Posts Tagged ‘Horror

14
Aug
12

this is the end, my only friend

Hi everybody!!

While I’m busy working on the edits of my second novel, I thought it would be cool to let you all know about this book that is coming out in the next couple of weeks. My friend Gary W. Olson is in it (I interviewed him on May 1st 2012) and you might remember I’ve done a review or two for Tim Marquitz over the last year. I’m quite excited about this book. Shhhh! I got a copy already and it kicks ass. Its release date is in a few days (Sept. 1st) and this is the line up of authors and their stories.

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(Introduction is written by Tim Marquitz.)

I started Fading Light with high hopes, but I wasn’t sure what to expect having never orchestrated an anthology before. There was a lot of uncertainty the night before submissions opened. What kind of stories would I get? Would any of the invited authors take me up on the offer to submit? What was I letting myself in for?

Turns out, the process went better than I could ever have imagined. Not only did I receive amazing stories from the vast majority of my invitation authors, I received a ton of great pieces from a wide range of folks from all over the world. Even better still, the stories were all diverse and original, each author taking the anthology prompt and making it their own. I ended up with way more stories than I could accept. Because of this, Angelic Knight Press and I decided to do a companion book so we could say yes a few more times.

In the end, I’m proud to say Fading Light features a number of debut authors alongside a cast of seasoned veterans, all poised to send a chill down your spine. So, dive into the darkness and experience the monstrous.

Tim Marquitz

El Paso, TX

July 5, 2012

Table of Contents:
“Parasitic Embrace” by Adam Millard

A volcano erupts, sending an ominous ash-cloud across the ocean.  The ash-cloud is the least of our worries. Contained within the hellish plume are millions of micro-parasites that have been dormant, waiting to find their host.

“The Equivalence Principle” by Nick Cato

Steve Burke is a man suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia.  He treats himself with a homemade cocktail of natural herbs and over the counter pain killers.  But what he has spent most of his life avoiding becomes real in the ways he’d always feared.

“A Withering of Sorts” by Stephen McQuiggan

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Goldilocks Zone” by Gary W. Olson

Amita has had a trying evening––and it’s just getting started.  People are becoming monsters, buildings are slipping into sludge, gravity is turning optional, and assorted parts of her body are mutating. A voice in her head tries to explain, but somehow, understanding only makes it stranger.

“They Wait Below” by Tom Olbert

The world is near dying. An ecological inspector stationed on a deep sea oil rig suspects something is very wrong with the rig’s crew. His investigation into the mystery leads him to an ancient cosmic evil that has slept for eons, waiting for its chance to return.

“Blessed Be the Shadowchildren” by Malon Edwards

The Sun is dying––mortally wounded by an asshole god and his jealousy. There’s hope (and love) in the slow, dark death promised. Hope hangs on fifteen-year-old Levi and Lali reaching the warm arms of the Bright Lady before a horde of pursuing Biloko devour them––intestines first.

“The Beastly Ninth” by Carl Barker

The Sorcerer Napoleon is free, having escaped from his island prison and returned to France, to begin re-raising Hell. The only man standing in his way is Lord Arthur Wellesley, and this time, the Duke of Wellington has a few tricks of his own.

“Late Night Customer” by David Dalglish

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Rurik’s Frozen Bones” by Jake Elliot

It is Scandinavia, 819AD. The Vikings rule the North Atlantic through both warfare and trade. A beast hunts the cold waters between Sweden and Denmark, a monster unchallenged by the bravest of sailors.

“Wrath” by Lee Mather

Steven hasn’t touched a drink in months and now the time is right to take his son back from his brother’s custody. What he hadn’t counted on was the end of the world. Steven stopped believing in God a long time ago, but seeing is believing––will belief be enough to deter God’s wrath?

“Friends of a Forgotten Man” by Gord Rollo

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Altus” by Georgina Kamsika

The Altus is a free-diving submersible whose helmswoman aims to break depth records. She finds more than she bargained for at the bottom of the sea. Something monstrous lurks in the darkness with her and her submarine.

“Angela’s Garden” by Dorian Dawes

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“The Long Death of Day” by Timothy Baker

For John and the love of his life, a terrifying shadow threatens to tear them apart. The world is at its end, and a blanket of darkness has spread between the Sun and Earth, turning day into deep gloom. With it, something monstrous writhes within the unnatural night, intent on devouring our dying planet.

“Out of the Black” by William Meikle

300-years after the great dimming, the energy resources begin to run out. A man is sent from the underground city to the surface to scout for survival-necessary ore. All he finds is a dead world and a great blackness; a blackness that will not be kept out.

