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    Gene O'Neill and Del HowisonWhat is a professional writer? Is it somebody who consistently turns out a certain quality level of writing? Is it somebody who is paid for their work? Is it a storyteller who keeps the reader enthralled as they weave their way through the imaginary scenarios and images they create on the page? Is it somebody who is a household name? If you answered yes to the above questions then you are talking about Gene O'Neill. Well, yes to all of the questions except the last one. But after 30 years he stands ready to make that one happen also. Here is part three of our interview with author Gene O'Neill.

    So after 30 years in the writing world would you do something different if you were to do it again?

    I don't think so. I think a lot of people look back on their lives and would like to redo them. I can think about some ladies I probably shouldn't have gotten tangled up with and they probably wish they hadn't gotten tangled up with me. Maybe I wouldn't have done some of those things. But the way that this mixed genre stuff is bigger nowadays and acceptable I wouldn't change things.

    I'll give you an example of some of the fun stuff. I won't tell you the names of the two editors. I wrote a story once and sent it to a major science fiction magazine. They said this is really a great story but it's not for us. Send it over to so and so at Asimov's science fiction magazine. I did the same thing and they told me to send it back to the one I'd just sent it from. Both of them loved the story but said it wasn't for them. What I eventually found out was that neither one of them thought it was science fiction but that it was kind of a mix between science fiction and horror. The audience for those things in those days were two different audiences.

    Nowadays how do you label yourself?

    I don't care what they call me as long as they say he's a good writer. I know it has to do with sales so I want them to label mine as, "That guy writes a Gene O'Neill story." The few people who know me, they recognize voice and character and place in the story and they say that's a Gene O'Neill story. You can call me a mixed genre writer if you want. That's acceptable. I don't care as long as they preface it with that adjective "Good," because I do have some literary pretensions. I'm a pretentious asshole.

    This is a real story about a gal that I influenced in writing. Before she became a writer she was the gal you called into when you called for dirty phone calls. That's who you talked to. What she first did was that she wanted to check your credit card. Then you said I want a grandma who has one leg and false teeth. Then she'd say, "We've got one of those."  Whatever you asked for they had. Now if the mass market comes to me and says can you do this or that? Of course I can do that.

    Do you have a genre preference?

    My degrees are in psychology and I was always interested in the darker side of people. So probably whatever I write, if it is anything, it's toward the darker side. That's what interests me about people. I'm convinced that people aren't good and evil. They are a little bit of both. But if I'm fooling around with you, particularly if you're a lady, I'm more interested in your evil side. It's more complex and interesting.

    Do you prefer psychological horror to supernatural horror?

    I do. I write a little bit of supernatural horror, very little. A good horror runs the line between supernatural and psychological. If he's really good he lets the reader make a decision at the end of his story on whether it's both.

    You pull a lot of your military service into your work. Why do you think that carries so strongly?

    Because I was in a special unit. Everybody hears about the SEALS but few people know about the Marine Corps Force Recon. Some of those principles haven't changed since the early days on what you do and how you conduct yourself and what a good mission is and what a poor mission is. A good mission is a mission where nobody cranks off a round, nobody gets shot, you don't bring back anybody in a body bag or missing an arm or anything and whatever your mission was you accomplish it. Those things still apply. I was attached as an ordinance specialist, the first part of Vietnam before Kennedy even said we had Special Forces. The French were still there. Those French had been there for a hundred years. That was their home, those French.

    So that all stayed with you very strongly and it permeates your writing.

    Oh yeah. Some of the discipline I learned in the Marine Corps has translated and fared well for me in my writing. I'm on a couple of things with Author Lisa Morton where we're going to be under a gun, timing-wise. We have to finish in six to eight weeks and we are carrying along a young writer. They have to be finished and we have to, because their name is going to be associated with ours, and it has to be good. Those are the type of things where you're disciplined. I get up and do my exercises, my weights, all my stuff that I do and I work six days a week, seven when I'm on a deadline. Even today, when I'm with you, my beloved 49ers are playing and I love to watch those guys.

    But this military thing didn't turn you, as a private citizen, into a hard ass as I've seen happen before.

    Hell no. It never became "us and them" with me. In fact, I lived with natives for four months over there and I learned that we don't have all the answers nor is the American way always the right way to do things. I learned a valuable lesson there. I was a stupid 18 year old kid talking about communism and democracy.

    From the bumper stickers you had read.

    Yes. One of my guys who could speak the best English showed me his rice bowl and he said "You fill that up and I'll endorse whatever you want me to believe in." So I learned a simple lesson then. If you want virtue from a person you have to feed him first. A starving man doesn't necessarily have any virtue and a starving woman either. They can't be condemned for what they do to eat or survive. So some of the people that we left behind in Viet Nam, deserving honorable people, weren't all Americans some of them were also Vietnamese. There's over a million of them poor suckers over there that we left behind.

    When I came back we were getting spit on but I understood some of the stuff and some of that went overboard.
    But the guy that's a hard nose ... I had a chance to be a mercenary when I came back. These guys with short haircuts were recruiting my draft coming back from overseas. They said, "Look. All you'll have to do is drive some pipelines down in South America. Only we had to be able to field strip a fifty caliber machine gun, a Thompson sub-machine gun. We're gonna be shooting somebody's ass down there. We'd just gotten out, me and all my boys. I said "Naw, we ain't joining up. I don't care what they're paying." This was the end of '62 when it was a recession in this country. They were going to pay us big bucks, non-taxable, of about twelve bucks an hour. That don't sound like nothin' now. But it would be back in an American bank and we could draw against this. They would send us to Brazilia, I think that was the artificial city, for R&R. We knew a lot about R&R by the time we'd gotten back and that part of it was great. Getting shot at is no good. The R&R is wonderful.

