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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Xmas and The Loneliest Vampire in NYC

What says Merry Xmas more than bloodsucking vampires? Well a few things do come to mind, however imagine your loved one's glee this holiday when she discovers that dream about Santa sucking her blood was really just a repressed memory about her creepy uncle and the only vampire in the house is The Loneliest Vampire in NYC on her Kindle. So get over to (*Version*=1&*entries*=0) before they sell out (no they don't really, but you know the web could go down or something). Or you could order  a hardcopy from CreateSpace, which I will happily autograph for you if you invite me over... and provide scotch, I must have scotch or I stay at home! 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Win a free copy of The Loneliest Vampire in NYC!

Hey kids tired of everyone else getting all the cool gifts every Xmas, or are you just sort of bitter and envious in ever day life? Whatever the case may be, including you well-adjusted types (all three of you), this is the contest for you. To enter just 'like' the Loneliest Vampire in NYC page and answer the question, who is Chester K. Elliot? (hints provided on the facebook page). The best three answers will receive a signed print copy of The Loneliest Vampire in NYC and a free kindle edition as well.
I know what you're all saying, "Alan how can you be so doggone generous?" Well let's just say I'm in a giving mood, so take advantage of it before I turn back into a grasping, greedy, bitter old recluse again...oh wait that's Scrooge...still...

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC the perfect holiday book

Ya it's that crazy time of the year again when we all eat too much, drink too much and spend too much. So what's the antidote for all of you out there with sore tired feet from wondering the mall, subsisting on egg nogg lattes and sugar cookies (do you even like egg nogg)?  
The answer is to carve out some 'me' time from your busy schedule and curl up with the perfect holiday book, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC.
"But that doesn't sound like it's a holiday book, it sounds like it's a little creepy and possibly a little sad," some of you out there are saying to yourselves. That's where you're wrong friends, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is thrilling and exciting, chalk full of all manner of mystical creatures and the undead. And if severing zombie heads from their bodies doesn't scream yuletide cheer then I sure as heck don't know what does.
But The Loneliest Vampire in NYC isn't just about slicing and dicing the weird things that live in the sewer tunnels it's got romance as well...actually a love triangle, exactly a love triangle and all that entails, rampant jealousy, elicit sex, that's as Xmasy as it gets.
So while your loved ones are flipping channels during those long winter nights, trying desperately to find something other that It's a Wonderful Life to watch, and sizing up household items to grab as potential weapons once the inevitable killing spree begins, you'll be off in a quiet corner with a contented smile on your face.
Why? Because you just finished reading The Loneliest Vampire in NYC, and now you're going to read it again and be transported to far off and imaginary worlds where the only people being killed are evil vampires and werewolves. 
Then when someone offers you egg nogg, instead of snarling, "yeah right bitch like I want to drink cheesecake AND possibly die from salmonella poisoning," you simply smile and say, "no thanks, I have all I need right here." The Loneliest Vampire in NYC now available at, it makes the perfect stocking stuffer (provided of course there's also a Kindle in there.) 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Rave reviews for The Loneliest Vampire in NYC

This month, I wasn’t sure about which book to write. I hadn’t read any thing ‘transformative’ in a while, but just the same I wasn’t feeling the need to educate or better myself. No what I wanted was a good, rousing story that I could leap into while plunked down on the leather sofa.
In need of inspiration, I turned to the old standby Fang Fiction, perhaps more commonly known as vampire literature. There is, as most of you know, a surfeit of tales regarding all manner of supernatural creatures on the bookshelves (both real and virtual) these days. Most feature a vampire or nosferatu as I like to call them, in some incarnation or other. I perused several, but none caught my fancy, then it happened. I discovered The Loneliest Vampire in NYC.

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is a wonderfully original novel. Ostensibly about said lonely vampire of the book’s title (Stanley) it is in fact a well-crafted mystical adventure story. Although it is fast-paced enough to entertain even the most benumbed, video game addicted reader, it still finds time to go into the back stories of several key characters and help create a rich universe for these characters to inhabit.
It was in fact in these asides that I found the author, Alan Forsythe, to be at his most masterful in his writing. I found myself rereading the stories (within the story) of Chung Lee Soo and Chester K. Elliot and relished their magical realism.
As a fan of history I also enjoyed the ‘mash-up’ elements, where historical figures and places were melded into the plot.
As I noted, this is hardly great literature, but it is a great take on a genre that has seen a great deal of redundancy in recent years. The author has hinted he has plans to continue the story as a series or at least another book. I do hope this is the case and I look forward to the continuing adventures of Stanley, his misfit companions and his ladylove.

- Jackson Maxwell, Sea to Sky News. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Twilight author cries foul
Mega-selling Twilight author Stephenie Myers (or someone purporting to be that person) has (it's rumoured) on The Loneliest Vampire in NYC's use of a vampire, werewolf, mortalgirl love tri-angle, reportedly saying, 'that's totally what my book was about but that one's all gross and icky so it's kindof twisted.'
Actually the vampire, werewolf, mortal girl  love triangle is a very small part of The Loneliest Vampire in NYC and it's not so much a love triangle as a survivor triangle.
for more see:

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC at Naked Girls reading fan fiction

More Info
Nov 6, 2011 Naked Girls Reading Fang Fiction - a night of toothy literature, hilarious fan fiction, and blood, oh there WILL BE BLOOD!!!

Doors 7:30 - Show at 8pm

$20 front row, $15 regular ($5 more at the door)
Presale tickets available online at

Come celebrate NGR Vancouver's One Year Anniversary in our new home, the Backstage Lounge!
1585 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

With readings by Malvina Masvino, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Riannaconda and Diamond Minx

Featuring "The Lonelist Vampire in NYC" by Alan G. Forsythe - Vancouver Author!! (who will be in attendance)

What is Naked Girls Reading you ask? It is just that, NAKED GIRLS READING. We read, you enjoy. Its a win, win situation for anyone who likes reading and naked girls. Or for girls who like to read while naked.

What the press is saying about Naked Girls Reading:
"The Most Provocative Literary Series in the World” the Globe and Mail
“The best thing to happen to books since they were put on tape.” – Carson Daly, Last Call with Carson Daly
"a refreshing reminder that the literary and the carnal can live in silly harmony” – The Stranger (Seattle)
“What did you get up to last Friday night? If you answered anything other than “went to Naked Girls Reading,” you lose.” – NBC New York
“Certain to catch on” – Time Out NYC
“Appropriately racy…” – Entertainment Weekly

Friday, 21 October 2011

Night of the B Movie now in it's original 3D!

Fans of Night of the B Movie were thrilled Wednesday night to see it again in its original 3D format.
"It was like I was right there in the Mad Scientist's laboratory," said one pleased B-movie fanatic, "At times I felt like I could just reach out and touch them!" claimed another devout fan.
Future performances of Night of the B Movie promise to bring in forgotten B-movie house staples such as 'Smell O' Vision, and Tingle Vision, but until then it's unanimous Night of the B Movie is the best 3D going!
Just two more performances at the Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial, doors 8pm.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Night of the B Movie + audience participation

Audiences are encouraged to sing along at performances of Night of the B Movie, but we didn't expect them to talk along. However at a recent performance two girls sitting in the front row continued to exclaim throughout the evening, "this play is about my life!" ...So we're to assume they've both been chased by zombies and held captive by a evil, I mean Mad Scientist?
Not quite, in a post-show conversation with the two I discovered they related to the play as two closeted nerds, who now inspired by Night of the B Movie vowed to go forth and proclaim their nerdom to the world.
As I'd always suspected there are far more fan boy/girl, geek, nerds out there than were willing to admit it. But we hope we can play a part in letting them see the light so they can breakout the Star Wars designer sheets without shame, and wear their Kirk lives T-shirts with nary the slightest nod to irony.
Don't miss out on Night of the B Movie, the play that will change your life (for the better), three shows left Oct 20,21,22 at the Havana Theatre at 1212 Commercial Drive, doors 7:45

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Night of the B Movie returns!

