Category Archives: horror movie

Guest Post: Dan Padavona

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Dark Vanishings series

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I liked the book, but the movie was scarier,” I’d be a rich man.

Let me be clear about one thing. It is hard to frighten someone with the written word alone. I don’t care if your name is Ketchum, King, or Laymon. Scaring people with mere words is incredibly difficult and is only fleetingly accomplished, even by the most gifted horror writers.

The truth is that horror movies hold significant advantages over novels when it comes to delivering scares. While films, due to their brevity, cannot compete with books for character and plot depth, films take advantage of musical score, strong acting performances, camera angles, and innovative direction. And although cliche’, the horror movie can also deliver “jump scares,” momentary shock scenes – for example, the killer leaping out of the closet, or the false jump scare, where the hissing cat suddenly bounds across the set – which are almost impossible to replicate in printed form.

Yet authors have managed to frighten readers since the advent of horror fiction, and for my money, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Intensity by Dean Koontz are the most heart-pounding examples. But how should a writer attempt to frighten a reader?

The Slow Burn

The trend in fiction and film is to deliver action immediately, and while I don’t disagree with this methodology, I believe it is less than optimal when it comes to horror.

My horror fiction employs a slow burn, a creeping dread if you will, similar to the gradual builds of 1970’s horror films (think Black Christmas and The Exorcist). Similar pacing dates as far back as horror has existed as an art form, yet it was perfected by Alfred Hitchcock and leveraged by the classic horror films of the 1970s.

Everything begins with characterization. A book should contain characters which the reader can get behind and put emotional stock into, whether the characters are villains or heroes. The reader should believe in and care about the character. Then, when the character is put into jeopardy, the reader’s natural reaction is to become stressed. This alone isn’t enough to frighten the reader, but it’s a necessary beginning.

Read a Clive Barker or Stephen King novel, and pay particular attention to the author’s pacing during a frightening scene. In most cases, a slow burn is utilized. Nothing is rushed, and the scene is allowed to unfold gradually. When done to perfection, the horror broods and broods until the reader realizes she has been trapped and is without an escape route.

Let’s take the classic example of the monster or boogeyman hiding in the closet.

If I come right out and show you the boogeyman, I’m not likely to frighten you. Inside of a movie, I could use a cheap jump scare to get you to drop your popcorn, but in fiction I have no such advantage. In order for me to frighten you, the scene must unfold with near perfection.

For one thing, you’ll need to feel a sense of place. If the boogeyman is hiding in the closet, I haven’t done my job until I walk you from the kitchen to the bedroom and sit you upon the bed with cookie in hand. You need to feel the cookie crumbs on the bed sheets. You need to see the room – the lamplight pooling around the base of the nightstand and dying in the middle of the room, the Black Sabbath poster scotch-taped to the paint-chipped wall, the way the bed sheets and blankets covering your chest and legs won’t stretch past your neck.

And even then you won’t believe the boogeyman exists. But if I place you in that desolate room and make you hear the muffled rumble of the television through the floor, so that no matter how loud you scream, your parents won’t hear you, then I’m at least halfway home. Because once your closet door starts to creak open, and once those shadows start to spill into the bedroom like a black ocean, I need you to be that kid in the bed.

And then if I do everything right, and if I catch you in a receptive mood, I might just chill you to the bone with the written word.

Don’t Let Them Run Away

Think about how expert directors like Hitchcock paced their scenes, allowing the disquiet to simmer before the monster was unleashed. The shower scene of Psycho didn’t open with Norman Bates holding the knife. We followed Janet Leigh through the dingy motel room, watched her peel her clothes off and step into the shower, and saw from her perspective the spray cascading down. Think about how you would write this scene, if you were constructing a Psycho novelization.

Two more excellent examples are the directions of Fred Walton’s When A Stranger Calls and When A Stranger Calls Back. The pacing of the brooding horror is tortuous. You cannot help but squirm as the babysitters are unknowingly stalked by madmen. In a bad slasher movie, the opening scene to When A Stranger Calls would last a few minutes. In Fred Walton’s direction, it lasts over twenty excruciating minutes in which the viewer is trapped inside the creepy house.

The best horror authors never allow their readers to run away before the monster gets them. They lure the readers in, then they lock the doors.

As authors of horror novels, it is important we slow down and allow our readers to immerse themselves in a scene. Slower is better. Go for a gradual build, and never rush the process. Writing for horror is incredibly challenging, and it is imperative we give ourselves every advantage.

Take your time with the scene. Then scare Jessica to death.

About the Author

Dan Padavona is a horror and dark fantasy author. Dan’s gothic vampire novel, Storberry, reached the top-10 among Amazon horror novels, and his post-apocalyptic series, Dark Vanishings, has been compared to Robert McCammon’s Swan Song and Stephen King’s The Stand. You can visit Dan at his website, danpadavona.com.

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Armand’s Horror Movie Survival Kit

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First, I want to thank Man Crates for coming up with this idea and getting my creative juices flowing.It’s a very cool site that packages perfect gift crates for us dudes, pairing booze and man food and other awesome stuff. They even have a zombie survival crate. Seriously, if you’re looking for a great gift for my upcoming birthday (November 21st – add it to your calendar!) or Christmas, you can’t go wrong with this.

Now, what would I have in my horror survival kit? Like you and everyone else who has eyes and can breathe, I watched way too many horror movies as a kid. Even as an adult, when I am more prone to a Jennifer Aniston rom-com, I still think back fondly to some of my favorite horror movies and wonder what I would’ve done differently. I figured it out.

