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All It Took to Defeat Satan, Was Two Big Sticks

Posted by [email protected] on April 21, 2019 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Colorful festivities aside, Easter is not among the most cheerful times of the year for me, at least not for now, in part because it seemed to be my Mother’s favorite. Although she tragically passed away roughly 12 ½ years ago—150 months—4,565 days—110,000 hours, it still feels like just last week. As I approach my fifth decade on this slowly deteriorating gumball of human consumption, many sights and sounds and sayings ignite reminiscent memories of once adolescent glee and revelry. Nostalgic visions of pastel dye and candy hearts, frosted rabbit-shaped cookies following bites of fatty lamb, stringy streams of plastic grass and baskets woven from childhood dreams.

Our hometown held an annual hunt for the golden egg, and I hope I never forget the year I won the coveted prize—a giant chocolate Blue Ribbon Bunny. It really is the little things that slowly grow in importance over time, like pearls of purity in clams of untarnished truth. Those are the blips burned into the screens of our past. Those are the traditions our children should pass on to their own someday. Those are the tangible emotions that are unnoticeably etched into the pores of our bones.

Invite your family and friends over for dinner (or brunch), bombard the kids of today with the spoils of peace, flood this evermore-distracted, disconnected, and discontent society with rivers of melted sugar and slothful sweetness and unfiltered fun. Take back the joy of being young or hold onto what’s left of it as tightly as ever. Be open and honest and trill with your fellow beings, regardless of how the digital oppression forcefully sways the way you want to think . . . and most of all, go with the flow when it comes to the “little things”, like taking a bite out of the ears first.

Writing on the Fringe

Posted by [email protected] on March 12, 2019 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

fringe nonfiction (noun): a genre of writing that tells true narratives of real events and plausible concepts in a style that is considered non-mainstream or existing on the edge of the conventional

The author was able to explore more deeply and with increasing freedom by pushing the boundaries within a preferred genre of fringe nonfiction.

Fan Fiction

Posted by [email protected] on February 8, 2019 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Last night a milestone occurred in scripted dramatic television history centered around a basic show with a simple idea that first aired on The WB (home of Smallville) before transitioning into The CW a year later—a show about family—a show about the heartland of America—a show about Good & Evil and everything in between—a show about all things supernatural.

In its 14th consecutive season on primetime US television, the Winchester brothers Sam and Dean drove their black 1967 Chevy Impala Sport Sedan with Kansas license plates into their landmark 300th episode, because NOBODY puts Baby in the corner! The Eric Kripke created, urban-legend-spearheading, ground-shattering, genre-reinventing, uber-plot-twisting flagship franchise powerhouse series Supernatural not only put The CW on the network map, earning it a rightful place among the Big Four—NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX, but also kicked open the door for a growing resume of other hit shows.

Starring Jared Padalecki, who took time out for a couple horror film remakes along the way—the underrated 2005 House of Wax and 2009 Friday the 13th, and Jensen Ackles, rescued from his Days of Our Lives beginnings, a full season on Smallville, his own horror film remake—the 2009 My Bloody Valentine, and voicing Jason Todd (the 2nd Robin) in a respectable animated Batman movie. Jensen is in fact a few years older than Jared, just like the fictional siblings they portray, and they both married actresses who have graced several pages of Carver Edlund’s novelized version of the same name.

The ROAD SO FAR begins way back in 2005 with a flashback of infant Sam, the first appearance of the matriarch Mary Winchester, and a lengthy hunt for the yellow-eyed demon. Then the path hits about a thousand forks including, but far from limited to demon deals made at a number of literal crossroads, extended visits to Hell, demon possession, humans losing their souls, fallen angels losing their grace, Leviathans, a trip to Purgatory, demon expulsion, angels falling from Heaven, angel possession, Metatron—God’s scribe (played by ‘Booger’ from Revenge of the Nerds), more demon possession, facing the First Evil, unleashing the Darkness, the son of Satan—a Nephilim, and just about anyone being brought back from the dead (or an alternate universe) more times than the writers can count.

