Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: The Taking of Deborah Logan

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2015 by notesfromtheauthor

At 1:30 am on Aug 15th, 2015, Crystal Connor, wrapped in a fleece blanket, seated in front of the fireplace picked up her remote and clicked play.  For the next two hours her neighbors were subjected to screaming, crying, and expletive outburst…

This is the unedited journal chronicling the harrowing experience her neighbors were forced to endure as she watched, Adam Robitel’s The Taking of Deborah Logan

The Taking of Deborah Logan

Reader discretion is Advised

Entry 1: They even look alike

Entry 2: 8 minutes in and this seems promising

Entry 3: Wait a sec, what did she just to with the snake?

Entry 4: Now that’s an evil eye if I ever saw one.

Entry 5: Why would you show her that?! Are you kidding?

Entry 6: Come on…

Entry 7: I’m sorry, your just gonna walk around someone’s house riffle thru their sh*t and then throw their drawing all over the floor. I wish somebody would.

Entry 8: LOL, Galvin had the right idea!

Entry 9: And no one thought to call a priest at this time?

Entry 10: Hold the phone here … she is just a student so where is her supervising professor?

Entry 11: That doesn’t make any sense

Entry 12: Ok, now why are we digging in the dark?

Entry 13: How about turning on some lights?

Entry 14: LOL!! Movie quote of the night: “White people and their basements, attics …” lol

Entry 15: I’m over this. Everyone on earth knows what a rattlesnake sounds like when they hear one.

Entry 16: No, no go head, run blindingly thru the forest in the middle of the night

Entry 17: And still no priest

Entry 18: Since when do the police let a medical student turned paranormal team leader and the daughter of a suspect ride with them on the hunt for the fugitive? While filming?

Entry 19: Really? So now she has the super powers of a spitting cobra?

Entry 20: And still no priest

Plotline: What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her daughter’s struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all.

Who will like: Diehard fans of mocumentary and found footage films, people who love urban legends, folklore and demonic possessions.

High Points: There are some really good, subtle, creepy scenes that make the hair on your arm stand straight up. The concept was also very original, unfortunately like so many countless others, my family too is struggling to handle the mental stresses of a loved one suffering from dementia so I was curious to see where’d they go with it.

Complaints: Ok, now let me just say, that this is really and truly a case of it’s not you it’s me.

I loved The Blair Witch Project. I [CENSORED] LOVED it. But over the years I began to loathe this 1st person shooter, found footage, mocumentary film making technique.

But then my sister dragged me to see The Devil’s Due and I actually liked that movie! The ending was unexpected, original, and brilliant! Then I saw both The Conspiracy and The Sacrament and my faith was restored! Then, lo and behold, I watched the Europa Report and it blew me out of the water. And because of these four top-notch films I have waded back into the shallow waters of the found footage, mockumentary movies … and have been wholly disappointed.

The problem, in my opinion, is that in order for these movies to work certain markers have to be met, and this rigid form structure, coupled with the fact that the market is over saturated with this genre of film, the movies become repetitive and predictable.  The Taking of Deborah Logan started out really strong but about half way in I became disinterested and distracted and had to force myself to pay attention. From that moment on, I started mentally picking this movie apart, finding things wrong, and becoming extremely annoyed with the characters.

Overall: I think watching horror movies should be an ‘interactive’ activity (which is why I watch them alone) and the more I yell at the people on the screen the more fun I’m having. I’m a tough customer and I can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to the myopic way in which I prefer to be entertained. And this is exceptionally true when it comes to these types of movies.

Stars: 1

I knew before reading other reviews and fan feedback that my opinion would be among the minority. The Taking of Deborah Logan scared scores of people to death, so take this review with a grain of salt. Just because I didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean that you won’t.

Where I watched it: Netflix

Books

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags.She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!”

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

Press Release: Midnight Syndicate Christmas CD, band announces plans for 2015 and beyond

Posted in News with tags , , , on August 26, 2015 by Horror Addicts Guest
Midnight Syndicate 2015

Midnight Syndicate 2015

Midnight Syndicate has announced that their eighteenth album will have a Christmas and Winter Solstice theme. “I think there’s a rule that after a band’s been around for ‘x’ years they are required to produce a Christmas album. So, that’s how we got here,” joked Edward Douglas. “In all seriousness though, a Yuletide-themed Midnight Syndicate album is something our fans have been asking us for since we began; this album will not disappoint them.”

