Day 29 of 31 days of horror: The Munsters (2022)

I almost skipped this one because Rob Zombie movies just aren’t my favorite. But I love the Munsters, so I decided to give it a chance. In the beginning, I thought it was visually appealing and fun. A decent homage to the original Munsters. But the lack of a cohesive plot and an overly long run time highlighted the poor acting and badly set up bad jokes. The Munsters is not known for subtle acting either, but there is such a thing as over-overacting. But Rob Zombie casts his wife Sheri Moon Zombie in all of his movies, so this was to be expected. The Munsters is also known for its specific humor, which to be fair, the jokes were pretty well suited to some of the characters. But the timing and responses were off. I was missing the echoing stomp sounds and shaking rooms when Herman got excited and started jumping around. The Lily we know and love wouldn’t moon over Herman the way this Lily did. Our Herman always had a high opinion of himself, from his looks to his varied talents, but he was not cocky like this Herman. I did enjoy Grandpa, known as the Count in this movie.

It’s not the worst Rob Zombie movie, nor is it the worst reboot/prequel I’ve ever seen. It’s fun for a while. I think if I had just turned it off around halfway when I started getting bored, I would have a higher opinion of it. It’s okay, but you’re not missing anything if you skip this one.

I think I’ll watch one of the Netflix serial killer miniseries now. Son of Sam, maybe.

Day 28 of 31 days of horror: Army of Darkness (1992)

Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.

Another comedy horror kind of night, though this one has a stronger horror element. Army of Darkness is the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series. It is also my favorite. It’s full of goofy special effects and one liners. I watch this highly quotable classic yearly. It’s great.

Day 27 of 31 days of horror: Raw (2016)

What are you hungry for?

This movie is about a vegetarian veterinary student who is forced to eat meat during a hazing ritual and is suddenly hungry for all the meat. All sorts of weird shit happens, aside from the hunger. It’s weird af and kind of…wonderful?

I read the description and hit play before realizing that that this is a French language film with English subtitles. I think that, and the score, actually added to the atmosphere of this movie. Anyway, it’s pretty good.

Day 26 of 31 days of horror: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

So this is more comedy than horror, but I’m counting it. Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is a super campy fun movie with thin plot and deep cleavage. Full of silly one liners and innuendos, this was a pleasure to watch. It’s pure fluff. And of course there’s that boobie dance number at the end. Not a movie I’m gonna add to the rewatch rotation, but it’s a fun one.

I read a book: Against the Lockers, by Aiden E. Messer

I don’t know much about Aiden E. Messer, other than what they post on Instagram. They write extreme horror with LGBTQ+ characters and read and review lots of extreme horror. And sometimes they see my review previews on Insta and tap that little heart. Which is cool. I love author interactions. I downloaded a sample of Against the Lockers the first time I saw their name on my notifications.

I finished up Full Brutal, by Kristopher Triana a little while ago. Since the work day is half over, I didn’t want to dive into another full length book that would only end up put aside until the weekend once the work day is over. So I scrolled through my kindle looking for something to kill an hour or so and there was that sample. It’s time.

Content warning: sexual assault, blood, gore

My first thought is that it could benefit from another round of editing. There are a few typos and inconsistent verb tenses. There’s some odd paragraph formatting. None of this takes away from the story, but some readers are nitpicky about stuff like that. I am not bothered by that stuff because my brain autocorrects, but I do notice.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. This story has a good premise. The idea of a sexual assault victim getting revenge on their rapist in the most brutal fashion is quite appealing, but I wish it was more fleshed out. This feels like it’s not quite finished. I would have liked to see more details, more descriptions of the impactful moments. The revenge is great. The reactions of some of the supporting characters like the dean, the police, and a couple of Colin’s friends feels pretty realistic. It is not uncommon for authorities to ignore or downplay sexual assaults, particularly of LGBTQ+ people. And sometimes friendships don’t survive difficult times. And if real life judges go on the record saying that victims’ bodies can prevent rape, it is certainly believable that fictional characters would also believe that a victim has control over their bodies’ responses. So yes, this is a good story. It’s just missing a little something to make it a great one.

For a buck and a half and an hour of your time, Against the Lockers, by Aiden E. Messer is a no brainer. It could use some fine tuning, but it’s still a good read.

Afterword

Aiden, if you read this, I hope you don’t feel like my review is too harsh. On my personal rating scale, 3 stars means I liked it! I look forward to reading your future works.

Best,
Monica at Totally Normal Human (aka @mononorama on the ‘gram)

Day 25 of 31 days of horror: American Psycho (2000)

I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane?

American Psycho is an excellent movie based on an excellent book written by Bret Easton Ellis. If you ever watched this movie and thought, “Well that’s needlessly violent,” you would be shocked by the levels of violence in the book. If that isn’t enough to convince you that the book is worth a read, consider that there is also an excellent audiobook performed by an excellent narrator who is the very embodiment of the Patrick Bateman character.

This was supposed to be commentary on the movie as I watch it, but it turned into a book endorsement. What can I say, I like American Psycho in all its formats. Anyway, good movie.

I read a book: Full Brutal, by Kristopher Triana

If Kristopher Triana wasn’t already on my insta-buy list, he would be after reading this book.

There is so much to say about this book. To say that it is brutal is an understatement. It begins with a couple of quotes, one about the cruelty of man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and a second seemingly glib remark by Jeffrey Dahmer. “I carried it too far, that’s for sure.” — Jeffery Dahmer. Don’t you just love it when you finish a book and then reflect on the quotes on the first page and understand their significance in relation to the book?

