Seven Sinister Questions with…Peter Clines, Horror & Sci-Fi Writer

14_peter_clinesA few years ago, the Clubhouse introduced a special feature called Six Sinister Questions, for which we tackled some random creative types, gave them our home-brewed truth serum and asked them questions about their love of all things horrific. This year, we’re resurrecting the feature…and conjuring a seventh sinister question! Don’t worry, we upped the dosage on the truth serum to adjust accordingly. Trust us, we’re professionals!

This week’s guest is PETER CLINES (Ex-Heroes book series, -14-, The Fold).

HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE A KAIJU ATTACK?

PETER CLINES: I guess the real question is would I survive a kaiju attack, period? I’m in Los Angeles, and if history’s taught us anything, giant monsters always attack major coastal cities. They never make landfall in some deserted area. So I’m already in a prime target area—my odds are low to begin.

chibi_mothraThat said, I’d probably try to move away from it. If it’s moving north, I’m moving east or west. Here in LA, I’d try to get somewhere like Griffith Park—more open ground for maneuvering, plus history’s shown us the big’uns focus on wrecking buildings, not woodland areas.

Then I’ll just wait for the giant robots to show up and save my ass. Or hopefully invite me to join their crew…

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY?

PC: All the candy. I often have a horrible sweet tooth, so that is my favorite. All of the candy.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 HORROR MOVIES (OR TV SHOWS IF YOU PREFER) TO WATCH DURING HALLOWEEN?

PC: Well, the original 1976 version of The Omen is still one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Same with Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. I wasn’t a horror fan for a lot of years because I grew up during the golden years of slasher films, and none of that appealed to me. These two films showed me horror could be smart and scary, not just gross. Yeah, Hellraiser is gross at points, but it’s not inherently gross. There’s more to it than bloodsplatters and gore. The story works just as well if Frank was a shadow or a ghost or something.

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Something Wicked This Way Comes

Past that… I have a real soft spot for both Something Wicked This Way Comes (sorry GoT fans, but that’s Jonathan Pryce at his icky, nerve-wracking best) and the remake of 13 Ghosts—I just love that steampunk glass house.

Past that… well, The Cabin In The Woods is just brilliant on so many levels.

NAME ONE URBAN LEGEND/MONSTER STORY THAT TERRIFIED YOU AS A KID.

PC: It’s weird… growing up in more-or-less-rural Maine you’d think there’d be tons of stuff like that, but there really wasn’t. I mean, we all knew not to go into the graveyard or step on the witch’s grave, Bigfoot, all the basic stuff, but there wasn’t anything that really terrified me.

stephen_king_boogeyman(When I say it all like that, it sounds like a grew up in New England’s Night Vale, doesn’t it…?)

Honestly the monster story that haunted my nights was Stephen King’s “The Boogeyman.” His career really kicked off when I was a little kid, and I read that short story when I was much, much too young (maybe fifth or sixth grade). It terrified me for years. Honestly, I still have trouble sleeping if I can see the closet door is open, so I guess I was actually scarred for life.

IF YOU COULD BE HAUNTED BY ANY FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE – AND WHY?

PC: Hmmmmm… Do they have to be dead already? I don’t want to wish anybody to death.

I guess it depends a little bit on what kind of haunting it is. Are they bound to my apartment or a skull or something? Or are they always following me around, no matter where I am or what I’m doing? And what do they look like (assuming I can see them)? Fifty years dead? In the prime of their life again?

Tesla was a brilliant but kind of reclusive guy. I bet he’d be a fantastic ghost-sidekick.

WHAT ARE THREE SONGS THAT ARE A MUST FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN PLAYLIST?

PC: Only three?Again? Damn your limitations, man!!

Mine are all probably weird cuts—I have really odd tastes. I’d go with “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Pyramids on Mars” by Pop.1280, and “Creepshow” by Kerli.

Three other close-runs, though. Tyler Crook, a comic artist, has done two fantastically creepy volumes of music that are sort of a soundtrack for the Harrow County comic book. Robbie Gennet, has a great little single out called “Come Down” that feels like it should’ve been on the soundtrack of a ‘90s vampire movie. And let’s be honest… we all break out “Thriller” at this time of year, for Vincent Price if nothing else.

THE CLOCK STRIKES MIDNIGHT AND EVERYONE AT THE PARTY IS TRANSFORMED INTO WHATEVER THEIR COSTUME MAY BE – WHAT OUTFIT WOULD YOU MOST REGRET BEING CAUGHT IN?

PC: WHY!?!? Why did I accept that dare to wear the Sexy Rick Grimes costume??

Written by John MacLeod

Dubbed "The Dorkmaster General" in his home territory of western Massachusetts, John has what some would call an "unhealthy obsession" with comics, horror movies and geek culture. He is a staff writer and editor for the web site Zombie Zone News, and is a freelance editor for his own imprint, Surfin' Dead Enterprises. In his spare time, he breeds free-range chupacabras to sell for ludicrous amounts of cash.

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