Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 018 Office Killer

Office Killer
Source-Echo Bridge Midnight Horror DVD

This is a mid 90s Miramax thriller/horror film. Carol Kane has worked in this one office since she was in her late teens. Jeanne Tripplehorn is her boss and Molly Ringwald is one of her co-workers. To save money the company installs a computer in Kane's home and she can now work from home. But all isn't right. Kane's father died when she was young. In a car accident that also paralyzed her mother.

As the film goes we get to see Kane progressively get crazier and crazier. And also learn that she was the cause of the car wreck that killed her dad.

I have always liked Carol Kane since first seeing her on Taxi. Jeanne Tripplehorn to me is a very under rated actress who does really good at dramatic roles. And while I was never big into the John Hughs 80s movies with Molly Ringwald,I have found her post Hughs work to be really good. She is great as the bitchy co worker that trashes everyone behind their backs.

There is a bit of gore in some of the kills. And the film really feels like part of the early 90s "Fill in the blank from hell" IE  The Hand that Rocks the cradle is the nanny from hell. Single White Female is the Roommate from hell. And Office Killer is the Co-worker from hell.

Since this pack is 8 films spread over 2 dvds for $5 it is worth paying that much just for Office Killer. And there is at least 2 other good movies in this pack.

Office Killer gets a C.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 089 Great Monsters of the Movies

TITLE-Great Monsters of the Movies
AUTHOR-Robert K Davidson
PRICE-25 cents

Back when I was in elementary school I looked forward to the book fairs each year. And almost every year they would have a new book similar to this one. Small paperback book that covered various horror/monster films from the pre-70s era. This book is from 1978.And I found it at one of the local libraries booksales.

After a decent introduction Mr Davidson has 4 chapters. Each about a different type of monster. Up first is a 20 odd page chapter on the Frankenstein Monster.With half those pages being made up of pretty decent pictures. He covers all the Universal Frankenstein movies plus a few of the non-Universal ones.

Chapter 2 is titled Creatures of the Night. Which of course means vampires,but also includes mummies and zombies. Once again half the pages are for pictures.

The third chapter is men that change into monsters. So we get Dr Jekyll,Phantom of the Opera,Dr Phibes,Werewolves,The Fly and final the beastmen from Island of lost souls.And again half of the chapter is pictures.

Our final chapter is all about aliens and creatures from another world. Which on the first page of the chapter it contradicts cause it is talking about King Kong.From there we get the original The thing,lots of alien based films and even the Creature from the Black lagoon.

Back when I was a kid books like this were some of my favorites. I must have had at least 10 of them. But now thanks to the internet and other changes they are just a quaint antiquity of the past.

With the book only being 130 pages it was a very quick read. And I mostly grabbed it cause of the memories it brought back.

Great Monsters of the Movies gets a 2.97 outta 5.

31 Days of Horror 2015 EXTRA 03 Gore Shriek comic book series

 Ahh Gore Shriek the comic book that every reader of Fangoria in the mid to late 80s wanted to read. I use to stare for hours at the ads for this b/w indy horror anthology comic from FantaCo. But being a young teen and having to be 18 or older to order the book,well I never got to get a copy back then.

Every con I would hit I would look for copies but no one would have them for sale. Then the summer after I graduated high school a record/used cd store opened up 2 towns over.Besides all the music stuff the owner had 8 short boxes of random comics. They were 2 bucks each or 15 for $10.While waiting on someone to figure out which "import" White Zombie CD they were gonna buy,the store had a huge selection of bootleg concert CDs. All labeled as imports,and all of them being $30 a pop.I started digging thru the longboxes.Seeinng if I could find 15 comics I wanted.It was the oddest selection of titles. You would have like 10 issues of Peter David's then current Hulk run,followed by an issue of Alan Moore's Miracleman,followed by a mid 70s Whitman/Gold Key Super Goof. Well so far all I had found that I wanted was 2 issues of V for Vendetta,and one of those colorized Judge Dredd reprints from Eagle.Then I saw the below cover.

