Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Devil You Know Book Review Author Mike Carey

The Grumbling Gargoyle is back from her spell of 'Exorcising the Demons' and what better way to return than reviewing Mike Carey's The Devil You Know, so grab your crucifix and holy water and enjoy the review!

Meet Felix Castor, a man whose talents as an exorcist are much in demand as London becomes more and more saturated by the supernatural.  Felix is not only brilliant at his job he’s also freelance which enables him to charge whatever he feels like....and affords him one Hell of a lifestyle!

Or at least it did until he ‘Retired’ following a Devilish encounter from which he only just managed to survive.  Still, needs must and with old debts to attend to he is drawn back to his former Demon demonishing deeds when he accepts a seemingly simple exorcism.

Unfortunately, the ghost he is employed to exorcise, which haunts a London Hall of Records, proves to be more of a problem than Felix bargained for.  Realising that things are just not adding up Felix decides to investigate these peculiarities and the more he delves into the mystery the more he’s dragged into a world he’d have prefered to avoid.  A world where Demons, Were-Beings and Ghosts each vie against the other to claim the big prize which is...Felix Castor!

I’ll be frank...( yeah, yeah...’oh and who shall I be?’’re not funny ok? So Shh )...for the first few pages of this book I felt a tad lost and I re-read a couple of paragraphs over again just to find my feet as it were but upon reflection I feel my confusion was down to two things...1) I’m impatient and expect to fully grasp the style immediately and 2) I’m impatient and expect to fully grasp the style essentially, it was my fault ( colour me bad! ).  I think the best way to describe the genre of this book is ‘dark urban fantasy’ but by ‘dark’ I mean pitch black dark as dark can get...darker than the soul of an estate agent! do you get how ‘dark’ it is?

Castor lives in a London populated not only by its human multicultural inhabitants who harbour their own customs and beliefs but by various supernatural beings whom society simply accepts as existing...each with their own custom and belief structure too.  Walking dead stroll the streets...Werewolves lope along their merry way...( well...maybe ‘merry’s’ pushing it! )...and Ghosts, Poltergeists, Demons and all kinds of other paranormal paraphernalia reside alongside the other...but not necessarily in harmony.

Do not be fooled into thinking this book is some relatively mellow little noir-esque amuse isn’t! It’s a several course banquet of glutinous malevolence served with a generous side order of wry wit and sarcasm resting upon a bed of sheer brilliance!  Carey hits hard with an intelligent plot and strong character development.  You begin to feel as if you’ve known these people all of your life because he keeps their personalities ‘real’...( Oh don’t drone on about ‘cliche’ ...the description fits so it stays.  So there! )...

...Felix Castor, for example, is not without flaw...he can be rude, weak, loud, offensive, interfering, a bit of a people hater too...( no! I didn’t copy that from my CV !)... yet he’s also a fighter, extremely talented in his field of work and generally does mean well but a something that happened to him in his past, that he can’t put right, lies heavy upon his conscience and weighs him down, affecting his manner, his outlook on life and also his outlook on death.  Felix Castor is a troubled man...but if he’s not careful that title will soon become his epitaph!

With ‘The Devil You Know’ due to his remarkable expertise and evocative writing,  Carey has managed to maintain an impressive balance between each element of the book allowing for a feisty fusion of mystery, thriller, crime, drama along with the supernatural...with more action than a mattress in a brothel!  Locations ooze with ambience ranging from the creepy grandeur of the gothic to the seedy strip clubs of gangland which, whilst leaning towards a somewhat brutal storyline still carry a healthy thread of sardonic humour.

It’s an energetic read with its twists and turns, pushing you to one place then dragging you back to another, teasing your mind with the sensations of the strange before battering you with the bizarre.  By the end of the book you’ll feel as though you’ve been put through boot camp for the soul and senses...and you’ll have loved every minute of it!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Yes!’ll be delightfully grabbed by the ghouls with this one....Enjoy!...
By The Grumbling Gargoyle

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies Review

Horror/Zombies – Starring Michelle Ryan, Georgia King, Honor Blackman, Alan Ford, Harry Treadaway, Richard Briers, Tony Gardner, Rasmus Hardiker, Ashley Bashy Thomas, Jack Doolan. Written by James Moran and Lucas Roche. Directed by Matthias Hoene (2012)

Cockney brothers, Andy and Terry Macguire put together a gang to rob a bank. Their intention … to steal enough money to save their grandad Ray’s care home from closing at the hands of Heartman Construction and being turned into luxury flats. Having scooped a hefty 2.5 million of Heartman Construction’s money at the bank, the gang find themselves under siege from zombies and embark on a mission to rescue their grandad from the care home.

