Josh Hilden's Blog

January 20, 2015

You need to know before reading this essay that all I’m doing here is talking myself into doing something that terrifies me but makes complete sense. I’ve been punting this ball around in private since Halloween and have finally decided I need to shit or get off the proverbial pot.

So there’s this new thing, and by new I mean over the last year or so, going around the indie creator community. It’s called Patreon and it’s the hip new way to crowd source funds. Have you heard of it?

Been living in a cave, on Mars, and with your fingers in your ears? Here let me make it easy on you, because I’m that generous, not really but I have my moments.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patreon, based in San Francisco, is a crowd funding platform created by musician Jack Conte and developer Sam Yam. It allows artists to obtain funding from patrons on a recurring basis or per artwork. It is popular with YouTube content creators, musicians, and web comic artists and has been featured in Forbes, Time, and Billboard magazines.

Patreon was founded in May 2013 by artist Jack Conte, who was looking for a way to make a living from his popular YouTube videos. Together with Sam Yam he developed a platform that allows patrons to donate a set amount of money every time an artist creates a work of art. The company raised $2.1 million in August 2013 from a group of venture capitalists and angel investors. In June 2014 the company raised a further $15 million in a series A round led by Danny Rimer of Index Ventures.

In late 2014, the website announced that patrons were sending over $1 million per month to the site’s content creators.


Artists set up a page on the Patreon website, where patrons can pledge to donate a given amount of money to an artist every time she or he creates a piece of art, optionally setting a monthly maximum. Alternatively a fixed monthly amount can be pledged. This is different from other crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter, where artists obtain a single sum after a successful campaign and typically have to start over for every new piece. Similar to other platforms however, artists will often provide rewards for their patrons. Patreon takes a 5% commission on pledges.

Participating Artists

As of February 2014, almost half of the artists produce YouTube videos, while the rest are writers, draw web comics or make podcasts. On average, patrons donate $7 per creation. Patreon is growing rapidly both in patrons and creators, with 10000 artists expected to use Patreon by the end of February 2014. While the website initially targeted musicians, established web comic artists such as Jonathan Rosenberg, Zach Weinersmith and Paul Taylor are successfully using it. Any content creation that may be deemed pornographic photography is prohibited since a December 2014 policy change. Non-Photographic sexual imagery (drawn, sculpted, or computer generated, for example) is allowed.

For those of you who have not been around since the beginning of my Self Publishing journey I have crowd sourced in the past. In 2012 I used Kickstarter, before people were using it to fund major studio movies, to get the ball rolling. I used the money I raised to get the first run of The Shores of the Dead Series published. That consisted of paying for professionally rendered covers and an editor. Since then I’ve been bootstrapping on the profits from that initial grubstake but it’s been a more or less break even scenario.

I have no problems telling you I ended 2014, $492.00 in the black.

But that was when I was working a fulltime job and therefore had a second stream of reliable income. I made the jump to full time writer at Christmas and my production rate has skyrocketed. I’ve gone from 5000 to 10,000 words a week written on average, to now pushing 20,000. But that had caused problems all of its own.

I’m creating faster than I can afford to finance it.

Like I said, I used Kickstarter to get the ball rolling but I hate begging for money. I know some creators who know how to do a Kickstarter right. They have excellent rewards and the products they produce are awesome but I feel uncomfortable doing it. That being said I made two more attempts to crowd source in the last two years and killed them both before they got off the ground. I just felt like I wasn’t the guy for it.

This is different.

In the next week or so I am launching something I’ve decided to call The Gorillas With Scissors Press Book Club (GWSPBC) via Patreon.

Now I know right now some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking something along the lines of:

“Oh great, another indie (writer, artist, musician, games creator, or film maker) begging me for money so they can sit on their asses!”

Or some other equally indignant sentiment I would normally agree with. Yeah you heard it right, one of my problems with normal crowd sourcing are the people who use it as a giant cash grab. They’ve already established themselves in some way but use the Kickstarter to bank cash.

*NOTE: I am NOT talking about legit indie creators who use these outlets. I am talking about companies and creators who’ve been around for years and just don’t want to invest their own capital but are more than happy to invest the capital of others. And yes there are always exceptions, I’m sure the Veronica Mars movie might have never happened if we hadn’t supported it.*

So what will members of the GWSPBC get?

Honestly that depends on the levels of membership. Which have not been finalized as of this writing. But I can give you a rough rundown of what we’ll be offering.

Anyone who contributes at least a dollar will receive my current exclusive ongoing serial (The Door in the Basement) and all other exclusive stories.
Exclusive previews of future work.
The Opportunity to Beta Read GWS Press works in progress (May be subject to restriction depending on the contract with the author).
Access to exclusive social media groups just for the GWSPBC members.
Exclusive monthly giveaways of audiobooks, eBooks, paperbacks, and HARD COVERS (yep you read that right).
The Entire GWSP digital library for free (Word, PDF, Mobi, or ePub formats).
Every eBook free upon release.
More to be added.

Now what will your dollars be financing other than keeping me in a perpetual state of half life?

Expansion. With more funds I will be able to bring on more staff (Editors, Proof Readers, and Artists) and more writers.
Convention appearances. Cons aren’t cheap but they are one of the best ways to get your name out there.
Promotions and Marketing.
Anything else I’m not thinking of.

That’s it, there is my big plan. I’m hoping to bring in enough by the end of the year to hire a layout artist, a proofreader, and continuity editor. I need to take the pressure off my full-time editor, Jennifer’s, shoulders. She’s my good right arm in the publishing business and I need to get her some help.

Okay, so let me know what you think and I’ll keep you all posted.

- Josh
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Published on January 20, 2015 18:24 • 12 views

January 13, 2015

“I’m Anna Paquin. I’m bisexual and I give a damn.”

- Anna Paquin

I officially and loudly came out in the summer of 2012. By officially I mean I wrote an essay about it, I was still calling them blogs back then, and posted it on my website. After that I began self identifying whenever it was appropriate. Maybe if I was younger and came out I might be the kind of person who has to tell everyone I meet, “I like boobies and wee-wee’s” but I was 35 when I came out and too damn old for that kind of bullshit. So when I say loudly I only mean I didn’t sugar coat it or cloak it all in euphemisms and the written equivalent of foot tapping. I said it and I owned it, end of the story.

That’s not to say I was one hundred percent in the close before that.

In 2009 I made my first attempt at coming out. Although my family and intimate friends knew my sexuality for years it was always something I kept to myself. If you’re wondering why that was the situation when I am so outspoken, some would so to the point of repetitive nausea, all I can say is that I was ashamed.

I’m not sure I can explain why I was ashamed of who and what I am but I was and I know a lot of LGBT men, and I assume women but I will never claim I can see things from their POV because you know I have a penis, feel the same shame. If you’ve ever felt crippling shame you know how powerful it is. It’s an all consuming feeling that saturates and pollutes every aspect of your life. I never wanted to die because I was a bisexual I wanted to die because I was ashamed.

So in late 2008 early 2009, I can’t be sure because as you’ll learn those essays no longer exist, I came out on MySpace (Don’t judge me I’m old!). And it went over like a lead balloon. Nobody responded, nobody cared, and it was a non issue. That made me happy and for a little while my shame was lessened.

In 2010 there was a… let’s call it a shit storm in the family.

I’m not going to go into the details of the situation. There are two reasons for this. First it’s a done issue and as far as I’m concerned it can and will stay buried unless the opposite party brings it back up. The second reason is that it was half my fault, actually the issues that precipitated the situation were all my fault and I willingly own that, what came next was inappropriate and enough to destroy and lifetime relationship.

In the fallout from the unnamed situation a certain person decided to throw these comments at me regarding my coming out. While I remember the exchange, via Facebook, clearly I didn’t save them hence there are no quotation marks.

How dare you share this in public and embarrass your family.
Nobody cares.
Nobody wants to know this.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
Your grandfather is dying how dare you put this out there and embarrass him.

I know there were others but those are the ones that stuck in my craw. The Josh of early 2015 would have gone ripshit and to hell with any and all consequences. I would burn the city to the ground and sow the land with the salt of my righteous anger as my enemies cowered and ran before me, or some such other bullshit.

Josh of 2010 felt like he’d been punched in the gut.

I put up a small fight, give me credit for that. But in the end it was an ineffectual self defense that ended with me scouring my then fledgling social media sphere of all references to my beta coming out. Not only did I attempt to sanitize the internet I deleted the all of the essays I’d written from my hard drive.

When I panic I do some stupid shit.

For the next two years I was back in that shadowy side world of the people in my close sphere knowing and the rest of the people in my world either not caring or not being sure. I wasn’t happy after my capitulation and I obsessed on it for month. I’m sure it had an influence on the near implosion of my marriage in 2011. I was unable to effectively interact with people in the real world as my unmedicated depression grew hotter and burned through my world.

Medication and digital therapy saved my life and my family.

I’m not going to retell the story, for the millionth time, about finally telling my doctor what was going on. If you are really interested go check out the first rambling edition of my digital therapy A CAUTIOUS DESCENT INTO RESPECTABILITY available through Amazon. But long story short she medicated me and told me I needed to get all of the darkness out where it could be seen.

So I wrote, then I wrote, and then I wrote some more. When it was done my soul was unburdened, the truths were ALL laid bare, my heart was lighter, I was “Out loud and proud”, and more than half of my family apparently actively hated me or wanted nothing to do with me anymore. I’m a person and it bothers me that that was the outcome but I’m better off now than I was before.

Since then I’ve been adamant.

More than a few people have (straight and LGBT) have chastised me for being vocal considering I’m married to a woman and have children. They seem to think I have no business speaking out because I’m living a “Hetro Lifestyle”.

But that’s why I have to speak out.

I am a normal guy. I’m overweight, I’m nearsighted, I’m balding, I work, I play, I love my family, I eat pizza, I watch bad movies, I wrote schlock fiction, I am a huge geek, and I am a bisexual American man. There is nothing special, unique, or scandalous about me. I’m just a guy and being bisexual doesn’t define who I am but it is a part of me.

- Josh
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Published on January 13, 2015 06:24 • 10 views

January 10, 2015

“I’m awfully glad you asked me that, Lloyd. Because I just happen to have two twenty’s and two tens right here in my wallet. And I was afraid they were gonna be there until next April. So, here’s what, you slip me a bottle of bourbon, a cool glass and some ice. You can do that, can’t you, Lloyd? You’re not too busy, are you?”

- Jack Torrance

Well Boils and Ghouls we’ve reached the top of this list. Before we dive into the final flick I have to ask you a question, was there ever any real doubt which movie would cap it all off? I’ve said for years that the single scariest movie I’ve ever seen is Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation of Stephen King’s book.

That’s right, his interpretation.

Unless you’re either not a horror fan, if that’s the case why the fuck are you reading these essays? Or if you have been living in a cave, on Mars, with your fingers in your ears, or heavily sedated, you must know about the schism between most Kubrick and King’s fans.

In 1977 Stephen King was the hottest young writer in America. I know how weird that sounds these days since he’s now considered the godfather of modern horror and grandmaster of fiction, but there was a time when he was he youngster in the pack. At the same time Kubrick was the ‘it’ director. He was at the top of his game, a position he would maintain well into the 1980’s, and seemed like the only choice for turning The Shining into a feature film.

The results are controversial.

Before I continue I think I should do a little due diligence. So in the interests of full disclosure I need to say a few things. I am a King disciple, I consider him the greatest writer in the modern age, if not in American history. He works in words the way the great masters worked in colors, he is the single most significant influence in my creative life and I consider him my personal hero. The fact that he has produced a few duds (Rose Madder I’m glaring at you, you waste of potential) only makes me love him more. If he’d had a never broken string of successes I’d think he was some kind of robot.

