Posts Tagged ‘horror’

Love Out For Souls & Cookies? Help Fund the Graphic Novel!

I am running a Kickstarter for the long awaited Out For Souls & Cookies Graphic Novel which will include the 5 original issues plus an exclusive brand new story inside! It will be a 136 page, full color graphic novel. My goals are really just to presell the graphic novel and make it the best it can be.

OFSC_FrontCover

Cover for Graphic Novel!

Out for Souls and Cookies is an ALL AGES comic series about two demons who tire of stealing souls. However, Hell has no retirement plan. So they disguise themselves as poodles and move to Seattle where people will take care of them.

The first goal of $500 is to just pre-sell as many copies as I can, but I do have stretch goals …

Stretch Goal of $5000 ???

For more informaiton, click on the cover or the link is below: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/129641212/out-for-souls-and-cookies-graphic-novel

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7 of my Top Cosmic Horror Movies

Just in time for Halloween! My top cosmic horror films!

What does make a movie Cosmic Horror (aka Lovecraftian Horror)?  Wikipedia writes that “the hallmark of Lovecraft’s work was the sense that ordinary life was a thin shell over a reality which was so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.” and also“The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos. This also suggests that the majority of undiscerning humanity are creatures with the relative significance of insects and plants, when compared to the universe.”

I put together this movie list with those things in mind. I also tried to think about films I have seen more than once and/or I wouldn’t mind watching again. My list is in alphabetical order, because if it is on this list, I loved the film.


61jpx9swq6l-_ac_ul320_sr260320_Absentia
Tricia’s (played by Courtney Bell) husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie (played by Catherine Parkercomes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.

I love this movie because the relationship–both as solid support for each other, but at times tense–between the two sisters.  Both women have pasts. Both women have made mistakes. Tricia is pregnant with the child of the detective who followed her husband’s case.  The tension throughout this movie is so thick at times the horror aspects feel like relief. 

Cabin in the Woods:51cm-myh6fl-_ac_us160_

A rambunctious group of five college friends Kristen ConnollyChris HemsworthAnna HutchisonFran Kranz, and Jesse Williams  steal away for a weekend of debauchery in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in a night of endless terror and bloodshed. Sound familiar? Just wait. As the teens begin to exhibit standard horror movie behavior, a group of technicians in a control room are scrutinizing, and sometimes even controlling, every move the terrified kids make! With their efforts continually thwarted by the all powerful eye in the sky, do they have any chance of escape.

 If people haven’t seen this film, I don’t want to say to much, because part of the fun of this film is the surprises. This is probably the funniest film on this list. Following two seperate and intertwining storylines, the film makes fun of horror tropes: the girl who drops the knife for example. So five college students go to the cabin in the woods. When the cellar door swings open, they find a pile of old curios. Each one a little creepier. Then they choose… 

81bs8iq3bel-_sy445_Cthulhu:

A Seattle history professor (Jason Cottle) drawn back to his estranged family on the Oregon coast to execute his late mother’s estate, is reaquainted with his best friend from childhood, with whom he has a long-awaited tryst. Caught in an accelerating series of events, he discovers aspects of his father’s New Age cult which take on a dangerous and apocalyptic significance.

This is the most lovecraftian on my list as it follows one of the Lovecraft’s stories. This film starts off showing the mundane life of Russell Marsh who is a single gay man in Seattle and then has a slow build.  Once the world has twisted, the danger feels completely real. It is visceral and yet mysterious. 

 

91xxxhrskgl-_sx342_Event Horizon:

A pioneering research spacecraft mysteriously vanished, without a trace, on its maiden voyage. Seven years later, a weak, persistent signal from the long-missing craft prompts a rescue team, headed by Captain Miller  (Laurence Fishburne) to find and salvage the EVENT HORIZON. Accompanying him is his crew (including Kathleen QuinlanRichard T. Jones) and the designer of the ship, Dr. Weir (Sam Neill)

 Peeling back layers of science fiction, we witness to flat out horror. The film forces you to witness the horror of a woman’s sucicide because her husband loved his ship more than her. The horror of a mother being called away from her sick child. And a brilliant man descending into madness.

I admit there are some continuity issues such as Miller commenting on how the ship is a “deep freeze” and how there are ice crystals everywhere. Then a water bottle floats around with liquid sloshing inside it. But this is a tense and sinister movie that gets more twisted with every passing minute.

41dmwqtugrl-_ac_us160_In the Mouth of Madness: Insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) is sent to investigate horror writer Sutter Cane’s (Jürgen Prochnowmysterious disappearance.

He and Cane’s editor Julie Carmen end up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb’s End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane’s twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent’s problems.

Another film that Sam Neill stars in. This starts almost as a film Noir with its dark lighting and hardbitten investigator, but we quickly start to see things going wrong. People changing. And hey we get to watch Sam Neill go crazy in a brand new way this time! 

Mr. Jones: A young married couple trying to create a nature documentary rents a house in the woods and realizes a reclusive and strange artist is also there.

