Thursday, October 18, 2018

Things I Didn't Finish: The Strange and the Unknown

The Strange and the Unknown
Fate Magazine
Paperback Library, 1965

I grew up devouring unexplained phenomena books from the 60s to 80s - not particularly believing it but wishing it was true, and at least entertained by the reading.  These tales are so dull they probably are true.

We open up with a defensive screed against mainstream science, the corrupt industry that famously makes billions of dollars by not ever discovering anything new.

A book falls off a shelf.  Is it a poltergeist or a banshee?

A man dreams about something other than his wife.  Weeks later he dies.  Explain that, science!

I've become considerably less tolerant of pseudo-science since I stopped being an idiot child, but there's not even enough here to bother scoffing at.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tie-Ins: Blair Witch

I'm a bit lukewarm to the actual films, but I appreciated the expanded mythology around the series from the "documentaries" and website.  There are no straight novelizations, but there are two fictional non-fictional companions written by D.A. Stern:

1999: The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier

2000: Blair Witch: Book of Shadows

D.A. Stern also wrote two tie-in novels about cases in the mythology's past:

2000: The Secret Confession of Rustin Parr

2000: Graveyard Shift

There was a young adult series by Cade Merrill that followed the cousin of the first film's lead:

The Witch's Daughter
The Dark Room
The Drowning Ghost
Blood Nightmare
The Death Card
The Prisoner
The Night Shifters
The Obsession

Sunday, October 14, 2018

TM Gallery: Action Paperbacks

Able Team 36: Final Run by Dick Stivers
Paperback from AbeBooks

Hit 29 by Joey the Hitman
In the fall of 1969, a public execution in an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn earned Joey a mention in the New York Daily News and a twenty-grand payout from the mob. On the surface, his next job seemed just as routine: The bosses suspected their trusted numbers controller, Joe Squillante, was skimming the nightly bets to settle personal debts. Joey gave Squillante two weeks to live.

But there was one problem: Squillante once had a hit out on Joey too. No clueless patsy, #29 was an unpredictable bull’s-eye, and the contract holder was a dangerous mobster with a personal grudge against Joey. Taking the job meant entering into a game of predator and prey as nerve-racking as the cock of a .38 hammer.

From first tail to all-night stakeouts to the intricate planning of the final confrontation, this is the shockingly detailed first-person account of a professional hit. Full of twists, turns, and double crosses, Hit #29 “tells it like it is” and delivers an unforgettable insider’s view of the mob 
Kindle ebook from Amazon

Edge 25: Violence Trail by George Gilman
Edge begins an incredible trip to the Mexican border in a wagon carrying a dying man, his beautiful daughter and angry son. There are just a few obstacles: their path through the wilderness is in a collision course with the Shoshone nation. If warring Indians weren't enough there is one other problem: they’re riding in a wagon containing a fortune in gold. Though well camouflaged it soon lures the violent and greedy from both sides of the border. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Chamber of Horrors

Chamber of Horrors (1966)

A madman forces a priest to complete a wedding ceremony with a corpse, then goes into hiding at a brothel where he orders women to lie very still - more explicit  shades of necrophilia here than the hints in the Poe based film this draws from.

To escape police custody, the madman chops his hand off with a hatchet.  Underwater.  He then seeks revenge, using different deadly accessories on his stump.  Amateur detectives associated with a wax museum investigate.

Originally a pilot film for TV series, it was padded out to be released theatrically.  It has William Castle style gimmicks, such as the Fear Flasher and Horror Horn to warn of impending implied off-screen violence.

TM Gallery: Gruselroman