History

This is yet another incarnation of my blog. One that started over a decade ago at www.raingods.wordpress.com. It was simply a blog then about some of the internet’s most amusing trolls. Several years later it became www.secolbertblog.wordpress.com, and contained more serious posts about my writing and current works in progress. There were also a lot of reviews of movies, music, TV, links to my podcast, and other detritus.

This current incarnation is a blending of those two, as well as a step into the future with more reviews, interviews, posts regarding my books, and other more personal posts. My hope is you find these worth the while to read and that you’ll support me by purchasing my works, so the website can continue.

It’s barebones at the moment as I get my bearings in creating a website, but as time goes on, more will be added that will be far more appealing. In the meantime enjoy the old posts and prepare yourselves for some wicked new content.

A Tale of Two Maniacs: Spinell Vs Wood

This was originally published in October of 2014 on the old Supernaughts site. I’ve been asked about it over the past several days, and thought it was time to post it again. 

When Maniac was released back in 1980, I missed it. I was 15 at the time, and no one I knew had any interest in seeing it. Not until I ran across it on HBO (or maybe Showtime I forget which), did I finally get to see this cult classic. I was underwhelmed at the time, finding it slow moving, not especially scary, and only notable for some excellent make up effects. Joe Spinell brings what little creep factor there is simply for how he looks in the film, as opposed to his acting (which never goes beyond good, and is usually verging on bad). Let’s face it though, a film like Maniac isn’t going to be notable for acting, writing, or anything other than the gore factor and scares.

When I first heard about a remake, I let it pass under my radar, as I had little emotional investment from a horror fan’s or even a nostalgia ridden perspective. I don’t think it was until I heard Elijah Wood had been cast in the role as Frank Zito that I started following it with some mild interest. I’ve always liked Wood’s as an actor, and thought it was such an odd choice it would either be a fantastic idea or so bad it would be good. Either way, this was the horror movie I was looking forward to the most this year.
Prior to writing this, I watched both versions back to back. Not once, but twice. I’ve even gone back to certain scenes to take screen shots and to refresh my memory (I did this a couple of weeks ago, and the notes I wrote down, were pretty illegible).

I watched the original first, and this time around had a far more favorable reaction to it. Perhaps because I hadn’t seen it in 20 years or so, I had a new perspective on it-still it’s far from perfect, and my criticisms of it still stand, but I can appreciate it more now.

The first difference between the two is the opening. In Maniac 1980, it opens on the beach with Zito killing a couple getting down to business. I never understood this as he’s spying first, and knows the boyfriend is there, and it goes against his M.O. in the rest of the film. Maniac 2012 starts with Zito driving around looking for a hooker. Before I go on with the comparison I have to mention this: much has been made about how the remake was shot entirely from the killer’s POV, with our only glimpses of him in a mirror, etc. Prior to watching it, I was pretty sure I’d hate it. And while I don’t love it, I found it very effective. And there are two scenes where it breaks the POV, which while a bit jarring, didn’t detract from the experience.

So, Elijah has Wood that he’s intent on using on a prostitute, and stalks her, setting up the kill in the doorway to her apartment. The remake has a far more effective opening, and more important, it keeps with his motivation.

Maniac 1980 has Spinell hire a hooker, and after some banter, they get down to business and once he strangles her, he takes her scalp.

This same scene is told a bit differently in the remake, the woman Wood seduces isn’t a prostitute, but someone he meets online. After a nice Italian dinner, she takes him back to her place where she attempts to seduce him by giving him a blow job. Now, during this scene they use the same song that was made famous in Silence of the Lambs (during Buffalo Bill’s dance in front of a mirror-and no Bill, I wouldn’t fuck you). I was ready to actually stop watching. I thought it was such a gratuitous and lazy move, it angered me-and that doesn’t happen a lot. Yet, I kept on, and as in the original, Wood strangles her and scalps her. Though Wood actually seems to orgasm as he scalps her, and for Spinell it’s business as usual.

Both Maniacs get love interests, and while Spinell is more methodical and devious in getting his, it doesn’t come off as believable (he spies a beautiful woman taking pictures, sees her camera bag, looks at it and sees an address on the tag, and then shows up at her apartment unannounced). Woods’ would be paramour is merely happenstance, he notices someone taking pictures of the storefront where he lives/works and invites her in-thus beginning their relationship.

Spinal’s relationship never really worked for me, granted in both, you know the outcome won’t be good, but Spinell looks and acts like such a creep, it’s more a matter of when things go down, than if they do. With Wood, you get a sense at times, that maybe it could work, that this woman might be the one to help him get past his issues that cause him to kill.

That thought also brings another difference between the two. The original only gives back story about what causes Zito to kill through some laughably bad monologues and cheesy voice overs. The remake shows us through flashbacks why Woods acts the way he does. Granted with the first, it was probably more a matter of having a small budget and little time to film, but I think it suffers for that.