61funkskr5l-_ac_us160_During the film I felt I was sensing a memory of a short story that I heard on Pseudopod a long time ago.(Sorry, I wish I could remember the title or author!) There is very little gore, just lots of weird imagery. Only disappointment is the film’s lighting is very dark and sometimes the scenes were hard to see. Is it scary? I can’t even answer that. I will say it is tense and suspenseful. 

91zdzgy3mal-_sx342_Prince of Darkness:

A group of graduate students (including Lisa Blount,Dennis DunJameson Parker scientists (including Peter Jason and Victor Wong), and a priest (played by Donald Pleasence) uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open it, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable horror of them all. Terror mounts as the team must fight to save the world from a devilish fury that has been contained for over seven million years.

Though many people won’t agree with me, this is my favorite John Carpenter film. Dennis Dun has some of the best lines as the grad student who is missing his weekend plans unwillingly. His performance as Walter makes me smile. It asks questions about the nature of religion and god/anti-god. It delves into quantum physics. Fianlly, for an 80’s movie it has a diverse cast (Which unfortunately you can’t see from the bluray cover image) –and everyone is freaking scientist or grad student! No token characters. We know enough about each character to care about them as they try to stop the end of the world.  Even though I’ve seen this movie at least twenty times, I still get excited about the climax. 

51c5b9urxxl-_sy445_The Shrine:

After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists (Aaron Ashmore,  Cindy Sampson,  Meghan Heffern) trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic sacrifice.

This film has some horrific and gory imagery that made me want to clench my eyes shut. Due to the twist in the plot, some folks find this film is not as rewatchable. But I loved the beauty of the cinematography, the misty mood of  the location, and the acting was solid. 

 

 

51n74elsdel-_sy445_Yellow Brick Road:

In the fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years; until a team of researchers (including Cassidy Freeman Clark Freeman Anessa Ramsey) discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomed citizens of Friar took.

This is the film that I think is the scariest on my list. (Maybe its because I wander the wilds myself so often.) It is a creepy and unsettling film about the descent into madness as the team of researchers go down the Yellow Brick Road.  Each member is effected differently, but all lose themselves. 

 

So that’s my seven, do you agree or disagree? What’s your favorite cosmic horror films?

Sunday Book Review: After Ours

This week I read and reviewed Cheryce Clayton’s After Ours, a collection of flash fiction stories that create an over-arcing stories. It’s a fun take on zombies and the Folk with a dark sense of humor. Tagline: Things are looking grim for the shop hobs.

I gave it a 4 star review for zombies, shop hobs, and a dark sense of humor. I received an ARC for this book free from the author, but that in no way changed my feeling about the book.


A regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. Since I started adding videos, I started doing stars. I do say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


Sunday Book Review: Welcome Despair


A regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


41hegyqjwyl

Welcome Despair By Maquel A. Jacob

I purchased this book directly from Ms. Jacob at the Capitol Indie Book Fair. Both when I spoke to her and in her blurb she says, “this collection of shorts that lets you dip one foot into the shallow end of horror.”

I would agree with that assessment. These stories are suspenseful, but only a few delve deeply into horror.  Think Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow on the level of horror. However, in one topic, I would say Jacob definitely is fully into horror side of things. She pulls no punches is she explores rape and sexual sadism in every story. There are no happy endings.

FYI: This is not a spoiler, it literally says this on the back of the book.

Her use of language is quite straightforward. There was a few minor typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. (Sometimes I am not sure is a typo or just a style choice.) In my opinion, I’d have liked a little more poetry in the prose, but overall it was pretty solid.

The standout (and goriest) story of the five is Taken. Earth has been ravaged by aliens and a group of children are abducted by the sadistic enemy. One boy goes on a rescue attempt for his best friend only to discover he has been turned into a girl (why is unclear) who is being terrorized by the alien emperor.  The aliens are as cruel to each other as they are to the humans. And as I said there are no happy endings.

I would recommend this book for fans of Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow who aren’t’ afraid of reading sexual horror.

 

Sunday Book Review: Doomed and Ariel

As a regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


This week the two books I read couldn’t be more different. My husband is on a Chuck Palahnuik kick right now, and the second book I picked up on a recommendation to relax my brain.


Doomed by Chuck Palahnuik Published by Anchor House, July 2014

51g4k83vm2bl-_sx323_bo1204203200_What in the Hell did I just read? Maybe it’s horror? Maybe its satire? On the book, a reviewer from the Guardian calls it a morality tale.  When I finished it, my husband asked if the book was good. I answered it was strange.

I can’t say whether it was good or bad. I will say, I feel like I should do a writing exercise and analyze Palahnuik’s style. The Basic Premise: A gritty and dark telling of God versus the Devil told via the experiences of the chosen one: Madison Spencer.

What did I like? The novel follows a dead girl named Madison through Palahnuiks slick, visceral sometimes shockingly funny storytelling style. Palahnuik’s descriptions of her life before death, her parents and no religion except that of the celebrity culture are filled with satire.

What didn’t I like? The novel follows a dead girl named Madison through Palahnuik’s slick, visceral sometimes shockingly funny storytelling style. Madison doesn’t really have her own voice she is speaking with Palahnuik’s voice. She would alternatively used vile descriptors or kiddy phrases. But so we don’t forget that she is actually a thirteen year old girl, she repeats “Yes, I know X word.”

