Yes, we’re back to the Friday Links, where the latest and greatest in the world of the bizarre, the speculative, even the horrific gets some extra attention. This is a special edition of the Links, because I have some bits of news to relate at the bottom. So, let’s hit it:
- Nev Murray reviewed Adam Millard’s novel The Bad Game at his Confessions of a Reviewer!!: “The plot? This is where my comparison with Richard Laymon comes in. This has that distinct 80’s feel to it. That easy to read style that Laymon was so good at in all his tales set in America. The fact that Mr Millard has so successfully transferred this style to a small seaside town in England, to me, is superbly fantastic. I don’t think I have read anyone else recently who has managed to do that. It’s sort of B movie style but on a big budget if that makes sense.”
- A ghost has been captured on film in Honduras: “A ‘ghostly apparition’ has appeared in a darkly lit corridor of a supposedly haunted hospital in the same spot a doctor allegedly took his own life. In the video that was taken at the School Hospital Universitario in Honduras, stretchers are lined up in the hall, and a semi-transparent figure seems to pop its head out the doorway.”
- Cool Ass Cinema reached deep into the archives of British science fiction to deconstruct the film Prisoners of the Lost Universe: “A Showtime cable premiere in the US but theatrical everywhere else, PRISONERS OF THE LOST UNIVERSE (1983) mixes SciFi with Fantasy–essentially the same template as director Marcel’s previous effort, HAWK THE SLAYER from 1980. The difference in the above-mentioned movies is that they had big budgets behind them. All PRISONERS has is a few bucks. Lively dialog, a child-like appeal and passionate performances by the main cast is like a million dollars in its favor.”
- Fans of girls, devils, and the planet Mars will very much enjoy what fell out of Zombos’ Closet: a pressbook from the 1954 movie Devil Girl from Mars.
- In time for its 20th anniversary, The Craft got itself analyzed at House of Self-Indulgence: “Even though there are four chicks on the poster, only one of them is giving off what I would consider a Goth vibe. I mean, what gives, The Craft, mid-90s gothploitation yarn about a trio of teen witches who befriend a new teen witch in order to complete “the circle,” or some nonsense like that? Why are you short-changing me, Goth-wise? If I’m gonna sit down and watch a movie about four teenage girls who practice witchcraft in their spare time, at least half of them better be Goths, or, at the very least, Goth-adjacent.”
- At the unmissable, always-erudite R’lyeh Tribune, Sean Eaton returned to Robert E Howard’s Hyboria: “There does not seem to be any overarching theme to Shadows in Zamboula, other than perhaps the horror of miscegenation. However, there is an appealing absence of good guys—only a collection of opportunists, Conan among them, with varying degrees of ruthlessness. Shadows in Zamboula seems to have been written mainly for entertainment, without any pretensions to expounding a philosophy of life or some such—though Howard can surprise readers with occasional gravitas.”
- The study of haunted houses got turned on its head at Ghost Hunting Theories: “Some places have hauntings that in baseline conditions can be perceived, i.e. anyone can have an encounter there at any given time. These conditions are likely caused by construction of the building, geology, layout of the rooms, and other factors like water table and seismic activity. If a building is placed with such ideal alchemy to leave a perceivable haunting, then Joe Schmo non-psychic can go there and have an encounter.”
- The Horrors of It All brought us a story from the June 1952 issue of The Thing #3 titled Crypt of the Vampire. It has a kneeling vampire panel that is not to be missed!
- Zombie Rob reviewed the 2007 movie WAZ, AKA The Killing Gene at The Slaughtered Bird: “Immediately WAZ presents itself as an American cop thriller, with all the recognisable ingredients therein: grizzled & cynical middle-aged lead detective, doe-eyed & idealistic rookie recently assigned to partner the grizzled & cynical middle-aged lead detective, a morally questionable gobshite of an ex-partner with whom the lead detective has an unspoken & torrid history, you’ve got your shouty black captain, loudly threatening people with “24 hours or their badges” sorta thing and a crime so horrifying, so atrocious, even the grizzled & cynical middle-aged lead detective can’t quite believe the new depths that this grizzled & cynical world has stooped to.”
- Christopher Sebela lived in a haunted clown motel for 30 days and wrote about it: “Sebela doesn’t remember how he came across the travel website that first introduced him to the Clown Motel, but the minute he saw the twinkling lights of its roadside marquee, he knew he needed to visit. It wasn’t just the assortment of clowns lurking in each room that mesmerized and terrified him; the combined triple threat of the adjacent cemetery and nearby abandoned silver mine made the whole place seem like the setting of a horror movie—one he desperately wanted to survive.”
- Here, I pointed you to a review I wrote of the action horror novella Detroit 2020 at The Slaughtered Bird. I wrote about my dead cat a few weeks ago, so I feel obligated to mention that we got a new kitten recently. We named her Waffles. Barring something particularly noteworthy about the cat, it’s not likely that I’ll mention her here again, as I find gushing about pet cats somewhat unmanly and uncomfortable, particularly as the father of a small boy. Except on Facebook, where you can follow me and learn all about the cute li’l girl’s kitty idiosyncrasies and see pictures. Ahem. Also, I recently finished the outline to the third and last book of my Armageddon series and have begun writing the first draft, which is really quite a relief. The story of angels, demons, psychics, occultists, Nephilim, and ordinary people caught up in the apocalypse has a provisional ending. Yay me! And yay you, once you read it. You have read The Blessed Man and the Witch and The Nephilim and the False Prophet, haven’t you? I certainly hope so.
Illustration by Mark J. Ferrari for Call of Cthulhu’s S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands.