WER-United States-89 Mins. 2013


AJ Cook as Kate Moore Wer

AJ Cook as Kate Moore in Wer

Brian Scott O'Connor mp Dalan Gwynek in power

Brian Scott O’Connor as Talan Gwynek in Wer

Sebastian Roche as Klaus Pistor in Wer

Sebastian Roche as Klaus Pistor in Wer

Simon Quarterman as Gavin Flemyng in Wer

Simon Quarterman as Gavin Flemyng in Wer

Vik Sahay as Eric Sarin in Wer

Vik Sahay as Eric Sarin in Wer

Directed by William Brent Bell

Screenplay by William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman

When a family vacationing in France is brutally murdered, their bodies torn apart a suspect, Talan Gwynek, is arrested and taken into custody. Talan’s attorney, Kate Moore, attempts to build a defense around the assumption that Gwynek may suffer from a disease called porphyria and would have been physically incapable of committing the crimes. That’s the truth that she wants to believe; the truth that she receives is that her client may indeed be a werewolf.

Wer, the latest film from director William Brent Bell, comes directly after his The Devil Inside. If you had told me that I would love a film directed by Bell after suffering through that execrable film I would have literally laughed in your face; would have being the key words in that sentence. Not only does Bell redeem himself with Wer but he has also made a film that, despite a weak and predictable final five minutes, deserves a place alongside The Howling, Ginger Snaps, An American Werewolf in London and Dog Soldiers in the Lycanthropy Movie Hall of Fame.

With Wer, Bell is aided by a strong performance from AJ Cook in the lead as Kate Moore and by adequate, well-acted supporting performances from Vik Sahay and Simon Quarterman. The movie is shot in a ‘found footage’ style that for once aids the plot of the film (as with Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek) instead of making a mess of it (Paranormal Activity 4). Don’t expect a lot of gore; what there is is fast and quick save for a few scenes. Don’t expect an all-out werewolf transformation because you’re not going to get it and in the end you’re going to be okay with that. Yes, Wer is a werewolf film-of that there is no doubt; it is a werewolf film in the most unconventional sense of the word.


The word “werewolf” is only used twice in the whole movie: once in a news report Eric is watching online and once spoken by Gavin.


A.J. Cook also appears in Night Skies and Least Among Saints.

Brian Scott O’Connor makes his debut in Wer.

Simon Quarterman also appears in The Devil Inside.

Sebastian Roché also appears in The Adventures of TinTin and Beowulf.

Vik Sahay also appears in Good Will Hunting and eXistenZ.

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24 EXPOSURES-United States-77 Mins. 2013


Adam Wingard as Billy in 24 Exposures

Adam Wingard as Billy in 24 Exposures

Simon Barrett as Michael Bamfeaux in 24 Exposures

Simon Barrett as Michael Bamfeaux in 24 Exposures

Helen Rogers as Rebecca in 24 Exposures

Helen Rogers as Rebecca in 24 Exposures

Directed, Written and Edited by Joe Swanberg

Joe Swanberg is not new to directing. If you look at his page on you will see a list of 27 films (short films included) or television shows that credit him as the man behind the camera. In fact, there are 23 directorial credits before 24 Exposures was ever helmed by Swanberg. This is my question: if 24 Exposures is Joe Swanberg’s 24th credit as a director then why does it look and feel like he’s never been behind a camera in his life? Swanberg’s method of filmmaking seems to come from the school of “When in Doubt, Film It”. Someone throws something on the floor-film it; someone does this-film it; someone does that-film it and on and on. I never in my life thought that I would find the female breast to be tedious but Swanberg films so many exposed boobs in 24 Exposures that after the umpteenth nipple I thought, “What? Another one? Good grief!”. As for plot I can’t with all honesty say that there is one since there doesn’t seem to be any cohesive storyline. I think 24 Exposures is about a photographer, Billy, who photographs women nude or semi-nude and in various death scenes. A detective is lead to Billy’s door when one of his models is found dead. That’s the plot of 24 exposures. In between there are scenes of Billy, then scenes of the detective, then more of Billy, then more of the detective and nothing ever seems to happen no matter who is onscreen. There is nothing at the beginning of 24 Exposures nor is there anything in the middle or the end. It is an empty and soulless film and if this were Swanberg’s first film as a director I could perhaps forgive that. As it is, I can’t find it in my heart as a movie-lover to be able to do that.



