Thursday, 30 August 2012

11.22.63 Book Review author Stephen King

This week 'The Grumbling Gargoyle' gives us her thoughts on Stephen King's novel 11.22.63.  We all know Stephen King as the master of the horror novel, but it seems even when he breaks out of his comfort zone Mr King is still at his best.


Synopsis:
Imagine if you could travel back in time. Imagine if it was within your power to change history. History as pivotal as the JFK assassination...11.22.63...What would you do?
Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, is about to go on a journey that will propel him from the fast track techno era of 2011 back to the more sedate simplicity of 1958.
Here he will breathe the same air as Elvis and J.F.Kennedy...Lee Harvey Oswald and Jerry Lee Lewis...and Sadie Dunhill, librarian and love of his life. Could things get any better?...Jake thinks they could...


Review
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t overly keen on reading this at first. Not because the concept didn’t appeal to me...it did, very much so!...but because I’ve found some of King’s more recent works to be akin to wading through quicksand in leaden boots...an altogether seriously disappointing drag towards an equally dreary destination.
However, thank God I did read it!
King manages to fuse the machinations of the two worlds perfectly whilst incorporating a flawless transition from one to the other. His imagery of vintage America in the 50’s is so successfully graphic that you’re almost dazed by the modernity of your own world, should you look up from the book for a moment...( if you are able to do so! ).

You know when you go on holiday and you step from the plane and all the sights and sensations of a new culture instantly smack you in the face?..Well that’s what it’s like reading this book! King’s skillful writing saturates your senses with every nuance of the life and attitudes of that time. Indeed, it’s difficult to read these pages without pangs of nostalgia permeating your psyche as you are so cruelly reminded of how it used to be back when we socialised in person...rather than via technology.

However, this is not some flowery time travel log and it’s to King’s credit that he does not sentimentalise the past through his evocative descriptions...’he keeps it real’, as it were. There is some serious stuff going on here!...with powerful possibilities of political pandemonium within the fractious societies of either world if not both should Jake dare dabble with changing history! Despite politics being at the core of the storyline, however, other essential aspects of the book hold an equally prevalent part.  Indeed,the entire experience is an amalgamation of thriller, chiller, love story and all round time traveling genius!
Characters are exceptionally well developed and most believable. They hurt , you hurt...they laugh, you laugh...they make love you ( well, I’ll leave that up to you )...but trust me...you’ll feel you’ve known them all of your life...and wish you had.
This book is quite a tome at 750 pages but I shall tell you this in earnest...I wish there had been 750 pages more! Many have said that this was Stephen King writing as he used to ‘back in the day’...well, whilst I enjoyed King at that time, I disagree. This book, was for me, Stephen King reinvented...and quite frankly...I prefer the new him! You make your own mind up...just brace yourself for an epic ride!

Definitely worth 5 out of 5 stars
By The Grumbling Gargoyle

Double Feature of Fright - Indiegogo Campaign

Petri Entertainment is laying down the gauntlet by producing not one but two frightening feature films 'Boxed In' and 'Bloodline: Rise of the Skinwalker'


 Today we are bringing you the first of these features 'Boxed In'

 

Would you like to see your name in the credits or even be an on-screen victim?!  Then keep reading to find out how you can get involved.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

Movie Synopsis 'Boxed In'
College student Nate Thompson is on the cusp of having all his dreams come true. He’s on track to graduate with honors; he has the perfect girlfriend, but is presently very broke.  Hoping to propose to her at graduation, three short months away, Nate takes a moonlighting security job at “Plus Storage” a behemoth 10-story self-storage facility.  Dreaming of long nights of uninterrupted study time and burnt coffee, Nate believes he has found the solution to all of his problems. That is until four strangers break in on his first night searching for a stash of drugs hidden in one of the lockers.  Armed to the teeth and desperate for the stash, they quickly kill the other security guard and take off after Nate and his girlfriend Summer who has stopped by to bring him dinner.
Nate must not only fight to protect himself, but Summer as well, as the four thieves pursue them relentlessly through the metal labyrinth. With the only exit barricaded, a cat and mouse game ensues. As Nate and Summer get closer and closer to being caught, the thieves get even more desperate to kill them while they search for their dark treasure hidden in a mystery locker on the 7th floor.
With nowhere to hide, Nate must use items found in lockers, to take out the thieves one by one.  As more and more lockers are opened, secrets are uncovered including one that reveals that Nate’s random nightmare of a night might not be random at all.


'So how can I get involved?' we hear you ask!

Check out Petri Entertainment's awesome (when we say awesome, we mean awesome!) reward scheme for the two features over at 'Indiegogo' where you can contribute anything from $10 upwards to be a part of this upcoming double feature of fright

Indiegogo Campaign Link:-

Stay tuned this week and we will be showcasing the second feature 'Bloodline: Rise of the Skinwalker'


Monday, 27 August 2012

Absentia Review


Horror/Mystery – Starring Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Morgan Peter Brown, Dave Levine. Written/Directed by Mike Flanagan (2011)


Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) has been missing for seven years, and wife Tricia (Courtney Bell) is finally ready to declare him dead ‘in absentia’ and move on with her life. With her younger sister Callie (Katie Parker) moving in to support her through the painful legal process, Tricia is haunted by disturbing visions of Daniel. Meanwhile Callie’s curiosity draws her to the dark, creepy tunnel near the house, a tunnel that she believes is connected to Daniel’s disappearance, as well as many others in the area.


