All posts by Landon Evanson

BRINGING US TOGETHER: A CONVERSATION WITH ‘METAL AND MONSTERS’ HOST MATT “COUNT D” MONTGOMERY

“Honestly man, I miss the days when we could get together on things.”

For Matt “Count D” Montgomery, long known as the bassist for Rob Zombie, the vision for METAL AND MONSTERS–Gibson TV’s brand new show dedicated to the worlds of heavy metal and monster culture–really is just that simple.

Two years ago there came a tapping at his Lyft door as he was leaving John Carpenter’s Halloween Nights show at the Hollywood Palladium when Gibson TV Content and Director Todd Harapiak, rapped Montgomery’s shoulder. Harapiak offered his card and an invitation to give him a call.

For the next year, Harapiak and Montgomery traded records and got to know one another. Then just before the pandemic began, Montgomery got a call that changed everything.

“I’m thinking about a show where we combine our love for heavy metal and maybe your love for monster culture and stuff it into one thing. What do you think?” Harapiak said.

And just like that, METAL AND MONSTERS was born. Nearly every day for the next two-and-a-half years Montgomery and Harapiak were on the phone planning the show. Before long they were location scouting, then a crew was assembled, and finally they started reaching out to horror and metal legends for a 60-minute program which Montgomery would host.

“Before I knew it, last October, there we were in the Los Angeles Theatre with a coffee table we built from scratch, with a set that we designed for the show, and [Robert Englund and Don Dokken] sitting in front of me,” Montgomery said. “It’s one of the coolest bands I’ve ever been in.

It’s the most honest thing I can be doing with my time. I’ve celebrated the elements of this show literally my whole life.” Montgomery continued, “I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to be a host of this campfire, so to speak. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done because I feel like I’ve been studying for it my whole life.”

Which brings us back to Montgomery’s vision.

“When I grew up, Thursday nights on NBC were a thing, Saturday morning cartoons were a thing,” Montgomery said. “We all used to watch 60 Minutes on Sunday night. We all used to watch the Carson show, and we’d all go to work or school the next day talking about who was on Johnny Carson the night before. It brought us together.

As different as we could be politically or religiously or whatever it was, we could come together on things. We could meet. Even if it was for five minutes by the water cooler, we could meet up on stuff.”

Whether it was “did you see the game?” or “did you see Orson Welles on the Carson show last night?” it was the mutual geek sessions that resulted from a shared experience that Montgomery wanted to recreate, or to put it in horror terms, re-imagine.

(Photo credit: Todd Harapiak)

“I miss the unity that used to come from something as dumb as television,” Montgomery said. “I don’t think it’s dumb, but some people think it’s dumb. That was my intention with the show.”

Intent is one thing, but an endeavor such as METAL AND MONSTERS required a level of expertise from its host that would be difficult to meet.

“It just so happens that I can speak to all of that stuff and I can be a little bit of a ringleader by being a curator with all of the elements that are in this peanut butter & jelly sandwich,” Montgomery said. “The intent was really to bring people together for an hour. Especially now, man. We’re such a mess as a culture. To be able to sit down for an hour and just talk about Dokken or Freddy Krueger. If we could all shut up and put our differences aside for five minutes or an hour, and just sit around a campfire warming our hands, it’s a good day at work.”

The pilot episode reunites Robert Englund and Don Dokken, who Harapiak describes as “two pillars of the metal and monster genre” to celebrate the 35th anniversary of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS (1987).

Dokken penned “Dream Warriors” exclusively for the film that featured Englund’s third turn as one of horror’s most iconic characters.

(Photo by: Mark Weiss)

And as you might suspect, METAL AND MONSTERS’ tagline says it all: “If you like blast beats and things that go bump in the night, this is the show for you.”

When Harapiak’s idea met Montgomery’s vision, it presented the opportunity to test Count D’s theory.

