Category: horror

Trump to Write New Book Titled “My Struggle”

Donald Trump, darling of the far right, has just announced plans to write an autobiographical manifesto of sorts, detailing his plans, hopes, and dreams for the future of the United States. “I’ve had a hard life growing up,” Trump told reporters. “My dad could only give me a small seven figure loan to get on my feet, and it’s amazing I’ve been able to come so far, considering all the ways this country’s policies has made life difficult for me. Rich white men are really discriminated against these days, and I want to make sure the world knows all about it.”

The book plans to outline a fair chunk of his political ideology as well. It will cover such topics as why Muslims are the root of all problems in America today. “America should be for Americans. We don’t need any of these refugees coming in here. Terrorists. Drug dealers. We need to come up with an answer to all of this. A permanent answer. A final solution of some sort, so we don’t need to keep revisiting the issue. Maybe they should all move to Madagascar. Maybe something else. Whatever it is, it’s gonna be huge.”

Of course, Trump has big plans for himself these days. He remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President, and he’s already planning some of his policies, should he be elected. “Right off, I’m going to invade Poland.” (At this point, an aide leaned over and whispered something in his ear, after which he cleared his throat and continued.) “Syria. Invade Syria. Sorry about that. Freudian slip. I also have been eyeing the Sudetenland.” (Another pause for another whispered conversation.) “Or rather, Canada. They’re pretty much America already. I’m sure they’d love to have me running their country. America could really use some breathing space up north, you know? A little bit of Lebensraum.”

And finally, no interview with Mr. Trump could be complete without one final question: his hair. Is it real, or a toupee? “Absolutely real,” Trump reassured us. “And it’s key to my image. History has shown how great leaders always have something going on with their hair. Something special. I thought about growing out a little mustache for a while. Nothing big. Something tidy that sits right under my nose. I even tried it, but it made my face tickle, and it made me look even more like a rodent. The combover was my next idea, and it fits me.”

The publishing world eagerly awaits the new book by Trump. In the meantime, we’ll all have to settle for his keen insight and quick wit. His effortless tact and scintillating acumen. It’s hard to imagine a more charismatic leader, able to whip up the nation into a furor. Stay tuned as the story continues to develop…

New (to Me) Christmas Movie Review Roundup

It’s the holiday season again, which means I revisit some movies that I watch almost every year. But I’m not content to always just watch Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story. I like to break new ground. Explore new territory. And so I’ve already seen a few movies for the first time this year. Should you watch them, too? Read on and find out!

First up is a film that had been appearing on tons of “Best of Christmas” lists: Love Actually. It had gotten a lot of hype, and it has a great cast (Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, etc.). So did it live up to its promise? Yes and no. It’s very much a vignette movie–tons of characters, tons of intersecting plot lines, all focused on love and relationships around Christmas. For the most part, it’s ooey-gooey fluff, and quite good fluff at that. I personally really enjoyed it–8 out of 10. Why does it feel like there’s a big “but” coming? Because there is. In the middle of all this fluff is a plot line that just makes it so most of you reading this likely won’t watch the movie at all: two of the characters meet by being stand ins for famous actors. What kind of stand ins? Sex stand ins. So they’re naked and simulating sex acts every time they appear. As I put it to a friend, imagine You’ve Got Mail, but add in Tom Hanks visiting a strip club a time or two. Then throw in 11 f-bombs, just for kicks. Yeah . . . So in the end, I’d have to say catch this one on television if it ever airs there. Sheesh.

Second was a new Christmas Carol adaptation: the 1938 version, which is actually one of the oldest, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was new-to-me. If I’ve already seen a ton of these, why do I keep watching them? Because I’m an adaptation junkie. I love seeing different approaches to making adaptations, and this one had some great things I’d never seen done before. First up, they spent a whole lot more time with the Cratchits. We saw Bob and Fred interact, Bob play around with kids, the family spending time together at home. It was a nice touch, because by knowing the Cratchits more, we sympathize with them that much more. It makes what Scrooge does and who he is that much more dreadful, which allows his redemption to be that much more sweet. The acting in the film bordered on manic at times, but it’s an early movie, and you get that sort of thing from time to time. This would be a 7.5 out of ten for me. Great production.

Next up? Rare Exports. It’s a Finnish film that asks the important question: what if Santa Claus were real–and really really ancient and evil. Some wicked archaeologists are doing their best to find Santa’s grave. When they do, they release the still-living Santa into the world today. He starts nabbing naughty children and killing off bad adults. It’s horror, fantasy, and Christmas in one tidy package. Kind of grisly in places. I enjoyed the movie, though I likely won’t be watching it again. 6.5 out of 10. The pacing and plot had some issues that got in the way for me, but I loved the premise.

Finally? Kon-Tiki. Yes, I realize this has almost nothing to do with Christmas (although it does have a conversation that occurs at Christmas . . . ), but Denisa and I watched it last night, and we both loved it. It’s a look at the Kon-Tiki voyage–the Norwegian expedition from Peru to Polynesia by 6 men on a balsa wood raft. 5,000 miles. Nothing but wind and currents to get them there. Really great movie: wonderfully filmed, intense action, great plot, and not that long. 8.5 out of 10. If you’re looking for a great movie to watch on Netflix, look no further. Highly recommended for all.

