the league that I used to, and it’s not the kind of thing you can do part-
time. I had a great time with it though; I was MVP for my first bout and I was even on a poster once! I consider myself a Gore-Gore Rollergirl for life and I wouldn’t part with those memories for anything.

    So what’s next on your agenda? Any projects you’ve been dying to tackle that you haven’t tried yet? Another book in the works, perhaps? 

    Well, the Black Museum is slowly growing and we’ve talked about some strategies to expand our reach outside of Toronto. The Faculty of Horror keeps me busy, and I’ll be doing a mini-encore presentation of my Black Museum lecture called Unearthed: The Cultural History of the Zombie at the Festival of Fear this summer!

    As for other literary projects, I could tell you… but then I’d have to eat your brains…

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