There’s a scene in the remake where a young Frank is hidden in a closet as his mother brings home two men. He watches her snort coke, and have a threesome with her new found friends, and is pretty disturbing. I can only imagine how more effective the first would be had they been able to do some of that.

As both films progress, there are a few more minor differences, but none bigger than what acts as a prelude to the final scene. Maniac 1980 shows us Frank taking his gf on a date, but he insists on stopping at the graveyard first to pay respects and put new flowers on his mother’s grave. It’s in this pivotal scene, that the gf realizes who Frank is, and as they wrestle on the dead mom’s grave, she manages to stab him in the arm and escape. Frank chases her, but it so weakened (despite the fact he can kill women who to be polite are full figured, but is put out of commission by a superficial wound), he can only stagger home.
By contrast, the new version has Zito going to his gf’s apartment to comfort her after she tells him, the art gallery owner, she had done a show with was murdered. Once at her home, a friend of hers takes his leave, and as the two of them talk, she realizes who he is, and a fantastic fight takes place. Woods’ gets his hand pierced by a knife, he’s slashed, punched, beaten and still has enough energy to slam a butcher knife into the mouth of her friend when he returns. Even when she escapes and he chases her down the street, and gets run over by a car she hops into, it doesn’t stop him, he still manages to crawl over to her broken body and scalp her.

And then he staggers home.

The final scene is the same for both films: the mannequins he pretends are his girlfriends (complete with nailed or stapled scalps attached to them), come to life, and literally rip both of them to shreds. However, when the police barge in, they only find the dead Frank, whole but a victim of suicide.
Maniac 2012 is beautifully filmed. There are some shots that are so haunting and surreal, it takes your breath away. The director, Frank Khalfoun does a masterful job of framing shots, and uses much trickery with mirrors to show Woods face onscreen (and part of a butt crack). There are only two times where, as I said earlier that the first person POV is broken, the final scene, and an earlier kill. The previous scene had Woods chasing a woman through the subway and into a parking lot, and it’s the only kill we see him from the victims viewpoint. I almost looked at it, as he was so out of control and out of himself by that time, he was having what could be termed an out of body experience. The remake is slick, and glossy, and by comparison the original is a grainy, third generation copy of a bootleg videotape. That’s not even a criticism, as it really highlights the sordidness and squalor of New York at that time (where I happened to live when it was first released). The unrefined nature of the 1980 movie works to its advantage. It has no pretensions of being anything other than what it is.

I have to mention the sound of the remake-at times it borders on brilliance. The music, sound effects, and dialog are all perfectly recorded and sound fantastic. The music in both is appropriate and greatly enhances everything else. In spite of being set in present day (though there are some anachronisms, like CRT televisions, flip phones, and a record player), it retains the ‘80s musical style-and it’s bloody perfection. In fact, it could have easily come off the soundtrack for the original, it’s that good.
The special effects in both are top notch. Savini did such a fantastic job with what he had to work with back then, you can’t find fault with any of it. Having said that, the effects in the remake, even though most are CG, are so well done, I found them almost too realistic. It may not be as violent as the original (the shotgun scene from the first is missing from the second), it’s far bloodier, and the POV gives it an off the charts squirm factor.

With the remake being set in Los Angeles, I thought the change of location served the movie very well. Spinell is as seedy as the city he lives in, while Woods’ is every bit the clean cut hipster that LA brings to mind. Neither one would be given a second look in their respective home towns.
While there are some major and minor differences in tone and character (Woods’ Maniac also has an OCD compulsion to scrub his hands with steel wool after each kill), the biggest is back-story, and the remake really does a fine job with this. The writing is tighter, more believable, and the dialog doesn’t make you cringe. Well, not as much.

As for which is the better film? I think it will depend on who you think is the better Frank Zito. While Spinell does a serviceable job, there are points his performance verges on camp, and you end up laughing at places you’re not meant to. Much like Nicholson in The Shining, who already looks crazy from the start, you have a hard time believing anyone would talk to him for more than 10 seconds before crossing the street to get away from him. Woods, I think, benefits from having very little screen time due to the POV situation. His voice over work is solid, and when you do see him, he’s alternately charming, in a nerdy kind of way, or simply haunting.

I prefer Woods interpretation, and when he kills, you don’t think about his diminutive size, because you don’t see him. The director, perhaps unknowingly, did Woods a boon, for using the POV, as it erases your thoughts about how someone his size can do what he does.
For me, I far prefer the remake. It’s one of the very few instances where it outshines the source material in almost every single way. Both are worth seeing, and adding to your collection, but the remake is the version I’ll always remember.

