Zombies and Real Life Monsters by Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

Today, I’m excited to have Christine Verstraete back in my blog for the Brain to Book Cyber Convention’s Genre Tour.

Christine is an award-winning author and journalist from Wisconsin. She loves writing odd little stories with a touch of the macabre. I’m currently reading her book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and loving it.


When I mention zombies to some people, they cringe and complain about the blood and gore. They’re grossed out.

Maybe they don’t watch The Walking Dead or are a crime TV fan instead, which has its own share of blood and death, albeit in a different format. But in either instance, it’s a depiction of something we fear—crime, death, danger—that draws us in. It’s watching or reading about what seems impossible or often unbelievable.

Real life, of course, can be more frightening than anything an author can create. That’s what makes actual killers scarier than any monster with fins, scales, fur, a non-beating heart, or other elements. You can’t imagine what leads someone to cross the line to the “forbidden” and kill their own family, or attack a stranger, or do even worse things.

Maybe that’s what made writing my recently released book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, so interesting and challenging. In reality, it’s almost hard to accept that Lizzie—a seemingly “normal” Victorian woman, Sunday School teacher, daughter of a wealthy businessman—could so viciously attack and kill her elderly father and stepmother. At least that’s what the jury probably thought, declaring her not guilty of the crime in June, 1893.

But was she?

That’s what we have trouble with, and what makes human killers so scary: they don’t have four eyes, or scales, or whatever. They can look perfectly normal, like your neighbor; like the girl or guy next door. And even more frightening? You can’t see what’s going on inside their heads.

In my case, writing about an accused killer had to come with a reason as to why she did it. And what more plausible reason could there be for viciously striking them in the head, especially once you look at the actual autopsy photos, than to say she committed the crime since her family members had turned into zombies?

It doesn’t mean the crime should be taken less seriously, of course. It was a terrible crime made even more horrific if she was indeed guilty and got away with it. But as this year marks the 125th anniversary of the murders, it’s far enough in the past to make it more of a historic event.

Sadly, history is full of real-life monsters, from Genghis Khan to 1920s mobsters, Manson, and those who kill out of hate, for so-called “honor” or other nonsensical reasons. The list is endless. The human race is drenched in blood. Maybe it’s true that it seems worse the older you get.

And that’s the scariest part of all: fictional monsters can be vanquished, but the human soul has a darkness that often can’t be cleansed.

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter
Add it on Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd
Website: http://cverstraete.com
Blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

C.A. Verstraete is also appearing this weekend in the B2BCyCon Book Expo, Blog Hop and various Panels.

RETURN TO B2BCYCON HORROR PAGE


The Goodies

WIN A ZOMBIE MUG: For those of you in the U.S. and Canada, leave a comment on any of the blog posts for the event or LIKE my Facebook page and you’re entered to win one of three of these zombie mugs. I’ll draw a new name all three days of the convention. Winners will be announced in the right column.

WIN A $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD: Anyone who signs up for my newsletter or downloads Call for Obstruction on NoiseTrade during B2BCyCon is entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Movie Review: Night of the Living Deb

This week I’ve got a goody, at least in my opinion. I’m reviewing Night of the Living Deb. Here’s what it’s about:

“After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.”

Okay, people, this is one that doesn’t deserve the whiny reviews. Lighten up. It’s a pretty damn fun romzomcom. If you’re late to this romantic zombie comedy label like me, it’s an actual thing in the Urban Dictionary. Maria Thayer who plays Deb was great in her part. She in particular made me laugh quite a few times. I also loved her friend.

I get really irritated when reviewers compare zombie comedy movies like this one to Zombie Land or Shaun of the Dead, and I saw a lot of that with Night of the Living Deb. STOP IT ALREADY! This movie is not trying to be either. It’s a corny romzomcom, and it’s cliche, but that’s part of it’s charm.

I’m really starting to enjoy the romzomcom, but I am a woman. Guys, if you don’t like romcom, why would you watch a romzomcom?

Anyway, I loved Night of the Living Deb. I laughed throughout. Give it a try.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Movie Review: Freaks of Nature

This week I’m reviewing Freaks of Nature, a mishmash of  zombies, vampires, and aliens. Here’s what it’s about:

“In Freaks of Nature, we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat – and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this “normal” little town.”

I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s got a pretty good cast and decent acting, but most of the storyline didn’t do it for me. I expected light comedy and instead got a few light laughs. I must have missed something because other people liked it. Other people laughed. Maybe it was a lack of consistency with the funny moments and that some parts were really slow. Then there’s the fact that I watched a month ago and found it hard to recall the movie at first.

Can’t say that I like this one any better than last week’s review of Little Dead Rotting Hood, so I’m giving Freaks of Nature the same rating. Glad I’ve got a few good ones coming up for the next two weeks.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Movie Review: The Horde (2009)

This week I’m reviewing The Horde (2009) for my monthly zombie movie choice. And in February I’m featuring a woman in my choices for Women in Horror Month. Here’s what the movie is about about:

“A posse of crooked cops, malevolent gangsters and a horde of walking dead are the centre point of this gruesome, tight, action packed, claustrophobic tale of retribution and escape. Penned like animals, on the top floor of a deserted high-rise block, these two opposing gangs find that they are not alone in the lair of bloodthirsty corridors of death. Joining forces to survive, they must reach ground level together or perish. Loaded with a bad ass attitude, guns, axes and extremely creative hand-to-hand combat sequences that project the fears and paranoia that are the fighting forces behind the need to survive, when caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Holy FUCK! The Horde is kick ass! Watch it! Can I leave it at that?

I was at the point where I thought I’d seen most of the really good ones, or bad ones considering I like ’em that way. Somehow, this one had escaped me.

Who you really need to keep an eye on is Claude Perron. This lady is the most kick ass of all the characters. Particularly watch for a fight scene between her and a woman zombie. I was screaming my approval at the screen. I loved her so much that I added her to my daily highlighted Women in Horror Month Tweets.

The Horde has a darkness to it that I loved. It also had quite a few hunky and hot French men. Let’s just say nothing could distract me from watching. But seriously, the violence in this movie is believable to a disturbing level.

Make sure you watch the 2009 version, just in case you hadn’t noticed me highlighting the year. You’ll love it as much as me! This one is being added to my best of the best list.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Movie Review: Cooties

More zombies this week. During a little holiday downtime I watched Cooties, Here’s what it’s about:

“COOTIES is a horror comedy with unexpected laughs and unapologetic thrills. When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), Rainn Wilson (“The Office”), and Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives”

Did you notice the list of TV actors? There are even more of them in Cooties, making this a fun zombie comedy despite the tired plot.

This movie jumps right in high on the gross scale, a huge plus. It starts by showing the making of chicken nuggets from slaughtering the chickens through to packaging. I think the manufacturing process was probably worst part, and the fact that we feed chicken nuggets to our kids. Maybe that was the message in this one.

The acting is good. The characters are well developed. The kids are awesome as the zombies. And I laughed out loud quite a bit during the viewing. Watch for the playground scene after the kids have all turned into zombies. So funny!

I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 for keeping my interest as well as all the laughs, but really, there’s very little uniqueness to the the movie. It is definitely worth watching if you enjoy horror comedy.

My Rating: 4 out of 5



Leave a comment in weekly movie reviews and you’re entered to win a
signed paperback copy of Call for Obstruction or Warrant for Damnation
when it’s released in the 1st quarter of 2017. One winner drawn every week.

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