Book Review: Reign of Chucky

Reign of Chucky: The True Hollywood Story of a Not So Good Buy
Published by Harker Press, 2022. 470 pages
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

We have read and reviewed a few other titles from McNeill and Mullins, specifically the Taking Shape volumes that are essential for any serious Halloween fans. The same must be said for their latest volume for those fans of the Child’s Play movies. The real beauty of these books is that no matter what you think of the series, it has been very hard to read through the book and not want to check out the films again. The main reason for that, I feel, is the details the authors give you about the production and behind-the-scenes information on them. You can’t help seeing the final product a little differently.

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Book Review: Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels

Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels
Published by Harker Press, 2020. 600 pages.
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

With all the information packed in their initial book, Taking Shape, how could authors McNeill and Mullins put out yet another massive 600 page book on this series that fans have been following for over 40 years? That’s just it… it’s not about the films that were made, it is about the films that were not made. In fact, Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels covers 24 sequels(!!!) that never got off the ground for a variety of reasons. You get to read about each of these proposed storylines, with interviews with the people directly involved, like the writers and directors. You also get a good look at inside the studio systems and just how screwed up the industry can be, and the poor creatures that have to work in there! Imagine turning in a screenplay that is exactly what was asked for only to be told that another executive hated it and you’re now off the project. Or being notified (over the PA system, no less) that the whole project itself was now cancelled just weeks before shooting was to start. It shows that with multiple bosses / executives, guiding the writers and directors in different directors, at the same time, while others not even caring about anything but the potential box office receipts, the scariest part of these films were trying to get these films made. Continue reading

Taking Shape II – The Lost Halloween Sequels

Earlier this year, I posted my review of Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Screen, by Dustin McNeil and Travis Mullins. It was not a book I thought I would be interested in because I thought I knew as much about the early Halloween films that I need to or when it came to the later sequels, as much as I cared to. But I found the book fascinating and ended up loving it. Well now McNeill and Mullins are back for Taking Shape II:  The Lost Sequels.

If you think this covers a couple of films that never got made, think again. This volume covers 24 (!?!?!) lost Halloween sequels that never made it past the script stage and onto the big screen. You’ll get to read about these from the people directly involved, some being heard publicly for the first time. At 600 pages and priced under $30, you can bet that this will have so much trivia and information about these films that never came to be, hearing insights and ideas of what some wanted to do. That alone seems pretty intriguing if you’re a fan of the Halloween series.  

Here is some of the subjects covered in this volume. See if this doesn’t wet your whistle… Continue reading

Book Review: Taking Shape

Taking ShapeTaking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream
Published by Harker Press, 2019. 439 pages.
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins

The Halloween series, as a whole, is not one that I would say I’m a huge fan of. I love the original and really like its sequel. This might have something to do with it playing at the theater I worked at upon the sequel’s initial release, where I would get to see parts of it over and over and over again, seeing its effect on the audience time after time. And yes, I was one of those original haters on Season of the Witch, but have since gotten over that and realize the pure genius of that entry. But from then on, there was never a sequel that I got excited over, or was waiting for its release.

Sacrilege, you say? I just felt the sequels got dumber with each entry. When Rob Zombie took his turn, while I thought the first one was better than the last several, I still didn’t care for it. And I still am confused at the reaction to the latest one, when we saw the re-re-re-return of Jamie Lee Curtis, with fans acting like it was her first return since the 1981 film.

Now you might be asking yourself why am I stating how much I really don’t care for the Halloween series as a whole? Because even with all of that being stated, I devoured this book! Continue reading

Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream

Taking ShapeDo we really need yet another book on the Halloween series? Well, since one of the authors is Dustin McNeill, who gave fans so much more insight into the Phantasm series with his book Phantasm Exhumed, then I would say YES! Not to mention that there is always more to learn about movies, especially a series that has been going on for over 40 years.

Just released and available on Amazon, Taking Shape has escaped from Harker Press and has over 400 pages of information about the Halloween series, including Rob Zombies two films, and the recent return of Laurie Strode in H40.

But what can this book bring you that we haven’t gotten already? How about a comprehensive story analysis of each of the films in the series? Or a rundown of all the deleted scenes, as well as the alternate ones. You’ll also get comparisons of early versions of the scripts to the final product, an in-depth dissection of the official novelizations (which could always be quite different than the films), and so much more.

The book is available now through Amazon and is a perfect title for the season. Priced at only $23.99, it’s a killer deal.

New Book Titles for Your Want List

As if it wasn’t proven to me more than at the recent HorrorHound Weekend that print is definitely not dead, here are a few more titles that I’ve come across that are either out or coming out soon. I know I’ll be adding them to my library at some point in the near future.

Frightfest Guide to Monster Movies

The first one is comes from FAB Press, so right there we know the quality of it is going to be worthy of the cost. But then you throw in the fact that it was written by Michael Gingold, then that is just icing on the cake.

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