Remembering 9/11: 15 Years #NeverForget


On this anniversary, in the face of the upcoming election, I ask all of us to remember how important unity is, how important fighting for each other is–rather than against. It isn’t that we can’t argue or partake in educated–or, at the very least, adult–conversation about the ideas, the morals, the values that drive us. It takes being respectful, mindful of the fact that not everyone will think like us. This doesn’t mean we can’t come together, find a common goal, and work together to achieve it–while still maintaining our own opinions, our own moral code, our own idea of ethics.

Shake the hand of an American you don’t know today. Thank your chosen deity for giving you another day and choose to appreciate it by showing gratitude to someone else. Give something to someone else–even when you’re feeling your own sense of lack. Put someone else’s perspective ahead of your own, just for a second, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light–especially when you get a smile from the person you boosted today.

When so much of the world is centered on segregating us, breaking us down along ideological, moral, or any other check-boxes, think about what makes (or made) us all the same today–we were attacked for the things that we, as Americans, hold sacred: freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and a never-ending drive for equality among all people–even when all those above us can do is continually show us how “different” they think we are.

The destruction of this day should stand as a lasting reminder of what can happen when we choose to see ideologies before the people who hold them. We are all people, and we all feel the loss of those who suffered at the hands of fear and violence. Let us cooperate, let us compromise, let us try diplomacy, so that no more innocent lives–on either side of the fight–are lost.


Remembering 9/11: 14 Years Ago Today #NeverForget


To those who lost their lives; to those who sifted through rubble and debris; to those who survived and remember; to those who lost a loved one, a coworker, a boss, or a friend, I salute you and honor you and your sacrifice today. We will never forget the sadness, the terror, and the coming together that happened after such tragedy.

Media | Reflecting on #CharlieHebdo

Source: Wikipedia

You can see their first cover post-attacks here. There was an NBC Nightly News story that I caught last night about Charlie Hebdo that prompted this blog.

In one week, I’ve seen various responses to this attack. The only thing I can think to say is that Freedom of Expression isn’t something to take lightly, but it’s a two-way street. Even the language we see as “offensive” is protected, and that is because language is used to transfer thought to speech. Yes, America is a land of censorship and Puritanical morals, but we revere freedom of speech above nearly all things. We know how important it is to have a sense of humor about things like radical political leaders and horrific political attacks. It’s an added dose of perspective that we cherish, that we require in order to get some reality, some understanding out of the tragedy that can occur when people lack a sense of humor or an ability to laugh at themselves.

No, I’ve never read Charlie Hebdo, not once. I don’t even know what the political cartoon from 2005 looked like. I just know that it caused an uproar, for the folks who don’t know how to look at things outside of their own connection to them. How to take a figure of great religious import and realize that he may not be that important to other people–but that doesn’t inherently negate the importance he has to you. That also doesn’t mean you need to kill those people. Negating the different doesn’t stop people from being different; in fact, I would say it calls them to it. Murdering someone for having a sense of humor about something you don’t find funny is pointless and only makes people want to distance themselves from you.

Unless they already feel laughed at, mocked, or put down for being different.

It’s easy to say lighten up and have a laugh, but when you’ve been the butt of jokes your entire life you start to think of laughter as a weapon. It can hurt; it can isolate; it can alienate. Laughter itself and the things that incite it can be hurtful to people on the receiving end of it. Especially when the jokes come at the expense of individuality, self-esteem, and unique expression.

This isn’t about censorship–can’t stand the shit. This is about having a little understanding for the other side of the fence. This just keeps proving how important and powerful words actually are, and how dangerous they can be when the people receiving the message have a different worldview from those delivering it.

Being able to speak your mind, even if it’s aimed at someone of great political or religious import, is a beautiful thing. And I would hate to see that get stunted, limited, or stopped entirely because people can’t take a step back and consider what the agenda is behind a message, because people don’t know how to carry around an ounce of perspective for someone else’s point of view. Am I going to be incensed or angered at a narrow-minded perspective? Of course, but I would never rob a person of having that narrow-minded perspective. (Un)fortunately, they are entitled to it. All I can do is try to understand why it’s so narrow and offer to broaden it.