If you want to read something different or just want a morality tale with a razor’s edge of wit than this book is for you.


514vfhamfol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Ariel by Fia Essen, 2015

I am not big into “chick-lit”, but Fia Essen’s books are always a cool refreshing glass of water on a hot day.

Ariel, the title character, broke up with her boyfriend and is struggling financially. I enjoyed the fact that the romance is the subplot while the rest of Ariel’s life: work, family, friends are actually the main plot. There is a bit of mysterious element to Ariel which I enjoyed.  With the help of the Muse Agency, she is on a path of self discovery and the ability to love again. But what is the Muse Agency? Why are they so secretive? How do they know so much?

I described Essen’s first book Change of Pace as a beach read, Ariel is also a beach read, but now there is more confidence and strength in Essen’s prose. “There had been a time when I could sprint across rough terrain in stilettos without faltering, but those days were long gone. Few occasions now called for fancy footwear. I was out of practice and my toes were wildly objecting to being squished into such cruelly narrow vessels.”

Essen, Fia (2015-03-30). Ariel (p. 24). Summer Solstice. Kindle Edition.

So if you are looking for a fun beach read, give Ariel a shot.

Update: I believe Change of Pace might be out of print. I looked for it on Amazon for the link and it is no longer listed. 


Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think!

Sunday Book Review: Famished, The Farm & The Dragon Tax

While I have posted reviews in the past as I have read books, I am going to start posting reviews of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday as a regular feature to my blog.  While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but I do mention if I received a book for free. I only read books in hardcopy.

51kxfeqvtzl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Famished: The Farm

(Adult Horror)

Great story. I enjoyed the pull between the characters. There is the ghoul who is just waking up to who/what he is. And the friction between the ghouls who live the old ways and the ghouls who want something more. There was a bit of misdirection in the plot and the ending was an action-packed blood bath.

My only negative comment is that it followed many vampire narratives that I have read before, so once the ending started I wasn’t surprised. Still it was a great fast-paced read.

If you like books where monsters take center stage with no human interpreter, this is the book for you!

(This book was given to me for free in exchange of an honest review.)

 

The Dragon Tax 

511ionaod9l-_sx311_bo1204203200_(New Adult Fantasy)
This novella is a quick  read in an epic fantasy setting. If you like Robert Bevan or Peter Beagle, you will like Madison Keller’s work.

Without spoilers, the relationship between Sybil the dragon slayer (tax collector), Riastel the dragon, and the king who wants to tax the dragon plays out at the center of this novel. There is plenty of danger and fun surprises. There is a bit of tounge in cheek attitude to the writing which adds to the light tone.

My only negative comment is why do good guys say things like “I’d rather die…” to bad guys.   I saw the set up and shook my head with the thought “DON’T SAY THAT!” But the book picked up directly afterwards and the climax was awesome.

Great fantasy romp!

(This book was also given to me for free in exchange of an honest review.)

Sprained Wrists + Books = Reading Rampage

So I sprained my wrists. Since I needed to take some time not typing, I used the time to catch up on some independent horror films which is not part of this blog post, and my TBR pile which is the focus of this post.

Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation Trilogy:

Elizabeth’s Review:  I’ve been meaning to read this book forever, so this was the first on my list. Our hardcover edition with gilded pages is a gorgeous book. As for the story, I enjoyed this book in the academic sense, but realized why I never got into it for pleasure.  Asimov’s use of language is beautiful, but as it is a history of The Foundation, I felt like I was traveling past these people at the speed of light, unable to truly connect to any character. After too-few chapters, their contribution to history had finished and time moved on. Regardless it is beautifully written book of 730 pages, which I read in four sittings. Even though at places it could be dry, the novel captured my attention. Four planets for an interesting book.

popcover01-662x1024Prince of Pieces
Written and Created By Sam Miserendino
Art and Colors by Colin Blanton Letters
Cover by Matthew Mason

Elizabeth’s Review:
I picked this up from the author at CryptiCon. It was darkly funny and the biblical language/punishments was used brilliantly with the art. I thought the artwork was amazing. The story got convoluted in places. For example: why did the kid kill the butterfly? To show the evilness of the world? Little details left me asking “Is this part symbolism? Hmmm.”
Otherwise four crucifixes for a great book!

The Devil and My Daughter51vntf2b6a9l-_sx331_bo1204203200_
Written by Josh Hancock

Elizabeth’s Review:  This book originally intrigued my husband at Crypticon, but I was awoken early by a noisy neighbor so I read it in a few hours.

Spanning a decade, this epistolary novel is written as if it is nonfiction. In this book, its important to read everything. The preface, the footnotes are all part of the story. Overall it took a serious look at what a real demon possession might look like. It follows a film crew who unleashes a demon with a song from their heavy metal soundtrack on to a young actress.

 Because the novel is told through police reports and news stories, some parts can feel dry and repetitive, however it is a fast read. The characters were well developed. I enjoyed the serious tone of the novel which added to the dark scenario. Five Demons for this scary novel!

 

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