Welcome back, monster fans! Oh, boy! Have we got a monstrously good list to end out Great Monsters Who Aren’t… feature? (I don’t know. Have you? Ed.)
Er. Yes. We have. We sent the word out on Twitter again and gathered another amazing guest poster to our cause (our pal Art Robinson from New Zealand), as well as many of your favourite regulars and our other good friends too. This time, we wanted to end on a bang (or a roar) and decided to take our feature’s title literally, so this week we bring you…
Great Monsters Who Aren’t…
With Halloween just around the corner, we asked everyone to think of either their favourite monster or the one that really scares them. Maybe it was the one that they used to think was waiting under the bed when they were younger. The one that makes them, to this day, still think twice about switching the light off.
But who to add to the “Aren’t” bit?
Well, obviously Godzilla, because he’s bloody huge and you can’t miss him. Also, any monsters who would fit the bill in any of our last four weeks (Vampires, Ghosts, Witches and Aliens). And then, there is, of course, Frankenstein.
Now you may say “Ah, but Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster,” but one could argue that Victor Frankenstein was the monster. So, therefore, we also ruled out both the man and the monster – and that extends to all humans. None of your “But man is the real monster” whataboutery. We want supernatural entities, demons, titans, evil robots, mutated wildlife, legendary cryptids, the products of science-gone-horribly-wrong and all their slimy, hairy, squidgy, clanking, slithering, wicked ilk. So, for one last time we present to you:
Great Monsters Who Aren’t Frankenstein or Godzilla
(I know we’ve kept these short in the past, but saying as this is the last week of this feature, we decided to let everyone run riot and write as much or as little as they like if they so choose. Ed)
House is a cult classic comedy horror which I’d highly recommend. It’s an inventive and fun 80s romp – directed by Steve ‘Friday the 13th parts II and III’ Miner. It’s high on practical special effects and has a wonderfully gonzo plot. But underneath the slapstick carnage and the many jump scares, there lurks one monster who has stayed with me ever since I saw it… Credited only as ‘SandyWitch’ she is the bloated, decaying pig-faced effigy of the hero Roger’s divorced wife – who Shining-like first manifests as the attractive double of his wife Sandy (Kay Lenz) and seduces him before revealing her horrific true form!?
The scene that still to this day gives me the creeps is when she looms massively behind a door as Roger creeps into a room unaware that ‘she’ is behind him. This still has me checking behind pretty much every door I walk through, especially at night… As one of the most malevolent entities ever to grace a so-called ‘comedy’, SandyWitch took delight in tormenting Roger, mocking him over the “death” of his son and trying to kill him with a shotgun. She does go on to provide some great fun scenes – especially when her dismembered hand escapes in a nice Evil Dead nod and crawls up the back of a kid Roger has to babysit. Leaving the world via a toilet she manages to flick the bird at us all, pure class.
This gruesome creature has achieved something that no other horror film monster has – still slightly freaking me out more than 30 years later.
Medusa (Clash of the Titans)
When anyone says “monsters” I automatically think of the Universal Monsters. Without 1931’s double whammy of ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein’ it’s arguable that the horror genre as we know it today would look very different indeed. But before I sampled those dark delights as a horror hungry young boy, I’d already been introduced to a panoply of monsters thanks to the genius of Ray Harryhausen.
Harryhausen made monsters and he made monsters come to life: the cyclops; murderous skeleton warriors; Gwangi; the beast from 20,000 fathoms…but the one which captured my attention and made my horror-loving heart sing was his rendering of Medusa in ‘Clash of the Titans’. She not only has snakes for hair, but she’s also half-snake herself. She slid and sighed her way through the shadowy mausoleum of a home with the tortured stone forms of previous trespassers to keep her company. Not only that, she was a mean shot with a bow and arrow. So lovingly recreated in stop motion; so brilliantly revealed; surely her entrance is one of the greatest character introductions in all of cinema. When so many monsters are great right up until the point you actually see them, the final reveal of Medusa – after we are allowed increasing glimpses of detail – is actually the magnificent culmination of this monster’s introduction rather than a disappointing “is that it?”.
I was about nine years old when I saw The Beast With Five Fingers (1946). Here was a part of the anatomy that didn’t respect boundaries. That – now despatched from its original host – had no cerebral cortex control. That acted independently and with murderous intent, slithering like a demented crab towards its next victim. And a grand piano. It’s the kind of spook that lodges itself in a young brain and doesn’t let go.