That’s all anyone can do. And, in that light, I have to say, “I am Charlie.” Because I revere freedom of expression over the freedom to defend that which is religiously important to you because that will always be at odds with someone else–and it is that inherent diversity that makes us a richer people. We need this diversity to prevent becoming an autocratic, oppressed race of automatons who don’t care, don’t have passion, and can’t fight for anything.

Should you stand up for what you believe in? Unabashedly yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to fight every single battle to the death. Killing people in retaliation to media they created is an act that can never be erased and will never be stood for by the good people defending and promoting the freedom of expression.

The Top 10 Horror Novels of 2014

And I trust that Matt Molgaard would know! Please, direct any comments to the original post!

Horror Novel Reviews

Written by: Matt Molgaard

What novels scored big with readers this year? Truth is, that’s a tough question to answer, as we all seem to be looking for something a little different. However, we can definitely let you in on the books that really won us over. The following are the 10 best novels released in 2014, as voted on by myself and a number of our contributors!


10 Sergey Kuznetsov – Butterfly Skin

Verdict: Butterfly Skin reads, at times, like a vintage giallo picture… mixed with a little Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It’s wonderfully written and about as addictive as I imagine crack being. A stunning story that delivers tons of chills, the novel is about as disturbing as they come. Reviews of the novel seem to be a bit mixed, but lovers of the extreme are going to dig this one quite a bit.


09 Benedict…

View original post 679 more words

Yahoo! News | Ryan Murphy recruits Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts for #ScreamQueens Fall 2015

Saw this on Yahoo! News and I’m so excited I can’t even find words…So, I’ll just use theirs. Enjoy!

Ryan Murphy recruits Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts for new horror series - Yahoo News
Source: Yahoo! News

Both well acquainted with the genre, the two actresses will headline the horror-comedy series “Scream Queens,” which is due to premiere on Fox in fall 2015.

Jamie Lee Curtis is preparing to reconnect with the genre that propelled her to fame. The actress whose career was launched in 1978 with John Carpenter’s “Halloween” went on to star in several other spine-chilling films, earning the epithet of “scream queen” at the time. So she was a logical choice in the title role of Ryan Murphy’s next series….

Fox has placed an order for the first 15 episodes, which are to focus on two female protagonists played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. Julia Roberts’ niece is already familiar with Murphy’s flavor of horror, having appeared in the two most recent seasons of “American Horror Story”: “Coven” and “Freakshow.”

Read the entire article by clicking the link below!
Ryan Murphy recruits Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts for new horror series – Yahoo News.

Fright Rags | Silent Night, Deadly Night : #Horror #Holiday Collection

Just in time to celebrate the darker aspects of the holiday season–I mean, who told that round, jolly man he could break into my house anyway?! Just for some gifts? Psh, yeah right…

But, I might make an exception if he were bearing these gifts: 30th Anniversary Box Set, t-shirt, and “ugly Christmas” sweatshirt [that’s personally my favorite]!

Source: Fright Rags
Source: Fright Rags


Click the link below and toss some of that holiday “in the black” money toward these awesome folks at Fright Rags! You know you want that sweatshirt!!!

Silent Night Deadly Night : Horror T-Shirts : FRIGHT-RAGS, Horror Shirts.

Pop | Happy 30th Anniversary, Nightmare on Elm Street!


Thirty years ago, Wes Craven, Bob Shaye, and New Line Cinema launched the face that would scare millions of kids. Their parents tried to kill him, but now the children of Elm Street in Springwood, USA are being haunted in their dreams by the villainous child killer, Fred Krueger. Fire, a dream master, and even his own daughter couldn’t really kill him. A dream demon returning to fulfill a quest of vengeance; they took his life, now he’s taking their children: one nightmare at a time.

I want desperately to talk about the legacy of this movie; I mean, 30 years, is a long time for anything. Marriages don’t even last that long anymore, and this movie has managed to stay relevant, timely, and creative for the past three decades. I have enjoyed these movies my entire life–I was born just two years, one month, and 25 days before its debut. They held me captive, helped me escape, and taught me that things aren’t always what they seem. The nature of reality is viscous, liquid at best, and Nightmare on Elm Street uses that against us in every incarnation, in every sequel.