The film opens with Tricia taking down weather-worn missing person posters around her neighbourhood and replacing them with fresh ones. I liked this as a way to show that Daniel is missing and has been for some time. Back home, Callie, a former drug addict – a fact that comes back to haunt her later in the film – is waiting on the doorstep. The opening is steadily and beautifully paced, with the sisters bonding while Tricia tries to lay the past to rest.

Absentia really surprised me. The premise, together with the image of a girl being dragged into a dark tunnel by creepy black inhuman hands on the front cover, led me to expect something like the 2004 American remake of The Grudge, with a reliance on cheap shocks and spooky imagery to divert attention from a weak plot. But I was wrong. The scares in Absentia are well crafted and superbly delivered, with a less-is-more approach within a strong but simple narrative. The music is haunting and relentless throughout the film, to the point that it gets under the skin to add to the sense of disjointed reality.


One scene in the film actually made me jump out of my seat, while in another the audience is forced to stare into absolute darkness to anticipate something leaping out. It reminded me of staring at the toaster, you know that the toast is going to pop up, but it still makes you jump when it does.

I’ll fess up, I thought this review would be easy to write because I loved the film so much. But it isn’t, for that very same reason – I feel I can’t do it justice. Absentia is not a gory film, so splatter fans beware. The horror comes from its portrayal of loss of a loved one and the not knowing what has happened to them. And the knowing that what might have happened is worse than death. Daniel does make a brief and disturbing appearance in the film. The only explanation he offers to account for his whereabouts, ‘I was underneath’.


Made on a budget of around $70,000 and partly funded by the website Kickstarter.com, Absentia exceeded my expectations. It’s not perfect. Some may be frustrated by the underdeveloped monster theme and lack of answers, but I liked that. For me it lends the film a realistic quality. Like 2008’s Cloverfield, the audience gets to share a flash moment of a sinister event. Absentia’s strength is its cast, notably Katie Parker (Callie) and Courtney Bell (Tricia) who give solid and believable performances. The film is expertly paced, well written and has superb production values for a low budget indie, creating a dark and mysterious world with some genuinely creepy moments. I won’t give the ending away, but, just before the credits rolled, my last thought was, Wow


Rating 4 out of 5

By Lisa Richardson

Friday, 24 August 2012

Are you ready for Cockneys Vs Zombies?!

With only a week to go before 'Cockneys Vs Zombies' hits cinemas in the UK we take a look at the trailer everyone has been talking about.

Synopsis
Cockneys vs. Zombies is the story of Andy (Harry Treadaway) and Terry (Rasmus Hardiker): two hapless cockney brothers who try to save their grandad’s (Alan Ford) care home by robbing a bank. At the same time a virus sweeps across East London, turning all the inhabitants into flesh-eating zombies. Faced with hordes of undead zombies, the challenge is to rescue a home full of tough old folks, escape with the loot, and get out of London alive!

The comedy/horror that had its East End London premiere last night as part of Film4 Frightfest at The Empire, Leicester Square has had fans of the zombie genre chomping at the bit for months now.  

'Cockneys Vs Zombies' originally started life as a web series before director Matthias Hoene developed his ideas into a feature film, also written by James Moran who brought us the wonderfully British Horror/Comedy 'Severance' and stars Michelle Ryan (Eastenders), Harry Treadaway (Control), Alan Ford (Snatch) with British institutions such as Honor Blackman and Richard Briers.

Guns, Gangsters, Zombies and Pensioners!!  We cant wait, can you?!

Release Date:- 31st August 2012


Adam 'Evil Eye' Cutler


Thursday, 23 August 2012

'The Scareald' Exclusive Interview with the team behind the magazine

In the short space of time 'The Evil Eye' has been online we have come across many interesting people and projects.  One that really caught our eye (the evil one!) was a group of people on twitter going by the name @TheScareald so of course we had to follow when we read on their profile 'magazine for the underworld!' 

With the first issue out now we caught up with the team to ask them a few questions about themselves and of course 'The Scareald' magazine, check out the interview below:-

Firstly we would like to say The Scareald is a great read for anyone who loves the paranormal and horror, well done all involved!
We are all very glad you like it and hope everyone has as much fun reading it as we do making it.

Whose brainchild was ‘The Scareald’,and how did the concept come together?
The Scareald was Krysti’s brainchild. She has always had a fascination with the paranormal and being a huge fan of the Harry Potter book series wanted to have something similar to The Quibbler that would be both a fun read and even provide some education on the things out there we cannot explain.

How did such a diverse group of people come together?
The Scareald was born over a pair of pear martinis at a hotel bar. Ashley and Krysti work together and one day after a conference they both attended they decided to get a couple drinks and chat. At the time Krysti was already brimming with the idea of starting a magazine and asked Ashley to join. Everything just fell into place from there. Ashley’s fiancĂ© is an artist so he was immediately commissioned to do the covers, and Krysti’s husband is a fantastic people person and was asked to handle marketing and social media. Josh joined as the webmaster because Ashley and Derek are part of the paranormal group, TIPA Research, that Josh founded and they already knew he was able to make websites.

What kind of background do the founders come from?
Ashley and Krysti are both bankers by day. Krysti is currently pursuing her degree in creative writing and Ashley has a paranormal background; having been part of a couple investigation teams with a deep fascination since she was a child.

What kind of things can we expect from ‘The Scareald’?
Something new for every issue. From a different, fun, comic-book style cover on every issue down to fantastic works of fiction and non-fiction from people all over the world. There are thrills, chills, laughs, art to appreciate, and even interactive things like contests in every issue. We are also slowly venturing into the world of merchandising with a really fun t-shirt design to get us started.
The Scareald - Issue 1 Cover
How can our followers get involved? (ie with articles etc)
Followers can follow us on Twitter @TheScareald. They can also check out our submission requirements on our website www.scareald.com to submit their own art, poetry, short stories, fiction and non fiction stories. We are always looking for a new paranormal group to feature since every issue has one featured group. We also have a fun new Para-gossip column called “Ask Ghoulia” beginning in our October issue that our followers are free to send questions for. Our email address is thescareald@gmail.com

Ok no fighting now! but If you had to choose your all time favourite horror movie as a team what would it be?
I guess the safest answer there is to plead the fifth or we would be here all day arguing it out! For example Ashley is a huge Nightmare on Elm street fan while Derek is all about Jason.

Can you give us an exclusive of the exciting things we can expect from the next issue?
The next issue will be released on October 1st. There will be an article about Derek and I’s upcoming Halloween nuptials and more of the great high quality stories our readers have come to expect. My personal favourite is called A Kiss Before Sleeping and a Trick Before Dying. This particular fiction story is more along the lines of the mystery genre but it’s a really fun read.“Ghoulia” will make her first appearance with advice and gossip from the underworld and our contest winner from the last issue will have their photo featured. And last but not least, our cover might leave our readers feeling a little… drained.

Thanks again for your time and we look forward to the next issue of many!
Thank you for sharing your time with us!


 'THE SCAREALD' TEAM ARE:-

 
Krysti Meyer - Editor in Chief


Ashley Vandersteen - Editor in Chief

Kyle Meyer - Media Director

Derek Widdekind - Art Director
(not pictured) -
 Josh Elmer - Web Developer


You can purchase your copy of 'The Scareald' from their website:-
www.scareald.com


You can follow 'The Scareald' from the following links:-
Facebook     Twitter

Necroscope Book Review author Brain Lumley

The 'Grumbling Gargoyle' gives us her thoughts this week on the horror novel 'Necroscope' by author Brian Lumley.

Within the dungeon like depths of the Balkan mountains of Romania an ancient evil is gathering momentum. Buried and bound by silver in sanctified ground, this Dark Overlord of all Vampires, Thibor Ferenczy, wriggles and writhes, plots and plans, lusting  for release and revenge.

Boris Dragosani is part of that plan for freedom. Working for a special Soviet spy agency Dragosani is able to delve into the tumorously malignant mind of Ferenczy where he is taught the art of Necromancy thus acquiring the ability to tear secrets from the veritable essence and flesh of the putrescent dead.

However, Dragosani is neither pupil nor ally to the Master Vampire, he seeks only to extract the knowledge of the dark arts that will lead himself...Boris Dragosani... to global domination in his own right!
 
Enter Harry Koegh...Favoured by both the dead and the living and with plenty of tricks up his own sleeve ( and those of the dead )...to put a spanner into the works ( to say the least ).

Published in 1986 this book ( and the ensuing series ) has been and to this very day remains one of my firm favourites. Written in a style that's easy on the eye the reader is soon drawn into this peculiar world of Vampiric rapture. I use the word 'peculiar' because that's what makes the book so damn good!

To this day it stands out from what we've come to accept as the  the norm in defining the Vampire. Indeed it could be offered that it transcends the ages. So if you're expecting a guy in a cape with fangs 'vanting to drink your blurd' or a teen heart throb shimmering vampire dust everywhere like some exfoliating fairy...this book isn't for you...this book is for those who dare to explore a re-defined Vampire. Raw, guttural, raunchy, psychosexual, transmogrifyingly spectacular...and...simply different!

Indeed, within these pages and those of the rest in this series you will meet a cacophony of characters who will take you to uncharted heights of sublime exploration...whilst allowing you to exercise escapism in a manner I doubt you've ever experienced before....enjoy...


Rating 5 out of 5
By The Grumbling Gargoyle