On the other hand I’m not a huge Kubrick fan. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate his genius or love some of his movies, this is my number one all-time favorite scary movie after all. But I’ve never been part of the anti Kubrick crowd either. Besides The Shinning I also love his second to the last movie Full Metal Jacket but other than those two flicks, I’m kinda meh on his filmography… and I hate Eyes Wide Shut, pretentious piece of shit film.

So why all of the controversy?

Kubrick took King’s book, considered a seminal work of horror fiction, and reinterpreted large sections of it. While many of the details, characters, and actions remain unchanged between the book and the movie, whole sections of plot and motivation were either changed or completely excised from the filmed version.

King has not been recalcitrant when it comes to the movie version of The Shinning.

“I don’t get it. But there are a lot of things that I don’t get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t,” he tells Rolling Stone. “The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, “Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.” And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.”

Kubrick was likewise candid on how he came to his final version of the story.

“The problem was to extract the essential plot and to re-invent sections of the story that were weak. The characters needed to be developed a bit differently than they were in the novel. It is in the pruning down phase that the undoing of great novels usually occurs because so much of what is good about them has to do with the fineness of the writing, the insight of the author and often the density of the story. But The Shining was a different matter. Its virtues lay almost entirely in the plot, and it didn’t prove to be very much of a problem to adapt it into the screenplay form. Diane and I talked a lot about the book and then we made an outline of the scenes we thought should be included in the film. This list of scenes was shuffled and reshuffled until we thought it was right, and then we began to write. We did several drafts of the screenplay, which was subsequently revised at different stages before and during shooting. To be honest, the end of the book seemed a bit hackneyed to me and not very interesting. I wanted an ending which the audience could not anticipate.”

Considering both men are rightfully considered masters of their preferred crafts—it’s not hard to see creative differences were inevitable. I think in the end we might have all benefitted from these differences. In 1997 director Mick Garris and Stephen King produced and presented a six hour television miniseries of The Shining which stuck closely to the book.

I can’t choose which version of The Shinning I love the most.

Have you seen the episode of Friends where Joey and Rachael make each other read their favorite books?

Yes I watched Friends and I liked it!

Anyway, Joey’s favorite book is The Shining and he explains to Rachael that when the book gets too scary you have to put it in the freezer. To this day that is one of the funniest and most profound things I’ve ever seen on television. If I’d have known that trick when I first read The Shining I would have employed it.

I might have slept better, or at all, that weekend.

The Shining (novel)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shining is a horror novel by American author Stephen King. Published in 1977, it is King’s third published novel and first hardback bestseller, and the success of the book firmly established King as a preeminent author in the horror genre. The setting and characters are influenced by King’s personal experiences, including both his visit to The Stanley Hotel in 1974 and his recovery from alcoholism. The novel was followed by a sequel, Doctor Sleep, published in 2013.

The Shining centers on the life of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family accompanies him on this job, including his young son Danny, who possesses “the shining,” an array of psychic abilities that allow Danny to see the horrific past of the hotel. Soon, after a winter storm leaves them snowbound, the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel influence Jack’s sanity, leaving his wife and son in incredible danger.

The Shining was adapted into a feature film in 1980 by director Stanley Kubrick, with a screenplay co-written with Diane Johnson, which is regarded by some as one of the greatest films of all time. King himself was disappointed with the film, stating it had abandoned several of his book’s major themes. The Shining was later adapted into a television mini-series in 1997, closely monitored by King to ensure it followed the book. King wrote the series himself and was reportedly unable to criticize the Kubrick version due to his contract.

Plot Summary

The Shining mainly takes place in the fictional Overlook Hotel, an isolated, haunted resort located in the Colorado Rockies. The history of the hotel, which is described in back story by several characters, includes the deaths of some of its guests and of former winter caretaker Delbert Grady, who succumbed to cabin fever and killed his family and himself.

The plot centers on Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and their five-year-old son Danny, who move into the hotel after Jack accepts the position as winter caretaker. Jack is characterized as an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic with anger issues troubled by past binges that, prior to the story, had caused him to accidentally break Danny’s arm and lose his position as a teacher. Jack hopes that the seclusion at the hotel will help him reconnect with his family and give him the motivation needed to work on a play. Danny, unbeknownst to his parents, possesses telepathic abilities referred to as the “shining” that enable him to read minds and experience premonitions. Dick Hallorann, the chef of the Overlook, senses Danny’s abilities and helps to explain them to him, giving Hallorann and Danny a special connection.

As the Torrance’s settle in at the Overlook, Danny sees frightening ghosts and visions. Although Danny is close to his parents, he does not tell either of them about his visions because he senses that the care-taking job is important to his father and the family’s future. Wendy considers leaving Jack at the Overlook to finish the job on his own; Danny refuses, thinking his father will be happier if they stay. However, Danny soon realizes that his presence in the hotel makes the supernatural activity more powerful, turning echoes of past tragedies into dangerous threats. Apparitions take form, and the garden’s topiary animals come to life.

The Overlook has difficulty possessing Danny, so it begins to possess Jack, frustrating his need and desire to work. Jack starts to develop cabin fever, and the sinister ghosts of the hotel gradually begin to overtake him, making him increasingly unstable. One day, after a fight with Wendy, Jack finds the hotel’s bar fully stocked with alcohol despite being previously empty, and witnesses a party at which he meets the ghost of a bartender named Lloyd. As he gets drunk, the hotel urges Jack to kill his wife and son. He initially resists, but the increasing influence of the hotel proves too great. He becomes a monster under the control of the hotel, truly unable to control his dark side. Wendy and Danny get the better of Jack, locking him into the walk-in pantry, but the ghost of Delbert Grady releases him after he makes Jack promise to bring him Danny and to kill Wendy. Jack attacks Wendy with one of the hotel’s croque mallets, but she escapes to the caretaker’s suite and locks herself in the bathroom. Jack tries to break the door with the mallet, but she slashes his hand with a razor blade to slow him down.

Meanwhile, Dick Hallorann receives a psychic distress call from Danny while working at a winter resort in Florida. Hallorann rushes back to the Overlook, only to be attacked by the topiary animals and badly injured by Jack. As Jack pursues Danny through the Overlook, he briefly gains control of himself just long enough to tell Danny to run away, and that he loves him. The hotel takes control of Jack again, causing him to violently batter his own face and skull with the mallet so Danny can no longer recognize him, and Danny tells him that the unstable boiler in the basement is about to explode. Jack hurries down to relieve the pressure as Danny, Wendy, and Hallorann flee. Jack is too late; the boiler explodes and destroys the Overlook. Fighting off a last attempt by the hotel to possess him, Hallorann guides Danny and Wendy to safety.

The book’s epilogue is set during the next summer. Hallorann, who has taken a chef’s job at a resort in Maine, comforts Danny over the loss of his father.

“Hello, Danny. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny. Forever… and ever… and ever.”

- The Grady Twins

It’s those little girls.

Seriously, nothing in a movie has ever scared me as much as those fucking creepy as serial killer ghost twins! I was maybe seven, the first time I saw The Shining and those little girls haunted my nightmares for years. Seriously, even now at thirty-eight I still have the occasional dream where those creepy little bitches make a cameo.

Fuck them!

The Shining (film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name, although the film and novel differ in significant ways.

In the film, Jack Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic, takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel. His young son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see things from the past and future, such as the ghosts who inhabit the hotel. Sometime after settling in, the family is trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm, and Jack gradually becomes influenced by a supernatural presence, descends into madness, and ultimately attempts to murder his wife and son.

Unlike previous Kubrick films, which developed an audience gradually by building on word-of-mouth, The Shining was released as a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, then nationwide a month later. Although initial response to the film was mixed, later critical assessment was more favorable and it is now listed among the greatest horror movies, while some have viewed it as one of the greatest films of all time. Film director Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it as one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time. Film critics, film students, and Kubrick’s producer Jan Harlan, have remarked on the enormous influence the film has had on popular culture.

The initial European release of The Shining was 25 minutes shorter than the American version, achieved by removing most of the scenes taking place outside the environs of the hotel.


Jack Torrance arrives at the Overlook Hotel, interviewing for the position of winter caretaker, planning to use the hotel’s solitude to write. The hotel, built on the site of a Native American burial ground, becomes snowed in during the winter; it is closed from November to May. Manager Stuart Ullman warns Jack that a previous caretaker Grady developed cabin fever and killed his family and himself. In Boulder, Jack’s son, Danny, has a terrifying premonition about the hotel, viewing a cascade of blood emerging from an elevator door. Jack’s wife, Wendy, tells a doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony and that Jack has given up drinking because he hurt Danny’s arm following a binge.

The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour. The chef, Dick Hallorann, surprises Danny by telepathically offering him ice cream. To Danny, Dick explains that he and his grandmother shared this telepathic ability, which he calls “shining”. Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel has a “shine” to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He also tells Danny to stay out of room 237.

A month passes; while Jack’s writing goes nowhere, Danny and Wendy explore the hotel’s hedge maze. Wendy becomes concerned about the phone lines being out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has frightening visions. Jack, increasingly frustrated, starts acting strangely and becomes prone to violent outbursts.

Danny’s curiosity about room 237 overcomes him when he sees the room’s door open. Later, Wendy finds Jack, asleep at his typewriter, screaming in his sleep. After she awakens him, Jack says he dreamed that he killed her and Danny. Danny arrives with a bruise on his neck and traumatized, causing Wendy to accuse Jack of abusing him. Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room and meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd. Lloyd serves him a drink while Jack complains about his marriage.

Wendy later tells Jack that Danny told her a “crazy woman in one of the rooms” tried strangling him. Jack investigates room 237, encountering the ghost of a dead woman, but tells Wendy he saw nothing. Wendy and Jack argue over whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and a furious Jack returns to the Gold Room, filled with ghosts attending a ball. He meets the ghost of Grady who tells Jack that he must “correct” his wife and child and that Danny has reached out to Hallorann using his “talent”. In Florida, Hallorann has a premonition that something is wrong at the hotel and flies back to Colorado. Danny starts calling out “redrum” and goes into a trance, referring to himself as “Tony”.

While searching for Jack, Wendy discovers he has been typing pages of manuscript repeating “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. She is confronted by Jack, who threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat. She drags him into the kitchen and locks him in the pantry, but she and Danny are trapped at the hotel; Jack has sabotaged the hotel’s two-way radio and snowcat. Later, Jack converses through the pantry door with Grady, who unlocks the door.

Danny writes “REDRUM” on the outside of the bathroom door in the family’s quarters. When Wendy sees this in the bedroom mirror, the letters spell out “MURDER”. Jack begins chopping through the quarters’ main door with a fire axe. Wendy sends Danny through the bathroom window, but it will not open sufficiently for her to pass. Jack chops through the bathroom door as Wendy screams in horror. He leers through the hole he made, shouting “Here’s Johnny!”, but backs off after Wendy slashes his hand with a knife.

Hearing the engine of the snowcat Hallorann borrowed to reach the hotel, Jack leaves the room. He kills Hallorann and pursues Danny into the hedge maze. Wendy runs through the hotel looking for Danny, encountering ghosts and the cascade of blood Danny envisioned in Boulder. Danny lays a false trail to mislead Jack, who is following his footprints. Wendy and Danny escape in Halloran’s snowcat, while Jack freezes to death in the maze.

In a photograph in the hotel hallway dated July 4, 1921, Jack Torrance smiles amid a crowd of party revelers.

I was conflicted when I heard they were making a television miniseries out of The Shining. The book and the movie were two of my all-time favorites despite the glaring differences between them. Unlike many fans I’ve been able to separate and enjoy the two, and now I was being forced to examine a third version.

