Saturday 11 May 2013

May Monster Madness #1 - A Myriad Monsters

Blog #1 for the May Monster Madness Blog Hop. Click the link or the image to visit the master post for the hop, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the linky list.

It's my write-like-a-mad-thing month so, of course, I signed up to another blog hop :). In my defence, this one is irresistible  how can I not join something called May Monster Madness?

This is a seven day hop and I have created posts for every day, so please, do keep checking back. If the A to Z Challenge taught me anything it's get everything done in advance.

Today I thought I'd talk about all the different types of monsters I can think of off the top of my head, going back in my memory to dredge up some of my earliest recollections.

When I think monster and look back to being young, the first thing that comes to mind is fairy tales. Giants and wicked witches are the monsters I remember in these. Have a piccie of the wicked witch from the recent Hansel and Gretel film as an example. Now she was a lot nastier and graphic in the movie than I remember from the stories, but The Brothers Grimm always did sanitise their fairy tales.

Another early memory that comes up when I think of monsters is Ray Harryhausen (RIP) because his Sinbad, Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonaughts movies are still some of my favourite.

The one that always comes to mind is Medusa from Clash of the Titans. It's her scaly skin and that look in her eyes that has stayed with me since I first saw the film and that sound she made as she moved. I always loved the monsters from Greek myths and Ray Harryhausen brought them to life for me throughout my childhood.

Of course the older we get, the nastier our monsters get as well, although not always more frightening. When I was a teenager I enjoyed movies where the monsters were gorier and often humans gone bad, like Candyman and A Nightmare on Elmstreet. I revelled in monsters along the lines of Freddy and his friends, but I find these days I tend to prefer monsters that are less slasher and more fangs and claws.

I think it's that I have more of a sense of my own mortality these days and so I like monsters to be more supernatural. I know Candyman and Freddy both had powers, but they were still nastily human.

One type of monster I avoid all together is the slasher movie madman as in Saw. I enjoy a good serial killer film or book, but not when it takes the leap into slasher territory. For example, I really enjoy Silence of the Lambs, but the follow up, where Hanibal slices off the top of one of the investigators heads and has him sitting at dinner - that takes it too far for me. It's a very fine line and probably a bit arbitrary  but I do not argue with my squick index :).

These days I like my monsters alien (Alien, Predator, Species), romantic (Dracula, Underworld, Anita Blake, Salem's Lot), dead (Resident Evil, Zombieland, The Haunting, The Lady in Black), demonic (The Exorcist, ), or animal (American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers).

Time for the shameless self promotion :). If you enjoy ghost and monsters I have a couple of books out you might like.

When Darkness Beckons
This is a two story horror anthology created for All Hallows Read 2012.

Catcher of Souls by Natasha Duncan-Drake (that's me :))
When Miles sets foot inside The King James pub he knows instantly there is a disembodied soul in residence. The question is, is the soul responsible for the deaths that have happened on the site or were they just accidents. It's Miles' job to catch troublesome lost souls, but when danger strikes he might just be too late.

Some Things Are Stranger... by Sophie Duncan
Life is weird enough for Jake being a werewolf on the run from The Pagan Dawn, ruthless hunters determined to wipe out all 'paranormal scum'. His luck runs out when he is ambushed after a Halloween party and, badly injured, he dives into the shadows of an abandoned warehouse with his pursuers on his heels. Yet, Jake discovers that he is not alone and his encounter with a goofy hobo, who talks about the place being haunted, teaches him that all strangeness is relative.

Book of Darkness
An anthology of six short horror stories.

Sleep Of The Damned by Natasha Duncan-Drake
How would you cope if you discovered your bed was haunted?
BFF by Sophie Duncan
New school, new best friend, but Karen discovers that Debbie has dark secrets.
Just One Day by Sophie Duncan
The house was a bargain and Georgie loves it, so she's not going to listen to the strange warning from the estate agent that for one day every year it is haunted.
The Crosses We Bear by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Shitty hotel, shitty team bonding weekend, but Lyle gets more than he bargained for when he removes the cross from above his bed.
Queen Of My World by Sophie Duncan
Alfred doesn't like people very much, but he knows how to use them to get what he wants and he wants Lissy.
Dead Not Dying by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Jo loves her cat, Tigger, but when he comes back from near death, Jo eventually realises that it might actually have been death itself.


  1. Good luck with your monster blogfest.


  2. Thanks for the monster flashback, I really have to revisit some of my faves. Happy Hopping! Here's my MMM at Design du Jour.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by, glad you liked the post.

  3. I'd say we are in sync regarding the origins of our love of horror and the kinds of monsters we now favour. Interesting flash-back post. Cheers Natasha.

    Shah X

  4. I love your list of what you like these days. You've got most of my faves there. I was so surprised with The Woman in Black, I think the lack of dialogue throughout really gave it a nice creep factor.

    1. I haven't seen a single version of The Woman in Black that hasn't scared the hell out of me :). I love it.

      Thank you so much for visiting.

  5. All of Dr. Lecter's books, and tales like it, might be the only thing that still scare me today.

    1. I have the kind of imagination where ghost stories still get to me, but in the cold light of day, I think you are right about the serial killers.

      Thanks for visiting.


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