Here are the items I would need in my horror movie survival kit in order to survive until the end:

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  1. A cricket bat. I had one in my twenties when I managed bands. It was a very lame Spinal Tap joke but the damn thing came in handy a few times when someone crossed me. The one I had used to have some dried blood on it, which was cool. It also worked as a makeshift table before I got furniture in my bachelor pad, too.
  2. A few books. I’m not going to mention mine (which you can purchase Here) but some classic literature for the many hours of downtime between monster attacks would be nice. Maybe some light-hearted reading like Lovecraft, Koontz, Laymon, etc.
  3. Jean shorts. So I can be comfortable. Add a black t-shirt and you have the perfect running away from monsters outfit.
  4. Jack Daniels Honey. Just the small bottle so I can stay kinda sober throughout the ordeal. I don;t want to be too drunk but stone cold sober with a knife-wielding maniac loose isn’t fun, either.
  5. M&M’s. At least a pound of plain and peanut. Because if I’m going to die (and I will die) I want to be eating M&M’s when i do.

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What does your list look like?

Armand

Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol. 1 Now Available!

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The definitive guide to filmmaking and filmmakers by the best in the field

 

Horror 201: The Silver Scream, the follow-up to the Bram Stoker Award nominated Horror 101: The Way Forward, delves into the minds of filmmakers to see what it takes to produce great horror films, from the writing and funding process, to directing, producing, and writing tie-ins.

 

It’s a tome of interviews and essays by some of our favorite artists.

 

That’s right, film legends and authors such as Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ed Naha, Patrick Lussier, Stephen Volk, Nancy Holder, Tom Holland, John Shirley, William Stout, and John Russo want to share their expertise with you through informative, practical, career-building advice.

 

These are the folks behind movies and novelizations such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Buffy, Resident Evil, The Stand, Sleepwalkers, Masters of Horror, The Fly, Critters, Tales from the Crypt, Child’s Play, Fright Night, Thinner, The Langoliers, Ted Bundy, Re-animator Unbound, Halloween, Apollo 18, The Eye, Night of the Living Dead, The Crow, The Mist, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

Horror 201 also entertains. You’ll see a side of your favorite authors, producers, and directors never seen before – combining fun and entertainment with informative career-building advice.

 

Horror 201 is aimed at arming generations of authors, screenwriters, producers, directors, and anyone else interested in the film industry, from big budget movies to the independent film circuit, as well as the stage.

 

Whether you’re an accomplished author or screenwriter, writing as a hobby, or have dreams of writing screenplays or making movies, Horror 201 will take you on a behind the scenes tour of the Horror movie industry from Hollywood to the UK and Australia.

 

Horror 201 covers:

  • Horror as culture
  • Scare tactics
  • The evolution of the horror film
  • Viewer desensitization
  • Watching your story come to life
  • Screenwriting advice
  • Dissecting screenplays
  • A production company case study
  • Tricks of the trade
  • Writing tips
  • Advice on Producing
  • Advice on Directing
  • Information about funding and distributing a film
  • Entertaining tidbits and anecdotes

 

And so much more!

 

Horror 201: The Silver Scream is perfect for people who:

  • are looking to delve into screenplay writing
  • want to write their first screenplay
  • are fans of the horror movie industry
  • like to follow the careers of their favorite directors
  • are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
  • are looking to pay more bills with their art
  • are trying to establish a name brand
  • are looking to get published
  • are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
  • are seeking contacts in the film industry

 

Edited by Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley.

 

The full line-up includes:

Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Ed Naha, Edward Lee, Patrick Lussier, Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Stephen Volk, William Stout, Michael McCarty, Dan Curtis, William Stout, Graham Masterton, Harry Shannon, Jason V. Brock, L.L. Soares, Mick Garris, William F. Nolan, Lee Karr, Stephen Johnston, Aaron Sterns, Michael Laimo, Jonathan Winn, David. C. Hayes, Brian Pinkerton, David Henson Greathouse, Aaron Dries, Armand Rosamilia, Billy Hanson, Jack Thomas Smith, John Russo, Mark Steensland, John Shirley, Tom Holland, Adrian Roe, Dave Jeffery, James Hart, James Cullen Bressack, Jeff Strand, Nancy Holder, E.C. McMullen Jr., Richard Gray, Richard Chizmar, William C. Cope (interior artist), Tim Waggoner, Tom Monteleone, Nick Cato, Kevin Wetmore, Eric Miller, and Lynne Hansen.

 

Don’t let this opportunity slip through your creative fingers.

 

http://getbook.at/Horror201Vol1

 

“Being a part of Horror 201: The Silver Scream is almost as thrilling as having had my novels turned into feature films. After all, it’s not everyday one shares a TOC with George Romero, Wes Craven, and Mick Garris! This is a must have book for all writers looking to break into filmmaking.” – Michael Laimo

 

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“No one teaches horror. As a student of terror, realizing just how useful it is in teaching how society works and is influenced, that is a shame. Horror 201 opens the door again, but be careful… you don’t know what lurks on the other side. The truth is scary.” – David C. Hayes

 

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“With essays and interviews from the likes of John Carpenter, Richard Chizmar, Dan Curtis, Harry Shannon, Edward Lee and the late great Wes Craven, HORROR 201: THE SILVER SCREAM serves up prime cuts of fresh meat and raw broken bone for the palate of the discerning horror fiction and flick aficionado.” – Steve Vernon (author of Tatterdemon)

 

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“As an in-depth look into what it takes to produce great horror films, we can think of no better resource on the market!” – Dave Jeffery & James Hart ( Award winning film makers from Venomous Little Man Productions)

 

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“Horror 201: The Silver Scream will be seen as a landmark, the ultimate practical guide to horror filmmaking that will hopefully create and arm an entire generation of horror screenwriters and aspiring directors.” – Aaron Sterns

 

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“Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol.1 is chock-full of advice from many different artists associated with the movie industry. Tips on everything you need to know about the biz are included here: articles, history, music, screen writing, tricks of the trade, cultural and historic fears. They’re all here. And much more. There is never a one-fits all solution for anything, but this great tome will point you in the right direction. Crystal Lake Publishing is fast becoming the expert on all things horror.” – Blaze McRob

 

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“A treasure of insights, anecdotes, and advice on the art and craft of horror films—from those who are in the trenches doing it. A must-read for fans and future filmmakers alike.” – Taylor Grant, Award-Winning Filmmaker, The Muse, Sticks & Stones, The Vanished

 

