Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Three New Short Stories

I've just released three horror short stories on Amazon. They're all quick and twisted, just the way I like short stories. They're cheap to buy, $0.99, and FREE if you're a Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime subscriber.

Dead Ringer: A Horror Short Story

CLARK SANDFORD, an unremarkable paper salesman, has one trait which makes him instantly recognizable to the people of Milwaukee—he's a dead ringer for the city's second baseman.

WHEN HE FORGETS his wallet after closing a sale, Clark fears that he won't be able to rent a hotel room. Fortunately for him, he's mistakenly identified as the famous baseball player. Assuming the identity of the celebrity, Clark soon realizes that fame isn't all that it seems.

SOMETIMES BEING notorious can get you killed.

Lotion: A Horror Short Story in The Hunger Series

ADAM HAS SURVIVED the apocalypse. Monstrous, mutated vampires devoured the globe, leaving him to scrape by in the ravaged world left behind. After spending weeks living in a bank vault, Adam ventures back to his former apartment for some extra clothes and supplies.

WHEN HE STUMBLES into an old neighbor, a moronic man who has impossibly survived in the face of certain death, Adam's daily struggle is magnified in hilarious and dangerous ways.

All I Want for Christmas: A Horror Short Story

ALL THAT TEENAGE Lisa wants for Christmas is her crush Stevie. She chronicles her struggles in school with her bullying classmates and the drama of her home life in her journal.

THE EARLY ENTRIES read like typical teen angst, but quickly descend into something much more sinister.

Friday, September 12, 2014

PG-13 Sucks

I didn't bother going to see The Expendables III in the theater. Judging from the box office, I'm in the majority. I went to see both 1 and 2 on their opening weekends. The first was fun. The second made me laugh my ass off (Not literally. At least, I don't think so. I haven't checked for my ass in awhile). Arnold and Sly in the same movie? Cutting through villains like shit through a goose? Yes, please.

Except, I didn't bother with the third movie. Maybe when it comes out on Netflix. Why? Its rating. PG-13 sucks ass. PG-13 is ruining a lot of good movies and it really pisses me off.

The general idea behind the studios making so many movies PG-13, rather than R, is that they want to open the films to a wider audience. And that's the problem. The Expendables was gloriously over the top. The violence, action, and swearing were all cranked up to 11.

That was the appeal. The movie was a throwback to the action heydays of the aging stars. The first two did solid box office. Not a grand slam, but a solid double. They made their money back and quite a bit more.

And then the studios decide to crank out a PG-13 Expendables and no one gives a shit.

The movie was leaked online and that's now being used as an excuse for the film's lackluster box office, but that's bullshit. They cut out the best parts of The Expendables and then wonder why it bombs. The people who would now be able to see the third movie in the theaters because of the lower rating weren't even alive during the peak of the stars' careers.

So, let's aim for those who won't have the same nostalgic feeling as the rest of us and alienate the audience who enjoyed the first two movies for what they were.

Think, McFly, think!

They made fucking Aliens vs. Predator PG-13! Jesus! I mean... I just... what?

Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3 are all rated R.
Predator and Predator 2 are rated R.
Aliens vs. Predator - PG-13.
And it sucked. Hard.

Now that, my fellow freaks, is some solid logic.

World War Z. Finally, a big budget zombie film. Then they make it PG-13. Goddamn it. To be fair, the movie wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I actually enjoyed most of it. But it could have been so much more.

Don't even get me started on Live Free or Die Hard. I might have an aneurysm if I get into that one. We went from John Mc-Fucking-Clane to John Mc-Bleeping-Clane. What bag of dicks thought that was a good idea?

The RoboCop remake? Did no one involved in that project even see the original? The glorious/hilarious violence of the first is a huge part of what made it great.

Quick, what's the worst of the Terminator movies? Part 4? PG-13. Conan the Barbarian was bad ass, violent, and rated R. Conan the Destroyer was homogenized, watered down, and rated PG-13. Total Recall? Fuuuuuuck.

Declawing movies to get a broader audience almost never works. What it does accomplish is pissing off the established fan base.

And it makes my head feel like it might explode.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ravaged is Available in Audio

The series is finally complete in audio. I still have some free copies of Devoured (The Hunger #1), so comment here if you don't have it yet and want a freebie. Here are the links to get your copy of Ravaged:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stop Bitching About the Ice Bucket Challenge

Everyone complaining about the Ice Bucket Challenge needs to chill out. This was a genius way to raise money and awareness and it has been hugely successful. They've brought in nearly ten times the amount of money as they did during the same time period last year.

As always, that just doesn't work for some people. They have to suck the fun out of everything. There has been a deluge of blogs, articles, and moronic tweets telling people to stop dumping ice on their heads and to start giving cash. Not everyone needs to be shamed into donating money if they don't want to or aren't able to. Just because someone tags you on Facebook doesn't mean that you have some kind of debt to pay.

