Tag-Archive for » horror «

Friday, August 10th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

We’re back once again over here at the Weird Friends podcast with a whole new episode! This time around, we go with some fairly light horror fare with Chuck Wendig’s “Double Dead”!

This book was a pleasant surprise for myself. I have a good friend that I’ve traded books back and forth with for years. Said friend, Ak, hit me up awhile back with an article on Chuck Wending stating that he had been hearing quite a bit of buzz on him and the plots of his existing books grabbed me fairly quick! I’ve read a lot of zombie novels here as of late and while I do enjoy them, they tend to get a bit too heavy and in some cases, a bit too repetitive. Wendig’s version of the undead apocalypse was a nice change of pace that moved quick and wasn’t too heavy with ennui, melancholy, and stoic rambling.

Wending has some other books that look really good too, Blackbirds and Mockingbird. Both of these have catapulted up to the top of my to-read pile after reading “Double Dead”, so should be cool!

As always, the Dad and his Weird Friends show can be found on Bloody Good Horror Feed and iTunes! Give us a listen, let us know what you think! Feedback is welcome and encouraged, send your missives to casey@bloodygoodhorror.com!

Finally, come join us in the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Club on Facebook! We like to talk about books and if that’s your thing, we’d love to have you with us. It’s been a bit slow here lately, but that’s because we don’t have you there to help spice things up!

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Friday afternoon, you don’t want to work any more and my writing has become lazy at best. I need to knock the rust off, you need something to help pass the rest of the afternoon. “We can help each other out” is where I’m going here! In an effort to spur things writing wise, I’ve decided to play with some short fiction, flash fiction, etc. here on Cinema Fromage. This story, “Don’t Spit Into the Wind” is the first output of said venture. I’m not sure that it’s great, but I like it well enough and it’s a good start to get the gears turning again all the same. All the same; I’d love to hear what YOU think.

I can’t say that this will happen every Friday; as soon as I do, I’ll forget about it until next Thursday, panic then get all butt hurt over the fact that I didn’t post on Friday! Nobody wants to see that. It’s going to happen frequently however. It all depends on the work load of the week between the family needs, the day job, the podcasting and all that stuff.

These won’t all be horror related either mind you. This is “Casey’s Grand Experiment” and you, you’re the test subjects. We may cover all sorts of territory as I work out some new ideas, test new voices and the like.

So without further adieu, I invite you to dip into Friday Fondue #1: “Don’t Spit Into the Wind”, a new short, by me.

-C


Don’t Spit Into the Wind

“You son of a bitch, you almost hit my wife!” The overstuffed man with the handle bar moustache grew red in the face as he pulled his Harley up onto its kickstand. Jim Lowry stood outside his dusty SUV, the gas nozzle still in his hand wondering where this small bundle of fury was directing its vitriol.

“You didn’t even look before you pulled out in front of her, you could have killed her!” The man shouted as he trundled up to stand toe to toe with Jim. He was a mere five foot and five inches in comparison to Jim’s solid six foot; it didn’t stop the smaller man from staring up into Jim’s face with hatred, the wings of his moustache quivering with anger.

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Monday, March 12th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Real life has reared it’s ugly head once again, delaying me from posting here on ‘ye olde blog’, but here we are once again!

Just over a week ago, I released Episode 8 of the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Podcast, and this episode was a special one. For myself at any rate. Never before have I taken up the charge to sit down and actually interview somebody. Thankfully for me, author Jesse Petersen agreed to stop by and have a chat! Despite my nerves and everything else, the interview turned out quite well.

For those of you not familiar with Ms. Petersen, she’s penned a three book zombie series known as the “Living With the Dead” series. (There’s a short story collection in there to boot!) The covers of the first two books, “Married with Zombies” and “Flip this Zombie”, are seen above. My introduction to these book started with my lovely wife reading them and having a blast and then proceeding to pester me to get me to read them.

The Mrs. “You really need to read these books!”
The Mr. “But..they’re…pink.”
The Mrs. “So? Zombies! They’re really good!”
The Mr. ” But…Girlie…”
The Mrs. “They’re not chick-lit, read em!”

