The Warlock Movies

Sorry, no low-budget movies this week. Why? Netflix distracted me with suggestions to watch the Warlock movies. Now I had already seen the first movie, many times in fact and have even read the print version. I had no idea they made two more movies, so I had to watch them.

Warlock (1989), gosh has it been that long since I first saw this movie? Anyways, here’s what it’s about. “In 17th century Boston, a warlock (Julian Sands) escapes death and magically leaps 300 years into the future, where he searches in Los Angeles for the three parts of the Devil’s Bible that will unmake the world.” I love this movie and the book and it doesn’t happen often that I equally enjoy both. Warlock is a witty horror movie with great characters. Julian Sands was a perfect cast as the warlock, although the other members of the cast could use a few acting lessons considering this movie had an actual budget. Okay, they weren’t that bad, and if that’s my only complaint about the movie, well… What’s great about this movie is that it still stands apart as a good horror movie without all the special effects. If you can get your hands on the book, read it, although I think it might be out of print. There were some awesome scenes cut out of the movie, which is understandable. Let’s just say the warlock has a gigantic penis that is the true weapon used to kill his first victim, and so well written in the book that I vividly remember it over 20 years later. All in all, 5 OUT OF 5 STARS.

In Warlock: The Armageddon (1993) “Satan’s favorite son, the Warlock, returns — this time to collect six ancient stones that will unlock his father from hell and return him to Earth. Complicating matters are two high schoolers who unknowingly hold the power to save the world.” No where near as good as the first movie, but enjoyable. This is one of those movies where the plot tried too hard and fell flatter because of the acting. I didn’t care though because Julian Sands returned and carried the movie. There were also some fun parts, like the movie opener. Don’t expect much from this one and you might just enjoy it too. 3 OUT OF 5 STARS.

Warlock 3: The End of Innocence (1999) can’t be compared to the first and second movie because it has no connection to them and unfortunately no Julian Sands. Luckily I knew this going in or I’d have been reallllly disappointed. What’s it about? “When a rich uncle leaves her a sprawlin crumbling 16th-century mansion as part of her inheritance, a college student (Ashley Laurence) and her friends leave campus behind for a fun-filled weekend in the country. But their holiday quickly morphs into hell on earth.” Expect a slasher movie and it’ll deliver. This is a B grade film and should be watched as such. I liked the atmosphere of the house in this film and thought the acting was better than in Armageddon. You do have to remember that in cheesy horror films, cars don’t start and characters do bizarre things like walk barefoot in a nightgown through an old dirty house about to be tore down. Or find beds clean enough to sleep in. I don’t think it’s as bad as the other amateur critics out there and give it 3 OUT OF 5 STARS.

Modern Day Convenience

Hail pounded on to my head, forcing me to duck under an awning at the flea market. Luckily, I’d been walking between a row of stationary shops that peddle indistinguishable t-shirts, sunglasses and junky kids toys in every other unit. This store was different though. A hodgepodge of off-brand appliances ranging from can openers to sewing machines. No shelves in the place, only box stacked upon box and in no particular order.

At the back of the shop an Asian man, maybe Chinese and possibly a hundred and fifty years old, shuffled at a snails pace toward me carrying a box. He paused and smiled. “You need vacuum cleaner?”

“No thanks.” I turned my back to him, looked up at the sky to gauge the movement of the storm and thought maybe I should head home.

The man nudged me in the back with the corner of the box. “Only fifty buck. Guarantee.”

I turned my head and saw he held one of those robot vacuums. “You can’t be serious. I know for a fact they’re hundreds of dollars, even in discount stores.”

“You take.” He shoved it again and let go so I had to catch it or risk the box crashing to the pavement.

“Seriously,” I said and shoved it back at him, “I don’t want it.”

“You buy. Guarantee one year.” He then held out his hand. “Cash only.”

Sure, I thought, buy it now and when it breaks in a week the shop will be gone. But if it doesn’t break? Hell, fifty bucks is worth automatic pizza crumb removal after at least one football game with my friend Tyler. I pulled out my wallet and payed the man.

* * *

“Dude, I got another flat tire,” Tyler said on the other end of the phone.

“Uh huh,” my tone unbelieving. Tyler’s one of those friends who has more excuses than a tree has leaves.

“Go ahead and order the pizza without me,” He added. “I’ll be there when I get there.”

I sighed.

“Extra sausage.”

“Sure,” I said, but he’d already hung up.

