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2014

January, out of nowhere our family friend, Victoria McCord (the matchmaker for my wife and I), called us up in terror. In a freak car accident, her only daughter, Lauren was just killed in an auto accident. She was only 22.

February 4, I release THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED to the world on YouTube.

Check out the video Here.

I Skype with my wife and Rachel as often as possible, sometimes nearly every day. Sometimes due to Internet outage, or because of the pain of medicine and the physical exhaustion of fighting the cancer, days pass without contact. Those are the scariest.

April 24 sees the release of Dustin McNiell's PHANTASM EXHUMED. It's an exhaustive compendium of everything PHANTASM and features a paragraph of quotes from me, from my review of the PHANTASM comic book.

Over the course of these intense months, Rachel and I, despite the miles, become Sister and Brother.

Vile scammers, offering the most outlandish homeopathic remedies, circle the home where Luz and Rachel stay, as they offer pricey "cures" to take instead of the prescription medicine. There are other sick people at this house and some of the desperate buy little plastic bottles filled with "pure oxygen", "quantum oil", and other such lies.

By May nothing more can be done for Rachel. The hospital releases her to spend her last moments with her family back home. She doesn't Skype me again.

I'm told I *have* to go to Rachel. She is asking for me. So I board a plane.

When I reach her she is on her bed. Suffering organ failure, her eyesight is gone. When I speak to her she blindly cries out, "Mi hermano?!?"

Her arms fly out and I let them hug me. With frail strength she draws me to her.

"Mi hermano! Mi hermano! Oh Señor! Mi hermano!"

By the next morning she is gone. My nephew (her son) Guillermo and my wife tell me, "She waited for you."

When we return home in July the Christmas tree I refused to take down waits for us.

Luz and I share our Christmas together in July. Time to make the rest of the year beautiful.

Three days later, more bad news. My cousin David just died of congestive heart failure. He was only in his 30s.

So much bad is happening so quickly and I can't stop it.

A week later and the director of my 48Hour project script, Skye McCole Bartusiak, dies at the age of 21.

What the hell, man? What the hell? Fuck 2014!

The deaths of those I love or so much as care about don't stop, haunting me throughout the rest of the year.

In November, my sister Lety is diagnosed with stomach cancer. She's had pain for a while, but didn't tell us, so we could focus on Rachel.

2015

I don't have the luxury of feeling sorry for myself. Not while I'm still alive. I owe it to the ones I love not to give up.

But everything I write and do is crap.

I focus on finding more work, helping my wife start her company, Foleco Photobooth, here in Houston, and of course, being there for Lety whenever she needs me.

The holidays pick up business for Foleco Photobooth and my wife is excellent at it. It's not my thing but I do my best. Mainly she just needs me as muscle, marketing, graphic art and web design.

On December 30, the paperback single volume version of HORROR 201: THE SILVER SCREAM, is released.

2016

The first half of the year is a blur of getting Lety to and from her Chemotherapy. She made it all through 2015 so we have hope.

I buckle down and focus on my movie knowledge which winds up having me teach Cinema classes to military veterans. I teach the ins and outs of Independent movie making via my knowledge from countless conversations with friends in the business, as well as my own first hand experience. I do this as a volunteer but wind up being good enough at it that Worklife Institute wants me to teach more classes and will pay.

As in May of 2014, in May of this year we get the bad news. Lety's cancer has metastisized. More Chemotherapy at tis point will only make matters worse.

As an outlet, I confide in talks and the occassional long phone calls to some of my friends.

I think it's jest when two of them, one a relatively new friend and one an old friend, call me Bad Luck.

Within the month they've both broke off contact with me. The relatively new friend just won't return my calls. The old friend creates a bizarre situation that I still don't get, and uses it as an excuse to end our friendship. He unfrieds and blocks me. Mutual friends ask what's going on. I have no idea. I ask what he is saying.

"He says you're toxic and not good for him."

Me: "Toxic how?"

Mutual friend: "He won't go into it. He just keeps saying you're toxic and he's had enough."

I buckle down some more and throw myself into the latest 48Hour film project. I wasn't going to but Luz thinks it will be good for me. We finish our movie in time and are part of the competition.

Lety dies in September. As with my Pop, Lety doesn't want me to see her at the end. I still have mixed feelings about that.

I spend most of my time fixing things around the house. Luz tells me that's not who I am, but it's something constructive I can do that doesn't require much creativity.

Now it's November. NanoWriMo.

As it turns out, I think I have a novel to tell.

AND NOW THE SPEEDY RECAP

TO GET YOU ALL CAUGHT UP

0 TO 55 IN 5.5 MINUTES (read fast!)

1960s
Born, and Go!
My parents tell me that, at the age of 3, I met Colonel Harlan Sanders. He shook my hand, talked to me for a bit, then gave me a toy. John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

4 years old, Mom began teaching me how to read. 4 to 6 years old, I remember watching spaceships take off from the newly named Cape Kennedy from my bedroom window.