Looking for Some Good "Disney Horror" Recommendations

Something Wicked This Way Comes was a favorite movie of mine when I was younger. I’d classify it as “Disney Horror”–creepy movies that aren’t really straight up horror. They’re toned down for a younger audience. But they’re still very creepy. Some other movies that come to mind like this would be Watcher in the Woods¬†and maybe even the animated Sleepy Hollow bit.

For my next project, I’m thinking about doing something more Middle Grade than Young Adult. GET CUPID was longer than most books, and I’d like something shorter this time, just for a change of pace. The idea I have in mind definitely has some Disney Horror in it, though I’d also like it to be a bit quirkier–have humor laced throughout it. Maybe more of a Time Bandits feel, but with the quirky not quite dialed up to eleven.

Notice a trend?

I’ve come to realize that when I write books, I often think of them as movies before I get into them. I’ve started doing this consciously for a few reasons. First off, I like to immerse myself in some of the genre before I start writing it. I can read books, and I do pick a few just to get a sense for the literary side of things (in this case, I’ll definitely re-read The House with a Clock in its Walls, and I’m thinking of checking out a bit or RL Stine just to see what he was up to), but I can watch a lot of movies very quickly. And I can latch on to themes and tones from the films I like and then translate those into the written word in a manner that hopefully hasn’t been done before. In other words, if I look at a bunch of books, then I end up falling into the same paths that those books broke. With film, I can do something and not worry so much about how it was done before.

I’m not sure if the end result is much different, but it makes a difference to me, and that’s what matters, right?

So with GET CUPID, I watched the whole Oceans Eleven series multiple times, plus some other caper movies, like The Hot Rock, Burn Notice (certain episodes), Topkapi–that sort of thing. I’d like to do the same sort of thing now, so I’m turning to you.

What are some good “Disney Horror” movies you’ve liked? I’m particularly looking for things that are more modern than Something Wicked. Note that I don’t mean it has to be done by Disney. I just mean horror for the 8-12 year old set. Ideally with some quirky humor, but that’s not a must. I have some ideas, but I like hearing what other people suggest, too.

So come on–hit me with your favorite scary movies when you were younger. No outright horror. Yes, The Shining features a young boy, but that movie ain’t for eight year olds, IMHO.

Thanks in advance!

What’s Up with American Cinema?

Seriously, Hollywood. Cut it out. Cut what out, you all ask? I’ll tell you. I’m sick of Hollywood remaking fantastic foreign films. What’s the point? So that stupid American audiences don’t have to read subtitles? It’s ridiculous! Case in point: The Orphanage. (Although I could just as easily be discussing 13 Tzameti here, or La Femme Nikita, or a slew of other foreign movies.) I watched this one yesterday, and I was really impressed with it. It tells the story of a woman who returns to the orphanage she grew up in, now intent on turning it into a home for developmentally handicapped children. All is fine and dandy at first, but then she begins to notice things that aren’t quite right. Scariness ensues. The movie was intense, frightening–and far from cheap. In other words, it didn’t have to resort to cheap tricks to scare its audience. Really well done. So it was in Spanish. So what? I loved it anyway. A good strong three star movie.

Why does it have to be remade?

Why can’t people just watch the original, appreciate it, and let Hollywood start actually making something besides the latest crappy “satire” movie or yet another remake. I get that Hollywood is a business, and that they only want to invest in sure deals. But come on, guys. Grow a spine and take some chances. There’s lots of material out there just waiting to be made. Why redo things that have already been done so well before? And don’t get me started on the remakes of classics. Seriously–unless you’re bringing something new to the table, don’t come knockin’ at my door. I don’t mind if you take existing material and adapt it. In fact, I’m all for that. Disturbia’s take on Rear Window was awesome. But don’t just retread the same stuff, just to make a buck or two.

It’s disappointing.

Can I get an amen from anyone out there?

Enlightenment

Gather ’round, folks. Prepare to be enlightened. Last night, I finally got around to watching Dawn of the Dead, a quintessential zombie flick that I had just missed out on over the years. It definitely lived up to its seminal position in the ranks of zombie films, and I’m very glad that I watched it. Not that I enjoyed it particularly. In fact, I watched most of it at 1.5 speed on my blu-ray player (which turned it into Chipmunks of the Dead, more or less–quite amusing, really). No, I’m glad I watched it because Parker wouldn’t have missed it for the world, and now having seen it, I will work on the third draft of my book a bit more, honing and changing things to better fit with the movie. I’m even thinking about changing the title (again) to Pawn of the Dead, which I think is a cool fusion of Edding’s Pawn of Prophecy and this movie. Thoughts? (And yes, Janci–you were right. Thanks for making me watch it.) I give the movie 3 stars.

And just so that I’m not the only person getting enlightened this fine day, I shall share with you a tiny morsel of Fun. One of my favorite computer games when I was a kid was completely text based. No graphics at all. It was called Zork, and it was truly awesome. Today I found out you can play Zork from the comfort of your web browser. And not just Zork, but a slew of other text based games, as well. And if that isn’t Awesome, I don’t know what is. Check it out.

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