    If you could pass along one thought to writers trying to get published, in this day and age what would it be?

    I'll give you a military metaphor. Get at your typewriter and write. As the rejections come flying over just duck them and ignore them just like somebody was shooting at you and keep writing.

    How do you know if you have the talent or if you're spinning your wheels?

    As soon as somebody starts paying you something to read what you've written then you know you're good. Because in our society nobody will give you two cents unless they think you can write really well. In our society real artists aren't paid what they are worth. But if anybody will pay you anything for your art that's the highest accolade that you can get. When they start paying you upfront – forget that being paid on publication – that's the real deal.

    Read Part II here.

    Gene can be found on Linkedin

    Del Howison is a journalist, writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor. He is also the co-founder and owner of Dark Delicacies “The Home of Horror” in Burbank, CA. He can be reached at

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    My Bloody Dismembered ArtichockesNo matter how fast you run from it, VD always finds you. Though the thought of planning a Valentine’s Day meal makes many of us want to stab our eyes out, there’s a very simple way to impress your horror-loving sweetie: make My Bloody Valentine-inspired Dismembered Artichoke Hearts.

    This recipe is courtesy of Bake and Destroy. The story goes that the keeper of the blog, Natalie Slater, and her hubby wanted to make a Valentine’s meal that was easy, horrific, and didn’t “leave you too full for the two best things about Valentine’s Day – dessert and making out.” You may recognize Slater from Food Network, The Cooking Channel, Time Out Chicago, Bust Magazine, and her cookbook.

    “Using a few short cuts, this recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together – and all the chopping and red stuff is reminiscent of our favorite February 14th horror flick- My Bloody Valentine. (Re-made in 3-D no less!) So put on your favorite high-waisted jeans and a Canadian accent and settle in for a meal that hits the spot but doesn’t leave you too heavy to run like hell from Harry Warden.”

    Recipe below, read the entire post here.

    •    1/2 dry pasta of your choice
    •    1 bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or 1lb whole baby artichokes)
    •    2 Tbs olive oil
    •    1/2 cup chopped onion
    •    1 clove garlic, minced
    •    1/2 vegetable broth
    •    1 cup prepared or homemade marinara
    •    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    •    1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish.

    If you’re using frozen artichoke hearts, lucky you! Let them thaw on your counter top, then drain them to make sure there’s no excess water.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. This is a good time to get the water for your pasta boiling as well. Cook and stir the artichoke hearts, onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until the onion is soft and golden. Add the vegetable broth and cover the skillet. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10-15 minutes.

    Throw your pasta in the water when the artichokes have about 4-5 minutes left to simmer.

    Dismembered  Valentine's MealPreheat your broiler and spread the marinara in the bottom of an 8″, broiler-proof pan. Arrange the artichoke hearts cut-side-down in the sauce, plop the garlic and onions anywhere in the marinara. Sprinkle with cheese and brown under the broiler about 5 minutes, or until the marinara is hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from broiler and drain pasta (I feel like a jackass saying this, but cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, 9 minutes should do it.)

    Serve the artichokes over pasta and garnish with lemon wedges. Wait until after dinner to reveal any unexpected plot twists you had planned for the rest of your evening.


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    You may remember our earlier coverage of Detroit-based electro rock artist Blue Stahli (aka Bret Autrey) when he premiered his horror-themed track “Atom Smasher vs. Fever Ray” on FEARnet recently. Well, now he's released his first-ever music video to accompay his hit single “Ultranumb,” and it's perfect for our ongoing series spotlighting horror-based music visuals.
    Directed by Grant Mohrman, this demented offering is a companion to Bret's maniacally catchy track (which has appeared in numerous films and trailers), complete with buckets of blood, kinky dance routines, cannibalism, body painting, and... a Mariachi band? “It’s probably best to just surrender yourself to the ridiculousness,” he says of the project, which includes a goofy cameo from Bret's frequent musical collaborator Klayton of Celldweller. Dig it!


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    There’s no denying that the majority of the aisles at the 110th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City this week are filled with every kind of sweet, innocuous toy you can imagine. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of horror depravity to be found. Collectible companies like Mezco, NECA and DST are keeping the horror flag flying with new lines celebrating some of the very best classic horror properties from Hitchcock’s Psycho to Shaun of the Dead.  If you like retro horror, there’s plenty coming in 2013 and here’s the best of what the show revealed to us…


    A longtime industry leader in creating horror action figures, NECA is continuing some of its most popular horror franchise lines in 2013 (Predator, Freddy) but more importantly this is the year they finally re-launch their Aliens license with a brand new line of action figures. 

    Randy Falk, Director of Product Development at NECA, tells FEARnet, “We’re doing the Colonial Marines for the very first time. There are some actor’s likenesses we can’t do but we got the best: Paxton (Hudson) and Biehn (Hicks). Series One is Hicks, Hudson and the Warrior Alien with brown highlights out in April. In the summer, we’re doing two-packs of Marines vs Warriors. They get all new head sculpts with helmets and additional accessories. Hicks comes with the alien that he shotguns to the head, while Hudson comes with one he pulse-rifles. We’re sculpting Series Two which will have additional Marines, and we’re going back to Ridley Scott’s ’79 alien with the clear dome. And we’re doing a massive Queen for Christmas ’13.”