Season 3 of Supernatural was the shortest at only 16 episodes (compared to 22 or 23 each for the other 13 seasons) but went down as one of the biggest build-ups leading to one of the greatest cliffhangers in this era of storytelling. However, despite the steadily growing fanbase, the Winchester’s future appeared to be critically doomed. As an original fan tuning in each week, you could tell it was on the brink of potentially being cancelled, and the way season 3 ends with “No Rest for the Wicked” (3:16) screams exactly that—it could’ve gone either way. Fortunately for Sam and Dean, dozens of memorable cameos, an ever-widening audience, and enough recurring characters to fill a comic-con panel at a moment’s notice, the tale was never going to end there.

Season 4 picks up where the cliffhanger leaves off with “Lazarus Rising” (4:1), in the best way possible by introducing the third main character Castiel—a mild-mannered husband and father now possessed by an Angel—the slightly better half of all those demons that had been solely yanking the reins for the villainous side of the Supernatural universe. The show took a permanent turn here, deluging the ethos with both sides of the cosmic, spiritual black and white battle, along with their hierarchies, underlings, and generals—Michael and Lucifer. One of the standalone episodes of the series, “Monster Movie” (4:5) is a gimmicky Halloween themed can’t miss, along with “Yellow Fever” (4:6), “Wishful Thinking” (4:8) featuring a giant suicidal teddy bear, “It’s A Terrible Life” (4:17), and “There’s A Monster at the End of This Book” (4:18) ushering in the integral character Chuck.

Which brings us to season 5, the brothers’ fateful faceoff with the Prince of Darkness himself, and a final episode that would’ve satisfied any true Supernatural fan. Seriously, if it had all ended then and there, along with the good run of so many other worthy series, that might have made more sense to the general public. Of course, it didn’t because this little installment of notable pop culture was meant for bigger things. Supernatural was destined to fight its way into our cold, stony hearts and achieve its rightful status as an entertainment phenomenon. Keep one eye open for “Fallen Idols” (5:5), “Changing Channels” (5:8) with the Trickster, and “The Real Ghostbusters” (5:9) depicting it’s very own Supernatural Convention.

A few more notable mentions would have to be the romantically-charged “Heart” (2:17) about a werewolf named Madison (played perfectly by Emmanuelle Vaugier), a “Mystery Spot” (3:11) that will leave the Asia song ‘Heat of the Moment’ stuck in your head for the rest of the day, “Weekend at Bobby’s” (6:4) where we learn what Bobby does all day, “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” (6:9), Genevieve Padalecki playing herself in “The French Mistake” (6:15), the season 6 finale “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (6:22), “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” (7:14), “Repo Man” (7:15) about a failed exorcism, “Party On, Garth” (7:18) guest-starring DJ Qualls battling a Shōjō, the season 7 finale “Survival of the Fittest” (7:23), the found footage style “Bitten” (8:4), the utterly cartoonish “Hunteri Heroici”, the season 8 finale “Sacrifice” (8:23) where a solid plan doesn’t quite go off without a hitch, “King of the Damned” (9:21) where a big baddie really gets it, the season 9 finale “Do You Believe In Miracles” (9:23) when Dean becomes a . . . (well, I won't spoil that one for ya), the ingenious “Baby” (11:4) shot entirely from the Impala’s point-of-view, “Just My Imagination” (11:18), and perhaps the purest example of “Fan Fiction” (10:5) showcasing a well-deserved Musical installment to mark the 200th episode.

The Winchesters have investigated cases of Ghosts, Ghouls, Banshees, Poltergeists, Changelings, and Wraiths. They’ve hunted down Djinns, Shapeshifters, Okami, Rugarus, Alphas, and Wendigos. The brothers have even dodged a Dragon, tangled with a Kraken, escaped the clutches of Sam Hain, matched wits with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and triumphed over the perfect hybrid monster Dean called a Jefferson Starship. All lighthearted fun aside, there is an undoubtedly horrific edge to certain episodes of Supernatural. Along with lots and lots of gravedigging and the occasionally drawn-out torture scene, an immense population of innocent victims are killed (technically murdered) simply because they were possessed.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester ranks among TV Guide’s list of “53 People You Forgot Were on Supernatural”, along with Amy Acker, Julie Benz, Linda Blair, Mitch Pileggi, Barry Bostwick, Titus Welliver (as the God of War), Lauren Cohen, Lexa Doig, Charisma Carpenter, Snooki (as a Crossroads Demon), Paris Hilton, Robert Englund, Katie Cassidy (as the 1st Ruby), and Alona Tal playing the unforgettably stunning hunter Jo. The role as one of the most beloved characters—Celeste Bradbury, best known as Charlie—was sublimely owned by internet video superstar Felicia Day for 7 episodes over the course of 4 seasons. I mean c’mon, she has her own Pop! Funko figure for Pete’s sake.*

