Why Edgar Allan Poe's work is still so damn good and creepy

Edgar Allan Poe scholar Scott Peeples explains the black magic of Poe's work nearly 170 years after he died. From TED-Ed:

The prisoner strapped under a descending pendulum blade. A raven who refuses to leave the narrator’s chamber. A beating heart buried under the floorboards. Poe’s macabre and innovative stories of gothic horror have left a timeless mark on literature. But just what is it that makes Edgar Allan Poe one of the greatest American authors? Scott Peeples investigates.

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New trailer for Halloween sequel

Laurie Strode: Was that the boogeyman? Doctor Loomis: As a matter of fact, it was.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Master of horror John Carpenter executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs.

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The 50 best horror novels of all time

These kinds of best-of lists are always highly personal, but this list of great horror novels include several that I love, including World War Z, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist.

18. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon (1987) Robert R. McCammon was one of the most successful and prolific horror authors of the '80s and early '90s, before an editorial dispute prompted him to take a decade-long hiatus from writing. Swan Song, which tied with Stephen King’s Misery for a Bram Stoker Award for best novel, is a 960-page magnum opus of apocalyptic fiction that feels a bit too familiar in 2018. As the novel opens, various countries have already obliterated themselves in nuclear fire, and the United States and Russia are locked in a tensely escalating standoff. Once the bombs begin to fall, McCammon follows several motley bands of survivors, including “Swan,” a young girl who may have restorative powers necessary for mankind to emerge from the nuclear winter. Although not as widely read as King’s The Stand, Swan Song is one of the finest examples of apocalyptic fiction (even if it hits too close to home today). —Steve Foxe Read the rest

Stephen King's 1986 directorial debut 'Maximum Overdrive' is still tons of fun

Machines come to life and start killing people. Stephen King's cocaine fueled 1986 thriller Maximum Overdrive is still wonderful fun today. Read the rest

Ghost Stories is available to download this week

I saw this trailer for Ghost Stories back in February and it grabbed hold of me immediately. Full of menace, glimpses of gorgeous cinematography and an aura of claustrophobia, it's everything I want in a horror film. I just learned that it'll be available to buy on iTunes, if you're in the United States, on July 17th. I am so stoked. Read the rest

Animator Cyriak has indigestion

Someone give Cyriak a chalk pill: "Some animation experiments that congealed into a video." Read the rest

The Overlook Hotel: A "sequel" to The Shining

The Overlook Hotel is a deeply creepy and strange "sequel" to The Shining made entirely from clips from myriad horror films. Directed by Antonio Maria Da Silva who is best known for the excellent edit Hell's Club (2015).

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Psychotronic horror and sci-fi films with the people edited out

VanTassel2 posted a fantastically weird series of ridiculous horror and science fiction B-movies with all appearances of humans edited out. Above, is the MST3K favorite "Attack of the Eye Creatures" (1965), without people. Below, "Curse of Bigfoot" (1976) aka "Teenagers Battle the Thing" and "The Mad Monster" (1942), without people.

(via Weird Universe)

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Bone & Sickle, a new macabre podcast by Al Ridenour

Krampus LA co-founder (and occasional BB guest blogger) Al Ridenour is taking a stab at podcasting with Bone & Sickle, a show that "celebrates the intertwining of horror and folklore."

He writes:

Like my Krampus book, the show explores elements of horror within folklore, or folklore within horror. It’s not an interview show, but more of a manic lecture spun into an overwrought background of original music, drones, effects, snippets of found audio, etc. All within a fictional, manor house framework. Featuring Rick Galiher as my much abused valet, Wilkinson.

In honor of the German holiday of Walpurgisnacht on April 30, Al has "binge released" three 30-minute episodes at once. He suggests starting with the third episode.

Here's a taste of what to expect:

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HP Lovecraft meets Billy Joel

Julian Verland's "HP Joelcraft," an unholy union between the spine-tingling words of HP Lovecraft's "Nemesis" and Billy Joel's "Piano Man" music.

Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber, Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night, I have liv’d o’er my lives without number, I have sounded all things with my sight; And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright...

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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Unsettling British pork advertisement

The aptly-named "Scarred for Life" Twitter account posted this remarkable ad for British pork, dating to some indefinitely creepy moment in the 1970s or 1980s. There should be a corollary for Poe's law ("it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken for the thing parodied") for parodies of British advertisements. Be sure to click through to the thread for more high-quality horrors of UK product marketing.

Previously: KFC Commercial, by Peter Serafinowicz.

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You Are On The Fastest Available Route is a great dashcam horror short

Local58 is a YouTube channel for a news affiliate that does not, thankfully, exist. Written and edited by Kris Straub, each video depicts increasingly alarming emergency broadcast interruptions and test cards, all implying invasion, revolution or government mindfuckery. (NOTE: "Contingency" instructs the viewer to kill themselves and others).

My favorite, though, is You Are On The Fastest Available Route (embedded above), three minutes of creepy dashcam perfection based on an idea by Mikey Neumann. Read the rest

It's Poe's birthday, so here's Neil Gaiman reading The Raven

Neil Gaiman says Edgar Allan Poe should be read aloud, and he's right: he recorded this video of him reading "The Raven" in 2016 as part of Pat Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive. It's Poe's birthday today, and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than to listen to it again. Read the rest

This short film gives a sense of how terrifying sleep paralysis can be

Paralys reenacts the moment a young woman falls asleep while watching a game show, only to experience sleep paralysis. Read the rest

Terror-nuggets: winners of this year's 15 Second Horror Film contest

The 15 Second Horror Film Challenge is an annual competition run by a nonprofit (you have until Oct 2018 to get your entries in for next year). This year's top twenty has some entries that literally made the hair on my neck stand up, especially Luma Films' Good Night, which is an especially good take on a recurring horror theme. More of my favorites below. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Emma, a 15-second horror movie

Daniel Limmer's Emma is a short, effective horror film that lasts just 15 seconds, one of many entered in the aptly-named "15 Second Horror Film Challenge."

It echoes a scene from M. Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense:

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Now with Extra Monsters): At Least One Monster Per Paragraph! This Is Our Guarantee!

Both of my kids, several years apart, were assigned Frankenstein in high school. Both were excited to dig in, based only on what they knew of Shelley's creation from pop osmosis. It was a book about the most famous monster of all. No, not Godzilla. Frankenstein! But for a horror novel, it sure featured a lot of travel writing. Both kids were bored and disappointed and, I suspect, might not have finished the book. The first time this happened, I just sort of nodded and waved them off, muttering the kind of vaguely commiserative thing a dad says when he just wants to get back to playing his videogames. But the second time around, I resolved to do something about it....

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