There has been a lot of Internet buzz about Night of the B Movie Returns as the nerdesphere has run rampant with speculation about what the 'Returns' part of the title means. For example some believe it signals the third part of the trilogy, except that it's not a trilogy; and furthermore it doesn't mean Lisa Ovies will be onstage in a Princess Lea slave girl dress from Return of the Jedi...but feel free to use your imagination.
It also does not mean a rehash of the same plot with a few unexpected twists and gratuitous nudity thrown in, ala' Return of The Night of the Living Dead, and for the record Lisa Ovies just says no to nudity, gratuitous or otherwise, however...(see above).
Nor does it mean new adventures featuring the same loveable cast of characters like for instance The Return of the Three Musketeers, featuring Lisa Ovies in a cleavage enhancing bodice just aching to be ripped, of course you can just...well you see where I'm going with that.  
No to all of the above. The return in this title you see comes after the subject, signifying 'this is us again,'   not 'here's more of something similar we did in the past,' you get the distinction? of course you do, you're nerds.
While we're at it let's answer a few other burning questions that have been making the rounds concerning Night of the B Movie:
Lisa Ovies is a cyborg brought out only for the run of the play? False.
Lisa Ovies is an alien, which explains why an attractive girl wears a Empire Strikes Back T-shirt? False.
Lisa Ovies is not an alien but she does like to debate the merits of Star Trek TOS versus Star Trek Next Generation and holds the rank of ensign in Starfleet Academy? True.
Flash Gordon was a burned out bum doing soft core porn and working as a male stripper before signing on to Night of the B Movie? True.
The zombies in Night of the B Movie underwent an intensive six-week training course on how to be a zombie, which included living on a diet of nothing but raw brains, before the production started? True.
Night of the B Movie - Oct 19-22 at the Havana Theatre 1212 Commercial Drive, doors at 7:30. 

Friday, 30 September 2011

Interview with a vampire part II

If you're just catching up with our interview with vampire Stanley (last name withheld) the so-called Loneliest Vampire in NYC then please see the start of the interview below.
For those of you following the series we pick up where we left off, Stanley describing his life as one of the immortal undead over drinks at a local Vancouver watering hole.

Us: On a different note - what prompted you to tell your story to the world in the first place?

Stanley: Well like I said, I'm immortal so there's a lot of hours to fill, and I figured what the hell might as well set the record straight.

Us: Your record?

Stanley: Mine sure, but also the world of the undead that gets so misrepresented in the media today. I mean it's just like that book series you mentioned earlier where the vampires 'sparkle' in the sunlight. So kids read that and think - hey what the hell I could be a vampire, it's no big deal, so you 'sparkle from tie to time I can live with that. But you don't 'sparkle' you die painfully. Plus there's so many other things to watch out for; Christian fanatics trying to put a stake in your heart, witches (hey there's a reason it rhymes with bitches) and then there's other vampires...

Us: And that seems to be your biggest pet peeve - other vampires?

Stanley: You call it pet peeve, I call it protecting citizens from an unholy alliance of evil vampires bent on the destruction of the mortal world.

Us: Well yes, there is that, but you were already ostracized by the other vampires before you began battling them isn't that correct?

Stanley: Yes, but...

Us: And weren't you somewhat of an unwilling combatant as well?

Stanley: What is this you have an axe to grind or something?

Us: Not at all just trying to get at the truth of the matter.

Stanley: Alright, 'the truth of the matter' is that yeah I have always been something of an outcast amongst the vampires, but I take that as a source of pride considering what a bunch of freaks they are. As for being unwilling, any sane person is going to have second thoughts about jumping into some of the situations I have, but despite that I think I've always given a pretty good account of myself when push came to shove.

To be cont.

Interview with a Vampire

The long-awaited novel The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is finally out on (and going to wider release mid-October) but still many people ask, who is the Loneliest Vampire and why is he so lonely?
We caught up with Stanley (last name withheld) and spent some time talking with him at the Pourhouse Bar on Water Street.

Us: So thanks for meeting with us and welcome to Vancouver

Stanley: No problem, I like it here, dark and gloomy a lot of the time, which is good for my complexion (he laughs).

Us: Speaking of the damp Northwest there's a popular fiction series about vampires set in nearby Washington State,  in which the vampires, while they prefer the grey skies, have no real reaction to sunlight other than they sparkle - what do you think of that?

Stanley: (laughs) Sure why not, and why stop there? Maybe they could all go hang out at the beach and work on their tans.

Us: So you're saying it's not very realistic, vampires cannot go into direct sunlight?

Stanley: Well they can, but they won't 'sparkle' they'll start to smoke then they'll burst into flame and dissolve to ash.

Us: Right. But we notice you drink, contrary to popular belief - and made famous by the Bela Lugosi line in Dracula, "I don't"

Stanley: Yeah a lot of people always ask about that but listen I don't make the rules, all I know is thank God I can drink...booze, because it's gotten me through a lot of lonely years.

Us: Is that what immortal life is like - just a years of long lonely nights?

Stanley: Wow, you're brutal, now I do need a drink (he orders an Absinthe). To answer your question, no it's not all just solitary nights wandering the streets. But when you're around as long as I am there's bound to be more times when you find yourself on your own - there's just a lot of time to fill up is what I'm trying to say.  

Us: Yes but the book is called The Loneliest Vampire in NYC and it's about you, so why have you been single out as especially lonely.

Stanley: Well if you'd read the book, which clearly you haven't, you would know that I do have friends and I do get out and socialize. I'm just not as shallow as some vampires, I don't do the whole club scene, I'm not that into fashion, so I guess it's all relative really. I mean I'm off fighting zombies - thank you very much - so because I do that instead of preening for the paparazzi and trying to get myself on page six I'm called lonely, which some people read as 'sad loser,' instead of thoughtful introspection.

To be cont.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

More rave reviews for Night of the B Movie

Night of the B Movie continues to wow audiences at this year's Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Here are yet more rave reviews from actual people who we actually did not bribe or offer to have sex with.

"Lisa Ovies is so hot as Jennifer sometimes I just want to follow her home and get to know her better and maybe hang out and stuff."

- Future stalker of Lisa Ovies

"The zombies are cute and like brains that's funny."

- The little girl someone keeps letting in who who has a truly strange sense of what's 'cute'.

"Matt Loop is so funny I want to take over the world with him and rule by his side!"

- Future Matt Loop stalker.

"I thought it was a Flat earth Society meeting, but I'm glad it wasn't because this was so much more fun...come to think of it I was never really that into the whole flat earth concept."

- Some weird guy named Crumley or something like that.

"I plan to do my wedding in a Night of the B Movie theme, my fiance will be Flash Gordon and I'll be Kimberly - not Jennifer, cause Jennifer's actually kind of a bitch."

- Girl who probably picked on girls like Jennifer in school.

"Normally I don't see anything that doesn't have dancing cats, but this was the exception, still they should think about putting a cat or two in it."

- Old guy who really liked Cats the musical

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Flash Gordon says Night of the B Movie saved his life

Fresh off a near sold out Saturday night performance and rave reviews legendary super hero and matinee idol Flash Gordon credits the show with bringing him back from the brink.
We caught up with the man in silver underwear in his dressing room post show and found him in a uncharacteristically reflective mood.

"I hadn't worked in a long time, well I guess that's no secret, so when Alan tapped me to join the cast of Night of the B Movie, I said to myself - Flashy this is your last chance, pull it together or go into the abyss."

Gordon of course didn't go into the 'abyss' he's been a big part of making Night of the B Movie the huge hit it's become, however what drove the once popular performer of radio, TV and the silver screen to such a dark place?

