TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE: A POLL

Short and sweet: I’ve been thinking about changing the look of my blog. It’s been the same for about 2 years now and I’m getting itchy about changing it. That is where you come in. Should I change the theme entirely? Should I keep the same theme and make a few cosmetic changes? Should I leave it just the way it is?

I’ll run this for one week. Give me your input, please. Peace out…I mean-take care…and stay scared.

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WRITTEN IN BLOOD SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-AUGUST, 2014-TRACI LORDS

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QVC Red Carpet Style Party

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”-George Santayana

I’m sure that Traci Lords hasn’t forgotten her past. How could she forget in this day and age of the internet? If there’s a photo or a story from her past I can guarantee you that some yahoo is going to upload it as a reminder to not only all of us but to Miss Lords as well. So, I’ve decided to come up with my own quote to counteract Mister Santayana: “The past is the past and we’re not here to talk about that so let’s shut the hell up about it.” What we are here to talk about is Traci Lords career as a legitimate actress, especially of course her work in the world of horror films so let’s get on with it, shall we?

Born Nora Louise Kuzma on May 7, 1968 in Steubenville, Ohio, Traci Lords made her first dip into the world of horror with her role as Nadine Story in Jim Wynorski’s sci-fi-horror B-movie hybrid, Not of This Earth (1988). Not content to stop there, she has gone on to star in Shock’Em Dead (1991), Stephen King’s  The Tommyknockers (TV-1993), Skinner (1993), Blade (1998), Deathlands (TV-2003), Crazy Eights (2006), Excision (2012) and finally (for now) Devil May Call (2013). Talk about a woman who has kept herself busy. This is not even to mention that she has been a favorite of John Waters, having appeared in Cry-Baby (1990) and Serial Mom (1994). But wait, we’re not done yet. In addition to the numerous B-movies of every conceivable genre Traci has also made appearances on MacGyver  (1990), Married with Children (1989, 1991), Highlander and Tales from the Crypt (1993) Roseanne (1994, 1995), First Wave (2000, 2001), Gilmore Girls (2003) and Eastsiders (2013). This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of her achievements! Traci Lords has kept herself busy, has improved her craft every chance she gets and for that has earned my utmost respect.

Without further ado may we present to you the August, 2014 Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Month: the beautiful and talented Traci Lords!

TRACI TRIVIA

“Traci” comes from her girlfriend’s name, “Lords” from Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O (1968)).

Had her name legally changed to Traci Elizabeth Lords.

Has 1st KYU in Bujinkan Ninjutsu.

She contributed vocals to the Manic Street Preachers song “Little Baby Nothing,” from the Welsh group’s “Generation Terrorists” album in 1992, and released as a single in November of that year. The song is about the sexual exploitation of a woman and singer/guitarist James Dean Bradfield said that “we needed somebody, a symbol, a person that could actually symbolize the lyrics and justify them to a certain degree. Traci was more than happy to do it. She saw the lyrics, and she had an immediate affinity with them. It was definitely easy to incorporate her personality into the lyrics. We just wanted a symbol for it, and I think she was a great symbol.” Traci said that “I listened to the tape and really identified with the character in the song…this young girl who’s been exploited and abused by men all her life.”

Was almost cast as the female lead in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995), but lost out to Sharon Stone.

2012 Best Actress- Excision- Festival de Terror de Molins de Rei.

LORDS LINGO

“My parents never got along. It was a very ugly scene to be a part of.”

“I’m successful in spite of my past, not because of it!”

