Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Duos I’d LOVE To See Collaborate

icon4-ttthorroroct

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together.

I will of course, be doing a Horror October twist on this week’s theme and will be pairing duos from the horror genre, be it authors, screen-writers or directors.

I find the horror genre quite unique in that horror writers often have their own, distinctive style, and horror directors are often auteurs, more so than in other genres I think. And so the idea of pairing two together is really interesting to me. Some of these combos would blow my mind!

What if Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson wrote a book together?

screamWes Craven (RIP) was an innovator of horror. He wrote and directed iconic films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, and is perhaps less well known as the author of one novel (Fountain Society) and a series of comics (Coming of Rage).

Kevin Williamson worked with Craven for the first time on Scream. Craven directed, and Williamson wrote the screenplay, it was a match made in heaven. Wes gave us a new, outrageous villian(s) and Williamson brought his teen realness to the party…now imagine that in a YA horror novel! WANT.

What if Edgar Allan Poe and Marcus Sedgwick wrote a detective story together?

autumn1-poeSedgwick has turned his hand to Gothic horror, science fiction, and contemporary YA to name but a few, but never a detective story (to my knowledge). I think his style would really suit a dark, strange mystery in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. I would love to read a collaboration between the two – not that than can happen. 😦

What if Stephen King and Dean Koontz joined forces?

Two of the most prolific horror writers collaborating? Now that is something I’d like to read!

What if Darren Shan met Valkyrie Cain?

valkyrieDarren Shan’s The Saga of Darren Shan, and Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant are two of my favourite series for older children. I think Darren Shan (the character) would fit into Valkyrie and Skulduggery’s lives quite well. It would make for an interesting adventure…and maybe some romance…?

What if Neil Jordan adapted all the great Vampire books into movies?

Now, I’m famously not a fan of my favourite books being turned into movies, but Neil Jordan has a good track record. I love his take on vampires.

byzantium
Jordan directed Anne Rice’s dark and delicious Interview with a Vampire, a nigh on perfect adaptation I’d say. And then there was 2012’s Byzantium, a completely overlooked, blinder of a film.

I would love to see Jordan adapt the Vampire Academy books, because quite frankly, the first attempt was just diabolical. Or how about Robin McKinley’s Sunshine? Now there is a book that would work beautifully in Jordan’s style.

What if Joss Whedon and Clive Barker worked together?

I have no idea what they would produce but Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, co-writer of The Cabin in the Woods, and director of Marvel’s Avengers, and Clive Barker, creator of Hellraiser and Nightbreed could make for a very interesting, completely batshit collaboration, non? I can live in hope.

That’s all I’ve got this week. I want to go and watch all my favourite horror films now. All at once.

Happy Halloween! (Best Buffy Episodes for your Halloween viewing pleasure)

If you’re celebrating today, I hope you have a great Halloween!

I kind of wish we celebrated it more in the UK. I mean there are still parties and stuff, because y’know any excuse to get drunk, but it’s nowhere near as widely celebrated as it is in the US.

I’m celebrating by having a get-together on Saturday to watch Horror films, eat a lot of badness and drink a lot of witches brew. So that leaves tonight free, and what am I going to do I hear you cry…I’m going to watch my favourite Halloween Episodes of Buffy of course!

And here they are:

Hush (1999, S4E10)
This isn’t an official ‘Halloween’ episode but it has to be the scariest, right?
Gentlemen In “Hush”, a group of fairy tale ghouls named “The Gentlemen” come to town and steal everyone’s voices, leaving them unable to scream when The Gentlemen cut out their hearts. Buffy and her friends must communicate with one another silently as they try to discover why no one can speak and find whoever is murdering the townspeople. They must also find ways to express their feelings about each other and keep some semblance of control as the town descends into chaos.

