Movie Review: Gallowwalkers

gallowwalkersThis week’s review is the under-rated Wesley Snipes movie, Gallowwalkers. Here’s what it’s about:

“A mysterious gunman, Aman, is the son of a nun who breaks her covenant with God to ensure his survival. This act brings a curse upon Aman – all those that die by his gun will return. Soon, he is hunted by a gang of his undead former victims, led by the vicious Kansa. Aman enlists Fabulos, a new young warrior, to fight by his side.”

I wonder if I’ve been watching too many low-budget horror movies. A lot of viewers hated this movie, but I enjoyed it. Thought it even had a decent story line and ending.

I loved where they filmed, out in the middle of nowhere. The location goes well with the main character’s curse and the make up on his victims that returned from the dead. It was visual art in a sense. Played well in comparison to a comic or graphic novel.

I also have to say that I love Wesley Snipes and the choice of characters he plays. He played Aman well. I kind of wonder if the haters are more against Snipes than the movie itself.

The only negative thing I’ll say is that I wanted more related to the nuns, and really all that means is I wanted more of the movie.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Bloody Brains

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.

Prehistoric Teeth in Warrant for Damnation

RL Treadway of Atrtink
Cover by RL Treadway
Welcome to day 5 of the October Frights Blog Hop. I’ve got an action packed excerpt from chapter 2 of Warrant for Damnation, book 2 in The Courier series. This book releases mid to late November. I hope you enjoy the read.

Anyone who leaves a comment today gets a free copy of Warrant for Damnation in either paper or eBook.

If you’d like to read book 1,
It’s the last day to get Call for Obstruction FREE on Amazon.

My run jerks me to a stop beyond my control. My neck lashes forward and my gut retches, a thing that usually happens at the end of one of my cross country sprints. After the last bit of vomit splatters on the pavement, I struggle to catch my breath and burp up the taste of copper. While my wound remains crusted over, my ribs burn like a mother. I should have stayed back at the boarding house, at least until I fully recovered from being impaled by the coat rack a few minutes ago.

The sun starts to rise beyond the I-25 overpass up ahead. On my left, a twenty-four-hour gas station, and on my right, a closed burger joint. This is the Walsenberg exit, and from what I remember, it’s ten minutes by vehicle from where my run began. I’m not sure why I stopped here, but I need to get out of sight. Soon the daylight will make it harder to hide from Hell’s bounty hunters.

My stomach gurgles from internal bleeding or hunger. I walk toward the gas station for something to eat to rule out one of the possibilities, and to recuperate before I attempt another run to Trinidad to rescue my friend Nina. I hang my head knowing it’s my fault she’s with my demon ex-boss, Margery, and that my pain is nothing compared to what she must be going through.

Minutes later, I exit the convenience store sipping on a Monster and holding a small box of Froot Loops. Four guys around the right side of the building stand huddled together, their voices muffled. I swallow hard and do a double take. They’re all wearing red hoodies, the brand color for the courier company Margery manages for Satan.

Then I smell smoke. Cigarette smoke.

I whip around.

Margery emerges from between the red hooded men. “Hi, Honey.” She winks an eye smeared with black liner and turns a grin up one side of her puckered mouth. Real flames mix with her orange and red streaked hair, telling she’s in a bad mood.

I drop the cereal and aluminum can and turn to run, but it’s like my shoelaces are tied together. I trip and fall flat on my face and chest. All the air in my lungs escapes with a grunt. My heart races while doing a pushup, but my legs are stiff. I can only manage to twist my torso around and flip into a seated position. A stream of black smoke has wrapped around my lower body. Like a snake, it slithers upward, pins my arms to my sides, then wraps around my neck.

Margery’s all too familiar paralysis spell taught me to be careful around her a few days ago. I can’t believe I’ve fallen under it again. All I can do is whimper and brace myself while the inside of my mouth fuses together, muzzling my speech.

The four men move in and stare down at me like I’m roadkill. One of them gets extra curious, leans close to my face and says, “He doesn’t look so dangerous.”