Let’s not overlook the power of women in Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy, KristenAlice (and Alice, again), Maggie, Heather, and Lori all stand up to Freddy and come out on top. Each one of them “kills” him and walks away (though Nancy doesn’t make it in Dream Warriors after a valiant fight), even though death isn’t really permanent for Fred. That isn’t anything the ladies could have changed, though, he’s a demon now. Killed by vigilante justice and coming back over and over again to serve up poetic justice–the irony being Fred is still tormenting and killing children, only now the parents won’t believe the cries of warning from their haunted children. Because they have to believe he’s already dead. But, death means nothing to evil, to revenge.

Even though the remake was kinda crappy in my opinion, I don’t think Freddy is going anywhere. Even if we only ever have the originals–God forbid! /sarcasm–Krueger has made his mark, and the world will never be the same.

Here’s to enjoying the next 30 years!

#HappyHalloween: Favorite Horror Movie Villains

(From HorrorFourEver)

Some ultra-creepy, retro horror movie music. Enjoy!

So, I left this post for the end of the week because I thought it was going to be the easiest post. I’ve watched (and re-watched) so many different horror movies that I thought at least 5 or 10 would just come rolling off the tip of my tongue. But proverbials aside, I found myself stumped this morning. I mean, you already know that I pretty much adore the character of Freddy Krueger, and because of my feelings for the remake…before it even got to theaters. I don’t really want to retread a known rut in the road. But, I don’t want to drop a bunch of names because they’re expected  names. Of course, Jason, Michael, and, hell, even Chucky  are classics, but they are not the end-all, be-all of the horror world.

Source: Fright Rags
Source: Fright Rags

I mean, this t-shirt image from Fright Rags (click the link for image source) even includes Leatherface, who is an intimidating and frightful villain! But, when I say Leatherface, you know immediately who I’m talking about.

What about the villains who get almost no mention at all? Not because they weren’t scary, but because there may not have been as many movies made. Or maybe they only reach a niche market. It’s possible that I’m merely a sheltered child (even in the shadow of the Internet), and I just don’t realize how popular or widely known these figures really are.


All I know, is that I won’t be mentioning the villains that I assume people will expect to see here. Granted, I know what assuming can do, but in this case, I’m willing to take a risk and talk about movie villains that I rarely think of, though have enjoyed watching in the past.

So, where do I start? I’ve finally got a couple names boiling up in the old gray matter… I’ve got two pair and three queens. No, I’m not cheating at poker…

Tall Man (Phantasm Series) and Reverend Kane (Poltergeist Sequels)

Source: Last Road Reviews [modified for size]
Source: Last Road Reviews
[modified for size]
Source: Tim Pratt Blogspot
Source: Tim Pratt Blogspot
Source: [modified for size]
[modified for size]








Angus Scrimm does little work at being ultra-creepy in the series of films that follow this dark mortician and his hunt for the young man, Mike, who mistakenly uncovers his dark tendencies toward the small town they live in. Mike’s brother and best friend, Reggie, work and try to survive at uncovering Tall Man’s tools for destruction.

I coupled these two characters, because they remind me of each other. Reverend Kane could easily be Carol Anne’s Tall Man. Towering over her, casting her in his shadow every time he arrives — he might as well be dragging a team of dagger-sharp silver balls around with him. Though, that wide-brimmed black hat and skeletal scowl does quite enough for rendering Kane creepy as Hell!

Julian Beck and Nathan Davis, in Poltergeist II and III, respectively, frighten poor little Carol Anne Freeling and haunt her supportive family members as the demons try their best to get the little bulb of heavenly light to guide them to the other side. She’s just so pure, so blonde — they simply cannot help themselves. Though the sequels catch plenty of flack for not being up to snuff in comparison to the first, I cannot deny that Reverend Kane gave me nightmares for a week!

Frank and Julia Cotton (Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II)


Now, you might think I have this backwards. Because you’re seeing the movie name, but the villain listed is a set of human beings — not Cenobites. Well, in the first two movies, I don’t think the Cenobites are the villains. Frank and Julia are more villainous in this case, because it is their thoughtless and selfish actions which bring about the Cenobites anyway. Kirsty certainly didn’t call them (not until later, anyway) and Larry couldn’t have had a clue. He certainly didn’t seem to notice when his wife and brother started knocking boots. Though, for the sequel, it’s Julia and the good doctor who rescues her. That evil seductress!

