Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aliens and Zombies and Clowns...OH MY!

Hello Kiddies and sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been trying to get caught up on a few projects and incorporating a new project as well. I’m also contending with a new job with a well known company that requires longer hours. Just like everyone, I too have bills that need paid and I occasionally enjoy eating. This new position offers considerably more than my last position did (no, I am no longer a meat cutter), and allows me to jump full force back into the technical field and utilize my degree. Of course the pay and benefits have something to do with it too. But, that doesn’t mean my writing will cease, only that a new schedule will need to be implemented. And, with knowing that the debts are paid, relaxation and writing should go hand in hand.
Hey…if Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and many other writers did it…so can I.


Apollo 18 – A Review

The June 20th, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing was certainly one of America’s finest historical and technological moments. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the cold desolate lunar surface and spoke that immortal quote; that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, people across the globe cheered and it appeared that this was the beginning of what would eventually lead to a colonization of a moon base.

In the years to follow, there were five more lunar missions, some succeeding and some failing. These abruptly ended in 1972 and we never went back. Why?

The new horror based Apollo 18 film asks this question in a conspiracy theory type premise. Told through supposedly newly found footage of a fictitious 1974 top secret mission headed by the Department of Defense, (not NASA), it does offer creditability.

While the movie may not utilize typical horror monsters, ala Freddy, Jason or Leatherface, nor does it rely on a spiritual floating apparition concept, it does have that invading Alien and we’re all doomed feel, (minus the size and acid dripping teeth). The chilling aspect comes in the form of complete and utter less isolation coupled with a potential horrifying unknown vicious creature or creatures. And, it is the limited showing of the creature or creatures that is psychologically most terrifying. In this case, less was more.

The highly secretive mission was supposed to be (according to the astronauts), only a two day exploration to place sophisticated motion sensor cameras on the lunar surface to enable monitoring from Earth. It turns out that the Department of Defense knew more than the astronauts were led to believe.

By taking on a historically accurate type narration, shown through bits and pieces of the footage, the movie is quite believable. Director Gonzalo Lopez-Goodman effectively maintained suspense and incorporated just the right amount of revelation (quick, startling shots), and Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, and Ryan Robbins each played the roles of intelligent astronaut guinea pigs well. No over-the-top acting here. Each performed as one would expect the members of America’s space program to act; calm, rational, calculating and logical.

Watching this movie, I found myself feeling a bevy of emotions from pride to fright to anger. The latter coming in the film’s last ten minutes or so, which, without giving any spoilers away, seemed typical and maddening. And, although I can fully understand the reasoning, I still found myself somewhat incensed, especially when taking into consideration that if this scenario were actual, the conclusion would probably be accurate.

Therefore, overall, if you are a horror / sci-fi / thriller buff, I highly recommend this film. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7.9. It is original, engrossing, fast paced and a refreshing change from what Hollywood horror has recently offered. It certainly kept me staying scared.


As Far As Writing Is Concerned...

I recently finished and submitted a tale entitled “The Christmas Help” to Open Casket Press (an imprint of Living Dead Press) for possible inclusion in their upcoming Dead Christmas – A Zombie Anthology. It is a tale of how the zombie plague affected the North Pole workshop and how it was dealt with. Told through the eyes of Malba, a living elf who experienced the horror, it is a historical representation of the events, as they unfolded, and what it has become today. Fingers are crossed.

I’m also exploring where to submit a couple other tales.

The Sidewalk Ends” is a story that is rather hard to explain without giving it all away. Let’s just say there are unseen doorways in this world that will take you to a place you probably hope to never go.

Dreamented” is a tale of an early teen learning and realizing that he has a special ability.

* adding to my novel “Future Past

* working on a tale for the Evil Jester Press anthology “Attic Toys.

* still writing on “A Lawnly Existance,” a story about a little old man and his dog, who inadvertently stumbles on a way to make his lawn grow, offering hope to fulfill his deceased wife’s dream of winning the town’s coveted best lawn award. But, it comes with a hefty cost.

* and awaiting my copy of Look What I Found, the anthology from NorGus Press to come in the mail. My tale The Pumpkin Patch is in it.

Here's the line-up
His Blueness by Barry Rosenberg
Moment by Nicholas Conley
Jacob & Larry by Robert Freese
The Maestro Signal by William Wood
Dad's Secret by Brandon Cracraft
Shallow by D. G. Sutter
A Unicorn in the Heart of the City by Joshua Ramey-Renk
The Curious Case of Josiah Mint by Sean T. Page
Within Hidden Places by Kenneth W. Cain
Shimmer by Jutter Cain
Clock Watchers by Lisa Woodard
The Anonymous Portrait by Alex Azar
The Strange Affair of Silas Heap by Sean T. Page
I've Got the Conch by Kelly Hudson
The Pumpkin Patch by Thomas Scopel
Because You Feel It by Ben North
The Lens of the Innocent by Suzanne Robb
Skin Deep by Allen Izen
Isolation Polish by Dale Elster
Money Clip by Jeffrey Angus
Should Have Been There by Matt Nord
VRZ by Patrick D'OrazioI
Coffee Mate by Ken Goldman
The Dep Tank by A.A. Garrison
Montgomery by Jeremy Bush
Sweet Madeline by Steven McGuire
Under Pressure by Marc Sorondo
The Thing Behind the Wall by A.J. French
Under White Sheets by Rick McQuiston
Contents of a Canvas Bag by Robert Essig


And, Twitch, my novella about retribution told through a deformed carnival sideshow attraction that harbors a special power is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords for only 99 cents.


Did you know that the September issue of Suspense Magazine is now out? Inside is a horde of great reading including interviews with Stephen England, Lisa McMann, Simon Toyne and Faye Kellerman, art by Andreea Cernestean, tales by Marie Force, Stephen Besecker, L.J. Sellers and Jeff Shelby, articles by C.K. Webb and Tiffany Coulter, reviews of both movies and books, and much more. Pick up a copy today and don’t be surprised if you entertain thoughts of subscribing.


The Webcast Project - Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked

And, last but not least, that project I mentioned way back up there in the beginning…it is a webcast starring my scary clown alter ego Wee Willie Wicked (visit his blog). It is a Saturday night (midnight EST) show called Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked on Livestream that I’m still perfecting and so far, includes a chat about various horror (movies, books, etc…), as well as the showing of a public domain, classic and usually cheesy film. Currently I am exploring a specific format. More on that later tho…

This week's show highlights include a showing of the Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing classic Horror Express and a giveaway of a Drive-In Horrorshow soundtrack (both vinyl and CD) signed by Greg Ansin.

Get the DVD here
Drivein Horrorshow

Oh yeah...I've been catching up on some reading too!

FANGORIA Magazine (Subscription) 1 yr / 10 Issues

HorrorHound Magazine (The 100 Greatest names in horror of the last 100 years, January February 2011)

So....until next week kiddies...

Stay Scared,