review

Movie Review-- Evil Dead

Review--Sinister

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Quick review of the film "Sinister". Music by Kevin Mcleod.

 

This presentation is copyright 2013 by Paul Elard Cooley.

 

Visit shadowpublications.com for more free stories as well as my rant casts.

 

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

 

 

Review--Jake Bible's "The Americans"

cover for "the americans"Before I start this review, I must make engage in a little full disclosure: Jake Bible is my nemesis. He's also one of the co-hosts on the infrequently recorded Abattoir: Grindstone podcast. He and I have appeared together on several other podcasts as well. I have interviewed him on MY podcast. In other words--he may be my nemesis, but I have great fondness for him. Mainly when I think of him as a corpse.

Regardless of those facts, I finally main-lined his "reading" of The Americans. This novel is a "side-quel" of his novel Dead Mech and is the second book in his Apex Trilogy. I still have no clue what "Apex" is in this context, but we'll let that go for now. If you aren't familiar with Dead Mech, woe be to you. Jake has written one of the strangest mashups of all time and capped it off by writing it in drabbles. If you don't know what a drabble is, click on the word and do the research. Cuz I ain't sayin'.

Let me summarize the plot for you:

Hundreds of years ago, the United States was consumed by an internal civil war that involved nukes. The decimated population fled to Europe and other countries through a number of asylum initiatives. The main reason other countries put up with the uncultured scumbags was the American invention of "Bio-chrome." Bio-chrome is metal that can be changed through the genetic manipulation. Because Americans know how to control Bio-chrome, they are considered both a boon to world stability and technology and a military danger to the rest of the world.

The novel chronicles an attempt to rid the rest of the world of American influence and lead to a world domination by the League of Monarchies. The main characters are "ghosts"--American military creations who are not only modified in the womb to accept direct neural interface with machines, but also have the ability to transform Bio-chrome (BC) into any form/function they wish. Each ghost has their own special power. Some can build weapons (ie, machine guns, pistols, etc) from blocks of BC. Others can create vehicles. Still others can do more fantastical things...

Fraught with political intrigue, a continental coup, and an attempt to eradicate all descendants of The United States, the novel follows a group of characters as they attempt to do the only thing they can: survive.

 

Keep in mind, this little synopsis of mine barely addresses all the sub-plots and craziness of the book. Believe me, it's much complex than I've made out. Now let's talk about some things...

The Americans starts out with some rather awkward info dumps, but once you get past them, they fade into the background. I didn't particularly enjoy the first few as they felt extremely forced. I don't know if anyone else in the universe was bothered by them, but I was. I think there was probably a better way to handle them. Like I said, however, once you get past them, the book starts to grind forward into a lurching walk that turns into a flat-out Usain Bolt sprint.

While Dead Mech annoyed me at times because it was written in 100 words increments, The Americans is written old-school prose style. The narrator head-hops a bit, but not to the point of confusion. Like myself, Jake has a great appreciation for extreme profanity. While a few of his characters are too "formal" to engage in that kind of language, the vast majority have no such qualms. Mr. Bible enjoys his vulgarities and there are plenty to choose from--the book is full of 'em.

The military science-fiction aspects of the novel are fantastically written. For instance, Jake imagines "family-units" of American soldiers who live together and are used as teams for covert operations. The idea is genius in its simplicity. In a world where there are hundreds of thousands of people without a country or national identity, such a concept is a good way to tie it all together. And unlike today's world, Americans are loyal to one another to a fault.

Jake calls the podcast a "reading." It has some verbal fumbles and was not intended to be an all-out, quality e-book. That said, however, Jake did a great editing job. There are very few problems with his reading of the prose. Instead of a straight read or a dramatic read, Jake does something in-between. This gives some inconsistency to the work, but after a few episodes, I stopped noticing.

Despite the issues raised above, I enjoyed the book. I think it's a much better work than Dead Mech, although it's much less experimental. Once again, he creates a great mashup of several genres. And even though there are "zombies" in the book, I still give it the Fiendmaster seal of approval.

Movie Review: Kevin Smith's "Red State"

There are very few independent filmmakers out there as well known as Kevin Smith. The man brought us such fantastic films as "Clerks," "Chasing Amy," and "Dogma." He has never been afraid to write from the gut and tell the stories he wanted to tell, regardless of their marketability.

Granted, he's an acquired taste, but hell, who isn't?

He is also the only filmmaker I've ever heard bitch about how much money it takes to get films done. Not just bitch, but actually feel bad for taking someone's money to make his vision a reality.

Kevin Smith has definitely found a niche and has a loyal following (as well as loyal haters). I count myself one of that loyal following since I've seen all of his movies, with the exception of Cop Out.

Review--Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2"

I must apologize in advance.  This review is filled with the "f" bomb.  When I mean filled, I mean chock full.  This is rated Not Safe For Work or "Liable to Destroy Your Speakers" (LDYS).

 

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Couch Surfing with John Pavlich Part 2

Here it is, folks.  Part 2 of the Couch Surfing podcast I did with John Pavlich.  Thanks again, John, for having me on.

Review--The Failed Cities Monlogues

A very short review of the Variant Frequencies production "The Failed Cities Monologues" by Matt Wallace.