Source: Signal Bleed
Source: Signal Bleed

Annie Wilkes (Misery)


Source: Fountain of Randomness
Source: Fountain of Randomness

Annie Wilkes, on the other hand, was no seductress. Though, she did fall in love with her favorite writer of all time, Paul Sheldon. The source of the image is a wonderful detailing of not only the movie (with book comparisons), but the character of Ms. Wilkes herself. She is certainly unstable, monstrous, and dedicated to the man who provides her with the stories she loves. A number one fan, of course, and a nurse, she takes care of Paul after a major car accident. Then, Annie finds out that Paul killed off her heroine — that’s when the story truly takes off. Though I’ve always wanted a number one fan, Annie makes me kind of wonder why.

Joanie (Cursed)


If it is a Spoiler Alert for you, have my humblest apologies. But it has been almost 10 years since it was released, maybe it’s about time you knew.

Judy Greer really brought this character to life for me; I don’t know another actress who could have pulled this off the way she did. Joanie, a Type-A publicist, was so bright, bubbly, and blonde, that to reveal the bleak hairy beast beneath felt really defamiliar to me. I wish it could have been played up more monstrously, like the werewolf movies of the ’50s, but she definitely gives good gore and generous bite marks! (Plus, counter-pointing her with Scott Baio — which just kind of made me chuckle — was brilliant.) I assumed Jake from the beginning, but never did I see Joanie coming, which is what made her transformation and methodical killing scary. Though, this is another movie that is laughed at as often as watched (only 4.9/10 on IMDB), I loved that surprise element, that unexpected reveal, and it really redeemed the movie for me. On top of all of that, it’s got great atmosphere, and, you know, because Joshua Jackson and Christina Ricci and Wes Craven. C’mon, what was I supposed to do?

Last but not least…

Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

Source: Diablito 666 via Tumblr
Source: Diablito 666 via Tumblr

Betsy Palmer is damn creepy, and I don’t care who knows it. She really breathed some dark life into the mother of all villains. Her son, driven by the demons of vengeance and negligence, is eternally resurrected to take the lives of those who “were supposed to be watching.” And it is clearly her drive to avenge him that provides him the otherworldly power. But, there is truly no fury like the wrath of a mother scorned, and Pamela Voorhees is no exception to the rule. Taking the initiative, she begins offing her “old friends” and the counselors they hired because they had the audacity to start the camp back up where her son so tragically perished. I mean, who wouldn’t get pissed off about that?

Well, this is my list of favorite horror movie villains. I’ve seen each of these movies numerous times, but they aren’t always the names that pop up when I first think of horror movies. And I hope that maybe I inspired you to watch something other than the standard fare on this All Hallow’s Eve.

Favorite Movies to Watch on Halloween Night

(From Jack Pumpkinking)

Now, you probably think this post is better suited for tomorrow night; don’t worry. I’m giving you a little bit of help toward really enjoying Halloween by not only telling you my favorite go-to flicks but also listing where they are available for picking up your Halloween get-together! I’ll provide a picture of the movie’s poster and the links to where it can either be streamed or rented for a small fee. Gotta share the horror love, right? I’m just doing my part. Enjoy!

Halloween and Halloween 2 (1978, 1981)

Clearly, these are go-to Halloween movies. Classic stalk and slash, featuring the always captivating Jamie Lee Curtis and her sibling nemesis: stone-cold Michael Myers.


This classic is not available at any of the “traditional” viewing outlets: Redbox or Netflix. Not even Blockbuster on Demand (which I just downloaded this morning) or the YouTube Horror Movie Channel. You might just have to go and check out your local video store if you don’t already own this horror classic! If you Google this little dilemma, there are some interesting results. However, be very careful when interacting with websites that you aren’t totally and wholly familiar with. Don’t get a virus on Michael’s behalf; although, he might find that a bit humorous (because in my world all horror villains have a dry sense of humor).



Now, this little beauty is available through the Netflix DVD option; though, it might be a little late in the game to snag this one for tomorrow night. But, I don’t know how long processing takes on that because I only pay for the streaming option.