My nostrils flare. Holy crap, what are they? His shriveled skin and sunken cheeks make him look as if he belongs at an Egyptian mummy exhibit. And his receding lips expose cone-shaped teeth like those of a tiger fish.

Margery’s long bulbous fingers reach in with hulk-like strength and forcefully sweep the men out of her way. “Back up, you idiots.” As usual, a cigarette hangs from her lip while she talks. “Barry, you stupid boy, did you really think you could get away from Old Margery?”

My eyes shift side to side and raspy breaths match the pace of my heartbeat. Why did I sign that contract to become a courier for her three days ago? Stupid. Stupid, stupid, I repeat in my head. I swear, I’m meant to live a miserable life, and here I am living it.

Margery holds her hands up and slowly brings her palms together. My knees bend upward in response to her control over me until my thighs meet my chest. I lose my balance and fall to one side in a fetal position, as helpless as a baby.

“Go get the van.” Margery shoves one of the mummy men. “We’ve got to get him back to the warehouse before bounty hunters show up.”

I groan, “Hmm?” Lingering smoke burns my nostrils and the back of my throat. Margery works for Satan. Why is she worried about bounty hunters showing up? What are these freaky-looking mummy men if not bounty hunters?

Three mummy men close in, their scurrying feet grind rocks into the pavement. They grasp at my clothes, and lift. Not being able to stop them, my eyes frantically circle in their sockets and sweat builds in my pores.

I take deep breaths and try to convince myself that this could be a blessing in disguise. The best place to look for Nina is the warehouse. What does it matter how I get there? Once Margery removes the spell, I’ll figure a way to escape with Nina.

I sigh, not at all convinced by my attempt at positive thinking.

In the background, a racing engine approaches. My eyes shift left. It’s Pete’s Hummer. Now I know what Candy meant when she said she didn’t want to help me learn the hard way. Pete let me leave the boarding house because he had intended to come after me all along.

The hooded men shuffle in different directions, tugging at my clothes until they lose their grip and drop me on my back. Sharp pain travels up and down my spine, and a high pitched cry escapes my nose.

“Get him back up,” one of the mummy men says. They try to regroup, but the idiots can only get me a few inches off the ground before they drop me again.

“Margery, help,” another calls out.

They all pause and look around before a third says, “Oh crap, she’s gone.”

The four doors on the Hummer slam shut in succession. A rush of my rescuers footsteps closes in on our location. Pete carries a baseball bat with nails spiked out of the end. Candy’s at his side holding a machete. Two other unfamiliar men follow, each carrying hand axes. Everyone’s weapons of choice take into consideration that decapitation or total skull mutilation is the most popular method to kill those of us who work for Satan.

Lying on my side, looking up at my captors at odd angles, they hold their position at first, but it seems more out of frozen fear. One of the shriveled men hisses and backs away out of my peripheral vision. The others follow his lead.

Candy brandishes her machete and lumbers in closer with a sort of grace. “That’s right, assholes. Back off or you’ll get a mouth full of my little friend.”

The two men catch up and the short, bald black man says, “They’re not bounty hunters.”

“No, Archie, they’re not.” Pete stares down at me. He holds his bat like he’s ready to hit a homer with one of the mummy’s heads.

I have to wonder why Pete is so invested in saving a guy like me who gets in trouble every time I turn around.

Archie steps sideways and closer to the other guy. “Any idea what they are, Ziggy?”
Ziggy stands silent, waving his hand axe.

I take in a deep breath then force through my nose, “Margery,” mixed with a primal scream. The volume barely reaches a two on a TV scale, and sounds more like an unsteady hum.

“Look at the teeth.” Candy hold up her machete, shuffles in closer, and nudges me with her lime green Crocs, still stained with my blood. “You alive?”

All I can do is blink and hum to show life.

She laughs then says, “Looks like Margery got you with one of her cigarettes.”

“Guess that answers who they work for.” Archie points into the distance. “Well that and the OTG Courier van pulling out of the parking lot.”

“Barry’s ours,” one of the mummy men says. Hissing from the mummy men grows louder in the background.

“Kissamyass.” Bad ass Candy thrusts her machete forward and takes off out of my line of sight.
“Candy, careful,” Pete chases after her. The other two men follow.

