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Gregory Lamberson
09 July 2014 @ 07:05 pm
It's hard for me to believe, but it's already almost time to turn this blog over to KILLER RACK, the next motion picture I'm directing.

It's been a long lead on this one: seven weeks of crowd funding on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo: I mean seven weeks of double time work, from the moment I woke to the moment I faded; seven weeks when my writing (and the income that goes with it) had to be put on hold...and then I went straight into pre-production.

I love pre-production: it's when things start coming together, and a film edges toward reality.  It's also overwhelming: I mean double time, morning to fade overwhelming, with troubleshooting that is both satisfying and frustrating.  But enough about how hard it's been getting the perfect size boobs.

Most of the films I've made and worked on  have been shot on location, like in my house.  One exception was BRAIN DAMAGE, for which we converted a warehouse into a sound stage, SFX lab and living quarters.  On SLIME CITY MASSACRE, we shot fifteen days in the dilapidated ruins around the Central Terminal, two days in a warehouse that wasn't a sound stage, and one day at a sound stage in Rochester, to qualify for the New York State tax incentive.  We also shot on a sound stage for BATTLEDOGS for that same purpose.

For KILLER RACK, we're doing something really ambitious: we're shooting at the Pierce Arrow Film Arts Center, a "developing" sound stage operation.  We'll have one day on a sound stage, five days in assorted offices, and access to the back of the facility, including alleys.  We'll only be shooting in my house for two days!

We'll be shooting two thirds of our movie there, and I'm looking forward to "driving to the studio" each day.
Gregory Lamberson
frenzy wolves

I'm still waiting for the first review of THE JULIAN YEAR to appear; the final version wasn't ready until almost the release date, and I imagine reviewers want to read all of the story branches.  You can read all about it in the new issue of RUE MORGUE though (#145, with WOLF COP on the cover).  But two reviews have already appeared for THE FRENZY WOLVES, which won't be published until October.  The first is from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, and the second is from FANGORIA.

I've been very fortunate with PW, which has given positive reviews of all my titles they've reviewed except CARNAGE ROAD (which I consider one of my best works).  Here are some excerpts from the review for THE FRENZY WOLVES:

"Lamberson’s third and final Frenzy Cycle installment (after The Frenzy War) is an engrossing tale that can stand on its own."

"Mace is a sympathetic and thoroughly modern protagonist who agonizes over how to define terrorism in a complex world even as he longs for suburban surcease from his sorrows. The story unfolds smoothly, and, while some unwieldy characters never come alive, the plot is riveting."

Color me pleased.  Read the full review here:

I'm even more excited by Chris Alexander's review for FANGORIA.  Here are some excerpts from that:

"It’s hard to keep up with Buffalo-based lunatic, Greg Lamberson. Writer. Director. Producer. Author. Film Festival director. Father. The man is prolific (see FANGORIA #316 for our extensive feature), tireless and attacks all his interests with vigor. He’s also a great storyteller as well as a fine mythmaker, and his latest novel, THE FRENZY WOLVES, is yet another solid chapter in his vibrant, eccentric body of work."

"Only someone like Lamberson could link werewolves to terrorism to cop thriller pulp to Spanish Inquisition nods, while making it all seem both deadly serious and perfectly palatable. That’s what his FRENZY series is all about."

“Frenzy” is the operative word in these books, as Lamberson writes with a rough pen, hammering out the monster mash action (vaguely quoting the UNDERWORLD films and WOLFEN) and slamming it up against hard-boiled no-bullshit SERPICO-styled cop thriller melodrama. And it works. Lamberson – a noted exploitation filmmaker whose works include the SLIME CITY films – ain’t no fool and is clearly writing these books with the intent of flipping them into cinema. His wordplay reads often like a screenplay, detailed and visual. We’d welcome such a genre-bending film or franchise, especially considering the dearth of werewolf movies being made."

"THE FRENZY WOLVES will be out this Fall from Medallion Press and by the time it drops, Lamberson will have accomplished more than most artists do in a decade. Sure, it’s about quantity with the man but thankfully, quality is always riding shotgun."

3.5 out of four bloody skulls!

Read the full review here:

And just a reminder that THE JULIAN YEAR, the world's first TREEbook with organic story branching technology, is now available.  Download the Medallion Media Group Sidekick app for FREE from itunes, and use the app to unlock THE JULIAN YEAR and future TREEbooks.  For the record, I consider it my best novel.  Visit TJY's website for details:

TJY ad

Gregory Lamberson
One of my favorite reviews of SLIME CITY MASSACRE appeared on  This being the21st century, another corporation has taken over, and the excellent website should be folding soon.  Here then is Gregory Burkhart's excellent review of SCM:

When we say Greg Lamberson wrote the book on low-budget horror filmmaking, we mean it literally, and he's got the book to prove it. Back in 2009, Cheap Scares not only offered a lot of hard-earned advice from the hard-knocks school of DIY film production, but also gave readers a funny and fascinating look at the making of his 1988 cult classic Slime City. In the years since that film sprang up on the midnight-movie circuit, Lamberson has ventured deep into horror fiction, comics and other media, and the movie finally got a cool remastered DVD release in 2006. Rumors of a Slime City sequel buzzed around the horror community for ages – eventually becoming reality last year, when Slime City Massacre began making the film-fest circuit to favorable reviews.

This summer, Massacre arrived on DVD in a Special Edition 2-disc set from Shriek Show, and we've got a full review of this splatter micro-epic on the flipside. Slime on!

Where the original Slime City was grimy, surreal splatstick, the sequel is a more ambitious science fiction/horror reboot, set in a near-future dystopia. Besides the slime itself, most of the original movie's strengths – macabre humor, social commentary, bizarre sex and hallucinogenic visuals – not only carry over to the broader new story, but get amped up to a literally apocalyptic level.

The film's prologue is set in the late '50s, where cult leader Zachary Devon (Robert C. Sabin, star of the original) introduces a young prostitute to his close-knit urban community, whose nefarious activities touched off the events of the first film. Suddenly we rocket ahead fifty years, long enough to witness a dirty bomb wipe out half of New York City (including Troma mogul Lloyd Kaufman). The central story begins seven years after the disaster, where the resulting wasteland is now populated by mutants, roaming scavengers and criminals seeking refuge. It's also hinted that the rest of the country is now under the grip of a corporate paramilitary government... another of many elements reminiscent of John Carpenter's Escape from New York.

Among the recent arrivals are fugitives Cory and Alexa (Kealan Patrick Burke & Jennifer Bihl), who are taken in by Mason (Lee Perkins) and Alice (cult horror fave Debbie Rochon), the rough and street-smart leaders of one of the city's few reasonably settled areas. Our heroes' new home is soon disrupted, however, after they discover a cache of homemade booze and "Himalayan yogurt" left in a basement by Zachary Devon more than half a century ago; apparently their desperation and hunger has left them with the common sense of a four-year old, because they immediately pop open the creepy-looking stuff and go to town.

That's where things take a hard left turn into wacky-land, when we learn that the contents of their little picnic are hallucinogenic, trigger physical mutations, and make them horny as feral cats... and they get their freak on in more ways than one when multi-colored slime begins to ooze out of their pores. As the parallel story of Devon's "coven" (depicted in black & white flashbacks) and the plight of our protagonists catch up to each other, we begin to discover the connection between the cult's mass suicide and the ability of Devon's elixir to possess the minds of those who ingest it. When things start to get seriously nasty, only a mysterious stranger named Swan (Mary Hunter Bogle, reprising her role from the original), knows how to stop the slime plague from spreading to the entire world.

Lamberson's writing skills and dark sense of humor really come into play here, taking full advantage of the dystopian premise to fire some clever pot-shots at world events. Props like duct tape and garbage bags, once the stuff of post-9/11 paranoia, are transformed into post-nuke couture, and the mercenary armies patrolling the streets purposely resemble the private security firm Blackwater. The satirical moments are far more refined than they would be in, say, a Troma flick, but the horror elements are as outrageous as they come, on par with the perverse visions of Frank Henenlotter (the "decapitation by giant vagina" scene could have come straight from Frank's Bad Biology) and 1987 exploitation fave Street Trash.

The grim premise is also enhanced by the location – mainly an abandoned factory in Buffalo, its dark corners often lit a sickly radioactive green. The practical makeup effects, which drive the film's most outrageous scenes (and there are many), are well-executed and very clever considering the budget limitations, and as in the original film, the surreal scenario allows Lamberson and his FX crew to create some seriously outlandish set-pieces. The use of CGI is fairly limited – which is probably for the best, because it tends to look a bit clunky.

Gore and slime aside, it's also the well-crafted characters that keep things interesting. Most of the performances are strong – particularly Rochon, whose portrayal of recovered addict Alice is compelling to watch. Sabin's fatherly take on the cult leader is also interesting, and Bogle gets a much cooler dimension to her character this time around. The supporting roles are also solid and entertaining, particularly Robert Bozek as the city's incredibly sleazy "Mayor," and there's a fun cameo from filmmaker Roy Frumkes (Document of the Dead) as a crooked land developer aiming to exploit Slime City property.