I watched and tried to maintain an open mind.

I really like the miniseries. It has its own kind of horror that is unique from the book or the movie. The mini has its flaws, the kid playing Danny annoys the ever-loving shit out of me, but I’m not usually a nitpicker and can ignore most of them. I wouldn’t recommend this as a person’s first exposure to The Shining, that will always be the book. But it’s a good watch with Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay turning in top-notch performances.

Actually I’m going to commit heresy and say Weber did a better job than Nicholson in the role of Jack Torrance. That’s right, I said it—what the hell are you going to do about it?

The Shining (miniseries)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shining (stylized as Stephen King’s The Shining) is a three-part television miniseries based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Directed by Mick Garris from King’s teleplay, the series was first aired in 1997.


Jack Torrance’s alcoholism and explosive temper have cost him his teaching job at Stovington, a respectable prep school. He is also on the verge of losing his family, after attacking his young son Danny in a drunken rage just a year earlier. Horrified by what he has become, Jack tells his wife Wendy that should he ever start drinking again, he will leave them one way or another, implying that he would rather commit suicide than continue living as an alcoholic.

Now, nursing a life of sobriety and pulling in work as a writer, Jack and his family take on the job of looking after the Overlook Hotel, a large colonial building in a picturesque valley in the Colorado Rockies. Hoping to succeed and move on as a writer, Jack is happy to take the job as it will provide desperately needed funds and the time to complete his first play.

Upon entering the Overlook and meeting its head cook, Dick Hallorann, Danny discovers that his psychic powers grant him a form of telepathy. Hallorann tells Danny that he too “shines”, and that Danny can contact him telepathically whenever he needs help.

It gradually becomes apparent that the hotel’s ghosts are more than figurative and far from peaceful. There is a force within the building that seems determined to use Danny for an unknown, possibly sinister purpose. This force manifests itself with flickering lamps and spectral voices and eventually a full-on masked ball from the Overlook’s past.

Danny is the first to fully notice the darker character of the hotel, having experienced visions and warnings that foreshadow what he and his parents will encounter over the winter. Jack’s character becomes progressively darker, first by scolding Danny for violating his rules that he was to stay out of the guest rooms, then eventually returning to his drunken self (the ghosts supplying an open bar for Jack prior to their ball).

In order to achieve its goal, the hotel takes over the person dearest to Danny: his father. Halloran, who had been contacted telepathically by Danny, travels from Florida to Colorado only to be attacked by Jack with a croquet mallet and left for dead. Danny telepathically communicates with his father, who finally breaks free of the ghosts’ grip, then realizes the boiler has been neglected. Danny, Wendy, and Halloran (who had only been stunned by the attack) escape to safety as Jack runs to the boiler room to sacrifice himself by allowing the boiler to explode and destroy the Overlook. 10 years later, Danny graduates from high school (we see that Tony is Danny’s adult self) with his mother and Halloran present at his ceremony, as well as seeing the ghost of his father being proud of him.

Back in Colorado, the Overlook is being rebuilt as a resort for the summer, as the ghosts of the original hotel start to wait for more potential victims.

So why is The Shining my all-time favorite scary movie?

It still scares me. I am one hundred percent serious, even after thirty-one years and I am sure after forty viewing’s—the damn flick still makes my heart flutter and fills my tummy with ice water. I still watch it every fall, late at night, and with all of the lights turned off.

Alright Boils and Ghouls that’s it, all ten of my favorite scary (non zombie movies) from bottom to top. This was fun to write and has encouraged me to do more top ten lists, not sure what the next one will be but it’s definitely going to happen.

- Josh
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Published on January 10, 2015 10:50 • 7 views

January 9, 2015

“I met him, fifteen years ago; I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding; and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.”

- Dr. Sam Loomis

The year was 1985 and I was spending the weekend with my great grandparents. Nor sure why we’d been dumped on them and not sent to my father’s while mom did whatever she was doing that weekend but there we were. Reaching back as far as I can in my memory I think mom and my pseudo step dad were having a date weekend and since this was before my father’s long streak of sobriety my great grandparents were probably the best choice to watch us.

I’m not complaining about it. I loved my great grandparents a lot. They were fun to spend time with and whenever we were there they’d let us just be kids. None of the normal drama of my childhood was carried over to their home. Their home was a sanctuary and I always felt safe… also grandpa had a stack of porno mags a foot high so win for young Josh.

Where the hell was I?

Oh yeah, Halloween.

It was on that weekend in October of 1985 that I first saw one of the greatest movies ever made. Not just one of the greatest horror movies but one of the greatest movies period. You don’t agree with me? Well come at me bro and we can do this Fight Club style but I get to be Meatloaf with his man teats!

Halloween scared the ever loving piss out of me… and I loved every second of it. Seriously I think watching Halloween might be the first movie that hit the endorphin switch in my brain, the one that equates pain with pleasure but instead of pain for me it was fear. I’m saying I get off on being afraid but I’m not, NOT saying it either.

Halloween might be the first smart horror movie. It set the bar for all that came before and while some horror flicks may have eventually done it better Halloween and John Carpenter did it first.

*Side Note: Before you horror fan boys and fan girls jump down my throat I am well aware Black Christmas came first and set the initial slasher movie tropes. But the truth is that while Black Christmas is a cult hit and a really good horror movie Halloween was a juggernaut.*

Michael Meyers is up there with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface as the godfathers of the modern horror genre. He is an unstoppable and indecipherable killing machine. There is no reasoning with him and if he decides it’s your time to go you might as well sit there and take it. Michael is awesome but he is not why I love this movie, I don’t even think he’s a particularly great horror movie villain.

Yeah, you read that right, I’m not a fan of Mr. Meyers.

The real star of the Halloween series is Doctor Samuel Loomis. Played by one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century, Donald Pleasence, the character is the modern archetype of the obsessed doctor. He will do anything and everything, up to and including dying, in order to stop Michael. Loomis is the scariest thing about Halloween, his obsession and never ending drive is highly unnerving. I truly believe he would have sot every child on the streets of Haddonfield that night if it guaranteed he’d be able to stop Michael.

Loomis is the badass in Halloween not Michael.

Halloween (1978 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. The film was the first installment in what has become the Halloween franchise. The plot is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night in 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael’s intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent him from killing.

Halloween was produced on a budget of $325,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States,[1] and $70 million worldwide,[2] equivalent to $250 million as of 2014, becoming one of the most profitable independent films. Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). Halloween had many imitators and originated several clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween contains little graphic violence and gore. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Some critics have suggested that Halloween may encourage sadism and misogyny by identifying audiences with its villain.[6] Other critics have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of youth and teenagers in 1970s America, with many of Myers’s victims being sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as innocent and pure, hence her survival. Nevertheless, Carpenter dismisses such analyses. Several of Halloween ’​s techniques and plot elements, although not founded in this film, have nonetheless become standard slasher movie tropes.


On the night of October 31, 1963, in Haddonfield, Illinois, 6-year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin) kills his older sister Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson) by stabbing her with a chef’s knife. Fifteen years later, on October 30, 1978, Michael escapes Warren County Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, where he had been committed since the murder, stealing the car that was to take him to a court hearing, the intention of which was for him to never be released.

The following day, Halloween, 21-year-old Michael, now dressed in a blue jumpsuit and a white mask, returns to his hometown of Haddonfield and begins stalking high school student Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Laurie informs her friends, Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes) and Lynda van der Klok (P. J. Soles), that she believes someone is following her but they dismiss her concerns. Later at her house, Laurie becomes startled to see Michael outside in the yard staring into her room. Elsewhere, Michael’s psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), having anticipated Michael’s return home, goes to the local cemetery only to discover that Judith Myers’ headstone is missing. Later, Loomis approaches Annie’s father, Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers), and the two quietly look for Michael.

That night, Laurie babysits Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews), while Annie babysits Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards) across the street from the Doyle house. When Annie gets a call from her boyfriend Paul asking her to pick him up, she drops Lindsay off at the Doyle house. Annie gets in her car to pick up Paul but Michael, who was hiding in the backseat of her car, strangles her before slitting her throat, killing her. At the Doyle house, while he plays hide-and-seek with Lindsay, Tommy spots Michael carrying Annie’s corpse and tries to tell Laurie, who doesn’t believe in any “boogeyman” that Tommy says he saw. Later that evening, Lynda and her boyfriend Bob enter the Wallace house and have sex in the upstairs bedroom. While downstairs to get a beer for Lynda, Bob is attacked by Michael, who kills him by pinning him to the wall with his knife. Michael then appears in the bedroom doorway, pretending to be Bob in a ghost costume. Gaining no response from him, Lynda becomes annoyed and calls Laurie, just as Michael kills her by strangling her with the telephone cord.

Feeling unsettled, Laurie puts Tommy and Lindsay to bed and goes to the Wallace house, where she discovers the corpses of Annie, Bob, and Lynda. She is suddenly attacked by Michael and falls backwards down the staircase. Fleeing the house, she screams for help, but to no avail. Running back to the Doyle house, she realizes she lost the keys and the door is locked, as she sees Michael approaching in the distance. Laurie panics and screams for Tommy to wake up and open the door quickly. Luckily, Tommy opens the door in time and lets Laurie inside. Laurie instructs Tommy and Lindsay to hide and then realizes the phone line is dead and that Michael has gotten into the house through a window. As she sits down in horror next to the couch, Michael appears and tries to stab her, but she stabs him in the side of his neck with a knitting needle.

Laurie goes upstairs telling Tommy and Lindsay she killed the “boogeyman”, but Michael reappears in pursuit of her. Telling the kids to hide and lock themselves in the bathroom, Laurie opens a window to feign escape and hides in a bedroom closet. Michael punches a hole in the closet door to get to her. However, Laurie frantically undoes a clothes hanger to stick Michael in the eye, and stabs Michael with his own knife. Michael collapses and Laurie exits the closet, then tells the children to go find help. Dr. Loomis sees Tommy and Lindsay running away from the house and suspects Michael could be inside. Back inside, Michael gets up and tries to strangle Laurie, but Dr. Loomis arrives in time to save her. Loomis shoots Michael in the chest at point-blank range, who then falls from the second-story patio onto the lawn below. Laurie asks Loomis if that was the “boogeyman”, to which Loomis confirms. However, when Loomis looks over the balcony, he finds Michael’s body is missing.

Interesting fact about Halloween, there is almost no blood. I’m serious, I’ve had arguments about this with people and we’ve sat down to watch it together. There’s only blood in one scene, at the beginning when Judith Meyers is murdered, in Halloween. John Carpenter made what is considered one of the best horror movies of all time and never spilled more than a few drops of cinematic blood.

I’ve watched episodes of Law & Order gorier than Halloween. Now that’s a movie I want to see, Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin fighting Michael Meyers in New York. I need to copyright that idea… wait I don’t want Mustapha Akkad or Dick Wolf suing me.

Like all of the successful horror movies Halloween spawned a franchise, albeit a strange and convoluted one. Halloween 2 was a direct sequel to the first movie and picks up the story immediately after the first ended. I like Halloween 2 but I tend to be in the minority. It’s a pure slasher movie with none of the subtle horror of the first one but still a fun popcorn flick.

Halloween 3 has nothing to do with Michael Meyers. The movie was an attempt to turn the Halloween series into a string of anthology films with a Halloween theme. I’m not going to go into part three but I will say it’s an excellent movie. If you’ve never seen it then search it out and watch it. If you like unique horror you’ll enjoy this one.

Unless you’re a filthy communist.

Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 pull the same trick as parts one and two. They are essentially one movie broken into two pieces. That being said one of them is a solid horror movie and the other is a tired and confused piece of shit.

