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Ho, ho, ho! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Christmas Evil is more like it. I am participating in the Christmas Evil Readathon this month with an ambitious reading goal. Strategically, I picked a couple of books that could count for numerous prompts, so if I cannot read all of the books on my list, I can at least complete the bingo board. I am currently reading Crooked House by Agatha Christie for the Slay Bells prompt and Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil by Al Ridenour for the Krampus prompt. In addition to reading books throughout the month, there will be movie watch parties, photo prompts, and a virtual Christmas party that includes singing zombie Christmas carols.

I am also participating in the Cloak and Dagger Christmas Readathon, wrapping up Melissa’s 7th Grade Book Challenge, and reading the first book selected for the #fomobookclub. I know, I know, dear reader. Like I said, it is ambitious. Thankfully, Crooked House by Agatha Christie can also count for both Cloak and Dagger and Melissa’s challenge. Additionally, I am reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige which will tie up Melissa’s challenge nicely with a bow, and it could technically count for the Santa’s Little Helper prompt.

If you want to hear more about my reading goals for December and the prompts for Cloak and Dagger Christmas, please check out my video with all the details. You’ll get a preview of one of the zombie Christmas carols we will be singing at the Christmas party on Saturday, 17 December.

Yuletide Movie Marathon

My Yuletide movie marathon is underway and the first two movies I have watched thus far have been duds. I watched The Gingerdead Man and Ugly Sweater Party with the Christmas Evil folks on discord, and they were both AWFUL. However, I have to admit The Gingerdead Man was better. HA! Watching both of these terrible films with a group of people on discord while chatting throughout the films made both experiences less painful on my eyeballs and more fun overall.

I always start my Christmas movie marathon with 12 horror movies set in winter or around the Christmas holidays. Except for the two terrible movies I have already watched, I think the other 10 movies on my list will be enjoyable. The Thing (1982) and 30 Days of Night are both rewatches for me and are a guaranteed good time. It has been quite awhile since I have seen them last, so I am looking forward to rewatching them. They are both awesome horror movies set in extremely cold temperatures. Violent Night is currently in the movie theaters, and my plan is to see it this week.

After I watch all of the scary movies, I watch 12 traditional Christmas movies plus two annual Christmas films that I love, Elf and Love Actually. All of the movies on this list are new watches for me, and I am excited to give them a whirl this holiday season. Unlike my books which will strictly fulfill my December reading goals, the movies I have chosen will more than likely bleed into next month. Technically, the Christmas season ends in early January. Sometime after watching our holiday movies, Kelsi and I are planning to have a chat to discuss the movies we watch during this festive season.

Reading books and watching movies at Christmastime are just a couple of the ways to make the holiday season more special for me. I will be sharing my Winter Fun List soon. I am slightly behind with my writing because I have been reading a great deal and creating weekly content for my new YouTube channel. Hopefully, I will get caught up this next week. What are your plans for the Christmas season, dear reader? Do you create a winter or holiday fun list? Let me know in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Happiness!

“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” ~ Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

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I am running a bit behind on some of my blog posts since I launched my YouTube channel back in October. Nevertheless, I am a finisher (rarely do I throw in the towel) and since I finished my Halloween movie marathon, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, dear reader. I watched a total of 15 movies during the spooky season. I replaced Mr. Harrigan’s Phone with The Babadook because I did not have enough time to read the novella in the If It Bleeds collection by Stephen King prior to watching the movie.

I enjoyed most of the movies I watched this year. I will not go into much detail about any of the films because I do not want to spoil them for anyone who has not seen any of these movies. There were four highly anticipated films on my list, Trick ‘r Treat, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Hocus Pocus 2 and Terrifier 2.

Trick ‘r Treat was on my list last year, but I was unable to watch it because of availability. So, I was super excited to watch it this year, and it was worth the wait. I LOVED it! It includes four stories woven together that take place on Halloween. The one constant thread running through all four stories is Sam or Samhain, an immortal Halloween demon who enforces the rules of Halloween. It was my only 5-star watch this season, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a terrific Halloween horror movie.

