The Movies That Inspired Monsterland, by Award-Winning Author Michael Phillip Cash
I am a huge movie buff. Movies have played a very important role in my life since as far back as I can remember. I’ve always loved monster movies that ranged from the creature features of the 50s, to Godzilla, to Jurassic Park. After studying these films for 20+ years, I’ve learned how to craft a good ‘monster-in-the-house’ story, which must have three elements: the monster, the house, and a sin. The monsters I wrote about in Monsterland were werewolves, vampires and zombies. The house: we have an enormous theme park called Monsterland. And a sin: we need a sin committed to allow the monsters to wreak havoc in the park. In a film like Jurassic Park, which is one of my favorites, and the quintessential monster in the house story, we have the dinosaurs as the monster. The Park is the house that the heroes cannot leave. And the sin committed is playing God…creating the monster that should have never been created. I don’t want to give away my sin in Monsterland, but it’s a doozy. It has to do with greed and world domination. I didn’t want to stop at just making a monster mash up; I needed a good story line. My favorite movie from the 80s, a film that I invited my friends over in 2nd grade to direct my own version of, was ‘The Goonies’. Eight teens go looking for buried treasure to save their homes and during the process they find themselves. They learn about their spirit. Each character has an arch and a need. Another “teen” film that was a huge influence on my writing was ‘Superbad’. We have three nerds looking to get lucky with three girls at a party. It’s a primal want and it resonated with me. So I mashed up ‘Goonies’, ‘Superbad ‘and ‘Jurassic Park’ and incorporated all the elements into Monsterland. I have three protagonists. Wyatt, who wants the unattainable popular girl in school, Jade. Melvin, who needs to belong to society, but is a total outcast because he’s a freak. And Howard Drucker, who wants to become a man but can’t because he is the epitome of a nerd. I test them to their limits. When I envision scenes, they almost always come from research and development time. I research my works all day. I beat out the scenes. In this case, I’ve been listening to some incredible music and the scenes built themselves. A few bands that have helped me realize two pivotal scenes were my favorite hardcore, drudge rock bands, The Melvins and Clutch. I named Melvin in the story after the band The Melvins. Clutch was of course named in my other novel Pokergeist (adult fiction), but that’s another story. For the Werewolf River Run, I had the song ‘The Wolfman Kindly Requests’ by Clutch on repeat. Other bands that have influenced the scenes in Monsterland, along with my other works are 311, Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, The Flaming Lips, Andrew WK, Led Zeppelin, Incubus, The Ramones, Stephen Stills, Fishbone, Primus and Iggy Pop. So, my influences come from a multitude of sources, especially classic movies and really good music.
About the BookMichael Phillip Cash Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?
“Monsterland contains solid ingredients for a horror feast: stupid teens, smart teens, a little challenged romance, family dynamics, action, blood and gore. Will civilization ever be normal again? You’ll have to read it to find out. We dare you!”—The Children’s Book ReviewAges 14+ | CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | 2015 | 978-1517180676 Add this book to your collection: Monsterland Available Here: