So many Quarantine videos...

A couple months ago, the amazing STEM Outreach team at Northern Illinois University invited us to DeKalb, IL to participate in QUARANTINE: THE FIELD TRIP. We were honored that our books were chosen to be the inspiration for a day full of live-action gaming with 200 students from the Chicago area, but we had no idea of just how awesome it would end up being. Check out what happened:

To watch more videos from that day, check out the PRESS section of our site. STEM continued the awesomeness that night by screening a horror movie at the local Egyptian Theater that we chose. If you're looking for some scares, check out our movie recommendations from that night:

For more of our horror recs, check out this list, or who or we kidding, just read the rest of our blog for years worth of #31HorrorFilms31Days hits and misses.

To round out our video blow-out, here's one of the best fan trailers we've seen for Quarantine so far (keep making 'em, we love 'em!):

#31HorrorFilms31Days Round 3

October has come and gone, and once again we have suffered Daniel Kraus' 31 day horror movie watching challenge. This time we both hit the magic number in the final hours, and just like the past years, it really started to drag on me near the end of the month. I'm starting to feel that to do it right, you should double or triple feature movies whenever you can, to make up for the days where you just don't feeling watching horror. And I think you should end the month on really good ones, or ones that have a special meaning to you, so that you're not trudging through slop in the final stretch. Next year I think I'll try to up the quality when I get to the point that I'm a little numb from watching so much horror, and a little less tolerant of cliches and shoddy execution. 

Below is our two movie lists, and a bunch of images from our horrific month. 

Next year, do it along with us!



1) NIGHT OF THE DEMONS - 80's Halloween costumes. Strobe lights. Mirror demons. Oh my god the lipstick scene. This one was a lot of fun. 
2) STREET TRASH - A discontinued malt liquor that melts the drinker into multi-colored goo wreaks havoc on hobos. This movie is gross, in bad taste, foul in multiple ways, but it was carried out with such wreckless abandon and blind enthusiasm that the result left a lasting impression on me. The hobo village in the junkyard with the dirty king on his throne of trash was insane. The multi colored explosions were insane. The premise was insane. Pretty much the whole thing was insane, aside from the stretches of bland acting and boring scenes.
3) DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE - A weirdo who was abused by his mom murders innocent women with a flamethrower. Yikes. This one bothered me.  I think it was because I didn’t really buy the story math of how his childhood abuse would result in him becoming a woman-burning serial killer, and all the murders made me sick. 
4) THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD - Four tenants of an evil house dramatically die. Very British and theatrical, very focused on the drama rather than the horror element. 
5) TOURIST TRAP - Animatronic mannequins, a killer who wears empty-eyed doll masks, and death by plaster face mask. One of those slashers I never knew about. I plan on watching this again. 
6) BONE TOMAHAWK (2015)- Old West sheriff Kurt Russell vs. cave-dwelling troglodyte cannibals. Amazing. The Western part, which is most of the movie, was so well done and entertaining, and the horror climax/last third kicked ass. 
7) DEADLY BLESSING - Evil Hittite neighbors. It's like Wes Craven's Witness. Killer end. The horror scenes are actually good, which is no surprise from Wes Craven, but the Hittite neighbor drama didn’t pull me in. I loved what happens in the last minute of the movie though. 
8) HE NEVER DIED- Henry Rollins is an invincible, violent, emotionless man who just wants to play bingo. Loved it. 
9) THE DEVILS - A man of faith is destroyed by his own religion. My head is still spinning. This was a great movie. Oliver Reed was amazing, as usual, as a priest in 17th century France who sleeps around a lot, and gets declared evil and an agent of the devil for the sexual fantasies he's put in the minds of the local nuns, especially the head nun with a deformed spine who fantasizes about him to no end. There is a lot of shocking scenes, but whats more hard to handle is watching him be the only one living in accordance with the principles of the religion, as the church destroys him for being a blasphemer. It definitely stays with you. 
10) THE BEYOND- A gate to hell. Cataracts. Eyeball gore. Blind girl standing in the middle of the highway. 
11) POPCORN - Baloney face wants revenge. Please bring back electrified seats in movie theaters.
12) SUBSPECIES - It's all about awesome-looking evil Romanian vampire Radu Vladislas. I recommend watching the Subspecies series but only paying attention when Radu is on screen. The rest of the scenes are hard to pay attention to anyway, but Radu is great, and gets more fun to watch each movie. Finally an evil vampire instead of a romantic one. And the actor who plays him is a blast.
13) BLOODSTONE: SUBSPECIES 2 - This one has Radu's mom in it
14) WHEN A STRANGER CALLS BACK - Carol Kane returns. Bad guy is reluctant to exist. First and last 30 are great, although it pulls a move in the very end that is pretty ridiculous, but if you go with it, it's pretty fun. 
15) IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS - The horror author is God and he is cruel. Choice is an illusion. It's all a big joke.
16) ZOMBIE - Amazing underwater footage, satisfying gore. Good times. I love horror in a happy setting where the colors a bright and cheerful instead of the same old grey green palette. 
17) EVIL DEAD TRAP - A Japanese reporter receives a snuff film/love letter and decides to investigate. Big mistake.
18) CASSADAGA - A twisty ghost story with a heinous serial killer. I couldn't handle the puppet parts
19) BLOODLUST: SUBSPECIES 3 - Radu dies in each movie and comes back in the next. This was by far the best death
20) BLOODSTORM: SUBSPECIES 4 - Best one. Radu's really strutting his stuff. How is there not a Subspecies 5 yet?
21) SEPTIC MAN - I need some bleach. 
22) SPOOKIES - A huge mess with some fun parts. Like the farting mud men.
23) BLOOD DINER- Cannibals, a talking brain, feminist overtones, an ancient Lumerian goddess. Totally bonkers
24) LATE PHASES - A tough old blind man prepares to battle werewolves in his retirement community. Good stuff
25) LET US PREY - A mysterious stranger brings out the evil in everyone but her. Sort of. Cool soundtrack -T
26) THE BLOOD LANDS- Move to Scotland and your neighbors will kill you. I liked the happy part in the beginning -T
27) DAY OF THE DEAD - Green zombies, grey zombies. Zombies with souls. Gore. Gets right to it. So 80's and fun -T
28) DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD - The man with the evil arm needs Russian zombies to battle the Nazi zombies. Funny
29) C.H.U.D. - Sewer mutants, eventually -T
30) COOTIES - More of a comedy but enough gore to count. They needed cootie shots #circlecircledotdot
31) NIGHTMARE WEEKEND - A supercomputer turns debauched young women into mutants. I think that was a movie 


1) BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA - An OG vampire gets angry and horny in this underrated classic. Gary Oldman turns it up to 11.

2) THE LEGACY - Sam Elliot is treated to an elegant stay at an English manor, and it pisses him off to no end.

3) FRANKENHOOKER - Rule one: don't bring a bag of "supercrack" to a hooker party. Actually, rule one of Frankenhooker is don't run your girlfriend over with a lawnmower. #wantadate?

4) DEAD AND BREAKFAST - Check, please!

5) NEW NIGHTMARE - Robert Englund plays himself, Freddie, and an ancient demon who loves playing Freddie. #metafreddie

6) GALLOWWALKERS - EL TOPO meets BLADE....and not in a good way.

7) BLADE II - Guillermo Del Toro blends NOSFERATU, FRANKENSTEIN, and ALIENS into a killer Marvel horror flick. Kristofferson steals it.

8) ALICE, SWEET ALICE - A'church'a ladies be'a crazy. Some nice twisty shocks.

9) GOTHIC - Laudanum, orgies, pythons, being human lightning rods. Just your average 19th Century writer's retreat.

10) SPLICE - Worst scientists ever.

11) COLD PREY - Who wouldn't want to kill a bunch of snowboarders who roll into your ski lodge and drink all your booze?

12) TRIANGLE - A bazillion reasons not to go on a cruise ship. Fun and unsettling. More Melissa George, please! #apileofSallys

13) WE ARE STILL HERE - We take our sweet time and we eventually get to some pretty sweet ghosts.

14) THE HOWLING - Dee Wallace takes a break from LA and discovers werewolves need therapy too.

15) EVIL DEAD (2013) - There was a book. They opened it. They shouldn't have.

16) THE BANSHEE CHAPTER - FROM BEYOND meets BLUE SUNSHINE. Decent jump scares, plus Ted Levine as Hunter S. Thompson.

17) DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE - He turns into a she. Self-loathing ensues. The only solution is to kill other people.

18) THE GATE - Pretty much a documentary about growing up in the '80s, except with a gate to Hell. #sacrifix

19) BURNING BRIGHT - A girl and her autistic brother get trapped in their house with a tiger during a hurricane. 

20) SAW - A dying man tries to make the world a better place through puzzles. Danny Glover whispers and falls down a lot.

21) ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES - A little levity was needed, cara mia, before diving into Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

22) TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 - Grandpa's the best chili cook there ever was!

23) WISHMASTER - Ohmygaaaaaaad! Do NOT say the word "wish" around that guy!

24) WISHMASTER 2 - Mo wishes, mo problems.

25) NIGHT OF THE COMET - Sisters are doin' it for themselves, and cosmic dust zombies are trying to stop them.

26) PUMPKINHEAD - DEATH WISH meets THE GRAPES OF WRATH, only with a witch, a gourd demon, and Lance Henricksen.

27) NIGHT OF THE CREEPS - Space worms get fratty. File this under "Where has this been all my life?!"

28) ALIEN RESURRECTION - Ain't no party like an alien party 'cause an alien party don't stop. #aquaaliens

29) WOLFEN - Predator takes Manhattan. Solid flick.

30) SINISTER - What it feels like to write a book.

31) DEATHDREAM - A Vietnam vet brings the war home with him. His parents do not approve.



Netflix Menu - Foodie Horror

You love food. You love horror. You want to watch three movies and a repulsive reality show pilot. I've got a foodie horror Netflix menu for you. 


First up is Omnivores. The original Spanish title is Omnivoros, which sounds much cooler. It's the story of a respected food critic who investigates rumors of a clandestine restaurant that serves human flesh. It's really well done, and it was cool that it was Spanish, and the horror scenes themselves are stark and brutal. I don't want to spoil anything but it's a realistic tension builder from last year about foodies and cannibalism and there's a disturbing villain and an extra disturbing right hand man. Very disturbing. Watch on an empty stomach. 


If you were down for Omnivores, you should go ahead and pair it with the flavor of Dumplings. This Chinese horror movie is totally gross and quietly horrific. A retired movie starlet hates that she is losing her looks and she finds a woman who cooks magical dumplings that have the power to make you look young again. Once you discover the secret ingredient you'll want to puke. Like Omnivores there's a lot of focus on cooking and eating and chewing, and on gross mouth noises, but despite how disturbing it is the tone of Dumplings is much calmer and quieter most of the time than than the turn of the screw tension of Omnivores.

Side note- If the part you like about Dumplings is an aging actress resorting to magic to fix her problems, and you're not against melodramatic Bollywood horror movies with song and dance numbers, than you could watch Raaz 3. If you want more Bollywood after that, try the romantic thriller Raavan. One character talks a lot about having knives rattling around inside his skull, which made me like him. 

Third is a childhood favorite of mine that is not up to the quality of the first two. The acting isn't great, the budget is small, and the practical special effects look cartoonish by modern standards, but when you're putting together a foodie horror playlist it's hard not to include a movie about a white goo called The Stuff that is marketed as a replacement for all food, and that secretly controls the mind of whoever eats it. All food being replaced by a processed white goo = a foodie's worst nightmare. The movie is a lot of fun, more of a light dessert of ridiculousness after the heartier meal of the first two.The TV commercials for The Stuff that they made for the movie are great too. 

And finally, if you've ever wanted to watch real footage of a dead lion being skinned, gutted, and having all the meat flensed from its bones, you should check out Skeleton, Inc.. I think it was a pilot that didn't get picked up because there's only one episode, and I can see why. This stuff is hard to look at. The weird thing about it was once they pull the skin off the lion it looked so much like a monster from a horror movies that had a new respect for makeup artists. It looked like something I might have thought was cheesy if I'd seen it in a movie, but clearly I would have been wrong. The show is about a family business that provides skeletons for medical schools and museums, and it's their job to get all the flesh off of those bones, use flesh eating beetles to clean them, and assemble them back together. They're doing this disgusting work for a good purpose and it's actually pretty interesting to watch how they do it, but the first segment when they take the lion apart is gruesome and real, and bracing to watch, especially for meat eaters. 

Also, this has nothing to do with foodie horror but watch from 51:53 to 52:50 of Money Talks (1972). Yikes!


Some pics from the last four years

It's been about 4 years since we started working on the Quarantine novel series. I can't believe it's been that long! I was looking through old photos and found a handful of writing pics from that time. In honor of Book 3 coming out today I thought I'd share some.

This was the writing area of the apartment I lived in while we wrote the first 2 books. Kind of cramped and crowded but I found that comforting. 

This was the writing area of the apartment I lived in while we wrote the first 2 books. Kind of cramped and crowded but I found that comforting. 

Here's Lex working on the couch in the other half of the room. I'm taking this photo from my desk. 

Here's Lex working on the couch in the other half of the room. I'm taking this photo from my desk. 

Here Lex is again, this time more stressed out. 

Here Lex is again, this time more stressed out. 

I like to write in a dark room. It helps me to focus. 

I like to write in a dark room. It helps me to focus. 

Writing requires lots of post it notes. 

Writing requires lots of post it notes. 

My desk is always a complete mess. 

My desk is always a complete mess. 

This is a hand drawn calendar I put on my wall in the month leading up to our deadline for the first draft The Loners The big numbers are the numbers of chapters that I'm marking down on the day I finish them. The bottom row is chapters that needed to be revised.

Here's Lex working on the couch at my painting studio, we'd work there sometimes too. 

Here's Lex working on the couch at my painting studio, we'd work there sometimes too. 

Here's the hallway in the building where I had my studio, very Quarantine-y. 

Here's the hallway in the building where I had my studio, very Quarantine-y. 

At B&N at the Grove in LA for the release of The Saints. 

At B&N at the Grove in LA for the release of The Saints. 

Drawing characters puking their lungs out.

Drawing characters puking their lungs out.