“Degenerates” by DL Seymour

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Dust” by Wayne Ligon

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Der Teufel Sie Wissen” by TSP Sweeney

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Born of Darkness” by Stacey Turner

After clouds block out the sun, Jeb struggles to keep his family safe and his faith intact. With his wife’s unexpected pregnancy and two strangers seeking refuge, things go from bad to worse. How do you tell who follows the path of light when you can no longer see who’s immersed themselves in darkness?

“Lottery” by Gene O’Neill

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Where Coyotes Fear to Tread” by Gef Fox

The world is shrouded in darkness and people have started acting strangely. Only two people can save the world from an ancient evil rising out of the Tennessee River––a ne’er-do-well redneck named Lester and his ex-girlfriend, Carla. Carla might be up for the challenge, but all Lester wants to do is get the hell out of Knoxville.

“The Theophany of Nyx” by Edward M. Erdelac

A fissure opens in the moon’s crust and swallows Earth’s first lunar colony whole, resulting in a thick cloud of dark dust that drifts into our planet’s atmosphere, blotting out the sun. Night falls across the entire world and vegetation begins to die. After eons of exile, something driven from the Earth in its primordial past is at last returning…

“Double Walker” by Henry P. Gravelle

Psychoanalyst, Dr. Maria DOBBS has a new client who believes his shadow has murdered his parents and others. She attempts to decipher whether he is a clever killer feigning insanity, an unwilling victim of an electrical storm jolting his senses, or the victim of a lifestyle placing his emotions in turmoil. Will she discover the truth before it is too late?

“Light Save Us” by Ryan Lawler

It has been months since Ted last saw the Sun. Hideous beasts lurk in the darkness outside the compound, waiting for the lights to fail. Ted works hard to keep the lights running, but the longer he fights, the more inviting the darkness becomes.

“Dark Tide” by Mark Lawrence

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

The following are bonus stories, available only for NOOK and Kindle:

“Roadkill” by CM Saunders

Jimmy and Tito make up one of the freelance ambulance and recovery crews patrolling the notoriously dangerous roads and highways of Brazil. Their job is not to the common man’s taste, but the money is worthy, and they’ve become very good at it. Everything worked great until the night they stumbled across an accident victim who refused to die.

“Torrential” by Regan Campbell

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Night Terrors” by Jonathan Pine

Dr. Mark Jacobs is a well-meaning physician just trying to do his best for his patients. But after a chance encounter, he ends up taking his work home with him in a way he could never imagine. Now he will have to face his own night terrors.

“Final Rights” by Peter Welmerink

The world has been cast into the cold embrace of Nuclear Winter, the Earth withering towards a dreary demise. The once-glorious daylight hours, now a perpetual dusk as the last bastions of humanity hold beneath the brightly-lit, but slowly dying vestiges of the larger cities. On the perimeters of our cloud-cloaked countryside, light succumbs to deep shadow–where a myriad of mutated beasts hungrily await civilization’s light to wink out.

“Evensong” by Alex Marshall

Demons rule the outside––but devils stalk within. These are the hidden halls of Agartha – perhaps the last of Earth’s buried strongholds where, for countless centuries, Morya’s folk have been enslaved. But now, rebel-soul Morya and her lover Seth have a chance to escape the hated Seers; a chance to breathe clean air and see the sun’s fading splendor for themselves…if only they dare…

18
May
12

Absentee Message #2

(I’ve gotten away from Legal Disclaimers — see about author if you are insulted by anything I’ve written.)

 

I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. It isn’t that there hasn’t been anything to write about over the past couple of weeks, it is that I haven’t been feeling very nice. I’m tired of being mean all the time. I’m trying to be a happier fellow — all smiles and stuff.

Being a writer is one thing, but being a respected writer is a real pain in the ass. I hate political correctness. I prefer to be genuine, and at my core, genuine isn’t nice.

I’m rubbing elbows with some fantastically great writers. I shared a cool little conversation with Michael Sullivan the other day, and if I get brave enough, I’ll ask him if he’d like to do an interview. I just got published along-side some up and coming authors like Gary W. Olson, Mark Lawrence, Gene O’Neill, Nick Cato, Lee Mather, and Edward M Erdelac to name a few. I hope to capture a couple interviews with some of them as well. I’ve established an ally with book critic Ryan Lawler. Next week, I’m having  lunch with horror writer Tim Marquitz — I’m reading his fourth in the Demon Squad series and hope to have a review of it posted in the next couple of weeks.

