Monday, March 30, 2015

Drinking with Jason #7 - Horror Author Keith Rommel

This episode should be called Slideshow. A series of storms had just blown through Keith's neck of the woods, so his internet was running at the speed equivalent of a 14.4 modem. For those of you who aren't old enough to know what that is... well... I hate you. In episode 7, I downed a lot of Yuenglings with horror author Keith Rommel. A whole lot. Keith's first novel, The Cursed Man, is currently being adapted into a film which will release in October 2015. This makes me incredibly jealous of him and not at all bitter.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Drinking with Jason #6 - Zombie Author S.P. Durnin

For episode 6, I put down a few Guinness with post apocalyptic zombie author S.P. Durnin. S.P.'s first novel, Keep Your Crowbar Handy, was published by Permuted Press. Having his first novel get published means that I hate him. He also stepped up on less than twenty-four hour notice after my first guest cancelled, so big kudos to him.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Viva La Zombie!

Jason here: Spencer Blohm returns with another blog for you to devour. Spencer presents his love letter to Fulci here, who was a legendary Italian gore hound. Enjoy!

Spencer says: With his 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, George Romero started the modern zombie film movement. Of all the European film makers that latched onto the genre, it is arguable that no one felt his influence more than legendary Italian horror director Lucio Fulci, who became known internationally as the "Godfather of Gore". Here's 5 of his most revolting works.

Zombi 2 (1979)

Presented in Europe as a sequel to the Romero satire Dawn of the Dead, this blood-drenched grindhouse flick was Fulci's first horror success. The plot could be written on a cocktail napkin and the characterizations are thin, but the set pieces are over the top, including a very graphic eyeball piercing (violence to the eyes would become a recurring theme in Fulci's work) and an underwater fight scene between a zombie and a shark. Yes, you read that last sentence right.

Fulci called himself a Catholic, but some of his detractors brought that claim into question after seeing this film, which features a suicidal priest hanging himself before coming back to life as a powerful zombie. It’s considered by many to be the seminal film in this sub-genre and is one of the few films from that group that has a life on television here in the U.S. thanks to the El Rey network which has been airing it frequently the past few months (check here for listings). One of the films trademarks is an obsession with cranial violence, as heads are impaled, scalps ripped off, and brains torn out. In one of the nastiest scenes in cinema history, the priest uses his gaze to make a young woman's eyes bleed before she retches up her own intestines.

A woman inherits a swampland hotel in New Orleans that happens to be built over an entrance to hell. Her attempts to renovate the building are met with a series of gruesome incidents, and once the gate to the beyond opens, it seems unlikely that anyone will escape. Cited by Quentin Tarantino as a major influence and brought to life by his short lived distribution venture Rolling Thunder Pictures, The Beyond's original American release in 1983 had most of the gorier scenes cut. Highlights include an eye being gouged out and a man's face being eaten by tarantulas.

Alongside City of the Living Dead and The Beyond, this campy gore fest is often called the third in Fulci's "Apocalypse Trilogy". With this film, Fulci sought to create tension out of atmosphere, and he creates some spellbinding scenes with meticulous camera work. The plot is incoherent and the acting mediocre at best, but gruesome, thrillingly staged murders are still in ample supply, and the unintentionally hilarious "bat attack" scene has to be seen to be believed.

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

This movie was directed by Andrea Bianchi, but it deserves a mention along with Fulci's oeuvre for a couple of reasons. First, the film was titled Zombi 3 in some markets, making it an unofficial sequel to Fulci's breakthrough horror. More importantly, it follows Fulci's approach to film making, with the emphasis on creative and sustained gore sequences and very little, if any, emphasis on plotting or character. Bianchi had a smaller budget to work with than most of his contemporaries, but his ingenuity in creating downright disgusting or disturbing images cannot be denied. We get mother and son incest, decapitation, crucifixion, and some zombies "breast feeding". Yuck.

Jason here:  If you haven't seen any Italian horror, then hold onto your asses. They're quality is debated by a lot of horror fans, but no one ever argues about their insanity and gore level. Give 'em a shot. Thanks to Spencer for another great post!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Drinking with Jason #5 - Science Fiction Author Theresa Kay

For episode 5, I tipped a few Winter Warmer beers with science fiction author Theresa Kay. Theresa's first novel, Broken Skies, was so successful that she drew the attention of Skyscape which is an Amazon Publishing imprint . She also has the distinct displeasure of being a beta reader for me, which means she gets to see how terrible my writing is. Because I'm a moron, I wasn't able to get the same kind of beer she had, so I had to get the closest approximation the local swill house had in stock.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Drinking with Jason #4 - Monster Man Jack Campisi

For episode 4, I hammered down a few New Castle beers with Monster Man Jack Campisi. Jack is the co-host of the hilarious Monster Men podcast which airs bi-weekly on YouTube. We covered the beginning of the Monster Men, Jack writing about the horror genre, and the time he trespassed at Danvers State Mental Hospital.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Drinking with Jason #3 - Horror Author Hunter Shea

For episode 3, I pounded Rolling Rock beers with horror author Hunter Shea. Hunter is the king of monster, cryptid, and ghost novels with several of each under his belt. He is also the co-host of the hilarious Monster Men podcast which can be found on YouTube. We really put a lot of beer down in this episode, so I can't be held accountable for any stupidity that might have happened at the end.

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This was an absolute blast. We talked for a long time about horror, books, movies, and all kinds of random stuff. If you've ever wanted to see into the mind of a horror writer, then this is your chance.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Drinking with Jason #2

In the second episode of Drinking with Jason, I drank some Johnnie Walker Red Label on the rocks and a St. Pauli's Girl with the inimitable Wayne June. As a musician, Wayne toured for the better part of a decade with the legendary Johnny Winter. He is perhaps best known for recording the definitive reading of HP Lovecraft books which are linked below.

During our conversation, Wayne describes his former mullet, named Elvis on Acid, his music career, audiobooks, and his work on the hit indie game Darkest Dungeon.

We had some technical difficulties at the beginning, including a slight echo that goes away around the fifteen minute mark.

Wayne and I have done three audiobooks together with two more coming out by the end of the spring. If you want to hear something amazing, check out The Hunger audiobooks. He really brings the characters to life.

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Buy his audiobooks here. You can get several for nothing with the free trial:

I had such a blast doing this that I'm definitely going to have him on again in a few weeks. Cool dude.