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The Ghoulish Times | 11/27/21
Altman - Chucky - Horror Magazines
Hello and welcome to the 10th issue of The Ghoulish Times. Before I proceed, I feel obligated to remind you that our Black Friday book sale is still going on, and won’t expire until Monday the 29th. To refresh your memory, here is what you missed:
If for some reason the above image did not load correctly, here are the details in text form:
Anything up to $25 is 10% off
Anything between $25 - $50 is 20% off
Anything between $50 - $75 is 25% off
Anything between $75 - $100 comes with free shipping (and 10% off)
Anything over $100 comes with free shipping (and 20% off)
The discounts exclude our magazine subscriptions and gift cards. The free shipping only applies to United States residents (sorry).
Also worth mentioning in this week’s newsletter: our horror magazine turned 11! It’s finally old enough to drink!
The 11th anniversary issue of Dark Moon Digest features stories by Sam Barrows, Aisling Campbell, Tim Kane, Samuel P. McQuail, Nikolas P. Robinson, Josh Taylor, J.F. Tucker, and William H. Wandless. With a column by Jay Wilburn and an excerpt from Lisa Quigley’s novel The Forest.
Purchase via Webstore | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
And, next week, my new anthology Lost Contact comes out. I’m really excited for people to read this one. It’s been a long time in the making.
From the editors of Lost Signals and Lost Films comes the final installment in Perpetual Motion Machine’s technological horror trilogy. Nineteen authors in the genre team up to deliver a collection of spooky delights. In Lost Contact, stalkers, hackers, grieving families, social misfits, abandoned children, and other unhinged characters explore bizarre, unexpected horrors along creepy weather stations, playgrounds, rundown shopping malls, interstates, deserts, bogs, mountaintops, farms, and—of course—the deep, dark woods. Featuring Michael Paul Gonzalez, E.F. Schraeder, Jessica Leonard, Joshua Chaplinsky, Hailey Piper, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Muhammed Awal Ahmed, Betty Rocksteady, Michael Wehunt, Sofia Ajram, Jonathan Raab, Nicola Kapron, Nathan Carson, Anthony Wayne Hepp, Dustin Katz, Adam Franti, Douglas Wynne, Rachel Cassidy, and Victorya Chase.
You can order a copy directly through our webstore (which is currently discounted thanks to the aforementioned Black Friday sale!): ORDER LINK.
MEDIA RECENTLY EXPERIENCED
I’ve watched a lot of movies recently, so let’s talk about them.
First, because it’s November (aka #Chuckvember) I went through all seven films of the Child’s Play franchise. Before this month, the last one I had seen was Bride of Chucky (which I’ve always loved). So it was interesting to finally find out what the other sequels were like. Turns out, they’re pretty great! I am convinced Chucky might be the most consistently good slasher franchise1. The first Child’s Play is still good, the second one is decent, the third one is terrible, Bride is my favorite, Seed is great, Curse is not so good, and Cult is pretty awesome. Whenever these movies stop trying to be a normal slasher and embrace their inherent weirdness, they are a ton of fun. I’m also really enjoying the Chucky TV show. I recommend it a lot! Although if you haven’t seen the most recent sequels, I’d suggest checking those out before the show. I still need to give the remake a shot. I kind of want to buy a Good Guy doll now. Too bad they’re so expensive.
I’ve also been on a Robert Altman kick lately. Until recently, the only movie of his I’d ever seen was The Long Goodbye. I’m now trying to slowly catch up with his filmography. Here is my current ranking, from best to worst, with some notes on each:
The Long Goodbye (Just a perfect film. I could watch this over and over and never get sick of it. I should probably read some Chandler one of these days.)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Holy shit. One of the best endings I’ve ever seen. This movie is magic. I can’t wait to watch it again.)
Short Cuts (This is the movie that started my new Altman interest. I’d read that it’s similar to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, which is a favorite movie of mine, so I finally tracked it down and…yeah, the similarities are not exactly subtle haha. I had a ton of fun with this movie. It also inspired me to finally read Raymond Carver. I picked up his short story collection Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? and I’ve been slowly going through it. Enjoying it a lot.)
The Player (This one is good, although it felt way too long, which is funny since Short Cuts is over an hour longer than The Player but Short Cuts never once felt too long.)