“I will say that this album has been particularly challenging because we’re taking songs that are SO familiar and that have been treated in so many different ways throughout the years and trying to make them uniquely our own,” added Gavin Goszka. “We don’t want to make yet another Christmas album – we really want it to stand on its own as something truly original. We hope that it will evoke the spirit of the Yuletide season while also reflecting our ongoing musical style and vision.”

Content-wise, the album will be a mix of new material and twists on classics. “I’d describe most of the covers on the album as being reinvented, rather than simply adapted,” said Goszka. “I’ve found myself approaching this material with a very wide palette and a limited sense of allegiance to convention. That being said, it still has to make sense in some way and stay grounded in the familiar. I think we’re stretching our creative wings more than ever here, but there’s still a consistency and overall purpose to it.” “The original songs have been a lot of fun to work on,” added Douglas. “I think the fans are in for a lot of pleasant surprises.”

Fans will not have to wait until Christmas for this present. Midnight Syndicate will be exhibiting at DragonCon in Atlanta this year on Labor Day weekend (September 4-7) and plans to have the CD available at the show.

Midnight Syndicate Live! update: In October of 2014, Midnight Syndicate Live! debuted at Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends event. From the audience response to the critical reception to record-breaking attendance numbers, the show was an overwhelming success. Although the band will be using 2015 to focus on the new album, plans for a return of Midnight Syndicate Live! in 2016 are already underway. “The success of the inaugural run of Midnight Syndicate Live! has ensured that live Midnight Syndicate shows will be a permanent part of our plans going forward,” said Douglas.

Midnight Syndicate official website – www.MidnightSyndicate.com
Facebook – www.Facebook.com/MidnightSyndicate
Twitter – www.Twitter.com/midsyndicate
YouTube – www.youtube.com/midsyndicate
Midnight Syndicate Live

Midnight Syndicate Live

Grant Me Serenity-Flashback

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 23, 2015 by veryuniqueusername

gms

“Mommy, hurry up!” Missy, aged 9, fussed at her mother. Len and Dennis were already going down to the river and if she didn’t hurry she’d be left behind. Not on purpose, she knew. Her brothers were always glad, often eager to have her along. They always said she wasn’t the typical little sister. But they weren’t the typical older brothers. They had not ditched her rather, than minding the brat, they had been unable to contain their eagerness, and left before Mommy had finished braiding her hair. They couldn’t possibly be across the second field by now but she’d have to run to catch them, and if they were lost in the woods before she found them she’d have to stay home, because Daddy told her never to go in the woods without someone else until she was older.

“Young lady, if you don’t hold still I’m going to braid your hair to this porch!” her mother barked, yanking the attempts at pigtails back into place and setting her daughter’s head. “Don’t move this time and you can go!”

Missy tried not to move but she couldn’t help craning her head, trying to see that last corner of the last field, the one with the path to the creek through the woods she was never allowed to go in on her own. If she moved just a little more, she could see it and if her brothers were there and she ran and screamed they might stop…

Her mother hauled her head back into place and resumed braiding. “Honestly, Missy, you haven’t the patience God gave a sparrow. You’re going swimming, so you’re getting your hair braided.” Eventually the braids were done, containing her daughter’s long dark hair, but the braids looked like cancerous snakes. Her mother couldn’t help giggling.

Missy looked over her shoulder. “What is it? Are you done? Can I go?”

Barely containing her mirth, she nodded and gave Missy both a kiss on the lumpy braid and a little push. “Yes. Go on honey. I love you.”

The little girl was gone like a shot. Her mother contained her laughter at the sight of the two tumorous reptiles attached to her daughter’s head until they were out of sight.

Missy sprinted down the fence line of the first field and crashed through the shallow waters of the brook separating the two fields. Up the hill, she could see two shapes just beginning to merge with the colors of the forest. She stopped and took a deep breath, stuck two fingers in her mouth and whistled. A piercing blast emanated from her hand, and the two shapes stopped merging with the darkness of the treeline. Gratified, Missy renewed her sprint. Dennis had shown her that trick and after weeks of practicing she had mastered it. That whistle, Dennis and Len assured her, would stop what they were doing. A second would bring them running.

“Hoy!” she hollered, and resumed her run, but at a leisurely jog rather than a full sprint. The two shapes grew arms, legs, a head, and features as she got closer.

“Nice whistle,” Dennis said, giving her a five and she slapped it.