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“The brilliance of Horror 201: The Silver Scream is how easily it blends the solid experience and unquestioned genius of experts like Wes Craven, George A. Romero and Ray Bradbury with the eager musings and possibly incoherent ramblings of relative newbies like me. Instead of a work penned solely by experts, we have instead a democratic microcosm of the industry. So for those who’ve often wondered how to bridge the divide between horror and Hollywood, they’re sure to find something — no matter how familiar they are with the ins-and-outs of the business — that speaks to them, answers their questions, and hopefully inspires them to take their next step. All in all, a fantastic read, a strong addition to an already famous series, and a great honor to be a part of.”  — Jonathan Winn, Martuk … the Holy, Eidolon Avenue (Crystal Lake Publishing, Jan 2016)

 

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“Horror 201: The Silver Scream, a quasi-follow-up to Horror 101: The Way Forward, focuses squarely on the horror film industry. And similar to Horror 101, which deals with the art of writing horror, Horror 201 is a veritable grab bag of industry insiders’ encouragement and advice. You can dip in anywhere and discover pure gold and an unrestrained affection for the genre, although Joe Mynhardt has sensibly grouped the material he has garnered into logical sections such as ‘Screenwriting’ and ‘Novelisations’. Quite how he has managed it, I don’t know, but you will find here a proper treasure trove of goodies, including essays such as Scare Tactics: The Evolution of the Horror Film & Viewer DesensitisationHorror is Culture, and a tribute to Wes Craven, and interviews with John Carpenter, George A. Romero, and Wes Craven among others. An absolute must for fans of horror films and those who want to write, produce, or direct in the genre.” – John Kenny

 

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“Horror 201 The Silver Scream is an eye-opening walkthrough in the wonderful world of filmmaking! This is perfect for the upcoming screenplay writer, film director, and everybody who loves a good horror movie! These pages hold essays, interviews, and endless knowledge for those looking to open their eyes and expand into this amazing craft. This isn’t just a book, it’s a gateway. A gateway to a vast universe hidden backstage with all the ins and outs, tips, tricks, and trades of the craft!” – Kya Aliana, author of the Vampiress series

 

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“Horror 201: The Silver Scream is a milestone in horror history and filmmaking history. This invaluable collection will take you far and deep, thrusting you into the inside world of horror movies! Consider this book a beacon, calling out to you, guiding you through your craft and showing you the best way to go.” – Kya Aliana, author of the Vampiress series

 

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“If you’ve ever wanted to go back stage or behind the scenes, now you do it from the comfort your couch, bed, or favorite lounge chair! Horror 201 brings an exciting aspect to world of horror – the ability to learn from the pros! This is a turning point in horror and film history, and will certainly continue to inspire, teach, and guide everyone who is involved in the industry!” – Kya Aliana, author of the Vampiress series

 

 

Armand’s 2014 Year In Review

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2014 was another fine year for me and my writing, as well as other things in my life… as I’ve done for the last couple of years, I’ll spell it all out for ya… I also do this so I can go back and see what I’ve actually accomplished. I especially like to re-read these yearly posts when I’m struggling to write and feeling like I haven’t amounted to much so far. You know… typical manic writer stuff. 

Here goes the Year In Review for 2014

January

The first day of the year saw the Kokomo’s Cafe Complete audiobook released. Narrated by the wonderful Jack De Golia (who will end up doing the entire Flagler Beach Fiction Series), it is still one of my favorite set of stories I’ve written. And Jack’s voice adds so much more to each character. 

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Also released on the first of the year was my movie adaptation of the zombies vs. Navy SEALs story Zulu Six: Origins in paperback, ahead of the movie (actual movie release sometime in early 2015 as far as I know). I’m looking forward to seeing how the film matches the book, as i wrote it while they were filming and got to see the dailies to see the actors and action. 

January 2nd was the release of the beginning of the fifth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series with Nerdz Comics And More Part 1. It follows the rest of the series with the two opening shorts. 

January 7th the Epic Apocalypse – Apocalyptic Horror Box Set was released. I’m proud to be a part of this massive collection, with fellow authors Mark Tufo, Heath Stallcup, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney, Shawn Chesser and James Cook. 

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January 9th I released Nerdz Comics And More Part 2, with 2 more short stories to add to the growing series. 

A week later, on January 16th, Nerdz Comics And More Part 3 was released. 

On January 20th the audiobook version of Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer was released. Narrated by Carolyn Nicely, who did an excellent job. 

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January 24th saw another audiobook release, this time Golden Lion Cafe Complete, the second in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series and again narrated by Jack De Golia. 

January 27th was the release date for Zombie Football, another book for the movie company. Surprisingly enough, it’s about zombies attacking during a football game. Hopefully at some point they’ll get around to making the movie version of this one. 

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The next day the movie company released Football Espionage, another book I wrote for the movie guys. This one has no zombies (wild!) and pits the Russians vs. Americans trying to manipulate the Big Game. 

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January was a busy month for releases for me, with 10. What a great start to the year, right?

February

On February 18th the third short story in my horror erotica series (released by Hazardous Press) came out: Holiday In The Sun. Lots of sex and horror once again. 

February 20th the audiobook version of Keyport Cthulhu was released. Narrated by Mike Chadwick, who was able to capture the gloom that is an homage to Lovecraft. 

Keyport Cthulhu

Not a busy month as far as releases, but I got in some great writing in the small month. Stories that would see the light of day before the end of the year, too. 

March

On March 2nd I released Dying Days: Siege 1 And 2 Box Set. Both novellas I’d written with author Tim Baker in one handy eBook, and all for the great price of 99 cents (as of this writing… get it before it goes back to $2.99, still a bargain)

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Lets Scare Cancer To Death was released on March 8th, a charity anthology I had a Dying Days story in. Proceeds go to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. 

March 10th I released another box set, this time Dying Days: Double Set 1, which combined Dying Days: Origins with Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days. A bargain at $2.99 for both releases. 

March 25th the third Flagler Beach Fiction Series audiobook was released, J And J Fitness Complete. Once again narrated by Jack De Golia with his unique voices. 

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Also in March: The Authors Supporting Our Troops event technically came to an end. We collected 2,500 author-signed books for the soldiers in remote areas of the world. Want to learn more about the even bigger 2015 event about to begin? https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/

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April

Not an April Fool’s joke, the Horror Within: 8 Book Boxed Set was released. Featuring my first Dying Days novella as well as books from Travis Tufo, Tony Baker, Eric A. Shelman, Ian Woodhead, Robert Chazz Chute, Mark Tufo, Scott Nicholson and JT Warren. And it is currently 99 cents so grab a copy!

Horror Within Box Set

April 2nd saw Nerdz Comcs And More Part 4 released. 

The next day Flagler Fish Company Complete audiobook (the fourth in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series) was released with another excellent job from narrator Jack De Golia. 

April 14th and Nerdz Comics And More Part 5, the final release for this book, was out. 

On April 18th Nerdz Comics And More Complete was released with all ten stories in one print book. 

The rest of the month was spent writing and playing too much on social media. 

May

May 30th I released the Dying Days 2 audiobook, narrated by Amanda M. Lehman, who did a great job on this and the first audiobook in the series. 

And that was it for May! Of course I was writing and doing fun stuff like going to the World Horror Convention with Special Gal the beginning of the month. Yeah, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to hang at the bar with Mark Tufo, Joe McKinney and Brian Keene and look interesting… 

June

June 19th Dying Days 4 was released, right in the middle of my annual Summer of Zombie Blog Tour. I even planned it this way, if you can believe it. I’ll chat more about the blog tour on my Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast episode #28. I swear. 

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June 23rd the fourth Necromance horror erotica short from Hazardous Press was released, Downtown. More horror and more erotica and what more could you ask for?

Another slow month as far as actual releases were concerned. 

July

On July 4th the Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Podcast made it’s debut, with interviews with Mark Tufo and John O’Brien. 2014 will end with episode #28 (the Year In Review episode) and 2015 should still see new episodes every Friday. 

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A month almost passed before A Quick Bite Of Flesh: An Anthology of Zombie Flash Fiction was released on eBook from Hazardous Press, giving me an actual release for the month. One of my flash fiction shorts kicks it off. The print book has been out for a long time, so I’m not sure if July 30th is the actual date this version was released but according to Amazon it was, so… 

More writing in July without any real releases. I can distinctly remember wondering if all the work I was doing would ever see the light of day, as several short stories for invite-only anthologies were finished in these weeks without definite release dates. Some of them saw the light of day by the end of the year and a few are scheduled for 2015. 

August

On the 3rd of August Change Jar Books Part 1, the beginning of the sixth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series.

August 6th the Fairly Wicked Tales anthology from Angelic Knight Press was released, featuring my short, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.”

August 11th Change Jar Books Part 2 was released. 

On August 19th the eBook version of the soon-to-be-released zombie vs. Navy SEALs movie, Zulu Six: Origins, went live. 

August 23rd saw the State of Horror: Illinois anthology from Charon Coin Press get released, with a new Dying Days short story. 

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The following day (according to Amazon) State of Horror: New Jersey anthology from Charon Coin Press was put out. It featured another new Dying Days short story. 

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August 28th I had yet another new Dying Days zombie short story in a new anthology, namely Fading Hope. This story is really, really dark. 

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It looks like some of those stories I’d been writing finally got released… 

September

On September 3rd an interview I did was added to the Interviewing Authors Anthology Volume 1 from Tim Knox, where I talk about writing zombie stories. 

September 8th brought out the audibook version of Nerdz Comics And More Complete, once again ready by Jack De Golia. 

Also on the 8th my debut full-length traditional horror novel, Chelsea Avenue, was released by Ragnarok Publications. After having written so many shorts and novellas, it was great to have a longer piece published after all this time. I’m damn proud of this story, too. 

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september 11th another short I’d been working on, a creepy horror tale, made it into Suspended In Dusk anthology, with an introduction by Jack Ketchum. How cool is that? 

September 16th Change Jar Books Part 3 was released. 

October

On October 6th Change Jar Books Part 4 was released. 

October 17th the final part was put out: Change Jar Books Part 5. You can expect the audiobook version (once again narrated by Jack De Golia) in 2015. 

Hallowed Horror was another box set I got to be in in 2014. On October 21st it was released and is currently only 99 cents so grab a copy asap! Featuring Mark Tufo, Christine Sutton, Scott Nicholson, Lisa Vasquez, Eric A Shelman, Chantal Noordeloos, Heath Stallcup, Jaime Johnesee, Eden Crowne, and featuring my “Tool Shed” horror novella you can’t find anywhere else! 

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November

November 11th saw Dying Days: Origins 2, featuring David Monsour (the character in the book and the real man on the cover), released right in the middle of the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour. More on the tour in the podcast. 

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Change Jar Books Complete came out November 16th, with all ten stories in it. 

Most of November was spent writing several projects, including another movie adaptation that should be filmed in early 2015 and then the book will be released as well. 

December

December 15th the audiobook version of Highway To Hell was released, and read by none other than Jack Wallen. Why did it take so long to get released? That’s a story for the podcast. 

Even by my standards December was a slow month. I worked mostly on a movie adaptation novel as well as a few short stories for upcoming anthologies in 2015. I wrote a big chunk of the first draft of Dying Days 5 as well. 

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43 more releases in 2014!

What will 2015 bring? Hopefully many more releases and many more new readers

Here’s to another great year coming up!

Armand

To hear the podcast version of this Year In Review, visit

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast Episode 28

Guest Post: Adrian Rawlings

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5 Horrific Subgenres of Horror

What scares you? What keeps you awake at night and causes you to quake and tremble beneath your sheets? The things you find horrifying might resonate well with others, while some might not understand what all the fuss is about. However, truth be told, we’re all scared of something and different things can terrify different people.

