JANUARY 2010 started badly with news that top-selling horror writer Karen Mulligan had passed away after a freak accident in her Beverly Hills home. She'd been using her teeth to unscrew a child-proof cap from a bottle of pills, but the cap came off and lodged in her throat, choking her to death. Mulligan was best known for her 'Stein' trilogy of books, in which she reinvented Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation as high school best friends, who got into sexy adventures with underage girls and frowning bullies. A film of the first book, NUTS N BOLTS, is due to be released this coming summer. Steven Spielberg is producing, with Vin Diesel as the Monster.
FEBRUARY 2010 was a happier month, as sales of horror-related media soared into exceptionally high figures. Hallmark revealed plans to create 'Horrorday', a week-long explosion of terror aimed squarely at people who liked to buy cards and cheap gifts for no particular reason. Also this month, Nick Nolte was arrested for beating up James Cameron at an awards show.
MARCH 2010 heralded the long-awaited second album from popular art-rockers Bendy Samson. The album, entitled Chainsaw Barbecue, came after the band (comprised of ex-members of Coldplay, Talking Heads and The The) dropped off the musical radar and allegedly set up a cult in South America back in 2004. Whatever the truth may be, they came back better than ever, and their first single 'Fruit-Flavoured Poison Drink' reached a respectable 27 in the UK top 40, and Chainsaw Barbecue hit number ten in the US album chart.
APRIL 2010 saw a rash of bad slasher films hit the multiplexes in what became known as the 'Spring of Knives' in some tabloid papers. Hatchet Face 2 lead the charge, and set the tone with its grisly depiction of axe-face-to-normal-face murders (many reviews said it was no wonder the first film was banned, and that this sequel should have gone the same way). Hot on this film's bloodied heels came Night at the Waxworks, a "re-imagining" of the 1980's horror Waxworks, that saw French actor extradonnaire Vince Cassel take the role of a creepy caretaker in a dilapidated museum, only to end up being a deranged blah blah blah. Even director Ron Howard jumped on board the horror train with his ill-judged 'family slasher' Dinner at the Smiths, in which Tom Hanks played the crazy father of a family of murderers, who terrorise their neighbourhood dressed like Dr Suess' characters. It was withdrawn from general release within one week, and has yet to see light of day on DVD.
MAY 2010. Absolutely nothing of any interest happened this month. Scientists were at a loss to explain why.
JUNE 2010 - the Shoemaker Spanner 6 comet passed by Earth and lit up the sky over Southern Turkey for six whole days. Those who witnessed the Aurora Borealis-style lightshow soon started showing signs of radiation sickness. The death toll from that event reached 152 people.
JULY 2010 saw the release of another new book from Stephen King. Lights Out told the story of a struggling Maine writer as he and his wife tried to patch up their marriage whilst on holiday in Turkey. A subsequent lightshow from a passing comet causes everyone to turn into plant-creatures and control vehicles with their minds.
AUGUST 2010 had the whole world celebrate my birthday. Also this month, James Patterson unveiled his plans to write a series of spy books centered around a telekinetic cop with a violent personality. "It's about time I wrote something interesting," he admitted.
SEPTEMBER 2010 saw the death of long-term cable horror TV host 'Uncle Coffin' (real name George Henderson). Famous in Connecticut for his regular shopping trips dressed up in his trademark black cloak, top hat and zombie make-up, Uncle Coffin captured the hearts and minds of Middle America with his monthly 'Uncle Coffin's Mildly Worrying Anxiety Hour' show, in which he'd look at news items that caused him mild concern. He would then use this to segue into a (often-unrelated) horror film. One rare occasion in which he did manage to seamlessly link his show to the following film was when he spent 60 minutes talking about the woman who'd put a cat in a wheelie bin, and then showed the 1980's version of Cat People.
OCTOBER 2010 To no one's surprise, Hallmark ended up using Halloween as their 'Horrorday' event, and subsequently ruined it for everyone who actually enjoyed that holiday. "It's just another excuse to buy crap," TV pundit Mags Green said on the Glenn Beck show. His opinion was repeated by radio personality Paul Gambaccini on the BBC Six O'Clock News, but in a far more educated and interesting manner.
NOVEMBER 2010 Neo-noir thriller Crimes of the Broken-Hearted becomes the fastest selling foreign-language audio book in the history of all Novembers. Author and narrator Giles Svenskaard said of his impossibly fast rise to success: "Jag kan inte tro min lycka! Jag är så glad människor är villiga att ge en ljudbokberättad helt på svenska ett försök!"
DECEMBER 2010 sees the body of Lord Lucan wash up on a beach in Africa, completely intact and showing no signs of decay. An autopsy quickly reveals it to be "a fake". The UK has something of a White Christmas as BNP activists burn down several mosques in celebration of Jesus' birth and the release of the Screwdriver Xmas Album.
What's next for us? What treats will 2011 have in store? This reporter, for one, cannot wait to find out! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, scumbags! Rev. Austin, sign- oh thank god you're here. She's waiting in the shed with a gun. I don't know how she got out. She did bring me a Terry's Chocolate Orange, which was a nice thought. Oh no, I'm happy for you to kill her. The divorce was finalized last month and her own doctor said she's a danger to society. Absolutely. It IS for the best. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, too, officers!