10 Long Nights at Camp Blood: Friday the 13th

It’s a movie that one of its stars called, “a piece of shit”. Gene Siskel loathed it so much he referred to the director, Sean Cunningham as “one of the most despicable creatures ever to infest the movie business.”  The late Chicago critic even went so far as to publish the address of the chairman of the board for Gulf+Western, which owned Paramount at the time, to express contempt for the movie. It also of course sparked one of the most notorious episodes of Siskel and Ebert’s Sneak Previews. In fact, if you can bare the pomposity, they do have some interesting points to make, and offer some food for thought.

            The brunt of their wrath was aimed at this year’s franchise review, Friday the 13th. I find it odd as the hero of the movie is a woman, and manages to kill the murderer, though the same can’t be said I suppose, for the other victims in the movie. Still, compared to what’s come afterwards, including many of the F13 sequels, the original seem very tame by today’s standards. Aside from the violence, the most gratuitous thing in the movie is Kevin Bacon’s schlong bouncing around in a Speedo.

The Snake Plisken award goes to…

            Much has been written about the history of this particular franchise, so there won’t be a lot of that mentioned. I’m simply going to talk about the movies, how much I enjoyed them (or didn’t), and make snarky comments along the way. Having said that, I will mention that F13 was a direct result of the success of Carpenter’s Halloween (a better made movie perhaps, but a much slower pace). Sean Cunningham had previously worked with Wes Craven on the classic Last House on the Left, so if anyone was made to make a Halloween knock off, it was Cunningham.

            Friday the 13th starts off in 1958 at Camp Crystal Lake. The counselors are sitting by the fireplace singing songs (as teens are wont to do), and before you can say Tom Dooley, a couple sneak off for some good old fashioned 1950’s nookie. The duo find a secluded spot, only to have a case of coitus interruptus as both are slashed to death (talk about a boner killer).  We then flash forward 20 years and see groups of teens in their early to mid twenties making their way to the camp.

Camp food really does give you pains.

            We’re introduced to Annie as she backpacks her way to the camp. As she stops in town for directions, and eventually a lift from a truck driver, she’s accosted by Ralph, the town crazy, who tells her the camp has a “death curse”. Even the trucker who gives her a lift part way tells her it’s not a good idea and to stay away. Annie has other plans, and when she’s dropped off at a crossroads, she’s picked up by another driver who is unseen. After the turn off to the camp is passed, Annie starts screaming to be let out, and ultimately jumps from the moving jeep where she’s pursued by the driver, and then has her throat cut. Always listen to the town lunatic!

Harvey, is that you?

            Another group, including Kevin Bacon and his penis, arrive at Crystal Lake and are immediately put to work by the owner, Steve. We know Steve is in charge because he’s the only one sporting a porn ‘stache. Being that he’s in charge, he leaves the other counselors to ignore his orders while he goes into town to get supplies. He says he’ll be back after lunch, but…well, we’ll get to him after a bit.

They don’t call it a pussy tickler for nothin’ y’know!

            Once Steve leaves they all strip to their swimming gear and take a dive into the lake, where Kevin Bacon’s penis seems to be having a lot more fun than anyone else. All throughout the movie, including this scene, there are camera shots that look as if they could be someone watching. Indeed, that is the case much of the time, but Cunningham mixes up the shots to such a degree that you never quite know if it’s the killer’s POV or not. It creates an uneasy atmosphere, and one of the reasons why the film works so well, when others do not.

I Saw What You Did Last Summer

            A thunderstorm approaches, and we have our first kill of the counselors, which surprisingly, takes place off screen. Ned, the jokester of the group goes wandering off into a cabin after he thinks he sees something, never to take a breath again. Kevin Bacon and his girlfriend (I could look up their names, but it doesn’t matter they won’t be around long), sneak off for some god old fashioned 1970’s nookie, with Ned’s corpse in the top bunk. Sadly it’s here we say goodbye to Bacon and his penis, as he gets an arrow through the throat.

When deep throating goes awry.

            Rather than go through all the kills, we know everyone dies, including Steve who doesn’t manage to make his way back to camp until after dinner! No one likes a liar Steve. The only counselor left is Alice and she does an admirable job facing off against the villain, who it turns out is the mother of the child who drowned there 20 years earlier. I know! I was just as shocked as anyone else!  This also makes me take what Siskel and Ebert said about F13, with a grain of salt as it not only had a female hero, it had a female villain (in a bit of a twist on the Norman Bates character).

A boy’s best friend is his mother…huh, dejavu.

            With all of the movies that have come out since F13’s release in 1980, it’s easy to forget, as I had, that the end was mostly a fist fight. It seems rather antiquated now, but I was surprised because I had forgotten that. And then we have the now classic ending, which Tom Savini suggested, and was directly inspired by the ending of Carrie. That’s right it’s when Jason jumps out of the lake and grabs Alice, thereby giving Ari Lehman a lifetime job at comic conventions. Never has 5 seconds of screen time produced so much. I’d always thought they should have left it there, but we then see Alice in the hospital and she’s told there was no boy that they found. We then cut to the lake and see Jason’s fart bubbles rippling to the surface.

