Tag Archives: horror

Movie Review – Train to Busan (2016)

Zombies on a train!

BQB here with a review of “Train to Busan.”

As a zombie fan, I’ve been hearing mumblings about this movie in the nerd-o-sphere for awhile now.  It’s foreign, the characters speak Korean and it’s in subtitles, but foreign language films don’t necessarily stop me as long as the subject matter is something I’m interested in.  Personally, I prefer to read the subtitles and that combined with listening to the tone of voice and facial expressions I can get the gist of what’s going on even though I don’t speak the same language as the actors.  Funny how there are some things that transcend language barriers.

Anyway, in many ways, it’s a typical set-up.  Mom is divorced from Dad, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), ostensibly because he works too much in his job as a stock broker, and apparently no matter where you are in the world, wanting to work hard is considered a crime by the ladies but that’s ok.  My review doesn’t need to be spoiled by my personal baggage.

Young daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim) misses her mother, who lives in Busan, and wants to cut her visit to her father’s home short.  After much wrangling, Dad concedes and hops a train with his kiddo.

Yadda, yadda, yadda…zombies!  A virus breaks out and South Korea is overrun with brain biters.  Worse, they’ve overtaken most cars on the train, leaving human survivors with only a few cars to move around on.

What happens next is a heroic tale of survival.  It becomes a constant running test when survivors are faced with a constant, repetitive choice, namely whether to slam a door between cars shut, sacrificing the life of a survivor who hasn’t made it through yet in order to protect one’s self and loved ones from the incoming zombie horde that’s chasing the unlucky human.

What would you do in that position?  Risk saving a fellow passenger, or slam the door in their face to protect yourself?  It’s a choice that’s made again and again, and as the movie progresses, we are left with a hope that maybe Seok-woo’s cold, businessman mentality might give way to a more humane, caring side.

Daughter Soo-an foils her dad’s efforts to think only for himself and his daughter.  She often lends a hand to complete strangers, putting herself at risk and in doing so, involving her old man in situations he’d rather avoid.

Meanwhile, the noble Sang-hwa (Dong-seok Ma) serves as a more overt check on Seok-woo’s conscience, almost bullying the man half his size to do the right thing.  While Seok worries chiefly about his daughter, Sang is worried about his pregnant wife, Seong-kyeong (Yu-mi Jeong).  Yet, he believes he can save her, his unborn child, and everyone else he can.

No movie would be complete without a villain and that comes in the form of Yon-suk (Eui-sung Kim), a train company executive who, unluckily for everyone else, happens to be riding on the train and is willing to sacrifice just about anyone and everyone just to save his oily hide from the gray matter chompers.

Overall, it’s a great film, a real thinker, with special effects that rival a Hollywood blockbuster.  Perhaps one of the more harrowing scenes comes when Seok, Sang and high school student, Yong Guk (Woo-sik Choi) form a three man phalanx and narrowly scrape through a tight car full of brain chewers in order to rescue their respective loved ones.

3.5 readers, Asia has really embraced the action genre and I don’t know if this is a new thing or perhaps it’s just something I’ve been turned onto thanks to Netflix, where you can find a vast cornucopia of Asian action films in subtitles.  Some are dubbed with American voices, but I do prefer to just read the subtitles, so catch this one before it obtains a mainstream level of popularity and they ruin it with dubbing.

The Ip Man Series and almost anything with Donnie Yen are worth watching and while Hong Kong seems to be Asia’s Hollywood, South Korea is catching up with this flick.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Seriously, I know a lot of people are like, “Ugh, I have to read subtitles?  No thanks.  Too much work.  It’s worth it and there’s plenty of action on screen to make up for it.  It’s currently available on Netflix.

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Movie Review – A Quiet Place (2018)

Shh!

Be vewy vewy quiet, 3.5 readers.  It’s time for BQB’s review of “A Quiet Place.”

I love it when I’m pleasantly surprised.  I knew very little of this film going into it.  I thought maybe it was just a standard horror flick that husband/wife duo John Krakinski and Emily Blunt whipped out but it’s anything but standard.  In fact, in this day of sequels, prequels and originals, you’ll want to scream for joy at this original idea.

