Tag Archive: horror

Week 3 & 4 Holiday Horror Movie Marathon

Apologies to all for missing last week’s holiday horror movie post. I’ve been laid up sick and considering the time of year, really want to enjoy the season without an illness. So, this week you get a double dose of movie reviews from me. What did I watch? Not much but a few really good one.

Night Train Murders is set around the Christmas holiday, but is more a variation of Wes Craven’s, Last House on the Left. Taking place instead on a train, two young girls are terrorized by two young thugs and a depraved proper lady. This is an excellent film and in my opinion, much better than Craven’s film. The build up to the brutal rapes and murders was at a perfect pace despite criticism. The film gave the viewer more of a chance to connect and sympathize with the girls which was necessary considering the plot. Much of the brutality was suggested, which had a better effect psychologically. Macha Meril, the female passenger instigating much of the depravity really stands out in this movie. Her performance gave me chills, especially at the end of the movie when one of the girl’s father gets his revenge. Also notable in this film is the beautiful outdoor scenery, including a scene where one of the girls is thrown from the train. This will be one of my favorites this holiday season and I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 rabid reindeer bites.

By any chance do you remember that The Legend of Hell House is set right before Christmas? I’d forgotten and it wasn’t that long ago I’d re-watched it. I LOVE this film. It is one of the best haunted house movies ever made, so of course it was high on my watch list for this movie marathon. Not much holiday activity going on though, and considering it is a widely viewed film, I’ll just give it 5 out of 5 rabid reindeer bites and move on.

Another children’s film, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians will be on my least favorite list this holiday season. Now I think I’ve established that I’m still a kid at heart and continue to enjoy children’s entertainment, but this movie would have put me to sleep when I was a kid. I couldn’t even enjoy it as a bad B-movie. I guess the first indication came when the children of Mars were only happy while watching Earth television programming for kids. Anyways, you want to know more about how bad this film is, look it up yourself. I give it 1/2 out of 5 rabid reindeer bites.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the current week’s Holiday Horror Movie Marathon post over on the Vamplit blog to enter a weekly drawing to win a free Vamplit novel of your choice. Winners announced following Tuesday.

Week 2 Holiday Horror Movie Marathon

It’s week 2 of the holiday horror movies reviews and I managed to watch three movies this week, one of which was a Thanksgiving movie.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the current week’s Holiday Horror Movie Marathon post over on the Vamplit blog to enter a weekly drawing to win a free Vamplit novel of your choice. Winners announced following Tuesday.

T.K. Millin suggested Thankskilling and I’m so glad. It was such a FUN movie! Low budget, campy, right up my alley. Typical slasher movie plot with the turkey hell bent on killing everyone, but the murderous turkey in this movie was hilarious with his killing techniques and ridiculous puns. Don’t miss this one, in fact, sequel, sequel! The film maker can afford it considering it only cost $3500 to make the first movie. I’m adopting Gaynor’s rating system this week and this film was worthy of 4 rabid reindeer bites out of 5.

Oh, and I hadn’t even thought of Thanksgiving horror movies when I made the holiday horror movie list and according to Horror News Net there are only three. Check out List: The 3 Best, and only, Thanksgiving Themed Horror Movies. Unfortunately, Thankskilling is the only one I have access to watch. Anybody out there seen the other two?

Santa Claws was horrible. SO SO BAD! I beg of you, don’t watch this film. Let’s just say the murder weapon didn’t have the ability to inflict a scratch on the victims in reality and from there it just gets worse. I have no idea how it even got a 2 star rating on Netflix. Oh yeah, had to be the soft-core porn mixed in. But seriously people, there’s plenty of porn out there. Skip this movie and head for the Internet! This is officially the worst horror movie I have ever wasted an hour and a half of my life watching. 0 out of 5 rabid reindeer bites.

Silent Night was an enjoyable surprise after watching Santa Claws. There are even recognizable actors in this one, so the acting was much much better than the previous two reviews. It’s got an escaped mental patient, haunting old estate, decent storyline, some well done murder scenes and an artsy air to it, all essential ingredients for a good horror movie. Still there was something missing in it for me. Not that I’m saying don’t watch it. I just don’t feel it’s got the quality of a really good 1970s horror film. This might be a better film to watch in the dark, at night, with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of eggnog. Do those two go together? So I gave it 3 out of 5 rabid reindeer bites.



SkullXBones (in red) was taken in the Kutna Hora Bone Ossuary outside of Prague…it’s a small church with the entire interior decorated in human bones! Lauren shot this B&W image of the skulls and cross-bones that line the doorways, and enhanced it in Photoshop.

Purchase for $50 (price is for a signed, matted 8×10 photo not including s/h.)


Lauren Curtis, a freelance illustrator and fine artist, has been involved in the Wiccan/Pagan and Gothic communities for many years. She obtained a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (1988), and her work reflects her interests in mythology, (especially Egyptian, Celtic, and Greco-Roman), spirituality, the Occult, and dark fantasy. Lauren works in many mediums, such as pen & ink, oils, acrylics, watercolors, and photography. She exhibits her work regularly and has sold pieces across the US and abroad. Children of the Forest & Spirit~Art are the artist’s own line of Wiccan greeting cards, & Lauren, along with two long-time friends, also started a line of hand-made, unique crafts, T-shirts, art & much more called Talon (after Lauren’s 18 inch fingernails!), that can be seen on Talon Hand Crafted Curios. Many pieces of her artwork and poetry have been featured in various Gothic, Pagan and alternative publications, as well as on-line magazines, and a variety of her work can be viewed on her artsites, Lauren Curtis Art and Lauren Curtis Art Mosaic Globe Through all of her creations, Lauren wishes to promote the appreciation and understanding of an “alternative” mind-set and spiritual beliefs.

I’m honored to be writing a story for Lauren Curtis’s terrific SkullXBones piece this week. Reading how Lauren created the piece was inspirational for my own story until I read up a little history about the skull and cross bones. Originally, I thought it would be fun to write a story about the church where the picture was taken. Google led me in a different direction though. First, in Wikipedia, I read, “Actual skulls and bones were long used to mark the entrances to Spanish cemeteries.” So I went back to Google and looked up ‘Spanish cemetery’ and found a bit of recent news that was too irresistible to pass up. This fictional story is based on the recent article, Spanish cemetery posts eviction notices on burial sites on the MSNBC website. I hope this fictional twist is just as entertaining.

“Did you see the article about the gravesite evictions in Spain?” Dennis asked.

Rich glanced over his laptop to where his older brother sat at the facing desk. “You’re kidding?”

“It’s on the MSN website.” Dennis copied the article link into an instant messenger and sent it to Rich.

The brothers were in their shared office at the Willow Brook Cemetery. They had recently taken over operations from their father who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

The room fell silent while Rich read the article, then all at once he laughed out loud. “I can’t believe they put eviction notices on the graves on All Saints’ Day.”

“I didn’t know they lease plots for five to fifty years in Spain,” Dennis said.

“Dad once mentioned that parts of Europe don’t have enough space for new graveyards. A few counties have turned to a leasing business model so families have some place to mourn the newly dead. Like the article says, it’s good business management to have temporary gravesites. What I don’t understand is why they let the leases go unpaid for so long. We would have gone out of business without the ongoing plot sales.”

“Pshaw. Dad barely kept this place running as it is, selling plots for a price people could afford rather than a flat rate.” Dennis picked up an invoice on his desk. “Look at this one for Roger Night. Free. Dad gave this plot to his family for free.” Then Dennis bowed his head. “This cemetery has been our family’s business for over a hundred years, and thanks to Dad’s mismanagement and a lack of new plots available, I don’t know how we’re going to keep this place afloat. Why didn’t we question what he was doing?”

“Hindsight,” Rich said. “We have to move forward and if you think about it, the Spanish may be onto something that could save us.”

Dennis looked up at his brother with a questioning frown.

“Evicting the dead. I mean we have plenty of grave sites, they just happen to be filled with forgotten people just taking up space.”

“That’s sacrilege. The government would shut us down,” Dennis said, at the same time thinking his brother might be onto something.

“What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” Rich said.

Dennis let out a nervous laugh. “You’re nuts.”

“Do you really want to go back to selling used cars?”

Dennis didn’t reply.

“People would pay up to ten thousand dollars for some of the mountain-view plots.”

Dennis lifted an eyebrow to show partial interest.

“We cremate the previously buried with the newly dead. Most of the old ones are nothing but bones anyways. We could fit three or four, maybe five skeletons in the cremation chamber. That’s at least a hundred thousand dollars to resell those plots alone.”

“I don’t know, Rich. If any one finds out about this…”

“If only you and I know?”

“What about Dad?”

“Six months from now, Dad might not remember our names.”

Dennis finally agreed. “As long as we’re careful.”

Three Years Later

Rich entered the office wearing a long drawn expression of sadness. Three days prior the brother’s father had died and he had just transported his body from the memorial service to the cemetery.

“Where’s Dad?” Dennis asked.

“Outside, in the hearse.”

“Take him to the crematorium.”

“It’s not what he wanted, Dennis.”

“Exactly where are we going to bury him? We sold his plot to someone else.”

“You sold the plot Dad wanted,” Rich said while darting his finger at his brother. “There are plenty of other open plots.”

“He’s gone. It doesn’t matter anymore. We’re going to cremate him like we agreed. Now take him to the crematorium.”

Not wanting to continue the three day losing battle he’d been having with his older brother, Rich turned and left the office.

It sickened Rich that his brother knew their father was dead set against cremation for himself and any other family members. Dennis had gotten so greedy in the three years since they had started digging up graves for new burials, but who could Rich turn to for help.

It’s time I leave, Rich thought. Sign the business over to his brother, and take his family and move across country.

Rich got back in the hearse and considered taking his father to the family plots, but he knew that Dennis would dig their father back up, so he did as he was told and drove to the crematorium.

He pulled up to the building for the first time in six months. Dennis took over the cremations since Rich could no longer stomach what they were doing.

He backed the hearse up to the entryway and got out. As he entered the crematorium, the usual smell of bleach was replaced by the stench of rotting corpses. Oh my God, Rich thought as he rounded the corner to find decomposed bodies and skeletal remains piled along one wall over six feet high. Then he clutched his chest when he caught sight of the familiar blue dress his mother had worn when they buried her five years prior. Had Dennis dug up their family?

The door opened and Rich turned to find his brother behind him. “What have you done?” he shouted.

“Why are you so shocked?” Dennis said. “You yourself said this is good business management. There are enough gravesites now for the next fifty years at least and this business has to sustain my family for generations to come.”

“Your family? What about my family.”

“Oh, don’t worry, I’ll buy out your share from your wife for a fair price.” Dennis picked up a shovel leaning against the wall and swung it hard against his brother’s head.

Thirty Minutes Later

Rich awoke and turned his head to the side. The glow from the furnace in the cremation chamber allowed only one last glimpse of his father’s face and his mother’s blue dress before the temperature intensified to a deathly heat.

Week 1 Holiday Horror Movie Marathon

Welcome to week 1 of the holiday horror movies reviews. Unfortunately I only have one for you this week. Getting all the other events in place over on the Vamplit Blog, plus finishing up the edits for The Courier are proving time consuming. In fact, there are still two movies waiting for me in the mailbox. At least I’ll have two for you next week. Anyways, here’s the review, which is not actually a horror movie, but a fun one to watch with the kids.

Leave a comment on the current week’s Holiday Horror Movie Marathon post over on the Vamplit blog and you enter a weekly drawing to win a free Vamplit novel of your choice. Winners announced following Tuesday.

Santa Claus was the first movie I watched because I was curious about it’s 1959 release date. Most of the Christmas horror movies are dated from the 1970s on, considering a religious holiday like Christmas was once off limits except for the scary ghosts in A Christmas Carole and greedy rich men like Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. I never really thought about holiday horror movies being influenced by the Vietnam War, Watergate, Recession Era and further commercialization of the giving season, but there is was, right in front of my face as I put together the list of holiday horror movies for the marathon. It has me wondering how our current times will influence holiday movies.

Anyways, Santa Claus is not a horror movie despite the devil character on the cover. It’s a fun movie for the kids, filmed in Mexico and later dubbed for an American audience. Lucifer is out to ruin Christmas and sends his best demon, Pitch, to turn all the children against Santa. The movie is filled with moral lessons for kids, so it’s good in that respect. But like I said, it’s for kids. I found it a little painful to sit through due to the boring narration in English. I can see children jumping up and down, rooting for Santa to win against Pitch though. I even suggest you watch it with the kiddies. The movie does has it’s moments. There are some interesting scenes and the set for Santa’s communication center was a hoot. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Thoughts of Foul Boys


Neilan Thunblom is a 4th grader at Meadow Point Elementary. He enjoys listening to music, playing on his computer, and playing the piano. He also enjoys taking photographs and drawing pictures of nature. For the above picture, Neilan used the fall leaves to set the background for his dad’s art pieces. The brain piece looks like it comes out of a skull as a Halloween theme.

Neilan created this photo for a book cover for W. J. Howard’s first release of Grand Scares, a collection of her #fridayflash stories. He’s also helping his Dad with future covers.

Neilan is pictured below
with his father Chris.

This was an extra special week to write #fridayflash for the Horrific Visions theme over on the Vamplit Blog. This week I’ve written another young adult story featuring the photograph to the right, taken by my young friend Neilan Thunblom of his father, Chris’s pieces of art. You may have noticed that I plan to use this picture as a cover for my first six months of #fridayflash. Please leave a comment for Neilan if you like his picture.

Jack stood on the front porch of his home, sipping a box of orange juice his mother insisted he drink before heading to school. He stared next door, waiting for his best friend Lea to emerge from her house like she did every morning at exactly the same time. This morning she was late according to his Spiderman watch. Ten more minutes and they would have to run to school to make it before the bell rang.

Two more houses down the screen door opened with a screeching whine then slammed back against the doorframe. The boy who exited the house turned and yelled a word Jack was not allowed to say through the screen then stomped down the stairs.

Jack twitched and his heart skipped a beat but not because of the commotion the boy was making. Fudgy was double trouble: both neighborhood and grade-school bully.

Every morning, Jack and Lea made sure they left for school early enough to avoid Fudgy. This morning it was too late for him to escape the bully’s wrath. Fudgy had already seen him. Any attempt to flee would result in worse punished later.

