About Sad_Dracula

My name is Eric AKA Sad Dracula. I write about anything from Halloween to Star Wars. Cheers!

Fan Expo Chicago

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend Formerly Wizard World Fan Expo Chicago. It was the first time I went 3 days in a row. My Terminator knees gave out a few times but, in the end, the magnificent pain, harassment from my wife and 2.5 year old for being MIA for the weekend was well worth it.

I’m not an old guy but I’m not a dumbshit 18-20-something-year-old who can prance through 3 days worth of conventions for a near total 10 miles. Nope. I’m just a dumbshit 30-something year old with shit knees that walked for 3 days for a near total of 10 miles.

Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no bum. Hell, I’ve been running for 2 years now. Not from my problems but actually running. I’m prepping for a marathon. So walking shouldn’t be a big deal. Well, it was.

End of story.

Call my Mom.

But that’s the price of fandom. Going the three days was truly the best decision I could have made. My best friend and I attended tons of panels ranging from Kevin Smith to creative panels with Image Comics legends Cappulo and Silvestri.

So, with 3 days of panels, meet and greets, and diving into long boxes one might be asking what was my favorite moment? And it does have to be singular because having multiple favorite moments would corrupt the true meaning of a favorite moment.

This is my favorite moment:

You’re probably asking yourself “what in tarnation am I looking at!?”

What you’re looking at is the ebb and flow of the convention. This is the living embodiment of what a con is.

I can almost hear the buzzing of conversations. And I can almost feel the excitement of going through long boxes, the soft crinkle of plastic wrapped comics being thumbed through at a rapid pace. My best friend and I pulling out surprise comics that were not on our list. My best friend and I snickering at Quasar or freaking out at all the Ice Cream Man comic encounters – should we buy it? Nope. My stepson pulling out a Venom comic to purchase. My best friend and I are taking a knee and looking for that must have crappy random toy. Walking past Mr. Cigarette Comics, faint music in the distance, chill AC air reminding us that it’s summer time, looking up at the exposed ceiling, remembering our Wizard World days, looking back at my best friend and realizing that this is it, finally taking out my phone and capturing this magnificent memory.

Our daily lives are saturated with small wallet sized memories. Even when going to large events like this. You have your micro memories and your macro memories. And you have your micro memories inside your macro memories. It’s almost a science.

Sometimes those memories can get twisted, distorted, and recycled as something else. Even the essence of what that memory was is gone and eventually forgotten. This is why I took this photo. It captured the micro and the macro of a memory that will slowly get farther and farther away from me. I don’t want that to happen. Moments like these are too important for me.

In the end, when I look back at this picture, I’ll be able to remember the key details of the memory, and the fact that my knees were fucking hurting.

*bonus photo

Ep. 28: The Great Halloween Hunt

Happy Halloween! We hit the holiday by way of a virtual scavenger hunt. Our results? Insane! Scary! Hilarious! Check out our annual Halloween episode on all platforms!

It's Alive! Horror Podcast

Boo! It’s our first annual Great Halloween Hunt! Our creepy cohosts, Chris and Eric, compete in the ultimate Halloween scavengerhunt to crown the Supreme Leader of Halloween! Listen as they rip open a fresh bag of gruesome goodies covering everything from spooky board games and horrible masks to dead websites and real vampire hunters! Who will come out victorious? Our listeners! But, seriously, play if you dare as we power up the lab and broadcast from beyond the grave!

You can download this episode byright clicking here.

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Ep. 27: We Come Home

It’s great to be back! It’s even better coming back by way of the HALLOWEEN series!

It's Alive! Horror Podcast

Just when you thought the terror was over , the power of the Halloween season reanimates our cold lifeless corpses as the It’s Alive!Podcast returns to the airwaves to haunt your ears once again!

For tonight’s experiment , we lay the body of Michael Myers on the slab and examine the Halloween franchise. Not necessarily where it’s been, but where it’s going. With Halloween Kills being pushed to next season, we take astabat steering The Shape in the right direction by pitching our own Halloween movies! Is the remains of Michael Myers salvageable? Find out by listening below! Evil has come to your little ears…

You can download this episode by right clicking here.

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Ep. 27: We Come Home

We are back! Man, I am super happy about how this episode turned out. We covered the hell out of Halloween. Sharing our experiences with this beloved franchise was a great dip back into nostalgia. But what made this episode worth while was pitching our own Halloween movies!

