As I cracked open the brand spanking new hardcover book published by Da Capo Press, I’M THE MAN: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax by Scott Ian w/ Jon Wiederhorn, I thought it was going to be another run-of-the-mill book on a big rockstar who (more…)
Who is Judy Tenuta? Honestly, when I requested this book from Bear Manor Media to read and review, I do not know whom I was thinking this woman was or what the content of her book would be about. Actually, I read that she was a (more…)
Since Shark Week was not too long ago, I thought that I would start reading some sharksploitation novels and stories, which I don’t know if the term “sharksploitation” can technically even be referenced on books that center around a shark for entertainment since the term has generally been used in reference to movies exploiting sharks like JAWS or the uber-popular SHARKNADO, but I am going to call this specific genre (more…)
If you don’t think HE-MAN and the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE was not a cool show when you were a kid growing up in the ’80s and you have a penis and balls, then stop reading this press release and hire a detective to find out where your taste in cartoons went missing because you lack it! Come on! He-Man was like watching (more…)
There are few books covering the sort of dark and twisted movies myself and others enjoy on a scholarly level, offering vast insight and deep cinematic excavations of films the mainstream movie-goer never will hear light of–unless a (more-often-than-not) silly remake comes about–let alone have access to that Stephen Thrower’s NIGHTMARE USA covers in his colossally thick hardcover (as well as soft cover edition) exploitation independent tome. If there were a class at one of the many fine learning institutions of higher education somewhere on this vast planet covering independent and horror exploitation films, than Thrower’s mammoth 527 page book would be the motherfucking (more…)
Phil Hall decided to tackle a very difficult subject in attempting to write a book entitled THE GREATEST BAD MOVIES OF ALL TIME, because lets be honest—one man’s “bad movie” may be another man’s epic film. Granted, there are “bad movies” we love, but generally most people know (more…)
This meaty, 469 page paperback edition book divided up into nine chapters covering music and “heavy conscious creation” within songs by varying artists was a very educational and intriguing look at music and the power of sound and tone within. Apparently, the occult is deeply rooted in many albums, songs, and artists that may, or may not, be mainstream or even easily accessible and obtainable. Mark Goodall (more…)
This is great news, folks! I am so fortunate to have a copy of the original printing of KILLING FOR CULTURE (ISBN 978-1-900486-87-3), a fascinating book on all films dealing with death. The book is a fascinating read (from what I read so far) and is a must have for any fan of horror films, mondo films, documentaries, morbid curiosity, or one whose fascination with death on film has not been sufficiently satiated. The previous edition published in 1994 and 1995 has been out of print for some time and sold 12,o00 copies. The previous edition was “pre-internet” (I bought my copy at TOWER RECORDS when I worked for the company,which is no longer around) and without material pertaining to the web. I am so glad I grabbed it when I did. The book is one of the most controversial and influential modern texts and it now has a complete makeover. (more…)
When I read the synopsis of HALO OF THE DAMNED I thought, “Oh Hell! This book is going to be littered with tons of religious innuendo! I don’t want to be preached to! I don’t want some Evangeli-Catho-Bapti-Biblethumpiotic author trying to infuse her religious beliefs within a thriller that centers around religious themes!” Or so I thought that would be what reading a book about an advertising agency run by a fallen angel whom works for none-other-than Satan himself that just so happens to hire a nephilim whom just so happens to have more in common with the dark demon than he really knows. That was a giant mouthful of plot crammed into a meandering sentence of descriptive babble. In fact, I am pretty sure that was a run-on sentence and really has no place in this review…or the English language. (more…)
Vin Marr’s Children of Static, a total mindfuck of a journey filled with monsters and the darkest thoughts one’s psyche can imagine comes to life in this story of a group of kids just looking for somewhere to party.
Children of Static is the 2nd novel from the first book of the Epic series, written and illustrated by Vin Marr. Eye of Obrek was the first novel and “only the order of the books is important to the continuity of the series and not the individual novels there in.”