That conversation went on much like that over a couple of days until finally I relented. The next few days were broken up in two day chunks as I poured through each novel and broke into a typical “Those were really good books!” “….I told you so.” routine with the Mrs.

That said guys…they’re not girlie at all. It’s okay. The covers are just a design choice, you can read them. They are solid zombie novels!

Since this episode has been released, Jesse’s third novel “Eat, Slay, Love” has been nominated for a Dead Letter Award over at Mail Order Zombie! If you enjoy the interview and decide to give the book a read? Why not throw her a vote!

While we’re here…since I am in full bore book mode here as of late, I invite you to come join us in the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Club over on Facebook! Nothing more than a place to hangout and chat about books with like minded nerds! It’s a little quiet and dusty in there right now, but if you come join us, it’s bound to liven up!

Without further ado, I give you Episode 8 of the Dad and his Weird Friends Book Podcast! Enjoy!

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Monday, February 20th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

This coming weekend, Derek, Scott and myself will be sitting down to discuss the excellent (and Ingrid Pitt-Tastic) “Vampire Lovers” over at 1951 Down Place. This was one of my first and favorite Hammer flicks, so I’m pretty excited!

P.S. I won’t lie…Ingrid Pitt and Madeline Smith play a significant part in why I love this movie!


Over at Bloody Good Horror, things are cooking as we get close to episode #200! (We’re like…3 weeks away!) Our latest episode, #197 – Chronicle just hit the tubes this morning, so be sure to check that out! Tonight we’ll be sitting down to dig into Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, so be sure to watch for that next week!

Since we’re recording, you can always feel free to ask questions for the show by using the #askBGH hastag on Twitter!


The Dad and his Weird Friends Podcast is going great! Right now, you can check out Episode #7 where I sit down with Mike Chiseck from Night of the Living Podcast and discuss The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. It’s a good ep and should be on the free feed for another week!

This week, I’ll be recording the next episode and it’s an exciting one. For the first time, I’ll have be doing an author interview for the show instead of a book discussion! I’ll be sitting down with Jesse Petersen, the author of the great “Living With the Dead” series! It’s my first inteviews, so I’m a little nervous! I think it’s going to turn out pretty great though!

For those of you who don’t know, the contact for Dad and his Weird Friends is Casey@BloodyGoodHorror.com, so if you have questions or comments, shoot them over there!


A little birdie tells me that starting this week, you might start hearing me pop up on the Mail Order Zombie Podcast this week. The rumor has it that I may start doing some Zombie book reviews for their show and it might turn into a regular thing. If I told you that my first review was for David Moody’s “Autumn”, I might have to turn you into one of the undead horde!

(The new episode comes out this Thursday, check it out and let me know what you think of the new segment!)


Sometime here in the near future, I’ll be hanging out with Louis Fowler over on Damaged Viewing, which is always a blast. I love action flicks, comedies, thrillers and all that good stuff, so it’s always fun to talk stuff non-horror with Louis! (Louis good for keeping me on my toes too!) As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ll be sure to let you know what movies we’ll be talking about as soon as we iron out the details.

Beyond that, who knows where I’ll show up! Need a guest for your podcast, hit me up! I’m always down for podcasting of some sort! You can reach me at casey@bloodygoodhorror.com or through Twitter (@CaseyBGH)!

Kudo’s to Con-Buddy Ken who dubbed me with the ‘CPC’ on my birthday, or “The Criswell Podcast Corporation”! Corporation sounds a little stuffy though, so this week, we’ll experiment with ‘Compound’ :D

Until next time…..Buh Bye.


Friday, January 13th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Every now and then, I stumble across a book in the most unlikely of ways. If you’re a listener of the Bloody Good Horror podcast, you’ve probably heard us mention that we mess about on TheChive while recording. It’s a photo blog if you’re not familiar, filled with everything from goofy pictures to cool HD stuff and everywhere in between. On one such day while browsing through a post, I saw the cover posted there to the left (I think, it’s all fuzzy now) and the word ‘horror’ and it caught my attention. Having never had a photo blog recommend a book to me, it looked interesting, so I threw it on the to read pile.

Back when I was first introduced to Ania Ahlborn, I discovered her twitter account and being a want-to-be self published author myself, I followed. You see, Ms. Ahlborn has had quite a bit of sales success with Seed. In fact, it was number one on Amazon’s horror charts for a bit. And she published it all herself. Not too shabby!

