Ginger Nuts of Horror
Excerpt from Fire & Ash by Joshua Allen Mercier, a dark fantasy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood:
THE cold, autumn gusts ripped across Salem’s port, stirring the angry waters, stirring the angry spectators gathered before the gallows—gallows which had not, until this day, been used since the Trials several years back. Men, women, children—all bore hateful eyes and twisted faces. All bore a deep-seeded fear of the woman before them; they watched and seethed, anger building like fire fed by the winds, waiting for answers, for closure, for justice—for the devil’s death. Constance Archer stared at the sea of faces; she despised all of them, save two—two faces that weren’t supposed to be there. Her daughters, Rhiannon and Rowan, hid in the small grove of trees, but she could still see their watery, green eyes piercing through the shadows, their stares stabbing their fear and pain and confusion into her. They weren’t supposed to see her like this. With the gag still tightly secured about her mouth, however, her muffled pleas for them to leave went unheard. Where was their grandmother? Constance’s fiery locks were drenched with tears. Her heart ached. For them, for herself, for her husband, Jacob. She shouldn’t have let the rage overtake her; she knew that now, now that it was too late. “For the crimes of witchcraft, how do you plea?” Even though the thick rope around her neck made it difficult to escape it—to forget—the reverend’s voice jolted her back to reality. “Not guilty,” Constance replied through the gag, unsure if her plea was understood. “Executioner, please remove the gag from the accused.” The reverend’s statement was cold. They had known each other since they were children, but he was but a stranger now as he stood before her. He was once so compassionate, so caring—what had changed? The executioner approached Constance with apprehension; she soon understood why. Despite the black hood covering his face, his scent—sweet, woody, musky, like freshly-sawn wood mixed with perfume and sweat—immediately revealed his identity: William Black. He removed the gag with haste and stepped across the gallows with a speed she hadn’t witnessed him have in years. How fitting that the town adulterer would be the one to hang her. She wondered who the woman had been, the one whose scent lingered on his clothing and skin. Surely it wasn’t his wife, Catherine. It couldn’t be. She had killed her, in a way, the memory of the act flooding back to her nearly causing her to faint. Seems Catherine and her husband didn’t understand the meaning of marriage; then again, neither did Jacob (apparently). Catching him with Catherine was the most heart-breaking of all. Wyatt Thatcher cleared his throat. “Mrs. Archer—your plea, now that we can hear you.” Constance stared at her old friend, pain and tears welling in her eyes. “Not guilty.” “If not for witchcraft, how do account for the brutal way you murdered Catherine Black? Surely, you were possessed,” countered Reverend Thatcher. “I didn’t murder Catherine Black. As I told you all before, she was attacked by a beast.” She wasn’t lying, but she wasn’t telling the whole truth. The truth wouldn’t save her, and she couldn’t have her daughters hearing it. They weren’t supposed to be here, but calling attention to them now would only make matters worse. “You’re the beast!” a woman’s voice sounded from the throng. “Witch!” said another, followed by her husband’s jibe, “You’re Satan’s whore!” Reverend Thatcher held his hand to the crowd; without a word, they fell silent. It wasn’t their first execution; it probably wouldn’t be their last. His attention turned to the defendant, but his eyes remained downcast, staring at the rough wood of the gallows as if it were the most interesting sight he had ever beheld. Constance knew why Wyatt Thatcher wouldn’t look at her, knew he couldn’t show a hint of weakness or compassion for her lest he be hanged, too, for sympathizing with the Devil. Satan was in Salem Village that day—no doubt about that. But it wasn’t Constance or Reverend Thatcher. The Devil stood in the crowd, reflected in the eyes of every spectator. His hunger bellowed in their calls, their taunts, their glares, and it wouldn’t be satisfied until her limp, lifeless body waved in the autumn winds like a banner for their tainted justice, a flag of their blood-stained victory over evil. Wyatt’s hardness broke, even if for just a second, Constance the only witness to the silent tear soaking its fleshy path across his regretful face. “And please explain to us why you were covered in her blood.” “I’ve told you all this before, Wyatt...” Using the reverend’s first name stirred a wave of gasps from the crowd, forcing her to pause. “I carried Catherine into my house to try to stop her bleeding, to prevent her death.” That was a lie; it was what she wanted everyone to believe, but it had been all for naught. It had only sealed her fate. “And what of your husband’s disappearance?” An icy gust of wind blew through Constance’s locks of red hair; with it, Thatcher’s own coldness returned. “Did you use witchcraft to dispose of his body?” “My husband was attacked, too, his body dragged into the orchard by the beast.” That was a lie, too. She couldn’t tell them the truth—that she had, in a fit of rage after seeing Jacob and Catherine naked in the orchard, cursed her husband’s appetite for flesh. The curse had gone horribly wrong...Praise:
"Brilliant change-up on the new flood of "Fairy Tale Twists". If you're looking for something that can suck you in right away, this book is definitely it. The collection of short stories makes sure you never get bored with the story or writing style." ~Jett Murdock / Amazon reviewAbout the Publisher: The Bearded Scribe Press, LLC is an independent publisher of quality Speculative Fiction. They aim to become a platform for emerging writers to get discovered by the mainstream and inversely, through becoming a staple in the literary community, becoming the source for readers to discover emerging talent in the Speculative Fiction realm.