Ten minutes into the first quarter the pizza arrived. Ten minutes later Tyler walked in with his usual excuse that he’d forgot his wallet. He flopped on the couch, shoved half a piece of pizza in his mouth and announced, “I need a beer.”

“Broncos are kicking ass.” I flung a paper plate at him like a frisbee.

“Beer, Dude.”

I needed another one anyways, so I momentarily disappeared through the doorway into the kitchen. On the way back, I thought I should have bought a mini-fridge for the living room from the Chinaman instead of the vacuum.

And speaking of vacuums, by the time I got back, Tyler had not only found my new one, but had removed it from the box. Plastic bags and styrofoam were scattered across the coffee table and floor. “Dude, you got a Room Rover.”

My eyes opened wide at the sight of the mess as well as in amazement that Tyler recognized a vacuum cleaner let alone a robot version.

“My Grandma has one of these. She won’t let me touch it though.”

“Put it back in the box,” I said. “It needs charging.”

“So charge it. We can play with it after the game.”

“It’s not a toy.” I pulled the device away from Tyler then yanked the charger cord up off the floor. The bulky end that plugs into the outlet hit Tyler in the head and I couldn’t help but laugh.

In mid-gulp of beer, Tyler choked and bubbles shot out his nose. “Fuck you,” he burp spoke while he brushed liquid off his t-shirt.

“Hope that doesn’t stain.” As if he’d ever done a load of laundry in his life.

“Consider it paid for in pizza.” Tyler shoved a second piece of pizza in his mouth.

I shook my head and plugged in the robot vac to charge.

* * *

While the roar of the Broncos’ fans resonated from the television, I picked at cheese crusted on an empty pizza box. “Damn, I’m still hungry.”

“Broncos rock!” Tyler made a victory fist and ignored my passive comment that he’d eaten all the pizza and left me starving. He then picked up the robot vacuum, still plugged in and charging. He examined its round exterior. “How you supposed to get in corners with this thing.”

“It’s not a replacement vacuum. It’s used to clean up after pigs like you.” I pointed at the crumbs that covered the floor where he had been sitting.

Tyler indignantly turned up his lip and groaned then leaned over to unplugged the thing. “How you turn this on?” He examined the exterior for a power switch.

“Let me see.” I reached out to take the robot from Tyler, but he yanked it back.

“Got it.” Tyler flipped a switch on the side and placed the appliance on the floor. With his right foot he stepped on the edge and tilted one end upward. “Too bad this thing isn’t remote controlled like a car. I could make it do wheelies.”

A spark snapped beneath Tyler’s foot. He stiffened from the jolt and his body convulsed. I kicked Tyler’s leg to the side and off the robot. The wheels engaged with the floor and it zipped to the corner of the room where it bounced repeatedly off the wall.

Tyler writhed for several seconds trying to shake off the traumatic shock.

“You okay?” I asked and stared into his dilated eyes.

“Dude, you got a lemon. Look at the little fucker. It keeps smashing into the wall.”

“If it weren’t a machine I’d say you pissed it off.” I approached it and crouched down, keeping a watchful eye as it continued to beat itself against the wall. I knew I had to turn it off, but I didn’t like the the prospect of being lit up like Tyler. Still the damn thing was leaving black skid marks on the wall. Cautiously, I reached out.

“Don’t touch it!” Tyler stumbled backward.

I retracted my hand and turned to Tyler. “Get me the silicone oven mitts in the kitchen and get yourself another beer to calm down.”

Tyler went for a beer first and when he returned, threw the mitts across the room. They hit me in the head. “I think you’d be better off with a baseball bat, Dude.”

“Once it’s off—”

“You’ll be dead first.”

“Shut up.” I slipped the oven mitts over my hands knowing my logic for protection was flawed. Regardless, I went at it, quickly and flipped it upside down.

No shock. And the wheels stopped. Still, I slid the switch to off and the power light went out. Not an easy task without fingers.

Tyler slowly approached but froze when the wheels raced again. “It’s possessed.”

“I’m sure it’s just a mechanical issue,” I told him while removing the oven mitts. I decided to take my chances and cautiously slid open the battery compartment. Again I was safe, but now more confused by the thing’s malfunction.

“What the fuck?” Tyler said. “There’s no battery in there.”

Brain Portal

Amber whisked her lab coat backward and stood with her hands on her hips. “Professor Cale, how long are we going to keep Alex’s condition a secret?” She intended to stand firm until he gave her a definitive answer.