Alright, who farted?

            I was 15 when this came out, and while I loved horror movies, I wasn’t that enthused about the graphic violence I heard people talk about. However, when I finally saw it a few years later on VHS, I was rather amazed by the effects. Watching it now, I’m really rather surprised at how it holds up. There’s a timeless quality about it, which makes it seem as if it could have happened just last week. Cunningham did a great job with the direction, and even if I don’t like jump scares, that’s exactly what these movies are for. Light on atmosphere, heavy on the scares no matter how they’re gotten.

C’mon, you promised me a handy! You always say you have q splitting headache!

            There are also some beautiful shots as well, and a couple I plan on making the background on my laptop. The effects, with the exception of Bacon’s kill, which looks even more fake in higher definition, are Savini doing what he does best. The acting is nothing to write home about, and the dialogue isn’t going to remind anyone of David Mamet (“How do you call a snake?”), but they all work together and make for a fun, scary ride.

It has a death curse! Like my breath!

            If Halloween paved the way for F13, then this franchise really opened the floodgates for the slasher genre, and unfairly or not, will be remembered as the juggernaut of all slasher movies.

Two out of three falls, what do you say?

            Friday the 13th gets 8/10 machetes from me.

 

Lonely Are the Dead Excerpt!

What follows is the first chapter of my upcoming novel “Lonely Are the Dead”. This is as different from anything else I’ve written as you could possibly get. The violence is mild, the vocabualry clean-well mostly clean-and far more a quiet form of horror. Keep in mind, this is from a second draft, and may change a little or lot when finally released later this year, but it will give you a good idea of the tone of the new work. I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any comments please feel free to leave them.  As per usual, this work is copyrighted by myself, and no excerpts are allowed without my concent. 

 

10169047_10202679157873197_933014438_n

 

My name is Eryle Harrigan, poet, madman, and a traveler of worlds. On October 31st  1899 I vanished from my cell at Bellevue Hospital in New York for the first of a multitude of times. This disappearance was as much a mystery to me at the time, as it was the rest of the world. When I reappeared that first time, I was in a small, weed ridden graveyard some miles away. I have no memory of how I got there, but I was without my clothing, shivering and confused. The caretaker, whose name I do not remember, spotted me huddled in the archway of a crumbling mausoleum. I can still hear the faint echo of his rough hewn voice, chipped away with too many cigarettes and gallons of cheap alcohol. In the darkness I could see the lantern heading closer to me, the flame whipping and threatening extinction with each hurried step he took.

I didn’t move, more from modesty than anything else. I waited until he was close enough for me to shield my eyes from the small but powerful glow of the metal contained light. He held it up in his left hand, a pistol pointed towards me in his right. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”  I tried to answer but couldn’t find my voice. More accurately it was as if I had forgotten how to speak. I certainly couldn’t remember my name, of that I am certain. “I asked you a question!”

I gave a small shrug and looked up, still unable to say anything. Though I had no feeling of sadness, I could sense a trail of tears running down my cheeks, pocketing little specks of the salty water in the corners of my closed mouth. “I’ll not ask you again.” The caretaker’s voice was low, threaded with menace.

Without knowing I was about to do so, I said, “Your accent…from Ireland?” This seemed to take him by surprise, and I couldn’t think to blame him. The last thing one would expect to hear when confronting an unclothed man crouching in a cemetery was a discussion of accents.  I could see his features relax a bit. The gun wielding hand lowered just a bit, and he nodded. “My Mother’s from Dublin. We emigrated ten years hence to New Foundland, then when my Father passed we moved here.”

I had no idea if what I had said was true, at least not then, but it took the caretaker further aback. “From Cork myself, just been here the past year and a few months give or take.” With that, he put the pistol in his pocket, and moved a bit closer. “Been drinking?”

I shook my head, and could feel shoulder length hair dance on the skin on my face. It felt brittle as the working end of a straw broom and smelled about the same. “Are you hurt?” he asked.

Once more I shook my head and added a “No, I’m not,” as well. The man sighed and scratched his temple, moving his cap up enough to show that whatever hair he may have had had taken upon itself to leave. “Well what the hell are you doing here, and without your damn clothes?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where’d you come from?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s your name?”

“I don’t know”

“What are you, mad?”

“I may well be.”

“Well you can’t stay here and freeze to death.” He set the lamp down, took his coat off, handed it to me and turned around. “Put that on and follow me, I’ve no interest in taking a gander at your manhood.”

