This week, we are trying something different—two movie reviews a week—and kicking off a new month-long watching series highlighting women filmmakers. First up, we have a pair of flicks that appeal to the grindhouse aesthetic: Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) from the Soska Sisters and Blood Games (1990) from Israeli director Tanya Rosenberg. The […]Read more "Babe and the Ballgirls vs Evil: Blood Games"
In 1977, Donald E. Westlake released a book called Enough. Here in the states, that book collected two works, the short novel “A Travesty” and the novella length “Ordo”; in the UK that book included only the short novel. Enough went out of print a few decades ago. Luckily, the good folks at Hard Case […]Read more "One Hell of a Detective: “A Travesty”"
This week, we are trying something different—two movie reviews a week, one on Monday and another on Friday—and kicking off a new month-long watching series highlighting women filmmakers. First up, we have a pair of flicks that appeal to the grindhouse aesthetic: Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) from the Soska Sisters and Blood Games […]Read more "Splat, Thud, Boom, Squish, Bang: Dead Hooker in a Trunk"
This month we return to our Jeff Strand mini-reading series for a few more works. This is due in no small part to the release of the author’s fifth Andrew Mayhem novel (hooray). It is also providing me the chance to catch up on some of the author’s other novels and novellas, many of which […]Read more "Stop Being Polite and Start Being Real: Jeff Strand’s An Apocalypse of Our Own"
For a man who often published multiple books a year, Donald E. Westlake left a surprising number of trunk volumes behind. After he passed in 2008, Hard Case Crime released welcome reissues of his back catalog. As well, they released unpublished works. Memory was the first of these, followed by The Comedy is Finished. Imagine […]Read more "Pulling Off a Big One: Donald E. Westlake’s Forever and a Death"
Synopsis: Although she is married to Carter (John Lithgow), who her friend claims is the perfect husband, Jenny (Lolita Davidovitch) is stuck in a place she does not want to be. Hubby is taking a year off from his practice to help raise their bright young child, sure, but he is turning a little different. […]Read more "I Am What You Made Me, Doc: Raising Cain (Director’s Cut)"
Robert Bloch died in 1994, leaving a wealth of stories, novels and scripts from his six decades of writing. Sadly, much of this material ended up going out of print. The one Bloch creation that is still known (though the author’s attachment to it is less well known than, say, that of Alfred Hitchcock) is […]Read more "That’s What A Mother’s For: Chet Williamson’s Psycho: Sanitarium"
The Signalman is an agent for a shady government organization. As The Agents of Dreamland opens, he is waiting in a small diner in the blasted Arizona landscape for a meet with a woman called Immacolata Sexton—and isn’t that a wonderful name? The two are tied to an investigation of a cult known as The […]Read more "The Best Foreshadowing Never Seems Like Foreshadowing: Caitlin Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland"
Synopsis: When late night radio talk show host Fran Ambrose (CCH Pounder) decided to do a show about mother killers, she got a guest who did the deed as well as a shrink Leo Richmond (Warren Frost) who wrote some books. She never expected her prime guest to be a caller who proclaims his name […]Read more "Backwards and Forwards: Psycho IV: The Beginning"
In 1959, Robert Bloch unleashed Norman Bates upon the world. The next year, Alfred Hitchcock made the Bates Motel a household name in terror. Twenty-three years after that, Bloch let Norman out of the Asylum for a little dalliance with death both in his Fairvale stomping grounds as well as a little further west in […]Read more "We’re All a Little Psycho: Robert Bloch’s Psycho House"