Author Archive

The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Review

Nov 05, 2018 No Comments by

I don’t believe in ghosts, but a few years ago, I regularly woke up feeling somebody standing over me. Bolting up in bed and turning the light on, I would be left with only the lingering image of a face or a shadowy form hanging for a moment in my vision before leaving me alone.  […]

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Rabid Genius: Harlan Ellison Eulogized

Jul 02, 2018 No Comments by

Author Harlan Ellison died in his sleep on June 28th at the age of 84.  I’ve written and deleted that sentence about two-hundred times over the past 48 hours.  I have no idea what to follow it with, because I have no idea how to sum him up.  There’s no clever literary trick to summarize […]

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The Shape of Water Movie Review

Jan 08, 2018 No Comments by

You watch any pre-George Romero horror movie and you know the monster is going to go after the hot blond.  There’s a certain Victorian sensibility to this, the contrast of the innocent maiden with the creature of darkness, though of course the trope was already old when St. George liberated a virgin princess from a […]

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Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories Book Review

Oct 16, 2017 1 Comment by

In Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories, published by Titan Books, Kim Newman once again tears open the toy chest of genre culture and doesn’t pick up after himself, leaving a clutter of in-jokes and obscure references in his wake.  Yeah, Newman’s got his schtick, but so do we all and his is a lot […]

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Dissecting the Socio-Political Brain of GET OUT

Mar 09, 2017 No Comments by

“Wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable, if it was you alone in a room full of black people?” I had never really thought about it when my friend asked.  We were in Cable, Wisconsin for a boxing match, a relentlessly white ski resort town of 836, of whom half must have been packed in the showroom around […]

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Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s Book Review

Nov 02, 2016 No Comments by

Give the Devil his due: he’s been rebooted, retconned, and reimagined for millennia, but we never get sick of him.  To the ancient Hebrews, Ha-Satan (“the Accuser”) was less his own being and more a contrarian part of God’s nature.  In Job, God is essentially arguing with Himself, which makes an already richly fucked-up story […]

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Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Leggedy Beasties XI: Sea Monsters

Aug 16, 2016 No Comments by

There’s a vital distinction between sea monsters and every other kind of monster: Sea monsters scare the living shit out of me, and I’m not ashamed to say it. What’s scarier than looking into the murky water below you and seeing the barnacle-encrusted back of a massive, silhouetted shape cruising within kicking distance of your […]

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Decay Movie Review

Apr 19, 2016 No Comments by

At fourteen or so, I asked my Dad what a necrophile was, to which he replied, “people who make love to the dead.” Retelling this story recently, I mocked what I took for a prim semantic detour around calling a corpse-fucker a corpse-fucker.[1] For Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer, love had nothing to do with […]

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The X-Files Season 10: Just Put Me At Ease, Mr. Carter…

Mar 04, 2016 No Comments by

In high school, when The X-Files was in its original run, I had a friend who was a huge conspiracy buff. He was a devout Christian conservative; I was a more-or-less moderate atheist fascinated by Aztec religion. Between his conviction that the Book of Revelation predicted the rise of the New World Order, my troubling […]

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Krampus Movie Review

Dec 09, 2015 No Comments by

We’re all adults here; can we finally admit that the holidays suck? The stretch of winter darkness from Black Friday to Boxing Day is an unrelenting slog, waist-deep in schmaltz and as warm and tender as day-old vomit.  If I’ve heard one slow, sappy version of “Jingle Bell Rock,” I’ve heard them all.  “Up on […]

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