Month: March 2013

Weekend Horror: Dog Soldiers

“My imagination completely controls me, and forever feeds the fire that burns with dark red light in my heart by bringing me the best dreams. I’ve always had a  wild imagination, a big heart and a tortured soul so I feel that dark fantasy, love and horror are in my blood.”–Kim Elizabeth

Dog Soldiers--PosterIt’s no secret Neil Marshall is one of my favorite directors. I have all his films (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday, and Centurion) on DVD and have watched each of them numerous times. I actually stopped to wonder why I like his style. The answer is he tells the kind of grand-in-scale stories on the screen that I’d like to tell in my manuscripts. The kind of stories where you can lose yourself for two hours and not mind. He also does a fantastic job of getting the most out of very little and making his productions seem much larger than they really are. Dog Soldiers is a perfect example of both.

Set in the Highlands of Scotland, a group of reserve soldiers is pit against a Special Forces unit in a series of war games. Ignoring the campfire tales of missing campers and ominous stories of local wildlife, the squad stumbles on the bloody remains of their Special Forces adversaries. Among the carnage they discover a wounded Captain Ryan, played brilliantly by Liam Cunningham. What’s strange is the amount of empty shell casings and a lack of enemy casualties. Ryan mumbles something about there was only supposed to be one. The reserves ditch their blank rounds for live ammunition and their harmless weekend of war games turns into a live operation. Without radio communication they’re forced to fight off unseen enemies as night falls until they stumble onto a lone traveller on the road. She agrees to take them to a nearby farm so they can sort things out. It turns out Captain Ryan was using the reserve squad as bait in order to capture a werewolf. Who will survive the night? You’ll have to watch in order to find out!

Dog Soldiers--Wolf

If you haven’t seen this worthy addition to the werewolf genre, stop reading this post and find a copy. Dog Soldiers is quite possibly one of the best low-budget horror films of all time. While the special effects aren’t the best, Mr. Marshall makes up for it by keeping the creatures in the shadows. This creates an air of mystery that actually adds to the tension, and is a brilliant move. The cast is full of gems like Liam Cunningham (Davos on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans remake, and Centurion), Kevin McKidd (HBO’s Rome, Percy Jackson, and Brave), and Sean Pertwee (Formula 51, Doomsday, and Soldier) who shine on the big screen. Combining werewolves, soldiers, and plenty of action, Dog Soldiers is a fast paced, bloody good time, which is sure to please horror lovers as well as action lovers. Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

Tax Time Means MORE BOOKS!!!

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”–Abraham Lincoln

Many of us are either expecting, or have received, some kind of tax refund. Some unexpected cash can be awesome news. I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent some of that cash on new books. My To Be Read pile has doubled overnight.

Here are some of my new books:

  • Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
  • Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley
  • American Gods 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman
  • Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
  • Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind
  • Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind
  • Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke
  • Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke
  • Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton
  • The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
  • The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
  • The Oath by Frank Peretti
  • The Devil Colony by James Rollins
  • Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

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As you can see I got a lot of new fantasy, some horror, and two writing books. Quite the haul. I’ve completed The Dragonships of Vindrash trilogy (Weis, Hickman) the Stormlord trilogy (Glenda Larke), and even re-purchased two classic Stephen King books. Both of the writing books came recommended by an editor friend of mine (thanks, Courtney) and I can’t wait to see how they can help my writing.

Wizard's First RuleWhat am I reading first? I decided to read Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Since my latest WIP is heavy on the Fantasy, I wanted to surround myself with some. I’m about fifty pages in and liking it so far. Terry offers readers just enough description of his world and lets the reader use their imagination to supplement the rest. It’s the perfect blend, and a balance I’m still trying to find. I’m finding a good rule is to keep descriptions as short and sweet as possible so pacing isn’t hindered. My inner writer is always analyzing, even when I read for pleasure.

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”–Henry David Thoreau

Has anyone else purchased new books with their tax refund? If so, what did you get?