Category: Horror

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson

First sentence…

I tell him I was a child when my father is ripped apart.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Marcel Abrum was the worst kid of predator, a human trafficker.  Rich and powerful, he thought that made him safe. But when Marcel Abrum brutally murdered Bishop Rider’s wife and sister, he discovered the truth,  Bishop Rider extracted a payback on Abrum equal to the horrors Abram had inflicted on so many women and children,

Then Bishop Rider made it his mission to hunt human traffickers and end their lives in ways that would make his name whispered in fear by those who targeted the weak.  Along the way others joined Rider’s cause. But nothing prepared Bishop Rider for the day when Jeramiah Abrum, the son of Marcel Abrum became a part of Rider’s group.  It took time for Rider to fully trust Jeramiah.  But the fire for vengeance that burned in Rider also blazed in Jeramiah.  For years they worked together brutally wiping out pedophiles and human traffickers.  The mission looked to be over when Rider’s cancer finally finished him.

But it wasn’t.

Jeramiah Abrum decided the operation would continue.  He and other like-minded individuals would carry on Bishop Rider’s work.  They would hunt down and brutally murder those that preyed on the weakest members of society.

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson is a series of short stories detailing the work of Jeramiah Abrum.  It’s violent, brutal and bloody.  One reviewer called it “chainsaw noir”.  I like that description.

Every review speaks of the book’s violence.  It permeates each story.  Thankfully, Johnson adds just the right amount of humor to take the edge off. He also has his main character, Jeramiah Abrum, realize that he’s not a good guy.  He’s wanted by the police.  The ways he kills are terrible.  But Jeramiah is doing these things to perverts and criminals who do much worse to their victims.  It’s old school, medieval, old testament justice.  And I like it.

The stories are self-contained.  When all are read the bigger picture forms.  Johnson has a unique format that usually takes us right to the start of the criminal’s certain demise.  It’s amazing how many unique ways Johnson comes up with for Rider to get justice.  The book is a fast read.  Because of the brutality and violence readers may want to pace themselves.

This was my first book by Beau Johnson.  It won’t be my last.

Rating:

Rare “Son of Frankenstein” Make-Up Test Video with Boris Karloff & Jack Pierce!

During a 1939 Son of Frankenstein color test, Boris Karloff clowns in full monster gear, strangling legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce.

According to the documentary Universal Horror (1998), Son of Frankenstein was intended to be shot in color and some Technicolor test footage was filmed, but for artistic or budgetary reasons the plan was abandoned.

No color test footage is known to survive, but this rare clip from a Kodachrome color home movie filmed at the studio shows Boris Karloff in the green monster makeup, clowning around with makeup artist Jack Pierce (Janus Piccoula).

Bird Box: Barcelona (2023) written & directed by Álex Pastor & David Pastor / Z-View

Bird Box: Barcelona (2023)

Director: Álex Pastor, David Pastor

Screenplay by: Álex Pastor, David Pastor based on BIRD BOX  by Josh Malerman

Starring: Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell.

Tagline: Fear the ones who see.

The Story:

An unexplained, unknown entity has wiped out the majority of the world’s population.  Most people who see it are compelled to quickly commit suicide, often by brutal means.  A few who look upon it, react differently.  Instead of killing themselves, these “seers” look to harm others.

The people who have survived have done so by covering their eyes when outside.  Although that method isn’t always effective, it provides the best chance to live.  Dangers are everywhere.  Not only from the entities, but also from the seers and normal people just fighting to survive.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers) 

I almost quit Bird Box: Barcelona early on.  A character did some things that seemed so out of character and stupid that I was ready to bail.  I’m glad I didn’t.  The actions were part of a twist that I didn’t see coming.  That twist (which I won’t give away) made Bird Box: Barcelona a nice advancement to the Bird Box universe.

If you liked Bird Box, you should enjoy Bird Box: Barcelona.

“Monster on the Campus” (1958) / Z-View

Monster on the Campus (1958)

Director: Jack Arnold

Screenplay by: David Duncan

Starring: Arthur Franz, Joanna Moore, Joanna Moore, Troy Donahue, Phil Harvey, Helen Westcott, Helen Westcott, Whit Bissell, Ross Elliott, and Eddie Parker.

Tagline: Co-ed beauty captive of man-monster! Campus terror! Students victims of terror-beast!

The Story:

Professor Donald Blake (Franz) accidently cuts himself on the teeth of a well-preserved million-year-old fish fossil. Right after, while putting the fossil away, his injured hand dips into the water holding the specimen.  Later Blake learns the fossil had been preserved using gamma rays.

That evening a woman is savagely attacked.  Her corpse is found hanging from a tree.  Professor Blake is found barely conscious on the ground nearby.  He has no memory of what happened.  When the police find a huge deformed handprint they believe it to be the killer’s.  While the police begin a hunt for the monster, Professor Blake worries that he is devolving into a creature from the past.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

At the start of the movie on a shelf in Professor Blake’s lab is a series of molds showing the evolution of man’s face.  The very first mold looks a lot like The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Jack Arnold, who directed Monster On the Campus, also helmed The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Jack Arnold was the go-to director for horror/sci-fi movies in the 1950s.  He helmed It Came from Outer Space; The Creature from the Black Lagoon; Revenge of the Creature; This Island Earth; Tarantula; The Incredible Shrinking Man; The Space Children and Monster on the Campus.

Monster on the Campus was Troy Donahue’s last film for Universal.  The following year he signed a contract at Warner Bros. and soon became a top name star.

“GyeongSeong Creature” – The Poster and Two Trailers are Here!

I wasn’t aware of GyeongSeong Creature until just now when I saw the poster and two trailers.  Sounds and looks like it could be a winner.  Since GyeongSeong Creature is going to be on Netflix, checking it out will be a no-brainer.  Deal me in.

Spring of 1945
All suspicions led to a hospital in Gyeongseong where there were humans and creatures.
Gyeongseong Creature Part 1 | December 22, only on Netflix


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“Day Zero” (2022) starring Brandon Vera / Z-View

Day Zero (2022)

Director: Joey De Guzman

Screenplay by: Ays De Guzman

Starring: Brandon Vera, Pepe Herrera, Mary Jean Lastimosa.

Tagline: When the dead rise, humanity falls.

The Story:

As a zombie virus spreads like wildfire, Emon (Vera) fights to get home to his wife and child.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Brandon Vera is a former MMA fighter.  He has the potential to become a better known action star.

Day Zero is low budget zombie film.  It also had potential.  Pepe Herrera was Vera’s comic relief sidekick.  Thankfully, the comedy wasn’t over the top.  As Vera and Herrera fought their way to save Vera’s family the action became to repetitive.  I taped out after 43 minutes.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK STORYBOARDS by Tony Lee Moral

ALFRED HITCHCOCK STORYBOARDS by Tony Lee Moral will appeal to Hitchcock fans and movie lovers.

A one-of-a-kind historical document and celebration of the artwork behind several of the Master of Suspense’s greatest films.

This stunning coffee table book focuses on the storyboards for nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movies – Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest, The 39 Steps, Torn Curtain, Marnie, Shadow of a Doubt and Spellbound. It includes never before-published images and incisive text putting the material in context and examining the role the pieces played in some of the most unforgettable scenes in cinema. Hitchcock author and aficionado Tony Lee Moral takes you through the last 100 years of cinema, with the Master of Suspense as your guide.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK STORYBOARDS drops February 6, 2024.

CHASING THE BOOGEYMAN (A Novel) by Richard Chizmar

CHASING THE BOOGEYMAN (A Novel) by Richard Chizmar

First sentence…

When I first started clipping newspaper articles and jotting down notes about the tragic events that transpired in my hometown of Edgewood, Maryland, during the summer and autumn of 1988, I had no thoughts of one day turning those scattered observations into a full-length book.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Richard Chizmar just graduated college.  He’s making plans to marry his girlfriend.  He dreams of being a writer.  The only negative is that Richard will have to live with his parents for some months until he’s married.  Still, going back to the house he grew up in will provide time to strengthen family bonds and rekindle old friendships.  At least that’s how Richard thought things would be.

That all changes when mutilated bodies of dead girls begin showing up.  When Richard arrives home, there’s a curfew in effect.  Everyone in his small town is jumpy.  The F.B.I. has assisted local police, but there have been no solid leads.  Because of the way the murderer butchers and eludes detection, rumors are flying that the killer isn’t human.  When Richard learns that he knew one of the victims, his writer’s curiosity causes him to dig into the case.  The killer begins taunting the police, the FBI and Richard.  That’s when Richard realizes he has put himself and his family in danger.

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Richard Chizmar has written a novel that reads like a true crime story.  In addition to placing himself in the story, Chizmar provides maps, newspaper photos, and more in regard to the case. You may find yourself double checking to make sure it is fiction.

Often true crime tales read like procedurals. Not this baby.  It reads like one of the best true crime stories you could ask for. But remember, it’s fiction.

Rating:

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” starring Danai Gurira & Andrew Lincoln – The Teaser Trailer is Here!

I hate that Rick was gone for years from The Walking Dead, but I am looking forward to The Ones Who Live.

Danai Gurira (Michonne Hawthorne) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) reveal what’s in store for the return of these two iconic characters. Don’t miss the series premiere of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live February 25th on AMC and AMC+.

“Island of Lost Souls” (1932) starring Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen & Kathleen Burke / Z-View

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Director: Erle C. Kenton

Screenplay by: Waldemar Young, Philip Wylie based on THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU by H. G. Wells

Starring: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Kathleen Burke, Arthur Hohl, Stanley Fields, Paul Hurst.

Tagline: THE PANTHER WOMAN lured men on – only to destroy them body and soul!

The Story:

After a dispute with a supply ship’s drunken Captain, Edward Parker (Arlen), is left stranded on the remote jungle island of Dr. Moreau (Laughton). Moreau welcomes Parker to his home.  Parker thanks him for the hospitality and says he will leave on the next supply ship.  Parker is warned that many wild creatures live on the island.  He is then introduced to Lota (Burke) and Montgomery (Hohl), Moreau’s assistant.

Later as Lota and Edward are talking they hear terrible screams coming from Dr. Moreau’s lab.  Lota tells Edward the lab is called “the house of pain”.  Edward bursts in to find Moreau and Montgomery operating without anesthesia on some sort of human-animal hybrid.

Edward decides to take a small boat and leave.  As he walks from the safety of the house, Edward sees dozens of half-human beasts coming towards him.  Dr. Moreau shows up with his whip and drives them back into the jungle.  Moreau explains that the creatures are results of his failed experiments to turn animals into humans.

Edward is trapped on the island with the crazy Dr. Moreau and his assistant Montgomery.  As the jungle creatures get more daring, Edward knows that time for survival is running out.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Paramount decided the role of Lota the Panther Woman would go to an unknown actress.  Kathleen Burke, a fashion model and radio actress who had never appeared in a feature film, won the role beating out 60,000 hopefuls.  The opening credits read Lota…. the Panther Woman, but the final credits list Kathleen Burke by name.  It’s interesting to note that Lota does not appear in H.G. Wells’ novel.

Island of Lost Souls (1932) was made before the Hays Code, which prohibited profanity, suggestive nudity, graphic or realistic violence, sexual persuasions and rape, went into effect.  Subsequently, the movie was censored in many countries and re-releases.

H.G. Wells reportedly felt that the film focused on horror at the expense of the “novel’s philosophical themes”.