Horror-themed television programming and most of what Hollywood has to offer tend to be rather conventional when compared to the utter litany of subgenres that are out there. However, as the years have gone on, more and more movies have blurred the lines, giving rise to some of the most twisted subgenres. Most of the credit goes to Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense who would frequently blur the line between what were ostensibly thrillers and the horrifying surrealism of his direction. Thanks to him and other creative directors, there are far too many horror subgenres to talk about in the space permitted.

So, listed below are five of the best.

No 1

Eastern icons of cinema like the anime Akira and the film Tetsuo: The Iron Man, these are both great examples of body horror. This subgenre places heavy focus on the graphic depiction of destruction and degeneration of the human body, but it can also include parasitism and mutation as seen in The Thing. What makes the subgenre so effective is that it instills a certain sense of personalized dread whenever the viewer sees such a visceral depiction of body horror. In the case of The Thing that sense of dread is pretty easy to comprehend – it’s saying “you’re next.” That’s why many top horror lists still have a soft, squishy spot in their hearts for The Thing and others like it.

No 2

Post-apocalyptic horror has been a pretty popular genre in a lot of recent Hollywood offerings from Viggo Mortensen in The Road to Zombieland. The undead have been particularly prominent in really driving home just how bleak life can be for those not lucky enough to be wiped out in the apocalypse. When there is no infrastructure, no law, no morals, no civility – when humanity loses its humanity, you truly are on your own, and that can be especially frightening.

No 3

They say that crazy people only think they’re getting saner while the truly sane individuals are the ones who actually question their own sanity. However, what if those who question it are so crazy that they actually think they are sane and able to question their dwindling sanity? You can go crazy asking those questions behind the questions and that’s really the essence of psychological horror – the uncertainty. It’s horror from the perspective of an unreliable narrator who never quite knows what’s real. Shutter Island was a great example of this along with Session 9.

No 4

The 1979 film Alien popularized the tagline “In space no one can hear you scream.” Alien is regarded by many as the quintessential sci-fi horror movie with others like Event Horizon following in the wake. What makes these films effective as far as horror is concerned is the sheer claustrophobia they induce. You’re on a ship with nothing but the deadly vacuum of space outside – there’s only so many places you can hide.

No 5

So… there probably aren’t too many people out there who could honestly say they like being murdered and/or tortured to death. The mere thought of a toe or finger being cut off or being pierced with a fishing hook is a little unsettling. So, why make splatter horror movies and why go out and see them? There have been lots of psychological studies on this but no one can really agree on why we are both horrified but intrigued with these “splatter films.” Maybe it’s a way for us to get as close as possible to it (and confront it)…or maybe, deep down, it satiates that inherent thirst for carnage.

The list of subgenres goes on, as long and as varied as there are individuals with their own individualized fears. What you find scary might not affect others in the same way…and what others find truly terrifying may be a trifling thing, indeed. The beauty of horror and its various subgenres is that, now, it’s less of a sweeping sensation – capable of hitting us all where we live.
AUTHOR: Adrian Rawlings; @adrianrawlings2

BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a TV and horror blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, horror, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.

Guest Post: Aiden Truss

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Aiden

Heavy Metal and Horror: A Marriage Made in Hell!

 

Whenever I envisioned the character of Astolath in my novel Gape, he was always accompanied in my mind by the sound of chugging guitars, crashing drums and wailing vocals. He’s just such a heavy metal character, straight from an album cover by Ozzy Osborne or King Diamond.

This got me thinking about the long association between heavy metal and horror which somehow always seems to have been there.

There are several claimants to the originators of heavy metal. Some trace the genre back as far as the 60s and bands like The Kinks, Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer and MC5. These admittedly all had a guitar sound that was much heavier than their predecessors, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath that really started to steer hard rock into heavier territory.

But, while Led Zep’s Jimmy Page had a very public fascination with the occult (even going so far as to buy Aleister Crowley’s old house), it was Black Sabbath that really cemented the connection with horror, even taking their name from Mario Bava’s classic 1963 movie starring Boris Karloff. Further still, the title track from their first album was based on a story by British horror writer Dennis Wheatley. Guitarist Tony Iommi once explained their sound by saying that heavy music need heavy subject matter – and what could be heavier than the dark side?

Fellow Brits – Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Angel Witch and Venom (among a host of others) – all followed the ‘left hand path’ that Sabbath had taken. And, while not all were as overtly Satanic-sounding as Sabbath, they all adopted imagery and lyricism that explored themes of horror and black magic. Maiden’s Number of the Beast and Venom’s Black Metal albums are classics of the genre.

Across the pond, Vincent Furnier (AKA Alice Cooper) was cranking out albums about serial killers and homicidal lunatics. On tour, his stage shows owed more to Grand Guignol theatre than to rock and roll with hangings, decapitations and torture devices being employed as props for black humour in his music. His Welcome to My Nightmare album is still in my top ten all-time favourites and sounds creepy to this day.

I even remember desperately trying to find John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness on VHS when I found out that Alice Copper had both written the theme music and made a cameo appearance. There are probably many other examples of metal on soundtracks, but this one (along with Fastway’s Trick or Treat soundtrack) got me really excited. In fact, I think that there are only two really great horror movies that work without a metal or an orchestral score: The Wicker Man and Near Dark.

Though Alice still continues to tour and release new music, Danzig, Marilyn Manson and – most recently – GhostBC have all carried on in the same dark vein. And, if you can handle the intensity, there is a whole genre of ‘black metal’ and its various sub-categories that are devoted to demonology, mythology and horror.

Ok, so this doesn’t all really explain the connection between horror and metal. Perhaps, the same introverted obsession with the darkness that infects many dark writers also affects those who turn to music for artistic self-expression? Though the two aren’t exclusively bound together, there does seem to be a preponderance of people out there who are fans of both.

