October 7, 2014

The Anatomy Of Fear @Passion2Publish

THE ANATOMY OF FEAR:

Conversations with Cult Horror and Science Fiction Film Creators

Authors: Christopher Vander Kaay | Kathleen Fernandez - Vander Kaay
Publisher: NorLightsPress
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The Anatomy Of Fear

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During in-depth conversations with 21 horror and science-fiction film writers and directors, filmmakers Chris and Kathleen Vander Kaay uncover a surprisingly honest appraisal of the human psyche, along with the inside story on the inspiration, creation, and behind-the-scenes experiences of box office blockbusters.

Horror movies have a shady reputation because of their flaws and eccentricities. Horror wants us to laugh when we’re uncomfortable, keep looking when we want to turn away, and live with a total lack of happy endings. Perhaps that’s why we respect these films as a subculture. And because no one expects horror films to toe the line, they get to flirt with madness and imperfection while making the most interesting, controversial observations.

"The Anatomy of Fear" is a collection of interviews with writers and directors of horror and science fiction films. As a horror fan, I love to read about the inner workings of the writers/directors minds and their process for certain scenes and messages in the movies. This collection of interviews does just that. It pulls back the curtains and gives the readers a glimpse inside the mind of such greats as Tom Holland, Larry Fessenden, and many more.

While "The Anatomy of Fear" is a great and interesting read, I feel only movie buffs or hardcore horror/science fiction fans would enjoy this read. For the fellow nerds like myself, I recommend giving this a read.

Four Skulls

October 5, 2014

Say No To Drugs @Mattmolgaard

Say No To Drugs

Author: Matt Molgaard
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Publisher: HNR Publishing
Length: 41 pages




"Say No To Drugs" is a collection, of two shorts, that resemble the drive in's grindhouse cinema of the seventies. Featured in this collection are "The Pot" and "Blue".

In "The Pot" two high school students are trying to score some weed but instead get something much more horrific.
In "Blue" a young man must figure out of he's experiencing the most horrific hallucination ever or are these maddening visions and experiences something more.

Also included is a short story from the author's two year-old daughter.

"Say No To Drugs" captures the 'Reefer Madness' vibe but takes it to another level of horror. Provided as cautionary tales of what drug use can do to you, 'The Pot' and 'Blue' will make you think twice before using.

The author takes the reader on a journey filled with drugs and remains to keep the stories grounded in reality. His characterization and voicing of the teens in 'The Pot' are spot on. I could eavesdrop on teens today and they would have the same conversations Ray Waltz and his friend.

'Blue' is an acid trip gone horribly wrong and expressed with such vividness on paper that I felt as I was living the horrible drug induced trip.

Both stories fit the theme of the collection and while both show slivers of a dark comedy; the stories are more horror than anything else. The author also includes a short story from his daughter at the end of the book and it's clear that his love for writing has been in instilled in her as well.

Five Skulls

September 29, 2014

Frightful Tales: Rose's Thorn by @WesJThomas

Frightful Tales: Rose's Thorn

Author: Wesley Thomas
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Length: 102 pages
Frightful Tales: Rose's Thorn
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From the twisted author that brought you 'Terror Train', comes his latest offering, a new horror collection.

Frightful Tales is a collection of horror novellas, each book is based on real Urban Legends. From the creepy, eerie, chilling and down right horrifying! Each tale tells of a myth originating from the United Kingdom. This collection is not for the fainthearted.

Rose's Thorn"
Emily and Declan have been best friends their whole lives. But Emily comes from an incredibly wealthy family, and Declan's background is quite the opposite. One Christmas Declan's neglectful and abusive father forgets to buy any presents for him. Emily, feeling sympathetic for her best friend gives him a doll. Declan has a secret hobby for playing with dolls and is delighted, and grateful for having such an incredible friend. But after several unexplained coincidences and mind-numbing terror, he soon wishes she had never given him this doll.
Author Wesley Thomas is back again with another chilling short story. "Rose's Thorn" is the first novella in the Frightful Tales series and boy does it impress.

Declan loves to play with dolls, but he keeps it a secret from his father in fear of abuse. His friend, Emily, lends Declan one of her dolls during a stressful time in hopes of cheering him up.

Once the doll arrives at his place, things begin to go south. From several unexplained occurrences to piss your pants moments of terror; the author handles the characters and pacing with precise control.

The act of inanimate objects coming to life has always unnerved me. From "Child's Play" to "Mommie Dearest", and now "Rose's Thorn"; dolls have a way of instilling fear.

This novella isn't all horror as the author weaves an intricate plot around the doll's origins that will cause the readers to feel a range of emotions.

It is nice to read the author's works and see how he improves with each one. "Rose's Thorn" is terror at it's best.

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One Undead Step by @ianmcc2010

One Undead Step

Author: Ian McClellan
Publisher: Severed Press
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Length: 219 Pages


Many people know that the 1969 moon landing was faked, but are unaware of the actual circumstances. Find out how the U.S. faked the moon landing to avert the zombie apocalypse as the lives of a disgraced B-movie director, a bar owner, some drunks, an Army Ranger unit, a bunch of gangsters, an affluent but very dysfunctional family, and a few cops come together in One Undead Step.

One year after Romero shocked the world with Night of the Living Dead, a small city is rocked by grisly killings, the gory details of which are only known through whispered rumors. The government presence that makes the populace all the more nervous is unable to contain the impending threat that grows out of control on a hot, humid night in Mid-July. As the city’s residents fight for their lives, the Military rushes to make a film about two men landing a small spacecraft on the moon. Will their plan work?
Find out as an evil man finds redemption, some soldiers choose between their mission and duty, a young couple finds forbidden love, an older couple reignites their passion, and a bartender gets stiffed for lots of drinks in One Undead Step.

"One Undead Step" is a unique concept on the age old zombie story. The author takes the moon landing and caters the story to conspiracy theorists that believe the moon landing was faked. In this universe, it was faked to cover up a zombie outbreak.
The author shows that he loves the craft and genre with great descriptive passages and characters that while are flawed; they are still believable.

The ending of the book felt disjointed from the rest of the story with the inclusion of the shorter stories. Were these supposed to relate to the main story? Or were they just stand alone tales. These shorts aren't bad, but I feel it would have been better to save those for later and release them as a collection.

Overall "One Undead Step" is an enjoyable romp through the zombie apocalypse.

4 Skulls