Good morning, readers! Today I'm bringing Karen Greco in with her debut Urban Fantasy, Hell's Belle. Lets take a look at this book that sounds really fascinating to me!
Hell's Belle Series Book, One
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 17, 2013
Cover Artist: Jeff Brennan
I have always loved movies, and the scarier the better. But I prefer suspense and chills to simple gore-fests. These ten movies had a profound impact on me at a very young age, and I consider them key influences to my work as a writer now.
I think this was Anthony Hopkins' first American movie. I watched it when I was about 9 or 10, in an old roadside motel in upstate New York, near Niagara Falls. It was on television. I was so frightened; I covered my face but watched through my fingers. A demented, psychopathic dummy that murdered people--how could I NOT watch?
The first movie I ever saw was Dracula (the one from 79, with Frank Langella as the Count). It was on at the video store when my dad was buying our first VHS player -- one of those early 80s monstrosities! Anyway, the store had it on, and I watched while my dad picked out the machine. Since it was a long, long process, and I pretty much watched the whole thing. I was riveted. Of course, now I know that it was an absolutely brilliant cast, with Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, and Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing. No wonder I loved it.
(Quick note. Clearly my parents didn't really monitor what I watched--I also saw Lipstick when I was around that age. And the 2nd movie I ever saw was Ordinary People, which frightened me far more than Magic or Dracula! Third movie was a Cheech and Chong. Clearly they had very relaxed viewing standards, but I think I turned out okay regardless.)
A young girl. A demon possession. A priest who lost his Faith. I was a little older when I saw The Exorcist, and was struggling to get through CCD (Sunday school for Catholics) without experiencing the wrath God (really, the wrath of my Hell-hath- plenty-of-fury Priests). So I related to this film in about a million different ways! And let's just leave that to the armchair psychotherapists.
Roman Polanski's classic. That cast was extraordinary—Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes. And no one does weird old lady better than Ruth Gordon.
Really, every Hitchcock movie should be on this list, but Psycho is iconic. Norman Bates set the bar high for sociopathic killers on film. And that shower scene proved that sometimes seeing less is often more frightening than seeing everything.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE
This movie, like Psycho, proves that you don't have to be supernatural to be a monster! It also taught me about how even awful, unredeemable characters have their own reasons, however false, for being so evil. Finding the humanity in such awful characters is what gives them real dimension. Plus, Betty Davis and Joan Crawford!
Oh Damien. Another film that I related to in so many ways! It kicked off my life-long fascination with Great Britain--I loved the locations in this film. And the rabid Rottweilers partially inspired my character Dog. I was also fascinated by the idea that pure evil (in this case, demon spawn) could one day be a political figure, and not necessarily by satanic misdeeds but chosen by the people to lead. The idea that you do not know that this person you admire and respect it really the root of all evil. That's more frightening than Freddie Krueger, I think.
THEATRE OF BLOOD
My list would not be complete without at least one Vincent Price movie, and Theatre of Blood hits all the right buttons. It's simply over-the-top, and Price is chewing the scenery. Great fun.
I was probably about 13 when I saw Halloween for the first time. This film kicked off my adoration for John Carpenter. For a long time, I religiously watched all Michael Myers movies, up until the one with LL Cool J. While most of my friends were Team Jason, I was totally Team Michael. Loved the Halloween franchise way more than Friday the 13th. Jamie Lee Curtis suffered no fools.
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (radio broadcast)
Okay, not a movie and more sci-fi than horror, but my 5th grade teacher played Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast during class and it influenced me profoundly. I was fascinated by the fact that a fictional program could be so real that it actually sent people into a panic. I am not a huge fan of stories about aliens and alien invasions (I even loathe the movie Alien), but this adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel is a classic spine tingler.
I think I can relate to the love of many of this. The Omen is one of my favorites! What are your thoughts, readers?
Before we part ways with Karen, she is also sponsoring a giveaway today. It spans the tour, but you'll need to enter to have a chance to win one of 10 copies of Hell's Belle. The winner will be able to choose which digital format: mobi or epub.
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