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Showing posts from January, 2011

Cute crochet minions in every size...

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Now, I know what you're thinking.  Yes this is a media review site.  However, this book is fairly important to me because it was what got me to start learning to crochet.  I was searching for "Cthulhu" one day when I was bored and I came across "Creepy Cute Crochet" by accident.  I went out and bought it the same afternoon (you should have learned by now that I am in impulse buyer of zombies, and anything book related.)

The patterns are ranked in terms of ease, but since I'm still a beginning I haven't done any of them yet.  The patterns are really nice and cover tons of ground with regards to the subject matter.  There are even wizards, Trojan warriors, and Amazonian women to crochet.

This book is a must-have for any crafty zombie lover !  In fact, I was perusing another blog and found out that windgie79 at craftster.org …

Mel Gibson and the aliens...

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Sometimes its interesting to look back over the years and see where certain people have found themselves.  Mel Gibson, for example, has been through numerous scandals since "Signs" was first released in 2002.  He has battled abuse, drug, alcohol, and other allegations.  Joaquin Phoenix supposedly tried to start a career as a rapper.  Rory Culkin, brother to Macaulay Culkin, recently appeared in the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs the World.  Abigail Breslin grew up to become the witty girl who survives the zombie apocalypse in "Zombieland".  Last but not least, M. Night Shyamalan has had mixed reviews for his films, some being successful, and others not so much.  Its funny where life takes you sometimes.

"Signs" is my go-to scary alien movie.  There are very few scenes in which you can see the actual aliens, and I think that mak…

A stylish update...

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"The Haunting" is based on an unremarkable book by Shirley Jackson.  The movie, on the other hand, is very enjoyable.  Liam Neeson is a great asset to the film as always, and Catherine Zeta Jones is a great supporting actress.

"The Haunting" has an interesting plot - Liam Neeson plays Doctor David Marrow, a man intent on finding evidence of the supernatural.  Catherine Zeta Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor are study subjects picked from a vast survey for a study on sleep health.  As can already be suspected, things go poorly for all involved.

The haunting phenomena is different from the book - it's more agressive, dangerous, and frightening.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the lion-shaped draft dodger in the fireplace.  It seems to drop out of nowhere at first and scare Lili Taylor (who plays the mentally unhinged Eleanor).…

Thoughts on a mediocre haunting...

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At the outset, I'd like to say that I read Richard Matheson's "Hell House" just before I read "The Haunting of Hill House", which was probably the biggest literary snafu of my life.  It's far better to read Jackson first, because its an older novel and in many ways, more of a subtle haunting.

"Hell House" comparison aside, I thought "The Haunting of Hill House" was a tad boring.  The haunting phenomena was subtle (as in some pounding on the doors, holding hands with what you thought was a friend but was a ghost), and very spaced out in the book.  I prefer haunting stories to take you by the scruff of your neck, drag you to hell and back several times, and leave you begging for mercy at the end.  I didn't feel that way about "The Haunting of Hill House" at all.  This is one of the only times that I…

Whatever you do, don't yank his chain !

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Ok - so apparently this is what I do at night when I need to go to sleep before work but can't - I blog.

Anyhow, about "Trilogy of Terror".  I first saw the second movie on TV when I was a kid, and that was when I was introduced to the main attraction of the movie - a little Zuni Fetish doll named He Who Kills.  (If you're wondering what he looks like, he's on the cover of the DVD...)  Nasty little guy, isn't he ?  All the stories in the movie are based on Richard Matheson stories, and all star Karen Black, as are the stories in "Trilogy of Terror II".

I decided to buy "Trilogy of Terror" since I'd never seen the first movie.  The movie was filmed in 1975.  The effects are very much on par with the time period - but I think they're still relevant today.  The little Zuni Fetish doll looks frightening when he is first taken out of his box, silly when he first starts running around, and is the epitome of a nightmare when he begins wield…

A "Hell" of a movie...

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Usually I am not thrilled about movies based on books.  The 1973 version of "The Legend of Hell House" was an exception.  It is based on the book "Hell House" by Richard Matheson, and I wanted to see it primarily out of curiosity.  At first I thought Vincent Price was in it, until I realized what year it was filmed, and then I decided I'd watch it to see how close of an adaptation they had made.  Generally speaking, adaptations aren't as good as the book.  I was also interested in what kinds of special effects were utilized, given the year.

"The Legend of Hell House" was a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel.  The special effects were good - used sparingly and in the right places.  There were a few scenes I thought could have been included, including Doctor Barrett's struggle in the steam room with an u…

A knockout book from a new author...

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Ben Tripp's "Rise Again" is a relatively recent addition to the annals of gore-encrusted zombie literature.  Before I get into the review, I have a terrible thing to admit.  Its absolutely unforgivable, but its true.  I wasn't even aware of the existence of "Rise Again" until I went searching on google for "zombie bookmarks".  Ben Tripp offers not only these, but other goodies on the novel's website (riseagainthenovel.com).  After having downloaded the bookmarks and that insanely cool mask pictured at the left, I had to buy the book.  I'm not a freebie-seeking-heel you know.

