Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Quoting the Indiana University Cinema blurb for February 24:  Set in a dystopian Texas of the future, THE BAD BATCH is a “post-apocalyptic cannibal love story,” as writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour describes it, “ROAD WARRIOR meets PRETTY IN PINK with a dope soundtrack.”  This genre-breaking thrill ride won the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and features a dream-ensemble cast of Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Jim Carrey, and Diego Luna.  The film opens later in 2017.  Director Ana Lily Amirpour is scheduled to be present.  Asked herself afterward about PRETTY IN PINK, Ms. Amirpour allowed that was something she’d said in one interview and she’d never do it again, but she smiled when she said it.  As for ROAD WARRIOR, there is a Mad Maxish ambience to THE BAD BATCH with scavenger societies, makeshift cities (one making use of an aircraft graveyard), and never-mind-where-the-gasoline-comes-from automobiles, though in this case more the speed of Vespas and golf carts.

Then another question:  What was the significance of the bunny?  Let us go back in time for a moment to Amirpour’s earlier movie A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT* and Masuka the cat (cf. January 19, 11 2015).  Masuka acts there as a sort of marking figure, passed in ownership between people who become important; in this a bunny (unnamed in the credits unless I missed it) becomes the pet of a little

“Do you want to hang out or something?”

girl who in turn becomes the bond between principle characters Arlen and Miami Man.  But beyond that, well, animals in some way may represent innocence and purity, Amirpour allowed, but (harking to another question too) this might not be a film to put too much stock in one-on-one symbolism.

What it is, though, she said is a “personal story of a girl who feels cut down, ripped apart by life,” as well as, as she was writing it originally, her “love letter to America.”  She hastened to add, this was before current times with a President Trump.  Yet a pervading image is that of a Texas desert divided by a wall, behind which are thrust the “bad batch,” the non-productive, the terminally ill, illegal immigrants (Miami Man was, originally, “a Cubano”), the homeless. . . .   They then are further divided into two “cities,” The Bridge (so named from homeless who, in US cities, often take shelter under expressway bridges and the like), a machismo culture and also . . . cannibalistic, and Find Comfort, a more benign hippie-like civilization whose diet tends more toward pasta.**  Needless to say, they hate each other.

So what is a girl to do — who’s already lost an arm and a leg (literally) to the dinner table?  Or a doting father who’s lost his daughter, but wouldn’t turn his nose up at a human filet.

Might there be a third way?

But also beware, there’s a quality of dream, of fairytale about the thing too, of don’t always take too literally what you see.  Be content instead to see beautiful images, though often enough combined with the grotesque — this is not a film for the faint of stomach!  Enjoy the soundtrack, and worry not too much about details like where gas or electricity come from in the desert (or pasta, for that matter, or how many humanburgers it takes to sustain a weight-lifter physique).  Or if the ending is, as we say in the romance biz, “happily ever after” or even, realistically, “happily for now.”  Sneak previews aside (Friday’s screening was presumably the first one outside the film festival circuit), THE BAD BATCH is set for a June 23 release by NEON according to IMDb and, when the time comes, just sit back and enjoy it!

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*The night before, in fact, we got to see seven short films by Amirpour including the original A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, on which the feature-length version was based (although, in the short, without any cats).

**And, surely this is just my personal eccentricity, I couldn’t help seeing a parallel to this, and especially the ending, in the early Sean Connery film ZARDOZ (see October 15, 2016).  Or maybe I am nuts.

Or possibly May depending on how one reads the lines, but word has come that PHOBOS MAGAZINE number 4 should be published in print “in the next 1-2 months.  Shortly after, it will be available on Kindle.”  This is the deepblacksea_phobosartissue on the theme of “Deep Black Sea” with, keeping the subject in mind, my Lovecraftian story “The Dark Call of the Sea” (see December 14, October 25).  This is the one about a bad summer holiday spent at Innsmouth, with overtones of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Music of Erich Zann,” and to be available if schedules hold up in time for your and my summer vacations.

