The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Light blogging of the dark

Maybe it's the fun I had yesterday with the extended family or maybe it's the beautiful weather keeping me outside or maybe it's having four-days off in a row this weekend when I've been working six days a week. But I'm feeling lazy this Memorial Day weekend. So here's a round up of other great stuff you can go read: Mondo Schlocko has part two of a great interview with horror film maker Eric Stanze. Shaun Jeffrey of In the Shadows has landed an agent. Exclamation Mark has a post that Luke Halpin should read. M Valdemar and attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat help those of us who began following Layla Hardesty's live journal and The Outbreak in the middle of their stories. Don't also miss HP's great answer to a question I asked about the terror of the "twist" ending in horror. That question was prompted by this great post on Corpse Eaters. Bill Cunningham at DISC/ontent writes about his story meeting for a monster movie script he is writing. Let's wish him the best of luck. And The Groovy Age of Horror has a thought-provoking essay on how to establish a niche as a horror blogger. I see The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire's niche as the traditional supernatural aspects of horror: ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc., with the occasional lost city or artifact or Fortean event thrown in. That is why there are very few posts on slasher films, UFOs or conspiracy theories on my blog. As interesting as I find such things, others cover those topics much better. UPDATE - Corpse Eaters posted his thoughts on the issue here. M Valdemar's take here.


Blogger HP said...

I feel like Curt at Groovy Age has thrown out a couple of challenges that I'm still mulling over. I am quite attracted to the new Terry Sharp comic he's been promoting, but I'm not really a comics reader, so I feel I can't say anything intelligent about it. But I've felt for quite a while now that what "they" are selling is not what "we" are buying, and The Faceless seems like a commercial horror project that's much more in line with what turns horror fans on.

Regarding a horror niche, I started M Valdemar with the notion that horror is a specific response to current events. I can't say that I make that connection transparent with every post, but I think it informs the general direction of my blog, and will hopefully emerge more fully over time.

(It's funny, when you consider Sean's fantastic work at the Outbreak and on AddTF -- he's clearly more conservative politically than you or I, and sees zombies as an expression of the fear of terrorism, and yet I still see the flesh-eating revenant in a Romero-esque way as the expression of Nixon's "silent majority," corrupted by the Bircher's in the 60s, or by the religeous right and the neocons today. And yet, we both look to horror to make sense of the world in crazy times.)

5/29/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

Benjamin and HP, both of your blogs are among those I had in mind as having strong core concepts, which you both have encapsulated well in the post and comment, respectively. I certainly hope nobody felt criticized by my post, as I just meant it as a nudge in the direction I'd like to see a horror blogosphere develop. Bottom line: MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED VAMPIRE and M VALDEMAR rock, and I look forward to seeing you both keep up the great work!

5/29/2005 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Carnacki said...

But I've felt for quite a while now that what "they" are selling is not what "we" are buying, and The Faceless seems like a commercial horror project that's much more in line with what turns horror fans on.

That's exactly why I jumped on the Faceless bandwagon. If the net roots can help nudge the horror segment in the right direction -- and our portion of the blogosphere may be too small yet, but we've got to begin some where -- that's an important role we can play

That's another reason why I don't think anyone should worry whether or not they're staying with in their "niche" or are a more general blog. Certainly I've seen your blog very much in the way you describe. I sometimes stray into politics with my snark regarding other posts, but mostly I tend to focus on the supernatural aspects not out of any desire to carve out a niche, but because that's the area that interests me most. In that way, I'm rather stolidly traditional in what I like in horror.

I too felt like Curt threw out a few challenges I'm mulling over. It's probably a combination of my own paranoia and narcissism -- :) -- that made me think his implication of cluttered links referred to me since I just re-vamped my side bar.

I also think one of the reasons I'm seeing my hits steadily rise is that as I add content and link to more stories, the hits off google and yahoo steadily rise. Strangely, my blog is often among the top ranked on certain search words. Last night, I clicked on a google referral and found that in the French language version of google, I'm ranked number seven for key words "vampire beauty." I don't understand the mysteries of google's workings. As far as I'm concerned, as Robert Heinlein might say (or was it another science fiction writer?), google uses an esoteric form of the magic.

Regarding the political aspects of horror, I find it increasingly difficult for fictional horror to compete with reality. The Bush cult seems intent upon leading us into catastrophe regardless of whether you see the threat from terrorism (how any can see Bush as a strong leader in combatting terrorism when he diverted the military from going after the conspirators behind the Sept. 11th attacks is beyond me) or economic ruin or by allowing the American Taliban to trample on our Constitutional rights. (Why do the theocrats hate American? Because of our freedoms.)

So it's hard for horror to compete with all that has occurred in current events if you live in the reality-based community. Give me zombies to fight over the stains on our national image created by Abu Ghraib any day. Zombies I can handle.

5/29/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Carnacki said...

I'm glad you like our blogs. Your's certainly rocks too. As I wrote above, my paranoia and narcissism (always an unhealthy brew) made me wonder if my new side bar prompted part of your post where as in reality you probably never even noticed I added a "Frightful realities" section (half of which is to political blogs of online acquaintances and the other half to well-done conspiracy sites).

5/29/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

No, no Benjamin--I wasn't taking a shot at your sidebar! :-)

5/30/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger HP said...

Ben, your politics come out much more in your posts at Kos and Booman. Most savvy people will figure that out without you straying into that territory here. For me, I find that when I get too closely into politics, my writing becomes too spittle-flecked and incoherent to be of much use, but I can still write about horror.

Curt, I think it's good you're challenging the rest of us (the fact that we've decided to continue on as before notwithstanding).

Maybe it's my Cassandra complex, but I'll keep saying it: We're looking at the birth pangs of a new Horror rennaisance in America. There are reasons for it, but they're largely irrelevant. Those of us who are horror-blogging right now are laying a foundation. Thinking about what we're doing is vital to that process.

5/30/2005 06:44:00 PM  

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