Just as predicted, Fudgy stopped at the bottom of Jack’s front porch steps and leaned casually against the railing. Fudgy skipped his usual insulting greeting and instead pointed at his black t-shirt. It read, “Your lunch money or your life.”

Jack sighed and reached into his pocket for both the dollar bills his mother had placed beside his cereal bowl that morning. He held it out but Fudgy didn’t move, expecting Jack to come to him. With his arm far reaching, Jack descended the stairs as if approaching a hungry tiger, then retracted with a jerk when the bully snatched the money from his hand.

Out of the corner of one eye, Jack caught sight of a reddish-yellow leaf, falling from the maple tree that shaded the porch in the afternoons. It landed behind Fudgy, covering the head of his sister’s doll where it sat on the lawn. She never picks up her toys, he thought.

The leaf appeared to grasp the doll’s face then turned black and shriveled in an instant. Beneath it the ground collapsed into a swirling softball-sized hole. A root burst from the hole and lashed at the neck of the doll until only the head was swallowed down into the ground.

Jack stood by, his mouth gaping open, not sure what to think or do.

“Hey, retard,” Fudgy said while mashing his fist into his palm. “What’s your malfunction?”

The sound of Fudgy’s voice distracted Jack from the unbelievable sight. He was about to point down at the hole when Lea walked out of her front door.

Lea happily skipped down the stairs and approached Fudgy without fear. “Hi, Fudgy,” she said. In her opinion, being nice to Fudgy would somehow transform him into a good person.

Fudgy replied by pointing at his shirt.

Lea held up a brown lunch sack.

Fudgy repeated his demand by pounding twice on his chest.

“I’m not thirsty today anyways,” she said and pulled fifty cents her mother had given her for milk from her pocket. She handed it to Fudgy with a grin.

Jack leaned to the side when he noticed the swirling black hole had again widened. He pointed his finger at it this time.

Lea’s eyes followed his lead. “What is that?”

All at once, the doll’s head shot out of the hole. It hit Fudgy in the center of his back with enough force to send him stumbling forward.

Jack jerked backward and lifted his arm up for protection, sure the bully would take the strike out on his face.

Instead, Fudgy reached down and picked up the head and stroked the surface. “Funny looking rock,” he said then threw it down onto the sidewalk. It shattered into white powdery chunks like chalk and released a potent stench of rotting garden mulch.

All three of the children backed away, Lea holding her nose closed and Jack tripping as he retreated up the stairs.

Fudgy was sure they were playing a practical joke on him. He held up his fist from where he now stood over the closed hole. “You did that on purpose.”

Time seemed to stop as Jack and Lea waited for the bully’s next move. At the same time, the wind rustled through the old maple, loosening a dozen or so leaves that floated in slow motion down upon Fudgy’s head. He swatted at them as if shooing away flies, but they clung to his hair and face. “Get them off,” Fudgy tried to holler.

Jack and Lea rushed to help out, but it was too late.

Again, a gap opened up and tree roots emerged like king cobras snakes, dancing upward and wrapping around Fudgy like threads on a screw. In unison they spun the bully, drilling him into the ground until the earth sealed over his head.

Frozen from fright, both Jack and Lea stared down at the spot where Fudgy had disappeared for nearly a minute before Jack said, “Should get a shovel?”

“No, we should tell his mother!”

They were about to run down the street when the hole reappeared. This time it launched Fudgy’s brain at the sidewalk where it shattered beside the crushed doll’s head.

Jack and Lea looked at each other but didn’t say a word. They were, however, thinking the same thing. The hungry abyss must be sickened by the taste of plastic as well as the thoughts of foul boys.

Holiday Season Horror Movie Marathon List

I’m at it again, this time watching holiday season themed horror movies. I won’t be watching a movie a day thought, instead my intent is to watch as many movies as I can between now and the first of next year. Oh, and my movie selection is not the worst of the worst this time. For this marathon I’ve searched the Internet for lists of Christmas and New Years horror movies and the master list of those I’ve chosen are below. This is not a complete list of all the holiday horror movies. If there’s one you think I should watch that’s missing, please leave a comment.

For some reason a number of these movies are not available on Netflix, especially some of the ones I really want to see. So I’ll only be reviewing maybe half of what is listed every Tuesday here and on the Vamplit Blog just like I did for Halloween.