THE FROZEN GROUND JOINS THE UPPER ECHELON OF SERIAL KILLER FILMS

THE FROZEN GROUND-United States-105 Mins. 2013

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Nicolas Cage as Jack Halcombe in The Frozen Ground

Nicolas Cage as Jack Halcombe in The Frozen Ground

John Cusack as Robert Hansen in The Frozen Ground

John Cusack as Robert Hansen in The Frozen Ground

Vanessa Hudgens as Cindy Paulson in The Frozen Ground

Vanessa Hudgens as Cindy Paulson in The Frozen Ground

Dean Norris as Sgt. Lyle Haugsven in The Frozen Ground

Dean Norris as Sgt. Lyle Haugsven in The Frozen Ground

Curtis Jackson as Pimp Clate Johnson in The Frozen Ground

Curtis Jackson as Pimp Clate Johnson in The Frozen Ground

Directed and Written by Scott Walker

In many ways, serial killer films are like prostitutes. This is an ironic statement since prostitutes are the number one choice of serial killers. However, it is true for several reasons. One being that like prostitutes serial killer films are a dime a dozen; two being that the quality varies-you may get a serial killer film equivalent to dog shit akin to Uli Lommel and any of his low budget knock-offs; or you get lucky and experience a film like the brilliant Citizen X which detailed the hunt for the Russian murderer Andrei Chikatilo. The Frozen Ground, the feature writing and directorial debut from New Zealand native Scott Walker, joins the upper echelon of serial killer films. Although somewhat embellished (Nicolas Cage’s character Jack Halcombe is based on the real life Alaska State Trooper Detective Glenn Flothe), it manages to tell the story of serial murderer and rapist Robert Hansen in a somewhat linear (packing several years into a two hour time frame) and impassioned film.

Robert Hansen was the serial killer who raped, hunted and murdered at least 17 women in and around Anchorage, Alaska in the years between 1971 and 1983. It is also believed that he raped and tortured at least another 30 women before his capture in 1983. Now 75, he is serving a sentence of 461 years plus life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. The Frozen Ground gives an account of Hansen and his crimes and capture in a style that can best be described as ‘no bullshit’ beginning with the escape of would-be victim Cindy Paulson and herself and Sergeant Detective Jack Halcombe’s (Glenn Flothe’s) unending desire to bring Hansen to justice. Like a lot of serial killer films the side of good is met with adversity from the side of evil-Hansen, despite earlier and similar legal trouble is an upstanding citizen with a wife and children. On the other hand, the first account of Hansen in the film is given by a prostitute-Paulson-an unlikely and unreliable source of honesty.

The Frozen Ground was a source of great anger for me and not at all because of the quality of the film. It’s an anger that I cannot even begin to explain; all I know is that it grew inside of me and because my wife was sleeping and had to awaken early for work that I could not shout or cause commotion but could only shake my fists as tears of rage rolled down my cheeks.

The Frozen Ground plainly showcases the talents of its three leads. Often ridiculed for his over the top performances, Nicolas Cage is subdued and brilliant as Jack Halcombe. As for John Cusack, I always said that I had trouble separating the younger, goofier Cusack from his mature roles and here that separation is complete. Cusack plays Hansen with a charm that, while not slimy, is serpentine in its portrayal. However, it is neither Cage nor Cusack who gives the definitive performance in the film. Often maligned as a child of Disney and as someone who made her way based upon her looks, Vanessa Hudgens earns my respect with this film. Yes, there are moments where her performance seems contrived and cliché; Hudgens rises above that to bring a much needed vulnerability to her character. Say what you will about her past roles; she grows up in The Frozen Ground and it shows in every scene.

TRIVIA

In this movie, Nicolas Cage plays the law enforcement officer and John Cusack plays the convict. In Con Air (1997), the roles were reversed; Cusack was the law enforcement officer.

Detective Glenn Flothe of the Alaska State Troopers is the real-life name of the character played by Nicholas Cage. For the movie, Flothe’s name was changed to Jack Halcombe.

The plane used by Robert Hansen in the movie is a Piper PA-18 Super Cub. The real life Hansen used the same aircraft type.

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Nicolas Cage also appears in Leaving Las Vegas and Ghost Rider.

John Cusack also appears in 1408 and Being John Malkovich.

Vanessa Hudgens also appears in Spring Breakers and Sucker Punch.