    Falk does confirm they don’t currently have Sigourney Weaver’s likeness rights to produce an Ellen Ripley figure but he’s hopeful that could change. “We got Arnold (Schwarzenegger) for Predator by the eighth series, so we’re going to try. It won’t be soon but we’re going to try.”

    Speaking of the Predator line, Falk says it is still going strong as they debut their ninth and tenth series in 2013. “As of the end of last year, we had done about 30 Predators,” Falk says, “and by the end of this year, there will be somewhere between 45 and 50.” Series eight and nine will feature Dutch for the first time ever.  Series 10 will be a special series that is a homage to the Kenner Predators figure series from the early ‘90s. Falk reveals, “We pitched three Predator figures from back in the day – Lava Planet Predator, Night Storm Predator and Hive Wars Predator – that we liked and did modern upgrades inspired by them but with today’s sculpting and articulation. Even the packaging is a nod to the old Kenner packaging. They were fun to do and let us do some of our own design work.”

    There will also be a special 12x12 Predator Diorama coming out this year. “This is truly a fan reward,” Falk explains. “It’s just like what you see in the Predator ship in Predator 2. All of the skull [trophies] have been available either as San Diego Comic-Con exclusives or Toys ‘R Us exclusives. The fans who have collected the whole line will now have a place to display all the skulls. One massive skull comes with the set but the rest you have to get them in retail. It’s a true thank you to the fans and we appreciate that everyone has supported us and we’re sculpting Series 11 and 12 now.”

    A Nightmare on Elm Street fans can look forward to Freddy's Furnace, a scale prop featuring a flickering LED inside and a door that opens and closes. It will be available in April for about $40.00. 


    Double-digit deep into their successful Living Dead Dolls figures, Mezco continues to mine classic horror cinema this year with figures based on Dracula and Psycho. In particular, the two doll Psycho set is done in black and white and features Mother with raised knife ready to inflict a world of hurt on a white toweled Marion Crane. Look for them midyear for $59.99 

    Diamond Select Toys

    The Munsters are still hot, at least in action figure format, so DST is adding Series 3 of the Mockingbird Lane residents this time with a need for speed. Zach Oat, DST Marketing Supervisor, tells us that “they are calling the line Hot Rod, with Hot Rod Grandpa, Herman, Race wear Lily with her parasol and Uncle Gilbert. If you buy all four, you get all the parts to build the Munster’s staircase with Spot inside.” All pieces will be out by Halloween 2013.


    Funko’s Pop Vinyl series expands this year with a little more horror (literally and figuratively) including Robocop, Mars Attacks and the wee cannibal known as Hannibal Lecter. They all drop in May 2013 for $9.99 each.

    Bif Bang Pow!

    The classic Twilight Zone line of figures, lunch boxes and props will continue into 2013 and fans of the seminal episode, “Eye of the Beholder” can look forward to an exceptionally awesome set that captures the climactic moment that encapsulates the entire episode. It hits stores in the spring. 

    Factory Entertainment

    Just shy of Shaun of the Dead’s ten year anniversary, Factory Entertainment immortalizes Shaun, Ed and a pudgy zombie attacker with individual Shakems motion statues. Available in 2013. 

    Photos by Bill Edwards

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    the vampire diariesThe Vampire Diaries Episode 414
    “Down the Rabbit Hole”
    Written By: Jose Molina
    Directed By: Chris Grismer
    Original Airdate: 14 February 2013

    In This Episode...

    With Klaus still stuck in the Gilberts’ living room, Caroline and Tyler go looking for the sword. They find it in Klaus’s attic. Rebekah sends them pictures of Jeremy’s tattoos, but now they have to decipher it. It is written in Aramaic, an ancient dead language. There are only two people who speak Aramaic: Klaus, and Mel Gibson. But Klaus is slightly less insane than Mel, so that is who Caroline will have to rely on. Naturally, Klaus doesn’t want to help, but he gives in when she bats her eyelashes at him. The sword reveals that there is only one dose of the cure. When Caroline calls Rebekah to tell her they have the translation, Klaus shouts to her that there is only one dose before Caroline can hang up.

    Elena, Stefan, and Rebekah are heading towards the well. Rebekah grabs a few minutes alone with Stefan and tells him that there is only one dose. She realizes quickly that if Stefan had his way, he would give the one dose to Elena. She snaps his neck and heads off on her own. Elena feeds him bagged blood until he regains his strength, then he tells her about the single dose. She feels it is more important to give the single dose to Klaus so he can be killed (forgetting that Klaus may have sired her bloodline, which would kill her in the process.) Elena sees this as a blessing in disguise: it is about time she accept her circumstances and move on in life.

    Rebekah continues on to the well, where she find Damon and his captor, Vaughn. Vaughn is no nonsense. He puts a stake bomb onto Rebekah’s chest and pulls the trigger. He attaches Damon to a post with silver wire around his neck, and rappels into the well. Next come Stefan and Elena. She goes ahead while Stefan helps untie Damon. But Elena is attacked by an unseen person down there, and Stefan is quick to go in to help. 

    Bonnie, Jeremy, and Shane were the first into the well. Their guide brings them to opening, but will go no further. His payment is the tombstone because it has calcified witch blood in it. The stone has no bearing on the ceremony. Bonnie slips on the landing and slices her hand open pretty good. The spilled blood causes her to see her Grams later on. Jeremy realizes what is happening and pulls her back from the edge of insanity. Shane drops down into the well and breaks his leg. He is hurt and angry that Jeremy and Bonnie wouldn’t help him out. When Stefan comes through, he begs for help from him; Stefan leaves him as well.

