Monster Hunter Interview – Phil Norris

It’s Monday night, the fire is roaring and the first chill of the season is upon us. In just over three weeks it will be Halloween and that means that most of us will be busy hunting.

Personally, I’ll be hunting door-to-door this year, making sure that each household is safe while teaching my son the foundational techniques of monster hunting. He’s 3. He’s already picked out (and worn several times) his Spiderman costume and he loves teh candy, so I don’t know how much actual hunting knowledge he will absorb, thus I have the standard back-up plan: instructional videos.

Fortunately, at least several of these are shown on television every night during October. They are cleverly disguised as “movies”, but everybody knows that they are the go-to source for monster info.

And that leads us into this week’s interview. Joining us at the fire this evening is Phil Norris (no relation), a contributor to volumes II & III of the LOTMH series.

Phil hails from Southwest England, which immediately brings to mind An American Werewolf In London – one of the greatest instructional videos of our time.

MB – Welcome to the campfire, Phil. Do you already know what you are going to be for Halloween this year?

PN – Hello Miles. Hello everyone. Actually, I do know. I am going to be Stephen King this year and pass copies of my manuscripts out instead of candy. You never know who might get one, and these days, you have to be creative in the ways that you approach agents, publishers, etc.

MB – Man, that’s a good idea. A really good idea. I have to be Lizard Man…

PN – You should have begun planning earlier.

MB – Er, I guess you’re right. Next summer he turns 4, so he’ll definitely be ready for a King film-fest – then I can work in the costume plan. Good thinking.

Okay, back to An American Werewolf In London – it was a big hit here in the states, but I’m wondering how people in your neck of the woods felt about it? Did the wolf get the accent right?

PN – It’s a strange thing when an American film is made in the UK using English actors – the actors sound more English than they normally do. Dunno if its because they’re alongside American actors so the accent is more pronounced? But they all sound like they’re Oxford educated. There’s a saying we have about that overly posh accent – “Talks like he’s either got a plumb in his mouth or a finger up his arse.”

Other than that, I loved it. It was one of the first horror films I bought on VHS.

MB – I have to admit that your saying brings a new perspective to the movie for me, and I suspect that I will never be able to watch it again without recalling it.

Especially when the wolf’s face gets all snarled up. *whistles*

And now I’m…slightly less comfortable than I was before. I could use a drink. Let’s go to the pub from that same movie – what five beers would they have on tap?

PN – Its hard to find a decent pub that serves real beer – that’s proper beer – what we call Ale over here. In the States, beer is what we call Lager, cold and fizzy like a soft drink ;)

Real beer is flat and not cold. It comes out of a barrel that has to be tapped right and tilted regularly so all you get is the good stuff and not the lumping crap in the bottom. Real beer gives you wind and makes you want to do manual work.

MB – Uh huh. Don’t want to know what the saying is for someone who has had a few “real” beers. I Still can’t get that werewolf face outta my head >.<

Have you ever been caught in an embarrassing situation while monster hunting (or researching it)?

PN – Never Google succubus on a shared or work computer. My wife is still not sure why I was reading up about sex crazed monsters. In fact she has doubts about a lot of the stuff I research but at least she’s tolerant about the anatomy literature (it was research for what damage blades and the like do).


Words to live by, my friend.

And here’s to hoping that no Ripper copycats target your area, or else you’re going to have to do some fast explaining to the missus. Good times.

Moving on. Why do aliens abduct people from America, but only leave crop circles in the U.K.?

PN – You know how big Iowa is, right? It’d take forever to find a crop circle there, but abduct a few locals from New Mexico and next thing you know 60 Minutes have a detailed report including high school photos. Works different over here – we’ve no idea from one minute to the next how many people are actually in the country, so missing a few doesn’t register.

Piss about with our cerial’s though and you’ve got trouble.

MB – I see. So you admit to knowing that Iowa has a problem. You don’t even blink as you make the “New Mexico” reference, and then you’re all casual about a few folks that maybe didn’t show up for work this morning? Then you just jump topics to the cerials like no one is going to notice or care? Not likely.

I ask you sir, how did you know that the victims went to high school?

Know that we are watching you and your alien allies O.o

Okay, next:

You’ve got 5 MINUTES TO PACK – The home office called and it’s time for you to duck into your study, activate the hidden portal behind the bookcase and take the high-speed tube to headquarters. You’ll be hunting Windigo – what do you pack?

PN – A fully charged and loaded Kindle. You look surprised, but I’m being serious. If you’ve ever been on a hunt you’ll know there are long periods of inactivity that are very boring. What better time to get some reading done? You’re usually on your own, and its quiet, so no distractions.

MB – Uh, the home office just called again. It seems your hunt has been scuttled and you are off to HQ for a performance review.

With any luck, they won’t catch on to your anatomical dismemberment references and specific knowledge of alien abductees – ‘cause that might be awkward…

A fully loaded Kindle…  No wonder Windigo are running rampant these days.

Alright, on a very serious note, how do Europeans get girls to go to topless beaches?

PN – Tell them the one about that Bra Monster you once hunted – how it’s a shape shifter and once a girl has put it on, it constricts and kills them. Works every time on the French. Germans need some convincing though…

MB – I’m not completely sure that you’ve given me a serious answer.

But I’m gonna try it anyway.

NAME THAT TUNE – Give us your top 3 monster hunting songs.

PN – “Monster” by The Automatic, “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett and “The Crypt-Kickers, Going Underground” by The Jam

MB – I’m having second thoughts about the “Bra Monster” story.  What if I wear a T-shirt that says “I’m A Monster Hunter. You Can Thank Me Later.” You think that would work?

PN – Doubt it. You’d be lucky to survive advertising yourself like that in public, plus, there’s a lot of monsters that take human form so you can never be totally sure what you’re going to see if it does work. Stick with the story.

MB – You’re right. Next question:

Would you rather face a Deep One with a flashlight, or a Zombie with a Zippo?

PN – Zombie with a Zippo. They’re distracted by lights and a zippo’s brilliant cos it stays lit without you having to hold the button down. These new lighters are crap and no good for the serious monster hunter. they go out in the slightest puff of wind too.

MB – Good call. What’s the creepiest or scariest thing you’ve ever seen?

PN – A pack of condoms in my parent’s bedside draw when I was 14. The thought that old people were still doing it gave me the shivers. Course now I’m close to 50 I’m glad old people still get to do it.

MB – *facepalms* I am totally going to have nightmares about this interview.

Lets wrap it up. I’m going to describe a scenario, and you answer with the first thing that comes to mind:

A dinosaur creature is wreaking havoc on a local neighborhood. You swore to your family that you would never hunt monsters again, but now there are reports of people getting eaten. Go…

PN – In order to keep my promise to my family I assume a disguise, something with a mask, and a suitable name. Then I go out and hunt this sucka.

MB – Your going to leave us wondering about the name? Really? Well, Spiderman is taken, so keep that in mind.

I’ll let you know how the Bra Monster thing works out.

Thanks for spending time with us tonight.

PN – You’re welcome. I’m reminded of another saying…

MB – Annnnd, we’re done.

/kills the mic/

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