1. Silent Night, Bloody Night (1973)

2. Santa Claws (1996)

3. Santa’s Slay (2005)

4. Gremlins (1984)

5. Black Christmas (1974)

6. Black Christmas – Remake (2006)

7. Christmas Evil (aka: You’d Better Watch Out, 1980)

8. Night Train Murders (1975)

9. A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

10. Dead End (2003)

11. P2 (2007)

12. Wind Chill (2007)

13. Childs Play (1988)

14. Passion of the Christ (2004)

15. The Legend of Hell House (1973)

16. While She Was Out (2008)

17. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

18. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

19. A Christmas Carol (various)

20. Santa Claus (1959)

21. Dead of Winter (2007)

22. Sheitan (2006)

23. Calvaire (2005)

24. Bad Santa (2003)

25. Scrooged (1988)

26. Terror Train (1980)

27. Bloody New Year (1987)

28. New Year’s Evil (1980)

29. Life Blood (2009)

30. Xmas Massacre (??)

31. Satan Claus (??)

32. Psycho Santa (??)

33. Deadly Little Christmas (2008)

34. Don’t Open ’til Christmas (1984)

35. Jack Frost (1996)

36. Jack Frost 2 (2000)

37. Saint (2010)

38. Gingerdead Man (2005)

39. Gingerdead Man 2 (2008)

40. Bikini Bloodbath Christmas (2009)

41. 12-24 (2008)

42. The Blackout (2009)

43. The Children (2008)

44. Christmas Nightmare (2001)

45. Elves (1981)

46. The Minion (1998)

47. Lucky Stiff (1988)

48. Marcus (2006)

49. Nutcracker: An American Nightmare (2006)

50. Ornaments (2008)

51. Puppetmaster vs. Demonic Toys (2004)

52. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

53. Silent Night, Deadly Night II (1987)

54. Silent Night, Deadly Night III (1989)

55. Silent Night, Deadly Night IV (1990)

56. Silent Night, Deadly Night V (1991)

57. Silent Night, Zombie Night (2009)

58. The thirteenth Day of Christmas (1985)

59. To All a Good Night (1980)

60. The Traveler (2010)

61. Trees 2: The Root of All Evil (2004)

62. Two Front Teeth (2006)

63. You Better Watch Out (1980)

Birds of Sacrifice

This week kicks off the 1st Annual Horrific Visions #FridayFlash on the Vamplit Blog, a collaboration with artists to feature their artwork along with a Friday Flash story written about their pieces by the Vamplit contributors.


Birds of Sacrifice was originally released last month for Tuesday Tales, a 100 word flash fiction challenge that is based on a photo and a word. They expanded the word count to 1000 words that week and asked Vamplit to contribute one of our photos for this month’s Horrific Visions event. The word was spectrum and Sue Mydliak’s amazing Hell’s Tower piece (below) was chosen for their weekly prompt. Sue creates many of the Vamplit book covers and is the author of Birthright.

On top of Hell’s Tower, the young virgins huddled together for warmth while the sun set behind the distant mountains. They wept and moaned as the temperature lowered far below freezing and the bitter cold penetrated their naked flesh down deep into their bones.

The giant black birds had stolen the women from their village and dropped them there. They pecked and tore away their dresses in hopes that exposure to the elements would hasten their death and delight the demons that lived down below the tall structure. Only the birds knew that a pleasing sacrifice would bring an early spring and plentiful fruits to the trees that nourished their existence.

The spectrum of pain from their festering sores, inflicted by the sharp beaks, diminished as hypothermia set in. Before long, the cold no longer caused the women to shiver, and they fell into a deep sleep. Their bodies stiffened upon death, entrapping their souls inside a frozen shell of a corpse.

The full moon shown at it’s brightest as the demons ascended the tower. When they came upon the icy bodies that sparkled in the moonlight, they quaked with anticipation.

But, the fathers of the village had had enough of the annual raid and loss of their daughters. They and their sons tracked the enormous birds to Hell’s Tower.

As the men approached the mighty structure, the birds swooped in to put a stop to the rescue. The archers drew their arrows and took aim. Again and again they shot at the birds until blood rained down upon their heads. Then one by one the birds dropped from the sky and fell to their death.

With swords drew, the men rushed to the tower just as the demons reached ground level. They beheaded the demons, and as their life blood sprayed like a fountain upon the frozen women, they magically thawed in an instant and awoke with a fright and gasped for breath.

Nine months later the snow still had not thawed, but the bellies’ of the virgins had grown. Then, one morning the villagers awoke to find the women gone and the sun shining brightly in the sky.

No one questioned there disappearance as the ice melted and the plant life awakened. Rumor has it the women have been seen, gazing out upon the meadow from high atop Hell’s Tower, demon’s suckling at their breasts.

Week 5 Bad Zombie Movie Marathon Reviews

This is it, folks, the final week of reviews on bad zombie movies. Although I have to say that I enjoyed most of the movies I watched. Don’t forget to drop by the Vamplit Blog to read Gaynor’s reviews and of course mine are over there too. Here are the reviews:

Boy Eats Girl is one of those movies I should have sat down and reviewed right away because it’s forgettable. I think Boy Eats Girl tried to be like Sean of the Dead, but fell short. It was predictable and boring where it tried to be funny. I also found it to be one of those movies where you spend more time questioning the character’s actions, which take away from the story and the viewers ability to just sit back and enjoy the movie. However, while I didn’t enjoy it, I think young teens might like it, and let me repeat young teens. My son is 17 and had the same opinion I did about this movie. We both agreed it was worthy of 2 out of 5 bloody brains.

