Old School Review From Gef Fox

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posted by | on dark fantasy, folklore, halloween, horror, monsters, reviews | No comments

Much thanks goes out to Gef Fox of Wag The Fox blog for his recent Old School review. Keep checking Gef’s blog for his Summer of Short Fiction posts, which will have more Old School goodness included. We Old School authors are thrilled he enjoyed the anthology.

Check out the full review of Old School here:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340675654

Why not grab a copy of Old School while you’re at it? Fourteen short tales offered by David Dunwoody, Jackie Gamber, R. Scott McCoy,Natalie L. Sin, Horace James, Gregory L. Hall, and Louise Bohmer, all tied together by selected poems from Zombie Zak – Old School reminds one of terrors best not forgotten.

Within these pages, evil children terrorize, witches gather the teeth of the young, cosmic blobs eat the world, while creepy crawlies ruin a man’s life and a headless ghost seeks revenge. Wander down this spooky path with poems and stories that revive our nightmares about golems, harpies, and other creatures.

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posted by | on erotic romance, guest blogs, horror, monsters, reviews, steampunk | 2 comments

This review is part of The Werewolf Run to help promote the release of K.H Koehler’s werewolf novel, A Werewolf in Time (Mrs. McGillicuddy #2). Please visit Amazon and Barnes & Noble online for information on ordering a copy of the book for your Kindle or Nook. To see where she’ll be in the next month, visit: http://www.khkoehler.com/the-werewolf-run/

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)

Hammer Films. The words evoke bright, eye-watering images of blood-slathered damsels in distress, evil Counts and Barons, strained corsets, and hapless villagers being victimized—and often slaughtered—en masse. In the early 1960’s, the Hammer Film studio wanted to crank out films that undermined—or, at the very least, made fun of—the sometimes ridiculously puritanical films being shoveled out by Universal Pictures under the misnomer of “horror.” Universal, like all American film studios from 1930 until 1968, was shackled by the Motion Picture Production Code, which forbid a formidably long laundry list of “indecent” or “immoral” behavior in motion pictures. But the UK, Italy and other countries which were heavily influencing films during the 1960’s, weren’t restricted by such guidelines and so were free to produce films like Curse of the Werewolf, a film that, with its subtle sexuality and not-so-subtle violence, would never have passed approval in America until at least the late 1960’s, when the Motion Picture Production Code began to fail.

Curse of the Werewolf was another film that made the popular circuit of Saturday afternoon matinee channels in my time. I remember it fondly as the “Oliver Reed werewolf movie.” I’d had, and still have, an ongoing crush on the young Oliver Reed, and his moody, almost manic-depressive performance in the movie makes me wish he’d done more Hammer films. But I can only guess that in some ways, Reed, who was a fairly popular leading man at the time, was kind of slumming it a bit by doing the movie. That or someone got him very drunk. I should like to thank that man.

Curse of the Werewolf is roughly based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endor. Following a more literary path toward its storytelling than most werewolf films, it actually starts decades before the real story even begins, with an old beggar being taken in by a cruel marques in 18th Century Spain. He’s used as entertainment for some festivities, and then tossed into a prison and quickly forgotten. During that time, his only contact with the outside world is the jailer and his beautiful, mute (and nameless) daughter. Some fifteen years later, the evil, decrepit marques makes advances on the now adult daughter, but when she rejects him, he throws her to the old, mad beggar, a recipe for disaster. The beggar rapes her and dies.

The girl is released and sent back to entertain the marques (who, frankly, has a few nuts and bolts rolling around his head himself) but manages to kill him before fleeing the castle. Eventually she is found in the forest by the scholar Don Alfredo Corledo and is nursed back to healthy by the kind Don and his housekeeper Theresa. And yet, despite their care, the girls dies some time later while giving birth to a baby on Christmas Day, something Theresa feels is a bad omen. Her fears are quickly realized when the child, adopted by Don Alfredo, cannot even be christened without the somber cry of some hellborn beast ringing out over the village.

The real story starts as the boy, Leon, grows from a child to a man and slowly becomes overwhelmed by his own bloodlust and the curse that has followed him from his birth. He learns that the love of a good woman could theoretically save and redeem him, but it just might not be enough as the man and the wolf battle for dominance over Leon’s body. The interesting twist here is that Leon is cursed through violent circumstances not of his own doing. He was cursed, and damned, before he was ever born. Not many werewolf movies today make use of the older methods of contracting lycanthropy, such as being a child of rape, committing a great act of evil, finding a belt of wolf fur, or drinking water from the paw print of a wolf. The film is unique in that it calls back to the older legends, many of which were long ago mixed-up and confused with similar tropes of witchcraft and vampirism.

Curse of the Werewolf remains one of my favorite Hammer films, and one of my favorite werewolf movies of all time. The complexity of its storytelling and the beautiful, almost garish (and very Hammeresque) sets and filming alone are worth the price of admission.

4 pentacles out of 5.

Agree or disagree? Share your opinion below.


Click the cover to grab a copy of A Werewolf In Time for your Kindle.

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posted by | on contests, horror, life rambles | No comments

Like the white rabbit, I’m late. But you forest visitors are probably used to that by now. It takes a while for this slithery rock dweller to emerge from my mountain of electronic paper. Every now and again, someone needs to poke me with a stick so I remember to come up for air and socialize with you good people. Today, we have the Old School contest winner announcement.

Congrats to Angie Leger, vvb32 reads Old School contest winner! Angie picks herself up an ebook copy of this traditional horror anthology filled with tales of terror from yours truly, David Dunwoody, Horace James, Natalie Sin, Jackie Gamber, Gregory L. Hall, R. Scott McCoy, and poems from Zombie Zak. Check out the Books From Louise page for more information on Old School, feast your eyes on the trailer, and clicky the links to purchase Kindle or print copies, plus other formats.

Random Rambles – Life And All That Rot

In an effort to keep this blog updated on a regular basis, give you some content to keep you all happy, every now and again I’ll inject a bit of anecdotal rambling into blog posts. I don’t know if readers really dig this or not, but I figure you might. If you’re bored to tears, you can always tell me to stop.

August was a bit crazy. For those of you who don’t know, hubby and I live with my mom-in-law and gran-in-law. We’d like to get a place of our own, and sell this place, but for the time being mom-in-law can use the help with gran-in-law. She’s got Alzheimers and Glaucoma. My mom-in-law isn’t in the best of health, so taking care of gran-in-law can be hard on her. We help out.

Anyway, gran-in-law took a tumble recently, and had to go to the hospital. (If you check out my Facebook, you’ll see what a kerfuffle that was with the NB medical system. Methinks a few people in Sussex Regional Hospital need their arses kicked, but that’s violent, and I won’t condone that. I’ll just kill them in a book. I’m digressing…) The final word is she did have a stroke, albeit a mild one. She was probably dehydrated too, so we’re trying to get her to drink more.

Good news followed chaos, thankfully. Hubby got a job at a local restaurant, cooking full time. It’s a little place called The Blue Bird, and he’s already having a great time. He went to cooking school, just didn’t quite complete his apprenticeship (so isn’t a papered chef). He got the job on the day of the interview, which was very cool. While he was supposed to start part time, he was quick and good enough the boss already bumped him to full time. This couldn’t come at a better time, what with Christmas / Yule just around the corner. Universe smiles on us. (Yeah, I’m anthropomorphizing. So sue me.) He even has a fellow metal head to work with. Of course, this makes him happy. He’s been busy downloading tunes to the ipod to take to work. (Cooks and metal and Libras–always in my life. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Hmmmm…)

In my world beneath the rock, I’ve got two books on the editing hotplate. Writing is going well on the paranormal erotic romance. Plot and characters are fleshing out nicely. The other day, words flowed so well it almost wrote itself. I do love those writing sessions. I’ve been putting away no less than 1000 words over the last three days. My co-author is busy writing another chapter of our steampunk erotic romance collaboration. And I’ve just started re-drafting / re-outlining the dark humor dystopian. Had to make some corrections to plot aspects that just wouldn’t fly. Much tighter now, I think. I have to start the new beginning I’ve mapped out soon.

So if I’m quiet on Twitter and Facebook, it’s just because I’m neck deep in words–mine or someone else’s. Speaking of which, I better get back to the editing. Coffee, I hear its lovely call, and I must fill my cup. Hope September is treating you well, friends. Before I go, in the spirit of reoccurring themes in my life, here’s some Lizzy Borden for you:

*slithers back under the rock*

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Old School will also be a part of August Thrills-n-Chills over at vvb32reads.

August Thrills-n-Chills via vvb32 reads: August Thrills-n-Chills: Book List.

Be sure to visit vvb32reads all month long for Thrills-n-Chills.

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SamhaneSamhane by Daniel I. Russell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WARNING – There may be spoilers.

Daniel Russell’s Samhane tells the story of Brian Rathbone, self-trained monster hunter, who is a single father raising a son. It also tells the story of Donald Patterson, a middle of the road kind of guy who works in a lab. Brian came to monster hunting after his wife was killed in an attic by an imp, and Donald finds himself trapped in a shadowy underworld of the paranormal after he buys a laptop that contains snuff footage. Both men travel to the small town of Samhane in England—-one to catch monsters, the other to save his kidnapped fiancé from a strange cult.

There are a lot of cool elements to this debut novel by Daniel Russell, with some definite creepy scenes, and I really wanted to like this book. However, it ultimately read as way too paint by numbers for me. While there were scenes where I was genuinely creeped out (when Donald is walking up the drive to Orchard House; when the road comes alive), in most instances, I could tell exactly where the author was going. For instance, when the teenagers head out to the woods, I predicted exactly which teenagers would die (of course, these were the ones that almost had sex). And I generally knew which character would be spared and which would not. This really killed the suspense factor for me. There was no mounting tension—just a lot of cool monsters and cool scenes (kudos to Daniel on the creepy spider-doctor)—but every time I expected the author to zag, he did just that. It made it hard to sympathize with any of the characters, feel any real compassion for them, because I knew who was safe and who wasn’t. I also predicted who Mr. Belvedere was the moment I met the elderly mayor.

All in all, a fun read, but I wish the author had packed it with more surprises-—wish he would’ve zigged a little more often when I saw the zag coming. One of the best characters in the book, for me, was Walter, because I really didn’t see the revelation coming about his character. It gave him depth and a wonderful personality struggle.

If you’re looking for a fun read, check out Samhane. Just don’t expect any surprises.

View all my reviews

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