Friday, 25 May 2012

Carnival of Fear is Closed for the Season

Jay Woelfel dropped me a line to say that his latest film Closed for the Season had had a UK release. But over here it has been retitled Carnival of Fear by the distributor, 101 Films.

A young woman, Kristy, wakes up inside of a rusted car. She steps out to find herself beneath the skeleton of a wooden rollercoaster in the middle of the night in the abandoned ruin of Chippewa Lake Park. She hears a voice calling out for help and soon finds a man impaled on a fully grown tree in the center of the rollercoaster. He says he was riding the coaster and was thrown off. But the coaster could not have run for decades… 

She runs for help and comes across even more impossible sights in the overgrown ruin that extends in every direction. She’s being assaulted on all sides by ghosts of the park’s history. She finally manages to find a lone house where things seem to be normal. The occupant is a young man, James, whose parents are the caretakers of the park. Together they go to investigate the things Kristy saw. Initially they find no trace of anything unusual, but soon realize they are now both trapped in the web of stories from the 130 year history of the park. These urban legends are now true events that lay in wait amid the rust and weeds to play deadly games with Kristy and James.

This fantastic world seems to be orchestrated by a Carny, in clown makeup, who once ran the rollercoaster, but died long ago. It is his abandoned car that Kristy awoke in. He tells them that the only way to escape the park is for them to relive and survive these stories and ride the rides one last time. He acts as their guide, but is it to salvation, or damnation?

Critters writer - posthumous book

Brian Muir, best known as the writer of Critters, with whom I had a few e-mail exchanges before his untimely death, wrote short stories too. Five of them, plus an essay about writing Critters, have now been collected into a Kindle e-book which is available from Amazon.

Collapsar and Other Stories
A drunk and a dragon...a fallen horror movie actor in a labyrinth of real-life monsters...and fearless Jack Lightning, a hero of the Old West and the swiftest courier to vanish beyond the green curve of the earth. These are just a few of the characters to spring from the mind of Brian Muir, best known as the screenwriter of the 1980s cult classic, "Critters," but also a first-class fiction writer. He appeared along such greats as Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine before his untimely death in 2010. This brief but unusual collection contains five of his stories never before published, along with an autobiographical essay on "Critters" offering simple but invaluable writing advice.

Back in February 2011 I paid tribute to Brian Muir on my Devil's Porridge blog.