All of the above things are happening because I haven’t been being my typical dick-self.

Anyhow, C-Jane has a big karate tournament in Riverside California on Saturday. I hope to write a post before I head to Texas for an important graduation in Dallas, and then on to meet Mr. Marquitz in El Paso. The next couple weeks should open plenty of awesome opportunities, and maybe I can stay nice about them.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Wrong Way Down by Jake  Elliot

The Wrong Way Down

by Jake Elliot

Giveaway ends June 01, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

01
May
12

Mayday! Mayday! Gary Olson has Taken Over the Shortbus

Gary Olson is one of my fellow published authors at Damnation Books. I’ve followed several of his earlier interviews and knew his answers to my kooky questions would be a great addition to my collection of new and impressive authors.

Seven questions, Mr. Olson—and your chance for Shortbus greatness….

1)  Tell us a little about Brutal Light, is it your debut novel? How would you classify it, what genre? Who is the protagonist? What makes your story so unique? In other words, tell us about your latest book.

Hey, that’s five questions right there!  Two more and I’m done!

Ha.  Anyway, Brutal Light is indeed my first published novel, albeit my fifth or sixth stab at writing one.  It’s been classified as dark fantasy, which is probably the most accurate as far as popular categorizations go, though in the years I was slinging it at various slush piles, I would sometimes push it as a horror novel.  If I was going to shamelessly hype it up for a movie producer, I’d describe it as “Philip K. Dick meets Clive Barker.”  A reviewer described it as my having set myself a difficult challenge, “to depict the kind of interleaved, convoluted, and multi-layered world at which China Mieville is certainly adept.”

The center of the book is Kagami Takeda, a runaway with a connection to the Radiance, a merciless and godlike sea of light.  The connection comes at a cost–anyone who is around her for too long either develops a paranormal ability or, more often, goes insane.  At the novel’s opening, she’s nearly a shut-in, working from an apartment she shares with her lover, a detective named Nick Havelock (who, due to his association with her, developed a finding ability and experiences some rather nasty bloody visions).  But people she’s hurt in the past catch up to her, and she’s forced to run again as they and other parties interested in unlimited power try to take over her body and her mind.

It’s a book that I knew from the start would be difficult to classify.  I was letting my freak flag fly on this one, mixing metaphysics with action and bloody carnage and putting off worrying about how to explain it.  It’s not that I didn’t think it would have an audience–I know there are plenty of readers out there like me who enjoy books like these–it was just a question of finding that audience.  I was very happy it found a home with Damnation Books–a publisher that takes chances attracts readers who take chances.

2) Where did you come up with such an interesting story? What inspired it?

In a way, it was the culmination of a sort of tale I’ve been telling for the past fifteen or so years, in which someone with a great deal of power struggles with the consequences, mental and physical, of having this power.  I went through several iterations of this theme in my writing for the Superguy list in the mid-nineties, and later on in my first attempts at writing a novel.  (Or, in a few versions, a group of people have to deal with someone in their midst who has a great deal of power, who may or may not act in their favor.)  The overall theme of power–its temptations and dangers, and what our response to it says about us–has fascinated me for a long time.

Brutal Light came about after a few years had passed since my last attempt at a novel.  I’d read a striking essay by Arundhati Roy, with one line that stood out in particular: “Respect strength, never power.”  It was one of those moments that crystalized a great deal of vague thought I’d had on the subject.  The conflation of power and strength is a very human impulse, and it gave me a way to approach all this stuff in my head from a new angle.

Everything else accumulated around that idea.  It ended up getting fused to my fascination with memory and how it makes us who we are, a large swath of occult and alchemical studies I’ve read, layman-level works on how the mind works and some of the extreme ways things can go wrong, and so on.

3) Have you any other stories published that you would like to mention? Where can we get our hands on them? What can we expect to see and how soon?

Brutal Light was my first publication in quite a while.  I had three short works published in the late nineties–The Body in Motion, Glass Nails, and Electricity in the Rain–that are no longer available.  I made a revised version of The Body in Motion available for subscribers to my newsletter, and will eventually do the same for Glass Nails.  Electricity in the Rain I’m considering for revision/expansion as a paranormal-genre novella.

I also have a short story, Something You Should Know, set in the Brutal Light universe that’s available for free from Smashwords and BarnesAndNoble.com.  It centers on a homeless woman inadvertently given (by Kagami) the paranormal ability to remove memories–generally horrifying ones–from someone, and also to force these stolen memories on someone else–people she feels deserve the pain.  It’s set a few months before the ‘present day’ action in Brutal Light, though it’s more of a standalone story than a prequel.