With each thump and thud, my nerves are on end, like a million spiders crawling on every inch of my skin.

Candy screams, “He’s biting me! He’s biting me!” She turns in circles back into view, waving the machete, and with a mummy man on her back.

Ziggy grabs the thing by the hoodie and pulls. In an instant, the mummy man turns and jumps from Candy to Ziggy’s throat and chews through the man’s neck like a piranha. Ziggy’s head rolls off his shoulder and his body falls backward with the mummy on top of his chest.

The mummy springs to his feet and stands hunched over, blood dripping from his mouth, his finger scanning the area for another victim.

Candy sneaks up on him and slashes her machete across his neck. The dry skin crackles like breaking a loaf of crusty bread. His head flies up into the air and lands inches from my nose. My eyes pop, staring face to face with prehistoric teeth and black sludge oozing from his neck.

A foot shoves my shins. I roll across the pavement a half dozen feet, flashes of the battle and the sky make me dizzy. Snot flies out of my nose while I gasp for air.

Pete yells, “Watch your back!”

Unable to see what’s going on, I hope that each bump and thud counts against the mummies.

“Two down, one to go, and he’s mine,” Candy yells before letting out a high pitched, “Eeee…” Her lime green crocs glow as she approaches the mummy rolling me toward a set of thrash dumpsters.

“Don’t kill him,” Pete calls out. “We need him.”

“Kissamyass!” The mummy’s body falls away from me in five pieces. Candy grabs his hoodie and pulls the head and torso across the pavement.

The mummy chomps at the air with his pointy teeth to show off his last defense. Candy takes off her Croc and shoves it in his mouth. His teeth stick to it and lock his jaw in place.
She turns and points at me. “You’re buying me new Crocs.”

Thanks to Candy, I’m able to let out a sigh of relief. I groan from aching bones and muscles, although I doubt I’ll get any sympathy from those who actually fought the battle.

“Good job, crew,” Pete calls out. “Candy, get Ziggy and Stumpy into the back of the Hummer. Barry goes in the back seat.”

“You got it, Boss.” The woman has amazing strength, and in no time she hauls the limbless mummy over her shoulder and off to Pete’s ride.

Archie stands over his headless friend, his voice cracks, “I can’t believe he’s gone.” Then he rushes me with the hand axe and a clenched fist, growling louder with each step. “He was my best friend. You killed my best friend, you son of a bitch.”

Pete holds Archie back. “You wait for a fair fight.”

Archie drops his axe near my head to deliver a final message. As in this battle may be over, but Archie’s beef with me has just begun.

“Enough!” Pete calls out. He digs cash out of his pocket and holds it out. “Go buy some lottery tickets and cool off. Then put the freaks’ body parts in the dumpster and walk back to the boarding house. I don’t want to see your face for at least an hour.”

Archie takes the cash and disappears into the convenience store.

Candy rolls me toward the Hummer. Shards of gravel poke at my body. Ouch, ouch, ouch plays over and over in my head.

Pete says, “Time to get Stumpy back to the boarding house and see what he knows.”

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing at the end of the week to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Favorite Bad Girl/Boy Leads

good-evil-blakeWelcome to day 4 of the October Frights Blog Hop. I’ve got another discussion topic for today. One of my favorite character types is the bad girl/boy lead who is forever torn between good and evil. Barry White Frost, the protagonist in my own novel, is just such a character. So I thought it would be fun to share our favorite characters who are driven to make bad and selfish decisions.

As of late, there are some amazing character on TV who fit this profile, so I went with the three below as my favorites:

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark is my first pick. If you saw season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead, you know exactly what I mean. Madison will do anything to protect her family, especially her own children. She also appears to blindly favors one child over the other. Don’t get in her way, she acts before she thinks, and the people around her pay for her mistakes. I was a bit shocked, but not shocked by how season 2 ended, and can’t wait to see where they take her character next year.

Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 2016Next up is Bruce Campbell as Ash J. Williams in Ash vs. Evil Dead. I squealed with delight when they turned the Evil Dead movies into a TV show. And WOW, the show has been awesome! I love that Ash is back years later as a man with nothing to lose. He’s a guy driven by his own wants and needs, but he’s also invested in fighting evil. They’ve paired him up with two perfect characters to keep him in line. I love where they’ve taken Ruby Knowby, Lucy Lawless’s character, this season. Did you see the scene in the morgue in the last episode? Oh my God, I haven’t laughed that hard in years.

My third selection is Tom Ellis as Lucifer. Of course, Lucifer embraces his evilness on earth, but he’s also driven to help solve murders. He’s a mixed up fallen angel who has turned his back on God and the underworld he rules over. I love his little tricks to manipulate humans to get what he wants. Having his sibling and mother in the mix as a constant distraction just adds to the fun in the show.

Your turn.
Who are your favorite characters
who struggle to control their bad side?

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing at the end of the week to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Meet Margery the Demon in Call for Obstruction

margery_print-edition-postcard-sizeWelcome to day 3 of the October Frights Blog Hop. Today is all about Margery the Demon, the antagonist in The Courier series. This short excerpt is from the beginning of the 1st book, Call for Obstruction, and is about the main character, Barry’s first meeting with her.

The amazing drawing of Margery the Demon on the left was done by RL Treadway of Atrtink. It is my aspiration to turn The Courier series into a novel/graphic novel mix and she’s done an amazing job with covers and graphics.

Enjoy and if you’d like to read more, Call for Obstruction is FREE on Amazon through Friday.

Margery’s office is nothing like the typical delivery drop off site. Reminds me a little of my grandmother’s basement, or a time warp into the nineteen-seventies. Wood paneling, windowless walls, and dark brown cabinets along one wall make the room eerie despite the florescent lighting.

The empty liquor bottles scattered across an olive green counter top and beside the color-coordinated refrigerator could explain her confusion about the accident. The smoke rising from an ashtray on a nearby table tells me she’s prone to bad habits. Who am I to complain? My other bosses this year run stiff competition for worst manager of all time.

“Barry, you made it,” says a now familiar voice that seems to come out of nowhere.

I jump, turn, and look downward. A hunchbacked crone with flaming red and orange streaked hair stands behind me. Either she’s light on her feet or a magician in her spare time. Her hairdo’s combed upwards, like a troll doll, lifting her height to nearly five feet. The woman sure likes orange. It’s also the color of the leggings below her blue oversized Broncos t-shirt.

She holds out her hand. “Margery.” We shake and electricity surges up my arm. When I stumble backward, she lets go. A crooked smile turns up one side of her puckered mouth and she winks. “You find the warehouse okay?” Her breath packs a punch that smells like raw hamburger rotting in an ashtray.

With eyes popped wide from the lingering electricity, I nod my head.

She points toward the table and leaves me standing in the middle of the lobby. I follow, stroking my vibrating knuckles.

At the table, a chair slides out and hits my leg.

I pause.

The last half hour replays in my head: a strange van, an unexplained phone call, and now the furniture moves on its own.

I should have followed my first instinct. I should have gone home.

I peer across the table to tell her I’m leaving.

Margery’s charcoal eye liner spirals around a bloodshot gaze. She draws me in like a tractor beam. In a slow, hypnotic hum, she says, “Have a seat.”

I flop into the chair, but not of my own free will. Set in front of me is a foot-high stack of paper that wasn’t there a few seconds ago. I open my mouth to ask about it.

Margery shushes me and reaches for the remnant of the still smoldering cigarette in the ashtray. She holds it between her thumb and index finger, places it between pursed lips, and inhales deeply. The cigarette crackles and snaps until it fires against her skin. When there’s no more smoke to draw in, she drops the butt into the ashtray and tamps her thumb down on the red-hot tip. The aroma of tobacco mixed with burning flesh fills the air.

“Before you can work for us”—she pauses to lick ash off her blackened fingertips with a serpent-like tongue—”you must agree to a few employment terms and sign our standard contract. All our drivers sign one.”

Bile rises to the back of my throat. I swallow hard and point at the tall stack of paper. “The contract seems excessive. What’s in it?” Not that I’m going to sign it.

