Politics and the Artist

I wasn’t going to write this post, but I have been wrestling with its subject for two days now and cannot stop thinking about it. If you’re a writer, you know as well as me, that when you reach this point it’s time to purge.

Like any person out there I have political beliefs that I am passionate about. However, I learned long ago (from Facebook in particular, but also from my parents), that it is often best to keep those beliefs to yourself and maybe a close-knit group of friends.

I am not being pious. I’m as guilty as the next person for having posted political ideologies in the past… especially into the vast void that is Facebook. But I dropped that habit almost ten years ago when I saw the expanding political cesspool that social media was becoming and decided to turn my energy toward more positive things like art… reading and writing in particular.

Continue reading “Politics and the Artist”

Channel Zero

I recently subscribed to SHUDDER because… well, that’s what guys like me do. While browsing their respectable catalog, I came across a show I had never heard of called Channel Zero. I was quickly obsessed.

I was also surprised to discover that the show originally aired on SYFY.  I have never been a fan of the SYFY channel. Most of their shows seemed like filler, low-budget crap to me, with the exception of the rare Battlestar Galactica.

The show was created by Nick Antosca and filmed in Canada, with a mostly unfamiliar cast… a different story told in each 6-episode season, all based on popular Creepypasta tales.

I was skeptical at first, wondering what new SYFY disappointment this would be… but intrigued by the unfamiliar landscapes and cast.

I can’t say too much, not for fear of spoiling, but because this show is so unique and original that to describe it might lead to (cue maniacal laughter)… madness.

The best comparison I come up with—and this applies to pretty much all four seasons–is a similarity to the surreal, beautiful, and disturbing realms of Clive Barker. You know, where you’re in your own world but you turn a corner and suddenly things are askew, not quite right… unsettling.

And like Clive Barker, Antcosca’s vision does not necessarily explain everything down to the final detail. But the level of ambiguity, to me at least, was acceptable given the power of the other elements… the visuals, the cast, and the overall story.

Yes… when others do this it can be annoying. Very annoying. Everyone wants answers.

But Antcosca’s worlds are not too different from dreaming, real yet unreal… and rarely do I seek explanations for the bizarre details of my own slumberland.

Instead of synopsizing the four seasons, I will just give you a title and a picture and let you decide if you’re captivated enough to invest…  





The show was canceled after four short seasons on SYFY. I am hoping that someone will pick it up, perhaps SHUDDER, as the first three seasons are airing there now. Whether that happens or not, I can guarantee I will be looking for Nick Antcosca’s name on future projects. He is a visionary… and his visions are original.

And we all know… originality is hard to come by in the world of entertainment.

If you are not a SHUDDER subscriber, all four seasons of Channel Zero are also available on the SYFY app.


Do you like our show? Want more cool stuff? Help us continue…

Reach out to us…

‘Salem’s Lot… a Lot

I read ‘Salem’s Lot in 1977. It was the first Stephen King book I ever read. I might have sampled some stories in Night Shift prior, but he only had a few titles back then, and it was definitely the first novel of his that I took on. My mother had read it and I became intrigued when I witnessed her shriek and hurl the paperback across the room (I later found out that she was at the part when Marjorie Glick sits up on the morgue table). Thus began my longest affair with any writer ever. 

I’m not sure how many times I have perused the book since. I used to think revisiting novels was a waste of time, but now I do it not only for research into the mechanics but for pure pleasure as well. I’ve compared great horror—novels and film—to comfort food, and ‘Salem’s Lot is no exception. Rereading the book, to me, is like slipping into a favorite recliner, or a warm fireplace on a rainy Autumn day, or having a delicious piece of cake… maybe red velvet.

I’m sure I’ve read the novel at least five times—once for every decade I’ve been alive—maybe more, though it’s difficult to pinpoint the reasons for its magnetism. It was by no means the first book I ever completed. Perhaps it was the first that I ever thoroughly enjoyed. I relish the nostalgia of the small-town setting, in a decade long before technology kept everyone connected. King himself has described the book as Dracula comes to Peyton Place. Maybe its draw is similar to the addiction people have with soap operas, a voyeuristic peek into the secret lives of middle America (or in this case New England).

Several chapters have become nothing short of iconic (some enhanced by Tobe Hooper’s television miniseries of 1979). Who could forget:

Mike Ryerson’s in the open grave of Danny Glick (“Stop staring at me.”).

Danny Glick at Mark Petrie’s window (“Let me in.”).

Ryerson returning to Matt Burke’s bedroom (“You’ll sleep with the dead, teacher.”).

Marjorie Glick sitting up on the morgue table (“Danny, are you there?…”).

And the list goes on. I don’t know why these scenes stay with me. King was young when he wrote them—good, but nowhere near the writer he has matured into. Yet this is the book that immediately comes to my mind when he’s mentioned. It’s magic.

After rereading the novel last month, I decided to watch both television adaptions again—the Tobe Hooper version from 1979, and the 2004 version starring Rob Lowe (skipping the unofficial, un-watchable Cohen sequel, A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987). Neither of these two versions capture the overall magic, but both have their charms. 

Hooper’s Lot does a good job creating the close-knit feel of the community but sacrifices substance for scares by turning Barlow into an unintelligible knockoff of Murnau’s Nosferatu. The Rob Lowe version has an excellent cast (Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, Samantha Mathis, Andre Braugher), exposes more of the darker underbelly of the community, but manages somehow to mangle the story through modernization—as if the writer is saying, the book is great, but I can do better by changing it—a ridiculous Hollywood paradox (territorial pissing is what I call it—a term I borrow from the late, great Kurt Cobain).

Horrible movie adaptions and Stephen King are in most cases synonymous, and when inevitably admonished by a reader that a movie version has “ruined his book,” King simply answers—and I paraphrase:

No, it didn’t. See. There they all are, lined up on the shelf.

And so, as always, I return to the book because the essence remains unchanged within the binding. And with this recent reading—coupling, again, his lush prose with my mind’s eye, I found the answer: 

The magic is in the collaboration.


This piece is reprinted from a previous blog in response to hearing the news of a new adaption by James Wan and Gary Dauberman.

Do you like our show? Want more cool stuff? Help us continue…

Reach out to us…

1979… Memories from the set of THE EVIL DEAD

So, after editing and listening to our podcast episode about The Evil Dead I realized there were some things that I had left out – things I wanted to mention or talk about. (And this after recording for over two hours–Ha!). So, I thought I’d do a follow-up blog with the rest of my notes.

As the podcast said, I was a Fake Shemp on the shoot – working with Sam, Rob, and Bruce, along with my friend Wynn Thompson (notice the spelling) and my girlfriend Barbara. We worked for the last month of shooting not expecting anything other than the opportunity to work on a movie. We were surprised as anyone when we actually saw our names in the credits! (Although, Wynn’s was misspelled. His actual name is Wyndell Thompson, but he is credited as Wendall Thomas).

Continue reading “1979… Memories from the set of THE EVIL DEAD”