Merchandise Monday

Happy Halloween!  Due to there being almost nothing on TV for Halloween tonight (aside from a repeat of the fantastic Psychoville Halloween Special from last year, followed by the first part of A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss I’ve abandoned the idea of doing a Halloween TV round up tomorrow.  Hopefully next year we’ll get some good new stuff to watch.  The fact that BBC2’s offering is Halloween: Resurrection tells you everything you need to know about the scheduling for this year.


So, moan over and onto the merchandise.  I wanted to feature something a bit special today because of it being Halloween and all.  While browsing Forbidden Planet earlier I found a listing for a new book, available to pre-order:


I’ve not heard that much about the book (if I had I would have been salivating possibly even more than I am now), but the description says it includes input from Christopher Lee, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg among others.  Even if Landis’ name on the cover doesn’t float your boat, one of them is sure to.  It seems to be a pretty definitive book, with input from monster makers, actors and directors offering more perspectives than just Landis could offer.  Expected in Forbidden Planet’s warehouse tomorrow, it’s priced at just £24.99.  I intend to start heavily hinting to family members about it as soon as possible.

So…what’s so special about a book?  Surely it’s the same as any other book.  Well, in addition to it arriving at the Forbidden Planet warehouse tomorrow, John Landis himself will be making an appearance to sign copies at the Forbidden Planet megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue from 6-7pm.  This means that in addition to owning a pretty nifty looking book, you could also have it signed by the man himself.  My jealousy is just a freebie on top of all that.  Get there if you can!  Full details available here.

Jake Bannerman Interview

I have been lucky enough to conduct a short interview with horror author Jake Bannerman.  Regular readers may remember his guest post back in September. But, before the interview it seems only right to introduce Jake’s cause and that is to raise $5000 for Breast Cancer Research by Christmas.  He’s doing this by donating 5% of all his book sales to the cause, but if you already have the book you can still donate any amount over at The Goat Franchise website.


So, now on with the interview:


1) First of all, thank you to you and your team The Goat Franchise for allowing me to feature your work here. Your team is obviously a great help to you. Would you recommend that other budding authors surround themselves with a similar team? What are the advantages and are there any disadvantages of working with a team?


Oh, no doubt about it! I had a plan going into this to surround myself with amazing people, full of positive energy and a passion for the chance to do something never before done before – to start from nothing and build to something amazing, all on faith. That was the number one qualification for this project,FAITH!

All of the Goat Gals are amazing at what they do, and they have a very difficult job to handle; and that is not only the work, but dealing with me on a personal basis! I am extremely impatient, and a very depressive, non-optimistic fellow. I have terrible mood swings! They have got to be mentally tough, and they know just how to handle me.

There is a disadvantage only in the fact that sometimes I worry that people will perceive the girls as they do me. The Goat Gals are their own thing, they represent me only in faith; they are the perfect example of the fact that the views and opinions expressed in my work are not necessarily the views shared by the Goat Gals. I feel bad sometimes because if someone ever goes off on them – and it HAS happened – I want to kill someone! It’s silly for some asshole to attack them for MY views.

I love each of the girls for different reasons and I would be nowhere close to where I am now without them.


2) Many people, when confronted with an illness such as yours would perhaps shy away from the more grim and violent side of things, but this obviously isn’t the case for you. Did you find your writing style or method changed in any way?


GREAT QUESTION! First let me explain this; the condition I have is related to leukemia and it is a slow degenerative disease that I and my doctors have known about for several years. I have refused to take the harsh medications, because I felt if I could wait I would, and unfortunately I waited too long. The condition has really turned for the worst, so we are taking aggressive measures to slow it down; this means chemo, and I knew it was coming so it’s not a shocking thing to me.

All indications are that we are going to be able to keep in under control. I will just be on some nasty drugs for the rest of my life, and that’s okay! I know it sounds very strange, but I only came out in public because I did not want to hide it, and if I can use my sickness to help others who am I not to stand up and do so?

No, my writing style has not changed or varied from day one. I do not understand the view of “OH NO, I’M DYING – let’s write about unicorns and cupcakes??!?!?” How about this – fuck unicorns!


3) What I really found interesting about The Pitchfork Diaries was the way that you integrated poetry in between short stories. So, Sophie’s Choice-style – poetry or prose? You can only choose one…


The poetry, just like the book itself, was kind of an idea thrown at me and I was like “Well okay, why not?!” Pitchfork was never supposed to happen; it is a result of Bailey, who is my ghost writer, throwing pieces of the Harvest at me and saying “This shit does not jive with the rest of the book!”

