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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.

more…

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Coming out in 1995, “Tales From the Hood” was a movie that flew under the radar for me. The early trailers for the movie made the stories packed within the anthology look weak with the urban themes being forced in to fit the tones of the ‘From the Hood’ moniker. Some fifteen years later, I’ve come to find out that the themes are heavily urban in flavor making a great setting for this group of fun stories.

Trying the four stories together is Clarence Williams III. Portraying an eccentric undertaker in a funeral home, he is confronted by three young thugs in search of ‘the shit’. As he stalls the three men, he shows them the various dark corners of his funeral home, each of which unlocks a different story that eventually seals the groups fate.

Ultimately, “Tales From the Hood” is quite a bit of fun. While it doesn’t’ do anything revolutionary to the genre, it is on par with many films of its kind, especially horror flicks that came out in the nineties. None of the stories are overly scary but they pack a good dark sense of humor and give a creepy vibe throughout. There is a good variety between the stories as well. The tale of a young boy with a powerful imagination is downright touching. Watching Corbin Bernson act like a racist pig rather disturbing, his fate well suited. The harsh reality that flashes through a dying murderers mind; unnerving. All of the shorts manage to push their point without taking themselves too seriously.

The best part of the entire movie is Clarence Williams, hands down. He’s campy. He’s over the top. He’s maniacal and has good comedic timing. He’s just all around entertaining and the glue that holds the whole thing together.

“Tales Form the Hood” isn’t going to show you anything new. It’s going to keep you around for the full runtime though and give you some laughs and some chills. I’d say it’s well worth throwing in the DVD player for a Halloween party and it won’t scare off your non-horror minded friends either!

Monday, October 11th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past weekend found me with some spare time on my hands. As you can tell by the cobwebs here around Cinema Fromage, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for movie watching, but I took the opportunity to dive back in head first and catch three movies I’ve been looking forward to seeing! After all, it’s time to start getting geared up for Halloween, right?

Since things have been slow around here lately, I’m going to kick things back into gear with a handful of capsule reviews!

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie – Italian Zombie flicks are always something special but to be completely honest; my experience with them has been pretty Fulci centric. It was a nice change to get outside of the heavy gore that those types of zombie flicks usually rely on and concentrate a bit more on the characters.

Speaking of the characters, they’re something special. George is a hippie but more importantly, he’s a complete and total ass. When he runs into Edna who is traveling the countryside after his motorcycle breaks down, you’re left wanting to bust him in the chops just to shut his demanding ass up. It’s that bad. This is counteracted though by Edna who is slightly dreamy and sweet played by Christine Galbo. She is quite lovely. Throw in Edna’s heroin addicted sister trapped in a country side manor and things get pretty zany.

The cool twist here is the source of infection. It’s a nice change and something a bit different from what was causing zombies in other movies in those days. Here we’re looking at a radioactive insect repellent that drives the denizens of the country side to become aggressive and violent. And though I said before that it’s a nice change from the typical super gory Fulci formula, there is still a good chunk of blood and guts going on here!

Psychomania – I’ve been dying to see “Psychomania” for a long time though I never worked too hard to find a copy. Thankfully, Turner Classic Movies made it nice and easy for me by showing the flick late Friday night. Here’s another confession; the reason I wanted to see “Psychomania”? Those motorcycle helmets are KICKIN’ RAD! I mean, look at that logo with the skull and the helmet! Isn’t that cool?

Anyways…

Yet another twist on the classic zombie formula, now we get into deals with the devil and cults and black magic. It sounds pretty off putting at first and as a standard horror flick, its pretty light in the scares department. Still a pretty captivating flick, simply because it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before! When we’re first introduced to the gang of young people terrorizing the country side, they seemed dark and mysterious and simply strange. Once the leader of the band of misfits Tom Latham goes home for the night, he transforms into some British Ultra-Mod type with his snazzy white turtleneck and high fashion living room decor. We’re talking Austin Powers here folks.

Despite the ‘yah baby yah’ tendencies, it’s still a good flick. Its look at the undead is pretty unique altogether, one that looks at an after life of causing mayhem free from death and consequence rather than feeding on flesh and brains. My one nit-picky 3am gripe about the movie? They buried Tom sitting on top of his bike. Dig the damn hole deeper, his head was still sticking out!

Cabin Fever 2 – I was never the biggest fan of Eli Roth’s original “Cabin Fever”. I didn’t’ hate it or anything. I just wasn’t into it as much as others seem to be. For “Cabin Fever 2″ I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, especially since I didn’t care for Ti West’s “House of the Devil” much at all! Turns out, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would!

Plot wise, there’s nothing much new here. The disease has hit the water table that the local bottled water company draws its water from. So; same disease, new location. We have one Giussepe Andrews returning from the first flick as Deputy Wilson and that’s about it. He knows what’s going on when things start to go gooey around town. Now we have a high school outsider type played by “Deadgirl” lead Noah Segan and his hopeless crush on Alexi Wasser. Unfortunately for Noah, Alexi’s got an asshole boyfriend she’s in love with, so Noah doesn’t stand a chance. All of that is an aside to the main point of contention here which is…the disease is back, it’s going to culminate at the high school prom and things are going to get messy.

If you push back the standard run of the mill plot, you’re left with the gore being the main character of “Cabin Fever 2″. In that aspect, Ti West succeeds pretty well! There are a lot of moments that fit in well with the Eli Roth original. There’s body parts sliding off here and there, bloody vomit and some scenes involving genitalia that will make you cringe and look away from the TV. Considering that’s the whole point of the series? I’d call that a good thing!