    Okay, so we are at whole point of our story: Silas’s “crypt.” Bonnie and Jeremy are in there and they see the stony corpse of Silas, clutching the cure. They try to pry it loose, but cannot - he has been frozen there for 2000 years. The only way to get the cure, it seems, is to wake him with blood. Neither wants to do it. Vaughn comes in and sneak-attacks Bonnie, stabbing her. He and Jeremy fight, and Elena grabs Vaughn off her brother. She is about to feed when Jeremy yells “Hunter’s curse!” She throws him against the wall and rushes to Jeremy. He wants her to help Bonnie first; she wants to get the cure first. She calls him a brat, opens his veins, and forces him to feed Silas. At this point, we know it is Katherine - Stefan has found Elena in the cavern, bloody from a head wound. So Silas feeds, his grip loosens enough for Katherine to grab the cure, and she bolts. Silas feeds greedily on Jeremy - too greedily. He snaps his neck.

    Caroline has convinced Klaus not to kill Tyler, but Tyler must leave Mystic Falls. Caroline and Tyler say tearful goodbyes on the porch. He leaves. Klaus comes outside, which takes Caroline by surprise. “I guess something has happened to your friend Bonnie,” he says with a barely disguised smirk. Klaus reminds her that he has shown kindness, forgiveness, and pity all because of her. He is hurt and leaves.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    This episode didn’t really strike any chords with me. There was a lot going on in the sense that everyone had their own storylines, but it was all the same story. This episode was all about everyone finding out that there is only one dose of the cure. The only part that actually piqued my interest was the end - well, technically the scenes for next week... which I guess means I am more interested in the following week’s episode. Was Jeremy not wearing his ring?


    According to the scenes for next week, Jeremy might actually be dead. For realsies. Maybe it all just takes place in Elena’s mind as she descends into madness. I dunno, I just can’t imagine that Jeremy really is dead. Then again, The Vampire Diaries has never shied away from killing off main characters.

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    The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can discover things that you never even imagined could exist. Like The Walking Dead theme song as played on harps. Electric harps. By identical twins. In identical outfits. Who are also third-degree Tae Kwan Do black belts.