Then one more announcement regarding PHOBOS, we have a sneak peek at the cover art, by Abagail Larson.  Gaze and enjoy.

dscn0839

Who can resist it?  This is a picture of new Goth Cat Triana (cf. February 10, 6, et al.) taken by a friend, Eve Schultes-Ridge, last Monday.  Triana is on her inherited high throne (in an earlier life, a carton for a refrigerator door gasket), relaxing with her favorite cat toy, a molded plastic human heart.

And it’s not really new either, only missing but now restored as a Valentine’s Day extra.  VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) is a book of poetry about vampires and things vampiric, sexy, deadly, and by moi.  This is the White Cat edition which should eventually be updated, with new cover, etc., but the upgrade has been taking some time and no need to not buy the book now if vampscover001one wishes.  In print it only costs $7.00 (plus probably postage, but still a good price for a small love token for that special person) and even less in a PDF version.  Just click  its picture in the center column.

It isn’t listed on Amazon either in this edition, but probably will be when the new one comes out, although I believe print copies of this one can also be purchased through Alban Lake (for which one can press here).

Or, on this page with its link to White Cat Publishing (plus option for PDF), scroll down the center column, through books and chapbooks, to find an all-new category for Poetry.  And there it will be!

And why not, a little freebie for Valentine’s Day, in this case a portrait of Gloria Holden as DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, combined with a brief poem describing a scene that’s not in the movie.  Or in any vampire movie I’ve seen, come to think of it.

draculasdaughter

THE VAMPIRESS’S EMBARRASSMENT

she loved blood
but she hated the clots, when she laughed
and they came out her nose

These things have a way of sneaking up on you!  The essay was actually published on Thursday, February 9, as advertised last week (cf. February 4), but in the circuitous way of the internet at times, word finally only caught up with me last night.  So it goes.

The essay, anyway, pertains to my upcoming novel, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but is actually about novel structure.  That is, TOMBS isn’t structured like a majority of novels, as pretty much a continuous narrative, but rather is what is sometimes called a mosaic novel or a novel-in-stories.  Say what?   That is, like Amy Tan’s THE JOY LUCK CLUB or Ray Bradbury’s THE 8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13MARTIAN CHRONICLES.  Or what about Bradbury’s THE ILLUSTRATED MAN?  Or John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy.  Novels pieced together from parts, the parts sometimes short stories in their own right — but not necessarily always.  And anyhow why do it that way at all?

Well, now we have an answer, courtesy of blogger Heidi Angell who, as of Thursday, has published my “What Is a Novel in Stories” as a guest blog.  And did it really start with Edgar Allan Poe?

To find out, press here.

This anthology may include one or more genres such as:  horror, dark fiction, dark fantasy, speculative fiction, or bizarro.  Your story may occur in any time, place or space.  Mix it up, but make it thought provoking and disturbing to the human conscience.  It’s up to you whether you 16683838_930076053794765_573496424401927699_noffer the world hope, provide an answer to survival, or predict final death and destruction on the very last page.  Such was the call for MOTHER’S REVENGE, with a following acceptance from publisher Scary Dairy Press my first for this year (for prose fiction, that is, cf. January 21).  This was the one about man’s mistreatment of the environment, with possibly not so nice consequences.  And now word has come that a publication date has been set, for Earth Day 2017, April 22.

My part in the party is a tale called “Swarms,” originally published in CD ROM form in BLOODTYPE (Lone Wolf Publications, 2001) and later in print in my DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET collection, on the aftermath of the first Iraq war and some curious things that were found in the desert.  More on MOTHER’S REVENGE will be here when it becomes known.

This was a first, the Players Pub Spoken Word Series (see January 29), premiered Thursday night from 6 to 9 by the Bloomington Writers Guild in conjunction with local bar and music venue Players Pub in off-downtown Bloomington.  This will continue on second Thursdays every month, combining musical interludes with readings of various sorts.  This time, for instance, the readings were prose, with the musical guests the group Urban Deer, while next month’s will most likely feature poetry and, from out of town, the group Shakespeare’s Monkey.  The name of the series is not necessarily fixed yet either, but a flavor is already being established, more freewheeling and possibly “adult” in nature than, say, the more formal First Sunday Prose and Last Sunday Poetry programs.