Blockbuster on Demand has this little filly of a sequel for viewing, and all you have to do is sign up and download the app. You pay per movie (starting at $2.99) and registration is free. They do take your credit card information at sign-up, but they won’t charge you until you actually view a film. Again, I’ve just downloaded it this morning; so if you use it and there’s issues, come back here and let me know. Then, I can let the world know. Muah-ha-ha!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

This is not just a kid’s movie, although it is aimed at children. It has a host of talented stars: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Omri Katz (Eerie, Indiana LOVE!), and young Thora Birch. Not to mention Mr. Sean Murray, who would grow into a well-liked NCIS agent one day! And, it explores a city’s history, contains a great ghost story, and puts witches in an oven–just classic story telling here.


Confusing as this may be, Redbox has a movie page for Hocus Pocus but no ways to secure it for renting or the elusive “ADD” button to place it on a wishlist for viewing “when this is at the box.” So, whether it is or isn’t there, I can’t say for sure.

It is available on Netflix through the DVD option, but not online streaming.

YouTube is here to save the day! Through their Movie Channel, they offer the full Hocus Pocus  experience for only $2.99! That’s not too bad.



Practical Magic (1998)

What a classic Halloween movie. It teaches us acceptance of others despite inherent differences, how to come together in times of crisis, the importance of family and love, and how to put your heart on the line and dream. Oh, and it’s about witches.


Seems as though, the farther you get from a year beginning with a 2, the harder it is to find streaming online options. Redbox is a no-go, doesn’t even have it available to rent “at the box.”

Netflix offers this beauty through the DVD option.

YouTube and Blockbuster on Demand (You’ll need to register before you can see the movie page; it’s only available through the app.) offer this for the low rental price of $2.99! Totally worth the money!




The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) 

I was 12 the first time I saw this movie, and I loved it from that instant on. It was hard to get on video, then, and I would go a year or two between viewings until about college or so, because I just. couldn’t. find. it. I’ve never been to a “live” performance, either, whether interactive movie screening or stage performance. It’s certainly on my bucket list; I just don’t know who I would dress as. So many colorful characters! And it’s those Frankenstein/Sci-Fi/Get-in-drag elements that make it perfect for any Halloween celebration, even just providing background noise. Though, how could it ever simply be background noise? I think Dr. Furter would be disappointed. Don’t miss the floor show!


As expected at this point, no Redbox options–though I cannot speak to how sad that makes me. Especially since I grew up longing to watch this movie over and over again (I still do, even though I own it!), and it isn’t instantly available to the masses for less than $2. Not that it’s cheap, never; but access to it should be! (Sorry, Mr. O’Brien.)

Netflix, of course, has this available via the DVD option, but no online streaming.

YouTube and Blockbuster on Demand, to the rescue again, offer it for your ultimate viewing pleasure at a devilishly low $2.99! Definitely worth every penny for the sheer entertainment value and decadent musical numbers. You’ll be humming “The Time Warp” all night, kind of like I do every day.


This list is not exhaustive, there are plenty of hours to fill on Halloween and plenty of horror movies to be watched. Between the links back to YouTube, Blockbuster on Demand, Netflix, and Redbox you are bound to find something entertaining for every member of your family, even if my suggestions here did absolutely nothing for you.



Favorite Horror Merchandise: Fright Rags

(From Projecticeman365)

I hope the mood music lasts the life of the read, or hit repeat. It’s what I would do.

So, I’ve spent the majority of my life as a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. I know I’ve mentioned this here before, and it probably won’t be the last time I mention it–because I wholeheartedly believe that people could trade stocks and run businesses in jeans if they wanted to, they just don’t. However, I think they should. What’s wrong with a little bit of comfort in the workplace, after all; but I digress… I’m telling you (again!) that I would live in a tee and jeans in order to introduce you to my favorite Halloween and horror merchandise web retailer: Fright Rags.

They bank on the tee-and-jeans crew who love horror movies, because their main fare is the silk-screened horror-representin’ t-shirt! [They also have girls’ tees, baseball tees, and zippered hoodie sweatshirts!]

Source: Found on Imgur
Source: Found on Imgur










These are just a sample of the good works this company is doing, and they are all available for pre-order right now! There is also the option of voting to resurrect old designs, from the Graveyard. So, if it’s a first-time visit for you, make sure you stop by the Graveyard and vote on the designs you never even got a chance to shop for! They send regular emails detailing their plans for future (and past!) designs, and they love to hear how their fans feel about their designs, often taking fan suggestions and ideas. I love that they’ve incorporated baseball tees and zippered sweatshirts.










