Corner-booth Blog #8 - Reviews from the 2013 Monster Serial event

Posted by Jonathan Chaffin on

My first fandom is horror literature.  I love tiki, art history, sci-fi, fantasy, movies, graphic design, and just about all other flights of fancy, but the place I started, if I really trace it back, is horror fiction.

At Christmas one year I got a large leatherbound book of Robert Louis Stevenson stories and an unabridged collection of Edger Allen Poe stories.  Between "Treasure Island", the "Strange Case of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde," "Pit and the Pendulum," and "The Black Cat" I fell in love with the outre and the macabre.[1]

Thousands of books and a word processor later I spent most of high school writing/journaling/reviewing and editing things.  Word processing led to desktop publishing and Bob's-your-uncle; I'm a working artist and graphic designer. 

All that was a VERY long way around to saying that I was recently asked to participate in the October 2013 Monster Serial project over at The Collinsport Historical Society. The website is a well-curated, authoritative look at the multiple "Dark Shadows" tv series and movies. (I've said before that "Dark Shadows" is a lot like the "Dr. Who" of horror.)  During the '90s revival tv series I used to join up with some other friends of mine [2] and watch the show every week. 



Monster Serials was a commitment by several authors to write a movie review a day during October, culminating in multiple reviews from the "Halloween" line of films on All Hallow's Eve.  I'd like to thank Wallace for inviting me to participate, and share my contributions to the project here. Without further ado; here are my contributions. Hope you enjoy.


In The Mouth of Madness 

Halloween H20:Twenty Years Later


For those interested, here is my two-bit summary of the Halloween franchise.

  • 1. Innovative Original
  • 2. The Next Day
  • 3. Capitalize on the name with unrelated property
  • 4-5-6. Create a TRILOGY instead of 4. to explain backstory and move the story forward 
  • [extra interesting in my opinion because they A) do some gymnastics to work the unrelated 3rd movie into the cosmology and B) the try to end the series for the first time (producers cut) then decide to release a different ending (theatrical cut) allowing for...]
  • 7. The "Where are they now" sequel that was originally written to pick up where 6 left off but was then REWRITTEN to pick up where II left off and ignore 4-5-6.7. also has a conclusive end
  • ...until 8. decides to resurrect the franchise again, this time with video cameras ala SAW.

 Thanks for reading these thoughts from the Corner-booth at Pickman's Cove!

•"I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall - looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off."



[1] You see what happens, Donny? This is what happens when you give a little kid antique literature.

[2] One of my old friends, Tim, does sardonic live-texts of movies he watches under the heading #TerribleTheater (Indexed here)

He wrote one for "In The Mouth of Madness". It was so funny I almost couldn't write my own review. Enjoy.



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