Short stories are one of the best forms of storytelling. They offer fast-paced tales that don’t beat around the bush. Horror comic anthologies used to be all the rage with books like “Eerie” and “Tales from the Crypt”, and thankfully they are seeing resurgence. The newest player in the game is “Evil Jester Presents”, and it’s an impressive debut issue with stories from Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, William F. Nolan and Joe McKinney. All four are quick and to the point which is just was short horror comics should be. Though Evil Jester is new, their story choice for the premiere issue are well thought out and freaky, which bodes well for the new kid on the block. READ MORE
After a successful Indiegogo campaign, Evil Jester Comics just released their first comic over the weekend. The anthology series features International bestselling and award-winning authors such as Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, William F Nolan, Gary Braunbeck, Joe McKinney, Mort Castle, Gene O’Neill, and many more. READ MORE
The Summer Job (January 7, 2014; Samhain), the latest novel from emerging author Adam Cesare, is the textbook definition of a nail-biter. Gone is the whimsical creature-feature nostalgia of his last novel, Video Night, as Cesare ups the ante with a slice of hillbilly horror that packs enough mounting dread to fill a backwoods kill-shack. And at a tight 234 pages, The Summer Job is a burner––one taste, and it’s gone before you know it.
After a harrowing prologue that truly sets the tone, Cesare introduces his punky protagonist Claire, an aimless waitress with a loser musician boyfriend. Her predictably hot/bitchy bestie convinces Claire to apply for a position at the old-school but luxurious Brant Hotel, located a couple of hours away in a remote town in New Hampshire. Fleeing her shitty waitress life, Claire immediately gets the job at the Brant, only to be sucked into the village’s web of increasingly lurid secrets.
Namely, there’s some sort of feud going on between Ms. Brant the grumpy hotel owner and a feisty cult of hillbilly hippies who party out in the nearby woods, and Claire is immediately drawn into the fray. Perpetually horny, poor Claire can’t help crushin’ on local beefcake Tobin, and once accepted into the hillbilly hippie inner-circle, Claire is pressured to spy on Ms. Brant and the hotel staff. Soon rumors of ritual sacrifice and possible Satanism begin to surface, the stories so shocking and grotesque, Claire doesn’t know what to believe. All she knows is that she’s caught in the middle.
With its secluded setting and penchant for ritualistic violence, The Summer Job is a kissing cousin to inbred classics from masters like Ketchum and Kilborn. Although the story is primarily plot-driven, Cesare has a knack for breezy, natural dialogue that rarely sounds forced, an attribute that keeps the pages turning. Some readers may take issue with Claire’s increasingly moronic character decisions, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the reader always knows more than Claire, which leads to a heightened sense of suspense as the action progresses. Toss in a handful of slick plot twists and an admirably bleak ending, and the result is Cesare’s best novel yet.
You’re in a flimsy tent, tucked deep into your sleeping bag. A dime-store flashlight is jammed between your chin and shoulder, the dim beam pointed at the dog-eared pages of a paperback horror novel. When a twig snaps outside, you pretend not to hear it. But the night is long, and you drank too many beers around the campfire. You can’t hold it until dawn. And when you finally unzip your tent and clamber out into the chilly, starry night, you desperately try to forget the horror novel you were just reading. You stumble blindly toward the nearest tree, bare feet barely avoiding sticks and thorns, and the last thing you want to think about are hillbilly cannibals, hermit rapists, man-eating plants, or genetically enhanced monkey monsters.
That’s right, Campers. Spring has officially arrived. For those who prefer their great outdoors served up with a side of horror fiction, the following five novels will leave you squirming in your sleeping bag.
The power of The Ruins lies in Smith’s ability to take an enormously silly premise––killer vines trap tourists on an ancient Mayan ruin––and make it somehow believable. And while Carter Smith’s 2008 film was a successful adaptation in a variety of ways, it doesn’t quite capture the bleak futility of the incredibly imaginative novel. From the oppressive heat of the Mexican jungle, to the tequila-fueled dehydration of its characters, The Ruins is the rare book that paints a setting so vivid, it puts you there.
Camping Callbacks: Features what may be the coolest campsite of all time…if you’re willing to ignore the acidic, man-eating vines.
Those who feel the prolific Koontz has lost a step in recent years should revisit Watchers, which saw the bestselling author at the top of his game. Revolving around a trio of Koontz’s favorite subjects ––the outdoors, genetic mutations, and guns––the story has a young military vet joining forces with a intellectually-enhanced golden retriever to defeat a mutated baboon creature developed for government warfare. Published before everything Koontz put on paper automatically dominated the bestseller lists, Watchers was later adapted into a regrettable Corey Haim vehicle hampered by shitty production values. It‘s one property that‘s genuinely deserving of a remake.
Camping Callbacks: Nature hikes, a canteen full of orange Kool-Aid. The final showdown takes place in a mountain cabin as Koontz gleefully piles on the gun fetishism.
Published in the wake of 1977‘s The Hills Have Eyes, Ketchum’s survivalist horror novel certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to Wes Craven’s hit shocker––both are loosely based on the Scottish legend of Sawney Bean, a notorious cannibal leader from the 1400s. In Off Season Ketchum sends a forgettable cast of stock characters to a secluded island to be pursued and devoured by a horny family of inbred cannibals. After initially defending their cabin in a Straw Dogs-type scenario, the heroes are eventually chased into the woods where the action regresses into pure, unadulterated savagery. Offspring, Ketchum’s 1991 sequel to Off Season, was adapted into a 2009 film from Ghost House Underground.
Camping Callbacks: A remote mountain cabin on a forrested Maine island. A few strangely specific campfire recipes involving human flesh.