“Not bad,” Len agreed, and immediately turned back to the trail they had just sighted when Missy had whistled. “Come on, let’s go. It’s hot, and I’m hot.”

They all were, and fell into line behind Len. Missy next, and Dennis followed, cataloging as if to himself what he planned to do upon reaching the water.

“First, I wade in up to the ankles. Then the knees, then turn around and back in slowly until it gets up to my waist. Then I can slowly lower myself in and not even have to get my head wet if I don’t want to.” Dennis smiled at the sky, and the sun, whose bounty made this trip necessary. “If I don’t die of heat stroke first.”

After a while, the path narrowed and brush grew up around it. Branches grabbed and Missy was glad of her pigtails now, time-consuming though they had been. They ducked under and hopped over and elbowed their way through brush until they came out at gray sandy beach with crystal clear turquoise water reflecting a blue sky and a few puffs of clouds. In the water were around a dozen children varying from just able to swim to unable to remember how not to. There was a great deal of splashing and yelling and was punctuated by the occasional splash as someone ran up a small ridge and jumped off the six-foot bluff into the water. Len wasted no time in racing up the ridge and creating a massive splash with a war-whoop. Dennis followed suit. Missy, not feeling the ridge and war whoops to be quite her style, waded in and dog-paddled out to where her brothers latched on to her and towed her around in circles.

A boy with long dark hair slicked back on his head paddled up beside them, grinned, and spat water at them. Dennis laughed and splashed at him. The boy splashed back. Immediately there was an all-out war of splashing, spraying and laughter as they battled it out, each seeking to soak the other in the water in which they all bathed. Missy didn’t know anything was amiss until she noticed there were only their three heads instead of the four. She looked around, thinking the boy had gone away to splash someone else. She saw only Len and Dennis, breathing rapidly as they trod water and grinned back at her.

“Where’d he go?” Missy looked around again, then looked back at her brothers.

Len looked down.

Missy looked too.

The boy with the long hair was between them, beneath the surface, his fingers no longer breaking it in their quest for freedom. Their movement had slowed, and were visible about a foot beneath the surface, where they gradually stopped moving.

Dennis winked at her, and Len let out a yell and hauled up on the hand of the long-haired boy, screaming as he did, “Help! Help! Someone get help, I think Harry’s dead!” Dennis now took up the cry. “Help! He’s not breathing! Someone get help!” Dennis nudged Missy, and she gave voice to her own scream. “Help! Somebody HELP!”

Her piercing shriek carried across the fields as her mother hung the laundry out to dry. She shook her head and went on pinning the clothes to the line, an indulgent smile on her face.

“Those kids,” she said to herself, and sighed, not quite ruefully.

 

“Those were the days,” Missy smiled, and looked around at the group. “Back when not getting caught and Mom’s apple pie were the two most important things in the –”

There was movement from the back of the room. Long curtains covered the wall for some reason and the shape now moving independently from them had blended almost perfectly with the shadows and the dark gray of the drapes. This shape rose up from the ground slipped behind the drapes, and clawed them aside with a curse. The fabric fell aside and revealed a man’s face, gray with stubble and haggard, bloodshot eyes framed by not-yet-grayed brown hair falling across his forehead in a greasy mat. He pushed himself off the wall and stood erect, squaring his shoulders and pushing the hair out of his face. Once he had collected himself, he spoke, reaching under his coat as he did for the tools of his trade, fighting to stay upright.

The group had drawn back from the drapes as the shape had moved and now they bunched together as the newcomer voiced their worst nightmare even as he palmed his gun and showed his badge with his other hand.

“Police department. Everybody get on their knees with their hands behind their head. Nobody fucking move unless they want a bullet in the eye.”

I’ll do it too, Ed Harding thought, as he sighted on the younger woman with a hand which would not stay steady. Starting with this sick bitch.

HorrorAddicts.net 119, Jaq D. Hawkins

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2015 by Emerian Rich

ha-tag

Horror Addicts Episode# 119

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

jaq d. hawkins | more machine than man | slasher movies

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

68 days till halloween

la guns, over the edge, anne rice, vampires, glam metal, halloween shopping, scarela, richard carradine, ghoula.org, wickedlit.org, crossroadsescapegames.com, lisa lestrange, living dead, box of dread, bill rude, 7hells.com, horror art, krampus, terry m. west, turning face, wrestling, demon, andy alexander, grimwrether.com, queenie, pocket full of posez, brit austin, edward allen, haunted memories, holographic creepy pics, books, serena toxicat, ghost in bones, david, dance of the goblins, jaq d. hawkins, dreamweavers, kerry alan denney, morbid meals, haggis burgers, the world, tarot, wicked women writers, challengers: jaq d. hawkins, sharmica richardson, master of macabre, challengers: sean t. young, rish outfield, winners announced, judges, evo terra, willo clare hausman, dan shaurette, dario ciriello, lucy blue, sandra saidak, voter winner announced, more machine than man, rob zilla, tasha, music, dawn wood, jesse orr, grant me serenity, black jack, the herd, ed pope, dead kansas, aaron k. carter, slasher movies, kbatz, maniac, the hitcher, j. malcolm stewart, dead mail, swim cap, mimielle, karen, make fun of goths, marc vale, advice, jim, poison, mimi williams, join the staff, social media, jaq d. hawkins, chantal noordeloos

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

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An Interview with Jaq Hawkins

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by David Watson

Our featured author for episode 119 of the horroraddicts.net podcast is Jaq Hawkins. Jaq has written several non fiction and fiction books, recently Jaq told us a little about her writing:

When did you start writing?

Well, it depends on where you want to start counting. I started my first autobiography at age 6, in pencil on notepaper. I wrote short stories through high school and decided then that I wanted to be a writer. I started getting non-fiction (occult) books published in 1996, but finished my first novel in 2005, which was Dance of the Goblins.

What do you like to write about?

newgoblinI’ve always been a Fantasy reader (Traditinal, not Romance) and love making up imaginary worlds or adaptations of the real world. Like in The Wake of the Dragon, my Steampunk novel. Most of it is based in a properly researched Victorian world, but with airships.

Who are some of your influences?

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Roger Zelazny, Anne McCaffrey and Mary Stewart stand out, although I have great admiration for Stephen King as well.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?13601727

Horror was a natural progression from Fantasy that kept getting darker. As someone who has studied and written about the occult, the scope for extrapolating the Fantasy worlds into scary landscapes has a natural appeal. I lean towards entities like ghosts and before they got sparkly, vampires and werewolves in my tastes for Horror. I’ve enjoyed films made from Lovecraftian stories, especially those with unseen creatures that become visible under special conditions. As a child I loved films and stories with odd creatures, like in From Hell It Came, which has a tree-like monster. My brother and I watched that film every time it came on television.

Could you tell us what inspired the Goblin series you have written?

What inspired the story was a polical situation, which has a certain irony because I hate politics. W. Bush was about to get elected for the second time in the U.S. and I had been 13635472in contact with various Anarchist groups and tried to stir a protest movement, only to find that most of these groups were very limited in their smaller agendas. The whole power thing between politicians and mini-oligarchys of protest groups kind of culminated in a line that went through my head, “We are not like you. We do not glory in having power over our own kind, or imaging that we do.”

What are some of the other books you have out?

Dance of the Goblins turned into a series and was followed by Demoniac Dance and Power of the Dance. I’ve also released a combined edition with the full Trilogy. The Wake of the Dragon is my Steampunk book, which will be followed by more in the genre, but I have other projects to finish first.

What will you be reading for episode 119 of the podcast?

An excerpt from Chapter Four of Dance of the Goblins. Writing this chapter is where I learned that I rather like creating dark imagery. I expect that future books will explore this sort of thing further.

Where can you we find you online?

My fiction website is http://jaqdhawkins.com. The occult books are on http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk.
Social networks are:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GoblinSeries
Twitter https://twitter.com/jaqdhawkins
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/jaqdhawkins/

 

Kbatz: Slashers Galore!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2015 by kbattz

 

Slashers Galore!

By Kristin Battestella

 

Be it old school cult thrillers or screaming college coeds and some slicing and dicing thespians or killer hobbits, we have your slashers and gore galore covered!