They are willing to represent every age and genre within the horror realm, and the designs are bright, clear, and educated for being so dark and demented. Unfortunately, I have yet to purchase a t-shirt, but I love getting their regular emails and seeing all the beautiful items of attire that would fill my closet in a paradise of my own making. I would wear nothing but horror tees if I could–imagine that in an interview!–and I could be the happiest girl in the world. Because fashion was not made for me unless it features my favorite villains!

From the Graveyard
From the Graveyard
From the Graveyard

Favorite Slasher Series: Nightmare on Elm Street

I think I’m going to start each of these off with a little bit of mood music…

Freddy Krueger has been a constant in my life from a very young age. One of the first scary movie images I recall seeing as a child was Joey Crusel thrashing around in a waterbed. But I didn’t know why until much, much later…

(From The Scare)

That was the only scene I managed to see of the Nightmare series for a long time. It wasn’t until early middle school when I saw the original Nightmare on Elm Street for the very first time. It would have come after I saw Edward Scissorhands for the first time, because I recognized Johnny Depp’s name in the credits. Not even the credits of the movie; no, I purchased a novelization of the first three films and noticed his name there, then went to find the movie. Which, wasn’t too hard considering I lived within walking distance of two places that rented videos at the time.

At this stage in the game, I’ve seen each and every movie with Freddy Krueger’s name on it at least 1000 times. With exception to the 2010 remake, because well, Jackie Earle Haley just didn’t do it for me the way Robert Englund does.

Source Unknown
Source Unknown

This movie series has everything: revenge, love, lust, blood, and laughter. If anything, Freddy can make you laugh. He’s got great one-liners and whip-crack wit. Wouldn’t the Devil need to be charming? Considering he’s basically the embodiment of the concept that the sins of the fathers will be paid by the sons–and, in this case, the daughters. Every child on Elm Street is paying the price for the vigilante justice performed against one child killer extraordinaire, Mr. Krueger. They set him on fire (please, with the “spoiler alert” crap, it’s been 30 years! There’s an entire Wikipedia network established for NOES, for Pete’s sake!) and he becomes an even bigger problem: a dream demon. Still killing kids (there’s a lesson for adults, vigilante justice only exacerbates the problem!), now the parents just don’t believe it’s happening anymore. They’ve solved the problem, after all, right?

Wrong. And for seven total movies, plus face-off and remake films, Freddy gets to keep telling those adults they’re wrong, eventually moving out into the greater world, “Every town has an Elm Street!” So much so, even the potential of reconnecting to his own child only made the blood lust stronger. Coming out into the “real world” only made him loom that much larger above us. (Happy 20th Anniversary, New Nightmare, as of October 14th, by the way!!)


Freddy’s presence has become a mainstay and a constant, not only at Halloween. For all of his evil, disgusting ways, he’s charismatic, dynamic, and nigh unstoppable. I see images of Freddy’s mug with “RIP” next to it, and I always have to wonder. Could a personality like Freddy’s, seated so deep, made so tragic, and of the darkest bile found in the human condition, ever really be dead? Good thing there are Dream Warriors, just in case he isn’t.

(From John TTherror)

Smithsonian | Speculation on Solving Jack the Ripper Case

After more than 120 years, the grisly, unsolved serial murders from the Whitechapel District still hold our attention. After copious publications, major motion pictures, and miles of speculation, it’s still up in the air whether we will ever be able to truly name the man behind the nefarious moniker.

Source: Leemage/Corbis via Smithsonian Magazine Online
Source: Leemage/Corbis via Smithsonian Magazine Online

To the folks who know me, my obsession with serial killers is nothing new. Jack the Ripper must be one of the most notorious, and–admittedly, it’s macabre to consider–probably one of the most envied of his ilk for simply getting away with it and remaining anonymous to this day.

Case Solved on Jack the Ripper? Not So Fast | Smart News | Smithsonian.

