Thursday, October 30, 2014

6 Shows That Will Add Some Fright To Your Halloween by Elizabeth Eckhart

6 Shows That Will Add Some Fright To Your Halloween


With Halloween just a few days away, why not consider staying in this year and enjoying a new or classic horror television series. Here are six horror-themed television shows that will put you in the mood for the scariest night of the year.


1. The Walking Dead: Not only is this series breaking cable ratings records left and right, The Walking Dead is easily one of the most disturbing and frightening pieces of zombie filmmaking ever seen on the big or small screen. While it pushes the boundaries of gore on television, it also tugs at the heart as the series follows a small group of survivors trying to exist in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombies. The Walking Dead currently airs Sunday nights on AMC.



2. The X-Files:  Most television experts have hailed The X-Files as one of the definitive television shows of the 1990’s. It is also the show that pushed the boundaries of decency opening the door for so many of today’s horror-themed shows. From fluke-like creatures that live in the sewers to a house full of inbred mutants, the exploits of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are just as frightening today as they were in the 1990’s. The show, which ran on the FOX network for nine years, is available on DVD and on DTV in your area through most streaming services.


3. Sleepy Hollow: For a new and frightening take on the Headless Horseman legend, check out Sleepy Hollow, which currently airs Monday nights on FOX. The show brings Ichabod Crane and his nemesis the Headless Horseman into the modern day New England town of Sleepy Hollow. With horrifying demons, monsters and good old-fashioned scares, this is definitely a show that should be watched with the lights off.



4. Grimm: What if the creatures from Grimm’s Fairytales lived among us and we never knew they were there? That’s the premise of Grimm, which follows detective Nick Burkhardt, who is from a long line of guardians called Grimms that strive to keep balance between humanity and the mythological creatures that exist among us. The show features some of the most creative monsters ever seen on television including creatures inspired by wolves, spiders, jackals and even mermaids. Grimm airs Friday nights on NBC.


5. American Horror Story: This anthology show earns its name well as it is easily one of the creepiest, scariest and most stylish shows on television. Each season features its own unique story and the current season airing on FX each Wednesday night may be the best. This season, entitled Freak Show, takes place in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida where a group of freak show circus performers have pitched their tents. Get ready to meet the most unsettling group of performers ever seen, from the bearded lady to the conjoined twins. It also features the most terrifying clown ever portrayed on screen, who is so creepy the clown from Stephen King’s It suddenly looks like a children’s performer.



6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: If you like a little fun mixed in with your scares, then this Joss Whedon-created series is an ideal choice. During its seven seasons that ran from 1997 to 2003, Buffy and her band of vampire hunters, called the “Scooby Gang,” strived to save their high school from every manner of demonic and evil creature. While horror fans will enjoy the vampires and monsters, get ready to be sucked in by some of the most likeable and fun characters ever portrayed on television. The show is available on most streaming services and DVD.

Thanks, Elizabeth!  My personal fave is American Horror Story, but all are great shows!  Happy Halloween and thanks for the post!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Zombie Terms 101: Bad Juju

With the so-called zombie apocalypse approaching, one must be educated about the different kinds of zombies before prepping for defense. First, there is the most common and believable-the human that turns into a zombie because of mental collapse, disease, infection, and/or radiation. They stagger around dazed and confused and cause panic to others. Then there is the man-made monster kind or the kind Hollywood and horror authors like me tend to capitalize on.
Zombie interest continues to fascinate the world. Jeffrey Dahmer drilled holes then poured acid down his victim’s heads in hopes of creating his own zombie. His madness didn’t work. Can man make his own zombie? Are these monsters real?
According to Wade Davis, author of The Serpent of the Rainbow, zombies are real. They are a product of the Voodoo religion. He was originally hired by a pharmaceutical company to find out about the drugs Voduists used in their death rituals. He believed that datura also known as zombie’s cucumber was a plant that could medically make one who ingested it appear to be dead for a certain length of time. Sounds like the stuff Juliet used to fake her death. Could Shakespeare known about the magical zombie-making plant?
Datura or sometimes Cimora, a close relative of Datura’s, eventually wears off but leaves the victim in a state of confusion, highly susceptible to the art of persuasion. Presto! A zombie slave is at the captor’s disposal. Mr. Davis didn’t just find his datura flower, but witnessed zombie phenomena as he immersed himself within the Haitian culture.

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Juju-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B0097L9FHW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414112771&sr=8-2&keywords=bad+juju
Bad Juju is a unique blend of horror, romance, and fantasy. Besides The Serpent and the Rainbow, I read volumes of other Voodoo material and watched hours of TV specials. Some of the terms I learned can be found below:
Bokor: A wizard who practices black magic, a zombie maker.
Loa: deity/spirit
Ghede Family: A family of loas known as the spirits of the dead. Three barons rule the family. Baron Samedi is the loa of resurrection. Baron Kriminel is the most feared loa associated with cannibalism and souls. He’s honored on The Day of the Dead. Baron LaCroix is the loa of the dead and sexuality.
Poppet: Voodoo doll
Ti-bon-ange: “little good angel” The part of the soul that represents a person’s individuality.
Gros-bon-ange: “great good angel” Part of the soul that is collected into a reservoir of the Cosmos or spirit world.
Baka: Voodoo spirits in animal form.
Loup Garou: werewolf
Djab: a devil
Dessounin: Death ritual that separates the gros-bon-ange from the body.
Bizango Society: Secret society of Vodouists. They have Freemason-like qualities such as aprons, secret handshakes, oaths, hierarchy, and symbols. Legend states they change into animals at will. They are known for stealing black cats and boiling them to death for Voodoo services. They drink each other’s blood from a human skull chalice.

Bad Juju is available on Amazon for free this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: Homeland's New Season

I am a big fan of Homeland.  Wasn't sure if I was going to watch it after Damian Lewis's Brody character died last season.  Last Sunday, the new season kicked off with an hour and a half special.

Kerri begins a new post in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a station chief. She and her crew track down a bin Laden type of bad guy in a warehouse.  They bomb the place to smithereens.  What should be considered a victory for the U.S. is quickly spun as a massacre as rumors spread that several innocent bystanders died along with the bad guy.  One of the few survivors has a video that proves the rumors, showing a wedding taking pace inside.  He is reluctant to get involved, but his roommate posts the video on Youtube without his consent.  Once again, the U.S. is portrayed as the bad guy. Kerri's promotion is short-lived as she is quickly called back to Washington to explain the PR mess the bombing has caused.
Once back home, Kerri sees her sister and her baby (the one she was pregnant with last season with Brody being the father).  Her maternal instincts are no where to be found.  The idea of having her career destroyed and being stuck taking care of her baby is too much for her to deal with.  She desperately tries to find a way out.  Sure enough, in a Benghazi style cover-up, she learns some dirt on the Secretary of Defense and uses it to get her job back.  She then manipulates her sister into taking care of her baby.

My Review: Where do I start-blown away from the first second to the last.  Brilliant everything-writing, acting, directing, special effects, etc.  Kerri's heroic personality is compromised when it comes to motherhood.  
I was shocked when Kerri almost drowned her baby in the bathtub.  I loved how the moderate Muslim with the wedding video had plenty of secrets.  Quinn gave an outstanding performance as an emotional basketcase with PTSD.  One of my favorite scenes was when Kerri's co-worker gets his face plastered all over the Afghani news for blowing up the wedding and the Muslims beat him to death in the street.  Kerri and Quinn try to save him, but they are too late.  I felt like a witness to a crime rather than an audience of a TV show.  One of the best shows on TV ever-5/5 Stars.


Goddess Fish Presents: Harper's Place by Sheryl Winters

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