Sunday, November 29, 2009


Nina Parker is a recovering alcoholic fresh out of rehab. The rehab was court ordered after she was arrested because of a drunken display in front of her ex-husband's house. She hit rock bottom, losing both her husband and her children. She moves back to her home town to start fresh, taking her teenage daughter with her for a short time. Nina is really trying to reconnect with her daughter and make amends for her past mistakes, but Meagan is an obstinate teenager who doesn't forgive easily. Meanwhile in the town, there have been a rash of ritualistic killings of animals, and later a human, that are gruesome and shocking to the small town. Do these murders have to do with Nina's attractive neighbor Markus, who seems to follow her around? Or is it the work of something else more sinister?

I liked this book, but it did have some problems. The story flowed very well and compelled me to read on. I stayed up way later than I expected to some days because I just got sucked into the story. Nina is a great flawed character, whose life and journey was the most interesting part of the novel. Her childhood dealing with an alcoholic parent to her adult life as an alcoholic (very much like her father) was interesting and heart wrenching. I was very emotionally invested in her life, her family, and what happened to her.

On the other hand, I love vampire novels and I don't really consider this one. The main focus is on Nina and her personal journey. The vampires serve as a means progressing in that journey and act as a reflection to her alcoholism. The vampires weren't as fleshed out as the human characters and seemed to just be props in the story. It also bothered me that Markus was just viewed by author as pure evil even though he did good things and struggled against his nature as a vampire. The ending was conveniently wrapped up perfectly. With the rest of the novel being so vivid, I felt it was contrived. Also, I didn't realize it was a Christian novel when I started reading it, which didn't bother me at first. However, near the end, the Christian message became very heavy handed, which didn't match the fluidity of rest of the novel.

Thirsty is an interesting novel about a woman and her addiction. If you are a fan of supernatural fiction, you might be disappointed. The novel has some flaws, but as a whole was a good, easy read.

**My rating: 3/5**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ginger Snaps

Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald are sisters, incredibly close and fascinated with death. They are also complete outcasts at their school because of their weird attitudes and photo projects of their mock deaths. There have been a rash of neighborhood dogs being killed, so Brigitte decides to play a joke on a bitchy classmate (who shoved her into a dead dog). The plan goes awry when the creature killing the dogs attacks Ginger seconds after getting her first period. Ginger survives the attack. Her wounds immediately start to heal at a rapid pace. After the attack, Ginger's behavior changes drastically: she shows interest in boys, smokes pot, exhibits extreme mood swings, and starts to physically change. Brigitte watches her sister in disbelief and is convinced she's turning into a werewolf. Can she convince her sister and find a cure before it's too late?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I go through obsessions with books and movies. I will reread or -watch things I really enjoy repeatedly over a period of months sometimes. This is one of my obsessions. This film has just enough camp/cheese, suspense, and good story to be the perfect movie. I love the fresh take on werewolves. I usually seriously hate werewolves because it reduces good characters to competing in pissing contests in the pack and being extremely moody and annoying (see the Anita Blake series and the Twilight Saga). Women are generally not in positions of power in the pack and are treated as inferior or as property, which really makes me angry. This film, thankfully, has no werewolf pack and has a fresh interpretation of werewolves. The Hollywood vision of werewolves transforming at the full moon and being defeated by silver bullets is abandoned. The focus is on the transformation of a teenage girl into a werewolf in the span of a month, as an allegory for womanhood and growing up. The animalistic behavior represents the bodily urges of a young woman. She becomes a different person, as one should in a transition from childhood to adulthood. This is shown physically through her slow transformation into a wolf. Brigitte, since she is still a child, is completely terrified by the transformation. She tries everything she can to stop it, but the advancement in the cycle of life is inevitable.

The acting is great. The sisters are completely believable and creepily close at the outset of the film. I personally related to the girls. Who didn't feel isolated or misunderstood in high school? Katharine Isabelle, as Ginger, carries the film well in her change in mood and demeanor as the film progresses. The effects are surprisingly well done, despite being an indie film. There is a lot of blood and gore, plus the deaths of about 4 dogs. The director opted to use prosthetics and makeup to achieve Ginger's transformation which I think worked wonderfully. CGI would have looked way too fake and dated the film. The changes are at first understated not even recognized by the characters. It's not until later in the film that the viewer realizes that the small changes have added up and drastically changed her appearance. I liked that she looked oddly beautiful even in the late stages of her change.

The main musical theme is so hauntingly beautiful, featuring a cello in the melody. Similar themes in the movie are nice, but there are some laughably cheesy moments because of other musical motifs. I think the cheesier moments were intentionally poking fun at the teen horror genre. The climactic face-off at the end of the film between Brigitte and werewolf Ginger was so suspenseful. The first time I watched it, I couldn't look away and I was on the edge of my seat.

There really isn't anything I didn' t like about Ginger Snaps. One can definitely see its effect in recent cinema, especially in Teeth and (unfortunately) Jennifer's Body. I think Ginger Snaps is what Jennifer's Body really wanted to be, but failed miserably. I hope the tradition of gynocentric horror films continues.
**My rating: 10/10**

***You can download the Ginger Snaps theme from the composer's site. Right click on the Ginger Snaps banner on the bottom of the page and select "save link as."***
***Visit the film's official site here.***

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Z.E.O.: A Zombie's Guide to Getting A(Head) in Business

Do you hate your job? Are you stuck in a teeny tiny cubicle with little to no possibility of advancement? Have you read every business self help book and still haven't experienced a fraction of the success of the disgustingly rich authors? Well, this is your lucky day! Throw away all of your other business self help books; this is the only one you will need! Scott Kenemore again draws on the wisdom of his previous self help book, The Zen of Zombie, and specifically applies to business. Learn how to work up the ranks of your workplace with the unrelenting drive of the zombie. The first half of the book focuses on the characteristics of zombies and how they could be applied towards business endeavors. The second half provides a quarter by quarter guide from your current position to Z.E.O. in only one year.

With this wonderful book, I realized just how inefficient human workers are. They waste tons of time every day with things like unnecessary meetings and small talk. A zombie cuts all of that excess out of its day and works at a slow and steady pace, doing all work to the best of its ability. You don't see zombies stopping to chat with people while they go after brains. When in doubt, simply ask how a zombie would do it. It is also proved that other self help business books are really about becoming more like a zombie. For example, Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power and Sun Tzu's Art of War are both obviously inspired by zombies.

Scott Kenemore does it again in the latest installment of the zombie self help series. It's another great book that shows how zombies are awesome and we should be more like them. I was laughing through the entire book. I loved that other similar books were compared to this one and they were proved to be inferior. My favorite parts were the inspirational posters, like this one. It's cute/creepy and has a great message.

So if you want to improve your work ethic, move up in your company, or have a nice laugh, you need to read this book. I can't wait for his next book, The Art of Zombie Warfare.


Visit Scott Kenemore's blog here.
You can read my review of Scott Kenemore's first book, The Zen of Zombie, here.

***If I were to interview him, what questions would you like to ask?***

Here is the official (and hilarious) trailer for Z.E.O.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cthulhu C'Loves You!

The Great Cute One has come to give humanity tentacle hugs and maw kisses! For those of you unfamiliar with the almighty Cthulhu, it is a betentacled Lovecraftian horror that first made its appearance in the short story, Call of Cthulhu. If you would like to read the story, click here. Here is a cute little video about Cthulhu and his origins! This is the description from the video's creator, TheZebu:

Want a child-friendly way to introduce your little one to the traditions of the Old Cult? Meet little Cthulhu, who lives in the magic city of R'lyeh with all his friends, as you and your child embark on a fun and educational journey through the world of the Great Old Ones, meeting all kinds of new buddies from the Necronomicon along the way, from Azathoth to Yog-Sothoth! This series has won multiple awards and has been enthusiastically approved by the department of child-developmental psychology at Miskatonic University.

Story and animation by me. Voice acting by Erika Fontana. Music taken from the Shaman King OST. Original characters by HP Lovecraft.

This is not the only instance of Cutie Cthulhus! There is the My Little Cthulhu action figure with an abnormally large and cute head. I am a proud owner of one, complete with little victims he can hold in his chibi claws. On this site, you can purchase T-shirts or make your own My Little Cthulhu out of paper. Here are the directions on how to assemble it, straight from the creator Jerom.

There is the little crochet version of it from the Creepy Cute Crochet Book. I first saw this on Velvet's blog and realized that I owned one! I bought one from a Cthulhu booth at San Diego Comic Con. It was so cute, I just couldn't resist! I wish I knew how to crochet so I could make some of these awesome creations for other people.

There is also the Chibithulhu from the Munchkin Cthulhu game. When it is in the room during game play, it actually helps the owner of the plushy. Plus, it's just adorable! I bought my sister one at Dark Delicacies. I didn't even know it came in different colors and three different sizes: deceptively tiny, insanely medium, and mind-crushingly huge! Click here for more info if you want to give one a nice home.

The last cutie Cthulhu that I have found is the CthulhuPony, the melding of a Cthulhu and a My Little Pony. Finnish artist Mari Kasurinen makes these and many more different types of ponies, including aliens, Harley Quinn, Spock, and Edward Scissorhands. I found out about these on the wonderful site, which is also where I got this photo.

I hope I haven't overloaded you all with Cthulhu cuteness! This post was inspired by Velvet from vvb32 reads and her cool post about the awesome Cthulhu.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Vegas Weekend

Hello! I swear I'm not dead, just buried under a pile of school work. I've been very sad that I don't have to time to read anything except for books for school. I wanted to fit in at least a couple more Halloween themed posts, but I guess they can wait until my pile of homework is lower.

Here the very first pumpkin I have ever carved all by myself. I bought it on Halloween, so it was a misfit pumpkin that was practically triangular. But it's my triangular, misfit pumpkin. The mouth looks crazy because I kept cutting to far, but I think it gives it a special charm.

So, as you guys know, I went to Las Vegas last Sunday for Fangoria's Trinity of Terrors convention with a few of my friends. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but it might have been because it was the very last day. A couple of awesome things did happen: I met Malcolm McDowell, which was amazing since he's in some of my favorite shows and movies. Plus he was a sweetheart.

I met Bill Moseley, from House of 1000 Corpses and Repo the Genetic Opera. And I bought this beautiful and macabre tile from a very talented artist, Calyn Williams, who sat and talked with my best friend Brett and me for a while. If you like this tile, you might like some of her other works. You can visit her here.

After that, we went to the Bellagio, the Venetian, and Paris. The hotels were beautiful and the replications of monuments were so detailed and grandiose. I gambled a bit and didn't really win anything. Mostly we just walked around, took pictures, and gawked. My favorite sight was the gardens and the fountains at the Bellagio. Pictures!!!