Film | Stephen King’s Top 5 Big, Bad Mamas

There is a rumor that Stephen King is a misogynist: Google Search, Google Scholar Search. Probably the one time when the civil and scholarly worlds almost match. But I am not here to perpetuate that rumor; I really don’t agree with it. Especially as a man who was raised by a single mother, I don’t think he could hate women after he acknowledges how hard his mother worked to keep him and his brother alive. I think he gives women a backbone–an unapologetic one.

…sometimes a woman had to be a high-ridin’ bitch. “Sometimes,” she told me, “being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.” [Dolores Claiborne (1993 Signet paperback, 358)].

People take to task women who are too “bossy” or “forward” and it pisses me off. I’m willing to bet it pissed off Mrs. King, too, when her husband walked out one day and left her with her two boys. I’m willing to bet lots of women get pissed off, and Stephen King has captured just a few them–getting mad as Hell and not taking it anymore.

Here, in no particular order, are my Top 5 Stephen King Big, Bad Mamas:

Probably the most notorious, Margaret White.

Overtly religious in “godless times”, Margaret White comes off as a little bit cuckoo. Especially since her girl just wants to fit in and go to prom. Pitched as evil and off her rocker from the get-go, Margaret does little to change this. She’s consistent, determined, and certain–how many of you can say that? She doesn’t change to fit her environment, feeling complete control and confidence in the opinions she pursues. Not only that, she ends up right–not even saying “I told you so!” when Carrie comes home just a little worse for wear after the prom. I mean, almost all of them laughed at her by the end of the movie.

From the book quoted above, Dolores Claiborne.

A hardworking maid and housekeeper for Vera Donovan, Dolores discovers her husband is molesting their only daughter. With advice from Vera and her own anger-fueled strength to guide her, Dolores seeks recompense for the invasion against her daughter’s security and her bank account. After working long, hard, physically crippling months and years for Vera Donovan, Dolores thought she’d earned a path to freedom for her and her daughter. No one, not even her drunken, abusive husband, could stop her.

A mother against her will, Nadine Cross.

Source: "The Stand" Comic Images on
Source: “The Stand” Comic Images on

Nadine Cross was promised to The Walking Man. It might appear that she promised herself to him, based on the way she acts. However, in the film, Nadine Cross’s death takes on a different form from the novel, even though the intent is still the same. In the film, Laura San Giacomo is taken into the arms of Randall Flagg–at the last minute she wants to refuse him (similar to the book)–and becomes pregnant with his child. Running was no option, when you’re running from the Devil. She’s taken back to Las Vegas to be introduced to the crew there, when shortly after a conversation with Randall’s right-hand man, Nadine picks herself up from the couch, threatens Randall as the image above portrays and tosses herself off the balcony. In the novel, she taunts Randall into tossing her. Quite the message to send to the baby-daddy, wouldn’t you say?

The unholy maternal spirit, Ellen Rimbauer.

Ellen Rimbauer only wanted the dream of a Victorian life, marriage, and family. Giving  two children, the happiness of her youth, and her very soul in order to seek out the joy she wanted. Her carousing, cheating husband kept her from it. Ellen and her maid, Sukeena, would make him pay. Dedicating her very life to the process of building her mansion, Rose Red, Sukeena assists Ellen in attempting to woo her grandson, Steven, into helping them build. Protecting home and hearth, Ellen and Sukeena are a force to be reckoned with when Lois Reardon and her crew attempt to waken the sleeping mansion.

The trapped protector, Donna Trenton.

Donna is simply trying to live her life, take care of her boy, and get her tired car fixed. Dropping her car off with a trusted friend becomes a fight for survival as she’s attacked by a rabid St. Bernard in front of his home. Doing all that she can with what she has is an understatement as Donna surveys her surroundings and tries to fight through the environment as she’s found it. She’s done nothing to create this trauma, aside from not being prepared to meet a rabid dog, and can do almost nothing–save risking contracting the disease herself–to take herself out of it. Watching Donna fight to survive the world as she’s had it presented to her is a metaphor for maneuvering the minefield that women often call life.

Sometimes the characters authors write don’t get the gripe for being assholes–the authors do. Accusing an author of being an asshole for writing asshole characters is kind of like calling God an asshole for creating assholes on Earth, isn’t it? And, of course, in order to understand an asshole, one might have to be one. That doesn’t necessarily mean the author and his character are the same kind of asshole. King has written some pretty shady characters; he’s also written some pretty honorable characters. The rub is that both are human, and King is merely attempting to show us how life can sometimes be–real or in our most vivid nightmares.

