About Monsters of Suburbia

Based on a real event

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For me, it wasn't only a movie that night when I was 15 years old. I first dealt with the matter as a short story, and have regaled the scary tale for thirty years, each time eliciting the same visceral response from my audience, and I knew, that someday it would make a fun little movie.


That story became the Monsters of Suburbia short film production.

The Shooting Script

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"The good news is your script is great! The bad news is I'm terrified right now and wish I hadn't read it!"   Kim, mother of two, Illinois.


I have been writing scripts for twenty-five years, with this being my sixth to be produced into a short film.These kinds of scripts are much more fun because I can include the entire vision; every shot, edit, and sound effect.  


Audience Reception Theory

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It was my interest in Audience Reception Theory that led me back to school in my late thirties. I earned cinema studies degrees from Columbia College Chicago (BA, summa cum laude) and DePaul University (MA). I presented my "ideal spectator" research at the annual conference for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image at the University of Montana last year. I have enjoyed researching and writing about the mechanisms that have been so effective in the thrilllers that I love, and I look forward to employing them in Monsters!

The Twilight Zone

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Every short story I have ever written is in some way inspired by "The Twilight Zone." The name of this site is a homage to one of the great suburban paranoia episodes, "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" (1960 above).


The Gen X movie and TV era was the best ever when it came to anthology thrillers; I had memories of Rod Serling opening the creepy "Night Gallery" series in the 70s before I ever saw a classic TZ in the 80s. Along with other period anthologies like the 80s TZ movie (83) and series (85-89), Creepshow (82 & 87), Tales From the Darkside (83-87), and Tales From the Crypt (89-96), I was inspired to produce my own short thrillers. 


Gen X Cinema

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The era of movie spectatorship between 1975-1989 (the Silver Age of Commercial Film) is special to me because cinema was already my favorite pastime whether it was all the great thrillers I went to see at the movie theater - a third of the titles on the AFI "100 thrills" list come from this era alone, or at home on TV/cable/VCR where I saw teen dramas like Over the Edge (1979 above), My Bodyguard (1980), Bad Boys (1983), Reckless (1984), Rivers Edge (1987), and Heathers (1989). Monsters of Suburbia is a homage to the style and attitude of the 80s thriller and teen drama.. 

Low-budget filmmaking

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I have been inspired by the filmmaking style of John Carpenter since I first saw Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) as a kid. It wasn't just the characters, camera movement, music, and action on the screen, but how he did it on a low-budget and in a short amount of time, like Halloween (1978 above). The Friday the 13th (1980) production and promotion campaign also inspired me as a kid. There is an energy and attitude about this type of producing that I'm addicted to!