In a moment of sheer dorktitude (I don't care if it's not a real word...I like it), I took this book out from work and read it over the span of threeIn a moment of sheer dorktitude (I don't care if it's not a real word...I like it), I took this book out from work and read it over the span of three days. I enjoyed it well enough - probably more for the memories of how awesome ECW used to be that it envoked than the actual quality of the book itself. Don't get me wrong, it's a fairly well-done book - very well-researched...even if the publishers did allow some glaring grammar mistakes to get by. All in all, it was a fun and interesting read for wrestling fans, and particularly those who loved ECW (and how could you not?). If nothing else, it should be read for its final chapters, which do a great job painting the picture of just how clueless Vince McMahon is, as the book goes in-depth into the string of stupid decisions that guaranteed McMahon's ECW relaunch would be nothing more than an embarrasment....more
Yeah, right...like I wasn't gonna like this book. My only complaint is the uneven nature of it - some films get overly lengthy entries, while others aYeah, right...like I wasn't gonna like this book. My only complaint is the uneven nature of it - some films get overly lengthy entries, while others are only given a little over a page (a few films don't even get that). Also, the fact that different writers contributed to the different films' entries is a nice touch, but it also ends up preventing the book from having a very consistent feel. For instance, one film will be discussed in a very serious manner, but the next film will simply be made fun of, with no attempt to adress its historical or cultural context. Still, at the end of the day IT IS just a book about Italian cannibal and zombie movies, so I guess that kind of stuff can be overlooked. I'd recommend it for anyone as obsessed with these kinds of films as I am, particularly if you're looking to find some new films to track down and watch....more
I've enjoyed a few Laymon books in the past, but between this and the underwhelming Flesh, which I also read recently, I'm starting to recognize him aI've enjoyed a few Laymon books in the past, but between this and the underwhelming Flesh, which I also read recently, I'm starting to recognize him as more of a "hit and miss" author. For those not familiar with Laymon's extreme style, it can be best summed up by saying his go-to thing is constantly escalating the stakes. It often feels to me like he sits down to write a story without the full plot in his head, but instead just writes for a certain amount of pages, and then decides how he could suddenly make the story even crazier. So a woman will be on the run from a serial killer, but then WHAM - she flees into the forest and is suddenly captured by a cannibalistic inbred mountain-man. She manages to seduce him long enough to get away and go to the cops, but WHAM - the officer turns out to ALSO be a killer. She subdues him, but then WHAM - a freakin' dinosaur shows up! OK, maybe that last one is an exaggeration, but you get the point.
"Bite" tells the tale of a young man who one night is suddenly visited out of the blue by his high school girlfriend. He hasn't seen her in years, but is still obsessed with her - so much that he's not THAT put off by her crazy ranting about how she needs his help to kill a vampire that has been feeding off of her for the better part of a year. She shares her plan - the vampire will be at her home later that night - he just needs to come back with her, hide in the closet, and then at the right moment spring out and stake him in the heart. Because boobs always win, the guy agrees, and the two go off to enact their plan. Now, this conversation and the whole vampire killing itself occur in the books very first few chapters, and the whole thing is so ridiculous and fast-paced that it's actually pretty entertaining, in a goofy way. If the book had been a novella just covering this, I'd actually recommend it.
Unfortunately, the REAL gist of the book concerns the aftermath of the vampire slaying, in which the reunited couple drive off to the desert with the vampire's body in their trunk, hoping to dispose of it somewhere far away enough that it can never be tracked back to them. This is where Laymon goes into his escalating the stakes mode, as the two are eventually unwillingly joined by a mysterious biker named Snow White, who catches on to what they are trying to do and seems amused enough by it that he forces them to let him tag along. The couple manages to get away from Snow White, but he retaliates by kidnapping a young brother and sister and forcing the couple to follow them on the highway, lest he murder one of the young kids. Because it's a Laymon book, there are still a few more twists and turns, which I won't spoil here.
I don't necessarily have a problem with the "constantly escalating the stakes" idea - Laymon put it to great use in the preposterous but undeniably entertaining "After Midnight." Here, though, it just feels gratuitous and boring. The books drags on and on as all these characters just drive through the desert. And the two main characters are completely unlikable and unsympathetic. There are scenes where they are driving behind the van containing Snow White and the kidnapped siblings, and they KNOW he is in the van raping and torturing those kids, and they are flirting with each other and happily munching away on cheese-crackers and drinking beer. It feels completely unrealistic and makes it so you don't really give a damn what happens to these two. Meanwhile, Snow White is such a generic Laymon baddie, he's barely interesting, as well. And the problem with Laymon's trademark style became apparent to me here, and that's if you read him often enough, you can sometimes guess where things are going. For instance, there's a twist involving the siblings, but I sort of saw it coming just because I knew I was reading Laymon.
This one was a real chore to get through. I only powered through because I have liked other Laymon books, and wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. But this one is just awful. I still have a stack of unread Laymon novels to plow through eventually. Here's hoping the next one I grab will be a better use of my time.
1) It had a cool cover. 2) There was a brief but positive review of it in Rue Morgue Magazine. 3) It was prettyI picked this book up for three reasons:
1) It had a cool cover. 2) There was a brief but positive review of it in Rue Morgue Magazine. 3) It was pretty short, and looked like a quick read.
Needless to say, I wasn't expecting too much from it - nothing more than a quick little distracting read. As it turned out, this is one of the best horror titles I've read in a long time. I was right about it being a quick read - I finished it in one night. But what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in creativity, as this was one of the most original story ideas I've come across in some time. I know this isn't the kind of praise that literary snobs would enjoy, but I really want to see a movie made from this book. The October Boy is an amazing character, and - with the right script and director - could be brought to amazing life on the big screen. Anyone looking for a fun monster tale (sorta) who is also short on time should definitely take a look at this one....more
Drive was my favorite movie of 2011. You could say I got a little obsessed with it. Or a lot obsessed with it. Whatever. Either way, I felt like I oweDrive was my favorite movie of 2011. You could say I got a little obsessed with it. Or a lot obsessed with it. Whatever. Either way, I felt like I owed it to the original book to finally check it out. Glad I did - I was happy to find a sort of alternate-reality version of the movie story. The film took the same characters and some of the same events, but really put its own spin on it, so the two are different enough that you can enjoy and be surprised by both. Though I prefer the film, this book is an awesome example of modern pulp-noir. Would I like it to be a little longer? Sure. But, on the other hand, its short length will just make it easier to re-read over the years....more