Halloween 4 is a fun movie. There’s nothing new in it and in many ways it’s a rip off of Friday The 13th but it’s a movie I can watch over and over without getting bored. Michael is scary, the story is tight, and Loomis is at the top of his game. The horror and gore are amped and there’s plenty of fan service. It’s a fun and preposterous movie that I highly recommend, although I saw it on AMC a few years ago and I thought, “This is an American Classic?” standards seem to be slipping.

Halloween 5 is a horrible fucking movie and it shouldn’t be. They had all of the same tools they had with part 4, I think they literally went from making one to the other, and they managed to fuck it up. Not because the story is substantially dumber. Not because the gore has been toned down. Not because the acting is really any worse, Loomis is great as always. The reason his movie sucks hairy badger balls is because it’s FUCKING BORING!

That was cathartic.

Halloween 6 is a mess. Donald Pleasence died before the movie was finished and massive editorial changes lead to different ending than was originally written and filmed. All of that said I love this movie. It’s the movie version of Dominos Pizza. Cheap, sloppy, the toppings all slide off in the box, the driver is always late, and I love every bite.

Right now you’re expecting me to begin discussing the previously alluded to convoluted part of the franchise. Of course I am talking about Halloween H2O and Halloween Resurrection both of which are direct sequels to parts one and two thereby invalidating parts 4-6. These two movies saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the Laurie Stroud role in H2O and the beginning of Resurrection where she was killed off at her own insistence.

I refuse to talk about them.

Nope not gonna do it, I can’t stand these movies.

Okay that’s it for Halloween… oh shit I forgot about Rob Zombie.

Fuck beans!

Okay, short and sweet. Rob Zombie re-imagined the original Halloween in 2007 and followed it up with his own unique sequel. Rob is a good film maker and I actually like the re-imagining of the first movie. It was a slightly twisted take on the tale and while not as good as Carpenters it was a fun watch. Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 is an unmitigated disaster. It pains me to say that considering my love for the source material and respect for the man who created but that’s what it is, a hot mess of stupid.

And with that we close the door on Halloween.

Next time we reach the number one movie on my list. I think it’s fair to say I’ve saved the best and scariest for last. As the little boy who lives in Danny’s mouth says… REDRUM.

- Josh
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Published on January 09, 2015 08:29 • 2 views

January 6, 2015

“One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

- The Little Children

After the apocalypse when the human race is making its new myths and legends one of them will inevitably be the dream monster. Unlike a lot of the movies on my list this one touches something primal in us, something from the days when we roamed the grasslands and slept high in the trees so the lions wouldn’t eat us. A Nightmare on Elm Street doesn’t affect me so strongly because I think it can happen or because it haunts my dreams. It’d because at its core it’s just a damn good movie.

My cousin Renee was the first person to ever tell me about A Nightmare on Elm Street and its terrifying antagonist Freddy Krueger. She was about ten years older than me, she still is but that’s not germane to this conversation, and is the younger sister of my cousin Lenny you jump started my comic book collection. (Sorry Lenny I’ll never be able to call you Sam with a straight face, not gonna happen).

I was staying the night with their mother, my Aunt Dorothy, the weekend Renee saw the movie and all she did for the next couple of weeks was tell me how terrifying it was and that her friends had had to help her out of the theater. I was intrigued by the idea of a movie scaring somebody I knew so bad she’d lost the ability to walk under her own power.

I wanted to see the movie bad.

I pestered but was told that under no circumstances would I be allowed to see it. Fast forward several months and the movie was released for rental on VHS (kids ask your grandparents to explain) and it was my middle brother, then my only brother, who convinced my mom to rent it. I was staying with a friend that weekend and did not get to watch it until I came home.

When I did it was glorious.

The movie was terrifying, it was smart, it was clever, and it had a dark humor the later installments would unfortunately substitute with one liners and slapstick. I was enthralled and watched it three time before mom too it back to the video store next to the Ben Franklins (anyone remember those?).

Over the years I’ve owned the movie in multiple formats over many platforms. It holds up remarkably well for a movie now over 30 years old and shot on a ridiculously small budget. There’s a genius to A Nightmare on Elm Street few, if any, horror movie can claim.

For all of its awesomeness the movie never really scared me.

Yes you read that. While I found every aspect of the movie scary to one degree or another the film itself entertained me too much to terrify me. I never worried Freddy Krueger would invade my dreams or that I would die in my sleep. But with that being said I can recognize what people find so scary it’s paralyzing in this movie and I love it.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Springwood, Ohio, the plot revolves around several teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams (and thus killed in reality) by Freddy Krueger. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.

Craven produced A Nightmare on Elm Street on an estimated budget of just $1.8 million, a sum the film earned back during its first week. An instant commercial success, the film went on to gross over $25 million at the United States box office. A Nightmare on Elm Street was met with rave critical reviews and went on to make a very significant impact on the horror genre, spawning a franchise consisting of a line of sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, beyond various other works of imitation; a remake of the same name was released in 2010.

The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found in low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, originating in John Carpenter's 1978 horror film Halloween, including the morality play that revolves around sexual promiscuity in teenagers resulting in their eventual death, leading to the term "slasher film". Critics and film historians argue that the film's premise is the question of the distinction between dreams and reality, which is manifested in the film through the teenagers' dreams and their realities. Critics today praise the film's ability to transgress "the boundaries between the imaginary and real", toying with audience perceptions.

An unknown character in a boiler room fashions a glove with knives on four of the fingers then stalks high school student Tina Grey who appears there in her nightgown. He attacks her and she awakens from a horrific nightmare with slashes in her nightgown identical to the pattern the knived glove would have made. Unnerved by the encounter, Tina is unable to fall back to sleep. The next morning she confides in her friend Nancy Thompson and her boyfriend Glen Lantz about the nightmare. Nancy recalls a nursery rhyme about a boogieman named Freddy, but they shrug it off as a weird dream. That night, unable to sleep alone, Tina has Nancy and Glen come over to spend the night where the details of Tina's dream intrigues Nancy, as she had a similar dream. Upon describing him, Glen's attention is piqued as Tina realizes that Nancy's dream stalker was the same one she had seen. Tina's boyfriend Rod Lane crashes the sleepover to reconcile for an earlier argument, and he and Tina have sex in her mother's bedroom while Nancy and Glen sleep in separate rooms.

After she falls asleep, Tina is again stalked by the killer who toys with her relentlessly before going in for the kill. As she struggles in her dream, her terror awakens Rod, who witnesses slashes appearing on Tina's body before she is dragged along the wall to the ceiling. Her screams awaken Nancy and Glen who can't enter the room. Tina falls to the bed dead and Rod escapes through the window to find out what happened, thus insinuating him in the murder. Nancy is questioned by her father Lt. Don Thompson at the police station and she explains to her parents about the nightmares and that Tina had predicted she was going to die. The next morning, Rod professes his innocence to Nancy before he is caught and arrested by the police. At school, Nancy falls asleep during class and is led down to the school's boiler room by Tina's body bag. She is approached by a man calling himself Freddy, but Glen's advice to tell herself she's only dreaming doesn't work and she burns her arm on a steam pipe, wakening violently in class. Seeing a burn mark on her arm from her dream, she becomes afraid of falling asleep. This fails when Nancy falls asleep in the bathtub and is nearly drowned by Freddy. After Rod tells her about his nightmares, which coincide with hers and Tina's, she has Glen stand watch over her while she sleeps. She sees Freddy in Rod's jail cell in her dream before she is attacked by him. Glen having fallen asleep she is unable to be woken up by him until her alarm clock goes off. The two of them rush to the jail to check on Rod and find that he's been hanged in an apparent suicide.

At Rod's funeral, Nancy's mother Marge insists on finding psychiatric help for Nancy who now refuses to go to sleep. At a dream clinic, she has a particularly violent dream and when she is awakened, she has a streak of white in her hair and a bloody slash on her arm. To Marge's horror, Nancy discovers she pulled an old hat out of her dream, which Marge seems to recognize. Marge begins to drink heavily and puts security bars on the house, when Nancy questions Marge who she's protecting her from, Marge tells Nancy about a child killer named Freddy Krueger who escaped charges on a technicality. In retaliation, the parents of the neighborhood burned him alive in the plant he used to work in, she shows Nancy his gloved weapon and she realizes that somehow Freddy is now taking vengeance on the parents of the neighborhood by killing their children in their dreams. She works with Glen to come up with a plan for Nancy to take Freddy out of her dream like she did with his hat and for him to knock him out when she does. But their respective parents keep them apart; (for her safety and keeping Glen from her influence). Freddy kills Glen by pulling him through his mattress, resulting in a geyser of blood that his parents discover. When the police arrive, Nancy calls her father and propositions him to break into the house in 20 minutes, giving her enough time to find Freddy in her dreams and pull him out. He facetiously agrees, and Nancy sets up booby traps throughout the house. After she falls asleep, she goes searching for Freddy, finding him within the last minute of her alarm and pulling him from her dream.

Freddy chases Nancy around her house as she tries calling for help. She successfully tricks him into every trap and lights him on fire before the police arrive, following his footsteps upstairs, Nancy and Don find him smothering Marge with his flaming body and he puts them out. When the blanket is pulled back, Marge's burned body sinks into the bed and disappears. As Don leaves the room, Nancy realizes Freddy isn't dead. Following advice Glen gave her earlier about turning her back on her nightmare, she resists the urge to fight him and turns her back. Demanding her mother and friends be brought back. Freddy weakens and vanishes and Nancy steps out into daylight; apparently the next morning, where her mother is sober and plans to give up drinking and Glen, Rod and Tina pull up in Glen's car to go to school. As she gets in, the car gains a life of its own. Nancy screams for her mother as the car starts to drive away, and Marge is suddenly grabbed through the door's window and pulled through.

It was inevitable that with the phenomenal success of the first Elm Street movie, relative to what it cost, that there would be sequels. And like all sequels some of them are amazing (Aliens) and some of them are total shit (I’m looking at you Star Trek 5). The one thing I can say about every one of the Elm Street installments is that they are fun. Some of them are good and some of them are very bad but none of them quite match the original film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was the first sequel and it is without a doubt the strangest of the crop. With its homosexual undertones, a risk for the time, and the attempt to turn Freddy into a generic slasher villain it was not well received by some of the more hardcore fans. Still it was a fun movie and worth a watch. On a side note if there can be an official cannon of Nightmare movies part 2 is one of two installments people tend to omit. That being said it’s a very well made movie in its own right.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors is in many ways the high water mark of the series. The story of a group of kids, the “Last” elm street children trapped in an asylum as Freddy picks them off was brilliant. With the return of the Nancy character and an initial script by Wes Craven there’s a reason most of us hold this one up as the second best Nightmare movie.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master is a direct sequel to part three with the surviving kids all returning and being killed in the beginning of the film. I really like this movie but it was the first one where the series began to show it’s seams. It’s formulaic and is the movie where Freddy really turns into a one liner machine. That being said it’s fun and entertaining. Nightmare 4 was also the first American movie done by action movie master Renny Harlin and he shows his skills in every scene.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child is in some ways the Halloween 2 of the Nightmare series. It picks up right where four leaves off and finishes the arc started in three. If Harlin had come back and directed this movie it could have been as good as part four but he didn’t and the movie suffered. It’s not my least favorite Nightmare movie but only because the performances of the actors saved it.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is the second movie people try to forget as part of the cannon. It is my least favorite of the movies but I don’t hate it. The movie is stupid but it’s a playful stupid and Robert Englund looks like he’s having a really good time playing Freddy in this one.