Adam Wingard also appears in Pop Skull and Autoerotic.

Simon Barrett also appears in A Horrible Way to Die and You’re Next.

Helen Rogers also appears in Jack Attack and How to Be a Man.




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From All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and featuring Amber Heard as Mandy Lane and quote by Aaron Himelstein as Red.


There she is boys, Mandy Lane. Untouched, pure. Since the dawn of junior year men have tried to possess her, and to date all have failed. Some have even died in their reckless pursuit of this angel.


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A Little Heads-up

Just a heads-up to let everyone know that my computer is kaput. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it fixed and can get back to blogging ASAP. If not, I will not be able to get a new computer until January, maybe February. I could do posts from my phone but that could turn out to be way too tedious. So until I find out if it can be fixed this may be my last post for a long time. Take care and stay scared, everyone.

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THE SACRAMENT-United States-95 Mins. 2013


Joe Swanberg as Jake in The Sacrament

Joe Swanberg as Jake in The Sacrament

AJ Bowen as Sam in The Sacrament

AJ Bowen as Sam in The Sacrament

Kentucker Audley as Patrick in The Sacrament

Kentucker Audley as Patrick in The Sacrament

Amy Seimetz as Caroline in The Sacrament

Amy Seimetz as Caroline in The Sacrament

Gene Jones as Father in The Sacrament

Gene Jones as Father in The Sacrament

Directed and Written by Ti West

I was telling a friend of mine, Alex Laybourne, that one thing I have noticed about the films I have watched from director Ti West is that he enjoys bringing us memories of bygone decades. The House of the Devil was a nod to the TV and splatter movies of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was a mischievous wink at the bottled water craze that began in the mid-1980’s and is still going on today. The Innkeepers featured, and was filmed, at the Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington, Connecticut. One of the oldest non-franchise hotels that is still in operation, it was built in 1891.

The Sacrament is no exception to this pattern. In eerie parallel it dredges up the memories of the tragedy that struck the “Jonestown” community on November 18. 1978. Over 900 people lost their lives that day in an event that, depending on the account, was either the largest mass suicide or one of the largest mass murders in recorded history.

The “Jonestown” of The Sacrament is Eden Parish, a sober living community in an undisclosed location outside of the U.S. When a documentary team follows their friend there to locate his missing sister, they meet and interview a handful of the people living there who recount to them the idyllic nature of their lives there. There’s not a single luxury of the outside world to be found at Eden Parish and that’s just the way Father wants it.

Father is the Jim Jones of Eden Parish. Played by Gene Jones he is as charismatic as a televangelist and as manipulative as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Father is the type who quotes Bible verses to suit his own agenda. When the cameras are rolling and Father is put on the spot is when we begin to see that what appears to be paradise is flawed and imperfect and that people are desperate to leave-if only Father would allow it.

As written previously West enjoys invoking memories of past decades. He’s becoming somewhat of a master at it. There are images in The Sacrament that, while I cannot say what they are for the sake of no spoilers, brought back some unpleasant memories of my youth. I had nightmares about “Jonestown” and Jim Jones.

The most important message to come from The Sacrament is that West beats it into us to never have blind faith in any human being. If you do then you do this at your own risk. Question those in authority and if you’re not satisfied with their answers then question them some more. I strongly recommend The Sacrament. Don’t ask questions; watch it.


Two retired members of the Harlem Globetrotters played background roles in this movie.


Joe Swanberg also appears in Silver Bullets and Proxy.

AJ Bowen also appears in The House of the Devil and The Signal (2007).

Kentucker Audley also appears in V/H/S and White Fox Mask.

Amy Seimetz also appears in A Horrible Way to Die and You’re Next.

Gene Jones also appears in No Country for Old Men and Oz the Great and Powerful.


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Where does one begin when it comes to describing Christina Ricci? She’s not what you’d consider as a classic beauty; yet when you look at her the word ‘gorgeous’ is the first thing that pops into your head. She’s talented as hell; watch her performance as Selby in the serial killer classic Monster (2003) if you don’t believe me. She’s worthy of starring in any Hollywood film but seems to favor the ones that are close to the edge instead of smack dab in the safety of the middle. She’s funny, sexy, creepy and cool and usually she is all of these at the exact same moment.