"It's the same-old story we've all heard before, the fame, the parties, women throwing themselves at me, the drugs, perhaps my rise and fall was more spectacular than most but just the same it's all the same trajectory in the end."

But why? Why does this familiar story play out again and again with mega stars like Gordon? We asked him if now looking back if he has gained any insight as to why this happens?

"It's the bubble, you're inside it and you think it's going to go on forever - the money, the fame, the babes, there's no sense of reality."

One of the things fame does give you however is access to other great performers and to see them in their personal moments. Gordon, famously spent a lost weekend partying it up at Graceland with Elvis in the mid-seventies. So what does he recollect from that encounter?

"Well a lot of it is kind of a haze (he goes into one of his trademark long baritone laughs) but ooooh ya that was one for the history books. The King, man I tell you that man could party (more laughter)."

But was it all just booze and babes?

"Not at all, in fact there were moments, when all the groupies had passed out and we were still up wired on speed that Elvis would get downright philosophical. We talked about everything, we were both big martial arts enthusiasts so we got into a lot of the Eastern philosophy that goes with that. That was a magical time, my little predawn talks with the King."

So knowing what he knows now, would he do it all again?

"Definitely. I mean sure towards the end I was living on Jack Daniels diet and bouncing from one seedy motel to the next. But let me tell you it was one wild ride. At some point you gotta stop or it stops you, but if you're saying was it all worth it? Oh ya."

His long time nemesis Ming the Merciless passed away last year, did that play a part in his new found sobriety?

"That was part of it. Everyone thought Ming would live forever so when he kicked it, and I don't mean to be glib I miss the old guy, but when he died you get a sense of your own mortality. Then Night of the B Movie came along when no one else was offering me parts and you just think - hey I guess the universe is trying to tell me something."

You can catch Flash Gordon and the rest of the cast of Night of the B Movie at the Cultch from now until Sept 17th.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Night of the B Movie coming soon!

Night of the B Movie is Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Ed Wood meets Taming of the Shrew. A musical black comedy with songs by famed Kitty Nights and Vancouver International Burlesque Festival producer Doug Thoms. Starring Matt Loop as the Mad Scientist, Lisa Ovies as the fan girl turned crime fighter, the legendary Jacque Lalonde as the evil henchman, Tristan Risk as the party girl turned interstellar traveler and last but certainly not least Teddy Kellogg as the man who needs no introduction, Flash Gordon.  

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC out tomorrow!

Yes folks the long wait is over, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is finally being released tomorrow, almost exactly two months over its original release date....well these things take time, what can I say.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The amazing Chung Lee Soo

Chung Lee Soo, born 1855 Peking, China, died 1981 Manhattan, New York.

The amazing Chung Lee Soo as he was described by audiences who flocked to see his show that toured the world from the early 1900s to the late 1920s, was in his first years in the U.S more simply known as 'the quiet Chinese fellow' who runs the magic shop.
Chung Lee Soo arrived in New York City sometime in the early 1890s, although there is no record of him having come through Ellis Island or any other immigration control point on the continental U.S. However there is no doubt based on substantial anecdotal evidence that Chung Lee Soo had established an Occult bookstore and curio emporium in Manhattan's Chinatown by 1895. Although the store had a small but devoted clientele, including escape artist and magician Harry Houdini, it struggled for years to remain financially viable and finally shut down in 1905 before being reopened in a different location by another operator in 1941.
Chung Lee Soo though did not remain within the shadows of his closed store for long. That same year he performed his first demonstration of his magical mystery device at Bial's Music Hall. Audiences that had paid only a penny to see that first performance were soon paying $5 or more as Chung Lee Soo with his amazing machine was the talk of New York, London and Paris.
Reportedly some observers in the audience that first evening at Bial's Music Hall suspected Chung Lee Soo's machine was hardly magical and that it was nothing but a cheap trick he performed by secretly working with his friend and collaborator Chester Elliot. 
As Chung Lee Soo began his first tour across the eastern and southern U.S newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst hired reporters to try and uncover the 'trick' behind Chung Lee Soo's magical machine. Not to be outdone by his competitor Joseph Pulitzer sent a reporter from the New York World that would be, he advertised in the World "disappeared and then returned to our earthly plane so that he may write on his experiences for our readers." The event went off without a hitch much to Hearst's chagrin and the New York World's glowing reviews added to Chung Lee's fame as he set off on his European tour.
By the 1930s Chung Lee Soo had retreated into private life and was rarely heard from again until his death in 1981. There are rumours he assisted the U.S and its allies in the fight against Hitler in World War II but those rumours have never been substantiated. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Who is Chester K. Elliot?

Chester K. Elliot born 1873 - died 1909? Bronx County, New York.

American inventor, amateur scientist, investigator of occult phenomenon, author of several non-fiction books including 'New York's Underworld and its Supernatural Inhabitants' (1907, Urban Publishing), founder of the Lower Manhattan School of Parapsychology and rumoured leader of the vampire resistance movement.    
Gave several lectures on parallel universes and alternate realities at Columbia University but never published his hypothesis. Although he did carry on a long correspondence with German physicist Max Planck, which ended when Elliot discovered his letters to Planck were being intercepted and read by the Vampire Secret Service.
Disappeared without a trace after visiting a close friend on the evening of January 1909, missing ever since and presumed dead, possibly the victim of foul play. His sudden disappearance remains a great mystery to this day and has spawned a great many conspiracy theories about who was behind his disappearance and likely his death.
Elliot was survived by his wife Anna Elliot who passed away from heart failure in 1953. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A word about Fenton, which is not the Loneliest Vampire in NYC

Yes my book release has been delayed by about a month. Originally slated for late June it will now be out at the end of July (I promise the wait is worth it). I've had my blog and book trailer out there for a while now and apparently someone has published what she is calling a book, but is actually a short story, under the title The Loneliest Vampire, coincidence? Possibly. But just to clear up any confusion this short story is not my book. My novel, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is over 90,000 words in length and will be out soon everywhere books are sold.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Zombies, zombies everywhere