I was already long into horror books and movies by the time I listened to my first metal album, the aforementioned Number of the Beast. But from that day on, the two were inextricably combined on a personal level. And, if anyone out there wants to commit Gape to film, I’ve already got my list of favourite dark tunes to accompany it:

 

  • ‘Year Zero’ by GhostBC
  • ‘Born in a Burial Gown’ by Cradle of Filth
  • ‘Roses on White Lace’ by Alice Cooper
  • ‘Mother’ by Danzig
  • ‘Children of the Damned’ by Iron Maiden
  • ‘Lord of this World’ by Black Sabbath
  • ‘The Thing That Should not Be’ by Metallica
  • ‘Scream Until You Like It’ by W.A.S.P.
  • ‘Burn in Hell’ by Twisted Sister
  • ‘Beyond the Realms of Death’ by Judas Priest
  • ‘Shout at the Devil’ by Motley Crue
  • ‘Phantom Antichrist’ by Kreator

Gape_Front_Cover_Only_Final

Gape by Aiden Truss

 

Synopsis:

When Rose woke up in her favourite shop doorway, she was resigned to yet another day of hunger, struggle and abuse. This was life on the streets after all.

 

What she wasn’t prepared for was a visit from a demon, an invitation back to his temporally insubstantial sanctuary, and forced to take sides in a battle involving most of the denizens of hell. Oh, and a boat trip down the river Thames.

 

After a disappointing start to the day, things were about to get a bit more interesting…

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: US, UK, CANADA, GERMANY, ITALY, SPAIN, FRANCE, BRAZIL, JAPAN, INDIA

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Author Bio:

Aiden Truss is a forty one year-old geek who still thinks that he’s twenty-one. Despite never having grown up, he’s now been married for twenty four years and has two sons who have grown up against all odds to be strangely well adjusted.

Aiden spends his time flitting between high and low culture: he holds an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies and can often be seen stalking the galleries and museums of London, but also likes watching WWE, listening to heavy metal music, collecting comic books and playing classic video games.

Aiden lives in Kent, England and Gape is his first novel.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @AidenTruss

Website: http://www.AidenTruss.com

 

Guest Post: Debbie Fletcher

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httpwww.bbc.co.uknature23898679

We all have many different preferences, loves and tastes. Strangely, I am obsessed with horror. Anything to do with it grabs my attention quicker than you can imagine. Scary films, being scared and anything that relates to horror in the smallest of ways- I just can’t get enough!

 

Why, you ask? Because it’s exciting, and because you’re not supposed to love the fear factor, you’re typically told you’ll fall in love and enjoy all of these positive emotions. Well not for me, I love anything that gets my heart racing. There are many reasons that I find myself so heavily invested in horror, but I’m still not quite sure why I’m so obsessed.

 

Some would say my love for horror is because of its lack of reality. For example, I can face the fear of a scary movie, but apart of me is awaiting the happy ending, or at least the sheer relief as I remember it’s not real, and the end of the film will soon bring me back to reality. Whether it’s the scary costumes they’re wearing, or the entertaining script, I love the fright these types of films can cause.

 

The “adrenaline rush” may be another reason. Our fight or flight mode can kick in once we are facing fear, and therefore our adrenaline can get higher than one may of previously experienced. Even the bad horrors I have faced in my life fill me with pride. I look back at some scary moments and think “at least I’m over that now, how close was I to facing something unthinkable?”. It would explain why people seemingly brag about their near death experiences and other similar incidents. Perhaps we are hard wired to love the fear and to embrace it afterwards.

 

My love of horror may also come down to evolution. As stated before, we have a lot of natural instincts that appear to bond with fear and horror. Before we evolved so drastically, we were facing risky scenarios each and every day. So like our ancestors, we seek to find the same thrill, but with our evolved lifestyles, I guess it’s just a thing of nature to feel the way I do. We want that same sense of achievement, but we’re intelligent and evolved to the point where most of us need not seek real danger, so we seek it in a safe and controllable form, like a movie or a story.

 

Of course I find many scenarios extremely frightening, but for a lot of the smaller types of horror, I find myself full of controllable fear and pure excitement. If it’s a scary story, a strange experience or something spooky that’s happened, do I run and cry? No, I laugh and analyse all of the outcomes. I guess we are all seeking different things in life, and for whatever reason horror just fascinates me.

 

My love of horror and fright tends to extend to almost every aspect of my life. For example, I am a big fan of rides that make your stomach feel like it’s going to fly through your head, and any feeling that comes with sensation-seeking rides. I personally love that feeling when I am about to enter a really dangerous situation, only to realise I am completely fine after the fun element of horror has gone.

 httpswww.cedarpoint.comthings-to-doroller-coasters

It really does come down to how we are as an individual. For instance, I am scared of drastic changes within my life, but I love any form of horror, terror and anything that strikes fear in to me. However, others can adapt to many changes at ease, but a simple spider or harmless prank will send them in to a state of panic. As strange as it may be, I will forever be a fan of horror in all its forms.

Guest Blog: Jeff Freeman

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            When Armand suggested that I write a guest BLOG, I was a little perplexed. Besides the fact we both like eating whole boxes of cookies, what do we have in common? Okay… I made a movie, Island of the Cannibal Death Gods… and he liked it. He wrote a book… Dying Days, and I liked that. But is that enough to warrant him allowing me to share my thoughts, experiences… nay… even my dreams with his vast audience… I guess so.

            He suggested that I tell people about who I am and what I’m working on. Now of course, having been raised on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, my response generally skews from the ludicrous to an outright lie. So rather than possibly bore you with a biography of my life… I will present you with five facts and I promise at least three of them are true.

 

1)      I’ve been to the fringes of outer space in one of those 0-G planes.

2)      I was once the promoter of a music festival.

3)      I’ve sat in a theatre that shows porno movies and talked baseball with Paul Newman

4)      I’m currently challenging Stephen Colbert to a contest of Lord of the Rings trivia. (OK, this one is real! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCvbOddYUV4)

5)      I once got into a very heated debate, with director Peter Bogdonavich, in a film theory class.

 

That should tell you everything you should want to know about me.