On the other hand, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, was a HUGE disappointment and the polar opposite of Trick ‘r Treat. Kelsi and I watched it together at her house, and we were both downhearted with this screen adaptation of Grady Hendrix’s beloved novel of which we are both fans. Underwhelming is the best way to describe it.

Hocus Pocus 2 and Terrifier 2 are on completely different ends of the spectrum; however, I liked them both for different reasons. Hocus Pocus 2 was a terrific trip down memory lane as my friends and I revisited the shenanigans of the Sanderson sisters, who are resurrected when the Black Flame Candle is lit by a couple of high school students. While it is not as good as the original, it is still a good time in my opinion, and I thoroughly enjoyed the magic, mischief, and mayhem. Terrifier 2 proved to be even more terrifying than the original. Thankfully, Kelsi and I watched it together in the theater. Art the Clown is the most off-putting and sinister villian who sadistically kills people on Halloween. In this latest installment, Art is resurrected and sets out to destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother. It is definitely much gorier than the first film, and there is an added element that proves to be even more terrifying than Art. Who would have ever thought it possible? This film has more of a storyline than the first with a protagonist you can root for as she battles the demonic clown.

Five of the films on my list are supernatural horror films that I consider slow burns: Umma, No One Gets Out Alive, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The House of Usher, and The Babadook. Generally with slow burns, I like to revisit them because sometimes I miss the deeper meaning of the story, or I want to delve a little deeper into the film’s social commentary. I will eventually revisit all of these films, except The House of Usher which I thought was a boring retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I enjoyed the other four films and think I might like them a bit more when I watch them again. After watching No One Gets Out Alive, I discovered it was based on a book written by Adam Nevill. I would like to read the book, do some research on the mythology included in the story, and then rewatch the movie. After watching The Babadook, I discovered it was based on a short film called Monster by Jennifer Kent. I want to watch Monster, do some research on the Babadook creature, and then rewatch the movie. As for Umma (haunted by childhood trauma) and I Am the Pretty One That Lives in the House (atmospheric; gothic vibes), I plan to rewatch both of them when the mood strikes me.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is an entertaining movie geared toward kids. It is kind of cool to imagine there is a secret society of babysitters who protect the children in their charge by battling the Boogyman and his monsters. Like Hocus Pocus 2, I enjoy throwing in a couple of family fun Halloween movies to break up the doom, gloom, and creepy vibes. It also gives me the chance to watch movies with friends or family members who are not fans of horror.

The remaining five films on my list worth checking out include Hellfest (serial killer blends in at a horror theme park on Halloween night), The Rite, a rewatch for me (demon possession), The House of the Devil (atmospheric, creepy, and love that Greta Gerwig is in it), Suspiria (directed by Dario Argento, visually spectacular, atmospheric, and eerie), and Countdown (be careful which apps you download on your phone because you may end up dead).

You can hear more of my thoughts about the movies that I watched in common with Kelsi, as well as our rankings (top 6 movies for me) in our latest livestream. As always, we hope you enjoy it and appreciate you taking the time to watch our video. Please consider giving us a thumbs up if you like it, and share it with a friend who likes listening to chats about horror movies.

That’s a wrap on the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. It was a fangtastically good time. I will be releasing my list of movies that I plan to watch for the Christmas season shortly. My movie list will include both horror movies for the winter season and Christmas Classics. You can also follow me on Letterboxd @ KittyKatAttack and check out my lists of movies. Happiness!

“Samhain, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, also known as Halloween. Pre-dating Christianity, the Celtic holiday was celebrated on the one night between autumn and winter when the barrier between the living and the dead was thinnest and often involved rituals that included human sacrifice.” ~ Rhonda (Samm Todd), Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

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Happy Zombie Awareness Month, dear reader! I am ready for some zombie fun which will last ALL month long. ZOMBIES are my jam! I have created another Zombie Fun List just for this year. It will include anything related to zombies, such as movies, television shows, books, short stories, articles, cocktails, and clothing. Kelsi will also be joining me for a zomberific good time, and when it is all said and done, we plan to chat about our rotting good time with reanimated corpses.

