Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Jose Cruz

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Contributor

The addiction began for me when I was very young. I was only in the second grade when I was exposed to the terrors of a masked madman causing havoc in a theater in a little film called The Phantom of the Opera (1943). From there I was hooked. The monsters of the classic Universal Horror films became close companions, and I enthusiastically replicated their gruesome adventures in home-made movies.

Hammer films, sleazy slashers, Grindhouse gems, Italian giallos, Gothic Euro horrors, silent masterpieces, spooky television, and everything in between became my passion over the years. I was the only kid who would sit out during recess just so I could read my latest book in the "Goosebumps" series. Yeah, that bad. I'm not completely obsessed. Other passions include writing short fiction, theater acting and watching, singing badly in Rock Band so nobody will judge me, literature and film analysis, comic books, cheesy 90's club music, and other forms of geekery.

For those of you interested, you can go to The Terror Trap for some of my other ravings or to my blog The Grim Reader for general insanity.
Posts by Jose Cruz

Review: The Ninth Gate (1999)

Ninth Gate poster

Having conjured up a vision from Hell in a New York brownstone apartment house some thirty years previously, director Roman Polanski returned to the diabolical fold with this, a loose adaptation of the novel El Club Dumas by Spanish author Arturo Perez-Reverte. And although the quiet, precise trappings of the filmmaker's work remain intact in this old curiosity, it is ultimately a film less interested in heralding the coming of the Devil than one that sees fit to tell us that he's been here the entire time.

Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a reptilian book dealer who cheats unwitting people out of antiquated volumes worth thousands with as much ease as lighting up one of his ever-handy cigarettes. There is no passion or sense of duty in his task, only reward and gain. That's what makes him an ideal candidate for the imposing collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), a grave eccentric who owns a library of ancient texts based solely around Satan. (read more...)

Cold Reads: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Cold Reads A Christmas Carol cover

The story of Ebenezer's Scrooge ghostly redemption has been the basis for countless adaptations, spin-offs, and parodies. It has become a classic story of the Yuletide tradition, and chances are there has already been a bombardment of film versions that have played on television by the time of this writing. At times it almost seems like the public forgets that A Christmas Carol is actually a book, one that happens to be written by one of the most well-respected artists to have graced the English language. What's forgotten even more frequently is that A Christmas Carol is at its core, past all the sugar plums and rosy-cheeked merriness, a horror story. (read more...)

Cold Reads: Vampire Junction by S. P. Somtow

Vampire Junction book

By all appearances, Vampire Junction looks to be just another addition in a tirelessly long line of mediocre paperback fare that was spewed forth by both talented and hack writers alike during the 1980s. It's hard to go into a tale detailing the trials and tribulations of immortality with a straight face when the cover to the book shows the powdered face of a young boy (looking somewhat similar to Justin Bieber) singing his undead heart out while wearing a velvet cape and baring his fangs. But somehow author S. P. Somtow manages to downplay the ridiculous notion of a vampiric teeny-bopper singer and delve into some fertile ground that explores the deeper psychological themes surrounding the vampire myth. (read more...)

The Goriest Film You Never Saw

Brutal Feature: Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. When it comes to endless savagery and violence in cinema, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a film that usually comes up during the conversation. People shiver as they recount how a madman wearing the faces of others chases down a group of stranded young folk, always eager to carve them to pieces like Thanksgiving dinner (not the worst metaphor either, as the killer and his family enjoy feasting on the remains of the fallen). Those who can recall their own grueling viewing experiences remember all these morbid tidbits in lurid detail. And those who have not seen it, in turn, are taken by the film's reputation and either become hesitant to watch it or convinced that the film is another mindless gorefest.

(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

If you'll come with me now, we'll take a journey to a strange land. But this land really isn't all that peculiar. As we wrestle our way through the brambles and hedges, one becomes aware of the faint scent of nostalgia clinging to the trees. There are memories here, in the earth and the sky. This is a land we've been to before. That's because it is a place that belongs to the dream world, that realm we visit on a nightly basis when we give in to the cool embraces of slumber. Washington Irving is our dream master, his tale of spooks and schoolteachers weaving an enchanting tapestry of myths, magic and, of course, that immortal "Legend of Sleepy Hollow."(read more...)

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