Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Three Books I've Read To The Point Of Memorization*

1. It- Stephen King

First read- age 11

My father gave me this book to read when I was eleven, because my parents were always cool with my love of horror. It was my first Stephen King experience, and I read my first copy of the book until the pages were, literally, falling out. Perhaps it was because the kids were around my age at the time, perhaps it was simply the story, but I loved this book to the point of obsession, and would reread it at least once a month.

2. The Lords of Discipline- Pat Conroy

First read- age 17

Pat Conroy is a local author. Was, in fact, my parents' high school English teacher for a while. I grew up with his books around the house, but never really picked one up myself. Until this book. Again, maybe because the protagonists were around my age, or maybe it was the story, but I got obsessed with this book, too. A book about the Citadel. But even now reading this makes me laugh, and cry, and feel angry, and hurt, and involved. You become involved with the characters in this story.

3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S. Thompson

First read- age 20

This book came as a recommendation from my friend, Lee. He and I were jolly good pot-smoking buddies at the time, and it was during one of our pot-soaked rap sessions that the topic of this book came about. I got myself a copy, and read it, and obsession born! This was and still is one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Bonus- Harriet the Spy- Louise Fitzhugh

First read- age 7(ish)

I'm not entirely sure where I first heard about this book, or exactly how old I was when I read it. Before my love of horror bloomed out of control, I was also into detectives and spies, etc. And Harriet was awesome, Harriet was who I wanted to be when I was 11. Thanks to her, I started carrying my notebook with me everywhere. Not to spy on people, but to write down all the thoughts in my head. Which, a lot of the time, I turned into stories. I still have a notebook obsession to this day, as well as my love of this book.

*I do not mean that I can recite the entire book from memory, only that I have read the particular book in question enough to have whole chunks of it permanently etched into my brain. I didn't choose the book life, the book life chose me.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Of My Favourite Things About Oz


Alaska* and I recently plowed through all 6 seasons of the prison show, Oz. While I love the show in its entirety, here are 3 things in particular that enhanced my enjoyment.

1. Adebisi's little hats.

   I just have so many questions: How does he keep it on his head, even during a fight? Does he ever keep snacks or "tits"(drugs) up in there?(We do see him stash a note from Shirley Bellinger on Death Row under there at one point in season 2) Where did these wonderful miniature hats come from?(I like to imagine Adebisi knits them himself, with toothpicks stolen from the cafeteria)

2. Charles Busch as Nat/Natalie.

   I adore Charles Busch, and was beyond thrilled when he just popped up in an episode in Season 3. Playing the HIV positive Nat, he kills Mob Boss Nappa, which then gets him sent to Death Row( he passes in Season 4 from the disease, not execution) Despite being in prison, Nat got to doll himself up a couple times, in full drag with his signature flaming red hair.

3. "Crazy" Beecher.

Sane Tobias Beecher.

Crazy Beecher(as evidenced by the facial hair)

   Poor Tobias Beecher. A well-off lawyer from a good family, with a wife and kids of his own, who just happens to have a drinking problem. When he runs over and kills a kid in a DUI offense, he's made an example of and sent off to Oz. 

      How to make a Crazy Beecher
      1. Take one sane, well-mannered attorney and throw him into a maximum security prison.
      2. Cell him first with Adebisi, and then the leader of the Aryans, Vern Schillinger. 
      3. Brand with a Swastika, beat, rape, sexually humiliate, and then discard Beecher into the
          recesses of Oz with no protection(and wearing a Confederate Flag t-shirt)         
      4. Load him up with "tits."(which is still drugs)

Beecher being branded by Schillinger

Beecher made to drag it up at talent show


      Consequences of creating a Crazy Beecher

      ~Partial blindness(as done to Schillinger)

      ~Beaten down and then shit on while other prisoners cheer(including shit in the mouth-also   
      done to Schillinger)

