Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Checking In Briefly With a Movie Recommendation . . . .

A few days ago I caught Kevin Smith's Red State, and I loved it.  This is coming from someone who's not really a fan of Smith's work -- I certainly don't hate what I've seen by any means, but most of his movies leave me with no desire to see them more than once.  The only one to date that I liked enough to buy was Zach & Miri Make a Porno

That said, I really had no preconceived notions about what Red State would be.  I was excited to hear he was making a horror film, but wouldn't go so far as to say I was awaiting it with bated breath.  Then I saw the trailers, and my curiosity was piqued for sure.  This was like a whole family of my own Holy Rollers!  After folks finally got the chance to see Smith's much-talked-about first foray into the horror genre, the reviews started hitting the usual blog and review sites fast and furious.  And they were very mixed reviews, overall.  Most of them, I'd say, leaned toward the negative side*, or were at best lukewarm.  So I decided I'd see Red State when it was finally released on DVD, but this was one that could go either way.  I wasn't in any big hurry to check it out.

But check it out I did, earlier this week when I happened to be walking by a Redbox and saw that Red State was available for rental.  I had no clue it had been released already.  I immediately stepped up to the machine, slid my debit card, and carried the disc home.

And I loved it!

I'm not even gonna tell you any more about it.  Just give it a look.  If you're into horror films with an original premise and characters that aren't all black-and-white (because how many real people do you know who are all good or all bad?), I doubt you'll be disappointed.  Red State is a dark, violent tale about people from all walks of life on different sides of a very timely conflict.

* (more often than not, the negative reviews mentioned how the film's narrative comes to a screeching stop at one point, as we are forced to listen to a long sermon from the demented Fred Phelps-like preacher at the heart of the story -- I disagree with the opinion that Smith's decision to do this is detrimental to the film, as I would have gladly sat through a monologue twice as long from a wonderful actor like Michael Parks!  This is truly scary stuff, folks, and maybe it's just me but I found myself so enchanted by his calm, calculated delivery I could almost understand how some people allow themselves to be so easily brainwashed by these charismatic types)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Night, In the Electric City

Had a blast last night.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I was invited to be a Guest Judge at the first annual Electric City Fright Film Festival in Anderson, SC. 

We had quite a turn-out, much more than I ever expected!  I got to watch the work of some very talented local filmakers, got to sell and sign a few books, and did a ton of networking. 

Here's just one of the fine folks I hung out with last night . . . actor Adam Minarovich, who played wife-beating "Ed" on AMC's The Walking Dead!  This guy was hilarious.  I asked him to sign my copy of the Season 1 DVD, and he gladly sent along a little message to my wife that echoed his character's line just before he was beaten to a pulp by Shane:  "To Glenda . . . whassup, cooze?"   LOL!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Now Available In All E-Book Formats: THE FORUM

Online message boards.

     You've seen them around the Internet. Perhaps you've been a member of several. You've cursed the spammers and trolls, witnessed the flounces and the flame wars waged by faceless usernames with nothing better to do.
     There are millions of different message boards throughout the World Wide Web, all of them catering to different hobbies and cultures and fetishes. They are communities for people with common interests, a gathering of like minds and kindred souls . . . .

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are currently over 500 active serial killers within the United States.

      Somewhere out there, isn't it possible that an online message board exists for those who live outside society's rules? For those who kill for the thrill of it, and yearn for the taste of blood?A place to swap stories . . . to boast of their exploits and discuss tricks of "the trade." A safe haven where mementos can be displayed . . . where members can learn how to hone their dark craft, and maybe make a few new friends in the process . . . .

This is THE FORUM.    

For my fans who prefer to read on Kindle, Nook, etc. etc. (I'm still learning all the terminology myself), I'm pleased to announce that my novella The Forum is now available wherever e-books are sold. 

Here's the link to purchase The Forum on Amazon . . . for less than a buck!


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Electric City Fright Film Festival -- Anderson, SC 10/15

Just wanted to send a quick heads-up to any readers out there who live in western NC/upstate SC or plan to be in the area next weekend . . . .

A week from tomorrow I will be a judge -- alongside, among others, actor Adam Minarovich (most horror fans will recognize him as "Ed Peletier", the wife-beating redneck in AMC's The Walking Dead) -- at the first annual Electric City Fright Film Festival.

Also present will be musical guests Valentine Wolfe, a great local gothic-cabaret act.  It should be a really good time!  Come on out, support local indie filmmakers and fellow horror fans, and maybe buy a book from me (I'll have a table at the event, and plan to bring along a few copies of each of my works). 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RECOMMENDED: 7 Days (Les Sept Jours Du Talion)

I watched a wonderful movie last night that I'd like to recommend to my readers.  It's a French film from 2010 called 7 Days.

7 Days is the story of a successful surgeon whose eight-year-old daughter is raped and murdered.  A few days later, a local sex offender is arrested for the crime, and the detective in charge of the case assures the girl's father that her killer will go to prison for the rest of his life; there is solid DNA evidence, and no doubt that the authorities have their man.  The grief-stricken father has other plans, however.  He kidnaps the murderer as he is being transferred from one jail to another, and he proceeds to show the predator what it means to suffer.  He vows to continue his vengeance until the seventh day, which would have been his daughter's ninth birthday.

I've always been a big fan of revenge flicks.  But there's so much more to this film than just torture, bloodletting, and the castration you already know will ensue the second you read that synopsis (for the record:  no, you don't see it).  Oh, 7 Days is a brutal film.  No doubt about it.  The violence exacted upon the little girl's murderer made me cringe on more than one occasion (even as I found myself thinking, "Yeah, I'd probably do that too").

Yet, at the same time, I found 7 Days -- particularly one sequence about 3/4 of the way in -- to be one of the most heartwrenching things I have ever seen.  I cried.  I admit it.

Check it out.  This one gets my highest recommendation. 

* BTW:  the above trailer has no English subtitles, but the Region 1 DVD from MPI Home Video does

Monday, October 3, 2011

Copies of ANIMOSITY Are Still Available!

Just a reminder that copies of my new novel Animosity are still available . . . .

Here's the trailer (by the incredibly talented James Futch), in case you haven't seen it.

Click here to order your copy today . . . and find out why I call this one my "love letter to the horror genre, and to the often-thankless job of being a horror writer".

Saturday, October 1, 2011


God, I love this time of year.

There's a nip in the air.  Leaves blow about, and crunch underfoot.  The smell of woodsmoke drifts over from a neighbor's chimney.

Horror films and documentaries about horror films are all over the TV, or will be very soon.

This is the season when it is -- to quote one of my own novels, Animosity -- "okay to dwell upon evil and darkness and ghastly, grinning things from the grave".


God, I love this time of year.

For folks like me, it's our time. 

Look out.