#HeyNOTLP Presents: An American Horror Question

Welcome once again to the monthly installment of HeyNOTLP, wherein we gather up a few willing bloggers and ask them all the same horror-related question. Ask your own with the Twitter hashtag #heyNOTLP, preferably in your most flirtatious social media voice.

HeyNOTLP

And now for July’s question:

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Break out the sparklers and bite into a hot dog! It’s Independence Day over in the U.S., leaving us this question to ponder: in your opinion, what film, television show or novel in the horror genre best represents the idea of America?

Andy Hung

Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s final episodes. People from all races, nationalities, sexes, abilities and even species coming together for a common good. It is the idea that the United States is a melting pot that always resonates with me. USA! USA!

Buffy & the Potentials

Emily Intravia

While I imagine every nation has its own image of the girl next door, I’d like to think Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door is a little less universal. The title itself is clearly designed to summon an all-American image we’re all familiar with, an innocent crush on the perfect neighbor. Both Ketchum’s novel and Gregory Wilson’s film adaptation work hard to first capture the universal (or at least, national) fixtures of a childhood summer. Catching bugs, riding bikes, seeing your street from a different view on the annual carnival’s ferris wheel…all part of any suburban kid’s typical July. Of course, this being Jack Ketchum, that small-town nostalgia is quickly soured by the evils of man (and woman)kind, as that perfect girl next door is brutally tortured and degraded inside an otherwise insignificant home in anytown, USA. From the Charles Manson and Elvis obsessed villain of The Lost to the damaged mind of a Vietnam vet in Cover, Ketchum’s work is always… Continue reading

Look Back in Horror: Nightmare Theater

sammyterryIf The Boogens would make me hide behind the couch, there was one show that could coax me back out – Nightmare Theater.

The show started in 1962, well before I was born, when Indiana station WTTV purchased the rights to broadcast the now legendary Shock Theater package. The package consisted of 52 classic horror films, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man, released for TV showings, from Universal Studios. The show aired on Friday nights at 11:00 pm and following the trend started by other stations across the country, featured a horror host that introduced the movies and appeared during commercial breaks. WTTV producer, director, performer, host of the three-hour morning talk show “Coffee With Carter”, and general Jack-of-all-trades Bob Carter was tasked by the station with leading the charge.

The crew scrambled to put a show together over two frantic weeks. They didn’t even have basic promotional images to work with. “We went down to the Indianapolis Library and cut out pictures of the “Wolfman”, “Frankenstein”, and “Dracula” from the movies. The library has some ‘holey’ books there and they aren’t Bibles. I know because we put the holes in them,” Bob recalled.

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Just so they would have something to share with the sponsor footing the bill for the show, Bob recorded a few audio promotions, doing a spooky voice that would later be played over still images. When the sponsor heard these bits, he declared, “That’s the guy I want to introduce my commercials.” He insisted that the station use Bob himself for their regular host of Nightmare Theater. Now the onus was on the small crew to put a live character in front the camera.

During a brainstorming session, Bob came up with the name “Sammy Terry”. “Say… Continue reading

Short Story: “Camp”

Camp

by Jeremy C. Shipp

(originally published in ChiZine and SHEEP AND WOLVES)

My muscles tighten. My teeth clench. My irritable bowel is seriously pissed off.

I’m no good at sitting.

“Hold it together,” my dad tells me. Not physically here, of course, but why would that stop him? Hold it together–that’s easy for him to say. He’s made of steel bars and rivets and bolts. Me, I’m held together with Elmer’s glue and pushpins and chewing gum.

Memories vibrate. They fall and crack open.

A few years ago I shit my pants on this very same two and a half hour bus ride. With liquid crap trickling down my legs, I stumbled toward the bus driver. In tears. In shame.

I begged him to take me home, but he said, “Sit down!”

I told him that I was sick, and he laughed at me and said, “No kidding,” but I won’t shit my pants this time. Even if I do, I’ll handle it. I’m bigger and stronger and smarter than I used to be. My dad made sure of that.

Continue reading