Dean Norris also appears in Little Miss Sunshine and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

 

ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE COMBINES RAH-RAH WEIRD WITH SIS-BOOM-BAH FUN

ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE-United States-90 Mins. 2013

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Caitlin Stasey as Maddy Killian in All Cheerleaders Die

Caitlin Stasey as Maddy Killian in All Cheerleaders Die

Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Leena Miller in All Cheerleaders Die

Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Leena Miller in All Cheerleaders Die

Brooke Butler as Tracy Bingham in All Cheerleaders Die

Brooke Butler as Tracy Bingham in All Cheerleaders Die

Tom Williamson as Terry Stankus in All Cheerleaders Die

Tom Williamson as Terry Stankus in All Cheerleaders Die

Directed and Written by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

It’s been a few hours since I watched All Cheerleaders Die and I’m still trying to figure it out. Seriously, a cheerleader movie-any cheerleader movie-should consist of cheerleaders running around in skimpy cheerleader clothes acting like bimbos while all the boys with their raging hormones chase after them hoping to nail them. That is the balance that lies within the heart of a cheerleader movie. However, with that being said let it also be said that All Cheerleaders Die is co-directed by Lucky McKee. Lucky is the (evil? sick? twisted?) genius behind May, The Woman and The Woods, as well as the Masters of Horror episode, “Sick Girl“. If you saw any of those films then do you believe for one second that he’s going to co-direct a normal cheerleader film (with Chris Sivertson)? All Cheerleaders Die is a cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie that will, in the first two minutes have you saying, “What the f*ck?!?”

At the risk of sounding like I lifted the plot summary of All Cheerleaders Die from an outside source let me just say that at the heart the movie is about a cheerleading squad that seeks revenge on their high school football team. It is the smaller parts that make that heart beat and that give the film its charm. After her friend Lexi dies performing a stunt, Maddy seeks revenge on Terry, Lexi’s boyfriend and leader of the team, for dating Tracy, the captain of the cheerleading squad, before Lexi’s body has had time to grow cold, so to speak. Maddy does this by first making Tracy doubt Terry’s fidelity and by seducing Tracy herself. There is an argument at a party that leads to a car crash and Maddy, Tracy and two other cheerleaders, Hannah and Martha, are killed. This is where it gets weird. Maddy’s ex-girlfriend Leena is a witch. Leena performs a pagan ritual and brings the girls back to life with only two complications: Hannah and Martha now reside in each other’s bodies in Freaky Friday fashion; and all four of the girls have a hunger for human blood. Hmm, now where can they find human blood? How about from the football players that caused them to crash and die in the first place?

Looking at the poster for All Cheerleaders Die there is a disclaimer at the bottom that reads “Based on the original film All Cheerleaders Die“. Yes, there was a film released in 2001 that was also entitled All Cheerleaders Die and that was also directed by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson.

Here is the Wikipedia summary of the 2001 film:

A group of high school football players get into an argument with their cheerleader girlfriends over the difficulty of their respective sports. The cheerleaders insist that it’s difficult to form a human pyramid while the players insist that their boot camp is more strenuous. As a result the players decide to set up a camping weekend with the idea of putting the girls through football training. This turns out to be a bad idea, as one of the cheerleaders ends up beating one of the footballers in a scrimmage game, who then ends up severely beating her. The girls try to escape, only to fall off a cliff and die. Panicked, the players assume that the girls are either dead or dying, and run off in the hopes that nobody will discover what has happened. Unbeknownst to them, one of the girls has survived and later returns at a high school reunion to seek revenge. She summons the zombified remains of her dead friends and one by one, picks off the football players.

Is it me, or does that sound flat and uninteresting? McKee and Sivertson were smart to wait 12 years before remaking All Cheerleaders Die. It may not be the perfect cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie and it may not be the first but it just might be the best cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie that we’ve got. That is, until McKee and Sivertson decide to get weirder in another 12 years.

TRIVIA, 

One of the locations for the filming of All Cheerleaders Die was Cathedral High School, at 1253 Bishops Road, near China Town, in Los Angeles, California. This school was founded in 1925, and is located on what was the old Calvary Cemetery prior to 1900. This high school was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 281 in 1984. Its athletes are nicknamed the Phantoms, because of the school’s location on top of a cemetery.