There have been times here and there where a season took a while to pick up steam or an annoying character stole too much of the spotlight or a plotline just didn’t seem to go anywhere (most recently with “the thing that killed Kaia in the bad place”), and it seems like every time we get hooked deep The CW takes another one of their many seasonal breaks. However, somewhere in the light and shadows of every real American town the boys visit (all filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia) every hole is filled with something, each shortcoming eventually becomes endearing, and all the ugly, messy, morally conflicting wrongs add up to one big acceptable right in the end. Anything woven together with this much careful detail and unsuppressed memories has a way of pulling you back in again any time you feel like walking away. Like the brothers and Baby, we will forever be hitting the road together again for one more round of modest sour-grapes-pie and another traumatically empowering adventure.

So, heed the warnings of whoever happens to be the current Prophet, steer clear of Archangels, keep your trunk filled with holy water, salt, iron, and angel blades, and do your best to fight those fairies! Also, if you ever come across a demon named Crowley who is vying for the crown of King of Hell, you had better watch out because of course he’s gonna try to bone you every chance he gets. Most of all, no matter how insurmountably the odds are stacked, and wherever you find the journey takes you, and whoever happens to be riding in that trusty passenger seat, always remember that driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake-hole.

*Episodes with Felicia Day as Charlie include “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” (7:20), “LARP and the Real Girl” (8:11), “Pac-Man Fever” (8:20), “Slumber Party” (9:4), “There’s No Place Like Home” (10:11), “Book of the Damned” (10:18), and “Dark Dynasty” (10:21).

Autumnal Kaleidoscope

Posted by [email protected] on November 22, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to see the leaves change in Autumn, not just getting lighter or darker, but actually becoming something worthier of seeing on the drive home from work or a soothing, chilly walk through the woods with a fellow viewer. That special time of the year for fans of foliage and the myriad transformations their life-cycles can offer to those who were born with a visual capacity to appreciate them. Like the chicken and the egg, we’re not always sure what comes first—colder weather, apple cider, a familiar jacket, cinnamon sticks, football starting, baseball ending, pumpkin pie or turkey legs shared with distant relatives. All these separate, unique aspects of Fall seem to self-reference each other, ushering our senses toward fond memories of the rest in a jumbled hodge-podge of anticipatory salivation. I may never really experience what makes sweet corn look yellow or pumpkins appear orange or what shade of red can best describe the gooey guts of a cherry pie, and this genetic choice that was made for me has never caused me to feel any less human, but sometimes I do wonder what it’s like to see the leaves change color in Autumn.

The Christmas That Never Stood a Chance**

Posted by [email protected] on May 2, 2018 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

. . . On the 22nd I watched John R. Cherry III’s* Ernest Saves Christmas, Jon Favreau’s Elf, and Richard Donner’s 1998 holiday comedy classic Scrooged (Yes, the same Richard Donner who introduced us all to Die Hard), then Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa on the 23rd. My family used to embrace an unusual tradition of watching that ridiculously raunchy, yet unavoidably hilarious movie every year, forcing my visiting Nana to watch it with us. I suspect against her wishes, but Grandmas are good like that. Then on the morning of the 24th (X-mas Eve) I caught the 1949 Holiday Affair on TV. I was already a fan of Robert Mitchum, but became an even bigger fan of Janet Leigh that day (she doesn’t even look like the same actress in Psycho). Later that evening I walked to the local discount theater alone to enjoy Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League together on the big screen for a combined $3. I even brought my own snacks. Both of those movies were better than I had anticipated – funny, engaging action, likable (& recognizable) characters, and even a villain tie-in from my favorite scene in the previous Batman vs. Superman film (also directed by Zack Snyder). Early Christmas morning I caught most of the 1935 version of Scrooge. Not as good as the other one in B&W from 1951 starring Alastair Sim, but mos def watchable. It amazes me that including the Disney installment (and Jim Carrey’s obligatory one), the Charles Dickens classic tale of A Christmas Carol has been remade 10 times (that I know of) . . . I rounded out the extended holiday weekend by seeing The Shape of Water at the art-house Little Theatre and then Edward Scissorhands at home even later that Christmas night. The former is not a bad film by a good director (Guillermo Del Toro), and several of his previous written/directed efforts are worthy of your cinematic attention, but most of what I will remember of his latest attempt to remake Creature from the Black Lagoon will be the [SPOILER ALERT] softcore pornographic bestiality scene.

