Best of the Best

My Book Is Coming….

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 in Best of the Best, Books, CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS, Indie Horror, Published Works | 0 comments

A cold wind ushers in, warning of the horror that lurks in the cobwebbed corners of our world. A black fate has befallen us all. My book is being unleashed very soon by Blue Juice Publications. It has been a long and grueling labor of love but in under a month it will at last hit bookshelves everywhere.

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A small town is ruined by black rain, and two police officers find themselves face to face with the creatures lurking in the flooded streets. In the Wild West, an aging gunslinger returns to his favorite brothel, only to encounter a fathomless black tar that’s devouring everyone within. Paramedics find a remedy for a zombie virus outbreak — but can the survivors come to terms with their cannibalism? Former high-school sweethearts reconnect for the anniversary of a murder. Two deceased movie legends come back as avenging angels, tracking demons through haunted canyons. 

These stories and more fill Growing Dark, a collection of my darkest short stories. Some have been previously published in magazines such as Spinetingler as well as in anthologies by Post Mortem Press, Dark Moon Books, Wicked East Press and more, while others are being published here for the very first time. Plus, it is already getting some great reviews…

“Triana has a voice unmatched by other writers in his field. His short stories pack more punch than your average novel. Beware of this man’s words, for they are dangerous and contagious.”
—Max Booth III, author of Toxicity

“Triana’s work really brings the thunder!”
—Jon Mikl Thor, musician, bodybuilder and actor (Rock N’ Roll Nightmare, Zombie Nightmare)

“Kristopher Triana is one of the last, true badasses.”
—Tim Morse, drummer of Anal Cunt

“Kris Triana is bound to give the big boys of horror a run for their money! Whether it’s ‘quiet’ horror with a slow build or something incredibly extreme, Triana writes characters you care about, fleshing them out so well that you’ll cringe when he suddenly pulls the rug out from under you and viciously flays them alive. Seeing his name attached to any story guarantees you’re in for a great, ghoulish read!”

—Matt Kurtz, author of Monkey’s Box of Horrors

A macabre collection of lurking dread and bloodcurdling terror, ranging from otherworldly evils to very human nightmares, this powerful collection is sure to keep you sleeping with the lights on.

Stayed tuned for an actual release date as well as your chance to win a free autographed copy!

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Horror: a review of Modern Mythmakers by Michael McCarty

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Best of the Best, Books, Interviews & Guest Posts | 0 comments

When it comes to inside information about the creation of our favorite horror gems, we genre nerds simply can’t get enough. We paw through one magazine article after another regarding the same films and listen in on our DVD director’s commentaries like teenage girls picking up juicy gossip. Being so beloved by us, we thirst for every bit of origin story when it comes to the horrorsphere. We want the scoop on movies we’ve seen a hundred times sometimes even more than we want the scoop on movies just slated for release. We just as feverishly read about a book as we do the book itself.

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Now, thanks to Michael McCarty and Crystal Lake Publishing, we have a book that is the about the book as well as being a definitive guide for horror and sci-fi movie history. In this staggering collection of interviews with some of the world’s greatest writers, directors and film stars, McCarty has crafted a sort of bible for the obsessive fright fan. And when I say the greatest, I mean the absolute goddamned greatest.

How great, you ask?

Some of the interviewees include Richard Matheson, John Carpenter, Ramsey Campbell, Elvira, Jack Ketchum, Linnea Quigley, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Ingrid Pitt, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Bradbury and Mick Garris. All of these talents give thorough and insightful interviews, and they’re only 11 of the 35 conversations we get to enjoy.

The interviews cover varieties of topics as well. Instead of focusing on one specific work, the dialogue flows naturally as the artist’s craft as a whole is broken down, their personal favorites are brought to light, and even their tastes, senses of humor and other intimate details come into the limelight.

We get to read such tidbits as movie starlet Adrienne Barbeau discussing an 80’s horror classic: “I love Billie in Creepshow. She’s one of my all-time favorite characters… I just told George (Romero) I was going to do what I thought would work for her and if he didn’t like it, he’d better send me home immediately.” We marvel as Ray Bradbury discusses how his masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes is truly a part of his heart: “The two boys are the two halves of myself – the light half and the dark half. The father is me in the library. The entire book is me.” Jack Ketchum delves into the dark art of the extreme horror novel while Dean Koontz explains the approach of his signature style, and a cavalcade of film legends divulge some spooky little secrets.

What I enjoyed most is that McCarty’s questions are clever and unique. He doesn’t bother with the routine enquires you read in most banal rags. As he puts it, “Every interview is walking a tightrope without a net, with a strong wind blowing as you try to keep your balance.” As a veteran author of non-fiction who has been conducting interviews like this for four decades, McCarty clearly knows more about horror and sci-fi than even the most die-hard, convention-hopping, compulsive collectors and horrorhounds… people like you and me. He has also been featured in our favorite magazines, such as Cemetery Dance, Filmfax and the legendary Fangoria. He is the author of several similar books, but Modern Mythmakers is his latest and perhaps best collection, comprised of years of dedication to the underappreciated art of creepy, crawly creativity.

For a limited time, the e-book edition of Modern Mythmakers is available on Amazon for the steal of only 99 cents, and the paperback edition will be out this Friday.