Zombie Fun List

Movies

Television Shows

  • The Walking Dead
  • Fear the Walking Dead
  • TWD: World Beyond
  • All of Us Are Dead
  • Kingdom

Books, Short Stories, and Articles

For more information about zombies, check out the Zombie Research Society. They have awesome articles about the living dead, including a recent article called “Digesting the Living: Zombie Stomach Acid” which was posted on 09 April 2022 by Luke W. Boyd. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Additionally, for all you readers who are on the fence about zombies, check out Kelsi’s latest video, 10 Zombie Movie Recommendations for People Who Don’t Like Zombies! on YouTube. Kelsi loves horror, but zombies are not her favorite horror genre. However, she does admit that she has found some undead gems since celebrating Zombie Awareness Month with me.

I am thrilled to be celebrating zombies throughout the month of May. If time permits, I will sprinkle additional zombie posts throughout the month. Of course, dear reader, if you feel the compulsion to join us, we would love to know what activities you will be engaging in during the month. What does it take to become a zombie? Deadication. Happiness!

“You can’t negotiate with a zombie. They have only one impulse – that’s to eat us or our brains.” ~ Stephen Graham Jones

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We are in the middle of the winter season, and I am counting down the days until spring. As you know, dear reader, I have to work hard to fight off the winter doldrums. This winter season seems particularly harder than past seasons with continuing to deal with COVID conditions and the aftermath of Ida on top of a holiday season that flew by so quickly my face feels chapped from the wind burn. I know, a bit melodramatic. However, the festive season came and went with a flurry of activity, followed by more flurries of activity, leaving Kelsi and I no time to really stop to catch our breath. Hence, why my Christmas Fun List wrap up post is late. I almost decided to scrap it; however, my bestie Shelly encouraged me to write it because, after all, someone might want to read it. Without further ado, this is how I spent my Christmas season.

MOVIES: Classic Christmas

In the month of December, I watch 24 Christmas related films, 12 are Christmas Horror and 12 are what I consider Classic Christmas. Kelsi and I already wrapped our Christmas Horror movies topped nicely with a bow. You can check out my blog post and YouTube chat with Kelsi if you are interested in the horror films we watched earlier in the Christmas season.

I had a terrific time watching the movies on my Classic Christmas list. My top three films were all movies I have seen several times but really, really love. To be fair, I generally watch Love Actually and Elf every Christmas, so I probably should not even include them on my annual fun list. The Holiday is a delightful romantic comedy and was fun to revisit this year, especially because of the dreamy Jude Law. Surprisingly, this year was the first time watching It’s a Wonderful Life. This FABULOUS movie is about being grateful for your blessings, not taking your life for granted, and getting second chances.

All four movies are 5 stars in my book. I could watch them over and over, and it would never get dull. Pottersville: A Magical Life rounded out my Top 5 films with 4 stars. It was my first watch and definitely a good time. The main character Maynard gets mistaken for Bigfoot after he is caught wallowing in moonshine and cavorting around town in the middle of the night. The Holiday Calendar (another Hallmark-esque romantic comedy), right on the heels of Pottersville, is about a magical Advent calendar that shows the main character Abby that dreams can come true in unexpected ways. The Night Before (adult humor), The Christmas Chronicles (kids catching Santa off guard), and Rise of the Guardians (holiday representatives come together to solve a problem) all received 4 stars as well for pure enjoyment. Rise of the Guardians was another rewatch and every bit enjoyable as the first time I watched it with Andrew in the theater many moons ago. My 3-star movies included Holidate (more adult humor mixed with a Hallmark vibe), Surviving Christmas with the Relatives (British comedy), and Unaccompanied Minors (kids catching airport officials off guard). Unaccompanied Minors replaced Almost Christmas since I could not get the DVD in time from Netflix. All of the Classic Christmas movies on my list this year were enjoyable, and I would recommend all twelve of them.

