Monday, 20 March 2017

Zombies with a Touch of Humour

I wrote in a previous post how much I enjoyed the first two seasons of Z Nation, and I'm now watching the third. If possible, it's even campier than the first two seasons and still very enjoyable. (My only complaint is that the "new" Murphy is driving me nuts, and I hope they'll modify his character very soon.)

The show succeeds primarily because it has a strong ensemble cast; interesting story lines; and the ability to laugh at itself--something that's unheard of in The Walking Dead.  Consider this dialogue: the survivors are approaching a vintage sports car and see that there are a number of bodies inside. One of them quips: "I thought it had that new corpse smell." Or consider the parody of Donald Trump in an episode in which two presidential candidates compete to take over the post-apocalyptic world. One of them promises: "I'm going to build a wall to keep out the zombies. And I'm going to make the zombies build it themselves."

Check it out for yourself  if you're looking for something new in zombie land!

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Enfield Poltergeist

I watched The Conjuring 2 on DVD recently and really enjoyed it.  I hadn't heard of the case investigated in the movie, but was intrigued by it and decided to do some research to share with you.

This is the story behind the case:

In August 1977, Peggy Hodgson called police to her council home in Enfield, England, after two of her four children claimed that furniture was moving, and knocking sounds were heard on walls. A police constable said that she saw a chair slide on the floor and "was convinced that nobody there had touched it."  Later claims included allegedly demonic voices, loud noises, thrown rocks and toys, overturned chairs, and children levitating. These claims attracted considerable press attention, and the story was covered in British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, until reports of these incidents came to an end in 1979. (Source: Wikipedia)

The case has been widely discredited as a hoax--similar to the Amityville horror alluded to in the beginning of the film. The main reason for this is that Janet Hodgson admitted to and was caught on tape fabricating some of the events. However, she claims to have invented only 2 per cent of them because she was afraid that investigators would not believe her. She maintains to this day that the majority of the supernatural events did happen. To read a recent interview with her, please click here.

The psychic investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, convincingly played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, have also been dismissed as benign, but delusional in their search for ghosts and demons. But others such as Maurice Grosse of the British Society for Psychical Research steadfastly maintained the authenticity of the events. (Grosse, a character in The Conjuring 2, died in 2006.)

You be the judge after listening to the actual voice recordings at the time!

Monday, 6 February 2017

StokerCon 2017 Registration Is Open

The Horror Writers Association's second annual convention will be held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, from April 27-30, 2017.

Many well-known horror/dark fantasy writers will attend, including the following:

George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones
Elizabeth Hand, Wilding Hall, the Cass Neary series
Chuck Wendig, Star Wars: Aftermath, the Miriam Black thrillers
Peter Crowther, the Forever Twilight cycle
Bill Bridges, White Wolf’s World of Darkness, The Silver Crown
Tananarive Due, Ghost Summer, the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series
Gretchen McNeil, Possess, Ten, I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels, When the People Lights Go Out
Becky Spratford, The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror (Second Edition)
Nancy Holder, five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, will serve as the event’s Toastmaster.

In addition to attending the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® dinner on Saturday, April 29, attendees can enjoy panels, presentations, Horror University classes, The Lucky 13 Film Festival, a mini-academic conference coinciding with the convention, special programming for librarians on Librarian’s Day (Thursday, April 27), high tea with your favorite horror authors, ghost tours and a harbor excursion for early arrivals.

For more information on how to register for the convention, please click here.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Byron A. Martin Named Best Independent Film Producer--Canada

In case you missed this, below is an excerpt from the press release announcing the award:

(Toronto, ON) – December 20th, 2016. Canadian producer Byron A. Martin of Byron A. Martin Productions Inc., known for having produced some horror shorts such as A TRICKY TREAT and SERPENT'S LULLABY, has been awarded the distinction of Best Independent Film Producer - Canada by the 2016 Entertainment Awards (TMT NEWS).


"Honoured to be awarded," wrote the Toronto-based producer in a statement he posted on social media.

The 2016 Entertainment Awards aim to reward the key players within the entertainment industry. In recent years, the entertainment business has evolved, changing how the world conducts business alike across a variety of industry platforms.

Surges in demand for quality entertainment corporations has paved the way for creativity, efficiency and cost effectivity thus providing organisations with an invaluable reach to clients and customers in all stages of entertaining.