Born February 12, 1980 in Santa Monica, California, Christina never formally studied acting. She made her feature film debut at the age of 9 in Mermaids (1990), alongside Cher and Winona Ryder. Her genre work, including her turn as Wednesday Addams in the supernatural comedies The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993) as well as the kid-friendly Casper (1995), include the short film Little Red Riding Hood (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Bless the Child 2000), The Gathering (2003), Cursed (2005), After.Life (2009) and the TV movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014). Her non-genre work includes The Hard Way (1991), The Ice Storm (1997), Pecker (1998) and Black Snake Moan (2006). 

Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you the Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Month for September, 2014-Christina Ricci.

Christina Crystals

5′ 0¼”

Her parents divorced after she filmed Addams Family Values (1993). She has not spoken with her father since.

On December 4 1999, she appeared on Saturday Night Live (1975) as the guest host, in which she parodied Britney Spears and the Olsen twins. During one of her skits, she accidentally punched actress Ana Gasteyer in the face. The skit was a parody of the Sally Jessy Raphael (1985) show, in which she played a 13-year-old runaway who sleeps with dogs, and required her to fake- punch Sally (Gasteyer), but accidentally hit her for real. While she initially reacted by putting her hands over her mouth in surprise, she maintained her professionalism and quickly fell back into character.

Her best friend is actress Gaby Hoffmann.

Underground Hip-Hop heroes Sean Daley (of the group Atmosphere, who makes many references to her in his lyrics) and MURS have released a collaborative album entitled “Felt: A Tribute to Christina Ricci”.

Suffers from botanophobia (fear of plants). Admits to being especially afraid of houseplants.

Ricci’s Ramblings

“I spend a lot of time with my mother. When I’m doing movies, she’s always with me. We spend days being bored in an apartment together waiting for someone to call and say I’m needed for a shot. Because we’re together so much, we have to get along. We have to find ways to get to know each other. We’ve gone through a lot of stuff, you know, and I think we’re pretty close.”

“I don’t have any training, and I don’t believe in training. Of course, people who don’t have any training always say that.”

“I’m not perfect-looking and I don’t say the right things, I’m a little different, nothing really special, but I guess I come across as a little more real to people and that comes through on the screen. I know I look young, but with the right make-up I can look older. I definitely feel older.”




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I decided to do something other than a movie review for this post. That ‘something’ is putting myself out there with a short story that I wrote. I hope that you like it; be nice if you don’t.

Thanks to my wife, Phyllis, for putting the idea in my head.

Big thanks to Alex Laybourne for his patience in reading the drafts and his editorial advice. If you like it, thank him. If not, then blame me.

Thanks to Eric S. Brown for proving that you can keep it clean and still tell a story.





Hello. My name is Steven Mayall. I am a werewolf. Prepare to die.

I’ve always wanted to say that. You probably don’t believe that I’m a werewolf. The usual werewolves that you read about have names like Lupo or Luna. They are not real. I am.

There are two things that you should know about me as they will tie in to how I came to be in this situation. The first is that I have been a security guard for the better part of 15 years. I have guarded offices, shopping malls, a hospital and even a graveyard, the latter of which was the most fun. That transient may not have believed in apparitions on his way into Oakwood Cemetery but I can damn sure guarantee that he believed in them as he made a swift retreat out of it.

The second and perhaps most important aspect of me is that I have a short fuse, a hair trigger-anger management issues. The slightest thing can set me off; alarm doesn’t go off making me late for work-rage; burn my tongue on hot coffee-rage; trip over the dog-rage; internet is down-rage. Granted, I have learned to control it in recent years but I can tell you that I have lost friendships and severed relationships over the years. I’ve been married for seven years now and my wife has seen first-hand my outbursts and surprisingly has stayed by my side. I still debate whether she has the patience of a saint or is simply stupid. One thing for certain is that she has no idea that I’m a werewolf. I make sure to be far away from home on the nights of the change. She is better off thinking that I am working, getting drunk in a bar or having an affair than to know the truth.

I am certain that my occupation and my dysfunction converged on that fateful night that I was bitten and my life took a savage and hirsute turn. I got a last-minute plea from my boss asking if I would fill in for one of our guards, an 18 year-old stoner who had called in sick a half hour before his shift would begin. If there was an award given to the most clueless shmuck on the planet my boss would win hands down. All he had to do was realize that it was a Friday night and this kid decided he’d rather get high with his friends than earn a paycheck and realize this brain-dead punk was jerking him around.

The job was at a construction site on the outskirts of town. I would be guarding two bulldozers and a backhoe and was required to do a sweep of the area every hour. I got there at 5 o’clock. At six o’clock the moon was on the rise and by 7:15 it was dark with the exception of a trio of streetlights on the side of the road just off to the left of my post. I had made two sweeps-at 6 and 7 o’clock and all was well. At eight o’clock my life changed forever.

I told you about the streetlights, did I not? They do an excellent job of illuminating the place at night. That is all except for the back area of where I have to patrol on an hourly basis. I know I said I was filling in but that doesn’t mean that this was my first day at this post. That pothead is the guard here on my days off; which pisses me off even more knowing that I’m working while he’s toking, playing video games and or jerking off. I digress. Let me get on with the story.

On my eight o’clock rounds I had already patrolled the area illuminated by the streetlights and as I made my way to the dark section I flipped the switch on my flashlight and got nothing. I slapped it against my hand like you see people do in the movies and got sore palms for my trouble. As much as the light wasn’t shining on the flashlight the temperature gauge in my brain was on the rise and any second I was going to blow a gasket. I told you the smallest things could set me off and this was one of those small things. I let out a wave of shouts and curses. Every variation and combination of fecal or sexual expletives escaped from my mouth and turned the air blue and as I was just getting my second wind to let loose another wave of profanities I heard of all things a low, rumbling growl just off to the left of me.

Two things occurred at that moment. The first was that I turned my head to the left to try to see the source of the growl coming from the darkness. I never completed the turn because the second thing was that the source of that growl hit me like a ton of bricks simultaneously knocking the wind out of me and to the ground. I put up my hands in defense but the thing still managed to claw at me until finally biting me hard in the neck and climbing off me to run back into the darkness as I lie there scratched, bloody and bitten. I wondered, strangely enough, whether my outburst had drawn this thing to me. Then I lost consciousness.


I woke up in room 237 of the Sisters of Mercy Hospital. My wife was leaning over me, smiling. Her clothes were wrinkled and when she leaned in to kiss me I could smell her stale breath. Finding this odd knowing Amy the way I do I put two and two together and knew that she had been by my bed the entire time I was out. She’s devoted. I kissed her full on the lips despite her halitosis.

Amy told me that my boss was the one who found me. He came by the post after I failed to check in. I could feel the pressure of something around my neck and reached up to feel a large bandage covering over half of it where that ‘thing’ had bitten me. I asked Amy how long I had been in the hospital.

“Three days”

“I’ve spent three days in this room?”

“No, you’ve only been in here for two days.”

The woman should have been a dentist.

“What about before that?”

“You were in ICU for a day.”

“I was there for a day?”


“Why was I in ICU for only a day?”

“I suppose it’s because you got better. They sedated you to help you sleep and put you in here.”

My mind began to process all of this. This creature attacked me, clawing furrows in my shoulders, chest and my left arm. It bit me on the neck before taking off and leaving me to bleed out and I was only in intensive care for one damned day?

“Were you here when they brought me in, Amy?”

“No, only since you were moved to this room.”

So much for her being here the entire time, I thought.

“So you didn’t see my wounds?”

“I only saw the one on your neck, Steven.”

I was getting irritated. “You didn’t see the scratches-the claw marks?”

“What scratches? What claw marks?”

I looked dead at her to see if she was yanking my chain. She wasn’t. She was dead serious. I looked at my left arm. It was healed. I pulled down the front of my hospital gown and looked at my chest. It was healed. With Amy to help me I pulled the bandage off my neck and used her compact to look at the wound. Only there was no wound.

It was healed, completely; just like the others.


Rapid healing was only one of the many benefits of my ‘condition’. There were others; my senses were heightened. I could hear a person’s heartbeat in the next room. I could smell their sweat and detect if it was from exertion, or fear. I could see things in the dark from a hundred yards that a normal person couldn’t see from half that distance in broad daylight. My taste buds danced across every grain of salt, savored every seasoning and swam happily in the juices of the succulent steaks, ribs, chicken and pork that I consumed like a man obsessed. And sex? Let’s talk about sex. My sense of touch was so attuned that my penis felt as if a million tiny fingers were caressing it each time my wife covered it with her mouth or gently slid her tongue up and down the shaft. My condition had its benefits, indeed!