That made me smile; I stood, put on the heavy coat lined with lamb’s wool , and walked briskly behind him across the length of the graveyard until we reached a wooden shack that seemed no bigger than an outhouse. He pulled a key from around his neck and used it to release a padlock on the door. I was ushered inside and was able to make out a table and two chairs. There was a book, some papers, as well as a plate with a half eaten chicken leg on the desk. A mug, half empty of a pungent mead scented liquid was to the left of the plate. “Sit,” he said.

I obeyed and sat on one of the rickety chairs which rocked a bit due to a weak leg. The custodian sat in the other chair, in front of the meal I obviously interrupted, reached down and brought up a bottle. He turned and grabbed another mug that had been sitting on a shelf, poured some liquor into the pewter mug and handed it to me. “This will help you warm up.”

I took a sip, grimaced, and coughed at the bitterness. “How did you know I was there?” I asked.

“I didn’t. I saw a flash of light and heard a loud noise. Went to see what it was and found you.”  He stared at me, even going so far as to lean in close enough I could smell his fetid breath. “You’re not the Devil are you?”

“If I were, I’d have dressed warmer,” I answered.  Against my better judgment I took another sip, managed not to cough, but still grimaced, and set the mug down on the table.

“Do you remember anything?”

I closed my eyes. I furrowed my brow with deep thought but for the life of me remembered nothing. It was a blank slate. Nothing but emptiness…no, not emptiness, but an absence of anything. Emptiness would have entailed that my mind was full at some point.  “No. No, I don’t.” Another slight trickle of tears.

“Here now, not to worry, we’ll get this all sorted. Perhaps you were hit on the head in a robbery and your clothes taken.” He said this with such conviction and surety I almost believed him.

I knew better though. I wasn’t sure why, simply that I knew he was wrong. It was something much darker and malevolent.

There was a period of silence, and I could see the wheels turning in the keeper’s head. He wanted to do something. To help, I surmised, but neither of us knew what form that would take. “I need to take a walk around the grounds. You should probably stay here, will you be okay?”

“I believe so.”

“I’d say t’hell with it, but with it being Halloween and kids what they are…” his voice trailed off. The apologetic inflection of his words unmistakable. I also think he really wanted to be away from me as well. My appearance, lack of memory and inability to provide him any information had started to fill him with a slowly dawning dread. I could see the sweat beading on his upper lip. The slight shake to his hand as he lit a spare lantern to leave with me. The way he carefully avoided touching even by accident was as subtle as thunderstorm.  “Shouldn’t be more than half of an hour,” he said, before opening the door to the outside world. Once I was shut in I heard the snap of the padlock, letting me know I wasn’t going anywhere even if I wanted to.

I turned the screw on the lantern to enlarge the flame a bit and looked at the book on the table. I reached out and pulled it across the table closer to me and looked at the cover. The dark green cloth felt warm to the touch. The gold colored imprinting on it was too faded to read, but I didn’t need to.

I knew the book was mine. I don’t mean to imply I owned the book, I mean to say, I had written the book. I traced my finger along the spine, and the lettering lit with a deep magma color. I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes. There was a smell of smoke, but not from the lantern. This was something deeper, and far earthier than an oil soaked wick could ever hope to produce.  I place my hand palm down on the cover, and even with my eyes closed could sense the room lighting up. I pressed my hand down, feeling a surge of something electrical start to course through my body. I felt aroused, though not in a carnal nature.

I felt alive in a way I’ve never felt before or since. Opening my eyes, I looked down, the book’s cover flying open, throwing my hand off it violently, the way an unwilling wild horse will buck a rider off. The pages began to flip as if a massive wind were ripping through them. Back and forth they went, an unseen hand desperately trying to find something contained within. I placed both a hand on each side of the book, feeling a magnetic pull drawing me to the pages. I tried to resist and the more I did, the stronger it got. My head moved closer, visions of things I couldn’t begin to comprehend, swam in my consciousness. I could smell the nearby graves. Worse, I could smell the inhabitants of those graves. Some nothing but bones and rags, others recently departed and smelling of rotting flesh. A scream tried to escape my throat, but was denied. The tip of my nose was now in the crease of the book, pages on each side slapping me on each cheek, leaving superficial cuts. As blood from the wounds trickled down and dripped onto the tome, the pull became impossible to resist. The room around me disappeared, as did the book. There was nothing but the sensation of free falling and the horror of knowing I would never land.

 

A Bittersweet Moment

Today was a day of bittersweet moments.  The official cover for Fossil Lake, which includes my story, “The Day Lloyd Campbell’s Mama Came to Town”, was released. Take a gander below for a look:

1528719_436454379816199_518697673_n

 

I also found out that the publisher of Fossil Lake, Janrae Frank passed away.