The Scary: The Gentlemen are seriously freaky, floating around the streets of Sunnydale with permanent grins on their freaky faces looking for hearts to tear out. Not to mention the eerie silence…
The Funny: The ‘Giles’ Slides’ scene as I like to call it has me in tears of laughter every time without fail. How is this whole scene not on you tube? Ack. Here is the gist:

[no one can speak; all written or mimed]
Giles: Who are the Gentlemen? They are fairy tale monsters. What do they want?
[Willow points at her chest]
Xander: [cups hands at his chest and mouths] Boobies?
Giles: Hearts. They come to a town. They steal all the voices so no one can scream. Then…
[Giles shows drawings of Gentlemen ripping out the heart from a person in bed]
Giles: They need seven, they have at least two.
Xander: How do we kill them?
[Buffy mimes stabbing, but looks more like masturbating; Giles, Willow and Xander look at Buffy with disturbed faces; Buffy mimes again with a stake; they all look relieved]
Giles: In the tales no sword can kill them.

The Best: The fact that there is no dialogue at all for 3/4 of the episode but it is still one of the funniest (and scariest) episodes proves just how much of a genius Joss Whedon is. It was the first Buffy episode to be highly praised, earning various Emmy nominations.

Fear Itself (1999, S4E04)
This has to be the best episode for costumes!
404_FearItself1
Gachnar, a fear demon with the ability to materialize terror, is accidentally conjured and wreaks havoc on a Frat Halloween party.
The Scary: A fear demon sounds pretty terrifying to me….
The Funny:…unless he’s only a few inches tall
The Best:

Giles: Oh, bloody hell. The inscription.
Buffy: What’s the matter?
Giles: I should’ve translated the Gaelic inscription under the illustration of Gachnar.
Buffy: What’s it say?
Giles: Actual size.

Halloween (1997, S2E06)
The first Buffy Halloween special!
Buffy_2x06
On Halloween, Buffy and her friends patronize an unusual costume shop where customers turn into whatever costume they are wearing.

The Scary: It’s kind of freaky to imagine that all the things you could dress up as has Halloween could come to live, plus, there’re little kids inside those demons so you can’t even kill them!
The Funny: SMG’s Victorian noble woman accent is pretty hilarious.
The Best:a6d4c922f4b4154f71a2198d0d9855e9

Tabula Rasa (2001, S6E08)
Again, this isn’t an actual Halloween episode but it might be my favourite ever.
buffycast2
Willow tries to solve too many problems with magic, accidentally making herself and the others forget who they are just as a demon loan shark and his boys come looking to collect a debt from Spike.

The Scary: There’s nothing too scary in this episode I don’t think, it’s just hilarious
The Funny: Due to Willow’s spell fail, the gang don’t know who they are and so hilarity ensues. I think my favourite is Spike assuming that he’s Giles’ son.
BUFFY
The Best: I can’t choose! UMAD!

Spike: *Randy* Giles? Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate-For-A-Shag Giles? I knew there was a reason I hated you.

Dawn: So, you don’t have a name?
Buffy: Of course I do. I-I just don’t happen to know it.
Dawn: You want me to name you?
Buffy: Oh, that’s sweet, but I think I can name myself. I’ll name me… Joan.
Dawn: Ugh.
Buffy: What? Did you just ‘ugh’ my name?
Dawn: No. I just – I mean it’s so ‘blah.’ Joan?
Buffy: I like it. I feel like a Joan.

All the Way (2001, S6E06)
This episode isn’t all that great because it was back when Dawn was really annoying, but it’s still a good Halloween watch. “Mist, cemetery, Halloween… This should end well.”
resizedimage600335-Dawn-and-JustinDawn lies to Buffy and goes out with a boy on Halloween, but when the boy turns out to be a vampire ignoring the Halloween-no-killing rule, Buffy and the guys must save her…again.

