Press Release: Creature Stew

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2015 by Horror Addicts Guest

Creature_Stew_Cover_high_resolutionBellaire, Texas – Creature Stew presents short fiction by eighteen outstanding horror authors. Released on January 31, 2015, the e-book is available from Amazon. This terrifying collection of short stories features work from award-winning, veteran horror authors, as well as stories from talented writers making their fiction début. If you’re looking for a fresh dose of rampaging, brain-eating zombies or perhaps a killer catfish, the size of a Honda, that can churn a man into mush, look no further!

Creature Stew includes fiction by C.C. Adams, Kate Bowen, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Michael Clark, Dave Dormer, Marc Ferris, Tom Folske, Ken Goldman, Daniel Hale, Robert Hart, Tessa Hatheway, Calypso Kane, Matthew Smallwood, Paul Stansfield, Chad Stroup, D.S. Ullery, Matthew Weber, and E.S. Wynn.

The eighteen included short stories were selected from numerous submissions accepted from the general public in a free, egalitarian process. Published by Papa Bear Press, Creature Stew is currently available in e-book format. Papa Bear Press is an independent publisher and writer’s resource based in Bellaire, Texas. As our first commercial venture, Creature Stew reflects our mission to seek out talented new voices, while showcasing quality fiction from today’s rising stars in popular literature. The anthology can be purchased from Amazon via the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Creature-Stew-C-C-Adams-ebook/dp/B00T11GPY4

Creature Stew was edited by Michael S. Collins. The publisher’s mission can be found on the Papa Bear Press website, www.papabearpress.com.

Kbatz: Hammer House of Horror

Posted in News with tags , , on March 2, 2015 by kbattz

Hammer House of Horror Delightfully Demented

By Kristin Battestella

hammer_house_covLong famous for their horror films, Hammer branched into television for the 1980 anthology Hammer House of Horror. Though short lived, this quick dose of frightful holds up nicely.

“Witching Time” starts Disc 1 of the five disc DVD set with period candlelight design, fun film within a film scandals, adultery, and nudity in expected Hammer film fashion. Spooked animals and power outages add atmosphere before the titular witches run amok. Sure the acting is a bit over the top, but this is a morbid mix of hex meets eighties naughty and jealous fantastics that keeps up the twists throughout. “Thirteenth Reunion” adds driving scares, hysterics, and a sardonic awareness of the scary as the hour touches upon women’s rights, weight loss, fat shaming, and sexism. The investigative angles and mystery unravel nicely, and a ghoulish suspense leads to some wild realizations. Denholm Elliott (Raiders of the Lost Ark) stops by Hammer House of Horror next for “Rude Awakening” and its creepy realty, pleasing confusion, eerie fortellings, and circular build up escalate the tension for some great toppers.

Disc 2 continues the scary quality with laboratories and one creepy kid I’d take right back to the orphanage in “Growing Pains.” Though the dead rabbits, dogs gone wild, and LSD shenanigans are not for the faint, there’s an interesting blend of technical talk, parental relationships, and ghostly vengeance. Is this bad science or a more sinister spiritual commentary at work? “The House That Bled to Death” has a moody silent start to establish its macabre, murderous elderly and suspicious realty ala Amityville along with disturbing kid’s parties, some kinky, and judgmental neighbors – I don’t want to say much more. Fine cinematic development raises these horrible happenings, and ahem, cat lovers beware! It’s slow to start, but freaky masks, voodoo spins, and African art contribute to the financial and business pressures, wills, and motives in “Charlie Boy” – not to mention that eponymous, shudder inducing doll. It’s also interesting to see a then-taboo interracial couple dealing with the intercutting crimes, and there’s a good variety of accidents and deaths. The desperation mounts as the murderous thoughts come to fruition. One can’t pick and choose the victims, yet it’s so easy to lose control.

Hammer House of Horror peaks with “The Silent Scream,” starring Peter Cushing, Brian Cox (Troy), wild cats in cages, electricity experiments, past injustices, and natural fears of confinement. While Cushing seems so well intentioned and charming as always, there’s something fishy afoot. Difficulties in readjusting to life on the outside and concentration camp consequences blend wonderfully with the trapped feelings, horror bizarre, disturbing Pavlov’s dog elements, cover your eyes intensity, and unexpected twists. Where is the line between humans and animals? What will we sacrifice under the pressures of confinement? “Children of the Full Moon” handles more traditional fair with kids gone wolfy, stranded honeymooners, and a spooky mansion nearby. Unseen camera perspectives and howls set the monster mood as the suspicion and family macabre build for a fun finish. “Carpathian Eagle” is a bit dated and I might have enjoyed seeing the past evil deeds of the countess more – plus, if you blink you’ll miss 007 himself Pierce Brosnan, too. Fortunately, the mix of old time styles and taxidermy accent the bloodthirsty history, saucy, and violence along with amusing wigs, make up, disguises, and serial killer suspense.

The great guests continue on Disc 4 with the occult rituals, eerie mirrors, and demonic symbols in “Guardian of the Abyss.” Maybe its small scale compared to the style we expect in Hammer films, but Blake’s 7’s Paul Darrow makes the moody visual effects and beastly masks even better. It’s Avon gone antiquing, people! John Dee history, Elizabethan relics, and cat and mouse pursuits over the titular demonic raisings top these sinister gents, sacrifices, and foretold twists. Likewise, Blake himself Gareth Thomas and Dark Shadows alum Kathryn Leigh Scott have some scary violence, well done hysterical, and heady camera work in “Visitor from the Grave.” Hinted history and a suspicious domestic design add to the murderous cover up, hauntings, and mental instability. The screaming may be too much, but clues, consequences, and séances make for a wild end. Seemingly family friendly to start, “The Two Faces of Evil” picks up a hitchhiker in a slicker and puts a scary stop to the tranquil with a spooky hospital, mute injuries, and a fearful inability to share what has happened. The gaslighting mounts thanks to distorted camera work and a weird, funhouse feeling. This macabre might be too crazy for some but the stitched together memories and menace win out.

The understandably then too shocking “The Mark of Satan” concludes Hammer House of Horror with operating table intrigue and morgue morbid – all those shrouded bodies about while morticians wax nostalgic on drilling into the skull over quotes of Keats and Shelley! How would one relieve the body of a trapped soul or evil within? Bible research, spooky sunglasses, and eerie repetitions of the number 9 are enough to wig one away from Sudoku while odd jump cuts and transitions add to the disturbed feelings and numerology paranoia. Askew film angles, creepy mothers, murder – I don’t want to say any more! There is too much depraved for sensitive viewers, indeed, but this is a befitting topper to finish the series. Yes, it is a bit unusual to have this one odd episode on the last disc with two brief interviews featuring Kathryn Leigh Scott and Mia Nadasi. Naturally, I would have liked more Hammer history and horror analysis or reflection on the time and retrospective thoughts from experts in spoiled contemporary video fashion. However, merely having this once unreleased episode available with a few perks is delightful enough for the Hammer completist.

Other than knowing this series was made by Hammer and short lived at 13 episodes, I came into viewing Hammer House of Horror relatively unaware – and that’s probably the best way to approach these well done fifty minute eeries. The suspense isn’t stretched thin; remaining well paced and making the macabre feel longer with fully developed cinematic flair across the variously spooky subjects. Though the of the time slang and British accents may be difficult for some audiences without subtitles, the late seventies values, period style, and lovely Hampden locales complete the expected Hammer charm. The per episode introductions on the DVD set also provide some fun background to each tale, including information on the cast and crew or related horror film connections. While some may choose to skip these optional anecdotes in preservation of the plot twists, most are bemusingly spoiler free, and it’s a wonder why more series don’t do this kind of trivia. The teasers to start each hour are likewise quality cliffhangers, and though short, the gothic style credits and opening theme set the Hammer House of Horror mood perfectly. Granted, there is a noticeable over reliance on too many car chases and vehicular perils – most of which are for the sake of the suspense or an easy plot device. With such a short series, detail obsessed viewers will recognize that most of the locations are the same, too. Thankfully, Hammer House of Horror uses this shoestring design to wink at the audience, for it’s as if this same idyllic English countryside is rampant with any and all these creepy happenings.

I wish there was more of the Hammer House of Horror, and this marathon viewing has spoiled me! I want all the great horror anthologies, all on one channel, one right after the other, and give them to me now. For longtime spooky-wise viewers, there may not be enough of the knock your socks off scary spectacle style. Maybe Hammer House of Horror is too dated or obvious and cliché compared to longer lasting compatriot series. Nonetheless, ‘tis a pity that the struggling finances and behind the scenes at Hammer Studios prematurely locked the door on the Hammer House of Horror design, for the mature old time sophistication here remains most definitely atmospheric and sickly entertaining.