Watch the [Extended] Book Trailer:
The British filmmakers responsible for the popular horror anthology Bloody Cuts, have conjured up a brand new spine chilling series - The Outer Darkness.
The Outer Darkness is a horror series in the vein of classic anthology shows like 'The Twilight Zone', and 'Tales from the Darkside', with each episode featuring an individual story told by a victim of the supernatural.
'The Outer Darkness - Part 1‘ will be available to view for FREE at 9pm from the 14th of February 2015 at www.theouterdarkness.co.uk and on the Bloody Cuts YouTube channel.
The class of 2015 used to have good heads on their shoulders!
One week prior to their high school graduation, a group of students are given the task of decorating the school gymnasium for the upcoming ceremony. While some are more than happy to help, others aren't too keen with having to give up a Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Principal O'Hara is faced with a budget crisis that may end with the next school year being the private institution's last. Already cutting financial corners by holding the graduation ceremony on school grounds and using her students as slave labor, Mrs. O'Hara weighs the pros and cons of a fiduciary opportunity presented to her that may save the school from closing. Elsewhere, one student, excluded from attending the graduation ceremony, breaks into the school with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc. For the students and faculty of this once-esteemed institution, the worst is yet to come: someone has stolen a ceremonial cap and gown and seems to have access to an arsenal of weaponry, their sole mission to ensure
that the school colors run blood red. Way back when, say the late `90s or the early stages of the 21st century, the IMDb was an unreliable film museum of sorts; even more so than it is today (thankfully, the IMDb has tightened ship, as it were, on user submissions). One such piece of film history that only true die-hards of the slasher movie sub-genre may know about or, even remember, is a little movie called Gory Graduation. Starring Lesleh Donaldson (Curtains, Happy Birthday To Me) and a few other memorable scream queens and kings from the early `80s, a plot description was non-existent as was any crew information. The film languished in obscurity. So obscure was it, actually, that it never really existed. Until now. “I can remember spending years searching for any information on this elusive title, being then as much of a slasher completist as I am today and getting absolutely nowhere,” remarks Joseph Henson, director of Gory Graduation. “I thought to myself, here
is a film, with such a provocative title, that NEEDS to be made.” Of course, through the advent of social media, enough information was finally unearthed to determine the film was nothing more than a fake title, stirred up by someone who, like Henson, probably wanted to make it but never did. The title was eventually removed from the IMDb and that was that. But boy, if you were active during the golden years of the alt.horror newsgroup or the birth of now-infamous horror sites, you remember the stir that was caused by this elusive title that was nothing more than chicanery. Of course, Henson and cohort Nathan Johnson (who co-wrote and co-directed The Night Before Easter with Henson) would promise themselves time and time again they’d eventually make their very own slasher one day (they are two of the biggest fans of the sub-genre possible, even being half of the wildly popular Trans-Atlantic, all-slasher podcast, The Hysteria Continues) even though they knew next to
nothing about actual film making. They finally got their chance to make their own slasher with The Night Before Easter (2014), an exceptionally low-budget effort shot on a Canon T3i with little else in the way of equipment or budget. “The Night Before Easter, as clunky as it is, was a massive learning experience for us. Since wrapping that movie, we've spent hours upon hours, days upon days, and weeks turning into months soaking up knowledge on film making. How to stage scenes, internal camera settings, sound design, lighting, et al. We couldn’t afford to do a lot of things on The Night Before Easter but we plan to take what we've learned from that experience, on top of a (hopefully) much larger budget and go from clunk to spunk, as it were,” notes Henson and Johnson. “We’re proud of The Night Before Easter all things considered,” says Henson, “…but with Gory Graduation, we really want to up the stakes internally and externally – if The Night Before Easter was sub-Roger
