October 9, 2015

Thinking of movies like LOS ULTIMOS DIOS (THE LAST DAYS), there are some great foreign post-apoc flicks coming out. Here are two that caught my eye:

SECOND ORIGIN is a Spanish-language post-apocalyptic survival film. Synopsis:

Alba (age 20) and Dídac (age 10) are the only survivors of a catastrophe that has devastated the planet. Their survival will mark a new beginning for humanity.

WHAT WE BECOME (2015) is a Danish zombie movie. Synopsis:

The summer is shaping up to be perfect for the Johansson family. The weather is gorgeous, and the community warm and friendly. Even teenaged Gustav is feeling good about life in general, thanks to the new girl who has just moved in across the street. But this perfect suburban life is abruptly shattered by the arrival of a mysterious virus. Unexplained deaths are followed by panic and a full lockdown, families sealed into their homes by patrolling bio-suited soldiers. With things quickly escalating and no information forthcoming, it isn’t long before Gustav takes matters into his own hands.

October 7, 2015

HELL’S CLUB is a brilliant editing mashup of movies, set in a world where fictional characters meet.

Check it out:

October 5, 2015

the girl with all the giftsTHE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey is that rare zombie novel like THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS that stands out from a bloated genre due to the quality of its writing.

In this novel, a little girl lives in a special facility that is half school, half prison, and run by soldiers and scientists. Melanie, the smartest girl in her class, learns about the world outside from books.

What she doesn’t know is the world is on its last legs, overrun by zombies.

What she doesn’t know is who or what she is.

When the camp falls, she travels with two soldiers, a scientist and a teacher in a dangerous trek across a devastated Britain to the main refugee camp.

THE GIRL is extremely well written. The characters are well developed, and most readers will find them endearing, people they can care about. The zombies are portrayed well, as is the setting of a ruined Britain. The pacing plods at times, and throughout most of the middle critical tension seems to be missing, but overall I enjoyed the novel, putting it up there with DUST by Joan Frances Turner.

A great read.

October 2, 2015

NAVY SEALS VS. ZOMBIES looks like it’s got all kinds of military-killing-zombies goodness. Here’s the synopsis:

After losing all contact with the Vice President during a routine campaign stop in Louisiana, the U.S. Government sends in a team of Navy SEALs for the rescue. Dropped into a warzone, the SEALs quickly discover that they aren’t dealing with a normal enemy. The city is under siege by hordes of fast moving, flesh eating undead. The infection is spreading and urban warfare has been unleashed. With no cure in sight and time running out, the elite unit has to survive their most horrific mission of all.

Looks great, though the soldiers seem to be more the earnest, good-hearted, salt-of-the-earth cardboard cutouts in BLACKHAWK DOWN than the realistic killers in ZERO DARK THIRTY. I’ll be checking this one out for sure.


September 30, 2015

KINIf you like reading horror, you’ve come to the right book. That book is KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke, one of the best horror novels I’ve read in years.

On a hot summer day, Claire staggers naked and bloody from a nightmare on a remote farm where a cannibal family preys on outsiders. Rescued, she now must cope with the horror of what she experienced, along with the loss of her friends. In time, she realizes she can’t move on unless she gets vengeance, aided by the boy who rescued her on the road and an Iraq War vet who wants his own revenge for what the family did to his brother.

KIN reads like a sequel to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The book takes place after the horror, though it is nightmarishly revealed in flashbacks. Claire got away, but she can never really leave what she experienced, plagued by guilt, grief and a desire for revenge that will take her back into the heart of darkness.

I was drawn to the novel because the idea sounded so interesting, and stuck with it because it’s frankly beautifully written. Burke creates flesh and blood characters with loving detail, including the bizarre family that preys on strangers. The style is accessible and engaging. When the moments of horror are revealed, they’re powerful. The book is fantastic. Some may find the final confrontation a bit rushed after the long setup, however.

Every once in a while, you fall in love with a book, and sometimes you become a fan of both a book and its author. I may be the latter, and will be checking out more of Burke’s fiction.