Mimielle says “March is the Month for Madness!”

Posted in News with tags , , , on March 1, 2015 by Mimielle

No, no, no, not THAT March Madness!

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Madness, insanity, craziness (the bad kind) is still very much a taboo in polite society.  We haven’t <quite> medicated it completely away yet, so it is something still misunderstood and feared in the real world, fair game to be used as one of the seeds of fear that are often at the heart of a good creepy story, a haunting piece of music or hidden in the brushstrokes waiting for an artist’s vision to set it free.

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The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893, National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

 

BUT…When we think about madness in a blog by Horror fans to amuse OTHER Horror fans, maybe the current sober and modern terms just simply do not apply.
We are in it for the thrills after all…right? RIGHT!! So give your political correctness a lovely sleeping pill and come revel and indulge with us in a little playful MADNESS this month!

SO…What first comes to mind?

Mad Scientists lurking in their labs, creating creatures or even maybe transforming themselves?
Mad Tea Parties with magical creatures?
Mad killers afoot under the Spring Moon?
Madwomen locked up and lurking in the attic?
Mad Girls escaping from Asylums?
Mad dogs slavering under the porch?

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Forbidden food and drink are said to induce madnesses of several varieties…

Absinthe

…and also exposing oneself to the light of the moon.

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All of these and more will be fair game this month, from sneak-peeks at films to favorite characters listed and accounted for, and of course always the stories rounded up to be told and re-told in hushed tones by candlelight…
After all, who doesn’t fear madness at least a little…and what we fear, we imagine, and whisper about, even if just in our minds. For those afflicted with the Writing Plague, Madness seems to often conveniently be just around the corner in many instances of  horror literature and film screenplays.

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I’ll be lurking in the wings to flit out and taunt you with a few terrifying tidbits I’ve gathered up to titillate you as we wind up to begin our pod-casting season, so stick around and go beautifully MAD with us this month! We’ll have such fun!

Stay Beautiful, Addicts!

~Mimielle~

 

 

 

Jaime Johnesee – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Posted in horror with tags , , , on February 28, 2015 by killionslade

Women In Horror 2015

 

Jaime Johnesee - Horror Comedy AuthorPlease welcome one of the kindest ladies I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Ms. Jaime Johnesee!  There’s a lot to be said about friends in the digital world and many of us can relate to having cherished pals that we have not met in real life yet.  I am proud to call Jaime one of those friends.  

Even though I haven’t met her yet, she is one of those folks I know when I finally get to meet, it will be as if I’ve known her for years! Her heart is sincere and even within the depths of the most challenging personal times, she is still a light that shines for others.  She is a beacon of happiness and I am so very excited to interview her today!

There are some people who can be classified as genre snobs, or purists if you will, and they prefer to not have horror and comedy lines crossed. How do you feel about this topic and where does Bob stand on it?

JJ: Well, I think that they suck. I think if they were to step out of their stuffy ways they’d soon realize that horror comedy is more popular and loved by readers than ever before. A good friend once told me that horror isn’t a genre, it’s an emotion. That’s why you can have horror in sci-fi, in westerns, in romance, and in detective stories. So, why can’t you have a little horror in comedy (or vice versa)?

Misadventures of Bob  the Zombie by Jaime JohneseeThe reality behind people who write horror comedy is simply that we enjoy making people laugh at the darkness in life. Let’s be honest here, there is nothing wrong with taking a terrifying situation and making it amusing. It’s what many people do to deal with the dark side of life. I know it’s how I cope. *Shrugs*

I completely agree how horror is an emotion and it affects every person differently.

Bob: Well, as the product of a horror comedy I suppose I stand firmly on the side of them sucking. Although I should probably be a little kinder and simply say that if they don’t like it then they don’t have to read it. And, also, they suck. Sure, I may be offending them right now but –and let’s be honest– they already dislike my author for writing me.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

JJ: Make sure this is something you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and will help you grow. Most importantly, be sure to treasure those who will tell you the raw, honest truth. They’ll be the ones who will truly help your career. I can’t agree with this enough.

Having a trusted set of betas who aren’t afraid to tell you the cold hard truth is more valuable than anything!

