July 28, 2008

INTERVIEW - Katherine Dunn on Geek Love and How Monsters Are Made

Katherine Dunn's novel Geek Love does things to your brain that can never be undone. It's one of those delicious reads where you recoil from the gruesome details while savoring every morsel of character development, until eventually you lose the ability to tell which are which. It's on my short list of books that I think would be just as significant and relevant if it was published today -- although I get a kick out of the idea of it being written during the Reagan administration.

Dunn sent me the answers to a few questions (as well as a remarkable author photo snapped by Carole Delogu-- click the image at left for an unobstructed view) for my latest Monsterfest feature, where you can see which scary movies get under her skin. However, as her new work of nonfiction, One Ring Circus, is coming out next year, I knew I'd have to turn in my interviewing badge unless I made sure to talk to her about boxing. I present to you the following mementos that I wasn't able to shoehorn into my AMC piece:

TB: I've noticed that many younger readers have become obsessed with Geek Love and find it to be a powerful commentary on adolescence. Did you anticipate this?

KD: No. I loved writing the book but most of the time I couldn’t imagine anyone reading it. I figured I’d run off a few copies at Kinko’s and force them on my friends. My notion was to light a fuse in my brain and ride the blast as far as it would take me. And try not to be boring in the process.
The fact that some people have responded strongly to the book continues to amaze me. And please me.

TB: I read your defense of Mike Tyson after the Holyfield match. It seems that when a person becomes notoriously "monstrous," others quickly become reluctant to attribute his or her actions to logical or human motivations. Why do you think this is?

KD: It’s interesting, isn’t it? I suspect it goes back to the constant need to define ourselves by denying what we hope or wish we are not. And of course we define our enemy—whoever that may be at the moment—as all that other stuff. War propaganda works the same way. It’s always those other guys doing the torture and extermination, tossing the babies up and catching them on bayonets, and what not. Those other guys don’t have any respect for…decency…civil rights…human life…the Geneva Conventions. They’re not like US. They’re different. They’re monsters.

Probably the ability and the need—to identify and brand the stranger, the mutant, the enemy, has ancient roots and is a crucial survival trait but, as usual, we humans get carried away. Moderation was never our forte.

Atomic Bombshells

You never realized how little charm some classic animated dames were originally imbued with until you see them spring to life in a new series of hot pin-up retoolings by DC Comics artist Cliff Chiang, posted on the eve of the San Diego Comic-Con. It's a treat to find oneself blindsided by the saucy devil-may-care demeanor of someone like Teela, the plain-Jane who formerly labored unglamorously in the shadow of glossier heroines such as fashionista megabitches She-Ra and the Sorceress. Cliff says others such as Black Canary, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, and Sue Storm are on the way.


The White Whale Takes Flight

While the New York Times frets over whether the time teen girls spend reading Harry Potter slash counts as reading, One of the Twitterati has embarked on an epic voyage toward internet literacy -- sort of. User publicdomain has begun posting the epic novel Moby Dick to Twitter, one 140-character chunk at a time (by the user's own estimation, the book is 1.2 million characters long).

It's great for a gag, but considering that the passages appear chronologically from the most recent, you'd have to have an attention-span of Gregorian monk to make it through one backwards chapter. Not to mention that the massive glut of posts shoves all Tweets from actual friends right off the page. Then again, as social apps go, Twitter's only tenuously usable to start with, so it's just one more delightful boondoggle. "Once Moby Dick is done, I want to do a less boring book. Maybe Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland." Somebody alert the Times!

July 22, 2008

INTERVIEW - Nellie McKay Movie Marathon, Sponsored by SPACE TITANIUM

I've been a true-blue Nellie McKay fan since her album Get Away From Me in 2004. Here are some illustrative videos from WAY BACK THEN.

I spoke to Nellie this week about what horrifies her, which as you might expect isn't limited to the usual popcorn fare. She had lots to say about some of these movies that I didn't have room to include, so I present it to you here. (I haven't seen a lot of these -- I think she should host a movie marathon!)

Carrie: "I watched it when I was a kid and I was so upset. I didn’t understand that it was a horror movie; I just thought it was horrible. I felt so bad for Carrie. I remember crying and crying."

Rebecca: "Joan Fontaine does that worried look like nobody!"