The Horrors of the Vietnam War are on TV. Films of American soldiers crying out in pain as they hold their bloody stumps and carried away on stretchers, are paraded about on CBS News most every night. And that's the way it is.

I get it into my head that when it's my turn, I'll be the camera man recording it all. To a 4 through 6 year old, you never see a cameraman on a stretcher.

My favorite books were anything by Johnny Hart, Charles Schulz, and Dr. Suess.

My favorite TV was THE ADDAMS FAMILY, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, BATMAN, THE BUGS BUNNY ROADRUNNER SHOW, BULLWINKLE & ROCKY, HOGAN'S HEROES, THE INVADERS, THE MUNSTERS, THE OUTER LIMITS, SCOOBY-DOO, STAR TREK, Rod Serling's THE TWILIGHT ZONE (featuring many tales by, among others, Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson), and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

I consumed all music. Whatever my parents liked, I liked too.

In 1969, I sat transfixed to the TV set at our friend's house. They had the biggest color TV of anyone we knew and we all watched, for hours on end and in near hushed silence, human beings land on the moon.

1970s
Books I read that had an effect on me: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, DRACULA, DUNE, THE FEMINE MYSTIQUE, FRANKENSTEIN, THE HOBBIT, THE HUMAN ZOO, LORD JIM, LORD OF THE FLIES, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, MACROSCOPE, MEIN KAMPF, MOBY DICK, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON, I'M OKAY, YOU'RE OKAY, THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, THE PETER PRINCIPLE, and WAR & PEACE. Also, everything by Isaac Asimov, Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Ira Levin, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, and Jules Verne, that I could get my hands on.

My favorite comics were Archie, Batman, Donald Duck, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Harold Hedd, Kamandi Last Boy On Earth, PLOP!, Scrooge McDuck, Slow Death, Spiderman, X-Men, and ZAP.

My favorite magazines were Creepy, Eerie, Heavy Metal, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, MAD, The National Geographic, Starlog, and Vampirella.

My favorite movies were 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, DAWN OF THE DEAD, GODZILLA (Kaiju everything!), HALLOWEEN, JEREMIAH JOHNSON, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PLANET OF THE APES, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, SORCERER, STAR WARS, A TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, and TOMMY.

My favorite TV was THE GONG SHOW, DR. PAUL BEARER, THE JEFFERSONS, KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, THE PRISONER, I, CLAUDIUS, and syndicated repeats of favorite old shows.

I still consumed all music, but my tastes were now coelescing into THE BEATLES, LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN, BRASS CONSTRUCTION, DEEP PURPLE, EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE, EMERSON, LAKE, AND PALMER, KISS, MILES DAVIS, MODEST MUSSORGSKY, MOODY BLUES, NAZARETH, PARLIMENT-FUNKADELIC, QUEEN, T-REX, THE WHO, and ZZ TOP.

1976 is America's Bicentennial.

I go to Disneyworld for the first time.

For the first part of the 1970s, human beings continued to land on the moon. All manned space exploration after this, is moving backwards.

1980s
Began for me in August. Instead of going to my next semester of college, I anticipated a war with Iran over our hostages (held for well over a year) and looked around the military, finally settling on the Navy.

I sign up in September. My duty begins in November.

On a ship, whenever you have your own precious time, there isn't much to do. So I delved deeper into underground comics, continuing with Harold Hedd, who came out of the closet in the 1980s. In addition to Robert Crumb, there was also Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson. Bigfootz which more than any other comics, probably helped to usher in the era of burgeoning new independent comics like FLAMING CARROT, NEXUS, GROO THE WANDERER, as well as various "ground level" comics like NO DUCKS.

New authors to my roster were Philip K. Dick, Harry Harrison, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Terry Pratchett, and Peter Straub.

New bands included AEROSMITH, BAD COMPANY, DEAD KENNEDYS, DEVO, EURYTHMICS, IRON MAIDEN, ISAO TOMITA, JUDAS PRIEST, and PETER GABRIEL.

While I was in the Navy, I steered a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (U.S.S. Ranger, CV-61) in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and worked in radio and television (KRAN-TV).
I shook hands with George Bush (then Vice-President), Queen Elizabeth (more of a brief hand to glove touch), Gladys Knight, Flip Wilson, and Manuel Noriega.
I helped repair a storm damaged orphanage in the Philippines.
I swam in shark infested waters off of Hawaii (Basking sharks) and water skied in shark infested waters in the Philippines (we didn't get a close look, but my buds in the boat saw the fin coming up behind me).
I was trained to fight ship fires and have. I was also trained to plug shipboard leaks.

Favorite new movies during the 1980s (when I first saw them) include BRAZIL, DAWN OF THE DEAD, EVIL DEAD, ERASERHEAD, TIME BANDITS, David Cronenberg everything. John Carpenter everything. James Cameron everything. Wes Craven everything. Stuart Gordon everything. Harold Ramis everything. And for TV, Still THE JEFFERSONS, also ALIEN NATION, BENNY HILL, DOCTOR WHO, and MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. Monty Python still rules. It will always rule.