Wes Cravens A New Nightmare is a strange and scary movie. I don’t love it but I really like it. To me it’s actually the scariest of the series and kicks all kind of ass.
Freddy vs. Jason is a movie I talked about at length in the Friday the 13th installment so all I’m gonna say is go read that one. But I love this movie. I love mash ups in general and this is one of the greats.

Freddy’s Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street The Series aired at the end of the 1980’s and was a horror anthology hosted by Freddy himself in the wraparound segments. The show had some high moment and it also had some really dumb ass episodes. I loved it and I miss it. I wish it’d be made available on streaming or even DVD.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was the movie nobody asked for and very few appreciated. If there’d never been an Elm Street series this movie would have been hailed as an excellent horror movie, instead people hate it. I like it, but I also like to dip my pizza in ketchup so take that endorsement for what you will.

Have you heard of the documentary Never Sleep Again? If not and you have any interest in Freddy Krueger and his wild ride you have to go to Amazon, or iTunes, or Netflix and watch this four hour epic. It is the most amazing doc about a movie series I’ve ever watched and that includes The Lord of the Rings Appendices.

Yes I said that and I stand by it!

Okay number three in the bag. Next time we hit number two and we enter a world of pure evil. But what would you expect from a creation by John Carpenter?

- Josh


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Published on January 06, 2015 17:55 • 4 views

January 4, 2015

The original Psycho is the first movie on this entire list I ever experienced. I’ve talked at length in the past about my love of watching weekend horror movies when I was kid. I grew up in the metro Detroit area and we had two UHF stations (Kids ask your elders what those were) that showed horror movies on the weekends. Channel twenty showed the Thriller Double Feature and channel fifty showed the Saturday Shocker. We also could receive channel thirty six out of Toledo which showed Dr. Shocks X-Ray Chiller Theater on Saturdays at Midnight.

*Side Note: I am considering doing a short nonfiction piece about these seminal programs in the coming year. I will keep you all posted.*

I’m not sure if it was on the Thriller Double Feature or Saturday Shocker but I know it wasn’t on Doctor Shocks show. The only reasons I’m sure of that is because it was daytime when I saw it and not long afterward we went to my grandma Janet’s house for a visit. I’m not sure what I was expecting when the movie started but it wasn’t what I got.

Let me say this, I am not an Alfred Hitchcock-phile. I don’t think he’s the greatest film director off all time but I do think he ranks up there with the rest of the greats. To be honest I think the title of “Best Director Ever” is one that can never really be awarded to any one director. That being said I know many people consider him one of if not the best ever.

I didn’t come to appreciate Mr. Hitchcock’s body of work until much later in life. Other than Psycho, which I promise we’ll get to eventually, what I knew about Mr. Hitchcock before I saw the amazing Jimmy Stewart movie Rear Window was from two sources very different from his work on the big screen. Because even thought it was a viewing of the classic Rear Window when I was in my teens that I started to recognize the man’s skill behind the big camera young me loved him on the small screen and written page first.

When I was in the third grade I was living in Saline Michigan with my mom, my pseudo step dad, and my unnamed middle brother (I’m the oldest). One day we went to the public library, we did this every week, and I was looking at what would now be considered Young Adult (YA) fiction but back then was just all kids books. At random I picked up a mystery book call THE SECRET OF TERROR CASTLE which was the first Three Investigators book.

It was love at first page.

Three Investigators

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Three Investigators is an American juvenile detective book series first published as “Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators”. It was created by Robert Arthur, Jr., who believed using a famous person such as movie director Hitchcock would attract attention. Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann AG, is the U.S. publisher and still has some of the rights to the books. Other rights are possessed by the heirs of Robert Arthur, Jr. and the German publisher Kosmos. The characters known as the “three investigators” are three boys named Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews.

Most of the mysteries involved investigation of baffling phenomena (e.g. an ancient Egyptian mummy that apparently whispered and a human skull that seemed to talk).

Introduction and history

The original series was published from 1964 to 1987 and comprised 43 books. Books number 1 to 9 and 11 were written by the creator, Robert Arthur, who also specified ideas for a few of the other stories. Arthur had been an editor for several book collections attributed to Alfred Hitchcock. The other authors were William Arden (Dennis Lynds), Nick West (Kin Platt), Mary Virginia Carey and Marc Brandel (born Marcus Beresford). All of the authors wrote their own introductions and epilogues, which were dictated purportedly by Hitchcock and later in the series a fictional writer, Hector Sebastian, who supposedly recorded the adventures of the Three Investigators from their words. The illustrators in the series began with Harry Kane and Ed Vebell and include Jack Hearne, Herb Mott, Stephen Marchesi, Robert Adragna and William A. (“Bill”) Dodge.

For the original series, the specific ages of the investigators were never revealed, but contextual information indicates that they were likely 13 or 14 years old. They were not old enough to drive a car legally, but were said to be just a few years younger than their nemesis Skinny Norris, who had a driver’s license from a state where the required age for a license was younger. On one occasion it was mentioned that Pete was part of the high-school wrestling team. In the later Crimebusters series, it was stated once that the Three Investigators team was initiated when the boys were 13.

The investigators were typically introduced to a mystery by a client or by finding something unusual accidentally in the scrapyard of Jupiter’s Uncle Titus Jones and Aunt Mathilda, who had a salvage business. The boys encountered baffling, sometimes misleading clues and danger before finally solving the mystery. The series had one major theme: however strange, mystical, or even supernatural a particular phenomenon may seem at first, it is capable of being traced to human agency with the determined application of reason and logic. Most mysteries were solved by Jupiter Jones, a supreme logician who implicitly used the Occam’s Razor principle: that the simplest and most rational explanation should be preferred to an explanation which requires additional assumptions. The boys were able to solve their mysteries with relatively few resources: they generally had little more than a telephone, bicycles, access to a library and - with reference to the Hollywood setting of the series - a chauffeur-driven vehicle. The last chapter of each book was an epilogue for which the investigators sat with Alfred Hitchcock (and later, “Hector Sebastian”), reviewing the mystery and revealing the deductions through the clues discussed earlier in the book.

During 1989, Random House revamped the series, naming it The 3 Investigators — Crimebusters Series. The investigators were now 17 years old, could drive cars and were much more independent. The stories continued to include an abundance of detecting, but with the addition of more action. The series was well-received, but was halted during 1990, when legal disagreements between Random House and the heirs of the Arthur estate could not be resolved. By 2005, the disagreements were still not settled.

At least eleven novels were published in the Crime Busters series, which was initiated by one of the series’ authors, William Arden, pseudonym of Dennis Lynds, who wrote the Dan Fortune mystery series for adults by the pseudonym Michael Collins. The other authors were: H. William Stine and wife Megan Stine, G.H. Stone (Gayle Lynds), William MacCay, Marc Brandel and Peter Lerangis.

Random House has reprinted several of the original books as two paperback reprint series, partly to assure their legal rights.

I loved the Investigators and for two years and I still have a soft spot for them in my heart to this day. I know Hitchcock had nothing to do with the books bedsides lending his name and persona to the series but it was my first real exposure to him as a person.

I read every one of the books multiple times and I can still see things in my own work inspired by things I was exposed to in the Investigators series. They were my favorite of the teen mystery genre (Trixie Belden coming in a close number 2) and I still think of some of my favorite scenes with fondness.

In the mid 1980’s I was given my second exposure to Mr. Hitchcock, and this time it was more grounded in his actually body of work. It was on television and it blew my mind. When The Twilight Zone received its first reboot in the 1980’s it wasn’t long before another classic anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents was resurrected.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades. Time magazine named Alfred Hitchcock Presents one of “The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME”. The Writers Guild of America ranked it #79 on their list of the 101 Best Written TV Series tying it with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs.

A series of literary anthologies with the running title Alfred Hitchcock Presents were issued to capitalize on the success of the television series. One volume, devoted to stories that censors wouldn’t allow to be adapted for the TV series, was entitled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories They Wouldn’t Let Me Do on TV—though eventually several of the stories collected were adapted.


Alfred Hitchcock Presents is well known for its title sequence. The camera fades in on a simple line-drawing caricature of Hitchcock’s rotund profile. As the program’s theme music, Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, plays, Hitchcock appears in silhouette from the right edge of the screen, and then walks to center screen to eclipse the caricature. He then almost always says “Good evening.” (The theme music for the show was suggested by Hitchcock’s long-time musical collaborator, Bernard Herrmann.)

The caricature drawing, which Hitchcock created himself, and the use of Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette as theme music have become indelibly associated with Hitchcock in popular culture.

Hitchcock appears again after the title sequence, and drolly introduces the story from a mostly empty studio or from the set of the current episode; his monologues were written especially for him by James B. Allardice. At least two versions of the opening were shot for every episode. A version intended for the American audience would often spoof a recent popular commercial or poke fun at the sponsor, leading into the commercial. An alternative version for European audiences would instead include jokes at the expense of Americans in general.[citation needed] For later seasons, opening remarks were also filmed with Hitchcock speaking in French and German for the show’s international presentations.

Hitchcock closed the show in much the same way as it opened, but mainly to tie up loose ends rather than joke. He told TV Guide that his reassurances that the criminal had been apprehended were “a necessary gesture to morality.”

Originally 25 minutes per episode, the series was expanded to 50 minutes in 1962 and retitled The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Hitchcock directed 17 of the 268 filmed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and one of the 50-minute episodes, “I Saw the Whole Thing” with John Forsythe. The last new episode aired on June 26, 1965, and the series continued to be popular in syndication for decades.

1985 revival

In 1985, NBC aired a new TV movie based upon the series, combining newly filmed stories with colorized footage of Hitchcock from the original series to introduce each segment. The movie was a huge ratings success, and sparked a brief revival of the anthology series genre that included a new version of The Twilight Zone amongst others. Alfred Hitchcock Presents revival series debuted in the fall of 1985 and retained the same format as the movie: newly filmed stories (a mixture of original works and updated remakes of original series episodes) with colorized introductions by Hitchcock. The new series lasted only one season before NBC cancelled it, but it was then produced for two more years by USA Network.

I was always more of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits fan but I really liked Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The show was smarter and more nuanced than the other two and as I’ve gotten older I’ve rewatched it more than the others. While I think the original black and white show is superior it’s like comparing pancakes and French toast, I love them both with maple syrup.

Are we done here?

Oh wait, we haven’t even talked about Psycho yet.

Psycho (1960 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh. The screenplay is by Joseph Stefano, based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch loosely inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein.

The film centers on the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel’s disturbed owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath. When originally made, the film was seen as a departure from Hitchcock’s previous film North by Northwest, having been filmed on a low budget, with a television crew and in black and white. Psycho initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted reconsideration which led to overwhelming critical acclaim and four Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Leigh and Best Director for Hitchcock.

It is now considered one of Hitchcock’s best films and praised as a work of cinematic art by international film critics and film scholars. Ranked among the greatest films of all time, it set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behavior and sexuality in American films, and is widely considered to be the earliest example of the slasher film genre. After Hitchcock’s death in 1980, Universal Studios began producing follow-ups: three sequels, a remake, a television film spin-off, and a TV series.

In 1992, the US Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Marion Crane and her boyfriend Sam Loomis meet for a secret romantic rendezvous during a Friday lunch hour at a hotel in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. They discuss how they can barely afford to get married due to Sam’s debts. Marion returns to work at a realtor’s office. A client comes in with $40,000 in cash to purchase a house as a wedding gift for his daughter. The client flirts with Marion. Her boss instructs her to promptly deposit the money in the bank, puts the money envelope in her purse. Marion then asks her boss if she can take the rest of the afternoon off and that she was not feeling well. Back at her room, Marion starts packing to leave for an undetermined time, while contemplating taking the money. She decides to steal it, and leave Phoenix, drive to (mythical) Fairvale, California, to give it to Sam. However, upon passing through downtown Phoenix on her way out of town, stopped at a traffic light, she is spotted by her boss as he crosses the street, which unsettles her.

