Come chat about life, lyrics, and mad poetry love with Amy Zoellers and Angela Yuriko Smith. Tomfoolery, shenanigans, electric ecleticisms and the usual literary lunacy. Drop your links in chat and share yourselves and your own work.
My goal here is to go throughout the year and each month pick out five of the best films, in my opinion, that in some way or another fit into the horror genre. They may not have been box office smashes. They may not have been critical successes. Some of them might even be more funny than scary. But, all of them will have made some kind of contribution to the genre or, at the very least, made their mark on me personally.
May has been an interesting month for horror movies. It boasts a few of the all time great classics, but it also has a number of sequels and remakes that are disastrous when compared to the originals. Because of that I’m replacing the Honorable Mentions section in this month’s article with a Less Than Honorable Mentions.
Top five lists are, by their very nature, subjective and meant to be fun, conversation starting pieces. So, I encourage everyone to get involved in the comment section. Give us your top five, or talk about any of the films I mentioned.
So, without further ado, here are the Top 5 Horror(ish) Movies Ever Released in the month of May!
The Chernobyl Diaries, May 25, 2012. This is a somewhat controversial selection as this movie has run the gamut when it comes to opinions about it over the years. It’s been called everything from “disaster porn”, disgusting, and inhumane to genius. While I don’t go so far as to say genius, I am in the minority of those who feel this is more than a worthwhile movie. Location and scenery go a long way in setting the atmosphere and the movie doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to blood and gore. The film had a small budget, in the neighborhood of $1 million, and used every bit of it to try and maintain the atmosphere. If you’re looking for several jump scares and gruesome mutants, give it a shot.
The Monster Club, May 27, 1981. There’s a decent chance you’ve never heard of this movie, but it holds a place in my childhood and therefore gets a spot on this list. But, beyond that, it earns its spot simply by having Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence AND John Carradine all in the same film! The movie is basically three separate short stories and has a very interesting set up where each of the stories is separated by… A band giving a musical interlude at the “monster club.” It’s kind of humorous, but there is still something creepy about each of the stories. It’s kind of like one of those things you watch and laugh at when you’re watching it, but then occasionally, late at night as you are about to fall asleep, something slips into your mind and starts eating away at you, making you feel uncomfortable, not allowing you to fall asleep, and then you realize it’s something from this movie! Now, that might just be because I was 10 years old when I first saw it, but it still has that kind of feeling to me. It’s also only slightly over an hour and a half long, so check it out.
Friday the 13th, May 9, 1980. I recently re-watched the original Friday the 13th and have forgotten how disturbing it was. Over the decades the whole Jason character has morphed into a caricature, almost becoming synonymous with horror movie monster/villain. But, the original Friday the 13th is really something that took what Halloween had done a couple of years previously, and threw in a twist to make the whole thing a bit more twisted. It’s amazing how many people forget that Jason was NOT the terrorizing force in the original Friday the 13th, but that it was his mother. While Halloween is the grandfather/originator of the modern slasher movie genre, the original Friday the 13th had the potential to spin off and be something greater. The sequels got progressively worse and went down the easy path of sticking with the formula and just focusing on trying to come up with more outrageous murder sequences, but that doesn’t change the fact that the original had something else to it that is often overlooked or forgotten. Plus, I do have a tie in with the Jason character, having met the actor who played him in several movies. Check out my story here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/meeting-jason-66698467
The Shining, May 23, 1980. Let me preface this by saying there are certainly some flaws in this movie, the confusing rewriting of the demise of the character Dick Hallorann chief among them. However, this is one of those movies where you’ve got two fantastic actors at the top of their game almost exclusively carrying the entire movie. Jack Nicholson gets tons of adulation and kudos for his performance as Jack Torrance, and rightfully so. But, Shelley DuVall is right there with him the entire way. Throw in the off kilter atmosphere that only Stanley Kubrick is able to create, and you’ve got yourself this classic. Tension, jump scares, literally gallons of blood, and some of the most unexpected and nightmarish images are all here. Don’t compare it to the book, and don’t try to analyze too much the photograph at the end. Just turn off the lights, grab some popcorn, and enjoy.
Alien, May 25 1979. There aren’t many movies that would beat out The Shining for the number one movie in any of these months, but Alien is one that does. There are very few movies that can redefine a genre. There are even fewer movies that can redefine multiple genres. Alien does this for both Horror and Science Fiction AND introduces the concept of a female action hero! While the original chest bursting scene is undeniably bloody, the movie does an amazing job of making you think it is much gorier than it actually is. There is a ton of tension and the atmosphere is so palpable that while I am not claustrophobic in my day-to-day life, some of the scenes in the crawlspaces during this movie made me believe that I am. This movie is 43 years old this month and is still as enjoyable and scary as it was when it was released.