Midnight Lace
: "I wrote a review of a biography of Doris Day, so I forced myself to sit through all her movies. It was such a regressive period; you have to admire the actors, because they’re saying these lines seriously. This film always kind of worked for me. The thing with horror movies, it’s a masochistic experience watching them if you’re a woman, which is why I’m not into the slasher films -- and even with psychological stuff, there’s always that element... I feel a little uncomfortable with psychological thrillers because I do think they give bad people ideas. But this one is well done!"

Pandora’s Box
: "I know it’s not much of a horror movie, but I didn’t realize how it was all going to go down until the very end; I think it’s just wonderful when you go into a movie not sure what it’s all about. It has that sense of foreboding, like many other wonderful early German films."

Godzilla versus MechaGodzilla
: "I watched it over and over as a kid! MechaGodzilla is made out of 'Space Titanium,' that’s the big catch-phrase of the movie."

Paparazzi: "It’s so cheesy -- a real B movie, but it works. It’s a revenge flick, and I never get into those, but I really enjoyed this one."

Frankenstein: "Isn't this the ultimate horror -- that we basically destroy ourselves because we’re so ambitious and clever? And this was before we invented computers..."

The Green Berets: "It’s just jingoistic hell... but then, John Wayne’s never really done it for me."

July 20, 2008

Nightmare Synchronicity

Early this morning I dreamed that my father and I were investigating a crime. I was staking out a location in the woods when suddenly I heard a scuffling in the brush-- it was a dog, clearly owned by someone, indicating a nearby human presence. My father had me hold the dog while drew his gun and went off in the direction it had come from.

I led the dog back to our hideout, where my friend Colin was waiting, and tied it up outside. As Colin and I discussed the clues, it suddenly became clear that my father was actually somehow involved in the crime we were investigating. As we sat in shock, trying to put together the pieces before Dad returned, the sound of nearby gunfire suddenly rang out, shattering our nerves.

I startled awake discovering the sound was real-- the noises were coming from somewhere outside, about seven reports very close together. BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM! Just firecrackers probably, because you hear them all the time in the summer, but I was impressed at how perfectly they'd fit into the dramatic arc of my dream. "Shit," I thought. "Now I'll never know how the story turned out."

This morning I left the house early for breakfast, and there was police tape everywhere. A bit down the block a small body lay on the sidewalk covered with a bloody sheet. In case what I'd heard was useful, I asked an officer what had happened. "A dog attacked an officer, and he shot it," he said dryly. "Everything's fine now."

July 19, 2008

Montana, Eleven Years Later

In the summer of 2005 I joined my dad for a trip to Malta, MT to visit my grandparents. Malta is the county seat of Phillips County, which means that at under 3,000 people, it's still the largest city in the county. I hadn't been to visit since I was 14.

I took a lot of notes during this trip hoping I'd write about it later, but I never got around to it. However, I stumbled across the notes while moving recently, and found them sort of entertaining in their own right, even though (perhaps especially because) I've completely forgotten much of the context. Consider it a slideshow of hastily-worded snapshots: my summer vacation.

*Scolded by clerk for checking into flight late (50 minutes before takeoff).

*Arrive in SLC. Not as Mormon as I'd hoped.

*In NYC I'd be less than nothing, but I feel like a badass in SLC. Projecting badassness all around me in waves.

*Order croissant and banana at airport Starbucks. Cashier looks at me like I'm crazy. Calls it a "ber-nanner."

*Guy in SLC airport inconspicuously takes a picture of me.

*Smoking lounge with open doors and 8-gallon ashtrays. Want to take a picture but feel guilty, like taking pictures of people in the bathroom.

*Land in Billings, MT. Smoking cigars with Dad every ten minutes, seems like.

*You can drive in the oncoming lane to pass someone here. I get nervous because we can't see very far ahead, but I keep track and it's several minutes before a single car comes from that direction.

*In MT it's eerily more obvious that clouds are 3-dimensional.

*Counties in MT read like a list of ingredients from a magic spell. Sweet Grass. Stillwater. Petroleum. Rosebud. Treasure. Mussel Shell. Yellowstone. Fergus. Don't actually know what "Fergus" is.

*While passing two lumber trucks at 110 mph, Dad discovers the governor device in the rental car that keeps you from accelerating.

*Clouds like follicles on an invisible skin, clouds unscrolling like aquatic plants.

*The longer you live somewhere, the more you're forced to hate yourself for putting up with what you dislike about living there.

*Grandma, upon seeing me: "How come you don't grow your hair down over your ears?"