The 2016 Entertainment Awards highlights the key players, creative individuals and innovative firms who have provided the world with new, cutting-edge techniques. They cast a centre stage spotlight on those, who through creative flare, commitment and hard work have developed and shared their ideas to fundamentally evolve the business world and the lives of consumers for years to come.

Byron A. Martin is an award-winning producer that develops independent film, television and documentary projects. To date he has produced almost 100 hours of television, filming projects in fifteen countries. He has produced projects for Disney, Sony, Universal, Turner, and Bell Media and managed productions for some of Hollywood’s leading producers (Jerry Bruckheimer, Sam Raimi, Lauren Shuler Donner, Raffaellla De Laurentis, Mark Canton, Dick Wolf, Laurence Mark, John Singleton, Ralph Winter and Don Carmody).

For more information about producer Byron A. Martin and Byron A. Martin Productions, please visit their social media sites:


TWITTER: @ByronAMartin



Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Lost Gallows of Salem

Archaeology reports that the site of the gallows where the ill-fated victims of the Salem witch trials met their deaths in 1692-93 has now been identified as Proctor's Ledge. This site was first proposed by historian Sidney Perley in 1921, and his findings have now been validated by a research team.

Nineteen people met their deaths at this bleak location, pictured above. (A twentieth victim, Giles Corey, was pressed to death by stones.)

To read the full text of the article, please click here.

To learn more about the Salem witch trials, please click here.

Monday, 19 December 2016

A News Release from Dread Central


LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15, 2016 – Dread Central, the premier website for breaking news and in-depth original content in the world of horror, has announced that after a decade of independently serving fans, independent filmmakers, and studios, it will shift its operations to the publicly-funded service Patreon by March 2017.

"Due to sweeping shifts in studio advertising dollar allocation and the ever-shifting landscape of horror, if we are to survive, we need to make this change," said Dread Central Editor-in-Chief and horror pillar Steve Barton. "Over the past ten years, we’ve supported filmmakers and their projects by sharing their films with our extensive readership free of charge. We don't want to sell out to a conglomerate or shut down the site so we are joining with crowdfunding platform Patreon to keep our independent voice. We need everyone’s support."

Through a monthly subscription of just $1.00 a month, or $12.00 a year, via, Dread Central will be able to provide a new, ad-free experience with cutting-edge and exclusive content to horror enthusiasts and subscribers. This move will ultimately allow the site to continue to support the unique voices of genre filmmakers worldwide.

"In order to survive, Dread Central must now become a publicly-funded service, and WE absolutely NEED to subscribe," said Halloween director John Carpenter. "$12.00 a year. $1.00 a month. That’s it, and Dread Central will remain able to continue to support the filmmaking community and horror audiences alike, with the love, care, and voice that they historically have."

"Patreon is all about making it easy for websites like Dread Central to connect with patrons and share exclusive content," said Jordan Cope, Patreon Creator Talent Lead. "We're excited to partner with such a renowned horror website and can’t wait to be a part of the next decade of incredible work."

Founded in 2006 by Barton and long-time collaborator Jon Condit and staffed with such notable horror journalists as Staci Layne Wilson, Sean Decker, Andrew Kasch, Debi Moore, Buz Wallick, and countless other contributors (many of whom have gone on to filmmaking careers of their own), Dread Central has strived tirelessly to provide objective and all-inclusive coverage of horror cinema and culture in all its forms: from on-set visits to red carpet premieres and everything in between – all with an historic and keen eye on independent cinema.

To subscribe to Dread Central, visit, and for more information visit



HASHTAG: #SaveDreadCentral

Monday, 12 December 2016

Z Nation

I came across this zombie series by accident on Amazon. It is set three years after a virus has destroyed most of humanity, and the character Murphy, an ex-prisoner involuntarily treated with an antidote and the only one to survive zombie bites, is being accompanied to the last remaining Centre for Disease Control so that his antibodies can be tested for a potential cure.

After watching the first season, I've now ordered the second. They are reasonably priced at $10 for Season 1 and $20 for Season 2 (in Canadian funds). The third season is currently airing on television, and the series has been renewed for a fourth season

Why do I enjoy Z Nation? It has an entertaining and irascible collection of characters, as well as interesting story lines. It also doesn't mind poking fun at itself with its sometimes campy dialogue. And the zombies are much faster-moving than the lumbering walkers of The Walking Dead, which makes them even more dangerous.

Now that The Walking Dead has wrapped up its mid-season finale, you might like to check out this series.

I think you'll enjoy it!