 

            Okay… what am I working on. Well for starters, as I said before, I made a movie, Island of the Cannibal Death Gods. It was my first feature film and served two purposes for me. First, it allowed me to prove to myself that I could make a feature film, and second it allowed me to share my love of something… “B” horror films. As a kid, we had a show on Saturday mornings called Creature Features. You would get to see 2 horror/science fiction/thriller movies every Saturday from 10am – 1pm. The choice of movie generally fell into 3 categories. Giant rubber monster movie from Japan. Classic Universal monster movie from the 30’s & 40’s. Bad drive-in horror movie.

            Now we call those movies bad, in a nostalgic way. As a kid, I loved all those movies and the cheesier the better. Even today… give me a guy in a rubber suit, chasing around girls in bikini’s with visible boom mic’s, cheesy dialogue and bad acting over any $100 million dollar sci-fi or horror film, shot in front of a green screen. So when it came time to make my film, it had to be one of those three. Not having any money narrowed my choices down to homage to bad “B” drive-in horror movie. If you haven’t seen it, why not? You can get it off Amazon for the price of a biscuit. If you want to see all the behind the scenes stuff… you can order the DVD from my website listed below.

            So that’s what I did… now, what am I doing? Well to the regular readers of Armand’s BLOG, the most interesting thing I’m working on is trying to get Dying Days made into a movie. The screenplay is already finished and now we’re into… “WHERE”S THE MONEY GONNA COME FROM?” phase. I’ve also finished another screenplay, a zombie themed horror/dark comedy Why Won’t Wendy Die? I have a third screenplay that’s almost finished and it’s my first ever actual “scare the crap out of the audience” horror film titled Blood Moon. Finally, I’m working with legendary grind house filmmaker William Grefe’, to bring him back into the director’s chair for a film he also wrote… Marooned. This will be my third project with Bill. My little on-line distribution company also distributes his Seminar on Independent Film-making, and also the restored version of his lost film… The Devil’s Sister’s.

 billseminar

            So, that’s my life in a nutshell. If anyone out there knows any millionaire’s that want to make movies… send ‘em our way. BTW… thanks for taking the time to read my guest post here. It’s a busy world and there are a lot of demands on people’s time… thanks for taking the time to hear about me.

Peace,

Jeff

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www.cannibaldeathgods.com

www.realitysedgefilms.net

 island

William Grefe’ Seminar on Independent Film Making

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Special Guest Post from Jeff Freeman of Reality’s Edge Films

William Grefe’: Seminar on Independent Film Making
I’m very happy to announce a very special release. My friend William Grefe’s Seminar on Independent Film Making.

“Wild Bill” Grefe’ has made more than 2 dozen feature films and has been recognized as one of the most successful low budget/guerilla film makers in the business.

The “Godfather of Grindhouse” has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award and both Quentin Tarrantino and Robert Rodriguez have cited Bill as being influential in their works. Now his seminar is finally available on DVD and is filled with real world knowledge on how to make
a low budget/guerilla film.

Available to order at our website: www.realitysedgefilms.net

Guest Blog – Jeff Freeman, Director of “Island of The Cannibal Death Gods”

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Jeff Freeman’s feature debut… “Island of the Cannibal Death Gods”
is an homage to the drive-in horror films of the 60’s. A look back to when
times were simpler, horror was cheesier and audiences were actually scared of guys in rubber suits chasing bikini clad women around.

Freeman was motivated to make this film out of nostalgia for all the B-Horror
films he used to watch on Saturday mornings as a child. “My Saturday morning
viewing was very regimented. Loony Tunes and Scooby-Doo till 10am and then Creature Features till 1pm.” “With Island, I was trying to recapture a time where
you didn’t need complex CGI and over the top gore to make a horror movie…
or for that matter, a lot of money.”

www.cannibaldeathgods.com
www.realitysedgefilms.net
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1961361/combined   –  Island on IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3926224/   –  Jeff Freeman on IMDB

Steven Brack Interview Part Two

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Steven Brack Interview Part Two

 

You can read Part One of the Steven Brack Interview from yesterday first, if you’d like… I’ll go get another cup of coffee and wait for ya… OK, finished?

 

Is he an actor? Race car driver? A character in a zombie book?

Yes. Yes he is.

I had a chance to ask Steven Brack a few questions, and that only led to more questions. What started as a simple Q&A about his small role in my Dying Days 2 zombie novella exploded into an interview about so many parts of his interesting life I decided to keep it all and have to make this a two-parter.

You might not know who Steven Brack is right now, but you will by the time you finish reading this. Trust me, he’s worth it.

 

Yesterday we discussed your part in Dying Days 2, the inspiration for Steve ‘The Breeze’ Brack, arrogant driver of the number 75 car. Tell me about your actual background.

“Ok I’m thinking… I’m thinking. Let’s start with the racing. I grew up around racing from the time I was born. My dad is Bobby Brack, Florida’s winningest stock car driver. So it just kind of came natural. I was always around it and I watched and learned constantly. All-consuming. I lived for it and it’s all I thought about. Me, I won the first race I ever drove. I went on to conquer the most feature wins and the Championship title in the Street Stock division that year at Hialeah Speedway. That was 1981. A lot of Steve ‘The Breeze’ Brack’s (his namesake character in Dying Days 2) arrogance reminds me of myself back then. I had just turned 18 and I was in the local and national newspapers as this new super-star driver. I did think I was on top of the world back then. Too young to handle all of that shit most definitely, but I remember the feeling being euphoric.”

 

How did you transition from racing to acting?

“Acting – That’s a different story entirely. I never in a million years intended to be an actor. I’ll give you the back story… I had done some modeling and print work stuff in my early 20’s. After all, I was the golden-god at the speedway and very comfortable in front of the camera’s eye… so, long story short, I met a woman at a party who worked as a scout for Michelle Pommier. She asked me to come in to the office. They did test shots and signed me to a one year contract. I did some catalog print work and a brochure for Holiday Inn hotels. Truth be told, I hated it. Dropped it like a hot potato and walked away from it.