*A landscape free of irony. When you see a giant flag that's covered with hummingbirds waving from someone's lawn, you know that the banner she's flying is one she believes in with her whole heart.

*These people are neither bored nor boring when they talk about the quality of cherries this year.

*No gate on the cemetery.

*Words to reclaim: "Feller." "Outfit," not in relation to clothing.

*MT equivalent of NYC kiss-on-the-cheek greeting is waving from pickup truck as you pass.

*Everyone's level of pain is such a huge factor in deciding what to do. Can hear Dad's breathing.

*Even a vegan would slap these mosquitoes.

*Long pickup journey. My grandfather is notorious for uttering silent farts that threaten to "fracture his whole being" if he holds them in. He claims it's okay because they don't smell anymore; my father suggests that it's more likely that his smeller's broke.

*When your hair is white, your electric razor fills up with grey powder.

*My sexual instinct simply does not react realistically to the facts of life here. The possibilities I see are so imaginary as to border on delusional.

*Dad outed me as a Democrat, for his own entertainment.

*Grandma says my nose looks pinched, like it didn't grow to fit my face.

* "Leave the camera at home. I don't want anything but memories." Sorry, dad...

*The bars here have toilets with those electric sensors, and internet mp3 jukeboxes.

*T-shirt idea for next visit: "Lie with man as with woman"

*Town has 9:30 PM curfew. Fire siren announces.

*Apparently I am related to this guy Leroy, who we ran into at a bar. He found a dinosaur fossil on his farm(?)

*On a marriage license from 1951: "______, a man, whose color is ______."

*In a restroom at a bar: "Notice: Because this is a public establishment and considering the AIDS crisis, the management, by placing this condom dispensing machine, is taking the moral responsibility in providing its patrons with a life-saving device and is neither approving or disapproving of any party's behavior."

*People related to me who happen to be at bar: 7

*Run into Aunt Karen in the bar. She picks up a shot of "cactus juice" from the bar and literally tilts my head back and pours it down my throat.

*Dad tells someone at the bar that he has "returned to the old country to get wise and wealthy."

*Open carton of butter flavoring next to stale popcorn in machine.

*Bar is called "Mint Bar." I ask why it's named that and everyone raises their brows and looks at me like I'm crazy.

*Dad recognizes miserable smelly indigent at bar, doesn't want to him to notice us. Of course he does right away, and within minutes "Lou" lays down quarters to challenge us to pool. Keep waiting for Dad to get us out of it, but we play. He asks me what I do in NYC; I toy with the idea of telling him I'm queer-- I get the idea Dad would find that funny. I hear Lou tell Dad that one of his sons drowned. "Yeah, I still get the Phillips County News," says Dad. I have an incredible sense of deja vu. Dad fakes friendliness astonishingly well. After we leave, he tells me that Lou took my aunt to her senior Prom.

*People keep commenting on how skinny I am. In Malta, you are only skinny if you are pubescent, an alcoholic, working yourself to death, or are being ravaged by cancer.

*Consider: "rodeo" as a verb.

*Rodeo serves "Mexican-Style Wontons"

*Amidst all the warm and wonderful experiences, a feeling of dread. Everyone I've met here deals with their pain so nobly, but here at the rodeo it is met with such acceptance that it seems almost pathological-- as I watch everyone limp up and down the grandstand steps, navigating either devastating infirmities or ponderous girth, I imagine what has led to these lives built on and around pain: their hard work that transcends productivity so as to become obsessive, their determination to endure and provide, to the point of martyrdom-- but for what? I watch men who work themselves sore every day tie into a saddle to be shaken apart for public spectacle, and for what? They mock pampered outsiders who live as painlessly as possible, and while there is nobility in doing what it takes to flourish at risk of life and limb, it seems so inhuman for everyone to have so little self to nourish that self-destruction winds up being a virtue if carried out in socially acceptable ways. Foolishness is reviled here, yet there seems to be no future worth preserving oneself for. Eating, drinking, and work are all carried to such extremes that one's suffering becomes inevitable instead of left to chance. Pain obliterates reason, obliterates anything beyond basic earthbound instincts. And if you refuse any of the above violences, people are incredulous and suspicious. You either submit, live in hiding, or go far away. I bet only the people who do the latter later recall making a conscious choice in the matter.

*In a strange place you have to continually remind yourself to stay involved, and not just watch everything around you like it's on TV.



July 15, 2008

Grace Jones Is Coming To Get You!

