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As usual, this one started some time ago. All my books tend to run through a long cycle, from the initial idea through the research needed to identify likely films to cover, tracking down copies of those films to watch, actually watching them, finessing the choice and then, eventually, writing about them. Also, as usual, I tied this one to deadlines, intending to review each book at Apocalypse Later Film on the precise holiday on which it takes place. And I did. Just across five years or so.
It's a look at the strange fascination that horror movies have with holidays. All horror movie fans worth their salt know about films like Halloween, Friday the 13th and April Fools Day, but the horror movie calendar doesn't stop with them, especially lately. There have always been horror movies set on traditional horror dates like Halloween and, well, Christmas, a pagan holiday and a Christian holiday respectively. Nowadays, they're set on Jewish holidays, Buddhist holidays, even entirely commercial holidays that exist only so you can give Hallmark money. They're not just made in the US, but the UK and Canada, even Israel and Singapore. I trawl in one from each holiday I could find, trying to avoid the most obvious examples, and having fun talking about the films and the holidays.
So, thrill to the sights of zombie presidents, gay necrophiles, hungry ghosts, multiple dead porn stars, alien invasion in a London council estate and prankster mimes with guitars! You'll recognise many stars—Barbi Benton, Bruce Campbell, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lambert, Christopher Lee, Anna Paquin, Jenna Jameson, Danny Trejo, John Boyega, Sid Haig, Jamie Lee Curtis and well, David Copperfield—but you may not know them from these roles. Maybe you should!
This one's dedicated to my better half, because she watches everything I make her watch and loves me anyway. Or so she says. There were a couple of movies here that tested that, I think. Remember: I watch these films so you don't have to. Except the ones you should, like The Wicker Man, Attack the Block and Trick 'r Treat.
Here's a complete list of chapters which detail the films included:
I didn't really know what I wanted for the cover of this book, but I knew exactly who I wanted to paint it and that's Amber Kup Kake Thurman, who paints a lot of amazing Halloween inspired imagery, often on smaller canvases, usually with an amazing artistic way to frame the central character or characters.
I merely explained to her what the book was about and asked that she draw something in her usual style that included as many of the holidays that I covered as possible, even if that was through little touches. Obviously, the primary image is a lady in Día de Muertos style with a sugar skull, but that's a pumpkin on her head and a dreidel around her neck. What are those images fluttering around behind her? What's in that typically gorgeous framework? What's in the foreground? She covered more of the holidays than I thought possible, all dotted around a single, very striking image.
It's fantastic artwork and I couldn't be happier. Check out her work on her Instagram.
It's typeset in Gentium Plus, which is a newer version of the Gentium font I used in my first four books. It's the same great font but the spacing is much better. This is an source font, released under the SIL Open Font License, which means that it can be used, modified and redistributed for free.
Current copyright law in the US tells me that I should be able to profit from my work until 75 years after I've been buried. I don't buy into that because copyright was always intended to benefit the public (not creators) by ensuring a constant flow of work into the public domain where the public could do whatever they liked with it. It's how Disney got famous! To ensure that creators kept creating, it also gave them a temporary monopoly on their work, which was originally 14 years. If I can't make money off a book in 14 years, then let the public have their turn.
I toyed with the idea of copyrighting my books for 14 years and then releasing them into the public domain, but quickly realised I'd never remember to do that. Instead, I chose to license my books through Creative Commons, using the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 copyleft license. That means that you are legally allowed to copy and distribute them, with my blessing, as long as you:
So please download a PDF of A Horror Movie Calendar from the link below, read it and share it with others so that it can reach as wide an audience as possible.
Please feel free to upload it to peer to peer networks, translate it into your own language or read it aloud and circulate it as an audiobook. Just obey the licensing terms above.
Remember, piracy is not the enemy; obscurity is the enemy!
Buy a Print Copy
Of course, I don't get paid anything from a free download so, if you enjoy the book, please consider buying a print copy to show your appreciation and help me pay my bills. If you don't have room for dead tree products, then please consider buying a print copy for a friend or donate one to a library instead. Either way, I get paid and someone gets to read a good book.
New copies are available for $14.99 at Amazon.com.
If you're in the UK, the book is £12.99 at Amazon.co.uk. It should also become available from the various other Amazon sites; it's €15.99 in Europe.
Signed copies are available from the Dog Eared Pages used bookstore in Phoenix. Trust me, it would not be a hardship for me to travel to a great used bookstore to replenish my stock!
Review the Book
Even if you only read the free PDF, please consider writing a review of it on Amazon.com. Reviews are like gold at Amazon, who will promote books which have obtained enough of them. Getting fifty reviews at Amazon would be like a Christmas present to me.
Of course, the same goes for other independent authors too. If you review their books at Amazon as well as mine, you can help to make it Christmas every month in indie world and we'll love you all the more!
A Horror Movie Calendar is my seventh book on film. Other technical details are:
Catalogue Number: ALP007
Last update: 19th September, 2022