. . . Seeing the words “I don’t care who you are, or what you want! Please do not bother me today!” on a note taped to someone’s door on Christmas morning let me know that I didn’t have the absolute worst spirit of the season this year (but at least he wrote “Please”).

*John R. Cherry also directed the initial 1987 film of the series—Ernest Goes to Camp, and the succeeding 6 sequels (all in the 1990’s)—Ernest Goes to Jail (my personal favorite), the Halloween-themed Ernest Scared Stupid, Ernest Rides Again, Slam Dunk Ernest, Ernest Goes to Africa, and Ernest in the Army . . . I saw the 2nd and 3rd ones in my town’s local movie theater as a vibrant teen 8)


When Your Birthday Falls on Black Friday**

Posted by [email protected] on May 2, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

. . . Social Media privacy setting toggled “ON” so that no one would be automatically notified (big surprise - 0 of my nearly 1000 online “Friends” wished me a Happy Birthday! :/ ) . . . My paternal grandmother’s 2nd husband used to tell this story about how he begged for an electric train set for Christmas one year as a kid but failed to understand they did not have electricity . . . This same Grandpa 2.0 of mine also used to sneak up behind me with a giant pair of scissors, bent on snipping off my rat’s tail (the shorter, wider version, not the super-long thin one) . . .

If this post had theme-music, it would be the XYLO song BLK CLD

In Memory Of: Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden and Audioslave . . .


2001 (Days): A Sober Odyssey**

Posted by [email protected] on May 2, 2018 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)


What Is Always There, But Rarely Seen In Time . . .

Posted by [email protected] on November 1, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (1)

It doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t have a gender.

It doesn’t have to eat. It doesn’t have to sleep.

Those who have crossed its fateful path, and lived to try to tell about it,

don’t know where it came from or what,

if anything could ever result in its permanent demise.

It exudes despair, breathes out distress, delights in torment,

and reeks of the stench of dread.

There have been those throughout the history of mankind

who have claimed that it is living in this world among us.

In our closets, around the corner, lurking in the sewer,

or waiting patiently under your bed.

One of the ways in which it has ambiguously survived in the shadows

all these centuries is that it has not been given a proper name,

at least not a name that can capture its full essence.

Thereby eluding the limits of our descriptive language, and visual imaginations.

It might be breathing down your neck, or perhaps that is just the wind

distracting you from what’s already a few inches away.

It might be silently scoping out your every move,

biding its time before the slashing onslaught of razor-sharp claws,

or perhaps swallowing you whole and the slow digestion to follow

will prove the more terrifying way to exit this uncertain world.

It might be methodically setting you up for your own demise,

by simply taking out those you love all around you,

driving you mad while the authorities refuse to consider your growing concerns.

Or perhaps you'll be the one ultimately charged with its crimes against humanity,

locked away in a deep, dark hole only for the conniving monster

to come find you helpless and served up on a plate

for its final feasting on your flesh and bones, and soul.

If you look closely below, at the most accurate rendition of this creature to date,

you may vaguely catch a glimpse of what unflinchingly stalks you in the dark,

when you’re all alone . . . Or you just may look hard enough,

that you never see it sneaking up from behind.


Danse Macabre

Posted by [email protected] on October 28, 2017 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

With the recent releases of Gerald’s Game and 1922 on NETFLIX, I felt it frighteningly futile to continue fighting the urge to share my appreciation for most things Stephen King. While I have read several of his novels and short stories thru the years, the film adaptations are what have kept me much warmer at night, especially on those nights when it’s eerily quiet during a fool moon out in the middle of nowhere. So here are my silver bullets of misery, beginning with my treasured favorites, which have helped me from going crazy during all the work with no play . . .

Pet Sematary (1989): Everything about this film is creepy – the story, the backstory, the locale, the characters, the little kid, and the warning. Truly a scary movie if there ever was one! . . . The sequel with Edward Furlong however, is not so good.