M*A*S*H (Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould are two of the most attractive people who have ever lived, and for them both to be in one movie? How did the world even survive when this was released? Anyway. Some of this is fun but a lot of it has not aged well. It’s basically Animal House but set during the Korean War. Not my kind of thing.)
Nashville (I’ve read that this is considered Altman’s magnum opus and I have no idea way. I couldn’t fucking stand it. It’s nearly 3 hours long and an entire hour of the movie is dedicated to people singing country music. Maybe if I liked country music I would have enjoyed this more? I don’t know. So much of this movie was unbearable. Never again.)
That’s all I’ve managed to watch so far. A good majority of his movies are not available to stream (not even to rent!) so I’ve been slowly purchasing blu-rays when I can. Which is okay. Physical media is my preference, anyway. I’m looking forward to checking out his other movies, especially 3 Women, Images, California Split, and Thieves Like Us.
What are your top three Altmans? Let me know in the comments.
Besides the Chucky and Altman movies, I’ve also watched the following: Martha (hard to watch, but worth it), Pain & Gain (clearly Michael Bay’s best movie, and not even close), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (wanted to like this more than I did), An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (a rewatch for me; I love everything Jim Hosking puts out), Landscape Suicide (please watch this; it’s currently on the Criterion Channel and it’s fascinating), Mandibles (a lot of fun!), Wrong Cops (could not finish it), Moonstruck (first time watching this and I adored it to pieces), Cure (holy shit!), tick, tick…BOOM! (oh no someone I dislike made a movie I loved), Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (not bad for a video game adaptation, although I wish modern horror movies stopped this weird belief that “loud noise” equals “scary movie”), and Rosemary’s Baby (a rewatch; I’m writing a pilot script for a freelance gig with similar themes—this is a perfect horror movie, one of the best ever).
Reading-wise, I’ve mostly been going through submission slush for our various publications, but I’ve managed to read Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? and really liked it. I’m also currently reading Black Hole and loving it. Both are graphic novels. Am I becoming a comic book person now? It sure seems that way. I regret nothing.
Music—Aesop Rock’s Garbology came out, which I liked, but it reminded me that last year he released another album called Spirit World Field Guide. For whatever reason, I never gave SWFG much of a chance , but I downloaded it recently and it’s pretty much all I listen to now. What a great album. Highly recommended.
Lots of slush reading right now for Dark Moon Digest and my next (and probably final) anthology, titled The Mercy Seat: Stories from Death Row.
I don’t know what novel I’m going to write next, now that I’m done with Maggots Screaming!. I have a few in-progress but suddenly none of them sound very appealing.
I’m working on a few scripts. One is a pilot for a TV show I was hired to write. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I’ll certainly update y’all if I have any news in the future. I’m also writing a screenplay adaptation of my novel The Nightly Disease (on spec) and an original screenplay about the horror genre (let’s call it Spineless for now). The latter is not a horror movie, but a comedy/drama. It just happens to be centered around the horror genre—specifically, the writers and publishers in the indie small press scene.
Touch the Night was recently optioned for TV. I have no news on it at this moment. Hoping to have more to say after the holidays. But you can buy a signed copy of the book HERE until then (take advantage of that Black Friday sale!)
I have a lot of podcasts scheduled to record for Ghoulish. I’ve been slacking a bit with scheduling future episodes. I think I got a bit burned out on it2. But I’m slowly trying to find my groove again.
I’m considering launching a second newsletter, separate from The Ghoulish Times, consisting of a monthly publishing & writing advice column. If I did this, it would be a paid newsletter, instead of a free publication like The Ghoulish Times. Would you be interested in something like this? If so, what are some publishing/writing topics you’d like to read about? Drop a comment below.
Okay, that’s it for this week. You can support us on Patreon, browse the books in our webstore, and follow us on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter (PMMP | DMD | Ghoulish | personal). Reserve your ticket for the first annual Ghoulish Book Fest. You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next Saturday, ghouls.
The best horror franchise, if you’re wondering, is obviously Evil Dead. The original trilogy is flawless. The remake rules. The TV show was awesome. Even the games are fun! It simply cannot miss.
I’m sure it didn’t help that I was out of the country and then sick with bronchitis for a couple weeks there.