Thrash Behavior
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
1w ago
Okay, I’ve been away for a while, but it’s time to start posting more regularly. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that’s all the rage…   Thrash Behavior By Joe Nazare   The glass coffee table’s the father she never knew. Kerri’s aluminum, “HAVOC”-barreled Easton vibrates in her grip as she cripples the walkout, kills the deadbeat. The giant flatscreen is the mother she often wishes she didn’t have. The woman who keeps hounding her to go talk to Pastor Simms, believing his platitudes could be the patch for curing an unabashed Nicotine Fiend. Kerri projects her mom’s disapproving visag ..read more
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Variety Is the Slice of Life
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
2M ago
Written and directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes, Late Night with the Devil boasts a terrifically clever premise. The film frames itself as a documentary dealing with a notorious episode of the late night variety show Night Owls with Jack Delroy. It offers up “the recently discovered master tape of what went to air that night, as well as previously unreleased behind-the-scenes footage.” “That night” was October 31st, 1977, a sweeps-week special episode not just content to “celebrate all the fiendish fun of Halloween.” The episode represents Delroy’s desperate attempt to resuscitate his ..read more
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Ghostface Invocation: All the Scream References in The Angel of Indian Lake
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
3M ago
Jade Daniels’s slasher-film passion clearly saturates the narratives of the Indian Lake Trilogy. When it comes to this horror genre, her namings are legion (as attested by the Letterboxd listings [1, 2, 3] of the various films mentioned in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, Don’t Fear the Reaper, and The Angel of Indian Lake). Jade’s notable cinematic go-to’s include the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th series, and the films Just Before Dawn, Jaws, and A Bay of Blood. But her (and author Stephen Graham Jones’s) favorite scary-movie franchise to cite a ..read more
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Daytime Nightmares Paired
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
3M ago
In this neck of the Macabre Republic at least, this afternoon’s much-hyped solar eclipse proved to be a dud. If today’s celestial event also left you feeling underwhelmed, then you might find a more thrilling experience by turning back three decades–to the literary rendition of a total eclipse in the linked Stephen King novels Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne. The dark curtain that the July 20, 1963, eclipse drew down over King’s Maine landscape cloaked some seriously illicit acts: premeditated murder (of Dolores Claiborne’s drunken, abusive husband) and traumatizing molestation ..read more
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Third Time a Final Girl: A Review of The Angel of Indian Lake
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
3M ago
The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga Press, 2024) “The Savage History of Proofrock, Idaho” (as aptly dubbed by a student’s video essay in the book’s opening) gets an added chapter, in this final installment of The Indian Lake Trilogy. Genre savant Stephen Graham Jones pens another novelistic love letter to horror fans, and once again proves himself a master of devising/revising the slasher narrative. Readers are guaranteed to laugh out loud, to cry (Jones is as skilled as an Ultimate Fighting Champion when it comes to hitting his audience squarely in the feels), to cheer dra ..read more
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Mob Scene: Thanksgiving
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
3M ago
Yes, it’s April Fools Day, but tonight Dispatches from the Macabre Republic returns by celebrating Thanksgiving. Eli Roth’s 2023 film evinces an astute awareness of slasher formula. Its extended opening sets up a genre-specific plot, one quintessentially driven by revenge (to quote slasher savant Jade Daniels, in Stephen Graham Jones’s 2022 Stoker-Award-winning novel My Heart Is a Chainsaw: “years ago there was some prank or crime that hurt someone and then the slasher comes back to dispense his violent brand of justice”). Thanksgiving takes this inciting prank/crime element, and elabora ..read more
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Horror on the Horizon
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
6M ago
Another year just begun, and the same old adage: Quot libros, quam breve tempus. Here are 15 books scheduled for release in 2024 that I can’t wait to read (unless otherwise noted, descriptions are drawn from each book’s dedicated Amazon page).   The Haunting of Velkwood by Gwendolyn Kiste (S&S/Saga Press, March 5th) From Bram Stoker Award­–winning author Gwendolyn Kiste comes a chilling novel about three childhood friends who miraculously survive the night everyone in their suburban hometown turned into ghosts—perfect for fans of Yellowjackets.   The Angel of Indian Lake b ..read more
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Five Faves
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
7M ago
I won’t call this a Best Books of 2023 post, because there are too many titles (A Haunting on the Hill and Beware the Woman and The Strange and Spin a Black Yarn and…) that still top my TBR list. But of the new releases that I did read this year, here are my five favorites:   How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix Hendrix’s knack for crafting flawed characters that you can’t help but fear for and cheer for is on full display here. The narrative is at once hilarious, horripilating, and heartwarming, and combines slow-mounting dread with explosions of gonzo horror ..read more
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Persistently Sinister: The 20th Anniversary Edition of Sara Gran’s Come Closer
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
7M ago
Sara Gran’s 2003 novel Come Closer is one of the most revered texts in the modern horror genre. As such, it has long been on my radar, but I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had never read it until recently. Thankfully, though, Soho Press’s release of a 20th Anniversary Edition of the book prompted me to rectify my extended error. Gran’s short novel–whose protagonist Amanda believes she is possessed by a ferocious, fanged female demon named Naamah–offers a masterclass in unreliable narration. Has Amanda been genuinely invaded by a force of outside evil, or is she just replete with her own ..read more
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Devilish Details: The 7 Wickedest Inflictions in Dante’s Inferno
Joe Nazare | Dispatches from the Macabre Repulic
by JoeNazare
8M ago
For those of you bemoaning this late-November holiday and dreading having to suffer the company of your relatives, just remember: it could always be a lot worse. Dante furnished unnerving reminder of this seven centuries ago in his classic compendium of severe yet suitable punishments. As a Thanksgiving Day special Dispatch from the Macabre Republic, here are my choices for the seven worst, most cursed fates in the Inferno–ones I’d be forever thankful to avoid.   7.Torment of the Barrators (Canto XXI) The Fifth Pouch of the Malebolge combines the worst that the underworld has to offer: p ..read more
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