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Caitlin Stasey also stars in Tomorrow, When the War Began and I, Frankenstein.

Sianoa Smit-McPhee also appears in Touchback and Mall.

Brooke Butler also appears in Retribution (TV).

Tom Williamson also appears in Dark Nights.

Michael Bowen (not shown) also appears in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Jackie Brown and as Uncle Jack he was the scumbag who shot  Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad.

BONG OF THE DEAD WILL FAIL TO GET YOU HIGH

BONG OF THE DEAD-Canada-91 Mins. 2011

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Mark Wynn as Edwin, Simone Bailly as Leah, Jy Harris as Tommy in Bong of the Dead

Mark Wynn as Edwin, Simone Bailly as Leah, Jy Harris as Tommy in Bong of the Dead

Directed and Written by Thomas Newman

Have I ever mentioned that I used to smoke pot? It’s been over twenty years since I last inhaled and even then I never considered myself a pothead or a ‘stoner’. I smoked it when I felt like it, end of story.

Edwin and Tommy, the two potheads that are the main subject of Thomas Newman’s Reefer Madness meets the zombie genre mash-up, Bong of the Dead, are far past the ‘social toker’ stage of marijuana usage. Months after a string of meteors strike earth and the zombies have risen and targeted humans as their next meal at the Golden Corral, Edwin uses the green ‘goo’ from the brain of a captured zombie as a fertilizer to grow a batch of killer weed for himself and Tommy. There’s only one problem: that’s all the goo they have and the area they live in has been declared zombie-free (okay, two problems).

So what do they do? They take a road trip to a zombie-infested zone to acquire more green goo is what they do. Along the way they encounter Alex, the intelligent yet beleaguered zombie and would-be leader of his own undead army; and Leah, the ‘smoking hot’ (Tommy’s words, although I agree) young woman who warms up to the duo after initial hesitation. Do the two who are now three make it to the Danger Zone and celebrate 420; or have they smoked their last doobie, brother?

Bong of the Dead is not a good movie. It’s not a ‘so bad that it’s good’ movie. It’s a bad movie, period. However, the film does have a certain charm. Newman has done his zombie homework as he pays homage to the genre through various scenes that serve to remind us of better films such as Day of the Dead and Dead Alive. Also, I must admit to liking the look, and perhaps the acting, of Simone Bailly as Leah. She’s certainly better than the two goofs in the lead, Mark Wynn and Jy Harris. My question is was she ever even considered for the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? She’s got the look, in my humble opinion. Despite all this the only way I think anyone could even begin to enjoy Bong of the Dead is if they were stoned out of their gourd, and maybe not even then.

TRIVIA

Over 800 Gallons of blood was dispersed with a fire hose in one day during a single scene.

Thomas Newman learned how to composite while editing the film by using great tutorials from Andrew Kramer at Video Co-Pilot. Before ‘Bong of the Dead’ he had no idea how to use After Effects.

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Mark Wynn also appears in Rapture-Palooza and The Boy Who Cried Werewolf.

Simone Bailly also appears in Good Luck Chuck and Life Partners.

Jy Harris also appears in Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.

 

 

 

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES DOESN’T MONKEY AROUND

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES-United States-130 Mins. 2014

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Andy Serkis as Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis as Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Jason Clarke as Malcolm in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Jason Clarke as Malcolm in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Gary Oldman as Dreyfus in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Gary Oldman as Dreyfus in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Keri Russell as Ellie in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Keri Russell as Ellie in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Toby Kebbell as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Toby Kebbell as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by Matt Reeves

Written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver

Based on the novel “La Planète des Singes” by Pierre Boulle and by characters created by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.

