California Literary Review

Horror

TV Review: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Shambles onto the Small Screen

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November 1st, 2010

Last night, half of zombie aficionados across the world tuned in to Frank Darabont’s new zombie series, “The Walking Dead.” (The other half was out in full makeup terrorizing teenage trick-or-treaters or drinking copious amounts of alcohol to celebrate Halloween.) AMC has gained a (well-earned) reputation for airing some of the best shows on TV, […]

The Weekly Listicle: “On This Very Night…” Spooky Tales for Halloween

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October 28th, 2010

It’s almost Halloween, folks! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun? Rather than dwell further on the shortcomings of modern horror, we salute the spirit of the campfire tale, the ghost story, and the urban legend in this nostalgic look at great horror stories in film and television. Join me – Dan Fields – and my fellow campers Julia Rhodes and William Bibbiani, as we pass the flashlight and torch a few marshmallows.

The Weekly Listicle: Stepchildren Of The Horror Masters

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October 7th, 2010

Today we take a different look at the master horror directors. Each of these moviemakers has made an iconic footprint on the history of scary cinema, whether with a well-worn franchise or in a single terrifying stroke. In many cases, the great success of such a film overshadows a director’s lesser works. Some are forgotten with good reason, but others are worth reviving now and again. Join William Bibbiani, Julia Rhodes, and myself (Dan Fields) as we discuss the neglected offspring of the great names in horror.

The Weekly Listicle: Claustro-MANIA!

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September 16th, 2010

Take some deep breaths, movie fans – we’re going in. This weekend’s new shocker, Devil, appears to feature a bunch of hapless folks trapped in a dark elevator with something quite nasty. Later this season, we will also be getting Buried, concerning a man negotiating for his life while buried in a box underground. Claustrophobia […]

Hammer to Fall? Not This Year, Horror Show Fans!

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September 4th, 2010

After years of silence, Hammer Film is returning to active production in a big way this year. To begin with, the studio is producing the upcoming Let Me In, a remake of the superb Swedish vampire story Let The Right One In (2008). With this and a number of other new flicks on the way, there is more exciting news. Christopher Lee, now a late octogenarian but still a commanding tower of a man, is back on board for at least one picture.

The Weekly Listicle: What… The Devil?

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August 26th, 2010

A fascination with the supernatural, and particularly its dark side, dates back to the earliest days of moving pictures. Murnau’s Faust and Nosferatu top a seemingly endless list of diabolical encounters. We would like to share with you some our favorite devilish deals, demonic possessions, and hellish mischief from the vaults.

A Watchful Eye On… Ti West

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August 24th, 2010

Barely on the edge of thirty, filmmaker Ti West has four feature films – with more on the way – and a respectable cult following to his name. Many a young director’s dream come true.

Whole Lotta Lovecraft: del Toro on deck?

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July 7th, 2010

An adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness is in the works, with Guillermo del Toro slated to direct from his own script. Separated by a century, these two men share the power to fill us with wonder and dread. It is time they shook hands.

Book Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

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June 17th, 2010

Justin Cronin has written an epic here. Like Stephen King’s The Stand and Robert McCammon’s Swan Song, this book is a character-driven apocalyptic road trip of a novel that takes us on a journey both physical and metaphysical. His writing transcends genre in every way, including a haunting description of death by nuclear fire.

Book Review: The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry

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March 10th, 2010

The Extinction Clock is counting down. Time is short—10,800 minutes (just seven days)—and if the clock zeroes out, billions will die.
Ex-cop Joe Ledger and the DMS (Department of Military Science) are assigned the mission to stop the clock and the men behind it, a pair of freakishly brilliant monsters who intend to commit genocide on an apocalyptic scale.

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub

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February 15th, 2010

Novelist Lee Harwell is having breakfast at his favorite Chicago diner when a hostile homeless guy shouting a single word—obstreperous—interrupts his meal. He’s unsettled by the encounter and finally realizes why. The homeless man reminds him of his childhood friend Hootie who has been confined to a mental hospital since the sixties and communicates only in single words and literary quotations.

William Bibbiani interviews writer/producer/director Mick Garris!

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February 9th, 2010

Today, as you may have noticed, is a day of many, many interviews. In addition to interviewing the lovely and insightful Julia Rhodes, I also had the opportunity to interview Mick Garris, a horror filmmaker best known for the “Masters of Horror” television series, and of course the landmark Stephen King TV mini-series The Stand. We discussed his new show “Post Mortem,” his work with Stephen King, and his early work on such films as The Fly 2 and, most importantly, Critters 2: The Main Course.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

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November 10th, 2009

Still, despite the ending, this is King’s best work in years, a richly textured novel of people under pressure that will move readers and provoke them and make them want to tell their friends. Forget Blaze and Duma Key, the King is back. Long live the King.

The Child Thief by Brom

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October 26th, 2009

There are moments of genuine mystery and magic, scenes where we are bedazzled and terrified simultaneously. The walk through the mist, crunching on the bones of those who strayed from the path has a Tolkienian resonance. The bloody battles that Peter leads in the real world echo those in the enchanted world. And the myth of the Horned One, who is Peter’s father, overshadows everything. For Peter is an immortal wild child who may look mostly human but who is decidedly something … other.

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

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June 24th, 2008

Ogres are like onions, the great philosopher Shrek once said. Onions have layers, ogres have layers. And, one might add in an irrational syllogism, ogres and onions are a lot like Odd Hours by Dean Koontz.

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