Less Than Honorable Mentions: (remakes and sequels that failed compared to the original) Poltergeist (remake) May 22, 2015. Poltergeist II (sequel) May 23, 1986. 28 Weeks Later (sequel) May 11, 2007. Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood (sequel, but also gives me my tie in to the Friday the 13th franchise)
And there you have it everyone, inarguably, the best 5 horror movies ever created and released in the month of May! Look forward to your comments and I’ll have another one out for you all next month.
As promised, I share my thoughts (aka gushing praise) for not only Benebell Wen’s limited release of the SKT deck, but also a number of her books and how they have impacted my craft studies over the past year. If you want to know more about esoterica, you can find a treasure trove of well written, excellently documented info at benebellwen.com.
It all started in 2020 when Amy Zoellers asked me to do a poetry event with her live on Instagram. I was a little terrified, but we survived it and it turned out to be fun. So we kept at it.
After about a year of those I said I wanted to branch off and do a similar event, but stream to YouTube. Thus Poetry, Cake & Hyperbull began. The shows have been spread across three YouTube channels, mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing. FYI: I still don’t, but we’re having fun.
At some point I was talking to Maxwell I. Gold about his book launch for Oblivion in Flux and the lack of open venues. How do you do a book launch party when everything is closed due to the pandemic? I offered to do a launch show and that began a whole series of author interviews, launch panels, readings, a convention and a literary news show.
Up until now these things shows have been spread across an old channel I didn’t know I had, Space & Time’s channel and the channel I was supposed to be sharing to. Now that I have a minute, I’m downloading and consolidating all the videos on to one channel.
Coming up this Saturday will be a Lit Up interview with Alicia Hilton, an author, law professor, arbitrator, actor, and former FBI Special Agent. I’ll be doing two readings next week from recent anthologies I have work in, and the next PC&H will be Saturday, Dec. 4 at noon. We still do the poetry live on Instagram every 3rd Sunday on Amy’s hipness_&_outrage channel.
If you want to catch some of this or see what I’ve been up to, consider subscribing to the channel so you get updates whenever I post a new video. Here’s how to find it:
Thank you to EVERYONE for the birthday messages. I feel incredibly blessed with good wishes coming at me from all sides… so this is my one big thank you because answering all these individually is going to take awhile… but I will try. Also, I will be scolding the Beyond Meat company for the migraine.
I recently had an opportunity to chat with CEO and Founder Donald Armfield of Hybrid Sequence Media about his upcoming HYBRID, MISFITS MONSTERS & OTHER PHENOMENOM anthology. Who’s in it so far, how can we help and when do submissions open? All will be revealed…
Hybrid Sequence Media is a diverse publisher focused on poetry, story collections, novellas, novels and writing in all its glorious forms. You can find them at hybridsequencemedia.com.
If you are looking for a more involved way to become involved with this project, visit their Kickstarter. All the funds raised will help pay the writers, artist and the creation of Hybrids: Misfits, Monsters, and other Phenomena. Artwork from Luke Spooner.
A while back I was thinking about doing tarot readings on Instagram. I did one test run to see how it would look. I was just going through the motions, not actually reading. I shuffled and pulled three cards. During the shuffle I had a jumper—a card that pops out of the deck during a shuffle. I typically take note of the jumper in case it turns up later.
My jumper card was Key 11, Justice. I showed it to the camera out of habit and continued with the shuffle and spread. Justice turns up as the first card in the spread. This isn’t unusual when reading tarot… that’s why I take note of incidents like this. It’s how Justice got at the top of the deck I’m wondering about. As many times as I play this video and follow that card, it doesn’t seem possible for it to show up on top.
When we first moved into our house there were some strange things going on, so a friend and I took some equipment in the basement to see if we could get some ghost action. As I recall, we had some activity with the dowsing rods and the cameras kept dying even with fresh batteries.
Th3 Black3st Sh33p recently put together this short video of that night. Check it out, and consider giving her a like and subscribe.
It’s been nearly two weeks, but I have a computer again! My old machine is actually still running, just barely. All respect to my previous machine… nicknamed Lazarus for coming back from the dead after a lightning strike the year before last. If there is a computer heaven, Lazarus deserves a place of honor. Thank you, old friend, for your years of faithful partnership.
But on to this new machine… so far I’ll say this is the best computer I’ve ever had—sorry Laz! This new computer cost just over $600 (Laz was almost $2,000), is almost silent and powerful. Today I’ve been downloading, photo editing, testing InDesign, playing video, running games… simultaneously.
Did I mention tiny? This entire computer tower is about the same size as a fat sandwich. This is my dream computer… powerful, competent, portable and affordable. Someone might need to pinch me because this can’t be real life. Or maybe, after the last few weeks, just let me dream a bit longer. You can see this Dream Machine for yourself here.(affiliate link)