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.

Day 22 of 31 days of horror: Dead Alive (1992)

The devil is amongst us. Stay back, boy. This calls for divine intervention!

Peter Jackson is best known for the Lord of the Rings series. Long before that came a movie called Braindead, that was released in North America under the name Dead Alive. I recognize the movie cover, but now that I’m watching it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.

It is terrible. And wonderful. It has all the makings of a great horror comedy. Ridiculous premise, bad acting, eccentric characters, and more blood and gore than the average person can stomach. Several laugh out loud moments. The scene in the park where Lionel is punching the zombie baby and everyone just watches (and one guy laughs)…LMAO. And the party scene where the one guy yells “I’m sorry I called Nabokov a pedophile!” as he’s being attacked. And then later he pops off with “Some of my best friends are pedophiles!” Reminded me of this one person who posts the same couple books in all the book groups all the time. Zombie status confirmed. Anyway, if you like cheesy zombie movies where the gore flows freely, you’ll like this one.

Day 21 of 31 days of horror: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Yeah, they’re dead. They’re…all messed up.

Night of the Living Dead is probably the classic zombie movie. The Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. That’s kind of a big deal for a zombie flick.

Of course it’s more than just a zombie flick. Wikipedia has a decent explanation of how critics interpreted it, so I’ll just drop a link.

Poor Ben. Survives the night, but I guess there’s no salvation from redneck zombie hunters for a black man during a zombie apocalypse.

I read a book: The Haunting of Ashburn House, by Darcy Coates

This is the book that Book Lovers Cafe chose for October book club. It wasn’t the one that I wanted, so I’ve been reading just about everything else before deciding to start this one. I started this morning and probably would have finished before the work day is over if it wasn’t for an afternoon staff meeting. It is way more interesting than I expected. Fair warning, there may be spoilers in this review.

I’m generally not into ghost stories. Ghosts are one of those things that I have trouble suspending disbelief enough to enjoy. Other monsters are fantastical. No one believes zombies or vampires are real. But there are plenty of people who believe in ghosts, because most religions include some kind of afterlife. I am still nowhere near on board with the whole afterlife thing, but I’m loosening up on my stance on ghost stories. After all, I did love the show Supernatural, including the huge angels vs demons arc. Maybe I can accept ghosts as a fictional monster without considering the real life implications.

That said, (minor spoiler) this isn’t even a ghost story. It’s not a haunting in that sense. Not really. I mean it is, and it isn’t. This is the story of a young woman named Adrienne who inherits an old house in a little town from an old relative she met only once as a small child. Because of the tragic deaths of the family who once lived there (her elderly aunt’s family), the townspeople believe the house is haunted. After a series of strange inexplicable (and terrifying) events, Adrienne learns that the house is in fact haunted, just not in the way she thinks. Things get pretty scary for our heroine for a while. Will the evil forces at work triumph? There were parts that I definitely didn’t see coming. I engaged in discussion before getting too far into the book and a big part of it was revealed to me, which was fine by me because I actually love spoilers. I actively seek them out. This spoiler fueled my interest, because as I mentioned earlier, I’m not big on ghost stories.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. I’m glad I read this book, despite the fact that it wasn’t my first choice. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m happy to see that Darcy Coates has a large catalog and many of her books are available as part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Day 20 of 31 days of horror: Carrie (1976)

And the first sin was intercourse. SAY IT.

Today’s movie is Carrie. That opening scene in the locker room always catches me off guard, what with the nude teenagers frolicking about, boobs and bush on full display. There’s a lot of ridiculous stuff, like a group of teenagers going to a pig farm to slaughter pigs and collect their blood. But there’s a lot of great stuff, like the use of that pig blood. The cast is great. I really enjoy this movie.

There are some differences between the book and the movie (audiobook is great btw). The movie characters are all way more attractive than their book counterparts. Carrie’s powers and the mother’s character were toned down. Different endings. But both are pretty great. The movie is definitely a classic and one of my personal favorite Stephen King adaptations.

Day 19 of 31 days of horror: Child’s Play (1988)

Chucky: We’re friends ’til the end! Remember?
Andy: This is the end, friend!

My first encounter with Brad Dourif was his portrayal of Bajoran engineer Lon Suder in Star Trek: Voyager. His character murdered a guy because…he was bored? He sure gave Tuvok a hell of a time trying to figure out motive because one simply did not exist. A whole lot of mind meld stuff happened, and ultimately Suder was sent to his room for the rest of the ride back to the alpha quadrant. Starships don’t have long term prisons, after all.

Child’s Play is the first of 8 Chucky movies and Brad Dourif is in most of them. Pretty sure I’ve only ever seen the first one, because unless it’s Star Trek or Lord of the Rings, I don’t always watch all the sequels. I admit I’m kind of interested in watching the Child’s Play 2 because I just have to know how he comes back after the doll was destroyed. Whoops, is that a spoiler? The movie was made in 1988 so…

I like this movie. This was a fun rewatch. I should probably add it to my yearly Spooktober watch list.

Eventually, long after we’ve forgotten about Lon Suder and his house arrest, he gets his redemption arc. And then he dies a heroic death.