The horror genre is, in the main a great genre to be in, and despite what some people think their is a community, or at least lot of little communities out there. These communities are supportive, understanding of the foibles of the people in it, and are always keen to help out those who walk their streets.
However, there are a few people who transcend the communities, people who are the true heart and soul of horror. Mark West is one those people. I have known mark since i first stumbled across the online horror world, and from that first moment I knew he was something special.
Mark is enthusiasm, personified, always positive. deeply supportive of other peoples work, and never asks for anything in return. Both online and in the real world Mark draws people to him, just go to a convention and if you are nervous about meeting a writer, the first thing anyone and I mean anyone will say is "Mark will you introduce Bob to..." and you know what he'll do that. Not because he has more front than Brighton Beach, he'll do it because he is a genuinely good guy. It's a joy to watch.
Ask anyone in the UK horror fiction scene what they think about Mark and you will hear nothing love and high praise, and they will have a huge smile on their face as they talk about him.
Over and above is enthusiasm and love for the genre Mark is also a great writer. A master of the soulful supernatural story, Mark can entrance a reader with stories that carry a powerful emotional punch.
Today is Mark's Birthday, so in honour of the great man we have compiled a list of some of our favourite Mark West books. Read on for some great books and why not use the links at the end to try some of his books and help have a birthday fit for a true gentleman of the genre
You know the songs. They’re etched into every punk’s brain. Not just because they’re catchy, but because there’s something else there. Glenn Danzig’s lyrics evoke intense imagery. Beautiful, dark, monstery imagery. There’s poetry between the whoa-oh-ohs. There are stories in those songs. They just need to be told. Now, underground fiction’s most talented fiends have created a series of tales inspired by the Misfits. In these pages, an astro zombie contemplates the life she left behind as she goes into flesh-ripping battle. A team of organ harvesters shows just how violent the world can be. A wannabe true crime reporter goes on a grisly road trip that takes him a little too close to his subject matter. A mysterious set of skulls pushes a young woman to create a collection of her very own. A teenager from mars excavates the fetid product of his earthly lust. These new twists on the songs you love are sure to surprise, startle, sicken and force you to see this timeless horror punk in a completely different light. Read on to find out why MP Johnson and Sam Richards decided to create an anthology dedicated to the most horror of the horror punk bands The Misfits.
How many of us have wondered what turns a writer into a horror writer, why someone would chose to write dark and disturbing prose? Probably rather a lot of us, emerging author Lucas Pederson enlightens us in a powerful and highly personal tale about his journey into becoming a horror writer with his emotive article Pieces of a Horror Writer...
Visionary horror director Adam Wingard unleashed one of the cinematic surprises of 2016 when his next opus, The Woods turned out to be an utterly terrifying return to the world of the BLAIR WITCH, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 23rd January. As the story of the mythical and as-yet unseen Blair Witch hits the shelves this January, what better time to look back on some of the most terrifying witches to haunt the silver screen to date...
BY GEORGE DANIEL LEA
RPG Maker is the most unlikely tool when it comes to horror video games; originally designed to allow developers to create their own late-era NES/early SNES style role-playing games, it has instead found itself at the heart of a burgeoning and endlessly creative independent horror renaissance that has proved so significant (largely thanks to the exposure provided by YouTube “Let's Players” such as Markpiler et al), it has begun to influence mainstream markets.
Limited by technological restraint, lack of budget and simple time, many RPG horror titles seek to distinguish themselves via clever mechanics or high invention; by dint of their art design, stories or atmosphere. Titles such as Yume Nikki, The Witch's House, Undertale and The Crooked Man have all seen some measure of cult success, Undertale and Yume Nikki in particular courting attention far beyond mere cult or artistic circles; becoming significant titles in their own rights.
The turning point for the modern Mexican horror genre occurred in 1993, when a certain Guillermo Del Toro burst onto the scene with his inventive and brilliantly creepy film Cronos. Del Toro, along with the likes of Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro G Iñárritu, went on to carve out careers in Hollywood, the latter two directing acclaimed Oscar-winning films The Revenant and Gravity, and pushed open the doors for a new wave of young Mexican directors. Cuarón and Iñárritu, no less, have given plaudits We are the Flesh , the extraordinary and unsettling debut film from Emiliano Rocha Minter.
It’s about a young brother and sister in an apocalyptic city, who take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit. Welcoming at first, it soon becomes apparent he is on a curious mission, and lures the pair on a sexually-charged, nightmarish journey into an other-worldy dimension. Minter’s film is intense, erotic, outrageously explicit and deeply disturbing. Here are half a dozen equally weird and wonderful Mexican new wave terrors that have put Mexico at the cutting edge of the horror genre…
WE ARE THE FLESH (18) is released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 13, by Arrow Video
Read our review of We are the Flesh here
BY TOM DEADY
In 1986, Stephen King released his self-proclaimed “final exam” on horror: IT. The story features a recurring evil that visits the small town of Derry, Maine every twenty-seven years. IT preys on people’s fear, especially fear in children, calling it “akin to salting the meat.” The creature is, among other things, a shape-shifter. In many cases, IT appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. King’s Pennywise is one of horror’s greatest and most terrifying villains.
BY GEORGE DANIEL LEA
I'm aware that this is somewhat breaking the theme of previous articles in this series; for the most part, the toy lines I've explored have been notable for ther targetting of child markets, yet consisting of profoundly graphic or horrific subjects.
This particular range was technically never marketed to children, though I will provide some anectdotal evidence that it certainly shared shelf-space with those that were: I recall first coming across these figures as an adolescent-verging-on-teenager, while I was still an enthusiastic collector of the likes of Transformers and various other toy franchises: they began to pop up along with a number of other Todd McFarlane-produced ranges in local toy stores (including the incredible Dragons range), as well as a number of video-game inspired figures aimed at older children and teenage markets.
The “interactive video board game” was a short lived phenomena in the mid to late 1990s. At a time when boardgames were struggling to compete with the burgeoning (but already pervasive) video game market, many turned to incorporating televisual technology as a means of making themselves more relevant to younger audiences.
For the most part, such products consisted of fairly traditional boardgames leant added flare and flavour by a video “host,” who would provide instructions and tasks throughout the game.
Arguably the most significant (and certaily most iconic) examples is the video boardgame, Atmosfear (known as Nightmare outside of Europe, where it was renamed so as not to be confused with the children's TV show, Knightmare).
I'm endlessly fascinated by that work which likely should have struck a chord during the era it occurred, but for reasons outside of my understanding, never did.
The toyline Skeleton Warriors hit toy shelves during the mid to lte 1990s, during an era when boy's toys were highly inventive but also competing with the likes of video games consoles for shelf space and market attention.