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

Bob the Spy - Jaime JohneseeJJ: I have always been a big fan of creature features. I love horror movies, books, and TV series. I grew up on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery. As far as books go, I love reading gothic horror best. I wish I could write in that style, but it’s not meant for me.

As for what sort of horrors disgust me, I find real horror far more nauseating than anything an author can come up with. The things we humans do to each other for real is worse than any book or movie because it’s real.

Human monsters are truly the scariest!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya? I wanted to twirl fire batons and dance with the Rockettes.

JJ: I actually wanted to be a zookeeper. I can remember that it was all I ever wanted from the age of seven. Truth be told, it worked out great for me. I had a nearly fourteen year long career at it. My only other career choice as a kid was being an author. I’m working on that one right now. *Grin* By the way, I could totally see you as a professional fire dancer!

NICE!  Now I have to create that character ;)

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

JJ: There have been many times in my life where I was terrified. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have quite a bit of horror in my life and that’s probably why I like horror comedy. Making fun of what scares me helps me deal.

I’m totally there with ya! Making fun of life and moments which are horrific is truly my coping mechanism.  Right, wrong or indifferent it’s the only way I know how to breathe through it.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

JJ: I did write one short based on a very real fear of mine, but for the most part I tend to create a character first and let them have at it. Occasionally the characters deal with something that happened to me in real life. Like with Bob. There is one real bad luck story of my own in each novella.

What is one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

JJ: There is this stereotype that people who write horror (especially women) are horribly evil people. In truth, most of the authors I have met have been the most loving and caring people in the world. As far as what stereotype is dead on I don’t think there really is one, every horror author is so different from the next.

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.

JJ: Well, we all know (or at least we all SHOULD) there is a serious gender gap in the genre. I’ve seen a friend have her story rejected with her name on it but when resubmitted under a male pen name I watched the exact same story not only go to print but be called brilliant and innovative by the same soul who originally rejected it. I’ve seen women get paid less per story in anthologies than their male counterparts. I’ve overheard guys talking about keeping “the bitches” out of open calls. As far as my own writing goes, I can say that I’ve honestly never encountered any enhancement, bias, or hindrance that I know of. I’ve been lucky though, the fellows I know are decent folks who want to smash that gap as much as we women do.

Shifters by Jaime JohneseeTell me more about Jaime!  What’s on deck for 2015?

JJ: I’m looking forward to this year. I’m hoping to have two novels out this year as well as more Bob novellas. I really want to focus more on my Bob as well as my Shifters series this year.

I’d love to finish some more of the construction projects we have going on to restore our home. I’m hoping 2015 is a year of growth for me both professionally and personally.

Remodeling the never ending horror nightmare! LOL :)

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

JJ: My biggest fear is living through another Michigan winter. I hate the cold. I deal with it through the loving guidance of fleece PJ pants and hooded sweatshirts –the kind that zip up.

Now … I want a picture of that!

Okay, truthfully, I used to be afraid of heights until my best friend at the time got me on a roof to help him with a job. Then I was afraid of cockroaches until I had to deal with them in my professional life. I deal with my fears by confronting and conquering them. There truly is nothing to fear but fear itself, and penguins.

Penguins are evil bastages!

Want to learn more about how to get in touch with Jaime and where her books are available? Connect with her and your life will change with her light!

Website: http://www.JaimeJohnesee.com

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JaimeJohneseeLLC

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jaime-johnesee

 

Hearts of Darkness: The best romances in horror films

Posted in News on February 28, 2015 by LillianC

by Lillian Csernica

 

davidwisen.blogspot.com

The Devil’s Widow (1970)

Ava Gardner and Ian McShane star in this version of “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” a Scottish folktale about a man held prisoner by the Queen of the Fairies.  He needs the help of a human woman to escape.  The movie updates the story for Great Britain in the ’70s.  Ava Gardner is Michaela, rich and beautiful, trying to stay young by surrounding herself with an entourage of young swinging singles.  Ian McShane is Tom Lynn, her current favorite and content to be so until he meets Janet, the Vicar’s daughter.