Jump ahead many months later, sitting on the computer during that sleepy time between Christmas and New Years. I still hadn’t gotten around to buying a copy of Seed but I just happened to notice that the author was giving away copies of the book for three days on Twitter. Seeing as I’d been wanting to check it out, I jumped at the chance and dug in right away. Two days later, I was done with the book, left well entertained and here we are. Since I don’t have this one slated for a Dad and his Weird Friends Episode as of yet, I’ll fill you in here.

From Amazon:

In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth. Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles. But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: “Daddy, I saw it too.” And then she begins to change. Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before. But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing. Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along. And it’s hungrier than ever.

As a good story should, the first thing to jump out at you in Ahlborn’s “Seed” is a family of well crafted characters. Jack Winter, a family man doing his best to support his family. Sure, he’s not perfect. He doesn’t need to be though, because he’s a good dad and a good husband. Then there’s Aimee. Written well to fit her back story of a formerly well to do southern daughter throwing off her families money for love and a family of her own. Abby, the older sister is a good kid, a good student and a happy older sister. Then, there’s Charlie. Charlie’s cute and precocious, she’s funny and adorable and quite obviously, the apple of her father’s eye.

Easily identifiable and more importantly, relatable, the Winters are any happy American family. They work hard, live happily with what little they have, and simply enjoy being together; A cast of characters that could easily be you or I. Since we can relate to these characters so well, when the darkness shows up, it’s not so much the things that scuttle about in the shadows that make our skin crawl in “Seed”, but the aftermath and the effect that that shadow has on the Winters as a whole. For fear of spoilers, I won’t go into specifics.

Accompanying all of this is an easy flowing writing style that makes for a quick read. I have problems when books hit a lull and the story’s pace slows to a crawl. Here, I never encountered such problems. This isn’t a story where there is constant carnage around every turn; in fact, it’s a bit of a pot boiler as you get to know the family and the gradual problems they have to face. Never does this get bogged down to where the reading feels like a chore. The landscapes and scenery are well spelled out, though not integral to the story. There are always more details to latch on to that makes the world of Jack Winters, past and present, feel real.

As you can see, I thought quite highly of “Seed”. I knocked this out in two short days and resulted in at least one late night turning pages. I didn’t come across any problems between the covers of “Seed”; there are no pot holes to speak of and the emotional weight that comes as the story unfolds is what we’re truly here to read and it works well. If there’s anything I would have liked to have seen different, those items would be minor and inconsequential to the book as a whole. For instance, I enjoyed the character of Jack’s friend Reagan who was brought in a few times. Where I thought he might be contributing something significant to the tale later on, he serves as a minor sounding board that sort of disappears. Again, nothing at all that harms the story; just a character I thought would have turned into something more significant. We hear a lot of mention of Aimee’s father but never really meet him, though her mother was bad enough. As you can see, any issues I had with “Seed” were minor and had only to do with small characters!

To wrap up, “Seed” is a fine foray into horror for Ania Ahlborn. Keep in mind, this is Ahlborn’s first novel AND it’s self published. Had I not known that going in, I’d have never known. It’s fully edited, well formatted and all together a professional and finished book. It has a lot of style and is well written and left me feeling positive that I’ll be looking for more from her in the future. Even more importantly…I’ll be expecting more from her in the future. I feel pretty certain that she’s going to have some more good horror novels coming for us that are only going to get better as she goes. With “Seed”, we get a warm look at a family and a punch to the gut as we watch them go through their own personal little hell. In the end, you can feel good knowing that Ahlborn doesn’t pull that punch either; for horror fans, you’ll be happy with where this journey goes.

If this sounds up your alley, you can purchase “Seed” for a mere $2.99 at Amazon.com For the time being, the book is available exclusively on the Kindle through Amazon. If you take a glance at Ania’s blog however you’ll see thatboth “Seed” and Ms. Ahlborn’s next novel “The Neighbors” have been picked up by Amazon’s new publishing houses, so print versions will be coming soon!

