November 19, 2014

Guest Review: Only Lovers Left Alive(2013)

Genre: Romance/Horror Producer: Jeremy Thomas & Reinhard Brundig Director/Writer: Jim Jarmusch Starring: Tom Hiddleston Tilda Swinton Tom Hurt Reviewed By: Alyssa Hale

Warning: this is no ordinary “vampire” film. So there’s not much blood-and-gore, and no violence at all (unless you think neck biting is violence). In fact, you won’t even know whether Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) are real vamps or not if they don’t show their fangs. But the film does try to depict the ordinary lives of the immortal creatures – if they truly exist in reality, and instead of the wonderful illusion that we humans often dream of, the unending life can be lengthy, dull and simply uninteresting to the vampires.

The film opens with a vortex-like scene in which everything slowly spins and descends, just like what time appears in the vampires’ eyes. There we see Adam, a super-talented musician who dwelled in an old house in the deserted Detroit. Lamenting the naivety of humans and the irreversible tide of the modern society, Adam is often depressed and suicidal. On the other hand, his wife Eve was a bibliophile who lived (quite happily) in Tangier. One day, Eve decided to visit Adam, and so the couple reunited and enjoyed some quality time together. But their secret lair was soon discovered by Ava (Mia Wasikowska), the crazy little sister of Eve. Refused to keep a low profile and felt dissatisfied with the preserved blood in Eve’s fridge, Ava targeted Ian, a human friend of Adam. Thus started the disaster and the once-peaceful life of the vampire lovers was disrupted…

Across the entire film, the acting was low profile but mesmerizing. Tilda Swinton successfully portrayed an otherworldly graceful immortal that makes you think of Galadriel in Lord of the Rings, while Adam was a cool and melancholic Bloodline Keeper being stranded into the modern days. And the entire film is full of things so Jim Jarmusch: vintage instruments, swirling music, and the often unbearable strangeness that exists in the hearts of the-end-of-era souls. So if you want to experience different emotions than what you had in Twilight or commercial vampire films, you should give it a try. You have been warned though – the blood ain’t traditional tasting.

Alyssa Hale Bio
A strange girl who wants to live in the Middle Ages. She loves vampires, Game of Thrones, and the black color. 

October 7, 2014

The Anatomy Of Fear @Passion2Publish


Conversations with Cult Horror and Science Fiction Film Creators

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

The Anatomy Of Fear On Goodreads

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
Length: 102 pages
Frightful Tales: Rose's Thorn

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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