2015 – Year in Review…Part 1

Another year down in the history books. Filled with the usual…good things, bad things, lost things, and plenty of things to keep this horror fan busy and able to remain passionate about the genre as ever.

Near the beginning of 2015, we went through another computer crash. It had been a few years since the last crash, so I guess we were due. But in getting a new one, that of course meant the inevitable upgrade to Windows 8 (and now 10). While most might think that is a good thing, for someone using an outdated software, like Front Page 2003, these newer systems just don’t like working with old programs. In fact, they refuse to. So once I had to upgrade to the new Windows 8, I was forced to make that decision that I knew had been coming for a few years. That was taking the Krypt to a new location/format. So back in February, we moved the Krypt to its new home, on this WordPress blog site. It was a big transition, one that we’re still making, but I think I it was the right one. We have been going strong here at the new site, with more updates than we used to with the old site. Sure, they are smaller postings, but hopefully just as entertaining.

I’d like to thank everyone that has stuck with us over the years and especially with the move. Your continued support is one of the main things that keeps me going, and doing this year after year. Knowing that I am helping a few of you out there discover more of the horror genre, even if in the smallest bit with maybe only a couple of people, it still makes me proud of what I’m trying to do. And will continue to do. 2016 will be our 18 year on the web and I don’t see us stopping anytime soon! Here’s to another 18 years!

As for some of our highlights over this last year, let’s recap a few of them:

Monster Bash Debut

Since I’ve been going to conventions for well over 25 years, in the last few of them, these shows just don’t seem to have the same impact or meaning to me like they used to. Most shows are now tend to be like cattle drives, with overpriced autographs & photo ops. But back in June, we made a trip out to Pennsylvania for our first Monster Bash Conference. And it was like stepping back in time.

This show has been around for many years, and we’ve wanted to do it several times in the past, but since the distance, we never took the plunge. But this year we did and are so glad that we did. This show is a lot like Cinema Wasteland, in that it still is about the movies and celebrating them. There is a not a minute that goes by at this show, from the early hours of Friday morning until late in the day on Sunday when it doesn’t seem like there is something going on to keep die hard movie fans entertained. From movie screenings, Q&A’s and presentations, to the wonderful dealer room, it is packed full of stuff to see and do. I mean, how freaking cool is it when you have Mexican horror movie playing every Friday night with free tacos and burritos! Yes, this is geared more towards the classic monster fan, but there is nothing wrong with that. And if you’re not into that, well…you should be. Because this is a very important part of our monster history. We will be making this show a permanent stop in our Kryptic World Tour from now on. Hope to see you there next July!


Turkey Day in May

Since I’ve been holding my annual Turkey Day Marathons every Black Friday in November since 2003, my list of potential film titles that I was keeping was constantly growing, I knew I was set for years. But we thought, “if there is that much Turkey to go around, why only do it once a year?” So Turkey Day in May was born. We had 8 diehard fans come out for another glorious 7 films, and as always, had a hell of a good time. Even with Satan’s Blade and the incredible interview on the disc!


So now, just like we do in November every year, May has another holiday added to the season. And it won’t ever be the same again!

Birthday at the Drive-In

For my birthday back in August, we made the trip down to Shelbyville, IN, to the Skyline Drive-In, who was having their annual 2-night all night horror movie marathon. We had missed it the last couple of years, but I didn’t want to miss it again. Being able to see titles like Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf and Abominable Snowman, or the Cushing/Lee feature Horror Express, or even the original King Kong on the big screen is really a memory that I will look back on with such pleasure and fondness for many years to come. And to make it even better, not only did I get to spend this with my family, Dawn and Nick, but we also got to hang out with some of our good friends that live in the area. It is times like this, with people like this, that really make life worth living.


Discovering the Horror Presentations

As followers to this site know, my main goal here was always to try to educate and to help fans discover the films out there just waiting to be explored for the first time. But this year, along with my good friend Aaron Christensen, we were able to take that philosophy a step further, taking it from the internet into the real world.

Back in October, we were given the opportunity to give a presentation on the history of horror films at two different libraries, one in Chicago and the other in my home town of Aurora. We had a decent crowd at both events and everyone seemed to like what they heard and saw. Now for me, who honestly is not too fond of public speaking, it was a lot of fun and very exciting. We had some good participation from the audience which made it even better. Maybe this is the just the start…


We’ve recently joined the Twitter Universe and honestly, I’m still trying to figure out why. Sure, it is all about networking, but seeing some of the stuff in my Twitter feed just makes me realize not only how old I am, but how stupid our society has gotten when we think that someone posting some nonsensical remarks or comment is worth our time? Shouldn’t this, along with all social media be used to promote good things or positive things happening in our world? I know that Guillermo del Toro is one that does just this, so could there be hope? Or is it just going to be used for a lot of bitching and complaining, or a constant feed of useless thoughts being posted just so they raise their tweet numbers? I’m going to try and use my account to do what I’ve been trying to do with my site, to promote the horror genre and the people behind it. Education…it really is the way of the future. We’ll see how it goes. If you’re so inclined, you can follow us at @KitleysKrypt.

Books Read in 2015

KarloffmorethanmonsterI had set myself a goal for 2015 that I was going to read at least one book a month throughout the entire year. I came close, getting through eleven titles. Not to make some sort of excuse for not hitting that goal, but two I did get read were damn near 600 pages each, so that was still a lot of reading. In a time where people want to say that this physical media is on its way out, I am out to prove this to be wrong, time and time again. Even if it just because my collection of horror reference books keeps growing larger every year!

Yes, I am a big proponent of reading. Just by taking a bit of time every day will do wonders for you. Just figure that if you read even 20-30 minutes a day, you can absorb so much knowledge into your brain throughout the year. Yes, even if that means some of it might be done while on the toilet! It still counts. When I started down my journey of being an ongoing student of the horror genre, books were there in the beginning. Even before ever having hopes of seeing some of these titles that I was reading about in books like Denis Gifford’s Pictorial History of Horror Movies, I remembered those images, the names, or people in them, always hoping to get a chance to see them some day. That passion, that quest and hunger for knowledge, still burns inside of me. And books are still here to help satisfy that burning. I think this is what sets a real fan of the genre apart, as opposed to a causal one. They are constantly seeking out to learn more about the genre, where the others just like to occasionally watch the movies. Nothing against those kind, but there is a difference, and it is one that I see at each and every convention. If you’re interested, here’s the titles that I got through:

horrorofitallThe Argento Syndrome by Derek Botelho, Beyond Ballyhoo by Mark Thomas McGee, Boris Karloff: More Than A Monster by Stephen Jacobs, Chainsaw Confidential by Gunnar Hansen, A Companion to the Horror Film edited by Harry M. Benshoff, The Horror of it All by Adam Rockoff, Jaws 2: The Making of Hollywood Sequel by Louis Pisano and Michael A. Smith, Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s by David Roche, Running Scared by Phil Campbell and Brian Reynolds, Spanish Horror Films by Antonio Lázaro-Reboll0s, and So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Giallo Films by Troy Howarth. You can read my full reviews of all of these books in our Book Review Section.

So do yourself a favor. Set a goal for 2016 to read more. But don’t just set it as something basic like that, but put a number on it and try and make that goal. You won’t regret it. We’re setting the same goal as this year, with another 12 months…another 12 books!

Stay tuned for Part 2 for our Best and Worse Viewings of 2015.

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