Archive for the Amazon Category

Christmas Horror Movies that Will Scare Your Chestnuts Off!

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, Christmas, christmas horror movies, Controversial Films, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, frightening, holidays, Horror, Horror Fans, Horror Lovers, Horror Movies, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, movie discussion, movie review, movies, new horror movies on December 22, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

Near the end of November, I posted on social media for a list of Christmas themed, family friendly horror movies. For the most part, I received adult related titles, which wasn’t what I was looking for.

For those who might feel uncertain as to what movies are classified as family friendly, I would consider nothing worse than a PG-13 rating. In a chestnut shell, movies that don’t exploit nudity/sex, gore, drugs, or explicit language.

Because of the misconception my post received, I’m going to knock out two turtle doves with one stone. Not only will I focus on suggesting horror themed Christmas movies, but I will categorize ‘Family Friendly’ and ‘Adult Only’ titles.

Family Friendly (PG or PG-13):

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For starters, it’s not Christmas without ‘Gremlins’.  The reasons I love ‘Gremlins’ is because the creators (Chris Columbus, Joe Dante, and Steven Spielberg) were not afraid to deliver chills and laughs throughout.

In a tongue and cheek style, they apply suggestive humor to intense scenes, which creates a deeper level of fear.  The most superb example of this tactic is the attic scene when Mrs. Peltzer first realizes something is wrong.  As the house grows silent, a feeling of suspense captivates the audience.  Although expecting a scream to jolt us from our seats, the downstairs record player starts blaring ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ when it was in an off position.  This scene is the perfect example of timing, humor, irony, and dread all rolled into one.  To this day, I can’t listen to the Johnny Mathis classic without thinking about this iconic movie.

Fun Facts:

  1. At first, ‘Gremlins’ pushed an R rating with its original script. This included Mrs. Peltzer getting beheaded and the gremlins murdering the family dog.  Due to wanting to keep the movie tame, these scenes were rewritten.
  1. At first, Stripe didn’t exist. Gizmo was supposed to become evil and lead the pack, but, Spielberg felt that keeping Gizmo cuddly would be the wiser choice.

 

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‘Krampus’ is a contemporary classic bound to stand the test of time. While staying true to German folklore, it provides enough originality that it becomes a cornucopia of horrors. Similar to Michael Dougherty’s prior movie ‘Trick R’ Treat’, where Dougherty provides almost all holiday subjects screen time.  Villains include: snowmen, gingerbread men, killer toys, and Krampus himself.  While full of intense moments, there is enough comedy to relieve the tension.

With jumps and humor aside, ‘Krampus’ presents a contemporary Dickens morality, and a wholesome conclusion for the family black sheep.  Overall, by the character development, pacing, and plot, ‘Krampus’ is a movie that isn’t afraid to gift a stocking full of humor, horror, and heart with its overall message.

Fun Fact:

The final design of Krampus was inspired by various illustrations and postcards depicting the iconic Christmas devil.

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‘Scrooged’ is a dark comedy with horror elements.  Examples of these elements can be seen in characters such as Lew Hayward and the Ghost of Christmas Future.  Even the Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen) has his own devilish persona in this modern day take. To top it off, Bill Murray endures a live cremation.

Despite the horror elements, ‘Scrooged’ has a certain wholesome, yet humorous, charisma that only director Richard Donner can provide.  Overall, it feels like the holiday answer to the original Ghostbusters in regards to its combination of horror and humor, as Carol Kane, Bill Murray, and Bobcat Goldthwait deliver comedic one liners throughout.

Fun Fact:

Bill Murray complained to Roger Ebert about ‘Scrooged’.  Murray insinuated that he and Donner didn’t get along, and Donner dismissed almost all of Murray’s suggestions for the movie.

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I remember when ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ was released and its controversy. Back then, my hometown theater didn’t receive it in their auditorium and quite a few audiences called it ‘sacrilegious’. Although I missed the opportunity to enjoy it in on the big screen, my mom was cool enough to let me rent it on VHS.

From this list, this is perhaps the only title suitable for preteens. However, the love for this holiday mash up, which has sparked arguments between if it’s a Halloween movie, a Christmas movie, or both, is enjoyable for all ages.

In 2006, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ was re-released in theaters in a 3D format.  For the first time, it was under the Walt Disney banner, instead of the Touchstone Pictures banner, where it lived since 1993.

Assuming everyone has seen this fairytale about star crossed lovers, I won’t go into plot detail.  But, I will say, if the opportunity presents itself for you to see the 3D version in theaters, do not pass it by.  The experience returns adults to their childhood, and it gives newcomers something to “talk about for years to come”.

Fun Fact:

To complete this movie, it took three years and a group of around 100 people.  Just for a second of footage, up to 12 stop motion movements had to be performed.

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‘Curse of the Cat People’ isn’t a full-on Christmas movie, yet a good portion of it does surround Christmas.  Despite ‘Curse’ being suitable for all ages, it is complex in a psychological sense by symbolism and verbiage. So, although the feature is safe for preteens, they might not understand its subject matter. To give an example of the movie’s depth, it has been noted that in the past, psychology professors have shown ‘Curse’ to their students.

For those unfamiliar with ‘Curse’ it is a sequel to the famous ‘Cat People’, directed by visionary master Val Lewton.  Although ‘Cat People’ isn’t Christmas based, it provides important character development that is somewhat crucial for viewers entering the sequel.

‘Curse of the Cat People’ takes place years later after its predecessor.  Our subject in this installment is Oliver’s young, friendless daughter, Amy.  Over the passing of autumn turning to winter, we get the impression that Amy is teetering on the edge of sanity.  During this time, she befriends a retired actress and a ghost.  By meeting these two characters, Amy receives solace and transforms into a stronger person.  Although ‘Curse’ presents spooky elements, it is technically a fantasy movie that focuses on maturing, forgiving, and acceptance.

Fun Fact:

The poem quoted by Miss Callahan in ‘Curse’ is ‘The Unseen Playmate’ by Robert Louis Stevenson from ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’.  For me, this poem sets the mood for the entire movie.

Adults Only (R Rated):

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As we advance into the ‘Adults Only’ category, I have decided to begin with the star upon the tree, ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’.  This is an infamous cult classic that stirred such controversy by poster art, and prime time advertising, that TriStar Pictures dropped it.  Going a step further, Siskel and Ebert took a moment to list those involved with SNDN’s production, saying, “Shame,” after speaking each name.

For those unaware of this hidden gem, you might be interested to know that it spawned 4 sequels.  Unlike the Halloween franchise, which wanted to expand into an anthology series, the SNDN films achieve the anthology expansion.

The subject of Pt 1 is Billy, who at younger age saw his parents murdered by a criminal dressed as Santa.  Later, he and his younger sibling, Ricky, are thrown into an orphanage.  Here, an abusive Mother Superior warps Billy through a decade of psychological and physical torment.  After snapping, Billy goes on a killing spree, where he uses a variety of weapons, which include: Christmas lights, a boxcutter, an axe, a bow and arrow, and my personal favorite, reindeer antlers.

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Pt 2 continues a decade after the first movie. Ricky has grown into an adult and has picked up the ‘slay’ reins his brother dropped.  For those who missed Pt 1, don’t worry, the sequel recaps its predecessor in flashbacks.  

As a follow up, this installment doesn’t present anything new.  Although, it does make a stronger comment on PTSD, and it comes off feeling like a warning movie for those who have yet to receive the therapeutic help they require.   

When mentioning Pt 2, the psychological aspects of PTSD are never discussed. Yet, the spree killing scene dubbed as “Garbage Day”, has captivated cult audiences for decades. 

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In Pt 3, the series starts to trail away from the killer Santa scenario.  Even though this sequel’s villain is Ricky, he isn’t the primary focus.  Instead, our subject is a blind woman who has undergone a series of testing for her psychic abilities.  Although the acting in Pt 3 is better than Pt 2, Ricky now sports a dome top, which looks cool, but in addition becomes problematic.  My gripe was, other characters acted so nonchalant to his headgear, it felt bizarre and out of place.  Had the dome top not been a part of Ricky’s character, I probably would have enjoyed this installment more.

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From the sequels, Pt 4 is my favorite.  Directed and co-written by Brian Yuzna, who created cult hits such as: Society, Bride of Re-Animator, Necronomicon, The Dentist, and Return of the Living Dead 3, this installment is slimy and grotesque.

With a deeper plot than the prior two sequels, Pt 4 is full of occultism, mutated bugs and worms, and a bizarre sex scene featuring Clint Howard.  Also, here’s a fun side note, Clint Howard’s character name is Ricky.  Perhaps he is the Ricky from the prior films who has now joined a coven?

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Pt 5 is creative, but it was also when the creators realized, the reindeer are dead, let’s stop beating them.  The final chapter, focuses on a Pinocchio themed horror where a toy maker, Joe Petto and his son Pino, create murderous toys.  The only reason why anyone would want to see this installment is due to the blood and gore that is created by the toys.