Early in the movie we see the young man Michaela has just discarded in favor of Tom.  He behaves like a heartbroken addict desperate for Michaela’s attention.  The other young men in Michaela’s entourage drive him away.  When Michaela grows bored with one of her boytoys, it’s all over regardless of the damage she’s done.  Tom is the first who chooses to leave her, and for a younger, prettier woman.  To Michaela this is unbearable.  Out comes the witchcraft, Tom’s punishment, and serious danger for Janet.  Does Michaela really love Tom?  Or does she love the image of herself she creates to snare her young lovers?  Forcing Tom to continue the illusion of their romance on pain of harming Janet turns Michaela’s “love” for Tom into something much darker.

The Hunger (1983)

Susan Sarandon plays Dr. Sarah Roberts, famous for her research on blood and it’s function in the processes of premature and accelerated aging.  At one of her book signings, Sarah is approached by John Blaylock, who claims he has just started suffering from advanced aging.  John has a gorgeous blonde woman with him.  Sarah thinks John might just be crazy, but when she sees him a few hours later she’s stunned by how much he’s aged in that small amount of time.  The hot blonde is Miriam Blaylock, John’s wife.  Miriam is responsible for John’s condition.  She’s a vampire queen who can grant eternal youth to her mortal loves thanks to the peculiar nature of her own blood.  Like most immortal seductresses, Miriam is not a one-man woman.  John is her latest lover, soon to be replaced.  The mark of Miriam losing interesting is the rapid aging and decay.  The price for Miriam’s love is an eternity of human life trapped in a body that’s stuck in permanent old age.

Sarah pays another visit to the Blaylock home.  She wants to know more about John’s condition, but beneath that is the stronger need to explore her mutual attraction to Miriam.  This leads to the movie’s well-known lesbian scene.  Sarah has a unique research opportunity, but to pursue it she’ll have to turn vampire.  Sooner or later, some new lover will catch Miriam’s eye and Sarah will be forced to suffer an endless existence of eternal aging.  Dark love indeed.

The Fly (1986 Cronenberg remake)

Seth Brundle has figured out the secrets of matter transportation.  The scientific community has been more than skeptical of his experiments, so he decides the smart thing to do is give an investigative journalist an exclusive on his discovery.  Veronica Quaife is sharp and sexy, easger to pursue this once in a lifetime story.  (The chemistry between Seth and Veronica takes on a new dimension thanks to stars Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis being in love with each other at that time.)  After successfully transporting a living creature, Seth can’t resist the temptation to try it on himself.  They say the Devil is in the details.  The one detail Seth misses is the fly trapped inside the transportation booth with him.  Seth’s seeming success is a triumph.  He experiences a surge in strength and other physical skills.  That’s the good news.  The bad news comes when the traits of the fly begin to emerge.  Veronica stands by Seth despite his increasing secrecy and isolation.  The also say “Love conquers all,” but it’s not easy to conquer the genetic mutation Seth suffers and his body undergoes a horrifying metamorphosis.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

I have seen several versions of Dracula.  For a long time my favorite starred Frank Langella.  That was a very romanticized version of the classic story.  Then I saw Francis Ford Coppola’s visioin.  The romantic tragedy of Vlad’s wife Elisabeta committing suicide upon receiving the incorrect news of his death leads to the Orthodox priest (played by Anthony Hopkins) forbidding her a Christian burial in sacred ground.  Vlad’s rage and grief drive him to desecrate the altar cross.  His punishment for this crime is the curse that renders him nosferatu.  Gary Oldman’s performance as Dracula longing for his lost Elisabeta is both heartrending and horrifying.  In his charismatic human form, Dracula sweeps Mina off her feet.  As soon as Van Helsing brings his fearless vampire hunters, Dracula reverts to the monster with all its unholy powers.  Few actors could preserve Dracula’s aspect of love and devotion to Mina while retreating into the shadows, then emerging as a horde of rats.  The Dracula that Gary Oldman creates is closer in spirit to Quasimodo than Max Shreck’s Nosferatu, clinging to the love for Elisabeta that is his last link to his humanity.