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THEY EXIST: Ten Horror Remakes That Are Actually Really Good

Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Best of the Best, Lists & Countdowns, Surprisingly Good | 4 comments

I recently revisited a movie that was a remake of a great horror film – and one that has been remade itself. But it is a beloved horror film by fans and regular movie buffs alike. It’s a genuinely terrifying movie, folks. You should see it if you haven’t, but more on it later.

 

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Anyway, this got me thinking about horror remakes and about how while the bulk of them are turds so big and wretched that they are nearly unflushable once looked at, there are actually some remakes out there that are great and even… dare I say it… transcend the originals. Others are merely decent fright flicks in their own right, even if they stray far from the source material. But in this day and age of watered-down tripe, it’s nice to have decency if nothing else.

So today we’re looking at my personal top ten, solid remakes, because there are more of them than we horror fans like to admit. We’re purists. I myself can get on a tall fuckin’ soapbox about how Rob Zombie’s Halloween takes all the mystery, and therefore the horror, away for mighty, mighty Myers. I also tend to hate remakes because I feel that many great horror scripts are sitting in rusting filing cabinets while beloved classics are being poorly remade, needlessly.

As Calvin and Hobbes‘ creator Bill Watterson once put it:

“You can’t really blame people for preferring more of what they already know and like. The trade-off, of course, is that predictability is boring. Repetition is the death of magic.”

 

I agree with Mr. Watterson, but some remakes, albeit few and far between, make us rethink the story they are founded upon, and really use the term re-imagining to its full potential. Those are the diamonds in the re-do ruff I care to discuss with y’all today.

 

Let’s check out my Top Ten Favorite Remakes…

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PASS THE SOY SAUCE: A REVIEW OF JOHN DIES AT THE END!

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 in All Reviews, Best of the Best | 0 comments

tavernofterror.com

THE LATEST BOLT OF BEAUTIFUL MADNESS FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT US PHANTASM AND BUBBA HO-TEP!

Like most horror fans, I savor the bizarre.

While I love the camp value of wisecracking slashers and the comfortable familiarity of evil puppets in toilets, I am always far more interested in films that truly break molds and go where only underground books usually dare to tread. In today’s creatively inept world of remakes, re-imaginings, re-dos and reruns, it has become all the more difficult to weed out the shining jewels of originality that are pushed to the very back rows of exposure.

Leave it to cult genre legend Don Coscarelli to be rather silent for a decade after blessing us with Bubba Ho-Tep, only to break that silence with one of the most widely original films I have ever seen.

The important thing to me in writing a review of John Dies at the End is making sure it is spoiler free. Rest assured that, as a writer myself, I can’t stand the page-skipping types who want to ruin a creative craftsman’s hard work.  I actually knew nothing about the movie going into it, which was a difficult feat for a horror blogger. I even resisted the urge to watch the trailers because I wanted to go in as blind as I could.

Because when I heard that Coscarelli had a new movie in the works… man, that was all I needed to know.

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PASS THE SOY SAUCE: A REVIEW OF JOHN DIES AT THE END!

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 in All Reviews, Best of the Best | 0 comments

tavernofterror.com

THE LATEST BOLT OF BEAUTIFUL MADNESS FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT US PHANTASM AND BUBBA HO-TEP!

Like most horror fans, I savor the bizarre.

While I love the camp value of wisecracking slashers and the comfortable familiarity of evil puppets in toilets, I am always far more interested in films that truly break molds and go where only underground books usually dare to tread. In today’s creatively inept world of remakes, re-imaginings, re-dos and reruns, it has become all the more difficult to weed out the shining jewels of originality that are pushed to the very back rows of exposure.

Leave it to cult genre legend Don Coscarelli to be rather silent for a decade after blessing us with Bubba Ho-Tep, only to break that silence with one of the most widely original films I have ever seen.

The important thing to me in writing a review of John Dies at the End is making sure it is spoiler free. Rest assured that, as a writer myself, I can’t stand the page-skipping types who want to ruin a creative craftsman’s hard work.  I actually knew nothing about the movie going into it, which was a difficult feat for a horror blogger. I even resisted the urge to watch the trailers because I wanted to go in as blind as I could.

Because when I heard that Coscarelli had a new movie in the works… man, that was all I needed to know.

Read More

YEAR-END ROUND-UP: THE BEST AND WORST HORRORS OF 2012

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 in Best of the Best, Horror for the Holidays, New Year's, Sunday Horrosphere Round-Up | 0 comments

tavernofterror.com

This Sunday, we’re putting the final nails in the coffin of 2012 by doing the Tavern of Terror’s very first year end roundup. So, simply enough, we’re picking out what we liked best for this year in horror as well as what we thought were the most noxious of runny dumps.

This isn’t the easiest thing for an old soul like me to do, by the way. While I am a hardcore horrorhound, I am also as old school as Archie Bunker. I prefer the entertainment of yesterday and admittedly pass on watching most of today’s mainstream schlock. There are also some that I simply haven’t gotten around to yet, seeing how I am employed and all. But I have delved in just enough to be a blowhard with my own opinions as any blogger should.

So let’s start our look back on 2012, the year that was supposed to end it all but of course didn’t. (Thanks for nothing, Mayans).

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