2016: My Killer Year

This is the time of ear when people like me post self aggrandizing summaries of the Year That Was, and Everything We Accomplished.  According to many accounts, 2016 was a horrible year, one possessed of sentience and ill will towards mankind, either for claiming the lives of celebrities or for taking them from fans deluded into believing they had a personal connection to those celebs.  I don't know, 2016 was pretty OK for me.  In fact, other than a minority of voters in this country electing a racist shit bag moron as our next president, it was a banner year for me.

Early in the year, my last novel, BLACK CREEK, was published.  It was a straight horror novel, not an action-horror hybrid like the ones I've loved writing since 2004, when PERSONAL DEMONS was published.  When I write "last" I don't mean "most recent," I mean the Final One.  I started writing novels because I wanted to tell an epic, 10-book series about my occult detective, Jake Helman.  Along the way, I interspersed the six novels I got to write about the character with other tales, icluding a trilogy of werewolf novels, a zombie novella, Johnny Gruesome, etc.  Twelve novels, two novellas, one nonficion book.  A decent body of work, especially when combined with my film output.  Other than one more Jake Helman novel that I would like to write (but have not been invited to write), I've pretty much told every story I was burning to tell in prose.

This year I also worked on three Fred Olen Ray cabe TV movies that came to town,  It's fast work, two-week shoots, and the films always come to town when I need cash, and I enjoy working with all the folks involved.  I get hired as the Key Set PA, which isn't particularly challenging aside from the physical requirement of standing on my feet 14 hoursa day, but it's fun.

I had a bunch of movie releases this year: KILLER RACK was released on DVD and VOD, and SLIME CITY and SLIME CITY MASSACRE were released as a double feature Blu-ray and on VOD.  SLIME CITY is also available on Shudder TV, and my most obscure film, NAKED FEAR, was just released on Amazon Prime.  So five different projects of mine were released in one year in various formats, and that's pretty fucking good.

But the most important thing I got to do this year was make JOHNNY GRUESOME, a $250,000 film based on a screenplay I wrote back in 1984, and on the novel published in 2007 and 2008.  I finally got to make my dream project, with my biggest budget yet, a full crew and a great cast.  I'd hoped to be finished with it by now, but the end of January is the new goal.

This is the first film project based on one of my books, but I don't think it will be my last.  In 2016 I also developed The Jake Helman Files as a potential TV series with an excellent established film director/TV series showrunner.  You never know what will "go" and what will fizzle, but this is the first time I've had someone with a full management team behind him pushing one of my projects, and he put together a seriously awesome presentation package, so who knows?  And if a TV series should actually materialize, maybe I will be asked to continue the novels.  I've also been working on a film/TV version of my novella CARNAGE ROAD, with and without other people, and suspect that will be my next project.

Some things never change, and it wouldn't bethe end of the year if I wasn't toeing the edge of a financial abyss, but that's 2017's problem.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Making JOHNNY GRUESOME

About two months ago, I let the cat out of the bag: my new film project, initially announced as A GRAVE MATTER, is in fact JOHNNY GRUESOME, the teen horror flick I scripted in 1984 and novelized in 2006 (the year my daughter was born).  My dream project, but also an albatross hanging over my head all these years.  I had hoped to blog about the making of the film during its production, but this is my largest project to date, and as producer, director, writer and casting director, I was just too busy.  However, these two online articles will fill in the blanks for now.

Rue-Morgue.com broke the story, and issue #169, currently on newsstandsm, features an interview with me.  Thanks to April Snellings for showing an interest.

"Cameras Set to Roll on GREGORY LAMBERSON's Zombie Revenge Tale JOHNNY GRUESOME":


And Bloody-Disgusting.com was the first to run images from the production:

"First Look at Gregory Lamberson's 'Johnny Gruesome';


Between these two articles, you'll learn everything we've made public, but I will occasionally share more information here.  You can also follow the film's progress on our official Facebook page:



I'm pleased to reveal - not exactly announce, the media announcement will come later - that I'm in pre-production on my seventh feature film, A GRAVE MATTER.  After dabbling in comedy with DRY BONES and diving into it with KILLER RACK, I'm pleased to say this will be a full tilt horror film.  I'm also happy to say that it will be made with my highest budget yet - a low budget film instead of a "no budget" film - and that for the first time I intend to shoot it using the SAG Ultra Low Budget Agreement, which means I may cast a name or two in it,  I've already approached a young actor/musician, who is about to be very big, in the lead roie, and we've got some great talent contributing songs, and we'll be shooting on Red 4K or 6K with a full, professional crew.  My wife Tamar will soon be working as my production coordinator, and my actor/filmmaker friend John Renna is co-producing.  The whole thing is possible due to the faith of two executive producers I'll name in the future.  Finally, some content to post on this blog!

Now It Cannot Be Told!

I am quietly getting ready for "Greg Lamberson Summer Project 2016."

All I'll say wow is this is a new film I've written that I am now in the early stages of producing and will direct, and it will blow away everything I've made thus far.

There's a sign up ahead - no, wait, that's a goal post.

Slime Shudder

SLIME CITY, which I directed in 1986 and which first oozed onto a screen in 1988, is now available on Shudder, the subscription TV horror channel.  This is huge news for me.  A GIF of the film recently posted on the Shudder Facebook page generated 1.2K likes.  More people will see the movie than ever before, and it's a kick to see it listed alongside such cult films as Larry Cohen's Q, Lloyd Kaufman's THE TOXIC AVENGER, and Larry Fessenden's Q.  Not bad for a sloppy little film made by a 21 year old filmmaker who had no idea what he was doing.  And the best part is that the film can be seen by fans in glorious HD for the first time.  Also: this is just the start as the film marches toward its 30th anniversary.

It's bee a busy month for me.  BLACK CREEK, my 12th novel and 15th book, was published by Medallion.  Positive reviews are slowly trickling in (and a couple of negative ones), and I did a local book signing last week at Talking Leaves Books.  KILLER RACK just screened at two film festivals on Saturday: Fantastic Cinema & Beer Craft Festival in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Toronto International Spring of Horror and Fantasy in my beloved Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  A group of us made the drive to Toronto and had a good time.  Three more festivals to go in our run, bringing the total to 17.  Our DVD release has been pushed back from late summer to fall.

CREEPERS, the horror anthology featuring GAVE UP THE GHOST, the short film I produced and directed from Jeff Strand's short story/script, will soon be available on DVD after selling out its limited edition Blu-ray.  The film served as a comic dry run for KILLER RACK, and every actor in the short appears in the Rack.  It can be yours for the low price of $12 on Amazon.

I am days away from finalizing a deal for my next film, which will be the biggest project I've ever tackled.

You Can Be Spartacus, I Am One of the GRUESOME TENSOME

THE GRUESME TENSOME, a fiction anthology from Novello publishers celebrating the films of Herchell Gordon Lewis, is now available for pre-order on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gruesome-Tensome-Tribute-Herschell-Gordon/dp/1513608983/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455580098&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gruesome+tensome .  I have a tale in there.  I generally don't write short stories, and am flattered when I'm invited to participate in anthlogies, but this was one of those rare opportunitites to bridge the two realms than dominate my life, horror fiction and grade Z movies.  Plus, I've spent some time with Herschell (who gave me a blurb for JOHNNY GRUESOME), so this one seemed like particular fun.

I first met Herschell at a convention in Pittsburgh, where I gave him a copy of SLIME CITY even though I knew he'd never watch it (I almsot never watch the DVDs given to me at shows either, sorry).  When I saw him at Chiller in New Jersey, he was walking arund with a cane, and I feared he was in poor health,  That must have been 12 years ago!  Next, he came to Buffalo to receive an award from a local film festival, screen 2,000 MANIACS, and sing that song of his. I did PR for the festival, and I was pleased we got the cover of Artvoice and packed the house.  I had him and his wife over for dinner, along with Roy Frumkes, and he told us some great stories.  I had a cake made with posters for one of Herschell's movies and Roy's STREET TRASH. He's a charming fellow, to be sure.

Perhaps one year later, someone hired me to write a screenplay which that person would direct and produce.  I think he had a title, "Who Is Killing the Scream Queens?" but not much else.  I wrote a script that found a killer stalking a horror convention and the set of a low budget horror film, and it featured fictionalized versions of Debbie Rochon and Herschell (as the unlikely hero).  I really liked the script, but he guy who hired me to write it never made it.  When Nick Cato asked me to write a story for THE GRUESOME TENSOME I remembered that script, and really wished I could have done something with it.  Instead, I wrote a story that also features a fictionalized version of Herschell, set in the convention scene, but it's a totally different story.  It's nice to share a TOC with friends, and I'm glad the book is almost out after several delays. Awesome cover!

Note to self: when writing good scripts for piss poor money, always a include a reversion clause in case the film is never made.

Love Canal and My Horror Novel BLACK CREEK

Sometimes we talk about ourselves in the third person...



Black Creek, the twelfth novel from Buffalo author Gregory Lamberson, has crept onto the shelves of some Western New York bookstores, including The Book Corner in Niagara Falls, ahead of its official March 15th publication date. The novel is a survival horror yarn which pits the residents of Black Creek Village (formerly Love Canal) against a crippling snowstorm and a tribe of murderous creatures which have lived underground since the relocation of 800 families in the late 1970s following decades of toxic contamination in the area. The novel's publication is a timely one given recent investigative reports that residents of neighboring Wheatfield and North Tonawanda - some of them former Love Canal residents - now contend with contaminated landfill where toxic materials removed from Love Canal were once stored.

"I wanted to tell a contemporary cautionary horror story that utilized Love Canal as a backdrop and drew from my childhood memories of the Blizzard of '77," says Lamberson. "But I also wanted to a story about the people of Western New York. We're all survivors, on one way or another. We prove that every winter. The characters in this book are good people ad good neighbors who find themselves caught up in an extraordinary predicament that is both environmental and manmade. It's an extreme scenario, and a lot of them don't make it out alive, but the ones who do pull together and help each other. That's the Western New York I know."

In the novel, three snowstorms converge on Niagara Falls at the same time, isolating it from the rest of the world. A tribe of mutant cannibals - descendants of people who went underground rather than relocate after President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal the worst manmade environmental disaster in the nation's history - take advantage of the monster storm to lay siege to the current occupants of Black Creek Village and neighboring Cayuga Island.

"When I learned that Love Canal had been renamed Black Creek in an effort to rehabilitate its image, the first though that came to my mind was, 'This is a horror story,'" says Lamberson, who spent one year researching the disaster and the Blizzard of '77. "Science fiction and horror authors often utilize real life fears as a springboard for fantastic stories. They tap into our anxieties and give us a way to beat them back. It's unfortunate - tragic, really - that the real life saga of Love Canal coninues."

JOHNNY GRUESOME Comic Book Adaptation by Kelly Forbes

Back in 2007, I asked artists Kelly Forbes and Martin Blanco to each adapt a different chapter from my novel JOHNNY GRUESOME into comic book form.  This is Kelly's "issue."  Chris Hedges published a (very) limited edition hard copy combining the two chapters, and that mini-edition won Best Comic Book at the New York CIty Horror Film Festival.  The issues were posted on my Johnny Gruesome website, but I let that domain name lapse and the comics disappeared... until now.