Anyhow, I went straightaway to a bookseller because I had to have the novel in my hands that instant.

"Rise Again" is on my favorite zombie novels list.…

Support our Authors !

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Drop everything and go right now to http://www.nightshadebooks.com/editorials and vote for your favorite stories !  Most of the stories are from "The Living Dead 2".  There are some really good entries in the contest and it will be hard to pick, but don't let yourself go uheard !  The deadline is March 26, 2011 at 23:59 PDT so you've got some time to go back and reread the stories before you make your decision !

The [Undead] British are coming !

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"Shaun of the Dead" came out in American theaters when I was a senior in high school.  At the time, I was heavily obsessed with Stephen King and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I saw a trailer for "Shaun of the Dead" and knew I had to track it down, at all costs.

When I finally found (and rented) it, I took it to a friend's house.  We sat in her room watching it in the dark, with her pet ferret running around biting our pants legs and scaring us to death.  It was such a well-done movie - we didn't know whether to scream in terror or die laughing.

The chemistry between actors and actresses can make or break a movie.  Audiences can see right through the actors if they aren't really enjoying the project.  Conversely, if the actors have bonded with one another, the world movie  transcends the screen and becomes real.  The audience becom…

YAY ! At last - zombie poetry !

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Finally !  Zombies are shambling into the world of poetry !  "Zombie Haiku" by Ryan Mecum was more entertaining than I had first expected it to be.  I thought that the book would be a disembodied jumble of different haiku versus dealing with zombies.  Apparently I was wrong.  The book follows the journey of one man during the apocalypse.  The book begins with regular nature-themed haiku (which are written well) and progresses towards the apocalypse and one man's fall from human to undead.  Even as a zombie he dutifully records his experiences.  (Another plus is that the poetry changes noticeably as the man slips deeper into becoming a zombie.)  The book is interspersed with pictures and blood splotches which add to the creepy mood of the book.

More than once I found myself laughing out loud at the true absurdity of the haiku verses.  This book was wri…

Blog-turned-book...

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When I was perusing the shelves of a local bookstore this summer, I accidentally bought the sequel to this book before buying "Day by Day Armageddon" by J. L. Bourne.  Those of you who know me might not be surprised, because when it comes to zombies I literally voraciously acquire any material I can.  I went back the next day and not only purchased the first novel, but three other zombie books as well.  The lesson being that fewer trips to the bookstore equal more money in my pocket.

It has taken me awhile to write this review because I wanted it to be a fair review, both to the author, and to whomever reads my website.  Please, keep in mind that the faults that I found in this book are due more to my preference than in any shortcomings of the author.

I'm going to start by saying that this book is not for everyone.  While I wasn't imp…

Death's Eye View of the Apocalypse

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I was in a local bookstore itching to buy a new zombie book to add to my collection.  (It will be permanently stated that at no time do I need a "new book" as I always have at least 10 waiting to be read...but when I feel the urge to buy a new book, there's no logical way of stopping me.)  Anyhow, I was perusing the shelves and I stumbled on "Empire" by David Dunwoody.  The cover is green with a huge silhouette of the Grim Reaper and the title written sideways, subtext neatly boxed in with bones.  All in all a very handsome cover.

Dunwoody is a master storyteller - he managed to juggle a mess of characters with ease.  I always knew who was who in the story, and he didn't have to keep reminding me every time I encountered a character.  The character's personalities were all ver…

Undead gone wild !

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"Zombie Zoology" is just about as wild as it gets.  All puns aside, I am really impressed with this book.  I was a little skeptical at the beginning when I bought the book, because I wasn't sure how many zombie tales could involve animals and yet still be fresh and exciting.  Although the movie was a little monkey-heavy, it was still really interesting.

I don't think there is a story that I preferred over any of the others.  Each story was unique and memorable.  However, for the sake of tradition (and to hopefully get you to buy this book...) I will mention a few.

It's a good thing I'm not so much of a cat person as a dog person, or else "Yule Cat" would have me rethinking my choice of pets.  Ted Wenskus really knows how to stick it to naughty children, but I think the …

Yet another great anthology if you're looking for something new...

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Yet again another gem of a book from Permuted Press.  "The Undead Zombie Anthology" is a really great anthology.  I'm not familiar with many of the authors, but I wouldn't hesitate to read anything they write from now on - every author is top of their game.

Usually when reviewing anthologies, I pick a few stories that I showcase based on a variety of factors.  As I was reading this anthology, I kept trying to figure out which stories to showcase.  I just finished this book about three hours ago and I still can't decide what to include!  Do I include the story about the lycanthrope who can't decide what to do about his zombie father?  Or maybe the story about the zombie squid - that was a doozy!  Or perhaps I should mention the one where Frankenstein's monster joins the fray against the undead, or the woman who fall…