Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the Most Terrifying Movie Ever Made by Thomas S. Flowers

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the Most Terrifying Movie Ever Made

By: Thomas S. Flowers, author of the Subdue Series
Conceiving, Book Three, is Out Now!

In the glamor of watching a Steven Spielberg film, it is easy to understand how caught up we can get in the chaotic wonder of colorful kaleidoscopic strobes blinking over and over and superb John Williams magnum opus scores. But I have to wonder, while we were in that childlike stupor, did we see what was really going on? The visuals dazzled us, no doubt there, but is there a subversive message behind all the pizazz? Okay. I’m not really sure how subversive we’re talking here. Certainly, there is something to be said. Something to meditate over. And maybe even some revelation, some hidden fear to cause us to cower. Since watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I’ve kept a somewhat precarious eye on the night’s sky, glaring into the dark depths of the cosmos and wondering who or what is out there. And not only who or what, but what capabilities do they have? What technological power do these “beings” possess? Mind control? Abduction? Electromagnetism? Blackouts? Radiation burns? Sickness? Madness? All these are terrifying symptoms, no? If you’ve paid attention you’ll find the terrifying powers listed above are all in that Spielberg film we’ve loved and adored since 1977. And this is why I think Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the most terrifying surreptitious movie ever made. While we were dazzled and awed, strange elongated aliens were abducting children in a blaze of orange fog. While we giggled and cooed over the keyboard synthesizers and light show, a husband and father of three aggressively and tragically lost his mind, eventually being taken away by these so-called visitors. If we sit back down and watch this movie again, carefully, point for point…well, I’m sure you’ll agree: Close Encounters of the Third Kind IS a cosmic horror movie. Why? Well, this goes back to that ole Lovecraftian fear, not knowing “what’s out there” or “why they’ve come,” and having zero control over “what they do.”

Since the movie’s release in 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind has grossed over $337 million worldwide.  Ray Bradbury declared it the greatest science fiction film ever made. The film was nominated for several Oscars; having only taken home one in cinematography. Had Star Wars not released the same year, I’m certain Close Encounters would have won all the eggs. No surprise there, if you’ve seen the movie then you know there is no denying the film’s powerful dream-like quality. There’s nothing uber complicated with the plot or story structure. It’s actually rather cut and dry, in which some may say is a tad slow for our rapid-fire attention spans. I too recall watching this when I was a kid on VHS and thinking it had its fair share of boring scenes; however, as an adult now, I think the movie has a fantastic pace in which every moment is important in some way. I think a part of why we never watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind with the idea that it is a horror movie is because of the simplicity of the story, we glaze over and…Again, cue the musical numbers and flashy bulbs. Look at the film, watch the movie, even those on screen, especially at the end, the characters are all moon pied as if they’ve surrendered to some kind of trance or hypnosis. AGAIN…isn’t that in itself a terrifying factor? Losing our will.

dwelling

And we have to ask, what exactly do these aliens really want? If they’ve been abducting people for generations, what do they want with the one man crazy enough to have made it to Devils Tower? If they’ve been taking people all willy-nilly since before WWII, or even longer, well…it goes to say they probably already have a clear understanding of human anatomy. And if they can insert images and thoughts into our minds, well… this begs the question, how much more of us do they really need to know? To me, it all seems like a subjective test. A greater intelligence than our own giving humanity the equivalent of a SAT exam. Consider this bit from an article published by Keith Phipps:

“When Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), a humble lineman for an Indiana electric company, investigates a power outage, he witnesses an unidentified flying object, a run-in that leaves him with what appears to be a severe sunburn. Nearby, 3-year-old Barry Guiler (Cary Guffey), follows some lights outside as his mother Jillian (Melinda Dillon) chases after him. Both Roy and Jillian, who soon meet, are fascinated by their experiences, but this feeling soon takes a turn. Having strayed from his duties as a result of his sighting, Roy first loses his job then seems to lose his mind as he becomes fixated on alien encounters while his family looks on in horror. Jillian’s life turns even more dramatic than Roy’s when the UFOs return and draw Barry to them as Jillian fights their efforts to avail, in a scene Spielberg stages like an otherworldly home invasion, with Barry’s unwitting delight only amplifying the horror. Something from beyond Earth has arrived, but its intentions remain vague, as does its respect for human life.”