On the road now in California, she pulls over at night to sleep but is awakened the following morning by a California Highway Patrolman who can tell something is wrong because of her furtive, anxious behavior. The officer, however, lets her go. Upon arriving in Bakersfield, Marion pulls into a used car dealership to hastily exchange her car (a 1956 Ford Mainline), for another (a 1957 Ford Custom 300). Driving up US 99 during the rainy night, she imagines conversations in her mind of her boss and the client discussing the stolen money, and becomes increasingly nervous. After accidentally taking a wrong turn, she drives up to the Bates Motel, a remote lodge that has recently lost business due to a diversion realignment of the main highway. The youthful proprietor Norman Bates, nervous but friendly, invites her to a light dinner. Marion, alone in her cabin, overhears a heated argument between Norman and his mother about inviting her to the house, he ends up bringing her dinner to the motel parlor. Norman talks about his daily life and his hobby, taxidermy and discloses that his mother Norma is mentally ill, but he becomes agitated when Marion suggests his mother be institutionalized. During their conversation, Marion decides to return to Phoenix and return the stolen money. Upon returning to her cabin, Norman, looking through a hole he had made in the parlor wall long ago, sees her undress, and returns to his house behind the motel. Marion subtracts the amount of money she spent from the stolen money, then tears up the paper and flushes it down the toilet. The burden now lifted from her conscience, she takes a relaxing shower, during which a shadowy figure of an elderly woman quietly enters the bathroom, shoves back the shower curtain and proceeds to stab her repeatedly to death with a large kitchen knife. The figure then leaves the cabin with the shower still running, with Marion laying on the floor dead. Norman comes into the cabin and “discovers” Marion’s dead body and, convinced that his mother had committed the crime, wraps the body in the shower curtain, and cleans up the bathroom. He puts Marion’s wrapped body in the trunk of her car, along with all her possessions and, unknowingly, the money, and sinks it in a nearby swamp.

A week later, Marion’s sister Lila arrives in Fairvale to confront Sam Loomis about Marion’s whereabouts in his hardware store. A private detective named Arbogast confirms Marion is suspected of having stolen $40,000 from her employer. Arbogast eventually finds the Bates Motel. Norman’s evasiveness and stammering arouse his suspicions; when Norman mentions that Marion had met his mother, Arbogast demands to speak to her but Norman refuses. From a payphone, Arbogast calls Lila and Sam to tell them about his encounter with Norman, and that he intends to return to the motel to attempt to speak to Bates’ mother. He would call Lila and Sam again in an hour. Upon entering the Bates’ residence, looking for Norman’s mother, a figure emerges from her room and murders Arbogast on top of the staircase.

After three hours, fearing something has happened to Arbogast, Sam and Lila go into Fairvale to talk with the local sheriff. The sheriff is puzzled by the detective’s claim that he was planning to talk to Norman’s mother, stating that Mrs. Norma Bates died ten years ago, along with her lover, in a murder-suicide. He calls Norman to ask him about Arbogast, and is told that he asked some questions and left. Back at the Bates’ house, Norman, seen from above, carries his mother down to the cellar of their house; she verbally protests the arrangement, but he explains that she needs to hide from whoever comes next looking for Arbogast and Marion.

Sam and Lila, posing as husband and wife on a business trip, rent a room at the Bates Motel to search the cabin that Marion stayed in. Lila finds a scrap of paper (with “$40,000 written on it) that Marion supposedly flushed down the toilet, while Sam notes that the bathtub has no shower curtain. Lila, not believing Ms. Bates is dead, is determined to speak to Mrs. Bates. Sam and Lila develops a plan: Sam is to distract Norman with conversation while Lila sneaks into the house to look for Mrs. Bates. Lila searches hers and Norman’s rooms. The conversation between Sam and Norman turns sour, Sam accusing Norman of stealing the $40,000 to re-start his life. Norman angrily orders Sam and his wife to leave the motel, then wants to know where Sam’s wife was. The two begin to grapple, but Norman subdues Sam, and runs into the house to accost Lila. Lila, spotting Norman approaching, hides in the cellar and sees Mrs. Bates sitting in a rocking chair, her back to Lila. She calls out to the woman, getting no reply; Lila taps Mrs. Bates’ shoulder, the chair then rotates to reveal the desiccated corpse of Mrs. Bates, shocking Lila into screaming with fear. A figure enters the basement, wearing a dress and wig while wielding a large knife, revealing Norman to be the murderer all along. Sam then enters behind Norman, just managing to overpower Norman.

At the county courthouse after Norman’s arrest, a psychiatrist who interviews Norman reveals not only the killings of Marion and Arbogast, but that Norman had been excessively dominated by his mother since childhood, and when she took a lover, he became insanely jealous that she had “replaced” him, then murdered his mother and her lover. Later, he developed a split personality to erase the crime of matricide from his memory and “immortalize” his mother by stealing and “preserving” her corpse. When he feels any sexual attraction towards someone, as was the case with Marion, the “Mother” side of his mind becomes jealous and enraged. At times, he is able to function as Norman but other times, the “Mother” personality completely dominates him. The psychiatrist also reveals that Norman, in his “Mother” state, had killed two missing young girls some time prior to Marion and Arbogast.

Norman is now locked into his mother’s identity permanently. Mrs. Bates, who, in a voice-over, talks about how it was really Norman, not her, who committed all those murders and that she should have ‘put him away’ years ago, finally saying that she ‘wouldn’t even harm a fly’ (A double exposure shows Norman’s face merging with that of his mother’s corpse). The final scene shows Marion’s car being recovered from the swamp.

Psycho scared me. It scared me a lot the first time I saw it. I admit to being that guy who showered with the curtain half open for about a year following my initial viewing of the flick.

But that wasn’t what stuck with me.

Norman Bates scared the bejeezus out of me. When he just seemed like a relatively harmless guy who dressed up like his dead mother and killed woman because they were harlots in his mind he was bad enough. But when the true scope of his psychosis was revealed in that chilling final sequence I was, in a phrase, gob smacked.

Later in life, I think I was 14, when I read the Robert Bloch book the movie was adapted from I was taken to a whole new level. Both the book and the original movie were masterpieces of suspense and terror and if you haven’t experienced them I highly recommend them to anyone and everyone.

Now, a final last note on the later installments of the Psycho franchise before wrapping this up.

I’m preparing for hate here.

I enjoy the schlockiness of Psycho 2 and Psycho 3. Neither of them can be called cinematic art of any interpretation and they are NOT scary in the least. But they are fun popcorn movies and as flicks to have a drink or a smoke and watch they are good.

Psycho 4 was a really good movie. Throw your worst at me I can take it. Anthony Perkins gives one of the best performances in his life, Henry Thomas knocks it out if the park as a young Norman Bates, and in a era when horror was on the back burner this movie did it right. I recommend it on all levels, if you liked the original I hope you can appreciate the fourth installment.

In the 1980’s a TV movie called Bates Motel was released. Avoid this movie like it’s Ebola patient zero! I begged to be allowed to stay up and watch this movie when I was a kid and it was one of the first times in my life I felt two hours I’d never get back had been stolen from me.

Last year A&E started airing the television show Bates Motel and I am ashamed to admit I haven’t watched it yet. I hear good things, let’s be honest amazing things, about the show and it’s near the top of my too watch list but it just hasn’t reached the top yet, say sorry.

And now you’re expecting me to talk about Gus Van Zant’s 1998 shot for shot remake of Psycho. Well I have one thing to say about that movie.


Seriously you cast Vince Vaughn and pigeon hole him like that?

You get the go ahead to make one of the best movies of all time and THAT piece of shit is what you produce?

Fuck that movie, fuck it with a flaming hot poker!

Alright, I feel better now. Next time we move in to number three and it’s one you’ve probably been waiting for, it’ll be another long one and that’s appropriate for the man of our dreams.

- Josh

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Published on January 04, 2015 10:46 • 2 views

January 3, 2015

Am I fundamentally different person as 2015 begins?

This may come as a surprise to some of you but before I started working at the day job (at night) I was a morning person. I loved getting up with the sun, watching some TV, and getting my kids off to school. Even when I worked at Toys R Us I went in before the sun came up and I was able to enjoy a life that took place during the hours of daylight as opposed to when the vampires, hookers, and serial killers came out. As much as I loved working for the living dead at the retirement community, and in the spirit of complete honesty I really miss the people who live there, the hours were slowly but surely killing me. Or at the very least I was aging two years every one that passed. I’ve been a stay at home dad/full-time writer for just over a week now and I’ve gotten up little earlier every day… unexpected bonus.

So as I’ve stated across the entire social media sphere over the last two weeks I quit my day job on the morning of Christmas Eve. Now to be fair I’d given three weeks’ notice a week earlier and my last day was supposed to be January 6th so it wasn’t like I caught them completely unaware… and if I did then good, I only wish I could have seen the looks on the faces of a couple of people who seemed to think I should be kissing their ass because I had a job there. Like my dad used to say when I was a teenager, I’ll cut off my nose to spite my face if I’m mad enough. Except this time I had all of my ducks in the proverbial row before I pulled the trigger on the decision.

So I guess it sucks to be them.

I took most of the reminder of last week off from writing so I could enjoy the holidays. I hit the ground running on Monday and haven’t stopped. Between writing, editing, formatting, and taking care of the business end of being a publisher I’ve been belly button deep in work and I’ve loved every fucking second of it. I am still trying to get things organized and running as efficiently as possible but every day things are better and more fulfilling. Am I bragging?

Maybe a little but it’s not intentional. What I’m doing now is substantially harder than punching a clock for $11.50 an hour slinging a mop and pushing a vacuum at the old job. That being said it never feels like work, except for writing book blurbs I’d give two toes or one finger (not a thumb) to have a monkey that can take care of that.

So what’s next?

To put it simply I have to increase my revenue stream. Just because I’ve reached a level of income to justify going fulltime it’s still a pay cut. Ask anyone in the Indie Writer Community, more than ever it’s a publish or perish world and we’re all competing for a limited pool of readers. Let’s be honest I’m a midcarder. I am NOT being self deprecating or falsely humble, I love what I produce and I have built a small but inspiringly loyal reader base but I’m one guy slugging it out with people I really like and respect for the same dollars. It’s hard but it’s rewarding.

Next on the plate is finishing FRANLENSTEIN KING OF THE DEAD BOOK 2. The first draft will be done by Friday and off to my awesome editor Jennifer at Gypsy Heart Editing.

After that I continue my DARK EARTH series on Free Story Fridays (

Following Frank 2 I dive back into my GI JOE story for Kindle Worlds. I know some of my regular readers don’t care about that story but it’s a labor of love and it’s brought a whole new group to my work. Plus it’s a childhood dream, I writing mother fucking GI JOE!


THE PRESERVE SEASON 3.0 is already chambered and ready.

Now for the biggest change of the year, deep breath this has been a hard decision for me to make. I will no longer be writing serials, the exceptions are the tales on Free Story Friday. I give those free for seven days and consider them a gift to my readers. So when the next Preserve comes out it will be a complete work.

After the Preserve I jump head first into SUMMER CAMP OF THE DEAD SEASON 3. My kids at the camp make me happy and I already miss writing Bob the Bear even though it’s only been a couple of months since I finished season 2. I’m also till working on the BOB THE BEAR book on the side with scenes from Summer Camp and new materials.

After all of that work, which should be done by March, I make my return to THE SHORES OF THE DEAD universe and my survivors on Isle Royale. This cycle will be another trilogy and I am unsure if it’ll be the last books in the series or not. That being said I’ve been growing the new cycle of stories for two years and the scope will be kinda epic.