Beecher's ass, poised for action

      ~"No means no." Bites off the tip of a penis that is shoved into his piehole(as done to Robson, 
      one of the Aryan Brotherhood)

Robson looks like a dickhead, anyway

Beecher bites it off, then spits it out

      ~Kills the guard(Metzger) that allowed him to be severely beaten by the Aryans(both arms & 
      legs were broken. Metzger's death is actually a thing of beauty-Beecher allows his nails to 
      grow while in the hospital ward, and, basically, it's kill or be killed when he's released back
      into Emerald City. Metzger mistakenly thinks that he will handle the situation, and gets
      Beecher alone, only to find himself suddenly slashed to pieces and bleeding out. After this, 
      Beecher calmly goes back to his pod and clips his nails, thus destroying the "weapons," and 
      the evidence)

Before Crazy Beecher

After Crazy Beecher

      There is, of course, many other Crazy Beecher moments, but too many to list and too many  
      to find pictures of. It's worth noting that when Schillinger tries to get someone to off Beecher in 
      Season 2, no one will touch him.)

Bonus- Jericho

      I have never been more creeped out by a puppet than Cyril O'Reily's friend, Jericho. The one
      scene that, literally, sent chills down my spine was when Cyril was on Death Row. Father  
      Ray is walking down the darkened hall of Death Row, and he glances to the right to see 
      Jericho framed in a shaft of light. And then the voice- "Good evening, Father." Nothing 
      at all like Cyril's little boy lisp(he has brain damage from an accident, and is mentally between 
      10 and 12, I believe) Jericho starts out as a friendly little outlet for Cyril, and then turns into 
      Cyril's "bad side," for lack of another way to put it. This was never more evident than when
      Cyril/Jericho calls Sister Pete a cunt.

*my husband


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three Hot Chicks In Horror(Whose Posters Hang In My Office)

1. Ginger- Ginger Snaps(2000) Katharine Isabelle

   Up until a few years ago, I wasn't all that into werewolves. An occasional appearance by one here and there was fine, but I never actively sought them out. One night on the Sci-Fi Channel(when such a thing still existed, natch) I happened upon the movie Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning(2004) And I watched it, with commercials and pretty chopped to hell(because, Hey! It's a hot redhead and "Beverly Marsh" from the IT tv miniseries!) After the movie was over, I logged in to Amazon and purchased all three movies. I watched them, and I loved them, so I bought the movie poster.

2. Laurie- Trick 'r Treat(2007) Anna Paquin

   I first saw Laurie when I came across Trick 'r Treat on Netflix, and it was love at first viewing(I love anthologies, and also, hot chicks who are in no way damsels-in-distress) Sweet, innocent-looking Laurie in her adorable Red Riding Hood costume. And then, a little later, we have not-so-sweet, sexy Laurie all disheveled and blood-stained. I bought the awesome poster you see above this year(the artist is Chris Lovell, you can find his work on Deviantart and on Facebook) at the same time as the one below, Julie.

3. Julie- Return of the Living Dead III(1993) Melinda(going by "Mindy") Clarke

   I first owned a VHS copy of this movie(which I still have) Not only did we have zombies, but Julie was smokin' in her fishnets and little jean cut-offs. And then she got bit, and then came the piercings. Am I the only one who found her even more attractive after she shoved all of that metal and glass through her body? Anyone? No? Moving on. Anyway, the movie poster is several years old, the art poster was purchased this year at the same time as poster number 2, Laurie.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Three Recent Reads

1. Phantom- Susan Kay

A book of the life and death of Erik, the deformed man who becomes The Phantom of the Opera. We start with Erik's birth, told through the eyes of his mother, who shuns him. Move on through the teen years, told through both Erik's voice and the voices of the people he encounters. Through his adulthood, his ill-fated love of the beautiful Christine(we get her side through journal entries) and ending, not in his death, but with the idea that a part of Erik lives on.

Great book, 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, a definite recommend.

2. Sisters in Crime 2- Marilyn Wallace(editor)

This is an anthology of mystery stories, all featuring a woman as the protagonist, all written by women. I picked this book up off of the free shelf at the library a couple of years ago, and it has been sitting in my "to read" pile ever since. I opened it a couple of nights ago, and plowed through it in three days. Some stories were better than others, of course, but really the only one that sticks out at me is the first story in the novel, "Death Scene; or, The Moor of Venice," by P.M. Carlson. Our leading lady is a fantastic heroine who goes by the name "Maggie Ryan." Suffice to say, Maggie solves the mystery of some burglaries that happen to coincide with where her theatre troupe is stopped. How she deals with discovering who the robber is, and saving her own life, was a thing of beauty. I actually laughed out loud at the ending, when Maggie does something decisively "unladylike" to conceal her part in what is, technically, a crime. Either way, I liked her enough to go look for other stories, and happily found a series of Maggie Ryan books that I plan to give a go in the near future.

Decent book, 3 1/2 stars out of 5, a recommend if you like mysteries that are centered around female voices.

3. Village of the Mermaids- Carlton Mellick III

Another Bizarro story by CMIII, here. I first encountered him when I picked up his book Apeshit, which was a horribly entertaining read. Environmentally protected mermaids(who feed off humans), a dying doctor whose skin is turning to clay from a weird disease, evolution, toss in a bit of strange sex and we have  111 pages of neato.

Neato-Bizarro book, 4 out of 5 stars, a definite recommend if you like reading weird shit, or if you're interested in another take on mermaids(and you like reading weird shit)

Bonus: Odd Apocalypse- Dean Koontz

Book 5 in the series that features the fantastic character, Odd Thomas. I read this book recently, though it was one I had picked up when it first came out and just hadn't gotten around to(I have Book 6, Deeply Odd, sitting by my bed to read right now) This story circles around the goings on at the Roseland estate, the owner, Noah Wolflaw, having invited Odd and the pregnant "Lady of the Bell" Annamaria to stay there. Time travel, packs of murdering pig-people, Nikola Tesla, and a frantic ghost on a horse. Odd also picks up his new ghost "friend," and I will admit I was tickled by who it was.

Fantastic book, 5 out of 5 stars, a definite recommend, as everyone should give Odd Thomas a try.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Three Things I Liked About Sushi Girl

Starring: Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, James Duval, Andy Mackenzie, Mark Hamill, Cortney Palm

1. Mark Hamill is brilliant. The animated Joker(and Luke Skywalker) himself, as the hair twirling, gum smacking, effeminate psychopath, Crow.

   I could not take my eyes off of Hamill throughout this movie. His performance was a thing of beauty, and if you need one reason to watch this movie, he's it.

2. This movie was very Tarantino-esque. A botched diamond heist. A rat wearing a wire in the criminals' circle. Revenge. Japanese atmosphere. Torture. A Mexican stand-off. A couple of times(in particular after a monologue by Tony Todd) I turned to my husband and said, "That was very Tarantino." Then there's Sonny Chiba, Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey and Michael Biehn as co-stars.

3. The torture. It takes something creative to really get my attention, and the torture scenes in this movie managed to do that. There was the wine bottle in the sock(as it was Max's sock, I couldn't help but think the smell of the sock was probably bad enough, much less having it filled with a broken bottle and then smashed across your face) The damage it did was wonderful:

Then there was the chopstick hammered into the top of Fish's knee(one of Crow's contributions)

Crow then uses the end of the chopstick like a pain joystick, and twists the stick around in Fish's leg. Not especially bloody, but definitely up there in creativity. I would imagine the pain was rather exquisite, too.

Bonus: I enjoyed Sushi Girl's role in the movie, as well. Despite the name, I got so involved with the boys that I never even considered that the girl might have her own motives for being there. Everything is wrapped up in the end, nice and neat.