This film would go on to inspire a Doctor Who episode in 1976, The Hand of Fear, which was also the last to feature Sarah Jane Smith in her original run as the Doctor’s Companion. Sarah finds herself holding a severed hand following an explosion and demonic seeming digits that regrow. Uh oh!
As I grew older, it became apparent that the freaky fist brigade was out in force. Oliver Stone’s The Hand (1981) does what it says on the tin, and perhaps beyond in tackling Michael Caine’s two meat and veg. Evil Dead 2 (1987) decides that Ash hasn’t been punished enough for breathing, and possesses his hand, leading to THAT chainsaw scene. There’s the cute (kind of) Thing in Addams Family films of the 90s, which has perfected that sideways scuttle manoeuvre.
Writing this led me to this year’s must-see Halloween movie, Idle Hands (1999), which inexplicably has passed me by. A stoner in possession of a demonic fist must be in want of several friends to annihilate. Awesome, dude!
Michael Myers/The Shape (Halloween)
The original Halloween helped mould the slasher genre into what became the gold standard for 80’s horror. Freddy Kruger, Jason Vorhees, hell, even Pinhead owe something of a debt to Michael Myers. How could all these supernatural monsters owe a debt to a man?
This is where the misunderstanding lies. In the 2007 Rob Zombie remake, Michael is a scarred kid who grows up to be a killer. The 1979 John Carpenter original is the birth of the boogyman!
The idea that pure evil just picked an innocent six-year-old boy to be its puppet is truly terrifying. Throughout the whole movie, he stalks his prey (mainly babysitters) in plain sight. He takes multiple bullets, falls off a balcony and walks away. I could go on and on, he scared me so much as a kid and still does today but I can’t do him justice. Perhaps this monologue will…
“I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes.” – Dr Loomis, Halloween
Vera-Bot (Superman III)
I have a history with seeing film-related stuff, often that maybe I shouldn’t have, that has scared my silly, and haunted me for a long time after. Like the time my parents let me watch Salem’s Lot and to this day I still can’t sleep without curtains. Or the day in the video store when I saw the really quite horrifying posters for Zombie Flesh Eaters and Cannibal Holocaust. On the way home, Ebony & Ivory came on the radio, while I was still fretting about being eaten alive or zombified. Now, whenever that song plays on the radio, I get a horrendous creeping dread. I know many people do just because it’s Ebony & Ivory, but I have the added trauma of it reminding me that the zombies and the cannibals are out there and are probably planning to form an uneasy truce to enact some sort of dastardly revenge scheme against me.
I wrote earlier this month about Ghostbusters and how I thought I was being stalked by a Terror Dog after seeing the film with my family on holiday in Bournemouth. In fact, we were away on holiday again, this time in Boscombe when I saw, in a video shop window, posters for both The Twilight Zone: The Movie (the one with that sodding horrible rabbit thing) and Xtro (The teeth. Oh so many teeth). I didn’t sleep well in our hotel that night.
However, it was during a holiday in West Runton, Norfolk that my parents took my brothers and me to see the third instalment of one of our favourite movie franchises. Superman couldn’t be frightening, could it? Things started well. The introduction of Richard Pryor’s Gus Gorman quickly followed by a Harold Lloyd-esque slapstick routine set the scene for what was surely going to be a fun-filled, high-camp adventure. It got a bit nail-biting when Superman went all grumpy and started flicking peanuts but he soon kicked his own arse and was back saving days and re-leaning The Straightened Tower of Piza. And then he went to fight a computer.
Computers aren’t scary. They’re for playing games with your mates and doing that hilarious thing all kids do when they first learn how to code:
10 PRINT “Paul is ace”
20 GO TO 10
I was hoping to get one for Christmas later that very year – and I did indeed (a rather splendid ZX Spectrum 48K). However, Superman III’s final act almost turned me into a staunch Luddite. It was all fun and (video) games when Ross Webster (Robert Vaughan) and Superman were engaged in high tech duel but then the tone suddenly took a much darker tone (Just to point out, you used the word “tone” twice in that sentence, Ed. Yes, I know, Paul. OK, just making sure you were aware, Ed. Thank you but I’m fine with it, Paul). Superman abandons the mission to find help and Sandra Dickinson’s Lorelei starts begging him not to leave her alone with the evil mainframe. At this point, I became very nervous. Watching it again today I realise this was partly ASMR triggered by the very deep bass tones in the film’s soundtrack. I was already on edge when Vera Webster failed to escape the malevolent machine, being sucked into its metallic innards and transformed into a blank-eyed automaton. Two worlds collided: computers, which I loved, and zombies which I hated – and my tiny mind couldn’t reconcile the two. “Sheer terror” is all I can think of to describe how I felt. I was afraid to move from my seat at the end of the film and I awoke to every noise outside our caravan that night, terrified that Vera-Bot was coming to upgrade me into a mindless techno-slave.
37 years later that scene still makes me shudder even though I’ve long since made my peace with zombies (pop-culture saturation over the last 15 years or so has robbed them of much of their power to frighten) and I now have a career in IT support.
Perhaps getting up to my elbows in wires and circuit boards on a daily basis is my subconscious’s way of providing me with some much-needed immersion therapy…
The Demon Headmaster
Put yourself in the shoes of a young hero encountering their nemesis every weekday, every day of the school calendar. In Gillian Cross’ book series and the 90’s TV programme of the same name, this is Dinah Glass’ reality.
The Headmaster wears a black suit underneath a billowing black cape. He can’t get enough of green, forcing students to wear a uniform that reflects the obsession. His appearance and demeanour feel like an arrogant bellow focused on concreting absolute domination. His evilness is twofold, letting actions speak loudest while he hissssses out commands in languid drawls. Yes, for a monster whose very existence seems to be pinned on satiating his wont, he takes a disconcertingly bored approach like he knows there’s more interesting prey to gobble up elsewhere.
His ultimate plan is to take over the whole planet, hypnotising everyone to follow his commands. The second book in the series is called The Prime Minister’s Brain.
Having re-analysed The Headmaster’s make-up, certain questions must now be asked. Is he a particularly malevolent species of vampire from another galaxy? Is he even alive?
The Headmaster has returned. “Funny you should be so tired…”
Happy ToyZ (Maximum Overdrive)
Ochophobia – an irrational fear of vehicles.
Maximum Overdrive has a premise so thin, it makes Lidl brand Jam look like cement – yet is so captivating, it can only be played off with equal parts horror and equal parts comedy.
The 1986 Stephen King-penned directorial debut features a variety of extra-terrestrially possessed machinery, ranging from killer vending machines to child-friendly (sarcasm) steamrollers – however it’s the Goblin-faced semi-truck Happy ToyZ and a menagerie of large vehicles that we’ll focus on for the benefit of this submission.
What makes Happy ToyZ and ‘friends’ stand out from the crowd is that unlike other possessed automobiles of the horror hall of fame (Christine, the Poltergeist Plymouth Fury and Duel, the demonically driven semi) there is a clear and insidious motivation for spilling blood.
The malicious and intelligent nature of these metal monsters as they prowl, torment and hunt their prey before going in for the kill seems to give them a predatorial quality, particularly through the second half of the film, that really vibes a creepy edge to what is otherwise your day to day long-haul big rig – and that is where their magic lies.
Horror is at its best when it’s not playing off the usual tropes, and the semi-trucks of Maximum Overdrive embody this perfectly. Something so normal and innocuous, but if in the wrong hands becoming the most dangerous and powerful tool, paves the way for a great monster concept.
As a child, I was obsessed with the supernatural. My school library had a small section on real hauntings, ufo’s, and cryptozoology. I would spend hours pouring over books, making notes, and comparing texts. Ghosts were my favorite spooky subject back then. But a very close second was the big man himself – Sasquatch.
Bigfoot, the abominable snowman, yeti, whatever you want to call these creatures, they have made an indelible mark on humanity. Tales of them range across time and cultures while maintaining a surprising amount of consistency. Most ape creature myths go back a few hundred years, while others predate Buddhism. Part of Ol Squatchy’s charm is that it is just the right side of believable but perpetually nascent.
There is always an air of discovery and newness to every claim and story. And even though the evidence is always debunked, it isn’t hard to imagine a rare species of ape-like that existing. On top of that – the big man is a blank canvas – gentle giant or terrifying beast. It’s up to the storyteller.
There is no lack of charm when Bigfoot is seen as a timid beast-like in Harry and the Hendersons. Much like stories of gentle gorillas or benevolent elephants, a creature that has the ability to rip you apart, like Bigfoot, but shows simple and earnest kindness, is endlessly endearing. They are fun stories and can be truly heartwarming.
But they can be downright terrifying. While most Bigfoot movies are downright awful others, like Exists or Wilow Creek, manage to elicit genuine scares. The latter producing one of the most disturbing endings to a horror movie I’ve ever seen. Max Brook’s fantastic novel Devolution also deserves special mention by carefully interviewing research and folklore into an utterly believable and harrowing tale.
And then there are the “true” accounts. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I love the idea of Bigfoot being real, but the evidence isn’t there. Yet that doesn’t stop things like the Patterson footage, or the gripping stories of Ape Canyon from being exciting. The endless Bigfoot documentaries can be just as entertaining.
Anna’s Lover (Possession)
Howard David Ingham
All monsters are really metaphors for something. To say that the creature in Possession – possibly the only film that counts as both “art house” and “video nasty” (look it up, it’s on the list) – is no exception is quite frankly one of the biggest cinematic understatements you can make.
The traumatic horrors of Andrzej Żuławski’s breakup movie are manifold. The raw, screaming collapse of the marriage of Anna (Isabelle Adjani) and Marc (Sam Neill), which dissolves into bloody self-harm, frantic scuffles and a literal car crash; the knife murders; ballerinas tortured to breaking point; a child suicide. And all of this centres on the creature.
Anna keeps her slime-covered demon lover in a run-down flat by the Berlin Wall, feeds it, and has sex with it. Later, in one of the most harrowing flashbacks in horror cinema, we’ll see that she in fact gave birth to the thing in a subway concourse, after a screaming meltdown that has to be seen to be believed. The demon lover, the result of some typically stellar effects work by Carlo Rambaldi (ET, David Lynch’s Dune) is inchoate, tentacled, and Lovecraftian. By the end of the film, it’s Marc’s doppelganger and the harbinger of nuclear apocalypse. It is the end of everything.
Which of course it has to be. Because it’s the end of love.
Killer BOB (Twin Peaks)
I was in my mid-teens when Twin Peaks first hit the screens and it was very cool to say you watched it. We’d sit around in the cloakroom during morning break at school the day after broadcast discussing what last night’s episode meant (hint: none of us knew, but we all pretended that our take on what was going on was the only possible correct interpretation). One thing we all agreed on though was that the show’s kind-of-villain, Killer BOB was absolutely nightmare-inducing. For starters, he spelled the second half of his name entirely with capital letters and to a student of Mrs McClymont’s GCSE English class, that was terrifying.
But what’s even more frightening about him is the mystery. What is he? Who is he? Where did he come from? As with much of David Lynch’s work it is never explicitly handed to you on a plate. Clues to his identity and origin are drip-fed over the entire series until, if you’ve been paying attention, you work out that he’s some kind of Pennywise-esque demon from another dimension, intent on feeding on pain and suffering through the possession of weak and susceptible people. Or is he? You know what teenagers are like – we had all kinds of theories as to what his deal was – most of them actually more upsetting and horrible than the reality. But isn’t that the case with the best and scariest monsters? That they make your imagination run riot and dream up all kinds of nightmare scenarios, usually involving the monster eventually getting you?
And who wanted to end up like poor Laura Palmer? Not me, that’s for sure. BOB is everything you’re afraid of. Remember those old films like Invaders From Mars where the hero kid realises his parents have been replaced or possessed or something and he can’t trust them, but he defeats the main bad guy and his parents return to normal? Well, imagine that except the possessed parent instead catches and kills you, but not before doing unspeakable things. No thanks!
Even the kind-of origin story offered to us by 2017’s follow up series, Twin Peaks: The Return didn’t help alleviate my lingering, now forty-something fears. If anything, knowing what brought BOB into being actually made them worse. So he was unleashed on this world following our insistence on messing about with powerful science we really shouldn’t be messing about with?
Thanks, scientists. Thanks a bunch.
Almost People/Uncanny Valley
While talons, talons, claws and tentacles are some of the ingredients that can be used to create a monster the most unnerving monsters either in film or television are representations of people who are not quite right.
This presentation of non-human humans comes under an aspect of ‘Uncanny Valley’ a phenomenon in which an object’s resemblance human beings appear almost but not entirely real and as such trigger a negative emotive response such as revulsion – and why we can tell in games or indeed films that people are not really there or created by pixels, prosthetics or rendered by a computer processor it’s why for example resurrecting Tarkin and de-ageing Leia didn’t work and our brains when watching it went ‘nope’.
While ‘uncanny valley’ is a concept is usually discussed within the context of computer animation it is underpinned within psychological implications of Jentsch/Freudian and their concept of ‘the uncanny’ (or unheimlich), something that is defined and presented as strangely familiar but outside the realms of comfort or acceptance.
While this notion is apparent within the discipline of the academic study of ‘horror’ and used to great effect in presenting the monstrous this is an occurrence that repeatedly appears within children’s television in which the same notions of the unreal person exists and causes all kinds of kinder-trauma, nightmare fuel or anxiety within the audience
As mentioned this aspect of instilling horror, creepiness and an underpinning of fear via psychology permeates nearly every dark corner of film, but the more specific occurrences of the ‘uncanny’ in children’s television content are on a much smaller scale and personally terrifying intimate level.
A great example of this is the continual presentation of creepy not quite humans in Doctor Who. While some monsters and aliens create perfected human copies with species such as the Zygons cloning humans look to a near-identical level there are those that don’t quite pull it off, the Autons and gangers, for example, show two generations of the uncanny presented – one with faceless plastic dummies for Jon Pertwee while Matt Smith encountered the gangers, malleable and distorted waxy parodies of people.
While the CGI created gangers were creepy it’s the continual encounters and the repetition of faceless people that makes this notion of the uncanny in Doctor Who so fundamentally scary and embeds an intrinsic fear that has literally put the creeps up generations of Doctor Who fans – the Tenth Doctor’s encounter with the Wire for example– a story by Doctor Who superfan Mark Gatiss is heavily influenced by the eerie and uncomfortable faceless men in other similar shows such as Assignment 4 in the equally disturbing Sapphire and Steel (1981).
It is however not just Doctor Who which captures this monstrous presentation of replica and the distortion of ‘real’ human likeness, replication and doubling peppers kids television – there seems to be a trend of a continual stream of un-nerving examples of this within kids TV (especially the television of the ‘Hauntology’ age).
The not-quite-human, or the underlying fear quality associated with replication, doppelgangers or presentations of humans that not quite human I used in the Thin Man from The Boy From Space (1980), the Bunyip in Dot and the Kangaroo (1977) The Ugly Wuglies in The Enchanted Castle (1979), Mr Wilberforce in Under the Mountain (1981) and many more.
While Deep-Fakes are showing we are becoming to overcome ‘Uncanny Valley’ the slight of dogs with human faces from films like Invasion of the Body-Snatchers and plastic or rubber masks hiding or distorting the features of deadly assassins, green spaghetti monsters or black and white masked freedom fighters haunt an entire generation of viewers and are truly some of the scariest monsters ever to appear on screen.
As a New Zealander, I am surrounded by oceans and seas and hemmed in by networks of lakes and rivers. Every summer is just a series of visits to the beach and friend’s lakeside houses (generally small, run-down things we call a ‘bach’ – pronounced ‘batch’) and no one lives more than a few hour’s drive from the coast.
And I am terrified of the sea for one very stupid reason.
We evolved to escape the ocean.
Going back to it puts us at a gross disadvantage. On land, even on the shores of contained waterways, we are the greatest apex predator the planet has ever seen, able to demolish mountains, divert rivers, and defeat fierce lions, tigers and crocodiles with the tools and weapons we have spent millennia perfecting. We have become lazy and content in our superiority, overconfident in our mastery of the Earth.
But take away the cities and towns we cling to for safety, the bows and spears that gave us our first advantages over sabretooth cats and mammoth herds, and most of all, take away the solid ground to brace ourselves on, and we are as defenceless and vulnerable as a shark in a cornfield.
The ocean, so alien to us that we cannot breathe its depth and are yet to map its floor, may as well be the surface of Venus. At its deepest, extreme pressure will crush us, and any attempt at a swift ascent to escape the dark is an invitation to an embolism and the suitable eye exploding scenes aqua horror loves to show us.
It is an enormous place, with whales and titanic squid that dwarf anything still living on the land. No wonder our amphibious ancestors moved further and further away from the sea, eventually becoming tree-dwelling primates. At some point we forgot what it was we were running from, something forgotten before we’d even developed speech. We built cities by the sea, thought ourselves the conquerors of the ocean simply because we could string together some dead trees and float on top of it, but we were literally skimming the surface.
We shouldn’t be surprised when our mining operation on the sides of the Mariana Trench, or secret missile base at the edge of a continental shelf, discovers a previously unknown sea creature. We should be even less surprised when the creature’s curiosity or instinct causes a danger to us, in an environment where a cracked window or dripping pipe can mean imminent death.
However, all too often in aqua horror, we are our own worst enemies, perhaps more than in any other horror genre. The creature in Deep Star Six doesn’t make an in-the-flesh appearance until an hour in the film due to the humans demolishing its home. Almost immediately, the heroic South African base commander is accidentally killed by one of his own. The least likeable character later explosively bleeds from his nose and eyes, ascending to safety too quickly.
The creature in Leviathan isn’t even native to the ocean, instead being the product of a Soviet science project, brought into the film by the looting of dead men by the American aquanauts.
In Underwater, the most recent major aqua horror, the mining company knows of the creature’s existence and nesting grounds and goes ahead with the excavations all the same.
And in Deep Rising, the cruise ship is made vulnerable to the beast, not by the machinations of the beast itself, but by the greed of men; an insurance scam, robbery and murder all in one. The enormous vessel is left dead in the water, with no communications and no engines.
In none of these situations is the creature the invader. It may be invading our hermetically sealed science/mining/military base, but our base invaded them first, harassed them first, released them first.
A quick aside: Despite the major rush of aqua horror in the late 80s, the best film of the genre is by far Deep Rising, released a decade after the boom, in 1998.
Deep Rising is one the most perfect films. It never won an Oscar, yet it is as perfect a film, never mind a horror film about a sea monster, as it gets. It is everything a 90s movie should be: action-packed, clear heroes and villains, witty one-liners, massive explosions and cutting edge combinations of digital and practical special effects. It has a cast of “That Guy”, actors who you see and think “Oh, it’s That Guy”. Having the Kiwi legend Cliff Curtis (lately of Fear the Walking Dead, but a noted player in films such as Blow and Three Kings) in a supporting role may flavour my love of this film, but Wes Studi makes a great villain and Famke Jansen was one of the top, if not only, female action movie stars of her time.
It doesn’t steal from The Abyss, or more importantly, from Alien, a frequent sin of late 80s aqua horror.
So, to return to the main vein of the piece, Deep Rising, one of the finest genre action films of the decade, somehow coalesced in me the idea that the sea beasts were in the right all along. We deserve to be eaten, ripped to shreds, swallowed whole. We are on their turf. The last frontier doesn’t belong to us. They are simply defending themselves from our intrusions. Whether it’s deep sea mining and warfare, or just the sound pollution of cruise ships in the South China Sea, we’re pretty much asking for it.
We shouldn’t be shocked when something from the deepest reaches of the sea, the last unknown place on the planet, strikes back when we invade. They may be intelligent enough to work an airlock, foul enough to squeeze through tubes and ducts to get at us, but it is what they are evolved to be.
We evolved to get out of the water, why the heck are you going back?
And that’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed Great Monsters Who Aren’t…
What next? Perhaps once the festive season kicks in we’ll do Great Santas, or Great Scrooges, or Great Snowmen or Great Jesuses (although that’s probably a better one for Easter). Whatever we decide on, for now, we hope you have a spookily Happy Halloween!
Huge thanks, as always to our good friends who joined us for this piece. Visit their websites! Follow their Twitters! Buy their stuff!
- Art Robinson is a Pakeha New Zealander, living in Hamilton, a city with a massive river through the middle of it. He writes horror and sci-fi for kids of all ages. You can find his story “Big Girls Don’t Cry” in issue 10 of Breach Magazine. Follow Art on Twitter (@ArtRobinson19)
- Matt Adcock is author of the near future nightmare Complete Darkness (as featured in Den of Geek’s Best Books of 2019, and soon to be reviewed here). He is currently working on an audiobook version. Follow Matt on Twitter (@Cleric20).
- Lydia Wist – Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. Her work can be viewed at Cargo Collective and Lydia Wist Creative on Facebook. Follow Lydia on Twitter (@LydiaWist).
- Howard David Ingham is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide To Folk Horror. A follow up on Cult Cinema is due out soon. Follow Howard on Twitter (@HowTheWoodMoves) and visit their website Room 207 Press for more information. Howard will be joining our 80s Movie Challenge tomorrow to look at The Thing. Howard is speaking a the all-day Haloween event, Rural Gothic: Samhain Surprise which promises to be an excellent online event. Get your tickets from The Folklore Podcast.
- Andrew Lyall is the creator of the YouTube channel Grumpy Andrew’s Horror House. His first short story, Crowthorne, was published earlier this month in Local Haunts, a charity anthology written by horror YouTubers, which you can buy here. Follow Andrew on Twitter (@GrumpyAndrew). Andrew will be back in December to talk about one of his favourite Christmas Horror films.