It was ‘Juden’, ‘Lullaby of Rape’ and something else she cut from the original draft of Harvest and I was asked by another party why I did not just make a book of short stories to get my name out there. It sounded like a great idea, so I went for it.

It’s the same thing with the poems, or ‘terror bursts’ as I call them. I can whip those things up in thirty seconds, so I threw one out to see the reaction they would get. People seemed to dig it so I put some in the book. I’m not sure if there will be any in Pitchfork Volume Two, so on that basis I choose prose.


4) What is your favourite book? And, perhaps more importantly, what’s your least favourite?


It’s one and the same! The Bible is easily the greatest piece of literature ever! Let me say this for the millionth time in my life; if you have not read the Bible you are missing out, because it is fantasy, horror, sci-fi, erotica, self-help and mystery all rolled into one!

Seriously, think about it; the great floods, the plagues, the crucifixion, the end of the world and the first sex ever! This book is incredible!

But, but, but – it is fiction, fiction, fiction! And that is why it is my least favorite book of all time. MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE DIED because of it, and in my opinion, the impact it has had on the world we live in is a travesty.


5) Last time you were let loose on Scared Sheepless your guest post raised a few really good points about non-conformity, even in the face of good stuff, like steak, blowjobs and Beyonce. What’s your guilty conformist pleasure?


Oh, truth be known, I like many “IN” things; I love Katy Perry, and I love fashionable clothes. I am not against everything that is popular – I mean, I have an iPhone! Should I chuck it off of a bridge because millions have one? NO!

I just think that it is sad that as a society we will pay more attention to unimportant bullshit and ignore anything that might cause a ripple because we are comfortable.

It’s the standard of asking a mother who lives in the slums to teach her children that drugs are bad when her son is paying all the bills from the crack he sold, ya know?

Do not cause a ripple when you are comfortable is bullshit! We are lazy creatures, and I hate that because I too am guilty of it


6) The Pitchfork Diaries has a lot of strong women, which you’ve already discussed in a Twitter Q&A before, but how do you feel about the love-hate relationship that the horror genre has with women? It’s often Virgin or Whore much of the time isn’t it?


Well think about this for a second…What do men desire? A virgin or a whore!

Those are what most males view women as – a sex toy, and trust me I am guilty of looking at a woman and thinking “Oh my God, I would destroy that pussy!”

Unfortunately, women hate me so, I never get the chance!

Women are tougher than men in all areas, and I appreciate that. The reason that horror movies use them is because males are visually stimulated, end of story.

I guarantee you, though, that 99% of women would kick Freddy Krueger, Micheal Myers and Leatherface’s asses whilst drinking a latte and multitasking on her iPhone!


7) What is the absolute worst thing that someone could take away from your work in terms of a message or idea? On the same lines, what is the worst thing you’ve had said about your work?


The worst thing anyone could take away from my writing is that I share or endorse any of the behavior of the people in my books. I do not support rape, necrophilia, murder, or especially racism.

I find murder less offensive than being a racist; many people will think I am a racist because of stories like ‘Juden’ or ‘In the Mouth of Butterflies’, but it simply is not true.

What is the worst thing I’ve had said about my work? That’s something to ask the Goat Gals – I cry to them all the time!


8) Your work has a great filmic quality, you can really see what your reading thanks to all your detailing. Choose a cast and crew for just one of your short stories… You can include yourself if you don’t think you could trust anyone else.


It’s funny that you say that, because everyone seems to think that and I would love to see my work done as a movie or even a short film, no doubt!

Let’s pick one that I actually had someone in mind when I wrote it. In ‘The Lullaby of Rape’ I pictured Donald Sutherland as the main protagonist in the story, and Natalie Portman as the girl. Oh, and I would definitely be in the film; most likely the sex Scene!

Thank you for the compliment I try really hard to make the reader feel as if they were there in the midst of the scene; I want to engulf you in fear, so I try not to just say knife, stab = blood, ya know?

And my editors deserve much of the credit because they are true wordsmiths!


9) And finally, the inevitable question – What have we got to look forward to next from you?


Dec 25th 2011- the first book in ‘The Family of Dog series’ comes out and we are all absolutely salivating about releasing this to the world! I promise you that The Harvest is like nothing you have ever read and takes you down roads you would not even think of going down. This book goes to places never before explored, and I am 100% serious, may very well get me killed. If you think Pitchfork was controversial you have no idea!


Hey thanks a ton for the support and the chance to speak to your readers!


Merchandise Monday

This week’s Merchandise Monday is further evidence that I need to be banned from eBay.  It’s getting silly now.  I can’t go a day without searching for little trinkets that I don’t need and certainly don’t have the space for.  Doing Merchandise Monday has become a very dangerous window shopping experience for me and my bank account, but it’s also great fun.

