At its core there is something very British about folk horror, so tied is it to the landscape of rural and semi-rural England, the ancient Pagan rites and cultures that, because they did not write anything down, lend themselves so readily to mystery, interpretation, and myth-making. Eventually, however, as an American lad, I started thinking about American folk horror and, as is my way, the places where American folk horror and science fiction intersect.
It’s that spooky time of year again, when Alcohol Professor lets me turn my pen to libations most macabre. This year, we’re taking a break from visiting haunted bars, and with Night of the Booooozy Tales I pair six famous horror authors, six stories, and six cocktails and/or liquors.
Over on the Alcohol Professor, I have a three-parter about the famed American Bar in London’s upscale Savoy Hotel. It also covers a history of cocktails themselves, the birth and evolution of hotel bars and cocktail culture in New York, the ties between the Savoy and the British intelligence service during WWII.
Mars Men kicks off with a little kid stumbling upon a hidden cave in which he finds a small statue of Yud Wud Jaeng. The kid insists on calling him “Hanamajin”, and the rest of the cast—following that kaiju movie rule that everybody has to follow the 10 year old’s lead—follows suit. Even Yuk Wud Jaeng, when he shows up, does this.
On The Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about Folk Horror for the Atomic Age. These Are the Damned is a curious film that effectively pulls off the difficult stunt of starting off as one type of story but ending up a very different type, equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and folk horror.
On Alcohol Professor, I have a four-parter called Martini and Myth about James Bond, the murky origin of the Martini, and how Ian Fleming ended up making them with vodka and ordering them shaken, not stirred. Everyone from tippling detective Nick Charles to the President from The West Wing has something to say.
Power pop fans sometimes try to swell the ranks of their chosen obsession by widening their nets to include within it acts that are not necessarily deserving of the label. Take for example, The Quick, a fixture of LA’s club scene in the 70s often cited as power pop standard bearers.
As the series begins, Quatermass and his team are in a quandary after their most recent manned space flight vanishes without a trace, only to turn up later when it crashes into a farmer’s field. Rushing to the site, Quatermass is baffled to discover that of the three astronauts launched into orbit, only one is still in the ship.