Books/Short Stories

I read my first Fear Street book, Silent Night, by R.L. Stine. Kelsi gifted me a copy for Christmas. I loved the thematic setting at Christmastime blended with a mystery, murder, and mayhem. The other books that I read this season were Robot Santa (sequel to Santa’s Twin) by Dean Koontz, Wraith (prequel to NOS4A2) by Joe Hill, and He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus (collection of 12 short stories) edited by Kate Wolford. All of my books received 5 stars

because they are all awesome, in my opinion. What a great reading season! Kelsi and I talk more in depth about our books and movies in our wrap up chat which you can watch at your leisure. I have included our video below for your viewing pleasure.

Thematic Potpourri

In addition to amazing books and several terrific movies, I wore Christmas socks and pins. I added gnome socks and a Grinch t-shirt to my Christmas clothing collection. On the subject of gnomes, I bought a few to add to my Christmas decor. I am officially obsessed with GNOMES. My affinity for these small mythical creatures happened quite by accident when I found a couple of them at Hobby Lobby to add to my autumn decor.

I am also collecting little birds that reflect the season. You will notice them popping up here and there in my pictures. I received one a few Christmases ago, and since this last fall (again shopping for autumn decor), I am noticing them for other holiday seasons. In addition to buying Christmas decor, I bought Christmas cards to send out to my family and friends. I love sending cards to my favorite people for Christmas and for other special occasions. Funny enough, I picked out my cards way before I knew I was joyspotting in 2022.

No fun list is complete without thematic adult beverages and food. Unfortunately, I did not do any baking this year for Christmas. However, I enjoyed two new cocktails. The first concoction was a Mistletoe Margarita that I made for our family get-together on my husband’s side.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Silver Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 cups Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual glasses over ice.

That is sugar on the rim of the glass.

The second concoction was a Cherry Ripe Martini that Kerry, Shelly’s husband, made for my hubby and me on Christmas evening, one of our favorite drink nights to spend with awesome friends. This year, my two boys came over and hung out with all of us.

Ingredients

  • 30 ml White Creme De Cacoa
  • 30 ml Cherry Liquor
  • 20 ml Vodka
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual martini glass over drizzled Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

I also bought a “happy” for myself. OwlCrate, a YA book subscription box I have purchased in the past, offered a 12 Days of OwlMas box for the holiday season, and I ordered one. Starting on Monday, 13 December, I opened one gift each day for twelve days leading up to Christmas Day. I recorded my unboxing each day through pictures on my Instagram account (katherineloyacano). It inspired me to make a 12 Days of Christmas “happy” for Kelsi with all kinds of little gifts related to pop culture that she loves. I had a blast gathering the gifts, wrapping them, and writing out the clues on each tag. I love this project so much that I want to do it again next year and plan to expand it. Plus, I have all year to gather the little gifts instead of just a couple of weeks.

December was a fun-filled month that made my life merry and bright. I spent time with amazing people, participated in awesome activities, and received some great gifts. As I mentioned before, dear reader, creating a fun list for a holiday, a month, or even a season adds a happiness boost to your life. It can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be, but the goal is to add a little extra fun to your existing plans. Stay warm, dear reader. Happiness!

“Christmas,” says Santa,” is about living your life with love and a spirit of giving, friendship, compassion, peace, and bright hope.” ~ Dean Koontz, Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin

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As you may already know, dear reader, I am a HUGE fan of Stephen King’s extraordinary storytelling. The “Master of Horror” made an indeliable impression on me way back in the 8th grade when my Uncle Robert’s girlfriend at the time gave me her paperback copy of The Stand. Stephen King caught my attention and captured my heart with his character-driven story set in a post-apocalyptic world. Since then, I have read at least 40 of his novels (some of them more than once) and several of his short stories.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that Kelsi and I decided to spend each month of 2022 exploring King’s extensive body of work by reading a novel, a novella, or short stories written by him, then watching the screen adaptation of it afterwards. Subsequently, we will host a monthly livestream on Kelsi’s YouTube channel to discuss our thoughts on both the written work and the movie. Back in October, Kelsi and I had one of these chats where we discussed Cycle of the Werewolf and Silver Bullet. We had a blast!

Our January selection is Misery. I am more than halfway through reading this incredible novel and will be watching the movie later this week. Our livestream for Misery is scheduled for Sunday, 23 January at 2:00 pm CT on Slime and Slashers – A Nostalgia & Horror Channel.