Shriek Show's presentation is also solid, containing the main feature on Disc 1 in 1.78:1 widescreen and Dolby 2.0. The picture is pristine and the audio is decent, punctuated by lots of loud and squishy sound effects. The disc also includes an energetic, anecdote-packed commentary from Lamberson and most of the main cast, as well as makeup effects artist Rod Durick. Disc 2 features the documentary features Slime City Survivor (basically an on-set video journal, but with some very funny moments) and Scoring Slime, a session with the film's composer Mars (whose '80s-flavored music also accompanied Stephen Romano's Shock Festival DVD set). Other extras include outtakes and bloopers, trailers and stills.

It's a pleasure to see Lamberson back on feature-film turf again, exploring his familiar themes on a larger scale thanks to the relative affordability of digital video. Slime City Massacre is a wild, ballsy sequel that makes good on the promise of the original, and it's well worth watching on the small or big screen. Speaking of which... hopefully a planned series of theatrical showings this year via IndieFilmNet (part of their "Cinema Meets Horror" series) will introduce a new generation of horror fans and filmmakers to Greg's work on a grand scale, and bring a little midnight-movie nostalgia along for those of us who dig the old-school spirit of classic '80s indie horror.

Check out the trailer below...

Gregory Lamberson
Here is the trailer for GAVE UP THE GHOST, the short film which Jeff Strand wrote and i directed.  The film will screen at festivals this Fall before being released as one segment of the CREEPERS anthology feature.  Joe Lansdale, Edgar Allan Poe, and Lafcadio Hearn are the other authors whose work has been adapted for the anthology.  Newcomer Drew Bialy plays the frustrated author who loses his latest masterpiece when his computer dies; John Renna co-stars as an unorthodox repairman; and Paul McGinnis plays the ghost of the computer.  Sam Qualiana, Jessica Zwolak and Alexamder S,.Mcbryde have supporting roles.  Sam is the writer-director of SNOW SHARK : ANCIENT SNOW BEAST and THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS; Jessica will star int he next film I direct, KiLLER RACK.  GAVE UP THE GHOST is a comedy, please check it out:

THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS, which Sam wrote, directed, shot, edited and co-stars in - along with Lynn Lowry, Debbie Rochon, Andrew Elias, Bill Brown and Tim O'Hearn - and I produced, is now available on DVD!  Here's the trailer for that:

And don't forget, DRY BONES, which I wrote and co-directed, is coming to DVD October 14th!

dry bones
Gregory Lamberson
24 June 2014 @ 01:30 pm
I just completed a crowd funding campaign for the next feature I'm directing, a comedy horror (as opposed to horror comedy) called KILLER RACK.  My partners Paul McGinnis, Rod Durick and I successfully raised $7,325 to cover the start up costs of our film.  And all it took was almost every waking moment of my life over a seven week period, at the expense of the other projects I'm juggling (like the ones I get paid for).

In the past, I raised $3500 on IndieGoGo to supplement investor capital for DRY BONES, immediately followed by $4300 to supplement co-production capital for THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS.  Both campaigns exceeded their fundraising goals, which was nice, and both films were completed in a timely manner; THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS is released on DVD today by Alternative Cinema, and DRY BONES will be released on DVD October 14th by the same company.

After doing some research, I learned there are six times as many "Backers" on Kickstarter as "Funders" on IndieGoGo.  For KILLER RACK, I wanted to raise $25,000 to get through production and basic editing.  The appeal to me was to own the film outright.  My arrangement with investors calls for them to recoup their full investment before Net profits, if any, can be shared.  Let's be honest: the appeal is to own your project with other people's money.  I didn't believe I could raise 25K on IndieGoGo, but thought I might be able to raise it on Kickstarter.  "No guts, no glory" has always been my philosophy in life - and I've shown plenty of guts but basked in very little glory.

Setting up our Kickstarter was ten times harder than setting up previous IndieGoGo campaigns.  I had plenty of issues verifying my Amazon account and bank account, complicated by different emails, and so on.   It was time consuming and frustrating, but it is a highly functional website.  Kickstarter recommends campaigns run less than a month, so we went for 28 days.  For the record, my project features a high concept, a brilliant screenplay by Paul McGinnis, and a talented local cast aided by genre vets Debbie Rochon, Lloyd Kaufman, Brooke Lewis, Michael Thurber and Roy Frumkes - people whose names mean something to our target audience.  And I have credibility as an indie horror filmmaker that few others at my level can claim (because so many of the people who started at the same time as me moved on to real jobs, and a few actually attained real careers).  I also had some nice concept art, a well written pitch, and a fairly (I think) entertaining pitch video. So I felt I had my boxes checked.  I should also mention that a film with similar themes had succeeded with its $25,000 Kickstarter, so I was cautiously optimistic.

The first thing that worked against us after launching our campaign was we failed to attain "Staff Pick" status.  This didn't come as a surprise to me: if you write, direct or work on horror films, you become accustomed to artistic discrimination and learn to expect it.  But becoming  a "staff pick" gives you a huge leg up on the competition, and every film begging for dollars is competition.

Which leads me to the second thing that worked against us: the high number of horror films being produced in WNY at the same time, with overlapping schedules, all competing for the same generosity.  You hope that backers outside your milieu will find your project, and then find it appealing, but the fact is, it comes down to the people you know, and the people that know the people you know.  And I know from speaking to a number of backers/funders to my campaign that they were frustrated by the number of competing projects.  "If I give money to your campaign, I'll also have to give to Tom, Dick and Jerry, and if I give you more than I do them, they'll give me shit.  I don't want my life to become miserable because I stepped up to the plate and helped you out."  I understand and sympathize - but give me some money, god damn it!

For the record, KILLER RACK found itself competing with DICK JOHNSON AND TOMMYGUN vs. THE CANNIBAL COP from John Renna and Chris Rados; CAMP OF THE DAMNED from Ken Consentino; DWELLING from Brandyn Williams; and STORIES FROM THE CARNIVAL from Sam,Qualiana,  I know all of these guys, some are friends, and some are good friends - I wish them all luck, and while I can't afford to donate even a buck to campaigns even as a show of support (I'm an author and an indie filmmaker, remember?), I did share their links on my Facebook page, and I'm doing press for CANNIBAL COP.  In addition to these films, a local short called AMIGIONE from John Martin Scherer and Bobby Gott ran a campaign at the same time.  We all know the same people, and in my opinion,this mass crowd funding was suicide; there is no way each film can do as well as the other.  NO FUCKING WAY.  And some will lose out because of poor planning in that respect, but we all have to put our own projects first, and try not to worry about the others.

When we shot DRY BONES a year ago, we had Debbie Rochon stay over and shoot some scenes for THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS.  I also had her record a bit for our pitch video.  I told her I just wanted her to discuss Paul's script, I didn't want her to specifically ask her fans to contribute.  I feel it's the filmmakers' responsibility to raise the money, not the actors'.  I consider myself a more savvy promoter than most indie filmmakers, and I have a good relationship with a lot of horror websites.  Over the last year, a lot of sites have stopped posting press releases from indies who are not yet funded; a couple that would have passed on KILLER RACK during its crowd funding phase made an exception either because I was involved, or because Debbie or Brooke were.  And these web articles did lead to attention from a lot of other sites, including io9, which gave us a Christmas present in the headline, "Killer Rack May Be The Wrongest Horror Film in the History of Wrongness," which drew 40,000 clicks. Look for that quote in our trailer.

Getting back to my cast: Tweets, re-Tweets, posts and re-posts from Debbie, Brooke and Lloyd gave us a lot of visibility and resulted in some pledges.  But my feeling is, if you're depending on your actors to raise money for you, you're going to be disappointed.  They can be attached to a lot of projects at the same time, and a lot of those projects are looking for crowd funding, so why put them in a difficult position?  If they help, fantastic; but don't press them for more, it isn't fair.

My partners have full time jobs, so their ability to push the campaign was limited. I have a full time job too: it's called writing.  I have an entire novel to edit; another to write from scratch; another that was just released to promote; and a screenplay based on one of my books to rewrite for a Hollywood actor.  I work my job time and a half, every day, seven days a week.  That's why FANGORIA called me "the hardest working man in horror."  And I did almost nothing on any of these projects during the last seven weeks.  I had to put my job(s), and the income that goes with them, aside to focus on our campaign.  I had no choice: of the three of us, I was the only one who could make that sacrifice.  Business as usual in my life, no complaints.

My daily routine including Tweeting ad nauseum from two Twitter accounts; posting on three different Facebook pages, cross-posting on multiple horror pages, sending press releases, and posting daily updates on Kickstarter.  And for every hour of effort, we'd see one contribution.  By the halfway mark of our campaign, we had raised maybe $5,000, and I knew there was no way our campaign was going to succeed.  If you don't meet your goal on Kickstarter, you don't see a dime.  Experts will tell you this psychological imperative will convince backers to contribute it.  Maybe they're right, or maybe they were right at one time and the model has changed because there are so many campaigns out there now.  In any case, the handwriting was on the wall, so I turned to my investor base, and within one week I raised in commitments for a sizable amount of our budget.  That's what real producers do.  I knew we were still going to need crowd funding to supplement any investor capital actually came through, just as we did on DRY BONES and THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS.  By the last week of our kickstarter I prepped our IndieGoGo campaign, which took me all of ten minutes, a welcome relief after the Kickstarter nonsense.  I didn't let up on promoting the Kickstarter - I don't believe in quitting, it's not in my nature, and I hoped we could get all those Kickstarter pledgers to swing over to IndieGoGo.

Around this time, another local film launched its campaign: GODZILLA HERITAGE, a "non-profit" film, which is to say a fan film.  And those guys pulled in contributions fast.  The film looks cool: I contacted them and congratulated them on running a great campaign, and encouraged them to submit the film to Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival whenever it's ready.  But this points to another problem we encountered: on Kickstarter, it is easier to raise $25,000 - $60,000 for a fan film centered around a copyrighted character than it is for an original piece of work that can actually be released.  Don't believe me?  Go to Kickstarter and search for fan films based on superheroes.  Your mind will be blown.  I now know that I could raise $50,000 to shoot a short film based on my favorite superhero, pay myself, my cast and my crew, and have an awesome looking film I can show for free on YouTube or at some film festivals.  That isn't what I want to do with my life, but don't be surprised if I give it a whirl someday.  And I can't wait to see GODZILLA HERITAGE!

By the time our Kickstarter ended, we had raised $6,669 in pledges - more than I had ever raised via crowd funding before, but not even one third of our goal.  Fail.  Our IndieGoGo campaign launched the same day;te there's nothing like starting over from scratch after an exhausting four weeks.  Now the challenge was getting Kickstarter Backers to become IndieGoGo Funders.  I thought about setting our goal at $7,000, then lowered it to $5,000, then $6,000, then back to $7,000.  No guts, no glory, right?  Not really: IndieGoGo has a "flexible spending" campaign, meaning campaign managers keep most of their contributions even if they don't meet their goal, but IGG keeps a higher percentage.  We also set the campaign period for three weeks: I could not possibly sacrifice another whole month to get start up funds.  Now my daily routine consisted of the same cycle as before, with the added bonus of continued daily updates on two platforms because I wanted to cajole the Kickstarter backers to follow us.  Maybe half of them did, and many of those went contributed lower amounts than they had pledged.  But by the halfway mark of this campaign, we were halfway to our lowered goal.  That increased pledge percentage looked pretty good.

Then I started examining funds in my Paypal account.  It's great that IGG accepts Paypal since Kickstarter doesn't, but PP also deducts 9% in fees.  Combine that with 9% deducted by IGG, and we were only receiving 82% of each contribution.  suddenly it became more important to me that we meet our full goal, since IGG offers a 5% refund on the total received when you succeed.

We hit our next roadblock: frigging Facebook.  KILLER RACK has over 1,200 people on its fan page,  In the old days, you could "message all" and every "fan" would receive a message.  That was great.  No longer.  When we started our campaign, I could only see the identities of 500 people on that page - my friends.  By the time we switched to IGG, I could only see 20 or so people, most of whom I would never message for a contribution.  Thank you, Facebook!  The solution: post even more.

Three days away from the end of our second campaign, we had raised $4,500.  Not enough.  We had to make our goal.  I stepped up my efforts (and stopped bathing).  Our percentage increased.  Two days from the end of our campaign, we had $5,500.  Somehow I stepped up my efforts more.  So did Rod and Paul.  When I woke up the morning of our last day, I became a madman.  One of our friends contributed $500, which gave us the momentum we needed.  By 2:00 pm - twelve hours before the end of our campaign, we reached our goal.  Now IGG would have to refund $350+ in fees.- but that still left 13% we stood to lose in fees, so we kept pushing.  By the time our campaign closed, we had raised $7,325, or 105% of our goal.  After the sting of our Kickstarter failure, we needed that win, or I did, anyway.  And it only took seven weeks, and cost us three weeks of pre-production time.  But now we can book flights and hotels, and start work on our SFX - good thing, because running this campaign has left me no time to finalize details with my investors, which is next on my list.
As it turns out, Kickstarter wasn't a waste of time; it resulted in a lot of visibility for the project, and some likely investors.  But damn, it was a lot of work.  One thing I never found time to do was visit the crowd funding forums; I don't know if that would have helped or not.

I enjoy studying the statistics provided by each platform.  Our graph for Kickstarter ptledges is up and down, like a heart monitor.  By contrast, contributions on IndieGoGo are displayed as a constant upward trajectory.  According to the referrals breakdown, $4,484 of our $7,325 - 61% of the total - was a direct result of my posts.

Will I ever run a crowd funding campaign to fund a film again?  I don't know. It seems a waste not to use everything I've learned; maybe I'll run an IndieGoGo campaign to fund myself so I can run a Kickstarter to fund a film.

Now I have to shower and pre-produce a movie.
Gregory Lamberson
23 June 2014 @ 07:28 am
Yesterday was the cast reading for KILLER RACK, the movie I plan to shoot beginning in one month; it was also the world premiere for GAVE UP THE GHOST, the short film I directed based on Jeff Strand's short story.  Jeff came up for the premiere and participated in the reading.  The table read was hilarious, as I knew it would be, and the premiere was a success, with a great turnout.  I saw the screening version of the film (some tweaks to follow) at midnight, and knew it would play well.

Today is the final day of the IndieGoGo campaign for KILLER RACK.  I will not be sorry to see it go.  Between four weeks of Kickstarter, which raised $6,669 is pledges, none of which we saw because the campaign did not succeed, and three weeks of IndieGoGo, I've devoted an inordinate amount of time to raising money for this project; it has devoured my life.  But this is what independent filmmakers do - whatever it takes to get our films made.

As I key this in (on my wife's crappy laptop, because my daughter, cat and a cup of water conspired to take out my laptop and succeeded), we have raised $6,020 of our $7,000 goal - 86% funded, with 81 funders and 20 hours to go.  We need to raise $980 before 3;00 am EST, and then we can get on with making the movie.
Gregory Lamberson
But first a personal update: my daughter left a cup with a little bit of water in it near my laptop, and the cat must have gotten thirsty during the night; I awoke to a non-working Toshiba resting upon a wet tabletop.  I've been blowing fans on the damn thing, which has worked in the past, but so far, no go.  I'm keying this in on a MAC set up in my office, which is where I wish I'd kept the laptop.


My novel The Julian Year, Medallion Press' first TREEbook, was released on Sunday, June 1st.  I believe it's my best book, and it's the first of its kind, so I have high hopes for it.  Readers download the Medallion Media Group app for free from iTunes, then purchase the novel through the app for $9.99, and use the app to open the book and read it.  The story has several pre-determined branch points, and each reader's individual reading habits trigger the branching technology, which is seamless and organic; the whole point id for a reader to be unaware the story has changed on him until a tree graph appears at the end of the book; at that point the reader can bounce around the other branches, experiencing entirely different events and outcomes, at will.  My story posits that over the course of one year, every one on earth gets possessed on his birthday; at the end of one year's time, there should be no one recognizable left...depending on which branch(es) you follow.  I think it's an original concept, one that suits the possibilities offered by the technology.  Because the technology is so new - developed by Medallion - the roll out will be slow.  We're still waiting for reviews (it will take reviewers a while to fully explore the alternate story lines I created), but one fellow novelist did tell me he thought the novel was fantastic.  You can read more about it in the "spotlight" literary section of the new issue of Rue Morgue, and you can read excerpts from the novel, and follow a link to download the MMG Sidekick, here:


Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about the Kickstarter for my next film, KILLER RACK, a comedy about a woman who discovers her new breast implants are actually Lovecraftian monsters hell bent on taking over the world.  The screenplay was written by my friend Paul McGinnis, and it may be the funniest thing I've ever read.  We hoped to raise $25,000 to make the film, but only mustered $6,600 - which means we see none of it.  Man, I spent a month working around the clock on that.  Still, we found 101 backers, which isn't bad.  Our Plan B was to launch an IndieGoGo campaign fo ronly $7,000; on IGG, people can pay by credit card or Paypal.  We've raised $2,960 so far, and are 42% funded.  At IGG we keep what we raise regardless of whether or not we meet our goal, but IGG takes a bigger cut if we fail.  We only have 11 days left!  Please consider giving the Boobs a helping hand:  


The third and final volume in my Frenzy Cycle won't be published until October, but Publishers Weekly has already given it an excellent review.  I've been fortunate with PW; they've given every book of mine they've reviewed a positive review except for CARNAGE ROAD, which they awarded a mixed review.  Here's the  new review:

Lamberson’s third and final Frenzy Cycle installment (after The Frenzy War) is an engrossing tale that can stand on its own. NYPD captain Anthony Mace has won acclaim for prevailing against the Brotherhood of Torquemada, an organization known to the public as a terrorist group but in reality is an ancient sect dedicated to wiping out suspected witches and werewolves. In a contemporary New York secretly home to a pack of lycanthropes, Mace is tasked with tracking down the Full Moon Killer, an escaped murderer who has recently discovered his inner wolf, while the authorities try to suppress mounting evidence of the monsters. Mace thinks the lycanthropes pose no inherent threat to humans, but a war for supremacy among them may undermine their natural indifference. Mace is a sympathetic and thoroughly modern protagonist who agonizes over how to define terrorism in a complex world even as he longs for suburban surcease from his sorrows. The story unfolds smoothly, and, while some unwieldy characters never come alive, the plot is riveting. (Oct.)

Well, summer is here at last, after a typically dispiriting Buffalo winter.  I'm currently editing the sixth and final book in The Jake Helman Files series, writing drafts of the CARNAGE ROAD screenplay for Craig Sheffer, prepping KILLER RACK and researching what will be my twelfth novel for Medallion, a stand alone eco horror novel.  I've never been so busy in my life, and I've promised myself I'll never be this busy again - I'm 50 now, and I can't maintain this pace.

Gregory Lamberson
I've been flogging the KILLER RACK Kickstarter (, which is a thankless, merciless, and time consuming task.  As of this morning, we have 65 backers, which is great, and we've raised $4,871, which would be nicer if our goal wasn't $25,0000 (there's no way we can make this film for the same amount we made THE LEGEND OF SIX FINGERS (coming to DVD June 24th), and we have only 9 days left in our campaign.  "But we've met a lot of great people, and we've run a clean campaign."  Part of my routine in promoting any project is to send a press release to any horror website that doesn't require a web form for contact. When I sent one out with the KILLER RACK poster, a slew of sites ran it; when I sent one out that just mentioned our Kickstarter, only one picked it up, I assume because so many films seeking crowd funding never get made.  They should know me better than that.

Anyway, yesterday I was Tweeting and posting the Kickstarter link for a couple of hours, and somewhere along the way it caught the attention of a writer at io9, one of the leading genre sites out there (one which I don't even send press releases to), and she wrote a terrific article sans a press release:

"Killer Rack May Be The Wrongest Horror Film In The History Of Wrongness"

That's marketing gold right there.  And there's more:

"Move over Herschell Gordon Lewis — a new horror movie, Killer Rack, may be the wrongest thing ever. Just wrong. So wrong. You know how in video games, the unrealistic breasts sometimes take on a life of their own? To the point where you get boobs that move like tentacles? The dreaded "breastopus"? This is a whole movie about that."

And there's more:

"Gregory Lamberson (Slime City Massacre, Dry Bones) is getting ready to direct, from a script by actor Paul McGinnis. And they've already released some really disturbing concept art, and a teaser poster. They're looking for money via Kickstarter, thus proving that crowdfunding is pure evil."

And there's more:

"Warning: disturbing concept art below. Disturbing!"

And there's more:

"Could this movie be the next Society? We really think it could."

And so far, in less than 24 hours, almost 20,000 people have clicked on the link:

This is turning out to be the best PR for a low budget horror film since FANGORIA ran its classic print story on Frank Henenlotter's BASKET CASE.

If you check out the article, be sure to click on the "recommend" star to keep this topic "flaming hot."

And feel free to pledge to KILLER RACK, which is going to be a horror comedy cult classic.
Gregory Lamberson
22 May 2014 @ 07:54 am

My novel THE JULIAN YEAR, the world's first TREEbook will be published on Sunday, June 1st by Medallion Press. At least three years of development and writing went into this cutting edge project! But what the hell IS a TREEbook... and what the hell is THE JULIAN YEAR? I've created created this FAQ for the curious and frightened.

1. So...what is TREEbook?

TREEbook stands for Timed Reading Experience E-book. It's a brand new platform for e-books utilizing time triggers and branching technology. It can also be called the first e-book platform using story branching. In other words, the story changes on the reader as he reads it.

2. Oh, like a Choose Your Own Adventure, right?

Wrong! The reader doesn't choose which branch of the TREEbook he reads - the story chooses him. Characters live, die, change, take a lead role, take a supporting role, all based on the reader's individual reading habits.

3. Ah, I see... sort of like Russian Roulette.

Um, okay. That may be an apt description for THE JULIAN YEAR, which is a horror tale on an epic scale, but TREEbook can work in any genre. Mine is the first entry in the line, but by August there may be as many as three.

4. But how does a TREEbook work?

A lot of research and development went into making TREEbook, and it's ongoing. The reader will go to itunes and download the Medallion Media Group Sidekick app for his ipad. When the reader opens this app, he'll have access to the entire Medallion Press library. There may be special giveaways, too. And the reader will find THE JULIAN YEAR by Gregory Lamberson, the very first TREEbook. The reader must purchase THE JULIAN YEAR and future TREEbooks using this MMG Sidekick; they won't be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other e-book retailers. It's all in-house. The reader will also use the app as an e-reader for the book on his ipad. The MMG Sidekick measures each reader's individual average reading pace over the course of the first few chapters of the book; every reader's habits are different, and those habits will change if a reader re-reads a TREEbook, resulting in a different reading experience. The author establishes several points in his novel where the story could branch off in a different direction; when a reader changes his reading pace, the novel will branch out at one of those pre-determined points.

5. How much does the Medallion Media Group Sidekick app cost?

It's FREE!

6. Holy cow, that's great! How much will THE JULIAN YEAR cost?

THE JULIAN YEAR can be yours for the low, low price of only $9.99!

7. Wait a minute - my friend sells his e-books for only .99! Are you sure you didn't get the decimal point wrong?

Your friend's e-book is most likely self edited and self published. THE JULIAN YEAR is professionally edited and professionally published. Your friend's novel follows one path, telling one story; if you re-read it, it will follow that same path and tell that exact same story. No matter how many times you try to make it change, it will have the same beginning, middle and ending. The TREEbook is something different: there's never been anything like it before. Its branching technology allows for multiple variations of a story, with drastic changes along the way, and different endings. Even the branches have branches! Every time a reader reads it, he will likely have a different reading experience. Or, once he's completed the novel once, he will be free to skip around the different branches at will. If two people (or three, or four) read it at the same time and compare notes each day, they're going to be baffled. There is so much content in THE JULIAN YEAR that $9.99 is a bargain.

8. Can I read THE JULIAN YEAR and future TREEbooks on my Kindle?

No! TREEbooks are designed for ipads only. They will likely be compatible with Androids down the line, and anything can happen after that, but for now think "ipad."

9. Will there be a print edition of THE JULIAN YEAR?

Again, no! The whole appeal of this cutting edge technology is that the form of its story is fluid, not locked in place. The goal was to make each branch path a satisfying, complete reading experience, and to offer multiple variations of that experience. But a reader who explores multiple branches will see the same characters shaped by radically different experiences - it's a different form of layering. To choose a single branch path would be like making Sophie's Choice.

10. You've been talking about the technology, what about the frigging book?

Thanks for asking! The technology is awesome and serves as a great hook, but the technology has to serve a good story, not the other way around. THE JULIAN YEAR is an ambitious apocalyptic tale about what may turn out to be the last year of mankind as we know it. Every day beginning January 1st, twenty million people become homicidal maniacs on their birthday. The cause appears to be demonic possession. By the end of one year's time, every person on earth should be possessed. Society takes drastic steps just to survive the year, and we follow different characters in different scenarios as they try to carry on. There's action, horror, and suspense; demonic possession has never been depicted on such a large scale. There's also a touch of philosophical drama, ala Nigel Kneale's Quatermass serials or Nevil Shute's ON THE BEACH. I can't wait for reactions from readers who explore the different branches! The characters are among my favorite creations:

Julian Weizak, a frustrated journalist, is an obituary writer who sees a pattern in the sudden mayhem around the world. Because he was born December 31st, he has a full year to live and a front row seat to mankind's last gasp.

Steve Morelli is the equivalent of a beat cop, loyal to his family, neighborhood and badge. He plays by the rules, and looks for sanity within the epidemic wreaking havoc around the globe.

Rachel Konigsberg, Morellis' partner, is shaped by circumstances into an action heroine. She's the biggest bad ass I've written.

Read more about THE JULIAN YEAR at its dedicated website:

Gregory Lamberson
21 May 2014 @ 11:41 am
My new film DRY BONES, which will be released on DVD at the end of this summer, was just reviewed in the Aint It Cool Horror column.  It's a thoughtful, fairly analytical review, one that I had to read a couple of times to realize was positive.  It's actually the kind of review that serves a film well - critical (almost harsh in some respects), with some flattering comments about my screenplay and an explanation for why the film ultimately won the reviewer over despite some misgivings.  As always, I feel bad when people who worked hard on the film are singled out negatively, but that's part of this process - we all take our lumps, and everything is subjective.  You can read the entire piece here -

- but here are some excerpts:

"All of the things that bothered me about the logic of the film; mainly why this guy seems to be the mack daddy of his home town, logically plays out by the end. So much so, that I ended up liking this film quite a bit for the way it is ingeniously constructed story-wise to counter expectations and challenge preconceptions in terms of the way one would think a horror movie would and should unfold."

"DRY BONES is not going to be for everyone. Hell, there will be a lot of folks who won’t give it a chance after seeing the first five minutes, but the story surprised me and there’s a do it yourself quality to this film that makes the rough edges not only forgivable, but downright endearing. If you’re an supporter of indie horror, Lamberson’s DRY BONES is one that exemplifies indie spirit and shows that just because it’s done on the cheap, the story can still be clever and original."

I never thought I'd see the day when a site as popular as Aint It Cool called one of my micro-budget movies "ingeniously constructed story-wise" and "clever and original."

Thank you, AICN, for the attention!