Oct 18, 2016

Halloween Web - Derek K

Our guest today keeps the spirit of his Monster Kid very much alive.
Let's say hello to Derek Koch.

I hope you're asking "Who's Derek Koch?" because he's gonna tell ya!

I'm a writer, a podcaster, and a Generation X Monster Kid. I've been podcasting since 2008, and in 2013 I launched Monster Kid Radio, a weekly podcast "devoted to the classic, and sometimes not-so-classic, genre cinema of yesteryear." The podcast won a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award in 2014 and it will be hitting it's 300th episode this December. In addition to podcasting, when I'm not sleeping, working the day job, or spending time with my wife and cats, I'm constantly thinking about classic monster movies. I write about them. I read about them. I watch them. I love them.

Earlier this year, I launched the website Monster Kid Writer, which is the repository of all my writing in the classic and retro monster vein. I've got two novels in the works that should see publication in 2017.

How did this Monster Kid enjoy Halloween?

I moved around a bit as a kid. My father was in the Air Force and we lived on various military bases, which meant trick-or-treating was very organized, only happened during particular hours, and there were very little hi-jinks. We still had fun, though, with school parties, a few local haunted houses, and it was right around Halloween when I first saw my first Universal monster movie (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein) when I was in third or fourth grade.

Do you have any special Halloween memories that stand out?

I hadn't really considered this until you asked this question, but there is a distinct memory I have from a grade school haunted house that may have helped form my love of mummy movies. (I love mummy movies!) I remember being in either first or second grade, and my school having a Halloween fair of some sort. One of the classrooms was made up as a haunted house. Most of the details are fairly fuzzy, but I do remember a jump scare at the very end of the haunted house when someone dressed as a mummy burst out of a coffin and chased us out of the room. I lost my footing and slipped before crawling away!

What about favorite a costume?

Two years ago, my wife and I were invited to a "Twisted Disney" Halloween party, and I was able to represent my love of luchador films when we dressed up as The Brawling Beauty and The Beast.

What do you do to celebrate Halloween these days?

First and foremost, I do everything I can to make sure I have Halloween day off from the day job. (I used to not mind working on Halloween back when the office was allowed to dress up and there was a costume contest. After winning the costume contest a few years in a row, they stopped doing it, so I stopped showing up!) Typically, I stay home with my cats, my blu-ray player, and a stack of monster movies.

I live in the Portland, OR, area now, and I'm VERY spoiled when it comes to finding things to do for Halloween. We have a number of haunts, and so many theaters are bringing in classic horror films this year (The Tingler, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Theatre of Blood, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, etc.). Also, Portland is home to the original HP Lovecraft Film Festival, and this year will be my 14th year attending and fourth or fifth year as a guest.

What's special to you about Halloween?

When I was a kid, there was one year when I had to write a school essay about Halloween. I was a pretentious little kid and wrote in my best grade school penmanship that Halloween should be about celebrating the classic monsters and actors who played them instead of being a time for people to dress up as non-scary things like princesses or firemen. There's a small part of me that still feels that way (but I'm not nearly as judgemental these days as I was back then!). I love the classic (and not-so-classic) monster movies so much, and it's this time of year that a good chunk of the people around me get into them, too.

I live for this time of year. It recharges me to walk into a store and see images from The Bride of Frankenstein on pillows or home decor. It makes me feel at home to see Boo Berry (or when I'm really lucky the years they sell it - Yummy Mummy) on the grocery store shelf. And the people around me, whether its co-workers, people taking public transportation with me, or whoever, "get it," too . . . even if it's just for a little while and it's just on the surface.

Hunchback Kid
Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was plain chocolate bars - just too boring.

My favorite thing to get was Rice Krispie Treats were IT!

Where can people stalk you online?

They can find me on my personal Facebook page, as well as my Monster Kid Radio and Monster Kid Writer pages.

A monster-sized thank you goes out to Derek for joining us today!
Be sure to check out all the Countdown to Halloween bloggers!

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