“I think if you’re a fan of horror or you’re a fan of metal, your mind is open to the possibility of suspending disbelief to storytelling, you’re open to fantastic ideas,” Montgomery said. “If you buy, for two seconds, that there’s a movie about a dream demon in a red-and-green sweater that haunts your dreams, and if he kills you in your dreams, you’re really dead–if you buy a ticket to that movie and make it all the way through, and you walk out of it and enjoyed where you’ve been for an hour-and-a-half–you’re more likely to be accepting of imagination, of fiction, of science fiction, of entertainment in general.

On the second Metallica record, there’s an instrumental song called “Call of Cthulhu” based on H.P. Lovecraft. And then Master of Puppets, you’ve got “The Thing That Should Not Be,” a song about a fuckin’ sea monster. Lady Gaga’s not writing songs about sea monsters,” Montgomery said. “There’s an element of fantasy there, in heavy metal and in horror, that we, as fans of both of those genres, we want to be entertained by great stories and by interesting characters and by history.

I mean, For Whom the Bell Tolls, another Metallica example–that’s classic literature (by Ernest Hemingway). That was a famous book before it was a Metallica song. Horror fans and heavy metal fans are some of the most well-read, intelligent people in the world because they don’t limit themselves to every day realism. I mean, we all have to live in the real world, but let’s be honest, the real world is pretty fucking horrifying. But, there’s something fun about studying history and there’s something to be learned from that. There’s something fun going to a mythical place like Oz, or Freddy’s lair; there’s something fun about going somewhere you can’t get in your car and go to. And if you’re willing to accept that, then you’re one of us and you’re along for the ride I think, with heavy metal and horror.”

(Photo credit: Ross Halfin)

And because, as Montgomery pointed out, “somebody had the forethought to go ‘you know who’s watching these movies? Teenagers. And you know what teenagers love? Rock and roll. So, we need some rock music in this movie.’ The result, as they say–in this case Dokken on Elm Street–is history.

“You know what was a happy accident? Robert was early,” Montgomery said. “I consider him the Vincent Price of my generation. At a young age, my mom got me hip to Vincent Price. I started with the [Roger] Corman [Edgar Allan] Poe pictures that AIP (American International Pictures) made in the ’60s and became obsessed with those movies. I knew who Robert Englund once at a young age, too, because he was on V, and those were Friday nights for me in elementary school.

To be sitting there with him after loving him for so long, and he just talked. He told me stories like he was my uncle. It was crazy, he was completely at ease with himself and with me, and I had my stack of Fangoria magazines and Freddy poster magazines there,” Montgomery said. “And [Englund would] be like ‘you know, in NIGHTMARE 5’, and he told me things I probably shouldn’t know,, but he just felt so candid.

So, by the time we got to the stage, we were loose and had already touched on things. He brought up different things in the interview when we were filming, and that was all very natural. I had questions to kind of kick the ball back onto the field, but I didn’t have to. One of the things going into the show was going to be that the secret sauce was going to be whoever we paired together. If we put any thought into who to pair together, we knew that whatever happened between those two people, would be completely organic and / or magical in its own way, and that’s exactly what it was. I didn’t know that they both [Englund and Dokken] had spent so much time in New Mexico, so they had this whole conversation with themselves about New Mexico while we were there, and I was like ‘Oh my God, this is amazing.’ It’s those happy accidents that come from two people and their own organic chemistry being near each other, and all I have to do is open the can and get out of the way.”

Super7 Iron Maiden action figures as seen in the “Terror Trek” segment of METAL AND MONSTERS.

Montgomery geeked out listening to Englund and Dokken, and anticipates a similar reaction from the legions who also possess stacks of Fangorias and vinyls of their own.

“There’s so many surprises that come by just putting two people in the room and the relationship that they may or may not have together, it makes for good TV,” Montgomery said. “Sometimes I’m as surprised as the viewer will be. I’m like ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know that!’ and everybody else is gonna go ‘huh. I didn’t know that.’ I guess that’s the reward of a good interview, is that you walk away from it having learned something you didn’t know.