Benefits aside, any moron who has ever watched a Viagra commercial knows that there are bound to be side effects to balance out the equation. When the days drew closer to the to the change I found myself aching to go outside where I would urinate upon a favorite tree and chase away the doves and pigeons that would light on my grass. If Amy missed the trash can, as she often did, I would retrieve the object and bring it back to her to try again. I also grew a deep-seated hatred for the mailman and before he would even set foot on our porch I would lash out at him with obscenities. It got so bad that Amy had to meet him down the block to receive our mail. Repairmen, meter readers, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Girl Scouts all suffered the same abuse. This was what being a werewolf was all about and to think I haven’t even killed anyone. I’m working up to it. In fact I have just the right person all picked out.


One month before I’m bitten, Amy is spending the weekend at her sister’s house, mentioning something to me about a quilting bee as she was on her way out the door. Amy is into that arts and crafts spinster shit; it’s as if she can’t wait to be an old lady. Fine by me since it leaves me with the house and the weekend all to myself. I look at my watch: 10:36. That means Murphy’s will be hopping. The night is starry and I forgo driving to walk the short distance to the club.

I pay the cover and I step into the heart of Murphy’s. I scan the place from one side to the other looking for anyone I might know but there are no familiar faces here. Then, on my second scan I see her standing there in a circle with her friends. I pay for a pitcher of Coors light and look for a table close enough to watch her and far enough not to seem creepy.

Her long red hair shines radiantly. Her green eyes dance like ballerinas as she smiles and laughs with full, red lips and the whitest and purest of teeth. She wears a black dress over a figure that can only be described as exquisite. It covers just enough before stopping to reveal legs that would bring a dancer to tears with their graceful perfection. Elegant black heels complete this masterpiece. I love Amy with all of my heart but all I want right now is to have the courage to ask for one dance with this woman. I just want the chance to prove to myself that someone of my status could approach someone of her beauty.

I sit there sipping beer and gaining courage. I see my chance and walk over to her.

“Excuse me?”

She looks at me with those eyes and my bravado begins to fade.


Her voice is crystal as she utters that single syllable.

“I noticed you when I came in and I’ve been thinking of how I wanted to say this to you.”

“Say what to me?”

“That you are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on and would you honor me with one dance?”

Her eyes sparkle and there is a hint of a smile on her lips.

“You’re saying that you want one dance with me?


“Can I ask you a question, what’s was your name again?”

“I haven’t told you my name. It’s Steven, uh, Steve.”

“Well, Steven, uh, Steve. Why would I want to dance with someone as insignificant and below average as you?”

I stand there as they stare at me, grinning, giggling. The damage done they turn away from me and back to their conversation.

I think to myself, “Beautiful woman makes you feel like dog vomit in front of her friends-rage.” I walked out of Murphy’s and headed for home seeing red.



I am at Murphy’s again. Ginger is there, also; she doesn’t see me. Why should she? I’m insignificant and below average, remember? She’s going to find out that I am much more than that.

She leaves the club at midnight with a guy named Trevor, a douchebag with a popped collar. I follow them to his place and watch as they go inside and lock the door. Soon, a light comes on in what I can only assume is his bedroom. I wait outside for her and for two hours my ears are assaulted by the sounds of their coital fervor. I didn’t have to be a werewolf to hear this; cats under my window at night have made sounds more passionate than the cacophony that Ginger and Trevor made while fornicating that night.

She leaves his place and I blend into the shadows just in case she looks my way; she doesn’t. She makes her way up the sidewalk and I let her get further away before letting the change come over me. Transformed, I begin to follow her again. My wolf would catch up to her with ease. I am nearly ten feet and closing in fast behind her when, as I steel myself to pounce a low growl escapes my throat and she turns around and begins at first to laugh and then picks me up and tries to pet me.

I am nearing the end of this story and I suppose now would be a good time to mention to you that as a human I am a mere three feet, two inches tall. When I am a werewolf I resemble less a wolf than I do an angry brown terrier. I snapped at Ginger’s face and she dropped me, startled. My leap made its mark this time and I dug into her throat and ripped it from her neck. I chewed it up and swallowed it as she collapsed dead to the ground with a look of dumb surprise on her face. After that I started on her ankles, working my way up.

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