[Ever since Wool series of books, one author he continues to mention in interviews is Dave Cullen, the author of Columbine. Hugh first wrote this review for crimecritics.com, a site we tried to start but later dissolved after Hugh started his writing career and I couldn’t juggle site duties between two sites. I later imported his excellent review of Columbine over here to dreamindemon.com in March 20, 2009. Still hard to believe that was four years ago. After reading a recent Huffington Post article in which Hugh mentions Dave Cullen, this book and the glowing review he wrote for it, I figured I would bump the review so you can read it and check out Columbine yourself, a book I think readers of this site will find very eye-opening. – Morbid]
Ten years have passed since the tragic event that has become synonymous with school shootings. Columbine was once a word that simply denoted a high school, a football team or a state flower.…Continue Reading
If you’re looking for a survival horror film involving a group of teens being hunted in the woods by a psychopath, but would like one that didn’t have you rooting for the killer, then I’d like to suggest Glenn Withrow’s THE MOORING.
It’s about a group of teen girls who’ve gotten into trouble because of online activities like cyber-bullying, online gambling, and a hacking. They’ve been entered into a program that will teach them that “there is more to relationships than pushing buttons” by stripping them of their online access, and placing them on a houseboat for some camping in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, their excursion is interrupted by a pair of psychopathic drifters.
Here’s the synopsis from the THE MOORING’S official site:
Every 40 seconds a person goes missing. In northern Idaho, a group of teenage girls attended a summer camp to help them connect with nature without technology.…Continue Reading
Out of all the good movies I have watched since my last review in August of 2012, I would’ve never imagined my next one would be a horror comedy about a clown that has risen from the grave to kill the kids responsible for his death. But out of all the crappy horror I have watched recently, I felt STITCHES deserved some more attention for being surprisingly fun and successfully delivering some imaginative gore.
Here’s the official synopsis from the official site: Jaded Richard Grindle is the sleaziest clown working the children’s party circuit in Ireland. Arriving late to one birthday, his timing is off, the bratty kids a nightmare and a prank goes horribly wrong – he falls on a kitchen knife and goes to that Big Top in the sky. Years later the same nasty kids attend another more grown up bash. Little do they know, thanks to a black magic clown cult, Stitches will be the uninvited guest of honour seeking revenge on those responsible for his untimely death.…Continue Reading
HERE, NOW – You may be as surprised as we are to learn that we occasionally get free movies and books to review. I mention this because, in full disclosure, SCALENE was sent to us by Breaking Glass Pictures to review. But do not fear, DD reader, as I would never risk damaging my reputation for providing excellent choices in movies and books by recommending crap just to get free stuff.
In the case of SCALENE, a film directed by Zack Parker, I can honestly say you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Not only does it delve into a bit of the headlines often featured on this site, as well as some of the re-occurring discussions they produce, but Margo Martindale delivers one of the best performances I have seen all year. Here’s the official synopsis:
“Told from three points-of-view, SCALENE is a perceptual thriller that revolves around a mother’s revenge (Margo Martindale, Emmy Winner, F/X’s “JUSTIFIED”, Showtime’s “DEXTER”, MILLION DOLLAR BABY) after her mentally-challenged son (Adam Scarimbolo, A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, LYMELIFE, STAKE LAND) is accused of sexual assault by his student caretaker (Hanna Hall, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, FORREST GUMP).…Continue Reading
Here, Now – It’s been awhile since I posted a movie recommendation, but not from a lack of watching any. I have six movies I think a lot of you DD’ers will enjoy, starting with LOVELY MOLLY. It’s a horror film directed by Eduardo Sanchez, one of the creators of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, who went on to direct a few direct-to-video movies that didn’t come anywhere close to being as popular with audiences or critics as Blair Witch (although I did enjoy ALTERED). From the looks of the MOLLY reviews, it seems like that streak continues with yet another VOD release.
MOLLY currently has a 42% ranking at Rotten Tomatoes, and top critics use terms like “reductive and histrionic,” as well as “depressing and lazily nonsensical” when describing the film; those who enjoyed it call it creepy, disturbing, and effective at creating a sense of unease. I fall somewhere in the latter camp. I really liked LOVELY MOLLY and thought it was disorientating enough, with just enough creepiness, to overcome its flaws.…Continue Reading
Here, Now – Back in June I gave you a preview of Hugh Howey’s upcoming book I,ZOMBIE. Since I am a very important man, I got a beta version of the book to read and it was better than I expected, and I already expected it to be good. I’ve already reviewed Hugh’s best-selling WOOL series, giving it 5 stars, and it looks like I am giving him five more. Here’s the synopsis:
This book contains foul language and fouler descriptions of life as a zombie. It will offend most anyone, so proceed with caution or not at all. And be forewarned: This is not a zombie book. This is a different sort of tale. It is a story about the unfortunate, about those who did not get away. It is a human story at its rotten heart. It is the reason we can’t stop obsessing about these creatures, in whom we see all too much of ourselves.
I won’t be spoiling anything when I tell you that I,ZOMBIE is about a zombie outbreak told from the point of view of zombies.…Continue Reading
Here’s the Goodreads synopsis where the book is sitting at a 3.74 with 844 ratings:
“She only step outside for a minute. But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley’s world upside down–a minute she’d regret for the rest of her life. Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother’s belongings.…Continue Reading
Here, Now – I mentioned over the weekend that we’ll be bringing back book and movie articles to compliment our news articles and help round out the overall theme of D’D. The only difference is that they will not be full-fledged reviews, but rather recommendations from us to the D’D reader.
So, that being said, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off than with Hugh Howey’s WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION.
Anyone who has been on this site long enough is familiar with Hugh Howey. He was one of our writers, one of the site founders, and a very close, longtime friend of mine. A while back he decided he wanted to be an author, and within a short amount of time, he was.
Already having written a handful of well-received books, it was his latest effort, the self-published WOOL series, that shot him to the top of everyone’s reading list, landed him in Entertainment Weekly and with a movie deal.
I reviewed the first WOOL, a novella involving people living in an underground silo after some kind of catastrophe made living above ground impossible.…Continue Reading
I know we deal with some nasty crimes, so watching a film depicting a violent home invasion in a realistic manner may not be something you’re inclined to watch while escaping the crap you read on here. But if you’re a glutton for punishment, boy do I have a film for you.
Kidnapped is a Spanish home invasion film directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas that echoes a bit of the original Funny Games, The Strangers, or more recently, Cherry Tree Lane. But unlike those films, Vivas seems to abandon any form of social commentary or cheap scares, simply turning those who choose to watch into a neutered witness to a horrific crime.
Jaime (Fernando Cayo), his wife Marta (Ana Wagener) and their teenage daughter Isa (Manuela Vellés) have just moved into their new home located in a gated community when, on their first night there, three masked men break in and hold them hostage.
Their motive is money. and they plan on getting it by forcing Jaime to accompany the gang’s leader around town and empty out his bank accounts at various ATMs.…Continue Reading
Here, Now – Since we are trying to get back into the groove with the book and movie suggestions, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t point you guys towards our very own Hugh Howey’s recent novelette titled Wool. We get emails from time to time, asking about Hugh’s whereabouts, from people unaware he had changed professions. He is no longer our resident troll and site co-founder, trading all that to become an author.
Full disclosure: Hugh and I go back more years than I care to mention. I admit this because I don’t want anyone assuming that because of this, I am willing to forego journalistic integrity (lol!) so that a good friend can make some coin. I’m no shill (sometimes to a fault in regards to this site) and I take my recommendations seriously. I know what it feels like to waste time with a bad movie or book because some jackass got a free copy and repaid the creator with a blowjob disguised as a glowing review chock full of bullshit.…Continue Reading
It was pointed out to me that I have been real slack on movie suggestions lately, leading the two people who actually take my movie advice to believe that I have not watched any films worth a crap. This is not true. In fact, I have watched a number of good movies this year worthy of a D’D reader’s time.
So while I wait for someone to do something stupid enough for me to write about, I figure I would tell you about one I watched earlier this year — a revenge film titled RED WHITE & BLUE. This slow burner is so bleak and unpleasant that I absolutely love it to pieces. Here is the plot, taken from their Facebook Page.
“Set in Austin, Texas, this “slacker revenge movie” follows the disaffected and promiscuous Erica (Amanda Fuller – Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as she sleeps with a series of nameless men, until she is befriended by Nate (Noah Taylor – Submarine, The Proposition), an ex-Iraq war veteran with a sociopathic streak.
Nate, unusually, seems interested in Erica for more than just sex – but when one of her previous partners, hard-rocking mamma’s boy Franki (Marc Senter) resurfaces, Erica’s actions come back to haunt her, leading to a terrifying climax which has shocked audiences worldwide.…Continue Reading
Here, Now – I’m an avid reader who, like a lot of you, found it harder and harder to squeeze in quality reading time within a normal day. It got to the point where most of my reading was being done sitting on the toilet. That is until I broke down and bought a Kindle. Now I read everywhere, including the toilet, finishing one to two books every couple of weeks.
That’s the reason for the resurgence of book reviews in Cracked Spine. That and the fact I want to point out books I found worth my time that you may enjoy as well. I’m here to please, people. I may not get to the bad books as I don’t have time to waste on them (although I did finish the highly praised The Priest’s Graveyard that featured a chick so goddamn annoying it took all I could to finish it) but I plan on talking about the good books like the one I read last month.
It’s the debut novel from S.J.…Continue Reading
Here’s another book recommendation for you. I already missed one day and if I go two days without telling you all about a good book or movie, then it’s all over with. This would just hurt you ’cause if I recommend it, then it’s worth checking out. That’s a fact.
“In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32″ Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged.
More than twenty years have passed. Larry lives a solitary, shunned existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion.…Continue Reading
I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing up reviews, so here’s another book for you. This is the last one I finished called The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton. I regularly peruse the Best Books of the Month on Amazon and this particular book was high on the list in January. I was already familiar with Hamilton’s McKnight series, which this is not a part of, so I checked out the official synopsis:
Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it’s a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an 800-pound safe… he can open them all.
It’s an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever closer to a life of crime.…Continue Reading
It’s been awhile since I have had anything resembling a review on the site, and this is mostly due to a lack of time. So in order to combat that, I am simply going to stop trying to write long-ass, mostly skipped over reviews and just offer some recommendations. Sort of like the Oprah Book Club, but for DD readers and without all the crap.
To be honest, all I really want to do is navigate DD readers, who probably share some of my morbid interests, around the stinking turds and towards material they may enjoy as much as I did. I’ll leave actual reviews to the people who are paid for it and will link to them within my future recommendations if you’re looking for more in-depth analysis.
To start things off, I’d like to talk about one of the best books I have read this year, Harlan Coben’s 17th novel, Caught. Here’s the official synopsis:
17 year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her.…Continue Reading
I’m a sucker for revenge films. Hell, most of the films I’ve reviewed for Dreamin’ Demon have had some sort of revenge element going for them. I’m also a sucker for supernatural thrillers, particularly anything dealing with the occult. When I first saw trailers for HEARTLESS, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. It was clearly dealing with elements of the occult, and there seemed to be a revenge tale present as well. My issue was I kept getting a CONSTANTINE vibe, and I never want to get a CONSTANTINE vibe from anything. Luckily, HEARTLESS is nothing like that film and is, surprisingly, a rather unique experience, even if not entirely successful.
In HEARTLESS, a young photographer (Jim Sturgess) with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face, enters into a deal with the Devil as a gang of hoodie wearing thugs start setting Londoners on fire with well-placed molotov cocktails. Saying too much more about the plot will not only ruin the fun but would take forever. If the film has anything hindering it, it’s that it is needlessly convoluted.…Continue Reading
I’m back with another Netflix Watch Instantly recommendation titled NAKED FEAR. Yeah, I know it sounds like a Steven Seagal movie, but this Canadian thriller starring Joe Mantegna (before his CRIMINAL MINDS stint) and a very naked Danielle De Luca, turned out being a pretty decent flick — if you skip the first 45 minutes.
A small town girl is forced to strip in a New Mexico shit-hole that also happens to be an active serial killer’s stomping grounds. A serial killer whose modus operandi is abducting prostitutes, then setting them free in the wilderness where he hunts them down like animals.
The film is based loosely off of American serial killer, Robert Hansen, who would hunt down prostitutes he’d abducted and set free into the Alaskan wilderness. This is one of the reasons why I even gave this film a shot and the fact that it’s directed by Thom Eberhardt, the man behind one of my guilty pleasures, 1984′s NIGHT OF THE COMET. Check out the trailer followed by a bit of my blurb-free rambling.…Continue Reading
Where life had no value, Death sometimes had its price. — Sergio Leone
With these immortal words from FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (for my money, the best of the DOLLARS trilogy), the film BIG TITS ZOMBIE (aka THE BIG TITS DRAGON, original title KYONYÛ DORAGON: ONSEN ZONBI VS SUTORIPPÂ 5) begins. The film follows stripper Lena Jodo (Japanese adult actress Sora Aoi) as she returns home from Mexico. She takes a brief dancing gig in a rundown strip club in a mostly-deserted suburb. With little to do, she and her fellow dancers — Ginko, Maria, Nene, and Darna — mostly squabble and lay around. A stray draft leads them to a hidden door in their dressing room, which they soon discover leads to the club’s basement. And what just happens to be stored in this basement? Why, a copy of the Book of the Dead, of course!
Reading aloud from the Book of the Dead results in all Hell breaking loose as the dead rise from their graves, hungry for the flesh of the living. Now it’s up to Lena and her friends to arm themselves in any way possible — chainsaws, katanas, lengths of pipe, etc.…Continue Reading
With every horrendous story we post at D’D, the usual exclamations of disgust permeate the attached comments section, as well as several descriptive ways revenge should be doled out upon the accused. Such fantasies have been explored in movies forever, with most told in a DEATH WISH fashion: the audience rooting for the hero as he or she puts one bullet after another into a never-ending stream of deserving baddies. But there have been a few revenge films over the last few years that touch on the actual morality of revenge, pondering the notion that maybe revenge isn’t a dish best prepared at any temperature, and even if it’s deemed justified, what price is paid by the person who serves it?
I SAW THE DEVIL is the latest film by Jee-woon Kim, a Korean director renowned for tackling standard genres and delivering films that don’t necessarily adhere to the rules of that genre, which he’s done with varying degrees of success. In 2005, he took on Asian horror even though audiences were burning out on creepy, pale-faced Asian girls with straight black hair.…Continue Reading
Sounding like a direct-to-video Chuck Norris film, ACT OF VENGEANCE was originally released under the much better title, RAPE SQUAD. This title more accurately describes what the film is about, even though it’s probably a little too sleazy for its own good. But no matter what the film goes by, VENGEANCE is a pretty solid rape-revenge effort that gets points for absurdity even if it doesn’t live up to the sleazy nature of its original title. Check out the trailer for more, but be warned, it does feature minor spoilers:
If the idea of watching women being sexually assaulted bothers you (and it should) than proceed with caution as this is a rape-revenge film. The rape footage in VENGEANCE isn’t close to the brutality and degradation featured in films like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, but it is present and is still not enjoyable to witness.
While many rape-revenge films pride themselves on being as brutal as possible, VENGEANCE does not. In actuality, it’s more ridiculous than vicious with a rapist who wears a hockey mask (and this is about eight years before Jason put his on) and forces his victims to sing “Jingle Bells” while he sexually assaults them.…Continue Reading