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    Recently we witnessed the bloody conclusion of horror hip-hop artist Brotha Lynch Hung's epic “Coathanga” album trilogy, when we released with the world premiere of his extreme video “Meat Cleaver” from the final record Mannibalector. It was the climax of a project that took three years to complete, and since I've been following the trilogy from the beginning, I wanted to learn more about Lynch's creative process and the origin of this unforgettable killer. Thankfully I got some chat-time with Lynch this week, where we talked about the evolution of the concept and the ambitious music video series.
    FEARnet: Hey, Lynch! It's great to finally talk to you.
    LYNCH: Thanks man, I was looking forward to it!
    It looks like the “Meat Cleaver” video really got a lot of attention. I was really glad we could debut it here.
    Thanks, that's great to hear! It's the perfect site to release it.
    Now that Mannibalector has been out for a week, what kind of feedback are you getting from the fans?
    Nothing but good. They're saying it's the best of the trilogy, and they really love the lyrics. I'm really happy, because I spent a long time working on this ending to the trilogy, and we had three weeks in the studio to record it.
    This three-album concept is unusual in any genre of music, not just hip-hop... did you know going in that this idea was bigger than a single record?
    Yeah, I actually had the whole story planned out before I signed with Strange Music, but I didn't have the money and manpower to release this trilogy. Once I signed with them in 2009, I knew they'd be able to make it happen, so I really dove in.
    Your writing is very album-oriented on this series, which comes along at a time when a lot of artists and labels are getting away from the whole album structure. It's cool that Strange was receptive to that for the long haul.
    They were definitely on board from the beginning, which I loved. As a matter of fact, they came up with the idea for the series of eight videos that I did, and setting up a website where you can watch all of them in a row.
    It would be interesting to see them presented in sequence, like a miniseries.
    Yeah, and soon you'll be able to go to the site and see the whole story play out that way. I'm glad, because a lot of the feedback I'm getting from fans is that they don't want this story to end. They're sending me these emails with sad faces... it really motivates me to something really creative for me on the next project.
    Have you been picking up many new fans who got into your work because of the horror angle?
    Yeah, it's crazy, they've been popping up from everywhere! It's been doing better than I ever expected. This series might not shock those fans who have been listening to me for ten or fifteen years, but these new fans are really into the horror angle.
    You've built a reputation for tight lyric writing, but this series also has more of a storytelling style, and it spans three years. How did you keep that story thread together?
    It was a big challenge, and way different. There were times when I couldn't keep it as lyrical as I usually would, because I had to stay aware of the storyline. What inspired me most was to think of it as an audition for a movie. As long as I told myself that, I'd stay motivated... and I always love a challenge.
    The series actually comes across like a movie trilogy itself, with scenes and acts within each album and the same kind of ups and downs. Did movies inspire you in other ways on this project?
    A little bit, but you know, it's really more about the ID [Investigation Discovery] Channel. I love the idea of these horror stories that could happen in the real world. I took a little bit of inspiration from movies like Saw and Hostel, but not as much. I do love the gory stuff, so some of that does make it in there from the movies.
    How closely did you work with the directors of this video series, as far as the way each one looks and how the stories connect?
    What's amazing about that is how everything was really set in stone when I had those first meetings with Strange. When it came time to shoot, all I had to do was the raps and the acting, because we had already worked it all out. We'd shoot it, and then I'd go back to writing in California, and they'd put everything together in Kansas City, and just knock it out.
    The videos tie in to the music by setting up the character's history, and showing the frustration that drives him over the edge. Is some of that based on your own experience?
    I'd say about 30 percent of my life was mixed into that character. I've been in the game over 25 years, and I was once a frustrated rapper. I was the guy watching MTV and wishing that that was me up there, wishing I had that success. In the first album, I wanted to be more sensitive to the character that would become the Coathanga Strangla, aka Mannibalector. I ended up writing songs like “Spit it Out,” which is a sad song, and I wanted that song and the video to grab people's emotions and really feel him. On the second album, I wanted people to see him getting tired of it all, and then on this one they can see him go over the edge. At least you know the reason why he's there.
    In the third album and those final videos, it looks like he's completely lost touch with reality and become this faceless killer... he's almost larger than life.
    Yes, definitely. He's lost and friendless at that point, and like I said a lot of that comes from my own life, when I've let a lot of people go and went my way alone. The only difference is I don't go around killing people... not in my real life, anyway, but through that character.
    Now that he's gone, do you feel like you can let that part of your life go too?
    Yeah, I can... I guess I kind of used Manniblector to get out some of those feelings.
    Your writing on this project has a great balance with the style of producer Seven, who you've worked with on all three albums. What was the collaborating process between the two of you?
    The amazing thing I learned about Seven since we met in 2010 was how well we could work out ideas from anywhere we happened to be. We did a lot of work together just over the phone, and in texts. If I let him know where I was going with the style of a specific song, like a day or two later he'd send me an email with a couple of tracks, and one of them always hit. I never had to tell Seven “No, I don't want this beat,” because everything just matched. That's the amazing thing about Strange, is that they have these people onboard that allow you to spend more time creating – and that was great for me, because I was working so hard on this one character and the whole storyline.
    How long did you plan out Mannibalector before you spent those three weeks in the studio?
    I released the first two albums about a year apart, but you'll notice Mannibalector took about half a year longer. Strange knew I really wanted to come up with a great ending to the trilogy, so they gave me that extra time, and I spent that half year planning and jotting down ideas that I would end up using on the final album.
    Now that you've closed this story and kind of set that character free, do you think you'll return to a dark place like that in a future project?
    A lot of long-time fans know that when I release an album – and in this case, these three albums are really a single album to me – they know that the next time they hear me, I'll be on a whole different subject. There may be some horror or gore in it, but it won't be anything like what they've heard before. Now I'm not gonna say I wouldn't like to explore Mannibalector again, maybe look at the events before this trilogy... but I really haven't thought much about it yet. I sometimes revisit some of my ideas in other projects, but at this point it's hard to say. I'm spending most of my time right now getting the fans' reactions to this album, finding out what they like and don't like, and get a feel for what they might want to hear next. You know, I'm always in the dungeon plotting...
    A lot of Strange Music artists are really close to horror and supernatural themes; Tech N9ne is working on Devil's Carnival 2, and we've done features with Prozak, who does ghost-hunting documentaries... do you know if they're planning on moving more into the domain of horror movies in the future?
    Well, let me push this out there, because I've been pitching this idea to the bosses at Strange... I think they should do a series of Strange Movies. I'd really like to see them do something like that. I've got so many story ideas, I hope they keep me in mind!

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    The CollectionThe follow up to The Collector, The Collection is writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s (Feast series, Saw IV – Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) second collaboration and an even more intensely nasty horror movie.

    It follows a twisted madman who “collects” humans in a booby-trapped house of horrors. Basically, If you missed it in upon release, never fear. It’s out on DVD/Blu-Ray and VOD March 26. The Blu-ray and DVD include audio commentary with Director/Co-Writer Dunstan and Co-Writer Patrick Melton.

    Watch FEARnet’s interview with writer Patrick Melton, writer/director Marcus Dunstan, and star Emma Fitzpatrick here and read a review of The Collection here.

    Check out this video about The Collection’s over-the-top gore factor.


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    hannibalAfter months (and months) of waiting, NBC has finally found a spot for Hannibal on their schedule.

    Bryan Fuller's serial killer drama will premiere on April 4th at 10pm. This has been a notoriously difficult timeslot for NBC, with no fewer than four series struggling in the slot in the last year. Most recently was Do No Harm, NBC's Jekyll and Hyde update that was such an epic failure it was cancelled before the second episode aired. (Fun fact: Do No Harm was the lowest-rated series premiere on broadcast television. Ever.)

    I am a little concerned about Hannibal's rapid deployment and use as filler. Fuller's other effort for NBC, October's Mockingbird Lane was relegated to a single one-hour airing. Hannibal (hopefully) has a built-in audience, but NBC has been grasping at straws with their schedule in the last few years (ever since the Leno/Conan debacle.) Will NBC give it the promotional push it deserves? Will they give it a chance if the ratings are less-than-stellar?

    I guess we will have to wait until April 4th.


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    Total RecallDean Norris, who plays Breaking Bad’s DEA Agent Hank Schrader and Tony in the original Total Recall, will take the lead role in CBS’ Under the Dome.

    The show is based on the Stephen King book of the same name, and “follows residents in the community of Chester's Mill as they deal with the postapocalyptic conditions that ensue when a strange dome mysteriously encapsulates the town.”