The preface to Children of Static goes on to say that EchtraMedia (the publishers of the book) and the author both agree “the series is a challenging read.” As I was reading the book, I was finding out firsthand JUST how challenging this read was going to be. The story is a mixture of horror, science fiction, and a whole world and concept that this reader was sometimes confused in understanding and comprehending.
The story starts out with a group of young adults, mostly teenagers, who have set off to pick up some booze, bringing along with them food for the night and a few weapons and flashlights. This group, consisting mostly boys (and one girl) are going to an old house to party that is sort of away from other residences and abandoned. So far, I was following along the story. Not to speak to soon, the story jumps into a flashback involving other characters that had not been introduced yet. Several paragraphs later the story jumps back to already introduced characters but readers are hearing their thoughts, some of which are of the past and a sort of flashback. This was where the narrative started to get a bit confusing. The story jumps around between past, present, reality, and a magnificently altered reality—to some it would be considered Hell.
The warning in the preface was so close to the truth of the matter. This read would be difficult, sometimes confusing, and at times-totally frustrating. Even with the confusion and frustrating narrative, I found myself compelled to read more because there was some interesting character development when the story decided to focus on one event in the book and maintain a linear direction instead of bouncing all over the place like an angry fly searching for a way out of an airtight glass jar. Marr has a way of describing gory detail fairly well, but I felt that it moved to quickly and did not really give readers enough food-for-thought to digest and let settle within one’s psyche. I found a great deal of potential within the writing, and the author’s talent resided within his character development, but I just wish there had been more time for building the characters up and give the reader a chance to become familiarized with Brad, Calvin, Tom, Shaun, Lyle, Brillo, Ricky, Billy, Larry, RB, and Jan.
The story focuses around an evil entity, if one can even call it an entity, of magnificent proportions that slips into the thoughts and feelings of the group of kids once they enter the old and dilapidated house. Once in the house, they all are part of a nightmare they desperately wish to wake up from. It is during this nightmare that I found some pleasure in Marr’s vivid descriptions of gore and violence that I can only compare to the gore and creativity in John Carpenter’s film The Thing, of which a alien creature takes over humans and in gory fashion recreates the human physically, while consuming the hosts body. The merging of multiple anatomies that occurs in The Thing and within Marr’s Children of Static for me had many similarities. In talking with the author about his book, I learned Carpenter’s The Thing was a major influence on him and in his writing.
There are two illustrations within the book: one being the group of young adults that go to the old house for a night of drinking and testing out each other’s nerves and the other being one of the creatures within the story whom the teenagers find and end up fighting for their lives because of. After reading a few descriptive paragraphs regarding the “monsters” within the book, I was really anxious to see if my mind had created what Marr was envisioning in his head. Suffice to say, the creature was pretty intense looking and the artwork was done well.
For me, the story was as confusing as some hailed pieces of Science Fiction and as gory and dark as some books I have read from Stephen King and Clive Barker, but just not as easy and organized to read. I felt that book has potential and because it is only one novel with a series of novels, maybe after reading all the parts together this reader may find the story to be less confusing, but who can say. I have mixed feelings on the first piece of work I have read from Vin Marr. I thoroughly enjoyed the gore and descriptive violence, which is prominent more so in the second half of the book, but I also felt that the development and detail put forth for each character was entertaining, but left me thirsting for more back story and depth put forth. I personally felt that with deeper histories setting up each character would give the book an easier flow to follow. I always feel that one of the positive aspects to a good story is really developing the characters within so that when tragedy or joy befalls each, the reader is pulled further into the story and the outcome affects one more deeply.
I believe Marr has a vast world created up in his head and is just having some difficulty translating it in words and in a way that readers can understand and enjoy reading about. Once the narrative reads more cohesively and in a simpler manner, I think a compelling and fantastic story lies beneath the confusing and difficult narration. I recommend reading Marr’s work, but maybe taking notes on characters and carefully noting of events that occur in present time and those that are either from the past or in the not-too-distant future. Otherwise, one may be as confused at times as I was during the story.
If one is interested in purchasing the Kindle edition of Children of Static, please click HERE!