That said, the first reading ever for this was by . . . me.  The piece read was my story “River Red” from THE TEARS OF ISIS, but with a brief introduction from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (“River Red” being set in the “Tombs” universe, even if not in the latter book) to help set the mood.  And also . . . well, maybe . . . as a sort of commercial to push both titles.  This was followed by Shayne Laughter, who we’ve met on several occasions before, with a tale called “Incident at Grandmother’s Cottage,” a part of a fiction work in progress; Arbutus Cunningham (a.k.a. Hester), a Saturday morning radio star on local WFHB with four brief and mostly funny (the exception, the third called “After the War,” combining survival and sadness) semi-fictionalized, off-the-wall reflections; and triana3c2001playwright and comedy performance artist Stevie Jay with longer excerpts from a newer work, “Falling Through the Cracks:  a homeopathic remedy for the New Millennium in one dose.”  The audience totaled some 15 to 18 people (not counting bar personnel), most of whom seemed to stay for the whole nearly three-hour period, and once warmed up seemed quite enthusiastic.

Then another note on new goth kitten Triana, who has momentarily held still and in the light long enough for a new photo portrait, this amongst the jumble and clutter of the printer corner of the computer cave.  But the thing is, missing from all other pictures thus far, she has lovely golden-brownish eyes, now seen here for the first time!

DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley announced today that the print edition of DARKFUSE 6, including my steampunkish tale “The Candle and the Flame” (cf. January 13, et al.), has been given a May 30 publication date.  Information and advance ordering can be found here.  “The Candle and the Flame” is a variation of sorts of Hans Christian Andersen’s story of “The Little Match Girl,” sans angels conveying one’s soul to darkfuse6Heaven.  Because there are other uses for souls, more practical ones as one might say for those who can afford it — or maybe not.  With eight stories in all, DARKFUSE 6 is planned as a “mini-hardcover” collectors edition, including several signing options, and the following contents:

“Mommy’s Little Man” by Brian Hodge
“The Friday Special” by Renée Miller
“Dare To” by Bruce Golden
“Night of the Dog” by Brian Knight
“The Candle and the Flame” by James Dorr
“Fear” by Ben Pienaar
“Where They Belong” by Aeryn Rudel
“Instant Swimmers” by Ronald Malfi

The Bloomington Writers Guild’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. December 4, et al.) was not held last month on Sunday, January 1, since it was a holiday — meaning, among other things, that co-host and venue Boxcar Books wouldn’t be open — so this year’s “first First” was on Superbowl Sunday, February 5.  The featured readers were Writers Guild founding member and chairperson emerita Patsy Rahn who, while primarily a poet, read a selection of essays and observations, followed by retired Indiana University Astronomy professor Richard H. Durisen with a science fiction short story having to do with transforming karma between two people, and why it might at some future time be both physically possible and confusing.  With about nine people attending, a bit under par but also competing with a rare sunny and not-too-cold afternoon, I batted fourth in a field of six readers with a tale I’d postponed from 2016’s business meeting and Christmas party (see December 11), “The Christmas Cat,” a Victorian fantasy of Ebenezer Scrooge, kittens, and (as I put it in introducing the storytriaba2b4001) “intimations of gastric distress.”

Then of non-Christmas cats, Sunday evening I also took some more pictures of the goth cat Triana, star of yesterday’s photo feature — mostly during commercial breaks during the game.  Quite the fourth quarter that!  One of these actually turned out rather well, and so here it is.  I especially like that the white blaze above her eyes appears with a little more prominence (that is, it can be seen in three of the shots posted yesterday but subdued enough that they look like they could be defects in the photos, while actually it’s a distinctive feature).  However, since her eyes are closed in this one too (i.e., as well as the larger one just below), we will still have to wait before we can gaze into their gold/brown glory (and possibly for a long time since computer caves have naturally dim lighting, not to mention the quality of the camera).




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