By Alan Forsythe

One summer weekend in 2001 in the city of Sacramento citizens were shocked to see decomposing humans shambling through the state capital of California. At first many thought George A. Romero’s classic horror sequel ‘Day of the Dead’ had come to life, but no, they were just witnessing the first Zombie Walk.
This weekend will see the living dead (or a reasonable facsimile there of) shambling through the streets of Vancouver. Starting at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 1 pm (Saturday Aug 20) thousands will begin their slow shuffling walk through downtown Vancouver.
However it’s not all about wearing death mask make-up, shambling walks and searching for fresh brains. In the over half decade that the Vancouver Zombie Walk has being going on it’s evolved into an entire weekend of festivities.
Most major North American cities have Zombie Walks every summer. Many started as flash mobs or still are somewhat spontaneous events. Vancouver however has embraced Zombiefication like no other city. Put it down to Vancouver’s growing culture of sub culture. It’s almost like the silent masses out there that were the denizens of the underground clubs and fetish nights have come out into the sunlight en masse for Zombie Walk. It’s, if we continue with that thesis, a sort of backlash against the beach loving, fitness crazed, puritanical West Coast ethos. The same ethos that tells us here in Lotus Land that we don’t need culture because we have the ocean and the mountains and damn it stop complaining and go for a bike ride.
But healthy living was never a substitute for art. And when there are no mainstream outlets (or very few) then underground outlets flourish in the vacuum.
Just ask burlesque dancer Tristan Risk.
“There’s sort of this collective unconscious of people who are into all things B Movie,” said Risk. She started incorporating zombie themes into her act almost from the beginning. She became known, along with the infamous Bloody Betty, as the chick who would take it a step beyond, doing things like pulling a blood covered brain from out of her beehive. “I once did a show and I was covered in so much blood that it was pouring down my legs. I thought if someone throws a tampon at me and it sticks to my leg that would be hysterical.”
So why blood and gore in the first place?
“There’s a lot of talent in Vancouver so I had to push the bar.  You show up as a zombie at an unexpected place and you give people a little slice of the surreal. My roommate doesn’t flinch anymore when she finds bloody body parts in the sink.”
Before they got together Risk made a point of seeing Bloody Betty’s shows whenever she was in town. Betty then became aware of Risk’s act and made it a point to catch as many shows of hers as she could.
“Finally she left the Rock (Victoria) and we lived happily ever after,” said Risk, and the two now generally tour together.
Why do a Zombie Walk in the middle of summer? Risk theorizes that Halloween is already for those who don’t usually dress up. “It’s an excuse for a lot of girls to be slutty who don’t otherwise do that. For me the Zombie Walk is my day to be gross and disgusting.”
As we noted the Zombie Walk isn’t just the Zombie Walk anymore. In fact the night of undead festivities begins the night before at the Rio Theatre (On Broadway at Commercial Drive) with the Undead on Film Film Fest.
Organizer Corrine Lea put out a call for five-minute zombie themed movies several months ago that would be judged by a panel of experts (her and the other movie nerds who work at the Rio). The idea was to pick the top ten. “We’ve had so many amazing submissions I think we may have to add another 10,” said Lea.
She is of course a big fan of zombie themed movies, and if she has to choose one she says she’d pick the one that started it all, George A. Romero’s, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and the Rio will be playing the entire trio of Romero’s Zombie oeuvre on Sun, August 21. Lea is definitely old school when it comes to zombies, and said zombies are slow, shuffling and decaying, not sprinting jocks as some latter day zombie films portray them.
Risk agrees, citing 1980s B movie ‘Return of the Living Dead’ as her favourite zombie pic.
“I’m definitely not a fan of the young fit zombies you see these days. I mean where are the overweight asthmatic white trash zombies in those films?” Said Risk.
And if it’s your first time doing the zombie walk, Risk advises, “yes you’ll be hot and sticky so just embrace that. Also don’t hassle anyone and ruin it for the rest of us. Other than that come out and get your shamble on.”

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Has Dark Shadows already been done as True Blood, Vampire Diaries or Twilight?

The answer to the above is no, but sort of. Dark Shadows was the original vampires as soap opera show. In fact it was billed as a daytime soap and aired (the original 1960s show) against other soaps.
But the latest supernatural soap opera movies and TV shows are obviously aspiring to be something more. But are they?
Twilight is the classic love triangle between young girl and bad boy (who's really not so bad, he's just, you know, misunderstood) and a good boy (who's not really that good, he just seems that way because he acts sensitive.)
True Blood, produced by the brilliant Alan Ball, started off as a fairly original show and definitely a few cuts above most of the other vampire drams  being offered, but the show, now in its fourth season, seems to be running out of story lines and is in danger of Jumping the Shark.
Vampire Diaries is the watered down version of True Blood for the under 18 set, so there's not a whole lot to say about that.
So where does that leave Dark Shadows the movie?
Considering its being directed by Tim Burton and will star Johnny Depp, the team that brought us the now cult classic Ed Wood, I'd say there is a chance Burton & Depp can make Dark Shadows seem new and original and not just another warmed over soap opera with vampires.
I'm hoping Burton lays on the camp with Dark Shadows and I'd love it if they shot it in B&W but I won't hold my breath on that one.
I suppose I'm a little biased in that I applaud any artist who brings more humour to the vampire genre which is suffering from wayyyy too much melodrama these days. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Loneliest Vampire in NYC out...soon.

Yes I know the publication date was supposed to be today, I'm only too aware I've missed my own deadline.
I've been getting a few messages from interested would be readers and while I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm for my new novel, I am indeed sorry to report that publication of Loneliest Vampire in NYC has been delayed.
It will be out soon, but I have been a little sidetracked by my other project the musical/comedy Night of the B Movie with rewrites and rehearsals for that play which launches in Sept (the ads are booked so there's no changing that date.)
It won't be a long wait however I am back working with my editor to get Loneliest Vampire in NYC out as soon as possible and again I thank everyone for their interest.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The drive-in movie: where did you go?

Well of course we all know what happened to the dive-in movie theatre it was called the real estate boom. Vast tracts of land reserved as a theatre for cars and a truly immense screen, these days it's hard to believe anyone came up with such a concept.
Drive-ins were already dying out pretty quickly when I was a kid. We went a few times as a family summer outing to one of the few remaining drive-ins, which was a fair drive from our home. And they were long gone by the time I was a teenager so I never got to experience the fun of going with a group of friends or taking a date (did people really go on dates to the drive-in? It just seems so impossibly cliche).
I had always wanted to experience going to the drive-in as an adult, I felt cheated, and I had built up nostalgic images of what it would be like based on the few times I had gone as a child. As a movie buff you don't want to just experience the film you, ideally, want to experience it in the right environment. It's bad enough the old movie palaces are almost all gone as well, replaced with the soulless multiplexes of suburbia (but that's a whole other rant).
There are still old movie houses to be found and some are enjoying a revival as people realize just how much better the movie going experience is when you're not surrounded by drunk teenagers.
But the drive-in is far more elusive, you have to drive far and wide to hunt one down. It was on just such a long drive, a cross-country car trip a few years ago that I stumbled across one of the few remaining drive-ins in North America. In a field just outside of Winnipeg me and my then girlfriend saw the giant screen looming on the horizon like some ancient artifact. It was early evening and it would be a few hours before dusk but she knew there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to go to a drive-in movie, and she was in enthusiastic agreement.
A warm summer night at a double feature bill at a drive-in somewhere on a wide open plain in Manitoba,  if you've been lucky enough to experience that then you know you will never forget it. All the more so because you know the chance to do so is fast coming to a close.
As I later learned that that drive-in too had fallen to the onslaught of development. It was hard to believe really since it was out in the middle of no where. But then there are those people who think drive-ins are wasted space no matter where they are. Yes it's sad such people exist, they don't get the joy of being huddled in the front seat of your car eating stale popcorn and watered down pop, surrounded by other people huddled down in their cars, while in front of you plays a hollywood blockbuster in all its towering cinematic glory. Sure you could rent it for $3.99 and watch it at home, but that's hardly the point.
Anyway one of my goals this summer (I like to set the bar high) is to try and experience the-science-fiction-double-feature-picture-show at the drive-in one last time, although it may already be too late.  

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Celebrities who may or may not be vampires

Have you ever played the who's a vampire game? Come on admit, we've all played a variation of it. Basically you look around and guess who, if there were vampires, would be the likeliest candidate, or who would make the best vampire.
Most do this with famous people for the simple reason that guessing whether or not the bus driver could be or would make for a good vampire seems slightly lamer. Just the same it's completely lame to pick people who have already played vampires. And if you pick Robert Pattinson, well sorry but you're an idiot, since he was never a good vampire on screen and would very likely be even worse in real life.
Same goes for Kate Beckinsale, although she does get points for looking exceptionally hot in PVC. Plus she has made movies that were actually good.
But speaking of Underworld, I'm going to go ahead and break my own rule (feel free to call me lame) and say Bill Nighy would very likely make a very good vampire in real life. Tall lanky, of a broad moral compass (at least most of the characters he plays are) and looks good in black.
Okay getting back to the original thesis, who would make a good vampire? Lady Gaga, pale skin, freaky looking, only seen at night, hell she probably does drink human blood for all we know.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, yes I'm serious, think about, wild staring eyes, weird accent, power hungry, he's a perfect vampire. Demi Moore, doesn't age, when's the last time anyone saw her out during the day. Tom Cruise, see Demi Moore. Actually when I think of those last two it does sort of freak me out, I mean what are they living on that allows them to look the way they do anyway.
Jerry Seinfeld, sure Jerry Seinfeld, why? I tell you why, file it under the guy you would have least expected that's why. Plus he's kind of pale looking.
Henry Kissinger, powerful, can't be killed, has hypnotic like powers over world leaders, he could definitely be a vampire, if he's not already one.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Twilight for Guys

Are the vampires in Twilight, well, vampires?

Technically Twilight purports to be a novel or series of novels about vampires, but is it really?
The quick answer is no, there's a werewolf in there as well.
But the long answer is...actually it's still just pretty much a no.
I guess the Edward Cullen character displays some typical vampiric qualities, immortal, can't tan, drinks blood, is really sensitive and caring, wait, what?
Yeah that last part is a problem for many fans of the vampire genre - Edward isn't a vampire, he's just another self-absorbed bad boy with 'issues' and a pale complexion.
He's the type girls like Bella tend to get all dreamy about and girls who read books with girls like Bella in them get all dreamy about. That however, as much as the author Stephenie Meyer may claim otherwise, does not make him a vampire. There's no real threat to him, and not much conflict either, other than deciding which shade of black to wear.
After centuries of literature that defined the vampire as a souless, dark, lurking, albeit in many cases, highly charismatic ghoul, who preyed on young women in a pseudo-sexual ritual that satisfied a deep, deep hunger, we're now introduced to someone who looks as if he belongs in a Gucci ad.
It just doesn't work, unless of course you happen to be a 17-year old girl who likes bad boys, but not if they're too icky.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Top 5 vampire books

There's a lot of vampire literature out there, but not much of it is any good, hence the reason this list only encompasses five rather than the usual top 10. We could do a worst vampire book list but that would require wading through far too much dreck and we have better things to do, like alphabetizing our soup cans.

#1 Dracula - Bram Stoker's epistolary novel still stands at the top of the heap. Despite being written 115 years ago it is a breezy and entertaining read even by today's standards. Actually it's chief criticism over the years has been that it is a loosely crafted poorly developed novel. We wonder what those critics would say after reading Twilight?

#2 Interview with a Vampire - Ann Rice's first book in her vampire chronicles was actually not bad, not bad at all. A vampire novel written in the first person was somewhat groundbreaking for its time (1976). It creates a great sense of mystery about the characters and the settings: New Orleans and Paris were extremely well crafted.

#3 Anno Dracula - the first in a series of books by Kim Newman, a what if scenario as in what if the characters in Bram Stoker's Dracula had failed in defeating the vampire count. In this alternate universe Dracula rules great Britain and vampires integrate into everyday society. Well researched book that combines historical figures with the fictional.

#4 Carmilla - Think lesbian vampires were born in 1970s soft core, guess again Sheridan Le Fanu created the genre in 1872.

#5 I am Legend - Richard Matheson's sci-fi vampire/zombie novel, which has been made into several films. As usual the book is far better.

Yeah that's it but if you like vampire literature any one of those five if not all should be on your Kindle. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Time for the anti-Twilight?

Rumour has it that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is worried that a book about vampires that doesn't include endlessly brooding teenagers, and some really needy chick trying to find a cool boyfriend, could wake people up to just how bad the Twilight series really is.

Some people have commented that while they do like vampire novels they wish there was more on offer than warmed over Harlequin Romance plots with supernatural elements sprinkled in.

In a recent (and completely unscientific test) several readers were given printed out pages copied from either a trashy romance novel or Twilight with the names blacked out.

None of the readers involved could distinguish which was which. All the more alarming since the trashy romance novel in question was about a young bullfighter from Seville who meets and falls in love with a beautician from Sherman Oaks while on vacation at Disneyland.

The central conflict of that story is whether the bullfighter should give up his profession and move to California and become a convenience store clerk. There is also a side plot about whether the beautician should stick with manis and pedis or branch out into facials.

Whereas Twilight is about Bella trying to decide like which guy is totally the hottest, that plus there's some stuff about werewolves and vampires. 

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC

Vampires versus werewolves

There's an ongoing debate in the world of geekdom about just who would come out on top in a mano e mano showdown between a vampire and a werewolf.
They debate undead strength versus lycan strength, hearing ability, visual acuity and fang and jaw strength.
The debates get heated and a lot of names get thrown around, which at the end of the day is sill, just plain silly. Why? I tell you why, there's really no contest, you can debate the strengths and weaknesses of either supernatural being until the cows come in, but it still comes down to one thing.
Vampires don't fetch. That's right, all any reasonably knowledgable vampire needs to protect him or herself from sudden werewolf attack is a small stick. Werewolves, like any other canine, cannot resist the urge to fetch. And while said werewolf is running after the stick the vampire attacks him from the back and there you have it game over.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

So Jim Jarmusch is making a vampire film

We're not quite sure what to make of the news that Jim Jarmusch is making a vampire flick.
The independent filmmaker known for movies like Down by Law and Ghost Dog among others seems a strange fit for the Twilight crowd.
The film is to star Tilda Swinton, who was sublime in Orlando and who has starred in Jarmusch's last two films, also appearing along with Swinton is Michael Fassbender and John Hurt.
It's being billed as a 'vampire love story,' how original, what vampire tale these days isn't a love story slash soap opera?
Although we suspect that Jarmusch's take may be the anti-Twilight version of the genre. In which case The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is ahead of the curve (out June 28th).
Jarmusch's film doesn't begin filming until early 2012 so we're at least a year away from seeing his version of the vampire genre will look like.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Guilty pleasures: The Vampire Diaries

by Dale Raven North

I don’t know how it happened; maybe it was too much idle time or too much alcohol, but I watched the pilot episode of “The Vampire Diaries” and was immediately hooked (or bitten). There’s no excuse for it. The story is implausible, the writing mediocre, and the product placement insufferable, but the vampires are really hot, and once I started I couldn’t stop.

The premise is simple: two brothers move to their birthplace, a small, colonial town in Virginia. One of the brothers, Stefan Salvator, falls in love with a classmate at the high school, the fetchingly exotic Elena. Elena cannot resist Damon’s James Dean-esque, brooding charms and they become an item. Stefan’s brother, the smoldering and dangerous Damon, develops a not well-concealed attraction for Elena and a predictable love triangle takes shape. (I know what you are thinking: “This sounds like a ‘Twilight’ rip-off.” Well, it’s not. Neither of the brothers are werewolves.) Soon Stefan confirms that the Salvator brothers are vampires. The plot thickens when it is revealed that Elena is the doppelganger of Katherine, the vampire who turned the brothers Salvator into blood suckers 150 years ago and was the prior object of their shared affections. Damon and the many other vampires that flock to Mystic Falls have soon turned half the town into vampires (and the other half doesn’t seem to notice).

But it doesn’t stop with vampires. The werewolves show up in packs, bent on killing vampires. And there are witches, whose primary talent seems to be giving vampires migraine headaches. At this point, virtually everyone is undead, canine or supernatural – except for Elena’s clueless aunt who doesn’t notice that everyone is dying.

The Vampire Diaries irritates me. No one seems to work, but simply engage in paranormal activities and attend endless balls and galas. The cops believe that all the blood-drained corpses are due to animal attacks and do nothing to investigate. And there’s the product placement. Fine, they drive Fords and use AT&T, but I cannot accept that the characters all use Bing. More than once, characters have said things like, “Let’s research that online. Let’s Bing it.” I can believe that they are vampires, but I cannot suspend my disbelief sufficiently to accept that young people are using Bing instead of Google.

Despite its many flaws, every week I look forward to this mystic melodrama. I guess there’s a lot I’ll put up with for the sake of a few super hot vampires.

