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Month: March 2020

Today’s Short Story: Michael Montoure’s “Counting From Ten”

Pseudopod has been good to me over the years. But before I was ever one of their authors, I was one of their listeners, and one of their earlier stories is still one of my favorites. Michael Montoure’s “Counting From Ten” is a pretty direct tale centered around a gruesomely, cruelly injurious series of “accidents” that are, of course, not actually accidents at all.

To an extent, it has a bit of the old EC horror or Golden Age of Radio “supernatural poetic vengeance” vibe going for it, except it has a lot more heart–and therefore heartbreak–than the similarly styled Vault of Horror or The Witch’s Tale stories had. Its secondary protagonist and primary victim, Tommy, isn’t the total bastard that so many Tales From the Crypt villainous agonists were. Yes, he’s brought the misfortune that maims him onto himself, but he’s more of a hapless shlub, albeit a criminal. READ MORE


When you get right down to it, Don’t Knock Twice is a “Stuff Just Happens” type of horror movie.

Why does the Baba Yaga move so efficiently to snatch up one kid on the night that he knocked twice, but takes its time to toy with the other kid for days, even though she knocked on the same night? Well, because in this movie, stuff just happens.

Why does the girl jump to the conclusion that she’s being pursued specifically by the Baba Yaga (complete with bastardized mythology), of all the many malevolent entities that could be coming after her? Well, because stuff just happens. READ MORE

Movie Review: Robert Altman’s IMAGES

I wish every great director would have at least one go at horror, preferably before exiting their best years, but I’d settle for an early or late-stage effort. Robert Altman gained fame and acclaim for movies like M*A*S*H, NashvilleThe Player and Gosford Park. Ensemble satires that sometimes have a dramatic tinge. Not even a cousin to an intimate psychological horror film that dives early and deep into paranoia, simple hallucination and madness.

Altman tried his hand at various types of films, not just the one he won most of his plaudits for. He made a very good neo-noir film in The Long Goodbye, a very different but interesting take on a classic Chandler novel. He made the western McCabe & Mrs. Miller. He made Popeye presumably to get the worst movie and decision he could possibly make out of the way. In summary, he was not afraid to step outside his ostensible comfort zone, even though he brought his usual heavy interest in characters to the genres he ventured into. READ MORE