You aren't the arbiter of what is good and right.

Uploading thousands of videos across the internet has brought ALS awareness to an all-time high. That was the goal. Mission accomplished. It's called the Ice Bucket Challenge, not the Stop Having Fun and Give Me Money Challenge.

Quit bitching and enjoy watching your friends do crazy stuff. When you get tired of them, stop viewing the videos. Easy. Sometimes it's OK to have fun.

This campaign was genius, important, and a success. Stop being douches.

Here is a video of The Tall One taking part.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ed Gein: His Crimes and their Hollywood Impact

This is a guest post by Spencer Blohm. If you're a fan of horrific history like I am, then you will definitely dig this. I added the poster for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre just because it's awesome. Thanks to Spencer for putting this together.

Ed Gein may not be a household name, but Norman Bates from Psycho and the Buffalo Bill killer from Silence of the Lambs certainly are. These movie characters - along with Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and several others - are all based on one man: Ed Gein.

Gein's Crimes

Ed Gein, a serial killer from Plainfield, Wisconsin, was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of killing local hardware store owner, Bernice Worden.

When Worden disappeared in 1957, the Plainfield police immediately suspected Gein. During their investigation, they found Worden's decapitated body hung in Gein's barn. In addition, they also discovered Gein's penchant for digging up and skinning newly-dead bodies. The police uncovered leggings, a wastebasket, and a corset made from human skin, bowls made from skulls, and the heads of Worden and another victim, Mary Hogan.

The gruesome discoveries horrified and tantalized the nation in equal parts, and the news reports inspired several generations of novelists and screenwriters. Since Gein's arrest, trial and imprisonment, characters influenced by him have appeared in movies, television shows, and even video games.

Gein as Inspiration

Art has not fully imitated life in the Ed Gein-inspired films, as writers have chosen to given their characters only pieces of the actual mad man's personality, motive, and crimes. Still, these characters are horrifying in their own right. Norman Bates, who first appeared in the 1959 novel Psycho by Robert Bloch and then in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 movie of the same name, was inspired by Ed Gein's unnatural relationship with his mother. Ed Gein admitted that many of the women he exhumed were chosen because of their resemblance to his mother; he reportedly put on the items made of female human skin because he wanted a sex change.

Similarly, The Silence of the Lambs - both the novel by Thomas Harris and the Johnathan Demme film -- chilled audiences across the globe with its portrayal of the “Buffalo Bill” killer. He, like Norman Bates and Ed Gein, is troubled by his male sexuality and seeks literally to inhabit a female body.

In the 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a group of friends must escape a cannibalistic family. The main antagonist, Leatherface, is shown throughout the film wearing a mask of human skin. This detail is directly attributed to Ed Gein, as he had made masks from several women's facial skin.

Deranged, also released in 1974, follows Gein's story more closely than the films mentioned above. Like Gein, the main antagonist, digs up and mutilates decomposing women; he accelerates from using dead women to becoming a serial killer. Finally, Motel Hell takes a more satirical take on the Gein murders. While the film deals with kidnapping and cannibalism, it does so in a much more ironic way. Recently released together in one epic “double feature” DVD from Midnite Movies, both of these films are also available for streaming from DTV (click here for details) and on the cult-horror and kung-fu El Rey Network.

Gein, Hixploitation and Serial Killer Tropes

All of the films and novels that feature Gein-like main antagonists are meant to frighten audiences; the way in which they accomplish this is through "hixploitation," a genre that seeks to frighten through a stereotypical portrayal of uneducated, rural whites. In hixploitation films such as Deliverance, these antagonists do not follow traditional moral code, are often incestuous, and are threatened by the outside world. Gein, who lived in rural Wisconsin, is an example of these deranged rural people. The books and movies based on him contain multiple modern-day serial killer tropes, including violence against women, victim mutilation, grave robbing, matricide, and confused sexuality.

Jason here... I need to get my hands on Deranged. Never seen it. Makes me feel like a fraud. Thanks for making me feel inadequate, Spencer!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Tall One's Bday

I haven't posted in forever. That's what happens when I'm flipping back and forth between several different novels and don't actually finish one for a long time. Lots of news is on the way though, so be ready to do a lot of reading soon.

In the meantime, The Tall One had a birthday. We spent some time in Lititz, PA, which was recently voted the best small town in America. Figured I would share a few pics and a hilarious video of failing at minigolf.

All of these and more are up at my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Follow those if you want to keep up to date with what I'm doing a bit better. I promise to post here a lot more often, but I'm on social media everyday, so that's the best way to get a hold of me.

Book updates will come soon!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Devoured is FREE

I've made Devoured FREE everywhere. If you were on the fence about trying THE HUNGER series, here is your chance to give it a shot for nothing. Grab it at your favorite ebook distributor: