Category Archives: Matt’s Countdown to HCF 2017

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – THE BIG DAY IS TOMORROW!

Halloween Comic Fest is tomorrow! We can’t wait to give you some awesome comics and check out your costumes this Saturday! Here is Matt with his final entry in our Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest blog series:

Hello Everyone! Well here we are. It’s been fun sharing all of the things I love with you guys, but all good things must come
to and end. So, as they say,  I’ve saved the best for last!

My final comic selection is master horror writer Junji Ito’s finest work Uzumaki (Spiral).

Uzumaki takes us to Kurozu-cho a coastal town faced with a curse; the shape of a spiral. The image of a spiral haunts citizens and drives them mad with obsession. They will do anything to make themselves closer to the spiral, even to the point of causing bodily harm to themselves. The madness of the spiral spreads and threatens the entire town with its all encompassing madness.

This is by far the creepiest book I’ve ever read in my life. It cements Junji Ito as one of the absolute greatest
minds horror has ever seen. After finishing this book I felt unsettled for days afterward. I have never seen or read anything quite like it.

It’s not a gore fest that grosses you out its a book that plays with you on a psychological level and makes things seem out of place. I cannot recommend this book enough if you want something scary!

Now, to turn away from the page and to the screen. Today’s film recommendation is one of my favorite recent horror movies, it is noneother than 2016’s The Void by writer/directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski. 

Did you enjoy The Thing and have been looking for something to scratch that itch since the 80’s?
Then you will love this movie! It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in years and as a bonus it also has Lovecraftian themes.

The Void  is an impressive film about a cult that’s stalking an injured man. A local sheriff finds the man and takes him to a hospital to tend to his wounds. However, the hospital ends up not to be the safe haven it was intended to be as the cult members finally catch up. Madness begins to spread inside the hospital in the cult members presence and soon all hell breaks loose.

This film looks like it was pulled right out of the 80’s and seems like John Carpenter himself could have been its creator. It uses practical creature effects throughout the entire film which is a style that, sadly, is almost nonexistent now. The Void is currently on Netflix, and I cannot suggest it strongly enough.

Well thanks for reading these posts everyone. The horror genre means a great deal
to me. It’s always been there to help me along in my life and bring me joy . This year I wanted to share that passion with you and I hope you enjoyed yourselves along the way!

If you have any questions about the books or films I’ve written about in this blog series or just want to chat with me about this awesome genre please feel free. I’m (almost) always at the store
and more than willing to chat about what I love. Well thanks again everyone and have a happy Halloween!!!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 2 DAYS TO GO!

Halloween Comic Fest is just two days away! We hope you’re all ready to show off your coolest costumes and get some free comics!
Here is Matt with today’s suggestions:

Hello everyone! Today’s comic recommendation is the vampire masterpiece 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.

You may already be familiar with the premise of this book due to its 2007 film adaptation. Just in case you aren’t though, this story takes place in a small town in Alaska that goes through full month stretches of no daylight. Aka: an all-a-vampire-can-eat buffet! The writing and art work flawlessly together to create a modern day vampire classic.

Today’s film recommendation is House of the Devil from writer/director Ti West.

This slow burning 80’s throwback film follows Samantha, a financially hard-up college student, who decides to take a strange babysitting job to help cover her expenses. She has so many warnings that taking the job is a bad idea, but more and more money thrown into the offer make it almost impossible for her to refuse.

Samantha eventually accepts the job and finds that her task is to watch over an elderly woman for an evening. The evening in question just happens to coincide with a lunar eclipse. As the night goes on, horrific things begin to occur and Samantha finds she may have wanted to negotiate for a life insurance policy before she accepted the job.

This is one of the best occult movies I have ever seen and this film alone cements Ti West as a master of tension building. If you enjoy this one, I strongly suggest you also check out his other film Inkeepers.

Well thanks again everyone. I will be back tomorrow on Halloween Comic Fest Eve for my final recommendations of the season!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 3 DAYS TO GO!

Only 3 days until Halloween Comic Fest! Be sure to stop by this Saturday for free comics and to show off your best Halloween costumes! Matt is helping to get us all in the Halloween Spirit with some comic and movie recommendations. So without further ado, here is Matt with today’s suggestions:

Hello everyone! Wow only 3 entries left? I hope you’ve been enjoying this as much as me.

Today’s comic suggestion is  Providence,  the follow up to Neonomicon, a book that appeared earlier on this very countdownJust like Neonomicon, this book is the work of the brilliant writer Alan Moore and artist Jacen Burrows.

Providence tells a tale of a reporter digging deep into what will be the strangest story he has ever uncovered. Set deeply entrenched in the Cthulhu Mythos , Providence delivers a madness filled tale where each word and image is placed with painstaking perfection. From the horrors that lurk just out of sight to the deep exploration of character provided at the end of each issue in the form of personal letters written by the protagonist, this work demands your attention and is one you will not soon forget.

I know I’m hyping this one up a lot, but I will stand by what I have said. This is the definitive H.P. Lovecraft Comic.

If it is a movie recommendation you are here for, look no further than today’s film The Taking of Deborah Logan by director/writer Adam Robitel and co-writer Gavin Heffernan.

This is one I’ve been handing out for years as my “must see if you want to get super creeped out” movie.

The story follows a documentary crew who are recording a woman’s struggle with living with Alzheimer’s Disease. As the film progresses we start to find out that it may not be Alzeheimer’s Disease that is affecting her. Instead, it may be something for more evil that has this poor woman in its grasp.

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 4 DAYS TO GO!

Only 4 days until Saturday, October 28th when Halloween Comic Fest takes over Fanfare! Which free comics will you choose? Have you made your final choices for your costume? Well, just in case you need some inspiration or you simply want to fully immerse yourself in the Halloween spirit, we have Matt on hand giving us both reading and viewing suggestions right up until the big day. Today’s suggestions both center around that classic trope of family homes where something is awry. Enough from me, your humble editor, take it away Matt:

Hello everyone! Today’s comic recommendation is Locke And Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

If the name Joe Hill sounds familiar but you can’t quite say why, it may be because he is the son of horror legend Stephen King. That said, Hill’s talent is his all his own and he is no slouch at writing horror, be it in the medium of comics or in any one of his numerous novels. 

Locke & Key introduces us all to the Locke family and the mysterious New England mansion known as Keyhouse. Events lead Tyler, Lindsey, and Bode Locke to their family homestead where the mysterious keys they find within the mansion unlock much more than the cellar door.  I’m being very vague here because this is one of my favorite books I have ever read and I don’t want to give away a single thing. The work Hill and Rodriguez do takes elements of Lovecraft and more and weaves a tale you simply must read.

Stop in and check out Locke & Key. We have the entire series of trade paperbacks and you will not be disappointed.

A Halloween Comic Fest Countdown post wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the movies. Today’s pick is the film We are Still Here by writer/director Ted Geoghegan!

This one caught me by surprise when it randomly came across my plate years ago.

We Are Still Here is the story of Paul & Anne Sacchetti who recently suffered the loss of their son and find themselves moving to the country to escape the constant reminders of their loss. Unfortunately for them they had the worst real estate agent ever.

Their new town has a dark secret the neighbors are hiding. A secret that seems to originate from the very house the Sacchetti’s have chosen to call their new home. 

This movie has very very awesome effects, atmosphere and enough buckets of blood
to go around! But don’t be confused, despite the gore, the movie at its core is still a ghost story and not a slasher film!

I hope you all enjoy today’s selections. Be sure to come back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 5 DAYS TO GO!

Halloween Comic Fest is on October 28th…just 5 days away! We’re getting all the cool free comics ready for you and we are super excited to see what costumes you’ve all thought up. That said, if you still need some Halloween inspiration, Matt is here with today’s comic and movie recommendations for his Countdown To Halloween Comic Fest! Take it away Matt:

The comic selection for today is none other than American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque (one of my all-time favorite artists).

The series follows a new breed of vampire that now lives in America with a narrative that spans generations rather than focusing on just one specific time frame. In American Vampire you could be reading a story set in 1920’s LA or one that explores the history of these vampires during the time of the Old West. 

The first volume is definitely my favorite in the series and it happens to feature a story written by none other than Stephen King himself! Albuquerque breathes life into these undead characters with a style you simply need to see to believe. His use of deep blacks and masterful brushwork make this a vampire story you’ll want to sink your teeth into! [Nailed that vampire joke -ed]

Once you’ve caught your breath from reading American Vampire you can kick back on the couch and check out today’s film recommendation It Follows by writer/director David Robert Mitchell.

You may have heard about this film recently as it is relatively new (2014) and it stands out among the less than stellar entries in the horror genre from the last couple of years.

This film centers on a ghost. A ghost who targets a specific individual and will constantly, slowly, follow and hunt that person until it finally gets them or they do something to pass the haunting onto another person. 

The movie is definitely an original and welcomed entry into the horror genre. The cinematography is fantastic and feels like its plucked right out of the 80’s. I’m looking forward to seeing what David Robert Mitchell comes up with next.

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 6 DAYS TO GO!

Welcome back to Matt’s Halloween Comic Fest Countdown!  From now until HCF (Saturday, October 28th), Matt will be sharing some of his favorite horror comics and horror movies with us all. Let’s see what he has in store for today:

Hello everyone! Today’s comic selection is Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook. 

This book follows the story of a young farm girl named Emmy who, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, finds something out about herself that will change her world forever. This life-changing epiphany? She may just be a reincarnated witch who used to terrorize Harrow County. Born from a cursed tree, the town decided to let Emmy live and grow and destroy her only if there were signs of abnormality. The bad news is that things have not been quite right with Emmy lately. 

Faced with a very different role in the world than she formerly held, she befriends a haint (which you have to see to believe) and starts to learn about her own past. The question remains is whether or not she will embrace a dark past she no longer remembers, or will she forge her own path?

This one comes from master writer Cullen Bunn, and in my opinion is one of his best works.

Now, let’s escape from reclusive Harrow County, into the city to take in a movie. A horror movie that is! Oh, and what film will we watch today? None other than the classic Fright Night!

What good is a list of top horror movies without a vampire movie?  

Fright Night introduces us to Charley Brewster, a teen who has an odd new neighbor; one who doesn’t seem to come out at all during the day. Charley’s curiosity gets the better of him and one night while he is spying on the odd house next door, he sees his neighbor burying a body! This is just the start of a series of events that leads to a tailspin of vampire film perfection. 

This movie is fun, has a great soundtrack, good practical effects, and is just creepy enough to keep itself firmly locked into the horror genre. Not to mention it has one of the most iconic horror film posters ever (as you can see above).

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

 

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 7 DAYS TO GO!

Welcome back to Matt’s Halloween Comic Fest Countdown!  From now until HCF (Saturday, October 28th), Matt will be sharing some of his favorite horror comics and horror movies with us all. Let’s see what he has in store for today:

Hello everyone! Today’s book selection is another work from horror master Junji Ito entitled Fragments of Horror

This compilation of short stories has some of Ito’s best work. My two favorite entries in this collection are Dissection Girl and The Haunting at Wood Manor. Ito has a way of playing with your nerves and making you feel completely unsettled when taking in his pages that is unrivaled among his peers. This is an absolute must have for your collection.

Now, it is time to head off to the movies with today’s film recommendation.

Today’s choice is the movie Shutter, not the terrible American remake, but the original 2004 film by Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom. 

This film follows a group of people who are haunted by a ghost that is only visible in the photographs
they take. Ever look at a photo and notice something you never did before? Well imagine ghostly images haunting your memories that you’ve captured and then intensifying until they invade your actual world.

This film has some of the creepiest scenes in film and a terrifying ending that you will never forget!

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST – 8 DAYS TO GO!

Welcome back to Matt’s Halloween Comic Fest Countdown!  From now until HCF (Saturday, October 28th), Matt will be sharing some of his favorite horror comics and horror movies with us all. Let’s see what he has in store for today:

Hello everyone! Today’s book recommendation is Wormwood: The Gentleman Corpse by one of my all-time favorite artists/creators Ben Templesmith!

Wormwood follows the story of a Trans-dimensional God who can control a dead body by burrowing into the host’s head. He’s a snazzy dressing, earth saving old god we can all love.   Templesmith’s art isn’t something you want to miss. He is as unique as they come.

If this sounds like a book for you, we currently have both Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse Omnibus and the new one-shot Wormwood Goes to Washington in stock now!

Now that we have you all set with a good book, how about we turn to the world of film?

You may have noticed that that the movies I’ve been recommending aren’t the big mainstream movies that everyone knows. That said, no Halloween list is complete without at least one Nightmare on Elm Street movie.

My personal favorite from the franchise is Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors  I feel the series really knew what it wanted to be during the development of this film and leaned into it.

The movie follows a group of kids who cant sleep who are living in a psychiatric hospital, insert Freddy Krueger here and you have the makings for a awesome movie! Nancy Callahan returns from the first film as the star once again and Freddy’s antics, one liners and kills are the best the series has to offer.

Welcome to the Prime Time!!!

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest – 9 Days to Go!

Welcome back to Matt’s Halloween Comic Fest Countdown!  From now until HCF (Saturday, October 28th), Matt will be sharing some of his favorite horror comics and horror movies with us all. Let’s see what he has in store for today, take it away Matt:

Today’s selection is a story by one of my favorite creative teams, Brian Azarello and Eduardo Risso, entitled Moonshine!

Moonshine takes place during the Prohibition era and follows a crime family’s top gun in the midst of smuggling back the best hooch NYC has ever seen. While acquiring the contraband from a clan of hillbillies the unexpected happens when werewolves show up to make
things interesting. If you like a good werewolf story or are a fan of this team’s work on 100 Bullets this is one you cant
miss!

With the book recommendation done, it is time to go to the movies with today’s film recommendation Beyond The Gates!

Did you grow up in the 80s? Do you remember VHS interactive board games? Then this may be a treat for you.

This story follows two brothers. Their father is missing and presumed dead and it is now up to them to get all of his affairs in order. One major task they face is boxing up their father’s Video Rental store where they stumble across an eerie VHS board game. The game quickly becomes all too real…but not in the fun Jumanji kind of way

Beyond the Gates came out last year and I decided to take a chance and check it out on Netflix. I was not disappointed. It is low budget, but nonetheless it delivers with an original concept and good atmosphere which seems harder and harder to come by these days within the genre.,.and wow, what a theme song.

Well I hope you enjoy these recommendations.  Thanks for checking this out and be sure to come back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest – 10 Days to Go!

Hello everyone! Today’s selection is a series of stories from Horror master Junji Ito entitled Tomie.

Tomie follows different characters and their interactions with a girl who seems normal at first but is definitely not someone you would want to meet. She has the ability to drive men to such extreme levels of desire that they will hurt others or even her. Not that it matters much to her since Tomie always has a very eerie way of putting herself back together for another story.

Probably one of Ito’s less flashy entries but not one to miss!

Today’s movie recommendation is The Monster Squad!

Ready for some fun? Ready to stop the universal monster crew from destroying everything? Well these kids definitely are!

Monster Squad follows a group of kids who love horror movies, hanging out in one of the coolest tree houses I’ve ever seen, and maybe fighting monsters on the side.

Dracula has returned and is resurrecting all the monsters to help him rule the world. But not if this squad has anything
to say about it! It’s good lighthearted fun but with a cool classic 80’s horror vibe. Frankenstein is particularly great in the film as well.

And of course, you can’t have a halloween mix without including the Monster Squad Rap Song. Definitely worth a watch. Enjoy and check back tomorrow for more spooky goodness!