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Showing posts from August, 2019

At the proofing stage...

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The Pyramid (2014)

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So a friend regularly buys me a Netflix subscription for my birthdays and Christmas, and I spend a lot of time searching for decent horror films (among other things). My God, there's a lot of mediocre stuff out there. And yes, I know there always was, but today the not-very-good horror movie seems to be undergoing a revival. I suspect this is precisely because online streaming sites demand industrial-scale production of so-so movies with nothing new to say and no great chops in the scripting/acting/directorial areas. The Pyramid is a good example of the 'meh' school of modern horror. It's not a cheapo thing cobbled together by some students. It's a 20th century Fox production, some money has clearly been thrown at it, and the cast do a decent job. What's more the subject matter - archaeologists locate mysterious pyramid, get trapped inside, stuff happens - is very appealing. I love me a bit of killer mummy, ancient curses, mad reincarnation stuff, Valerie Leo

Short Story - It's Free!

This one doesn't really fit anywhere else so I thought I'd post it here. Dive Buddy It's murky down here. The water's thick with ooze and muck and particles of nondescript crud that block my view in all directions. Look up, and I can just see the shimmer of the surface, a sheet of uncertain greenish light. Ahead of me and all around is a liquid fog born of the currents and the tides. Down, then, keeping hold of the guide line, until I see the wreck. There it is, seeming to rise out of the murk like a ghost ship. Which I suppose it is. It's nothing special, a coastal cargo vessel that went down in a minor storm thanks to shoddy seamanship some fifty-odd years back. Just another number in Lloyd's long list, another ding on the old Lutine Bell. But it so happens this ship settled down gently, sinking so slowly that it came to rest upright and almost intact on the flat, sandy bed. And that makes it a good dive site. So I'm told. I'm new to a

Santi - Raw Dinner (The Movie) feat Kida Kudz

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'Martin's Close' - A Ghost Story for Christmas

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'1684. John Martin is on trial for his life. Facing him, the infamous ‘hanging Judge’, George Jeffreys. But this is not a cut and dried murder case. Because the innocent girl Martin is accused of killing has been seen after her death…' Yes, it's arguably Monty James's best 'historical' ghost story. Script by who else but Mark Gatiss, who also directs. What's more, it stars Peter Capaldi, formerly the Doctor (i.e. Who) and a good choice for this sort of thing. With wigs and that. Capaldi will play Dolben, the barrister prosecuting Mr Martin for the crown, while other cast members include Game of Thrones’ Wilf Scolding as George Martin, Upstairs Downstairs’ Simon Williams as Stanton, EastEnders’ Sara Crowe as Sarah, Cucumber’s Fisayo Akinade as William, James Holmes (Miranda) as Snell and Elliot Levey as Judge George Jeffreys. More info here .

A Flowering Wound - Review

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This new-ish Swan River Press collection of John Howard's tales seemed to me like suitable summer reading. Many of the stories concern overlit urban landscapes not unlike those in the stories of J.G. Ballard, though the mood is very different. Howard is more humane than Ballard, more interested in the minutiae of history. What the two authors do have in common, however, is a refusal to resort of conventional gimmicks to neatly 'round off' stories, preferring to present instead a vision, an incident, a sense of dislocation or doubt. The stories fall into several broad categories. There are contemporary tales of somewhat alienated and lonely gay men who struggle to make connections. 'A Glimpse of the City' sees an Englishman in contemporary Berlin becoming fixated on a young man who appears in photographs from different periods of the city's history. 'The Man Ahead' is a similarly enigmatic figure glimpsed at a Pride march in Birmingham. 'We the Re

The Science of Unvanishing Objects - Review

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  Chloe N. Clark's stories have appeared in Supernatural Tales for some years now. T his slim pamphlet shows another side to her talents, but most of the poems here could be classed as supernatural tales or weird fiction. The feel is darkly humorous, sometimes confessional, always alert and interested in a world infested with strange ideas and even strangers people. Ghosts are common but not commonplace. 'The Apparitionist' runs through fragments of autobiography, from the ex-boyfriend into Japanese ghosts to childhood rituals invented to keep spirits away. 'Tricks to Keep Away the Dark' and 'A Spell That Uses the Blood of Oranges' have similar themes, recalling the intense beliefs of the young and the way they haunt our older selves. 'Rural Routes in Iowa' sees the poet consult a palm reader, only to be told she has no lines, no fortune. Like many inclusion, this one reads a little like notes for a short stories. Missing women and girls hau

Life Goes On...

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I'm slowly adjusting to the new normal, and contemplating the next issue of ST. I hope to publish it before Hallowe'en and the impending Brexit lunacy. In the meantime here's a nice horror story.