HP LOVECRAFT – HP (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft was born an only child in Providence RI where many of his tales are set. His biological father, who was not involved in his life, went insane and was confined to an asylum. Lovecraft grew up with his mother and grandparents, with a grandfather who was a successful businessman. During high school his grandfather died which meant the family had to vacate their prestigious home. Lovecraft himself had a nervous breakdown and his physical health wasn’t good either. Both circumstances led to his failure to obtain a high school diploma. It also meant going to university at Brown was no longer an option. Lovecraft became involved in amateur journalism and published his first short story The Alchemist in 1916. His mother also had a nervous breakdown and was confined to the same mental hospital as his father. Lacking conventional skills, his job prospects diminished, and he struggled to make it as a working writer. The period from 1919 to 1920, Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle, inspired such works as The White Ship, The Cats of Ulthar, Nyarlathotep and The Nameless City. The first story in the Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft married and shortly thereafter his wife lost her business. He lived in Brooklyn NY but was robbed and returned to Providence. He placed short stories in pulp magazines, almost exclusively in Weird Tales, in the 1920s and 30s. Weird Tales offered him the position of editor and he declined. Lovecraft was known to give up on stories that had been rejected once, while some went unsubmitted altogether, such as The Shadow Over Innsmouth. He failed to reply when one publisher inquired about having a novel ready, although The Case of Charles Dexter Ward was finished. Lovecraft had not typed up a manuscript into submission format. He was fully capable of writing commercially viable stories such as The Dunwich Horror. Ones with action the Weird Tales editor wanted. But Lovecraft continued to produce work that he couldn’t sell for profit. After a few years of living away from his wife, both agreed to divorce. She remarried after being told he signed the decree when he actually had not. Lovecraft lived off an inheritance and was nearly broke prior to his death. He wouldn’t eat so he could continue to send letters. He suffered cancer and chronic pain until his death by 1937. He died in poverty at the very young age of 46. His work is rooted in the themes of science, the occult, decayed antiques, gothic architecture, churches and graveyards, Anglophilia, gods and monsters. HP Lovecraft never had a book commercially published in his lifetime. Yet his fame as a writer continued to grow after his death. He is considered to be amongst the greatest American fiction writers, shelved alongside Hawthorne and Poe. His posthumous collections became best sellers but his writing was virtually unknown in his lifetime.
KRAMPUS – Krampus is a demon/ goat who punishes naughty children in pre-Christian Germanic folk tales. He’s celebrated on Krampuskarten with festivals, greeting cards and parades. Sounds great. But, in large part, Krampus — the movie –disappoints. It attempts to capture the spirit of the 80s horror/ comedy classic film entitled Goonies. What’s wrong with it? It’s too gimmicky, there are too many jump scares and the CGI images are overdone. Forty minutes into the movie nothing has happened other than a dinner and a snow storm. Moments that have horror potential are actually missed opportunities. I really wanted to like this movie but it wasn’t funny and it also wasn’t scary. A cool idea? Yes. A good movie? Clearly, no.
Santa Claws (1996)
EDGAR ALLAN POE – Eliza Arnold, an angelic 18 year old widow, married David Poe, Jr. in 1806. She’d been a traveling stage actress since 8 years old, dubbed The Nightingale for her sweet voice. When David saw her perform, he decided to join her traveling troupe. Their first child was born in 9 months and their second, Edgar, was born in 1809. Times were tough for the young family, who relocated to New York City that same summer. David wasn’t doing well, partly because he was an angry drunk with stage fright. But also, because Eliza’s performances were lauded while his own were harshly criticized. He couldn’t handle the criticism, abandoning both the stage and his young family, 6 weeks later. Pregnant Eliza had a third child after he left. When she died in 1811, the children were split up amongst relatives. Edgar Poe was taken in by John Allan but remained forever marked by his mother’s death. In fact the deaths of women–his mother, adopted mother and wives–are recurrent themes in his important stories. His first recognized short story came in 1833, when he won a $50 prize for MS. Found in a Bottle. This success led to editorial work in early periodicals, writing short stories and publishing reviews. He took his literature reviews very seriously, which were usually scathing, earning him more than one enemy. He worked all day and then wrote fiction late into the night, always unstable since he couldn’t keep a job for long. Poe wrote in a range of genres to reach the widest possible audience. His C. Auguste Dupin tales spawned the detective genre including The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. He sold The Raven to The American Review for $9 in February 1845 under the pseudonym Quarles. Poe was found delirious in 1849 and taken to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter under circumstances that are mysterious to this day. He was buried after a 3 minute funeral attended by 7 people in a cheap coffin without a nameplate, cloth lining, or head cushion. Poe’s rival Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote an obituary describing him as a mad, drunken, womanizing opium addict who based his darkest tales on personal experience. Today Poe remains best known for his most popular tales of gothic horror, which are relatively few in his larger body of work.
1. The Cask of Amontillado
2. The Black Cat
3. The Tell-tale Heart
4. The Masque of the Red Death
5. The Fall of the House of Usher
6. The Pit and the Pendulum
7. The Premature Burial
10. William Wilson
11. The Oval Portrait
12. Hop Frog
HALLOWEEN MOVIES – Here are some horror movies coming out in October just time in for Halloween.
October 6 2017
Dementia 13 – A retelling of 1963 horror-thriller film of the same name.
Better Watch Out – A babysitter defends a boy from intruders, only to discover it’s not a normal home invasion.
The Crucifixion – Did a priest murder a mentally ill person? Or did he battle a demon?
Happy Death Day – When a college student relives her murder over and over again, with its unexceptional details and terrifying end, she discovers her killer’s identity.
The Snowman – A woman’s pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Nightworld – Investigate a sinister building to uncover a malevolent force desperate to be released into our world.
Creep 2 – A visual artist can’t resist the chance to take footage of a man claiming to be a serial killer.
Jigsaw – Evidence of gruesome murders is found, and it seems to be the work of Jigsaw, but how can this be? He’s been dead for over a decade.
DVD October 10
Wish Upon – A girl finds a magic box that grants wishes … but each one comes with dark and gruesome consequences.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Would you be willing to watch hundreds of tapes depicting decades of a serial killer’s work?
DVD October 17
Escape Room – One by one a new victim’s life is claimed, chosen from young couples trapped in a locked room, they’re playing for their lives.
DVD October 24
Cult of Chucky – Chucky is back to settle some scores with old enemies with the help of his former wife.
DVD October 23
A Ghost Story – Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost returns home to reconnect with his bereft wife.