I've been a cave explorer, rappelled mountains, free mountain climbed (no rope & piton), have roadtripped from one end of the country to the other and back, and have traveled the world both in the military and on my own. All that traveling takes me from one decade and into the next with -

1980s/1990s
I've seen my graphic art on T-Shirts and in both magazines and up on billboards.

Favorite new bands include SISTERS OF MERCY and KMFDM.

I am Red Cross certified in CPR.
In my life I've personally saved the lives of 8 individual people and assisted in the rescue of three.
I hike, camp (jungle, swamp, forest, desert, canyons, snow), hunt, fish, and jetski.

As a professional musician I've been paid to play live concerts and produced live concerts.
As a professional stand-up comic I've been paid to perform live shows and I've produced live shows.
While in college I won top prize, $500.00 in a dog food eating contest.

In 1995 I became a professional published author and in 1996 I married the love of my life. In 1997 I began my Horror website, not knowing where it would go or how it would consume my life. In 1999 I moved my website from a free host to my own domain, feoamante.com. This is that website I created: Feo Amante's Horror Thriller.

Favorite comics include SPAWN and several titles that had mishapen destinies like THE MAXX and THE ROCKETEER.

Favorite new movies include TREMORS, THE MATRIX, DARK CITY, THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR, and I discover Alejandro Jodorowsky.

TV shows include ALIEN NATION, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG, DEEP SPACE NINE, EEK! THE CAT, PINKY AND THE BRAIN, THE SIMPSONS, SOUTH PARK, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, THE X-FILES.

For the past 17 years (and counting) I'm a happily married man.

2000s
I'm a published author with several books out right now, I wrote George R.R. Martin's biography, and was paid for it, and saw it published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 2002.

I am or was the personal friend or acquaintance of all the people who inspired me throughout my life, and are/were still alive (except for Isaac Asimov) including the late Ray Bradbury, Richard Laymon, and Forrest J Ackerman.
And the still alive and kicking Michael A. Baron (NEXUS), Bob Burden (FLAMING CARROT), Kevin Eastman (THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES), Harlan Ellison, Stuart Gordon, Peter Straub, and F. Paul Wilson.

I've interviewed all three Chiodo Brothers behind the practical suit effects of THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE.

I've also got drunk at least twice with F. Paul Wilson and Peter Straub.

I've personally - by myself - stood up to a group of Westboro Baptists. Then I paid a street performer dressed as a sword wielding demon to stand with me, just to irritate them further (happened in Hollywood).

I decided to dedicate myself to making movies in 2006 and in that year worked on my first feature film (PRIMITIVE RECALL) and sold two comic scripts to Jim Smith of ren & Stimpy and Samurai Jack fame.

I run a popular Horror Thriller website that has zero corporate ties to anyone or anything, and yet, has interviewed major movie makers from Guillermo del Toro to James Wan to Jeffrey Reddick to Neil Marshall and more.
I've been interviewed by one of the top Science Magazines on the planet.
The reviewers who started with me went on to become published novelists.

I've taken screenwriting classes by Robert McKee and a comedy course by Tommy Blaze. I've shaken hands and had conversations with Buzz Aldrin, Bruce Campbell, John Carpenter, Neil Gaiman, George Clayton Johnson, Richard Matheson, Simon Pegg, Terry Pratchett, George Romero, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie, and former United States Attorney General Richard Klinedeinst (and these weren't convention conversations that I had to pay for, either!).

PRESENT
I've worked with Skye McCole Bartusiak, Colin Cunningham, Gary Graham, Doug Jones, Michael Madsen, and John Savage, D.B. Sweeney.

And with all of that name dropping, there are still more people that I'm not mentioning because they prefer their privacy and I respect that. And there's probably quite a few that I'm forgetting.

When I moved back to Houston I immediately made two short films in my very first year. The first one I wrote for a contest/challenge. Making my second film didn't require me to use union actors, but I did it anyway and I'm now a SAG-AFTRA signatory producer.

And whenever I get a wild hair, I go out and about dressed as a clown.

Also

DEATH! DEATH! DEATH! DEATH! DEATH! DEATH! and DEATH!

UP TO DATE - SO FAR

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INTERVIEWS

Joe Mynhardt interviews E.C. McMullen Jr. in the book Horror 201: The Silver Scream.

Matt Jarbo's interview with Feo Amante at The Zurvivalist.

James Cheetham's Q&A with Feo Amante at Unconventional Interviews.

Megan Scudellari interviews Feo Amante and Kelly Parks (of THE SCIENCE MOMENT) in The Scientist Magazine.

Check out our interview at The-Scientist.com.

Feo Amante's Horror ThrillerAnthropologist Gretchen Bakke, PhD, references my UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT as an expert resource in her 2010 Anthropological Quarterly essay @ Johns Hopkins University and Academia.edu.

E.C. McMullen Jr.
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