Top 10 worst vampires

To maintain the yin and yang of the universe here as a counterpoint to the top ten are the top ten worst vampires ever to appear in popular culture.
#1 Robert Pattison as Edward Cullen, ummm, does this really need an explanation?
#2 Gary Oldman as Dracula, acting next to Keanu Reeves will make anyone look good, but this is the worst version of Dracula ever performed, despite Francis Ford Coppola's direction and those cool shades.
#3 John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley in The Vampire's Assistant. John, John, John we have always been such big fans of your work, until this sad excuse for a film came along.
#4 Angie Everhart as Lilith in Bordello of Blood. The good thing about this film is Dennis Miller was still funny back in the mid-90s. Everything else, especially Everhart as the Lilith really, really sucked and not in the good vampire way.
#5 George Hamilton as Dracula in Love at First Bite.A vampire with a suntan, they didn't really think that one through did they? As bad as Hamilton is in this 1979 comedy, Oldman still gets our vote for worst Dracula portrayal.
#6 Langley Kirkwood as Count Orlock in Dracula 3000. It's called Dracula 3000 so really what would you expect? But just the same as low as most people would set the bar on this one Kirkwood could still get under it.
#7 Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige in the original Fright Night. This 1985 B movie wasn't actually that bad (which we presume is why they're releasing a remake) but Sarandon's disco lovin', gold medallioned , greasy looking, womanizing vampire held this movie back. Even if he could hypnotize women we still don't believe they'd go for him.
#8 Shane Brolly as Kraven in Underworld. As much as we like kate Beckinsale in PVC, we couldn't stand Brolly's performance, which consisted of him snarling ever bit of his dialogue. We imagine he thought that made him look menacing, we thought it just made him look pre-menstrual.
#9 Aaliyah as Queen Akasha in Queen of the Damned. Yeah this movie just pretty much sucked, also not in the good vampire way (we know same bad pun twice, but we don't care).
#10 Stuart Townsend as Lestat De Lioncourt in Queen of the Damned (see above). 

Top ten vampires of all time!

Here they are the results as compiled through the use of the Kray supercomputers buried deep in the Loneliest Vampire Blog bunker somewhere in South Dakota to bring you the reader valuable up to date information such as this.

#1: Bela Lugosi as Dracula, needs no explanation he's simply the best.
#2: Frank Langella as Dracula, hard to top Lugosi but still a very good performance as everyone's favourite vampire.
#3: The Count, yes he's on a children's show, but The Count was probably our first exposure to vampires. Witness his enduring popularity by how many people want to see Jason Segal produce his vampire puppet show, The Count definitely touched a lot of deep down inside in our formative years.
#4: Max Schreck, as Count Orlock. Rumoured to actually have been a real vampire, such was Schreck's performance in Nosferatu, it's about as creepy a vampire ever to be shown on the silver screen.
#5: Kiefer Sutherland, yes his character's name in The Lost Boys was the less than menacing David but that film remains one of the most popular vampire films ever, And the dyed blond mullet, the earrings and the leather jacket for some reason made Sutherland into a pretty convincing vampire.
#6: Maila Nurmi, as Vampira in the short lived mid-fifties TV show Nurmi created an image that inspired millions of vampire fetished obsessed boys and girls around the world. Even though her locally produced Los Angeles show lasted less than a year, Vampira has become an iconic character and much imitated, most notably the 1980s Elvira mistress of the dark.
#7 James Marsters as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A great anti-hero and a refreshing change from the usual brand of brooding vampire. The character of Spike was immensely popular during the series run and beyond and a good example of how dry wit and vampirism can easily go hand in hand. We even forgive him the bleached blond hairstyle.
#8 Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with a Vampire. Normally I can't stand the 'Cruiser' and his toothy smile and Scientology self-rightousness, but hey give credit where it's due, as a self-aborbed, decadent vampire plantation owner he was pretty good.
#9 Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster on the Munsters. An old vampire? Why not and the sad thing is why did they make Adam's Family but not the Munsters, which is clearly the superior show (any vampires on Adam's Family? No, need we say more.)
#10 Stephen Moyer as 'Vampire' Bill Compton on True Blood. Sigh, we hate to include someone so new to the vampire game in a top ten of all time list but we have to admit, Moyer's portrayal of a civil war era southern gentleman turned vampire, trying to figure out the 21st century, well it's pretty damn good actually.

The vampire puppet musical

By Alan Forsythe

A couple of years ago I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall with my friend singer/composer Dana-Marie Battaglia; when it came to the part where Jason Segal sings Vampire's Lament we both turned to each other and said, 'I want to see a vampire puppet musical.'
It hasn't happend yet but I would say it was one of my inspirations for writing The Loneliest Vampire in NYC, hopefully my book will click with all of the people out there still clamouring to see a complete production of Segal's fictional play.

Dracula's Lament

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Loneliest Vampire the play

This is an abbreviated version of the play that eventually became The Loneliest Vampire in NYC the novel. I wrote it for the Here Be Monsters Festival last fall and thought I might expand it as I did Night of the B Movie, but there was just way too much I wanted to do with the character of Stanley and the other characters I wanted to add. Stanley in the play is a lot more bloodthirsty than in the novel and the Girl (Anika Andrews in the book) would never ask Stanley or anyone to kill her ex-boyfriend. Although Chet does make an appearance in the novel.

The Loneliest Vampire in NYC

By Alan Forsythe

Bare stage, implied quiet street in Manhattan. A girl sits on a bench reading a book. It is one of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers.

Enter Stanley a vampire.

STANLEY: Yes I am a Vampire, I just like to get that out of the way up front to avoid any awkwardness. So now of course you’re all thinking I’m going to swoop down and devour that girl over there. But you’d be wrong, what I’d really like to do is go over there chat her up a bit and get a phone number or maybe we could be facebook friends. Then maybe we could grab a coffee sometime and she could get to know the real me.

Girl flips page of book, Stanley paces a bit.

STANLEY: Okay I confess that seems a little desperate, especially for a vampire. But I tell you, it’s not easy being basically immortal and having no social life. There are vampires out there living the good life, keeping up the whole sex crazed vampire image. I’m just not one of them. And you know who I blame for my misfortune – HBO and fucking Stephanie Meyers. Thanks to True Blood, Twilight and a couple of other unrealistic portrayals of vampires I’m constantly being compared to brooding teenagers.

Girl flips another page, Stanley paces some more.

STANLEY: It get’s a little depressing, I know brain dead zombies that have more of a social life than me, and seriously, why do brain dead zombies even need a social life?

GIRL: Hey mister can you stop muttering over there I’m trying to read.

Stanley walks over to the girl.


Girl looks up, a little distracted.

GIRL: Uh, yeah, hi.

STANLEY: You don’t find me to possess a certain hypnotic attraction?

Girl looks up again.

GIRL: More like a certain hypnotic repulsion.

STANLEY: Oh come on that’s harsh.

GIRL: Hey mister I’m just trying to read here.

STANLEY: Yes I see, Twilight, which is about vampires, so aren’t you, well intrigued by me?

Girl looks up again and gives Stanley the once over indifferently.

GIRL: No should I be?

STANLEY: Well I am a vampire, or as I prefer vampyre, the Nosferatu.

The girl gives Stanley a more careful appraisal.

GIRL: Mmmmmm, no.

STANLEY: No, what do you mean no?

GIRL: You’re not a vampire or vampyr or whatever.

STANLEY: I assure you I am.

GIRL: Sure, have it your way.

She goes back to her book.

STANLEY: Now you’re just humouring me.

GIRL: (without looking up) Basically.

STANLEY: You know I am a dark creature of the night, I could drain your blood and make you my undead slave.

Girl looks up.

GIRL: So does that line work a lot?

STANLEY: I’m just saying is all. One would think one would be a little more impressed when confronted with a vampire.

GIRL: One would wouldn’t one.

STANLEY: That’s right. Wait, I lost track who are we talking about now?

GIRL: (exasperated) Heavy sigh.

STANLEY: heavy sigh?

GIRL: Yes heavy sigh, as in I’m extremely bored. Oh my God!