    Norris’ character is Big Jim, the town councilman and owner of a car dealership. Co-stars include Pan Am's Mike Vogel, True Blood's Aisha Hinds, Secret Circle's Britt Robertson, CSI: NY's Natalie Martinez, Jolene Purdy, Nicholas Strong, Alex Koch and Colin Ford.

    Under the Dome will air on CBS Mondays at 10PM, starting June 24th.

    via THR

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    Remember our story earlier this week about a literal rain of spiders in a Brazilian town? Oh, sorry... you were just getting over the nightmares? Well, we're not gonna let you off that easy: we've got a follow-up!
    It seems the whole spider invasion thing is happening a little more often than you might imagine: according to an item from National Geographic, a similar incident happened last year in the Australian town of Wagga Wagga (stop giggling dammit, it's a real place and people live there), when millions of ground-dwelling spiders took to higher ground after an intense flood. And by “higher ground,” we mean the trees, the houses, the fields... hell, just about everywhere else. The images captured by NG are strongly reminiscent of the 1977 horror flick Kingdom of the Spiders – so there, now you've got your Shatner reference for the week too. You're welcome.
    Robert Matthews, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Georgia, said the natural “trampolines” are probably “a dispersal mechanism that allows [spiders] to move out of places where they'd surely be drowned.” He calls the incident a “striking phenomenon” which he'd never seen before, and added, “Gee, it's impressive,” which for some of us is another way of saying “Oh shit, spiders on trampolines, kill me now.”

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    BraindeadFilms released this week in horror history left a lot of dead in their wake and set the bar for movies to come.

    February 12, 1931 Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, was released to unsuspecting audiences and Lugosi’s count became the definitive Dracula by which most modern versions were based. Over 60 years later, Peter Jackson’s Braindead, aka Dead Alive, was released in the United States and treated audiences to a ridiculous and over-the-top gore fest filled with giant killer zombie mothers, a lawnmower massacre scene and a priest who kicks ass for the lord.

    On Valentine’s Day 1991, moviegoers received a special treat in the form of psychiatrist and cannibalistic killer Hannibal Lecter. Anthony Hopkins elevated the killer to Academy Award-Winning status.

    Title: Braindead
    Released: February 12, 1992
    Tagline: There's something nasty in Lionel's cellar - His family!

    Released: February 12, 1931
    Tagline: The story of the strangest passion the world has ever known!

    Title:The Silence of the Lambs
    Released: February 14, 1991
    Tagline: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Brilliant. Cunning. Psychotic. In his mind lies the clue to a ruthless killer. - Clarice Starling, FBI. Brilliant. Vulnerable. Alone. She must trust him to stop the killer.

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    KILLER POV podcast on GeekNation

    For those of you out there that are fans of horror podcasts, we've got a brand new show just for you! GeekNation has just premiered their weekly horror talk show podcast "KILLER POV", which features Fangoria's Rebekah McKendry, Inside Horror's Elric Kane and FEARnet's own Robert Galluzzo (yours truly). Check out the show synopsis and episode below!

    In this first episode titled “Getting To Know Your KILLER P.O.V.”, co-hosts Rebekah McKendry, Robert Galluzzo (aka Rob G) and Elric Kane open up and discuss their first experiences with the horror genre, the latest genre films they’ve seen, as well as the classic films that shaped their love of the genre. The trio talk about the recent success of ‘Warm Bodies’ at the box office, open up about the scarring effects of classic films like ‘Hellraiser’ & ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ and give insight about how they each fell into their respective roles at Fangoria, FEARnet, Icons Of Fright & Inside Horror. Welcome to the crash course introductory episode of KILLER P.O.V.


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    Remember the olden days when you could walk down the streets without fearing for your life? When people would greet you warmly, carry your packages, and help you across the street? I don't either, but the people of Woodbury do - or did (as evidenced by last week's episode of The Walking Dead.) Remember the quaint times before "terrorists" and before zombies had broken a previously-impenetrable barrier with these "Walker-Free Woodbury" tees.

    $20 at Busted Tees

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    dark skies

    Wednesday, February 20th, FEARnet will be co-hosting an advanced screening of Dark Skies in Hollywood. Better yet, it is FREE!

    Producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious), director Scott Stewart (Priest, Legion), along with surprise cast members will be on-hand to introduce the screening, and there will be prize giveaways and free food from gourmet food trucks.

    The screening will be held at the Arclight Hollywood at 7pm. To join in the fun, RSVP at Seating is first-come, first-serve, and the lineup starts at 5pm.

    Official synopsis: As husband and wife Daniel and Lacey Barret witness an escalating series of disturbing events involving their family, their safe and peaceful home quickly unravels. When it becomes clear that the Barret family is being targeted by an unimaginably terrifying and deadly force, Daniel and Lacey take matter in their own hands to solve the mystery of what is after their family.

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    Orange County rockers Project 86 bring together a heavy and aggressive hardcore sound with the personal and poetic songwriting style of frontman Andrew Schwab – a combination which serves up horror, humor and heart on their latest album Wait for the Siren.
    Schwab sat down with FEARnet to describe how he confronted his own personal demons while writing songs for this album, and how he was terrified as a child by a more cinematic brand of demon in The Exorcist...