The Scary: The beginning is pretty freaky with the creepy old man with his big knife, who we’re clearly supposed to think is the baddie, but then Dawn’s new boything gets fangy. Poor old man.
The Funny: Buffy – “Did you know about this?”
Giles – “No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander’s vigorous use of his tongue.” [takes off his glasses and starts wiping them]
Buffy – “Is that why you’re always cleaning your glasses? So you don’t have to see what we’re doing?”
Giles – “Tell no one.”
The Best:
Xander’s pirate costume, which shows us things to come in the next series when Xander loses an eye. 😦
Pirate-Giles-in-All-the-Way-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-6641073-1012-568

Nightmares (1997, S1E10)
Parts of this episode still really CREEP ME OUT.
buffy-nightmares
The students at Sunnydale High beginning to experience aspects of their worst nightmares while awake, leading to the Scooby Gang’s investigation to a young boy with a secret. However, before they can get to the bottom of things, they must face their own nightmares, which are rapidly taking over reality.
The Scary: CLOWN
The Funny: Willow’s operatic debut!
The Best (WORSE):
09

Have a great time everyone!

Sources: Wikipedia & IMDB

Horror October: A Mortal’s Guide to Vampires

vampmonkey

Here is my guide to some of the best (questionable) Vampires in literature and celluloid. Happy Slaying!

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Details: Published in 1897. Stoker was the first to define the modern form of the vampire as we see it today, spawning numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
What’s the story? Vampire Count Dracula attempts to move from Transylvania to England, which ignites a battle between Dracula and a small group led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
USP: By feeding his victims his own blood Dracula can communicate telepathically with them and control them.
Best Vamp: Dracula, obviously

Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring”

The Immortal Kiss: Traditional: Vampire bites human, human drinks vampire blood, human dies and awakes as one of the Undead.
Hotness: Hmm jury’s still out on this one. But he proves pretty hard to resist: 6
Evilness: You’re pretty much a goner if he takes a shine to you. And he definitely has some anger issues but he hides beneath the mask of a gentleman. Pretty deadly: 8

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Interview_with_the_vampire

Details: Published in 1975, the first book in the series Interview With the Vampire was Anne Rice’s debut and based on a short story she wrote a few years earlier. The film was released in 1994.
What’s the Story? A vampire named Louis tells his life story to reporter. Starting in 1791, Louis is a young indigo plantation owner living south of New Orleans. Distraught by the death of his brother, he seeks death in any way possible and is approached by a vampire named Lestat who makes him his immortal companion.
USP: These Vamps cannot be harmed by garlic or crosses. But they can’t walk in the sunlight and they sleep in coffins. Stakes through the heart merely set them back and they have extra gifts such as mind control. The longer they have been vampires, the stronger they are. They have superhuman strength, speed, senses, and agility and can heal themselves.
Best Vamp: Lestat de Lioncourt
The Immortal Kiss: Traditional
Hotness: They are beautiful and deadly:10
Evilness: As Louis proves, they do have consciences. But the yearning for human blood is often too strong. Their strength and abilities render them pretty damn dangerous. And they’re hot. Ultimate deadly combo. But they can feed without killing: 9
Interview-with-a-vampire-vampires-34299005-500-256

Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite
380234

Details: Published in 1992, Lost Souls was Poppy Z. Brite’s first horror novel. It is the only novel-length adventure of Steve and Ghost, popularized in numerous short stories. The novel is an extended version of “The Seed of Lost Souls”.
What’s the Story? Best friends and almost lovers Ghost and Steve are drawn into the pleasure-seeking, depraved world of three vampires Zillah, Molochai and Twig. The androgynous trio are fuelled by sexual frenzy and human blood, and Steve and Ghost try to save Nothing from them, a teenage vampire raised by humans.

Those who know enough to drink Chartreuse at Mardi Gras are lucky, because the distilled essence of the town burns in their bellies. Chartreuse glows in the dark, and if you drink enough of it, your eyes will turn bright green.”

