Category Archives: Movies

1980s Horror Movie Art

A few years ago I took a digital graphic design course. As part of the course, one of the things we had to do was create a board on Pinterest featuring some of our favorite designs, layouts, and typography. I wasn’t sure how well received my board would be, but the teacher loved it. After the course it sat for a while, but eventually I came back to it, and still update it now and then with fresh pins.

There’s something kind of relaxing about just clicking around the Web and saving stuff I like. It’s also a massive waste of time … unless I can share it with others. So, here’s an embed of my Pinterest board “1980s Horror Movie Art.” This embedded board will only load a limited number of images, so you can see even more if you click through to Pinterest and check them out there. I have over 500 pins of great horror art to enjoy.

The Twilight Zone Magazine

The Twilight Zone Magazine published its inaugural issue in April 1981, six years after the death of Rod Serling, who was, of course, the man behind the award-winning series of the same name.  Rod’s wife Carol Serling was at the helm of the magazine as Associate Publisher and Consulting Editor for several years, and T.E.D. Klein served as Editor-in-Chief through August 1985.  Throughout the magazine’s nine-year run, the table of contents represented a “who’s who” of personalities in the horror and suspense field. The first issue featured an interview by Charles Grant with none other than Stephen King; a preview of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York; short stories by Harlan Ellison, Robert Sheckley, George R.R. Martin, Ramsey Campbell, Joyce Carol Oates, and others; plus a Books column by Theodore Sturgeon.

Over the course of its run, the biggest names in the field appeared in the magazine alongside interviews with movie-makers, writers from the original series sharing their experiences, original teleplays by Rod Serling, and assorted ephemera of interest to SF, horror, and suspense fans across the spectrum.  The magazine published the early horror fiction of David Morrell, Alan Ryan, Chet Williamson, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert Crais, Richard Christian Matheson, David J. Schow, Al Sarrantonio, one of the few short stories by Michael McDowell, and the first professionally published stories by John Skipp and Dan Simmons.

The Twilight Zone Magazine began as a monthly magazine, then began publishing every other month in 1983. It ran for a total of 60 issues, wrapping up with a final issue in June 1989.

These scans are compiled with many thanks to the diligent work of the scanners of the Yahoo group Pulpscans. To search for available back issues, click here.

Dennis Wheatley

Dennis WheatleyDennis Wheatley was an English author of thrillers, adventure fiction, occult fiction, crime, and non-fiction. He was one of the most prolific and bestselling authors of his time in the UK, selling millions of copies of his novels from the 1930s through the 1960s. The official Dennis Wheatley website states that “by the time of his death in 1977, it is estimated that Wheatley had sold in excess of fifty million copies of his books worldwide.”

I was introduced to Wheatley’s works through two Hammer horror films, The Devil Rides Out and The Lost Continent. (They also adapted another novel from his Black Magic series, To The Devil — A Daughter, in 1975.) In a scene in the film version of The Lost Continent, one of the passengers on the ship is reading a Wheatley novel, which prompted me to seek out his work.  That led me to my favorite of his novels, The Devil Rides Out, which was originally published in 1934. The book is an enduring classic of the genre — it is truly timeless, as Wheatley pulls no punches; when reading, it is easy to forget the book was written over 80 years ago.  It is a vastly satisfying mix of grand adventure, horror, and the occult.

In the 1960s, Bantam reprinted a handful of Wheatley novels in the U.S. but as far as I know, they did not get far along in the series. Next to my Hutchinson hardcover edition of the The Irish Witch, the Bantam printings are the only Wheatley books I now own, although I once had an opportunity to pick up roughly 40 of his adventure and mystery paperbacks for a reasonable price but turned away (and have regretted it since).  Nonetheless, these Black Magic novels fit nicely in the collection, and are quite satisfying.

I urge readers to search for more information about Dennis Wheatley. The site noted above notes the lamented unavailability of his work in bookstores over the past couple of decades, and points a finger at his unflinching handling of the occult, satanism, sadism toward women, and in particular, his tendency to proclaim the “superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race above all others.” Due to the changes in publishing in recent years, much of his work is back in print, or available in electronic editions. Despite any perceived flaws in personal philosophies that made it into the pages of his stories, he is still an important author and deserves to be remembered for his significant contributions to the genre.

To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

Nightmare on Elm Street Books

In the late 1980s, St. Martin’s Paperbacks published a couple of omnibus Nightmare on Elm Street movie novelizations. The first was a compilation of novelizations of parts 1, 2 and 3.  The second, including parts 4 and 5, was written by Ray Garton under the pseudonym Joseph Locke, which he used to write a number of other young adult horror novels around the same time.

St. Martin’s also published an anthology of original novellas and novelettes edited by the late great Martin H. Greenberg in 1991. The anthology, Freddy Krueger’s Seven Sweetest Dreams, featured stories from Brian Hodge, Tom Elliot, Bentley Little, William Relling, Jr., Philip Nutman, Wayne Allen Sallee, and Nancy A. Collins.

The novelization of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was published in 1994 by TOR, written by David Bergantino.

These books were the early precursors of the popular Black Flame series of A Nightmare on Elm Street novels released by Black Flame in the mid-2000s, all highly collectible.

To browse the list of Nightmare on Elm Street titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright. Please note that Realms of Night has an eBay page with monthly horror auctions. Follow our page and save us as a favorite seller for updates.

Friday the 13th Young Adult Novels

The Friday the 13th franchise seemed inextricably linked to Jason’s immortality; it seemed for a number of years that it would never die. The first and second films in the series, released in 1980 and 1981, were violent and gory with plenty of nudity. The release of Friday the 13th Part 3 (originally released in 3D) carried on the tradition, being the first film in which Jason Voorhees appears with his now-trademark hockey mask. Later films in the series tapered off quite a bit on the gore, nudity, and lost some of the creative flare that made the earlier movies so much fun to watch. Perhaps Hollywood was pressured to tone down the movies, understanding that their primary audience for the films was composed of teens, or maybe they simply did so to milk the franchise for all it was worth without spending much time or money on things like story, special effects, or people who would take their clothes off.  Regardless of the quality of the later films (at least until Jason X, which certainly turned things back up in the violence department), the popularity never waned.

In the mid-1990s, Berkley launched a series of Friday the 13th novels. Four of them were published in 1994, all written by William Pattison under the pen name Eric Morse. They tend to be highly sought-after by collectors in today’s market.

To view a list of the YA Friday the 13th novels available in print and ebook formats, please click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

 

Rest In Peace Wes Craven (1939-2015)

WesCraven_PhotoThe accomplished and revered horror film director Wes Craven passed away Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76 years old.

Craven needs no real introduction to horror movie fans, having created the figure of Freddy Krueger in his 1984 classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which spawned seven sequels, a television show Freddy’s Nightmares which ran for 3 seasons from 1988-1990, and a 2010 remake. Krueger is firmly embedded in American popular culture and remains the most well known of all Craven’s work, but he was also responsible for the successful Scream franchise, and was an early pioneer of the new breed of independent American horror film makers who made their breakthroughs in the early 1970s. His first film, The Last House on the Left remains a tough example of visceral horror in its rawest form, and The Hills Have Eyes took a similar tone on the road to become a horror classic.  Other notable Craven films include The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Deadly Blessing.  He also directed several episodes of the 1980s incarnation of The Twilight Zone. Craven stayed busy, continuing to make films and work on television projects in recent years, and worked extensively in Hollywood in a number of capacities.

Craven passed away surrounded by his family on August 30, 2015 at his home in Los Angeles, California.