The Mummy (1999 remake)

The chemistry between Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz occupies the foreground here, but it’s the relationship between Anck-su-Namun and Imhotep that shows just how deep and dark love can become.  Anck-su-Namun is willing to cheat on the Pharaoh himself for Imhotep, to conspire with Imhotep to murder the Pharaoh.  She trusts Imhotep enough to believe he’ll raise her from the dead, so much so that she escapes the Pharaoh’s guards by killing herself on the spot.  Imhotep remains faithful to his dearly departed, stealing her body and performing forbidden rites to bring her cursed spirit back from the afterlife.  The Pharaoh’s guards arrive in time to stop him before he can complete the ceremony.  Imhotep is condemned to suffer being mummified alive and shut up inside a sarcophagus with several dozen scarabs, flesh-eating beetles that guarantee a very slow and extremely painful death.  Centuries go by.  Evelyn Carnahan and Rick O’Connell stumble across Imhotep’s undead remains.  Evy foolishly reads from the Book of the Dead, giving Imhotep a way back into our world.  He is determined to be reunited with Anck-su-Namun, which spells the end of the world as we know it.  Can love get much darker than this?

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

What you have here is a romance competing with a bro-mance.  Shaun leads a dull, ordinary life and is not doing well with Liz.  His lack of romantic flair is complicated by his loyalty to his best friend Ed, who is That Guy in pretty much every sense of the phrase.  When the mutant virus strikes and starts turning everyone into zombies, Shaun steps up and leads the pack of survivors which includes his ex-but-now-girlfriend, his mother, and Ed.  There is comedy, suspense, tragedy and gore.  What does this have to do with dark love?  The denouement proves Shaun’s determination to preserve both his relationship with Liz and his lifelong bond with Ed, no matter what peculiar arrangements have to be made.

Let the Right One In (2004 original version)

Oskar is a frail, lonely twelve year old boy whose life is made a misery by the local bullies.  One night Eli appears on the snow-covered playground of the apartment building where Oskar lives.  They talk, and an uneasy friendship begins. There’s a serial killer loose in the area, slitting people’s throats and draining their blood.  Bit by bit Oskar learns Eli is even more of an outsider than he is.  She hates sunlight.  She doesn’t appear to eat.  She can’t pass through a doorway without a specific invitation.  Oskar is smart enough to realize something is very wrong, but by then he loves Eli as his only friend and first romantic attachment.  The hunt for the serial killer has made life in Oskar’s neighborhood too dangerous for Eli, forcing her to leave.  The bullies, kept at a distance by Eli’s predatory presence, swoop down on Oskar bent on serious mayhem.  Just as Oskar had to make a choice about loving Eli, so Eli is forced to make a choice between Oskar’s safety and her own.

The Fog (2005 remake)

Nick Castle uses his fishing boat to run charters from Antonio Island, off the Oregon coast.  He’s a descendant of one of the town’s four founding fathers, who are about to be honored with a statue of all four set up in front of the courthouse steps.  In a strange display of serendipity, Nick’s former girlfriend Elizabeth Williams pops up after a six month absence.  Nick is happy to see her and the flame of passion is rekindled.  Elizabeth’s return coincides with the arrival of an unnatural fog that engulfs the town.  People start dying in ugly ways.  An old journal explains how the town’s founding fathers did some rather nasty things to preserve the health and safety of the island.  The story leads you to believe it’s Nick’s love for Elizabeth that will save the day.  Nick’s got a rival.  This is where the dark love aspect of the story reveals itself.  Elizabeth is at the center of all the unnatural happenings.  She is not what she appears to be and never was.

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

Back int he days of feudal Japan, a young samurai named Kuronuma Ukyo is attacked by ronin and left for dead.  A beautiful woman comes to him with the power to save his life.  He accepts her offer, condemning himself to life eternal as a different kind of killer.  Flash forward to the present.  A police detective is investigating the death of a maid in the house of Miyako, Kuronuma’s rescuer.  Miyako sends the detective after Kuronuma, whom she wants to be rid of forever.  Despite losing Miyako’s affections some time ago, Kuronuma remains obsessed with her.  When he discovers Miyako has taken the police detective as her newest lover, Kuronuma confronts the detective in an all-out sword battle.  Sad, tragic, and twisted, this love triangle is very dark.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Adam and Eve are vampires who have maintained a relationship that is centuries long.  As a musician, Adam has quite a following, but eternal life has lost its savor.  When Eve finds out Adam has an old-fashioned pistol loaded with a wooden bullet, she’s determined to find some way to restore Adam’s undead joie de vivre.  Unfortunately, Eve’s little sister turns up and starts wreaking havoc because she loves no one but herself.  Tilda Swinton has won at least half a dozen awards for her portrayal of Eve.  Jim Jarmusch has won multiple awards as the film’s director.  With Tom Hiddleston playing Adam, there is a triumvirate of talent here that lifts this story above and beyond being just another “vampire romance.”  When a vampire is so disgusted with what human beings have done to the world that he’s contemplating suicide, matters have grown very dark.  In this context, Eve’s efforts to rescue Adam become all the more poignant.