The true baddies of Cockneys vs Zombies are Heartman Construction. Not only are they responsible for tearing down parts of the East End to make way for ‘Luxurious Living in the Heart Of East London’, it’s the greed of two construction workers that lead to the outbreak of zombies that rampage through the iconic location. Our unlikely heroes are a motley crew of bank robbers led by brothers Andy (Harry Treadaway) and Terry (Rasmus Hardiker), with their fiery, street wise cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), the incompetent Davey Tuppence (Jack Doolan) and hardcase Mental Mickey (Ashely Bashy Thomas) making up the numbers.

Cockneys vs Zombies is good shoot ‘em up entertainment, no more no less. It’s full of colourful characters, including kick ass old folk, and ditsy Emma (Georgia King) and Jobs Worth Clive (Tony Gardner), the hostages. For me, the stand outs are East End veterans Ray Macguire (Alan Ford), Peggy (Honor Blackman) and Hamish (Richard Briers) who all enjoy a nice bit of zombie blasting more than their afternoon knees up around the old Joanna.

One of my favourite moments sees British institution, Richard Briers hobbling away from the slow, awkward zombies on his walking frame, mumbling, ‘Zombies! Oh no. Oh! Get out of it!’ What makes this piece of comedy genius even better is the contrast of the slow chase with dramatic action music. There are some lovely, original ideas in the movie that I won’t give away, though the plot itself isn’t particularly ground breaking. Cockneys vs Zombies needs to be viewed as a bit of  fun and, in that way, any flaws are easily forgiven. The balance between humour and action is good, though not a patch on 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, and there are some great lines, most of which come from Alan Ford as Ray, ‘You’re about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike’. 

The movie lacks tension and scares, focusing more on humour and gore. But overall, I enjoyed the film. And if there is one thing I have learned, in a zombie apocalypse, get behind the Cockney pensioner with the gun.

Rating:- 4 out of 5
By Lisa Richardson

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Folkestone Zombie Walk 2012, Interview with Event Organiser Terri Marsh

Zombies take over the Old High Street Folkestone

Saturday 3rd November saw Folkestone Zombie Walk return in style for its second year. Zombies descended on the town and staggered from the Leas Cliff Hall to the Harbour, with a stop off in the town centre for a flash mob Thriller dance. We caught up with Folkestone Zombie Walk founder and co event organiser, Terri Marsh, to discuss the highs and lows of the world of zombie walks.

We at the Evil Eye really enjoyed the day. 
Thanks for coming, glad you could make it.

How do you feel the event went? 
It went really well. There was a large improvement on last year. We had over double the turn out of year one, so the interest is growing. We think we had around 200 zombies, and lots of spectators and photographers came along, so there was a lot of interest in the day. We attracted people from other parts of the country, including London and Birmingham. And we managed to freak out plenty of bystanders, so job done!
Event organisers Becky Buttigieg, Terri Marsh, Vicky Gladwin and Jo Gray outside Home Ground
Did you get much support from the town and its businesses? 
Yes, we did eventually. Quite a few of the bars, when approached, where more than willing to be zombie friendly, and found it amusing. A few places like Totally Jazz laid on a special zombie cocktail for the day, Home Ground designed a special set and turned themselves into The Winchester for the event. 
When we approached businesses we didn’t come across anyone who had a problem with the event, so hopefully for next year it will make things easier to get them involved earlier and make the event bigger. We definitely had more people in the town talking about the walk, so there was a zombie buzz around the town in the run up to the event. 
One feature of this year is we managed to pull off a Thriller dance, all thanks to the K College students. Having approached other colleges, K college stepped up and took on the task of choreography and rehearsals, led by Olivia Duggan. And they turned up and did it on the day! 

What inspired you to start organising zombie walks? 
It all came from me and the other co founder, Vicky Gladwin, when we had a Halloween party to go to and I had no costume. A zombie costume was the easiest thing to do. And when we looked up ideas for zombies on YouTube, we saw all these links to zombie walks. The main ones that grabbed our attention were Glasgow and London.  
We were fed up with going to rubbish Halloween parties and we thought it would be a unique event and were amazed with how many people were already doing this in the UK. But nowhere seemed to be doing it in our neck of the woods.  
When we set up the event, the wonders of Facebook allowed us to put it out there as an event that could happen. We had no idea if it would take off, but it sparked quite a bit of interest and we had about 80 people in our first attempt.
Terri Marsh at Academy Radio Station

What were the highlights of the day for you? 
Seeing everyone turn up initially. The people just kept coming. Seeing spectators milling around to watch us walking, I found it quite bizarre that it sparked a lot of interest – not only for people to take part, but to come and watch it.  
Two spectacular moments that stand out are the Thriller dance, thanks to K College and Folkestone Academy Radio Station for playing the music for us. But also coming down The Old High Street. This is the moment I looked back and realised how many people were there.