4) If you had three words to define yourself, what would they be? Why? You don’t have to answer, remain a mystery if you choose.

Pachycephalic.  Bibliobibuli.  Fabulist.

I love old, forgotten words, though I don’t often use them in my writing.  I would like to see ‘bibliobibuli’ brought back… it means ‘people who read too much,’ to the point they seem ‘drunk on books.’  Hic!

‘Pachycephalic’ means ‘thick-skulled,’ which is self-explanatory (heh).  ‘Fabulist’ means both ‘a composer of fables’ and ‘a liar.’  Of course, when I say I’m a liar, I could be lying…

5) What are some of your favorite books?

Now there’s a question I could go all day answering.  I have trouble keeping up with my list of favorite authors, nevermind favorite books.  But since you ask…

I’m a longtime fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  Of those, Reaper Man and The Wee Free Men are perhaps my favorites (at least today).  They manage the very difficult task of being both uproariously funny and terribly moving, often at the same time.  Of course, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is also a favorite, though it hasn’t aged quite as well.

Frank Herbert’s Dune had a huge influence on me, as did Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illumnatus Trilogy.  William Browning Spencer’s Zod Wallop is a wildly imaginative and fun book with an ending that is as stunning and emotional as any I’ve ever read–there are passages in it that still come to mind at odd moments that make me pause and reflect.  I still have enormous fondness for Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, as dated as they now seem.  Clive Barker’s Imajica opened up major new avenues for my imagination to explore.

On the nonfiction end, books like Stephen Pinker’s How the Mind Works and V.S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms of the Brain have fascinated me through multiple readings.  Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World also rates for how brilliantly it illuminates the trickster archetype and the value of blurring the lines in our heads.

That’s just a sampling.  In general, I don’t reread a lot, as there’s way too much good stuff out there that I still haven’t gotten to.  Any book that can compel me to read it again and again is one I treasure.

6) What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon/show when you were a little kid?

I can recall several of them, all Hanna Barbara ‘classics’ from the seventies.  Laff-a-Lympics was probably my favorite of them all, though I also loved the Road Runner cartoons, Captain Caveman, the Superfriends, Scooby-Doo, and Blue Falcon/Dynomutt.

Some of the Saturday Morning fare I most enjoyed, though, was actually live action: the Shazam/Isis Power Hour, for instance, even though I was too young to appreciate Isis fully (ahem) at the time.  Another gem was Jason of Star Command, a bargain-basement Saturday morning Star Wars knockoff which included the great Sid Haig as the villain Draco.

7) The Nevada State dinosaur is Ichthyosaurus, what is the Michigan State dinosaur? Does this inspire you? How?

It doesn’t appear (from my quick Google search) that Michigan has a State Dinosaur (unless you count Ted Nugent).  The closest we seem to have is a State Fossil… Ted Nugent.  (Ha, just kidding, it’s the Mastodon.)  Can’t say that it inspires me too much, except when I’m around a well-stocked salad bar.  (“I’m gonna rock that salad bar like a mastodon, and impale upon my tusks those who would deprive me of the bacon bits!”)

 

*

Blurb for “Brutal Light”:

All Kagami Takeda wants is to be left alone, so that no one else can be destroyed by the madness she keeps at bay.  Her connection to the Radiance–a merciless and godlike sea of light–has driven her family insane and given her lover strange abilities and terrible visions.  But the occult forces that covet her access to the Radiance are relentless in their pursuit.  Worse, the Radiance itself has created an enemy who can kill her–a fate that would unleash its ravenous power on a defenseless city…

Rhea Cole is also on the run, after murdering her husband with a power she never knew she had–a power given her by a strange girl with a single touch.  Pursued by a grim man unable to dream and a dead soul with a taste for human flesh, she must contend with those who would use her to open the way to the Radiance, and fight a battle that stretches from the streets of Detroit to a forest of terrifying rogue memories.