USP: These are the most ‘unique’ vamps I’ve read. Punk Rock androgyny with insatiable thirsts… Hot. The vampires are a separate species who are born vampires. Most feed on blood but some find alternative sustenance such as love and beauty. The older vampires have naturally sharp teeth, are sensitive to sunlight, and cannot eat or drink. But younger ones have normal human teeth that must be filed, are OK in sunlight and can both eat and drink (as demonstrated by their liking for chartreuse.
Best Vamp: Zillah
The Immortal Kiss: N/A
Hotness: Homoerotic, bi-sexual, drunk and insane…yep, pretty hot: 10
Evilness: You will want to party with them even knowing they will kill you (let’s face it, the sex will be probably be worth it). They can be killed if the heart or brain is destroyed and female vamps can also be killed by childbirth because vampiric infants kill their mothers in the womb: 8

The Lost Boys
lstby

Details: 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, and Alex Winter. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie’s stories about Peter Pan and Neverland.
What’s the Story? Two Arizona brothers move to California and end up fighting a gang of teenage vampires led by David.
USP: These vamps looks pretty normal but they sleep upside-down during the day and drink human blood at night. They can also fly.
Best Vamp: David (Kiefer Sutherland)
The Immortal Kiss: Not a kiss as such. Michael drinks blood masked as wine and shortly after displays signs of becoming a vampire. He must then drink blood from a human until death to complete the transformation.
Hotness: They have motorcycles working for them, and dubious dangly earrings, but they do have a certain charm. And they seem pretty fun-loving: 7
Evilness: A stake to the heart and they’re dust. Plus, kill the head vamp and all the half-vamps are cured: 5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
buffycast2

Details: Film (1992) starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry, and TV show starring Sarah Michelle Geller, Antony Head, David Borenaz and Alyson Hannigan (1997 – 2003) created by Joss Whedon (AKA God!)
What’s the Story? Buffy Summers is the one and only Vampire Slayer, chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Buffy has the help of her loyal friends the ‘Scooby Gang’, her watcher and a vampire with a soul. Amazingness ensues.
USP: The vampires in BTVS have superstrength, bumpy foreheads when they get angry, and have no humanity (unless they’ve been cursed by Romanian Gypsies, of course!)
Best Vamp: Most would probably say Angel, but I say Spike. Hands down.
4d5e13357da755ba2eeae8a4ee5d2662
The Immortal Kiss: Traditional

To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It’s like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they’re just gonna kill you.”

Hotness: Lots of hotness to choose from, whether you like your vamps cuddly or evil: 10
Evilness: Vampires are just one of many creatures Buffy has to worry about, they are generally pretty dangerous, but also oddly amusing. Plus, Buffy kicks their asses on a daily basis: 6

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Twilightbook

Details: The first book in this 4 book series was published in 2005 and have subsequently been turned into 5 films. You may have heard of them.
What’s the Story? Teenager Bella Swan, moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. They make out and stuff.
USP: OMG they sparkle yo!
Best Vamp: Edward…I guess.
The Immortal Kiss: One sided: A bite from a vampire spreads venom through the body, after 3 days the heart stops and you wake as a vampire.
Hotness: Edward is supposed to be the hottest thing ever. Which is why I try really hard not to picture that Robert Pattinson fella, who looks like Lurch: 8
Evilness: Let’s face it, they are pretty lame. They sparkle for god’s sake (I still love them though, obvs: 1

I could continue (Carmilla, Sunshine, Sookie Stackhouse, The Vampire Diaries, The Morganville Vampires, The Hunger, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown…) but I have to go and watch Buffy now.

*Fangirl Alert [pt 2]* Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

So, I know it’s not book related but if you haven’t noticed by now, Joss Whedon of Buffy fame is my hero. He is a genius, end of.

I just watched the pilot episode of SHIELD and…oh my…it was AWESOME. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about a TV series set in the Avengers world but not actually starring The Avengers, I thought it might have just been cashing in on the (well deserved) popularity of the recent film, but I was wrong.

Remember when Heroes was crazy amazing? THAT PLUS WHEDON = Explode.

OK now that’s out of my system, normal book-fangirling can resume!