Corman, we hope Gory Graduation will be sub-Argento in style, fluidity and consistency.” The plot concerns a graduation ceremony that becomes the stomping grounds for a killer decked out in ceremonial robes. It is, at its core, a no-nonsense slasher film with a massive body count and lots of gore, nudity and, above all, likable characters. "I'd like to think of it as some sort of strange melange of films: the intensity and gore of something like High Tension, the John Waters-esque buffoonery of the fifth Friday The 13th film (A New Beginning) and, say, the "throw twists and see what sticks" nature of Happy Birthday To Me," Henson remarks. "...and of course, lots of blood and ample nudity - sometimes together!" Nathan Johnson remarks, "One thing we take seriously is criticism. The Night Before Easter wasn't a perfect film but it was a lot of fun and I think a lot of the positive feedback we garnered speaks for itself. A lot of filmmakers read their critiques and sulk; we
take that and try to apply it to what we're working on next: in this case, Gory Graduation. It's going to be a lot of fun." Gory Graduation has finished the script and casting process and Henson and Johnson are currently raising a budget to purchase more equipment and to hire a much larger cast/crew, on top of locking down a local high school (with, thankfully, a laid-back principal who has given the go-ahead in determination of budget). “We feel that The Night Before Easter was a trial run, a get your feet wet sort of thing, or a rough draft into something better. I had a rudimentary knowledge of editing and went in knowing little to nothing else. Nathan and I were essentially two guys throwing something together with little money and very few resources, but all things considered, we think we made… Something. With Gory Graduation, we’re going to erase the mistakes we made and triple the stuff that worked,” Henson concludes.
Fundraiser - GORY GRADUATION ON INDIEGOGO
Facebook- GORY GRADUATION
Twitter - GORY GRADUATION
Vacant streets, boarded and lifeless. Nothing stirs for miles around except overgrown plant life, litter and a sharp breeze. A barren, unmaintained reminder of an extinguished era.
The silence is shattered by hollering and crippling screams. A pack of, once upstanding people, brutalize a smaller group, throwing them into the street. The fight is over in minutes as the feral beasts batter the smaller group to submission.
The smaller group is lined together on their knees. They whimper and apologise in vain.
A man approaches the small group’s leader, club in hand. A squelch, hinted with a high pitch ring, breaks the air. The noise is heard again, and again, and again.
The feral pack search through the small groups belongings before leaving their mess behind. Silence returns.
Mankind’s end is near. Survival is an everyday fight.
Northern UK film-makers, Thomas R. Houston and Dane Jones, are set to launch a Kickstarter campaign for their post-apocalyptic, debut feature film, ANATHEMA. If successful, the funds will be used to produce the movie and help bring this dark and brooding story to screen.
ANATHEMA is a taut, post-apocalyptic thriller/coming of age story following a teenager and his sister as they journey across the country, seeking out the rumours of salvation.
Addison must learn that all he used to know is gone and his life depends on adapting to this hostile new world.
ANATHEMA explores the depth of human behavior and survival in the most extreme situations.
With dark overtones and insurmountable pressures, the film tells a tense story about growing up and the choices we are forced to make to continue.
ANATHEMA’s Writer/Director, Thomas R. Houston, is a seasoned film-maker in short format. Many years in the industry as a freelance corporate & music video director have given him the vision & ability to convey fantastic, personal stories on screen.