Jake and I enjoyed Return of the Living Dead 3. I haven’t seen the first two movies, which surprises me, but shouldn’t matter from what I’ve read in other reviews because this one is so different from the others. The teen love story in this one was good. Boy’s passionate for his girl and when he’s responsible for her death, his grief makes him desperate enough to turn her into the undead using some fucked up serum. It felt a little like Pet Cemetary in that regard. *SPOILER* Watching her transform and self-inflict pain upon herself the suppress her hunger was the best part. She did some really freaky shit you’ve gotta see. What really added to the atmosphere was the darkness of the way this movie was filmed. The characters always doing the wrong thing also worked in this film unlike the movie above. Jake and I agreed it deserved 3 out of 5 bloody brains.

Zombie High is NOT a zombie movie. Instead, it tries to make a political statement, but fails because most viewers would fall asleep or turn the movie off out of boredom. I feel like I’m the mindless zombie for watching the whole damn thing. That aside, the message is conform or die. Those who submit to the procedure that make them conform are working for the side of evil, but they walk around like zombies, metaphorically. There’s a school dance scene that shows couples dancing like mindless, emotionless zombies (right-wing conservative republicans–clearing my throat). By the way, that was one of the hardest scenes to sit through. All I’m saying here is if you want to point the finger at your political enemy in a horror movie, make them bad and evil and interesting enough to carry the movie, PLEASE! I generously give it 1 out of 5 bloody brains.

Revenge of the Living Dead Girls is about three young women killed in their prime by tainted milk. They come back form the grave for revenge in scenes that mix sex and gore that carried the movie and made it okay. This movie has an overdone plot, more of a 1970s feel and I really don’t consider this a zombie movie so much. Still, I think it’s worthy of 3 out of 5 bloody brains based on a few of the gory sex scenes. As long as you don’t have high expectations going in, you might enjoy it.

Doctor Blood’s Coffin is more of the typical Frankensteinian mad scientist movie than a zombie movie. Also more thriller and suspense than gore. I actually enjoyed the movie and the interaction of the characters. Dr. Blood’s character successfully portrayed his decent into insanity as he became more obsessed with resurrection and his love interest. The amazing scenery was an added extra. Not the best sci fi/horror mix of the 1960s, but entertaining. I give it 3 out of 5 bloody brains.

Beneath the Surface was my favorite zombie movie this week, and an excellent teenage love story. A blossoming romance between beauty and the geek is cut short when her ex-boyfriend tries to take advantage of her but ends up killing her and staging the scene to look like a suicide. Right off the bat, the movie does a good job of portraying teen cruelty. Geeky Ethan is sure Kahlah was murdered and steals his neighbor’s voodoo mix to bring her back and find out the truth. So this one is a true zombie tale that follows the predicament Ethan’s gotten himself into, including what to do with his undead girlfriend he keeps in a drawer under his bed after he finds she is nothing more than a mindless, speechless zombie willing to do anything he requests. For a B-movie, this film had some great characters, decent acting and storyline, and enough blood and guts to carry you through the end of the movie. The relationship between Ethan and Kahlah while she was both alive and undead was sweet and exactly what teens would love to watch. Much better than any Twilight movie in my book. I loved it and gave it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.

The Walking Dead was not on my original bad zombie movie list, but I happened upon it, available for viewing on Netflix. So I opted out of watching Survival of the Dead and sat glued to the TV for the first six episodes of The Walking Dead. WOW! It’s amazing! I wasn’t so sure about it at first, when Rick Grimes woke up in the hospital like in 28 Weeks Later. I’d heard only good things about the series, so I watched on. Reviews are all over the internet and so many people have watched this series that I’m not going waste my time telling you what you already know. What I will say is that they did an excellent job setting up this series, which is basically what you got in the first 6 episodes. They did exactly what I hoped for in this series and reminded us that the undead are not our only enemies during times of strife. I also think that anyone who does not normally watch zombie movies, but can take the gore would really enjoy this series as well. I personally can’t wait to watch more! I give it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.


Secondhand Shoes

I got a little busy and missed posting last week’s costume story for our Halloween theme at the Vamplit Blog. So I’m making up for it by posting two weeks of stories this #fridayflash day. This is another children’s tale for 4 to 5 year old girls for the costume prompt. I wrote it for my young friend Avery. A few months ago I promised to write her a story about her favorite thing, shoes. So be careful what you wish upon your shoes, Avery.

“I don’t want to be a princess,” Lisa told her mother from where they stood beside the shoe rack at the thrift store. Her voice cracked like she might cry when she added, “I want to be a witch.”

Lisa’s mother held out a pair of white shiny dress shoes with one hand and a pair of pink sneakers with the other. “Tomorrow’s Halloween. It’s too late to change your mind. Now tell me which pair you want to wear with your princess costume.”