Arriving a full thirty years after the release of Off Season, Trapped reads like the long lost twin of Ketchum’s cult classic––both novels feature victims camping on a secluded island overrun with mentally regressed cannibals. But Jack Kilborn (a pseudonym for author J.A. Konrath) makes some ballsy moves with his characters, resulting in something deeper and more compelling than the surface shocks of Off Season. Eschewing Off Season’s bland cast of white bread couples, Trapped has a married pair of juvie counselors camping with a diverse handful of delinquent teens, including a couple of gang bangers, a slutty meth addict, and a pudgy sociopath. It’s sort of like Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, only gritty. When the cannibals come a-calling, each member of the group must make a choice regarding survival…and those choices become less obvious as the story progresses.
Camping Callbacks: All the accoutrements of Off Season, but with hot dogs and marshmallows and shit.
Thomas’s grim little chapbook of pain and anguish probably ranks as the most graphic entry on this list. Best buds Roger and Tooth want nothing more than to shoot some beer cans and smoke a little weed up on Bobcat Mountain. But when they come between a women in distress and the pervy hermit who has kidnapped her, their camping trip takes an immediate detour through Torture Porn Canyon. With loads of mean-spirted, stomach-churning violence The Summer I Died is an endurance test, even at a mere 154 pages. It’s certainly not for everybody. But if you want to freak yourself the fuck out on your next camping trip, you can’t really do any better.
Camping Callbacks: Beer. Weed. Guns. Bobcat Mountain.
There’s a new horror comic project on Kickstarter that is boasting a crazy list of contributing authors. The project comes from Evil Jester Press and they are looking to create a throwback series of horror comics in the vein of classic titles such as “Creepy,” “Eerie,” and “Tales from the Crypt”.
The all-star line up of contributors, includes: Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, William F. Nolan, Ramsey Campbell, Gary Braunbeck, Joe McKinney, and plenty others. Check out the promo video after the jump and head to their donation page for more details. READ MORE
Remember the stellar Lovecraft-themed anthology “Torn Realities” (review here) from a few months back? Well, the publisher, Post Mortem Press, is back with another horror fiction anthology, packed with stories from veterans and up-and-comers alike. Fear The Abyss meshes horror with sci-fi as a means to explore the terrors and thrills of modern science. Included in “Fear The Abyss” are stories from Jack Ketchum, Harlan Ellison, Michael Arnzen, and plenty others. Check out the full details below. READ MORE
Bloody Disgusting can exclusively report that Moderncine’s next film will be called Jug Face and will be shooting in Nashville, TN in April. As a fan of The Woman I’m pretty excited about the package they’ve put together.
Lauren Ashley Carter and Sean Bridgers (both from The Woman) will be playing the lead roles of Ada and Dawai. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Larry Fessenden (Stake Land, I Sell The Dead) and Sean Young (Blade Runner, Wall Street) playing husband and wife as Ada’s parents and Graham Patrick Martin (“Two and a Half Men”, Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door) playing Ada’s brother, Jessaby.
Writer/Director Chad Crawford Kinkle will be helmer and Cinematographer Chris Heinrich will be shooting. Producers are Andrew van den Houten and Robert Tonino(Brian Keene’s Ghoul/The Woman) for MODERNCINÉ. Kinkle’s original script for the film won Slamdance’s screenplay competition last year.
“‘Jug Face’ tells the story of a teen, pregnant with her brother’s child, who tries to escape from a backwoods community when she discovers she must sacrifice herself to a creature in a pit.”
Thanks to John Marrone for the heads up. READ MORE
To mark the release of The Woman on DVD/Blu-Ray/VOD/iTunes on TODAY , Bloody Disgusting Selects invites you to take part in a viral scavenger hunt!
Five brand new photos from The Woman have been hidden on different websites all over the internet. Your job is to find the photos and then email us the url/direct link to where the photos are! Don’t worry, we’re giving you 5 clues to help get you started.
Once you’ve found all 5 photos and their direct links, send them in an email to email@example.com with the subject “The Woman Viral Scavenger Hunt”. Make sure to include the full web address of each picture’s location and not just the name of the website (for example, http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/27868 instead of just http://www.bloody-disgusting.com).
Hit the jump for the clues! READ MORE
The Woman is the last surviving member of a feral clan that has roamed the Northeast Coast for decades. When the last of her family is killed in a battle with the police, The Woman finds herself alone, severely wounded and vulnerable. Unfortunately, she is now a far too easy prey for local hunter, successful country lawyer and seriously disturbed family man Christopher Cleek. With his twisted set of ideals, Cleek decides to embark upon a deranged project – to capture her and “break” The Woman – a decision that will soon threaten the lives of Cleek, his family and The Woman. Andrew van den Houten and Robert Tonino produce.
Survivors of a feral flesh-eating clan are chowing their way through the locals. Amy Halbard and Claire Carey strive to survive their abduction by the cannibals and save their children. A subplot involving Claire’s despicable husband, Steven, gives an opportunity to cleverly compare predatory civilized folk to the appetite-driven primitives.
A couple of kids kill just for fun a dog named ‘Red’, the trusty hound of an old gent. The owner finds out who they are, and tries to bring them to justice by informing the authorities. However, this amounts to nothing, so he decides to dish out his own brand of retribution.
Based on the novel by Jack Ketchum, Ray, Tim, and Jennifer were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking. But Tim and Jennifer didn’t know what their friend Ray had in mind, but when they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite–and knew he was dead serious.It’s now four years later and Ray has not been charged with the murders, there’s one cop determined to make him pay, but Ray figures he’s in the clear. Tim and Jennifer think the worst is behind them, that the horrors are all in the past. They’re wrong. The worst is still to come.
A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children. Based on a true story, this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable.