AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Armand Rosamilia

Meghan: Hey, Armand. I’m so excited to have you here today. It’s always a pleasure, especially since I know how busy you can get. What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Armand: The candy part is easily my favorite thing, especially anything chocolate. My wife and I will set up in the driveway on Halloween with a table filled with comic books, Halloween-themed kid’s books and candy, but I make sure to give away all of the non-chocolate until my wife catches me.

Meghan: Do you get scared easily?

Armand: As a kid I was scared of a lot of things. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten tougher skin and not much scares me. Horror movies are actually boring for me in the last few years. I don’t know if I’m just old or if my perception has changed.

Meghan: What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen and why?

Armand: As a kid, Jaws freaked me out. We saw it in the drive-in and me and my brother were in the backseat with our hands over our faces once the shark began to really get into it.

Meghan: Which horror movie murder did you find the most disturbing?

Armand: Kevin Bacon’s death scene stuck with me, before I really even knew who he was and what he’d eventually become.

Meghan: Is there a horror movie you refused to watch because the commercials scared you too much?

Armand: No. Most of the time, especially as I got older, the jump-scares and too much blood made me not want to watch them.

Meghan: If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?

Armand: Beaches and I’d be Bette Midler’s friend and have to hang out with her. Is that what you mean?

Meghan: If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?

Armand: The first Nightmare On Elm Street, before Freddie got all corny and witty and stopped being scary.

Meghan: What is your all-time favorite scary monster or creature of the night?

Armand: The Thing from The Thing was awesome. Still my favorite horror movie, I think.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

Armand: Handing out comic books, Halloween kid’s books, and candy to trick-or-treaters. We get close to 200 and some kids say they were looking forward to the stop, which is cool.

Meghan: What is your favorite horror or Halloween-themed song?

Armand: “Halloween” by Misfits or “Halloween” by King Diamond. I love them both.

Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?

Armand: Phantoms by Dean Koontz when I was about 12.

Meghan: What is the creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

Armand: I was sixteen and home alone and my jerk brother climbed up a ladder to my room on the second floor and started tapping on the window like in “Salem’s Lot” and freaked me out.

Meghan: Which unsolved mystery fascinates you the most?

Armand: D.B. Cooper comes to mind, but I love all of them. Did he die and waste all that cash, or did he live and spend it?

Meghan: What is the spookiest ghost story that you have ever heard?

Armand: We had those record albums when I was a kid, telling ghost stories. I loved all of those, especially picking up the hitchhiker and it turns out she died on the road. Remember that one?

Meghan: In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

Armand: I want to eat myself to death as quickly as possible. I think I would be awful during the zombie takeover, and hope I am patient zero or die quickly.

Meghan: Give me a minute… I have to stop laughing at that last one before we can move on. Okay okay… let’s have some fun: Would you rather get bitten by a vampire or a werewolf?

Armand: Vampire. Better control of my powers, and chicks dig vampires.

Meghan: Would you rather fight a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion?

Armand: I think it would be more fun if aliens attacked, as long as we had a fighting chance.

Meghan: Would you rather drink zombie juice or eat dead bodies from the graveyard?

Armand: If I can cook the dead bodies, then I’d pick that. Tastes like chicken!

Meghan: Would you rather stay at the Poltergeist house or the Amityville house for a week?

Armand: Amityville, since nothing really happened there supernatural. All a hoax.

Meghan: Would you rather chew on a bitter melon with chilies or maggot-infested cheese?

Armand: Maggots are protein, right? And I like cheese.

Meghan: Would you rather drink from a witch’s cauldron or lick cotton candy made of spider webs?

Armand: Can I do both? They both sound like fun. Maybe wash down my cotton candy with a glass from the cauldron!

Meghan: Thanks again for stopping by. I mean… is it really Halloween without THE devilishly handsome Armand Rosamilia?

Armand: Thanks for the cool questions, as per the usual!

Author of Crime Thrillers. Horror. Contemporary Fiction. Nonfiction. In no discernible order.


REVIEW: Hocus Pocus: Books vs Movies

Hocus Pocus has always been one of my all time favorite Halloween movies. Yeah it’s cheezy, some of the acting is terrible, and doesn’t have much of a scare factor to it, but it’s just a lot of fun, has a pretty cool soundtrack, and c’mon who doesn’t love the Sanderson Sisters. It has always been a movie tradition that my sister and I shared, made even better when my nieces came along and we got to share it with them.

When I found out about Hocus Pocus 2, I could not wait. And with it, I created a new tradition by sharing the movie (and the original, since she had not seen that) with my mother.

Go big or go home is my motto haha… So of course I had to get a bunch of Hocus Pocus paraphernalia for our evening’s fun…

And with it some yummy treats…

A couple of years ago, I found that the first movie had been turned into a book, and with that book, the story of Hocus Pocus 2 was included. Now, I know that there are some good and bad reviews out there about the book, and truth is that it is HARD to turn a good movie into a good book without missing out on nuances that people who loved it will want included, but for a short, fast, fun read, the book is worth taking a look at. I think they could have done more, of course, and I think some of the descriptions did not do the actions of the movie justice, but it will always be a beloved book on my shelf.

I was even more intrigued by the second story “The All-New Sequel” because, as with most of the books and movies I enjoy, I had always been curious what happened next. What happened between Max and Allison? Did Dani grow up to be the cool girl I expected her to be? How long did it take “Ice” and Jay to be released from the cages? Were the Sisters really gone? (Though I knew the answer was no based on the way it ended.)

The book brought back so many of these characters I loved and shared a new part of their story, years later, with Max and Allison married – with a kid – and Dani definitely the aunt everyone wish they had. Of course the story was out of what happened that night, but most didn’t believe. Only the people who LIVED it knew the real truth. And during the book we were able to see how that night left its toll on each person, and how that toll invaded its way into the lives of their children. And, of course, in that book, the Sisters come back to wreck even more havoc.

So, of course, excitement for the second movie, wanting to see how they turned that story into another cult classic.

Except it wasn’t that story.

It was completely different.

Let’s try to look past Midler’s very plastic face, Kathy’s weight loss (that left her looking beautiful in real life but left her just looking wrong as Mary), and Sarah’s weird eyebrow thing. Oh and the iffy soundtrack.

The second book centered around Poppy, the child of Allison and Max, with them, and others from that Halloween night as part of the story, including her parents, along with a few new characters. Like Poppy’s two friends, one of which she has a crush on. They find themselves bored at a party, and because Poppy wants to impress her crush, she takes her to the Sanderson Sister’s home and… well… the Sisters come back to life and they have to save the day from the problem they caused in the first place. (Sound familiar?)

The second movie did not include them at all. Instead we have some neat Sisters backstory, which makes the end make complete sense, and a new batch of people for the Sisters to rail against based on that backstory. We see a new side of Winifred and an understanding of how much her sisters mean to her, and what she is willing to do to be the most powerful person… or to get revenge… which both seem to go hand in hand with her. And we see where her anger and revenge gets her. We also meet three young ladies who go to school together, two of which felt abandoned by one, but the story brings them together, as all good wholesome endings do.

They should have taken more time with the story. But then I’ve always thought that about movie number one as well.

I’m a bit disappointed with the end, but as always with Disney movies, a lesson is learned. For everyone, if I’m honest.

The end left us with potential for a third movie, though without the Sanderson Sisters (they would not make it another 30 years) – ya know, like Ghostbusters did without Venkman, Ray, Egon, and Winston. And I’d probably watch that one as well.

Would I watch it again? Yeah. But I would still feel wanting for more…

like the story I expected based on the book.