Thursday, May 30, 2019

Author Overview: Pauline Dunn

Pauline Dunn is the name used by two sisters: Dawn Dunn and Pauline Hartzell.  They wrote three horror novels, two of which (Crawling Dark and Demonic Color) were pulled from circulation due to allegations they plagiarized Dean Koontz' Phantoms.  Dawn continued writing short stories under that name through the 90s.

Demonic Color 1990

Flesh Stealer 1990

Crawling Dark 1991

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Movie Myths: The High Hat

When I first saw Miller's Crossing I was impressed by the level of research needed for proper slang, especially vulgarities which wouldn't have made it into period books and films.  A friend of mine clued me in: "They made it all up."

Recently I've run into a couple of places where people claim the Coen Brothers invented the phrase "Giving me the high hat".

High hat as a noun used to describe a snob dates back to 1889.  High hat meaning self important dates back to 1923.  High hatting as a verb dates back to around that time as well.

Even the specific phrase "giving me the high hat" (the usual quote, but which isn't in the scene above) was established slang.  A quick search in gives:

"Or don’t you remember giving me the high hat?" - The Golden Spike aka Reefer Boy by Hal Ellson, 1952

"What’s the idea of your giving me the high hat that way?" - The Sound of the Trumpet by Grace Livingston Hill, 1943

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Vampire Tapes by Arabella Randolphe

The Vampire Tapes
by Arabella Randolphe
1977 Berkley Medallion

I read this Interview With a Vampire knock-off because it had been ranked as one of the worst horror novels of all time.  Unfortunately it's just dull and incompetent, not crazy bat-poop nonsense like Eat Them Alive.

The core story is about a woman fleeing persecution in England becoming a vampire, an elite vampire who can walk in daylight.  This story is told in a series of cassette tapes in a framing story involving a will reading, which itself has a framing story of police investigating a massacre at said reading.

Dull and rambling, it decides to get cute near the end with the vampire hanging out with Bram Stoker and accidentally dispatching Jack the Ripper.  The only highlights were a couple of quick summaries of torture and debauchery with went way over the top for a paragraph or two before settling back down.

Arabella Randolphe is a pseudonym for Jack Younger, which is a pseudonym that's been used by Russ Jones and David Kraft.

Paperback from Amazon

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

TV Obscura: Future Cop / Cops and Robin 1976

Starring Ernest Borgnine and John Amos.

There was a TV movie in 1976, a brief series in 1977, and a failed retitled pilot in 1978 under Cops and Robin.  Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova won a plagiarism lawsuit.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Author Overview: Robert Tralins

For 40 years, Robert Tralins has jumped on every writing bandwagon from sex manuals to techno-thrillers.

50s sleaze
Corporal Glory (1953)

Selling non-fiction
How to be a Power Closer in Selling (1960)
Dynamic Selling (1961)

Science Fiction
The Cosmozoids (1966)
Android Armageddon (1974)

Naked Hills (1961)
Primitive Orgy (1961)
4 Nude Queens (1962)
Hired Nympo (1962)
Jazz Me Baby! (1962) as Karl Kelly
Law of Lust (1962)
Seduction Salon (1962)
Barechested Beauty (1963)
Pleasure was my Business (1963)
Bizarre Cravings (1964)
Squaresville Drag (1965)
Lust Candidate (1967)
Sex Variations in Voyeurism (1967) as Sean O'Shea
Take Me Out in Trade (1967) as Cynthia Sydney
21 Abnormal Sex Cases (1967)
Cairo Madam (1968)
Cuban Madam (1969)
The Sexual Fetish (1969)

The Miss from S.I.S. series
The Miss from S.I.S. (1966)
The Chic Chick Spy (1966)
The Ring-a-ding UFOs (1967)

Valentine Flynn series (as Sean O'Shea)
What A Way To Go! (1966)
Win With Sin (1967)
The Nymph Island Affair (1967)
Invasion Of The Nymphomaniacs (1967)
Operation Boudoir (1967)
The Topless Kitties (1968)

Frankenstein Horror Series
Ghoul Lovers (1972)
Dragon's Teeth (1973) as Keith Miles

Strange Events Beyond Human Understanding (1966)
Clairvoyant Strangers (1968)
Children of the Supernatural (1969)
ESP Forewarning - Astounding Messages From Beyond (1969)
Weird People of the Unknown (1969)
Clairvoyance in Women (1970)
The Hidden Spectre (1970)
Supernatural Strangers (1970)
Clairvoyant Women (1972)
Supernatural Warnings (1974)
Buried Alive (1977)
Psychic Women (1977)
Life After Death: The Usher File (1978)

Black Pirate (1968)
Black Brute aka Black Stud (1969)
Runaway Slave aka Rampage (1969)
Slave King (1970)
Slaves Revenge (1974)
Black Roots (1977)
Panther John (1980)
Chains (1981)

Flight Signals (1990)
Singal: Intruder (1991)
Signal: Blackbird (1992)
Deadshot (1993)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Lawman 1: Creed's Vengeance by Mike Newton

Creed's Vengeance
Lawman 1
by Mike Newton
Carousel, 1981

Not a Piccadilly Western, but faster and just as nasty.  Outlaws rob a bank in a Texas town and escape with the Sheriff Creed's wife held hostage.  They rape and kill her, sending Creed into Mexico on the road to revenge.

The first half of this slim book is pretty much an extended action sequence, and doesn't slow much down after that.  The baddies burn through Mexico, raping and killing as they go, while Creed fights with and against a Mexican lawman.

Short, violent, gory, and mean spirited.  Also currently on Kindle Unlimited, so read up!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Movie Myths: The Black Guy Dies First

I'm not one to fact-check jokes, but I've seen this one making the rounds again, relating to horror movies, and presented as serious social commentary.  A while back I even saw a university study trying to prove the point - it was pretty fundamentally flawed, as it counted how many Black character dies, not in what order.

Thanks to the power of the internet, mainly YouTube and Horrorpedia, this is pretty easy to check.  Of these major horror franchises:

  • Alien
  • Child's Play
  • Friday the 13th
  • Halloween
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The only film to have a Black character to die first is Nightmare on Elm Street 4, and he was a survivor from part 3.  More Black guys are "final girls" than first kills - off the top of my head, Elm Street 3, Chainsaw 3, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, and Child's Play 3.

If there was the same racial distribution as the US population, we'd expect to see around six Black characters die first.  Not that I'm defending horror movie casting decisions - the only thing worse than the undercasting of Black actors is the result when they actually are cast.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Scapegoat by Adam Howe and James Newman

by Adam Howe and James Newman
Honey Badger Press 2018

Four metal heads head out in their motor home to Wrestlemania III in 1987.  They get lost and accidentally rescue a girl with the seven deadly sins cut into her flesh.  They go on the run from an entire rural town that follows an insane Christian cult preacher.

The first half reads like a goofy, if dark, action comedy, but I was pleased to find the real horror elements creeping in for the first half.  This is my first read for both authors, and I intend to get some more.

Kindle ebook from Amazon