My pitch was very comic book heavy. But that would be ok with me. I wanted to see Myers in the future. Why the hell not? Pinhead, Freddy, and Jason hit the future in one way or another. Myers is juiced for 2088!

It’s Alive Horror Podcast is BACK!

Chris and I have always feared that a great dark age would befall our podcast, It’s Alive! Horror Podcast. Well that shit happened. Why did it happen you ask? Well, I had a baby, I moved twice, and when we started to settle down and gear up the plague was dropped on THE ENTIRE PLANET – And I got it. So that sucked.

David Pumkins once said, “To each leaf comes hours of yardwork.” I have no fucking idea what that meant but my take is that life is a bitch sometimes. So we deal with it. And Chris and I dealt with it by constantly talking up ideas for new episodes. It was only a matter of time before we would record something #fresh.

Last week we baked a nice hot n’ fresh episode just in time for our favorite holiday, Columbus Day. Comedy!

It's Alive Horror Podcast - Home | Facebook

So here we are. Almost two years into the void and Chris and I finally smashed through with a delicious ( I dislike this word when used this way) episode for October. It’s a fresh start and a fresh angle. The nugget of it all is getting back to being the creative people we are. Our goal is not to pander to the horror fan. Our goal is to pander to ourselves. Because we can.

So prepare yourselves for our honest opinion on Halloween 18 and the upcoming Halloween Kills. We also sprinkled in our favorite Halloween sequel AND deliver our very own Halloween movie pitches.

We hope you have a blast listening to the upcoming episode. We truly do. Thank you for staying with us.

Summer Games

Authors note: This is the short story I wrote in July that was rejected. The story had to be under 1k words ( mine is 998 ) and it needed to feature something about camping. Camping for me was a huge part of my childhood. I attended a Christian camp in Wisconsin for many years. Digging back into those memories was wonderful. Finding the scary hidden within was delicious.  

lake

The lake was black and hid many secrets. The only light offered came from the hanging moon above but it could not penetrate the lakes obsidian depths. But it did provide enough light for Brody Fitzmore to see the outline of the peer that floated silently in the distance.

Brody gulped the velvet summer night and crunched his toes deeper into the sandy shore. It was a funny thing to see the place that offered laughter, games, and splashing under the summer sun become so dark and ominously corrupted under the waxing moon.

The buckling ribs of the cicadas, the croaking of something bulbous and slimy just beyond the tall reeds, and the scratchy wool air made 12-year-old Brody, who was crowned bravest of the first-year campers, think only of the horrible hungry things within.

A voice slipped through the dark of the trees that leered behind him like great sentinels of summer.

“It’s the last night of Camp Wonder, Brody.”

The soft chattering of his fellow campers buzzed somewhere between the trees.

“That means this is the last chance  to win the Craw-Man Patch.”

Another wave of exciting chattering followed as this crucial fact fell upon Brody and his doubting thoughts.

He needed to do this. If he failed, the counselors would win the coveted patch and he would never be able to return.

Gritting his teeth, Brody took a step into the inky water. The midnight lake felt cold and treacherous. But the chattering turned into cheers, and Brody was filled with courage.

Emerging from the forest was first-time camp counselor, Ellen Roberts, his competitor. Her red one-piece swimsuit seemed to glow as Brody’s eyes quickly traced her.

“You ready,” she said softly looking down at Brody with more concern than competition.

Brody focused his eyes forward. He dare not look at her completely. If he looked at her he would be distracted. He needed to focus. This was life and death stuff.

“Little more than a hundred yards. First one back gets the patch.”

Ellen smiled at him and took a step into the water. They were side by side. Equals in the pale moonlight. All the games. All the blood, sweat, and tears led to this very moment.

Heck, the entire summer depended on this, thought Brody as he balled up his fists with determination.

“It begins when the fire starts. And remember, beware of the thing that sleeps below!” commanded the voice in the forest.

Brody and Ellen went into a running position. A few clean steps and a perfectly executed dive would be the determining factor without question.

From behind them someone was breathing, moving sticks on sticks, pouring a tin of liquid, scraping a match, and then the whoosh of fire and heat. The final camper vs counselor challenge began with a cold splash.

Brody felt he had taken a better dive but he couldn’t be sure because he did not expect the awesome darkness of the lake. His heart pounded from his arms cutting madly through the water but also from the terror that soaked his very bones.

This must be the feeling the elders talked about last night as they sat around the fire. The water was truly filled with microbial fears that bubbled up from the fathoms below.

My God, thought Brody. How deep is the lake? And what of the slimy, blind, oily things that hide amongst the forest kelp below?