Looking back over the first two events, what have been the difficulties? And what have you learned from the experience? 
In terms of difficulties, there was a lot of pressure for one person. Everyone loves the idea in theory but at the end of the day, it’s all about people turning up. So you are never going to know what you’re going to get until the day, even if you have lots of interest on the Facebook pages. On that basis, the difficulty for me was deciding on the route. Obviously, the more people you have, the longer the route you need. 
I have learned to delegate more. But this year, there have been a few other people that have come on board and helped. There has been a huge involvement from Becky Buttigieg, Jo Gray, Billie Hoyle, Lisa Richardson, Suzanne Winfield, Gemma-Marie Everest, Shelby Fuller, Charlotte Day and Claudi Mende. Now we have a zombie crew ready for next year, which means we can get a lot more done. Our photographer, Freddie Lee Thompson came to some of the behind the scenes meetings prior to the walk, and make up artist, Billie invited us into her home for make up tips and was available all day for transforming people into zombies. 
From the very beginning Zachary Cooke from Folkestone Film Factory was on board, not only for the free showing of Shaun of the Dead on the day, but also in spreading the word around the town and offering support and advice along the way.  
Learning from this, get as much free help as you can and share the responsibility that running an event like this brings to make it a much more enjoyable event for all involved. From this second walk, it definitely opened up some more contacts, both personal and event related. And moving forwards, that will only improve the event for next year. Lots of people got in touch after the event and have asked when the next one is, so that’s a good sign. 
 (Left) Clare Bowers, winner of 'Best Make up' (Right) Zombies, family style! 

Can you tell us about any future plans and events?
There will be a Folkestone Zombie Walk 2013, with a possible date of October 5th. There are lots of zombie walks coming up in October, so it will be good to start off Zombie Month in Folkestone. It would be nice to go to a walk that we haven’t organised after our own event. 
It would be good to grow zombie support on the South Coast for potential companies such as to be attracted to our part of the country to stage one of their zombie apocalypse events. We already know that it’s not possible to do one in Brighton because of the residential setting, which is a shame as they had 6000 zombies for their walk this year.  
Starting next year, we would like to do the zombie walk as a fund-raiser, so we’re trying to find a charity that would be willing to be represented by us, and hopefully that will encourage more people to get involved. We are always open for new people to join in and help organise the event if they feel they have anything to contribute or have any ideas. 
We are also in talks about a possible celebration on national Jedi day – May the 4th be with you!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Terri, and we look forward to future projects and, of course, Folkestone Zombie Walk 2013!
THE EVIL EYE TEAM (Left) Adam Cutler (Evil Eye Founder/Owner, Editor and Chief) (Right) Lisa Richardson (Evil Eye Co-Owner, Chief Writer......and not forgetting Folkestone Zombie Walk Team Member/Organiser!!)

For more news on the event and news on next years check out these links:-

For more amazing zombie images from Folkestone Zombie Walk follow their Official Photographer here:-

Interview by:-
Lisa Richardson

Friday, 16 November 2012

Scott Sigler's 'Infected' and Contagious' Podcast Review

Sam Loomis: You mean the Podcast I heard tonight wasn't about Mrs. Bates?
Sheriff Al Chambers: Now wait a minute, Sam, are you sure you heard a Podcast?
Sam Loomis: Yes! In the house behind the motel! I called and I pounded, but I couldn‘t stop listening to it.
Sheriff Al Chambers: You mean to tell me you heard Norman Bates' Podcast?
Lila Crane: It had to be, because Arbogast said so too. And the young man wouldn't let him listen to it because it was too sick.
Sheriff Al Chambers: Well, if the Podcast up there is about Mrs. Bates...then who's that podcast about that’s buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?

If YOU happen to know who the buried podcast is about, or you have a good idea or suggestion for a Podcast you would like us to review, dig it up and we’ll prod at it for a while with sticks. However…if you DO know where there is a good Podcast and we find out you didn’t tell us….well, we have a shower curtain with YOUR name on it.

Today we are going to be looking at some of the full (and fully horrific) audio-novels that are out there. Today’s particular little beauties come from a place called and can be located on iTunes, Zune and most podcast downloaders. Again, these audio-books are free, but each one WILL ask you if you fancy making a donation. If you can, please do so, it keeps this nice little industry alive and, with the majority of these audio-books, at least 75% of the cash donated goes to the author or the producer of the podcast. 

Scott Sigler is a one man podcast production machine and is primarily known for his Science-Fiction/Horror. The nice thing about Sigler is that ALL of his sci-fi/horror is infused with masses of blood, guts, splattered faces and broken body parts. There ARE three of them that are totally Gridiron/Sci-fi (Soon to be four) and I will not be reviewing them here because it’s a rather specialist niche and, even though the on-field action involves death, mutilations and destruction, they are not exactly Horror as such. The rest of them? Well, I’ve listened to two of the full length novels and, believe me, I WILL be listening to the rest.
Sigler also has the distinction of writing and narrating the very first podcast only novel and is a New York Times bestselling author.

INFECTED by Scott Sigler (22 Episodes - 12hrs - 660MB)

Former American footballer Perry ‘The Beast’ Dawsey can no-longer play football. The grand dreams that he had are gone. In trouble with the law on a regular basis, the violence that he learned straight from his brutal fathers hands still coursing through him without any outlet, he now has a job that works only his mind. He is a volcano that is ready to blow. Then come the spores.

Drifting down from the sky, microscopic in scope, they affix themselves to hapless humans and start to grow. And they grow. And they grow. And then they open their eyes!

Others that are infected go mad. They kill themselves. They slaughter their own families in an orgy of violence. The govt. agents sent to locate the infected are baffled and even the doctors and scientists that back them cannot make head nor tail of the rapidly decomposing corpses that are recovered. And what are the Blue triangles that are found on each of them? Is this a man-made assault or just natures way of fighting back against mankind?

Well, man-mountain Perry Dawsey is about to discover all about the blue triangles. He will discover that they do not just open their eyes, they are also telepathic and, if he is not driven mad like so many others, then they wish to control him….that is until they are ready to hatch free.

The battle is now on. Perry Dawsey verses his infection. The fate of the whole world could depend upon the outcome and, when it comes right down to it, will Dawsey actually use those Chicken-bone cutting scissors?

It’s grim. It’s gory. It’s a genuine thrill ride. I admit that I’ve become a little jaded of late. The same old plot lines with the same old creatures. (Yes Zombies, don’t moan at me because it IS you I’m pointing at). This is a little something that is radically different. The whole plot of the blue triangles is slowly revealed throughout the rest of the book but it is the detail of the personal struggle between Perry and his infection that really captures the imagination. 

It was very early in the podcast that the ‘Something Magical’ happened. That Something Magical’ of course being the moment when you stop thinking of the character as just that, a character, and start to genuinely care about what happens to those you are now thinking of as real people. I genuinely began to care about Perry. To me, he was real, and I was sad when the podcast finally came to an end. That alone should tell you about how well written and narrated this particular podcast is.

Well done, Scott Sigler. An utterly fantastic podcast.  Rating:- 5/5

CONTAGIOUS by Scott Sigler  (26 Episodes - 16hrs - 875MB)

WARNING- Spoiler alert………The creatures from Infected are still drifting in from space, still landing in their spore form and still growing on, and in, the general populous. Something has changed though. That something is a man called Perry Dawsey and his Not-Strictly-Sanctioned approach to the prevention of the creatures attempted take over. Although now cleared of infection, Perry can still hear the little monsters in his head talking to each other and, as his utterly barbaric slaughter of a whole infected family goes to show, he is taking absolutely no prisoners.

The creatures finally figure out what is going wrong and, proving that they are not just a natural occurrence once and for all, they suitably change tactics. Tactics that show both just how smart they really are AND just how contemptuous of the human race they are. Tactics that very much look like they are going to make mankind an extinct species very, very quickly. That is if they can just avoid the Boogie-man; Perry Dawsey. When the new-style infected ‘Chosen one’ and Dawsey finally come head to head in the last few chapters it is, to say the least, explosive.

Both beautifully written and narrated by the author, the gore content of the second book in the series is taken way off the scale in both its breadth and its horribly delicious detail. I have to admit, at times I lost my way as to who was whom. This was due to the fact that sometimes the characters names come too thick and fast and, as Scott Sigler is but one man doing all of the voices, differentiating between which ‘Voice’ is which character becomes quite difficult at times. The only other grumble I have about this podcast is the into/outro music. It is fine in its own right and, as a song, I have nothing against it in particular. However, when you have the same song blasted at you every Half hour/Forty-five minutes, it does tend to get a trifle irritating. 

On the whole though, as with all of Siglers work, it is very worth while, highly imaginative and well worth a listen.  Rating:- 4/5

Pandemic is going to be the third book in the Infected/Contagious series and is being worked on at this moment in time. Scott believes it will be ready for summer 2013 and, hopefully (as far as I am concerned) will be released as a podcast slightly after that.

Frankly it is well worth a visit to Scott Siglers website as there are a plethora of articles and works. Many of which are available as podcasts. So if, like me, you enjoy the two podcasts already recommended, then I can also thoroughly recommend ’Earthcore’ and ‘Ancestor’.

For more items go to Scott Sigler Podiobooks or visit

Peter G Staff. (Pod-Master General)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Grimoire Book Review Author Kim Wilkins

The Grumbling Gargoyle takes on 'Grimoire' this week by author Kim Wilkins, let the battle commence between the forces of good and evil.

In Victorian London Peter Owling, a warlock with Demonic ambition, compiled a book of shadows called a Grimoire in a bid to summon the Dark Demon himself...Satan!  Despite his sinister intent, however, all did not go to plan, Owling was killed and his book divided into four pieces before being banished to the far corners of the earth.  One fragment finding itself in a shipment headed for the Colonies.

Now, a power hungry group of academics who reside in a 19th-century Gothic convent in Melbourne, Humberstone College, are attempting to reassemble Owlings Satanic book and use it as a means to acquire Eternal Life!  The only hope of this soulless groups plans being thwarted is through the interference of three twenty-something masters students: Holly, Prudence and Justin, who face one Hell of a battle to prevent the Dark Forces from extinguishing life’s light!

I’ll tell you right from the start that you will be highly disappointed with this book by the time you’re nearing the end.  Why?  Oh come on, you’ve guessed ‘why’ haven’t you?  Well done you!  Yes...because its 625 pages are simply not enough!  It’s like sitting down with a huge chunk of chocolate cake... you know the kind I mean...the kind of chocolate cake that’s so packed with chocolate you gain weight just looking at it but even though you’ve stuffed yourself with it and your teeth are brown and you’ve licked your fingers until they’ve gone all wrinkly and you look as if you’ve been smacked in the face with a mud still NEED more!  Don’t misunderstand, this is a good thing!  The author provides an excellent ending but her characters are so beautifully crafted and hold such depth that the reader is left feeling quite bereft to leave them behind.

Wilkins writes so skillfully that you lose yourself within the pages.  Yes! Yes! I know that reeks of cliche but it’s true!  You find yourself totally absorbed into whatever the characters are experiencing, each of your senses are piqued as you are engulfed by a variety of sounds, sights and sensations brought to life by the adroitness of Wilkins penmanship.  This talent is particularly beneficial when it comes to the erotic content.  Oh that made you sit up didn’t it? ‘Erotic’?...Yes erotic...and my, my Wilkins writes it well!  As she does with one of our main characters, Holly, who makes contact with the spirit of Owling’s assistant...that’s all I’ll be saying about that...but by ‘contact’ I don’t mean via a pointed finger and a planchette...not quite ( I’m blushing now )..Hot flush??? How dare you!

Grimoire is a deliciously dark Gothic horror which straddles between two time frames and two continents.  Wilkins manages to achieve this with ease and without creating disparity which is yet another demonstration of her proficient storytelling.  It’s an extremely atmospheric, scary, chilling and compelling novel remaining so throughout and thankfully not hindered by a Status Quo kind of attitude where all’s well that ends well.  Oh and don’t be put off by the names...Justin, Holly, could be said they read a tad poncified but the names don’t define the characters so step away from those thoughts!...( and if those names happen to be the birth name of any of you reading this review...may I just say that personally...I would have happily called my baby Gargoyles by any of those!  Not sure that helped really! Ah well... ).

So there you have it...I promise you are in for a real treat with this am I because I’m going to read it all over again now...and then finish it off with a post coital Kit Kat!...Enjoy.......

Rating 5 out of 5 stars ...but well worth more.
By The Grumbling Gargoyle

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Snuggle Bun Takes on the Walking Dead S3:E2 "Sick"

'The Snuggle Bun' is back with more of her unique take on season 3 of 'The Walking Dead', this week she gives us her thoughts on Episode 2 entitled 'Sick', so sit back relax and enjoy this weeks Videocast.

Thanks again to 'The Snuggle Bun' and remember to check back each week for more Walking Dead action!

If you enjoyed this video review please support the people who made it happen here:-

Adam 'Evil Eye' Cutler