The girl suddenly lifts her book in front of her face.

STANLEY: What’s wrong?

GIRL: It’s that asshole Chet, I don’t want him to see me (beat) talking with you.

STANLEY: Well why do you care if he’s an asshole?

GIRL: Just never mind, he’s a prick and I hate him.

STANLEY: You know if you want I could drain his jugular and leave him face down in a gutter for the rats to pick over his corpse.

The girl lowers her book, suddenly interested.

GIRL: Really, you’d do that for me?

STANLEY: Sure, why not, besides, I’m feeling a tad peckish.

GIRL: Well okay, I mean only if it’s no big deal or anything.

STANLEY: It’s no problem at all. I’ll be right back, don’t go anywhere.

Stanley walks off stage.

STANLEY: (OS) Hey are you Chet?

CHET: (OS) Uh, yeah, who the fuck are you?

Suddenly they are blood curdling screams from off stage. The Girl watches onstage from her bench.

Stanley re-enters, his shirt and face now stained heavily with blood. He approaches the Girl.

STANLEY: Well, mission accomplished.

The Girl looks off stage and then up at Stanley, now with some awe.

GIRL: Yeah, that was cool, you totally just killed him.

STANLEY: I am a vampire after all.

GIRL: Yeah you are, wow that’s neat.

STANLEY: Soooo, anyway, would you like to get a coffee or something?

GIRL: Uh, yeah, why not.

She gathers up her things and takes Stanley’s arm, and they walk off together.

GIRL: So do you have your own coffin and everything?

STANLEY: It’s more of a wooden box really, but I’m fixing it up, it’s you know, rustic.

They exit.

Lights down

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Zombie Hordes

This is a one act play I wrote over the winter. It doesn't have vampires either, but if I expand it to full length (as I did with Night of the B Movie) There's a good chance I would add a vampire character. Probably as a Jack the Ripper/vampire. 

Act I
Scene I

Lights up

Sherlock Holmes and Watson sitting in what is apparently the living room of their flat at 221B Baker Street.

Watson is flipping through a newspaper and Holmes is reading a thick book and smoking a pipe.

WATSON: I say Holmes what do you make of all this dismemberment business?

HOLMES: I would say that it appears to be the work of the Watasan tribe of the Congo; part of their warrior ritual is tearing their victims limb from limb with their bare hands and consuming their brains. The latter supposedly infuses them with the essence of their victims giving them a stronger life force.

WATSON: Well I dare say you’re right as usual old boy, but this here newspaper account says eyewitnesses described the attackers as disheveled, pale and shambling Eastenders. Hardly how one would describe a blood thirsty savage from the Congo.

HOLMES: My goodfellow those newspaper men or ‘reporters’ as they’re apt to be called these days are all opium addicts who wouldn’t know a dangling participle from a Watasan brave if it was doing a jig on the end of their nose.

WATSON: The brave or the participle?

HOLMES: Either or frankly.

WATSON: Just the same shouldn’t we do something about it?

HOLMES: Us? Hardly our thing old bean, I’d say it’s more in immigration’s line, maybe they’ll smarten up now; they do let anyone in the country these days.

WATSON: Well I should hope so, terrible business this if you ask me.

Their bell rings.

Enter Mrs. Hudson.

HOLMES: Mrs. Hudson, to what do we owe the pleasure?

MRS. HUDSON: I’ll have none of your cheekiness this morning, Mr. Holmes, Dr. Watson (she nods to Watson).

WATSON: Mrs. Hudson.

HOLMES: What’s so pressing a business that my tea must be interrupted, albeit by our charming landlady, who if I’m not mistaken has taken up the pipe, is distraught over the wilting appearance of her African violets and has lost her favourite cat Mister Muggles?

WATSON: You never cease to amaze me Holmes.

MRS. HUDSON: (she says sarcastically) Yes very good Mr. Holmes, I only just told you all of that yesterday evening, what a deduction.

HOLMES: Elementary logic my dear Mrs. Hudson.

MRS. HUDSON: No it’s not I just told you-

WATSON: Your analytical powers are truly astounding Holmes.

HOLMES: Thank you Watson, but onto more pressing matters, since Mrs. Hudson grows impatient.

WATSON: Brilliant observation old man.

HOLMES: Quite. So Mrs. Hudson out with it, how may I be of service?

MRS. HUDSON: (she sighs) It’s that Inspector Lestrade Mr. Holmes, he’s sent word to come right away, says he’s deathly ill and needs your brains.

HOLMES: Lestrade asking for our help, damned peculiar, eh Watson?

WATSON: What do you make of it Holmes?

HOLMES: If I’m not mistaken our Inspector Lestrade has fallen deathly ill and requires our assistance.

MRS. HUDSON: I just said he was!

HOLMES: Don’t trouble yourself Mrs. Hudson, things that are apparent to me are often mystifying to others.

MRS. HUDSON: Or for crying out loud, you pomp-

WATSON: I suppose we had better go then hadn’t we?

HOLMES: Not just yet Watson. Mrs. Hudson did the message from Lestrade state that he needed my assistance specifically or both mine and Watson’s?

MRS.HUDSON: (she sighs again) He said, come right away need some brains urgently.

Monday, 30 May 2011

On Night of the B Movie

By Alan Forsythe

In answer to several questions I've had since posting an excerpt of my play Night of the B Movie, yes it is a full length play and yes it is being produced. It will run this summer from Sept 9th - Sept 17th at the Cultch theatre here in Vancouver.
No it doesn't have vampires, just a mad scientist, zombies, party girls and Flash Gordon.
Yes, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC did start as a play before I started writing it as a novel. A short version of the play will be performed this June at the Brackendale Art Gallery and Theatre. It will be the only time I'll allow the play to be performed so see it while you can if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Night of the B Movie

Barnaby goes to what appears to be the door to the house/laboratory he opens it and Kimberly and Jennifer enter.

KIMBERLY: Hi, I’m Kimberly, this is Jennifer, Mike invited us, is that the DJ? (she points at the Mad Scientist) where is everyone, how come it’s so quiet? (to Barnaby) Hey cool retro outfit dude.

JENNIFER: Uh, Kimberly this clearly is not the party.

The Mad Scientist stands and walks over to the girls. Barnaby hovers.

MAD SCIENTIST: Well young lady you are half right, this isn’t the party you’re looking for but tonight there will be a celebration here nonetheless (beat) Yes that’ll do Barnaby.

Barnaby shuffles, drags himself to the other side of the stage.

KIMBERLY: His name’s Barnaby?

MAD SCIENTIST: Yes, is that a problem, not colourful enough for you, not ethnic enough perhaps, is that it, mmm?

KIMBERLY: No Barnaby’s cool. I just thought he looked more like an Igor.

MAD SCIENTIST: (disgusted) People! You’re all so tiresome, with your predictable assumptions.

KIMBERLY: God, you’re kind of a downer.

JENNIFER: (pushing Kimberly aside) Ya, ya, I know.  Barnaby’s great, I’m sure he’ll make some woman very happy someday, but what’s this about a celebration?

MAD SCIENTIST: Ah ha, I see now who the brains of the two are.

JENNIFER: Yes and the looks and talent.

KIMBERLY: Excuse me?

JENNIFER: So you were saying?

MAD SCIENTIST: Yes I’m so glad you asked.

BARNABY: (makes loud wailing noise).

MAD SCIENTIST: (to Barnaby) Yes, yes I know you’re excited, but just the same I think it would go better if I explained Barnaby. (to the girls). He’s very eager because tonight of all nights is the night of, dramatic pause, The B Movie!

Thunder clap and lightning flash.

