Finally Wrote Something New!

This weekend I wrote a book review and sent it off to an online magazine for approval. It was the first new thing I have written since last November. I've worked on edits and rewrites for Haxan and Quaternity at the request of CZP and that went pretty well. So it's not like I have …

Assassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby (review)

I am not a big fan of romance. I don't think much of most fantasy, either, because a lot of it draws too much on what has been done before and comes off as lazy. It feeds upon itself too much, especially when it comes to plot and motivation and the world the characters are …

No Country for Old Men (book and novel review)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy is a very good novel that, by all rights, should have been great. It tells the story of a drug deal gone bad and how fate impacts different lives, and ends up shattering them. Written in a minimalist style with no quotation marks, commas or apostrophes, this …

Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote

Many divas have tried their hand at this role.  No one can match Diana Damrau.  She is the Queen of Night.  She's beautiful and evil and she scares the living hell out of you. Which is what the character is supposed to do. When she comes at you  with those eyes you can't help but …

Island of Lost Souls (1933) – Censored Horror with Sex and Atmospheric Bestiality

The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite novels by H.G. Wells. Published in 1896 it has deep philosophical elements which Wells faces head on. It is arguably one of his least known, but best written, scientific romances. In 1933 the novel was adapted to film by Paramount Pictures. It starred Charles Laughton …

SWTOR is fastest selling game in MMO history…and it’s only Week 4

Star Wars: The Old Republic has sold two million physical copies in four weeks, outselling all other MMOs and expansions. What amazes me is these are only physical copies. Which means people going down to Target or Best Buy or whatever and picking up the game. This is how I bought my game. It's how …

SWTOR: Casual fun with glowbats in the classic mythos of Star Wars

I am enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic quite a lot. I have been looking for an MMO since I quit Eve Online a while back, and bailed on World of Warcraft after the disastrous Cataclysm expansion. I think I have found my MMO at last. I am a casual gamer. Period. I can't and …

Little Big Man: A Classic Novel of Lies and Counter-Lies in the Old West

My review of the novel Little Big Man by Thomas Berger has been published by The Western Online. Here's the link, and I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say about this classic work. I tried to approach the review from the orientation of both an armchair historian and a writer working in …

Les Miserables: “Hunger comes with love.”

I finished reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo for the second time some years back.  The first time I read it was in high school.  I liked it then, I love it now, even after all this time. I guess everyone knows about Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread and being pursued by Javert.  …

Oscar’s Restaurant & Lounge: You don’t know good Mexican food until you have eaten here

When we were staying in Abilene we ate at Oscar's Restaurant and Lounge. I would link you to their website but they don't have one! They are small and special and they serve some of the best Mexican cuisine I have ever eaten in my life. In. My. Life. Forget about your Tex-Mex or bland …

Gunsmoke: “I will not tolerate a disturbance. You know me.”

Forget everything you know, or think you know, about Matt Dillon and Kitty and Doc.  This radio series which ran for nine years was meant to be an adult-oriented western that broke the mold and challenged the archetypal Western hero.  The creators, Norman MacDonnell and John Meston wanted to shatter all Western stereotypes.  They were …

Why the Zombie Genre needs to be Re-animated from Splatter-Chomp to Mysticism

I mentioned this earlier and want to examine it in more detail. As good as it was, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead has done more to limit the zombie genre than any other movie or book I can think of. Here's why that's not a good thing. Prior to this zombies were never …

Hell on Wheels – The Great Transcontinental Railroad on a TV Budget and a Slack Script

It's hard to tell a lot from a single episode of commercial television without becoming dependent upon generalities to describe what you've seen with Hell on Wheels. But since the episode was made of generalities then I don't feel so bad about it. First off, it looks good. The people look sufficiently grimy, the backgrounds …

Dragnet – Old Time Radio that delivers stark violence and murder for adults

I am always amazed at how "adult" OTR is compared to the sanitized candycorn of TV from the same era. Or even compared to many commercial television programs slopping their sugar water today. One such example is Dragnet. The old radio programs are very brutal and violent, very different from the watered down television programs …

Gunfight at the OK Corral – A Retrospective in Three Movies

On this date in 1881, around 3.00 pm, a gunfight occurred which lasted less than thirty seconds. Oh, and for the record, it never happened in the OK Corral but on Fremont Street. Well, that's history for you, always getting in the way with facts and verifiable evidence. I mean, who wants to read about …

“Never Turn Your Back on a Clown”

The Devil's Rejects (2005) is the sequel to Rob Zombie's excellent horror film House of 1000 Corpses which I reviewed earlier.  Except it's less of a sequel than an entirely different film altogether.  All the old gang is reprised: Sid Haig as the clown head of the psychotic Firefly family, Sherri Moon Zombie as his …

Ginger Snaps: Not the Cookie, the Werewolf

I like werewolf movies.  No, let me rephrase that.  I like good werewolf movies.  My favorite is The Wolfman (1941) with Lon Chaney, Jr.  And from a writerly perspective it gives me a tickle to know the writer of that film, Curt Siodmak, made most of the werewolf tropes out of whole cloth.  But they're …

House of 1000 Corpses (A Review)

Horror is a visceral medium. When it comes to movies, horror can be very visceral indeed.  I love the old Universal monsters, mainly for personal reasons.  They are my favorite.  When it comes to other horror movies I lean towards surrealism like the excellent Suspiria by Dario Argento. But there are other movies that, after …

“The sky is the killer of us all.” Enemy Ace – A Review

DC's Showcase: Enemy Ace , written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by the legendary Joe Kubert, is the most unrelentingly nihilistic comic I've ever read. It presents the face of war from the side of the enemy.  In this case it's Hans Von Hammer, a WWI fighter pilot modeled after Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, better …