The film has received interest in the lead roles from talent such as Alex Etel, lead of Danny Boyle’s Millions and The Water Horse, Amber Rose Revah, most notable for The Devil’s Double and the award winning John Lynch, who starred in Sliding Doors, In The Name Of Our Father and many international T.V. dramas.
The purpose of this Kickstarter is to raise £30k for the production of ANATHEMA.
During and upon completion of production we will raise finance via industry sources and tax credits for post-production/distribution.
Links + Contact:
The production team at BBL Entertainment is proud to present the screening of the first official trailer of the upcoming web series Odium: Vindicta at 247 Sky Bar, Indianapolis, Indiana on February 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm.
Saul Harris is a new resident in the idyllic, all American small town of Manesville and with him comes a darkness that will sweep over the unsuspecting community and change it forever. Saul's past is the stuff of nightmares and even though he's been trying to leave it behind, the past has a way of catching up and when it does, the nightmares will be unleashed. But Saul isn't the only one with dark secrets and his actions will cause a ripple effect that brings to light the malevolent things lurking just behind the perfect facade of Manesville's upper echelons.
The upcoming web series Odium aims to re-invent and re-invigorate the indie horror scene. It combines elements of psychological thriller, slasher cinema and Hitchcockian twists in an original story of epic scale. It will follow Saul's journey to deal with his past and his struggle to calm his troubled, damaged mind and find something resembling peace and normalcy. It will explore the disturbing actions and decisions of some of Manesville's prestigious, wealthy inhabitants, as they are being pushed to the edge by the gruesome murders that start to happen and trap the town in fear and panic. It will observe the police investigators, as they are trying to put the pieces together and understand what is happening in their town. And most of all it will draw the audience into a story where things are not what they seem and where the lines between good and evil are always blurred.
The trailer will be the centerpiece of the event “Artistic Impressions.” The purpose of the event is to make the public aware of BBL's artistic endeavors and productions and it will include samples of the work of Indianapolis based paranormal investigators ParaSisters, photographers Vanessa von Rouge and Gary Nelson and Chicago based designer extraordinaire Ramsey J. Prince. Sounds and tunes will be provided for your listening pleasure by local DJ Killa Cam and comedian Thomas McDaniel will MC the event and give guests a sampling of his comedy set. The proceeds of the event will be used to secure funding for the continued production of Odium and to support the local charity “A Giving Tree”. Admission to the event is $10 or guests can bring a non-perishable food item to donate for a reduced admission of $7 ($3 discount).
Screening Date: February 21, 2015
Screening Time: Doors open at 6:00 pm
Screening Location: 247 Sky Bar, 247 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225
Admission: $10 regular, $7 with food donation
This event is open to the public.
Adam Morris moves into a cheap rental property in the suburbs. He's divorced and now only sees his daughter, Jessica, every other weekend. He's a broken man trying to start a new life.
When strange events start to occur in the run-up to Halloween, Adam suspects there's a link to the old, abandoned house next door.
Soon he learns about a dead killer named Katherine Moffat and the terrible things she did to her victims in the cellar. As Adam uncovers more details regarding past events in the house next door, he realizes that he and Jessica might be in real danger.
Before long, he is caught up in a mortal struggle to prevent the lingering influence of 'Little Miss Moffat' from destroying everything he has tried so hard to protect.
This is a story about ghosts, a dead serial killer, and a man struggling to be a good father to his young daughter. This is also a story of pain and pathos, love and hate, abuse, addiction and desire.
It's also the story of Little Miss Moffat and the Radiant Children ....
In May, the final chapter of the story of Pinhead will be revealed, as Clive Barkers latest novel 'The Scarlet Gospels' is released. In anticipation of this seismic event, Kit Power is re-reading the prior stories in the Clive Barker catalogue that deal with the high priest of pain and Harry D'Amour, and sharing his thoughts here.
The stories Kit will be reading are:
The Last Illusion – from Volume 6 of the Books of Blood, the first story to feature Harry D'Amour (and source material for the Lord Of Illusion movie).
Lost Souls – a short story first published in Time Out magazine December 1985, and conveniently now freely available from the man himself here: http://www.clivebarker.com/html/devotion/macab/stories/lost.html – another Harry D'Amour story, featuring his run-ins with 'The Gulfs'
The Hellbound Heart – because DON'T MAKE ME EXPLAIN!!!!
