Happy Halloween Bruce Campbell

While crime fiction accounts for about 50% of the books I read, the TV I watch and the movies I see, I like to dip into other genres. When is comes to horror, you can’t do better than Evil Dead. Crazy low budget but terrifying films. No one has done more with so little.

Best of all, Evil Dead brought us Bruce Campbell and now Bruce Campbell is delivering the mother of Halloween gifts, an Evil Dead series.

Ash vs. The Evil Dead.

Forget the trick or treating or spying on the neighbours with their sexy Halloween costumes (other people do that, not me), turn off all the lights and tune in for the first episode of horror comedy Bruce Campbell style. Let the boomstick do the talking.

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When is Suicide Squad in theatres?

You could hardly be mistaken for thinking that the Suicide Squad movie was being released soon. We have front covers of Empire magazine, trailers, interviews, the whole thing that hasn’t even happened for the Star Wars movie. We haven’t even got a proper Captain America: Civil War trailer yet and it is released a whole four months before Suicide Squad. That’s right, the release date for Suicide Squad is still August 5th 2016.

Maybe it’s a Halloween thing? Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is certainly the belle of the ball at the moment. Jared Leto’s Joker is probably the second most used costume this Halloween behind Harley Quinn. Whoever is selling those funky looking shoes, ripped fishnets and baseball bats are making a killing this year. Sales of white face make-up have probably gone through the roof.

So what about the film? We have a full 3 minute trailer which is all about getting the gang together without any sense of why we have a trailer so far ahead of the release date.

At which point does interest in the film turn into boredom at waiting? With another ten months to wait, we shall see.

The recnt news has been close up images of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc. Now that would be an impressive Halloween costume, but I suppose fishnets and short shorts have a distinctive advantage over a scaly cannibal. What I am waiting for is some action sequences. We’ve seen pimped out Will Smith, guys with guns, helicopters and goat headed man and panda man shooting, but not too much else. Are we going to get more plot details or clips of action sequences in another couple of months?

Maybe we’ll have some clarification on David Ayer’s suggestion that this will “Comic book movie 2.0” rather than fighting aliens. I was really excited about the film, now I have a hazy sense of interest in the film. Let’s see what happens in another six months.

In the meantime, you can see the new images over at Empire.

Spectre: How did we do?

Spectre spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want the few surprises contained in the film revealed, Do Not click the continue reading (or look at the Wikipedia page—there is a massive spoiler in first line).

Everyone else, did Spectre deliver everything we hoped? (Not sure what we were hoping for? Check here)

Continue reading “Spectre: How did we do?”

Spectre: What are we hoping for?

It’s a Bond film, so we need to start off the staples.

  • A good Bond girl. And what makes a good Bond Girl? Well, firstly, no screamers. Sorry Stacy Sutton from A View to a Kill, you might have been a Playboy pin-up, but you were a poor Bond girl. She need to be able to hold her own with Bond, push him around a bit and be happy to play. I always like a Bond girl villain, distinguishable from the Bond girl by the fact she is bad and usually ends up dead. Hello Xenia Onatopp.
  • A car chase with an Aston Martin. Skyfall spoiled us with the DB5 and it would be too much to ask to have it back indefinitely, so next best thing is a new Aston Martin.
  • Great locations. We accept that rainy London is going to play a part. I can’t see Bond down on Hyde Park in the sun. Instead we want tropical locations, because clearly the sun never shines in England.
  • Secret organisations. Is there any point being a secret agent if you can’t find out secret stuff? Obviously not. SPECTRE, the Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, is great. Looking forward to being introduced to a classic.
  • A great Bond villain. There have been good ones, Blofeld of old, Goldfinger, Trevelyn and there have been bad ones. Remember when Jonathan Pryce was the villainous newspaper man Elliot Carver? I know, I’ve tried to forget as well.
  • The essential Bond characters. We have a new M, Miss Moneypenny, Q and Tanner (Felix is around somewhere). All the gang are back together, now let’s use them without killing them off.

Beyond the Bond formula, what else can we expect and what else do we want?

  • I’d like the beginning of more encounters with Spectre and possibly an origin for Blofeld or a transition to Blofeld. Somewhere along the line, someone forgot Bond films constitute the longest running film franchise. Gone are the days when we were uncertain whether there will be another Bond film. You are going to make another one. So stop planning one film at a time and get with long story. Before film goers were more demanding with regards to narratives, it was easier to string films together. Now, we want a larger more complete film. Unfortunately, this means that you get a secret organisation like Quantum and you kill it in essentially one film. At the start of Quantum of Solace they are everywhere. By the end, we seem to got over that one.
  • Some emotional time with Bond. He need to have a hard time with something, but nothing too much or it gets irrelevant. We need somewhere between the love of his life has been killed and he packed the wrong cufflinks.
  • A complete film. Let’s have a clear threat. It doesn’t need to be apocalyptic (I’m thinking Moonraker extinction of the human race) but it needs to be immediate (starting a war between a couple of countries no one cares about is not immediate). Then resolve the threat. You’ve got two and a half hours. That should be more than enough time.
  • Ohh, and one last one. Don’t kill off Christoph Waltz. That would be a Jack Nicholas in Batman or Harvey Dent in Dark Knight error.