When I was growing up I saw the original quintet of films in the Planet of the Apes series and was able to watch and enjoy them to a certain extent of the definition of the word. Like everyone else I was blown away by the original film and I also was a big fan of the third film, Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes were strong entries but by the time the final film in the series-Battle for the Planet of the Apes-came along it felt as if the filmmakers weren’t trying anymore. There was a remake of the original film directed by Tim Burton that merely left us yearning for the older films and after that we all thought that we had seen the last-or so it seemed-of the apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes demonstrated to us that there is new life in an old franchise. That life is extended fully supported with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes-a film that takes all of the charm and action of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and amps it up to 12. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is that rare example (The Godfather Part II and Aliens must be mentioned) of a sequel not only holding its own but surpassing the original film in terms of storytelling, acting and of course box office profits. As of my writing this the film has beaten its chest on the way to a $73 million dollar opening weekend and believe me it has earned every penny.

Ten years have passed since the events of ‘Rise‘. The Simian flu hinted at in that film has had time to spread around the globe and the human race has been all but wiped out. Those who have survived live crowded in a state of dystopia. The apes, led by Caesar-now with a wife, son and newborn of his own-live peacefully in their own community in the redwoods away from the humans and they rely on them for nothing and stay far from them. Once an initial contact is made between two of the apes and a human male that separation is broken and an uneasy truce is formed between the two communities. I don’t believe that it was any accident as to the way things play out in ‘Dawn‘ as it the same as the way that countries conduct business-deals are made by one group, the humans, with conditions from the apes. The humans break those conditions and are asked to leave but then are able to make things better by offering their own conditions. Meanwhile, both camps have their people-or human-like simians-that are mistrustful of the other and cause a rift in the truce that is established. For the humans it is both Carver, who voices his disdain for the apes and is banished from their camp after smuggling in forbidden weapons; and Dreyfus, who can’t be faulted as he believes that what he is doing is best for the survival of the human race. On the other hand there is Koba, the scarred bonobo and right hand to Caesar. Koba hates humans for the torture that was inflicted upon him in the name of lab experiments. One of the strongest scenes in the film is when Caesar mentions that the humans are there to do ‘human work’ and Koba angrily spits his words back at him while pointing to the various scars from the horrors done to his own body. Unlike the human Carver, whose hatred is based on his own stupidity, Koba’s hatred drives him to betrayal and murder of his own kind to initiate war between apes and humans. If Caesar is willing to get along with humans then Koba is even more determined to imprison them or wipe them even if he has to betray his own species.

There was not one moment in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that I found to be repetitive or even worse, boring. The action in the film is intense but never to the point of being shoved down your throat the way that certain summer blockbusters *cough cough Transformers cough cough* are known to do. My wife and I took our eleven year-old grandson and he remained quiet throughout most of the film. That in itself is the sign of a good film as it takes a lot to keep him quiet while watching anything. My wife also enjoyed the use of ASL-American Sign Language; which I myself have deemed as Ape Sign Language for this film.

If I can be serious for a moment let me say that a film like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes relies strongly on the strength of its effects, in this case which would be motion capture and CGI. The only flaw that I spotted in the effects was for a brief second during the bear attack scene early in the film. Let it also be said that motion capture relies on the strength of the performers and as with ‘Rise‘, King Kong and his role as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films that strength is never more evident than with Andy Serkis as Caesar. Serkis has said that in the first film he based his movements and expressions on those of apes and that his performance here is based more on human movement and gestures. The motion capture acting was excellent from all actors involved, especially Toby Kebbell as Koba. However, it is Serkis who raises Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from a good film to a great one. It’s a shame that the monkeys in Hollywood can’t seem to acknowledge his talent. Great acting is great acting whether it is as a human or as an ape.

TRIVIA

The husband of Judy Greer (Cornelia) is reportedly a massive fan of Planet of the Apes(1968). Greer revealed in a interview with Vulture that that they had a chimp husband-and-wife cake topper at their wedding, while the original film and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) played on two separate televisions in the bar area at the cocktail hour.

The first “Planet of the Apes” to be filmed and released in 3D.

Andy Serkis, Terry Notary, and Karin Konoval are the only actors that were still playing their characters from “Rise” as Caesar (Serkis), Rocket (Notary), and Maurice (Konoval). While Judy Greer was replacing stunt-woman/ dancer Devyn Dalton as Caesar’s mate, Cornelia, and Toby Kebbell is replacing stuntman/ motion capture performer Christopher Gordon as the scarred lab chimp Koba.