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Thursday, October 20th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve been missing from this dusty little home here, but it’s been for good reason. There’s been a lot of podcast construction going on in the back ground! If you haven’t tuned in yet, the first episode of the 1951 Down Place podcast was released! Judging from the feed back, people loved it! Episode 2 is in the can now, so be watching for that to be released at the end of October!

But now for the NEW news! In the next two weeks or so, I’ll be releasing another all new podcast called the “Dad and his Weird Friends” podcast! While the title doesn’t reflect the subject matter, it does reflect the cast! Every other week, I (being Dad) will be sitting down with a different friend (being the Weird Friends) and we’re going to talk books. Science fiction books. Horror books. Comic books. Fantasy books. Big books, little books, e-books, paper books! I’m a bit of a junkie as it comes to reading and I haven’t found a book podcast that fits my wants for the drive to work….so myself and my Weird friends are going to remedy that.

The subject matter will vary widely, as will my guests! Every other week I’ll throw in some book news, in depth discussion on a new book and some thought provoking questions ripped from the pages of speculative fiction. You can look forward to friends from other well known podcasts such as Night of the Living Podcast, the Bloody Good Horror Podcast, Damaged Hearing and a whole lot more!

The first episode will be recording soon as I sit down with Mark Newell, my cohort from Bloody Good Horror and talk about Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”!

Be sure to check back here at Cinema Fromage often for updates as I will be announcing the official feed address here at the site! You can also follow the new Twitter account Dadsweirdfriend, shoot as email at dadsweirdfriends@gmail.com or leave us a voice mail at (585)-209-3473.

Most importantly, we’ve launched the Dad and his Weird Friends discussion group at Goodreads.com! This will be the place to discuss all of the books mentioned on the show, talk about genre books in general and ultimately relish in your nerdy book loving splendor! So be sure to head over to Goodreads.com and join the group!

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Wednesday, March 09th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell



Mondo Sasquatch

“I Have Always Wondered What Bigfoot Meat Tastes Like: An Introduction” by Louis Fowler

“Arlo Felling Exists” by Richard Tiernan

“Bigfoot and the Bone Face Murders” by Michael May

“Bigfoot Must Die” by Frankie Marino

“From Hell’s Heart” by Desmond Reddick

“Incident at Crater Lake” by Casey Criswell

“Roadside Attraction” by Matthew P. Mayo

“Sacrifice” by Shawn Gilbreath

“Sasquatch Vs. El Chupacabra” by Douglas Waltz

“Strike” by Michael D Winkle

“The Ballad of the Skunk Ape” by Jarret Keene

“The Encounter” by Mike White

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit and the Sasquatch” by Beatrix Potter and Rod Lott

“The Tragic Hazing of Bryan Igfoot” by Eric Dimbleby

“Theodore Roosevelt and the Great American Anthropoid” by Bill Adcock


You ever get that feeling that something’s watching you while you’re walking through the woods? You shook off the cold chill that ran down your spine, passing the moment off as simple heebie jeebies and nothing more?

Well guess what. You were wrong.

The Sasquatch is real.

Myself and my two cohorts Louis Fowler and Rod Lott are thrilled to announce that this long awaited collection of Sasquatch Short Fiction is nearing completion!

Above you will see our awesome book cover designed by artist Jim Rugg whom you may recognize from such comics as Dark Horse’s The Guild and DC’s The Plain Janes! Needless to say, it’s pretty fantastic!

We are also excited to announce to the public the fifteen stories that will be making up the pages of “Mondo Sasquatch”! You might notice my own story in there, “Incident at Crater Lake” which I’m really excited about! “Incident” is a 60 page novella and turned out well, if I do say so myself! (And I do!)

We are working on mid-may release for “Mondo Sasquatch” as we put on the final editing touches! Be sure to stay tuned for more info such as official release dates, the official website and more. At this time, I can tell you that the book will be available in print and handy dandy e-book format from Amazon.com and more!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

As the old natty year of 2010 ticked over to the fresh and shiny year of 2011, I made myself a little mental note. Some call them resolutions, some call them goals. I just made a little check list of crap I’m going to get done this year. I guess you would call those ‘goals’.

Anywho.