Then I start back over and Jump into Frank 3.

While I’m doing all of that, and let me honest and shame the devil none of that actually feels like work, I will be knee deep in other things. These essays will continue. Writing them is a pallet cleanser or maybe a better analogy is they are like warming up before going on a run. Whenever writing fiction gets hard I do this and things loosen up. There are also several audio books in pipe, a handful of novellas I want to write for my various lines, and I have two authors signed with the company and want two more by the end of the year.

Let’s also remember the convention circuit. I loved Gen Con and hope to be able to return as exhibitor. I am also tentatively planning on attending at least two more conventions as a vendor but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out for me.

Alright Boils and Ghouls that’s all I have for today. I need to get back to Frankenstein and his mission to save the world from the Great Old Ones (yes you read that right) and rescue his beloved. This year feels like it’s going to be fantastic!

- Josh
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Published on January 03, 2015 11:06 • 14 views

December 28, 2014

2014 has been a real rollercoaster ride for me. In some ways it’s been extremely difficult and I’ve had to fight my way through some serious obstacles. While in other ways I feel as if I have been leaping from one lily pad to the next with things just getting better with every landing.

I suppose that makes me some kind of messed up sentient frog.

When the year started I had exactly one professional goal. I needed to be making enough money writing and publishing to be able to quit my day job (at night) and become a fulltime indie author and publisher. I knew going in I would have to kay the bedrock for what came next therefore the first thing I did was secure fulltime editorial services. This lead me to contracting with the amazing Jennifer Tovar and her company Gypsy Heart Editing ( With that chore safely in the hands of a person infinitely more qualified to handle it than myself I turned to my primary task.

I started writing like the fucking wind.

Ideas have never been the problem, I forget three ideas for every one idea I commit to notes and for every ten I commit to notes maybe one gets written. That’s not bragging because most writers have the exact same problem, too many ideas and nowhere near enough time. The number of times I’ve heard the Indie Writer Lament of “There’s never enough time to write!” is staggering, what I needed to stop performing my own version of the lament was Critical Mass.

British Dictionary definitions for Critical Mass


1. The minimum mass of fissionable material that can sustain a nuclear chain reaction

2. The minimum amount of money or number of people required to start or sustain an operation, business, process, etc: the critical mass for a subscription digital sports channel

What do I mean by Critical Mass as related to writing?

More than anything else I needed word of mouth that converted to increased sales. With that in mind I began promoting and putting my work out there more than ever before. I bought my first online ads. I started taking my books to convention making my debut at Gen Con 2014 in Indianapolis Indiana. But the one thing I did above all other was I owned the reality that I am a writer.

What does that mean?

I quit saying I was a part time writer. I quit telling people I was still an amateur. I quit denigrating most of my own work. I stopped the incessant bitching about what happened to me in the early years of my career. I let go of a lot of the resentment I’d been harboring for a lot of years. I made the final decision that the ONLY thing I wanted to do with my life after being a husband and father was be a writer. Furthermore I knew even if I stopped actively writing and started a regular job that paid enough to have a prosperous life I would still be miserable, in short I’d rather be a poor writer than flush with cash doing something I could barely tolerate at best. Still there were two other factors that needed to happen before I moved my fat ass in the right direction.

In March my working world changed.

Not going to go into details because I’ve written several essays about this but I will give a brief synopsis. As succinctly as I can put it everything the was fun and enjoyable about my job went away when my supervisor quit and moved home to the foreign nation of New York. When that happened my quiet corner of the working world became a cauldron of petty stupidness and piss poor management. Let me say this clearly… THE PEOPLE RUNNING BETHANY VILLAGE COULDN’T ORGANIZE AN ORGY IN A WHORE HOUSE!

That felt good… like having my back scratched while peeing good.

Once I’d decided my days were numbered at the day job (at night) I needed an incident to kick me in the butt. I just wish it hadn’t been something so heart breaking for me and my entire family.

In April my mother-in-law died after a long illness.

I won’t go into details. The pain is still too much for me to talk about and I have zero desire to start weeping like a three year old with a skinned knee on a relatively nice day. When she passed we’d theoretically had enough time to prepare but nobody is ever ready to lose someone they love.

Mom was my biggest fan. She read and supported everything I did and she was one of the first people who ever bought my work. She was one of the people pushing me to continue after I thought my career had died before it even began back in 20008. Mom dying would have crushed the old me but all it did, besides making me really sad, was inspire me to continue. Mom once told me she wanted to see me on the top of a best seller list. She never saw that but she did get to see me rank in the top 100 horror writers on Amazon and that’s not a small thing.

I knew then and there my time at the old folk’s home was numbered.

I’ve talked about the last six months and how the work situation has devolved. I’ve spoken at length about the day I fought with my boss and with human resources when they tried to strong arm me. And I’ve let it be known that I turned in a letter or resignation stating January 6, 2015 would be my last day of employment.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

I went in to work on December 23rd on the four to midnight shift with every intention of being back in at seven in the morning on Christmas Eve. As the night went on I more and more irritated with the way I’d been treated all year, yes I know that sounds and is pretentious and whiny but it was how I felt, so when my future daughter in law showed up half an hour early to pick me up I left without asking for permission. I quit and I felt like a giant weight was lifted from my shoulders.

It was glorious.

So here we are. I’m a fulltime writer/publisher and work from home dad. Maybe I’m just imagining it but things in the house seem to have become lighter and happier. Yeah money will be tighter but sales were already significantly rising and my production rate seems to be accelerating since I don’t have to split my time between two jobs.

What comes next?

More books from yours truly. More books published by GWS Press by other writers. Also there will be more audiobooks and convention appearances. I don’t know how it will all pan out in the end but I can’t wait to take the trip!

- Josh
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Published on December 28, 2014 13:46 • 17 views

December 17, 2014

This might be the last essay of 2014. I will still be doing my traditional year end wrap up but this could be the last general one I put out. I’m considering a special Christmas Eve Essay but you all know I’m lazy and tend to bite off more than I can chew. With all of that being said lets dive into the Hi-Larity of my day job at night.

If I wasn’t already quitting this essay would get me fired.

Since June of 2009 I have worked for Graceworks Lutheran Services at Bethany Village an upscale senior living facility. I have been remiss to ever mention the name of my employer due to a Social Media Policy worthy of North Korea or Putin’s Russia. They will and have fired people for simply posting a picture from the interior of the facility or having something truthful but unflattering to say about it. This draconian policy is hammered into employees from the first day of work.

So why am I mentioning it as opposed to my normal vagueness?

Next Tuesday I am giving my two week notice. I know I’ve been mentioning it over the last few weeks but I’ve never put it in a place where anyone tangentially affiliated with Bethany Village could read it. That all ends today and as far as I’m concerned they should be glad I didn’t decided to leave them high and dry over the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday.

Before I tell you of the awesome amount of fail I experienced today let me give you some back story. Don’t worry I know I’ve touched on the day job at night more than once in the past so I will keep this as shirt and sweet as possible. Or at the least I’ll try not to meander…

I took the job here (I’m currently on break and writing this essay as opposed to working on Frank 2) in the summer of 2009 in order to prepare for the birth of my sixth child. I’d been working at Toys R Us for six years and as the economy tanked they cut and cut in the company, funny part was their numbers never really got that bad and they used the collapse as an excuse to fuck over employee’s but that’s an essay for another day. At the time Bethany Village was a wonderful place to work.

In May of 2011 I quit my job with no notice.

The reasons have been talked about before but the short version is I did it to save my marriage. It worked and my marriage is happier than ever but I regretted leaving Bethany the day I quit. For five months we scrambled to make ends meet and I eventually took a low paying job working for Marriot Hotels. The job was good and I had every intention of staying.

Then one day I received a call from, Terri, my manager at Bethany.

She asked me to come back and I said yes without a second thought, well I talked to Karen about it first but other than that I jumped at it. I returned to the retirement community and up until March of this year I was very, very, happy with my work situation. In March my Supervisor, Kelly, was forced out of her job due to the fuckery of the people above us. I’m not going to explain that because it’s her story not mine but suffice it to say in my mind she would have been completely justified in burning the mother down. She was one of those supervisors who actually shielded her people from the crap raining down from management and handled department problems in the department.

With Kelly gone things went into the shitter.

I was the BEST qualified person to take over the department. I know it and they knew it. But they didn’t want me or one of the other people in the department with the proper experience to have it. Terri wanted one person to have the job and she was determined to get her into the position. To be fair the girl who got the job, I’ll call her Clara, is not unqualified for the job and she wanted the position but she was not the best candidate. Terri was supposed to post the job so people could apply… funny how that bit of company never happened.

So Clara got the job and things got… rough.

The department became a rudderless mess of conflicting orders and petty back stabbing. There was, and is, a lot of chest beating and people trying to prove they were the Alpha’s and everyone else was their bitch. It took me about five minutes to realize I was too old and too smart for this same old bullshit. But I needed the job so I continued to do what I was told and kept my foul little mouth shut. Last month the decision was made to leave at the end of the year and I’ve felt like a weight has been lifted off my chest.

Today I went to war.

Last Monday and Tuesday I called into work and today I received the traditional ‘You’ve been a Bad Boy So Sign This Write Up” visit to Terri’s office. Have I told you about the attendance policy here before? You are allowed six points in a twelve month period these points can be comprised of some combination of 6 absences (6 points) or 12 late for work incidents (6 points) in that period. Reach six and you’re fired. The Call offs on Monday and Tuesday put me at five and a half. I have been at the five point level four times in the last twelve months (points come off after 12 months) and I was informed if I received another point before I was down to three I would be fired.

I lost my shit and nearly quit on the spot.

After a brief tense discussion with Terri I informed her I was going to Human Resources and left her office. When I arrived at HR they were in the middle of fielding a call from Terri who was apparently trying to get in front of this. I actually started laughing in the middle of the HR lobby.

The conversation with HR was pointless and in the end did nothing more than allow me to tell them the way they treat their employees is disgraceful and that they should be ashamed of themselves. I pointed out that I have NEVER been written up for anything but attendance, I take ever my extra job they offer me, and that they would be stupid to fire someone of my skill level and experience.

I was calm, I was respectful, and I was appropriately polite.

It felt wonderful to vent.

Next week I’m quitting the right way. I will be delivering a letter of resignation and notification of two weeks to Clara, Terri, and HR. They’ll be pissed and I am almost 100% sure they will try to fire me (they can’t) or convince me to quit (they might be able to). In the end I don’t regret working here, I wrote so much on my breaks and lunches in this facility, but it’s time to move on.

It’s gonna be an awesome Christmas!

- Josh
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Published on December 17, 2014 15:36 • 20 views

November 21, 2014

The first Chick Tract I was ever exposed to was the infamous Dark Dungeon. If you’ve never heard of or experienced a Chick Tract you are missing out one of the singular most retarded and hilarious things you will ever be exposed to. The man’s work is something you have to experience at least once in your life.

*Note: As I’m sure you’re all too well aware of by this point I’m an agnostic atheist. With that being said when I first stumbled into Mr. Chicks wild ride I was a very religious kid. I tried to do what I thought God wanted me to do and not hurt anyone else in the process. But even Jesus Freak Josh knew these comics were nothing but hate filled bullshit, it took teenage angry Josh to see them as the (I hope) unintentional comedic genius they are.

If you’re not in any way familiar with Jack Chick and his “Holy Work” I’m providing the substance of the Wikipedia entry on him for your enjoyment. It’s long and I considered truncating it but honestly the more I read the more fascinated I became. It’s a scary rabbit hole and once I escaped I was uncertain whether Jack Chick is a real person or if he was created by the universe to act as a lightning rod of insanity.