Dark Shadows adds to vampire soap operas

By Alan Forsythe

The mid-sixties soap opera Dark Shadows after years of failed attempts is finally coming to the big screen in 2012. Starring Johnny Depp, who apparently is a huge fan of the original series, will play the lead character.
The upshot of all this is we will have yet another soap opera with vampire themes. Dark Shadows was actually the original Twilight and in its day largely appealed to a teen audience, just the same it was a daytime drama and competed for audience share against shows like Days of Our Lives.
Who knows, maybe it was even the inspiration for a young Stephenie Meyer. Perhaps one day while catching the show in syndication, she thought to herself, 'if I ever write a book I'll make it a lot like this, except without the confusing parts and all the ickiness. Plus these people are old, I'll just make them all teenagers.'
That's one theory and it's as good as any other I suppose.
As for Dark Shadows? Well it will be directed by Tim Burton so that's encouraging at least. Hopefully he will have less cheese and dial up the camp - way up. And let's not forget Johnny Depp, he did star in Burton's Ed Wood which means when these two team up there's always a chance it could be good.
Still another vampire soap opera....

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Zombies versus vampires

By Alan Forsythe

The two biggest fears in our post-millenial age, based on popular culture, apparently are the zombie apocalypse and vampires (I guess we have nothing else to worry about in today's society).
So who wins in a battle between zombies and vampires? And don't kid yourself vampires would be fighting zombies right along with us, they would be our greatest ally (in the event of the aforementioned zombie apocalypse).
Why? Well surely it's obvious, if the world is taken over by zombies what the hell do the vampires do, not much fun for them. And if they fed on zombies would their be zombie vampires, damn straight there would be (you would have to stake them and cut of their head).
So who wins between zombies and vampires, well let's just hope it doesn't come to that, just the same zombie versus vampire, mmmmm......

NEW!! True Blood Promo

A few words about parallel universes

By Alan Forsythe

When people tell me I need to better explain the concept of parallel universes my reply is, as soon as Stephen Hawking gets around to it I'll be right there with an update. In the meantime you're stuck with what we have in terms of physics.
Although really, it's a parallel plane of existence, so sort of the same sometimes, other times radically different, is that concept so hard to grasp? Does Sesame Street need to do a quantum physics show?
Speaking of Sesame Street if the Count is a vampire wouldn't it freak the kiddies out when he tore someone's jugular out. Or was that a lesson as well? You know like, 'how long till she bleeds out, one, two...'

Friday, 27 May 2011

Okay maybe True Blood isn't so bad

By Alan Forsythe

I may have been too quick to judge True Blood, friends have urged me to watch a few more episodes and i confess it does have it's merits. Still I wonder why in the universe of the fictional vampire these days they are prohibited from drinking anything but blood. Bela Lugosi as Dracula famously had wine, red wine with dinner, well that was his dinner, or appetizer really.
I think vampires being somewhat debauched individuals would be happy to imbibe intoxicating beverages from time to time. After all blood is what sustains them, booze just makes their lives a little easier. Well, that's how I write vampires anyway.

Top 10 vampire movies

They're making another Twilight movie so here's a round-up of vampire films that are actually good, or so cheesy they're good.

#1 Dracula 1931, based on the popular stage, Bela Lugosi reprises the role of Dracula for the big screen, in glorious B&W, as the trailers says: Preying on young women and condemning them to a fate, truly, worse than death! When's the last time you saw a movie advertised like that?

#2 Dracula 1979 starring Frank Langella in the title role and the late great Lawrence Olivier as Van Helsing. Get this tag line: "Dracula the greatest lover who ever lived, died and lived again." Despite that and the fact it's from the 70s it's actually not that cheesy and does have some truly scary scenes.

#3 Dracula A.D 1972, yes that's really the title. Stars Christopher Plummer in his sixth incarnation as Dracula for Hammer films, the little British studio that specialized in Horror films from the 1950s through to the early 70s. This version of Dracula features hippies, hippies turned into vampires, come on what's not to like there? Also performances by the rock band Stoneground (yeah I've never heard of them either).

#4 Blacula, also from 1972 and part of the blaxploitation movement in film in the early 70s. "Dracula's soul brother." Too cheesy not to like. Quentin Tarantino will likely do a remake in a few years, but catch the original now.

#5 Nosferatu 1922, starring the seriously creepy Max Schreck as Count Orlock, Schreck was so convincing as a vampire the rumour was he really was a vampire, hey who knows for sure. At any rate a great film not just a great vampire film. So this is what people do when their economy crumbles, make scary films, could be worse.

#6 Lesbian Vampire Killers 2009, I know how it sounds but this movie starts out with tongue firmly in cheek and stays there. Obviously trying to capitalize on the Sean of the Dead crowd, this well made British film, doesn't quite have the same sly sense of humour, but it is fun.

#7 The Lost Boys 1986, oh right you don't like the Lost Boys starring the two Coreys as wannabe vampire hunters. "The thing I always hated about San Dimos is all the damn vampires," classic line, lots of eighties music and Kiefer Sutherland with a mullet no list of vampire films is complete without Lost Boys on it.

#8 Vamp also 1986 starring Grace Jones as the queen vampire of a strip club where everyone is a vampire, yes Tarantino's Dusk till Dawn is basically a rip-off (surprised anyone?) But Vamp is better, two frat boys and their nerdy tag along go in, who comes back out?

#9 Near Dark 1987, starring Lance Erickson. Roving pack of vampires (although the word vampire is never used) terrorize small towns in the American south west. Told mainly from the perspective of the vampires, actually surprisingly good movie, one of Kathryn Bigelow's early efforts. Would make for a good vampire series today, at least it would be a nice change from all of the soap opery dreck we get now.

#10 Vampire's Kiss 1989, starring Nicolas Cage. Is Nick Cage being turned into a vampire after being bitten by Jennifer Beals, or is  he just insane? More likely the latter but this is one bizarre flick, both somewhat terrifying and very funny.

Honourable mention: Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1992, the movie that spawned the TV series, a series that had no mopey angst ridden vampires, yay!

Interviewing vampires

Anne Rice is the one really to blame when we talk about the emasculation of vampires. It was her Louis in Interview with a Vampire that created the whole, 'oh gee I'm undead, I'm going to sulk about it for the next 200 years,' genre.
Although to be fair Interview, the first book in her vampire chronicles was actually not bad, not bad at all. It had a lot of mystery, it was very original (at the time) and it had the character of Lestat to balance out all of Louis's numbing introspection.
Unfortunately due to the huge success of that novel too many vampires since have been modeled on the Louis character and not Lestat.
Yes Lestat was unspeakably cruel and evil in the first book (don't even ask about the later books, shudder) but he went about his dastardly acts in such a pedestrian, almost frat boy like way that it was sort of endearing.
But still it's Louis, mopey Louis who's a vampire but kind of sort of wishes' he wasn't and worse yet can't shut up about it,  that has become the vampire mold. He's the undead as the undead would be on Dr.Phil, he's the undead on Prozac, he's the undead that's spawned a generation of sappy romance novels that have turned vampires into latter day James Deans instead of blood sucking, cruel, ravenous, womanizers.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Why a lonely vampire?

The answer to the above question is another question, why not a lonely vampire? The thing is if you look at vampires throughout history, they pretty much lived a solitary existence, that is outside of the Blade trilogy which portrayed vampires as sort of undead clubkids.
But then Blade had Blade as the solitary pseudo vampire who preyed on an established vampire society.
It's part of the mystique of vampires, the loners who live on the fringes. But not the crazy loners holed up in a shack in Montana. The loners who bring something to the table, except for their fatal flaw of preying on humans (no matter how dark and mysterious someone is that's always going to be a drawback, for any sane person anyway).
So if vampires are inherently loners, then what's up with the loneliest vampire, his existence must be especially melancholy yes? Well yes and no, he's actually more of the everyman vampire, who struggles with being one of the undead and dating.
To find out more, read the book, out (and again I don't know why there's still questions about this) June 28th.