She falls back in her chair, lifts her arm, and a newly lit cigarette appears out of nowhere. “Top copy’s salary, fifty-five an hour plus time-and-a-half overtime. There’s other standard stuff for liability and such.” She waves her hand as if the latter part is not important.

My eyes open wide at the thought of making more an hour than any job I’ve ever landed. But I don’t like that this lady can make me sit like a trained dog. I slide my chair back, ready to get up and leave, and at the same time wonder what sort of liabilities require that much documentation?

“Driving for us or any courier service can be dangerous, among other things,” she says, as if she heard my thoughts.

“Are you talking about accidents? Are these like insurance forms?”

“Sure.” She picks up the pen and holds it out. “Like insurance forms.”

I rub the back of my neck and watch her wave the pen like a pendulum. “So if anything happens to me, I’ll be taken care of?”

“Yeah, Honey. We’ll take care of you.” That creepy grin curls up one side of her mouth again.

As much as I’d like to get the hell out of here, this job’s salary will keep me independent, not to mention buy me a new computer. Hell, I would sell my soul rather than move back in with my mother. My chair slides back up to the table with no effort from me.

“Right there at the bottom,” she says. “Sign your name and you’re employed.”

My eyes fix on the nib as it continues to sway left and right. In the background, Margery duplicates into two hovering heads, then three, then four. The more she multiplies, the blurrier my vision, until all the colors turn to blackness.

* * *

“All done,” Margery’s voice echoes in my head while the room comes back into focus.

“I signed?” Smoke belches out of my mouth. I jump to my feet and the chair screeches across the floor. “What did you do to me?”

She stands and pulls the tall stack of papers to her side of the table. “Be here tomorrow morning at six o’clock sharp.”

“I don’t think so.” More smoke escapes my mouth and clouds my vision. I turn around, full circle, and find I’m wasting my breath. There’s no one left in the room but me.

It’s probably obvious,
but what did Barry just lose?

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing at the end of the week to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.

Why Do You Do Horror?

whyhorrorWelcome to day 2 of the October Frights Blog Hop. Today is a combination review of the documentary Why Horror?, and a discussion on why some of us are so addicted to the horror genre.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s what Why Horror? is about:

“WHY Horror? is a feature length documentary following horror fan Tal Zimerman as he looks at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why we love to be scared. Horror is a global phenomenon. Millions of people love it, yet horror fans are often misunderstood. Tal Zimerman should know. He’s one of them. Tal goes on a journey around the world to understand why people thrive on on blood and guts found in movies, books and video games. He meets with the genre’s leading filmmakers, writers, actors and psychologists to discover how horror looks in different cultures, why it’s so popular and how it affects our minds. Tal wants to know – WHY Horror?”

I’ve watched this documentary twice, the second time while preparing to lead a discussion about horror at the RMFW Writers Conference. This documentary slants more toward film, but also provides valuable insight into the history of horror and horror writing.

I enjoyed this documentary because of Tal Zimerman’s personal connection to the subject matter. I could relate to all of his stories about growing up obsessed with horror. His perspective effectively leads into the question of why we feel a connection to the horrific.

There’s a plethora of commentary from some of the great contributors to the horror genre mixed with brain science and personal experiences with horror. This is not another dry documentary splattered with bloody film clips. It’s sort of reality TV meets informative content.

I really enjoyed this Why Horror? and highly suggest you give it a try. I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5. Use it as a source to put your annual Halloween movie viewing list together.

Why do I love horror? I’ve been a fan since the age of 4, when I watched my first horror movie, The Hand from Outer Space. I remember vividly watching this movie with wide eyes and realizing that a love of horror was built into my DNA. From that point on, I sought out greater and greater scares in both film and books.

Tal Zimmerman says, “Horror is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” and I can so relate to this statement. I believe that horror in fantasy is as Stephen King says, “…prep work for our own death or horrific demise.”

Fear is a part of who we are and a thing we can’t escape. But our fears bring us together, and the horror genre provides a place to confront our fears both personally and as a community.

Your turn…
Why do you love horror?
If you don’t love the genre, share why.

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.