This has been a presentation of shadow publications.com, written and read by Paul Elard Cooley. 

Get "The Failed Cities Monologues" from:
    http://VariantFrequencies.com. 

Visit http://matt-wallace.com to find out more about this great writer and make sure you get a copy of his short story collection:  The Next Fix. 

Music for this podcast provided by Nine Inch Nails from their
 album "The Slip".  Please visit their site at NIN.com.  For free fiction and more essays and reviews by Paul Elard Cooley, please visit ShadowPublications.com.

Review--Title Fight

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Short review on Scott Sigler and Matt Wallace's collaboration:  "Title Fight".
Also includes the new promo for J Daniel Sawyer's "Freewill and Other Compulsions".

Links:


This has been a presentation of shadow publications.com, written and read by Paul Elard Cooley.  Get Title Fight and more of New York Times Best Selling Author Scott Sigler's work at scottsigler.com.  Be sure and visit matt-wallace.com to find out more about this great writer and make sure you get a copy of his short story collection:  The Next Fix.  Music for this podcast provided by Nine Inch Nails from their album "The Slip".  Please visit their site at NIN.com.  For free fiction and more essays and reviews by Paul Elard Cooley, please visit ShadowPublications.com.

 

Review--Rob Zombie's "Halloween" Remake

My thoughts on the Rob Zombie "Halloween" Remake.  This is more a discussion of the philosphy of monsters rather than blow by blow comparison between the two films.

 

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*****CAUTION********
There be spoilers here...

Please visit The Fearship Horror Podcast to hear the Fearshop review on this remake as well as a retrospective of the entire Halloween franchise.

Music for the podcast provided by Nine Inch Nails.  Please visit their site.

------------------
This presentation is made available via Creative Commons, Attribute, Non-Commercial, No-Derivatives 3.0 license.

Review-- The Next Fix

I've never used heroin or cocaine. I've never injected myself with golden, liquid poison. But I've read enough William Burroughs to at least get some inkling of the incredible rush. Reading Matt Wallace's The Next Fix must be like that first time-- heady, electric.

As a devoted listener of Variant Frequencies, I've heard Wallace's work before, including the fantastically written and produced The Failed Cities Monologues. In fact, quite a few of the stories in The Next Fix appeared in Variant Frequencies as podcast stories. So I knew what I was in for. But what I didn't understand at the time, is how the written word conveys so much more than a voice ever could.

The first story, Absolution Insured is a favorite of mine from the podcasts. Wallace has constructed an urban fantasy world locked in the horror of guaranteed consequence. Everyone is a sinner, and each sin is paid for at a terrible price. I don't want to ruin the story, obviously, but suffice it to say that any person on the planet can get justice from those who wrong them. It's the ultimate horror. People wish for ultimate justice, as a rule, but Wallace seems intent on reminding the reader that justice is truly blind and can search for any wrong, no matter how slight. In other words, look to your own sins first.

The book continues extremely strong, smashing the reader with a sci-fi screamer called Delve. I was transfixed by the story, shocked to hell and gone by the ending. The complete dystopial disconnection of the narrator to his own world is both unsettling and satisfying. I wanted so badly for the narrator to find that connection. But perhaps Wallace's point is that there was no connection to really be found. At least not with a humanity we recognize. According to Wallace's site, Delve is being made into a film. I can't wait to catch this one.

The Losting Corridor was a little confusing for me at first, until I just decided to let the story happen. Some writers work very hard to give you the same sense of confusion their characters feel. This story gave me exactly that. It's an almost narrative vertigo as you struggle to decide what it is the character is doing as well as where he is.

No World For Warriors is by far one of my favorite tales. The narrator is both disgusted with the new world as well as pining for the old days. Wallace blends and contrasts the history of warfare, finally judging modern warfare as impersonal, without glory.

The other stories in the collection are quite good, although these first ones are by far my favorites. The book ends with The End Of Flesh, which is a smoking hot urban horror noir novella. I first heard this story on Variant Frequencies. But as with the rest of his work, the written word bounces around your skull, lighting your mind on fire, and is so much more powerful than listening. Wallace has created a character walking through a societal graveyard, a place where mores and morals have died the modern death.

The character is not so much trying to hold back the tide of decay and dissolution, so much as realizing it's the only place in the world he truly has. The fight to keep the world from crashing down upon him is the only thing that makes him who he is. And what he finally discovers is the fact that he'd rather trade some of his own morals for his own empty, fractured existence.

I have to say that all the stories here more than held my attention. Wallace blends contemporary american fiction, science-fiction and horror all together to create a rather unique concoction. His use of metaphor, the voice of his narrators and characters, stays with you long after the story has finished stabbing you with its last word.

You can find Matt at matt-wallace.com, his podio fiction at Variant Frequencies. Order The Next Fix from Amazon, or Barnes and Noble or anywhere. You want this in your collection. Even if you've heard his work on Variant Frequencies or Pseudopod, I highly recommend you try reading it. The words are not to be forgotten and impossible to ignore. Just as with any addict, I look forward to my next fix, courtesy of Wallace, the pusher.

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