Did something just grab him?

Brody kicked violently with his legs. It was probably just his imagination but it could have been the thing that sleeps below! Another layer of gooseflesh covered him as the horror-filled his mind. Must stay focused-

TTHUNK!

Brody’s head cracked against the floating wooden deck. He made it! Ellen splashed close behind him. Without even trying to clear the stars from his eyes, Brody hurled himself on top of the platform so he could dive back towards the blazing shore. The damage was done.

“Brody! Your head. Your bleeding!”

Brody turned to see Ellen lifting herself up onto the deck. She looked like how he imagined a siren to be. Flowing hair, piercing eyes, smooth skin. Then one of his eyes went dark. With the back of his hand, Brody wiped at it. More hot sticky blood plopped into the water.

Ellen gently tilted his head to the right and examed him. The blood gleamed silver under the spell of the moon as it continued to drip on the deck and fall between the planks.

“It’s not bad. Just a bad scrape,” she said softly.

They locked eyes as she pressed Brody’s hand over it.

“Kinda silly to get hurt over something like this, huh?” She said as her eyes stared out at the bonfire onshore.

“You think your too old for summer games, don’t you?” Brody said with a chord of defiance in his voice. “ You don’t believe in the thing below, do you?”

Ellen looked at Brody with silent teenage knowing.

“It’s all just silly summer camp games, Brody.”

Brody looks at Ellen with a smile. Taking his hand, he wiped the blood across his entire face as if it was warpaint.

“I hit my head on purpose,” he said with wide, unblinking eyes of madness.

“Why’d you do a thing like that?”

“To bleed.”

“Why did you want to bleed, Brody?” said Ellen nervously.

“Because it’s drawn to blood.”

Suddenly Brody started pounding on his wound. What was once a scrape turned into a cascading gash. Blood flowed freely.

Then it came – A tall shadow with cherry-red eyes and moon drenched claws that clicked and snapped behind Ellen.

Smiling Brody turned and dove back into the black water as the thing that sleeps below violently grabbed Ellen with ancient hunger.

As Brody neared the shore the sound of Ellen being ripped apart was replaced by triumphant cheering from his fellow campers. The fear that nearly conquered him was all but gone. The summer was saved.

The campers had won!

The Visitor

Note: Below you will find a rejected short horror story. The story needed to be under 600 words, feature a post-apocalyptic setting, and have a theme of love and loss. Though it was rejected I enjoyed the process. It was challenging but very rewarding. Enjoy!

The man who hated the world stared out the ash-covered window of his decaying house. Walking up to the house was a raggedy girl wearing tattered clothes. She was no more than 10 years old but she carried herself with great familiarity. The man pursed his lips in thought. 

Why is she here again?

When the seas dried up and the sun faded to an ashy smudge, a sickness fell upon humanity. It did not take long for the world to start eating itself. The rule of flesh was all for one and one for all. So the man would forever watch from the shadows of the house to make sure these murdering madmen stayed away. But sometimes they sent children. 

When the girl entered the house of ruination she did so without fear. The man, hidden in shadow, watched her with great curiosity. Careful to not make a noise, he followed as she gingerly walked up the broken staircase. That is when he saw the crude shiv in her pocket. She was surely one of the flesh-eaters.

He waited for her to reach the top of the staircase. Like she always did, she took a left and entered a room. The man gritted his teeth and followed. 

In the past, he had allowed this little girl the freedom to explore and take, but now, after seeing the knife, he had to but a stop to it. He had to kill her before she killed him. 

Before the greying of the world, he was a man of science and not a murderer of children. But was it not him who gave it to them? Thus, making him a murderer of worlds? The reminder sent a shot of anger and guilt through him as he reached the room upstairs. 

He waited and listened carefully. Was she…crying? 

Of course, thought the man. This little beast was well trained. She knew he was there. This was a trap. The man shifted his view so that he could peer through the crack of the door in hopes of seeing the would-be assassin. She wasn’t hiding. She was sitting Indian style in the middle of the floor, crying and holding something.

He should go inside and strangle her. That’s what he should do. Just get it over with. But, his old-world self could not find the strength to act. But why?

Her crying. It reminded him of what was and what could never be. The floorboards groaned as the weight of this thought made him shift with unease. 

The girl stood up and looked back at the door. The man froze as he saw her dirty and tear-streaked face. 

“Hello?” called out the girl. 

Silence fell between them. The man dare not move. 

“Are you there?” said the girl again. 

