Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year-End Wrap-Up

2010 was a tough year for me. Sadly, my mom passed away in July. I would like to thank my fellow bloggers and my readers for your kind words. They helped me through a rough time.

I didn't get around to watching many horror films this year, and most of the ones I did see, I didn't like. Saw 3D was a mediocre end to the franchise. The Human Centipede was surprisingly not very gory for a movie about a mad doctor who sews people's mouths to others' asses. And I haven't really seen many others. But within the past two weeks I've finally seen two movies I enjoyed: one enough to call it the best movie of 2010, and to give the other a honourable mention.


I actually didn't watch this until a few days ago when I bought the DVD on Boxing Day and I really enjoyed it. It's nothing like what I expected and had a couple of pretty disturbing and twisted scenes, which made it better than I anticipated. I know Splice doesn't have many fans and probably won't appear on any other "best of" lists, but I find it fascinating.


I also just saw this film recently and it was pretty good. Frozen is tense and suspenseful. I was surprised that it held my interest considering it only has three characters and one setting, but the film managed to do it with its interesting characters and dialogue.

BEST BOOK: Dweller by Jeff Strand

If you haven't read this yet, go read it now. Dweller was not only the best book I've read this year, but possibly the best book I've ever read. I loved Owen at least equal to how much I love my cat, Betty, and I want my own pet monster now too.

HONOURABLE MENTION: Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite

This book was actually released in 1996, but I'm including it because I read it for the first time this year. Even though I read it way back in January I never forgot about it because it made such an impact on me. Very gory and disturbing and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

BEST T.V. SHOW: The Walking Dead

Well, there aren't exactly a lot of horror T.V. shows to choose from, but at least there's one amazing one. The Walking Dead premiered on AMC this past Halloween and was a treat for all horror and zombie fans. But I was less than thrilled with how short the season was - a mere six episodes. And it won't be returning until October 2011! That's far too long of a wait, but I guess I'll just have to suck it up and try to be patient.

HONOURABLE MENTION: Scream Queens Season 2

 I enjoyed season 2 of Scream Queens even more than the first. Jaime King replaced Shawnee Smith and Tim Sullivan replaced James Gunn, both of whom I like better and the actress I was cheering for from the beginning won! When Gabby West won, I was so excited it was like I won myself. Too bad the role she won was only a 30 second non-speaking appearance.

BEST SONG: Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold

I thought I would include my favourite song of the year because of this awesome A Nightmare On Elm Street tribute video featuring it:


I realize that I am waaay behind the times, but I finally caught up a bit in 2010 with the following gadgets that I acquired this year.

1. DVR

I finally got a DVR thanks to a free promotion with Bell and I don't think I've watched T.V. live since. I can't believe I didn't get one sooner. No more commercials for me! And I've watched at least double the amount of movies since I can record movies when I'm not home, sleeping, or otherwise occupied.

2. Kindle

I haven't gone anywhere without my Kindle since I got it. I originally was unsure if I would like it, but I absolutely love it. It's so much lighter than a book, so it's convenient to carry around in my purse, it's easy to read one-handed, and if I finish a book or get sick of one I can start reading something different. Thanks to my Kindle I'll be reading much more in 2011.

3. Wii & Netflix

Here in Canada we just got Netflix a few months ago. And a few weeks ago I got a Nintendo Wii from my super awesome boyfriend. So of course I got Netflix immediately and have been addicted to it ever since. Now I can watch as many movies and T.V. shows I want for only $7.99 a month, and I'll be taking full advantage of that.


I attended my first horror convention this past summer and got the chance to meet Heather Langenkamp and get her autograph (see left)! I had a great time and I'm saving my money to go again in 2011. I can't wait!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Zombie Survival Guide: How to Live Like a King After the Outbreak by Etienne Guerin DeForest

There are several zombie survival guides out there, but none like this one. No other guide will explain how getting blackout drunk can help a zombie bite or how to turn a zombie into a sex slave. But luckily this one explains everything you need to know in order to "live like a king" after the zombie outbreak - from zombie crabs to zombie pimps.

The Zombie Survival Guide: How to Live Like a King After the Outbreak is crude yet hilarious. Several moments in the book had me laughing hysterically. Here's one of my favourite passages as an example:

When approaching a prospective human, first ask them what their name is.
  • If it replies "Brains," blow its head off.
  • If it replies "Brian," ask it again, as you may have encountered a zombie with a speech impediment, or a zombie that was mildly retarded in life.
  • Keep in mind that it is entirely possible that you did encounter a human named "Brian."
That passage still cracks me up and there are plenty of other laughs. Including some from the amusing diagrams featured in the book.

But I should caution readers that if you don't like politically incorrect jokes, or get offended easily this is not the book for you. At times it can be racist, homophobic and just generally offensive. But as long as you don't take it too seriously, you'll find it funny.

The survival guide is very thorough including information on zombie history, origins of zombies, weapons, dealing with humans and zombies after the outbreak and training zombies. And it's a quick read at just 117 pages which fly by thanks to its entertaining content.

Overall, a very funny book that will "not only teach you how to survive the zombie outbreak, but how to do it with STYLE." If there is ever a zombie apocalypse this is the guide I will use to survive. It's available on Amazon for $7.99 and the Kindle edition is only 99 cents.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, December 27, 2010

E-book Sale!