Grace Jones' new album is due this fall. Here's the video for "Corporate Cannibal":



As usual, it's taking me some effort to get into Grace's music-- but that's pretty much the best music video I've seen all year. Simple, hypnotic and terrifying-- and clearly made by someone who understands what makes this lady so...Grace Jones. Or as my friend Chris says, "It's Grace Jones in a non-solid form! This is why the Department of Homeland Security warned us to invest in duct tape. A thin vapor of Grace Jones is going to ooze through the crack under your door and eat you alive." Thanks, Chris.

INTERVIEW - Cold-Blooded Transsiberian Has Ways of Making Emily Mortimer Talk

Transsiberian is one weird little movie. Watching Emily Mortimer's calm demeanor shatter into a thousand little paranoid bits triggered a weird vicarious reaction in me; as a viewer, sometimes you really do feel like an accomplice.

Emily has been in so many great movies, but her appearance on 30 Rock seems to have cemented her as the eternal face of Avian Bone Syndrome, which has entered the pop vernacular as a catch-all excuse for avoiding anything you don't want to do. "It’s always good to have a syndrome up your sleeve as an excuse," she told me. I asked whether her hollow-boned character might ever return to the show, but she's as much in the dark as anyone. "I’d love to come back," she said, "But I was so objectionable that I don’t know in what context they could possibly bring me back; I’d have to be the baddie, and (Alec Baldwin) can’t possibly marry me, poor guy!"

In my column this week, Emily speaks at length about the depths she descended through in order to make this diamond-hard little thriller. I have one bonus response from the actress, however. Does she personally ever feel in danger while traveling?

"I’m terrified of flying, and I always feel like I’m plummeting to my certain death. All the danger I’m in is imagined, but it feels very real. I concoct the danger for myself, which is equally, if not more, terrifying than reality. I wanted to kiss this boy all the way back from Yalta to Moscow on the airplane because I was so frightened, and I hardly knew the guy. It was the only way I could take my mind off of the fact that I was about to die. And then it was quite embarrassing landing and having to deal with the aftermath!"


I consider that an excellent travel tip! Especially since after Transsiberian I may never set foot on a train again...

July 14, 2008

INTERVIEW - Steve Erickson Submits to a Horror Rorschach Test

In 2000, a friend loaned me the book Days Between Stations, a sort of apocalyptic love story. The book made me uneasy, the writing style was unfamiliar to me and resisted my brain's attempts to absorb it. "But you have to admit," my friend said, "The guy can fucking write."

During one strange summer in Los Angeles, I found myself returning to Steve Erickson's books on my own, and before long I was steeped to the eyeballs in visions of parallel histories and futuristic near-misses. Arc D'X is about as dark as tales come, but red coals of humanity burn all the hotter in the void. I loan my copies with discretion; they have a habit of never being returned.

Erickson's latest book Zeroville is still on my to-read list, but I figured it couldn't hurt to skip ahead and see if he'd share his thoughts on horror. His take on apocalypse as featured in film -- as well as a knockout top ten list -- can be found in my AMC feature. I'm glad to be able to share a few more of his comments right here.

On his characters' uncanny ability to adapt to "apocalyptic" circumstances:

"I wanted the apocalyptic to serve as a backdrop for the drama taking place among the characters. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always tended to think of myself as a fairly traditional writer even as I get tagged 'post-modern' or 'experimental,' two terms I hate. The conflicts are traditional conflicts but the backdrop is phantasmagoric -- in Our Ecstatic Days a young mother searches for her lost son in an L.A. where, almost overnight, a lake has appeared that grows and grows, swallowing up the city. The story takes on a surreality exactly for the reason you say, because in the context of the narrative the fantastic is accepted as banal or ordinary, or barely even noticed. In any case it’s almost never the point."

On his fascination with dense metropolises and remote outposts:

"I think this gets at that feeling of liberation that apocalypse engenders -- and if you’re a writer it’s enormously liberating to be able to create your own map, landscape, geography, however you want to put it. I currently live in what some people would consider a remote outpost of a dense metropolis (Topanga Canyon) -- L.A. has a way of combining the two. I’m not sure there’s another city where major canyons exist smack in the middle -- so the idea of a lake appearing in the middle, for instance, doesn’t seem so crazy. In Zeroville L.A. almost becomes a city of neurons, with the main character, a kind of “cineautistic” proto-punk who’s obsessed with movies, sometimes drifting among movie theaters as though they’re outposts or way stations.


On the inadequacy of the term "horror":

"I think 'horror' is about the most subjective of genres... I tried to be a bit of a purist about it and adhere to what seemed to me the integrity of your question. So I’m not sure there’s anything on my list that might not be on someone else’s. What is true is that I don’t strictly define horror as what scares me, though some of these movies do scare me, and one or two -- Moju, for instance -- are barely watchable, they’re so horrific. But the movies I chose are those that get to me in some deeply unsettling way, and that stay with me.

"I’ve noticed a number of your other listers/interviewees have cited, as have I, The Bride of Frankenstein rather than the original Frankenstein, not because it’s scarier – if anything it may be less scary – but because, I assume for them as for me, it’s more haunting. Bride fuses the fear of the monstrous with the more common fears of love and rejection that thereby give the inhuman monsters their humanity. A movie like Fascination is often silly if not outright bad, sort of cheesy Eurotrash -- but besides the prurient appeal of Brigitte Lahaie, which I wouldn’t deny for a second, naked in a cape with a scythe she might have stolen from Death in The Seventh Seal, there’s a hallucinatory, Baudelairean quality that sticks in the mind years after you’ve seen the picture. By contrast The Exorcist is a terrifying movie in terms of the way it skillfully builds its tension and freaks you out, but while I believe in evil, and even something I’m perfectly willing to call “god,” the Judeo-Christian notion of the Devil is not something that has resonance for me, and therefore the movie doesn’t either."

Whew. Really glad it occurred to me to ask! This makes a lot of my former Q&A's seem like hit-and-runs, and I have to say his list of films is a totally different flavor than I've seen so far -- though I have the strangest feeling that there's a missing number between 9 and 10...

July 11, 2008

INTERVIEW - The Fly Himself Returns to the Scene of My Childhood Nightmares

When I was about six I used to wait all week for the dead-spots in Sunday afternoon programming when old monster movies would show up on television. Usually it was something like Godzilla vs. King Kong, but sometimes seriously scary stuff like The Creature From the Black Lagoon would show up there, and I'd be transfixed.

The first movie I remember seeing that really scared me to death was 1958's The Fly. The long build-up to revealing what was under that cloth, the scabrous black fly-parts, the gut-churning moment when the tiny fly-man was put out of his misery. I think even a child-- and perhaps especially a child-- can relate to the concept of making a huge mess of things and trying desperately to fix it before anyone finds out. The Fly whispered to me that there were some disasters that even adults couldn't cope with, webs that one could never escape from once he or she became trapped. This was my first taste of outright horror, and I've never forgotten it.

Unexpectedly getting to speak to the star of that film, David Hedison, aroused many feelings. I'd recently re-watched the film and discovered that it was even darker than I'd remembered-- and holds up remarkably well. It sounds corny, but my inner six-year-old was soothed to hear Hedison talk so fondly and so reverently about a wonderful time in his life. It's been 50 years since he laid his head and arm under that hydraulic press, but you wouldn't know it from his voice. I found him to be a wonderfully insightful and sympathetic person; when I mentioned my childhood experience with The Fly, he commented, "You were six years old, I think we should have given you a happy ending." Apparently, it's never too late.

INTERVIEW - Lypsinka Knows Best

John Epperson's play My Deah felt like an unmitigated attempt to make me laugh myself to death. Epperson is already known and beloved to many as the face (and notably not the voice) of Lypsinka, whose Joan Crawford mummery has become the stuff of legend; his career as a playwright, however, may wind up being where he shines the brightest. The script is now available for purchase through the site linked above.

Epperson was thoughtful enough to speak with me last week about his favorite horror films, and about our cultural overdependence on the crutches of irony and camp. I don't think any interview has ever gave my Netflix queue more of a workout!

INTERVIEW - "Forget About Being Liked," Says Chuck Palahniuk

I spoke to Chuck Palahniuk the morning of the Gay Pride parade here in NYC, as I was getting dressed to attend a straight wedding. While I managed to fill a whole column with his comments on his upcoming move adaptations, a chunk of our conversation never made it to press. I'm not even going to tell you what he recommended I bring as a wedding present. However, here is the rest of our the interview, rescued from the cutting-room floor:

CP: One thing I try to impress on younger writers is that you shouldn’t be writing in order to be liked. You should be writing in order to be remembered. People’s tastes change over time, and if your work can stay in readers’ minds, long enough, eventually the general taste will switch around to your aesthetic. You’ve just got to create something that will stay in people’s minds until tastes come back around.