For those of you who are interested in joining Kelsi and me on our journey through Stephen King’s universe throughout 2022, I have created a list of our selections for the entire year. We will encounter fanatical fans, menacing monsters, ghastly ghosts, the devil, and so much more, making this year frightfully fun.

Year of King Schedule

  • January: Misery
  • February: Gerald’s Game
  • March: “Langoliers” (Four Past Midnight)
  • April: The Dark Half
  • May: Pet Sematary
  • June: “The Mist” (Skeleton Crew) and “1408” (Everything’s Eventual)
  • July: It
  • August: Cujo
  • September: “Lawnmower Man,” “The Mangler,” and “Graveyard Shift” (Night Shift)
  • October: Needful Things
  • November: Dead Zone
  • December: The Shining

Needless to say, dear reader, #13 on my 22 for 2022 list is not going to be difficult to accomplish this year. Let me know if you are a Stephen King fan or may consider joining us on this literary adventure. Happiness!

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” ~ Stephen King

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Kelsi and I have neatly wrapped up watching the Christmas horror movies on our Christmas Fun Lists this year. When creating our lists, we lamented that we watched all the best Christmas horror movies in 2020. She fared far better than me this holiday season because I chose quite a few duds and barely eeked out a Top 5 list.

The Mothman Prophecies, which was a rewatch for me, topped my list. If you are a fan of The X-Files, urban legends, or Richard Gere, you may enjoy this slow burn movie, dear reader. A reporter’s personal tragedy leads him to the discovery of a mysterious entity in a small West Virginia town. Second runner-up is The Lodge, another slow burn that is dark and disconcerting. It is a psychological horror film about siblings marred by a sudden tragedy that leads to disturbing consequences.

The third movie on my list is a Christmas comedy-horror film that took me by surprise. Mercy Christmas is a “when something seems too good to be true, it is” kind of story with an unexpected twist and social commentary. The protagonist, Michael Briskett, is a likeable but lonely guy, who is spending yet another Christmas alone when a beautiful co-worker invites him for Christmas dinner at her family’s home. Horror ensues shortly after he arrives and serves the perfect blend of bloodshed, brutality, and black comedy.

P2 took fourth place. This horror thriller fairs well as a one-and-done film for me. It is a predictable story about a workaholic who quickly learns that working late on Christmas Eve can be deadly. Finally, Dead End snags the fifth place spot on my list. This is another slow burn horror film about a dysfunctional family going through an existential crisis after taking a wrong turn on their way to a family member’s home to celebrate Christmas.

Except for Christmas Evil, the other films on my list are not really worth mentioning; however, of the remaining movies on my list, Black Christmas (2006) and Slay Belles both earned 2 1/2 stars. While they are not the greatest Christmas horror films out there, they may warrant a watch from horror fans, but do not expect much. Unless you are a glutton for punishment, I would steer clear of Krampus: The Christmas Devil, The Traveler, Mrs. Claus, and All Through the House.

Kelsi and I had a chat on December 12th about the films we had in common this season, which included The Mothman Prophecies, Mercy Christmas, Slay Belles, and Mrs. Claus. It was a terrific talk.

Last but not least, Kelsi and I wrapped up our ongoing debate of Christmas Evil. I reluctantly agreed to rewatch this film and participate in the Christmas Evil Challenge. Bantering back and forth with Kelsi about this ridiculous film, which is one of her all-time favorites, was a great deal of fun. Surprisingly, I did discover some new insights about the film and even bumped it up another 1/2 star for a total rating of 2 1/2 stars. Kelsi and I had a lively livestream on December 23rd where we revealed the winner of the Christmas Evil Challenge.

I may have completed watching all of the Christmas horror movies on my list; however, I still have plenty of traditional Christmas movies to watch and a sufficient amount of holiday reading left. The Christmas season has been enjoyable, and I am loving my time off. I hope your Christmas was merry and full of good cheer, dear reader. Happiness!