Fun Facts:

  1. Lilyan Chauvin, who played Mother Superior in Pt 1, admitted it was a mistake for the film’s publicity campaign to center around Santa. She further explained, the advertising should have focused on Billy’s mental stability.
  1. Robert Brian Wilson, who played Billy at 18, said he felt so ashamed by the controversy he told friends and family not to see the film.
  1. Mickey Rooney, who had protested the release of SNDN 1, starred in SNDN 5 as the toymaker. Originally, the movie was called ‘The Toy Maker’, and it wasn’t associated with the franchise until its release.

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Although ‘Black Christmas’ never franchised out, it is perhaps the most well-known movie on the ‘Adults Only’ list.  Despite the reimagining’s negativity from audiences and critics, I liked the remake and the original, but for different reasons.

The original is creepy because the killer is never seen, we have no backstory on him, and the plot is simplistic and realistic.  I think one of the many reasons why ‘Black Christmas’ is so effective is because there is no reason why these murders are happening.  The movie is nothing more than a maniac living in the girl’s sorority house attic.  He harasses them by phone, then kills them one by one.

The reimaging, follows the same scenario, but it develops a background on the killer and why he is hiding in the sorority house.  Also, this version is more grotesque and explicit than its original, but, its comedic charm isn’t as strong.

Fun Facts:

Bob Clark, who directed the 1974 original, and later brought us ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Porkey’s’, provided what horror fans consider to be the pioneering slasher film.  ‘Black Christmas’ predates all similar movies like: Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, When a Stranger Calls, etc.

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‘P2’ is a guilty pleasure of mine that is nothing more than an hour and a half’s worth of cat and mouse.  Written by Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, and Franck Khalfoun, ‘P2’ stars Wes Bently and Rachel Nichols.  The concept is a business woman gets trapped inside of a parking garage on Christmas Eve and is held captive by an obsessive security guard.

This is the kind of movie where the viewer can leave their brain at the door.  Not much thought is needed for the movie to progress, as it lacks any deep subplot or twist.  Still, the acting is fairly solid, there aren’t any plot holes, and the fast pacing kept my eyes glued to the screen.

Fun Fact:

‘P2’ was shot in two months, at night, at a working Toronto parking garage.

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‘Christmas Evil’ centers around a boy named Harry, who becomes disenchanted upon seeing his mom and dad kissing.  Although, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, his dad is dressed like Santa.  By seeing this, Harry’s childlike wonder completely shatters.

Decades later, Harry is still unable to overcome his childhood shock, and has developed an unhealthy infatuation with Christmas and Santa.  During the day, he works in a toy factory, which is suitable due to his holiday obsession.  During his free time, his hobbies include spying on the neighborhood children, and categorizing them into a personal list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.  Even though red flags indicate he is a few goodies short of a full stocking, nothing physically harmful has happened… yet.

At a Christmas Eve party, he learns of a children’s home that might not have enough presents for everyone.  When no one else will provide toys to the unwanted children, he runs home, and suits up as Santa.  All seems harmless, until he takes on the persona of Saint Nicholas.

As simple as what the concept sounds, ‘Christmas Evil’ is intriguing from a psychological aspect.  Such as Angela Bettis in ‘May’, Harry descends a similar Milky Way of madness as we witness his sanity deteriorate.  While not overusing the slasher aspect, ‘Christmas Evil’ has only two murder scenes.  But I assure you, the lack of blood doesn’t make this any less of a horror movie.

Fun Facts: (SPOILER)

At the end, Harry doesn’t fly away.  Actually, the conclusion is nothing more than Harry imagining a more pleasant scenario as he commits suicide.

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‘Silent Night, Bloody Night’ is perhaps the most underrated movie on this list.  Even though it is full of mystery, horror, and suspense, I believe its style of underground filmmaking is what sucked me in.  Because of its old-school fashion, SNBN feels like a Grindhouse movie, and it provides a gritty piece of holiday horror that causes the skin to crawl.

The movie opens when a homeowner returns to his property, and finds his house has been transformed into an insane asylum.  Without explanation, he is murdered.  Decades later, a lawyer and his secretary take refuge at the same property for an affair.  For a good portion of their onscreen time, their backgrounds allow us to identify with them as the lead characters.  While danger and isolation closes in on the unsuspecting couple, we have a good idea of what is instore.  But, things take a quick Hitchcockian turn.