Thinner (1996): Phenomenal! Overall one of the best films out there. Brought to the screen by Tom Holland, who directed Child’s Play nearly a decade beforehand. Perhaps Joe Mantegna’s best role (right after Fat Tony on The Simpsons), and SVU fans may recognize the main character.

The Shining (1980): The only reason this didn’t make #1 is because of the 160-minute runtime, but it would definitely make the top of more than one list. Directed by Stanley Kubrick of course, and it even inspired a conspiracy-driven 2012 documentary called Room 237, but most fans wouldn’t care for it.

Salem’s Lot (1979): One of the best, original vampire tales. This one gave me nightmares as a kid, and I’ll never forget the 1st time I saw it re-aired on TV. Directed by Tobe Hooper, after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but before Poltergeist. 3 hours long, but TOTALLY worth it! . . . You can skip the 1987 sequel, and the 2004 TV remake with Rob Lowe and Donald Sutherland.

Creepshow (1982): Anthology of 5 horror tales (with a splash of humor) written by Stephen King, directed by George Romero. ‘The Crate’ segment is one of my favorite scary stories ever told on film.

Cat’s Eye (1985): Horror anthology, 3 tales this time, starring James Woods and a very young Drew Barrymore. Directed by Lewis Teague.

Graveyard Shift (1990): I’m not entirely sure why I like this one so much, I just do.

The Dark Half (1993): Timothy Hutton perfectly playing two roles – one good, one evil. Directed by George Romero.

Secret Window (2004): Johnny Depp in one of his best roles, and an awesome twist-ending to boot!

1408 (2007): I am partial to any scary story involving a writer as the main character, but John Cusack really does this one justice. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson plays his counterpart, and we all know that Sammy J doesn’t sign on for just any project that comes across his path :D

Misery (1990): Kathy Bates won an Oscar for this one directed by Rob Reiner, enough said.

The Lawnmower Man (1992): Technically Sci-Fi, but deserves to be on many lists, and it did have a watchable sequel.

Apt Pupil (1998): Bryan Singer’s early directorial follow-up to The Usual Suspects, before breathing lasting life into the X-men film franchise.

Needful Things (1993): Max von Sydow as the owner of an antique shop with sinister intentions, and Ed Harris as the sheriff obligated to stop him.

Creepshow 2 (1987): Another installment of the horror anthology, but a little campier. ‘The Raft’ segment is especially good.

Silver Bullet (1985): Wonderful werewolf tale for the whole family. Starring Corey Haim (R.I.P.) and Gary Busey (before he himself turned into a lycanthropic lunatic).

The Mist (2007): Starring Thomas Jane and Laurie Holden. Directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed The Shawshank Redemption. This one inspired a TV series, which no one seemed to notice.

Children of the Corn (1984): Has been followed by 8 sequels and one TV remake thus far . . . May have partly inspired the My Chemical Romance song ‘Teenagers’.

Carrie (1986): I’m much fonder of the 2013 remake with Chloe Grace Moretz, but not the 2002 TV remake or the 1999 sequel The Rage.

The Dead Zone (1983): Again, technically Sci-Fi, but stars Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, and Tom Skerritt, and director David Cronenberg all lobbied for it to make this list as well 8)

Christine (1983): About a killer car – a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Directed by another legendary master of horror – John Carpenter.

The Mangler (1995): Also directed by Tobe Hooper, starring Robert Englund, and (very loosely) based on a great short story.

The Night Flier (1997): Directed by Mark Pavia, who also wrote a directed a 40-minute piece of 1993 cinema titled Drag that Stephen King himself described as, “the best short horror film I’ve seen in twenty years.”

Cujo (1983): About a killer canine (St. Bernard), but only after he’s bitten by a bat. Also directed by Lewis Teague.

The Tommyknockers (1993): Starring Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger (before she was famous). Somewhat creepy story about aliens, which had more potential than it delivered.

Dreamcatcher (2003): Formidable cast, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who also wrote (or co-wrote) 3 of the Star Wars films.

Maximum Overdrive (1986): Starring Emilio Estevez and directed by Stephen King himself. A comet falls to earth and causes machines to come alive.

Sleepwalkers (1992): Even shapeshifters, virgins, and Ron Perlman couldn’t save this one.

Desperation (2006): So-so TV movie starring Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, and Ron Perlman.

It (2017): Haven’t seen the remake yet, but I already know it will be ten times better than the exhausting 3-hour TV original from 1990.