The first of those goals has officially begun and by golly, it feels pretty damn good to get that first step over with. Over the past week I’ve been pouring over a 3000 word short story called “Kingdom of Squalor” for a contest. I didn’t find out about the contest until last week but I decided I wanted to go for it. Today, after several rounds of edits and convincing myself that my story is shit; I think I’m ready to send it out the door. That’s a problem of mine; I really can’t convince myself that any of these stories are worth a damn!

As for the goal stuff, my lofty goal was to submit twelve short stories in 2011. Note that I didn’t say sell; just to submit. 12 different stories. A lofty goal? Oh yes. An obtainable goal? Yes, if I get my ass in gear. Is said ass in gear? It’s in something, It’s starting to burn!

So there you have it; “Kingdom of Squalor” makes the first of those 12 stories out the door. We’re going to tick the countdown clock to 11 to make it official. Now if I can get this contest to take the story? Well that’s even better.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 30th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

Ah video games, the perfect addition to sedentary afternoon.

A good two years ago, we gamers were blessed with “Dead Space”, a nice little third person shooter for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The game was full of blood and guts and had a pretty gripping story line that would be right at home with any number of horror flicks.

If you’re a TV watcher, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the ad campaign for the sequel, i.e. “Your’e Mom’s Gonna Hate It”. The commercials promise even more gruesome game play and a full fledged continuation of the story. As of last week, the game was released to the public and we were able to find out if our mom’s would indeed hate the game.

I’m a long way from being done with the game but from what I’ve seen in 3 chapters? It’s pretty damn great!

As for the mechanics of the game, much of it is identical to our run through the Ishimura back in 2008. The controls handle the same. The seat of your pants trek through dark and shadowy corridor game play is the same. There really wasn’t anything wrong with the first game in these departments, so there’s nothing wrong with reusing it once again. Things are so close, you can access your original upgraded Plasma Gun from your “Dead Space” game save!

There are a few new additions to the formula, such as quick time events if you find yourself pinned down by a creature. These are simple so they don’t become to troublesome. The other big improvement comes in the graphics department which is flat out great. The dark steel environments of the game come to life in smooth high res graphics and all of it ties together to make a damn engrossing story. Those high res graphics help make this one hell of a gory game as well!

After three chapters of game play, this is obviously not a full review. It is enough for me to confidently say ‘this game is awesome, go play it now!’. The scenes are all filled with tension and foreboding and makes for some of my favorite ‘horror gaming’ I’ve had on the 360 in awhile. You all know me…I’m a bit jaded with all the horror movies I’ve watched and reviewed over the years. Dead Space 2? This one has made me jump a dozen times so far! Sure, a lot of the jumps are due to the cheapest b-movie ploys known to man. They deploy them in great fashion though!

So consider this a preview as I don’t have any more time to spend talking bout it. I have a few more chapters to tackle before the day winds down!

Quick Edit: Holy crap, I just found this awesome Dead Space 2 Rig Hoodie over at the Visceral Studios Store. Time to figure out how to talk the wife into letting me blow $60 on a sweatshirt!

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Thursday, December 09th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Posts have grown sporadic here as of late while I throw myself into what I feel may be my biggest writing project yet! It’s an ambitious idea and could eat up quite a bit of my time. In the end though, it would let me refer to myself as a ‘novelist’ and that’s not so bad, now is it?

Yes, like many other hopeful writers out there I’ve thrown myself at my first attempt at a novel. I like to think I have a ‘novel’ idea. I’ve spent quite a bit of time outlining it and plotting and well…what I have entertains me quite a bit! In the end, I think that’s what really counts, doesn’t it?

At any rate, as I approach the 100 page mark (100 pages written in various chunks, mind you.) I figured I might as well share a sample chapter. It gives a good example of the voice I’m planning on using, spells out quite a bit about the main character and gives you a taste of where the plot’s heading. Since this is my first time and I’m the self doubting type, this is my selfish plea for encouragement and such as well! As the doubt sets in, the word count slows and I start to wonder if it’s really all worth it.

So, if you like this sample chapter of “Dinner With Denton”, be sure to leave some comments or hell, shoot me an email at a ccriswell@gmail.com and let me know what you think!

Without further adieu, I give you “Dinner With Denton”: A Sample Chapter after the jump.

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