Film | My Top 5 All-Time Favorites

Since I mentioned it in the last post, I thought maybe I would flesh it out here: My Top 5 All-Time Favorite movies. If I were headed to a deserted island, these are the five I would want with me for all eternity. However, having said that, let’s pray I never, ever have to resort to just five movies forever.

I would like to present this list in “no particular order”, but in all honesty that’s only because my favorite would change from day to day–depending on which one I wanted to see. As soon as I want to peg one for the coveted top spot, a reason why another one should be there springs to mind. So, alas, in no particular order, my top 5:

The Color Purple

This move struck me from the first time I viewed it, when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. It spoke to me on several levels: the strong sisterly connection, feeling helpless in a situation not of your choosing, and finally finding the power within to demand justice for pain suffered. “Until you do right by me everything you think about is gonna crumble!”

Dead Poets Society

I spoke about this in the last post in remembrance of Robin Williams’s performance as John Keating, but this was not the only aspect that secured its placement here. The story of the boys at the academy, bucking tradition and stifling parental/societal expectations to follow their dreams, their hearts. It is uplifting, full of passion and heart, and being sad at the end does not hinder the message that following your heart is what brings you joy, true and fleeting.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

I remember feeling like I might be too young to watch this when I was 12, having only heard the title and seen the movie cover; but after “The Time Warp” dance number I was sold. Following dreams and being the beauty you wanted to see the world resonated with me. Not to mention breaking out into song every time you had a different emotion. I’d been introduced to lots of other musicals long before seeing this in middle school, but hearing Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) practically shout at his new fiancee Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), “Damn it, Janet, I love you!” made me a fan of the movie musical forever.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The first horror movie I ever watched was Night of the Living Dead, and simultaneously it scared the crap out of me, incensed me, and taught me that some things just aren’t what they initially seem. A Nightmare on Elm Street scared the crap out of me and taught me that sometimes evil will stand up, spit you dead in the eye, and then laugh while it hacks you to bits. Pulling from stories about death while sleeping and that old adage about sins of the father, Freddy Krueger was born to remind us just how real dreams can be.

Pink Floyd The Wall

I remember working hard to try and see this movie. When I first heard about it, no one I knew owned it. It certainly wasn’t available at my local public library–or any college libraries I’d checked into at the time. The internet was a fledgling concept and not the network of media geeks it is today (LOVE YOU GUYS!!!). So, I had to wait a bit before I ever saw it. When I did, finally, watch it; I was immediately hooked. I remember thinking of it as a darker version of The Who’s Tommy, which I’d been long familiar with. They both followed an iconic male figure, overcoming severe familial trauma, to determine who they were on a grander world stage. Oh, and there’s the kick-ass rock music.

Books | The Confidence Code

Even though it was a rerun (the Mother’s Day episode), I went ahead and sat back to watch yesterday’s episode of Katie because I hadn’t before. I was kind of glad I did…

In my professional life, I’m a freelance copy editor and proofreader. My entire life all I’ve ever wanted was to work in my pajamas and get paid to read books. While I’m doing it and it feels great, there’s something else I’ve always wanted to do. And I never did it because I never felt confident enough–that I knew enough or had enough resources–to pursue it: starting my own publishing company and literary magazine. Both would cater to the darker/non-mainstream literary genres like horror, thriller, mystery, true crime, etc. I have friends who have offered me help in this, and I know no man is an island…but I’ve always wanted to do it myself. Not necessarily all  by myself, but getting the groundwork laid out–I want to make sure this magazine is mine and not anyone else’s…But, I digress…


Watch Katie video: Why Do Women Lack Confidence?

One of the big things keeping me from doing that is confidence and my lack thereof. The two women Katie had on her show (well, back in May, of course) yesterday Claire Shipman and Katty Kay have written The Confidence Code explaining how (and why) women seem to have a lacking in confidence in comparison to their male counterparts. This doesn’t surprise me at all, and it’s the fact that boys are simply raised differently than girls; on top of the fact that women are wired to be more cautious, more careful (because of our nurturing and caring-for-others tendencies).

Watch Katie video: How To Boost Confidence