Category Archives: Read

If you can’t sing… scream

Don’t you just hate all those TV karaoke “talent” shows clogging up every channel? The smug judges, sycophantic hosts, endless sob stories, and the insufferable gushing… Don’t you wish someone would just come along and kill everyone in them?

Well now…

Axe Factor Cover Trimmed 1563 x 2500 72dpi

*

If you don’t have it – you’ve had it!

Series 7 of Icon – the number one talent show in the country – is one week from crowning the winner, and recipient of a major record deal. But behind the bleached smiles, expensive gowns, the tales of determination and success, lies a world of backstabbing – literally.

Someone has a deadly grudge and to-do list of the 10 finalists. As favorite to win Carlee prepares for the night of her life and her big chance, her fellow contestants are being hunted down one by one and permanently ejected from the competition in a manner of grisly ways.

With suspects ranging from the ex-winner with a dark past, to the production crew who hate the show, and any number of participants who will do just about anything to win, Carlee’s chances of making it to the final hinge on whether or not she can piece together the clues before she ends up in pieces.

Buy here from Amazon US or here from Amazon UK

If you don’t have it – you’ve had it

I haven’t completely squandered my seven months abroad scuba diving and soaking up the sun… No, I’ve been a-writin’, one big project that’s still under wraps, and this cheeky sucka:

Axe Factor Cover Trimmed 1563 x 2500 72dpiFiendish death stalks the studios where the latest series of one of those annoying karaoke shows is underway. With a gazillion viable suspects to choose from, will our plucky final girl be able to solve the mystery before she’s crowned winner?

Coming sooooon*…

 

 

 

 

 

*before the current series finishes, I hope.

School is in session

lastfinalgirlIt’s a book, again.

With more time to read while I cruise around Europe in my tin-pot van, I was recommended The Last Final Girl by a couple of folks so laid down my wad – or rather, pressed ‘buy’ in the Kindle store – and went to task.

Unlike most novels, The Last Final Girl is presented more as a script. For all I know that was it’s original intent. Thus, the style takes a bit of getting used to when you start reading: Scenes are introduced like cuts and it’s all present tense because of this. Once you’re used to it, the story begins taking precedent and you stop noticing.

So it goes, a girl fends off a killer disguised in a Michael Jackson mask (referred to as Billie Jean for the rest of the tale) who has done away with several of her friends. After it’s over, she returns to school and the expected hoopla surrounds her.

On the sidelines are Izzy and Brittney, two fringe girls obsessed with slasher movies who believe that what happened out in the woods isn’t over, not least because the killer, though defeated, has not been recovered.

Throw in a reporter (‘Jamie Lee’), several characters with final girl names, and more than one agenda on the cards and The Last Final Girl edges away from just being a Xerox of Scream to its own post-post modern story. The insights of the main characters will arouse the jaded loins of any 80s-era fanatic.

The downers are mercifully few and far between, but The Last Final Girl does, in book form, something I really hate in film form: It screws with the ‘neatness’ of the body count. Not everyone who dies dies because they are murdered – some are just grim accidents, all be them partly because of the killer’s presence, but it ends up a bit of a miss-mash come the climax and I wasn’t sure who killed who or why.

Also, while the knowledge base of Izzy and Brittney would have them hosting their own convention, I just didn’t buy it. It’s probably my spiral towards middle age, but the idea of two teenage girls knowing everything us ageing dorks obsess over seemed like a stretch.

Still, artistic license permits these little leaps and it’d be a rather dull affair without them. Strongly recommended.

Fri-gay the 13th

Look closer… it’s a book, not a movie. Sad times indeed.

Summer camp slashings ensue as they have many, many times before… but never (as far as I know) at one of those ‘Corrective’ camps for gay teens, though there were a few in The Blood Season.

In Camp Carnage, Billy, an introverted suburbanite, is packed off to Camp Genesis by his parents after coming out to them in the summer of 1986. Run by Joan Ferguson-a-like Katherine Creevey, the boys are packed in together and mentored by a kindly priest and ex-gay counsellors.

Typical 80s hi-jinks follow with the usual heterosexual pairings reversed: Billy likes Neal, but so does Kyle. Jem likes Michaela, Michaela strives to remain straight etc… Meanwhile, those who venture into the woods (stray from the path of heterosexuality, as it were) soon meet nasty ends at the hands of a mystery killer.

A fluid read, I zipped through Camp Carnage over a few lunch breaks and, while the blades n’ whodunit subplotting was decent, the book shied away from commenting overtly on the operations of such an establishment, thus I didn’t root for the characters as much as I wanted.

Writers Cross and Winning twist the expected outcome in regards to the last ones standing, which is always brave, although in this case I’d have preferred them not to.

Slashermania!!! 2D!!!

So, like, remember The Dark of the Forest, that slasherific comic book from dead-teen enthusiasts Freaktown Comics?

Well, they’re back for a second bout of stacked up expired teens in Slashermania:

The plot is thus:

1983. Troubled teens from New York and Los Angeles are taken to a summer camp facility to be trained as counsellors and mix safely with other people their own age.  Little do they know they are being watched by an audience hungry for sex & violence. They are the designated victims for a bizarre contest of murder and mayhem –

WELCOME TO SLASHERMANIA!

Masked maniacs from across the USA, Canada, Italy & the UK compete in various categories: Best Male Solo Death! Best Female Solo Death! Coitus Interruptus! Sin Punishment!Most Creative Kill! Biggest Multiple Death! The coveted Slasher of the Year award!

 “And the slashie goes to…”

Slashermania is written by Russell Hillman, with pencils by Ron Joseph, inks by Jake Isenberg, colours by Harry Saxon and letters by Sergio Calvet

The trailer is thus:

The Kickstarter page is here.

Summer camp. Sexy teens. An army of masked and/or costumed psychos… Whatcha waiting for!?

 

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