“We could go to WalMart…”

“No, Lisa. Costumes cost money I don’t have. Now choose, white or pink.”

“I want to be a witch,” Lisa shouted and stomped one foot in protest.

Lisa’s mother sighed. “Would you rather wear your hiking boots?”

Just then, a lady dressed in a fairy costume, homemade from a ballerina’s tutu and pair of thick pink tights approached Lisa. She wore a nametag that read ‘Make a Wish’ and held a wand with a glittery star on the end. The fairy lady leaned down to Lisa’s level and whispered, “I bet you like the white shoes?”

Lisa looked up at the woman, a frown still on her face, but she didn’t answer.

“They’re magic costume shoes, you know. The white ones.” The fairy lady touched the shoes with her wand and it sparkled every color of the rainbow and jingled like Christmas bells. “All you have to do is put them on and wish to be anything you want for Halloween.”

“Magic shoes?” Lisa squealed as her face lit up with a smile. “White, Mommy, I want the white ones.”

“Finally,” Lisa’s mother said and thanked the fairy lady for her help. After Lisa and her mother paid for the shoes, the two left the store and headed for home.

Lisa ran to her bedroom with the thrift store bag that contained her magic costume shoes. As she slipped one of them on her foot, Lisa thought about how she could be a witch or any other thing her heart desired. She could even wear a different costume at every house she visited for tricks or treats.

With the magic shoes secured to her feet, Lisa stood in front of her mirror and said out loud, “I want to be a witch for Halloween.”

Right before her very eyes, Lisa’s dress turned black and a pointy hat appeared on her head. Her hair grayed just like her grandmother’s and her face turned green. A black wart even sprouted on her nose.

Lisa jumped up and down and clapped her hands with approval. Then she ran to the kitchen to find her mother. “Look Mommy,” she said. “I’m a witch.”

Her mother was busy though, scolding her father and brother who were playing video games instead of cleaning up the mess they had made in the kitchen at lunchtime.

“Mommy, I’m a witch,” Lisa repeated as she pulled on her mother’s shirt.

“Not now, Lisa,” her mother said and waved her away without noticing her daughter had transformed into a witch.

“No one ever listens to me,” she mumbled as she stomped back to her bedroom. “I wish I were invisible. Everyone would be sorry then.”

Lisa vanished into a mist. She had gotten her wish, but she didn’t realize she had disappeared, otherwise, she never would have kicked off her shoes, sending them flying across the room in opposite directions. Nor would she have jumped onto her bed and pouted until she fell asleep.

An hour later, Lisa awoke when she heard her mother call her to dinner. She ran to the table, extra hungry and ready to devour an entire plate of macaroni and cheese.

Lisa sat in her usual chair and reached to pick up her fork, but her hand was invisible. She could feel her fingers when she wiggled them, but they went right through the fork. Lisa screamed at the top of her lungs with fright.

No one at the table heard Lisa or even flinched. In fact, her mother asked, “Where’s Lisa?”

There was no answer from Lisa’s brother and father, who were both eating quickly so they could return to their video game.

“I’m right here, Mommy.”

Still, Lisa’s mother didn’t see or hear her. Instead, she said “I’d better go check on Lisa,” and left the table.

Lisa ran after her mother calling out, “I’m here, Mommy, right here.”

When Lisa’s mother found her daughter’s bedroom empty, she panicked and ran from the room shouting, “Lisa’s missing!”

Lisa understood her mother’s panic when she looked in the mirror. She had no reflection. That’s when she remembered wishing herself invisible.

“I wish I were visible again,” she said.

Her reflection did not return though.

With tears in her eyes she said, “I wish my mommy could see me!”

Again she didn’t reappear.

The shoes, she thought. I’m not wearing the shoes.

Frantically, Lisa patted at everything on the floor, but locating invisible shoes was difficult. Finally she found the first shoe in her doll house and the second under her desk.

Putting on invisible shoes was just as tricky as finding them. Just as soon as she felt them on her feet, she ran to the mirror. “I wish I was visible.”

Lisa watched as she reappeared into her familiar five-year-old self. Then the first thing she did was take off the magic shoes and throw them into the trash.

“I’m here,Mommy,” she hollered and ran to the kitchen and hugged her mother. “I’m here.”

The following night, Lisa happily dressed in her princess costume. On her feet she insisted she wear her hiking boots while trick or treating, and her mother had no complaints.

