Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Whirlwind that was 2010: My Longest, Most Loquacious Post Yet!

SO another year has come and gone.  See-ya 2010!

This post will not only serve as a fond (?) farewell to the year of 3D extravaganzas and endless remakes, but also as a reference point to recall just what the hell happened here at Fascination with Fear over the last twelve months. And I really have to preface this with one request:  if any of the following links are bad, be kind and let me know, cause there are a mighty many.  Thanks, and you rock.

When I was thinking back to the year that was, I realized this has certainly been a banner year here at FWF.  This upcoming March will mark 4 years of bloggery (is that a word?) but by far 2010 was the most prolific not only for writing but for making awesome new friends in the horror blogosphere and having my writing at least somewhat respected, which of course is just icing on the cake. In fact, it almost makes me want to bust a move like Ed Harris in Creepshow.
Best.  Dance.  Ever.

So anyway, it's been quite a crazy ride this year.  The highlights:

Very late in 2009 I started the 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' feature. No clue where the idea came from, but it's certainly become a mainstay (and the most dependable) part of the blog.  A few weeks ago I hit the year anniversary ~ 52 weeks of gore ~ and thought I might stop doing it, but had a last minute change of heart. 
So, the carnage continues.

Two months out of this year I was either utterly ambitious or out of my ever-lovin' mind.  I am speaking of February, in which I did a month-long tribute to Female Villains in Horror for 'WOMEN IN HORROR' month.  I knew long beforehand what I was going to write about and so was prepared and had most of my posts done before the month started (after all, what the hell else is there to do in January?)  It was still quite an undertaking, but I'm happy with how it turned out, and it seemed like many regular readers dug trying to figure out who was coming up next.  I highlighted such lovelies as Pamela Voorhees, Samara from The Ring, The Woman in Black, Baby Jane, and Psycho's own Mother, just to name a few.  As for this year's WiH....I'm still thinking.  Any ideas?

Months later I found myself knee deep in a month-long blogathon in which I picked out 31 of my favorite horror films and reviewed each one.  Holy 'whatwasIthinking?' Batman! I had to have been sipping a bit too much of the red stuff to think that task wouldn't completely drain me.  And it did.
But at October's end, I'd written a review for every day of the month and am happy to say I lived to tell the tale.  And all of that the same month I started working full time+ at my day job.  Needless to say, November was a slow month at FWF.

Soooo, this has kind of been the year of Argento for me as well.  When I first started the blog I kind of strayed away from posting about both the Italian Hitchcock and the Godfather of Gore (Lucio Fulci).   I couldn't imagine anyone else who would be casually reading the blog would even know who they were. Sure, some had heard of Suspiria, and maybe of Fulci's Zombi or The Gates of Hell due to the pretty DVD covers, but only hard-core fans would know Tenebrae or Don't Torture a Duckling, right?
Wrong. I learned over the last few years that there are indeed, people out there who know who these revered Italian directors are.  And it came to a point when I just simply said fuck it, I'm digging in.
So in early January I had a major Argento fest at my house to brush up on all things Italian so that when I interviewed James Gracey -of the outstanding blog, Behind the Couch -about his book, appropriately named 'Dario Argento', I wouldn't be out of the loop. You can read that interview here (as he is my go-to Argento authority, I highly recommend he be yours as well!) and you can buy that fabulous piece of non-fiction here.
I also wrote a few pieces for The Blood Sprayer about both Argento and Fulci.

Ahh yes, The Blood Sprayer. This brings me to two important people. First off, Kristy Jett.  Waaay back in early 2010 I was introduced to Ms. Jett (thank you BJ-C!) and we simply clicked. In turn, she intro'd me to Wes Allen, who invited me to join the writing staff of his new upstart site, The Blood Sprayer. My first piece for them was an ode to my main man, Norman Bates.  So I have to thank Wes for taking me on, and thank Kristy for being a sweetheart of a friend - loyal, talented, energetic, bodacious, generous....the list goes on.

Kristy also was paramount in my most recent writing coup as well. Thanks to her I met Rebekah of Fangoria fame and she kindly invited me to join the ranks over at, which needless to say is a major dream come true.  After all, I've been religiously reading Fango for the better part of twenty five years!  And while I'm ecstatic to write for the website, I'm also thrilled to mention that the 300th issue of Fango is right around the corner, and I have it on rather good authority that some of my very own words may grace the pages of this landmark issue.  Yay!

And one of the greatest things for me personally this year was being asked to write an article for the outstanding genre small press publication Paracinema magazine.  Hopefully if I'm lucky, my words will be "out there" sometime next year. (Thank you Christine Makepeace.  You (and your other half, Dylan) rock.)
Paracinema is truly one of the best, most well-written magazines you will read, and if you haven't checked it out yet - you need to do so immediately. Their website also kicks ass as well, so don't delay in clicking THIS LINK.

I also had the distinct pleasure to interview Robert Galluzzo, the mastermind behind the fantastic DVD retrospective, The Psycho Legacy. With me being an ultimate all-things-Psycho fan, it was awesome to get some insider info about the release.  In all seriousness, if you haven't seen this DVD yet, do it!  You needn't even get off your couch.  Amazon takes orders right from the comfort of your own home, even if you're in the buff (which incidentally, I don't want to hear about).

Steve Jencks Rocks!
Also in the Psycho vein:  I recently commissioned a one-of-a-kind print/poster of Psycho by the extremely talented Steve Jencks of The Lost Highway.  Put it this way, you need to check out his work - and tell anyone you know what you've seen. I mean, face it - isn't there a favorite horror film of yours that would look awesome done in retro style?  For more evidence of his greatness, click here.

Yay to Women in Horror. The brainchild of Hannah Neurotica (also founder of AxWound Zine), it celebrates just exactly what it says.  Women within the genre.  On that note, congrats to Elizabeth & Brenda Fies for their great work on both the Wicker Man-esque goodie 'The Commune' and Bleedfest Film Festival, and to Jen and Sylvia Soska for their crazy yet too cool flick: Dead Hookers in a Trunk and the upcoming American Mary.  I'm psyched to see what all these women have in store for us in 2011.  I love independent horror, especially produced by such fantastic, true genre-loving women!

I digress... anyway...back to the blog.

As far as the posts that were most popular?  Certainly my most read and most commented on post was at the beginning of 2010, when I posted 'A Decade of Debauchery: My Favorite Films of the 2000's'.  Instead of coming out and naming best this and that, I chose by category, such as 'Favorite Gorefest', 'Favorite Road Horror', and 'Favorite Psychological Horror'.  It was a well received post, and someone out there in cyberpace stuck it on, which got me an unbelievable amount of hits whether I wanted them or not (and of course I do).  Thank goodness it was a post I am actually still pretty much in agreement with.

Also muy popular were posts on re-casting CLUE, a rant I did about Dracula losing to Twilight, my journey from VHS to Netflix, my diatribe about why I don't understand what people love so much about zombies (but in which I sing the praises of the best thing to come along for horror fans in like, forever:  The Walking Dead.),

I also collaborated on a few things with fellow blogger friends.  Here are those results:

*My Top Ten Willy Inducing Moments, an idea brought to fruition by the one and only Andre Dumas of The Horror Digest.   Check out her original post and follow up for all the good stuff here. Lastly, here is my list specifically.

*There's no place like home:  Top Ten Killer Homes I'd Move Into Tomorrow  AND There's No Place Like Home Part 2:  Horror's Most Undesirable Living Spaces - both are the brain child of the prolific and awe-inspiring Unkle Lancifer over at Kindertrauma.  And my thoughts are here (the good) and here (the bad).

*70's Cult Film Project - back in August I became a Midnight Warrior by participating in the compilation of a best-of 70's cult films brought to us by The Mike himself over at From Midnight With Love.  You can see my picks here.  And view the final results of said project here.

Klaus Kinski in 1979's Nosferatu
*I was tagged by Brian Solomon of The Vault of Horror to participate in not just any meme, it was one in which we were to pick a certain theme to post horror film images of.  Mine was of course involving vampires. Behold: The Vampire Bite.

*Also for the VOH, I have been randomly contributing to his feature that he's collaborating on with Brutal As Hell- The Lucky 13.  We are currently in the midst of a second round of favorite films from assigned theme weeks. So check that out here

*Another meme I was invited to share in was Billy Loves Stu's list of pressing questions that asked the questions you were afraid to, such as whether or not Michael Bay is the Antichrist. My answers are here.

One of the few worthwhile remakes this year
* And for my favorite cuz, Zachary Kelley of the smashingly good The Lightning Bug's Lair, I wrote a list of my favorite remakes for his feature: Halloween Top 13:  The Remake.  My picks are at the end of this post.

Random thoughts to close out the year:

*My favorite movie that I saw in the theater this year was Let Me In.

*I also semi-struggled through The Wolfman and Daybreakers, nearly puked while watching The Last Exorcism (and not from disliking it), realized the silly fun of Piranha 3D, enjoyed Splice despite mixed reviews, and put the Saw franchise to bed (yeah, right). 

*Perhaps the most disturbing piece of film I watched:  Aftermath.
Wow. And: Ugh!

*I witnessed The Human Centipede. Meh.

Centurion (2010)
* Bloodiest movie I saw in 2010:  Neil Marshall's Centurion.   OH the blood!

*Biggest suckages and waste of film:  Machined Reborn (or just simply Reborn - either way, it's dreck).  Maybe not quite as bad as Borderline Cult, but close.  Gah!

*I meant to write a review of Giallo, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  

*Legion was ridiculous, The House of the Devil felt like wholesome 80's goodness, and Dread was strangely intriguing.

*Movie I waited the longest for from Netflix and ended up the most disappointed in?  Blood Creek.  WTF?

Frágiles (Spain, 2005)
*I shouldn't have liked Fragile and The Skeptic as much as I did, and should have liked Vinyan and Home Movie far more but absolutely didn't.