The Great And Secret Show
Yes, we know there's half a ton of movies and a squillion comics, much of which is also at least interesting and in some cases good, but it's been made clear that each medium has it's own distinct cannon and continuity, so as The Scarlet Gospel is prose and written by Clive Barker, we're going to be working on the assumption that the above reading list will serve as adequate preparation for what seems likely to be the horror publishing event of the year.
Kit's write-ups will be spoiler filled and reflective, rather than straight reviews – so dig out your copy of The Books Of Blood Vol 6, and join us back here shortly for a lively discussion and celebration of Clive Barker and the path to The Scarlet Gospels...
Kit's retrospective reviews will be part of a week long special series of articles on Ginger Nuts of Horror. Featuring an extensive set of reviews, interviews and guests posts all in celebration of the decade's most anticipated novel.
The gates to Hell are open and something beckons... The last of Earth's magicians are living in fear. A Cenobite Hell Priest known as Pinhead is killing them off, gorging on their knowledge to enhance his own magical powers as part of a quest to takeover Hell. Meanwhile, Private Investigator Harry D'Amour is fulfilling the final wishes of the dead, who communicate with his business associate, the blind medium Norma Paine. But while investigating one such case, Harry inadvertently opens up a rift between hell and the real world.
When nemesis Pinhead emerges through the portal, a vicious battle ensues. After failing to enlist Harry to pen his Scarlet Gospels, the epistles chronicling the Hell Priest's grand coup, Pinhead captures Norma and Harry realizes he must go through hell - literally - to save her.
The long-anticipated new novel from bestselling author Clive Barker.
Set on the Eastern front in 1944, Soldiers of The Damned follows Major Kurt Fleischer, (Gil Darnell), as a war-weary commander of an elite troop of German soldiers, after he is ordered to escort a female scientist (Miriam Cooke) into a mysterious forest behind enemy lines to retrieve an ancient relic. Mystery and tension grow as his men begin to disappear in strange circumstances Fleischers soon realises that the scientist is part of the Nazis’ occult department and there is something in the forest that is far more deadly than the Russians.
Released digitally by Content Films on 9th February 2015, SyFy presents in association with Plus Entertainment, Hollywood Media Bridge, Twintalk Entertainment and Spooked Productions, Dead Still - a Booth Brothers Film, starring : Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG1), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Jeepers Creepers), Gavin Casalegno (Noah, When The Game Stands Tall) and Elle LaMont (Dusk Till Dawn, Machete Kills).
Welcome back to Hell’s Gates! The palpable sense of dread may seem familiar, but this time things are a bit…different. Fresher. Newer. As though just recently born…
Every darkness has a source, every monster has a birthplace, and every evil has an origin. In the second volume of the #1 Bestselling AT HELL’S GATES series, twenty-three of the finest dark fiction authors working today will force you to witness the ORIGINS OF EVIL. Each unique tale of terror traces an unspeakable horror
back to its very beginning.
The full table of contents is as follows:
Pulse by Mark Tufo
Cookies for the Gentleman by C.T. Phipps
By Any Means Necessary by Evin Ager
History's End by Frank Tayell
A Mother's Nightmare by J. Rudolph
Patient 63 by Stevie Kopas
Tyrannical Ascension by Shana Festa
Ink by James Crawford
The Man with Four Scars by Stephen Kozeniewski
Daddy's Girl by Ian McClellan
Operation Devil Walk by David Mickolas
The Infected by S.G. Lee
Forget Me Never by Sharon Stevenson
Mirage by Sean T. Smith
The Millstone by Lesa Kinney Anders
Genesis by Kit Power
Lockdown by TM Caldwell
Collection Night by Curran Geist
The Cold by Devan Sagliani
A Different Cocktail by Claire C. Riley
A Song to Sing in Babylon by Matthew Baugh & Bobbie Metevier
The Gouger by Paul Mannering
All proceeds from this horror anthology series go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity benefiting military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. The authors and editors of this series are pleased to donate their time and effort to a truly worthy cause.
So sit back, relax, support a fine charity, and enjoy twenty-three tales of dawning calamity from some of horror fiction’s leading lights.