*

Buy links for “Brutal Light”:

DamnationBooks.com (.mobi, .epub, .pdf, .pdb): http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615725380

Amazon.com (Kindle edition): http://www.amazon.com/Brutal-Light-ebook/dp/B006EVZYIC/

Amazon.com (Print edition): http://www.amazon.com/Brutal-Light-Gary-W-Olson/dp/1615725393/

Links for of all other vendors (continually updated): http://BrutalLight.GaryWOlson.com

Print ISBN (for ordering paperback via bookstore): 978-1-61572-539-7

Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-538-0

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Bio for Gary W. Olson:

Gary W. Olson grew up in Michigan and, despite the weather, stuck around.  In 1991 he graduated from Central Michigan University and went to work as a software engineer.  He loves to read and write stories that transgress the boundaries of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, while examining ideas of identity and its loss in the many forms it can have.

Away from working and writing, Gary enjoys spending time with his wife, their cats, and their mostly reputable family and friends.  His website is at http://www.garywolson.com, and features his blog, A Taste of Strange (http://www.garywolson.com/blog), as well as links to everyplace else he is on the Internet, such as Twitter (http://twitter.com/gwox) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/gary.w.olson.author).

 

27
Apr
12

Horror Writer Greg Chapman Dropped By

Greg is a fabulous writer of horror fiction, and has an ability with illustration that many artists should envy. He’s written a whole slew of published short stories, has two novellas available on Kindle (I’m reading one now), and credit for a few graphic novels. Greg is as professional as a writer can be and I hope success continues to bless him. Thanks for the interview Mr. Chapman.

 

 

1)     I’ve heard nothing but good things about your story, The Noctuary. Is there anything you’d like to say about it?

 

Yeah it has been well received and hopefully people will continue to buy and like it. It’s dark, disturbing and gruesome – aspects I really like in horror fiction. The whole book came about when I wondered where all my ideas come from and I imagined a very dark place, occupied by very dark characters. I guess it’s my idea of a writer’s hell, like a modern Dante’s Inferno. I think with The Noctuary I’ve inadvertently set up a mythology that I’ll definitely revisit in the near future.

2)     You have a second story with Damnation Books named Torment, what would you say about that one? Is there anything else you have published that I don’t know about?

 

Torment was my first ever published novella. The story’s equal parts haunted house and demonic possession, but mainly it’s about a woman who is trying to move on from her tragic past and the accepted fact that her father murdered her mother.

 

As for other things I’ve had published; I’ve had short stories in The Absent Willow Review, Trembles, Eclecticism E-zine, Morpheus Tales’ Christmas Special 2011, and the Frightmares Flash Fiction Anthology. I self-pubbed my short story collection, Midnight Theatre: Tales of Terror in 2011 (Smashwords). My horror comics have appeared in Midnight Echo Magazine and Decay Magazine and I’ve had an illustration in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

 

3)     Tell us a little about graphic novels and your other artistic endeavors.

 

Witch-Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, is a very soon-to-be published graphic novel, written by Bram Stoker Award winning authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton. The GN looks into the history of the witchcraft persecutions in Europe and America, delving into the origins of the craze, the trials and their victims. The book goes through about 400 years of history and would appeal to readers of both history and horror. It will be published by McFarland Publishers sometime between May and July. It’s about 185 pages long and took me about 12-14 months to illustrate, but I loved every minute of it. It’s my first GN and hopefully it won’t be my last.

 

I am a freelance illustrator specializing in comic book illustration. Apart from having a Diploma in Graphic Design, my illustration is self-taught. I only picked up the drawing again in 2009 when I had an opportunity to illustrate a short comic for Midnight Echo Magazine, but I’ve been able to draw since I was about 8 or 9. I like to work with pencil or pen and ink mostly, as I’m not the best with a paint brush.

 

4)     If a reader found this interview and wanted more information, where/how could they find you?

I’ve got a few websites:

Blog: www.darkscrybe.blogspot.com

Art: http://www.wix.com/darkscribe/gregchapman_dark-artisan

Official Torment site – http://www.wix.com/darkscribe/tormentbook

Official site for The Noctuary – http://www.wix.com/darkscribe/thenoctuary
Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/GregChapman.Author?sk=wall
Twitter - http://twitter.com/darkscrybe

  

5) Since it is touted that 2012 is the long-anticipated end of the world, what do you hope to accomplish before our hellish end?

 

I’d like to finish the novel I’m currently working on, tentatively titled The Lowest Deep and I’d at least like to see my first royalty check for Witch Hunts just so I can say “look, a real royalty check”!

 

6) If all the doomsayers are wrong, and it isn’t really the end of the world, how disappointed will you be on Jan. 1st 2013?

 

Well, I hope the doomsayers are wrong to be quite honest as I’ve got a bit more life to live; two daughters to watch grow up, a loving wife to dote on, books to write and draw, so please if we could hold off on Armageddon for a bit longer. Maybe 2112?