A voice from downstairs interrupted.

“Rose, time to go!”

Before the man could move, the girl named Rose opened the door and walked through him. 

Turning, she looked briefly towards the man. Her eyes searching.  

The man, perplexed, watched her leave before turning to the room. It was a child’s bedroom.

His eyes moved to a moth-eaten mattress where a skeleton lay holding a rusted gun. The man’s eyes fell to where the child was crying. On the floor was a picture of him holding the girl called Rose in a field of summer dandelions. 

Suddenly, he remembered the good: the smell of spring rain, the sounds of summer, the goodnight butterfly kisses. 

But then he remembered the betrayal,  the bullet, the loneliness. And suddenly the ghost of the man hated everything once again.  

Ad Nauseam: Wizard Magazine #78

A beautiful read.

ChrisDoesComics.com

AdWizard

Look! Up on the internet! It’s another installment of Ad Nauseam: tediously long articles where I take the form of an elderly man sharing his geeky recollections of “the good ‘ol days” that nobody asked to hear! It’s been a while since I buckled down to write one of these, so I figured my subject matter better have quite the fat to chew. And our issue today is nothing short of obese, folks. I mean, I can practically hear it wheezing.  Let’s set the scene for February 1998:

You’re bummed on the bus ride home from school because your Tamagotchi died for the sixth time this year. As you prepare to get off on your block, Josh the bully, compares your body shape to that of a Teletubbie. Embarrassed, you scurry off with clenched fists. It’s Monday, so you look forward to a new episode of

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Achievement Unlocked.

I’m back working fulltime. It’s an odd thing to complain about but my 3 months off the grid (  thanks to COVID-19 )  was fantastic.

Mostly.

I did get the virus.

But what I also got was unstoppable and untouchable time. I had not felt freedom like that in over 10 years. It was religious.

The day I was put on furlough, I told myself that I would write a horror screenplay and submit it. Well, I did just that. Not only did I write and submit a script, but I also wrote a handful of short stories. It’s been grand.

As cheesy as it sounds I feel like I found my pulse again. Something that keeps me going.

No, I’m not going to give up working my day job in order to write the next great American novel. But what I will do is hold on to the pen a little more tightly this time around.

Quote of the Week: Ray Bradbury (With images) | Writing quotes ...

Cult Horror Icon Guy Zen: DOA?

Guy Zen shocked his way into the horror world by releasing Slash Gut back in 88′. The horror world, or more like his corner of it, knew Guy Zen for his gritty street horror films such as Beast Stalker, The Night Maniac series, Ripper Crew Killers, and most notably 1982’s Sewer Psycho which starred cult hero Brant Bryant who tragically died during the filming of the movie.

To say Guy Zen sold out with Slash Gut is to declare the man a horror fraud. The truth is that Zen was truly born from the horror genre. When John Carpenter was filming the seminal classic, Halloween back in the late 70’s, Guy Zen was already releasing The Knife that Killed Part 2.

Yes, TKTK series was filmed in Italy with an all Italian crew, making it an Italian horror film series, that doesn’t take away from the fact Guy was already seven films in horror when everyone else was a freshman or sophomore. It’s a hard fact that Guy Zen may be the most unknown horror master of all time. That’s why his disappearance is a true mystery.

In 2000 Guy Zen, cult director of 45 films, had gone missing during a shoot of a cannibal jungle movie by Siren Pictures called The Jungle Lives! It was star Claude Debaux that first reported it as he had experienced contractual issues with the director. Claude claims that that Zen had gone made when scouting a location deep in the South American jungle. It was Claude who reported that an unknown tribe had found Zen to be a living God. Days later, cinematographer Tarkaff Goro’s body had been found mutilated – his heart had been ripped from its chest.

The years have passed and now, in the troubling year 2020, Guy Zen has resurfaced. Not in the flesh but in celluloid. A copy of an unknown work was released online and a single physical reel was delivered to Alan Young of Siren Pictures. The movie was or is if you saw it before it was taken down, called The Flesh Project.

The only thing that I could find of value is that the FBI is actively searching for GUy Zen as he is wanted for murder. The film, which I did not see upon its sudden release, featured the death of 15 people – real people.

My skin crawled when I stumbled upon this bit of research. Something evil clearly happened deep in the jungle. And that evil clearly surrounded Guy Zen, the man who I met 21 years ago at a horror convention in Chicago. I still remember what he told me.

“You’ve got nice skin, kid. I’ll be seeing you around.”