Hello all! I recognize it’s been some while since I last updated my site, but I figured it was about time. As many of you perhaps know, I’ve been busy with the horror movie podcast, Cinescare, which is growing every month. In fact, we were recently featured as one of the top new horror podcasts to listen to in 2021. If you haven’t checked it out, look it up on your podcast app of choice. Also, at the end of each of our episodes, I read a user-provided ghost story. So, if you have a personal encounter with a ghost, please write it down, or record your voice telling the story. I will work with it and make it something we can read on the show! Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I can’t fail to mention our little short film, Lockdown, won best drama at the Hollywood Blood Horror Film Festival in March. Not too shabby for just messing around with our camera. Thanks to my wife, Michelle, and her sister Denialle Von Fitch, for their fantastic performances! You can watch it here:
The pandemic would seem like the ideal time to do a heck of a lot of writing, wouldn’t you think? Well, it hasn’t been that way for me. It just can’t get back into the rhythm with this story for whatever reason. But fear not, I am planning to get back to it this summer during my break. I guess I’ve been avoiding it, partly because I’ve got so much going on within the story, it’s a daunting task to bring all of that together for some kind of coherent ending. Yes, I do plan to wrap up most of the major storylines with this third book. There may be more Bettendorf Tales books in the future, but Jack’s story will find some kind of closure first.
THE LAST HOUSE
Some of you recall that I’ve been shopping around my latest novel, The Last House, for a couple years and I’m waiting to hear from a few publishers. This part of the process is tedious and somewhat deflating but I’m optimistic for some good news soon, so stay tuned!
There’s a book out right now that is an awfully good haunted house tale, A Place So Wicked by Patrick Reuman. You may recall he was the editor/publisher of my short story, Morgan’s Girl, which was included in Reuman’s best-selling horror anthology, The Edge: Infinite Darkness. If you are into hauntings, give his new book a shot. It’s currently in the top ten best sellers in the horror genre. Fantastic!
It’s been a long while since I’ve recommended shows on streaming, so I’m bound to leave out a few that we’ve watched since the last post. But here goes:
Red Oaks – An 80s throwback that reminded me a little of films like Meatballs and Caddyshack, with some John Hughes sprinkled in. It’s a lot of fun! On Amazon Prime.
Search Party – I’m telling anyone who will listen to watch this gem of a show on HBO Max. It’s flat out hilarious with a stellar cast, including the tremendous Alia Shawkat, but it’s also quite an absorbing tale with surprising twists and turns which lift it above the typical comedy formula. Each episode is only about 30 minutes long, so it’s an easy binge. On HBO Max.
The Handmaid’s Tale – I’ve got a love/hate relationship with this show. When it’s good, there’s little that’s better. Unfortunately, it has a catch-and-release, rinse/repeat, cycle that gets redundant. However, I’m happy to say that it appears this season they are finally moving past all of that and seem to be heading into unexplored territory in the current season. Huzzah! On Hulu.
The Flight Attendant – A great mystery/comedy that hooks you from the get-go—highly binge-able. On HBO Max.
Mare of Easttown – Kate Winslet plays a hard-nosed detective in a small Pennsylvania town where everyone seems to know each other. A string of kidnappings has rocked the town and set everyone on edge as the mystery unfolds, revealing dark secrets among the inhabitants, with Winslet’s Mare at the center of it all. This is one engrossing mystery that will make you excited for Sunday nights again. On HBO Max.
Them – I’m only halfway through this show, and I don’t know if I can say that I recommend it, exactly. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a powerful horror tale about racial issues set in the 1950s, but parts of it are extremely disturbing and much of the show is hard to watch. There is a supernatural element, with a haunted house setting, but it’s the racial violence that puts this show in a difficult-to-recommend category. Episode 5, in particular, includes a scene that has the most disturbing act I’ve ever seen in a show or movie, prompting many articles questioning if Them actually went too far. I have warned you—this is not for the faint of heart. In reality, it won’t be easy viewing for the strong of heart either. On Amazon Prime.
LIGHT AT THE END
The past year has been a strange one, but it’s feeling like we might actually be heading toward the end of the tunnel. Here in LA, where this past winter had been extremely challenging with death rates and infections spiking, we look to be past the worst of it and well on our way to some kind of normalcy. Everyone please get out there and get vaccinated, if you haven’t already. If we can keep improving like we have been, this summer will be a great one, and this Halloween should be amazing.
Thanks to all of you for your kindness and support! Please listen to Cinescare Horror Podcast and be on the lookout for more updates in the weeks ahead.