 

Alone in the Dark – A cult cast featuring veteran Jack Palance (City Slickers), minister Martin Landau (Mission: Impossible), unusual doctor Donald Pleasence (Halloween), and his new protege Dwight Schultz (The A-Team) adds class to this 1982 slasher full of topsy turvy patients. The solemn mental hospital locale is pretty but cluttered with knickknacks, loons, and converted with buzzed entries, faulty electrical systems, and bizarre treatments. Medical textbooks don’t apply in this ward! This perilous crowding contrasts the new, open, family farmhouse potential, which soon finds itself in a fearful switcharoo. Who’s a patient or employee? Who’s harmless or dangerous? Some crazy rambling is confusing to start, but shadowed dorm rooms with spooky, whispered plotting create a paranoid atmosphere – especially when such heavyweight gents are doing the evil planning. A touch of hot pink sideways pony tails and punk bands remind us of the early eighties hip, but any datedness is quickly forgotten as violence, escapes, and riots escalate during the titular blackout. The crazy inside spreads outside quickly with one flick of the switch, and flashlights, lanterns, candles, and fire sell the precarious mood. Daylight doesn’t alleviate the killer tendencies or child peril, and except for a fittingly sardonic little girl, the frightful is played seriously. While some jump scares and teen sex may seem commonplace now, these early genre staples are well paced and plenty of surprises, siege horror, creative weapons, and simmering kills make up any difference. Not only is there no cheap nudity or excess like today, but progressive talk about the pitfalls of wind power and nuclear energy add to the social commentaries at work. The fragile balance of polite society cracks pretty quickly once the kill or be killed terror flourishes here.

 

The Flesh and Blood Show An old time, put on your glasses 3D warning opens this 1972 British saucy before naked chicks– err “flat mates” get out of bed, answering the door in the middle of the night whilst still unclothed. Fun film within film plays on the title follow along with a cool abandoned theatre, waterfront pier dangers, creepy props, and off camera screams. Yes, many scare gags obviously hinge on these people not knowing they are in a horror movie – sardonic and hip to the times as they may be. The cave girl outfits and black leotards may seem exploitative, too, but hey, the ladies help each other out of their costumes while the lads watch! Who needs subtitles, right? Great congested camerawork ups the scares as the slowly realizing and pairing off players argue with disbelieving authorities and fishy locals. The lines between stage and screen blur further, and despite an assault scene that may be tough to watch for some, most of the violence escalates without much blood or gore. Red herrings, twists, suspects, a whiff of Shakespeare, and a mysterious stage producer send home the low budget but pleasurable shadows and deaths with a smooth black and white finish. After all, as they so bluntly put it here, “If it wasn’t so bloody tragic and horrible it could almost make a movie script…”

 

Maniac Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me) joins writer and star Joe Spinell (The Godfather) for beachy kills, prostitution, hot pants, and plenty of dirty nostalgia in this 1980 low budget slasher. The New York shady setting, hints of Christmas, disturbing dolls, misused mannequins, and sexualized violence add to the sweaty, gross mood – not to mention the vomit, scalping, blood, and brains. Big old newspapers and dark room development make for more period piece fun, but the late seventies fashions and edgy eighties photo shoot contribute to the drive by cheap production values. Though the very brief nudity and little harsh language belie the explotation tone or may feel tame today, the conflicted perversions, talking to oneself over the killings, and a childlike stunted warp accent the gruesome shot gun blasts and not for the squeamish murders. The editing and pace, however, do feel uneven – going back and forth between stylized murder scenes and quiet, demented psychosis. Thankfully, this focus on the killer’s perspective and the icky source of his depravity is unique for this genre built on the hero being the victor. The variety of deaths is also quality, with a mix of premeditated preparation, somewhat random victims, and a choice of weaponry. Hiding in a subway bathroom to avoid being killed? No, that’s not the best course of action! The thin script doesn’t do much with its vapid victims and the finale is a tad confusing, but fortunately, the inner killer point of view makes for an interesting character study.

 

q

 

Maniac Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood anchors this 2012 remake with intriguing, murderous perspectives and heavy breathing to sell the stalking, predatory mood. We only see our protagonist via the rear view mirror or other reflections, and it’s almost as if he himself is filming what we see. Camera pans up and down and up close zooms on the ladies show his attraction and blurry, frenetic frames harken panic attacks or resisting the urge to kill. White knuckles on the steering wheel and a dirty windshield add to the depressed intimacy, and the unique camera design remains a personal analysis on the psychosis rather than something akin to the found footage gimmick. The underlying social commentary of this unreliable, warped viewpoint is also interesting – what’s art? What’s a little too weird? Does the photo lens show the truth or how we perceive life as colored with our own issues? Maybe it really is the seemingly sweet quiet ones that are the unnoticed but disturbed among us. How many seemingly strong, independent, modern women walk the streets unaware they are being stalked? Ava Maria music hints at the twisted root along with some uncomfortable flashbacks, and though it might not be meant as humorous, I had to laugh at the bug spray. It’s tough to keep scalps fresh these days! Some of the otherwise fine but graphic blood, knives, and poor man’s scalpings are borderline CGI obvious or excessive at times, and onscreen dating sites – though fitting for today’s creepy pick ups – will be dated soon. Thankfully, refreshingly un-cookie cutter women, nudity, and a frank showing of sex and penetrating violence add to the unique film making and stay just this side of unnecessary gross.

