Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Allhallow's Eve

As a big fan of Richard Laymon, I am always on the lookout for books of his that I do not own.
At this time of year, I couldn't have asked for a better find.
Aside from the rather abrupt ending, classic Laymon!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Upcoming Movie News

As a fan of Paul Campion's short films 'Night of the Hell Hamsters' & 'Eel Girl' (see past reviews) I am happy to tell you that Campion has just acquired the rights to author Josh Viola’s dark story “The Librarian,” which is part of the newly released “Nightmares Unhinged” anthology by Hex Publishers.

Filming will begin in London, next summer, once Campion finishes directing “The Naughty List,” another short based on work from Brian Keene(!)

Pre­production for “The
Naughty List” is already well under way and filming is due to begin in early 2016.

Exciting times!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet [Book Review]

Genre - Dark Crime/Neo-Noir/Horror
Year Published - 2015 [*Nov. 3rd]
Length - 240 (digital) pages
Written by Adam Howe

Rating: 5+ Skulls

Plot Summary:
Three original novellas of hard-bolied crime, graphic horror, and pitch-black gallows humor.

[The beauty of reading this book, digitally, is that I did not have a back-of-the-book/book-flap summary to tell me what each of the stories are about, which makes it more interesting!
So, the above is the only description that you will get from me.] ;-)

I am still having trouble narrowing Howe down as to exactly what type of genre writer he is... Splatterpulp maybe?
Well, whatever specific genre he is pigeonholed under, he is the King of it!
In fact, I would say it is fair that whatever genre Howe decides to dabble in that he will dominate it!
(To steal a phrase from Randy Chandler - another Comet Press author that I will be looking into - who happened to write the intro to this book; Howe is a "wizard with words"!)

One of the novellas in this book is 'Gator Bait' which I read (and reviewed) as a stand-alone story, back in August, so no need to re-cap that one, other to say that it is a great read, and fits perfectly into this collection!

As for the other two novellas in this book:

I had every intention of saying that 'Damn Dirty Apes' was going to be my favorite of Howe's stories, thus far, however the rawness of the title story 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' takes the cake (we'll get to that).

You may recall, from a prior post of mine, that there was some controversy over 'Damn Dirty Apes' involving S.P.N.A.S.A. (the Society for the Preservation of the North American Skunk Ape).
After having now read the story, I do not see what all the fuss was about. (this controversy is recollected at the end of this book in Howe's "Story Notes")
For the record, I found the skunk ape hunter, Jameson T. Salisbury, to be more of a Captain Ahab type character (even moreso than Howe's professed Quint from Jaws) as opposed to the slanderous perception of the General Secretary of S.P.N.A.S.A., but enough of that...

As great as 'Damn Dirty Apes' is, one of my favorite parts about it is the fact that it directly ties in to another of Howe's stories from 'Black Cat Mojo'. I don't know that this story would have happened, the way that it did, without that video camera!

Now, for the title story:

In my last Howe review [Black Cat Mojo] in the comment section, Howe responded, and I asked him about a future novel...
Well, after having now read 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' not having a full-length novel may not be such a bad thing after all. I am not sure how much more I could have handled of this story!

Seriously though, the majority of Howe's tales have laugh-out-loud funny moments spattered throughout them. Not so with 'Die Dog...'

You can tell, right away, from the epigraphs that Howe chose for this one (quotes from Ted Bundy and Texas Chainsaw Massacre) that this one is going to be a very dark, horrific ride.
But what a thrill ride it is!

For me, every story that I have read of Howe's plays like a movie in my head, but none so much as this one.

Be forewarned though - this one is straight-up horror - if you are at all familiar with Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Ray Garton, Edward Lee, or Bryan Smith, their stories seem tame compared to this one!

In Howe's own words (from his "Story Notes")
"Every so often, I’ll write something so disturbing it gives me pause."

If that doesn't give you a heads up, I don't know what will.
So, don't say I didn't warn you.

Don't miss out on this book - mark your calendars now for November 3rd!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Girl on the Train

While waiting for a book, on order, to arrive, I was faced with the dilemma every avid reader faces... which book should I read next?
(this was the day before I received a review copy of 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' so I do not have to face the dilemma this time around!)

After having just finished 'Black Cat Mojo' I decided I needed something to cleanse my mental palette, so to speak ;-) so I grabbed a book off of my wife's "to be read" pile.

I had heard nothing but good things about this book, and I know that it is getting ready to be made into a movie, and I always like to read the book beforehand, if I am able to, (I missed the opportunity with last year's 'Gone Girl') so I chose this one.

This book is definitely a great debut!
Paula Hawkins nailed the narrative and keeps you guessing right up until the end.

Definitely recommended if you are curious about this one, like I was.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Black Cat Mojo

"In these three novellas of blackly comic crime and creature horror, you'll go slumming with well-endowed dwarf porn stars, killer badgers, redneck mama's boys, morbidly obese nympomaniacs, dumbass dog-nappers, trailer trash Jesus freaks, diarrheic Jack Russell Terriers, not-so-wiseguys, mob-movie memorabilia collectors, junkie blackmailers, and giant man eating Burmese pythons."

[All of the above, in under 200 pages!]

Who thinks of this crazy stuff?!?
Adam Howe, that's who!

Howe has quickly become my favorite newly discovered author this year.
(If you missed my review of 'Gator Bait', back in August, it is currently FREE to download on the Kindle app. I would definitely recommend doing so, pronto!)

As for 'Black Cat Mojo' - there is a blurb, written by S. R. Mastrantone, which says, "Black Cat Mojo makes you feel like you've stumbled across a treasure trove filled with the stories Tarantino was too afraid to tell. . ."
This blurb sums up Howe perfectly!
When you read Howe, it is like you are reading a Tarantino flick on paper.

If you like your crime fiction dark & twisted, then this is a must-read!
One of those books where time flies!

There is also another tale included in this book that was originally published in Nightmare Magazine, last year, so you get four stories for the price of three! ;-)