I have also yet to see the trilogy comprised of Sometimes They Come Back (1991), Sometimes They Come Back . . . Again (1996), and Sometimes They Come Back . . . For More (1998). The 1st one was originally considered for a segment of Cat’s Eye, but was ultimately made into a full-length movie for TV (the sequels were both direct-to-video). I wouldn’t mind exploring it much more in depth someday, but I’m sure someone somewhere else on the Internet has thoroughly written about it by now.

I have however enjoyed several stories from Stephen King adapted into TV mini-series form. Such as . . .

The Stand (1994): A sort of predecessor to The Walking Dead. There is an interesting story about how I tricked my father into letting me watch this as a young teen when it originally aired on television, which I would be more than happy to divulge in person if you ever want to hear it.

The Langoliers (1995): Bronson Pinchot at his non-comedic best.

The Shining (1997): Yes, Hollywood turned this one into a mini-series as well, starring Rebecca De Mornay and Steven Weber. Nowhere near as good as the original with Jack.

Storm of the Century (1999): Starring Tim Daly, Debrah Farentino, and Colm Feore. Very underrated.

Rose Red (2002): Psychic powers, a haunted house, and Nancy Travis (who also once played a potential axe-murderer).

Kingdom Hosptial (2004): Apparently Lars von Trier did create something worthwhile once ;)

Golden Years (1991): I somehow missed the existence of this 7-episode series until now, but it sounds very interesting.

Under the Dome (2013-2015): Really good story, really good effects, and a really good cast of characters, several of whom have already capitalized on it to boost their own careers (the recognizable actor who portrays Big Jim is especially captivating). The 1st and 2nd seasons are considerably better than the 3rd, but it felt like they were forced to wrap up a story that could’ve gone on for a while longer, had the mass audiences been ready for it. A truly definitive Sci-Fi series that I included as a segue into an upcoming list of my favorite all-time TV shows.

Saturday the 14th: The Day Jason Paused to Reflect

Posted by [email protected] on October 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I love Autumn, but more specifically I love every pirate’s favorite month – Octoberrr! I love the 31 days of horror films leading up to All Hallows’ Eve, but more specifically I love when every now and then Friday the 13th occurs in that same catalytic month where the cops are inclined to look the other way as you frighten children and vandalize property while wearing a mask. The next few weeks will usher in the 8th installment of the SAW franchise, the long-awaited conclusion to the Jeepers Creepers trilogy, and an uber-prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – chronicling Thomas Hewitt’s adolescent rise to the murder and mayhem that has become best known as Leatherface.* I was married on a Friday the 13th of October, so yesterday was an anniversary of various sorts for me. I celebrated by going to see Part IV of the iconic slasher series at the local Little Theatre in Rochester, NY. Seeing the gravestone of Jason’s mother (1930-1979) early on in the film, I began to wonder if Pamela Voorhees and Amanda Krueger were as proud of their boys as my Mother was of me. That’s a silly pondering on many levels, but I know that my real Mother is looking down from heaven at a grown son who immortalized her memory in print, with the proud admiration that only a Mother could ever fully embrace and understand. So I will gleefully celebrate the rest of this October full of frightful fun and treats or trickery, because that’s what she would’ve wanted – for me to live a life of vim and vigor, passion and potency. To continue building upward and onward from the strong foundation that a good Mother supportively, and sacrificially helps to instill. Those 31 days are almost half over, and the nostalgically satisfying scares will only grow with each blanket of night that falls around us all. Pinhead is coming for his souls, Chucky is waiting to be unwrapped once again, and Michael Myers is headed home to Haddonfield, IL . . . Of course we shouldn’t forget the Boogeyman himself, in whatever form he chooses to take -- lurking around every corner, quietly pacing through every graveyard, and standing perfectly still in every shadow waiting patiently to brush against the hairs on the back of your neck.

*The real name of Leatherface (a.k.a. Bubba, a.k.a. Junior) has also been claimed to be Jedidiah Sawyer (a.k.a Jed Sawyer), but that’s bordering on the splitting of hairs. Regardless of what birth name a fellow fan prefers to refer to him by, there are a few grisly details we can all agree on – Leatherface has been portrayed on film by 6 actors in 7 films thus far going back to 1974, he’s a cannibal who likes to wear other people’s faces, and he will never be away from a trusty chainsaw for long . . .