TB: Lovecraft was like that, his books were fiercely original and they weren't even published until after his death.

CP: ...And so many people who were selling then and making a great deal more money than him, their books are forgotten now! It is a really weird thing, but you just have to forget about being liked-- and accept that if there’s going to be a paycheck it’s going to be way down the road.


TB: Are there any movie monsters out there that you deeply sympathize with?

CP: In the 1981 film Hunger, I thought that Catherine Deneuve's character was despicable, but so seductive and so sympathetic. It’s one of those movies that when it came out, it was panned-- it was destroyed. People said it was two-hour perfume commercial, that it was garbage, that it was all soft-focus. Now people say “What a landmark movie!” It's the same as what I mentioned about writing; look at Harold and Maude, if you watched that film for the first time now, you’d have a hard time pegging what year it was made. It establishes its own authority. It’s the movies that do that which stay around forever.


TB: I'm reading Invisible Monsters right now and I was really struck by the opening chapter, which seems like a theatrical tableau. Are you inspired by theatre?

CP: I always really loved plays because plays have such finite resources in terms of time and people and setting and plays have to do everything with almost nothing; plays are very much like the style of minimalist writing. You use the same things over and over to greater and greater effect over the course of the story.


TB: I keep hearing mutterings about this Fight Club stage adaptation. Care to comment?

CP: I’ve committed to participating. It’s supposed to be a musical! Like a Broadway musical. David Fincher called me about that a couple of years ago; every time I think it’s dead, I hear from Fincher again. I guess he’s stringing me AND Trent Reznor along. I think 20th Century Fox has got someone gradually putting this whole thing together.


I always thought that straight guys' obsessions with Fight Club were always a little iffy considering the film's homoerotic subtext. Now we're luring them all to a big Broadway musical? Très subversive!

INTERVIEW - Dan Gildark's Cthulhu Gives Lovecraft's Mythos a Facelift

Where is my head? I can't believe that I never got around to posting anything about the excellent comments Dan Gildark shared about the upcoming release of his film Cthulhu. I was glad to hear him stick up for Tori Spelling, whose presence in the film seems to irk some. "People have their biases, I guess," Dan told me, "but she was great to work with, and I think she’s one of the best parts of the film. It’s a supporting character, and I know she took the part because it’s not like the roles she usually plays…but she really nailed it."

Read Dan's defense of his really creepy-looking film here in my column, Watch Parker Posey vivisect a very game Spelling in The House of Yes here.

INTERVIEW - Kellan Lutz on The Comeback and Twilight

I normally try to avoid talking to people younger and hotter than me, but that's becoming a much larger demographic as time goes on. I admired Kellan Lutz's work in the exquisitely squeamish Lisa Kudrow series The Comeback, and was glad to hear Kellan describe it as the most incredible acting experience he'd had so far-- a sort of cynical comment on the typecasting that he struggles against as an athletic actor with boy-next-door good looks. Kellan is vying for the deepest and darkest acting roles he can find, and he's sure to find them once Twilight turns him into an international (and supernatural) heartthrob.

Here are his thoughts about horror and his list of favorite scary movies. And here is a picture of his torso. I predict you're going to be seeing a lot of it in the future.

Happy!! Joy!!

I'm a bit behind in my posting. Suffice to say I have not lost my interviewing mojo. Here's the product of my recent conversation with Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi. (And here's his fantastic blog about everything animation-related.)

Working like gangbusters over at Arcanalogue, 32 cards and counting. Moving into a new apartment has been eating up my time, but look for all kinds of updates and celebrity interview excerpts in the next 24 hours!

Scare Tactics Creators Hallock and Healey Leave No Mark Un-Traumatized

If you haven't seen the show Scare Tactics, the premise is simple. Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey concoct nightmare scenarios straight out of horror movies, and then inflict them on unsuspecting victims, Candid Camera-style. So if you find yourself being stalked by a murderous clown or trapped in a lab with a human/rat hybrid, chances are you are probably on television. Smile!

I spoke with show creators Healey and Hallock about their personal horror movie memories, and their list offered a hint at what films the new season of Scare Tactics would be drawing inspiration from. The Rosemary's Baby episode is already up on the show's site; I know it's mean, manipulative, and traumatizing, but I can't stop laughing. But if I ever wind up on this show I will be so pissed.