I’m a big fan of anthology or portmanteau horror films, particularly those by Amicus studios, but I think my favourite so far is The Vault of Horror.  It certainly has my favourite story of the ones I’ve seen so far – ‘Midnight Mess’ in which a gruesome discovery is made in an after-hours restaurant.  That one scene combines everything I love about horror – twists, turns, grim discoveries, the potential for camp and dark humour.

It’s a difficult thing to get any sort of merchandise from this film (unless you like taps, ropes or jars) but there is one thing I found that was a special piece related to the film:

The one I found is on eBay at this link and is currently at £19.99 with one day and 19 hours remaining to bid.  Only £2.01 postage if you’re in the UK too, which is hard to beat.  Now all I have to do is walk away from the computer before I go ahead and buy it myself.

Stay tuned to Scared Sheepless as tomorrow I have an interview with horror author Jake Bannerman.

Merchandise Monday

One of my many quirks is that I enjoy shot glasses.  Not just for drinking out of (although of course I rarely turn down a shot) but also for remembering places I’ve been or just simply for decoration.  They’re great for collecting because they don’t take up as much room as, say, a mug and usually have much more interesting designs.  While my usual criteria for a shot glass is that I’ve actually visited the place, I’m willing to make an exception for today’s item….

While having no desire to actually visit Elm Street (my nightmares give me enough trouble as it is!) I’m really fond of these shot glasses.  They look pretty sturdy, which is a necessity for anything I’m spending my money on and would make a horror movie themed drinking game all the more fun and authentic.  It seems like A Nightmare on Elm Street may be the go-to film for horror merchandise, considering it has already appeared not so long ago.

You can find the glasses here on Amazon for just £3.40, with free delivery in the UK.

Merchandise Monday

Last Wednesday it was my birthday.  I’ve for some time now expressed a desire to own a Ouija board as a collectable item.  As a total skeptic I would never bother using it, but some boards are so well designed that I’m fascinated by them and the power they seem to hold over people.  I know some people get very upset about them, largely due to user accounts and film representations.  Still, as a horror fan they’ve always held a massive appeal for me.  Another reason for my love of today’s item is that it concerns possibly my favourite television series of all time – Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in particular, one of my favourite episodes.  This is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Conversations with Dead People Board:


Available from here on Amazon for just £19.47 it is a wonderful collector’s item for those interested in Ouija boards or in Buffy.  The manual is in the form of a comic as opposed to a wordy instruction booklet.  It’s a favourite of mine primarily because it fits the spirit of that episode entirely and for me, is one of the best pieces of merchandise that could come out of that series.  With this as the first board going on the shelf I hope to start collecting more and more.  Even if you’re not keen on the merchandise of this week, the reviews on that page are pretty good reading and demonstrate either a world of sarcasm or genuine fear about something once sold as nothing more than a board game like Monopoly.

WARNING: Do not play Monopoly alone.  If you do, Rich Uncle Pennybags will attempt to gain your trust.  Once he has this he will posess your mortal soul and lead you down a dangerous path.  Those suffering from Monopoly possession will find themselves unable to resist handing out £200 on street corners while twisting their head a full 360 degrees.

Pictured: Worse than Captain Howdy.

Merchandise Monday

October is, somewhat predictably, my favourite month of the year.  Largely because my birthday falls on the 5th, but mostly because of the excitement for Halloween goodness.  Due to coming from a fairly quiet village there are very few Halloween activities which means I’m mostly at the mercy of my television on the night.  While I haven’t seen a schedule yet, I’m keen to celebrate Halloween television in any way possible.  For this reason I will post a detailed appreciation of the night on Tuesday November 1st.  With that said, on with the merchandise!


This week’s entry I found in my relentless trawling of eBay and comes from arguably the most recognisable horror franchises around – A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Somehow, I’ve managed to wade through all of the sequels, ignoring much of the declining quality in some of the later offerings.  Still, Freddy Krueger is an iconic villain and face of horror and he needs celebrating.  However, comedy was one of Freddy’s strong points, so there’s no need for an entirely serious piece of merchandise to do this.


This, as you’ve probably already guessed is a Freddy Wacky Wobbler.  I found it here on eBay for $12.99 (or £8.34 depending on where you’re buying from).  Obviously consider postage before you buy, but its a relatively low cost addition to a horror collection.  There are only two remaining on that seller’s page, so act fast!

Merchandise Monday

Christian Bale is now best known for playing Batman and while he’s pretty good nothing will ever match his performance in American Psycho for me.  I read the book before watching the film and wondered who could possibly play a character as deranged as Patrick Bateman and for me at least, Bale was spot on.  Anyway, enough of that, onto the merchandise.  This week has no practical use and is here because it looks damn cool, which let’s face it, is the point of merchandise for the most part.