Due to multiple spoilers, I can’t go into further detail.  All I can say is SNBN is filmed in the style of a good, old fashioned, whodunit with a plethora red herrings.  Near the end, the puzzle pieces fall into place through sepia toned flashbacks of incest, incarceration, and a vengeful grudge that can only be satisfied by bloodshed.
Fun Facts:

SNBN fell into public domain after it left the drive-in circuit. Until it appeared on Elvira’s Movie Macabre, it had been obscure. But, it slowly gained a cult following, which increased upon video rental.

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As I close on what is perhaps the lengthiest blog I have ever written, I hope everyone has enjoyed the read and now has a better understanding between adult and young adult related material. There were quite a few additional hidden gems that I wanted to include on this “Naughy or Nice” list, but I will save those for 2017.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Alexander S. Brown

Alexander S. Brown Amazon Author Page

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Do You Have the Guts?

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, author reviews, authors, Book Reviews, books, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, discussion, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, literature, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary on November 5, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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For those who have never read Haunted, the experience that awaits you lacks comparison to any other book by Chuck Palahniuk.  Crafted in the style of what would happen if John Waters paid homage to The Canterbury Tales, the reader is shaken by stories that are grotesque, humorous, and depressing. Described as a novel of short stories, Haunted opens with our lead characters gathering on a bus for a once in a lifetime writer’s retreat.

At their destination, the aspiring authors discover the retreat is an abandoned theater where they are expected to write their masterpiece.  With reluctance, they proceed forward, hoping this experience will help them produce a bestseller.  Once entering the theater, they are locked inside for three months.  To intensify their experience further, the retreat’s host Mr. Whittier, and his assistant Tess Clark, deprive their guests of sleep, food, water, and warmth, until someone produces a successful story.

With the stage set, each chapter unfolds in three sections: the wrap around story, a free verse poem introducing one author at a time, and a story narrated by the author who introduced themselves by poem.  From here, each of the seventeen authors try to outdo the other by making their story more shocking, depressing, or repulsive than the last.

What intrigued me most were the pseudonyms given to the authors, and how their names foreshadowed their stories.  From this motley crew, my favorite characters include: Saint Gut Free, Mother Nature, Lady Baglady, The Earl of Slander, Director Denial, Conrad Snarky, Baroness Frostbite, Reverend Godless, Tess Clark, and Mr. Whittier.  The rest of the characters are divided between mediocre and unappealing.  Although some of the stories weren’t as good as others, the wrap around tale kept me on the edge of my seat.

The first story, Guts by Saint Gut Free, stirs emotions similar to what one might expect if a grenade fell into a septic tank. Holding strong with its infamous ability to make readers faint, I consider this piece to be a rite of passage that will prolapse the soul.  Considering I am the sicko that I praise myself to be, I found a free audio upload of this story on YouTube, which I shared on social media.  This entry is my favorite and everyone should experience it blindly.  If you would like to lose your innocence, click HERE for the audio of Guts.

Foot Work by Mother Nature isn’t as grotesque as Guts, but it provides a unique scenario. I became enthralled with the originality this tale had in aspects that were sexual and crime related. By the end of the story, I questioned the reality of the circumstance, and it made me want to explore the pros and cons of reflexology.

Slumming by Lady Baglady was a story that utilized maximum intensity without relying on extreme sex or gore. This segment presents a role-playing scenario between a wealthy married couple, which soon goes from fun to frightening.  As the story concludes, it leaves the reader with an old-school sense of dread, adding a whole new level of fear to being homeless.

Swan Song by The Earl of Slander reminds me of an adulterated Aesop’s Fables.  The segment focuses on The Earl’s career as a reporter.  Down on his luck, he decides to further his career by planting a kiddie porn collection in the home of a retired child star.  Before the story can end happily for The Earl, an ironic twist causes him to regret his actions.  In a sense, the ending is delivered like a tasteless joke that is amusing, despite its poor taste.

Exodus by Director Denial is my 2nd favorite story in Haunted.  To me, this story focuses on how some people harbor dark perversities, or secrets, and can keep these private thoughts buried deep, until something allows them to indulge. The scenario here includes two preteen sex dolls, an eccentric case worker, and a horny police squad.  Although this segment is deeply perverted, it does provide dark humor.

Speaking Bitterness by Conrad Snarky was a difficult pill to swallow. It was degrading, and deeply saturated in bigotry.  Yet, it was my third favorite story as it focuses on adult bullying and instigators.  In my opinion, this entry is the most powerful of the book and I can see it confusing the emotions of someone who has discriminated.

