Johnny Zontal’s Top 6 of 2017

2017 was a great year, personally. I realize that the wheels are totally flying off the bus around me, but sometimes you need to look for the things that provided any degree of distraction from all of the vile shit going on in the world. Here is a quick list of my top 6 favorite things from this past year in no particular order.

6. Good/Bad Movies- This was a banner year for “So Bad It’s Good” genre films. On the Sci-fi end of things, we got Geostorm and Valerian & The City of 1000 Planets, both of which were spectacular messes. Valerian in particular was one of the most ironically entertaining major studio releases I’ve seen in years. On the horror side of things, we had ridiculous shit piles like The Bye Bye Man, The Mummy, and Rings, all of which are some of the greatest unintentional comedies ever filmed. I’ve been on record as saying the worst thing a movie can be is mediocre, so I salute both the absolute successes and absolute failures of these filmmakers. Keep doing your best, you unscrupulous hacks.

Is it just me, or do these two look a little TOO similar to play love interests in an action movie?

5. Good/Good Movies- 2017 was a record breaking year in the box office for horror films, and for good reason. There were quite a few very good wide horror releases this year. Obviously, IT & Get Out are on the top of everyone’s lists. That’s totally warranted, as both movies were better than anyone was expecting them to be. We also had good movies on Netflix, like Gerald’s Game & 1922… I was tempted to call this a great year for Stephen King adaptations, but then I remembered that The Dark Tower was a thing, and I decided against it. We also got Season 2 of Stranger Things, which everyone has seen, and I think it’s one of those weird universally loved things that actually managed to not be terrible. At any rate, the top end was full of quality, which as far as horror is concerned, that’s a pretty special thing.


Really, I could have just said this gif, and left it at that

4. David Wong’s “What The Hell Did I Just Read?”-This is Wong’s 4th Novel, and the 3rd entry in the John Dies at the End series. I love David Wong. All his books are fantastic mishmashes on pop culture obsession, trope deconstruction, cosmic horror, and farcical comedy, with a sprinkling of social commentary. This book is no different. I still think his 2nd novel, This Book is Full of Spiders…, is probably a stronger book, but I still enjoyed the hell out of this one, and would strongly recommend it to anyone.

David Wong is real good, you guys.

3. Moving to a New Place- 2017 was the year I shacked up with my girlfriend, and it’s been wonderful. It’s been 2 and a half years, and she’s still not sick of me yet, so she’s clearly a wonderful and patient person. Also, the new place is within 2 blocks of a grocery store, a beer distributor, a tobacco shack, a bar where my friends’ bands play regularly, a Chinese place, a BBQ place, and a Thai place. Oh, and to make this horror related, I’m also down the street from Tom Savini, which is pretty cool, even if I’ve never actually seen him hanging out. Shit… I’ve lived in this place 6 months, and I still haven’t met the girl who lives downstairs. But it’s a cool place to live, and I’m happy to be there.

I believe this was the old sign before some liquored up yinzer drove through it

2.The Drunk in a Graveyard Podcast- Even if I didn’t love Scott, Robin, & Rigby as people, and even if I wasn’t a contributor to this site, I would still tune in to this podcast every week. It’s nice hearing their oddball banter and musings about horror and the world, even if they weren’t friends of mine. I know this is going to elicit groans to some readers, but it’s my list, and there aren’t too many things I enjoyed more in 2017 than this podcast. So, suck it.

Here is me and the gang from the Housecore Horror Festival a few years back. I added Rigby, since she wasn’t there.

1. The Void– This is the only movie to get its own place on this list, because it fucking deserves it. I love the sillier Astron 6 movies, but it was really nice to see Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie branch out into darker territory. This was easily my favorite movie of the year. It was a love letter to the practical effects classics of the 80’s, visibly influenced by the likes of Clive Barker, John Carpenter, and David Cronenberg. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. I’m sure it’s on everyone else’s list here at the Graveyard, because we share a brain sometimes. But just fucking see it.

It also has lots of triangles, just in case you are into illuminati conspiracy theories or geometry

So that’s my list. I know this year was a colossal dumpster fire in the grand scheme of things, but for me personally, it might have been one of the best years of my life. Look for the good stuff where you can find it, and don’t let the bad stuff get you down. I know that’s probably crocheted on some grandma’s pillow somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Here’s to a 2018 that at least moves in the right direction.



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