Silent Scream A slow motion police raid starts this 1980 slasher along with atmospheric music, askew angles, and quality blood splatterings. Late seventies college cool and an isolated old house – also seen in Spider Baby further set the scene with deceiving nostalgia, a creepy walk up attic, dusty antiques, World War II motifs, and Victorian maze like sinister. Imagine turning the knob on that big boob tube! For sure, some of the plot is cliché – there are unaccounted for occupants, a chunky best friend, seaside perils, the spooky laundry room in the basement, and free love possibilities. Fake jump scares, bad date fears, and unseen killer stabbings, however, make for then-new genre staples. Great intercutting and editing accent the murders, yet there isn’t an excess of gore overtaking the smart slices or violence. An excellent Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) introduction, the spooky old lady perfection from Yvonne De Carlo (The Munsters), and the likeable Rebecca Balding (Soap) add to the heavy as the 90 minutes mount and family secrets come to light. The police investigation is touch and go, and today this isn’t that scary, but a commentary and over an hour of retrospective interviews discussing a unique behind the scenes situation adds some slasher conversation. Maybe this isn’t perfect by contemporary standards, but this little number does everything it is supposed to with entertaining twists and a crazy finish.

Morbid Meals – Haggis Burgers

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2015 by Dan Shaurette

EXAMINATION

MM21Contemplating The World tarot card was tricky. I wanted to prepare a dish that would represent the melding of more than one culture. But, which cultures? Plus, this being Morbid Meals, I wanted something… unusual. Bizarre even. That’s when I thought of one of my favorite chefs, Andrew Zimmern, host of the fun-filled Bizarre Foods TV show. Zimmern calls Haggis the “quintessential bizarre food.”

Therein lay a challenge, but one which fit my theme. I have no choice but to modify a haggis recipe in order to prepare it here in the U.S.A., thanks to F.D.A. regulations that ban the sale and import of various parts of lamb that go into making haggis.

Simply making a version of haggis that lacked the requisite offal, however, didn’t seem all that appealing, and it wouldn’t truly be haggis, would it? Instead, I decided to give it a proper American twist and create Haggis Burgers!

ANALYSIS

Makes 8 patties

Ingredients

1/4 cup oats
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 lb lamb liver
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice or ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground dried coriander

Apparatus

  • Food processor
  • Large bowl
  • Frying pan or skillet

Procedure

  1. Cook the oats per oatmeal instructions, then set aside to cool.
  2. Wash the liver and then add to a food processor. Pulse until you have a fine puree of liver.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate everything together.
  4. Divide the meat into about 8 patties.
  5. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil into your frying pan or skillet and heat on medium-high until the oil shimmers, about 3 minutes.
  6. Cook the patties until golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the patties and cook on the second side, another 4 to 5 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, ground meat needs to reach 160°F for safety.
  7. Serve immediately with your favorite buns and fixins.

DISSECTION

If you can’t find lamb liver, you can substitute with veal/calf’s liver, beef liver, or even chicken livers. (I used beef liver, and was able to buy only 1/2 lb.)

For those who’d rather avoid liver altogether, you could skip it, if you must, but then you won’t have any offal at all. Trust me, try it with the liver. Yeah, it can be a strong smell while cooking, but it’s hardly noticeable when you eat it.

Apparently, there exists cheese made with whisky, like Laphroaig Cheddar, but I can’t find it locally. If you can find it, I imagine it would bring another wonderful dimension to this burger.

POST-MORTEM

It is tradition to serve haggis with “neeps and tatties”, which is mashed potatoes and turnips (aka swedes, or what us yanks call rutabagas). Since this is a burger, why not fry up some sliced neeps and tatties instead? (We opted for cross-hatch potato fries and sweet potato fries because we had them on hand.)

Everyone enjoyed these burgers, and we’re a pretty picky bunch. We all knew there was something different, but no one tasted any liver at all. What’s great about these burgers is they are a fun way to eat more liver, because you know it is good for you, but still enjoy a very nice. juicy burger.

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