Book & Movie Review: I Am Legend

Let me start with the book shown to the right. This is the book that I read. I didn’t realize that the book also contained short stories written by Richard Matheson. When I got to what I thought was the logical end of the book, I progressed to a short story, not realizing I Am Legend had ended until I read at least a page. Boy am I a dork! Consider this another one of my menopause moments. Once I figured out that I had started reading a new story, I quickly figured out that I’d already read it. I skimmed through some more stories and realized I’d read those as well. So I got through the book pretty quick.

OK, on to my review of I Am Legend. Since I read this book shortly after watching the movie with Will Smith (Yes this was the first time I’d read it), I did have to do a comparison of the two while progressing through the book. You know how most of the time you love one and hate the other. Well I can’t say that about I Am Legend. I LOVED both! But then again, you can’t really compare the movie with the book because they are both so different.

What I loved about the book is that it wasn’t about the typical vampire. It was about one man who took on what remains of the world. In the beginning, we see Neville as an average man forced to handle a catastrophic situation, uninfected and alone. His actions become both sane and insane as the book progresses. Throughout the story, Neville goes to great lengths to both destroy and understand those infected. We might even think him heroic. But in the end he is not the hero. He is the true enemy and threat to the new society. Brilliant!

In the movie, Neville struggled with guilt, feeling responsible for the state of the world and that he was spared. He has turned his whole purpose in life into a struggle to find a cure. He is a man consumed with stopping the virus and saving humanity.

I have to say I preferred the vampires in the book. In the movie all individuality, intelligence and humanity has been stripped from the infected. Their one and only purpose is to feed, more like zombies. I’ve read criticism about the visual depiction of the infected. I assume that the infected were portrayed/visualized as they were so that the viewer was able to concentrate more on Neville’s struggles. After all, this wasn’t a Resident Evil, action/thriller type movie.

BOOK RATING: 5 out of 5
MOVIE RATING: 4 out of 5

Movie Review: Bad Taste & Dead Alive Directed by Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings movies, directed two of my favorite horror flicks, Bad Taste and Dead Alive (also known as Brain Dead). I was shocked a couple years ago when I figured it out!

Jackson directed, wrote (with help) and appeared in Bad Taste back in 1987. In the movie, “the population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.” Read more on IMDB…

Bad Taste is a mix of hilarious and gross slapstick. Here’s a perfect example… A favorite characters of mine, one of the special agents sent to save us from the aliens, fell early in the film and spent the remainder of the film trying to reincorporate his spilled brains back into his scull cavity.

While doing research on the film, I happened across some interesting trivia about the movie, like it took Jackson 4 years to make Bad Taste. And that “the movie was banned in the Australian state of Queensland until the early-’90s when the Queensland Censorship Board was disbanded.” More interesting movie trivia about Bad Taste on IMDB

I remember watching Dead Alive/Brain Dead with my youngest son, although it’s not a movie I’d recommend you let your kids watch. Dead Alive is a mixture of extreme gore and comedy, so no surprise, he and I were glued to the TV screen laughing and cringing all at the same time.

The movie is about “Lionel, a Mama’s boy, who has the unwanted honor of having to look after his overbearingly evil mother. He ends up falling in love with a local woman who believes that they’re destined together. In a moment of intentional sabotage of one of their dates, his mother is bitten by a mysterious creature that ends up zombifying her.” Lionel’s mother hunts human prey and quickly turns everyone she bites into zombies. Lionel fights the zombies in one of the goriest blood fests on film. There’s a scene with a lawnmower you’ve just gotta see! Read more on IMDB…

If you have a strong stomach don’t miss these films! Both are a 5 out of 5!

Book Review: Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume 17

Finally! A review of a horror book! Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about this book other than the stories are equivalent to those in other Mammoth Books of the Best New Horror. Pretty darn average stuff, with nothing that scared me or turned my stomach. But then again, not much scares me any more. The only story that really stood out was the first by Ramsey Campbell. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the story, and I’m too tired and lazy right now to go look it up.

RATING: 2 1/2 out of 5 (sorry, can’t quite give it 3)

Book Review: Blaze, By Richard Bachman

People always assume I’m a Stephen King fan because I write Horror and love Horror movies. Well, I’m not exactly a fan. I’m a critic. Like many of his readers, I either love his stories or hate ‘em, and have mostly disliked his work. For example, I hated “The Stand” finding it long and boring (a book considered one of his best works and a must read), but I absolutely loved “Pet Cemetery” (my favorite King novel) for its depiction of desperation and fear. So, I have to admit that I haven’t read very many of his books.

Now, since reading “Pet Cemetery” many years ago, I can finally say I found another King book I absolutely LOVED reading!! The only reason I grabbed “Blaze” (he wrote it under Richard Bachman) was because I hadn’t read anything off the bestseller shelf for years, and I needed to reconnect with the public’s favorites, especially authors in genres in which I prefer to write. I’m so glad I picked it up! Everyone always talks about King’s ability to create strong characters in his works, and Blaze is no exception. The main character, Clayton “Blaze” Blazedell Jr. is a villain you have to force yourself to hate. Stephen King actually wrote this book back in the 70s, and archived it because he didn’t care for the outcome. It was obvious he made updates before Blaze was released, and I wonder how much he changed, because he forwards the book with an apology to the readers. Mr. King, remove the apology! This was a great book!

RATING 5 out of 5

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