 

7) What is next? What can we expect from you in your art and story-telling?

 

I have a new novella Vaudeville coming out from Dark Prints Press and a short story in Bete Noire Magazine in July, the graphic novel obviously and a new horror comic in Midnight Echo Magazine #7 at the end of May, so things are pretty good at the moment. I’m powering through the first draft of the novel and I’ve got a Halloween-themed novella in a notebook somewhere and in between maybe a few drawings here and there.

 

 

8) I’m sure I forgot an important question, what was it? How would you answer it?

 

I guess the most important question is why do I write and draw? It’s like instinct I think. If I don’t write and draw I would be wasting my talents that I got from my ancestors or God or aliens, I don’t know. I’m a daydreamer and one day I hope to earn a proper living from it.

 

Thanks for the interview.

 

 

03
Apr
12

Wiggy Mom has a Knife

C-Jane and I have come to hate the current trash that Hollywood produces as movies. Like everything in this country, the quality is lower but the price is higher. Wasn’t Toby Maguire Spiderman just a few years ago? Do we need Spidey to be re-booted again so soon? WTF – Water for Elephants? Why was this ever made into a movie? Should we ignore Atlas Shrugged? Seriously Mr. Lucas, Star Wars 3-D? You are just being greedy now.

So C-Jane and I, we are retreating. Our first re-treat is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

I borrowed this poster from IMDB.com

Janet Leigh, AKA Jamie Lee Curtis’s mom, plays the role of Marion Carter, and opens the movie with a rather racy make-out scene on a bed with shirtless stud, John Gavin. By today’s standard, it is very PG, but in 1960 – WOW! Marion wears only a bra and slip while making out with her un-married lover Sam, whispering into his ear, “I’ll lick your Stamps.” And I said – “Yay! Talk dirty to me!”

So, in the next scene, Marion is at work and her boss hands her $40k in cash, and says, “Take this to the bank.” And Marion gets all shifty-eyed, and takes the money home with her. She and Sam could start fresh with big bucks like that. Hell, in 1960, that is like one-billion dollars in today’s standards. (More like $150k, but still…)

So, the next morning, she takes off. She drives all over the place – she is going nowhere. Getting tired, she sleeps in the car on the side of the road to be awakened by a cop. All freaked out now, knowing she’d stolen millions ($40k) from her boss, her conscience begins to work her over with a 2×4. The cop thinks she is weird and follows her to a used car lot, where she thinks she’ll give the law the slip and trade cars. It doesn’t work.

This whole car trading scene was pointless. It did nothing for the story except make us chuckle a little. Perhaps its purpose was to show us that Marion wasn’t getting away with anything. With her new car, there is another night of aimless wandering throughout the American maze of highways, but this time, Marion finds an off-the-highway motel.

Introduce Norman, played perfectly by Anthony Perkins. He is the kid next door, suffering for the love of his ill mother, who is a real whip to the ego. Norman, the polite and hospitable, yet slightly creepy host, runs the Bates Motel to support his abusive mother.

Marion is invited to eat sandwiches with Norman. Wise for his age, he preludes that everybody is either going to something, or running from something. He contemplates leaving his mother, but he is bound to her out of love and duty. As a result of their discussion, Marion decides to take the money back to her boss in the morning.

Next comes Hitchcock’s famous shower scene –– you all know the one. In its day, it must have been horribly gruesome. It had to be the most shocking and awful murder in the history of movies. The knife is up, then it plunges down, then repeat, a drop of blood flies across the tiles, a naked Marion screams, no one hears, blood swirls down the drain, Marion grasps and tears the shower curtain down as she falls. Mother’s tied up gray hair is seen as the murderer leaves. Dirty girls shouldn’t tease baby Norman’s desires.

There are a few moments where the camera is on the floor, its eye staring into the dead eye of a wet naked corpse. The shower is the only sound, water splashing against the wall. Enter a shocked Norman, left to clean up the mess his mother made. Sigh, ‘Oh mother, you did it again.’

Such a masterfully built film, it can never be replicated. I know Universal Pictures tried about ten years ago to re-do, but I didn’t waste my time with it. If you have never seen the original picture, you must. It is spectacular, the acting is sometimes a little over the top, but not Anthony Perkins. He hits the role of Norman Bates with such haunted precision, always trying to cover the evil of his own mother. It is a fantastic movie and undisputedly among the best in the history of film.

If you enjoyed this one, let me know. I’ll keep with the idea of this post for future posts.




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