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    To most genre fans, The Exorcist is considered one of the most celebrated horror movies ever made. Very few can dispute its power, impact and influence. If there’s anything to argue about William Friedkin’s classic film, its which version you prefer to watch as there’s the original 1973 theatrical cut, as well as the 2000 “Version You’ve Never Seen” cut, which boasts several deleted scenes and newly added FX. But if any film sports a unique history in the annals of bizarre movie trivia, it’d be the Exorcist prequel, which also has two completely different versions, both from completely different and distinctive directors.

    The character of Father Merrin, the elder priest brought in to perform the exorcism on Reagan (Linda Blair) in the first movie was one of those genre defining performances by Max Von Sydow. In fact, Dick Miller’s incredible FX work to make the actor appear far older than he really was was so convincing that it cost the actor several jobs after because most Hollywood assumed he was “too old”. It’s a true testament both to Smith and Sydow for both of their work. But one of the most intriguing aspects of The Exorcist is when Father Merrin hints at the previous exorcism he’d performed in his younger years. John Boorman made a radical sequel with Exorcist II: The Heretic in 1977. And then later William Peter Blatty, author of the original Exorcist novel took a stab at directing The Exorcist III: Legion starring George C. Scott and adapting it from his other novel Legion. The only place left to go after that sequel was back to the beginning; that original exorcism that Father Merrin mentioned in the first film.

    The prequel project began sometime in 2002 and the first filmmaker attached was John Frankenheimer, the director of the original Manchurian Candidate and Grand Pix. He was forced to drop out of the project due to his declining health and unfortunately passed away a month later. After that, Morgan Creek Entertainment turned to Paul Schrader, the writer of such seminal Martin Scorsese films such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, and the director of Hardcore and American Gigalo. Liam Neeson was originally cast in the role of young Father Merrin, but dropped out fairly early on and was later replaced by Stellan Skarsgard.

    Schrader was aiming to deliver a psychological thriller in line with the tone of the original and felt he succeeded in such when he delivered his first cut to Morgan Creek Entertainment. The studio disagreed and original writer Caleb Carr spoke out saying, “The problem with Paul's cut is that it does not deliver the psychological fear we were looking for.” So then the studio brought in Renny Harlin as a replacement who not only ended up re-shooting up to 90 percent of the film, but ended up re-casting 3 major roles, most notably Father Francis originally played by Gabriel Mann and then played by James D-Arcy (Anthony Perkins in the recently released Hitchcock) in the Harlin version. Alexi Hawley was brought on to do rewrites and retool the feature to a include a character named Sarah played by Izabella Scorupco, whom by the end of the film would transform into a Reagan-esque demon for the final exorcism, despite the original backstory citing Merrin performing the infamous exorcism on a possessed little boy.

    Despite the producers claim that they didn’t feel Schrader’s cut was “psychological” enough, Harlin’s brought out more of the elements they were really looking for; gore and scares in line with where traditional horror movies were at that point in time. Some of it, like the shocking imagery from the opening sequence with hundreds of soldiers hung upside down on crucifixes is striking, while other sequences like the wolves attacking a young villager fall flat due to their over reliance of CGI, no doubt because of Harlin’s overuse of the technique on his previous movie Deep Blue Sea. The Renny Harlin version of the film opened in theaters in August of 2004 under the title of The Exorcist: The Beginning and was both a critical and financial disappointment. Original Exorcist author William Peter Blatty was quoted as saying that watching the film was his “most humiliating professional experience.”

    After a year of rumors circulating that there was an alternate cut of the movie by Schrader, the filmmaker got to premiere his version at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film on March 18, 2005 much to the delight of Exorcist fans. Reaction was positive enough, that it convinced the studio to give his version which they titled “Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist” a limited theatrical run, as well as a DVD release shortly thereafter. Finally, people were able to see the original cut of the film and while critically it didn’t fare much better than Harlin’s movie, Blatty called it a “handsome, classy, elegant piece of work.” Famed film critic Roger Ebert preferred the Schrader cut referring to it as “risky and daring in that is takes evil seriously.”

    Schrader joked about his experiences with Morgan Creek Entertainment to the Guardian that it was “a simple case of buyer's remorse. Somebody goes out and buys a Lexus and they come home and say: 'You know what? I should really have bought a Hummer.' So they go out and buy a Hummer. And then they've got a Lexus and a Hummer.” But as a result, we now have two completely different versions of the same movie. And while the Schrader cut may have some ringing endorsements, a lot of Exorcist fans find it to be somewhat slow & boring, the opposite of Harlin’s more modern-horror centric attempt at The Exorcist. What’s great is both versions are readily available and airing on FEARnet so you can decide which one you think is the more fitting Exorcist prequel.

    Be sure to tune in for our 'Exorcist' marathon this Sunday, February 17th starting at 2PM ET/11p only on FEARnet. Don't have FEARnet? Call your local cable provider and request it now

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    Experienced collectors and casual dabblers in horror memorabilia have one thing in common: they love discovering really cool toys, figures, games or other treasures that they never knew existed, or that were believed long lost since their childhood. It often becomes an expensive obsession: for example, my quest to find a Kenner 1979 Alien toy in decent condition (I did!) led me down side-roads to items I'd long forgotten (like the old Alien board game, another of my precious finds). It's a fun hunt – if an often expensive one – and we'd like to help you in your quest with this new feature series.
    Images and info: SOTA Toys and Jeff Saylor at
    Our first entry is this impressive Mega Scale 18” rendering of the title demon from Stan Winston's 1988 cult classic Pumkinhead, produced in 2006 by SOTA Toys as part of their Now Playing series. Other studios have had a go at this beast, including a 9” figure in 1999 by McFarlane Toys and a very short run of movie maquettes from Sideshow Toys that ran for a crushing $850 a pop. But the SOTA version is a real beauty, and retailed for $70 (not cheap, but a bargain compared to $850).
    Sculpted by the distinguished Jean St. Jean Studios, this figure is nicely detailed, on a scale that allows more intricate touches than the 9” figure (both are shown below for comparison); the paint job emphasizes Pumpkinhead's deathly pallor and purple veins (although some fans complained about them being a little too purple), and he's fairly smoothly poseable (much like the NECA 18” Alien, another one of my prize pieces).
    While it's hard to find at retail, this figure isn't so rare as to be unattainable, and can even by found for around $100 on ebay. Happy Hunting!