Week 4 Bad Zombie Movie Marathon Reviews

It’s week 4 of my zombie movie a day marathon with Gaynor Stenson on the Vamplit Blog and this was a bizarre week of different zombie movies. For the most part I enjoyed what I watched. Here are the reviews:

The only thing I knew about Johnny Sunshine going in was what I read in the Netflix description, which really leaves out much of what the film is really about. Here’s what I read: “In a world overrun by zombies, drugs and violence, entertainment is hard to come by. Enter Johnny Sunshine, the beautiful yet cold-blooded assassin whose zombie-killing exploits are the basis for the world’s most popular reality television show. When she discovers that her double-crossing producer has arranged to have her taken out, Johnny decides it’s time to take her world-famous murdering skills behind the scenes.” The film tried to shock the viewer from the very beginning and it delivered. A few minutes in I worried that’s all it would do, fortunately, there was a loose storyline I half way enjoyed. Johnny actually makes snuff films for her show. The only way she can get off is by torturing and killing her sexual partners. She also tortures and kills zombies on film. The film producer is a major producer of zombie/human porn movies and personifies greed in the world. When Johnny’s rating go down, he hires a bad cop to do to Johnny what she does to her victims. I actually enjoyed the movie because I could see this happening if our world were overrun with zombies. You really need to open your mind and at least halfway enjoy torture movies and horror porn to watch this one, which I do. For a low budget film, I think they did a pretty good job despite everyone else’s loathing of it, so I gave it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.

Return in Red was a strange one and I loved its storyline about “A small town’s population dwindles to dangerously low levels when the residents unknowingly become guinea pigs in an unethical science experiment designed to test the effect of electromagnetic frequencies on the human brain.” Unfortunately this is another film that has been bashed by viewers expecting all zombie films to be packed with action, blood and guts, which you don’t get a lot of until later in the film. There was very little dialog and a lot of background noise that worked well with the whole theme of the movie. It mesmerized me as I watched the townspeople who already live their day to day lives a bit like voodoo zombies. Add in the affects of the experiment and it delivered a pretty good psychological horror movie. Watch it closely and you’ll get drawn in by the moodiness and darkness of what is happening to the townspeople. Of all the movies I’ll watch this month, this will be one of the most memorable. I say kudos to the director and give it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.

Nightmare Alley is an extremely low budget Tales from the Crypt rip off that was okay. There was only one zombie short in the collection, which was also okay. According to the cover it won an award, although I couldn’t find any information about the contest on the IMDB page nor could I read the name of the contest. I can’t say much more about this collection and quickly forgot most of what I saw, so I give it barely 2 1/2 out of 5 bloody brains.

Wicked Little Things struck me as a typical Hollywood produced horror movie, set on drawing in crowds with the same old format, although the storyline was a little different. So it was all a bit predictable in regards to how it would end. I mean, look at the movie description. “When a grieving widow moves her two daughters to a rustic house in the Pennsylvania mountains, she hopes the solitude will help them work through feelings of abandonment. But they hardly have time to reflect, as they discover unexpected neighbors. As it turns out, the ghosts of children who were killed in a tragic accident more than 90 years before are still “playing” in the mine shaft nearby, and would love to have the neighborhood kids join them.” Pretty typical, huh? The dark atmosphere of the movie is what I enjoyed most, so I give it 3 out of 5 bloody brains.

I finally watched Stake Land last week and loved it. I had to sneak it in here because it felt like a zombie movie to me. Have we created a new creature lately, trying to keep horror movies fresh? Do these horrific creatures have a name, zompires or vambies? Please help me, people, because I haven’t been paying attention. I’m certainly not complaining because they created quite a horrific monster in Stake Land. I just wouldn’t call them vampires. Anyways, I have only one complaint about Stake Land, the script felt borrowed from too many other movies. Still, I loved the characters and atmosphere. I give it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.

I don’t understand why people hate Zombie Farm. It’s not that bad. The acting is pretty good, the characters are likeable and it has a decent voodoo zombie storyline. There are a few complaints about women being treated badly in this movie, but, um, there would be no storyline without it and it is horror. The movie isn’t the best zombie movie out there, but it held my attention and my sons. I was a little surprised it was made in 2009 because it felt like it could have been made sometime in the 1970s. For a low budget film, it rates pretty high in quality compared to other zombie films. This movie doesn’t stand out, but it is entertaining. Jake and I agreed it deserved 3 out of 5 bloody brains.

Zombies Zombies Zombies is about “an unorthodox drug experiment conducted by a mad scientist transforms the residents of a small town into flesh-eating zombies, a motley crew of exotic dancers, pimps, hookers and johns are forced to take refuge inside a seedy strip club.” I really couldn’t have explained it any better. This was a FUN FUN FUN film and BLOODY BLOODY BLOODY! Especially loved that they pitted the hookers and the strippers against each other, and the cat fights made it even more of a hoot to watch. You’ve gotta ignore the reviews and at least try watching this one. Pop some corn, turn it on and sit back and enjoy it. I loved it and give it 4 out of 5 bloody brains.

Heads up, next week’s movies include: Boy Eats Girl, Return of the Living Dead 3, Zombie High, Revenge of the Living Dead Girl, Doctor Blood’s Coffin, Survival of the Dead, Beneath the Surface