Deep within the bowels of Gruesome Magazine headquarters, an elusive ghostly creature lurks. The Grue Crew can’t put their finger on what it is. Some say it’s a Batman style superhero lurking for justice in the corners. Others say it’s a vampire with massive fangs using the evasiveness to further draw you in. Plenty of others just say it’s Doc roaming the halls to the fridge at night. Regardless, this indefinable creature is something many try to figure out. Little do they know that that creature metamorphosizes from week to week. Yes, you the fan choose the form of this creature and The Grue Crew spend the last moments of Horror News Radio trying to guess what it is. All of you forge the… Phantom Factor! Here are the rules:

  1. I’ll put up a call to action post like this one announcing a topic.
  2. This topic (The Phantom Factor, as it were) will be based around a favorite horror/genre character, actor, director or even film.
  3. The listeners will post suggestions in the comments of social media or this very post.
  4. I will pick three suggestions from those listed.
  5. On Horror News Radio, I will have list three facts about each mysterious figure that the other Grue Crew members will try to guess. Each fact is in descending order of vagueness.
  6. Those who guess from the first fact – the vaguest one – will receive three points. Then two points at the second fact. One point at the final. If no one guesses by that point, no one receives any points
  7. Those who enter will be in contention for a random drawing to win a prize at the end of the month! See below for more details.

This Week’s Topic

Our subject for episode 256 of Horror News Radio is Annihilation. From director of Ex-Machina and writer of 28 Days Later Alex Garland, Annihilation follows biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) who’s in a bit of a bind. After her soldier husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) comes out of an environmental disaster zone, Lena heads into the mysterious bubbled off environment to find out what happened and save his life. So, in honor of this, Phantom Factor’s topic for this week is Genre Films About Expeditions. In other words, if a group of folks enter an uncharted land with a mission in mind in the horror, sci-fi or thriller genres, it’s fair game. Submit by Monday February 26th at 8:00 pm EST to be eligible!

This Month’s Prize

We’re excited to announce our first monthly prize for Phantom Factor generously provided by the folks at Horror Pack! Said prize is a free Horror Pack for March, featuring a DVD or Bluray from choices provided. Those who enter throughout February – as well as those who previously entered in January – with US addresses will be put into a list to be randomized and drawn at the end of the month. The winner will be contacted via social media to confirm the address. Keep in mind: This Is the Last Week To Enter For February. The winner will be announced on episode 256 of Horror News Radio.

Thomas Mariani
Thomas Mariani is a born geek, with a bit of nerd mixed in here & there. A native of the (less) swampy parts of Florida, Thomas has always been a fan of films, television & other sources of media ever since he was a child, having been raised on Jim Henson, Star Wars and the basic cable cartoons of the ’90s & ’00s.

Some of his favorite horror films include Evil Dead II, Poltergeist and An American Werewolf in London. He already has experience writing and podcasting about pop culture, which you can read/listen to on sites like, or even on twitter as @NotTheWhosTommy.

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