M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monster Movie Madness -- Jared Sandman


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I want to talk a bit about creepy performers. Not the actors like Boris Karloff or Vincent Price who starred in horror and sci-fi movies, rather the local hosts who used to introduce those types of films, usually on Saturdays at midnight. The most recognizable are probably Elvira and Svengoolie. I grew up in northeast Ohio, so our local horror legend was none other than Ghoulardi. The original Ghoulardi rose to prominence in the '60s, well before my time. When I was a kid -- this would've been the early '90s -- I remember Son of Ghoul had taken over those hosting duties. 

Son of Ghoul ran on Channel 23, which our ancient television sometimes received. Often I'd have to venture outside (always worse in winter) to manually turn our aerial antenna this way and that, using all the care of an expert safecracker trying to unlock a bank vault. "Good? No? How 'bout now?" I'd shout to my brother, who stood at the open window and monitored the TV, yelling back occasional instructions like, "You had it. Stop. Go back a bit. No, to the left. Your other left." 

If the gods smiled upon us, the winds blew from the right direction and I hopped on one foot, a faint signal from the Channel 23 TV station might get picked up. But a faint signal was better than none, especially when it came to watching monster movies. 

Son of Ghoul (or a competing duo on the Fox affiliate, Big Chuck & Lil' John) introduced the cheesy movies, as well as performed comedy skits in between commercial breaks. Most of these involved terrible puns ("Welcome back, boils and ghouls . . .") or slapstick, pies in the face and the like. This was sheer genius to the target demographic of such programming: stoners and kids past their bedtime. 

Some of the movies were bad enough to be good; most, sadly, never rose to that distinction. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! Night of the Lepus! Trog! I watched them all with glee, not understanding how awful they truly were. 


 Author Bio: Jared Sandman

Jared Sandman was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1985. He began selling his first stories professionally while in high school and wrote his first novel upon graduation. (That book, BLOOD MONEY, sits in a desk drawer where it will never see the light of day.)

LEVIATHAN was his second attempt at the long form, which he wrote two years later. This was followed up by THE WILD HUNT, DREAMLAND and THE SHADOW WOLVES. His next novel, BLACKSTONE, will be released in 2012. He's currently working on his seventh book.

Jared lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. You can learn more about Jared Sandman at his website and on Twitter and at his blog: Write. Rewrite. Repeat.


In the annals of Hollywood cinema, the name Gregory Kincaid is as synonymous with Jack the Ripper as Bela Lugosi to Dracula. He portrayed the infamous serial murderer in half a dozen films, spanning a five-decade career filled with monster movies and sci-fi schlock. Twenty years ago, weary of celebrity's harsh spotlight, he withdrew from public life, never to be seen again -- until now. 

After a wartime accident seriously injures journalist Jenny Pearce, she turns her attention to reporting entertainment news. More comfortable on the frontlines than the red carpet, she jumps at the opportunity to track down the notoriously reclusive Kincaid. 
The damaged pair forges an unlikely friendship, working together to write the actor's memoir. Except someone doesn't want Kincaid's tell-all all told, somebody who aims to protect secrets best left buried. Fighting for their lives, Kincaid and Pearce are forced to unravel a murder mystery gone unsolved for over seventy years.

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