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Andy Serkis also appears in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Prestige.

Jason Clarke also appears in Zero Dark Thirty and Public Enemies.

Gary Oldman also appears in The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Keri Russell also appears in Dark Skies and Grimm Love.

Toby Kebbell also appears in Wrath of the Titans and War Horse.

Kodi Smit-McPhee also appears in Let Me In and The Road.

 

 

 

 

 

THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-JULY 13, 2014

Actually, today’s quote is from a TV series. From The Walking Dead and featuring Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Brighton Sharbino as Lizzie Samuels:

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Just look at the flowers, Lizzie.

 

10 QUESTIONS FOR ERIC S. BROWN

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Eric S. Brown

Eric S. Brown is the author of the popular Bigfoot War series of books available in print and e-book from Amazon. The first book has been made into an upcoming movie, Bigfoot Wars, starring Judd Nelson and C. Thomas Howell. I shot Eric ten (somewhat) random questions and this what he shot back to me:

1. You’re all over the place with books about zombies, werewolves, Kaiju and of course Sasquatch. Am I missing any monsters that you’ve written about?

Eric S. Brown: Killer Squirrels, a seven foot tall green bunny anti-hero, demons, and who knows what else. Ha.

2. What planted the seed in your mind to write the Bigfoot War series?

ESBI had been writing zombies for a long time and wanted to do something different but still apocalyptic.  Growing up in the rural mountains of North Carolina, I was honestly scared of Bigfoot as a kid.  I had nightmares about Bigfoot outside my house waiting to rip me apart.  Sasquatch was the perfect monster to explore next and believe it or not, folks seemed to enjoy the concept of the Sasquatch Apocalypse. 

3. Do you have a set plan as to how many books will be in the series?

ESBBigfoot War: Redneck Apocalypse launches soon from Great Old Ones Publishing.  It is set in the timeframe of the first book and returns to that kind of feel.  It’s also homage to southern culture in a lot of ways.  If you enjoy blood, gore, fun, and things like the Dukes of Hazzard, you’ll likely enjoy it too. 

4. The Bigfoot Wars book series have taken off in popularity and I hear there’s an upcoming movie. How does that make you feel?

ESBInsanely blessed.  Bigfoot War was a huge gamble for me.  It was a book I wrote more for myself as a Bigfoot horror fan than anything else.  I think it put me more on the map so to speak as a horror writer than even my book from Simon and Schuster did at the time.  The trailer for the movie looks awesome and the studio has expressed interest in adapting more of the books should the first movie be a success.  

5. I asked Lyle Blackburn this same question concerning his book The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster: why Sasquatch?

ESBAgain, Sasquatch was always scary to me.  My own personal fear of him made him a monster I wanted to explore in fiction and put that fear down on the written page.

6. Can you tell a little bit about what makes up your writing process from idea to published story?

ESBI am weird.  I don’t normally use outlines or anything like that.  I just get an idea and run with it like the Flash.  I am a big believer in letting the story tell itself. 

7. One thing I have noticed about you is your expression of your Christian faith. How has this played a part in your writing?

ESBMy whole career is God given.  Every break I have gotten as a writer and most of the “big” moments of my career have not been things I went after but things God just blindsided me with and left me saying “Wow” and “Thank you”.  I have even written a Christian Zombie Apocalypse novel entitled World War of the Dead and you’ll notice pretty much everything I have written since 2009 has very toned down language.  I don’t believe that it’s needed to tell a fun and moving story. 

8. Have you met with any negativity concerning your faith or have you met with support from the people of the horror genre, both fans and peers alike?

ESBI don’t worry about what others think.  I am just me.  I will say though I am far from the only Christian horror writer or fan.  There are more of us out there than you might think. 

9. Did you have a dream cast in your head for the Bigfoot Wars movie; or are you satisfied with the actors that were chosen for the roles?

