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Posts by Jose Cruz

Cold Reads: The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

Cold Reads celebrates Writer of the Month! Throughout August, we will be studying the works of Edgar Allan Poe and celebrating his massive contributions to the horror genre.

Well, I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition! *Diabolical music* No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! This week's creepy classic is Poe's immortal "The Pit and the Pendulum," a devilish descent into the tortures of the Inquisition minus the soft pillows and comfy chair of Monty Python's hilarious skit. Poe drenches his short tale in a palpable sordidness that will instill a bad taste in the reader's mouth and a tangible shiver in the skin.(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

Cold Reads celebrates Writer of the Month! Throughout August, we will be studying the works of Edgar Allan Poe and celebrating his massive contributions to the horror genre.

Throughout the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, there is a recurring theme of murder and the agonizing guilt that soon follows afterward. "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" are the exemplary stories of this common theme. I chose "The Black Cat" because I think that almost everyone and their grandmothers have read "The Tell-Tale Heart." I felt that hardly any attention was given to the tale up for this week's review and, having never read it myself, I decided to give it a go. What I discovered was an excellent tale of the supernatural that, while not quite matching the intensity of "Tell-Tale," deserves to be read by any fan of the master.(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Cold Reads celebrates Writer of the Month for August! For the next four weeks, we will be studying the works of Edgar Allan Poe and celebrating his massive contributions to the horror genre.

Edgar Allan Poe is known for many things, one of which is being one of the leading voices in American Gothic literature. But his work in creating detective fiction as we know it today (along with the likes of Voltaire and E.T.A. Hoffman) is usually overlooked in favor of his more macabre pieces. Without Poe's help, sleuths such as Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade may never have come into existence. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" marks the first appearance of Poe's famous detective C. Auguste Dupin in a tale of homicide gone completely wild.(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce

Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce

Horror is fear of the unknown, the invisible terror lurking just beyond our sight. Even in movies and literature when the creature or abomination is exposed in all their grotesque glory, it is the thought of them slinking in the darkness that creates the tension. As the cliché goes, what you don't see is more frightening than what you do see. Ambrose Bierce teaches us this most valuable of lessons in his short but powerful tale of "The Damned Thing."(read more...)

Cold Reads: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby is by no means a conventional horror novel. Then again, Chuck Palahniuk is by no means a conventional horror novelist. Hell, Palahniuk isn't even a conventional writer. While these factors may seem to be detriments to the success of the book, Palahniuk's novel accomplishes something that hardly seems possible in the world of horror today: he has developed a completely new, unique, and refreshing idea. Lullaby deserves to go down in the annals of the best psychological/satirical/horror novels, however small said annals may be.(read more...)

Cold Reads: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Rose on a Grave by JoX1989

Dark and dirty things occur in the Deep South at the dead of night, while the crickets are a-chirping and the big ol' devil moon is smiling down at the earth. I apologize for the folksy intro, but after reading "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, I can't help but get in the moonshine spirit of things. If the bizarre effect the tale had on me isn't testament enough, I can personally assure you that Faulkner's prose will have you convinced that his town of Jefferson, Mississippi is as real as your own childhood home.(read more...)

Review: Maniac (1934)

Maniac 1934 lobby card

The early 1930s were an interesting time for filmmaking. Just as pictures were making the transition from silent films to talkies, some of these movies ran over a few road bumps on the path to glory through their broad acting and creaky camera movements. But there were some filmmakers who sought to overshadow these foibles with grand and sensational material. Director Dwain Esper was a talent in the pioneering days of sound films who knew the quickest way to an audience's heart: mindless and morally objectionable drivel pumped through their popcorn-greased veins. Good taste be damned! Morals? Bah! Dirty, cheap entertainment? More of that please! You know what kind of film you're in for when you witness a scene of young women parading around a bedroom in nothing but their lingerie. Masterpiece Theater this is not. These are qualities that make Maniac a melting pot of depraved delights.(read more...)

Cold Reads: Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola and John Byrne

Hellboy Seed of Destruction

Here in the grim library section of Classic-Horror.com, I have thus far delved into written works of fiction both short and long. It is my mission to discuss varying mediums of the written word, everything from novels, plays, and comic books. This week's selection is the first in one of my mad experiments in the realm of the graphic arts.

Hellboy is somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Starting out as a mere sketch by artist Mike Mignola, the character has developed and changed over the years since that first conception. Hellboy is now a force in the comic book industry to be reckoned with and one of the luminaries of the fabulous comic book company Dark Horse. Being no stranger to graphic novels, I eagerly awaited for the moment I could begin reading Hellboy: Seed of Destruction. As a fan of horror and comic books, I was sufficiently rewarded.(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

Gather around, everyone. I have a tale to tell you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. But fear not, my dear readers. We have the safety of the crackling fire and the roof over our heads to protect us from the night's terrible wrath. You may have heard this story before. Perhaps from a family member or a friend of a friend. For those of you who have yet to hear this little shocker, you may wish you never had...(read more...)

Cold Reads: Red Shadows by Robert E. Howard

Red Shadows (Weird Tales cover)

See the swashbuckling hero smite out evil with the blade of his holy sword! Witness the evil doings of nefarious French criminals and diabolical African warlords! Shiver at the sight of the dead returning from their graves to the beat of voodoo drums as they shamble forth into the mysterious void of the night world! All these thrilling adventures await you in Robert E. Howard's tale of vengeance and bare-chested action that succeeds in both boiling the blood and chilling the flesh.(read more...)