All we need to do now is wait for 26th October and see how we do. Sorry America, you have a little longer to wait.

Interested to see how we did? Check the post-film update.

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ Final Part

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ by Oscar Wilde

Final Part
And in the morning the Priest went forth to bless the sea, for it had been troubled. And with him went the monks and the musicians, and the candle-bearers, and the swingers of censers, and a great company.
And when the Priest reached the shore he saw the young Fisherman lying drowned in the surf, and clasped in his arms was the body of the little Mermaid. And he drew back frowning, and having made the sign of the cross, he cried aloud and said, ‘I will not bless the sea nor anything that is in it. Accursed be the Sea-folk, and accursed be all they who traffic with them. And as for him who for love’s sake forsook God, and so lieth here with his leman slain by God’s judgment, take up his body and the body of his leman, and bury them in the corner of the Field of the Fullers, and set no mark above them, nor sign of any kind, that none may know the place of their resting. For accursed were they in their lives, and accursed shall they be in their deaths also.’
And the people did as he commanded them, and in the corner of the Field of the Fullers, where no sweet herbs grew, they dug a deep pit, and laid the dead things within it.
And when the third year was over, and on a day that was a holy day, the Priest went up to the chapel, that he might show to the people the wounds of the Lord, and speak to them about the wrath of God.
And when he had robed himself with his robes, and entered in and bowed himself before the altar, he saw that the altar was covered with strange flowers that never had he seen before. Strange were they to look at, and of curious beauty, and their beauty troubled him, and their odour was sweet in his nostrils. And he felt glad, and understood not why he was glad.
And after that he had opened the tabernacle, and incensed the monstrance that was in it, and shown the fair wafer to the people, and hid it again behind the veil of veils, he began to speak to the people, desiring to speak to them of the wrath of God. But the beauty of the white flowers troubled him, and their odour was sweet in his nostrils, and there came another word into his lips, and he spake not of the wrath of God, but of the God whose name is Love. And why he so spake, he knew not.
And when he had finished his word the people wept, and the Priest went back to the sacristy, and his eyes were full of tears. And the deacons came in and began to unrobe him, and took from him the alb and the girdle, the maniple and the stole. And he stood as one in a dream.
And after that they had unrobed him, he looked at them and said, ‘What are the flowers that stand on the altar, and whence do they come?’
And they answered him, ‘What flowers they are we cannot tell, but they come from the corner of the Fullers’ Field.’ And the Priest trembled, and returned to his own house and prayed.
And in the morning, while it was still dawn, he went forth with the monks and the musicians, and the candle-bearers and the swingers of censers, and a great company, and came to the shore of the sea, and blessed the sea, and all the wild things that are in it. The Fauns also he blessed, and the little things that dance in the woodland, and the bright-eyed things that peer through the leaves. All the things in God’s world he blessed, and the people were filled with joy and wonder. Yet never again in the corner of the Fullers’ Field grew flowers of any kind, but the field remained barren even as before. Nor came the Sea-folk into the bay as they had been wont to do, for they went to another part of the sea.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Spectre Pre-release Anticipation

The New James Bond movie is just over a week away and we have been very excited. There is every evidence that the new movie is an attempt to bring together the new story-telling from Skyfall with the Fleming narratives effectively used in Casino Royale. At worst we are hoping for something better than Quantum of Solace.

Trailers have looked good, clips have boosted our confidence and mysteries created about characters and the nature of Spectre are very reassuring. The Sam Smith theme tune is in place and is growing on me. There is a French Bond girl and the ever amazing Monica Bellucci. Christop Waltz never fails to impress. The Aston Martin looks great and the presence of Andrew Scott in a very Moriarty style role looks interesting. At just under 2 and half hours, it is the longest Bond film and I’m not sure that is a good thing. It is, however, something a little different and when it comes to Bond we are after a little bit of the same and a little bit different.

So, time to get measured up for the tux and order the martini.

Halloween Horrors in Ghostlight Publication

Halloween is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than a collection of horrifying stories? As luck would have it a collection of horrifying stories has recently become available.

Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers
Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers

You may remember a post in the recent past concerning the publication of one of my stories by the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers (if not, through the magic of hyperlinks, I can take you right there with a quick click of the mouse). The publication is now available on Amazon (here is the Amazon UK link).

It might surprise you to know that I have had a story published in that very anthology (unless you read the previous post, then you’d know all about it). To keep you in the loop, my story is called ‘The Mark of Gratitude.’ Similar to my Violet Reincastle stories, ‘The Mark of Gratitude’ is set in the nineteenth century. Unlike the Violet Reincastle Monster Hunter stories and more like the Growing Pain’s story, ‘Transforming Alice,’ ‘The Mark of Gratitude’ is a horror story.

‘The Mark of Gratitude focuses on the young love between two newly weds who are taking an adventurous trip down the Nile. Unfortunately, for them, they encounter an horrific cult. For us, on the other hand, the terror inflicted by he cult hides a terrible secret.

Enjoy!