Secretly I hope he’s an insane ultra Christian Batman. In my mind Jack is a crotchety old industrialist who only comes out into his balcony to wave at reporters but at night he fights crime… by making asinine judgmental comics.

Okay, Jack Chick is not in any way like Batman.

Jack T. Chick – (Wikipedia)

Jack Thomas Chick (born April 13, 1924) is an American publisher, writer, and comic book artist of evangelical fundamentalist Christian tracts and comic books. His comics have been described by Los Angeles magazine as “equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing”.

Chick’s company, Chick Publications, claims to have sold over 750 million tracts, comics tracts and comic books, videos, books, and posters designed to promote Protestant evangelism from a Christian fundamentalist perspective or point of view. Many of these are controversial, as they accuse Roman Catholics, Freemasons, Muslims, and many other groups of murder and conspiracies, while Chick maintains his views are simply politically incorrect.

Chick’s views have been spread worldwide, mostly through the tracts and now online. They have been translated into more than 100 languages. As evidenced from his writings and publications, Chick is an Independent Baptist who follows a premillennial dispensationalist view of the end times. He is a believer in the King James Only movement, which posits that every English translation of the Bible more recent than 1611 promotes heresy or immorality.


Chick was born in Boyle Heights, California. His family later moved to Alhambra, where Chick was active in the high school drama club. Chick’s official biography notes that he was not religious in high school and was in fact avoided by Christian students, who believed “he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ”. After his graduation, he continued his drama education at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theater on a two-year scholarship.

In February 1943, Chick was drafted as a private into the U.S. Army. He served for three years in the Pacific theater of World War II, serving in New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan. Chick credits his time overseas for inspiring him to translate his tracts into many different languages and said he has “a special burden for missions and missionaries”.

After the war, he returned to the Pasadena Playhouse and met his wife while working on a production there. Lola Lynn Priddle (1926–1998), a Canadian immigrant, came from a very religious family, and Chick’s official biography describes her as “instrumental in his salvation”. Priddle and her parents introduced Chick to the Charles E. Fuller radio show, the Old Fashioned Revival Hour, and Chick relates that he was converted while listening to an episode of this show. They married in 1948 and had one child, Carol, who died in 2001. In February 1998, Lola Lynn died, and Chick remarried.

In a 2005 issue of his company’s newsletter, Battle Cry, Chick reported that he had suffered a life-threatening health emergency at some point in the previous two years, between 2003 and 2005. He gave further details of the circumstances: “My flu turned into pneumonia, my blood sugar dropped to 20 (I am diabetic)… I was going into a coma. My wife called 911 and while they were on the way, I had a heart attack. A day or so later I had to undergo a triple bypass.”

Very little is known about Chick; he has given only one known professional interview since 1975. The lack of available public information about him has created some speculation that he was a pen name for unnamed author(s) or ghostwriters. Several audio cassettes of his preaching distributed to his subscribers purport to contain his voice. While he has never released a photo of himself for publication, purported photos of Chick have been published by others.


From 1953-1955 Chick drew a single panel cartoon (authored by P. S. Clayton) entitled “Times Have Changed?” which thematically predates both the “B.C.” comic strip and The Flintstones animated cartoon. These were syndicated by the Mirror Enterprises Co. in Los Angeles area newspapers.

After converting to Christianity, Chick wanted to evangelize others, but was too shy to talk to people directly about religion. Chick heard from missionary Bob Hammond, who had broadcast in Asia on the Voice of America, that the Communist Party of China had gained significant influence among ordinary Chinese in the 1950s through the distribution of small comic books. Chick also began working with a prison ministry and created a flip chart of illustrations to use with his presentation. He hit upon the idea of creating witnessing tracts, which could be given to people directly or indirectly.

While working for the Astro Science Corporation in El Monte, California, he self-published his first tract, Why No Revival?, with a loan from his credit union in 1960 and wrote his second tract, A Demon’s Nightmare, shortly afterward. He decided to create more tracts and began “using his kitchen table as an office and art studio.” Christian bookstores were reluctant to accept the tracts, but they were popular among missionaries and churches.

Chick Publications was officially established in 1970 in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Initially, Jack Chick wrote and illustrated all of the comics himself, but in 1972 he hired another artist to illustrate many of the tracts. Fred Carter illustrated tracts anonymously until 1980, when he was identified in an issue of Chick’s newsletter Battle Cry. Carter also painted the oil paintings seen in The Light of the World, a film Chick produced that relates the Christian gospel. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History included several Chick tracts in an exhibit on American pop culture.

Chick Publications

Chick tract

A scene in Hell from the 1972 Chick tract “A Demon’s Nightmare”.

Chick Publications has released over twenty-three full-color “Chick comics” since its founding. They are full-size comic books and most were first published between 1974 and 1985. The first eleven form the Crusader comics series, which follows the stories of two fundamentalist Christians and addresses topics such as the occult, Bible prophecy, and the theory of evolution. Six comics present the testimony of anti-Catholic activist Alberto Rivera, who claimed that, as a Jesuit priest, he had become privy to many secrets about the Roman Catholic Church. Among Rivera’s claims: He credits Catholicism with founding the Islamic religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Jehovah’s Witnesses; starting the Holocaust; founding Communism, Nazism, and the Ku Klux Klan; starting the World Wars; masterminding the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Great Depression and the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. There are also three independent comics, one telling stories from the King James Version of the Bible (Chick is pro-King James Onlyism), one relaying the claims of Charles Chiniquy regarding Catholicism, and one detailing Chick’s opinions on Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Chick Publications also distributes “Chick tracts”, small comic tracts with religious messages. Most can be viewed in their entirety on the company’s web site. The most popular Chick tract, “This Was Your Life”, has been translated into around 100 languages, and many other tracts are available in widely spoken languages such as Arabic, German, Spanish, and Tagalog.

Chick’s tracts cover subjects such as abortion, homosexuality, non-Protestant Christianity, the occult, rock music, left-wing politics, popular culture, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, anti-Semitism, and the theory of evolution, generally in a very negative and conspiratorial light. Chick believes many of the world’s problems are deliberately caused by the Roman Catholic Church.

Several of Chick’s tracts have been translated into more obscure languages as Blue Hmong, Huichol, Ngiemboon, Tshiluba, and the artificial language of Esperanto.

Chick also claims that Satan and demons promote the occult through mystical and New Age beliefs, rock music (including Christian rock), Wicca, and fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons to deceive people and send them to Hell. Chick is opposed to abortion and preaches against pre-marital sex. He believes strongly that homosexuality is sinful, and makes reference to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah in tracts pertaining to homosexuality. He also is a Zionist, and claims that the Catholic Church is Israel’s worst enemy. He also opposes attempts to resolve the Israeli–Arab conflict until Israel gets significantly larger than its current size, and also blames American support of those attempts for natural disasters that have struck America.

Chick’s views have been criticized by some of the groups he targets, including neopagans and Catholic organizations. Wiccan author Kerr Cuhulain describes Chick and his theories as “anti-feminist” and “anti-pagan”, notes that a Chick Publications comic book was the source of a Rapid City, South Dakota, police detective’s presentation on the history of Satanism given in 1989, and describes him as “easily the least reputable source of reliable information on religious groups”.

Many Catholic and Protestant organizations consider Chick to be intensely anti-Catholic, based on his various claims about the Roman Catholic Church. Chick responds to these accusations by saying he is opposed to the Roman Catholic Church as a sociopolitical organization but not to its individual members. On his “Roman Catholicism FAQ”, Chick says he began publishing his theories about the Roman Catholic Church because “he loves Catholics and wants them to be saved through faith in Jesus”. Catholic Answers calls Chick “savagely anti-Catholic”, describes Chick’s claims about the Catholic Church as “bizarre” and “often grotesque in their arguments”, and calls for the tracts to be pulled from the market and corrected. In the early 1980s, Chick’s stance on Catholicism led some Christian bookstores to stop stocking his tracts, and he withdrew from the Christian Booksellers Association after the association considered expelling him. Christianity Today described Jack Chick as an example of “the world of ordinary, nonlearned evangelicals”, for whom “atavistic anti-Catholicism remains as colorful and unmistakable as ever”. Michael Ian Borer, a sociology professor of Furman University at the time, showed Chick’s strong anti-Catholic themes in a 2007 American Sociological Association presentation and in a peer-reviewed article the next year in Religion and American Culture.

To be honest I’d more or less forgotten about my bizarre fixation on Chick Tracts in the late 1990’s. Yes I realize that is almost twenty years ago… I’m old, fuck you!

Sorry about that, my daughter just turned 18 and it’s getting to me.

Anyway earlier in the years I discovered a YouTube channel called The Bible Reloaded. On this channel two guys, Hugo and Jake, Read from the bible offering commentary as they do so. They also answer questions, offer commentary on events, and most importantly do audio performances of Chick Tracts. If you have never checked out Hugo and Jakes antics and genius please follow the link and give them a look-see before finishing this essay.

Or don’t, I’m not your fucking father.

So after all of that I have to inform you that my new favorite thing is NOT The Bible Reloaded or Hugo and Jake. If I’d been doing this series earlier in the year the duos and their channel would have been on this list in a Detroit second. Alas that is not the case, but something they did more than qualifies as my new favorite thing.

In the Chick Tract Entitled “The Little Bride” we are introduced to the single greatest fictional religious character since Jesus, Eye Patch Grandpa! To be fair Jesus is only better because he cursed a fig tree that one time. Eye Patch Grandpa, from here on out referred to EPG, is the person little Suzy goes to when her friends Beck and Tashana are thinking about converting to Islam. Follow the link, watch the video, and I swear to Tesla you’ll get some chuckles… and maybe wet yourself.


Q&A With Eye Patch Grandpa

I managed to track down Eye Patch Grandpa a few weeks ago and he was kind enough to answer some questions. Actually I had to swear I wasn’t an agent of the Bilderberg Group or the Trilateral Commission before he’d agree to sit down with me. He also demanded a bottle of 50 year old scotch.

Hi EPG, can I call you EPG?

- You can call me anything you want as long as you keep the bourbon flowing.

Can you tell me how you lost your eye?

- Didn’t you watch the damn video?! That damn olive skinned Muslim woman took it out with an ice pick!!!

I heard you lost it in brothel outside Saigon because you refused to pay for a half and half.

- …

Not going to answer that?

- Boy, just because I only have one eye doesn’t mean I can’t still shoot a gun.

Alright then, can you answer to the allegation that you’re actually Jack Chick?

- That man wishes he was me! I met him once, it was in Ethiopia in the 1980’s and we were taking food from orphans. That bastard forgot it was okay to steal from the brown people but you never screw over the white man! Sumbitch stole one of my Twinkies so I kicked him in the tally whacker!

So the two of you stole food from kids in a famine torn country?

- Hell yeah we did, the two of us and Sally Struthers! We ended the trip doing body shots off Sally’s ass while Jack iced his jumpin beans!

Are you saying Jack Chick used you in his comics without your permission?

- Comics?

Yes Sir, you are a character in at least two of his Chick Tract religious comics.

- That son of a whore!

*It was at that point when EPG flipped the table we were sitting at and stormed out of the coffee shop. All I heard as he left was something about getting his gun and dog and finding that Twinkie stealing bastard. I wish him well in his endeavors.

I hope I’ve made my case for why EPG is my new favorite thing. I’ve shown the video to everyone I can force to sit and watch and by the time Grandpa starts going on about the olive skinned woman they have been laughing their butts off.

Till next time Boils and Ghouls!

- Josh
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Published on November 21, 2014 20:02 • 25 views