Robert told the story about ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) and Bill Haley {& His Comets) and “Rock Around the Clock” when that came out, and how teenagers had never heard rock and roll played that loud, and how it worked them up and got the adrenaline pumping in the theatre. It was the same reaction I had as a kid seeing DREAM WARRIORS. Hearing Dokken loud on a Friday night. Man, it was exciting! I love those feelings. And I love it when people get excited about being in the moment. I think there’s more of that to come with the show. I think people will see that there’s an excitement in the air when the combination of these elements get together. It’s kind of like watching the jelly melt into the peanut butter and the peanut butter melt into the jelly — it becomes its own flavor.”

And it will be 60 minutes of METAL AND MONSTERS that calls everybody to the dinner table, ready for their ration of peanut butter & jelly. Ready for the explosion of that unique flavor. Ready to remember. Ready to rock. Together.

THERE’S METAL, AND THEN THERE’S ADAM GREEN

“The bad stuff is easier to believe.” No one has ever summarized life quite as succinctly as Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) did with seven whispered words in PRETTY WOMAN (1990).

The bitch of it, though, is that for a cruel as the world can be, often times, no one proves nearly as degrading as our own minds. The term “impostor syndrome” is something that many–dare I say, most of us–relate to all too well. It’s so easy to see the talent and accomplishment of another, yet almost impossibly difficult to recognize in ourselves when we glimpse into a mirror.

Few, if any are exempt, including the subject of this piece — Adam Green.

Following a series of personal losses years ago, Green fell into despair, and has often commented that when he looked back on his career, all he could see was failure. Though things have improved somewhat, it’s still a struggle for him (and many others), so on his 47th birthday, a few reminders of how badass he really is.

Much like Green, I’m long-winded, so bear with me. And let it be known, I am an unapologetic fan of a fellow horror geek who made good.

A little over five years ago, Dee Snider appeared on Green’s SCARY SLEEPOVER series and fielded a set of rapid fire questions about various items to determine whether they were “metal or not metal.” Despite absolutely zero access to the “world’s foremost metallurgist,” I’m going to stick with the theme.

THE HATCHET TRAILER

Well before HATCHET (2006) took the festival circuit by storm and put ArieScope on the map, Green flew to Louisiana with Sarah Elbert (producer), Will Barratt (director of photography), and a few other friends to piece a trailer together from a vision that Green had been harboring since summer camp at the age of eight. Counselors shared a tale about a “hatchet face” that would get the kids if they didn’t stay in their cabins at night. Though he inquired, no elaboration was ever given, but the story built in his mind, and as a result of that kickass trailer, twenty-odd years later, that vision came to fruition and Victor Crowley became a reality.

Verdict: METAL.

HALLOWEEN SHORTS

It all began with a fun project meant to crack up his friends, but COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND (1998) was just the first of 23 — twenty-three! — consecutive years of Halloween shorts, the most recent being GHOST DOG (2021). Along the way, Green and some of his closest friends have put together classic Halloween fun starring genre mainstays including Kane Hodder, Sid Haig, Joel David Moore, and Brea Grant. Along the way there have been laughs aplenty: DON’T DO IT (2016) featured Chase Williamson and a talking pumpkin that refused to give its life for the sake of trick or treaters, HALLOWEEN HUGS (2012) highlighted a hilarious Spanish-speaking, hug-loving creature voiced by Laura Ortiz, and of course, the viral sensation that was JACK CHOP (2009) with Paul Solet as the infamous Nicolo. There have been hints that Green and company will stop at 31, but even if that’s true, there’s a long way to go and more fun to be had.

Verdict: METAL.

CREATING A HORROR ICON

I mentioned Victor Crowley, right? Yeah, while Green had a trilogy in mind when he embarked on HATCHET, there was no guarantee that he’d get the opportunity to expand beyond that first act. But as we all know, there have now been four forays into Honey Island Swamp, Marybeth Dunstan (Amara Zaragoza, Danielle Harris) is a bonafide horror heroine, Parry Shen dies harder than John McClane, and with endless shirts and figures, Hodder’s Victor Crowley is part of the horror pantheon.

Verdict: METAL.

HOLLISTON

Without delving into the fuckery that led to its abrupt end, HOLLISTON ran for two seasons on the now defunct FEARNET, but no sitcom has ever (is there even another?) combined horror, humor, and heart quite like HOLLISTON. How impressive was this show? It gave us the single best Christmas special I’ve ever laid eyes on and made HALLOWEEN 5 (1989) relevant. That good. Don’t believe me? Catch the entire series on Shudder and I’ll happily accept your apology.

Verdict: METAL.

KEEPING THE FOURTH HATCHET FILM A SECRET

These days, it’s almost impossible to keep anything under wraps. Try as they might, someone inevitably gets liquored up and lets it slip. Not so with VICTOR CROWLEY (2017). Some way, somehow, Green’s cast and crew uttered nary a word for the better part of two years, for what was supposed to be a tenth anniversary screening of HATCHET. That’s when Green addressed an assembled throng at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood with a tale of how he was “done,” Victor Crowley and the HATCHET saga was at its end. More than two years prior, Green hosted a panel for the late George A. Romero after which the Godfather of Zombies took him aside and pointed out the myriad HATCHET and HOLLISTON shirts in the audience and reminded Green that HATCHET no longer belonged to him, it belonged to “those kids.” It inspired Green to pen and later direct the series’ fourth installment, and I’ll never forget Green’s reveal that “we’re not here to watch HATCHET, we’re here to watch the new HATCHET movie.” That disembodied “what the fuck?!” from the crowd was all of us.

Verdict: METAL.

DIGGING UP THE MARROW

We all have artists whom we appreciate, but how many can say that they were so inspired by an artist’s work that they fashioned a feature-length film around it? Adam Green can. He dug Alex Pardee’s unique monster art so much that he wrote a script about an ex-detective who believed that monsters were real and that he’d discovered their portal into our world — the Marrow. Did we mention that Ray Wise — Ray fucking Wise — reached out to Green to tell him that they needed to work together on a project? The result was William Dekker and one of the most unique horror flicks you’ll ever see.

Verdict: METAL.

THE MOVIE CRYPT PODCAST

What began as a show to bolster HOLLISTON (The Movie Crypt was the name of the late night, cable access horror show hosted by Green and Joe Lynch on the sitcom), is now 460 episodes strong. From heartfelt conversations with Hodder and belly laugh moments with Leigh Whannell, The Movie Crypt is a can’t-miss for aspiring filmmakers. Green and Lynch share priceless tales about their own experiences as writers and directors, and feature guests who’ve done everything from makeup to cinematography, and tackle important issues that need to be discussed, such as their recent episode featuring a conversation about gun violence in America. If you want to laugh and learn, The Movie Crypt is an appointment podcast.

Verdict: METAL.

YORKIETHON

“We stay awake, so they don’t get put to sleep.” The tagline says it all. Each year (usually in early December), Green and Lynch stay awake for 48 hours to raise money for the SAVE A YORKIE RESCUE. Endless guests stop by (in-person or over the phone) for interviews and stories, the duo watch films and offer commentary, there’s live music, table readings of various scripts, and an auction with items donated by genre insiders to help raise funds that go toward saving dogs that would otherwise be put down. This past December, Yorkiethon VI raised over $37,000 for the cause. Wait, that says it all.

Verdict: METAL.

FROZEN

Well before Disney swooped in and took the title, FROZEN (2010) was and remains Green’s masterpiece. A group of three friends head out to the slopes for a Sunday of skiing, but when they slip some money into the hand of the chairlift operator for one last, late night run, things goes south. The operator gets called away and tells his replacement that there are three more out there, Unfortunately, when a triumvirate come gliding through, it appeared all was well, and the lift got shut down leaving the trio suspended high above the snow below. No lights, freezing temperatures, and no one knows they are there — with not a soul set to return to the resort for five days. What follows is a well-crafted descent into hell as the group struggles to survive. No spoilers for those who haven’t seen it, but that early morning pan with Emma Bell? Let’s just say that people often comment that THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (2005) is Rob Zombie’s best film, when in reality it’s THE LORDS OF SALEM (2012). The same holds true for Green: HATCHET gets all the love, but FROZEN is his finest film. And not for nothin’, but the Impractical Jokers conjured a punishment thanks to this one.

Verdict: METAL.

FAIRY TALE POLICE

Made for XBox’s “Horror Meets Comedy,” FAIRY TALE POLICE (2009) came about after Green saw a bumper sticker that read “Humpty Dumpty was pushed.” First he wondered how would one know he was pushed, then how could one prove it? To be brief: hilarity ensues. Following the exploits of a pair of detectives (Shen and Rachel Leigh Cook) as they venture over the river and through the woods to deal with Little Red Riding Hood and grandma getting run over by a reindeer,, this brilliant short is one of Green’s best. Cannot recommend highly enough.

Verdict: METAL.

SCARY SLEEPOVER

Few places are as cool as the ArieScope studio. With, a life-size Victor Crowley, movie posters, and trinkets galore, the space contains an abundance of what Tony Todd referred to as ”eye candy.” It provided the perfect setting for Green to invite friends (who also happened to be notable horror personalities) over for a sleep over. Folks such as Derek Mears, Ti West, and Felissa Rose spent the night playing games, feasting on junk food, and telling stories about what frightened them in real life — all the warm, fuzzy nostalgia of the sleepovers of our youth. There were laughs and tears, and though we never wanted it to end, SCARY SLEEPOVER wrapped with four crowdfunded episodes in 2020. This one is particularly special to me, because it helped get me through a very rough time in my life, and I’ll never forget it.

Verdict: METAL.

Oh, and by the way, in the early days of the pandemic, Green held what he deemed the Coronapocalypse. For a month straight, he did a daily live stream to share all of his films, shorts, and series to give people something to distract and look forward to, that provided a glimmer of joy and hope. But above all, to provide a place for people to come together and talk — to stay connected. No paycheck. No fanfare. Just giving when it was desperately needed. And that is most METAL of all.

So, you see? It’s a daunting task for any of us to take a step back and actually see what we’ve accomplished, even for someone as talented as Adam Green. He may not be able to view his work through the same lens as we do, but every one of the incredible pieces he’s created is a career in of itself. And when you string them all together, his greatness is indisputable.

To steal his SCARY SLEEPOVER intro style to close, here’s to Adam Green:

The writer, the director, the podcaster, the dog advocate, the comedian, the mentor, the “proud, sick motherfucker until [his] dying day” — Adam Green is a horror icon and as METAL as they come. And hopefully for one day, the good stuff is easier to believe.

“LITERAL BESTIES”: HOW ONLINE HORROR GAVE ME ONE OF MY MOST CHERISHED FRIENDSHIPS

When I woke this morning, I happened upon a tweet from @lindseylouwho that spoke to me:

It opened a floodgate of thoughts and inspired this post, so please, come with me for a minute.

In another life, I was Sports Director of a local television station by day, and hosted a late night, B-movie homage to Joe Bob Briggs by night. We were having a hard time getting the show sponsored when the idea occurred to me that I had interviewed 17 Hall of Famers for the baseball website I’d been writing for, so why not try to do the same with horror personalities? With Halloween and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) looming, I gave it a shot. Soon after, Kane Hodder was booked for a phone interview, Halloween Express backed it and from that moment on, the issue of sponsorship was permanently in the rear view.

Less than twelve months later I decided to take a crack at horror writing and Googled “horror website writers needed.” I submitted to one site and one site only, and thankfully they opened their doors to me.

For most of my life to that point I was a freak. No one understood my “odd” fascination with horror or could wrap their heads around the idea that Halloween could be anyone’s favorite holiday. Then one site invited me in and I quickly discovered that I was anything but alone in my sensibilities. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to find fellow “freaks” for whom Halloween was not a single day, but a lifestyle.

Then it happened. On a random night nearly eight years ago I got home from work and sat down to write my first article. What should I write about? What could I write about? My mind landed on SILVER BULLET and I started punching the keys.

Shortly after posting I received a message from another writer in the site’s administration group gleefully declaring that they didn’t think anyone loved Stephen King’s werewolf adaptation as much as they did.

One message turned to several, and almost a decade later, it hasn’t stopped.

That fellow writer was the owner of this website, Patti Pauley.

We partook in group conversations, yes, but it always returned to direct messages because as she once pointed out, “we share the same brain.” A fact that makes me laugh and proud in equal measure.

Before long I was looking for a new show to binge and asked if she had any suggestions, which led to “have you ever seen Twin Peaks?” It didn’t take long for my “thanks, now I’m obsessed with Audrey Horne” to be met with laughter and “welcome to the club!”

In fact, just as I was landing on the final episodes of the original series, Showtime announced that we’d be returning to a place wonderful and strange. So, when Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) declared “I’ll see you again in 25 years” I nearly exploded my laptop hitting pause. It was all new to me, but my David Lynch baptism made it clear that it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that Season 3 was predetermined, the fruition of one of the greatest long cons in history. There was only one person I had to message to share that my mind had just been blown–Patti–and by the point, it wasn’t a DM, but rather a text.

Hell, we had talked about how much her son loved Bruce Campbell, and I told her that if I ever landed him for an interview, I’d ask him to say something to her boy. So, when I finally landed a Q&A with The King, I kept my word, and the look on his face was worth the price of gold. Still one of my proudest moments that I could do that for a friend.

For reasons I’m not going to get into now, we both grew disenchanted with that site and went our own way, but the connection never ceased. We talked, we sent shit to crack one another up, shared cool new shirts or collectibles we knew the other would flip over, but we also had serious conversations about life. We discussed triumphs and tragedies, we vented to one another, offered support and encouragement, and of course, we laughed. A lot.

The number of horror aficionados who want to write about the genre they love are legion, and there are times when those waters prove shark-infested and alliances one thought strong were actually feeble. But not with Patti.

Her friendship and loyalty has never waned, and in this life, that is not only a rare commodity, it’s borderline unicorn.

And make no mistake, Ms. Pauley is absolutely a unicorn. A horror-loving, demon unicorn, but a unicorn nonetheless.

Look, anyone who writes–for a living or as a hobby–carries hints of self-doubt. They wonder if it’s any good, if they’re any good? It takes courage to expose oneself to the piranhas, to lay bear the most personal of thoughts and feelings. And sadly, quite often if anyone has something to say, it isn’t complimentary. Truth be told, it’s more akin to offensive commentary than biting criticism.

That’s never stopped her, though. Patti has always maintained that she does it for herself and for those who grew up loving all things spooky as she did, drawing from a well of horror memories shared with her father.

Joe Bob Briggs once said, “the only sin a movie can commit is to be boring,” and the same sentiment applies to Patti’s writing. Boring is not a word that could ever apply to her style. The passion and knowledge drips off the page (in today’s world, the screen) in a voice that is unique, energetic, and often times hilarious. Need evidence? Let’s wind the clocks back to SILVER BULLET. Patti describes Uncle Red’s showdown with the beast at the conclusion of the film as “Gary Busey doesn’t just fight, he wrestles with a goddamn werewolf!” I laughed out loud, and have never seen it the same since. Her thoughts and words stay with you.

When she told me that she’d scored a gig with a prominent horror magazine I was elated, but when she posted for one of the elite websites I immediately read it and teared up pouring over the paragraphs because with each passing sentence her growth as a writer leapt off the screen. I was a brother proud of my sister.

So, when she told me that she was venturing out on her own, that Nightmare Nostalgia would be a thing, I was thrilled, and did not hesitate to offer my help in any way that I could. Sadly, life gets in the way and I don’t write nearly as often as I used to or would like, but she has never so much as hinted at disappointment, she merely continues to encourage and says “whenever you have something, I want it.”

I interviewed Joe Bob, my lifelong hero because of her website. In fact, his rep shared what I’d written following his original (believed at the time to be his farewell) Shudder marathon on Facebook with a single word, “This.”

When I discovered it, I was shopping with a friend and stopped dead in my tracks, tearing up. If John fucking Bloom thought what I wrote was good, it was the only validation I’d ever need. And when I asked if he’d be generous enough to sign that piece when I met him after his How Rednecks Saved Hollywood show in Minneapolis later that year he asked if’d he read it. I responded that it had been shared on his Facebook, to which he replied “if it made it to Facebook, I definitely read it” and started to jot a message. I was floating.

Patti gave me those moments.

She also provided a platform for me to share my most personal pieces–from suicidal ideation to JASON LIVES guiding me through difficult times–Patti not only welcomed my most delicate thoughts and feelings, but applauded that I shared them and helped me exorcise demons.

So, once I got the idea in my head to start making Halloween cards, she was at the top of the recipient list. Always personalized, she has opened orange envelopes revealing laughs from some of her favorite flicks — THE FLY (1986), SILVER BULLET, ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK, and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974).

In fact, when I penned what amounted to a love letter to Teri McMinn for the TCM hook scene, she texted “you are my favorite kind of freak.”

These might seem small or insignificant moments, but I assure you that they are anything but. The support and encouragement contained an unspoken maxim: be who you are. And believe me when I say that Patti has played a large role in my personal acceptance of who I am.

Cards turned into a six-foot, Coors Light cardboard Halloween stander I found at a thrift store (which still stands in the lobby of she and her husband’s business), and this past year, I added a Twin Peaks tee to the fray.

Not to be outdone, she shipped an 11 x 17 Jason Lives poster for my birthday. I just stared and smiled. One of the best gifts of my life was accompanied by a note. It was only three words, but they resonated.

Remember that we share an affinity for SILVER BULLET? It’s long since been a running joke that Patti is Jane (Megan Follows) and I’m Marty (Corey Haim), because of course we are.

The letter said “Happy birthday booger!”

That is who Patti Pauley is.

Funny that SILVER BULLET has so much to do with the moon, because something that Archibald “Moonlight” Graham (Burt Lancaster) said in FIELD OF DREAMS applies to our friendship: “We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening.”

I didn’t realize that a random message from a fellow writer would materialize into such a deep and meaningful friendship, but as time has marched on, that relationship has only strengthened, and I have never taken it for granted.

Who knew that I was friends with Darcy the Mail Girl before any of us even knew who that was?

The closest we’ve come to a face-to-face was when I was in her town for a bachelor party, but it was a brief stay and our schedules just didn’t jibe, but it only delayed what will inevitably happen.

Patti runs this site, and does so with thoughtfulness, kindness, and above all, passion. The horror community is lucky to have her, so if the opportunity should ever arise, message her through Nightmare Nostalgia’s Facebook page to thank her, or better, tell her how awesome she is.

And if you have a friend whom you met through Twitter of Facebook or Instagram or wherever else, don’t for a moment question the validity of that friendship, because the bond you feel is not imagined, but very real.

Patti Pauley is my friend, my colleague, my boss, my sister; and she has my loyalty for life. To steal one of “her” lines: I love you too, Janie. Good night.