Flashback Weekend Just Days Away!

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Being that my “real” job has been more than a bit stressful these last few weeks, I’m even more thrilled to have this year’s Flashback Weekend coming up in just a few days. Nothing more enjoyable than escaping from the real world and getting to hang out with a bunch of like-minded horror fans. And Flashback Weekend is just the place to do it!

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Friday the 13th Soundtrack Fans?

Friday 4 & 5La-La Land Records have released the scores for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Part V: A New Beginning on one double disc release, priced at only $19.95! The first disc for Friday IV, has 52 minutes of the score with 18 tracks. The second disc, for Friday V, has 24 tracks and runs 48 minutes. Both feature scores by the amazing Harry Manfredini, who continues the fun that he started with the very first film. Both of these versions are the same as the ones that were released in the now out-of-print Friday the 13th box set that included the first 6 films. So if you missed out on that, now is your chance to pick up these two!

And to make it even more of an interesting deal, La-La Land is having a 25% off your entire order sale up until July 22nd. So don’t wait too long! Head over to their website HERE.

When is a Book a Piece of Art?

books 002Let’s face it…I spend a lot of money on books. With over 800 titles in my personal library, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look upon my bookshelves and admire the beauty laid out upon the shelves. Like with any library, there many titles that I could easily pull out and get lost for an hour just paging through them, reading bits and pieces, taking in the glorious photos and illustrations. I’ve always considered that to be one of the joys of having a book collection. It’s like an open doorway to who knows where.

Most of the titles I have in my library are just standard reference books, filled with the knowledge that I know the author(s) spent a lot of time doing research and planning, even before they actually started putting pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard. I give a lot of credit to most authors that take the time and effort to go through all this work. I say “most authors” because I’ve run across a few other the years that need to double check some of their facts. But that is for another rant.

But there are some titles out there where the authors and publishers have gone far beyond being just a collection of opinions, facts, and photos, making it truly a work of art. Editions that can suck you in, even if it is just admiring the craftsmanship put into the book. From the design to the layout, it is an incredible journey you take once you pull it off your shelf. This physical medium is still a very important one, and one where I feel some of the beauty and charm of an actual book would be lost in the digital format. Especially the ones that seem to go above and beyond just publishing a book. They really do create a piece of art.

So I wanted to take a moment of your time to cover a few titles that I think fit into this category. I will say that some of these titles were a bit pricy when they first came out, and some go for even a higher price now. But there were a few of these that were pretty reasonably priced and are still accessible. Sure, they can still be a bit expensive, but we are talking about art here, right? And usually, at least in my experience, these kind of books never lose their value, In fact, the value tends to rise over the years. So if when you’re trying to justify the cost, think of it of an investment…that you can actually learn something from!

Thank you to the publishers for taking the time, the chance, the effort, and the money to put out such incredible books.

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Rest in Peace – Betsy Palmer

betsypalmer-rip2This weekend, we lost one of the nicest people from our horror family. Known as the mother of Jason Voorhees, actress Betsy Palmer passed away on Friday from natural causes at a hospice care center in Connecticut. While she was obviously known because of her role in Friday the 13th, she had a huge career way before that film ever was an idea. She worked alongside the greats, like Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Perkins, and even Joan Crawford.

For a while, she was a regular on the convention circuit and I had the pleasure of meeting her several times over the years. In fact, one show here in Chicago, here table was right by mine so we got to chat quite a bit over the weekend. Plus, during one of the evenings, I had the honor of driving her, along with some of the other Friday cast to the Music Box Theatre for a Q&A and screening of the film. Driving into the city in the Chicago traffic on a Saturday night is always a challenge, but to have Betsy Palmer sitting in the passenger seat, telling stories, often with the language of a drunken sailor,and keep my eyes on the road, was definitely harder to do. She was one of the most down to earth and kindest person I’ve met in 25+ years of going to conventions. She always showed her fans respect.

While I was waiting by her table at one show to just say hello to her, a fan of hers asked her if she has any regrets of being remembered from this low budget slasher movie. She mentioned that she had been friends with Boris Karloff many years ago, and he never minded being still known for playing the creature in Frankenstein and “if it was good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me!” That was the kind of person she was. She loved her fans as much as they loved her. Her charm and sharp wit will definitely be missed at the shows.

Rest in Peace, Besty. We all love you. You will be remembered and never forgotten.