ESBNot really.  I am very happy with how the Bigfoot Wars movie appears to have turned out so far based on what I have seen of it.  I do have a dream cast for A Pack of Wolves though but that’s another matter entirely. 

10. Finally, what advice do you have for up and coming writers trying to make it in the business?

ESB: Write every day, submit your work, and never give up.

THE PIT OF ULTIMATE DARK SHADOWS-EPISODE 11: PARTS 1 & 2

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Take care…and stay scared.

 

ALMOST HUMAN IS LIKE A SMALL TOWN WITH NOTHING IN BETWEEN

ALMOST HUMAN-United States-80 Mins. 2013

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Graham Skipper as Seth Hampton in Almost Human

Graham Skipper as Seth Hampton in Almost Human

Vanessa Leigh as Jen Craven in Almost Human

Vanessa Leigh as Jen Craven in Almost Human

Josh Ethier as Mark Fisher in Almost Human

Josh Ethier as Mark Fisher in Almost Human

Directed and Written by Joe Begos

In South Carolina there is a town called Kelly. The expression about a town being so small that you could throw a rock from end to end literally applies to this town. You see the sign that says “Kelly” on your right and barely 30 seconds later you see another sign and as you look in your rear-view mirror you will never guess what it says-yep-“Kelly”.  Last I remember there are no houses or buildings between the two signs-just road and trees.

Almost Human could easily be considered the Kelly, South Carolina of horror films. It has opening credits and eight agonizingly slow minutes of end credits and an hour of nothing in between. Set between 1987 and 1989 it is supposedly the story of three friends-Rob, Mark and Seth-and how their lives are changed after Rob and Mark are snatched into the sky by a blue light from above. Rob is only mentioned as he was taken before the film begins. Mark is taken next and Seth is left to face accusations that he was responsible in some way for the disappearances of his friends. Mark is found naked in the woods by two hunters and covered in a substance that the only thing I can compare it to is one half of baby-making formula. Killing the two men after emitting an ungodly scream he steals their clothes and rifle before heading into town and murdering anyone who gets in his way. Mark doesn’t discriminate in his killing methods as he shoots, stabs, and slices and breaks necks. Afterward he ejects what resembles a tree branch from his mouth to theirs (although one scene shows mouth-t0-vagina) and they are cocooned before returning later as zombified versions of their former selves. The rest of Almost Human consists of Seth being a douche-bag emo as he spouts ‘Something is wrong, I can feel it’ to anyone who will listen including Jen, Mark’s former girlfriend. This, give or take a scene or two, is the plot of Almost Human.

My first thought after the movie was over was ‘did I miss something?’ What is the point of this movie? If writer-director Joe Begos was attempting to make a film about the aftermath of an alien abduction I have some bad news for him: Fire in the Sky already did that and better. Almost Human only serves to confuse, especially with its handling of Mark. We know he was taken by extraterrestrials. What confused me is where did Mark end and the alien entity that was obviously possessing him begin? When Mark returns to his former home to confront the new owners is it anger or E.T. that drives him? The same goes for when he meets Jen’s new fiancé. A little bit of plot and character development would have gone a long way in giving Almost Human any credibility.

I had heard a lot of comments from other reviewers concerning the quality of the acting in Almost Human. After seeing for myself I can safely say that the quality is somewhere between local car dealership commercials and pornographic films. In fact, if the acting in Almost Human is considered good in any way then there are adult film stars who deserve Oscar nominations.

There is an extra scene after the credits. I wouldn’t have known this if not for the trivia I read about the film. It doesn’t matter; in order for a film to make you sit through eight minutes of credits for an additional 20 second scene it has to keep you interested for the previous hour. Unless viewers are completely masochistic I don’t see anyone hanging around for that long.

TRIVIA

The credits are 8 minutes long. The director stated the reason for this is to get the film to feature length for certain festival circuits.

Takes place in Derry, Maine, the fictional town used in a number of Stephen King novels.

½blood

Graham Skipper also appears in Late Bloomers.

Vanessa Leigh also appears in Self Storage and The Last Halloween.

Josh Ethier also appears in Chillerama and Contracted.

 

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