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    the walking deadThe Walking Dead Episode 310
    Written By: Nichole Beattie
    Directed By: Seith Mann
    Original Airdate: 17 February 2013

    In This Episode...

    Rick is extra crazy tonight. He follows a vision of Lori past the prison gates, but she’s not there (you know, ‘cause she is not real) so he spends most of the episode wandering around looking for her. At one point, Hershel tries to coax him back inside, but Rick is giving crazy his full attention.

    Glenn is similarly off his rocker, but in an angry way. He is full of rage at the Governor and Merle for abusing him and Maggie. But really, Glenn is feeling guilty for getting Maggie into a near-rape situation. He wants to go retaliate against Woodbury, but Hershel talks him out of it. Instead, Glenn takes a truck to check the perimeter of the prison to figure out how walkers are getting into the tombs and make sure it is properly fortified. We never actually see where Glenn goes.

    Meanwhile, tensions are high at Woodbury. The Governor finally goes to see Andrea, and tells her he wants her to be in charge, at least for a little while, while he “finds himself” (or some such nonsense.) At the same time, he goes to Milton and asks him to keep an eye on Andrea.

    Out in the woods, the Dixon brothers are relying on survival skills. Well, Merle is, and Daryl has “gone soft.” Rather than hunting squirrel (of which they have found none) Daryl wants to go loot some houses. The last straw comes when Daryl hears a baby crying and sees two men fighting off a horde of walkers while mother and child cower in the car. Daryl immediately runs to help them, while Merle tells him he is stupid for risking his life for people he doesn’t know. Eventually Merle joins in the fight, but once the walkers are all dead, Merle starts looting the “beaner’s” car - until Daryl puts his crossbow to Merle’s head and sends the family on their way. Daryl has had enough and decides to go back to the prison. Merle is angry, and the brothers fight. We learn that their father was horribly abusive when the fight results in Daryl’s shirt being torn away and revealing heinous scars from years of whippings. Merle hadn’t seen these scars because he left while Daryl was still young, to escape the abuse and curb the urge to kill his dad. When faced with the prospect of returning to Rick’s group or fending for himself in the wild, Merle chooses prison - but it is not an easy choice.

    Back at the prison, Carol and Axel are fortifying the fences when Axel drops dead. The prison is under attack, by humans with guns. Carol takes cover beneath Axel’s body, Hershel drops to the ground, Carl starts shooting, and even Rick returns from the land of nonsense to join the firefight. And just who is firing? The Governor, or course. Bullets rain down on both sides, but then the Governor stops shooting - to watch the show. An ice cream truck rams through the prison gates and rests in the yard. The back opens... and walkers flood out, followed by a Woodbury denizen in full body armor, firing as he goes. The Governor laughs as the prison folk turn their attention to the walkers. Michonne starts beheading them; Glenn shows up to find shit meeting fan; and the Dixons roll in with weapons blazing - even Merle.

    When the dust settles and the Governor leaves, the body count consists of Axel, the truck driver, and several dozen walkers. The prison still has one standing fence around it, but the safety nets are gone.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Things picked up in the last ten minutes or so, but otherwise this was a dull episode. Rick is crazy; Maggie and Glenn are having their first real fight as a couple; Daryl grows a pair and stands up to his brother. All stuff that we either knew or saw coming, and was presented in a very flat way. Of course, a ridiculous ground war helped wash the previous 50 minutes away.

    Kill o’ the Week

    Goes to Daryl, for an epic head-smushing. While saving the family on the road, Daryl sees a walker trying to get at the mother and baby through the hatchback of the car. Daryl drags him out the back and slams his head in the tailgate. Blood gushes out in a river.


    Carl tells his dad it is time for him to step down as the leader of the group.

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    2011's Mortal Kombat: Legacy was a fun, gritty web series that deconstructed the MK mythos in a surprisingly intelligent way, helmed by the unlikely Kevin Tancharoen (whose credits include the Fame remake and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie), who made the transition from musicals to Mortal Kombat with fantastic results.

    Well, with millions of hits on YouTube and a DVD release of MK: L selling well, it was only a matter of time before a second "season" of the web series would be produced, and the lovely folks at Machinima have put up a trailer for the forthcoming Season 2, which you can check out below.



    I'll be honest, there's a lot of nerdy joy to be gleaned from Mortal Kombat: Legacy's second season if this trailer is any indicator.  Johnny Cage is now being played by Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), and Cary Tagawa will be reprising the role of Shang Tsung that he played way back when in Paul W.S. Andersen's MK movie.  Best of all, Mark Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Double Dragon) will be portraying Liu Kang's fellow shaolin monk Kung Lao.  There's a disheartening lack of Jax (Michael Jai White) and Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan), but the renewed focus on the Mortal Kombat tournament should keep the action--and the gore--flowing at a good clip.

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