 So now I had to find 11 more books. But finally after 5 or 6 years I had gotten an issue of Gore Shriek.I quickly grabbed enough comics to get the 15 for $10 deal. Went to the counter paid for my stuff. Then asked the owner if it was OK if while waiting on my ride to finish getting stuff if I could sit on the floor near the front and read my new comics. He had no probem with this.I quickly took the tape off the flap of the bag,for me unless it is a comic worth more than 100 bucks and one I am not gonna be reading often I never put a piece of tape to hold the flap of the bag down,and started to read Gore Shriek volume 1 issue 3.

 And what a nice gory treat it was. I got a front cover and a back cover from Chas Balun. Who not only ran one of the best horror magazines ever,Deep Red,but was a good artist and writer.He also wrote and drew the story Hell to Pay. And there was 3 other stories. Mall Rats written by Bill Townsend and art by Greg Capullo,this had to be the first time I had seen Capullo's work.Rain which was written and drawn by Rolf Stark.And the final story Idle Hands which has Bruce Spaulding Fuller handling the story and art.

 Months later I turned 18 and could now order issues straight from Fantaco. But I also joined the Army and kind of got out of reading comics for a bit.So issue 3 was the only one I had.

 Years pass.I was at my local mall,oddly enough waiting on the guy from the used CD store,but this time he was trying to figure out which Pantera shirt he wanted. I see they are having a general antique/collectibles show going on in the mall. Various booths are set up  and I notice one guy has at least 40 longboxes of comics.I start looking thru one box,noticing that nothing is priced and I see no sign saying prices,and ask him what he is charging. "Well depends on how many you want to buy. They are a quarter each,but spend at least 10 bucks and I can knock it down to 10 cents each.After scanning 3 longboxes I saw I could find more than enough to hit 10 bucks worth. By the time my buddy had picked out his shirt,I had talked the guy into selling me a longbox of comics for $40.And I don't know about yall but I can stuff 500 or so comics into a longbox. One of the  many comics I got was the above pictured issue. Gore Shriek Vol 2 #1.

 But enough on how I found 2 issues of this kind of now obscure comic. How about some history of it. Fantaco was a company that sold posters,vhs,and anything else horror related.The story I have heard if Chas Balum after he had started the Deep Red magazine,which was a huge seller for Fantaco,talked them into doing a b/w comic book. Now Gore Shriek never really had a set schedule. As in it didn't come out say every 2 months or whatever. Issues came out at random. With sometimes a long wait between them.
There was two series of Gore Shriek. The first that started in 1986,lasted 6 regular issues and a limited 6.5 issue,and ended in 1989 with the aforementioned 6.5 issue. The long waits I mentioned mostly happened in this series. Issue 1 came out in 86 and issue 2 wasn't on stands until 1988. Series 2 started in 1990 and we got 3 issues,an annual and a 2.5 issue.

Since finding that issue at the used CD store I have always been on the look out for issues at comic shops and other stores. Call me weird but with certain comics I want to find them "in the wild".Instead of just going on Ebay and getting them.Part of it is I like to support mom and pop stores. And comic shops and flea markets are mom and pop as you can be. Another part of it is I like the thrill of the hunt. And finally I like keeping a list of uncommon comics,stuff that odds are decent I might find copies in a comic shop.I have an almost complete run of Gore Shriek. From the first series I am only missing 6.5.Which you could only buy direct from Fantaco or if you ran into one of the artist featured in the issue at a con or a comic shop signing. At two different comic shops I have left my number with the owners in case someone comes in wanting to sell a copy of this issue.

 With series 2 of Gore Shriek.All I have ever found is issue 1 and Annual 1.I hear that this series had much smaller print runs. I have seen an old ad where issue 2.4 was selling for $20.

So if anyone reading this has any of the issues I mentioned I do not own. Wants to sell them,and doesn't want stupid prices for them please leave a comment.

 The series,well the issues I have read,is damn good. If you like gory horror and don't mind b/w artwork this is the series for you. Plus starting with issue 3 or so of the original series each issue you get 1 or 2 fairly long essays on various horror topics. Like the history of horror in the underground comix written by Rick Veitch. Or this really good piece on the history of the horror/monster magazine. So there is stuff for both the gorehound and the horror historian.
So next time you are in your local comic shop look and see if they have any copies of Gore Shriek. If so and they aren't wanting stupid prices for them,I wouldn't pay more than 5 for most issues and maybe 10 for a few,buy them.