This Mean Girls meets American Psycho type tale features a teenage girl who has it all. Kim White is a popular cheerleader, she’s beautiful, all the girls envy her and want to be her. There’s just one problem. She’s bored af and ready to check out if something doesn’t happen soon. After a conversation about the life changing effects of losing your virginity (har har) with her friend, Kim decides that that’s exactly what her life is missing. She could fuck any boy her age she wants, but she sets her focus on her teacher. He is a weak man and it doesn’t take much for him to give in. She finds that it isn’t the sex itself that gets her out of her funk, it’s the instant regret of her teacher and the knowledge that she can destroy this man on a whim. She feeds on despair. She goes from threatening to expose him, to destroying his family, to going on a full on rampage. Because of who she is (and her careful manipulation of people), no one suspects her of any wrongdoing, which just makes it easier to escalate. When it’s all said and done, the reader is left thinking about Kim and how her father and her peers will react, just as we watched her peers react to all of the shit that went down in the book.

I listened to the audiobook as I read, as I often do. The narration was spot on. Solid performance by Dani George.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. I loved it. It’s got everything. Drama. Murder. Cannibalism? Yeah. There is so much to say about this book, but if you are into extreme horror and splatterpunk, you should read it for yourself. In the words of Jeffrey Dahmer, she “carried it too far, that’s for sure.”

You can get a signed copy of Full Brutal at Kristopher Triana’s website, or grab a digital version on Amazon.

Day 24 of 31 days of horror: Dr. Giggles (1992)

The doctor will see you now.

If it wasn’t obvious by now, I’m a big fan of slashers and body horror, in both book and movie form. Humor is a bonus that automatically adds to my enjoyment. I enjoy proper scary horror as well, but it’s the funny and absurd that I revisit. The more outlandish, the better.

Dr. Giggles is about as outlandish as they come. The doctor is a mental patient who escapes the institution and goes on a murderous rampage intent on punishing the town for killing his father, an actual doctor who was also (surprise) crazy. Dr. Giggles is not a doctor, but don’t tell him that. He gets it into his head to help the female lead with the heart problems, but of course, his help is chaotic and wholly unhelpful. You know, because he’s not a doctor. And he’s insane.

This movie has basically every cliche doctor joke and I’m here for it. The little kid glued to his tv playing Dr. Mario. I remember watching this movie as a kid. The stomach pump scenes where he say “I know, I know. It sucks.” The scene where he throws a human heart at someone and say “Have a heart!” is embedded in my brain. So many laugh out loud moments. You may find yourself unable to contain your giggles.

Day 23 of 31 days of horror: The Dentist (1996)

Nothing, no matter how good or how pure, is free of decay. Once that decay gets started, it can only lead to rot, filth, corruption.

Today’s theme is dentophobia. That’s right, the extreme fear of dentists.

I am not afraid of dentists. I’ve a had a fair amount of dental work. Several root canals, crowns, fillings, and one extraction. I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth out with only local anesthesia and a valium. The feeling of a scalpel cutting into your gums and digging out teeth that hadn’t erupted while you’re not quite sleeping with Prince Valium is super weird. There was some anxiety the first time I went to a dentist, but I’ve never been afraid.

That said, I’ve never had a dentist who lost his shit after catching his wife blowing the pool boy on their wedding anniversary. I’ve never had a dentist follow the pool guy only to find out he was fucking the neighbor lady too. Probably all the neighbor ladies. Rich people problems, am I right? Anyway, this dentist tries to go about his work day but starts hallucinating, seeing his adulteress wife and taking out his rage on his patients. This guy’s internal dialog tells us that he was one step away from a murder spree all along. Dude has issues. He reminds me of that hologram the crew of Voyager finds all alone on a ship, only to discover that he’d murdered his crew. Yes, everything is Star Trek.

If you’re scared of dentists, don’t watch this movie. You may never go back to the dentist. Honestly I’m not sure anyone needs to watch this movie. It’s not a bad movie, but not one I’m gonna watch again anytime soon. But today’s theme is dentophobia, so here we are!

I read a book: The Tooth Fairy, by Davide Tarsitano

Today’s theme is dentophobia. Earlier I watched a movie called The Dentist. Now I’m finishing up my review of The Tooth Fairy, by Davide Tarsitano.

Remember that episode of Ren and Stimpy where Ren has a toothache and ends up grinding his teeth and waking with broken shards that shatter and fall out completely, leaving behind stinking gum holes? Listen, I don’t really fear dental work, but I have had that dream. The one where your teeth all fall out. You know the one.

The Tooth Fairy is the story of two people from different worlds who end up crossing paths, both getting more than they bargained for. Johnny Hawk is trying to get a fresh start after finding his wife with another man. He gets his business partner to buy him out so he can go road tripping until he figures out how he’s going to start over. Somewhere along the way, a niggling tooth pain becomes a big deal and he needs a dentist asap. He meets Wendy and things start looking up for him. What he doesn’t know is that she is a deeply disturbed woman with a dark past that is threatening to resurface. When he sees through her facade, he finds himself drugged and strapped to a dentist chair. I could tell you more, but where’s the fun in that.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. This was a pretty good read. I was a little worried that it was going to be some kind of supernatural story with a tooth fairy boogeyman but it’s actually a psychological thriller humans are the monsters type horror story, and I love those. I look forward to Tarsitano’s future work.

Big thanks to Davide Tarsitano and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can buy The Tooth Fairy, by Davide Tarsitano on Amazon for a couple bucks or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.