Thursday, August 14, 2014

The 8-minute Castle Films Dracula is the best version of Universal Dracula you'll ever see

Here's a blast from the past (a TBT)-- back in the 1960s, a company called Castle would routinely take famous movies and release edited-down, 8-10 minute versions for use in schools and libraries. These whittled-down movies were a lot of kids' first exposure to movies like Dracula and Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein. You could check them out at the library and take them home-- actually take home a movie!-- and watch it on your home projector. 

Here are a couple, but there are many more. 


The cover of the Castle Films version of Dracula, from the Retroist blogA shot of the Dracula reel the way you'd get it (from Retroist blog)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Progress

The book I'm writing-- which for the first time in my career I've written entirely by hand-- has turned a definite corner. I've outlined from where I am all the way to the end and realized I only have 11 more beats in this first draft left to write-- basically 11 chapters, more or less. Then comes a rough part: I plan to take two or three weeks of not looking at it while I finish up another project, and then when I return it will be the hardest project I have ever undertaken: the revision from page 1 of an entire novel as I type it in from my longhand draft. So that will be a lot of work, but I am more excited about this book than I have been in years.
A note about process: I write on cheap spirals, which come in two major varietys. The first three spirals I filled were 70 pages long, 26 lines each. The final spiral has 33 lines per page and about 100 pages. I've been hand-writing on a spiral

Friday, August 8, 2014

The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride was awesome

Not long ago a friend posted a shot of one of the Nautilus submarines from the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride at Walt Disney World. I rode this ride at Disneyland and was always captivated by it, and am convinced that it would captivate anybody today. (Who cares if they don't know the movie. Most kids haven't read Tom Sawyer, either, but the pirate caves are incredible.) This article from 2004 tells a wild story of the strange demise of this amazing ride.

"Koontz by Any Other Name"

The great Too Much Horror Fiction blog this week has a look at books Dean Koontz wrote under other names. Take a look -- especially for these great vintage paperback covers.

Vintage paperback cover for Door to December cover

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Opening Segments to "Darkroom" (1981 Anthology Series)

Another great TV Theme Thursday: an opening from Darkroom, a horror anthology series hosted by James Coburn in 1981.


The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries Opening

TV Theme Thursday-- here's one with an extended "previously" for an adventure all around the Universal Studios Tour as seen in 1977.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Too Much Horror Fiction: The Gerunding of Horror Fiction

Here is an article that had to be written: The Gerunding of Horror Fiction. (As in The Shining... The Howling... The Reaping...)

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"The Marine 3: Homefront" official trailer

So, in the office they're playing all these "The Marine" movies. What an unlucky man this person is. I mean, everywhere he goes there are terrorists. He comes home, goes to the bank: terrrorists. Then, sister kidnapped: terrorists. Mike Hammer was less dangerous to know than this guy.

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