Halloween Candy

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Cover art copyright 2001 by Thomas M. Sipos. Cover art by Stuart Smith of Graviton Creations.
Halloween Candy is a Jack O'Lantern of a book.

An anthology of horror fact and fiction, newly stuffed after a night of trick-or-treating with film critiques, short stories, horror punditry, haunted house reports, a screenplay, and an interview with Dark Shadows actor Jonathan Frid.

Writings dark and serious and whimsical, and all else that is horror. New items, and reprints from Wicked Mystic, 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, Midnight Marquee, Horror, Sci-Fi Universe, Filmfax, and Cthulhu Sex.

Includes the horror anthology screenplay of the title's name, which was honored with an American Film Institute reading, thrice-optioned, and at one time set to be directed by Tom Savini. Plus a behind-the-scenes look into the world of low-budget horror filmmaking.

Praised by FeoAmante, Horror-Wood, and other horror critics.

From the Critics ...

Like any artist or sculptor, there are many tools and brushes that a writer should have in their toolbox: hereafter referred to as, The Personal Library. One of these should be Thomas M. Sipos's Halloween Candy.

Sipos is a writer given a mixed blessing in life.  He has sold and resold the option to his screenplay, Halloween Candy, without it ever once getting made into a movie. It's not a bad screenplay, even beyond my own judgment, for the thing has been optioned three times, was read at the American Film Institute (moderated by Robert Wise no less), and was nearly directed by Tom Savini!

Halloween Candy is fascinating because it swings from fiction to fact. The fiction is solid and real, and the actual script Halloween Candy, while of comic book style properties, offers tangible, memorable characters. In it you get a glimpse of the inspirational process at work.

Sipos's telling of his real life experiences rivals the prose of his fiction. More than just a book, it is a documentary of the movie making, publishing, audience handling, and communication process -- where writing is just one very small facet of the whole. 

Without ever lecturing, Halloween Candy offers valuable advice from experience hard earned. That's why it's a must for your Personal Library and that's why I give it 4 Bookwyrms.

-- E.C. McMullen, Jr., FeoAmante.com.



Frid tells Sipos his theatrical history. He also discusses his time on Dark Shadows and Barnabas's afterlife at fan conventions. However, although Frid is best remembered as Barnabas, he is not stuck in the past. He prefers to talk to Sipos about what he has done post-Dark Shadows. Sipos is respectful but never fannishly fawning towards his subject. Rather he allows Frid to speak for himself.

In the other non-fiction selections, Sipos explores horror as a genre, concentrating on film as its medium. These selections: "But Is It Horror?: Defining and Demarcating the Genre," "Horror Goes Hollywood: A Call for Saturn Reform," "The Pragmatic Aesthetics of Low-Budget Horror Cinema," and "The Actor as Horror Villain," all certainly prove Sipos's extensive knowledge of horror films and the circumstances -- artistic, technical, and political -- surrounding their production.

-- Leah Larson, Necropsy, Winter 2002

Chock full of a variety of goodies, of varying sizes, shapes, and flavors. You name it, Halloween Candy has it: several short (short!) stories, numerous essays, an interview, a review, and a screenplay.

Halloween Candy (screenplay) is an anthology, relating the fates of four children after they get on the bad side of a witch. Optioned several times, and once almost directed by Tom Savini, I'm perplexed by the fact that it still sits unproduced (the screenplay's lengthy history is detailed in the book's introduction). It is very good, and would certainly make a better movie than some of the fare that somehow does make it to the big screen today. Halloween Candy, with its mixed bag of contents, has something for everyone. Dig in your hand and you’re sure to pull out a treat.

-- Jim Nemeth, Horror-Wood, Dec 2001



Far superior to some of the would-be horror I have seen Hollywood attempt. I like my Horror either heavy on the Gothic side, or with plenty of irony. "Halloween Candy" has both -- along with essays and stories on Horror.

The interview with Jonathan "Barnabas Collins" Frid was excellent. Another non-fiction piece -- on haunted houses (the commercial kind) -- was wonderful, especially for someone who has always wondered what it was like to work in one. I spent several evenings reading through the book, had no trouble putting it down at the end of one story/essay, nor picking it back up again a short while later. To me, this is important with any collection.

If a short story or an essay zings me enough to put the book down and think about it for a bit, the author/compiler has done well. A must read -- get your own copy and keep your hands off mine!

-- Robyn Sondra Wills, Alternate Realities, Nov/Dec 2001

 

 

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