*Favorite non-horror film I saw in 2010 with a title that reeked horror?  The Ghost Writer.  Fabulous.

*First movie watched in 2010:  Sauna.  Last movie watched in 2010:  When Harry Met Sally (sorry, it's tradition on New Year's Eve)  Would it help if I said I started JAWS in the opening minutes of 2011?

Frozen (2010)
*Five movies I'm happy to have purchased in 2010:
1) Frozen
2) The Commune
3) Black Sunday (finally got this one after all these years)
4) The Last House on the Left (1972) - because my copy on VHS died
5) Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Ghostly, thought-provoking goodness!
*My five favorite Netflix rentals this year: 

1) The Possession of David O'Reilly
2) The House of the Devil
3) Lake Mungo
4)  Moon
5) The Eclipse

(I have since purchased all but one of these, so that says something!)

 Five "Why the hell did I rent this?" Netflix rentals:
Cabin Fever 2:  Gory? Yup.  Stupid? HELL YES!

1) Lake Dead
2) Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever
3) Skeleton Crew
4) Steel Trap
5) Night of the Demons

*Special Honorary WTF Netflix misfire:  A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 - I think just the irony of the fact that I fell asleep several times while attempting to watch this ought to be enough proof of its suckage.

Best remake:  Let Me In.  While I had serious doubts going in, I was pleasantly surprised at both the quality and the fact that they could recapture the feel of the original so well. 

Favorite film I've seen all year:  Lake Mungo

Best horror experience of 2010:  Hands down, The Walking Dead.  How ironic is it that the best gift of horror is a television show.  But hey, it was done well.  God I love this series!!  Do we really have to wait till next fall?  Say it ain't so!

Trend that simply must die:  3D.  Stop making 3D movies, dammit.  It is completely unnecessary and monotonous.  Purely a way to steal more money out of my wallet, if you ask me.  Die, I say!

Um... yes!
I still effing love True Blood. This year was extra special for me because vampire lover that I am, I nearly switched sides after witnessing new cast member Joe Manganiello as Alcide the werewolf.  Simply fine.  More, please!
I can't wait till Season 4 this summer.  For those of us who've read the novels, we're well aware how the fourth book starts: with Eric Northman running down a back road buck naked. So will HBO take the plunge with full frontal from Alexander Skarsgård?  I've heard he's not at all squeamish about nudity.  Hmm...
So for now, I'm still a fang-banger...but only time will tell.

And in the same vein (pun intended), I'm a big fan of The Vampire Diaries and I am no longer afraid to admit it.  So there!  Hey, it's not like I'm admitting that I watch Dancing with the Stars or Jersey Shore or something.

Sean Bean in HBO's Game of Thrones
Very much looking forward to HBO's Game of Thrones, coming in April 2011.  It's a fantasy series that takes place in medieval times and is based on a series of popular novels by George R.R. Martin.  Starring a fine assemblage of actors such as Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Headley, and Sean Bean, I must say I haven't been as psyched for something since Aragorn smooched Arwen in Minas Tirith.
Love Sean Bean.  Love fantasy.  Yes, please.

More fantasy?  Will this be the year Peter Jackson finally starts production on the long-awaited LOTR prequel, The Hobbit?  I say they better get on the move - Ian McKellen isn't getting any younger, folks.
My only gripe is that I read it will most likely be in 3D. 
Dear God let it end.

Daniel Radcliffe walks the causeway
Movie  I'm most looking forward to in 2011?  (And no, it's not Breaking Dawn!)  Hammer Production's remake of The Woman in Black. Yep, I'm actually dying to see a remake. But the original is one of my all-time faves, so I'm hoping they do it justice.  With Harry Potter on board in the lead role, it's my hope that they can at least semi-simulate the chilling atmosphere from the 1989 UK production. Word at Hammer is that it is set for a mid-August release, so Happy Birthday to me!

Lastly (and aren't you glad??), some thanks go out to in no particular order: (and please remember I have already linked all these people above!)

Andre Dumas and The Horror Digest
James Gracey
The Person You Benefit From Knowing (THE Ms. Jett)
B-Sol & The Vault of Horror
Pax from Billy Loves Stu
BJC of Day of the Woman
Wes Allen & The Blood Sprayer
The Soska Sisters
The Mike & From Midnight, With Love
Zach at The Lightning Bug's Lair
Elizabeth Fies
Hannah Neurotica
Johnny Depp - because I always give thanks for him.
The MGC - because they make my day on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis...

Most of all, thank YOU for reading my drivel.  Without you it really wouldn't matter, would it?

And now I close with my favorite pic of the last year:

Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård
of True Blood


Jen said...

Congrats on an awesome year!! Love your work!

Unknown said...

Yaaaay! honored to be mentioned! <3

Pax Romano said...

What a year you and your blog had! You know that you have one of the best horror blogs out there (don't tell anyone else I said that).

Here's to a rocking 2011 - thanks for the shout out!