“To hear a voice is one thing. But this isn’t just a message, it’s a prediction. It came true.” ~ John Klein (Richard Gere), The Mothman Prophecies

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This is Part 2 of the movies I watched during the spooky season. I liked most of the films in this second part, especially the two found footage films, Creep and The Houses October Built. I cannot go into much detail about either film without spoiling them. Creep is about a videographer who answers an online ad to film a day in the life of a dying man. It is weird, creepy, cringey, and one of my favorite films on this list. The Houses October Built documents five friends taking a road trip across America to visit haunted house attractions, but they soon discover that not all haunted houses are make-believe and harmless fun. I highly recommend both films for a creepy good time.

Two other films I recommend are both Netflix Originals, 1922 and A Classic Horror Story. 1922 is based on a short story written by Stephen King. It is about a farmer who slowly descends into madness and faces dire consequences after making a dark and deadly decision. A Classic Horror Story is an Italian horror film that appears to be something familiar to horror movie fans, but turns out to be something altogether different. Again, I cannot share much about this film without spoiling the gruesome details.

Other films worth checking out include Aftermath (partly based on a true story), Pulse, the Japanese horror film (goosebumps guaranteed from the eerie encounter with the ghost woman), Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (atmospheric and eerie), The Brood (directed by David Cronenberg and contains disturbing body horror), Dark Was the Night (beast in the woods wreaks havoc on a sleepy little town), and Malevolent (pretending to see something you don’t can backfire).

There were two movies on my list that I deem duds. The ultra-low budget film, Driller Killer, is at the bottom of the movie barrel and is the worst movie I have watched for any of my marathons. Driller Killer is the absurd tale about an artist who goes insane and decides to trade his paintbrush for a power drill. Not too far behind is the boring film, Session 9. It takes place in an insane asylum where an asbestos removal crew has been hired to clean up the place, but uncovers a mysterious presence in the process. Surprisingly, both films have gained a cult following.

You can hear more of my thoughts about the movies that I watched in common with Kelsi, along with her thoughts, in our Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Wrap Up Part 2. In addition to a more in-depth commentary on these films, this chat also includes a discussion about acting and what makes a movie seem dated or not, and we both reveal our Top 10 Favorite Watches From the Halloween Marathon. It is another long video, but Kelsi again does a terrific job of including time stamps in the description section. As always, we hope you enjoy it and appreciate you taking the time to watch our video. Please consider giving us a thumbs up if you like it, and share it with a friend who likes listening to chats about horror movies.

That’s a wrap on the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. It was a wickedly good time. I have one final post to publish recapping my Halloween Fun List, and then I’ll be switching gears and focusing on Christmas and the winter season. Happiness!

“I sit here and can’t believe that it happened. And yet I have to believe it. Dreams or nightmares? Madness or sanity? I don’t know which is which.” ~Jessica (Zohra Lampert), Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

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The Halloween season would not be complete without watching horror movies. I chose 20 films this year for my Halloween Movie Marathon. This post is Part 1 of my movie discussion and only mentions eight of the films that I watched during October. Three of them were kid-friendly Halloween movies and new watches for me. They included The Monster Squad, The Halloween Tree, and Halloweentown. The Monster Squad is campy and a bit more appropriate for teenagers. Of these three movies, it was my least favorite despite featuring the Universal Monsters, a horror movie club run by kids, and a friendship between a precious little girl and Frankenstein. Surprisingly, I adored Halloweentown, a Disney original starring the wonderful Debbie Reynolds. It is a heartwarming story featuring friendly monsters and a young girl who discovers her magical powers as a witch. Another pleasant surprise was the delightful animated film The Halloween Tree narrated by Ray Bradbury, who is the author of the book of the same name. The film is a magical journey through the history of the spooky season. Halloweentown and The Halloween Tree will definitely be rewatches for me in the future during the Halloween season.

There were two more campy movies on my list, House on Haunted Hill and The People Under the Stairs. I chose to watch House on Haunted Hill because of the play I was in at The Columbia Theatre during the spooky season. I enjoyed it immensely for its plot twists, spookiness in addition to its campiness, and Vincent Price. The People Under the Stairs was not one of my favorites on this year’s list. It is supposed to be horror satire and does have a few redeeming qualities. After reading an article about Jordan Peele’s thoughts on the film and potentially spearheading a remake, along with Kelsi’s thoughts in our chat about the movie, I plan to rewatch this film before making any final judgements. I would LOVE to see a remake of this movie, especially if Jordan Peele is at the helm.

