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Tuesday, June 02nd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s not uncommon to talk about films in a sense of merit. Looking at them with a critical eye, perhaps praising them for their use of world building or story telling. Perhaps even poo-pooing them for the very same reasons. Sometimes, it’s fun to look at a film in the terms of the experience it provides.

Movies definitely entertain; that’s what they’re made for! They also make for a an experience as well. These experiences are mostly nostalgia wrapped around a fond memory of your time going to see a movie. It’s still an experience all the same. Let me give you an example.


Thursday, May 07th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’m totally aware that I spend a lot of time on various podcasts and such whining about how I’m getting old. Truth is, I don’t really care about getting old. I also don’t actually think I’m ‘Old’. It’s just a fun thing to get worked up over. However, as I do grow older, I’ve come to notice some significant changes in the world of ‘fandom’ or ‘geekdom’, or which ever label you’d like to slap on those of us who get into…well, anything…a bit more than others.

As my body has aged since I first started losing myself in the world of movies in the early 80′s, so too has technology aged significantly over the same number of years. One could say that technology has aged a bit more gracefully than myself, but…let’s look beyond that. Where somewhere in the vicinity of 1980 I watched films such as Stars Wars and The Black Hole hundreds of times because that was the only VHS tapes that were on hand, now days I find myself often times crippled by sheer choice. Where once catching a rare film was a unique event in the development of one’s personal pop culture, these days said rare films can be found in a matter of minutes.


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Tuesday, June 05th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Friend, cohort and confidant Derek M. Koch from over at the Mail Order Zombie and from some other spiffy little podcast I heard about called 1951 Down Place has released his new Kindle e-short “Granny and the Hole”! Derek’s been working on this for a bit, so it’s exciting to see it on the shelves! I’ve had the pleasure of reading it already, so I can say…you’re gonna like it.

“Granny and the Hole” is available exclusively on the Kindle at the moment and will cost you a mere $1.29. That’s a bargain!


Derek M. Koch, producer of the long-running zombie movie podcast Mail Order Zombie, released his zombie short story “Granny and the Hole” on June 3, 2012. The story, a tale of a man who refuses to let death stand in the way of a relationship between his mother-in-law and his daughter, is available for Amazon Kindle as part of the Kindle Select program, or for purchase for $1.29.

In addition to producing Mail Order Zombie, Koch has directed an award-winning zombie short film, appeared as a character in other authors’ zombie stories, and has seen his own zombie stories previously released in other publishers’ anthologies. “Granny and the Hole” is the first story released by Koch’s Black Sombrero Publishing.

“Granny and the Hole” can be found on at “Granny and the Hole” will be released for other e-reader formats later this year.

About Derek M. Koch

Derek M. Koch lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, his cats and his zombie movie collection which forms the basis of the award-winning podcast Mail Order Zombie ( The movie collection is for the podcast. His wife is “patiently” supportive. The cats are waiting for dinner. He can be found online at his website Plan D at

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Friday, May 25th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s story time boys and girls! Here’s a brand spanking new serial that *may* get woven in between the ongoing episodes of “Trouble Gum” here on CF. Give this a read, if you’ve been around here for awhile, these faces may not be all together unfamiliar ;) .

Long Time Gone Part 1: Unfamiliar Faces

Clomp, clomp, scritch, scratch, the stout man and the burly dog at his side trudged in silence over distant hills. The man’s shoulders hung low with an unseen weight, his back bent into the pressing breeze, away from the sun that set behind. The dog walked with head slung low, nose pressed to the packed dirt beneath, its ears cocked forward as he snuffled away in concentration.

The duo spoke not a word, nor even spared each other a glance. Yet it was clear in their matching strides, the matching dour looks that rode upon their faces and the way they moved as one that the two belonged together. This man that stood just a hair over six foot tall and stared into the distance ahead with steel black eyes that saw forever would on occasion reach over to give the dog’s sagging ear a quick but gentle tug. The dog, standing nearly to the man’s waist with a chest as broad as a wine cask, thick black fur that stood patchy at best would pause in his nasal search to touch the mans hand with his nose. Nothing more passed between the two.

On and on they marched through the grasses and hills outside the Village Noble, their path always straight ahead and never straying. One foot in front of the other they marched, never pausing to gather their bearings or for a bit of respite and rest.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s been some time since I’ve mentioned it last, but you may remember that I have a third podcast with my friends Brother D and Need a Nickname Scott over at Mail Order Zombie. The show is called 1951 Down Place and it’s dedicated to Hammer Horror! With the release of The Woman in Black coming from the newly re-birthed Hammer Studios this weekend, I figured it would be a good time to start sharing my love off Hammer with you all.

Today, our firth episode hits the feeds with our lengthy discussion of “Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter”! This is a great episode, if I do say so myself. Then again, I’m biased as I’ve named “Kronos” as my third favorite Hammer flick of them all. We try and go fairly deep on the information side of things with these podcasts, so there’s a lot of information we’ve dug up from production notes, film makers and the like.

Check out Episode 5 over at the 1951 Down Place Website and please, let us know what you think! You can leave your comments at the site or email us through or even give us a call at 765-203-1951!

Since I haven’t shared all of our episodes here at Bloody Good Horror, here’s the list of Hammer goodness available to you over on the feed:

Episode 1: The Horror of Dracula
Episode 2: The Curse of Frankenstein
Episode 3: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Episode 4: The Abominable Snowman

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

That right there, is the 41 chapters I have mapped out for a writing project. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one and now that I have a road map, it’s not quite so scary. All the same, this will be my biggest writing endeavor yet!

Wish me luck.

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Not to get over excited…but this is the most fiction I’ve churned out in ages. Feels good too.

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Monday, January 09th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’m not just a podcaster, I’m a listener too! That sounds pretty ‘infomercial-ish’ doesn’t it? That’s okay. In addition recording three shows, I listen to quite a few as well, dedicated to any number of subjects. As you can imagine, a big podcast topic for myself is books. Enter the Sword and Laser Podcast!

Hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, S&L puts out a new episode near weekly, chock full of book news, book discussion and more. Being familiar with Veronica Belmont from her days on TekZilla and Revision3, it was initially her name that drew me in. It was the ease that her and Tom worked together and the good discussions and handy info that kept me around. My favorite part of S&L has to be their calendar and new segments. Genre book news can be scattered all over the internet depending on their publishers and Veronica and Tom do a good job of pulling all the interesting stuff together. Their book discussions as great, but as of late their reading books I haven’t gotten to as of yet, so I tend to gloss over those.

In addition to a great podcast, they have a thriving Goodreads Community with a lot of good discussion threads as well. I’ve found a lot of information on book releases and recommendations from those boards alone.

For a moment of fawning fanboyism, you could say that Veronica & Tom’s work on Sword and Laser is what inspired me to start Dad and his Weird Friends. Enjoying their fun of being able to geek out on a good book, I figured I wanted to do the same! And since they already had a great formula, I tried hard to come up with a concept that complimented that as opposed to borrowed from it.

The Sword and Laser Podcast. If you like the books we’ve been covering on Dad and his Weird Friends, you’ll like this one too.

Saturday, January 07th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past Christmas, I received a shiny new Kindle Fire and I was pretty ecstatic. Having received the newly named Kindle Keyboard the previous year, I was already a full blown member of the Kindle Cult.

I’ve been eyeing the new tablet since that exciting press conference that Amazon put on last year and have been planning on getting once from the start. My quests up front though were a bit conflicted. The biggest question of them all; could I give up reading on e-ink. That’s a tough call to make as I happened to feel that e-ink revolutionized ‘electronic reading’ already. It was easier on the eyes and the battery life was amazing. Another question I had; would I actually be able to use the Fire as a full fledged tablet. Internet browsing, games, apps, etc. etc…Would it satisfy over other tools such as an iPad or a bunch of Android tablets? And the final question…would the weight and battery life be a factor. Having spent a good two weeks with the tablet now, my questions are now answered and over all…I’m pretty thrilled with said answers.

Tablet Vs. E-Ink

My biggest concern going in was if I would still enjoy reading on Kindle Fire. As you can see with the podcasts and everything else…I read a lot. Normally, you can guarantee I’ll get in at least an hour of reading every day, more commonly up to two hours in a full day. So it was a pretty major thing to work out.

By default, I wasn’t in love with reading on the Fire. It wasn’t horrible by any means, but reading black text on a glaring white background is a definite adjustment when you’re used to a year of reading on e-ink. Thankfully, this is a quick and easy fix though. With a couple of clicks, I was able to adjust the display style to white text on a black background, which was a good fit for myself. (You can also set to black text on an off white background, but the black was the magic ticket or me.) With the options dialed in, read was nice and I was good to go.

Keep in mind; these are all a matter of personal taste, so your mileage may vary. You could be perfectly fine with the default settings and I know in the case of my wife…it was fine for her as well. After reading a book or two, I noticed another problem that was starting to creep in with reader; it was heavy. When compared side by side to the Kindle Keyboard, the Fire has a huge weight difference. This is to be expected since the device is packing a lot more hardware in there, but still and adjustment all the same. I always read in bed before falling asleep. Lying on your back, holding the Fire up to read, it starts to weigh down over time. This is easily remedied by shifting position, but it was a problem I never had to deal with on the Keyboard.

With all of these considerations, for straight up reading, I wound up going back to the trusty old Kindle Keyboard. It’s light, it’s e-ink screen is great and hard to pass up. Really, there is nothing about the Kindle Keyboard (Also known as the K3) that I would change as far as straight up readers go. It goes with me everywhere, so weight is a factor. Another big factor? I can read to my heart’s content and still only have to plug-in the K3 once every other month for a charger. With heavy use, the Fire lasts me a day.

Now, having said all that… don’t you dare walk away thinking that I wound up not liking the Kindle Fire. That’s not the truth at all. For a straight up E-Reader, I prefer the classic K3. When looking at the Kindle Fire as a tablet? For that function, I’ve been nothing but happy.

The Tablet

For starters; I’m not a user that would consider a tablet a ‘need’. When contemplating a tablet, I’m thinking pure luxury item. I want to browse the web, I want to play games and I want to watch movies. For those items, the Kindle Fire works great.

Paired with the ‘free paid app every day’ program at Amazon, I’m to the point that I have games lined up in my account that I haven’t even downloaded yet. From what I have played, the games all run quite well on the Fire’s hardware and make for a good time. Some are buggy mind you…my mahjong game that you see in the top picture, it decides to crash out at random every now and again. I’d place that blame on the developers and not the Fire itself.

For movies, I’ve yet to pony up the $80 a year for the Amazon Prime account, so I rely a lot on my Netflix account. Again, this works great. Paired with a nifty Android Video player app that I found called BS Player, I can now play all my local divx and MKV files straight from a shared folder on my PC as well. Without transcoding too. (< — That’s a big deal.) The video playback is surprisingly good, even on 720p encoding videos. Mix in the gesture based controls, and I’m pretty happy.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Fire’s Silk Web Browser and I’ll be honest…I don’t really get the technology. I.E. I don’t know what’s supposed to be special about the Silk Web Browser. That’s okay though. For my needs of browsing forum boards, reading blogs and stuff like that? It works pretty great. It’s fast, though no faster than say… the browser on my phone, but still fast enough.

Okay, I’ll be honest… It works pretty great reading web comics in bed.

In The End

Ultimately, the Kindle Fire; it’s a great tablet for $200. I’m not going to be jumping into a $600 iPad any time soon and frankly…I don’t really need to. The Fire covers my needs, centered around media consumption, quite well. The Fire could have some use in my day job as far as productivity and such, but again, it’s not a need. Many in the corporate world are in love with the status symbol of an iPad when they’re in a meeting, but my cell phone works just as well for that, so I see no need to lug the fire into a conference room with me. I’m not too worried about remaining a two device man with my Kindle Keyboard and my Kindle Fire…both server specific needs, and they serve them pretty damn well.

You’ll have to pry my Kindle Keyboard from my cold dead fingers though.

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Friday, January 06th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

As is apparant from the cobwebs around here… I’ve suffered from a long bout of writers block and frustration. Never a pleasant experience and hard to overcome. With the onset of the new year, I figure I wasn’t quite ready to leat “Cinema Fromage” die quite yet, so as resolutions and such go, I’m back. Granted…I don’t know that I’ll ever bet back to the full time movie reviews of the days of yore, but that’s okay. On to bigger and better things.

One thing that’s always helped me over come a writing funk has been new tools. Something like a shiny new pen or a brand spanking new notebook set the old brain to tingling a bit. Now… I know this isn’t the end all be all solution, or I would have been back a lot sooner. It does help to inspire. So, imagine my excitement when I started to wrap my head around the fact that I have to start 2012 putting my writing muscle back to work and one of my oldest friends hands me that awesome fountain pen showcased above as a gift on New Years Eve!

A sign from above maybe? It’s a sign that Chris knows me well and seems to have some faith in me as a writer. Can’t shake a stick at that!

Being an overzealous fans of ink pens and such, much like myself, Chris took the plunge about a year ago and bought himself a pen lathe. He was a bit nervous at the start, but it didn’t take long for him to be turning out some pretty spectacular pens from a variety of different material! Some exotic, some more common, some not even wood at all! I myself, am a big fan of fountain pens; I do a lot of my writing longhand with such an instrument. With this in mind, when Chris stumbled across an extra special material on one of his jobs…he figure it was a must for a fountain pen for me, and “The Chronic Writer” was born.

All that said… the pen as actually spurred me into trying to dust off the notebook and putting words to paper. It’s not much yet; a few paragraphs here and there. It’s a daily affair so far though, and that’s what counts.

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