Sadly it’s currently out of stock at but I’m sure if you’re feeling flush you can pay $59.99 for this wonderful figure, which includes ‘knife – axe – briefcase – nailgun – videotape and newspaper diorama’.  Link is here.  I now need to convince myself that I don’t need the figure.

Horror Handover – Jake Bannerman Guest Post

I am exceptionally lucky to have had a wonderful guest post written by author Jake Bannerman.  After reading his book The Pitchfork Diaries I was left horrified, entertained and with questions about who was behind this work, so before we hit the guest post, here’s a little information about him and The Pitchfork Diaries:

The Pitchfork Diaries is a collection of short stories and prose unlike anything you have ever read before. Even the darkest and most violent imaginings of your mind cannot come close to matching the horrors contained within.

J.S. Bannerman, a new name in the horror genre, has skillfully woven a collection of tales that will inescapably work their way into your psyche, take up residence and relentlessly haunt you. Prepare yourself to be confronted by words that will threaten to shake the foundation of everything you thought you knew; no truth is too uncomfortable, no thought too gruesome to share.

All are invited to read The Pitchfork Diaries. Many will never be the same.

With that said, the best way to get information about someone is to go right to the source, so with no further ado, here is ‘Slicing Through the Walls of the Dead’:

Slicing Through Walls of the Dead

By Jake Bannerman 9-15-11

So often it’s called the herd mentality, and you have to ask yourself – if everyone at the restaurant is ordering the steak, well, should I order the steak too? Obviously it is good, or the entire room would not be shoveling steak down their throats.

Human nature is a poorly chosen phrase, for it ought to be called ‘humanity’s chance to not have to make a decision’. It’s easy to follow the pack, is it not? I mean, I think we can all agree that Britney Spears dancing in a Catholic schoolgirl outfit would give even a corpse a hard-on and that Beyonce has a rad ass! Why not – it feels good, it looks good, and everyone is doing it, so I think that I will do it too. We all want the cheese at the end of the maze!

Unfortunately and more importantly, mass decisions and the herd mentality are a major fucking disaster!

Pick an example – governments, religion, NASA, the United Nations, the Culture Club. All huge disasters! The Million Man March, the Manson Family, the Waco mess, and to top it off, tofu tacos!

When minds follow instead of lead, we end up with worthless, rehashed shit!

Now consider the positive outcomes of thinking outside of the box great examples

1. Blow Jobs! Someone had to say ‘hey, let’s put this in there and see how it feels!’

2. Hot Dogs and Chili – are you fucking kidding me, put some chili on that dog?! But the individual who figured this one out is right up there with the blow job creator in my book!

3. G strings! Who would have thought it? How can we put a string to good use…Brilliant!

4. Eggs; yes, the good ole egg. But think about it, someone must once have said ‘Hey, let’s try and eat what came out of that chicken’s ass!’

5. And lastly, writing! If you read my writing you will see that following the herd is most definitely not my game. I want to bomb the herd, shock the herd and stick a razor blade up the herd’s ass.

Listen to me. The herd/flock/cool people group is all well and good, but it is also boring, non-productive and it produces sloppy, ineffective results in most cases!

Do not listen to the voices of the dead. History is a perfect example of why it should be ignored; I mean, do you really want to go through the Dark Ages again? Do not learn from history, but make history instead! I promise you, it cannot happen if you simply follow in the path of the dead. Lead the living!

Stand up, scream as loud as you can and shake the foundation of the herd. Eat something from an animal’s ass, stick it in new holes and do dirty things with clothes! You have the power to show the world something new by Slicing Through the Walls of The Dead!

The Pitchfork Diaries is available now from Amazon and Smashwords and in case you need convincing, here is an excerpt from just one of the short stories:

EXCERPT – To Walk the Path of Maggots

The heat of the scorching summer sun only contributed to the pain that the woman felt as her flesh was ripped from the fangs of the leeches clinging with such tenacity to the inside her thigh. The ice-cold water of the natural spring had been so appealing, but unfortunately for the woman and her playmates, the advertisement they had seen for the leech-infested waters in which they innocently swam had been far from accurate.

As they laid on the shore frantically removing the leeches from the gashed skin of their tanned, bikini-clad bodies, the black and slimy predators hung on with all the might of an infallible warrior; the loud screams and squeals of pain they were making doing nothing to hinder the efforts of the leeches to cling to the skin and suck the lifeblood from the beautiful bodies they had found.

Many thanks to Jake Bannerman and The Goat Franchise Team for all their help with this post.