Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It may not be Tuesday, the day I typically break out my Top 10 lists, but I figured this day would be a fine occasion to list some of the things for which I am thankful at this time of year. So have a seat, loosen up your belt, shake yourself out of that turkey coma, and read on!
Practical Blood: If I never saw another CGI "squib" again, it would be too soon. There's nothing that takes you out of a horror flick like a splash of blood that looks like something out of Call of Duty. I realize it's cheaper to go the computer route, but come on, people--blood is one of the main reasons many of us watch horror in the first place. Let's make it look good, OK?
Boris Karloff: Why? Do you really need a reason? The big guy just celebrated another birthday in horror heaven, and the legacy of classics that he left behind continues to warm my heart. A sorely underrated actor, Karloff was a treasure and a joy to watch on screen, always. The anniversary of his birth is a convenient reminder of the greatness he lent to the genre we love.
The End of Friday the 13th: My loathing of this ever-popular series has been harped upon ad nauseum. But let me just say, that it gives me great pleasure to realize that after all these years, after countless sequels, and even a remake that was among the most odious in recent years, the seemingly deathless Jason franchise seems at last to have run out of steam. Platinum Dunes pulling the plug on the latest installment would seem to indicate that, anyway. Here's hoping we've seen the last of that machete-wielding bore.
The Walking Dead: Finally, a zombie TV series, and boy is it ever worth the wait. Having been a fan of the early issues of the comic book series, it's been wonderful watching it all play out on television, in blood-drenched living color. Speaking of which, kudos to AMC for not holding back on the good stuff. Just when you thought the zombie craze was over, along comes this excellent piece of boob tube drama.
Film Festivals: Is it just me, or does it seem like the sheer number of horror-related festivals seems to be growing? With the Hudson Horror Show, Horrible Imaginings, Bleedfest, and so many more, this is a great time to be a fan of quality horror on the big screen.
Ingrid Pitt: The first lady of Hammer horror passed away on Tuesday at the age 73, leaving behind an unforgettable legacy and legions of adoring fans. In a male-dominated genre, the standout female talent is unfortunately few and far between, but Ms. Pitt was one of the shining exceptions. From Countess Dracula to The Wicker Man, her body of work is just as impressive as she was beautiful.
Ghostbusters 3: After years of back and forth--will it happen? will it not?--we finally have the answer that yes, indeed, the boys in gray will be coming back for a third chapter very soon. Or more accurately, the old men in gray, as sources indicate a new generation of 'busters will be taking up the proton packs from Drs. Venkmen, Stantz and Spengler. In fact, Anna Faris--cited way back right here in the Vault as an excellent choice--looks to be among them.
Horror Comics Renaissance: Not since the heyday of EC has there been such an abundance of solid horror material on comic book racks. Maybe it's just because I'm more attuned to it all because of the Vault these days, but books like Victorian Zombies, American Vampire, iZombie and North 40 have really given me hope for the future of the medium.
Russell Edgington: Just when I thought True Blood might lose me, along came one of the greatest characters in TV history. Denis O'Hare is sublime as the irrepressible vampire King of Mississippi, and the episode-closing scene in which he ripped out a TV anchorman's spine during a live broadcast literally had me cheering in my living room. If you really think he's going to stay buried under that cement, keep dreaming...
Captain Cruella: Many of you may have noticed that 2010 has brought a new promotional partner to The Vault of Horror. I'm talking about the other half of what's come to be known as the "Terror Team," the Captain of the Carnivorous Cadavers. It's been my pleasure to become associated with the good captain, and the Vault has been thriving more than ever, in part thanks to her efforts and to the many events and activities they have brought my way. It's a partnership I'm quite thankful for indeed, and I'm proud to say that this is just the beginning!