“Do I have to remind you who’s responsible for his condition?” he snapped back at his lab assistant. “If we tell anyone about our research and what it’s done to Alex, our careers will be over and they’ll lock us up and throw away the key,”

“It’s been three days, and his friends have already been around looking for him.” Amber approached the desk where the phone sat and picked up the receiver. “I can’t sit back and watch him deteriorate any longer.”

The professor thought how he’d had enough of Amber’s whining as he rushed across the room. “Don’t be a fool.” He lurched at her, then grabbed her wrist and squeezed it until her strength gave out. Forcibly he yanked the receiver from her hand and slammed it back down on the phone. “End of discussion.”

Amber ran toward the office door, sobbing.

“If I have to lock you up with him, I will,” he called after her.

“You’re Mad!”

The professor heaved a sigh while watching Amber storm from the room. Accepting Amber into his neuroscience program at the University of Chicago was a mistake, he thought. He blamed himself though for letting her long slim legs sway his judgment. Now he was stuck with her while Alex, his most esteemed lab technician, sat in the adjoining room, no longer himself and nearly dead.

* * *

A week prior, Alex had begged to be the first test subject for Professor Cale’s secret replica of the God Helmet. After three years of copying the apparatus’s ability to stimulate the human brain with magnetic fields, the professor was nearly ready to test his version, designed to cure depression. Alex’s involvement as an observer and evaluator was preferred during the study though. In his place, the professor chose Amber to be the first test subject.

Little did Cale realize that Alex would take it upon himself to tweak the settings without the professor’s knowledge while he was away at a conference for a few days.

In a janitorial-closet-sized test room, with Amber’s assistance, they tightly fastened the solenoid lined helmet on Alex’s head, making sure it covered the temporal lobes. From a laptop on a tray beside where Alex sat in on a lounge chair, Amber fluctuated the magnetic field and adjusted the strength.

For hours, Alex fidgeted in the chair, expecting some odd sensation or mood change, but instead his agitation grew as he continued to feel nothing. He was sure Amber was doing something wrong and snatched the controller away from her. Then he set a sporadic sequence that sent him into convulsions.

By the time Amber was able to take back the laptop, his body had gone limp and lifeless, but from his neck up he remained alert and responsive, although his personality was unfamiliar to her.

The professor returned the following morning and found Amber sleeping on the floor of the test room beside Alex. To both of their surprise, Alex’s body weight had shriveled by fifteen percent overnight, but his head remained normal and talkative.

Alex was gone though. He had opened an inter-dimensional portal and a being, who called himself Zah, had jumped into Alex’s brain and taken over all thought processes.

* * *

An hour after Amber stormed from Professor Cale’s office, everyone had gone home, but they had remained in the building, ready for a third overnight of testing Alex’s body and questioning Zah.

The professor turned the key to unlock the door to his laboratory. Inside the room, Alex’s shriveled body lay on an exam table. It looked as if he had been mummified from the neck down, but his head was still perfectly preserved.

“We are running out of time,” Zah said to the Professor. “You must cut out the brain.”

“I’m preparing now.”

Zah had been feeding off of Alex’s body from his brain, but once all the life sustaining fluids had been drained from it, the brain where Zah now resided had to be removed from its cavity or decomposition would set in and Zah would die.

Zah smiled. “And Amber?”

“I’ll get rid of her later, after you’re safely inside the incubator.”

“Oh no you won’t,” Amber said from the doorway, where she stood holding an axe she had taken from beside a nearby fire extinguisher.

Professor Cale turned and waved his hands, warning her not to come any closer. “Put that down, Amber. You’re being ridiculous.”

“I’m being ridiculous?” She shook the axe at the professor then repeated louder, “I’m being ridiculous?”

“Stop her!” Zah hollered.

It was too late though. The axe had already chopped into the professor’s chest and his body fell in slow motion to the floor.

Zah chanted, “No,” over and over again as the axe came down on Alex’s neck.

Amber lifted the detached head by the hair and exited the laboratory, her lab coat splattered with blood and black goo, and Zah swinging from her hand by her side.

The blow had not killed Zah though. He called out for help, but no one heard his pleading.

Amber walked across the hall, back to the test room where she had redied the helmet. “Kill me. I think not,” she mumbled then held Zah up to her face and stared into the eyes that were once Alex’s. “I’m sending you to hell.”

Happy Mother’s Dead Day

mother01The doorbell rang and three noisy beagles burst through the dog door from the back porch. Georgina dropped the dish towel she was holding and covered her ears. Thank God it’s finally here.

She followed the dogs from the kitchen, through the living room, and to the front door. “Curtis, come get the dogs,” she told her son.

“I’m busy.” The nine-year-old leaned back in the easy chair where he sat holding a game controller.

“Playing video games does not constitute busy. Can you please do one thing for me on Mother’s Day, and get the dogs, NOW!

“Fine.” Curtis threw the controller on the coffee table. He grabbed all three dog collars and dragged the beagles back into the kitchen.

Two men stood on the porch, both wearing stability belts. “Delivery,” said one of the men.

Georgina paused and looked the two men up and down. They were both the tall, dark, and handsome type she could only fantasize about after fifteen years of marriage and popping out four boys.

“Who is it, Mommy?” asked a small voice tugging at her sweat pants.

“Something for Mommy.” Georgina signed for the Mother’s Day gift she rented for herself. “Go back to your room, Markie,” she told her son, although she knew he wouldn’t leave her side.

“Back in second, ma’am.”

Ma’am, he called me ma’am. Georgina frowned.

“Hey, honey, where are my shoes!” her husband, Jay, called down the hall from their bedroom.

“Did you check your office!” Georgina sighed.

“Oh, yeah,” he called back.

Georgina looked out the front door and saw that the two men were coming up the walk with her delivery. From behind, identical twin boys stormed past them, the one carrying a football nearly throwing both the men off balance. “Boys, get out of the way!”

The twins stormed in the house, knocking their mother out of the way next. “What’s for lunch?” they said at the same time.

“It’s Mother’s Day. Get your own damn lunch.”

“Where would you like it, ma’am?” one of the men asked.

“Over there, against the wall.” Georgina pointed at a spot she had cleared in the living room.

“What is it, Mommy?” Markie asked.

“Go find Daddy. He has candy for you.”

Markie ran from the room, calling for his father.

The delivery men left, and Georgina closed the door behind them. The room was finally empty, and quiet, but for how long, she wondered. Better get in while I can. She opened the lid on the coffin, stepped inside and laid down. It was remarkably cushy and comfortable, she thought. Just as she was closing the lid, her husband entered the room.

“Hey, hon, why’d you tell Markie . . . .” He stopped her from closing the lid. “What the hell?”

“It’s Mother’s Day and Mommy is dead. God knows it’s the only way I’ll get any peace around here. No taking care of kids, no feeding dogs, no finding shoes. . . . And if you can leave me alone for the rest of the day, maybe I’ll resurrect in the morning.”

Just then, three beagles stormed in the house, sniffed at the coffin and tried to jump inside with Georgina. Four boys called from the kitchen, “We want lunch.”

“You better get on that,” Georgina told her husband and closed the lid, leaving a slight crack for air.

Still digging our way out of the snow

Posted by W.J. Howard

After all the snow we got in Denver and Colorado Springs, this week’s title only seemed fitting but still misleading. We finished digging out Saturday morning and we drive a Hummer, so we never really are stuck anywhere.

Biggest news this week is Randall Stone is joining us here at Minor Insanity whether he likes it or not. I approached him shortly after I read some of his short stories on one of the writer’s sites, and we’ve been friends for a few years now. I absolutely love his Gothic writing style as well as he ability to write a chilling story that will make you laugh. His knowledge of horror history blows me away. It’s very exciting to have him join us shortly before his first novel will be published later this year. Welcome Randall!

Other big news this week is I’ve been accepted to give away free books during World Book Night. I’m so excited to be working with this organization! My plan is to walk to local businesses, meet new people and hand out book. A few friends may be joining me, which will certainly add to the FUN factor. I’ll either be giving away Hunger Games or The Lovely Bones. I hate to say I forgot the title of the other book I chose.

It’s Women in Horror Month and Vamplit is getting as involved as we can with this event. Mainly, a few of us minorly insane will be in the forum over there and discussing women’s impact on the horror genre/industry in the Vamplit group on Dark Media City. Any posts we do will be in the Vamplit Blog, but we’ll post links to ’em here.

Just wanted to remind everyone that Tim is holding a 3 eBook drawing for the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop. Either ‘Like’ the events facebook page OR go here to enter the drawing.

We’re talking about Anne Rice this week for #horrorchat and this Friday continues our oddities theme for #fridayflash. I’m hoping to get R.J. and Randall to join us this week, writing about antique scientific oddities. Knowing them both, they could come up with some amazing stories, hint hint.