But don’t.  Don’t make a sound.  You see, the world has been conquered by mysterious, scary creatures who, if you make a noise, will pop out of nowhere and eat you.  The population has been decimated and survivors live very quiet lives.  They make a modest amount of noise by walking around but other than that, no talking, no singing, no music and the slightest accident, i.e. knocking a plate onto the floor, can prove fatal.

There are exceptions to the “Be Quiet” rule.  There are places, circumstances, etc. where talking can happen but for the most part, the characters rely on sign language, subtitles and facial expressions to tell the story.  It’s impressive that the actors are able to get so much across by utilizing so little.  From a writing standpoint, it’s an exercise in “show, don’t tell” because all the characters can do is show.  They can’t tell.

Challenges abound.  Not to get too deep into it but daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf and lives in a world where there isn’t a place that will fix her broken hearing aid.  Just as in zombie apocalypse times, empty shops and ghost towns abound, and the Abbott family must get by through their wits and occasional scavenging.

Further, they engage in a variety of clever ways to go about their daily routine, figuring out how to get through their days as quietly as possible (an expected baby poses a significant challenge as we all know what babies love to do.)

STATUS:  An unexpected gem.  Shelfworthy.

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Quote About Broken Spirit from Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”

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Bookshelf Battle Cast Episode 002 – The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe – Analysis and Discussion

A good glass of wine is supposed to be relaxing, unless you’re sharing a bottle with a Montressor.  Damn, that family of dicks won’t let anything good.

But there’s a lesson in this dickishness, 3.5 listeners, for if you act like a dick, you never know how badly your dickish ways have upset someone – so much, in fact that this person might lay in wait, plotting an intricate, fiendish plan of revenge against you…muah ha ha!

And you’d never know it because if you’re as obtuse as Fortunato, you’d probably think whatever dumbass thing you said to your pal Montressor is all water under the bridge by now.

We’re never told what the slight was that turned Montressor into a homicidal mad man.  Then again, it’s doubtful that Fortunato could have done anything that merited being walled off in a tomb and left to suffer and rot while still alive.

Is there a method to Poe’s madness?  Montressor avenges his family against Fortunato’s slight.  Worse, the evil narrator accomplishes his goals – a) he Fortunato, but makes Fortunato suffer and makes him aware that he, Montressor did him in b) Montressor is not caught c) fifty years later, Montressor, as an old man, has lived a full life and now he can make the world aware of his supposed genius, how he masterfully killed Fortunato without getting caught.  One assumes the narrator is so old now that jail would matter little to him.  He’s lived most of his life as a free man so now he can boast of the evil deed he is most proud of to the world.

We see a lot of foreshadowing and ways in which Montressor plays on Fortunato’s ignorance and pride.  Montressor gets Fortunato liquored up, lulls his victim into assuming safety by asking him to leave the dumb under feigned fears of the old man’s health and insults Fortunate’s pride by suggesting Luchesi, Fortunato’s rival in the world of wine tasting, be the one who give the thumbs up or down to the amontillado.

Was there even a cask of amontillado to begin with?  Oh Monty, you devious prick.

Is it better to seek revenge, or as Jesus would advise, to turn the other cheek?  Alas, Montressor doesn’t seem to suffer for his revenge, though he might suffer in reputation as you, the reader, end up fearing and hopefully looking down at him, right?  Honestly, if you walked away from this story think Montressor is a good role model to emulate, you might need some counseling my friend.

Keep in mind that Fortunato isn’t just dressed as a fool, he is one.  He’s prideful and into himself and easily manipulated by appeals to his narcissism.  The idea that his rival wine taster might be consulted him makes him lose his senses.

Sometimes people are dicks…and sometimes these dicks will insult you.  They act like fools when they do, they have already damaged their reputations by being rude to you.  Often, when a person insults you, it is less about you and more about them, about their need to prop themselves up by dragging you down, feeling better by giving you a verbal kick to the ribs.

Montressor would tell you to get revenge but I mean, yeah we aren’t in Montessor’s day so you’ll totally get caught and even if you don’t get caught, you’ll be torn apart inside over the horror you committed and if you are like Montressor and don’t feel bad about it then yeah, again, seeking counseling for your screws are loose.

What say you, 3.5 listeners?

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Top Ten Ways to Pick Up Chicks During a Zombie Apocalypse

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It’s the end of the world…but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your love life.

Let’s face it.  Anyone could be eaten by a brain biting bastard any second.  So, I mean, even though you’re a total CHUD and weren’t able to pick up pussy with a handle in real life, you might be able to score with a chick during the end of days.  After all the fear of death around any corner is a total turn-on.

So, from BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten Ways to Pick Up Chicks During a Zombie Apocalypse:

#10 – Tell her you are sorry her husband was eaten by a zombie.

Maybe you are actually sorry her husband was chomped.  Maybe you liked the guy.  Maybe you thought he was a dick and cheered the zombie on.  Maybe you were jealous that such a big doofus had such a hot wife, so you pushed the prick right in the way of those undead choppers.  Doesn’t matter.  She’s sad her man is dead, so be a gentleman, give he some condolences and wait at least until sundown before you make a move.  Any earlier than that is disrespectful to the dead, unless her husband became a zombie after he gotten bitten.  In that case, fuck that guy, because he’s a damn zombie now and he deserves no human pussy.

#9 – Lie About Your Heroic Feats

Your mother told you not to lie?  Oh, that’s adorable.  :::slaps you::: Bitch, get real!  The newspapers are out of business and no one’s keeping score, so feel free to embellish your resume.

NO – “I have been hiding in my closet with a baseball bat for three years, leaving occasionally to pee.”

YES – “I single handedly saved 100 orphans by fending off 1,000 zombies with nothing but a bottle opener and a toothpick.  I then taught the orphans kung fu and trained them into  a vicious zombie army and together, we kicked the heads off of 10,000 zombies.  I then found a town that was being abused by a cruel dictator.  So, I told him to leave or I kick his face off with a roundhouse kick.  He refused to leave, so I indeed removed his face with a kick.  All the women of the village were so turned on that they allowed me to impregnate them. In short, I kill at least 500 zombies a day before breakfast and I have saved the lives of 500,000 people.”

#8 – Share your rations.

Bitches love rations.

#7 – Pay women to spread rumors of your sexual prowess.

Women will often ignore a guy until they hear another woman wants him.  It’s called having stank on your hang-low.   So, just give some extra rations to some ladies and tell them there’s more where that came from if they tell every woman they meet about the hot time you had together.

#6 – Punch the biggest guy in the survivor camp in the face.

Chicks dig manliness.

#5 – Be fashionable.

Free shopping in all clothing stores.  There is no excuse for your tired ass look now.

#4 – Grow some shit.

It’s the zombie apocalypse, bitch.  Po-po has more to worry about than your herb garden.  Get yourself a green thumb and become a weed farmer.  Bitches love weed, especially during a zompoc.  Helps them get their minds off of potentially being eaten by zombies.

#3 – Get some ringer zombies.

Like, don’t take on some strong ass zombies who were weightlifters in their previous lives.  Get a couple of slow, fat zombies, turn them lose and karate chop their heads off.  All the babe will see is that you saved her ass and won’t realize that these were ringer zombies.  Never be too proud to fix a human vs. zombie fight.

#2 – Lie about your past.

Remember #9?  Guess what?  There are no fact checkers in the zombie apocalypse, so feel free to lie about your past too.

NO:  Baby, I was a jizz mopper at a gentlemen’s club.

YES:  Baby, I was a NAVY seal.  I killed 10,000 men with my pinky finger.

RULE OF THUMB:  Smarter the babe, the more realistic the lie.  If you’re a flabby fat fuck, a smart babe will not believe you were a NAVY seal.  But that’s OK.  You can just tell her you had your own Silicon Valley startup company and made a fortune.  Hell, promise her if the government and economy are ever restored, you’ll share some of your dough with her.  (Don’t worry.  People are lazy as fuck.  It’ll take like thousands of years for the government to be restored, so you’re in the clear.)

#1 – Don’t tell her if the government and economy are restored.

You’ve whisked her away to a secluded shack.  One day, she goes out in search of berries. Suddenly, there’s a power surge.  The TV and lights turn on.  A news anchor says all the zombies are dead and the world has been restored.

I mean, yeah, you could tell her that shit’s fine now so she can go back to her old boyfriend or…dude, please, you know I’ll lose all respect for you if you don’t rip that fuckin’ TV cord out of the wall, find the fuse box and turn all that shit off and tell her she better get her ass back here where it’s safe and don’t even think about looking for no berries again.  But be cool, just let her know it’s safe in that cabin, and only in that cabin, and you’ll protect her.

DISCLAIMER:  This was all just a joke.  You should be nice to women and considerate of their feelings and do not trick them and so forth. Don’t call them bitches and so on.  They are more than just their vaginas.  You should also be nice to women during a zombie apocalypse.  Share rations because you worry they are hungry, not because you think it might get you laid.  Be honest about your past (though she won’t, let’s be real) and if the zompoc ends…tell her…

…seriously, if the zombie apocalypse ends, tell her…within 5-7 days.  OK, fine, immediately.

 

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The Return of Count Krakovich, Incompetent Vampire

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Bleh!  I vant to suck your blood, 3.5 readers…bleh, but I don’t want to do a lot of work so bleh, bleh please just lay your necks down and make some holes in them with your necks so I can just slurp out the blood and then…

Bleh! Where are you going?  It sure is hard being a lazy, incompetent, asshat vampire.  In fact, you might have noticed that this year my name has been changed from Asshat Vampire to Incompetent Vampire.

Anyway 3.5 readers, I do like to check in with you all once a Halloween.  How have you all been?  I hope you have all been murdering many vampires because I hate those guys ever since they kicked me out of the League of Vampires.

I wish I had more to say but I have been a very depressed vampire as of late.  In fact I think I might just quit being a vampire.  Is that even possible?  Someone contact a vampire lawyer and let me know.

That’s it.  I am even incompetent at writing columns.  Happy Halloween 3.5 losers.  Bleh!

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Top Ten Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be a C.H.U.D.

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C.H.U.D.s

They stink.  See, the Millenials aren’t aware of this.  If you tell them a C.H.U.D. stinks, they’ll just be all like, whatever, you should just be nicer to the C.H.U.D. or hug him more or try to understand where the C.H.U.D. is coming from.

But if you’re a Gen Xer like me then you know C.H.U.D.s are no joke, and you certainly don’t want to be dating one.  Ergo, from BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten Warning Signs You Might Be Dating a C.H.U.D.

#10 – Lives in the sewer.

Dead giveaway.  There is no reason for anyone to live in a sewer.  Sounds like your boyfrined might an “underground dweller” who puts the “UD” in CHUD.  Yeah, I’m lazy.  I will no longer put the period after each letter.

#9 – He is cannibalistic.

You saw him frying up a nice hand sandwich?  No, that wasn’t a typo.  I didn’t mean ham sandwich.  I meant hand sandwich.  Look, the dude’s eating a damn hand and you’re trying to make excuses for him.  “Aww, the poor guy, he just had a bad childhood.  If I love him more, he’ll stop eating people.”

No, bitch!  You in love with a damn CHUD!  Run bitch, run!

Also, he puts the C in CHUD.

#8 – He is a humanoid.

Always date an actual human.  A human is a human.  A humanoid is a creature that has a head and arms and legs and many of the same features as a human but is not a human.  Just because it moves like a human doesn’t mean it is a human.  Get some self-confidence.  Don’t settle for humanoid.  You deserve a full blown human.

He puts the H in CHUD.  That’s right.  He is a Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller.

#7 – He is super ugly.

Well, let’s be practical.  A lot of people are ugly.  Sure, we all wish we could date supermodels but after the sex, would we have anything in common to talk about?  Probably not.  So ladies, perhaps you might want to give a guy a break if he’s bald or pudgy or not so handsome but….yeesh…holy shit girl, that dude not just ugly, he a damn CHUD!

Only you can tell the difference between ugliness and CHUDness.

#6 – Smells bad.

Most men do.  We take pride in our farts.  But is the stench natural or CHUD-like?  You be the judge.  If you have to ask, you know the answer.  Run bitch, run.

#5 – Has bright yellow eyes.

Eyes aren’t supposed to glow.  Get out of there before you’re a snack.

#4 – Has pointy teeth.

We’re not talking just a lack of quality dental care.  We’re talking pointy, human biting teeth.

#3 – The best soldiers and police officers of the 1980s don’t seem like they’d be able to stop him.

But then again, they never could in any 1980s movie.

#2 – It’s like you’ve heard of him, but don’t really know him per se.

Yeah, I’ve heard ugly people be called CHUDS hundreds of times and have even been on the receiving end.  I understand the reference but to this day I have not bothered to watch the actual movie.  It’s one of those movies where you must be a real weirdo if you’ve bothered to seek it out and watch it.

#1 – He tried to eat you.

You’re better than that.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Just run and also know that you’re worthy of love that doesn’t lead to you ending up in a CHUD’s colon.  I know, that’s the most beautiful thing that’s ever been said to you.  What can I say?  I have a way with words.

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Bookshelf Battle Log #1 – 10/28/17 – Zom-bo-ween

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Happy Halloween weekend, 3.5 readers.

Oh what a holiday.  Started by Puritans to ward off evil spirits and now grown ass adults use it as an excuse to have as much cheap, meaningless sex as possible.  How times have changed.

Alas, I won’t be at BQB HQ this ‘Ween to pass out treats but fear not for there will be no tricks.  My trusty security chief, Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog, will be left behind to dispense treats and his own brand of canine philosophy to any little miscreants who happen to stop by.

What could get me out of my compound on my favorite holiday?  Zombies.  Yes!  Zombies.  It seems there has been a zombie invasion in Pittsburgh so the good people of this fair city got together and asked yours truly to save them.  Gotta say that is literally the one and only reason I’d ever actually visit Pittsburgh because, let me tell you, this place is the pits.

While I’m away, why don’t you read some of the fabulous interviews I conducted of zombie authors in October of 2015?  Yes, people with actual successful writing careers were willing to talk to me.  31 zombie authors to be exact, one a day for 31 days. Plus, you’ll find the journal I kept while East Randomtown was being ransacked by hideous brain chompers.

Remember, 3.5 readers, wear your helmets because this zombie hunter can’t be everywhere.  Protect your gray matter because without it, you won’t be able to think and more importantly, you won’t be able to read my blog or my book and, well, come to think of it, critics have called my work pretty brainless so…sure, I guess if you want to give up your brains to a hungry zombie, be my guest.  Who am I to stand in your way?  I just don’t advise it from a medical standpoint.  I mean, I’m no doctor but I just can’t help that physically losing your brains would be good for you.

I don’t do.  Don’t take my word for it.  Don’t take a zombie’s word for it easier because, you know, they’re biased.  Also, the only word they can say is, “BRAINS!”  Just do your research.

Check out those interviews here.

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Toilet Gator Second Draft Production Begins

3.5 readers, I am so excited to tell you that I have begun the long, hard slog toward finishing a second draft of my beloved novel, “Toilet Gator,” which really and truly is the best novel ever written about toilets, gators, or toilet gators.

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My goodness, 3.5 readers.  Isn’t that a wonderful cover?  Anyway, this is the first time I have begun a second novel draft.  It seems like it will be a long, arduous process.  The novel is approximately 140,000 words and so far I have rewritten 7,000 of them.  It is nice to be able to start solving problems I saw as I wrote the first draft but felt it would just slow me down to fix them, so now the time to fix them has come.

I hope when this book comes out, you will all support it and tell your friends, because if Toilet Gator is a success, then I can really bank some cash on the sequel, Son of Toilet Gator:

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You don’t even want to see what the cover of Book 3 will look like.

3.5 readers, I’ll be honest.  I’m no spring chicken and the older I get, the more I just want to stop and smell the daisies, then lie down in the dirt and wawit for the moss to grow over me.

So, if this blog makes you happy, and you think that being able to read wonderful books like Toilet Gator and Son of Toilet Gator would bring joy to your life, then please, do what you can to support my little enterprise here.

Read this fine blog.  Tell your friends.  Help get me some traffic.  If I can make money off this, then I can put more time into entertaining you, my beloved 3.5 readers, who I would never want to see be eaten by a toilet gator.

Do watch out for toilet gators, 3.5 readers.  They’re everywhere and in greater numbers than you’d think.  Frankly, I have taken my life into my hands by publishing their secret, so much so that I get scared every time I sit on the throne to poop now, and not just because I’m a burrito fan.

Stay tuned, 3.5 readers.

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Vote for Your Favorite Cover – How the West Was Zombed

Hey 3.5 readers.

How the West Was Zombed was my first finished book draft, the one that started it all.

Finally, I’m getting it a cover.

So, vote for your favorite.

https://99designs.com/contests/poll/e821zg

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