“Now… let’s fast forward to 2006. I was having dinner with a couple of friends on Lincoln Roadin SouthBeach. At the next table was an old guy dressed all in black. Black leather jacket, too… which I found to be odd since it was like 90 degrees out. All through dinner he kept watching me. Not really paying attention to the people he was with… just watching me. It was uncomfortable. When they were leaving, he walked over to me and asked… and I quote, ‘Are you in pictures?’ I kind of laughed and said no. He says, ‘Well, you should be.’ He hands me his card and says, ‘I’m Jay W. Jensen, give me a call’. I put the card in my pocket and just laughed it off. I assumed it was some pick-up line or something. A couple of weeks passed and his card sat on my desk with a wad of receipts and crap. I looked at the card and thought, ‘I should look this guy up on the internet’. Holy shit! I found him instantly. He was legit. I called the next day and it was like a whirlwind. By the end of the week I was in his office reading for the lead in a film called The Palooka that was backed by the Tennessee Williams estate… Williams was one of Jay’s best buddies back in the day. So, I landed the role and was thrown into a month and a half of character development training and rehearsal after rehearsal. Hell, they even made me go and train with Jorge Ortiz of the UFC in a gym out in Kendall once a week. Fucked up! They made me into the character, Miami Joe, for this movie. I even gained 18 pounds for the role. My overall mental outlook and approach to the character came from Mickey Rourke. He gave me some of the most valuable pointers in regard to acting that I’ve ever heard. I can’t share what he told me or I would have to kill you! LOL. Anyway… I’ve done over 20 movies in the last six years. Four indie feature films with starring roles in three of them… The first one I did was a small supporting role in Fandango Pictures film, Phoenix Falling. One that I won’t talk about because it’s such a piece of shit. One called The Urban Horror Trilogy (You’ll never find it because it’s sitting on a shelf due to a litigation case between producers and director), and one called Island Of The Cannibal Death Gods for Reality’s Edge Films and director Jeff Freeman. This one was the toughest and yet the most fun to make. Jeff and I became friends after meeting and working on this picture. We’ve even collaborated on a couple of other projects since Island was completed.”

 

You mention your role in The Palooka and Miami Joe…

“As for me and MiamiJoe… I had a really tough time expelling him after the film wrapped. I’d wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and it was him. My hair was shaved off and I was fat. I talked like him and moved like him and thought like him. I became depressed for three or four weeks after the film completed production. It was fucked up because people spent time making me into Joe, but nobody ever told me about the after-shock of mental and physical conditioning… or re-conditioning like that. Since that experience, I’ve figured out how to release a character after I’m done portraying him. The film itself will probably never be seen again. I saw it once on the big screen here in Miamiduring a sneak peek. I believe it did play at the Palm Beachfilm festival before it was shelved. Shortly before Jensen’s death in 2007, there was an injunction filed between the Jensen estate and the producers of the film. What I got from Jay was that they were using or exploiting his name for other ventures which he had no involvement in. That’s life and welcome to show business! Enough power players saw the film when it was finished… Or they may or may not have been given a DVDcopy of the film. Anyway… the last thing I’m going to say about The Palooka is this. If you want to know the gist of the story and the character… check out the 2008 film, The Wrestler… Teeeheehee!”

 

What is your latest project?

“I just finished a PBS documentary entitled Hialeah Speedway – No Guts, No Glory. I am the on-camera host and narrator of the show and I am thrilled about this project. When the project was in its initial stages of production, I was an on-camera interview as a driver. That was going to be my extent of involvement in the project. When the producers got my background information, they decided to explore the actor / race car driver angle and decided to screen test me with some mocked up dialogue. Man… It was like three weeks before I got the call telling me they wanted me to come on-board. Wow! This is a game-changer right here. Being asked to be ‘the face’ to represent Hialeah Speedway is an honor of immeasurable proportions for me. That was my home track and I truly loved the place. I’m honored to be able to give back to the track that gave me so many great memories and experiences. We’re having a big public premier event inMiami on August 21. Then we air to the southeast FL market (Palm Beach toKey West). Three first-run featured slots in prime time. Wow, unreal! Here are the dates and times: Friday, August 24 @8:30pm / Sunday, August 26 @9pm / Monday, August 27 @7:30pm. There’s a 1 million viewing audience in that market alone. Mid &North Florida is the next market and then the NASCAR hub in theCharlotte,NC area is third. Hopefully it goes fully national. These PBS people are pretty slick.”

Here’s the link for the teaser on the PBS documentary 

What’s next?

“In this business you never know. I’ve been out on loads of calls with casting directors in the past few weeks. Big national TV shows. Hey at least they’re looking at me and my agent has been keeping me pretty busy. Knock on wood! I’ve got one I will share with you that I thought was totally cool. Last week I got to screen test for one of my all-time favorite directors, William Grefe. He’s a legend in the cult film genre and I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid and I went to the movies to see his film, Wild Rebels. I love that movie. My dad was the driver in the racing scenes in the film. I remember being so excited, sitting in the theater and seeing my dad race on that big screen. Too cool for a kid, I’m telling you. Another little tidbit on Wild Rebels… the film found a whole new audience a few years back when it was featured on Mystery Science Theater. Love it, love it, love it. I’d quote the film, but I might bore you, haha.”

 

OK, I have to ask… the Playmate Question…

“My favorite Playmate is Miss January 1976 – Daina House. Whenever I’m asked that question, it’s a no-brainer for me and I’ve never flip-flopped on my response. I remember I was like 12 years old and a friend of mine had smuggled a Playboy magazine into school. It was the January 1976 issue. I was like… ‘That is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.’ That’s saying a lot because Farrah Fawcett’s red swimsuit poster was just beginning to explode everywhere at the time. From Playboy, Daina House went on to act in a hand-full of B-Movies in the late ’70s before calling it quits on the acting thing to follow her instincts. I really admire that. Today, she’s an ordained minister and the head of Daina House Ministries out inVerdugo City,CA. And still gorgeous later in life I might add. I told her I would love for her to come out of retirement and do a film with me. Nope. She’s done with the entertainment biz. Dang!”

For more about Steven Brack, visit his IMDB page and follow him on Facebook