emerging

And at the end, we get the impression of open communication with the whole sign-language gag. But I wonder…how open is that communication really? Roy Neary was still taken. He was obviously still insane, giving no thought or hesitation of leaving behind his wife, two sons, and daughter. My impression is that these intelligent aliens are still rather indifferent about humanity. And indifference can be dangerous. I question the “friendliness” of the final encounter, the film to me reeks of its post-Watergate-pessimistic era of misguided trust. Sure, they are taking Roy Neary to some place that might be benevolent and beautiful, but how do we know, and to make matter worse, we’re never guaranteed his return. Will they bring him back as they did the countless others? (Did you see the billboard with all those names and pictures of people they believe had been abducted? Freaking insane number, right?) The final act is the answer to the entire mundane meets the spectacular and secretive undertone of the movie, we don’t know, we don’t know if Roy Neary will return, we don’t know what they’ll do with him, and we have absolutely no power to stop them from taking him. For all we know those seemingly kind disco-friendly aliens dissected him, leaving his amputated parts floating in murky glass jars as they cruse the solar systems jamming to KC and the Sunshine Band. And this begs the most horrifying question of all, as the credits roll and the spaceships float away, would we ourselves want to take a ride with these cosmic visitors? Could we stop them even if we didn’t?

Three Shots and a Chaser by John Quick

 

From Slasher Novel to Short Story Collection: Enter to Win Debut Novel CONSEQUENCES

by John Quick

2016 has been a strange year, both rough and rewarding by turns. I am pleased to announce that my second release, a short-story collection called Three Shots and a Chaser, is now available in both digital AND print editions!

If you’ve read my first work, Consequences, you experienced brutal, bloody horror in the style of the old slasher movies from the eighties, only told in my own way. But that’s not all there is to me; this collection demonstrates that quite clearly.

Here, you’re going to find a more subtle horror than I did before, horror not only of sight and sound, but of mind. And if you heard Rod Serling say that line, well, you’re on the right track. See, this time, it’s not Jason or Freddy or Michael or Pinhead that influenced me. Instead, it’s a Twilight Zone, reaching for The Outer Limits, and telling a few Tales from the Darkside.

While the stories here are still based in horror, there’s more than just horror, too. There’s a bit of a sci-fi bent, a little fantasy. Add a hint of the supernatural, and a dash of my normal dark humor, and you’ve got some idea of what you’re in for. There’s even a bit of that old-school anthology feel, where there’s a story around the stories, too. For that idea, though, I have to credit Patrick Rothfuss and the Kingkiller Chronicle for showing how it can be used this way.

Basically, this is something different, something to show I am more than a one-trick pony. And honestly, while I’m a bit nervous about trying something so vastly different from what I’ve done before, I’m also excited as all get-out for everyone to read these tales!

 

consequencesI’m celebrating, but it’s YOU who gets the reward! In honor of this collection’s release, not only is Consequences going on sale, but I’ll be giving a copy to one lucky person! So take the chance; if you haven’t read it already, here’s your opportunity to do so. I suggest you read it alongside Three Shots and a Chaser, see for yourself the range of my creative insanity. I’m curious which one you prefer: fast and bloody, or subtle scares!

Either way, if you enjoy yourself, if you lose an afternoon or two in the worlds I’ve created, then my mission is accomplished. Just don’t lose yourself too much… you’ll want to be around for what comes next!

Enter the GIVEAWAY for a Print Copy of Consequences! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b33/?

You can purchase CONSEQUENCES at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E6B9ZV8

 

 

Three Shots and a Chaser, Synopsis

Three twisted tales to tempt your palate…

A man who drives the back roads looking for something interesting finds more than he bargained for….

A woman with a very special gift for her husband on their wedding day….

A couple headed for the beach who find themselves tasked with a responsibility they never anticipated….

These are the tales told by the patrons of the Last Hope Bar, a way for them to pass the time while waiting for another new face, someone looking for a drink, or a place to wait out a storm, or just someone unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Someone like you, perhaps?

Step right on in, have a seat at the bar, and order up THREE SHOTS AND A CHASER.

You can purchase THREE SHOTS AND A CHASER at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2ZITNS

 

Biography John Quick

John Quick has been reading and writing scary and disturbing stuff for as long as he can remember, and has only recently begun releasing some of his creations upon the world. He is the author of the novel Consequences and theshort story collection Three Shots and a Chaser. His work has also appeared in the Full Moon Slaughter anthology from JEA Press. His second novel, The Journal of Jeremy Todd is due for release from Sinister Grin Press in the summer of 2017.He lives in Middle Tennessee with his wife, two kids, and four dogs that think they’re kids. When he’s not hard at work on his next novel, you can find him online at www.johnquickfiction.com, Facebook at johnquickbooks, Twitter @johndquick, and Instagram at johndquick.

Sam Shearon – Creepy Christmas Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

When I was asked to review Creepy Christmas I realized I’d never heard of a horror themed book coloring book. After reading the synopsis and looking it up on Goodreads I still had no idea how I was going to review this type of book. But Creepy Christmas isn’t just a coloring book. The book it is filled with creepy folklore tales from all over the world and some interesting twists on many traditional themes. The tales told within are cleverly formed as poems with a macabre slant. I had no idea so many myths and creatures existed from so many cultures.

krampus
Krampus Illustration

Of course I’d heard of some of the more well-known myths such as Krampus and the Abominable Snowman. Others like the Wendigo, Gryla and the Yule Cat were new to me and all of the topics were interesting looks at Christmas from the horror perspective. The book is filled with black and white illustrations that bring the stories to life. The illustrations are great representations of the creatures. If you’re into coloring you could personalize your copy. I really find the book appealing as a fan of horror and graphic novels.

As a kid we’re told Santa Claus will bring gifts, if you are nice. In Austria if you are bad Krampus will take straight to hell. Many of the myths and much of the lore surrounding Christmas tells us what could happen when you’ve misbehaved. It’s truly better to give than receive and not to complain along the way. Sam Shearon has an interesting take on the history of the Snowman, loved by children everywhere. I love the opening to Creepy Christmas with the following poem.

The Snowman Illustration
The Snowman Illustration

“Winter comes but once a year                                                                   Though not a time to live in fear                                                                  A warning must be given here                                                                   Be understood and made clear”

I love that snowman here are creepy and there are monsters disguised as caroling singers. Another good story talks about those living in a snow globe and how life is turned on end when we shake it. I learned that Rudolph is Rabid, what a fun twist on a classic story this poem is. Not only are you expected to ‘be nice’ at Christmas but we are expected to remember those no longer with us as we celebrate. The final story, Father Time & Baby New Year, ends with a poem less macabre than most.

 

 

Mistletoe Illustration
Mistletoe Illustration

“So remember the fallen, those loved and lost                                           Live your life to the fullest, let sadness be tossed                                     Celebrate that you’re here, raise the dead with a glass                            Know they’re on the other side, also having a blast”

The long and short of Creepy Christmas is the book was a lot of fun to read leading up to the holidays. As a kid, I would have found these stories more fun to read than the traditional stories I’ve heard dozens of times growing up. This will be a book I revisit again and again over future holiday.

 

 

 

 

Book Info

Length: 166 Pages

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Release date: October 18, 2016

To Purchase Creepy Christmas Click Here

The happiest time of the year is also the creepiest.

Winter has an even darker and richer lore than Halloween. For centuries, people have feared creatures from ancient legends born of this time of year. Tales such as giant hairy monsters who live in the mountains and will snatch you up and eat you were used to ensure children didn’t wander off in the snow and become lost.

These were indeed just stories … or were they?

This festive feast of fear contains 40 original hand-drawn and inked illustrations from a variety of traditional beliefs and legends from around the world, including British, North American, Nordic, Icelandic, Austrian, and Germanic folklore. Mister Sam Shearon’s Creepy Christmas features characters such as Krampus, Grýla, Santa Claws, Rabid Rudolph, the Grimace Tree, the Wendigo, the Snow Bear, the Yule Cat, the Abominable Snowman, and many more. Ready for you to bring to colorful life with fearsome festive cheer, each page is also accompanied with a poem—a guide to these creepy creatures from the season of ice and snow!