One of my favorite recent reads was “No Exit” by Taylor Adams. This fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller wasn’t just a universal favorite on BookTube but guaranteed to pull you out of any reading slump. It only took me a couple of days to finish and I remember thinking how the story would make for an excellent film adaptation. Little did I know that HULU was way ahead of me; dropping their screen rendition late last month. I was excited by the news but also worried the live-action version wouldn’t do justice to the written word. Before I break things down, be warned this post is loaded with heavy SPOILERS for both the book and film. This is geared for those who’ve already read the book so, if you haven’t done so already, I suggest you stop reading this blog and immediately seek out the novel. I think the less you know going in, the more fun the ride will be, and this comparison will certainly be waiting for you upon your return.
This past Sunday, I headed over to Summit, Illinois to attend The Chicago Paranormal Conference. This free event featured unique vendors, palm readers, and interesting speakers discussing ghosts, UFOs (now referred to as UAPs – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), and Cryptozoology. I only learned of it the day before but, since it was only about thirty minutes from me, decided to check it out.
There’s nothing like a divisive horror film to shake up our happy community. Don’t believe me? Just hop on any Facebook horror movie page and post, “I’m thinking of watching ‘Hereditary.’ Is it any good?” or “Is the ‘Suspiria’ remake better than the original?” Then log back on in an hour and peruse the comments. Recently, Netflix ignited some discord of their own with Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022), the long unanticipated retcon sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). I like some of the Texas Chainsaw movies but this flick was never on my radar and I tuned out any and all news leading up to it. That is until the trailer dropped and my apathy gave way to disgust. This was thanks in large part to the cringe-worthy ripoff of Sally Hardesty returning like Laurie Strode in Halloween 2018 and a scene showing a group of young people telling Leatherface he’s going to get “canceled.” The latter would trigger a cavalcade of angry YouTubers who’d quickly decry the new film as ‘woke’ a.k.a. fan poison for any established franchise. Then I sat down and actually watched the movie. And you know what? It changed everything. Before I explain, be advised this post does contain a few SPOILERS.
In celebration of Alligator (1980) finally getting a 4K/Blu-ray release this week courtesy of Shout! Factory, I thought I’d pay tribute to my favorite killer crocodilians on the Silver Screen. Of the twenty-three living species of this ancient Order of reptiles, it’s no surprise that its largest members – alligators and crocodiles – are popular choices for “Man vs Wild” films. This is likely due to their reputation of occasionally killing folks off-camera as well but is their notoriety justified? Well, it depends on where you live. Last year there was one alleged human fatality by an alligator and an estimated one thousand by crocodiles. Even if you don’t share an environment with these apex predators, and have zero chance of encountering one outside a zoo, the movie industry’s got you covered. And here are ten of my favorites in no particular ranking…
While sharing the books I read in 2021, I admitted failing my Goodreads goal of twenty-five books. Rather than lowering the bar, I decided to reaffirm that target for 2022 and, this time by golly, I’m confident I’m going to reach it. In January alone, I finished eleven books – just four less than I did in my entire 2021. In contrast to last year’s selections, I’ve been enjoying more modern novels with just a few old “Paperbacks from Hell” thrown in. Instead of dropping one big recap at the end of the year which was, quite frankly, a pain in the butt, I’m going to review some throughout the year. Hopefully, it’ll prevent a lengthy post while also keeping me accountable for my goal. That being said, I couldn’t be happier with my first read of 2022, “Near the Bone” (Berkley/2021) by Chicago author, Christina Henry.
I’m happy to welcome my friend, Jason Schoolcraft, back to the site. Today he’ll be discussing New England legend, Lenny Schwartz, and his exciting upcoming project – “The Haunted and the Haunted!” Take it away, Jason…
What kind of movie does a lifelong film lover decide to make first? Well, Leonard Schwartz says a film that has never been made yet!
I met Lenny roughly 20 years ago because of a mutual passion for movies and physical media. That passion has not changed but we certainly have. After we met, I learned Lenny started pursuing his love while at college. He then started his own theater production company and along the way gained a reputation as a dedicated, hardworking, and proficient writer and director. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Lenny will say he is also a kind and caring human being.