Devil’s Arcade, by Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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17 Responses

  1. Howard Cruse says:

    I agree for sure about the first ALIEN. It gave me the kind of terrifying experience I ask for in a horror movie without skimping on intelligence, and the design of the creature (which was far scarier before the later movies and licensers started letting you see what the whole thing looked like in bright light) was visually magnificent.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Alien was a great horror movie; Aliens was, give-or-take, just about as good. And I'm not particularly a horror fan – both movies really worked for me.

  2. lizhand says:

    Ditto on nuclear war (duck and cover, anyone?), also pre-legal-abortion pregnancy. But the scariest movie I ever saw remains the original Carnival of Souls, which I caught alone and stoned at 3 AM, in my white trash ghetto apartment in Queenstown, Maryland about thirty years ago. I flicked it on not long after it started but had no clue what I had seen for some years, as I missed the title and opening credits. Like stumbling into someone else's nightmare.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      I saw PENNY SERENADE in the middle of the night when I had pregnancy insomnia. It's not supposed to be scary, but it was.

  3. John Tebbel says:

    The Wizard of Bleeping Oz, age 5, in a theater, taken there by my mother who was quite surprised I didn't agree that she was doing me a favor, screaming bloody murder as I was. Something about a red hourglass and a green woman keeping me from my Auntie Em. And I didn't even have an Auntie Em.

    • Joe in Philly says:

      I remember having a dream as a kid that I was looking out the window of my house and looking at the twister from the movie coming towards me.I saw Poltergeist in the theater and remember how much I was laughing at it, but I didn't realize until I was walking out of the theater that my heart was just pounding.

      • John Tebbel says:

        Yeah, I was in the Cleveland area, prone to tornados and warnings, many of which would interrupt afternoon tv and get me flashing back to Kansas. Funny they never put doorbells on those storm shelters.

  4. Rick Taylor says:

    George Bush and Dick Cheney. I find them extremely SCARY!

  5. John Ostrander says:

    Scariest movie I saw in a movie theater was THE EXORCIST and that's because of my Roman Catholic upbringing. I was in flipping COLLEGE and I slept that night with the lights on and tried to stay awake because I KNEW the Devil was coming to possess me. Every nun warning was going to come true.It's odd but, despite WRITING a certain amount of horror based fiction, I don't like to read or watch it. As I've said before, I prefer to GIVE nightmares than GET them.

  6. Alan Coil says:

    Few things scare me. Many moments in movies can startle me, but that's not the same.Twilight Zone episode where the woman was "horribly disfigured", yet we saw her as beautiful. When the doctor and nurse were revealed, I had to watch through my fingers. Saw it alone. At nighttime. As a child.Third part of "Trilogy of Terror", starring Karen Black.Exorcist. Working 6 days a week on the midnight shift, going to college, had been awake for at least 30 hours.Chucky films. Have never seen one, have never watched more than 2 minutes of one. Just the idea of sentient dolls just creeps me out.

  7. Rick Taylor says:

    Alan – That episode of the Twilight Zone starred Donna Douglas (Ellie Mae Clampett) and I think she was voiced by somebody else, Mercedes McCambridge (or someone else with a really deep voice). I think it was titled 'Eye of the Beholder'.Trilogy of Terror is also a personal fave.The Exorcist (before the edited out the subliminal stuff) was also extra spooky.The original Invaders from Mars and Invasion of the Body Snatchers freaked me out as a kid.

  8. lizhand says:

    I'm with John Ostrander on watching scary movies — I write this stuff for a living, and I have a very low tolerance for it onscreen. Mullholland Drive, for reasons that still escape me, really freaked me out. Thematically it has a lot in common with Carnival of Souls, so maybe it just touched some subliminal nerve. I've never gone back to watch it again, either.

  9. Gary Chaloner says:

    Martha, sorry to derail the discussion, but your Springsteen influences are showing. :-)

  10. Mike Gold says:

    My scariest movie — Brian DePalma's Sisters. Not an absolutely great movie (since it was early I hadn't grown tired of his Hitchcock obsession), it really upset me. When I left the theater I went across the street to a pay phone and started calling friends.

  11. Patrick says:

    I still have Exorcist nightmares to this day! And the first time I saw it was edited for television!Pat