Of the 20 movies that I watched, only two were rewatches. Kelsi and I watched Silver Bullet together and had a lively discussion on her YouTube channel comparing it to the novella it is based on, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. It was wonderful revisiting this film, and even more wonderful experiencing it with Kelsi as she watched it for the first time. Nightbreed was my other rewatch, but this time around, I watched the director’s cut which was much better than the theatrical version. Admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed with the film after reading Cabal, the novella written by Clive Barker and the basis for the film. Cabal is darker and the characters are more fleshed out than in the film. I would have liked to have seen more of the character, Dr. Decker, also known as the sadistic serial killer Button Face. The critically acclaimed director, David Cronenberg, plays the role of Dr. Decker and nails the dreadfully creepy character. Coincidentally, one of Cronenberg’s films, The Brood, made our movie list for this year’s marathon. One merit of the film was the visually appealing monsters or Nighbreed that reside in Midian. Kelsi and I both agree that Clive Barker is a master of horror; however, if you have not discovered his work, we do not recommend starting with Cabal or Nightbreed. They are enjoyable but not where we suggest you start with exploring the fantastical worlds of Clive Barker. I would recommend The Hellbound Heart, Books of Blood (short stories), or Weaveworld for first reads and Hellraiser for a first watch. You will get a taste of his brillance as a horror writer and want to discover more of his work on the page and in film.

Dear reader, you can hear more of my thoughts about these movies, Kelsi’s thoughts, and our reaction to Art the Clown in the anthology film All Hallows’ Eve in our Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Wrap Up Part 1. Art the clown is still super creepy, and the three frightening short films within an equally frightening film, which crosses the line between reality and the make-believe, make All Hallows’ Eve more terrifying than Terrifier. In addition to a more in-depth commentary on these films, this chat also includes some stats, a few overall thoughts about the marathon, as well as surprises and disappointments. It is a long video, but Kelsi does a terrific job of including time stamps in the description section. Also, like our friend Ray does, you could listen to it like a podcast. We hope you enjoy it, and please consider leaving a comment or two, as well as any suggestions because we do appreciate your feedback.

This is just Part 1 of the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. My post on Part 2 will be published shortly. Feel free to comment on some of the horror movies you enjoy watching, especially during the spooky season. Happiness!

“There’ll be food and drink and ghosts…and perhaps even a few murders. You’re all invited.” ~ Frederick Loren (Vincent Price), House on Haunted Hill (1959)

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May is Zombie Awareness Month! However, both Kelsi and I had some unfinished zombie business, so our zombie fun spilled over into the beginning half of June. We both completed our movie marathons, and I enjoyed several zombie-related activities on my Zombie Fun List. I love zombies as you can see from my t-shirt, dear reader.

The bulk of our month was spent watching Zombie Horror Movies. While Kelsi chose seven movies to watch (zombies has seven letters), I chose to watch ten. Overall, I enjoyed all of them, and the zombies looked awesome. Interestingly, five of them are foreign films (Shaun of the Dead, Ravenous, #Alive, The Girl With All the Gifts, KL Zombie) and four of them are American films (Slither, I Am Legend, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Army of the Dead) with Little Monsters being a mix of the two (Australia, UK, USA).

Out of the 10 films, three were rewatches, Shaun of the Dead, Slither, and I Am Legend. Five of the films are considered comedy/horror. Five of them have slow zombies (which I generally prefer) while the other five have fast zombies. Shaun of the Dead made the top of my list. It is a cult classic and one of my favorite zombie movies. KL Zombie ended up in last place. It is a super silly, low-budget film, but worth watching at least once. Not all zombie movies are created the same just like not all zombies are created the same.

Kelsi and I had two chats to discuss zombies. Our first chat was midway through the month of May to discuss Shaun of the Dead and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse along with zombie survival tips. Both movies are comedy/horror and have terrific casts, plots, lots of laughs, and plenty of gore .

In addition to movies, I watched three television shows, Fear the Walking Dead (AMC), Betaal (Netflix) and Deadset (Netflix). I would recommend all three shows to anyone who enjoys the zombie genre. Originally, I chose six zombie shows to watch, but I clearly did not have enough time to watch them all. There is always next year.

I was also a little too enthusiastic about the amount of reading I wanted to throughout the month. I originally chose four books and an article. I read the article and two books, Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith (prequel to Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies) and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks (graphic novel).

My hubby and I invited friends over to eat boiled crawfish and enjoy a refreshing Zombie Apocalypse Cocktail. I give this cocktail two thumbs up. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

For this fun-filled month, I offered my readers an opportunity to receive a free book. Since we should all know how to survive a zombie apocalypse, I chose one lucky reader to receive a copy of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. The lucky recipient was Dave Pozefsky. Dave also loves zombies, and one of his top five favorite zombie films is Shaun of the Dead. His other faves are Train to Busan, Pontypool, 28 Days Later, and Night of the Living Dead. He also likes the zombie anime Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. Congrats Dave!

As you can tell, dear reader, I had a delightful month immersing myself in the fascinating world of the undead. Check out the second chat that Kelsi and I had to discuss the remaining movies on our lists as well as my other zombie-related activities. What kind of bread do zombies prefer? Whole brain! Happiness!

“Elizabeth dropped her dagger, sprang toward the unmentionable, and tried to pry the flintlock from its grip. She quickly got the gun — and the hand wrapped around it, as well. It snapped off at the wrist with a dry crackle.” ~ Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls

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I am halfway through my Zombie Movie Marathon. I have already watched five of the ten movies selected for this month. Ravenous was my first choice followed by Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Slither, Shaun of the Dead, and #Alive. Without going into any details (discussing details with Kelsi after the marathon), I give two thumbs up to all five movies. Kelsi and I will be chatting specifically about Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and Shaun of the Dead tomorrow, so be on the lookout for our next video chat.

I’m also participating in other zombie-related activities included on my Zombie Fun List. Currently, I am reading Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith. It is the prequel set four years prior to the dreadful circumstances of Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. It reveals the evolution of Elizabeth Bennet, the Zombie Slayer.

Additionally, I watched the first and only available season of Betaal, an Indian television show created by Patrick Graham. It is a Netflix series that was released in 2020 and is comprised of four episodes. The story centers around an elite military unit called the CIPD, who are hired by the owner of the Surya Construction Company to relocate the Adivasi villagers from their home, so a highway can be constructed and the surrounding lands can be used for various construction projects. In order for the highway to be built, a sealed tunnel must be opened. Despite warnings from the locals, officials clear the tunnel and disentomb an army of British soldier-zombies.

I enjoyed Betaal and recommend it to anyone who likes the zombie genre. It is fascinating to me to see zombies in other parts of the world and in different cultures. While the trailer shows subtitles, the Netflix show is dubbed in English with subtitles for anything that appears in print (signs, text in a book, etc.). The zombies look terrifically horrific and are frightfully fast. It is eerie, gory, and includes many tense moments.

Yesterday, I watched the first episode of a British mini-series created by Charlie Brooker called Deadset which is about zombies descending upon reality television. It is also a Netflix series, composed of five episodes, that was released in 2008. So far, Deadset is pretty intense, and I’m enjoying it.


As you can see, I’m having a zombie-rific time this month watching and reading about all things zombie. In fact, to celebrate, I am having a Zombie Book Contest. One lucky follower of The Kat Files will win a copy of The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

For your chance to win this book that offers “complete protection from the living dead,” subscribe to my blog at the top of this blog post if you haven’t done so already AND email Zombie Book Contest to me at katloyacano@gmail.com and tell me your favorite zombie movie, television show, or book and what you love most about zombies.

The contest ends on Monday, 31 May 2021. Don’t forget to include your mailing address for receipt of your prize. Good luck, dear reader! Happiness!

“The dead walk among us. Zombies, ghouls — no matter what their label — these somnambulists are the greatest threat to humanity, other than humanity iteself.” ~ Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide

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