Hot Potting by The Baroness Frostbite is a piece that grants backstory to her disfigured appearance.  In this action packed, survivalist themed sequence, I was on the edge of my seat until the final word.  Although predicting the tragedy long before it unfolded, I continued reading with anticipation.  Once the inevitable happened, my skin crawled due to Palahniuk’s cringeworthy prose.

Punch Drunk by Reverend Godless tells about the reverend being an ex-military man who plans to get rich from lip sinking to Celine Dion while in drag. However, that is not the extent of his plan and his reasoning for getting rich is just as intriguing. Written to not be humorous, grotesque, or shocking, this story comes off as nothing more but depressing. Yet, its motive is an untouched concept that will hold one’s interest.

Post-Production, The Nightmare Box, Poster Child, and Cassandra are all stories by Tess Clark, which chronicle her life and the life of her abducted daughter Cassandra.  Determined to learn what happened to her daughter, Tess returns to the location where Cassandra was found, which is also the very spot in which she is now trapped.  The number of stories that Tess was provided surprised me, since all other characters were granted fewer spots. Despite her frequent returns throughout the book, her interesting life could have been expanded into a full novel.  In her stories, she shares about her career as a porn star, her botched plastic surgery, the abduction and rescue of her self-mutilating daughter, and a mercy killing.

Last, but not least, the stories: Dog Days and Obsolete chronicle the life of, and is told by, Mr. Whittier. These stories give a solid background to our villain who has orchestrated this torturous writer’s retreat.  They detail how he received the theater and how he blackmailed his way into wealth. Although it seems that he will continue orchestrating to the end of the book, an unseen turn of events happens during the frame story, making matters go from bad to worse.

Out of the 23 stories, 14 of these were enjoyable, and the others did very little to keep my attention.  Although some stories lacked, the characters who told them played vital roles in the frame story itself.  From a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, I give this an 8, mostly because of the stories by Miss America, The Duke of Vandals, The Matchmaker, Sister Vigilante, Chef Assassin, Agent Tattletale, The Missing Link, The Countess Foresight, and Miss Sneezy falling short.  Yet, after factoring in the creativity of this book, the likable stories, and the pacing of the frame story, the better content outweighs the boring.

Dancing Devil Shot Recipe

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, drink recipes, drinks, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, Halloween, Halloween Books, halloween recipes, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Mississippi, mississippi authors, Mississippi Horror Author, Read, readers, reading, Readings, south, southern authors, The Night The Jack O Lantern Went Out, Uncategorized on October 8, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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I created another shot recipe for my new bestselling book, The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out. Because of the online shares I have received, here’s something devilish to make you dance.

Dancing Devil Shot:

1/2 tsp Fireball

Half Praline Liquor

Half Cherry Bourbon

Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

Enjoy!

This shot was inspired by my short story, The Fire Watcher, which is featured in TNTJWO.

For those who are unfamiliar with TNTJWO, this book is a collection of 13 vintage Halloween stories that are themed around folklore, customs, and superstitions. On its release date, it was ranked in the top 100 under the 3 bestseller lists on http://www.Amazon.com.

Lists include:

Ebooks

#19 Horror Short Stories

#88 Genre Fiction/ Holidays

Books

#93 Holidays

TNTJWO is already on its way to becoming a holiday cult classic with young adults and adults.  Order your paperback or ebook by clicking HERE.

View a teaser trailer HERE.

Jack O’ Lantern Shot Recipe

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, books, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, discussion, drink recipes, drinks, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, frightening, Gay Horror Authors, Halloween, Halloween Books, halloween recipes, holidays, Horror, horror art, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Movies, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, interviews, investigation, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, mississippi art, mississippi authors, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, october, paranormal, Pro Se Press, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scarticia, scary, south, southern authors, spirits, The Night The Jack O Lantern Went Out, Uncategorized with tags on September 27, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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Last night, I shared online that I concocted a secret shot recipe for my new book, The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out.

I offered to reveal that recipe, if TNTJWO was shared over 13+ times. Due to everyone’s support and love, here is my secret recipe.

Jack O’ Lantern Shot

Rim shot glass with:

Maple Syrup & Brown Sugar

Fill shot glass with:

Half Pumpkin Vodka

Half Amaretto Liquor

Enjoy!

For those who are unfamiliar with TNTJWO, this book is a collection of 13 vintage Halloween stories that are themed around folklore, customs, and superstitions. On its release date, it was ranked in the top 100 under 3 bestseller lists on www.Amazon.com.