It’s hard to believe she’s gone to the land of the eternal, and no doubt, scribbling away at her next novel.  Not even death can slow her pen dipped in equal parts acid and love.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have known Janrae for six years or so. When I started writing again, she was one of the first people I met online, and she struck a very imposing figure. Those who know me well, know that my first published piece was a poem entitled, “Forgotten Son”, from the now out of print poetry anthology,  “Death In Common”.  And though that tomes final resting place was with another publisher, I learned a lot from her and the experience. Some good, and some…not so good. We had a falling out which instigated a couple of years of silence between us. However, I always read her comments on other blogs and forums, and never really lost my respect for her as a person and as a writer. Anything positive I was able to do with Bandersnatch Books was due to her and a couple of others. Its failings were all my own, and my unwillingness to heed her advice.

I am glad to say that over the past few months we were able to mend fences, and became friends again. I’m not always easy to get along with, yet Janrae, to her credit, never let me get in the way of friendship. I could go on, but would rather direct you to a post written by her daughter and daughter in-law, which says far more eloquently, everything you could want to know about this larger than life woman. http://www.daverana.com/blog/2014-01-13/janrae-frank

You’ll be missed ole Cuss, but you’ll never be forgotten.

 

“Fossil Lake” will be released on 1/15/2014

How To Be A Professional The Pacione Way!

ZomboDroid12082013030716

In a response to something I posted on his blog, La Femme Nikita responded with this:

I am not a liar or a fraud. I just don’t publish the faggot nor will I read works from the faggot. I strongly make this suggestion, please refrain from trying to stop people from submitting to my anthologies. It is not professional.

The first thing to notice is his use of faggot twice. Nothing screams professional more than slurs about someone’s sexual orientation.  What else makes someone a professional according to Nickolaus Ablert Pacione? Let’s take a look at just a few things.

First, let’s establish that he’s been a “professional” for a very long time. I’ll go back to a blog entry I wrote on 12/3/08. That’s right, six years ago. That was when he talked about taking a shit on the grave of late writer Joe McGee, a man who in death still has more talent than Nikita ever will.  His response to myself and others in the comments, calling him on it reeks of…well, something.

Melany — I hope you have a miserable social life, well as a matter of fact you can’t hang onto a boyfriend longer than six months after you left me. And yes I am getting published in more places, just I haven’t finished writing new material to send off but should be finishing off I.O.W.A. That anti-abortion yarn that someone pirated the shit out of on AutoLame.org.
You really need to shut your mouth more often because you’re revealing too much of someone’s personal life. You’re just a coat-tail rider as much as this Scott faggot is. Your mother dying is the best day in my life. I wanted to throw a dance on her grave party. As you assholes attempted to do with my publishing company but you sadly failed to see that happen. I already been published a few times within the year but the print appearance is long overdue. Getting published on (link deleted) helped me a little bit.

And a little bit down he adds:

Nah I just got done pissing in your dead boyfriends urn.

Being a professional also entails being banned from several, websites and forums, not just once but over and over again (Goodreads three times and the yuku forums twice); having more blogs closed due to hate speech than I can count; consistently referring to women as bitches and cunts, threatening people with violence (in spite of running away like a little girl when confronted); challenging writers to fist fights-the list goes on ad infinitum.

And the last thing I’ll touch on is his new submission call. A true professional will put it up on Tumblr (because everywhere else doesn’t want his crap there), single space it in the tiniest font possible, and then not even put an email address to send a submission.

If all of that is professional, but warning people away from that behavior in a so-called publisher is unprofessional, I’ll be proud to be wear the mantlle of unprofessional any day.

5 Movies That Inspired Me

One of the great things about being a creative type is the ability to take inspiration from pretty much everything. From music to paintings to movies, all of it can be an inspiration. In the first of an ongoing series, here are my five horror movies that have inspired me. Just as a sidenote, these aren’t necessarily my favorite movies, but had the most impact.

1. Horrors of the Black Museum

1013264_10200227120268454_2062324564_n

One of the first movies I remember seeing, what sticks out (no pun intended) was an early scene in which this poor woman picks up a pair of binoculars only to have her eyes pierced by spikes hidden within.  While tame by today’s standards, this 1959 release was shocking and visceral to me. I was very young when I saw this (less than 10) and more than 35 years later it still remains one of the most horrifying scenes in my memory. The problem is, it was so well done, I don’t remember anything else about the movie!

2. Jaws

jaws_HD_01

I was 10 years old the summer this came out and at my one and only times at Camp (Camp LaSalle – a military academy in Oakdale NY, though there was little of the military aspect, just your basic camp activities). I remember everyone talking about having seen it, and how scary it was. I don’t remember when I actually saw it for the first time (probably on cable) but it wasn’t that summer.  What I do remember is in the opening scenes the head of a corpse that seems to pop out of nowhere.  I think it was the eyes of the corpse, white and blind and loose in their sockets that got me. There are of course many other memorable scenes in Jaws, but that one image also has stuck with me-and started my lifelong hatred for jump scares.

3. Carrie 

carrie2

The above picture says it all. Nearly 40 (40! holy shit!) years later, this still scares me silly, and I’ve seen it more times than I can count. While it may not have aged well, it still packs a punch, and Sissy Spacek gave one of horror’s best performances ever recorded.  The killing of the pigs, the buckets of blood, the carnage and mayhem. Horror at its finest.

4.Hellraiser

Frank-from-Hellraiser-by-MRF-horror-movies-30891616-852-464

Hellraiser happens to be one of the crossovers of inspiring me and being one of my all time favorite movies (horror and others). The way Clive Barker was able to weave a tale of love, sex, obsession, death and rebirth is still nothing short of amazing. I remember seeing this with a friend who had no interest in horror at all (but being a good friend he still went with me) and the still above was the scene that made him walk out. I of course stayed, and made him wait until it was over and I still don’t think he’s ever forgiven me for that.

5. John Carpenter’s The Thing

the-thing_2

There’s not much I can say with this one. Perhaps the pinnacle of ’80s horror, The Thing was so intense and edge of your seat, pants shitting scary, I spilled all my popcorn and soda. Even 31 years later, the make up effects and puppets haven’t been surpassed. The scene where the petri dishes with blood samples are being tested is still so terrifying, I’m amazed I haven’t had a heart attack yet. Fantastic performances, monsters, and a great ambiguous ending makes The Thing stand the test of time.

If there’s one thing all these movies have in common is the idea that anything can happen at anytime and no one is safe.

No one.

Fandom Weirdness Part the Third

After nursing a beer for hours, Karen is trapped in a decades old car on the way to somewhere. Seriously, that’s where we’re at (and only took about 3K words to get there).

        “Jesus I think I heard of this.  The author who nearly published Kane dropped him because he criticized gay horror.

That must be it, and not say, due to being a writer as bad as Nikita.

She was staring into the darkness at this point, and in her mind were bugbears that were dark, surreal and wandered within her emotions.

So which is it her mind or emotions where the bugbears were running amok. No wonder she was staring into the darkness.

 They became infamous for the bullying they would do to self released authors

What have they got against authors who self release? It’s a part of being human! For Nick, it’s the only sex life he has. What? Self publishing? Ohhhhhh, never mind.

The diner was named for a publisher of razorwire fiction named Misty Bobe,

What diner isn’t named after a publisher? None? I thought so.Some definite Oedipublisher issues.

.  It had a lot of stone gargoyles and the atmosphere was that of a Horace Wapole novel

More name dropping instead of description! Drink!

.   Misty Bobe opened the diner to finance her magazine.

So she named it after herself? Could have said that in the first place. Oh, I forget that would actually make sense.

        “We’re here. This is where I get my inspirations for Real Weird

I guess pulling in, parking, getting out of the car and going in wasn’t hint enough they were there.

         “It looks like it was decorated by R.L. Stine,” she added.

Here we go again. For fucks sake man, is it Horace Wapole or R.L. Stine? Pick one, would ya?

from writers who like to scare people in the vein of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare,” Michael laughed as they entered the diner.

You’re not even trying now. Lazy is as lazy does.

        “I will give you a booth. Will that be smoking or non-smoking?” the waitress greeted them.

Is this a door prize? I’d prefer a non smoking booth, it lessens the chance of my ass catching fire.

She kept thinking she was stepping into the works of A.J. Poe and Nicholas Kane of they were co-writing a story together

Nope, just the deluded mind of a short, fat, closeted troll.

where ghosts of abortions torment a doctor after he finds God.

Because ghosts keep up on things like that.

“This place, it reminds me of the imaginations of the bloody pulps,” she inquires to the waitress.

Yes we know, you’ve mentioned it enough in half a page. Get on with the story.

 Karen was whistling the theme from R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps because she was getting the creeps from the atmosphere of the diner.

Lazy, unimaginative fucker.

        “So you know the nightmares that are within different fandoms then,” Karen relates as she looks at the copy of the fanzine.

Where’d he pull the fanzine from? His butt, like the rest of this drek?

        “They would harass Evangelical Christian writers.  They created pages about them and accuse them of monstrous things.  Then would try to fuck them out of publications,” he added.

Literally fuck them out of publications? Were they fornicating on a stack of Playboy?

One blogger called him a retard and he challenged this blogger to a fist fight,” Michael added as he was explaining the things he considered for the fanzine.

Retard was being kind. Very, very kind.

        “I think I heard about that, some editor who rejected one of his short stories calling it a work of fan fiction when it was Lovecraftian Horror,”

He probably meant it was crap. Again, being kind.

The author sent some angry e-mails to him and suggested he died of AIDS,” Karen responded.

Pretty sure the death certificate would list cause of death. And why would you send a dead man an email telling him what he may have died from? What? typo? There are those top notch editing skills.

        “The industry has its horror stories then,” Karen replied.

Of which Pacione is only one, sadly.

 “I noticed you have a weird fiction fanzine.  Mind of I take a look at it?” the waitress asked as she offered the check.

The dialog is breathtaking. Please take my breath away so I don’t have to read any more.

 “He smashed an editor’s car with a sledgehammer charging $10 per hit,”

Can we just smash him for free? It would certainly improve the value of the neighborhood.

“He did even more notorious things.  He took a massive shit on a rival editor’s photograph and uploaded the aftermath.  S.E. Cox

leaked one of his rejected stories

I know I feel like I’m reading massive shit.

Though we leave the fair Karen in a diner, fear not her fate will be determined in tomorrow’s exciting (doubtful) conclusion!

Some Changes

Some of you may notice that I have some headers now. I decided to import all of the posts from my other blogs and roll them into this one.  Some are good, some aren’t and may get cut. With the reemergence of a certain troll, I wanted all of it in one place. Plus there are some cool pieces about things I have an interest in. While much is old news, I like to have it archived and will slowly go through it all and redo the tags. I hope some of it may be of interest to you.

Also, I received another 5 star review on Amazon, so check it out!  http://www.amazon.com/review/R1BDZWP60TZMFE/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00BBMGXMK&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text

Fandom Weirdness Critique Part Deux (deux deux more like it)

When last we left our noble heroine Karen Hintz,  she was being propositioned by a sexually confused Mary Sue. Let’s peek in and see what happens next! I’m sure it will be uber darkity dark!

        “I don’t mind having a beer.”

That’s pretty much a necessity for everyone. Drink up! I’ll wait.

 “Have you ever experienced Déjà vu?” Michael asked as he cracked the top of the beer bottle.

Every time I read Peaches work I do. And aren’t there better ways of opening a bottle than cracking it? Seems a bit…dangerous.

It was a few hours later when Michael finished his beer and smoked his last cigarette.

A few hours for one beer?!? Lightweight.

“I am going to a diner to get something to eat. You are welcomed to join me.”

First beer, now dinner. The phrase wine me, dine me, 69 me comes to mind. I wish it hadn’t.

   In her mind it was a dark surreal imagination of what she would do with an actor she worshipped thinking what kind of nightmare she could dream up – it was a surreal place that is fandom and the writers like A.J. Poe who would get pissed when he sees his characters into situations that are truly bastardized

I’ve read directions on how to assemble IKEA furniture that made more sense. I mean seriously, what does this mean? I wonder if he had a stroke (not THAT kind you naughty minded people) while writing this?

 They walked over to Michael’s 1980 Cutlass Supreme and drove somewhere to grab a bite.

I’ve been to somewhere, they make a great apple pie. Also, a damn fine cup of coffee.

Michael spoke that the world of fandom is a weird, dark place where stalkers would lift the concepts and plots of original horror writers and do unauthorized stories based on the storylines of the original tale.

Exactly what the closeted Pacione does, though he writes it so incoherently you would never guess everything he’s done has ripped off the best writers around.

“They actually put a curse on the original author because they caught them stealing his concepts and title for a story similar and making the character he created into something they are not,”

I would think having to read this is curse enough. Or enough to make you curse, one or the other.

“Jesus, I think I heard of this blogger.  He is part of the circle that would lift the author’s characters to pick on his work,” she responded

Even worse, part of that circle that repeats the same thoughts and phrases to pad a word count.

        “The horror community wanted to draw and quarter him because he wrote that one.  It caused shit storm among the horror circles, the mass market counterparts would edit his comments to make him look like a homosexual fan fiction writer of sit-com fandoms,” he continued as he drove.

Mary Sue has a far higher opinion of herself than anyone else does, including family.

        “They wanted to draw and quarter him with semi-trucks

Yeah, I saw The Hitcher too. Great movie. I should watch that instead.

        “The horror stories of the small press wander around all the time

Much like the Island of Lost Toys, these lonely, abandoned stories wandering around. At least they’re safe from Pacione’s greasy mitts there.

 “He was a writer who voiced a hard line view in the industry.  A writer of all male romance take on horror

Also Nick’s favorite subject, fancy that.

People on a site called Somethingawful.com would lift him and write fan fiction passing him off as a flaming homosexual,”

I think he does a pretty good job of that himself.

 

And now we leave our heroine stuck in a 33 year old car with a stroke victim who can’t close the deal as his homosexuality emerges. Maybe something exciting will happen in Part III. Something, anything. Please.