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Lillian’s fiction has appeared in Fantastic Stories, These Vampires Don’t Sparkle, and DAW’S Year’s Best Horror Stories XXI and XXII. Her Christmas ghost story “The Family Spirit” appeared in Weird Tales #322 and “Maeve” appeared in #333. Lillian reviews horror short fiction for TangentOnline. Visit her at lillian888.wordpress.com.

Review: Ketchup On Everything

Posted in News with tags , , , , on February 27, 2015 by David Watson

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Elliot Tather is a man who has lost everything. He had a good life but one event caused it all to fall apart and now he is a lonely person traveling the countryside in an RV searching for meaning. He finds what he is looking for one night when he arrives at an all night diner and witnesses something unbelievable that changes everything.

I’m not even sure where to begin on talking about Ketchup On Everything by Nathan Robinson. This is one great novella, but if I talk about it too much it will spoil it. When I started reading it I immediately fell in love with the main character, Elliot. Everything is described from his view-point and he goes into great depth describing the diner that he goes into and the waitress that is taking his order. You begin to care for the waitress as well as Elliot’s inner thoughts describe the kind of person he thinks she is. In the beginning you also get a quick glimpse of the RV that he is traveling in and I found myself wondering what brought Elliot to the diner and why does he talk like his wife is with him.

The story may unfold slowly with very little action but you are so into the characters that you don’t really notice. We eventually hear about Elliot’s past and I found myself wondering would I be like Elliot if this happened to me? When I was half way through the book I was thinking  where is this story going?  Then a whole new story begins that makes you question what happened earlier in the book. This is a masterfully told tale that has a slow build and ends with a lot of action and an exciting climax.

Ketchup On Everything combines real life horrors with fictional horrors. This is the perfect horror novella because it preys on your emotions. You care about Elliot and you watch him go through every parent’s worst nightmare and then you get hit with a surprise twist. This book may have an odd title but it does make sense when you read it. The title and description of this book gives no clue as to what comes in the second half of the book, which is where everything changes. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Ketchup On Everything.  You won’t regret it.

Free Fiction Friday: Her Eyes Were October by Chantal Boudreau

Posted in News with tags , , , on February 27, 2015 by Horror Addicts Guest

Her Eyes Were October

 by Chantal Boudreau

Her eyes were October

With a harsh and chilly stare

Rejecting what I’d done

Her look letting me know it

 

Her eyes were October

With no April found in there

Don’t forget, don’t forgive

She would never move past it

 

Her eyes were October

With a suffocating glare

Punished me at each turn

I just couldn’t escape it

 

Her eyes were October

With a cold I could not bear

Needing warmth, needing love

I somehow had to claim it

 

So I brought winter to that gaze

Frozen death, end of days

Time bled away in liquid red

And now I’m truly free

 

I’ll find spring thaw in other eyes

No more ice, no more lies

The bliss of March, all fresh and new

That’s what I’ll finally see.

****************

zombiemepicAside from being a long-time fan of the zombie genre via books, movies and now TV, Chantal Boudreau began her existence as a published author with a zombie short story named “Palliative” in an anthology called “Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts – Oh My!” published by Notreebooks.  This was followed by the publication of several other zombie shorts: “Just Another Day”, “Waking the Dead”, “Escarg-0″, “Life and Undeath on the Chain Gang,” and “One Lonely Night” in the May December Publications’ anthologies “First Time Dead, Volume 1″, “Hell Hath No Fury” (all women writers), “Zero”, “Zombie Lockdown” and “Let’s Scare Cancer to Death” as well as “What a Man’s Gotta Do” in the anthology “Undead Tales” from Rymfire Books and “Deadline” in the anthology “Zombie Buffet” from Open Casket Press.  She has done extensive research for her blog series “Chantelly’s Field Guide to Zombies” and a non-fiction article on Zomedy – the dark humour in zombie fiction.  She is currently shopping a full zombie novel, Sleep Escapes Us, set in ancient Thrace and involving the myths surrounding the death god, Zalmoxis.

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