Lists include:

Ebooks

#19 Horror Short Stories

#88 Genre Fiction/ Holidays

Books

#93 Holidays

TNTJWO is already on its way to becoming a holiday cult classic with young adults and adults. Order your paperback or ebook by clicking HERE.

View a teaser trailer HERE.

 

 

Interview with Actress Sylvia Brown from The Acquired Taste

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, books, chuck jett, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, frightening, Gay Horror Authors, holidays, Horror, horror art, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Movies, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, mississippi art, mississippi authors, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, movie discussion, movie review, movies, new horror movies, Pro Se Press, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, scary movies, south, southern authors, Splatterpunk, Traumatized by Alexander S. Brown, Uncategorized on September 15, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

The Acquired Taste is a short film written for screen and directed by Chuck Jett, creator of Empty Coffin Studio Films.  It was tastefully adapted by the short story of the same title by author and producer Alexander S. Brown.  Fans can anticipate a free viewing of the film in 2017.  It is currently being shown at conventions throughout the Southern states.  Its next appearance will be at Contraflow Convention in New Orleans, LA.

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For the final interview from this dark comedy, I would like to welcome actress Sylvia Brown, so that she may elaborate on her part in The Acquired Taste and her life.

 

  1. What made you want to be a part of The Acquired Taste?

I wanted to help my son and see what it was like to act in a film.

  1. What was your experience like on set?

Everyone was nice and polite and had patience with me.

  1. What other projects have you been a part of?

A couple of school plays.

  1. Are there any roles that you would turn down? Or are there any roles that would make you uncomfortable?

Any that regard nudity, animal abuse, and child abuse.

  1. What role is more fun? The victim, the hero, or the villain. Why?

The villain.  I’d rather do it to someone else; rather than have it done to me.

  1. What got you into acting?

My son.  When he wrote the short story The Acquired Taste, he had me in mind as the mother.

  1. What are some of your favorite movies?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Wizard of Oz, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Stripes, Haunted Honeymoon, Ghost Dad, Back to the Future, E.T., Carousel, Free Willie, Snow Day, Are We there Yet, Romeo and Juliet, What Dreams May Come, Encino Man, The Goonies, The Poseidon Adventure, and many more.

  1. Who are your favorite actors/actresses? How do you draw inspiration from them?

Judy Garland, Michael J. Fox, and The Rock

  1. Who are your favorite directors?

Stephen Spielberg

  1. What future projects are you working on?

None, at the moment.

  1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a homebody person for the most part.  My interests are family, animals, animal rights and activism, paranormal research, astrology, and music.

Connect with Sylvia Brown:

Facebook

Instagram

Purchase a copy of Traumatized HERE!

Watch Chuck Jett’s first short film, PINKY SWEAR HERE!

 

Ever Wondered How Those Stories Get Started?

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, books, cult books, cult classic, Cult horror, Dark Oak Press, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, Gay Horror Authors, Halloween, Horror, horror art, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, mississippi authors, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, south, southern authors, Splatterpunk, Uncategorized, werewolf, werewolves on September 14, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

Happy Werewolf Wednesday!  Instead of Instagraming/Facebooking/Twittering werewolf jokes today, as usual, I decided to address some reoccurring questions that readers had about my novel Syrenthia Falls.  For those who haven’t read my novel, don’t worry, my answers shouldn’t give away any major spoilers, and if you like what you see, Amazon links will be provided at the conclusion of my blog.  If you have never read Syrenthia Falls, this is what you can expect:

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Syrenthia is a teenage misfit who has never tasted friendship or romance. She has always been typecast as a wallflower, black sheep, and bookworm. Near the beginning of her senior year, she is befriended by Sarah who introduces her to a group of classmates that accept her as is.

Syrenthia quickly learns that this group of free spirited teenagers shares her strongest interest, urban legends. Each day, she learns more and more about a place called “The Falls” where someone or something has terrorized the land for years and only those with a death wish dare to venture out.

Upon arrival, the friends see that “The Falls” is nothing more than a swimming hole, a sandbar, and a waterfall. All is fun and games, until night falls. Once the full moon shines overhead, they are faced with a monstrous beast that is savage and extremely hungry. Only two people survive, one escapes unharmed, the other, Syrenthia, is not so lucky. However, over the passing weeks, Syrenthia grows to be a powerful and dangerous force. One by one her enemies are subjected to her wrath.

Now, the questions:

 “What makes your werewolf novel stand out among the rest?” 

I hear this question frequently.  Even when I pitched Syrenthia Falls to Dark Oak Press, I had to quickly explain why this book should be published, and how it differed from other novels.  I started my pitch with a mistake.  Nervous, I took a deep breath and blurted, “This book is the first in a series and the main character is the town itself.”

My publisher replied, “Yeah, that hasn’t been done before.”

Still, I had the floor. I agreed with him, and admitted that having a town as the main character was a common theme among the genre.  Since the ice was now broken, I felt like I had nothing left to lose.  I continued, “Syrenthia Falls is a werewolf novel set in suburbia.  In a sense, it’s like Stephen King’s Carrie meets An American Werewolf in London.  The werewolf is a metaphor.  It regards the beast that dwells within each of us and how that beast can become provoked.  That’s why with my novel, I have manipulated the werewolf subgenre so that it is presented as a retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

With my publisher’s interest piqued, I now felt more confident.  I continued, “To avoid the werewolf cliché, I researched Voodoo, Satanism, and European superstitions.  In my research, I have found unique folklore and philosophies that I have used to construct my modern day beast.”

Although he wasn’t entirely sold, he did say, “Send it over and I’ll look at it.”

Months later, after emailing Dark Oak Press my manuscript, I received my acceptance letter.

“What fun facts can you tell me about your book?”

Some people who have read Syrenthia Falls, might wonder why I have described some characters who don’t show back up in this volume.  Trust, there is a reason for this, they have their own story.  In time, they will have their own book.  Again, the town is the main character and this town (Havensburg) has many residents and many dark secrets.  In the following Havensburg books, I plan to introduce new characters, lifestyles, scenarios, and classic creatures while breathing new life into them.

As I earlier noted, my werewolf was inspired by Voodoo, Satanism, and European superstitions and philosophies.  Prior to writing Syrenthia Falls, I had read a book called Voodoo Secrets by Heike Owusu.  This book had a segment in it, where it spoke of how werewolves detested bitter blood, and the two elements that made the blood bitter were coffee or tea.  It noted that by purging oneself with coffee or tea, one’s blood would gain a bitter smell that would act as a repellent against the werewolf.  When utilizing this information, I decided to go a step further and make the tea a weapon, such as silver.

I researched Levayan Satanism when I decided to dive into Syrenthia’s thoughts.  When I was surfing the web one day, I stumbled upon an interview that Bob Larson provided to Zeena Levay and Nikolas Schreck.  In this interview, I learned what their fundaments were and I found it interesting on how human based they had made their commandments. These are the fundamentals that I loosely elaborated upon in her thought process.

For the final touch, I returned to the root of werewolf folklore – Europe.  In my research, I learned of a formula that occult practitioners would concoct when wanting to transform into a werewolf.  So that I could birth my physical monster, I read of how these practitioners utilized herbs, wolf skins, salves, and chanting to create something bloodthirsty.  What I found most interesting is that opium had been used in their transformation spell.

“I thought the book was young adult, but it ended up being adult.”

This was a complaint that I received in a review.  Things like this happen.  However, just because a novel features teenagers, doesn’t mean it is young adult related.  But, truth be it, this was a concern I had when writing the novel.  When creating the characters, I couldn’t see them being anyone other than a group of teenagers, as I wanted to focus on peer pressure, child abuse, bullying, and coming of age.  Yet, although I focused on these subjects, the book is intended for adults only.

Who are your favorite characters?”

Each of my lead characters are based off of people I know, so I favor all of them.

Sarah is one of my favorites, as she grows from being an abused child, to being a fighter.  Writing Sarah was a touchy subject.  I based her off of a high school friend who suffered sexual abuse while we were in school.  During our school years, I watched her go from being a victim, to becoming a heroine.

My favorite character, of course, is Syrenthia.  The reason being is because I could identify with her as a person who was once a shy outcast.  The emotions and feelings she experiences make her a grey character and someone that people can either sympathize or empathize with.  The fact that she is the embodiment of good and evil, makes her more interesting.

“Why did you name your book Syrenthia Falls when the character is named Syrenthia and there is a location called Owen Falls?  The two don’t go together.”

I have been asked this on occasion and actually, the two go very well together.  The title regards Syrenthia descending a downward spiral.  As the reader progresses in the book, they see how she slowly unravels more and more until there is very little of the real Syrenthia left.  The waterfall also plays a great factor in this novel, as this is where Syrenthia begins her downward spiral, and in many cultures, water is seen as a symbol of transformation and rebirth.

“Why should I buy your book?”

Syrenthia Falls is a novel that I feel won’t disappoint you and I feel it is something that will renew the age old legend of the werewolf.  It is a piece of literature that has currently inspired artwork by Courtney Vice and tea by Kimberly Richardson.  Links are listed below so you may purchase my book and the inspired art and tea.

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Click each name to be redirected to the page of your liking.

Courtney Vice’s Facebook Page

Viridian Tea Company

Dark Oak Press (Free chapter of Syrenthia Falls Here).

Syrenthia Falls purchase link.  Available in paperback, hardback, and ebook.

Alexander S. Brown Facebook

Alexander S. Brown Instagram

Alexander S. Brown Twitter

Book Review for Under the Devil’s Wing: The Beast of Birmingham by T. S. Barnett

Posted in Alabama Authors, Amazon, author reviews, authors, Book Reviews, books, cult books, Cult horror, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, Fiction, Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, south, southern authors, T. S. Barnett, Uncategorized, werewolf, werewolves on September 8, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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This is my first time reading T.S. Barnett and the experience left me looking forward to the rest of her books.  With “Under the Devil’s Wing: The Beast of Birmingham” each chapter is dedicated to its own character.  As the book progresses, the point of views change, exploring the mind of each antagonist and protagonist.  To me, this method of storytelling was most intriguing as it introduces everyone individually, then skillfully brings them together for a tense conclusion.

“The Beast of Birmingham” starts with an opening that is both sexual and violent.  A bartender by the name of Lilah is seduced by Sam, then murdered once he changes into a werewolf.  Shortly after, we discover that Sam, AKA Scratch, has become infamous in online forums and hearsay regarding his brutality.  With exhausting his options of refuge, Sam visits David, his son by wolf bloodline.

David is the kind of werewolf who has learned how to control his urges, and by doing so, lives in harmony.  Even though he doesn’t want to welcome Sam into his home, as he knows Sam is a troublemaker, David feels obligated to provide this father figure with shelter.  During Sam’s visit, he entices David to transform with him and have a night out.  Against David’s better judgement, he gives into Sam’s instigation.

What begins as a fun, late night run, soon turns deadly.  As the two become separated, Sam gives into his animal instinct and attacks a woman named Marcy.  During the attack, David hears the dispute and runs to the rescue before Sam kills her.  David, being the peacemaker, takes Marcy to a private doctor who helps nurse her.

As the plot thickens, we learn about Alicia, who has survived a prior attack from Sam.  Alicia is an ex-marine, who is scorned and looking for vengeance.  After attending group therapy for her assault, she is abducted by a man named Reiniger, who takes her to a warehouse style prison.  Here, he assures Alicia that he means her no harm.  Furthermore, he explains that he can help her exact revenge upon Sam, if she joins their group of werewolf hunters known as Wolfjäger.  Of course, she accepts his proposal.

With the stage set, we redirect our focus to Marcy, who wakes up safe and healed in the private doctor’s office.  Upon her awakening, David explains the circumstance and offers her guidance.  Due to his caring heart, and feeling like she has nowhere else to turn now that she’s a werewolf, she feels that he is her best option.  After she joins them, David explains they should take refuge in a more secluded area with an experienced acquaintance named Nat.   By doing this, Marcy will be able to undergo her first transformation and adapt to her new lifestyle in peace while receiving female guidance.

Upon meeting Nat, we learn that Sam changed her into a werewolf decades ago, and she is a mother figure to David.  Such as David, she isn’t fond of Sam, yet she feels obligated to help the trio because of the bond she shares with David and the empathy she feels for Marcy.  After everyone settles in together, the subject of werewolf hunters come into play and how they, as werewolves, must tread carefully.  Although Sam dismisses their worries, as he claims werewolf hunters are only urban myth, he soon learns that werewolf hunters do indeed exist.  At this point forward, “Under the Devil’s Wing” becomes a game of cat and mouse.

By the book’s conclusion, very little is resolved between the werewolves and the werewolf hunters.  If anything, the ending opens up a whole new keg of nails, which is sure to keep the series strong for many volumes to come.

Overall, the style in which this book is written is peculiar.  Although it is packed with information and backstory, it is crafted in such a way that it is a fast read with little to no boring information.  Also, I applaud Barnett for being able to create such a diverse cast of characters while keeping them gray.  The way she brought me into their thought process and life, made me fear for each of them when they were in danger, this even included Sam.   I think that since none of the characters are completely good, or completely bad, it makes them feel more human, adding a deeper level of realism.

From a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being the worst and 10 being the best, I would rate this book an 8 ½.   It had likable characters, kept me in suspense, and kept me wanting more.

Visit T.S. Barnett’s Amazon page HERE!