The 13th Floor

Take A Break! 5 Non-Horror Recommendations For The Horror Fan

Last week, in her countdown of her personal five favorite episodes of KILLER POV, the horror hostess with the mostess, Rebekah McKendry listed episode 62, The Non-Horror Episode. It reminded me that, along with going a little crazy, we also all need a little break sometimes. We all love horror, but every now and then we want to watch or read a little bit of something that doesn’t fall into the genre.

Still, we horror peeps tend to have specific tastes. We like a little bit of weirdness mixed in with all of our entertainment. It is with that idea that I offer you a few things that, while they aren’t specifically horror-centric, are things I think horror fans may just love…

Take a Break with TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE

Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella are well known in the horror circles. Their first film, THE BATTERY, was one of the best horror movies of 2012, and one of the most original zombie movies in decades. If you haven’t seen it, hold off on taking your horror break and check it out.

If you have seen it, maybe you should check out their newest film, TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE. This time, Gardner and Stella take on the found footage format, but use it for a comedy. Not only that, it is a really good comedy.

In TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE, we follow Tex Montana, whose reputation as the most famous and trusted TV survival host in the world has been tarnished following allegations that his show is staged. To prove to the world that he is the greatest survivalist of them all,  Tex Montana enters the remote wilderness alone, where he will stay for thirty days with only his camera, the book he wrote, and a few basic supplies.

The movie takes advantage of the found footage format in a fashion we rarely see, as well as Jeremy Gardner’s excellent comedic prowess. I honestly can’t imagine trying to take on a premise that has a single person alone for 99.9% of the running time, but Gardner and Stella not only take it on, they straight up kill with it.

The best part is, you can see TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE for free! Gardner and Stella released the film on YouTube for the masses to enjoy! So get to the enjoying!

Take a Break with THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

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The world is over. A plague has wiped out mankind, leaving Mother Nature to begin her new reign over Earth. Still, out there on the West Coast of the United States is a man who may be too dumb to die. His name is Phil Miller, and he is THE LAST MAN ON EARTH.

Except he isn’t. There are a few other survivors, and they all come together to try and live what time they have left as a community, something that Phil doesn’t make easy. LAST MAN ON EARTH stars and was created by Will Forte, and it is the darkest comedy on TV today. The show celebrates the insanity of humanity by focusing on six people slowly losing their minds in Malibu. As Phil, who everyone calls Tandy, Forte leads the pack in the insanity part. It seems that Phil had a few loose wires before the apocalypse happened, and the death of everyone on the planet sent him over. While the others try to live normal lives, Phil prefers to fill his time by laying in a margarita pool, talking to beachballs, and collecting every great piece of art man has ever created so he can destroy it.

I started watching this show when it first began, and I figured there was no way in hell it would get past six episode, let alone a second season. Somehow, the series was just renewed for a third season, and I am beyond excited. Each episode builds off the last, making every episode into the best episode yet. It’s a show that honestly rewards the viewer for paying attention – set ups for gags will happen three or four episodes before the real payoff happens, and if you’re busy look at your phone while watching, you may just miss it.

While Forte is the star of the show, and easily the best part of it, the rest of the cast, including Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman, and Mary Steenburgen are nothing to sneeze at. Each character is fully realized and consistently hilarious. Steenburgen especially steals scenes with sly eye rolls and hints of just how drunk her character is at any given moment.

The entirety of the series is currently streaming on Hulu and I think if you give it a go, you’ll fall in love right away.

Take a Break with WE CAN NEVER GO HOME

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I originally picked up the first issue of WE CAN NEVER GO HOME because the cover made me think it was a horror comic. The look of it reminded me of IT FOLLOWS, and I was down for a comic similar to IT FOLLOWS. It isn’t like IT FOLLOWS at all, but WE CAN NEVER GO HOME does have a touch of horror to it.

The story, which follows two teens on the run after one of them kills someone, is wonderfully written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon with beautiful art by Josh Hood. The main characters, loser Duncan (who thinks a gun means he has power) and Madison (the most popular girl in school who knows what real power is) pop off the page. They fit in perfectly with the great teen punk icons of the 80s while trudging their own path forward. The series, which ran for five issues, is a great mix of teen angst, superhero action, and conspiracy theory craziness.

Rosenberg, Kindlon and Hood have created something special and I would be shocked if it didn’t get turned into a movie sooner or later. Get the collected series now so when it does come to the local multi-plex, you can show your friends just how ahead of the times you are by already knowing the story.

Take a Break with DEAD WAKE

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There is, to me, nothing more terrifying that reality. So much of what happens in this world is far scarier than anything that will ever show up in a movie. Take DEAD WAKE for example. The book, written by one of my favorite authors, Erik Larson, tells the true story of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German u-boat in 1914, forcing the United States to enter World War One.

What Larson does so well in DEAD WAKE, as well as his other books, is that he places you there. Nothing he writes is fictional – all of it comes from reports at the time, interviews from those involved, or other modes of factual information – but he knows how to truly sell the horror of what these people went through. The rushing of the ocean through the lower decks, the screams of children as men, wanting to die with honor, jump into the waves below – all of it is between the pages of this hypnotic story.

Larson also finds the time to look into other odd things that were happening at the time of the sinking of the Lusitania. He describes what has to be one of the most elaborate suicides of all time, as reported by the NEW YORK TIMES on the day the Lusitania set sail for the final time. Seriously, I don’t want to spoil it, but this suicide is like something straight out of TALES FROM THE CRYPT. It is loco to the max.

As with all of Erik Larson’s books, I was unable to put DEAD WAKE down. It is a large book, but I think you’ll find yourself engrossed by the tales he so deftly tells within those pages.

Take a Break with HOW DID THIS GET MADE?

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As horror fans, we’ve sat through a lot of movies with… questionable quality. Lucky for us, we have the talents of Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas to help us with such questions. Twice a month, the three lovers of bad movies are joined by a guest to discuss the insane plots, odd acting choices, and terrible FX of some of the worst and weirdest movies of all time. From THE LOVE GURU, to SUPERMAN III, to GOOBY, no movie is left unscathed. Even the classic SLEEPAWAY CAMP gets the HDTGM treatment.

Like MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, the hosts of HOW DID THIS GET MADE have a true love for odder movies, and it comes across in their discussions. Each episode includes a guest, and on occasion they even get someone connected to the movie. When they watched and talked about PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, the director, Lexi Alexander, joined in to do her best to answer their questions!

You’ll also get fantastic debates on the just how sexy “Evil Ernest” is in ERNEST GOES TO JAIL, was the monkey paid well for MONKEY SHINES, and which FAST AND FURIOUS movie is the best one (every FAST AND FURIOUS discussion includes special guest Adam Scott!). The show works best if you watch the movie before listening to the episode about it, which can be a bother from time to time. I sat through all three SHARKNADO movies for these guys, but it was worth it.

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