Until December 31, the five e-books released by Books of the Dead Press will be 75% off on Smashwords. All you have to do is visit the Books of the Dead Press blog, get the promotion code for each book and type it in at the checkout. Every e-book is regular priced at $4.95, so after the discount they're only $1.24 each! These are the five e-books to choose from:

 Want the Greatest Zombie Stories Ever Written? BEST NEW ZOMBIE TALES Vol. 1 Includes Amazing Fiction by Ray Garton, Matt Hults, Jessica Brown, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jeff Strand, Robert Swartwood, Gary McMahon, Harry Shannon, Gord Rollo, Brian Knight, Simon McCaffery, John Grover, John L French, Kim Paffenroth, Charles Black, Jonathan Maberry, Steve Wedel, Bev Vincent and more...
Want the Greatest Zombie Stories Ever Written? BEST NEW ZOMBIE TALES (Vol. 2) Includes Amazing Fiction by: Bram Stoker Award Winner, David Niall Wilson, British Fantasy Award Nominee, Rio Youers, Bram Stoker Award Nominee, Nate Kenyon, Multiple Award Winning Author, Cody Goodfellow, Bram Stoker Nominee, Mort Castle Bram Stoker Award Winner, John Everson, and more... 
Classic Vampire fiction at its very finest! Includes amazing stories by: J. Sheridan Lefanu, M. R. James, F. Marion Crawford, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, James Robinson Planche, Johann Ludwig Tieck, Bram Stoker, E. F. Benson, and Algernon Blackwood!
From the author of THE DEAD PARADE comes 13 tales of horror, suspense, and imagination. Enter the gore-soaked exhibit, the train of terror, the graveyard of the haunted. Meet the scientist of the monsters, the woman with the thing living inside her, the living dead... James Roy Daley unleashes quality horror stories with a flair for the hardcore. Not for the squeamish.
Killer on the warpath. Monsters on the street. Vampires in the night. Zombies on the hunt. Welcome to Terror Town, the place where no one is safe. Nothing is sacred. All will die. All will suffer. From the mind of James Roy Daley, author of The Dead Parade, comes one of the most brutally violent horror stories ever written.

Monday, December 13, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Dead of Night by C.M. Saunders

When Nick plans a camping trip for himself and his new girlfriend, Maggie, he ignores the stories about the location he has chosen. Supposedly the area was used as a burial ground for Civil War soldiers and several disappearances have been reported in the area. But Nick and Maggie learn the truth when they are woken by a Confederate zombie in the middle of the night.

The plot isn't the most unique, but Dead of Night is still entertaining for zombie fans. Although it has lots of gore, it isn't all about the blood and guts. Instead it is suspenseful and atmospheric. The scene where Nick wakes up in the middle of the night and first spots a zombie is tense. And being in the middle of nowhere, disconnected from the rest of the world with no one to turn to for help, added to the creepiness.

At the beginning, C.M. Saunders takes time to establish the characters, and although some may find that part slow, I found their relationship and discussion of Michael Jackson interesting. Since Nick and Maggie were well-developed I cared about them and found the story more interesting.

The Confederate zombies in Dead of Night were a little different than other zombies in fiction. They were more intelligent and were armed with guns - and could actually use them. Making Nick and Maggie's fight for survival even more challenging and exciting.

My only complaint is that, as most horror characters, Nick and Maggie made some stupid mistakes. But I suppose if they didn't this novella would only be 10 pages long.

Dead of Night is a quick, suspenseful read and recommended for all zombie lovers. You can buy the ebook from Damnation Books here for a mere $4.50 or from Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, December 6, 2010


I'm not a huge fan of the Saw franchise. I think the first one is okay, the second one is good, but the third one kind of sucks and made me lose interest in the subsequent sequels. ...Until a few months ago when Saw V and Saw VI were playing back to back on Super Channel and I decided to watch them, expecting nothing more than gore. And, to my surprise, I actually enjoyed them. Not as much as Saw II, but pretty close. They actually made me want to see the newest installment, Saw 3D. And when my favourite actress from Scream Queens Season 2, Gabby West, won a role in the film, I wanted to see it even more. So after finally convincing my horror movie hating boyfriend to go with me, I've seen it and think it was just okay.

The plot is the standard Saw fare: lots of gore and inventive traps, but with a few twists thrown in. I was surprised by the major plot twist in the movie, but it didn't make sense in context with the rest of the films in the series. In general, there wasn't much of a plot, just massive amounts of gore, which is what I expected and was looking forward to.

The 3D was unnecessary. It definitely wasn't worth the extra $2.50, since it was barely noticeable save for a few instances of blood and guts flying at my face.

But the biggest disappointment in Saw 3D was Gabby West's role. She had no lines - other than screaming, of course. Chester Bennington (from Linkin Park) even had more lines than her! If I had to endure catfights with bitchy actresses, John Homa's brutal acting class and just generally working my ass off to win a part in a film where I didn't have any lines and was only onscreen for 30 seconds, I would not be impressed.  Especially while the previous winner of Scream Queens, Tanedra Howard, had several lines in Saw VI, and in Saw 3D. Oh well, hopefully we'll see more of Gabby in other films.

I probably would have enjoyed Saw 3D if Gabby had a larger role, they had made more use out of the 3D and the big plot twist wasn't disappointing. But it's not a terrible choice if you're just looking for lots of gore.

Rating: 3/5